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  1. Monday 6 March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Through the day: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We've now finished this service of news, travel reports and a regular weather forecast. 

The day was dominated by, unusually, a council licensing committee.  

We'll be back to do it all again from 08:00 tomorrow.  As always, if you have a photograph you'd like to share or you have news you think we should know, you can   email us ,   tweet us   or get in touch  through our Facebook page  .      

Have a very good evening.

Cumbria's weather: Drier with a touch of frost

BBC Weather

Showers will continue for a time overnight, but drier conditions will develop during the early hours. Clear spells will form, allowing a touch of frost.

Minimum Temperature: 2C (36F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest forecast for where you are, here .

South Cumbria hospitals appeal for staff to come in

The trust which runs hospitals in South Cumbria has now been appealing over social networks for more than 24 hours for off-duty staff to come in and help with a surge in the number of patients.

View more on twitter

A spokeswoman said there was no particular high level of absences through sick leave or vacancies, simply an exceptionally busy weekend and Monday meaning as many people as possible were needed to help staff wards and departments.

Police appeal for witnesses to rugby club attack

Police say a man was treated in hospital after he was attacked at Roose rugby club's ground.

The victim, who the North West Evening Mail said was a player at the club, was said by police to have suffered a "cut to his side".

Officers say they'd like to hear from anyone who saw what happened, just before a match between Barrow Island and Walney A.

Ullswater sailors win club of the year title

Ullswater Yacht Club has clinched the title of club of the year from the Royal Yachting Association.

Members with trophy
Ullswater Yacht Club

Club members were at a show at Alexandra Palace in London to hear that as well as winning the "increasing participation" award, they'd taken the overall title.

The club suffered serious flooding last winter, but still managed to attract 500 people to a taster day later in 2016.

The club was voted Yachts and Yachting magazine’s Club of the Year 2017 in January. 

Barrow and Whitehaven enjoy winning starts to RL season

BBC Radio Cumbria Sport

There were mixed fortunes for the county's rugby league teams this weekend in their opening League one games of the season. 

Barrow Raiders cruised to an easy 28-0 victory over York City Knights and Whitehaven got off to a winning start with a comfortable 27-10 away victory over South Wales Ironmen.   

Workington Town meanwhile were at the wrong end of a 20-24 scoreline against Newcastle Thunder, despite running in four tries. 

New zoo firm appeals for public support

The new company set up to run the South Lakes Safari Zoo has appealed for public support while it waits for its licence to be considered by Barrow councillors.

Rhino at zoo

The Cumbria Zoo Company Limited was set up after councillors first refused the founder, David Gill, a licence to carry on running the attraction, and he has no part other than owning the land.

Today councillors again refused Mr Gill a licence , after seeing a report that listed a catalogue of shortcomings and animal deaths.

On its Facebook page , Cumbria Zoo said they would go through the inspection part of their licence application this month: "Safari Zoo remains open and CZCL need your support." 

Despite the short time in which we have had sole operation of the site, we have developed and mitigated many of the welfare concerns that were inherited when we took over. "

Cumbria Zoo press statement

Arson probe after Flimby fire

It's believed a fire at a house in Flimby near Maryport may have been started deliberately.

Firefighters were called to the property on Ryehill Road last night. No one was injured, but the police were asked to attend.

Barrow manager 'still optimistic' ahead of Tranmere match

BBC Radio Cumbria Sport

Barrow will face Tranmere for the second time in a week at Holker Street tomorrow evening. 

Paul Cox
Getty Images

Despite their recent run of poor form, manager Paul Cox is optimistic about the Holker Street team's prospects for the rest of the season.  

We've still got something to play for, there's still excitement about us, I'm never one to throw in the towel and we want to finish the season in a real positive manner."

Paul CoxManager, Barrow AFC

Tragic keeper's fiance says councils struggle to regulate zoos

The fiance of a zoo keeper killed by a tiger in 2013 says local authorities shouldn't be regulating the care of wild animals.

Sarah McClay (pictured) died when the big cat got through an insecure door  at South Lakes Safari Zoo in Dalton-in-Furness.

Sarah McClay
Stephen McClay

Since then the zoo has been the subject of critical reports and today the founder, David Gill, was refused a new licence by Barrow Borough Council .

Sarah's partner, David Shaw, says local authorities aren't experts on the operating of zoos.

"Barrow Borough Council has worked very hard to bring in specialists to do this work, but it just proved that local authorities, that are having their funding cut year on year, are having to go out and find specialists in very specific areas when this should be managed by a national body", he said. 

Future of zoo in doubt after founder is refused licence

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

The question now is whether the South Lakes Safari Zoo in Dalton in South Cumbria can be rescued and conditions for the animals be brought up to standard?

Inspectors earlier this year compiled an 800 page report listing a catalogue of problem s, and saying nearly 500 animals had died since 2013.

David Gill

The owner and founder, David Gill, was heavily criticised in the report and council officials at a meeting this morning had recommended he be refused a new licence.

The zoo's future now lies in a second application from a company set up by senior staff, but without Mr Gill's involvement.

Mr Gill is expected to appeal, in which case, the closure of the zoo is stayed until that appeal is heard, and that will probably be after  an application by the the new firm, the Cumbria Zoo Company Limited , has been heard.

If that application, to be heard in June, is successful, the zoo can stay open.

Boy, 15, detained for stabbing youth twice in back

A 15-year-old boy has been given a two-year detention and training order for stabbing another youth twice, in the back.

Carlisle Crown Court heard the attack happened in the Wetheriggs Lane area in September, leaving the victim, 17, bleeding heavily although the wounds were described as superficial.

The boy admitted wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon and was said to deeply regret what he'd done.

Judge Peter Davies told him: "You cannot use a knife. Knives can kill."

Police crack down on drivers who rip up country paths

Sixteen prosecutions took place last year in Cumbria against drivers who illegally took their cars off road in the Lake District. 

Tracks on hillside

The 4X4 vehicles and trails bikes cause damage to paths and tracks and sometimes leave tracks across the open hillside.

Undercover recording equipment is being used to catch motorists and motorcyclists who don't use the legally-recognised routes. 

Cumbria Police says repeat offenders could have their vehicle seized and crushed. 

There's a special report on Inside Out, on BBC1 at 19:30 this evening .

Founder of troubled zoo's licence bid thrown out

A zoo founder's fresh bid for a licence has been unanimously refused by Barrow councillors. 

David Gill now has 28 days to appeal. An 800-page report to the meeting had said nearly 500 animals had died since 2013. 

Barrow councillors considering licences for the South Lakes Safari Zoo in South Cumbria have been told that police hold serious concerns over the number of people qualified to use firearms if an animal escapes.

Zoo gates

Supt Rob O'Connor told the meeting one of the qualified members had left, and he was worried about the level of cover.

Meanwhile animal welfare campaigners have simply told councillors the zoo should be closed. 

A new company, set up by some members of the zoo's management but in which Mr Gill plays no part, is expected to apply later this year for the zoo's licence.

Cumbria's weather: Bright with showers

BBC Weather

Forecasters are predicting a bright afternoon with sunny spells, a few showers and light winds. 

These showers may become heavy in places later, with a chance of thunder and hail locally. 

Temperatures could reach 9C (48F). 

Weather graphic

You can find the latest forecast for where you are, here .

Lakes park asks for views on name for new information centres

The Lake District national park authority is considering a new name for its tourist information centres.

It's launched a survey on the Internet to gather public views on calling the centres, in Bowness, Keswick and Ullswater, "The Lakes Place".

You can tell us what you think  on Twitter .

MP suggests new company could take over troubled Cumbrian zoo

A leading MP says a way should be found to keep the collection of animals at a Cumbrian zoo, in spite of management problems said to have led to the death of nearly 500 specimens since 2013.

Barrow councillors are considering  a few options - to renew the licence for the South Lakes Safari Zoo's founder, David Gill, grant a licence to a new company or to close it.

Andrew Rosindell

The Conservative MP, Andrew Rosindell, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on zoos, told the BBC it would not be not a simple decision 

He said: "The question is, if you move the animals out and close the zoo, is that better for the animals who live there at the moment?  Simply closing the zoo isn't necessarily the best answer at this stage."

Zoo meeting goes for decision on founder

Councillors considering whether to give the founder of the South Lakes Safari Zoo a new licence have turned down his application to defer the decision.

A solicitor acting for David Gill had urged councillors to consider a parallel application from the new management company at the zoo , for them to be licensed, to be considered first.

The meeting has now resumed.

Weather on the fell tops: Snow showers and good views

  • Temperatures at 3,000 feet: 0C. 
  • Winds: Northwesterly gentle to moderate increasing fresh gusts 30mph in the afternoon. 
  • Cloud: Occasional to 1,950ftm in showers, but patchy above 2,450ft rising 2,950ftm during the day and probably lifting away from the tops in the afternoon. 
  • Visibility: Locally moderate to poor in snow showers at first and later in the evening but very good for most of the day with distant snow covered peaks easily seen. 
  • Freezing level: 2,950ft.

The report from the Lake District rangers on Helvellyn is here ; it says full winter equipment is necessary.

Legal move delays Dalton zoo licence bid

The Barrow council meeting discussing whether to renew the licence for the South Lakes Safari Zoo has gone into a closed session after a solicitor asked for an adjournment.

The meeting is deciding whether to allow David Gill to continue to run the zoo after a report by inspectors found a number of failings , some of which had lead to the deaths of nearly 500 animals since 2013.

A new management company, partly set up by existing senior staff, has applied for a licence as well , and Steve Walker, Mr Gill's solicitor, has said that application should be considered first.

Pipeline project managers show plans to public

The first in series of public exhibitions about a new pipeline to take west Cumbria's water supplies from Thirlmere (pictured) rather than Ennerdale opens this afternoon.


United Utilities is ending its reliance on Ennerdale, because the lake is of environmental importance. 

The freshwater ecologist Dr Ian Winfield says that species such as freshwater pearl mussels would benefit. The exhibition is at Bridgefoot Village Hall near Workington, from 13:00 to 18:00.

Thousands sign petition to close zoo after report reveals 500 deaths

Jennie Dennett

BBC Cumbria

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for the South Lakes Safari Zoo to be shut down

zoo sign

A decision on whether or not to grant the original owner David Gill another zoo licence goes before Barrow councillors today.   

A report going before the meeting lists nearly 500 animal deaths since 2013, and recommends the zoo's founder David Gill be refused a licence.

A team including existing staff, but not Mr Gill, has established a new company that says it's brought in changes, and has also applied for a licence ro run the zoo.

Cumbria's weather: Chilly start, brighter later

It'll be chilly and cloudy at first with frost in places and some showery rain, but it should brighten up with sunny spells, a few showers and light winds. temperatures should head towards 9C (48F). 

Weather graphic

You can find the latest weather forecast for where you are, here .

Travel: Key roads closed by roadworks

The A595 in South Cumbria is closed for emergency repairs to a farm building, between the A5092 in Grizebeck and Buckhorn Lane .

And there are still a few weeks to go on the sewer works on the A592 between Bowness and Newby Bridge.

Welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


Good morning; we'll be posting news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast and other things that take our fancy from around the county, until about 18:00.

At the top of today's agenda already is that it's  a critical day for the future of the South Lakes Safari Zoo ; we'll be keeping you up to date with that.

As always, if you have a photograph you'd like to share or you have news you think we should know, you can  email ustweet us  or get in touch  through our Facebook page .