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  1. Man pleads guilty to Workington murder
  2. Armed police make arrests in Grange over Sands
  3. Step down on Windermere ferry payment
  4. Thursday 6 April 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Martin Lewes


We've now finished posting news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast and other snippets of life from around the county for today.  A reminder:

A row over an eviction alarmed people in Grange so much that armed police were called in ;

More than a year after Storm Desmond inundated the Keswick Youth Hostel, the YHA showed off the results of £500,000 spent on repairs and improvements ;

And highways officials finally agreed that drivers using the Windermere ferry should be able to pay the ferryman during the crossing  rather than queue up to use a ticket machine.

We'll do it all again tomorrow starting from about 08:00.  As always, we'd like to hear from you 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 . Have a very good evening.

Weather: A chilly, dry night

BBC Weather

It will be a dry evening and night with variable cloud cover and clear spells.

Temperatures will fall to about 7C (45F) in most places, but there could be a touch of frost in rural areas where clear skies persist. 

Weather graphic

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

Staff shortages will see beds closed at Alston's hospital again

The trust that runs cottage hospitals across the north and west of Cumbria is to  temporarily close its six inpatient beds at Alston from 17 April  - saying it can't recruit enough staff to manage them safely.

The organisation says it is "unable to safely staff the ward 24 hours a day, seven days a week" and the situation has become "unsustainable".

The situation will be reviewed on a monthly basis and the beds will be re-opened when staffing levels improve, the trust's Dr Craig Melrose said.

Beds were closed for the same reason at Alston last summer, with some patients moved to Brampton.  The long-term plan of the Success Regime is to replace the inpatient care with community services permanently.

Grant means village community centre flood repairs can finally start

A community centre near Carlisle's been given £100,000 by the Football Foundation to restore its flood-damaged buildings.

Community centre in floods
Yvonne Petrie

Local people had carried out work to bring playing fields back into use at the Down-a-Gate Community Centre with Wetheral Parish Council, Carlisle City and the Cumberland FA providing funding.

Now flood debris has been cleared out of the centre itself, the Football Foundation's grant means repair work can start.

Zoo inspectors 'impressed' by South Lakes progress

Inspectors say they're "impressed and highly encouraged" by improvements at the South Lakes Safari Zoo. 

A licence for the previous owner David Gill was refused last month after a damming report revealed shocking failings over animal welfare

Zoo sign

But following its most recent review, inspectors say there's been a "palpable change of culture" since its take-over by the Cumbria Zoo Company.

The company is applying for a licence to keep the zoo open and the inspectors' report, which goes before a Barrow council meeting next month, recommends approval.

'One more chance' for drugs man caught a second time

A judge at Carlisle Crown Court has given a final chance to a man found with cannabis and cocaine while he was serving a suspended sentence for supplying drugs.

Damian Murray, from Ehen Road in Cleator Moor, was sentenced last June to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years.

In December police found drugs in his home, but Judge Barbara Forrester heard Murray had been making good progress with a rehabilitation order imposed for the earlier offences.

She imposed an extra 20 hours rehabilitation, but told Murray: "You only get one more chance."

Man admits Workington murder

A Workington man has admitted stabbing a companion to death after an argument on a night out.

Calvin Patrickson, 22, of Newlands Gardens, was one of a group of friends who went back to Daniel McMullen's house at Beech Court following a night out in January.

Patrickson and Mr McMullen had argued earlier but made amends. However, Patrickson then took a kitchen knife and stabbed his victim a number of times in the legs, arms and chest.

The Crown Prosecution Service's Stuart Pattison said: “We hope today’s plea offers the family and friends of Daniel McMullen a sense that justice has been served. Our thoughts are very much with them at this time.”

Patrickson will be sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court on 28 April.

Police appeal for missing Ben Hull, 14

Police have appealed for sightings of a missing Carlisle teenager.

Ben Hull

Ben Hull left his home in Raffles yesterday at 17:30, wearing a light and dark blue hooded jacket.

Travel: Carlisle accident causes delays

BBC News Travel

There's slow traffic in Church Street in Carlisle because of an accident around the John Street and Byron Street junctions.

Grange armed police operation: More details made public

A seventh person has been arrested in an operation at Grange over Sands in which armed police cordoned off part of Main Street .

Supt Rob O'Connor said he couldn't comment in detail about what had happened, but revealed officers had been sent to the scene after reports an axe was being used to gain entry to a building.

"Due to the concerns raised about the perceived levels of violence being used a number of police officers were deployed to the Grange area," he said.

"I want to reassure the public that this was spontaneous incident and is not connected in any way to any other ongoing operations, and the wider public were not at risk in any way." 

Lamb with a smile for a candid camera

Cumbria's fields are full of lambs at the moment and they'll mostly have a mark sprayed on so the shepherd knows which lamb belongs to which ewe.

But this lamb's farmer was clearly having a good day...

View more on twitter

Police commissioner seeks out community champions

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall,  is setting up an award scheme .

Peter McCall
Peter McCall

Mr McCall says he wants to recognise people who help improve safety or prevent crime through their work in the community.  

Grange operation not terror-related, police confirm

Police have just said the North West Counter Terrorism Unit was not involved in the incident which brought armed officers on to the streets of Grange over Sands earlier today.

Grange Main Street
Mike Chorley

In a statement just released, Cumbria Police said the incident - which has now concluded - started after violence was used to enter a property in relation to an eviction dispute.

The force added six people have been arrested on suspicion of affray.

Weather: Dry, but mainly cloudy

BBC Weather

It should stay dry with variable cloud and some bright or sunny spells.

Winds will be mainly light and it will feel warm during any brighter periods, with temperatures up to 11C (52F).

Weather graphic

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

Grange incident: Police say six held

Police have just confirmed they've detained six people in the operation in Grange over Sands that we reported earlier.

Armed officers in a number of vehicles arrived just after 10:00.

On Twitter, police said there was not thought to be a risk to the public.

BreakingBreaking: Armed police swoop on Grange 'incident'

Armed police are said to have made several arrests after closing Main Street in Grange over Sands

Police cars in Grange Main Street.
Daisyroots Bookshop

One local witness said up to five men in handcuffs were led from an upstairs flat over an Indian restaurant.

Police so far have only said that there's no risk to the public and that the incident is "ongoing". Armed officers were said to have been deployed "as a precaution".

What £500,000 can do to a flooded youth hostel

There's an official reopening party at Keswick Youth Hostel today after more than a year of work to repair the ravages of Storm Desmond.

Here are a few more pictures to show just what all that money has achieved.

Youth hostel exterio with water at balcony level

To set the scene, here's the River Greta washing across the balcony of the hostel having dropped several feet from its highest levels. Below is what it looks like now.

YHA exterior

Earlier we brought you a picture of the kitchen under water. Well, here's what it looks like now.

Clean kitchen

And finally a couple of pictures of the dining room, before and after.

Flooded servery
Cleaned up dining room

County councillors call for more social care cash

There are calls for the government to put more money into Cumbria's care system. 

County councillors are discussing a motion this morning  - welcoming an extra £2bn nationally over three years for social care, but describing it as a fraction of the increase that's needed. 

The government says it recognises the challenges councils face in delivering social care and that it is committed to having a fair and sustainable way of funding it for the future.

Liberal Democrat councillor Peter Thornton will ask for letters to be sent to the government calling for "a more sustainable base for funding adult social care".

Keswick Youth Hostel reopens after floods

Keswick's youth hostel is being reopened today after repairs to flood damage and improvements costing £500,000.

Flooded kitchen

Storm Desmond inundated areas like the kitchen (pictured) at the hostel, which overlooks the River Greta, and it's one of the last businesses in the town to reopen.

It's also one of the most popular in the YHA Lake District network, and it's been expanded to offer 107 beds and other facilities.

Swift Twitter response to Windermere ferry u-turn

There's been a quick response to the story on BBC Radio Cumbria this morning about county highways officials bowing to a controversy over new ticket machines on the Windermere ferry.

Drivers will be able to pay the ferryman following a controversial system involving onshore ticket machines.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

New lifeboat 'ready for action by Easter'

Workington's new lifeboat is expected to be in action by Easter. 

The Shannon Class boat Dorothy May White is much faster than the vessel it is replacing.  She was delivered to the RNLI team in Workington  yesterday.    


Weather on the fell tops: Cloudy higher up

  • Temperatures at 3,000ft: 2C. 
  • Winds: Fresh westerly. 
  • Cloud: Some patches down to 1,600ft at first and also during the evening in the far west, otherwise patches above 2,400ft. 
  • Visibility: Generally good outwith the hill fog, although duller at times in the west, particularly early and late. 
  • Freezing level: Above the tops.

Cumbria's weather: Dry, with some cloud and some sun

BBC Weather

It'll be dry with variable cloud and some bright or sunny spells. The cloud may be more persistent over higher ground. 

Winds will be mainly light, with temperatures up to 11C (52F).

Weather graphic

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

Pay the ferryman, says county council in Windermere step-down

John Bowness

BBC Radio Cumbria reporter

Drivers will be able to pay the ferryman again as they cross Windermere, after county council officials decided not to face a second year of controversy over new onshore ticket machines.

People using ferry ticket machine

Critics said the new system, introduced a year ago, caused delays because instead of paying on board, drivers had to get out of their cars while queuing, using machines that confused drivers, especially visitors from overseas.

The ferry goes across the centre of England's longest lake, and business owners said the problems have put people off travelling.

Tim Hardy, who runs four businesses and is a regular passenger says he's cautiously delighted: "What we hope they're not going to do is revert some sort of middle-way fuddle where some people pay on board and some have to use the machines, because that will be even worse."

It just simply needs to go back to the old system, no two ways about it."

Tim HardyLocal businessman

Good morning and welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We'll be posting news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast and other things that take our fancy from around the county through the day.

As always, we'd like to hear from you 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    .