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Summary

  1. Fresh concerns over South Cumbrian zoo
  2. Praise for county's probation services
  3. Thursday 5 October 2017

Live Reporting

By Lee Macaulay

All times stated are UK

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  1. BBC Cumbria Live: As it happened

    Lee Macaulay

    Journalist, BBC Cumbria

    Our updates have now come to an end for the day.

    Here's a recap:

    We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00.

  2. Nearly festival time in south Cumbria

    Here's one you might have spotted if you've been for a walk through Kendal at all in the past few weeks.

    A giant banner advertising two of the town's big festivals has gone up on scaffolding that's being used to repair Kendal Town Hall.

    The first of those events, The Lakes International Comic Art Festival, starts on Friday 13 October.

    Next month, it's the turn of the Kendal Mountain Festival.

    View more on twitter
  3. BreakingFour men arrested in connection with cash machine theft

    Cumbria Police have arrested four men in connection with the theft of an ATM in Aspatria earlier this week.

    The constabulary says the men were arrested yesterday on suspicion of:

    • Theft of an ATM
    • Taking a tractor without consent
    • Theft of diesel

    Officers are asking anyone with information to contact police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

  4. Another union to strike over Sellafield pay dispute

    Member of the trade union Unite have confirmed they'll be taking strike action in a dispute with Sellafield management over pay.

    The union says that 90% of its members voted in favour of strike action following their rejection of a 1.5% pay increase.

    Last month, members of the GMB union walked out for 24 hours as part of the dispute.

    Sellafield nuclear site
  5. Cumbria's headlines

    Lee Macaulay

    Journalist, BBC Cumbria

    • Animal welfare campaigners say they're concerned following a new inspection of South Lakes Safari Zoo in Dalton-in-Furness
    • Work on a new £12m maternity unit at Barrow's hospital is nearly finished
    • Police are investigating after a car was set on fire in Carlisle this morning
  6. Controversial probation changes a 'success story' in Cumbria

    Bob Cooper

    Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

    The government argued its overhaul of probation services three years ago would cut reoffending rates and save money, but it proved extremely controversial.

    The union, Napo, which represents probation workers, said it would be chaotic, bureaucratic and lead to greater risk to the public.

    Some inspection reports since the reforms have been highly critical - one in North London described "extremely poor oversight" and concluded the city was more at risk as a result.

    But in Cumbria, the performance of the Community Rehabilitation Company - the privatised part of the service - is a success story: the chief inspector of probation spoke of "exceptional service" and "tireless" staff.

    Napo argues this is in spite of the reforms, not because of them, and it comes at a time when the government is already reviewing the way it runs probation.

  7. Safari Zoo: What does latest inspection reveal?

    Lee Macaulay

    Journalist, BBC Cumbria

    Today, Barrow councillors will consider how much progress the South Lakes Safari Zoo has made since a new company was awarded a license to run it.

    Here are some of the conclusions of an unannounced informal inspection that Barrow Borough Council requested take place in August 2017:

    Is a 'suitably qualified person' managing the zoo?

    • A condition of the zoo's license issued in May 2017 was for a 'suitable qualified person' to manage the zoo within a reasonable period of time.
    • Inspectors were concerned that the role of the zoo's new Animal Director had not yet been finalised.
    • The next day, zoo bosses provided a written job description and signed contract of employment which satisfied inspectors.

    Veterinary cover

    • A permanent vet has now been appointed and makes routine weekly visits as well as emergency cover from home
    • The zoo is trying to develop a relationship with a local veterinary practise

    Lemur feeding

    • A condition of the zoo's license is to eliminate as far as possible the chance of animal bites during lemur feeding sessions that are open to the public.
    • The inspectors found the zoo had made changes to address this and that keepers gave good safety advice.
    • But inspectors reported that a number of lemurs jumped on members of public and considered that more changes are needed to prevent people from being bitten

    Other points

    • The areas checked by inspectors were tidy and most animals appeared in good health
    • An older male Nyala - a type of antelope - was put down because it had fallen into poor health
    • A kangeroo was found to have damaged skin over its left pouch and a veterinary nurse treated the animal
  8. Minister meets Chennai Six in Indian prison

    A government minister has met with a Cumbrian man and his five colleagues who've been either detained or not allowed to leave India for the past four years.

    John Armstrong from Wigton was part of a group working on an anti-piracy ship that's come to be known as the Chennai Six.

    Foreign Office minister for Asia and the Pacific, Mark Field, says he visited the men in prison in Chennai yesterday to assure them that the British Government is taking their case seriously.

    The men are serving a five-year prison sentence after being convicted on weapons charges in 2016.

    Foreign Minister Mark Field attends an event in New Delhi on October 3, 2017
  9. Probation workers in Cumbria 'exceptional'

    Video content

    Video caption: The chief inspector of probation services told BBC Radio Cumbria how impressed she was

    Chief inspector of probation services Dame Glenys Stacey tells BBC Radio Cumbria how impressed she is with the county's workers.

  10. Cumbria celebrates 10 years of BBC Introducing

    Tom Salmon

    Presenter, BBC Introducing in Cumbria

    Ten Cumbrian bands have performed in session for the BBC to celebrate a decade of BBC Introducing.

    The bands were brought together over three days to perform at Carlisle's Old Fire Station.

    The sessions will be broadcast on BBC Introducing in Cumbria from November until the end of the year, with selected video highlights on BBC Cumbria's social media pages.

    Bands featured by BBC Introducing in Cumbria
    Image caption: Clockwise from left: Paper Cranes from Barrow; Sugarspun from Carlisle; The Sides from Barrow
  11. England's Big Picture: Lowther Castle

    BBC News England

    Every day, BBC News England features an interesting photograph shared with it from across country.

    John Charlwood took this photograph of Lowther Castle in Penrith.

    Lowther Castle near Penrith

    John says: "I came across the view of the arched structure which was interesting, I then turned it into a black and white image, which seemed to suit the scene."

  12. Timeline: A new operator and improvements found at Safari Zoo

    • June 2016: The zoo admits health and safety breaches in connection with Ms McClay's death and is fined £297,500
    • February 2017: A report compiled by the local authority shows 486 animals died between December 2013 and September 2016
    • March 2017: Barrow councillors refused to grant a license to zoo owner David Gill. A new company he handed management to, Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd, is allowed to keep running the zoo while it applies for a license
    • May 2017: Barrow councillors grant Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd a license to run the zoo after inspectors were 'highly encouraged' by improvements since the takeover
    • October 2017: An unannounced inspection finds the zoo is adhering to its license conditions but raises concerns around animals jumping on people, an animal being put down and the vacancy of a key role
  13. Inspectors say Cumbrian probation company is 'best we have seen'

    The body that inspects probation services says that the rehabilitation of criminals in Cumbria is among the best of its kind in the country.

    In a report published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation, HM Chief Inspector of Probation Dame Glenys Stacey said that inspectors had found "exceptional practice" at the Cumbria and Lancashire Community Rehabilitation Company.

    Since changes in 2014, It is one of 21 private companies nationwide that supervise medium and low risk people who are under probation while the National Probation Service is responsible for high risk people.

    The inspection found that the work of the National Probation Service in Cumbria was good overall with some "pockets of inconsistency".

  14. Timeline: Safari Zoo's chequered past

    • May 1997: A three-ton white rhino escapes from its enclosure and goes onto neighbouring land, where it had to be shot. David Gill later fined £10,000 for endangering the public and failing to have adequate barriers
    • January 2002: Three giraffes that died between September 2000 and September 2001 suffered tetanus, heart failure and vitamin deficiencies. The park changes the food given to the animals
    • September 2006: A government inspector says escapes at the park are "a matter for concern" and recommends procedures to prevent animals using an overhead walkway as an escape route
    • December 2008: A faulty electric heater is blamed for causing a fire at the zoo in which 30 lemurs died
    • May 2013: Keeper Sarah McClay, 24, is mauled by a tiger at the park and later dies in hospital
    • September 2013: Government inspectors express concern about vet cover, public access to parrot feeding stations and firearms training at the park
  15. More rail strikes across Cumbria

    BBC News Travel

    Rail strikes across Cumbria - and England - are under way for the second time this week.

    Arriva Rail North says it will run a reduced service, and warned passengers the trains that do run are likely to be very busy.

    In Cumbria, it will run: