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MP: Independent Scotland could mean Cumbrian problems

Carlisle's MP John Stevenson says an independent Scotland within the EU after Britain has left could cause problems for Cumbria's economy.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to press her case for another referendum on independence today at her party's conference and call for a vote next year.

Scottish border

The lengthy negotiations over the Irish border show the problems of having a customs frontier between the EU single market and what the British government wants to be a different system of customs and regulations, without having a system of checks and delays for good inspections.

There is a potential for a hard border because of the EU rules, and there would then be certain friction living in a border area which I think would be detrimental to Scotland but potentially also to Cumbria

John StevensonMP for Carlisle

Cumbria's weather: Patchy drizzle easing, then dry

Martin Lewes


Some patchy light rain or drizzle for a time this morning will ease and it will then be largely dry today, although with a good deal of cloud, and temperatures from 11C to 14C (52F to 57F).

Weather graphic

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

Councils in £250,000 row over therapist service

Local Democracy Reporting Service

John Connell

Problems recruiting an occupational therapist have led to one Cumbrian council reclaiming £250,000 from another for failing to meet a service level agreement.

Carlisle City Council had asked the county authority to provide it with a therapist to help disabled Carlisle residents apply for grants and make improvements to their homes, allowing £250,000 for a member of staff and all additional costs such as equipment.

But the recruitment drive failed and the county council says it will be several months before it is in a position to provide the service.

Councillor Elizabeth Mallinson
Cumbria County Council

Councillor Elizabeth Mallinson (pictured), who holds the health and wellbeing portfolio on the city council, told a recent meeting that she was “very cross” that the city council had found itself in this position.

A county council spokesman said: “The county council is in the process of making arrangements to return the funds to the city council.

“It is disappointing that we have been unable to recruit a suitable candidate for the occupational therapist vacancy, despite carrying out a thorough recruitment and advertising process."

Two in iron bar attack 'deserve long jail terms'

Police say two men who are starting long jail sentences for seriously injuring a man with an iron bar, "thoroughly deserve their time in prison".

The 33-year-old victim suffered serious facial injuries and memory loss after the attack on Waterside, Kendal, last March, which a judge at Carlisle Crown Court described as "a ferocious and sadistic punishment beating".

Luke Canning, 22, of Bridge Street, Burneside, and Jordan Jenkinson, 26, of Lound Road, Kendal, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Det Supt Vicki Ellis of Cumbria Police said the victim could easily have died, had medical help not arrived quickly.

Jenkinson has shown little remorse for his violent actions, while Canning throughout admitted to causing the victim grievous bodily harm with intent. They both deserve their time in prison."

Det Supt Vicki Ellis

Cumbria's weather: Cloudy with rain in places

BBC Weather

It will be cloudy at first tonight with rain in places.

Later the rain will move away to the east, leaving partly-cloudy skies and the chance of some mist with lowest temperatures from 4C to 7C (39F to 45F).

Weather graphic

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

Man jailed for 'bombarding' ex-partner with threats

A man who bombarded his ex-partner with threatening Facebook messages as he persistently harassed and stalked her has been jailed for two years at Carlisle Crown Court.

Ainsley Mackay
Cumbria Police

Ainsley Mackay, of High Street, Wigton, admitted both the stalking and intimidation of his former girlfriend earlier this year after the couple's "acrimonious" split.

Mackay first bombarded the woman with 343 Facebook messages, some of which were described as "extremely threatening", and phone calls through the same social media application, and then made two direct threats as she became a witness in police proceedings.

Mackay was also banned from contacting the woman through the strict terms of a restraining order for five years.

Two burglers held by tenants are jailed

Two men detained by the tenant of the flat they were burgling have been jailed by a judge at Carlisle Crown Court.

The court heard Aaron Wildey was using a shared bathroom when he heard noises and going into his flat he found Richard Ireland (pictured), 30, and 33-year-old Billy Moorhead.

Richard Ireland
Cumbria Police

He also realised money was missing and after a struggle, assisted by other tenants, the two were held and £110 recovered.

Ireland, of Flower Street, Carlisle, admitted burglary and a separate charge of arson and was given a 45-month jail term, while Moorhead, of Albert Street, Longtown, admitted burglary and was locked up for 18 months.

Cumbria's weather: Cloudier with a chance of rain later

BBC Weather

It will be cloudy through this afternoon and later rain may edge into some districts at times, especially those lying further to the east and south.

Winds will remain light and highest temperatures will be from 12C to 15C (54F to 59F).

Weather graphic

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

Cumbria's weather: A dry, clear night

BBC Weather

Any scattered showers will clear to leave it dry overnight with clear spells and variable cloud.

The lowest temperatures will range from 4C to 7C (39F to 45F).

Weather graphic

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

Police hold four after couple are attacked in Carlisle

Police say four suspects have been arrested after a robbery in Carlisle in which two people were injured.

Charlotte Street, Carlisle

A local man and woman were treated at the Cumberland Infirmary in the city for cuts and bruises after they were attacked in Charlotte Street at about 20:30 on Wednesday evening.

Three men, aged 17, 25 and 42, and a 41-year-old woman have now been arrested on suspicion of offences including robbery and attempted assault causing grievous bodily harm.

Police say they'd like to hear from anyone in the area at the time, who may have been in the Lidl or Dunelm car park, or who has webcam footage from between 20:30 and 21:00.

Lakes chief defends new surface on repaired rail path

The chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority has issued a lengthy blog defending the resurfacing of the flood-damaged trackbed from Threlkeld to Kewsick with bitumen.

Cyclists on Keswick railway

At an angry meeting last night Keswick Town Council passed a vote of no confidence in the park authority, saying the new surface was out of place.

In his long response, Richard Leafe says: "It is very disappointing then that we don’t enjoy wholehearted community support."

He describes the lengths the park has gone to in consultation, and says the solid surface is needed because it is likely the popular trail will have to stand up to regular intense storms as the climate changes.

Cumbrian peer hits out at park authority over Keswick path

One of the Lake District National Park Authority's longest-standing political allies has said it is ignoring the views of local people.

David Clark

Lord Clark of Windermere led the National Park's successful World Heritage Bid and has championed national park authorities in Westminster.

He was speaking as Keswick Town Council passed a vote of no confidence in the board, made up of appointed local councillors and others picked by national authorities.

David Clark says the authority is neglecting the wishes of people in Keswick by pressing ahead with its plans to repair a flood-damaged four-mile footpath with bitumen.

There's 40,000 of us live in the park, we are never consulted about anything, and our public representatives are just so frustrated as we have seen in the Keswick case."

David Clark

Cumbria's weather: Becoming largely dry and sunny

BBC Weather

Any early showers should clear to leave it largely dry with sunny spells through the day, with highest temperatures from 11C to 14C (52F to 57F).

Weather graphic

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

Keswick council unanimous in no confidence vote

Keswick Town Council has unanimously passed an unprecedented motion of no confidence in the Lake District National Park Authority.

Keswick meeting

An extraordinary meeting of the local council, with a packed public gallery, passed the resolution after a row between town councillors and the park authority over plans for a tarmac footpath between Keswick and Threlkeld.

The vote has no official implications for the authority, but Richard Leafe, the chief executive, says he is deeply disappointed, and insists the decision on how to rebuild a flood-damaged former railway line was taken after full consultation.

Both sides are now accusing the other of ignoring local opinion.

We are disturbed by the national park senior management's unwillingness to listen to the community and to their elected representatives."

David BurnsMayor of Keswick

It begs the question of how representative they are of the people of Keswick and indeed the many users of the new trail who we have spoken to."

Richard LeafeChief executive, Lake District National Park Authority

Cumbria's weather: Breezy with showers, heavy at times

BBC Weather

Showery rain will continue through this evening and overnight and it will be breezy.

The showers will be heavy at times and the odd rumble of thunder cannot be ruled out, with lowest temperatures from 7C to 10C (45F to 50F).

Weather graphic

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

Park member 'will not be silenced' as complaint is dropped

Local Democracy Reporting Service

John Connell

The Lake District National Park has dropped a complaint against Tony Lywood, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Copeland, who was facing potential sanctions as a member of the park's board after criticising the authority’s plans to use bitumen to reinstate a path .

The complaint related to a Facebook post in which Mr Lywood said the authority tasked with looking after the World Heritage Site was becoming “less and less responsive to the opinions of local people”.

Tony Lywood
Cumbria County Council

Mr Lywood, a Keswick town and county councillor told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he had received word that the complaint had been withdrawn.

The Lake District National Park’s organisation’s communications chief Tony Watson previously described Mr Lywood’s earlier as “incredibly unhelpful” and “insulting” to the officers of the park working to reopen the route.

Mr Lywood, who was appointed to the park board by Cumbria County Council, said: "My job is to give local people a voice and their voice will not be silenced, and neither will mine."

  • Keswick Town Council, of which Tony Lywood is also a member, meets tonight to consider a vote of no confidence in the national park authority.

Cumbria's weather: Heavy and persistent rain

BBC Weather

It will be cloudy with outbreaks of rain, becoming heavy and persistent through this afternoon.

There will be breezy winds and highest temperatures from 11C to 14C (52F to 57F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest, hour-by-hour BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Two jailed after A66 crash left a pedestrian dying

Two men have been jailed after a crash on the A66 near Keswick that left a pedestrian dying as his friends battled to save his life.

Matthew Paul Leggett

Matthew Paul Leggett (above), 25, of Sonnets Way, Cockermouth, faced no charges for hitting Jimmy Greenwood, a visitor from Market Drayton, Shropshire, after a police expert said he had reacted the way a driver should.

But he then drove off, at speeds of more than 100mph, to a wood near Cockermouth where he abandoned his badly-damaged BMW and was collected by a friend, Finlay Lewis Davidson, 24, of Mabel Wood, Great Clifton.

Leggett admitted dangerous driving after the crash, failing to stop and failing to report an accident and was jailed for 16 months with a four year driving ban to follow.

Davidson admitted doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice and was jailed for 10 months.

Think tank’s recommendation to scrap HS2 “white elephant” blasted by business leaders

News and Star


A think tank’s recommendation to scrap the controversial HS2 project has been met with short shift by business leaders in the North.

Artist's impression of HS2 train

Bank plans to stop cash payouts at post offices

A plan by Barclays to stop customers withdrawing cash from post office counters is being criticised in Cumbria.

The Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron says the change, expected to be introduced in January, will make things particularly difficult for people in rural areas, where the bank has closed many of its offices.

Grasmere Post Office

Grasmere Post Office is one of many in Cumbria that are the only staffed source of cash in a community, and Barclays says that where there is a cash machine within a mile, or a shop providing cashback, which it has plans to expand, its customers will have to use those services.

The MP Tim Farron, who is writing to the governbment in protest, says that just within his constituency, Barclays branches have closed within the past few years in Sedbergh, Ambleside, Milnthorpe, Grange and Coniston.

What does it say about an area that there isn't something like a bank, or a hole in the wall, or a facility to withdraw money?"

Heidi HallidayGrasmere Post Office

This undermines the post office network, damages the communities they are at the heart of and of course seriously disadvantages Barclays customers, especially older ones at a time when we are seeing public transport cuts which makes it even harder for them to do physical banking."

Tim FarronMP for Westmorland and Lonsdale

Town meets to speak out on plan to rail path 'vandalism'

Town councillors meet in Keswick tonight ready to deliver what could be the first vote by a local authority of no confidence in the Lake District National Park Authority.

Keswick railway bridge when it was washed away

The council has described plans to put a bitumen surface on a former railway line, as part of an £8m project to repair damage to the path caused by Storm Desmond, as "landscape vandalism".

But the park says the new surface will resist damage in future floods, and allow for all the activities people want to do on the railway route from Keswick to Threlkeld.

Such a vote has no official effect, but senior officials say it is disappointing and that they have consulted the public about the project.

People have told us they want to walk, cycle, take prams, pushchairs along that route... it's in a wooded valley it can really only be seen when you're on it."

Mark EcclesLake District head of park management

Keswick Town councillors have lost confidence in the national park's willingness to listen to the people who actually live in the park and their willingness to listen to those people's elected representatives."

David BurnMayor of Keswick

Cumbria's weather: Turning cloudy with rain moving in

BBC Weather

There should be some sunny spells this morning with a few lingering showers but it will turn cloudy by midday with rain becoming more widespread and persistent.

Highest temperatures will be from 11C to 14C (52F to 57F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest, detailed, BBC weather forecast, here.

Cumbria's children 'above English average' on the scales

Latest figures show Cumbria is worse than the English average for childhood obesity.

In Barrow, just under a third of children need to lose weight by the time they start school, and in Copeland, more than 41% of 11-year-olds are classed as "overweight or obese".

In her final report as chief medical officer for England, Dame Sally Davies says snacking should be banned on public transport and extra taxes placed on unhealthy foods to tackle child obesity.

Children's feet on scales
Getty Images

Cumbria fire crews at major fire in Morecambe

Fire crews from Cumbria have travelled to Morecambe to help deal with a fire at a working men's club.

It's understood three people are being treated by paramedics.

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Badger culls risk increased spread of TB to cattle, study finds

New research shows that culling badgers in an attempt to reduce the risk of them spreading TB to cattle, might actually increase the risk.

A cull was introduced in the Shap area of Kendal last year.

The research by the Zoological Society of London and Imperial College London, suggests that although the culls reduced the number of infected badgers, the ones left were more effective in spreading infection because they moved around more.

The government and the National Farmers Union believe that culling works.

Research with cage and badger

More than 50 new police officers for Cumbria

Cumbria will be able to recruit 51 new police officers as the government aims to increase numbers across England and Wales by 20,000 over the next three years.

The new officers would mean a 4% increase in police numbers in Cumbria.

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, told the BBC he would be asking for 200 extra officers, although he admitted he might be aiming too high.

He said he was "determined" Cumbria would get its "fair share" of new recruits.

The government says this is the 'first wave' of recruitment and would increase numbers in England and Wales by 6,000.

Peter McCall
Cumbria Police

Cumbria's weather: Windy with more blustery showers

BBC Weather

It will remain windy overnight, with partly-cloudy skies, some clear spells but also some further heavy and blustery showers and lowest temperatures from 4C to 7C (39F to 45F).

Weather graphic

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

Drivers to help manage Lake District 'off-road' routes

Two tracks that were the centre of controversy because of the effects of use by "off-road" enthusiasts will remain open and be managed by a committee of local authority and user representatives.

Campaigners including the National Trust had said it was time to stop motorised vehicles, apart from those driven by people like local farmers, using the tracks at Tilberthwaite and Oxen Park.

Before and after maintenance pictures of track

There were even claims that use of the trails for activities like motorcycling conflicted with the requirements of being a World Heritage Site.

But at a meeting today national park board members agreed to urge Cumbria County Council to maintain the tracks at the level they had been restored to, as pictured above, in a project earlier this year.

Police seek two men after knifepoint threat

Police have appealed for witnesses to trace two men who tried to rob another man at knifepoint.

Officers say it happened in the area between Cecil Street and South Henry Street on Friday and they have released details this morning.

They say one of the two brandished a knife while they demanded their victim's personal possessions, but they then left empty-handed.

Driver who sped off after fatal crash told 'expect prison'

A driver who made off at high speed after a crash on the A66 near Keswick that claimed the life of a pedestrian has been told to "expect an immediate custodial sentence".

Matthew Leggett

The court had heard Matthew Leggett, 24, of Sonnets Way, Cockermouth faced no charge because of the crash, but he had then driven the severely-damaged BMW 12 miles at speeds that, police concluded had exceeded 100mph.

He admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report to police.

Leggett's car
Cumbria Police

Leggett had faced a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, but for the second time, a jury failed to reach a verdict at Carlisle Crown Court, and the prosecution said it would not seek a retrial.

Leggett will return to court on Thursday for sentence.

Cumbria's weather: Windy with heavy showers

BBC Weather

It will be a windy afternoon, with a mix of sunny spells and heavy, blustery showers, some thundery, and highest temperatures from 12C to 15C (54F to 59F).

Weather graphic

You can always find the latest, hour-by-hour, BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Official opening day for new special school in Ulverston

A new school is officially opening in Ulverston today for children with severe learning needs.

New Sandside school

Cumbria County Council has spent £8.6m on Sandside Lodge, which is next to Ulverston Victoria High School.

It will provide a range of facilities such as a sensory room and a therapy pool for 80 youngsters from age two to 19.

Staff say it is a huge improvement on the previous Sandside School which was on an industrial estate, damp, with some corridors that were too narrow for wheelchairs.

Cumbria's weather: Windy with heavy showers

BBC Weather

It will be a windy day, with a mix of sunny spells and heavy, blustery showers, with highest tenperatures from 11 to 14C (52 to 57F).

The showers may occasionally merge into longer spells of rain and the odd flash of lightning is possible from the heaviest downpours.

Weather graphic

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

Teenager faces prison after Carlisle pavement crash

A teenager charged after crashing onto the pavement in Botchergate, Carlisle and hitting a number of pedestrians, has pleaded guilty to two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Scene after the crash

Owen Luke Brown, 19, of Dalston Road, Carlisle, was driving a Ford Fiesta that collided with a taxi and then hit several people standing outside the Border Rambler pub on 15 September last year.

At the same hearing, the taxi driver, Stephen Reay, 57, of Cocklakes Cottages, Cumwhinton, admitted careless driving.

Judge David Potter remanded both men on bail to be sentenced on 8 November, warning Brown: "Foremost in the court's mind will be immediate imprisonment."

Cumbria's weather: Cloudy with a few showers

BBC Weather

Cloudy with a few showers this evening, though many places will stay dry.

As the night progresses, there will be a mix of lengthy clear spells, and the odd shower, winds will freshen again and lowest temperatures will be from 5C to 8C (41F to 46F).

Weather graphic

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

Commissioner to be asked about promises of more police

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Ellis Butcher

Cumbria's police commissioner will be asked what he expects for the county out of government promises to expand spending on the police, at a meeting in Barrow next week.

The chairman of the county's police and crime panel, Labour councillor Bill McEwan, said he was "slightly cynical" about a promise from the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to recruit an extra 20,000 police, buy more Tasers and take meaures to deal with county lines drugs gangs.

Ahead of the meeting, the commissioner, Peter McCall, said he would be asking for 140 extra officers, and would like Tasers given to officers working on their own in rural areas.

Peter McCall with two officers
Cumbria Police

I’m determined we get our fair share and that they not just going to go only on the Metropolitan police areas.”

Peter McCall

Police release CCTV pictures of 'currency' raiders

Police have released more details and some CCTV images after a burglary in which three men stole foreign currency from a woman in her Carlisle home.

Three fuzzy pictures of men in dark
Cumbria Police

Detectives say the three, described as "Asian", went into the house shortly before 20:00 on last Tuesday 1 October.

One is thought to have been armed with a knife and the woman suffered a hand injury.

The amount of momey stolen is not known, according to police, but it was made up of Japanese yen, Korean won and euros along with Hong Kong, Singapore and US dollars.

Woman slightly injured in A6 crash

Police say a 66-year-old driver suffered minor injuries in a crash that blocked the A6 south of Carlisle.

She was behind the wheel of a Ford Kuga that collided with a an MG TF, driven by a 69 year old man who was unhurt. Both drivers were from Penrith.

The collision happened at about 16:30 yesterday.

Church groups gather to discuss helping homeless people

Church groups are holding a conference today to look in more detail at homelessness in Cumbria.

Churches Together in Cumbria says recent figures showing a 22% increase in the number of homeless people dying in England and Wales are "shocking".

The north west had the second highest number of deaths in 2018, and the group says although the number of homeless people Cumbria is lower than elsewhere, it's becoming a bigger issue.

County sees 18% increase in knife crime over four years

The number of knife crime offences in Cumbria has gone up by 18% over four years, from 111 in 2014 to 191 last year.

But South Lakeland is among the 25 police areas with the smallest numbers in proportion to the population.

The figures, part of a national BBC analysis with freedom of information requests to forces across the country, show that more than half of suspects are under the age of 34.

It found many areas outside London, including Blackpool and Liverpool, had seen significant increases.

Cumbria police

Cumbria's weather: Cloudy, wet and windy

BBC Weather

It will be cloudy, wet and windy through much of today as weather fronts move east across the area.

Highest temperatures will reach from 11C to 14C (52F to 57F).

Weather graphic

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

Put a mayor in charge of county, says business group

A major business organisation is telling the Government that handing more powers to Cumbria, and having a mayor for the county would strengthen the economy and increase productivity.

M6 Cumbria boundary

In a report today the Confederation of British Industry says that in areas like Cumbria local government should be streamlined by having a single local authorithy, rather than the current set-up of county and district councils.

It says politics could be removed from councils by having independent boards to make some decisions, and that the county authority should be more closely linked with the Local Enterprise Partnership, where business is represented.

The organisation says that currently some areas of the country are three times more productive than others, and "by empowering local investment and decision-making, every region in the UK can benefit from national prosperity."

Cumbria's weather: Dry and partly cloudy with some mist

BBC Weather

Any residual showers fading through this evening to leave a dry and partly cloudy night with some clear spells.

Under the clearer intervals, a few mist and fog patches will likely form with lowest temperatures from 4C to 7C (39F to 45F).

Weaher graphic

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

There is a weather warning for heavy rain on Sunday, which currently fringes the very far east of Cumbria, but there is some uncertainty about its exact extent so you can keep an eye on details here.

Police appeal to B&Bs and taxi drivers in burglary probe

Police have asked B&B owners and taxi drivers to see if they can help in an investigation into a burglary in which a woman was attacked in her own home.

Officers say three men of Asian appearance stole money and left the victim with an injured hand when they raided a house in Orchard Street in Carlisle on Tuesday evening.

Orchard Street

Det Ch Insp Jenny Beattie said: "We believe that the three men may not reside in the local area, therefore we would like to hear from hoteliers or B&B managers who may be able to assist our investigation.

"Likewise, we would like to hear from taxi drivers who may have transported these men."

The victim, who understandably remains in a distressed state, is being supported by trained officers.”

Det Ch Insp Jenny Beattie

Cave and fell rescue team upgrades to new radio network

The rescue volunteers who cover both the caves beneath the eastern edge of Cumbria and the Pennine fells above, have taken on a new digital communications network.

Mike Bottomley of CRO with new handset

The new system was put together with the help of a £7,500 grant from the sustainable development fund run by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

The Cave Rescue Organisation was set up to help people in trouble in the labyrinth on caves in the limestone hills around the borders of Cumbria, Yorkshire and Lancashire, but it also deals with people in trouble on the fells above.

Police find stack of cash after cross-border M6 chase

Lancashire police pursued two cars across the county boundary into Cumbria at lunchtime, eventually bringing them to a halt with the help of Cumbria police at junction 37.

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Sergeant who faced axeman in line for another award

A Barrow policeman who tackled a man carrying an axe has been shortlisted for another national bravery award.

Sgt Kevin Milby
Police Federation

Sgt Kevin Milby arrested Timothy Nickson after he was spotted carrying the weapon in Dalton-in-Furness in 2017.

Nickson, who had attacked his neighbour with the axe shortly before his arrest, was jailed for seven years.

Kevin Milby, who has already been honoured by the Cumbria force and the Police Federation, has been named as a finalist in the Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons 2019.