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Foster parents sought for county's troubled teenagers

A recruitment drive is on to find more foster parents of youngsters over the age of 10 in Cumbria, because 20% of older children in care have to be placed outside the county.

Cumbria County Council's cabinet member for children, Anne Burns, says older children often have the most challenging behavioural needs and the stability of a family home can help young people reach their full potential.

Fostering is not always easy but for doing an extraordinary job, you’ll receive an extraordinary package of emotional, financial and practical support."

Anne Burns

The biggest reward is seeing them blossom which can happen surprisingly quickly in a therapeutic environment."

Lynn HibbertFoster carer

'Paedophile without remorse' is jailed again

A south Cumbrian sex offender has been jailed for the latest in a series of seven breaches of a court order restricting his use of computers and the Internet.

Andrew Phillip Smith
Cumbria Police

Andrew Philip Smith, 61, of Killington Drive, Kendal, had denied breaching the sexual harm prevention order twice, but was convicted unanimously by a Carlisle Crown Court jury.

Judge David Potter, jailing Smith for two years, said he had shown no remorse.

"You are a paedophile in the truest sense of the word," he said.

"You have, I am satisfied, shown contempt of an order made for the protection of society and to prevent you from accessing material in support of your perverted beliefs."

Judge David Potter

Cumbria's weather: Fine with some warn sunshine

BBC Weather

It should be a fine afternoon with lengthy spells of warm sunshine.

Winds will remain light and highest temperatures will be from 15C to 18C (59F to 64F).

Weather graphic

Police concerned for missing Whitehaven man

Police in Whitehaven say Peter Smith, 48, has now been missing for four days.

Peter Smith
Family photo

Officers say he left home at 09:40 on 15 September, carrying a number of items including a walking stick and a bag.

He may be using public transport and has links to the Doncaster area.

Cumbria's weather: Mist and fog clearing to a dry day

BBC Weather

Mist and fog patches at first this morning could be dense in places but these will clear to give a dry day with sunny periods.

It will feel warm with light winds and highest temperatures from 15C to 18C (59F to 64F).

Weather graphic

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

Councillors 'saddened' by objections to children's home

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Ellis Butcher

A new children’s home has been granted planning permission in Kendal after a councillor said local people who feared it might become a "magnet’ for trouble" should be ashamed of themselves.

Oak Tree Road, Kendal

Cumbria County Council's planning committee agreed plans to convert a large detached family home at Oak Tree Road, into a "six-bed facility to provide medium and long-term" accommodation for four children aged eight to 17.

Although the house would be staffed around the clock, an objector said the facility would disrupt life on the street and prove a drain on police resources, saying the children would be "difficult to care for, cause noise and disruption and pose risks to residents and young people".

But the Conservative deputy leader on the council, Hilary Carrick, said she was "saddened" by the comments.

"These children have potentially been subject to any number of adverse childhood experiences and this gives them an opportunity to live in a really nice, secure environment,” she said.

And the committee chairman, Labour’s Alan McGuckin said: “Hopefully on reflection, they (the objector) should be rightfully ashamed by those conclusions and prejudices.”

Man wanted on suspicion of breaching sex offenders licence

Police are searching for a man who's wanted on suspicion of breaching the terms of his sex offenders licence.

Cristian Abu-Shaer, 29, has links to Windermere, Lancashire and Manchester.

An appeal for information on his whereabouts was broadcast on the BBC’s Crimewatch Roadshow yesterday.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101.

Picture of Cristian Abu-Shaer
Cumbria Police

North West Air Ambulance called out to 200 incidents

The North West Air Ambulance Service responded to nearly 200 incidents in Cumbria in the last year.

The service, which has helicopters in Greater Manchester and Preston, covers the south of the county - but has been as far north as Carlisle in the last 12 months.

James, who's a helicopter pilot, says the aircraft make a big difference to patients in need.

If it's an hour-and-a-half or two-hour drive, we can be there in 20 minutes and that can make a real big difference to that patient."

Cumbria police officer killed in crash

A police officer has died in a crash involving two vehicles near Sedbergh.

PC Oli Evans, 27, who was off-duty at the time, was killed in the collision on the A683 at Middleton on Monday at 16:40.

He was pronounced dead at the scene after the Triumph motorcycle he was riding and a Peugeot van collided.

The male driver of the van wasn't injured.

Anyone who witnessed the incident, or who has dashcam footage, should call 101.

It is with deep sadness that I learned of the tragic death of PC Oli Evans. All our thoughts at Cumbria Constabulary are with Oli’s family and friends at this difficult time and our heartfelt condolences go out to them.

Oli was a dedicated, professional officer who was well-liked by his colleagues. Any death within the police family hits us all hard but will have particular impact on those who knew and worked closely alongside Oli.”

Chief Constable Michelle Skeer

Pooley Bridge gets river crossing back (on foot) this week

A temporary footbridge should be ready to use across the Eamont at Pooley Bridge tomorrow after the basic framework was craned into place.

Pooley footbridge being craned in
Cumbria County Council

The footbridge will be the only link between the village and the steamer pier while the road bridge, swept away in Storm Desmond, is replaced over the next year.

Cumbria's weather: Dry with sunny spells

BBC Weather

Today's weather will see dry and settled conditions with hazy spells of sunshine and some patchy cloud. Winds will be light.

Maximum temperatures will reach 13 to 16C (55 to 61F).

Cumbria weather forecast

Find out what the weather's like where you are, here.

BreakingForty firefighters tackle major blaze at Scalesceugh Hall

Firefighters say no one has been injured in a serious fire at Scalesceugh Hall, between Carlisle and Penrith.

Fire at Scalesceugh Hall
Longtown Fire Station

The site is in the process of being converted into luxury retirement appartments, and is a Grade II listed building.

No one was in the building at the time.

Ten neighbouring properties were evacuated, and firefighters managed to stop the fire spreading to those buildings.

About 40 firefighters helped to bring the blaze under control from Longtown, Brampton, Carlisle, Lazonby, Wigton, Appleby and Penrith.

It's not known what caused the fire yet, but it is not believed to be suspicious.

Open wide: New Royal Mail boxes are big enough for parcels

Royal Mail says it is going to distribute a number of new post boxes around Cumbria that are large enough to take parcels.

Parcel box
Royal Mail

The company says they represent the biggest change to post boxes since the introduction of the plllar box 160 years ago.

The system is aimed mainly at small businesses or online sellers, as parcels will have to be prepaid using a labelling system called "click and drop", with the locations of boxes also listed online.

Cumbrian drivers stuck with 35,000 parking tickets

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Drivers were issued with 35,000 parking tickets for on-street infractions last year.

Parking ticket
Getty Images

The figure was slightly down on the previous year, when 37,324 fines were imposed.

And although the fines brought it £1.3m, the service cost £1.4m to run, according to a report.

Former boxer jailed after towing stolen caravan in chase

A former professional boxer who led police at speeds of up to 60mph while towing a stolen caravan has been jailed for 11 months at Carlisle Crown Court.

The court was told the chase, along the A590 near Kendal, ended when Hugh Fury, 24, of Main Street, Lancaster, careered through a gate into a field.

Fury admitted handling the stolen caravan, and dangerous driving, but the court was told custody while awaiting charge had been "a wake-up call" and he had learned from his mistakes.

Judge David Potter said that after prison, Fury would have a 12-month driving ban, and would then have to take an extended driving test.

Volunteers sought to discuss sites for 'mini-reactors'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

John Connell

A forum of local people, experts and representatives of the nuclear industry is being set up to research how people react to the idea of having one of the new "modular" nuclear power plants sited near where they live.

Artist's impression of modular n-power plant
Rolls Royce

The new small generating plants, such as the Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor (artist's impression), are largely built in a facory and assembled on site, making them cheaper and faster to install.

The University of Central Lancashire and the National Nuclear Laboratory are recruiting the forum, which would meet twice over the next couple of months, to assess what local people would want from the development.

Stephen Haraldsen, who is a Conservative county councillor and a research fellow in the nuclear industry, will write a report from the meetings, and is recruiting volunteers, who can contact him by email.

Mr Haraldsen said: “The government seems set to announce that west Cumbria will be one of several sites for the deployment of small and advanced reactors," but added that not enough was known about what the local community would want.

Cumbria's weather: Staying dry and fine

BBC Weather

It will be dry and fine with sunny spells and just some patchy cloud building up into the afternoon, with highest temperatures from 13C to 16C (55F to 61F).

Weather graphic

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

United hope for second win from Rovers visit

BBC Cumbria Sport

Carlisle United are back in action tonight at home to promotion-chasing Forest Green Rovers.

United will be looking to make it back-to-back victories in the league following Saturday's win at Stevenage.

Also in action tonight are Workington Reds and Kendal Town who play each other in the Integro League Cup first round.

Brunto Park

Police appeal for help finding missing Whitehaven woman

Police say they are concerned about Leanne Smith, 39, who has been missing from her Whitehaven home sincew 18:00 on Sunday.

Leanne Smith
Family photo

Officers say they believe she was wearing a blue coat, and carrying a handbag.

Police appeal for witnesses after burglars steal jewellery

Police say jewellery valued at several thousand pounds was stolen from a house on Milnthorpe Road in Kendal.

The break-in happened during the day on Friday 6 September and police have now appealed for witnesses who saw anything suspicious in the area.

Officers say some of the items were of great sentimental value.

Police logo on van
Cumbria Police

Remembering Cumbrians who fought for the 'bridge too far'

Belinda Artingstoll

BBC Cumbria Journalist

More than 800 men from the Border Regiment who took part in the Battle of Arnhem will be remembered today on the 75th anniversary of the battle.

More than 500 of the men were killed, wounded or captured.

Border regiment soldiers at battle
Cumbria Museum of Military Life

The Battle was part of the famous Operation Market Garden, and was immortalised in the film, A Bridge Too Far.

The late Tom Northgraves from Penrith fought in the battles and this week his son Peter is travelling to the Netherlands for a special event to commemorate the anniversary.

I go back to think of them, to pray for them, they were just ordinary young men who were heroes."

Peter Northgraves

Police put the bins out to collect unwanted knives

People in Cumbria are again being urged to hand in knives and other weapons to the police, after a "surrender", as officers call it, saw 280 potential weapons anonymously delivered to the county's main police stations in a week last March.

Cumbria Police

Supt Mark Pannone says the level of knife crime in Cumbria is low, but he says the exercise is still worthwhile.

We had just over 150 incidents last year when a sharp instrument was used in a crime. That was actually down on the year before but we want to keep those numbers low and we want to get them lower."

Supt Mark Pannone

County lines heroin dealer 'was trying to pay drug debt'

A "county lines" drug dealer who was driven to Workington so he could peddle heroin to pay off a large drug debt has been jailed for almost four years.

Allan Kinsella
Cumbria Police

Allan Kinsella, 41, of Greenway Road, Birkenhead, ran up several thousand pounds of arrears with Liverpool crooks after becoming hooked on cocaine.

Carlisle Crown Court was told he was taken to Workington and given heroin to sell. Police found him with 100 wraps of the drug valued at £1,100 and £1,000 in cash.

Kinsella, who was said to have become drug-free while in custody, admitted possessing heroin with intent to supply. He also admitted possession of cocaine and was jailed for 45 months by Judge David Potter.

Sex offender jailed again after contacting teenage girls

A sex offender jailed repeatedly for flouting the terms of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order has been sent back to prison again by a Carlisle Crown Court judge.

Gary Crandley
Cumbria Police

Gary Crandley, 40, was made subject to the order for possessing indecent pictures of children in 2009, and the court heard he had been given prison sentences in 2013, 2014 and 2017 for breaching its terms while living in the south of England.

Judge Nicholas Barker heard Crandley, latterly of Cumberland Court, Carlisle, was caught again earlier this year, striking up text contact with two 16-year-old girls, and police then found him in breach of the order in several ways.

Despite saying in court he was sorry for flouting the requirement, Crandley was given an immediate 20-month jail term

Cumbria's weather: Dry, mainly sunny, but cooler

BBC Weather

It should stay dry and mainly sunny through this afternoon.

Despite the sunshine, conditions will feel relatively cool, with gentle northwesterly winds and highest temperatures from 13C to 16C (55F to 61F).

Weather graphic

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

Troubled trucker Stobart 'reviews operations'

Press Association

The Cumbrian haulage firm Eddie Stobart Logistics says it is reviewing operations and financial performance after warning that annual profits will be "significantly below" expectations because of a poor first half of the year.

Eddie Stobart truck
Getty Images

The distributor said "adverse performance" combined with an ambitious budget, as well as delays on a major project, cut into the company's earnings.

Eddie Stobart said it expects revenue for the six months to 31 May to be about £450m and underlying earnings between £10m and £11m.

Trading in the trucking group's shares remain suspended after the company admitted a £2m accounting error last month.

Work starts on facelift for key Whitehaven junction

Work starts today on a £2.5m scheme to improve an important road junction in Whitehaven.

Cumbria County Council says the project, where North Shore Road meets Bransty Row, is intended to improve a main way into the town, ease congestion, improve the flow of traffic and improve road safety.

The aim is also to prepare the junction to cope with building developments that are planned for the North Shore area.

North shore junction

Whitehaven attack victim critical in hospital

A 21-year-old man is in a critical condition in hospital after an assault in Whitehaven.

Officers found the victim unconscious, with a serious head injury, in Lowther Street early yesterday morning.

A 19-year-old man has been arrested.

Police are appealing for witnesses.

Cumbria's weather: A dry night with some clear spells

BBC Weather

It will be a dry night with clear spells but also the occasional cloudier interlude.

Light winds may lead to the occasional patch of mist or fog, 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.

Police renew 'wanted' call over drug offences

Police have renewed their call for sightings of Louis Simpson, 26, in connection with drug offences in Carlisle.

Louis Simpson
Cumbria Police

Officers say he has a Liverpudlian accent, and connections in Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire, and the force broadcast an appeal for information on the BBC's Crimewatch Roadshow programme today.

Sean Cleaver
Cumbria Police

On the same programme, police said they also wanted to speak to Sean Cleaver, 25, who has been wanted since July 2017 for offences in Carlisle including robbery and offering to supply heroin.

Man charged after woman is found with serious injury

A 62-year-old man has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm after a woman aged 64 was found in a house in Keswick with a serious head injury, police say.

Officers were called to the house in St Kentigern Close at 23:20 on Wednesday night, by ambulance paramedics.

Patrick Webster, from Walker Road, Aberdeen, appeared before magistrates in Workington this afternoon and was remanded to appear before Carlisle Crown Court on 14 October.

The woman was said by police to be in a serious condition in the Cumberland Infirmary at Carlisle.

Cumbria's weather: Dry, sunny spells, but cooler

BBC Weather

It should be a dry afternoon with plenty of sunny spells but also the occasional cloudier interlude.

There will be light winds, but it will feel cooler with highest temperatures from 14C to 17C (57F to 63°F).

Weathetr graphic

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

Lengthy road closures after crashes to be discussed

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Ellis Butcher

Councillors and police are to discuss the disruption caused when the A590, the only main road into Barrow, is closed by accidents.

Crash scene on A590
Cumbria Police

High Furness councillor Matt Brereton told a meeting there was still work to be done about accident blackspots, but he was also concerned about the way surrounding roads were used as rat-runs when the main roads were closed.

Councillor Keith Little, who is in charge of highways and also had a 27-year career in the fire service, said the length of time the road was now closed after accidents was "unacceptable".

I attended numerous road accidents on many busy roads and there was always a desire, particularly by the police, to get the road open very quickly and get the traffic flowing.”

Keith Little

It is leading to problems with congestion, speeding through 30mph zones and putting extra strain on the roads maintenance the county highways have to deal with.”

Matt Brereton

Number of Cumbrians on new benefit passes 16,000

The number of people in Cumbria claiming Universal Credit because they are either low-paid, unable to work or unemployed has now reached 16,131, figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show.

The introduction of the new system, which replaces six different benefits, now covers the whole of the county, for anyone making a new claim.

Around one third of those claiming are in work, and the way the new benefit is paid monthly, sometimes with a delay before the first payment, has been blamed for some people having to use food banks.

But ministers say the system is a force for good, giving people personalised support and helping them find work.

£15m plan could bring new dawn for Carlisle station

Bob Cooper

Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

Plans for a £15m facelift around Carlisle's Citadel Station should be published next week so the public can say what they think about the proposals.

Carlisle station at dawn

It will be the first concrete results in the county of the Borderlands Growth Deal, which could see up to £394m spent in counties on both sides of the border between England and Scotland.

The county council's leader, Labour councillor Stewart Young, says improvements have been needed for a while.

There's been a long-standing aspiration to address some of the shortcomings of the station, particularly the congestion in Court Square where the cars are picking people up and dropping them off, and people are arriving on foot."

Stewart Young

Cumbria's weather: Dry with sunny spells

BBC Weather

It should be a dry and largely settled day as high pressure starts to build, with plenty of sunny spells.

There will be light winds, but it will be a cooler day, with highest temperatures from 13C to 16C (55F to 61F).

Weather graphic

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