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  1. Updates on Monday 20 February 2017

Live Reporting

By Martin Lewes

All times stated are UK

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As it happened: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We've now finished posting news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast and other things that take our fancy from around the county, for today.

Here's a reminder:

We'll be back to do it 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 ustweet us or get in touch through our Facebook page.  

Have a very good evening.

Defence secretary: Barrow shipyard 'leads way' in training

The Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon says the BAE shipyard in Barrow is "leading British industry" in the way it invests in the skills of its workforce.

Michael Fallon

BAE Systems announced today that it was building a £25m training centre for its 1,000 apprentices and the rest of the workforce to equip them for the new Dreadnought class of submarines.

Sir Michael said he could not recall any other business training on such a scale: "This is a long term investment in the skills the submarine industry needs."

Police launch drive for more officers

BBC Radio Cumbria

Cumbria police say they're starting a new recruitment drive for officers.

The force is holding a series of recruitment evenings over the next three weeks to explain what the job involves.

The number of officers serving at the rank of constable has fallen since 2010 from 989 to 890.

Police officer talking into radio.
Cumbria Police

Watch: Architects show what new shipyard training centre will look like

Kerry Parvin


BAE Systems has just put out these artists' impressions of the new £25m training centre at their Barrow shipyard.

BAE Systems Barrow shipyard to get new training centre

The shipyard employs about 1,000 apprentices, and they and other staff will need new training to build the Dreadnought submarines that will carry Britain's nuclear deterrent.

Many will be taken through to degree-level qualifications.

BAE Systems managing director, Tony Johns, said designing and building the new boats will be "one of the world's most complex and technically demanding engineering challenges".

Travel: Track defect slows West Coast Main Line trains

BBC Travel

Virgin Trains says its southbound services on the West Coast Main Line between Penrith and Oxenholme are delayed by up to ten minutes because of a speed restriction over defective track.

Cumbria's weather: Winds easing and dry

BBC Weather

The winds will ease overnight and it'll be dry with clear spells and lows of 6C (43F).

Weather graphic

Dam it all: Nature reserve's ditches plugged to hold back floodwater

Cumbria Wildlife Trust says it's dammed 20 drainage ditches on its new nature reserve at Eycott Hill, to hold water on the marshland there rather than letting it run off.

Eycott Hill, with digger working
Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Water from the hill eventually flows into the Rivers Greta and Derwent, and the ditch-blocking is the first of a series of projects designed to slow the flow of water from the reserve.

Staff say the work will also help a range of wildlife on the wetland.

Missing camper who abandoned possessions spotted in Dalton

A camper who abandoned his car, tent and other equipment in Borrowdale last month has been seen in Dalton.

David Brown
Family picture

David Brown, 68, originally from Shetland, was last seen at Chapel House Farm on 30 January.

Police say they have confirmed a sighting of him recorded on CCTV in Dalton on 13 February.

Former chancellor Osborne urges better links for West Cumbria

The former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, is among the politicians campaigning in Copeland today.

George Osborne

Mr Osborne said he was pressing the case to make sure West Cumbria was part of his Northern Powerhouse project.

What this part of the world needs is more investment in the roads, we need to make sure that the great nuclear industry here spurs a renewal in places like Whitehaven, and we've got to make sure we've got broadband so we're connected in future."

Lakes police investigate Grasmere burglaries

A clothing shop and a cafe were broken into in Grasmere last night.

View more on twitter

Police say a quantity of clothing was taken from the shop.

They are appealing for anyone who saw anything unusual outside Mountain Hi to come forward.

Barrow shipyard welcomes apprentice school return

Barrow's BAE shipyard is to have a new £25m apprentice school as it gears up to construct the new Dreadnought submarines.

Dreadnought artists' impression

The yard has about 1,000 apprentices but expects to need more space for training to build the successor to the Vanguard class of nuclear-armed boats.

The previous school was closed in the 1990s after the end of the Cold War led to a decline in work.

The Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon is visiting the yard today.

Police concerned for missing Penrith man

Police are appealing to trace missing Peter Dixon who was last seen at his home on Folly Lane in Penrith at 23:30 on Sunday.

Peter Dixon
Police/Family picture

He's believed to be driving a blue Nissan Micra with the registration T668 LAO.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Cumbria Police. 

Crash area

A woman dies and a man and two children are airlifted to hospital following a crash at Crosby.

Read more

Climber Alan spots an early sign of spring

Alan Hinkes, one of Britain's top mountaineers, spends much of his time in Cumbria.

In the Yorkshire Dales, which despite its name includes part of south east Cumbria, he's spotted an early sign of spring.. 

View more on twitter

Rising cost of social care 'may outstrip tax hike'

BBC Radio Cumbria

There are fears a 4% increase in council tax in Cumbria won't provide enough money to cover the increasing cost of adult social care. 

Cumbria County Council was allowed an extra increase of up to 2% this year to catch up with the cost of caring for the increasing numbers of elderly people.

Council sign

Councillors agreed at county hall in Kendal last week to take that increase, but because the overall council tax bill in Cumbria is shared with district councils, it didn't bring in as much as it would have done in an area with just one layer of local government.  

The authority's cut its social care spending by £24m over the past tree years, part of an overall cut of £200m since 2011.

Today the Local Government Association, speaking for all councils, said the increases in council tax wouldn't even cover the pay rises to care workers due because of increases in the minimum wage.

Cumbria's weather: Brighter from the north

BBC Weather

Outbreaks of rain, mostly light and patchy will push southwards before it brightens again from the north.

Strong and gusty westerly winds will slowly ease and temperatures will rise to 13C (55F).

Weather graphic

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

Cumbrian cricketer tops cash register for Indian League

BBC Radio Cumbria Sport

Cumbrian cricketer Ben Stokes has become the Indian Premier League's most expensive foreign player after Rising Pune Supergiants bought him for £1.7m

Ben Stokes
Getty Images

Ben moved to Cockermouth at the age of 12 and holds a string of records including England's fastest-ever test double century.

Hammer comes down for more than your average bear

A teddy-bear's sold for more than £800 in an auction of vintage toys in Cumbria.

Steiff bear
Mitchells of Cockermouth

The Steiff bear went to a telephone bidder. 

Other lots sold included a model steam engine for £820 and a scale model of the Titanic which fetched £150. 

Mitchells Auctioneers in Cockermouth said the event on Saturday was a "massive success".  

Severe disruption: M6 Cumbria northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cumbria northbound severe disruption, between J44 for A7 and J45 for A74.

M6 Cumbria - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J44, A7 (Carlisle North) and J45 A74(M), because of a broken down lorry. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Copeland candidates agree road and rail need more, but not who's best to do it

Candidates in the Copeland by-election argued over who had the best record in improving infrastructure like road and rail, in a BBC Radio Cumbria debate

Trudy Harrison, for the Conservatives, said it would be best to bring the main roads in the area back under the control of Highways England, or retrunked as the jargon has it.

She said: "We want to increase resilience on the roads, we want to reduce journey times. If we can dual it in parts, we can have better roads so that overtaking is much easier."

For Labour, Gillian Troughton said: "Since 2010 with a Conservative government propped up by Lib Dems, we have had cuts in every sphere in this constituency for the councils. Labour was investing in this community, we had invested in the Lillyhall bypass."

UKIP's Fiona Mills insisted money would be available for improvements once Britain had left the EU.

You can find a full list of candidates here, and more information about the constituency here

The programme's repeated at 18:00 on Wednesday.

Future of nuclear power heats by-election debate

Plans for a new nuclear power station at Moorside were thrown into doubt at the height of the election campaign, when the Japanese technology giant Toshiba reviewed its 60% stake in the project.

The nuclear industry has been a key issue in the by-election debate.

Moorside artist's impression

  • For the Conservatives, Trudy Harrison said the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn opposed nuclear power: She said: "This government is the only government for 20 years to be investing in new nuclear."
  • Labour's Gillian Troughton said Labour would underwrite Moorside if public money was needed - "I'm behind nuclear, no ifs, no buts, we were the party that brought new nuclear to west Cumbria and we've supported new nuclear for many years."
  • The Green Party opposes nuclear power, and their candidate Jack Lenox said renewable energy was a better bet. He said: "The number of jobs it's going to provide have been dramatically inflated, if we look at power stations like Heysham, there are 500 or 600 jobs there potentially."
  • But one of the two independents, Roy Ivinson, who's campaigning heavily on climate change issues, said nuclear was crucial for low-carbon energy.
  • Fiona Mills for Ukip says Moorside should go ahead, but she was concerned about the pylons. She said: "We need to look at other solutions for that if it does go ahead, perhaps offshore or underground."
  • Rebecca Hanson for the Liberal Democrats said that with the project well-developed, other investors would come forward. She said: "There was never any problem with the project. I have confidence in this project; what I am concerned about is the hard-Brexit option to leave Euratom."

The candidates were speaking in a BBC Radio Cumbria debate broadcast this morning; you can hear it again here, and it's repeated at 18:00 on Wednesday.

There's a full list of candidates in Copeland here, and a guide to the issues here.

Copeland by-election: Health service row sparks off debate

Candidates for the Copeland by-election all opposed proposals to move consultant-led services for maternity and childrens' care to the larger hospital in Carlisle, from the West Cumberland in Whitehaven.

But they disagreed about what could be done.  

Hospital sign
  • Labour candidate Gillian Troughton says the proposals, known as the Success Regime, simply will not  be safe. She said: "We've had doctors, we've had midwives, we've had ambulance saying they feared the preferred options were dangerous".
  • For the Liberal Democrats, Rebecca Hanson says the Success regime is ill-conceived: "I quickly found the preferred options had not been risk assessed, they'd not been thought through."
  • The Conservative candidate, Trudy Harrison, denied the Prime Minister Theresa May had dodged questions about the NHS. She said she had government support in campaigning against the downgrading of services - "We really need a candidate in the government in power to make the best case for services in the West Cumberland Hospital." 
  • For UKIP, Fiona Mills says there were good points about the proposals for West Cumbrian health services, but more has to be done to recruit and retain staff, and more immediately to work closely with other hospitals.  
  • The Green party's Jack Lenox said it was a national problem. He said: "We spend about 8% of our gross national product on the NHS compared with about 11% in Germany." 
  • One of the two independent candidates, Michael Guest, says he'd like to see new ways of funding the health service, and more local people running it.

The candidates were speaking in a BBC Radio Cumbria debate broadcast this morning. You can hear it again here, and it's repeated at 18:00 on Wednesday.

There's a full list of candidates in Copeland here, and a guide to the issues here.

Candidates tussle over Copeland by-election issues

The candidates contesting for the Copeland parliamentary seat this Thursday have been debating the issues on BBC Radio Cumbria with political reporter Bob Cooper in the chair.

Over the next hour or so we'll bring you the main points of what was said.

Candidates debate

If you miss it you can listen again here or on Wednesday at 18:00.  There's a full list of candidates here.

Weather on the fell tops: Warm and wet

Temperatures at 3,000ft: 5C.

Winds: Strong to gale force westerly winds gusting 70mph.

Cloud: Extensive this morning above 1,300ft, lifting and breaking later this afternoon.

Visibility: Moderate or poor in the rain this morning, becoming good this afternoon. 

Freezing level: Above the summits.

The Lake District rangers who check out winter conditions on the high fells found the main challenge on Blencathra to be wet and very slippery rock. They found no snow at all.

Cumbria's weather: Windy for a time and very mild

BBC Weather

It'll be a very mild but windy day. There will be variable amounts of cloud, always thickest in the west with some outbreaks of rain pushing southwards, mostly light and patchy but some heavier bursts are possible for a time. 

Temperatures could reach 13C (55F).

Weather graphic

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

Woman dies in two-car crash

A 27-year-old woman has died in a crash between two cars near Carlisle. 

It happened on the A689 just after 13:00 yesterday, near the turn-off for Walby Farm Park. The woman who was driving a Peugeot 208 died at the scene. 

Two air ambulances were called to the crash and a man and two children were flown to hospital in Newcastle.

Travel: Signals hitch delays trains through Carlisle

BBC Travel

There are delays of up to 25 minutes on all trains through Carlisle this morning because of a signalling problem.

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 until about 18:00.

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.