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  1. Updates on Friday 15 April 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage throughout the day

Belinda Artingstoll

BBC Cumbria Live

Our live updates for Cumbria have finished for the day. Thank you for joining us. 

We'll be back on Monday at 08:00 with more news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the county.

You can contact us on Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or using our Facebook page.    

Man avoids prison 'by a whisker' after stealing a lorry while drunk

A man who stole and drove a lorry cab whilst drunk has avoided jail "by a whisker".

Liam Horner, 23, took the Scania tractor unit from Lawson's Haulage in Cockermouth in January.

When police arrived at the scene, on the A66 near Keswick, they found Horner had crashed into a wall. He was asleep in the cab, and a bottle of whisky was found close by.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that Horner, who only had a provisional licence, was almost three times the drink-drive limit.

Horner, previously of Finn Avenue, Carlisle, and now living in Swindon, pleaded guilty to four offences. 

He was sentenced to a 10-month prison term suspended for two years. He was also given a four-year driving ban, 250 hours' unpaid work and must undergo rehabilitation. He also has to pay £2,500 to Lawsons.

Confusion over Carlisle United supporters' letter

The Official Carlisle United Supporters Club says it has not had a response from club after writing to request a meeting to discuss future investment. 

United told BBC Radio Cumbria Sport this morning that the chairman, Andrew Jenkins, had responded, but that the response would remain "private and confidential". 

But CUOSC, as the supporters club is known, says there has been no response to the letter sent on 23 March or the follow-up letter.

Some disabled people have lost out over changes to care funding

Figures seen by BBC Radio Cumbria show that 100 severely disabled people in the county have had their financial support reduced over the last few months. 

They used to receive money from the Independent Living Fund, but the government closed this last year and transferred the funds to local councils. 

Laura Lockhart, from Kirkby Stephen, says as a consequence, the hours of care that used to be offered to her daughter have been reduced from 35 to 22 a week.

She says: "To be quite honest I thought it was all about saving money rather than looking at Rachel's needs. My concern is that money isn't ring-fenced and I don't know how long we'll have 22 hours."

The county council says some disabled people have been given more money as the result of the changes, and all of the money passed on by the government is being used to help vulnerable people.

Carer and client

Cumbrian dahlia expert on BBC's Gardeners' World tonight

People tuning in to this evening's episode of Gardeners' World on BBC2 will learn about dahlias from a Cumbrian expert.

Jack Gott from Milnthorpe grows hundreds of varieties at his home. 

He says: "There's that many variations. You've got the tiny ones that only grow 12-14 inches tall. And in the front garden we have a tree dahlia that could grow to 16 feet. And if we're lucky, in Cumbria, we may get it to flower."

You can see Jack at 20:30 on BBC2. Or, if you miss it, you can watch it on the BBC iPlayer.  


Weather: Colder overnight, with more wintry showers tomorrow

BBC Weather

Rain, sleet and hill snow will gradually clear away south-eastwards, with clear spells following from the north. This will cause temperatures to drop, leading to frost and ice in places with temperatures down to freezing in many parts. 

A cold and frosty start for many tomorrow. It will be cloudier with outbreaks of rain, sleet, or hill snow clearing to the south east. There will be some bright spells. It will feel cold in the northerly winds. 

See the forecast for your area here.

Weather chart

North Cumbrian primary school still counting cost of floods

A north Cumbrian school which is still using temporary buildings after the winter floods says its academy status has complicated things.

Parts of Crosby-on-Eden C of E Primary School have been left unusable until repairs are complete. 

The headteacher, Ayeesha Weston, says being a directly-funded academy has complicated paying for the repairs.

She says: "The costs involved in setting up the temporary buildings and re-instating the school are huge. And yes, as an academy, we did find ourselves on our own as it were. But our insurers have been fantastic. And we have been able to get funding from other sources to future-proof the school."

School gates and flood water
Ayeesha Weston

Decorative sheep go on show in the Lake District

A flock of decorated model sheep has invaded the Lake District in a bid to raise £1.3m for charity.

The 60 life-sized ewes have formed an art trail between Keswick and Windermere.

Each sculpture is sponsored by a local business and decorated by an artist.

The Calvert Trust, which offers outdoor activities to people with disabilities, is hoping to raise £100,000 with the project.

See the full story here.

Decorated sheep

Young Cumbrian saxophonist competing on the BBC tonight

Belinda Artingstoll

BBC Cumbria Live

A Cumbrian musician will be on television tonight competing in the woodwind final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year. 

Jess Gillam, who's 17 and from Ulverston, plays the saxophone. 

It's not the first time she has taken part in the competition. She also reached the woodwind final two years ago. 

She says: "It's brilliant to be back there and competing. The calibre of the musicians, to be competing against them is quite scary. But it is an amazing opportunity." 

View more on youtube

Bridges still closed in Cumbria after the winter floods

Fourteen bridges around Cumbria are still closed following the December storms and floods.

The County Council says eight of them are in Allerdale, five in South Lakeland, and one in Eden. 

Most have suffered cracking, erosion, and even collapse because of the sheer weight of water during the floods.   

Collapsed bridge
Rebecca Scott

BreakingTravel: A6 through Penrith closed because of accident

BBC Travel

The A6 Scotland Road in Penrith is closed and traffic is queuing in both directions between the Robinson Street junction and the Foster Street junction because of an accident involving two vehicles. 

Queues are backing up into the middle of Penrith and the police are directing traffic.  

See all the latest details here.

Weather: Rain this afternoon but drier tonight

BBC Weather

There'll be a lot of rain around this afternoon, with heavy thundery, and possibly wintry downpours at times. Temperatures will reach 9C (48F) at best. 

It will become drier tonight and temperatures will fall to allow a frost in places. 

See the forecast for your area here.

Weather chart

Your pictures: The weather is looking 'pheasant' so far today

BBC Weather Watchers

Thank you to BBC Weather Watcher 'Robin' who took this photo in Allonby earlier this morning. It's a grey day so far but it's hard to tell what the pheasant is making of it.

See more from the BBC Weather Watchers here.


Prison sentence 'inevitable' for man who's admitted child rape charges

A man has been told a prison sentence is "inevitable" after he admitted raping and sexually assaulting three children.

William Hope, 56, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday.

During a brief hearing before Judge Peter Davies, Hope admitted six counts of raping a child, four sexual assaults on a child and four indecent assaults.

The charges relate to three different victims. The offences were committed between the early 1990s and March this year in the Carlisle area.

Hope, of no fixed address, is due to be sentenced at the crown court on 9 June.

Your pictures: A run with a view

Thank you to Justin for sending us this photo, taken when he was out for a run on Blencathra.

Share your photos with us via Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or using our Facebook page

Lake District view
Justin Bibby

School praised for its support for pupils affected by winter floods

One of Cumbria's schools is being praised for the support it's offering to children from families who were affected by the floods in December.

The homes of more than half of the pupils and staff at Norman Street Primary school in Carlisle were flooded.

The headteacher, Nick Page, says: "Since Christmas we've tried to work with families that need support. We've identified children that may need some help and had a counsellor on site. We've tried to keep the school stable as possible, a place where the children feel safe and secure." 

Children at Norma Street School

Cumbrian man shows off dahlias on Gardeners' World tonight

One of the guests on BBC TV's Gardeners' World this evening is a man from Cumbria. 

Jack Gott from Milnthorpe is an expert on dahlias. He grows hundreds of varieties at his home, and his hobby has now turned into a business. 

He says the team from Gardeners' World was very impressed when they visited. "When they came round the back here and saw what there was, they were absolutely gobsmacked. Their eyes opened and they said 'flipping heck, this is brilliant'."

You can see a clip of the programme on our Facebook page here.

Gardeners' World is on BBC 2 at 20:30 this evening. If you miss it you can catch up on the BBC iPlayer.


Need for food banks increasing in some parts of Cumbria

A food bank charity says the number of people using food banks across the North West of England rose by 2% last year.

The Trussell Trust says 13,164 people received emergency aid in Cumbria last year.   

The North Lakes Food Bank, which runs six banks, says it has seen an increase of 4% year on year.  

But there has been a drop in people visiting the Barrow Food Bank. It helped 7,251 people last year. That's down 18% . 

People at a food bank

Police targeting rogue traders' vehicles

More than 100 vehicles were stopped by police targeting bogus traders in Cumbria this week. 

Officers stopped vehicles travelling through the county between Monday and Wednesday as part of Operation Rogue Trader. 

Man checking under van

Police describe rogue traders as criminals who take advantage of householders by using high-pressure sales techniques. The work is often expensive, sub-standard and not required at all. Rogue trading is also often linked to distraction burglary.

Fines totalling £2,000 were handed out for various offences, including vehicle defects. In addition a stolen motorcycle was seized and a man was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs. 

Mixed fortunes for disabled people in Cumbria after changes to care funding

Some people in Cumbria who are living with severe disabilities are being given less financial support, according to new figures.. 

The Independent Living Fund used to provide them with money to help them pay for care and live independently. 

But the government closed it last year and transferred the money to local councils.

Figures seen by BBC Radio Cumbria show that more than half of the people in the county who were getting money from the ILF have since had their funding cut. 

The county council says some are now getting more money and that all the funding that was passed on by the government is being used to help vulnerable disabled people.

Woman with carer

Cumbrian sax player competes for BBC Young Musician of the Year

A Cumbrian musician will be on television tonight competing in the woodwind final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year.

Jess Gillam, who is 17 and from Ulverston, plays the saxophone. 

It's not the first time she has taken part in the competition. She also reached the woodwind final two years ago.

Jess Gillam playing the saxophone

Weather: Dry first thing but showers later

BBC Weather

Mostly dry this morning, but showers are expected and these will merge into longer spells of rain this afternoon. Highs of 9C (48F).

See the forecast for your area here.

Weather chart

Travel: Possible delays between Workington and Maryport

BBC Travel

There are temporary traffic lights and roadworks on the A596 in Siddick at the St Helens Lane junction.  

And a reminder that the A591 between Grasmere and Keswick is still closed after the winter storms. It's expected to reopen on 13 May.

See all the latest travel news here.

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage throughout the day

Belinda Artingstoll

BBC Cumbria Live

Good morning. We'll be bringing you live updates of the county's news, sport, weather and travel until 16:00.

You can get in touch via Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or using our Facebook page.