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  1. Updates on Thursday 21 April 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Your live coverage throughout the day

Belinda Artingstoll

BBC Cumbria Live

Updates for Cumbria have now finished for the day. I'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 tomorrow. 

We hope you can join us then.

Until then, if you've got news or a picture you'd like to share with us, you can contact us via Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or via our Facebook page.

Fine weather expected for beacon lighting later

Weather: Dry tonight, colder tomorrow than of late

BBC Weather

A dry and mostly clear night with a few patches of cloud. Mist and fog is possible yet again, and it'll be cold with lows of about 5C (41F). 

Another dry start to the day tomorrow but it'll feel colder than today and a little cloudier at times. Highs of about 10C (50F). 

See the forecast for your area here.

Weather chart

Serial fraudster stole money from Cumbrian agency to buy luxury cars

Adam Powell

Journalist, BBC Radio Cumbria

A serial fraudster employed by Cumbria's Britain's Energy Coast who stole more than £40,000 of public money has admitted a string of deceptions. 

James Cox, 51, of no fixed abode appeared at Carlisle Magistrates' Court and admitted the six offences while employed as finance director of the government-funded agency. 

Cox was employed by Britain's Energy Coast as its finance director for six months from March of last year on £65,000 a year. 

Magistrates today heard how he forged a signature to steal more than £40,000 from the agency. With that money he financed the purchase of luxury cars. The money he obtained from each sale he used to buy furniture to fit out his flat. 

The hearing was told how Cox had previously been jailed for two earlier frauds. In 2007 he was sentenced to five years and in 2000 he received the same sentence after committing a £2.8m fraud. 

Cox was remanded in custody for sentencing at Carlisle Crown Court on 20 May.

Man sentenced after being caught with drugs in his car

A man who was caught with drugs worth £5,000 in his car has been sent to prison. 

Tasswar Hussain was driving north on the M6 near Carlisle when the police stopped and searched his vehicle. They also found £300 in cash. 

Hussain, who is 38 and lives in Dunfermline, admitted conspiring to supply cannabis and was sentenced to 16 months in prison. 

Another man who was also involved, Amir Alam, who is 24 and from Slough, was given a two year prison sentence last month.

Government prepared to buy stake in Tata Steel to help sale

The government has said it's prepared to take a stake of up to 25% in Tata's UK Steel operation to help support a buyer for the business. 

Tata, which employs 15,000 people in Britain, said last month it was putting its plants up for sale. 

The company has more than 250 employees in Cumbria but most are based in Workington where workers have accepted reduced pay and pension terms as part of a deal to sell Tata's long products division to investment company Greybull.

World-wide sleep study will help Cumbrian firm

It's hoped that the results of a world-wide survey into sleeping patterns will help a Cumbrian company to make better beds. 

Sealy UK in Aspatria is working with scientists to find out more about the causes of insomnia. 

Loughborough University's Clinical Sleep Research Unit is conducting the biggest sleep study ever conducted in countries around the world, including Australia and South Korea. 

Areas covered will include the amount of sleep people get, what disturbs them at night, and pre-sleep routine.

Holly Venning from Sealy, says: "The big thing for us is getting sleep as a topic on the agenda and more people talking about the importance of a good night's sleep. The research will directly impact on our product." 

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Your pictures: A garden in North Cumbria bathed in sunshine

BBC Weather Watchers

This was taken earlier today by BBC Weather Watcher 'Northern Monkey' in Calthwaite, between Penrith and Carlisle.

See more from the BBC Weather Watchers here. 

Garden in the sunshine with trees and fence

Appeal for information after robbery in Kendal

A 17-year-old-man was assaulted and had his phone stolen after he was approached by two men, one of whom was on a bike, on Beezon Road, Kendal at about 19:00 on Tuesday.

Police are appealing for witnesses.  

Two men, aged 21 and 17, were arrested in connection with the offence and have been released on bail until 1 June.

Cumbrians adding their congratulations on the Queen's 90th birthday

BAE Systems which owns the Barrow shipyard is harking back to a previous visit there by the Queen.

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Q&A: Police and Crime Commissioners

Elections for police and crime commissioners will take place across most of England and Wales on 5 May. 

Here is a guide to what PCCs do and how the system, introduced in 2012, works.  

Police and crime commissioners graphic

Dairy farmers under too much stress says MP

A Cumbrian MP is calling on the government to do more to help struggling farmers in the county. 

The Labour MP for Workington, Sue Hayman, was speaking in a debate at Westminster on the dairy industry which is being hit by falling milk prices. 

She says the stress has led to some farmers taking their own lives: "There's a farmer in my constituency who collapsed and died recently at a sale. How much of that is down to stress, he was only in his 40s. The stress that people are under is unacceptable."


Weather: Plenty of sunshine this afternoon

BBC Weather

We will continue to enjoy plenty of sunshine this afternoon and it'll feel pleasantly warm with light winds. Highs of 17C (63F).

A dry and mostly clear night with a few patches of cloud. Mist and fog is possible yet again, and it'll be cold with lows of around 5C (41F).  

See the forecast for your area here. 

Weather chart

Officers were warned to keep quiet about home secretary's 'private visit'

North West Evening Mail


More Cumbrian memories of the Queen as she marks her 90th

Beacons will be lit across Cumbria as part of national celebrations to mark the Queen's 90th birthday.

People in the county who have met the Queen have been remembering the experience. 

Pollyanna Shields was a member of a Brownie pack that went to see Her Majesty in 1985, when she opened the Furness General Hospital in Barrow - an event that was reported in an article in the local newspaper.

"I think it said 'children push through police barriers to give unofficial posies to the Queen'. Normally people get picked for these things beforehand. It was very thrilling to be able to meet her. It was a unique experience", she said.

The Queen meeting crowds

Your pictures: Flowers in the sunshine

BBC Weather Watchers

This lovely photo was taken in Workington a few hours ago by BBC Weather Watcher 'Michael's Meadow'.

If you take any photos of Cumbria in the sun today then you can share them with us via Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or via our Facebook page.  

Flowers against a blue sky

Beacons being lit across Cumbria to mark the Queen's 90th

Beacons will be lit across Cumbria this evening to mark the Queen's 90th birthday. 

Here's a list of locations where beacons are due to be lit. But there may be others we don't know about. 

Scafell Pike, Whicham, Millom, Windermere, Brampton, Coniston, Latterbarrow, Catbells, Carlisle Castle, Birdoswald Roman Fort, St. Bees Lighthouse, Heversham, Helsington and Brigsteer, Workington, Boltons, Levens, Houghton, Allonby and Westward.

Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, Dr Harpal Kumar lighting beacon on Scafell in 2012
Tom Bourton

Hopes of a new flood insurance scheme for businesses

Discussions are taking place which could lead to affordable insurance for business owners in Cumbria whose properties are at risk of flooding. 

Earlier this month a scheme called Flood Re was set up to offer lower premiums to homeowners but this doesn't include business premises. 

Now the floods minister and Cumbrian MP, Rory Stewart, says discussions are taking place between the government and the industry to create a similar scheme for business owners. 

Marion Jones's pub, the Joiners Arms in Carlisle has flooded twice and she says: "I've got cover for fire and theft and so on but I can't find anyone at all to cover me for flood." 

Flooded street in Carlisle

Cumbrian bed company hoping new research will lead to better sleep

A Cumbrian company is hoping that a global survey of sleep patterns will help it to make better beds. 

The bed manufacturer Sealy, based in Aspatria, makes 1,000 beds a day, and employs 400 people. 

It's working with scientists to study insomnia. 

The UK product manager, Brian Huddart, says science is key to product development. 

"There's far more awareness from people about how important sleep is. You're going to spend a third of your life in bed. Sleep is one of the main recovery elements of the day for you, it's something you have to do." 

Woman asleep in bed

Cumbrians remember Victoria Wood and her links with the county

Tributes continue to be paid to the writer, actor and comedian Victoria Wood. 

It was announced yesterday that she had died from cancer, at the age of 62. 

She had strong links with Cumbria. She wrote a drama based on the story of Nella Last from Barrow and was patron of the Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness on Windermere. 

She also had a holiday home in Hawkshead. 

Tom Macan, the chairman of the Hawkshead Market Hall Trust, says she valued her privacy. 

"The whole point of Hawkshead for Victoria was it was somewhere private. It was somewhere to get away from it all. Everyone respected that privacy. It was her downtime", he said.

Victoria Wood

Wildfire extinguished in the Lake District

A fire officer has praised the team effort to put out a wildfire in Cumbria yesterday evening.

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Travel: Accident on A595 near Thursby

BBC Travel

The A595 in Thursby is partially blocked eastbound at Thursby Roundabout, because of an accident involving two vehicles.  

Also there's very slow traffic on the A5284 Windermere Road in both directions in Kendal between the Garth Brow junction and the A6 Sandes Avenue junction.

See all the latest details here. 

Weather: Another sunny day today

BBC Weather

After a chilly start it will be another sunny day, with light winds and highs of 17C (63F).

See the forecast for your area here. 

Weather chart

Cumbrians share their memories of the Queen as she marks her 90th birthday

The Prime Minister has led tributes to the Queen on her 90th birthday. In a video message, released by Downing Street, David Cameron described the Queen as "a rock of strength for the nation".

Later the Queen will light a beacon in Windsor, with a string of others then being lit around the country, including 25 in Cumbria.

Celia McKenzie, the chief executive of the Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, was part of a team which arranged a flypast over the harbour for the Queen's visit to Whitehaven in 2008.

She says the Queen was very impressed with the timing of the event: "As the last letter of Queen was uttered, this Tornado appeared from nowhere and swooped down the harbour in front of Her Majesty and all who were assembled, and she turned to me and said 'how did you do that?!'"

The Queen in Cumbria in 2013 with a crowd of children

Travel: Possible delays in Egremont and Sedbergh

BBC Travel

There's slow traffic on the A595 southbound in Egremont between the A5086 junction and The Crescent junction.  

Main Street in Sedbergh is closed in both directions between the Howgill Lane junction and the Woodside Avenue junction, because of roadworks.  

See all the latest details here.

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage throughout the day

Belinda Artingstoll

BBC Cumbria Live

Good morning. It's another beautiful day out there. 

We'll be keeping you up to date with all the day's news, sport, weather and travel for Cumbria.

If you've got news or a picture you'd like to share with us, you can contact us via Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or via our Facebook page.