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  1. Woman raped in city centre park
  2. New trail to link flood-hit Lake District
  3. 'Sick' tweets mock Hillsborough victims
  4. Updates on Thursday 28 April 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Belinda Artingstoll

BBC Cumbria Live

Our 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. 

Hopefully, you'll be able to join me then. 

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

Weather: Wintry showers overnight and into tomorrow

BBC Weather

Outbreaks of rain and wintry showers continue overnight, with strengthening westerly winds. Lows of around 0C (32F).

Further snowfall is likely on the fells for a time tomorrow, with rain or sleet showers at lower levels. A few bright spells later with highs of 7C (45F).  

See the forecast for your area here.

Weather chart

Work on damaged footpaths 'must start soon'

The effects of Storm Desmond are still being felt in Cumbria so it's vital the infrastructure is repaired to get tourism back on its feet, a park boss says.

The chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, Richard Leafe, says repairing damaged footpaths is vital to bring visitors back. 

He said: "The rights of way infrastructure is really the veins and arteries in the visitor economy in Cumbria. 

"So getting the message out that we are repairing that infrastructure, and indeed opening new footpaths, is vital to the recovery of the visitor economy."

It's estimated it will cost £10m to repair the damage.

People looking at lake view

Sympathy for plans by Lowther Castle to charge for children

A decision by a Cumbrian attraction to introduce an entry fee for children has been criticised by some local people. 

Lowther Castle and Gardens near Penrith says it wants to charge £7 for children aged between three and 15 when its adventure playground opens in July. 

It says the charge is comparable with entry fees at similar properties.

Peter Frost Pennington, from Muncaster Castle near Ravenglass, says he has sympathy with Lowther: "I would love to be able to open Muncaster for free but we don't get any subsidies, and quite rightly so, and we have to cover our costs somehow." 

Lowther Castle

New trail alongside closed A591 opens

Cyclists, walkers and horse riders have started using a new trail to allow them to get past a road closure near Grasmere. 

The work was carried out by the Lake District National Park Authority and United Utilities after a section of the A591 at Dunmail Raise was washed away during Storm Desmond.

Caroline Gilbert from British Cycling was one of the first people to use the new route.  "I was really impressed with it. It's a fantastic route to cycle along. Much more relaxed than if you were cycling along the road and you've got time to enjoy the view."

Repair work on A591

Warning over scam involving fake police officers

Older people in Barrow are being warned about a scam involving fake police officers. 

Cumbria Police says they've received two reports of people being phoned and told their money wasn't safe in the bank. 

On one occasion an 81 year old woman handed over £5,100. Another woman was asked for over £9,000 but she later declined to part with it. 

People are being warned not to give money or any personal details and to call the police 101 number if they're not sure whether a police officer is genuine or not.

Cash in hand

Flood defences in Keswick being repaired

The glass panels lining the wall along the River Greta in Keswick are being refurbished after the floods in December. 

View more on twitter

Minister describes Cumbria as 'peripheral part' of UK

A government minister has described Cumbria as a "peripheral" part of the country. 

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill was responding to a question from Workington's Labour MP Sue Hayman.  

She was claiming there's a lack of plans for government investment in Cumbrian transport links. 

In response, Mr Goodwill said: "Certainly we understand that all parts of our country, including the peripheral parts, do benefit from transport investment,  which is why it's such good news that this government does understand the importance of transport investment."

Robert Goodwill

Your pictures: Snow in Staveley

Thank you to Ann in Staveley for sending this photo of snow in her garden this afternoon. Just days away from the first May bank holiday!

If you've got a picture you'd like to share with us, get in touch on Twitter where we are @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or using our Facebook page.  

Snowy garden
Ann Noble

Children's services 'going in right direction' says council

Cumbria's Children's Services will continue to be run by the county council despite years of being judged "inadequate" by government inspectors. 

Last year the department was rated inadequate for the third time in four years after Ofsted inspectors found serious failings in the way children in care were looked after. 

But the county council has now been told there is no need for further intervention. 

The council's Labour leader, Stewart Young, says: "We were disappointed with the most recent inspection but an awful lot of work has gone in over the past 12-18 months. We've more work to do but we're definitely going in the right direction."

county council logo

Voting ends today on scheme which could improve Barrow town centre

Barrow could become the latest area of Cumbria to try to enhance its town centre by becoming a Business Improvement District. 

Local business owners are voting on whether to adopt the scheme, which would require them to pay a levy. This would be used to improve the town's appearance, and promote it more effectively. 

Today is the last day of voting.

The steering group chairman, Phil Collier, says: "With the major investment planned elsewhere in the town, we want the right people with the right skills to come and live here and I believe we have to give them a decent offering as far as the town centre goes, as well as the people who already live here."

Barrow town centre

Royal visit to farm hit by winter floods

The Duke of Gloucester has visited a Cumbrian farm badly hit by Storm Desmond.

He was visiting in his capacity as president of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, a farming welfare charity that has paid out emergency grants of £88,000 to flood victims.  

Low Bridge End Farm near Keswick, which is run by Graham and Sarah Chaplin-Brice, is downstream of Thirlmere Reservoir. 

Graham Chaplin-Brice and the Duke look at gravel dumped on farmland

Storm Desmond caused an estimated £200,000 worth of damage, including lost livestock and damage to an access bridge and walling and fencing. 

In addition more than 6,000 tonnes of gravel was dumped across 20 acres of grassland. 

Children's services department won't be taken over despite failings

Cumbria's children's services will not be taken over by any other organisation despite years of failings, the government says.

Inspectors found enough improvements had been made at the troubled county council department. 

Last year children's services were rated inadequate for the third time in four years after Ofsted inspectors found serious failings in the way children in care were looked after. 

Cumbria County Council says it's a positive outcome.

Police release CCTV images after bar fight

Police have released CCTV images in connection with an incident of affray at a pub in Carlisle last month.

The incident happened at the Cumberland Inn on Botchergate on 18 March.

It involved people fighting inside the bar, using chairs and other items as weapons.

Anyone with information or who recognises the people pictured should contact Cumbria Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

CCTV images
Cumbria Police

Weather: Rain this afternoon, with wintry showers later

A cloudy afternoon with rain, and possibly sleet and snow on higher ground. Temperatures will reach 8C (46F) at best, with strong winds. 

There'll be more wintry showers tonight, with temperatures down to freezing.  

See the forecast for your area here.

Weather chart

Mixed views over future of Tata Steel site in Shap

Adam Powell

Journalist, BBC Radio Cumbria

A Cumbrian community is waiting anxiously to see whether 30 jobs at a Tata Steel works are going to be safe. 

Tata is selling its UK business and the section that includes the Workington plant has already been bought. But the future for the Shap Fell site is still unclear. It supplies the Port Talbot blast furnace with lime. 

Dave Anderson runs the newsagents and Post Office in Shap. He says sub-contractors and other local businesses could be affected if the plant closes.  

But Jean Jackson, who chairs the parish council, is more optimistic. 

She says: "There are other job opportunities in the wider area. We don't often see people without a job, even those who have been made redundant in the various quarries over the years."   

Tata Steel plant in Shap

Hundreds of sheep-worrying incidents reported to police in Cumbria

North West Evening Mail


Kendal fireworks display may not go ahead this year

It's unlikely that this year's firework display at Kendal Castle will go ahead because of difficulties complying with health and safety legislation. 

In recent years the event has been organised by the Kendal South Westmorland Rotary Club. But it says it doesn't have the resources or expertise to continue. 

The Town Council says it's happy to hear from any other organisations that would like to run the event instead.

Fireworks over Kendal Castle
Matt Smith

Carlisle park cordoned off after a woman was raped

A Carlisle park has been cordoned off after a woman was raped. 

Police say she was attacked in St James' Park between 03:50 and 04:30 this morning. 

Officers say the woman, who is 19, had met the man in the city centre. They then walked towards her home and when they entered the park he raped her. 

The man had dark hair, and was wearing jeans and a grey top. 

The police are carrying out inquiries in the Denton Holme area, and members of the public are being asked to stay away from the park.

Police officer outside St. James' Park

Aftermath of winter storms 'keeping visitors away' from Cumbria

The effects of Storm Desmond are still being felt in Cumbria, with visitor numbers down by between 15 and 20%. 

That's according to the chief executive of the Lake District National Park, Richard Leafe.

He says it's going to cost about £10m to repair the damage to footpaths and other rights of way. The government has offered £3m.

Feet on mountain

Barrow business people vote on proposed Improvement District

Barrow could become the latest place in Cumbria to try to enhance its town centre by becoming a Business Improvement District. 

Local business owners are voting on whether to adopt the scheme, which would require them to pay a levy.

The money would be used to improve the town's appearance, and promote it more effectively. 

Today is the last day of voting. 

Barrow Town Hall

Sport: Cumbrian RL teams could play in Canada next season

Paul Newton

Sports Editor, BBC Cumbria

Cumbrian rugby league teams could be facing Canadian opposition next season after the Rugby Football League confirmed that Toronto Wolfpack will join League One.

The Wolfpack will play home games in four-week or five-week blocks before heading over to Europe for a similar length of time for a series of away games.

Teams visiting Toronto's Lamport Stadium home, who will have their expenses covered by the Canadian side, will fly out on Thursday, play on Saturday and return home on Sunday.

Toronto Wolfpack shirt

Criticism of Lowther Castle's plans to charge child entry fee

Bosses at Lowther Castle near Penrith says they want to introduce an entry fee for children when its new adventure playground opens in July. 

It wants to charge £7 for children aged between three and 15. 

It says the charge is comparable with entry fees at similar properties, such as those owned by the National Trust. 

But following criticism from some local people, the castle says those who already have membership cards will be asked if they want to buy a special pass, which will include free entry for up to four children until March next year.

Lowther Castle

Police looking for man who has been recalled to prison

A prisoner from Carlisle is missing after breaching his licence conditions. 

Cumbria Police says Matthew Scott could be in the Carlisle area and will be returned to prison when they find him. 

The 28-year-old had been serving a sentence for robbery.

The police say that if anyone sees Scott they should not approach him and call 101.

Matthew Scott
Cumbria Police

Path opens next to A591 for walkers, cyclists and horse riders

From today, walkers, cyclists and horse riders will be able to bypass a stretch of the A591 along Thirlmere, that has been closed since Storm Desmond. 

The Lake District National Park has improved the right of way on the west side of the road by widening and re-surfacing the path. 

A section of the road at Dunmail Raise was washed away in December, cutting the Lake District in two. The road is due to reopen on 13 May.

Improved footpath near Grasmere

Weather: Cold with rain and sleet later

BBC Weather

A cold day but some sunshine this morning, before it clouds over and rain and sleet move in. Temperatures up to 8C  (46F).

See the forecast for your area here. 

Weather chart

Travel: Horses in the road in Kendal

BBC Travel

There are horses in the road on the A6 (Stramongate) in Kendal near the A684 Castle Street junction. Disruption is possible.

And there are temporary traffic lights on the A592 in Windermere at the Bellman Close junction due to water mains work.  

See all the latest details here.

Fears for Tata Steel jobs in Shap

It's feared that more than 100 jobs linked to the Tata Steel site in Shap are at risk. 

Tata is selling its UK operation and the Workington plant, which employs 228 people, has been bought by Greybull Capital. 

But there's concern about the future of the speciality steel division, which includes the Shap Fell limeworks. 

Some 30 people work there and it's estimated that another 90 jobs rely on the site.   

Woman, 19, raped in park in Carlisle this morning

A woman has been raped in a park in Carlisle, police say.

The 19-year-old was attacked after meeting a man in the city centre at about 04:00 this morning. 

They started to walk towards her home but he raped her as they entered St James' Park.

The attacker has dark hair and was wearing jeans and a grey top. 

A cordon is in place at the park and people are being asked to avoid the area.

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage throughout the day

Belinda Artingstoll

BBC Cumbria Live

Good morning. It's cold and sunny where I am. Frost on the windscreen but it's a beautiful morning.  

I'll keep you up to date with all the news, sport, weather and travel for Cumbria today. 

If you've got a story to tell or a picture you'd like to share with us, get in touch on Twitter where we are @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or using our Facebook page.