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  1. Updates on Friday 6 May 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage throughout the day

Steven Bell

BBC Cumbria

Updates for Cumbria have now finished for the day but we leave you with breaking news that 

The BBC website and BBC Radio Cumbria will have the result of the police and crime commissioner election.

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

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

Sunny end to the day and more sunshine tomorrow

Some sunny spells this evening, staying dry and clear overnight with temperatures falling to 8C (46F).

Warm with bright spells on Saturday, but with a chance of thunderstorms later.

weather graphic

Drigg whale is named

The whale skeleton being held at Carlisle's Tullie House Museum has been officially named 'Driggsby', after the place near where it was found.

whale bones
Tullie House

Its remains were discovered on the beach at Drigg on the West Cumbrian coast in 2014

Tullie House has been asking people to make a donation to suggest a name for it as part of a push to raise £50,000 so it carry out the necessary work on the bones and put the skeleton on permanent show.

whale bones
Tullie House

PCC result in next few hours

Steven Bell

BBC Cumbria

So, it's all eyes on the leisure centre in Kendal where votes are being counted to elect Cumbria's new police and crime commissioner. We should have a result in the next few hours.

The role, introduced in 2012, covers a four-year term with the person elected given responsibility for holding Cumbria Police to account, setting its budget and identifying policing priorities.

Elsewhere today, there were no surprises in council elections in Carlisle and South Lakeland, where Labour and the Liberal Democrats remain in control.

Half a century putting best foot forward

The Keswick to Barrow Walk, one of the highlights on the Cumbrian calendar, will take place for the 50th year in a row this weekend. 

Organisers of the 40-mile challenge hope the event's fundraising total since 1966 will pass the £4m mark this weekend. Participants get sponsored to raise money for a variety good causes.


How PCC votes are counted

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

A second round of counting is under way for the election of Cumbria's next police and crime commissioner after there was no outright winner in the first round. 

votes counted

Conservative candidate Peter McCall leads with 32,569 votes and Labour's Reg Watson is on 22,768. Both remain in the race.

As there was no candidate securing more than 50% of all votes cast, Liberal Democrat Loraine Birchall, Independent candidate Mary Robinson and UKIP's Michael Pye are eliminated, with any of their second preference votes for the leading two candidates now being added to their totals. 

A final result is expected later this afternoon.

New bus service up and running

A bus service linking Dent and Sedbergh with Kirkby Stephen will run for the first time today. 

The Kirkby Stephen Connect, run by Western Dales Community Bus company, reinstates a service which was withdrawn in 2014 following a cuts to subsidies by Cumbria County Council. It will run once a day on Fridays.

Broughton buzzard attacks: Joggers told to carry sticks

BBC Radio Cumbria's bird expert Mike Carrier has advised runners to carry sticks to protect themselves from a buzzard which has been attacking joggers in Broughton-in-Furness. 

He said it's unusual behaviour, but believes the bird is protecting its territory during the nesting season.

What do we know about buzzards?


BreakingPCC vote now two horse race between Labour and Conservatives

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

Cumbria's next police and crime commissioner will either be Labour's Reg Watson or Conservative candidate Peter McCall.

Independent hopeful Mary Robinson, Liberal Democrat candidate Loraine Birchall and UKIP's Michael Pye have been eliminated after the first round of counting. 

Mr Watson got 22,768 first preference votes, while Mr McCall secured 32,569.

The second round count is under way in Kendal.

Twickenham date for Whitehaven rugby team

Whitehaven-based St Benedicts will become the first Cumbrian club side to play in a final at Twickenham tomorrow. 

Getty Images

The rugby team is travelling to London for what is the biggest match in its history.   

St Benedicts beat Wolverhampton 12-0 in the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup and will face Tunbridge Wells at 15:00 tomorrow.

View more on twitter

You can follow full-match commentary on BBC Radio Cumbria Sport.

Travel: Keep up to date

BBC Travel

There are no major problems reported on the county's roads this afternoon and public transport is also running to time.

Keep up to date here.

Outgoing PCC Richard Rhodes 'sad' to leave job

Megan Paterson

Reporter, BBC Look North

Current Cumbria PCC Richard Rhodes (on the right) is at the count. He did not stand for re-election this year.

He says he'll be sad to leave the job, but he'll stay in position until 11 May then his successor will take over.

PCC count

Counters at Kendal recording votes for Cumbria PCC

Megan Paterson

Reporter, BBC Look North

There's a fairly subdued atmosphere in Kendal for the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner count. 

The floor is quiet apart from clusters of candidate groups watching on:

Kendal count

Weather: A warm afternoon with hazy sunshine

It will be another fine and dry afternoon, but cloudier than Thursday with a little hazy sunshine. 

Feeling warm in the sun, especially in northwestern parts such as Workington with highs of 19C (66F).

Get a five-day forecast for your part of Cumbria.

weather graphic

'Buzzard came at me like a missile'

David Beresford is among around a dozen runners who've reported being swooped on by a buzzard while running near the railway footpath in Broughton-in-Furness.

Jogger injuries

He was scratched and bloodied in the attack and says runners have taken to carrying sticks to protect themselves: 

I'm running through the field and, the next thing, 'bang' on the back of the head again, which I couldn't believe and I could see this thing doing another circle and it came back towards me like a missile. And I could see its eyes as it came towards me and I swear it was enjoying itself."

David Beresford
buzzard sign

Damaged flood barriers get fixed

The Environment Agency has started repairing the glass panel flood defences in Keswick. 

Seals on the barriers along High Hill, pictured, were damaged during December's floods when the River Greta spilled over into the road.

The work is part of a £10m programme to inspect and repair damaged flood defences across Cumbria.

flood defences

Independent councillor wins by a dozen votes

An independent candidate who took a seat off Labour on Carlisle City Council says he wants to increase his majority next time after winning by just 12 votes.

Jeff Bomford won Botcherby with 511 votes. His nearest challenger got 499. It means that part of the city is now represented entirely by independent councillors. 

He told BBC Radio Cumbria: "I'm really, really happy about the result. It was a close one, hopefully the work I'll be doing over the next four years will convince people who didn't vote for me that I was a good choice."


Cumbria PCC election: Turnout figures in full

Megan Paterson

Reporter, BBC Look North

Counting is under way of votes for Cumbria's next police and crime commissioner. 

The turnout across Cumbria up 10 percentage points to 25.6%, on the inaugural election of a PCC in 2012.

We should get a result at about 16:00.

results graph

Tribute to Clifton woman killed in A66 crash

The family of a woman who died two weeks after she was injured in a car crash in Cumbria say there lives will never be the same again.

Helen Threlfell
Cumbria Police

​Helen Threlfell, 37, from Clifton, near Penrith, died in hospital in Newcastle on Sunday. She had been there since the collision, which happened on the A66 at Stainton on April 15.

A family statement, issued by Cumbria Police, said: ​“We are beyond devastated at the loss of Helen. Our lives will never be the same again. Helen was a beautiful, kind and caring girl who took great pride in everything she did."

Doping official attacks 'worrying' trend after former Kendal rugby player banned

The boss of UK Anti-Doping has described the number of young rugby players taking steroids as "worrying" after a former Kendal RUFC player was banned from all sport for 12 years.

Nicole Sapstead spoke out as Andrew Quarry and two other lower-league players were given bans for breaking doping rules.

An RFU disciplinary panel banned him after he received a suspended jail sentence for dealing anabolic steroids in 2013.

Sapstead said: "Removing a dealer of anabolic steroids from the game - someone who made a conscious choice to cheat the system and the law - is a positive result for the sport."


Police and Crime Commissioner result expected this afternoon

As well as council elections, new police and crime commissioners are being elected.

In Cumbria, counting is due to start about now with a result expected at 16:00.

The county will have a new PCC because Richard Rhodes didn't stand for re-election.

Bad buzzard bloodying runners in Broughton

Jennie Dennett

BBC Cumbria

Joggers in a South Cumbrian village say they're being terrorised by a territorial buzzard.

Several runners have been left scratched and bloodied after the bird swooped on them in Broughton-in-Furness along the railway footpath. 

BBC Radio Cumbria's bird expert Mike Carrier said it's unusual behaviour but suggested the buzzard was protecting its territory during the nesting season.


Cumbria peer says 'Labour has problems'

The Labour peer Lord Roger Liddle, from Wigton, believes his party has problems under leader Jeremy Corbyn.

There were predictions of a bad night for Labour after the row over alleged anti-semitism, but the party didn't do as badly as some expected.

But speaking to BBC Radio Cumbria this morning, Lord Liddle said: "We have real problems in Labour, but it could have been worse. We did a bit better than we did in the general election last year; one should look on the bright side."

'As you were' after council elections

Steven Bell

BBC Cumbria

There have been no election shocks in Cumbria overnight, which appears to be in line with what's happened nationally.

Results from England show very few councils have changed hands; Labour hasn't suffered the significant losses it was predicted to and the Conservatives have lost only one council.

The Liberal Democrats, led by the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale Tim Farron, pictured, seems to have halted its decline after its disastrous performance at the general election exactly a year ago.

Tim Farron

Tory leader disappointed at Carlisle result

The Conservatives failed to take any seats from Labour in Carlisle, who retain control of the council. 

Tory leader John Mallinson, pictured, said he was "slightly disappointed" it was "business as usual", adding: "I think we ran a good campaign and we'll try and run an even better one next year."

Carlisle's Conservative MP John Stevenson said he believed the party had taken votes off Labour, and the party never expected to take control of the city council.

If you compare the results to 2012, there were substantial swings from Labour to the Conservatives locally."

John StevensonConservative MP for Carlisle
John Mallinson

A66 crash victim identified by police

A man who died in a crash on the A66 at Braithwaite near Keswick last Friday has been named. 

David Bennell, 82, from Braithwaite, died in hospital on Sunday. 

His car hit a vehicle being driven by a 24-year-old man, who was seriously injured.


Election 2016: 'Increase in Lib Dem vote unexpected'

John Bowness

BBC Radio Cumbria reporter

The outgoing Liberal Democrat leader of South Lakeland District Council says while he expected the party to win the seats it fought, he was surprised by how strong its performance was.

Peter Thornton told me he didn't expect to win by such "huge margins", as it held onto control of the council it's run since 2006.

The UK Independence Party put up eight candidates but didn't win any seats. David Walker, who chairs the Westmorland and Lonsdale branch of UKIP, told me he was pleased it achieved third place in some cases.

Only one seat changed hands, in Ulverston Central, where the Conservatives won it from Labour. The turnout in South Lakeland was 48%. 

'Fantastic night' for Lib Dems in South Lakes

The Liberal Democrats have retained South Lakeland District Council, increasing its majority in some seats, including Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale.

election count

Like Carlisle, a third of wards were up for grabs and just one seat changed hands as the Conservatives won Ulverston Central from Labour. 

Liberal Democrat council leader Peter Thornton, who's retiring this month, says his party's success has gone beyond its expectations:

It's been a fantastic night for us, we've seen huge increases in our majorities, we've held every seat that we've stood for and this was never going to be an easy election for us; this is on Tory turf really."

Peter ThorntonSouth Lakeland District Council leader

New independent councillor in Carlisle

Bob Cooper

Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

The only seat to change hands in Carlisle was in Botcherby, an independent gain from Labour with Jeff Bomford elected.

It means the make-up of Carlisle City Council is now Labour 27; Conservative 20; Independent 4; Liberal Democrats 1. The UKIP vote was up in some wards. 

The turnout was 35% - 24,046 people voted out of the 67,642 who were eligible to.

Anti-semitism row harmed campaign, Carlisle council leader says

Bob Cooper

Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

Labour remains in control of Carlisle City Council this morning, despite losing a councillor.

Council leader Colin Glover, pictured, told BBC Radio Cumbria the recent row over alleged anti-semitism in the party didn't help the local campaign:

It doesn't help when people say stupid things in public or indeed in private. It doesn't help local campaigns and people want to make their view known - how disappointed they are and how angry they are with things like that."

Colin GloverLabour leader Carlisle City Council
Colin Glover

Weather: Warm start to the weekend

This time last week, parts of Cumbria were blanketed in snow but the picture couldn't be more different today.

On what could be one of the warmest days we've had for a long time, today will be fine and dry, but cloudier than yesterday, however it will feel pleasant in the sunshine. 

Maximum temperature 18C (64F). 

weather graphic

No change for Carlisle and South Lakeland councils

It's a case of 'as you were' in terms of the council elections in Cumbria after yesterday's votes were counted.

Labour is down one seat but still controls Carlisle City Council and the Liberal Democrats have held onto South Lakeland District Council.

election hall

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage

Steven Bell

BBC Cumbria

Good morning and welcome to our updates on Friday 6 May.

We'll be keeping you up to date with all the day's news, sport, weather and travel for Cumbria, plus all the reaction from the council and police and crime commissioner elections.

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.