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  1. Updates on Monday 11 July 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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As it happened: BBC Cumbria Live

Live updates are now finished for the day. We'll be back at 08:00 tomorrow morning to keep you up to date with the news, travel and weather.

You can get involved with your news and pictures: Email us, tweet us @BBC_Cumbria or contact us via Facebook.     

Ullswater steamer prepares to rejoin fleet

The Ullswater steamer Lady Wakefield will return to tourist-carrying duties at the end of this week, more than seven months after she was damaged in the storms of last winter.

Lady Wakefield in a field
Ullswater Steamers

The motor vessel had to be rescued and run aground after her mooring ropes started giving way during Storm Desmond. Three had snapped and only one stopped the boat, built in 1949, from being swept out of the lake and down the River Eamont at Pooley Bridge.

Lady Wakefield spent five months parked on the shore before being repaired. She'll carry her first passengers around Ullswater on Friday.

New stats show one in five Cumbrians must wait to see GP

Figures just released by NHS England suggest 23% of people in Cumbria - about 126,000 - can't get an appointment with a GP within the next week.

The figure was 3% up on the same survey done last year.

The data, published in GP Patient Survey, says 3,900 patients went instead to a hospital emergency department.

Jamie Reed MP

Jamie Reed, the Copeland MP, said it was clear ever-increasing numbers of people were unable to access a GP appointment.

Pensioner admits child sex offences

A 73-year-old man has admitted more than a dozen offences involving sexual activity with a child.

William Simpson Benson pleaded guilty to 13 offences over a seven month period - 11 counts of sexual activity with a child and two offences of causing a child to engage in sexual activity - when he appeared at Carlisle Crown Court.

Benson, from Kirklinton, near Carlisle, has been remanded on conditional bail for sentence in September.

Travel: M6 slowed northbound by lorry breakdown

BBC Travel

One lane's closed on the M6 northbound between J39, B6261 (Shap) and J40, A66 (Penrith), Cumbria, because of a broken down lorry. Speed limit set to 50 mph.  

You can get the latest travel news here.

Kendal defences 'need major facelift' after Desmond floods

The River Kent should be enlarged and its flood defences improved throughout Kendal, a public meeting will be told this evening.

River Kent in spate

The report says the floods caused by Storm Desmond were the worst ever recorded in the town, with the River Kent overtopping defences completed in 1979 in the centre of town, and the Stock Beck overwhelming a storage area to the east.

It says options to reduce the risk in future should include increasing the channel capacity and constructing flood defences along the Rivers Mint and Kent from Mint Bridge at one end of town to the wastewater treatment works at the other.

Officials are still looking for more information to complete the draft report, and they'll be at Kendal Town Hall from 18:00 to 21:00 this evening. The meeting's one of a series being held throughout Cumbria after the floods of last winter.

Phone thieves fought off by 17 year old

Two men thought to be in their twenties tried to snatch a phone from a 17 year old in Whitehaven.

Police say the youth fought the two older men off after they tried to take his phone on a cycle path near St Gregory's Primary School on Saturday afternoon.

The two were wearing muddy grey tracksuits and one's thought to have a ginger beard and distinctive yellow trainers.  The ran off towards Whinlatter Road. Police are appealing for witnesses.

'Ignite' arts projects fires visitors' enthusiasm

An arts project in Cumbria this spring got good reviews from visitors who came to see it, a survey just published suggests.

Arts installation on lake
Lakes Culture

Nocturnal Rainbows, an installation on Grasmere, and two other commissions, brought business worth at least £90,000 to the county, according to the organisation, Lakes Culture.

More than half the people who came to see the works travelled from outside the county, and one third stayed overnight.

Fast or slow: The Windermere debate still stormy after all these years

Martin Lewes


There have been fresh calls for the speed limit on Windermere to be relaxed.

The debate over whether the lake should be covered by a 10 knots speed limit started in 1992 - and it's still going.

The lake had a long history of fast water sports and by the early nineties, thousands of water skiers and power boaters enjoyed the freedom - rare on English inshore waters - to just put the boat in the water and enjoy a day out.

But the Lake District National Park Authority was increasingly concerned about conflicts with the many other activities on the lake.


The speed limit came into force in 2005 after a lengthy public inquiry in 1994 concluded that England's longest lake didn't have room for fast water sports and all the other activities people might want to do on the water, like sailing, fishing, canoeing or swimming.

At a recent meeting of the Windermere Lake Users Forum, campaigners presented a plan for managing the lake with exemptions from the limit. 

This morning on BBC Radio Cumbria, both sides made their case again.

Weather: Showers dying out

The showers should ease this afternoon and there may be sunny spells. Temperatures could reach 18C (64F).

Weather graphic

The latest forecast for where you are can be found here.

Watch: New bridge dropped (very carefully) into place

A new footbridge linking two Carlisle suburbs over the Cumbria Coast railway line was installed over the weekend.

Bridge being lowered into place
Cumbria County Council

The huge structure had to be delicately driven down narrow estate roads and then lifted into position by vrane.

Cumbria County Council filmed the whole operation and you can see it here.

Trade figures disappoint business group

Cumbria's Chamber of Commerce, which represents the business community, says it's concerned about the UK trade figures for May

They show the trade deficit in goods and services - roughly the difference between imports and exports was £2.3bn - that's a widening of £0.3bn from April. 

Exports decreased by £2bn and imports decreased by £1.7bn. 

Rob Johnston, from Cumbria Chambers of Commerce, says it is now crucial that the government achieves the "best possible trade arrangements with the EU and further afield".

Care home doubts over flood risk 'distress residents'

Doubts over the future of a care home in Appleby, which was hit by the winter floods, are said to be distressing the residents.

Getty Images

The residents at the home, which can house up to 26 people, have been living elsewhere since the floods last December.

Cumbria County Council is consulting on closing the home because officials say there's a risk of it flooding again, which might put the people who live there in danger.

Jennifer Worsley's brother Harold has lived at Edenside for 20 years. He's 77, has learning difficulties and finds it difficult to communicate, and he's been staying in Penrith.

She says: "Friends in Appleby have said he's depressed and looks poorly. He's obviously very anxious to get back to Edenside"

Pavement cyclists face week of warnings, then fines

Cyclists who ride on pavements in Cumbria are being targeted by a police campaign this week.

Officers say some riders don't realise that it is an offence carrying a £50 fine or how dangerous it can be.

Paul Ogden, from Barrow, is partially sighted and he says riders make him less confident when he's walking.

"They come hurtling towards you and you lose your confidence. They might know they're not going to hit you but you don't know that," he told BBC Radio Cumbria.

But cyclists reacted angrily to the campaign on social networks after it was featured this morning.

View more on twitter

New call for high-speed water sports to be given space on lake

More than 10 years since a ten knots speed limit was introduced on Windermere, there are again calls for it to be relaxed. 

The limit stops people taking part in activities such as normal waterskiing - and the Windermere Lake User Forum says some businesses are losing trade, because people are no longer visiting the area.

Great North Swim

The speed limit was brought in after years of controversy in 2005 to make the lake safer for sports such as sailing and swimming with the idea that it would be more tranquil.

But the lake user forum, which represents a wide range of activities, says the limit has driven away a high-spending group of users. At a recent meeting there was a presentation on allowing exemptions to the limit.

Tories and Lib Dems to contest Alston council seat

Two candidates have been nominated for the by-election to Eden council's Alston Moor seat.

Stephen John Harrison will represent the Conservatives, while Thomas Sheriff will stand for the Liberal Democrats.

The seat fell vacant when Tory councillor David Hymers resigned. The polls open on 4 August.

M6 south closed twice over the weekend by serious crashes

The M6 heading south out of Cumbria was closed twice over the weekend by serious crashes just the far side of the county boundary.

On Saturday evening, a black Toyota Corolla crashed off the motorway and caught fire. The driver was critically injured and two passengers were also hurt.  

Ambulance and helicopter air ambulance on M6
Cumbria police

On Sunday afternoon a woman was flown to hospital in Preston with what were described as life threatening head, back and neck injuries after another accident in the same area (pictured). The M6 was closed for several hours with queues stretching back into Cumbria.

Workington boss mulls title ambitions while Carlisle show off new defender

Workington Reds joint-manager Dave Hewson says the club wants to win the Evo-Stik Premier title this season. The Reds have lost out in the play-offs for the last two season. 

Speaking after Saturday's 3-1 defeat to Carlisle United in a pre-season friendly, Hewson said the plan was to try for promotion again this season.

View more on twitter

Carlisle United used the match to show off their new defender Shaun Brisley, and French trialist Junior Joachim.

View more on twitter

Polish people targeted by 'increasing levels of abuse'

Polish people living in Cumbria say they've experienced racist abuse since the EU Referendum. 

Ten race-related hate crimes have recently been reported in the county, which has mirrored a national increase in reported incidents.

Across the country, more than 3,000 incidents have been reported since the referendum. The National Police Chiefs Council says that is an increase of 42% on the same time last year. 

Det Ch Insp Ray Ledingham says Cumbria is an increasingly diverse society, so abuse such as telling people from abroad to go home can't be tolerated. He says the police believe many incidents aren't reported.

He said: "We are urging people whether you're the victim or a witness, to get in touch so we can know the scale of the problem."

Weather: Brighter later after showers

BBC Weather

It's forecast to be a rather cloudy start to the day, with a few patches of fog along the west coast. 

Heavy showers are likely for a time first thing, but these will tend to ease by the afternoon with plenty of bright and sunny spells developing. There will be a moderate westerly breeze, feeling fresher with temperatures rising to about 18C (64F).

Weather graphic

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

Travel: Repairs slow traffic south on M6

BBC Travel

If you're commuting southbound on the M6 into Lancashire, there's a lane closed for emergency repairs after yesterday's accident at junction 35 (Carnforth). Traffic is said to be coping well.

The latest travel news is here.

Good morning and welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


It's a murky Monday across Cumbria, but all the better for your company - and we'll be keeping you up to date with the news, weather and travel reports for the county until about 16:00.

You can get involved with your news and pictures: Email us, tweet us @BBC_Cumbria or contact us via Facebook.