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  1. Friday 5 May 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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As it happened: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We've now finished posting news, a regular weather forecast, travel reports for today and this week, and a few other items as well.

We started the day with an overturned lorry causing big problems on the M6 near Carlisle, and carried on with:

We'll be back to do it again from 08:00 on Monday. As always, if you want to pass on news you think we should know, or share a photo with the county, you can email them to ussend them using Twitter where we're @bbc_cumbria or head to our Facebook page.   

Have a very good weekend. 

Your pictures: Those rare clouds rolling over the county

This wave cloud caught a lot of eyes as it developed over Cumbria yesterday afternoon and many people took photographs.

Wave cloud above Penrith
David Monteith

One of the features of the cloud was how high it was, and by the time David Monteith got to Melmerby, this was clear.

Wave cloud
David Monteith

Tom Lynch is a man who knows his clouds, because he spends several weeks every summer in pursuit of the awesome tornadic thunderstorms of the American midwest as a driver with a storm-chasing company.

But the clouds caught his attention as unusual and he took this photo for his Facebook page from Kendal.

More clouds
Tom Lynch

There are more pictures on our Facebook page.

Cumbria's weather: Turning cloudier eventually

BBC Weather

It will turn cloudier overnight tonight and there could be some rain in the early hours.Temperatures could drop to 5C (41C).  

Weather graphic

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

Ullswater information centre wrecked in floods reopens

The Glenridding information centre is finally reopening after repairs costing £210,000 to damage caused in the Storm Desmond floods.

Tourist information centre

The shop and information centre were left full of boulders after the floods, now 18 months ago.

The renovation has included creating a space that can be hired out, for example for local adventure businesses to start and end expeditions with clients, or for local businesses to hold meetings.

Firefighters cut man from sports car in ditch

A 52-year-old man was cut from the wreckage of his Jaguar S-Type near Broughton-in-Furness early this morning.

The car had ended up in a ditch near Foxfield after 03:00, leaving him trapped inside after 03:00.

The driver was taken to the Furness General Hospital in Barrow, but it's understood he wasn't seriously hurt.

Rescue volunteers rig ropes to lift casualty from ghyll

Volunteers from the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team rigged a complex set of ropes to lift a 70-year-old man from a 30ft deep ravine.

The walker had suffered head and shoulder injuries in the fall into Cat Ghyll yesterday afternoon.

Rope rescue
Keswick MRT

A team spokesman said: "As you can see, this was no easy task."

The man was taken by ambulance for treatment at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

Work starts on £1m facelift at lakeside beauty spot

National Trust workers say they've started  a £1m project to improve catering and boating facilities at a popular park by Windermere, 

They are in the process moving them up the bank to protect them from flooding which has swamped the centre several times in recent years.

Flooded Fellfoot
National Trust

It will create more facilities at Fellfoot for canoeing, sailing, swimming and sailing and also indoor space for families on wet days.

The stately home that once stood there is long gone, but some of the original aboretum, gardens and pathways will be restored.

Taxis ordered off the road in police crackdown

Police say 13 taxis were banned from the road for problems such as worn tyres or faulty lights in an operation in Barrow last weekend.

Police joined by council officials and staff from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency stopped 79 taxis and checked them for licensing and safety issues.

The speed camera van also clocked dozens of drivers exceeding the limit on Michaelson Road and Abbey Road, the highest speed being 56mph.

Why that Helm Cloud looked different

The long thin sausage of cloud seen over Cumbria yesterday has been attributed to the Helm Wind, which roars at 60mph or more over Cross Fell in the Pennines and down into the Eden Valley.

But according to Chris Page from the Met Office, it was not the normal Helm Bar that forms over the Eden Valley, but much higher in the atmosphere.

He says it was a volutus or a lee wave cloud, and sent us this diagram.

Helm cloud diagram
Thompson Higher Education

The phenomenon got the social media buzzing as well. Click on this to see the thread.

View more on twitter

Police chief: Child sex officer brought shame on force

One of Cumbria's most senior police officers has said a former PC jailed today for a string of child sex offences brought shame on himself and the force.

Nicholas Pool was sent to prison today at Carlisle Crown Court for three-and-a-half years, after an operation by his colleagues caught him in a sexual conversation online with someone he thought was a 12-year-old girl.

Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Skeer (pictured) said: “This case highlights that predators can be from any walk of life, and that no matter who you are or where you work, we will seek to ensure that you are brought to justice."

Michelle Skeer
Cumbria Police

DCC Skeer said it demonstrated how important it was for parents to be aware of who their children were speaking to online.

City council left hung after by-election

Carlisle City Council may also see a change in administration after two by-elections yesterday.

The Labour party lost its slim majority after the Conservative candidate, Christina Finlayson, took Yewdale ward. You can see the results here.

Labour remains the strongest group, with 26 members, but their votes can now be matched by the 21 Conservatives, combining with four independents and one Liberal Democrat.

Meetings will take place over the next few weeks to determine what happens next.

Twiggy, the deer saved when her mother was killed, one year on

A roe deer that was rescued after its mother was fatally injured by a car is doing well a year on from its lucky survival. 

The youngster, named Twiggy, was delivered by Cesarean section by vet Peter Frost Pennington from Muncaster Castle as her mother died.

Defying the odds, Twiggy survived after she was hand-reared by Peter and his wife. You'd like to see a picture? A pleasure.

Twiggy in front of castle
Muncaster Castle

Your pictures: That rare wave cloud hovers over Skiddaw

We're continuing to see pictures of that wave cloud that formed over parts of Cumbria yesterday.

Owen le Voi captures this image of it echoing the curves of Skiddaw.

Wave cloud
Owen le Voi

If you want to share a photo with the county, you can email them to ussend them using Twitter where we're @bbc_cumbria or head to our Facebook page.     

Former Cumbria PC jailed for child sex offences

A former Cumbria Police officer who committed a string of child sex offences has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Nicholas Pool had previously admitted 11 charges - including possessing indecent images and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity - and a further three charges at an earlier hearing.

The 29-year-old, of Newton Rigg, near Penrith, was snared in a police sting late last year as he engaged in sexualised online chat with an undercover officer posing as a 12-year-old girl. 

Carlisle Crown Court was told the offences occurred when he was off-duty as a PC based in south Cumbria between 2013 and 2016.

Nicholas Poole
Cumbria Police

Cumbria's weather: Fine and dry, with a keen wind

BBC Weather

This afternoon will be fine and dry with near unbroken sunshine. 

There will be a keen northeasterly breeze, but in any sheltered sunshine it will feel warm, with a maximum temperature of 16C (61F)

Weather graphic

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

Carlisle captain says United must win final game

BBC Radio Cumbria Sport

Carlisle captain Danny Grainger says the United players know they have to win at Exeter tomorrow to be sure of a place in the League Two playoffs.

Danny Grainger

His side moved back into the top seven thanks to last weekend's 2-1 win at home to Newport - but there are six teams that could pass United if they slip up on the final day of the season.

Rare Helm Bar roll cloud seen across the county

Cumbria's weather enthusiasts were buzzing with excitement yesterday over a rare form of the "Helm Bar", a line of cloud associated with the Helm wind - a violent gusty easterly wind the comes over the top of the Pennines and down the Eden Valley.

First, a view from one of our weather forecasters, Abbie Dewhurst:

A rare form of the cloud known as the Helm Bar was seen over Cumbria last night

Normally, the Helm Bar forms over the Eden valley; it's the result of the air that's roared down the slopes of the Pennines as the Helm Wind, bouncing up rather like the wave that forms at the bottom of a waterfall. 

Yesterday's phenomenon was unusual because the Helm Bar is normally just a single line of cloud over the Eden Valley, and it's not normally a neat roll. This one could be seen across wide areas of Cumbria, and from space.

Helm Bar seen from satellite
Met Office

Travel: M6 closed as overturned HGV is recovered

BBC News Travel

The M6 is now closed northbound between junctions 43 and 44 while the lorry that overturned earlier, is recovered. There's a diversion in place.

Lib Dems stand by to be the county council power-brokers

The smallest political party on Cumbria county council, the Liberal Democrat group, has decided who runs the authority repeatedly over more than 20 years.

Yesterday's voting ended with the party gaining one extra councillor, to have 16 seats; Labour have 26 and the Conservatives 37, with five independents, so no single party can command a majority.

That's the normal state of affairs in Cumbria: Elections in 2001 and 2005 were followed by Conservative and Liberal Democrat administrations; in 2009 and 2013, when the voters sent larger numbers of Labour councillors into the chamber, the Liberal Democrats supported a coalition with Labour.

Normally the new administration would be formed at a county council meeting on 17 May, but the leading Liberal Democrat councillor Ian Stewart cast doubt on this.

He said: "It might be that the meeting needs to be deferred so further conversations can take place to find a leader and to find a stable - I was going to say a strong and stable - administration for Cumbria."

Election count

Keswick museum prepares to reopen with an underground experience

Improvements  to Keswick's Cumberland Pencil Museum will make it "bigger" and "better than ever" when it reopens, according to the staff.

Pencil museum behind builders' fencing

The 30-year-old museum was under several feet of water during the floods of 2015. Repairs are still under way, but it's hoped it will be able to reopen in time for the Bank Holiday at the end of May.

Visitors will be able to experience what it was like to enter the graphite mines where the lead was found for the pencils.

"It's going to be an interactive experience where visitors can walk in, hear sounds, and feel cold air."

Lara HeskettPencil Museum archivist

Travel: M6 still down to hard shoulder near Carlisle

BBC News Travel

Three lanes of the M6 are still closed near Carlisle after a lorry overturned earlier.  Highways England staff around preparing to recover the vehicle that went over, and it's hoped to start reopening the main carriageway at about 11:00

'A real disappointment' says Labour leader, as his party faces loss of power

Martin Lewes


The Labour and Liberal Democrat coalition which has run the Cumbria County Council since 2013 can no longer command a majority of the councillors, so it may lose power.

The Labour group lost ten seats, leaving it with just 26, and no longer the largest single group.

Stewart Young

Stewart Young, leader of the Labour group on the council and until now leader of the council itself, said: "It is a real disappointment. Labour has lost a lot of good people."  

Voter turnout highest in South Lakeland

Cumbria County Council election turnout details.

View more on twitter

Conservative councillors celebrate 'very positive' county results

Conservative councillors say their 12 gains on Cumbria County Council from yesterday's elections are "very positive".

The new political balance on the county council means the party now has the largest group of members in the council chamber, but it still falls short of an overall majority.

John Mallinson

Councillor John Mallinson said a Tory administration would "do many things differently, there's many rural issues we'd give a greater impetus to."

You can find who won in your area here.

Weather on the fell tops: Windy with good visibility

Temperatures at 3,000ft: 0C in the morning, rising to 6 Celsius in the afternoon. 

Winds: Strong northeasterly, gusts to gale force at 55mph. 

Cloud: Patches above 2,300ft at first over southeastern fells, otherwise none through the day. Later in the evening some patches reforming over southeastern felltops. 

Visibility: Very good with distant peaks easily seen. 

Freezing level: 3,000ft at first, rising above the summits.

Carlisle MP: Cumbria result shows confidence in Conservatives

Carlisle's Tory MP, John Stevenson, says the county council election success for his party shows the voters have confidence at local and national level in the Conservatives.

The Conservatives won 12 extra seats in yesterday's polling, becoming the largest party in the council chamber but not large enough to command an overall majority.

John Stevenson

Mr Stevenson said it was extraordinary that after seven years in government, his party had won seats locally

I think that's an indication that the voters have confidence in the government nationally, they want to see Conservatives elected locally, and I think it also reflects that they do not have confidence in Labour."

John StevensonConservative MP for Carlisle

Cumbria's weather: Sunny after a chilly start

BBC Weather

It will be a chilly start, with perhaps some patchy mist or hill fog but this will clear to leave a dry day with plenty of sunshine. 

A cool northeasterly breeze will continue to take a few degrees off the temperatures, but it will feel pleasant in sheltered spots with temperatures of 14C (57F).  

Weather graphic

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

Conservative make county council gains, as Westminster hopeful loses council seat

Prospective parliamentary candidate Gillian Troughton has lost her seat on Cumbria County Council as the Tories gained at the expense of Labour.

The Conservative Party is now the largest group on the county council, gaining 12 seats, but six short of an overall majority, so no party has overall control. See the results here.

Ms Troughton, who contested the Howgate ward for Labour, is again due to stand to be Copeland's MP next month after losing a by-election in February.  

Gillian Troughton

Travel: Overturned wagon blocks northbound M6 near Carlisle

BBC News Travel

There are serious problems on the M6 northbound around Carlisle because of a fuel spill and an overturned HGV between junctions 43 and 44.

The entry sliproad to the north is closed at junction 43, so traffic heading for Scotland should join at junction 44.

Welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


Good morning: A slightly early start this morning to bring you the results of the county council elections; through the day we'll be posting reaction, and of course the rest of the news, a regular weather forecast, travel reports and other nuggets that may catch our eye.

As always, if you want to pass on news you think we should know, or share a photo with the county, you can email them to ussend them using Twitter where we're @bbc_cumbria or head to our Facebook page.