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  1. Updates on Friday 27 May 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage throughout the day

Steven Bell

BBC Cumbria

Updates for Cumbria have now finished for the day. We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 on Tuesday. Have a good bank holiday weekend.

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.

Blood plasma used for first time by air ambulance crew

The blood plasma which the Great North Air Ambulance started carrying on board its helicopters this week has been used for the first time after it was called to this morning's crash on the A591 near Kendal.

The substance helps blood to clot, stopping bleeding.

It was used to treat the motorcyclist who was involved in a collision with a car near the Plumgarths roundabout. 

The 38-year-old from Windermere was flown to hospital in Preston and is in a "critical" condition, the charity says.

crash scene
Great North Air Ambulance

Trainee teachers to study autism after mum's campaign

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

A Furness mother who's trying to improve awareness of autism in schools has persuaded the Government to support her aims after it agreed that all trainee teachers will have to study a module on autism as part of their training.

With two sons on the autistic spectrum, Deborah Brownson from Ireleth says some autistic children are "damaged" by the lack of compulsory training for all teachers. 

In response she wrote a book - He's Not Naughty - which has gone to every school in the Barrow Borough, but she wants teachers across the country to be properly trained. 

A meeting with ministers earlier this month has resulted in autism awareness going into all teacher training but she's lobbying Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to finish the job by offering similar training to all working teachers.

Nuclear developments are 'lifetime opportunity' for county

The Mayor of Copeland Mike Starkie has told BBC Radio Cumbria investment in the nuclear industry is the "opportunity of a lifetime".

Business owners are meeting at Muncaster Castle today to discuss how they can benefit from the lucrative contracts that are expected as an estimated £10bn flows into the area. 


Cumbria's being promised long-term employment and a sustainable economy with the building of a nuclear power station at Moorside near Sellafield.

But not everyone supports the plans. Campaigners recently demonstrated at the proposals.

MP: 81% of court cases don't go ahead on day they're scheduled

Just one in five court cases in Cumbria goes ahead on the day it's planned to be heard, according to the MP who chairs the Public Accounts Committee. 

Meg Hillier

It's telling the government that the criminal justice system is "close to breaking point" and that cutbacks are threatening the ability of the courts to deliver justice. 

The Labour MP Meg Hillier, pictured, spoke to Mike Zeller at Breakfast on BBC Radio Cumbria:

There's a big backlog of cases and that's partly because there are not enough sitting days, so judges are not available to sit in court, not enough lawyers for the Crown Prosecution Service and, quite staggeringly, a very big regional variation so it's a bit of a postcode lottery when you go to court as a witness or a victim about how well you'll be treated so, for example in Cumbria, only 19% of cases go ahead, one in five, as planned on the day they're scheduled."

Meg Hillier MP

Children's book inspired by floods

A children's book has been written to help youngsters affected by December's floods. 

It's called Katie and the Floods and was the idea of Katie's mother Sarah Cooper, a nursery manager at Crosby on Eden near Carlisle. 

It's hoped the book, being launched in Carlisle tonight, will help children to discuss the floods, and how they have been affected, with their parents.

Criminal justice system near breaking point, MPs warn

MPs have warned the criminal justice system in England and Wales is failing victims and witnesses and is close to "breaking point".

The Public Accounts Committee said the system was "bedevilled by long-standing poor performance" and warned cutbacks are affecting the ability of courts to deliver justice.

Kendal magistrates' court is expected to shut this summer as part of a national round of closures.

Solicitors in the town say it'll seriously compromise access to justice.


Derby day in West Cumbria

BBC Sport

Whitehaven assistant coach Gary Broadbent says tomorrow's derby with Workington at rugby league's Summer Bash is "as big as it gets". 

Town are bottom of the Championship. Haven are second bottom.

Fuel poverty boost after councils win government money

People whose homes don't have full central heating could have it installed free as part of efforts to tackle fuel poverty in Cumbria.

Four councils - South Lakeland, Eden, Allerdale and Carlisle - will share more than £1m after successfully bidding for money from the government's Central Heating Fund. 

It'll pay for gas or oil heating systems for people who meet certain criteria, including those whose household income is less than £15,600 a year and people on certain benefits.

heating dial

Police probe 'improper spending' claim over Carlisle election

Bob Cooper

Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

Cumbria Police says it's looking into a claim of improper spending by the Conservative Party in the run-up to last year's General Election.

It all relates to a so-called "battle bus" that toured marginal constituencies, including Carlisle. 

Battle bus

Expenses associated with it were recorded as part of the Conservatives' national campaign, despite evidence the bus was used to help canvass for the local candidate. 

An investigation by Channel 4 News claims Conservative candidates would have breached their spending limit had they declared it as part of their local campaign. 

Cumbria Police has become the 17th force to take steps to investigate. Carlisle's MP John Stevenson, pictured, says his agent submitted expenses as required by law and the bus was part of the national campaign.

John Stevenson

Tourism businesses hopeful of busy bank holiday

Cumbria's £2bn tourism industry is hoping for a busy weekend on the first bank holiday since the main road through the Lake District reopened.


The closure of part of the A591 near Grasmere, which was badly damaged during December's floods, was thought to have cost businesses £1m for every day it was out of action. 

But traders say there's been a major pick-up in tourist numbers since it reopened just over a fortnight ago. 

With the crucial link between visitor hotspots like Grasmere and Keswick now restored, it's hoped more people will have taken on board the message that 'Cumbria is open'.

Bank holiday weekend and the forecast good so far for all events throughout Cumbria. #Cumbriaisopen #notjustlakes

Bank holiday weekend and the forecast good so far for all events throughout Cumbria. #Cumbriaisopen #notjustlakes

View more on twitter

Travel: A591 reopens after crash

BBC Travel

The A591 has reopened near Kendal after a crash which left two people seriously injured.

A car and motorbike collided at the junction of Windermere Road and Hollins Lane just before 08:00.

BreakingCumbria Police asks for extension to probe Tory election expenses

Daniel Sandford

Home Affairs Correspondent

Cumbria Police has become the 17th police force to either seek or obtain an extension on the 12-month time limit from the courts, to allow Conservative Party election expenses to be investigated.

The forces are looking into allegations that battlebuses carrying activists to target seats, and the hotels where the activists stayed, were not declared as costs in the local candidates' election returns. 

The Conservative Party says these were national expenses not local expenses, but also failed to declare the hotel bills nationally. 

It says this was an administrative error. At least one force, Wiltshire Police, is also investigating Liberal Democrat expenses. 

Simply Red to perform at racecourse

Simply Red, with lead singer Mick Hucknall, are the headline act at Cartmel's first race meeting of the year tomorrow.

It's also the course's first meeting of 2016 and its first Saturday meeting in more than a year.

Mick Hucknall
Getty Images

New Carlisle United signing has 'always admired' club

Steven Bell

BBC Cumbria

Former York captain Russell Penn has been speaking about signing for Carlisle United.

The midfielder, who's joined Brunton Park on a one-year contract, said: "Carlisle United are a club that I've always admired with a big stadium and a big supporter base."

Russell Penn
Carlisle United

Latest update on state of county's bridges

A dozen bridges are still closed in Cumbria after damage caused during December's floods.

Cumbria County Council has published its latest update this lunchtime.

Weather: A sunny afternoon

There'll be more sunshine this afternoon with highs of 18C (64F) in a light wind. 

Tonight should be dry and tomorrow will be sunny again with highs of 16C (61F).


Carlisle United agree shirt sponsor deal

Carlisle United have announced DSD Construction will be the club's official shirt sponsor next season.

The firm, which is based in the city, will have its logo emblazoned on all first team and replica shirts and training kit.

Brunton Park
Getty Images

United's sales and marketing director Phil King said: “We are very keen to have businesses across Cumbria involved with the club, and for a Carlisle business to be on the front of Carlisle United shirts next season is fantastic and something I hope the fans can take pride in."

DSD managing director Shaun Nugent added: “Having been life-long supporters of Carlisle United we feel very proud to be their main sponsor and offer something back to the local community. By becoming main sponsors we are hoping other local businesses will follow suit and help by investing in the club for many years to come.”

BreakingTwo seriously hurt in A591 crash

Steven Bell

BBC Cumbria

Two people have been seriously injured after a crash near Kendal this morning.

It happened on the A591 at the Hollins Lane junction at 07:50 and involved a motorbike rider, a man aged 38 from Windermere, and an Audi driven by a 52-year-old man from Windermere. Both are in hospital with serious injuries, with one being flown to Preston for treatment.

The road is closed between the Plumgarths roundabout and Ratherheath Lane.

road junction

Blues sign former York skipper

James Phillips

BBC Radio Cumbria Sport

Carlisle United have signed former York captain Russell Penn. 

The 30-year-old is a central midfielder joins on a one-year contract, with the option for an extra year. 

He's Keith Curle's third signing of the summer, after Nicky Adams and Joe McKee joined last week.

Midwives to face new misconduct charges over death of baby boy

North West Evening Mail


Footballer fined over wife's speeding offence

Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher has been told off by the courts for not managing his mail properly. 

The player was fined for failing to disclose his wife was driving his car when it was caught speeding on the A66 at Appleby. 

Steven Fletcher
Rex Features

He claimed he missed notices of prosecution because he was away from his Billingham home for three months. 

Carlisle magistrates told the 29-year-old, who is on loan at Marseille, he needed to organise his post better. 

The footballer was fined £1,000 and given six penalty points. He was also ordered to pay £620 costs and a £100 surcharge. 

The court heard he was sent several letters requesting information on who was driving the car and given notice of an intended prosecution. 

He had denied failing to disclose the information but magistrates found him guilty after a two-hour trial concluded he should have had a more effective system for dealing with post in his absence. 

Fletcher signed for Sunderland from Wolverhampton Wanderers for £12m in 2012 and went on to score 23 goals in 94 games for the Black Cats. He joined Marseille on loan in January and has scored two goals in 12 games.  

BreakingTravel: A591 near Kendal to be closed for up to five hours

BBC Travel

Part of the A591 near Kendal is expected to closed for up to five hours after what's been described as a "serious" crash. 

The road is shut between the Plumgarths roundabout and Ratherheath Lane after the incident, near Hollins Lane. Diversions are in place.

View more on twitter

Air ambulance called to Kendal crash

Steven Bell

BBC Cumbria

The Great North Air Ambulance has been called to the crash on the A591 just outside Kendal.

It's confirmed it's flown someone to hospital in Preston, but couldn't give any further details.

It's understood a lorry and a motorbike are involved. We've contacted Cumbria Police for more information.

View more on twitter

Better roads needed ahead of major nuclear projects

Cumbria is being told billions of pounds of investment in the nuclear industry means there's no better time to ask for improvements to the county's infrastructure, including the main road in the west of the county. 


There are plans to build a nuclear power station at Moorside near Sellafield and it's estimated this will attract £10bn of investment. 

Adrian Davis-Johnston from the Innovus programme, which supports local companies developing new technologies, is keen to see improvements to the A595:

We have an opportunity here to leverage government, against the investment that we're going to be taking for Moorside and other projects, to say we need to bring some longer-term infrastructure benefits to this region and I can't think of anything better tahan ensuring the A595 is fit for purpose."

Adrian Davis-JohnstonInnovus

Making the most of the nuclear industry

Jennie Dennett

BBC Cumbria

Business leaders are meeting in West Cumbria today to hear how the region can make the most of billions of pounds of investment in the nuclear industry.   

"Copeland's best days are ahead of us," says Copeland MP Jamie Reed in the opening pages of the Copeland Growth Strategy.


It's one of many grand statements to match the grand sums - £10bn is anticipated for nuclear new build at Moorside, with 6,000 new staff and 21,000 construction jobs. And Sellafield ensures decommissioning work for the next 105 years.


Copeland Mayor Mike Starkie says the strategy is about using the nuclear sector as a springboard to develop a more diverse economy. 

Moorside is still under consultation, but today he'll make his pitch to try and tempt in more businesses to follow nuclear money.

Warning after children spotted playing on Carlisle railway

Children possibly as young as five have been spotted playing on a section of railway track where trains reach up to 90mph.

British Transport Police said three children were seen "dicing with death" on CCTV on the line at Eden Viaduct in Carlisle.

Railway line

Police probe racist graffiti

Racist graffiti aimed at the Muslim community has appeared in Carlisle in what is the third such incident in as many months.

It's been removed by Carlisle City Council and the police are investigating:

A very small number of people can cause a great deal of distress to a lot of people, particularly depending on where the graffiti is sited."

Supt Justin BibbyCumbria Police

Travel: Collision near Kendal

BBC Travel

There's been a collision on Windermere Road just outside Kendal, near the Hollins Lane junction.

Police say the road's likely to be closed between the Plumgarths roundabout and Ratherheath Lane for the next few hours.

Racist graffiti found in Carlisle

BBC Radio Cumbria

Offensive graffiti aimed at Muslims has been sprayed on to buildings in Carlisle for the third time in as many months. 

The latest messages are in a highly-visible location near the railway station, but have now been removed by the city council. 

Cumbria Police is investigating and people who spoke to BBC Radio Cumbria described the graffiti as "absolutely disgusting".

Aftab Khan is the development manager from AWAZ - Cumbria's black and minority ethnic support group. He says it gives a poor impression of the city:

This is somebody, or a group of people, who want to paint the picture of Carlisle as a place which is not welcoming and it is unacceptable and which many of the people in Carlisle would not accept."

Aftab Khan

Travel: All quiet so far

BBC Travel

Expect the roads to get busy later as people head to and from Cumbria for the bank holiday weekend.

So far, though, there are no major problems on the county's roads. Keep up to date here.

Weather: Lots of sunshine later

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

A bit of cloud around this morning, but it should stay dry and there'll be plenty of sunshine this afternoon.

Temperatures could reach 18C (64F). Get a five-day forecast here.

Weather map

Welcome to our live coverage

Steven Bell

BBC Cumbria

Good morning and welcome to our updates on Friday 27 May.

We're here keeping you updated with all the day's news, sport, weather and travel for Cumbria until 16:00.

Weather-wise, it's looking like a great start to the bank holiday weekend. More on that shortly.

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.