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  1. Updates on Tuesday 5 July 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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As it happened: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


Live updates have now finished for the day. 

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow. 

In the meantime you can send in news and pictures using Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or by posting on our Facebook page.

Do have a very good evening.

Councillors told of 'serious concerns' about zoo

Councillors have been told that there are still serious concerns about animal welfare, public safety and potential escapes at a South Cumbrian Zoo. 

Today they've also been told of worries about the financial stability of the South Lakes Safari Zoo.

The zoo's owner, David Gill, says that the deadline given by Government inspectors to make improvements and put new leadership in place created an "impossible situation". 

Barrow councillors are likely to continue meeting for the next two days to decide if the zoo's license renewal should be rejected. That step could lead to its closure.

Nursing panel chairman: Nurses 'guarded' in their evidence

We've more from the findings of the Nursing and Midwifery panel on the failings of two midwives in caring for baby Joshua Titcombe.

The panel found neither Lindsey Biggs nor Holly Parkinson referred matters to a paediatrician as they should have done when they found Joshua Titcombe, referred to as Baby A, had a low temperature while he was being cared for at Furness General Hospital in Cumbria.

The panel chairman Stuart Gray said both women had been "guarded" in giving their evidence.

He told Ms Biggs that rather than going to a doctor,  "You took matters into your own hands and placed Baby A into a warming cot." 

He said Ms Parkinson had failed to get a doctor when she recorded Joshua's low temperature. 

The two midwives' failures "denied baby A any opportunity to be seen, assessed and treated by a paediatrician," Mr Gray said. 

Cumbria education chief: I understand why teachers are striking

The county councillor in charge of children's services in Cumbria says she understands why teachers took strike action today.

About 3,000 children stayed at home and a number of schools stayed closed because of the action by the National Union of Teachers.

Clare Feeney-Johnson, the Liberal Democrat cabinet member for children's services, said: "Whilst I think children are better in school I understand the need for teachers to emphasis the issues that are facing schools on a day-to-day basis and often the only way they can do that is by taking action through their union."

Sex offender's sentence increased by four years on appeal

A child sex offender from Keswick has had his sentence increased by the Court of Appeal, after a judge there concluded the original jail term was not long enough.

Duncan Waterhouse  was originally sentenced to eight years, with five years on licence,  at Carlisle Crown Court in April after pleading guilty to 20 offences.

Today the higher court added four years to the imprisonment.

Detective Constable Paul Scougal said: “Waterhouse is a predatory paedophile. 

"He seriously damaged the lives of four young victims and their families have also welcomed the news that he will spend more time in prison.”

Joshua's father: Glad the truth has emerged

A Nursing and Midwifery Panel is now considering its next steps after concluding that two midwives in Barrow's hospital failed to call in a paediatrician to care for baby Joshua Titcombe, who died aged nine days in November 2008.

HIs father, James, began a campaign which uncovered major problems at the maternity unit in the Furness General Hospital. 

He's just given his reaction to the panel's finding:

View more on twitter

The panel is now considering whether in the light of these findings, the midwives, Lindsey Biggs and Holly Parkinson, are fit to continue practising. 

It's understood their conclusion may be announced tomorrow

BreakingNursing panel says two midwives failed baby Joshua

Two midwives at Barrow's hospital failed to seek help from a doctor when a baby in their care became seriously ill, a Nursing and Midwifery Council panel hearing has found.

Joshua Titcombe

The baby was Joshua Titcombe, and he died nine days later. It was a lengthy campaign by his father James that eventually led to the exposure of major problems in the maternity unit at the Westmorland General Hospital.

Today the panel decided neither Lindsey Biggs nor Holly Parkinson referred matters to a paediatrician as they should have done when they found Joshua, referred to as Baby A, had a low temperature.

Panel chairman Stuart Gray said: "This was the significant chance for Baby A that was lost."

The hearing continues.

Zoo pleads for time as inspectors urge licence refusal

Managers at the South Lakes Safari Zoo are telling councillors that they haven't had enough time to deal with safety and animal welfare problems highlighted in an inspectors' report.

Zoo sign

A visit from the inspectors last November identified a number of issues, and recommended new senior management. 

After a new visit, the inspectors say the zoo hasn't made enough progress.

In papers before councillors today, the zoo says it cannot comply while its licence is in doubt, adding: "No sensible person who holds a senior position in any zoo would give up that position to find their employment terminated by a refused, deferred decision or reapplication of the licence."

Councillors on the licensing regulatory committee at Barrow council are spending three days considering whether or not to renew the licence.

Two held after shop assistant is threatened with axe

Two men from Whitehaven have been arrested after a shop assistant in the town was threatened with an axe. 

A man wearing a balaclava demanded money from the worker inside the Woodend store on Scotch Street on Sunday afternoon and then fled with cash, police revealed today. 

Two men who are both aged 37 and from Whitehaven are being questioned.  The shop assistant was unhurt but shaken.

University staff to walk out in pay row

Staff at the University of Cumbria say they'll be striking on Thursday in a national row over pay and conditions.

The University and College Union says universities can afford a larger increase than the 1.1% offered so far.  

A spokeswoman for the university said it plans to operate as normal.

Zoo report raises 'public safety concerns'

An inspectors's report on the South Lakes Safari Zoo, being discussed today by councillors in Barrow, reveals that a monkey was observed trying to steal popcorn from a child in a pram while the inspection was taking place.

The report includes a number of criticisms, saying the zoo's failed to meet conditions imposed after an earlier visit by the inspectors. 

One of these was to review the risk of bites or injuries to members of the public.

The report says some staff said bites were a risk members of the public took when they visited a zoo, and a website comment quoted a member of the public being bitten.  

But the review of injuries the zoo carried out said there'd been no bite injuries so far this year, something the inspectors say they found hard to believe.

Councillors are meeting today to decide whether the zoo can have a new licence.

'Distressed' woman may be in Keswick, say police

Police say they're increasingly concerned for a "fragile and distressed" woman from Lancashire, who has links to the Keswick area.

Jeanette Roche
Lancashire Police

Jeanette Roche, 47 and from Bamber Bridge, was last seen at Preston Station on Tuesday, 28 June.

She has not had access to essential medication for several health conditions.  

Det Insp Martin Pearson said: "With each day that passes we are becoming increasingly worried about her.

“We would urge anybody who knows where she is to contact us. We would also appeal to Jeanette, if she sees this, to get in touch to let us know she is safe.”

Zoo meeting 'runs for three days' as closure looms

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

A Barrow council meeting that is considering refusing a new licence for the zoo at Dalton in Furness has been told it will take place over three days - to ensure "everyone around the table understands the business in front of them".

If councillors can't agree a new licence for the South Lakes Safari Zoo, it would have six months to apply again, and if that failed, it would be forced to close.

Today members of the licensing committee have been told that despite being given more time to put new leadership and improvements in place, there are still "serious concerns about animal welfare, public safety and potential escapes".  They have more than 100 pages of reports to consider.

For its part, the zoo says deadlines created an "impossible situation". Government inspectors say the licence renewal should be rejected.

Foulshaw osprey chicks 'thriving'

The two osprey chicks on a nest at the Foulshaw nature reserve in South Cumbria were said to be "thriving" after staff from the Cumbria Wildlife Trust put identifying rings on them last week.

Osprey V9
Cumbria Wildlife Trust

The two chicks are now known as V9 and V8 (pictured). The parent birds watched from nearby as the chicks were taken from the nest, ringed, and checked over.

Simon Thomas, the reserve officer at Foulshaw, said: "It was wonderful to be able to get up close to the chicks and see how they are thriving."

The rings enable the birds to be identified from a distance. The chicks themselves can be seen on the trust's webcam.

Tour of Britain route launched at top of toughest climb

Britain's premier cycle race unveiled its route today, including a stage through Cumbria.

The launch in the county was held at the top of a road called "The Struggle", which climbs more than 1,000 feet from Ambleside to the Kirkstone Pass and will be one of the King of the Mountain ascents.

View more on twitter

Principal steps down as colleges merge

David Batten, the principal at Barrow Sixth Form College, has announced he's standing down when the institution merges with Furness College.

David Batten
Barrow 6th Form College

The colleges have been discussing a merger since last October when it became clear the sixth form college could not continue with its existing funding.

Andrew Wren, the principal of Furness College, said the merger would mean services were sustainable.

Four other staff are leaving having agreed what are described as voluntary settlements.

Travel: Crash slows traffic in Carlisle

BBC Travel

The A7 Kingstown Road in Carlisle is partially blocked with slow traffic in both directions between the Briar Bank junction and the Etterby Street junction because of an accident.  

You can find the latest travel news here.

Photographer's peaks make cover of new OS map

Wastwater's a stunning subject for any photographer - and this picture of the lake is on the front cover of a new Ordnance Survey Map that gives the routes up Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and  Snowdon for people taking on the Three Peaks Challenge.

Unusually, it was taken by an amateur photographer, David Sherren, who works in a map library in the University of Portsmouth

Ordnance Survey

200 respond to mental health unit survey

Health trust officials say more than 200 people have responded to a survey on the future of a mental health ward in Kendal.

Westmorland General Hospital

The Kentmere ward at the Westmorland General Hospital is threatened with closure because, according to inspectors, it does not comply with modern requirements.  

But closure's been delayed while a new assessment of the safety concerns takes place.

Officials say a drop-in session last week was well attended, and the online survey is available until the end of this week.

Cyclists' 'Tour' route passes flood-hit areas

The route that the Tour of Britain will take, when it comes to Cumbria in September, has been revealed today.

Cyclists passing Carlisle Castle
Getty Images

The cyclists will cover almost 190km - from Carlisle to Kendal, passing through some of the places that were worst-hit by storms and flooding over the winter. 

Their itinerary includes a lap of Thirlmere, the temporary bridge at Pooley Bridge, and the newly-reopened A591 at Dunmail Raise. 

Cyclists will face the steep climb called "the Struggle" from Ambleside, as well as visiting Grasmere, Windermere and Bowness.

New Carlisle United signing talks of delight

Inspectors say zoo should not get new licence

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

Inspectors say the South Lakes Safari Zoo at Dalton in Furness should not be given a new licence - which could force it to close. 

Despite being the zoo being given five months to introduce new leadership, Barrow Council is being told today there are still  'serious concerns about animal welfare, public safety and potential escapes' at the zoo.

Zoo entrance

The inspectors say the zoo has had a "petulant, unprofessional response" to the inspection process, and they conclude that unless circumstances change, the zoo licence should not be renewed. 

The zoo says the deadline created an "impossible situation". 

If the councillors do decide not to renew, the zoo will have six months to submit a new application - if that's thrown out, then the zoo would be forced to close. 

Head says time can be made up, as teachers strike sends 3,000 pupils home

A head teachers' leader says schools should be able to absorb the effect of a one day strike which has closed a number of Cumbria schools.

The National Union of Teachers says the dispute is over government plans to turn all school into academies, which officials say will worsen their working conditions.

Graham Frost is a headteacher in Cumbria, and the branch secretary of the National Association of Headteachers. 

He says schools lose other time for events such as polling days.

I think we can probably mitigate the effects of one day out of school to allow teachers to express what is a democratic right to strike."

Council must give back nuclear authority's £12.6m tax 'overpayment'

Copeland Borough Council's been told it's got to pay the Nuclear Decommissioning  Authority a £12.6m tax repayment.

Sellafield view

The authority runs the Sellafield site, which pays about 70% of Copeland's whole council tax take.  

It won a legal appeal which determined the NDA had been overpaying tax nationally.

The council says it had been putting money to one side in case it lost the judgement, but still has to post a £9m deficit in its accounts.. There'll be no impact on jobs and services but some projects may be put on hold.

Mayor Mike Starkey says the council still has savings in case of unexpected demands, adding: "What we would call our emergency reserve is still intact, there's £2m set aside in an an account."  

Schools dispute means a day at home for 3,000 students

An estimated 3,000 school pupils will be at home today as their teachers strike in a dispute over financial cutbacks and changes in their terms and conditions.

Cumbria county council says around 13 primary schools and two secondaries will be partly or completely closed.

The education secretary Nicky Morgan says the teachers are playing politics with students' futures, but Alan Rutter from the National Union of Teachers in Cumbria says the government's policy of changing all schoolks into academies is having a detrimental effect on education and the teachers' conditions.

Good morning and welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


This is BBC Cumbria Live for Tuesday 5 July. 

We'll be keeping you updated through the day on the news, weather and travel information.

But it'll be the better for you: You can send in news and pictures using Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or by posting on our Facebook page.