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Live Reporting

Martin Lewes

All times stated are UK

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  1. As it happened: BBC Cumbria Live

    Martin Lewes


    We've now finished this service of news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast, and other things that take our fancy around this county for today and this week.

    We have seen history made, with the first Conservative elected to Parliament for Copeland in more than 80 years - the Prime Minister was among those who came to congratulate Trudy Harrison ;

    And on an already busy news day, a report revealed the scale of public opposition to proposals to change health services in North and West Cumbria.

    We can squeeze in the weather forecast for a wet and windy night , with a warning of possible local flooding tomorrow.

    We do it all again starting 08:00 on Monday: As always, if you have a photograph you'd like to share or you have news you think we should know, you can  email ustweet us , or get in touch  through our Facebook page .     

    Have a very good weekend.

  2. Jury fails to reach verdict on Carlisle rape charges

    A jury has been discharged after failing to reach a decision in a rape trial.

    John Thomas Jones had been on trial at Carlisle Crown Court over allegations he had raped a woman three times in November 2015. 

    The 30-year-old, of Cornwall Street, Birmingham, denied three counts of rape and one count of assault.

    The jury found Jones guilty of assault by a majority verdict, but could not reach a verdict on the three rape charges. He was remanded in custody.

    The prosecution will now consider if it wants to seek a retrial. A decision is expected in the next two weeks.

  3. Video content

    Video caption: Copeland by-election: Theresa May visits new Tory MP

    Prime Minister Theresa May has been on a flying visit to Cumbria to welcome her newest MP.

  4. Health report: 'Large sections of public reject all findings'

    The report published today digests the views of 5,000 people who responded to a public consultation on the future of hospital services in north, east and west Cumbria.

    The Success Regime, called in to sort out problems in the trust that runs North Cumbria's hospitals, had put forward a set of favoured options .

    These included:

    • Having a midwife-led maternity unit for low risk births at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, with consultant led services dealing with more complex deliveries;
    • Concentrating in-patient children's services in Carlisle, with a short-stay observation unit and some overnight beds in the Whitehaven hospital;
    • Concentrating beds in cottage hospitals in Whitehaven (Copeland Unit), Cockermouth, Workington, Penrith, Brampton and Keswick, which would mean closing beds in Wigton, Maryport and Alston. 
    • Maintaining 24/7 accident and emergency services in Whitehaven and Carlisle, but with the most complex cases taken to Carlisle where there would be more intensive care beds.

    The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said there was "a mixed response" to all the proposals; the statement this afternoon said there was "clear and vocal opposition" where a loss of services was involved.

  5. Cumbrian mum wins air company autism training bid

    Neil Smith

    South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

    The company Virgin Atlantic is starting a new autism-friendly package holiday service after pressure from a Cumbrian mother.


    Deborah Brownson from Barrow says Virgin was the only airline that responded to her calls to reduce the the stress for people with autism, and their families. 

    Youngsters on the autistic spectrum, she says, can find flying difficult to deal with because it's outside their normal routine.

    It's now training its flight and holiday staff, and children can be shown what it's like on an aeroplane beforehand.

  6. Liberal Democrats 'also have reason to celebrate Copeland'

    Liberal Democrats say they're also pleased with the result of the Copeland by-election.

    Rebecca Hanson came third for the party, and although a long distance behind second-placed Labour, she was 200 ahead of UKIP's Fiona Mills.

    Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael, said: "We have had another solid result in Copeland, where we were the only non-Brexit party and also stood up for the NHS."

  7. Moss Force takes on Doris

    Storm Doris laid down a lot of rain yesterday, one benefit of which was what it did to the county's waterfalls.

    Our thanks to Nigel Hollingworth, who sent us this picture of Moss Force in Newlands valley.

    Moss Force

    If you have a photograph you'd like to share, you can   email us  ,   tweet us   or get in touch   through our Facebook page

  8. Report reveals opposition to west Cumbria maternity plans

    Martin Lewes


    Plans to move consultant-led maternity services out of the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven were opposed by at least 85% of the people who responded to a public consultation, it's been revealed today.

    The county's Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) published the report this afternoon; what are called "purdah" regulations meant it could not be made public before the Copeland by-election.

    West Cumberland Hospital

    The Success Regime, the management team brought in to sort out problems at the North Cumbria Hospitals Trust, says recruitment problems mean a number of services including maternity would be better centralised 40-miles away in Carlisle.

    You can see the full report here ; the CCG will make a decision on whether to press ahead with the favoured options at a meeting in Workington on 8 March.

  9. United's favourite Tony talks of 'taking one day at a time'

    Mike Zeller

    Presenter, BBC Radio Cumbria

    Former Carlisle United player Tony Hopper, who's guest of honour at this weekend's fixture with Portsmouth, has been talking about living with motor neurone disease.

    Video content

    Video caption: Former Carlisle United player talks about his battle with motor neurone disease

    You can hear the full interview on the sports programme on BBC Radio Cumbria at 18:00 .  

  10. Cumbria's weather: Fine and cool, cloudy later

    BBC Weather

    Most of the county will have a fine and cold day with much lighter winds and some sunny spells. 

    Cloud will thicken from the west with rain and strengthening winds moving into the region around dusk. 

    Highs of about 8C (46F).

    Weather graphic

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

  11. Three badly hurt as crash blocks M6 for hours

    Three women from Sedbergh were taken to the Royal Preston Infirmary after a crash yesterday evening that closed the M6 in both directions for about five hours.

    The accident happened soon after 19:00, closing all lanes for several hours.

    The three were in a Suzuki Baleno that collided with a BMW. Their injuries are said to be serious but not life-threatening. 

    The male driver of the BMW, and his female passenger, suffered minor injuries.

    Police are appealing for witnesses.

  12. PM hails 'outstanding victory' in Copeland

    Prime Minister Theresa May, has called the Conservative win in Copeland "an outstanding victory" on a flying visit to the constituency today.

    Last night Trudy Harrison became the first Conservative to represent the seat in more than 80 years.

    Mrs May said: "What I think we've seen from this victory is that this truly is a government that is working for everyone and for every part of the country."

    Theresa May and Trudy Harrison
  13. Travel: Lindal dip works cause delays

    BBC Travel

    Temporary traffic lights at Green Lane on the A590 are causing delays.

  14. Copeland by-election: Three major problems for Labour

    Iain Watson

    Political correspondent

    Labour's failure to retain Copeland for the first time since the seat was created highlights three interlinked problems for the party.

    The most serious is trust - or lack of it.

    Labour insiders tell me they "got Jeremy to the right place on nuclear" - by not just committing to retaining the industry but also no longer opposing new capacity.

    Yet very few voters here in Whitehaven that I spoke to this morning believed him - and some were still unaware of his position.

    The centre of Whitehaven in west Cumbria

    The second problem, though, is with Jeremy Corbyn himself.

    Even some left-wing MPs tell me his leadership came up completely unprompted on the doorsteps. So messenger and message aren't fully trusted.

    The third problem, though, is that while Labour is in opposition nationally - and Jeremy Corbyn says he will take on the political establishment - in areas which the party has controlled for decades it is seen as part of that establishment.

    Voter after voter said to me "look at the town centre here" - with pound shops, charity shops and bookies.

    "Labour has done nothing for this area, we need new blood," said one. "I am 80 and Labour has been in charge all that time - we need a change," said another.

    And that change was from the opposition to the government, standing conventional political wisdom on its head.

  15. Video content

    Video caption: Jeremy Corbyn 'disappointed' by Copeland by-election result

    The Labour leader has vowed he will fight on, and hailed his party's victory in Stoke.

  16. Former MP: Work goes on after 'catastrophic defeat'

    Jamie Reed, whose resignation triggered the Copeland by-election, has tweeted his verdict on the loss of the seat.

    View more on twitter
  17. Copeland Mayor Starkie 'shocked' by result

    BBC Radio Cumbria

    Independent Mayor of Copeland Mike Starkie told BBC Cumbria: "The scale of it was a shock, over the course of the night it became more apparent the Conservatives were growing in confidence, like everybody else I was surprised by how large the majority was in the end.

    "The Conservatives have taken a seat they haven't held for as long as anyone alive can remember."

    Independent Mayor of Copeland Mike Starkie