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Firefighters issue deliberate blaze warning

2013 wildfire at Siddick Ponds Credit: ITV Border

With the summer holidays well underway Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is urging parents to teach their children about the dangers of deliberately starting wildfires.

In 2013 the Siddick Ponds nature reserve near Workington was devastated by arson. The reserve has recovered and plant and animal life have returned, but firefighters say deliberate, nuisance fires can have fatal consequences.

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Trio convicted over stately home drugs conspiracy

Three men have been convicted of being involved in a major drugs conspiracy which centred on a stately home in the Eden Valley.

Dean Cameron, 53, Philip Branigan, 32, and Charles Neophytou, 47, denied playing roles in a plot based at the Grade II-listed Flass mansion in Maulds Meaburn, near Penrith.

Flass House, near Penrith Credit: ITV News Border

The offences took place over a 13-month period to May 2012. Police estimate an illegal cannabis bush with a street value of up to £5.2 million could have been produced during that time.

The three men were each found guilty by a jury in a trial that lasted nearly three weeks at Carlisle Crown Court.

Judge Paul Batty QC told the three men, all from addresses outside of Cumbria, that it was "inevitable" that they will each serve considerable jail terms.

The three men have been remanded in custody and are due to be sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court in September. They will be sentenced alongside five other men, also from outside the county, who previously pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Three festivals announced for Annandale and Eskdale

Three festivals are to take place in Annandale and Eskdale later this year, beginning next month, Dumfries and Galloway council has announced.

The Pack Up Your Troubles Festival,which will be held from 28th to 31st August, will feature a weekend of events based on World War One, to celebrate the 100th birthday of twins Gretna and Eastriggs.

The first of the three festivals will include an old-style music hall evening, a World War One tearoom, classic bus tours, concerts, cooking demonstrations, educational workshops and various community events.

The International Sheep Dog Trials 2015 will take place the following month, on 10th to 12th September, at Meikleholm Farm, between Moffat and Dumfries.

Around 10,000 people are expected to turn out to see the world's most highly skilled dogs and handlers compete for the championship titles.

The Lockerbie Jazz Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary with concerts in Lockerbie, Moffat, Annan and Gretna. US jazz singer Melba Joyce and musician Stephanie Trick will appear in concerts as part of the event.

Singer Ruby Turner is also due to perform in Lockerbie and Gretna.

Singer Ruby Turner Credit: PA

“This superb cluster of festivals and events will showcase Annandale and Eskdale and Dumfries and Galloway to great effect. The Council is doing all that it can to integrate the promotion of these festivals to ensure that we attract and retain visitors to our region, to enjoy our stunning countryside, inspiring heritage and the superb music and entertainment on offer. There is a real energy and exuberance about all these events that comes across so well.”

– Councillor Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council

“These three fantastic and very diverse festivals highlight the incredible variety of great things to see and do within the beautiful Annandale and Eskdale area. Each of these wonderful events - which give a real flavour of the vibrancy and colour of the local culture here - provides an excellent and valuable opportunity to attract new visitors to get a taste of the amazing range of activities and attractions there are to experience and enjoy throughout Dumfries & Galloway. I hope as many people as possible, from outside of the region as well as from the local community, will make the most of the chance to be a part of these great festivals, which all look set to be unmissable dates for the diary.

– VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald

The three events are being fully backed by £45,000 of council funding as part of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Major Festivals and Events Strategy which will provide £750,000 funding to events projects between 2014 and 2017.

"Council funding of major events creates business and tourism benefits and these three great events provide the perfect reason for staycations this Autumn. Where else in Scotland this year can you enjoy world class jazz in such close proximity to the tranquillity and fabulous craft of international sheep dog trials? We have the Tour of Britain coming through Gretna, Eastriggs and Cannonbie on Tuesday 8 September which will be a fantastic event to experience and the Pack Up Your Troubles Festival is choc a bloc with things to see and do.”

– Councillor Ronnie Ogilvie, Chair of Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee

Cumbrian athletes make world championships team

Cumbrian athletes Tom Farrell and Nick Miller have been named in the British Athletics team for the IAAF World Championships which take place in Beijing next month.

Runner Tom Farrell, 24, from Carlisle, will compete in the 5,000 metres.

Tom Farrell, from Carlisle Credit: PA

Meanwhile, field athlete, Nick Miller, 22, also from Carlisle, will compete in the hammer throw.

British record-breaking hammer thrower, Nick Miller Credit: ITV News Border

The championships take place in Beijing from 22nd to 30th August.

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GMB Union: Sellafield "will not agree a way forward"

Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant Credit: ITV News Border

A spokesman for the GMB Union says Sellafield "will not agree a way forward" after failing to carry out an agreement made in January last year to increase monitors' salaries due to the responsibility and accountability of the role.

"The industrial action taken today by the monitors at Sellafield was initiated by the company’s failure to carry out the agreement made in January 2014, when an independent panel decided that the monitors' role, because of the responsibility and accountability, warranted an upgrade to Band 4.

"It is 18 months now since that decision was made and the company will still not agree a way forward.

"We have informed the company that we are willing to sit down at any time to try and resolve this situation, but it seems that they are reluctant to do this.

The quote from the Director of Stakeholder Relations this morning ‘that the company could not always guarantee safety’ is something that causes the GMB great concerns. We provided 17 monitors to make sure that we were in a position to respond to any emergency and guarantee the safety of all personnel on the site."

– Joe Murdock, GMB Convenor

Four-hundred monitors, who carry out radiation checks at the nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria, are taking part in today's industrial action.

Sellafield's management say contingency plans are in place and that the strike has caused "low key" disruption.

Stakeholder Relations Director at Sellafield Ltd, Rory O'Neill, says the company believes its workers are "fairly recognised for what they do."

The GMB Union says more than 97% of members at the plant voted in favour of industrial action over the current pay deal which, Sellafield says, is "appropriate."

Find your nearest Trussell Trust foodbank in the Border region

Foodbanks in the Border region

The Trussell Trust are the major provider of foodbanks in our region. Their sites include:

North Lakes foodbank Lorton Street Methodist Church, Lorton Street, Cockermouth, CA13 9RH 01900 823854

Windermere & District foodbank The Methodist Church Basement, Main Road, Windermere, LA23 1DY 01539 422569

Peeblesshire foodbank Suite 2, 2 Rowan Court, Cavalry Park, Peebles, EH45 9BU 07799 041723

Barrow foodbank Barrow foodbank Abbey Road Baptist Church Abbey Road (corner of park drive) Barrow-in-Furness LA14 5EY 01229 343436

The Dumfriesshire foodbank is currently under development. info@dumfriesshire.foodbank.org.uk

Foodbank: Demand is greater than supply

One of many food parcels for children who usually receive free school meals Credit: ITV News Border

The North Lakes foodbank in Cockermouth has issued a plea for donations. It says demand is greater than supply.

The charity is giving food parcels to children who would normally receive free school meals during term time.

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