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Chief executive post to be scrapped

Paul Walker was Chief Executive of Copeland Borough Credit: ITV Border

After five years of service, Chief Executive of Copeland Borough Council Paul Walker has left his job due to a cost-cutting shakeup.

The announcement was followed by the news that the Chief executive post is to be scrapped entirely.

Paul has been a member of the Council’s Corporate Leadership Team who has successfully led the workforce through some significant periods of change, brought about by the unprecedented cuts in central government funding.

The Mayor of Copeland Borough Council, Mike Starkie, has said he hopes that all who know Paul will join the Council in wishing him every success in the future.

The Council services that reported directly to the Chief Executive post will be realigned and the scope of the existing three Director job descriptions are being reviewed.

The Termination Payment made to Paul Walker reflected his entitlements to contractual pay and a redundancy payment in relation to the Council's approved redundancy policy.

It amounted to a total of £119,321, which will be funded through efficiency savings.

The total amount Paul walker will receive in termination payments.


Council: 'The complexity of the project means that this has been a time consuming exercise'

DG One Leisure Complex Credit: ITV Border

The latest report on the progress of works being carried out and the detailed project programme will be presented to Full Council on 19 October 2015.

The complexity of the project means that this has been a time consuming exercise, not just through the planning of remedial works but also through the accompanying legal case against the original contractor, Keir Construction.

As will be appreciated, the Council is working to have all strands of the project and accompanying legal case in place before taking any decisions on the way forward.

This will form the basis of a robust case, ensuring that we are in the best possible position to recover all costs relating to the building and subsequent closure of the site.

The temporary facilities that have been put in place to ensure no loss of service for DGOne customers have been a resounding success, with around 71,700 visits to the pool at the Ice Bowl. These facilities will remain in place for as long as they are required.

We anticipate that work will begin on the DGOne site as soon as possible after the Council makes a decision.

– Dumfries and Galloway Council spokesperson

A590 reopened after 3 car collision

Road traffic collision A590 Credit: ITV Border

Police were called today to reports of a three vehicle collision on the A590 close to Greenodd Ulverston.

The vehicles below were involved in the collision:

  • - A Red Skoda Fabia, driven by a 54 year old female from Lancashire
  • - A grey Renault Scenic, driven by a 43 year old woman from Ulverston
  • - A Silver Vauxhall driven by a 48 year old woman from Ulverston

All three drivers received treatment for minor injuries at the scene.

The road was closed for a time following the collision to allow police investigation and for recovery of vehicles.

Visit the traffic link map to keep up to date with the latest situation on the roads.

Man denies manslaughter over Lake District boat fumes deaths

A court has heard that a registered gas fitter, who brought an outdoor generator below the deck of his boat despite knowing that carbon monoxide sensors were disabled, awoke to find his partner and her 10-year-old daughter dead.

42 year old Matthew Eteson pleaded not guilty to manslaughter by gross negligence after jurors were told that he had fabricated an exhaust system for the portable generator used to power the mains appliances on the boat, moored on Lake Windermere, Cumbria.

His partner Kelly Webster, 36, and her daughter Lauren Thornton were found in their sleeping area on the boat with fatal levels of carbon monoxide in their bodies.

He denies the charge.

Preston Crown Court was told that Eteson, of Appleton Road, Cheshire, who was "an experienced boat owner", had installed the exhaust system with a silencer because it was "noisy".

But the court was told that it had been of "poor design" and the materials he had used were unsuitable causing the system release the gases.

Mr Eteson denies manslaughter Credit: ITV Border

The family had gone to the Lake District for the Easter bank holiday, however on the afternoon of April 1st 2013 Eteson removed the generator from the deck and used it to power a heater in one of the boat's bedrooms.

The court was told that there had been no warning to the build-up of the gas because the carbon monoxide sensors had previously been disabled.

For the prosecution Mr Graham Reeds QC said that the mother and daughter were found dead in the positions in which they had slept. Eteson had been sleeping in a separate compartment further away from the generator but also suffered the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

It is not alleged that he intended any harm to come to either victim.

Mr Reeds said from Eteson's training as a Gas Safe installer, he was "well aware" of the risks to human life through exposure to carbon monoxide.

He said:

Had they not been disabled they would have alerted the occupants to the build-up of carbon monoxide in the sleeping quarters.

The defendant was well aware of the fact that carbon monoxide sensors fitted to his boat were not working.

Good practice would decide against bringing an outdoor generator indoors."

– Mr Graham Reeds QC

The prosecution said it was their case that Eteson was "criminally responsible" for their deaths.

Mr Reeds added:

It was found that a copper pipe had been crudely attached to the steel exhaust outlet of the generator with self-tapping screw.

Leading from the exhaust outlet to the silencer was a section of copper pipework. This included a joint that had been fashioned using solder which has a relatively low melting point.

It is very poor practice to attach metal to copper or to use solder in joints between copper pipes that will be subjected to very high temperatures."

– Mr Graham Reeds QC

Mr Eteson denies the charge of manslaughter by gross negligence.

The case continues.

Man found with knife on A590

Man found with knife on A590 Credit: ITV Border

In the early hours of this morning, police were called to the A590, near Newby Bridge.

There were concerns for the welfare of a man who was reported to have a knife.

Officers negotiated with the man and he was taken to the Royal Preston Hospital.

There was no perceived threat to the members of the public.


Exotic wildlife threaten Cumbria's waterways

Demon Shrimp are normally found in Asia

There are fears that two tiny river creatures which are normally found in Asia could be about to enter Cumbria's waterways and devastate the local wildlife.

One is called the Demon Shrimp, the other the Zebra Mussel. Both have already spread to North Lancashire.

They can wipe out the native shrimp population and harm fish.

Zebra Mussel Credit: GB non-native Species Secretariat.

Sellafield strikes end in sight

Sellafield Credit: ITV Border

A trade union representing construction workers at Sellafield says it has secured a deal to end a long-running health and safety dispute that led to a series of strikes.

Unite announced that Sellafield Ltd and sub-contractor companies have dropped their objection to a having a full time union official on site.

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