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Council welcomes inflatable slide accident fine

The inflatable slide, on the left, before the accident. Credit: South Lakeland District Council

South Lakeland District Council has welcomed the decision to fine the owner of an inflatable slide, after it blew over, injuring a child and scout leader.

In May 2013, 60mph gusts of wind blew the slide over, during a scouting event, which had been opened by Bear Grylls earlier in the day.

An eight-year-old child was thrown off the slide as it fell, and it landed on a female scout leader, causing minor injuries.

Martin Chadwick, 46, was ordered to pay a total of £6,650 in fines and costs after he admitted two health and safety breaches.

Magistrates in Kendal were told that Chadwick, of Compton Road, Leicester, had failed in his duty to protect members of the public by not carrying out the right safety checks, not obtaining a means of measuring the wind strength, nor obtaining manufacturers guidance on the maximum safe wind strength for the inflatable and not staking the inflatable slide down into the ground on all sides.

Chadwick also admitted failing to quickly notify the relevant enforcing authority of the accident and also failing to submit a proper report on the accident within the required 10 days.

Magistrates gave Chadwick credit for his guilty pleas, which reduced the level of his fines.

The magistrates commented that the failure to peg down the side wires was a serious failing, as was the failure to report, which potentially could have hindered the investigation into the accident.

The magistrates also commented that they had not seen any real signs of remorse from Chadwick.

SLDC will always take breaches of health and safety regulations extremely seriously.

In this case Mr Chadwick was responsible for a large inflatable slide and did not secure it properly on what was a wet and windy day, which meant that it blew over in a gust of wind, injuring a child and an adult scout leader.

We welcome Mr Chadwick’s guilty pleas and the fines imposed by the court today, which recognises that he failed in his duty to conduct his business in such a way as to ensure as far as was reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment, who may be affected, in particular the child and adult scout leader, were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.’’

– South Lakeland District Council’s Public Protection Manager, Fiona Inston

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Farron joins calls to protect Kendal Magistrates Court

Kendal Magistrates Court. Credit: ITV Border

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has urged people to protect Kendal Magistrates Court from closure.

His call comes as nearly 200 people have signed a petition, which was set up by local lawyers two days ago.

The petition calls it: "an invaluable Court centre which is now under threat of closure as part of Ministry of Justice cuts."

It says "access to justice will suffer immeasurable damage" if the court does close:

Without its services members of the public, witnesses, victims and those accused of a crime or civil dispute will have to travel significant distances to alternative Court centres in Barrow and Carlisle."

– Save Kendal Magistrates/County Court Petition

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, wants the Ministry of Justice to provide an impact assessment of any changes to the court structure in the town.

In 2013 I was able to convince the government to keep the court open. I hope we can do that the same now.

Access to justice is a fundamental human right and I believe it must be as local as possible. If the court closes it will, potentially, have a major impact on organisations like Cumbria Police so I hope we can work together to make the case to keep the court open.

I am also urging local people to back the campaign, sign the petition and get involved in the consultation.”

– Tim Farron MP

CCTV appeal: vandals damage school

CCTV image of two people police would like to identify in connection. Credit: Cumbria Police

Police are investigating after a school was vandalised in Kendal on 26 May.

Around £2,000 worth of damage was caused on the roof of Queen Katherine’s School on Appleby Road at around 6pm.

Cumbria police want to identify the men in this CCTV image in connection with the incident.

Anyone who recognises them, is asked to call Cumbria Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Campaign to save Workington Magistrates Court launched

A campaign to save Workington's West Cumbria Magistrates Court has been launched.

The court faces the axe under government proposals to close 18 court buildings across England and Wales in a bid to cut losses, including in Workington and Kendal.

Credit: ITV Border

Workington MP Sue Hayman is working with magistrates to campaign against the closure. They say it would leave defendants and witnesses with up to 90-mile round trips to Carlisle.

If the courts in Workington and Kendal were to close it would leave Cumbria with two magistrates courts – in Carlisle and Barrow.

HM Courts and Tribunal Service say that the majority of courts being consulted on are not being used for at least two thirds of the time.

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CCTV appeal after vehicle damaged

Police want to speak to the man in the high-vis jacket. Credit: Cumbria Police

Cumbria Police want to speak to the individual in the high-visibility jacket, in the CCTV image above, in connection with damage to a vehicle in Kendal.

On 28 May the off-side wing mirror of a black Seat Leon car was damaged.

It happened outside Queens Lodge, Chapple Street.

Anyone who recognises the individual, or has any information about the incident is asked to call Cumbria Police on 101 and leave a message for the attention of PC 1399 Allen.

Westmorland General Hospital receives new cancer machine

Credit: ITV Border

Kendal's Westmorland General Hospital is receiving a portable ultrasound machine today thanks to a donation by the Rosemere Cancer Foundation and the Furness Building Society.

It's hoped the new diagnostic machine, which cost 36 thousand pounds (£36,000) will reduce waiting times for head and neck cancer patients.

The unit treats around 1,000 patients a year.

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