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Government responds to Cumbrian court closure dispute

Magistrate's Court, Kendal Credit: ITV Border

The government has responded to bids to save a Magistrate's court in Cumbria.

The courthouse in Kendal is due to close down on the 30th of June as part of the Ministry of Justice's plans to cut costs.

A spokesperson for HM Courts and Tribunals Service says the closures are part of a plan to upgrade the technology used in courts nationwide.

We have a world-leading legal system and are investing over £1 billion to reform and digitise our courts to deliver swifter justice.

Closing underused and dilapidated court buildings will allow us to reinvest in the justice system and make the best use of technology.

This will improve access to justice and improve the experience for all court users, in particular vulnerable victims and witnesses.

– HM Courts and Tribunals Service Spokesperson

Campaigners say it is unacceptable that locals would have to do a round trip of up to 70 miles to the courthouse in Barrow, where current cases will be transferred, once the Kendal Magistrate's court closes down.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron wrote to the Justice Secretary Liz Truss, urging her to reconsider the plans.

The Magistrate's Court in Kendal is one of 86 in England and Wales due to close down this summer.


Last ditch bid to save Cumbrian court

Kendal Magistrate's Court. Credit: ITV Border

Final attempts are being made to save a Magistrate's court in Cumbria, which is set to be closed.

The courthouse in Kendal is due to shut this summer, as part of the Ministry of Justice's plans to cut costs.

However, Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has written to the Justice Secretary Liz Truss, urging her to reconsider the plans.

The blow that this will deliver for access to local justice is incalculable. Under the new system some local residents will have to travel up to two and a half hours to Barrow or Lancaster to access the justice system, and this journey will come at considerable cost.

The government's consultation showed that 98% of local people opposed this move, yet despite this they have pressed ahead with the closure.

– Tim Farron MP

Man arrested after woman dies in Kendal house fire

Police enquiries are at an early stage. Credit: ITV News

Police have arrested a man in connection with a fatal fire at a house in Kendal.

A blaze broke out at a property on Stramongate early on Sunday morning.

A woman who lives there, aged 67, suffered serious injuries and was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

She died later.

Her identity has not been revealed.

Cumbria Police say a man, aged 38, has been arrested. They are not looking for anyone else.

They are asking anyone who may have information which could assist their investigation to contact them.

£10k burglary sparks police warning

A £10,000 burglary has prompted police to warn businesses in the Kendal area to be on alert.

The burglary happened between 8:00pm and 00:34am between Monday March 6th and Tuesday March 7th.

Thieves went into what police are describing as an insecure property on the Mintsfeet Industrial Estate, Kendal and made off with stock worth £10,000.

​​​​​​​​​​​​Now police are urging businesses in Kendal and the surrounding rural areas to be vigilant, and lock their windows and doors, and securely store away items of value.

A spokesperson said: “Historically, insecure properties on industrial estates, and in rural areas have been targeted locally due to their locations.

"Criminals by nature are opportunists, and if they can gain access to your business without having to force entry then they will steal from you.”

​Anyone with information on this incident or any related incidents is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111


Jail for drug dealer found sleeping in car

Romney Gardens in Kendal. Credit: Google Street View.

A drug dealer who police found sleeping in his car, has been jailed for three months.

Jordan Jenkinson, 23, of Romney Gardens in Kendal, was sentenced yesterday (21 February 2017) at Carlisle Crown Court.

On 18 May 2016, officers found him asleep in his car, which was parked on Romney Gardens with the engine running.

A search of the vehicle led them to a small quantity of cannabis and 12 grams of cocaine - the latter valued at around £1,300.

Jenkinson was arrested, and tests proved that he had both cannabis and cocaine in his system.

At Carlisle Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to possession of a Class A drug (cocaine), possession of a Class B drug (cannabis) offering to supply Class B drugs (cannabis).

He also pleaded guilty to driving while being disqualified, having no insurance, and driving while unfit through drugs.

Student nurse nominated for national award

Zoe Butler. Credit: University of Cumbria

A nursing student from Cumbria has beaten hundreds of entries to be shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Third year adult nursing student Zoe Butler, who is based in Kendal, is among five vying for the Andrew Parker Student Nurse Award from the Royal College of Nursing.

The annual RCNi Nurse Awards are the profession’s top accolade for nursing excellence, recognising nurses who have come up with new ways to improve health, enhance patient experiences and transform nursing practice.

The news has come out of the blue – I heard via Twitter!

The awards are for innovation in practice and my work to look at mental health in young people drew the judge’s attention.

– Zoe Butler

Zoe was instrumental in working with young people to write and film a series of monologues as part of a project called ‘The Hot Potato’ aimed at raising awareness of mental health, which is now in use in schools in Cumbria.

Entrants shortlisted as finalists will be invited to the judging days in March to present their initiatives to the judging panel with winners announced at a ceremony on Friday 5 May.

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