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Council approve West Cumbrian school closure

Cumbria County Council have today approved the move to close two failing secondary schools in West Cumbria, in favour of replacing them with a single academy.

Southfield Technology College and Stainburn school in Workington will now close in August 2015, delaying the closure from the end of this year.

The proposed new academy will have 1,200 places for school children.

North Cumbria Hospitals Trust referred to health secretary

Two hospitals in North Cumbria have been referred to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for failing to deal with mounting debts.

The trust has been referred to the Health Secretary over financial concerns
The trust has been referred to the Health Secretary over financial concerns Credit: ITV News Border

The North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust was one of 19 flagged up to Jeremy Hunt for not meeting its statutory duty to break-even in the last financial year.

The trust runs the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

19,000% rise in D&G 'stop and search' figures

Figures released by Police Scotland have shown that stop and search figures in Dumfries and Galloway have risen by 19,000 percent in the last year.

The document revealed that the number had gone from 16 searches in 2012/2013, to 3,107 in 2013/2014.

The reasons for the searches included drugs, offensive weapons, firearms, stolen property and alcohol.

Of the three thousand people stopped by police, 750 searches led to further action.

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South of Scotland return for iconic golden eagle

One of Scotland's most iconic birds could make a return to the south of the country, according to a new report.

There are currently only one breeding pair of the birds in Dumfries and Galloway, but Scottish Natural Heritage say as many as 16 pairs could breed here is the area is currently managed.

"The whole of the South of Scotland could hold as many as 16 pairs of Golden Eagles, that's if things were perfect for them, which is amazing, it's so exciting that we could have so many birds here."

– Professor Des Thompson from SNH

However, the environment needs to be right before the birds will flourish in the area.

"They need a safe environment first of all so there must be no persecution of these birds, they need open habitat, ideally habitats such as these, wonderful upland areas with open woodland, with lots of prey for the birds.

"They needs trees, rocks such as we've got here to nest in, and of course we don't want them to be disturbed - so we've got this great cocktail of habitats here we've just got to get the management right."

– Professor Des Thompson from SNH

The next step in the project is to improve habitats and conditions for golden eagles and assess where further eagles may come from.

If successful it could mean that in a few years time the south of Scotland becomes a significant breeding ground for these majestic birds of prey.

Warning after RNLI call out numbers on the up

The RNLI lifeboat service in Workington are warning people of the dangers of water after exceeding their annual call out numbers in just seven months. The volunteers usually have around 12 call outs per year, but have had 15 already in 2014- with four of those in the past week.

The hot weather has been a contributing factor as more people head to the coasts to enjoy the sunshine.

"People need to remember how dangerous the water can be and what can happen if you go out there without the proper knowledge.

"Make sure you are with somebody who knows what to do if you get into trouble. Be aware of the dangers of swimming in cold water- it can cause shock in a matter of seconds.

"Don't drink alcohol if you're going out on the water, leave that until you're back on dry land.

"Make sure you know the tide times and be prepared for a change in weather."

– Workington Cowain, John Stobbart

There are two lifeboats based at Workington and the large vessel costs around £6000 for every call out.

The 22 crew, who respond to the rescues, are all voluntary and are on call every day of the year.

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