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WATCH: Families urged to take part in National Unplugging Day

On Sunday, families are being asked to spend the day from start to finish without any technology. It's part of National Unplugging Day after warnings that digital distractions are harming children's health and social skills. Kate Walby reports.

10p swimming sessions for children in west Cumbria

Children aged 16 and under are being offered 10p swimming sessions in Allerdale this summer.

The Allerdale Borough Council scheme will be available from Saturday (20th July) at pools in Workington, Cockermouth and Keswick, as well as the Wigton Pool and Netherhall Pool in Maryport.

The offer will not be immediately available at the Keswick Leisure Pool, however residents are asked to look out for details of the offer which will be made available over the next few weeks.

The scheme is aimed at encouraging young people to keep active during the summer holidays.

“We are re-launching this scheme not only to help young people to be active, but to ensure all children are able to make the most of summer and the attractions Allerdale has to offer.

"It is important to this Council that all children have the same opportunities and we are delighted we can help to make that possible.

"It demonstrates that even given all the cuts by central government that an excellently run Council like Allerdale, is able to deliver on its promises.”

– Councilor Alan Smith, Leader, Allerdale Borough Council said

The reduced fee swimming sessions will run until 4th September.


Murray inspires youngsters to pick up their rackets

Andy Murray has dominated the sports headlines this week after his historic win at Wimbledon on Sunday (7th July).

Tennis clubs across the region are now expecting an influx of youngsters, trying to follow in his footsteps, as Murray mania grips the nation.

Tim Backshall has been to one leading club in Cumbria where the name of the new Wimbledon champion is a very familiar one:

Full report: Child protection services judged to be "inadequate"

Cumbria County Council's child protection services have been judged to be inadequate after an unnannounced inspection by regulators Ofsted.

The review, which took place in May, concluded that social workers must act more quickly to step in when children are not being properly looked after and that more supervision is needed to bring about improvements.

Ryan Dollard reports:

Cumbria safeguarding children services "inadequate"

An unannounced inspection by Ofsted of arrangements to safeguard children in Cumbria has concluded services are inadequate.

Ofsted inspectors found social workers must get better at listening to children and act more quickly where they are not being properly looked after by their parents or carers.

During the inspection it was found that a small number of children known to the council were not being adequately protected. The inspection report is clear that the council took swift and appropriate action to resolve these issues immediately when they were identified by inspectors.

Inspectors also identified several positives including the commitment of staff to helping children and families.

“I accept Ofsted’s findings; it is simply not acceptable for children to be left at risk because of poor practice. We responded immediately to concerns raised during the inspection.

“We want Cumbria to be a great place to be a child and grow up; I remain absolutely committed to that aspiration. We will use the outcome of this inspection to refocus where necessary and continue with the job we’ve started.”

– Julia Morrison, Director of Children's Services at Cumbria County Council

“Making sure vulnerable children are protected is the fundamental thing we must get right.

“I have considered the report findings very carefully. I accept its criticisms entirely but also note the support it gives to the corporate director and senior management team.

“I know that staff in Children’s Services work incredibly hard to support children and families, we need to make sure those staff have the support, supervision and training they need to do this very demanding job.

– Councillor Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Cumbria County Council
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