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Covid Testing


April 2022

31 March 2022

Free COVID testing ends in Cumbria for most people – what happens next?

Free widespread symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for COVID-19 has now ended in Cumbria.

From today (31 March), free tests will only be available for people who develop symptoms and are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19 and are eligible for treatments, along with NHS and adult social care staff and those in other high-risk settings.

The decision to end most free testing was taken as part of central government’s “Living with COVID” strategy to live with and manage the virus - published back in February 2022.

Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, Colin Cox, said: “With widespread free testing no longer available, vaccines are our best defence against the virus.

“The NHS is now offering spring boosters to the elderly, care home residents and the most vulnerable. The success of the vaccination programme is enabling the country to manage the virus like other respiratory infections. This includes public health guidance and encouraging responsible behaviour, while targeting testing to protect those most at risk and enable healthcare treatment to go ahead safely.

“Although restrictions have now been removed, and most testing reduced, the pandemic is not over. The public should continue to follow the updated public health guidance to protect themselves and others, particularly those who may become seriously ill if infected with COVID-19.

“While there is no longer a legal requirement to self-isolate, if you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or test positive, we strongly advise everybody to stay at home and avoid contact with others.”

Information on who can access free coronavirus (COVID-19) tests from 1 April 2022 and how to get them can be found on the government website. However, additional government guidance is expected to be released tomorrow (April 1 2022).

To find out how to get a 1st, 2nd or booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and how you will be contacted for your vaccinations, visit the NHS website.

In the week ending 25 March, there were 5,233 new cases in Cumbria, which is an increase of 295 or 6% compared to the previous week (4,938 new cases in the previous week). For the latest COVID-19 situation report, please visit



February 2022

Joint news release

18 February 2022


Are you interested in helping to shape the future of local government in Cumbria?

Anyone considering standing to become a councillor on the new Westmorland and Furness Council is being invited to an online briefing event to learn more about the election process.

The online briefing is being held Wednesday, 2 March, for agents and potential candidates looking to stand for election to Westmorland and Furness Council.

From 1 April 2023 local government in Cumbria is changing, as the current six district councils and Cumbria County Council will be replaced by two new unitary authorities.

In the area currently covered by Barrow Borough, Eden District and South Lakeland District councils a new authority, Westmorland and Furness Council, will be taking over providing all the services currently delivered in those areas by district and borough councils and the county council.

As part of the complex process to set up the Westmorland and Furness Council, elections will take place in May this year to elect 65 councillors in new wards across the Westmorland and Furness area. These councillors will be elected for a five-year term of office, the first year on a ‘Shadow Authority’ that willoversee the planning and preparation for the new unitary council, followed by four years on Westmorland and Furness Council.

The Shadow Authority will have important business to conclude before April 2023, including adopting a constitution and code of conduct for the Westmorland and Furness Council and appointing a cabinet and leader.

They will also designate interim officers to key statutory positions so that the new council can legally operate and will take decisions to prepare for the running of all services currently carried out by the county, borough and district councils from April 2023.

The existing county, borough and district councils will continue to operate and deliver services until April 2023 and the Shadow Authority will work alongside, until Westmorland and Furness Council ‘goes live’ on 1 April 2023. It will be at that point the Shadow Authority and its 65 councillors become the new Westmorland and Furness Council and the existing county, borough and district councils will be dissolved.

Anyone who is interested in standing for election to Westmorland and Furness Council is being invited to attend the online briefing, starting at 5pm on 2 March 2022, being hosted by the election Returning Officer, Sam Plum, who is Chief Executive of Barrow Borough Council.

Sam Plum will be joined by election officers to explain more about the process of standing for election, including details about the nomination process and deadlines.

Potential candidates and agents can register for the briefing by sending an email to:

The deadline to register for the briefing is Monday, 28 February at 5pm.

A further email containing the Teams link and joining instruction for the briefing will then be forwarded to all those who have registered. The intention is to record the briefing and make the recording available on request to anyone unable to attend on 2 March.

For more information about the Local Government Reorganisation process in Cumbria, please see:Home (



February 2022

15 February 2022

Cumbria Local Resilience forum prepare ahead of Storm Dudley and Eunice

A multi-agency response is being prepared ahead of forecasted Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice which may impact the county this week.

Cumbria Local Resilience Forum have held preparatory meetings to ensure that any response is coordinated to ensure communities can access any help and support they require.

The Cumbria Local Resilience Forum are on standby to deal with an major incident if needed.

Chair of the Local Resilience Forum Superintendent Matt Pearman from Cumbria Police said “The Cumbria Local Resilience Forum have been meeting to prepare ahead of Storm Dudley and Eunice.

“All agencies are working together to ensure that our communities have access to the help and support they may require during the storms.

“We also ask that our communities prepare themselves ahead of Dudley and Eunice and make themselves aware of the key contacts and ensure any vulnerable people within our communities are also aware and prepared”

For the latest information and updates follow:

  • Cumbria Police on twitter @CumbriaPolice or on Facebook here
  • Cumbria County Council on Twitter at @CumbriaCC of on Facebook here

To report any issues or if you need help for yourself or someone vulnerable please see the following agencies contact details.

· Electricity North West on 105, but please only call if your query is urgent to help prioritise customers in the most vulnerable circumstances. For more information, please For further updates on power cuts, you can visit or you can follow Electricity North West on Twitter or Facebook

· For water supply issues contact United Utilities on 0345 672 3723

· or call 101 if you have concerns about your own safety and well-being, or the safety and well-being of someone you know. If there is an immediate risk to life call 999.

· If you wish to report a problem on the county’s roads, please report online via the County Council website -Highways | Cumbria County Council

· If you are open to Cumbria County Council’s Adult Social Care, have care and support needs and these needs cannot be met due toa power outage ,please contact Adult Social Care on 0300 303 3589

· Keep up-to-date with the weather

· For latest traffic and roads information

Expected Storms


February 2022

Be aware there are two big storms coming - Cumbria Local Resilience Forum partners are preparing for these, and you can help by getting prepared too. For example:

  • Avoid travelling during the windiest periods (tomorrow - Wednesday - lunchtime/evening/night, and then again on Friday) when conditions could be really poor, and there is a risk of trees falling.
  • Stay off the hills and off the water - it's not going to be any fun out there, and they'll be there to enjoy another day
  • Be prepared for a power cut (although fingers crossed there won't be any significant one) - check you've got batteries for torches and radios, some food that doesn't need cooking (you can never have too much chocolate in the house etc.
  • If you do experience issues like a loss of power or communications, please check on your neighbours and help them if necessary - the response within communities is essential, and almost always the quickest support that people will get - and Cumbria's really good at it!

Road Safety Meeting


February 2022

The Parish Council are joining with Lowick Parish Council to form an initial working group composed of local residents and some councillors who are concerned about our roads, and the enormous amount of fast vehicles we now have to endure!






Community Resilience Plan


February 2022

Water Yeat and Blawith are in the early stages of forming a Community resilience group.

Part of the group's responsibility is to create a Community Emergency plan, so we can be better prepared for future Emergency situations,

and better equipped to support each other through difficult times.

Other towns and Villages have successfully put plans together, to help create a safe co-ordinated Neighbourhood.

If you would like more information or register an interest, contact

Mary Giles(parish councillor) or


We hope to have a date for an informal Neighbourhood meeting in the near future.

Watch this space !!

Omicron Business Grants


January 2022


News release

20 January 2022


The application process is now open for grants to businesses in South Lakeland affected by the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

Hospitality (defined as accommodation, food & beverage services) and leisure premises will benefit from Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grants of up to £6,000, administered by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) and aimed at easing the dual impact of staff absences and lower consumer demand.

Recipients of the new one-off Hospitality and Leisure grant must be solvent businesses, and ratepayers in the hospitality and leisure sector. For example, a pub; hotel; restaurant; bar; cinema; tourist attraction or village hall.

Grants are per eligible premises and the amount paid is varied by rateable value (RV) of each eligible premises, in three bands: RV of £0-15,000 (will receive £2,667); RV of £15,000-£51,000 (will receive £4,000); and RV of over £51,000 (will receive £6,000).

Applications close at midday on February 28.

Details about eligibility and a link to the application forms can be found at:

Councillor Robin Ashcroft, SLDC portfolio holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure, said: “Knowledge and good working practices developed through the many business support schemes we have administered since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 meant officers have been able to quickly stand up another effective and efficient application process.

"Supporting businesses in South Lakeland through these tough times is vital and SLDC is committed to doing everything we can to make sure they get through this.

"If you think you might be eligible, please check the criteria and get your application in before the deadline."

More details on this scheme and other support available – including business rate relief, free business support and advice available to businesses in South Lakeland – can also be found at:

SLDC is also finalising details for a new discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) to support other businesses, based on local economic need.


The following definitions for the purposes of this scheme are as below:

• Hospitality: a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink;

• Leisure: a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events, days and nights out, betting and gaming;

• Accommodation: a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel and other purposes.

The list below is not exhaustive, but indicative of the types of businesses that can be supported under this scheme.


Food courts, public houses/pub restaurants, restaurants, roadside restaurants, wine bars and cafes.


Casinos and gambling clubs, cinemas, museums and art galleries, stately homes & historic houses, theatres, zoos & safari parks, amusement parks, wedding venues, events venues, nightclubs & discotheques, arenas, concert halls, tourist attractions, theme parks, amusement arcades, soft play centres or areas, indoor riding centres, clubs & institutions, village halls & scout huts, cadet huts.


Caravan parks, caravan sites and pitches, chalet parks, coaching inns, country house hotels, guest houses, hostels, hotels, lodge holiday apartments, cottages or bungalows, campsites, boarding houses, canal boats or other vessels, B&Bs, catered holiday homes, holiday homes.


For more information, please contact the SLDC Communications Team on 01539 793300.

Handy Person Scheme


January 2022


News release

21 January 2022


Residents in need of practical help around their homes are being reminded that a free council-run service could provide support.

South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC) Handy Person Scheme offers assistance with simple but essential jobs around the home to help people maintain independent living and quality of life.

The service provides help with anything from changing a lightbulb to putting up shelving, installing hand rails and small repairs such as unblocking sinks, as well as fitting curtain rails and moving heavy items.

The scheme, run in partnership with Barrow-based repairs and service company Growing Concerns, also enables the fitting of minor security measures including; a key safe, door viewer and chain.

The work is free of charge except for the cost of materials, unless they have been supplied as part of a scheme with a partner agency.

Councillor Suzie Pye, portfolio holder for health, wellbeing and poverty alleviation, said: “We have been running the Handy Person Scheme successfully for a number of years in partnership with Growing Concerns and have received great feedback about the service they provide. It’s a fantastic scheme and vital to those who don’t have family or friends nearby to help with those odd jobs round the house you can't do yourself.

"Helping people in our communities to be independent is a priority for South Lakeland District Council and this service is a fantastic way to help achieve that. I would urge anybody who thinks they, or somebody they know, would benefit from this scheme to get in touch."

Assistance under the Handy Person Scheme is available to people who are unable to undertake the task themselves and have no other person available to help them with the task and reside in the South Lakeland area, who:

• are aged 65 and over; or

• have a disability or are vulnerable; or

• are being discharged or have recently been discharged from hospital; or

• are at high risk of falling due to a medical condition; or

• potential victims of crime, who are referred by the police.

Works are limited to a maximum of three hours on site if one handy person visits, or 1.5 hours if two handy people visit. Gardening and decorating are not included. Eligible households can use the service up to six times a year.

The scheme is supported by Cumbria Constabulary and Age UK, and the fitting of minor security measures is also included in the scheme.

David Shields, who runs Growing Concerns with his wife, Marie, said: “We are proud to have worked with South Lakeland District Council for the past 17 years. The range of work we can carry out is wide and makes such a difference to our clients.

"To see how grateful they are for what the scheme can provide is better than anything."

Further details of the scheme, including qualifying criteria and time/usage constraints, are available on the council’s website at, via telephone on 01539 733 333 or via email on Referrals should also be made via that telephone number or email address. Referrals can be made on behalf of someone else with their permission.


Work available through the scheme includes:

• Fitting of minor security measures such as spy-holes, door and window locks and security lighting;

• Fitting key safes, door bells or telephone extension leads;

• Changing light bulbs and fluorescent tubes;

• Fitting plugs/fuses or fixing down/making safe trailing or loose wires;

• Putting up curtain rails, curtains or blinds;

• Installing internal and external grab rails;

• Erecting shelves or affixing coat hooks;

• Fixing down or trimming loose or hazardous carpets;

• Moving furniture within the home;

• Replacing toilet seats or sealant around sinks/baths;

• Unblocking sinks and repairing minor leaks;

• Replacing tap washers, cistern washers and ball valves or draining/bleeding radiators;

• Initial help following hospital discharge (for example, resetting heating controls);

• Minor repairs to gates, fences and paths to prevent tripping hazards or to help secure the property.


For more information, please contact the SLDC Communications Team on 01539 793300.

Parish Councillor vacancy

Blawith and Subberthwaite Parish Council


October 2021

Do you know someone who would be a good Parish Councillor or would it be something you would like to do?

A councillor is a voice of its community and can affect real change by representing the local community, delivering services and improving the quality of life of its residents.

The Parish Council can and does make a difference because it is made up of representatives from you the electorate.

No special qualifications are required to be a councillor.

You only have to:

  • have an interest in Blawith and Subberthwaite Parish
  • be prepared to be involved in the Council’s work
  • be able to attend the monthly meetings.

To be a Parish Councillor a candidate must

  • be 18 years or over
  • a British subject or a citizen of a member state of the European Union
  • be:
    1. an elector of the parish or
    2. a person who over the whole of the last twelve months has been an owner or tenant of land or premises in the parish or has lived in the parish or within three miles or has had his/her principle place of work in the parish.

You cannot be a Parish Councillor if you

  • are the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order
  • have, within 5 years before the day of the election, been convicted in the UK of any offence and have had a prison sentence (whether suspended or not) for a period of over 3 months without the option of fine
  • work for the council you want to become a councillor for.

Contact the Parish Clerk for more information

Christine Adams
Telephone: 01229 889329

The closing date is Wednesday 3 November 2021.

Crake Valley events mailing list

Blawith and Subberthwaite Parish Council


October 2021

If you would like to be kept informed about events in the Coniston and Crake valley and surrounding area, why not sign up to the Crake Events email list.

Crake Events is a voluntary organisation sponsored by Blawith and Subberthwaite Parish Council. The Crake Events team send out information from events organisers as it is received.

We mainly help to promote events that are taking place within the area of the six parishes bordering Coniston and the Crake, but will also send you news of events in other surrounding parishes that might be of interest.

Help in the community

Blawith and Subberthwaite Parish Council


October 2021

Lowick, Blawith and Oxen Park voluntary car scheme

If you would like find out more about this service or are interested in driving for the scheme, please phone the local contact Marguerite on 01229 885498.

Handy person scheme

The Handy Person Scheme aims to help elderly or vulnerable householders carry out very simple but essential works at their homes.

The Scheme run by South Lakeland District Council helps eligible residents in the SLDC area who are unable to undertake the tasks themselves or have no one to help them.

How to check eligibility and the types of work undertaken and make a request.