Nine news-features about Cumbria on ITV Border Lookaround- including three about the Cumbrian Pennines

8th November 2022

Dear Readers

Cumbrian viewers were given a real treat tonight from ITV1 Border’s Lookaround– nine proper news-items covering different parts of the county. And that does not include coverage of Carlisle United in the Sports coverage.

THE VILLAGE OF NENTHEAD, AS PHOTOGRAPHED BACK AT THE START OF JUNE 2022 FOR THE LATE HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN’S PLATINUM JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS. PHOTO COURTESY OF IAN PENNELL.

I am certainly happy since the village of Nenthead, near where I live in the North Pennines, featured extensively and it was the lead news-story on Lookaround. There is a acheme to treat waste water coming from long-closed lead mines and local folk consider the water in the River Nent- after almost a century since the mines shut- to be clean enough to drink and to support aquatic life since fish have increased in numbers. However, the Environment Agency and Coal Authority wish to have another water treatment centre (in addition to the one already being constructed below Nenthall Hotel two miles to the north-west), and the water treatment process may well- as locals fear- lead to unpleasant smells near these sites. These unpleasant odours could impact on tourism and the quality of life of those who live and work in the Nent Valley.

In these evening’s Lookaround Appleby-in-Westmorland in the upper Eden Valley also featured twice, once in connection with future arrangements for Appleby Horse Fair, the largest annual gathering for gypsies in Europe and the other news- feature about Appleby-in-Westmorland was in relation to potential flooding this winter and in future winters because of global warming.

South Cumbria featured twice in Lookaround, once in connection with the South Lakes MP Tim Farron raising concerns over immigration restrictions affecting the Tourism and hospitality industry and also in connection with proposed Parliamentary boundary changes where it was explained that Sedbergh would be in a constituency with parts of North Lancashire. This is the second time in a fortnight that issues affecting North Lancashire have been touched upon within ITV1 Border’s Lookaround– even though the programmers don’t cater for Lancastrians.

Three further news- features covered Dumfries and Galloway, and two more featured the Scottish Borders: One of the Scottish Borders’ news-featues covering a farm near Peebles was on the issue of subsidies for farming (with local farmers wanting focus on food-production not so much as “prettyfying” the land!). The issues around farm- subsidies apply very much to rural Cumbria- and indeed rural North Lancashire too.

There were thus 15 news-items on this evenings’ ITV1 Border Lookaround and Cumbria got nine of these, that’s 60% coverage. There was also enough coverage of happenings north of the Scottish Border tonight (8th November) for viewers in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders to feel that their communities were being covered too. Rural eastern Cumbria, towards the North Pennines, which is another rural area that sometimes gets a bit overlooked was also covered well. ITV1 Border’s Lookaround proves it is far better than other ITV1 and BBC1 Regional TV News-services for both Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway.

For viewers a bit further south, in the north of ITV1 Granada Report‘s transmission area and that of BBC1 North West Tonight, they would- on the strength of recent offerings- get better news-coverage from ITV1 Border’s Lookaround. BBC1 North West Tonight just covered the Right Hon. Tim Farron’s complaint about immigration controls affecting the Tourist industry in the South Lakes, and the programme had one news-feature about Lancashire. ITV1 Granada Reports has struggled to get north of the M62 in the last week!

If you live in, say, Grange-over-Sands, Carnforth or Morecambe you would get better, more localised coverage by pointing your TV aerial north and putting it up a very tall pole so that you have a clear view. Then you can get ITV1 Border’s Lookaround– with two or three news-items that mention the South Lakes and, occasionally, North Lancashire, plus plenty of coverage of northern Cumbria (which is more local to you than Greater Manchester, Liverpool and the Wirral). Even the southern Scottish news that there is is of places more accessible to North Lancashire than the Isle of Man that sometimes gets covered on ITV1 Granada Reports! To be honest Manx folk fare very badly from ITV1 Granada Reports, since 95% of their “local news” is about another country to them!

For some reason, ITV1 Border decided not to load this evening’s bulletin on the main ITV Border website but you can find it here: https://www.itv.com/news/border/2022-08-30/watch-the-itv-news-border-evening-programme. I do not know if that is intentional- to discourage viewers from watching the ITV1 Regional TV that they are not “supposed” to watch (ITV1 News Tyne Tees was not on the ITV Tyne Tees site either), but I think there was a technical/ timing reason in any case as the programme was not loaded until three hours after going live. If ITV.Plc or the BBC decide to pull other Regional TV News- services offline so viewers can only watch the TV Regions that they are “proscribed” [by being put in the transmission area!] it is something that this Website will find out about and tell viewers who live in northern North West England about!

At a time when Regional TV is under threat (two BBC1 TV Regions in the South of the country will be closed before Christmas), local viewers need to be made aware of any moves by the BBC and ITV.Plc to restrict choice, and they will be given the tools by this Website to access alternatives. ITV1 Border’s Lookaround is very good to Cumbrian viewers, the shame is that parts of South Cumbria and northern Lancashire cannot get it because ITV1 Granada Reports‘ coverage north of Preston is lamentable. If viewers in South Cumbria and North Lancashire can watch ITV1 Border Lookaround to get the news just north of them, then they should stick with BBC1 North West Tonight for the news just to the south of them that would give them much better all-round and indeed more local news-coverage. With the aerial pointed north those viewers can get their TV off the Kendal Fell transmitter, which carries both ITV1 Border and BBC1 North West, so it is possible to get this combination of Regional TV News- programmes.

At present, there are other means of getting ITV1 Border’s Lookaround. This article referred to here explains how viewers with Sky TV can access other ITV1 Regions by manual tuning through their Sky TV box https://www.mediamole.co.uk/entertainment/broadcasting/feature/how-to-access-other-itv-regions-through-sky_408988.html. The Code for ITV1 Border (England), where prompted to enter Region details is 11.068 V, SR 23000, FEC 3/4, DVB-S2, 8PSK. If all this seems too technical a Sky technician (or some-one in your family who is technically-minded) may be able to assist.

All that said, during a cost- of- living crisis many folk in northern North West England can no longer afford Sky TV (even if they could in the recent past) and so one is restricted to finding ITV1 Border’s Lookaround online, which is a little tricky if it is not there on the main ITV1 Border website two to three hours after going live. That is a recourse you have to take if you live in parts of North Lancashire and South Cumbria where you cannot even pick up the TV signal for ITV1 Border Lookaround by pointing your aerial north: Such places exist, the area around Garstang and just south of Lancaster is one, another is around Barrow-in-Furness and Millom where the signal from any transmitter carrying ITV1 Border is blocked by the South Lakeland fells. If you are struggling financially and cannot get the programme online you will not be able to get it off Sky TV (as likely you cannot afford it). In that case you have to resort to writing to BBC1 North West Tonight and ITV1 Granada Reports to persuade them to improve coverage of northern North West England, the effect of which is unlikely to bear fruit if programmers do not think you have access to viable alternatives.

If you do live in Millom, Ulverston or just on the southern outskirts of Lancaster- and you cannot afford to get Sky and cannot find ITV1 Border Lookaround online in future, I can assure you that that programme has more news that is relatively local to your community than ITV1 Granada Reports has. So going under the noses of programmers at ITV1 Granada Reports and BBC1 North West Tonight by writing to Amy Lea and Ian Payne (who co-present ITV1 Border’s Lookaround) at amyandian@itv.com and asking them to always put the programme on the ITV1 Border website is a start. Do request being able to watch Lookaround on your TV “Because Cumbrian news is More Local to North Lancashire [or South Cumbria, if you live there] than Greater Manchester and Merseyside”, as that will shock the mainstream Regional TV producers at Media City, Salford when they find out. That is more likely to mean a change of heart in Media City and care to cover the northern parts of the transmission areas better because Programmers then face competition for their viewers: And that, with more local TV news-coverage for Lancashire and South Cumbria is the main aim of this Website!

Published by northwestisnorthwest

My name is Ian Pennell and I am a freelance Book-keeper: I live near Alston, in the North Pennines in north-east Cumbria. I have friends who live in northern North West England - near Lancaster (which is where I went to University and used to live until 17 years ago) and in other parts of Cumbria. I have two Website Campaigns that seek to promote more localised Regional TV coverage for large rural areas across the North of North West England and North East England. A big problem is that the Regional Television Bulletins for the North West covers the southern third of the Region about 90% (plus a part of Derbyshire which is NOT the North West of England), covers the middle third of North West England poorly and covers the northern third of North West England not at all! When I was studying at Lancaster University, I used to watch BBC1 North West Tonight because it covered areas up around where I was brought up- in northern Cumbria as well as more immediately locally around Lancaster. Then I came home one day, turned on BBC1 North West Tonight wondering why they were silent on Cumbria and discovered why: Most of Cumbria had been chopped off the weather-map! People living in the westernmost part of North West England (around St. Bees Head) have local BBC news on their televisions which is 90% about North East England! In rural and northern Northumberland too, Regional TV, as is received by viewers, tends too often to be Tyneside/ Wearside/ Teesside- focussed with little news locally. Communities in North Northumberland have strong links across the Border into south-east Scotland and towards Edinburgh but none of the Regional TV News- services serving Northumberland today ever goes across the Scottish Border for significant happenings of interest to North Northumbrians. I have also done walking in the area, including around the Cheviots in the past- and the Northumberland/ Scottish Borders/ East and Mid Lothian area is vast- but it is largely overlooked by mainstream Regional TV! North Yorkshire, the largest county in England also falls in the gaps between coverage from BBC Look North (NE/ Cumbria) or ITV1 News Tyne Tees in the north of the county, and the Leeds-based BBC1 and ITV1 Regional TV- services in the south of the county: North Yorkshire is a huge, yet beautiful county, which I have visited and explored in the past, yet is poorly covered in Regional TV. Based near Alston, near the Cumbria/ Northumberland boundary I am well-placed to discuss Regional TV in all these large rural areas, in which collectively some two million folk live, yet they are poorly covered by the Regional TV News- services set up to serve them. These huge areas are an hour to two hours' drive from where I live: North Lancashire and South/ West Cumbria are to the south-west, Northumberland and the Scottish Borders and Lothian are to the north and north-east, and North Yorkshire is to the south-east of my home near Alston. I am well-placed to draw attention to deficiencies in Regional TV coverage for folk in all these areas. The North Pennines, where I live, is arguably another large area that touches on the other three where Regional TV coverage falls through the gaps completely (and that is despite the North Pennines running north to south down the middle of the BBC1 NE/ Cumbria Region). In two websites, one for northern North West England and the Isle of Man (a country in it's own right that does not have it's own TV service!), and another Website focussing on Northumberland, North Yorkshire and the North Pennines I make the point that Regional TV that informs viewers of important things in their local area is a Public Service, funding for which should be given a higher priority (and if necessary via statute through the BBC's Charter), than funding for Soaps, Films or Sport- which are for leisure. I also give viewers the tools to fight effectively for better- and more geographic-appropriate Regional TV where they live- and to seek it through alternative (often little-known) local TV services, some of which may only be available on the Internet.

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