Cumbria County Council Press release 24 April 2002

Inquiry to be broadcast live by the BBC

In a unique Cumbrian partnership the Cumbria Foot and Mouth Disease inquiry and BBC Radio Cumbria have joined forces to broadcast live via the internet the Inquiry hearings in Kendal and Carlisle. Using the BBC website browsers will be able to see the Inquiry proceedings live including witnesses giving evidence and being questioned by the Inquiry's independent panel of experts. In addition the site will hold additional background information and daily summaries as the Inquiry progresses.

County Councillor Rex Toft, Leader of Cumbria County Council says,

"I'm delighted that BBC Radio Cumbria approached the Council to broadcast over the web the Cumbria Foot and Mouth Inquiry. They did a tremendous job throughout the outbreak keeping local people up to date with essential information about the farms affected, the restrictions that were in place and the many help lines that were established. This work has already been recognised by the BBC when the station won the coveted Frank Gillard award for Station of the Year.

I am sure that there will be a great deal of interest in the broadcast of the Inquiry. The evidence gathered here in Cumbria will be of regional, national and European significance and through our linkup with the BBC people from across the country and indeed the world, will be able to see and hear at first hand exactly what happened."

BBC Radio Cumbria's Managing Editor, Nigel Dyson says:

"Thousands of people tuned to BBC Radio Cumbria at the height of the Foot and Mouth outbreak. We provided an authoritative and reliable service at a time when Cumbrians needed it most. We're continuing to provide all the information that local people need in our daily programmes, but the new BBC Cumbria website has provided us with a unique opportunity to broadcast this very important event in a unique way. We'll be able to relay the entire Inquiry - from both venues - in sound and pictures. This will be a first for the BBC in Cumbria, and it will enable us to continue bringing important events directly into Cumbria homes."