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Summary

  1. Edge Hill students start returning home after Westminster attack
  2. Everton agree deal for new stadium site
  3. 'Steep rise' in child sex offences recorded in the North West
  4. Labour candidate chosen for Gorton by-election after long-serving MP's death
  5. Motorcyclist who died in a crash near Preston was 'one of life's truly lovely guys'
  6. Updates on Thursday 23 March

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Everton's Goodison stadium

The council says it will act as a guarantor for the club to secure funding for the new ground, expected to cost in excess of £300m, which would be built near the River Mersey in Liverpool.

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Our live coverage across the day

Live updates from the North West have finished for the day, but we'll be back from 08:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, weather and travel from across the region.

Man kidnapped at gunpoint by masked men in carjacking

A man was kidnapped at gunpoint by two masked men in a carjacking in Bury, police have said.

Lepp Crescent
Google

The victim, aged 21, and his friend told police they crashed into a lamp-post in Lepp Crescent on Wednesday after their car was rammed by another vehicle.

Two men got out of the car and threatened them with a handgun then stole the car with the victim inside.

The man was later found safe but with cuts and bruises.

A 41-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Weather: Dry and clear overnight

BBC Weather

Staying dry and mostly clear through this evening and overnight. Lows of 3C.

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NatWest branch closures across North West announed

About a dozen NatWest bank branches in the North West are to close, the company has announced.

Cashpoint generic
Getty

The firm, which has revealed a series of closures across the UK, blamed a "dramatic shift" in banking, with branch transactions falling 43% since 2010. 

The seven branches earmarked for closure in Merseyside are Formby, Frodsham, Heswall, Huyton, Kirkby, Liverpool One and the University of Liverpool.

Four are to shut in Greater Manchester - Droylsden, Eccles, Manchester University and Ramsbottom - along with Colne in Lancashire.

Public space dog ban plan to tackle fouling in Knowsley

Plans to ban dogs from sports pitches, bowling greens, parks and streets where dog fouling is a problem, have been put forward by Knowsley Council.

Dogs generic
Getty

The council has launched a consultation to replace existing Dog Control Orders for failing to remove faeces and failing to keep a dog on a lead when ordered to by a council officer. 

It has proposed measures including ensuring owners carry a bag at all times to collect dog mess, keeping dogs on a lead in cemeteries, small parks and council-owned allotments. 

Council staff would also have the power to issue Fixed Penalty Notices   

The public consultation ends on 18 May.

Swimming: Bullying claims by Paralympians are investigated

Dan Roan

BBC Sports editor

British Swimming is conducting an investigation after multiple bullying claims were made by Paralympians about a coach, the BBC has learned.

The sport's governing body began an internal review after several Para-swimmers made complaints - with the complainants understood to include Rio 2016 medallists.

Swimming was ParalympicsGB's most successful sport in Rio, winning 47 medals - 16 golds of 152 available - and setting eight world records.

It has now emerged the team, which is based at the Manchester Aquatics Centre, has been embroiled in a bullying controversy for the past two months. 

In a statement, British Swimming told the BBC: "Whilst some athletes have expressed some concerns, we have immediately undertaken an independent fact-finding investigation into these."

One of country's first male midwives retires after 40 years

A nurse who became one of the first male midwives in the country has retired after more than 40 years, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals said.


          Geoff Dodd with Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Trust chief executive (interim) Wendy Swift and Marie Thompson, director of nursing and quality
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Geoff Dodd (pictured centre) qualified in 1976 and his career includes a two-year stint in the Voluntary Overseas Service in Kenya and setting up the biologic service at Blackpool's Clifton Hospital.

He received a Health Champions award by presented by prime minister Theresa May during his career.

At his retirement party held at Clifton Hospital, Geoff said he was sad to leave "but the time has come" and he is "planning to travel, take up painting, learn new languages and sample more ale".

Headlines for the North West

  • A student, from Darwen, who was left with broken bones when he was hit by a car in the  Westminster attack  has said 'it could have been a lot worse'
  • Everton agree a deal to acquire land on which to build a new  £300m stadium in Liverpool , BBC Radio Merseyside understands.
  • A vigil is being held at Manchester town hall later to remember the victims of the terror attack in Westminster

'Scandalous' 50% NHS bosses' rises probed

Pay rises of up to 50% for senior NHS managers in Liverpool have been described as "scandalous" by an MP.

Hospital ward
Science Photo Library

Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) chairman Nadim Fazlani got a £50,000 rise in 2014-15, Rosie Cooper's Freedom of Information request found.

Replying to the West Lancashire Labour MP during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Theresa May promised an investigation into the pay hike.

Liverpool CCG said its salaries were set within NHS England guidelines.

London terror attack: Cheshire Police receive flowers in sympathy

Cheshire Police are among forces across England to receive flowers in thanks and sympathy after the London terror attack.

Well-wishers sent bouquets in tribute to PC Keith Palmer, who was stabbed to death outside the Palace of Westminster.

The hashtag #ThinBlueLine was trending on Twitter during an outpouring of gratitude to emergency services workers' bravery.

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Thieving ex-Liverpool vicar spared jail

Andy Gill

Reporter, BBC North West Tonight

A former Anglican vicar who stole more than £100,000 from his diocese has been spared jailed.

Rev Michael Fry, from Liverpool,  admitted a string of thefts  over eight years ending on 1 January 2014.

He  was sentenced to 20 months jail, suspended for two years at Liverpool Crown Court.

Morecambe and Lancaster MPs speak after London terror attack

Lancashire Post

Local MPs have spoken of their sadness in the wake of yesterday’s London terror attack.

London attacks: Student thanks Met PC

A university student hit head-on by a car during the attack at Westminster  yesterday has thanked a Metropolitan Police constable who was one of the first at the scene to help him.

Travis Frain
Travis Frain / Facebook

Nineteen-year-old Travis Frain, an Edge Hill University student from Darwen, was in London for an educational visit with 12 others.

On his Facebook page he wrote a "massive thank you" to the emergency services, specifically naming PC Soren Dymond, who bought him lunch after he lost his wallet, as well as staying with him the entire time.

The student was left with broken bones, but says his ordeal "could have been a lot worse".

Headlines for the North West

  • A student, from Darwen, who was left with broken bones when he was hit by a car in the Westminster attack has said 'it could have been a lot worse'
  • Everton agree a deal to acquire land on which to build a new £300m stadium in Liverpool , BBC Radio Merseyside understands.
  • A vigil is being held at Manchester town hall later to remember the victims of the terror attack in Westminster

Rugby: Sale Sharks centre signs new contract

BBC Sport

Mark Jennings has signed a new two-year contract with Sale Sharks .

Mark Jennings
Rex Features

The centre, 24, came through Sale's academy and was the youngest player to sign a professional deal with the Sharks, aged 16.

Jennings, who has represented England youth level, has made six Premiership appearances for Sale this season.

"He has stayed loyal to the club since joining and he will play a big part in what we are building at the club," Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond said.

London attacks: Injured student 'hit head-on by car'

A university student who was left broken bones in the attack at Westminster  yesterday has told how he was hit head-on by a car, and said it "could have been a lot worse".

Travis Frain
Travis Frain/Facebook

Travis Frain, from Darwen, was one of 13 Edge Hill University students on an educational trip in London  when the attack took place in which four people died.

The 19-year-old is being treated at Kings College Hospital and is awaiting surgery for his leg. He also suffered fractures to his hand.

In a message on Facebook, he said: "At the end of the day it could have been a hell of a lot worse, as we've seen with other people there."

He also said "a massive thank you" to emergency services.

Westminster Bridge
getty

Severe disruption: M66 Greater Manchester southbound

BBC News Travel

M66 Greater Manchester southbound severe disruption, between J3 for and J4 for M60.

M66 Greater Manchester - One lane closed on M66 southbound between J3, Hollins and J4, M60 (Simister Island), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Everton agree deal for new stadium site

Everton have agreed a deal to acquire land on which to build a new £300m stadium in Liverpool, BBC Radio Merseyside understands.

Everton's Goodison stadium
Getty Images

The Premier League club and landowners Peel Holdings have reached agreement on the Bramley Moore Dock site near the River Mersey.

It was announced as the  preferred site for the club's proposed new stadium  in January.

Planning permission would have to be given for any future development.

Speed limit on road next to fracking site lowered

The speed limit on the road next to the fracking site on the Fylde is being lowered.

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The county council says for safety reasons, the stretch of Preston New Road near the site will become a 20 mph limit, instead of the usual 50.

Energy firm Cuadrilla was given permission by the government to explore for shale gas at the Little Plumpton site in October last year , but the work has attracted protests from opponents of fracking who have been trying to slow up the movement of vehicles.

Student hurt in London terror attack thanks emergency services

Lancaster Guardian

A “battered and bruised” Morecambe student has thanked the emergency services for helping him through the ordeal after being caught up in yesterday’s terror attack in London.

Owen Lambert
Getty Images

Arrest over Porsche crash death

A man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after a passenger died when a car crashed into a lamp-post.  

Greenacres Road, Oldham
Google

A Porsche Boxster hit a lamp-post in Greenacres Road, Oldham, at about 14:10 on Wednesday.

The passenger, a man aged 42, was taken to hospital with serious injuries but died a short time later.

A 46-year-old man is being questioned by police. 

Wythenshawe school principal back home after Westminster terror ordeal

Wythenshawe Reporter

The principal of a Wythenshawe academy school is back home safe with his family after he was caught up in yesterday’s terror attack in Westminster.  

Merseyrail Grand National strike 'unfair'

A strike by Merseyrail workers on Liverpool's "biggest day of the year for tourists" is unfair, a tourism leader has said.

Grand National
Reuters

Bill Addy, chairman of the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network, said he hoped RMT union members planning a walkout over driver-only trains on the day of the Grand National in Aintree would come to an agreement with train bosses. 

He said using the race day on 8 April, which he claims generates £9m for the economy, "as leverage in their ongoing dispute" was "disappointing".

"[It] isn’t playing fair for the city’s visitor economy and the many local businesses that rely on it... and we hope that both parties involved can come to an agreement to avoid such action.”

London attack: Book of condolence at Manchester town hall

Clare Fallon

BBC reporter

A book of condolence has been opened for the victims of yesterday's attack in Westminster which left four people dead.

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Weather: Bright and breezy

BBC Weather

It is turning brighter this afternoon with light winds making it feel pleasant in the sunshine.  

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Severe accident: A576 Greater Manchester both ways

BBC News Travel

A576 Greater Manchester both ways severe accident, between Broom Lane and Upper Park Road.

A576 Greater Manchester - A576 Leicester Road in Salford closed and heavy traffic in both directions between the Broom Lane junction and the Upper Park Road junction, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Cycling: Team Wiggins 'surprised' by Tour de Yorkshire omission

BBC Sport

Team Wiggins say they are "surprised" and "disappointed" after being excluded from next month's Tour de Yorkshire.

Bradley Wiggins
Getty Images

The team, founded by five-time Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins to develop young British talent, was omitted from the race which runs from 28-30 April.

"It's very disappointing and it is very much a surprise," said the team's sports director Simon Cope.

Race organisers said the event was oversubscribed and "unfortunately someone had to miss out".

Severe accident: A5145 Greater Manchester both ways

BBC News Travel

A5145 Greater Manchester both ways severe accident, at Kings Road.

A5145 Greater Manchester - A5145 Edge Lane in Stretford blocked and heavy traffic in both directions at the Kings Road junction, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

'Steep rise' in child sex offences in the North West

There has been a "steep rise" in the number of child sex offences recorded by police in the North West in the past year, a children's charity has said.

Child looking out of a window
Jupiter Images

In Lancashire the number of reports increased by 536 from 2014-2015, figures obtained by the NSPCC revealed.

That was followed by 480 more cases which Greater Manchester Police dealt with in that period.

Cheshire's rose by 287 and 137 in Merseyside.

The crimes police recorded against children included rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation.

Vigil to be held in Manchester for Westminster attack victims

A vigil for the victims of the Westminster attack in which four people died is to be held outside Manchester town hall this evening.

Manchester town hall
BBC

The building will be lit red, white and blue, and the flag will fly at half-mast in tribute to those who were killed and hurt in yesterday's incident.

Members of the public are invited to join the vigil led by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Carl Austin-Behan.

Manchester City Council said as well as paying tribute to the victims it would show "the true spirit of Britain" and that "Manchester stands in solidarity with London".

London attack: Injured student having leg surgery

A student injured in the Westminster attacks in which four people died is having surgery to his leg, it has emerged.

Edge Hill
Google

Thirteen students and a lecturer from Edge Hill University in Ormskirk were on a two-day educational visit in London when the attack took place yesterday .

The university said Travis Frain, 19, remains at King's College Hospital receiving treatment.

Pro Vice Chancellor, Lynda Brady said of the remaining 12 students, three have already returned to their homes, with the other nine are on their way back.

Headlines for the North West

  • An Edge Hill University student  injured in the attack in Westminster yesterday  is undergoing leg surgery
  • A vigil is to be held outside Manchester town hall this evening to remember those affected by the terror attack.
  • A 42-year-old man has died in a crash in Oldham

Man jailed for life for 'savage' murder

A man has been jailed for life after a 39-year-old was killed in a "savage and unprovoked" street attack in Bolton.

GMP
Tomasz Bubrowski

Sebastian Zuchlinski stabbed in Davenport Street on 6 February and died at the scene.

He was dragged from a car and attacked by three men with machetes and knives as he lay on the floor, police said.

Tomasz Bubrowski, 39, (pictured) was ordered to serve a minimum of 31 years in prison after being found guilty of murder at Bolton Crown Court.

Det Insp John Mulvihill said it was "a savage and unprovoked attack that took the life of an unarmed man".

London attack: Edge Hill students start returning home

Students from Edge Hill University who were caught up in  the attack in Westminster in which four people died  have started to return home.

Owen Lambert
Getty Images

The 13 students and a lecturer from the university, in Ormskirk, were on the first day of a two-day educational visit to the Houses of Parliament when the attack took place yesterday afternoon.

Those hurt include Travis Frain, from Darwen, and 18-year-old Owen Lambert (pictured), from Morecambe, who is understood to have required stitches to a head wound.

Those who died are PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade who worked at a London college, a man in his 50s and the attacker.

Seven of the injured are still in hospital in a critical condition and a further 29 have been treated in hospital.

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire northbound severe disruption, between J18 for A54 Middlewich and J19 for A556.

M6 Cheshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M6 northbound between J18, A54 (Middlewich) and J19, A556 (Knutsford), because of a broken down vehicle and recovery work.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Man dies after car crashes into lamp-post

A man has died after a car crashed into a lamp-post in Oldham.

Greenacres Road, Oldham
Google

The 42-year-old was a passenger in a Porsche Boxster when it smashed into a lamp-post in Greenacres Road.

He was taken to hospital with serious injuries but died shortly afterwards. 

A 46-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Tate Liverpool to showcase history of Germany and Space works

The Tate Liverpool is to showcase work focusing on Germany's history and themes relating to Space.

Otto Dix
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

The Portraying a Nation: Germany 1919 – 1933 and Space Tapestry: Faraway Missions exhibitions take place from 23 June to 15 October. 

The shows will bring together a trio of artists, Otto Dix, August Sander and Aleksandra Mir, whose work includes paintings, drawings, prints and photographs.

Police forces fly flags at half-mast in honour of Westminster attack victims

Flags at police headquarters across the North West are flying at half-mast as a minute's silence was held as a mark of respect to those who died in the Westminster attack yesterday.

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Greater Manchester Police, Cheshire Constabulary, Merseyside Police and Lancashire Constabulary have paid tribute after four people died including a police officer.

Wayne Hemmingway searches for original models for festival

A fashion designer is searching for the original models who took part in his first fashion show.

Wayne Hemmingway
BBC

Wayne Hemingway, who launched Red or Dead in Blackburn in 1983, is looking for the local models and the original factory and shop staff, who showcased his designs. 

He made the appeal as part of the town's Festival of Making in May, which will highlight the history of manufacturing and encourage young people to be creative.

Fashion show, Blackburn
The National Festival of Making

My memories of starting out in Blackburn revive the exciting feeling of knowing that you're setting out on an adventure and our adventure still hasn't come to an end well into our fourth decade after starting out.

Wayne Hemingway