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  1. Updates on 3 December 2014
  2. More from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Paul Burnell

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night

That's all for Local Live for the night. The service returns at 08:00 on Thursday and you can still reach the team at

Coming up

Annabel Tiffin

Presenter, North West Today

On the day of the Autumn statement we hear about the money Chancellor George Osborne has pledged for the North West.

There will be the latest from the Hillsborough inquests.

And we will be looking at the story of the Liverpool sailor who dared to challenge the President of the United States over slavery.

Watch BBC North West Tonight at 18:30 on BBC One.

Brand to sue newspaper

Russell Brand

tweets: Hey
@rupertmurdoch I'm gonna sue you and give the money to #NewEraEstate and JFT96

The sun

Gun amnesty figures

Twenty guns have been handed to Cheshire Police during the national firearms amnesty. The force said the items included shotguns, replica firearms and ammunition. The amnesty continues until Friday this week.

Motorway delays cleared

The Highways Agency

tweets: Delays on M58 toward M6 have cleared. One lane closed on the E/B link to M6 S/B while we deal with clean up following an accident.

Duo could miss Hull clash

BBC Sport

Everton's James McCarthy (pictured) and Steven Naismith are both struggling with hamstring injuries ahead of tonight's home game with Hull.

James McCarthy

Manager Roberto Martinez reckons Naismith has an "outside chance" of being involved but is not expecting McCarthy to recover in time.

Airport welcomes duty abolition

Liverpool John Lennon Airport has welcomed news in the Autumn Statement that the Chancellor George Osborne has announced the abolition of Air Passenger Duty (APD) for children under the age of 12 from 1st May 2015 and for children under the age of 16 the following year.

Liverpool, along with other airport operators across the UK, have lobbied the Government for some time over this unfair tax, arguing that it should be completely scrapped in order to help the aviation industry generate improvements to the economy through more business, jobs, investment and visitors to the UK.

Queues by tunnel booth

BBC Travel says there's queuing traffic that's heavier than usual on the Kingsway (Wallasey Tunnel) outbound from Liverpool City Centre to the Toll Booths junction.

Tribute to bus lifesaver


tweets: Two years ago today a stranger on the bus & staff
@RoyalLpoolHosps saved my life goes without saying #THANKYOU

Billy plays the Cavern Club

BBC Radio Merseyside

Here's Radio Merseyside presenter Billy Butler in his 1960s heyday - DJing in Liverpool's famous Cavern Club.

Billy Butler

The photo was sent in via Twitter by
@AngelJCake and shows our Billy in 1968.

Salty's season's greetings

Paul Salt

BBC Radio Merseyside

So the Blairs have done a personalised Christmas's been described as "menacingly odd" and "terrifying" so producer Jess and I thought we'd do our own - do you send family photo cards?!

Radio Merseyside's card
BBC/Tony Blair

Get in touch on

Facebook using the Get Involved tab.

News on the hour

Graham Whyte

BBC Radio Merseyside

Chancellor George Osborne has given his Autumn Statement, unveiling wide-ranging measures to boost the North West's economy.

This includes £3m of investment in arts projects in cities such as Liverpool to commemorate World War One.

Hillsborough inquests latest

Ben Schofield

BBC Radio Merseyside

"Valuable minutes" were lost during the Hillsborough disaster after a "flawed" assessment by a senior ambulance officer, the new inquests have heard.

Former station officer Paul Eason admitted his "biggest mistake" was to assume what had happened was down to "crowd problems".

Mr Eason said he did not see fans crushed in the pens and decided that his first priority was a casualty with a suspected fractured leg.

He said he and his colleagues "did the best that we could" in extreme circumstances.

The inquests are being held after 96 football fans were fatally injured after a crush at the FA Cup semi-final held at Hillsborough in 1989.

Another cold night

Dianne Oxberry

Weather presenter, North West Tonight

Another cold night with a widespread frost and some patchy fog too, minimum -2C. (28.4F)

Weather graphic

Thursday has a cold but sunny start, though cloud will build and there could be an isolated afternoon shower on hills with the maximum temperature 6C (42.8F).

Get in touch

Tom Mullen

BBC News

We've introduced Local Live from our base in Liverpool. Let us know

what you think.

Town drops 'narrow' view on romance

Paul Burnell

BBC News

A market town's pavements which were designed to stop couples canoodling are to be widened 220 years later.

Knutsford street plan
Cheshire East Council

Knutsford's main street was designed to stop men and women walking side by side by the aristocrat who paid for it.

Lady Jane Stanley, the daughter of the 11th Earl of Derby did not like couples walking arm in arm.

"I fear there will be lots of people walking hand in hand when it is widened," said Councillor Peter Raynes.

Rodgers praises Gerrard

Mike Hughes

BBC Radio Merseyside Sport

Back-to-back wins for Liverpool has moved them up to eighth in the Premier League table - going some way to restoring confidence among the fans.

Steven Gerrard
Getty Images

Brendan Rodgers praised Steven Gerrard, who scored in last night's 3-1 victory at Leicester.

The Reds' boss said: "I thought he was outstanding. Great energy and great freshness in his legs. For his goal - there's not many better in that position. Great composure for the finish. Overall I thought his contribution was vital."

Motorway link road closed

The Highways Agency

tweets: Recovery taking place on the M58 E/B onto M6 S/B link road. Closed at present but hoping to get a lane back soon. Pls plan ahead.

Benefit fraudster jailed

Andy Gill

BBC North West Tonight

A man who admitted conning an elderly woman and committing benefit fraud totalling £200,000, has been jailed for more than three years.

Liverpool Crown Court heard David Williams, 34, of Parkend Road, Birkenhead claimed various disability-related benefits saying he was a wheelchair user, his wife had to feed him and he never left the house.

But benefit investigators found he was running his own satellite dishes/boxes fitting business which involved climbing ladders, working on roofs and carrying satellite dishes.

Watch more on BBC North West Tonight on BBC One at 18:30.

Special delivery

Claire Minter

BBC Radio Merseyside

I've been at Sainsbury's in Upton on day three of the fantastic Radio Merseyside Toy Appeal.

Toy Appeal

Billy Butler and I have certainly had a fun day. Don't forget to drop off your toys!

News on the hour

Graham Whyte

BBC Radio Merseyside

Chancellor George Osborne has given his Autumn Statement, unveiling wide-ranging measures to boost the North West's economy.

This includes £3m of investment in arts projects in cities such as Liverpool to commemorate World War One.

Mapping the past

Tom Mullen

BBC News

Here at Local Live HQ we've been taking a closer look at this 17th century map of the region,

which was put on display for the first time this week.

17th century map of Lancashire
University of Manchester

Who knew that Liverpool, Wallasey and Toxteth were spelt as Lerpoole, Wallasee and Tockheath?

I wonder what the rush-hour traffic was like on the M62 in those days.

Anger at councillor's blunder

Phil Cooper

BBC Radio Merseyside

Tuebrook councillor Steve Radford has been having his say on a blunder by councillor Steve Munby - who emailed sensitive information about staff job losses to all 90 members of the authority.

Steve Radby

Mr Munby has apologised for the error, but Mr Radford said: "People should never have been given information which is highly sensitive."

New £250m science centre announced

Tom Airey

BBC News

A new £235m science research centre has been given the go-ahead for Manchester in the Chancellor's Autumn statement - and will feature a branch in Liverpool.

The Sir Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials research and innovation will also have branches in Leeds and Sheffield.

The centre, based at the University of Manchester, will build on advances the city has made in developing materials like graphene.

Howard hopes for wins

Everton shot stopper Tim Howard hopes three points against Hull City tonight will be the catalyst for a run of victories over the festive month.

Tim Howard
Getty Images


told the club's official website: "For me, you want to play more than you train. You are not banging your body on the training pitch - it's rest, recover and play again.

"The important thing is that there are so many games - we lost at Tottenham but we don't let it linger. We go at it again and try to get the three points against Hull."

News on the hour

Graham Whyte

BBC Radio Merseyside

Chancellor George Osborne has given his Autumn Statement, unveiling wide-ranging measures to boost the North West's economy.

This includes £3m of investment in arts projects in cities such as Liverpool to commemorate World War One.

Martinez hopes for winning streak

Mike Hughes

BBC Radio Merseyside Sport

After an eight-match unbeaten run was ended at Tottenham on Sunday, Roberto Martinez is eager for his Everton players to regain the winning touch in tonight's Premier League game with Hull City at Goodison.

Roberto Martinez
Getty Images

Steven Naismith could return after a hamstring injury, but James McCarthy is again a doubtful starter due to his hamstring problem.

Brian Oviedo and Arouna Kone could also be involved. Martinez said: "We are desperate to be surrounded by our fans and to give everything we've got in a really challenging fixture"

Four held over distraction burglaries

Four people have been arrested in connection with a series of distraction burglaries in Sefton,

Merseyside Police have said.

Three of the men, aged 39, 51 and 60, were arrested on suspicion of committing distraction burglaries involving elderly residents.

A 24-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of fraud. They have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Blast from Billy's past

BBC Radio Merseyside

Here's a picture of Radio Merseyside DJ Billy Butler in a past life outside the Music Box.

Billy Butler

It was sent in to us via Twitter by

@AngelJCake. You can send us your pictures via
Facebook or

News on the hour

Graham Whyte

BBC Radio Merseyside

Chancellor George Osborne says the government's delivered in Manchester and his door is open to other cities which want to follow its cross-party lead.

He's also announced a quarter of a billion pounds in a new Sir Henry Royce Advanced Material Science Institute in Manchester with branches in Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield.

Autumn Statement: Merseyside reacts

Tom Mullen

BBC News

Chancellor George Osborne has been delivering his Autumn Statement, and has announced plans to improve rail links in the north, and grant more powers to regional authorities.

George Osborne
Getty Images

Phil Davies, chairman of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Wirral Council leader, said: "The chancellor's announcement to include additional combined authorities in the devolution process is just the beginning.

"The Liverpool city region has already started informal discussions to take back the decision-making over how our communities develop and progress and we look forward to meeting with the chancellor in the future."

Hillsborough update

Ben Schofield

BBC Radio Merseyside

Today's hearing in Warrington has been hearing from former senior ambulance officer Paul Eason.

Fans escaping pens during Hillsborough disaster
Hillsborough inquests

He says he thought a fan with suspected broken leg in the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough stadium was a "priority".

Mr Eason says his "mistake... was presuming it was something it turned out not to be". He'd thought it was "crowd trouble".

Man strangled and robbed

A 47-year-old man was strangled and robbed by a gang of balaclava-clad men in Runcorn.

Gorsewood Road

Police are appealing for information after the attack, which happened on Friday afternoon on a pathway leading to Gorsewood Road, in the Murdishaw area.

The victim tried to escape, but the pressure applied to his neck caused him to pass out. He woke up to find cash had been stolen.

Tranmere match off

Tranmere Rovers FC

tweets: "Today's reserve game against Wrexham has been postponed due to burst pipes at Rivacre Park."

Toy appeal fun

Billy Butler

BBC Radio Merseyside

It's day three of our toy appeal and I'm here at Upton Sainsbury's. Come and drop your toys off!

Billy Butler at Sainsbury's

Rodgers hails Gerrard

BBC Sport

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is "not sure" when Steven Gerrard will sign a new deal -

but believes his captain still has more to offer.

Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard
Getty Images

Gerrard, 34, who has been offered a new contract, scored on his return to the starting line up in last night's 3-1 win at Leicester.

"If I can manage his training and games he can still have real impact for this team," said Rodgers.