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  1. Updates on Tuesday 23 December 2014
  2. More from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

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Good evening

Local Live has finished for today. We'll be back on Wednesday from 08:00 with more news, sport, travel and weather.

Remaining wet and windy

BBC Weather

Remaining cloudy, wet and windy this evening and into the start of the night, but clearer and colder conditions will spread from the north.

Highs of 12C (54F). Check out the forecast for the next few days


Delays continue in Litherland

Traffic is still bad at the A5036 Dunnings Bridge Road eastbound in Litherland between the A5038 Netherton Way junction and Switch Island,

warns BBC Travel.

Trains are not stopping on Merseyrail at Hamilton Square due to engineering works.

'Intruder' at school

Wirral Globe

Police are responding to

reports of an intruder at a Wirral school.

Derby kick-off row latest

A decision to take legal action against the Premier League if it refuses to move the Merseyside derby kick-off time has been deferred.

Liverpool City Council has

requested an earlier start time to the scheduled 17:30 Everton v Liverpool clash on 7 February at Goodison Park.

It said it was seeking legal advice over where it stands if the Premier League does not bring it forward.

Rare turtle washed up

Chris Long

BBC News

A very rare turtle has washed ashore at Formby, 5,000 miles (8,000 km) from its native waters.

Kemp's Ridley turtle in Formby
Wildife Trust

The juvenile Kemp's ridley turtle usually inhabits the Gulf of Mexico, but may have been "cold-stunned" by a drop in ocean temperatures off the US.

A second turtle also washed up further up the coast, at Walney Island in Cumbria.

Marine mammal expert Rod Penrose said there was a "very good chance" more could appear.

Liverpool 'party capital' of NW

Liverpool Echo

Liverpool is the capital of 24-hour drinking, with more venues licensed to sell booze around the clock than anywhere in the North West.

Stones could return

BBC Radio Merseyside

John Stones could return to Everton's starting 11 for the first of their Christmas fixtures.

The Blues face Stoke at home on Boxing Day.

John Stones
Getty Images

The young defender is likely to return after he was

injured at Old Trafford at the beginning of October.

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Row over Merseyside derby

Lynette Horsburgh

BBC News

Liverpool City Council has threatened to take legal action if the Premier League refuse a request to change the kick-off time of February's Merseyside derby.

Everton FC ground
Getty Images

The match at Goodison Park is scheduled to take place at 17:30 on 7 February, but Liverpool City Council's Licensing Committee and Merseyside Police want it to start earlier.

Police have raised their concerns about the timing of the match, which has directly resulted in it being elevated to a Category C fixture with a high risk of disorder.

Wolf mask robber hunted

An armed robber wearing a wolf mask jumped over the counter of a bookies and threatened two female staff members with a knife.

Robber wearing a wolf mask

Police are

searching for the raider who took cash from the Betfred on Higher Parr Street in St Helens on Sunday night. CCTV is being analysed.

Strong winds on M6

BBC Travel says there are strong winds on the M6 Thelwall Viaduct between J20, A50 (Lymm Interchange) and J21, A57 (Woolston). Matrix signs have been set to 50 mph.

Hero's service takes place

Richard Turner

BBC News Online


memorial stone has now been dedicated to a Falklands War soldier from Wirral whose family have been campaigning for a posthumous bravery award.

Cpl Stewart McLaughlin, a 27-year-old paratrooper, was killed leading charges towards Argentine machine-gunners in the Battle of Mount Longdon in 1982.

The brick was laid on the People's Path at Liverpool Cathedral earlier.

The last-minute rush

BBC Radio Merseyside

It's a busy shopping day on Church Street in Liverpool city centre.

Shoppers on Church Street

Traffic in Litherland

There is queuing traffic on the A5036 Dunnings Bridge Road eastbound in Litherland between the A5038 Netherton Way junction and Switch Island.

The latest information is on

BBC Travel.

Honour for Falklands hero

Simon Moffatt

Reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

Here is Stewart, the son of Cpl Stewart McLaughlin, holding the brick which will be placed on the people's path at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral in memory of his father.

A 27-year-old paratrooper, Cpl McLaughlin was killed leading charges towards Argentine machine-gunners in the Battle of Mount Longdon in 1982.


His family said a citation from 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment was submitted for a medal but it was lost.

Earlier this year hundreds of Falklands War veterans and serving troops

marched on Downing Street to call for the Wirral soldier to be posthumously recognised for his bravery.

Natasha Dowie signs new Liverpool contract

BBC Sport

Liverpool striker Natasha Dowie has signed a new contract with the club.

Natasha Dowie
FA via Getty

The 26-year-old's goals have fired the Merseyside club to consecutive Women's Super League titles.

Dowie was the top scorer for Matt Beard's side, hitting the net 13 times last season, and was voted the FA Players' Player of the Year.

Weather lacks 'festive feel'

BBC Weather

tweets: The weather today still lacks that festive feel for many. Here's your #weatherplanner... MattT

Outlook for Tuesday
BBC weather

Shameless creator films scene in Lymm

Warrington Guardian

Film crews have been spotted in Lymm for the second time in less than six months.

The village is proving to be the location of choice for TV dramas after

camera crews were spotted in Barsbank Lane for Shameless creator Paul Abbott's new show.

Coming up

Eleanor Moritz

North West Tonight

Two men appear in court accused of the murder of off-duty PC Neil Doyle in Liverpool, the family of Tracey Mertens who was murdered outside a church in Cheshire 20 years ago make a new appeal for information and a memorial is laid at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral in honour of Cpl Stewart Mcloughlin from Wirral who was killed in the Falklands War.

Watch more on BBC One at 13:30.

Mexico turtle found on Formby beach

Chris Long

BBC News

A turtle native to the Gulf of Mexico has been found washed up on Formby beach, the

North West Wildlife Trust says.

Kemp's Ridley turtle
Wildlife Trust

The Kemp's Ridley turtle could have been carried by strong currents from warmer seas to Sefton's coastline.

Marine conservation officer Emily Baxter said: "It is rare for non-native turtles to be washed ashore in the North West, but there have been strong westerly winds over December."

It is being cared for by the


Arrest over M6 crash

A HGV driver from Southport has been arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving following the four-vehicle crash on the M6, Cheshire Police said.

Two men remain in hospital with serious injuries after the collision involving a HGV and three cars between junctions 16 and 17 of the southbound M6 on Monday.

Three other people taken to hospital have since been discharged.

The 47-year-old HGV driver has been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Bogus courier e-fit released

This is an e-fit of a man who is believed to be one of a group of offenders who posed as police officers to steal cash from elderly people.

An Efit of the courier
Merseyside Police

Merseyside Police released the picture after at least five people were targeted in St Helens this month. The offenders called them on the telephone and told them to withdraw money from their bank accounts, which would be picked up by a courier later.

One of the victims, a 76-year-old woman, has helped to compile an e-fit of the bogus courier.

Recognition for Falklands soldier

A Wirral soldier who

didn't receive his promised bravery medal will be recognised at a special ceremony in Liverpool later.

A brick is to be placed on the people's path at the city's Anglican Cathedral in memory of Cpl Stewart McLaughlin, who died in 1982.

Cpl Stewart McLaughlin,

His brother Mark says it is "a wonderful tribute".

Mark and the rest of Stewart's family are hoping that it will pave the way for a 30-year wrong to be righted.

Slow traffic on A5058

BBC Travel reports there's slow traffic on the A5058 Queens Drive in Clubmoor at the A580 Townsend Avenue traffic lights junction.

Men in court over PC's murder

Two men have appeared in court accused of the murder of off-duty Merseyside Police constable Neil Doyle.

PC Doyle, 36, (pictured) was allegedly attacked on a Christmas night out near the Aloha Club in Liverpool early on Friday.

PC Neil Doyle
Merseyside Police

Andrew Taylor, 28, of Cherry Tree Road, Huyton, and Christopher Spendlove, 30, of Brandearth Hey, Stockbridge Village, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court.

They were remanded in custody until a hearing on 6 January at the same court.

Chester out of FA Trophy

BBC Radio Merseyside

There was disappointment for Chester last night after they went out of the FA Trophy following their first round replay.

The game finished 1-1 after extra time, with Telford going through 4-3 in the penalty shoot out.

Analysis: Pothole repair fund

Richard Westcott

BBC Transport Correspondent

This government came to power vowing to take a pick-axe to road maintenance budgets, then ended up chucking large, emergency pots of cash at the problem every time flood water or ice opened up more potholes.


Now ministers are promising

more money and more certainty with a budget spread out over the next six years.

Meanwhile, campaigners claim that it's not nearly enough to fix the repair backlog built up over recent bad winters.

Changes to bin collections

Liverpool City Council

tweets: Your bin collection dates will change over the festive period. Click here to find out how you are affected:

Fire death victim 'so brave'

Emma Stanley

BBC News

Police believe Tracey Mertens was abducted and bundled into the back of a yellow Ford Escort parked outside before being driven to Eaton churchyard in 1994.

A member of the public came to her aid after she was attacked.

She was taken to hospital and was able to tell detectives what had happened to her.

Det Insp Gary McIntyre said: "She was so brave and told detectives as much as she could before she died."

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Merseyside pothole repair fund

Giulia Bould

BBC Radio Merseyside

Almost £90m is to be spent repairing potholes across Merseyside.

The money is being spread out between 2015 and 2021.

The Department for Transport says it wants to have a road network fit for the 21st Century.

Elizabeth Box, from the RAC Foundation, however told us how our roads are just getting too old now so repairing them is not cost-effective.

Arrest after M6 crash

Liverpool Echo

A man from Merseyside was arrested after a

major motorway crash.

M6 slow after accident

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

There's slow traffic on the M6 northbound between junction 21, A57 (Woolston), and junction 21a, M62 (Croft Interchange), because of an accident involving one vehicle earlier.

BBC Travel News says all lanes have reopened.

Tributes to Cocker

Giulia Bould

BBC Radio Merseyside

Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have

led tributes to British singer Joe Cocker.

The 70-year-old from Sheffield died after battling lung cancer.

He was best known for songs like With A Little Help From My Friends and You Are So Beautiful.

Appeal over fire murder

Emma Stanley

BBC News

Police have

renewed appeals for information on the 20th anniversary of the death of a woman who was set on fire in a churchyard in Cheshire.

Tracey Mertens
Cheshire Police

Tracy Mertens, 31, from Rochdale, was abducted in Birmingham and doused in petrol and set alight in Eaton churchyard near Congleton on 23 December 1994. She sustained horrific burns to her body and died 12 hours later.

Police are offering a £30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.