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  1. Updates on Monday 23 February 2015
  2. Please join us on Tuesday for more news, sport, travel and weather for Merseyside

Live Reporting

By Emma Stanley

All times stated are UK

So long...

That's all for today folks.

Please join us tomorrow for more news, sport, travel and weather across Merseyside.

Have a good evening!

More wind to follow

BBC Weather


A windy night is in store across Merseyside with clear spells and further squally showers.

weather screengrab

The showers will be rather frequent for a time with further snow falling over the hills. Clear spells will allow some icy patches and perhaps a patchy frost in sheltered spots.

Do you recognise this stolen jewellery?

Merseyside Police have released pictures of stolen property recovered from an address in Birkenhead.

stolen items of jewellery
Merseyside police

Some items have been returned to their rightful owners, but police still want to trace the owners of a number of items including the jewellery pictured.

A 23-year-old man, arrested on suspicion of burglary, has been bailed pending further enquiries.

When Tony met Willy

The playwright Willy Russell has been entertaining audiences in the theatre and on screen for nearly 40 years with hits like Blood Brothers and Shirley Valentine.

Willy Russell with Tony Snell

Now Educating Rita is returning to the Liverpool stage for the first time in 13 years.

Tony Snell met him and you can watch the interview on

Inside Out North West tonight on BBC One at 19:30 GMT.

M53 queues

BBC Travel North West

There are queues on the exit slip-road and heavier-than-usual traffic northbound on the M53 at junction 4 for the A5137 (Bebington).

Coming up on North West Tonight

Roger Johnson

Presenter, North West Tonight

On tonight's programme, we'll ask if the Department for Work and Pensions is keeping crucial progress reports on the roll-out of Universal Credit benefit secret until after the general election - after it refuses orders to make it public.

There's the latest from the Hillsborough Inquests, where a jury member has been discharged for "wholly exceptional medical reasons".

And we'll also look at how a Mersey ferry is set to "dazzle" people to mark a centenary since World War One.

All this and more from 18:30 on BBC One - hope you can join us.

Final chapter for mobile library

Halton's mobile library service will stop operating on Saturday 28 March, the council says.


Users will be able to borrow and return books as normal up until 7 March and will have until 28 March to make returns. After this date, returns can be made to any other Halton library.

The decommissioning of the mobile library service follows council budget cuts.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

Liverpool's mayor has announced 10 children's centres, earmarked for closure, have now been saved.

Joe Anderson told a meeting of parents at St George's Hall that funding for the Sure Start centres has been guaranteed for the next two years.

Just Hoff to visit Liverpool

Liverpool Echo


David Hasselhoff swapped Malibu beach for the more bracing climate of Liverpool's Pier Head when he was spotted out and about today.

David Hasselhoff

The Baywatch star is in town for the annual BBC Worldwide Showcase extravaganza, in which some of the biggest names in television are highlighting their new shows at a four-day event.

Cumberbatch tribute to teenage fan

Warrington Guardian

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has

paid tribute to one of the show's biggest fans, who died at the age of 14 after a series of health complications.

Benedict Cumberbatch

The Oscar nominee expressed his sadness that he was unable to attend today's funeral of Eve Shepherd, who underwent more than 200 operations after her premature birth in 2000.

"To lose someone so young who fought for her health all her life must be beyond endurance," the actor wrote in a letter read out at the service.

Everton striker's Brentford loan extended

BBC Sport

Championship side Brentford have extended

Everton forward Chris Long's loan spell at Griffin Park by a month.

Chris Long
Getty Images

The 19-year-old scored in the Bees' 3-1 win against promotion rivals Bournemouth on Saturday - his first goal in his five games since joining in January.

"I am delighted with Chris's contribution at the start of his loan," Brentford manager Mark Warburton told the club website.

Benefit fraudster pleads guilty

A woman from St Helens has been order to repay more than £4,700 in overpaid benefits.

St Helens' Council said Jennifer Tabern, 44, from Bolton Street, pleaded guilty to failing to declare that her income had increased.

Magistrates in St Helens ordered her to pay £190 in court costs and fines and repay the overpaid benefits.

Crime prevention cash

The Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner is inviting residents and groups to

apply for funding to help protect communities from crime.

Merseyside's Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy

Jane Kennedy said the Crime Prevention Fund will will be used to help charities, community groups and social enterprises stop problems before they occur.

The aim is to reduce the opportunities for crime and deter people from becoming involved in anti-social and illegal behaviour.

Cold night ahead

There will be clear skies and showers, wintry in places, particularly over higher ground tonight.

weather forecast

Not only will it stay very windy with severe gales possible across exposed areas, there will frost and ice in places too.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

Liverpool's mayor has announced 10 children's centres, which were earmarked for closure, have been saved.

Joe Anderson told a meeting of parents at St George's Hall that funding for the Sure Start centres has been guaranteed for the next two years.

Children's centres: Cash reserves used

Reserves of £2.4m will be used to help keep all Sure Start children's centres open for the next two years, Liverpool City Council says.

Gallery celebrates Chinese New Year

Wirral Globe

Lion and dragon dancing displays were among

Chinese New Year celebrations at the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight at the weekend.

Chinese dragon

Also among the entertainment was Chinese storytelling and calligraphy demonstrations as more than 100 people gathered to watch the dancing outside the gallery.

BreakingBreaking News

Children's centres will stay open


Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson says all children's centres in the city will stay open for at least the next two years.

Hillsborough inquests latest

Ben Schofield

Hillsborough reporter

The police match commander at the Hillsborough disaster was not inside the control box at the stadium 25 minutes after the match was stopped, the inquests have heard.

Lawrence Fletcher, who was among the first firefighters to make it on to the pitch, went into the control box at about 15:30 BST.

He told the jury the two PCs inside told him they did not know where Ch Supt David Duckenfield was and that they could not contact him.

Mr Fletcher agreed that, when he went into the box, he could see there was a medical emergency unfolding on the pitch.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

Parents, campaigning to save children's centres from closure in Liverpool, are holding talks with the city's Mayor about their future.

Last month, Joe Anderson warned 10 Sure Start centres could be shut because of further government cuts.

Your pictures

Thanks to John Hopkins for sending in this striking image of Albert Dock From Liverpool One.

Albert Dock From Liverpool One
john hopkins

I love to see your pictures, so if you have one you'd like to share, you can contact me on

Facebook or

Reds' rise 'built on defence'

Mark Lawrenson

Football analyst

People have spent a large part of this season waiting for Liverpool's new-look attack to click but it's their defence that has played a big part in the Reds' return to form.

The 3-4-2-1 formation that manager Brendan Rodgers has adopted since the end of last year suits their fast attacking players but has given them solidity at the back too.

Liverpool's average formation vs Southampton

Read more as Mark Lawrenson expands on his TV analysis.

Nurse sacked for pinching chips

BBC Radio Merseyside

A nurse in Ellesmere Port has been struck off the nursing register for eating a patient's chips.


Lesley Ann Collins was originally suspended for four months after taking the chips of a patient with mental health problems without permission, and accepting a gift from the family of another patient, at the Meadow Park Independent Hospital in Ellesmere Port.

But today, the

Nursing and Midwifery Council ruled she had not demonstrated any insight in the seriousness of her actions or engaged in the disciplinary process.

Via Twitter

Childwall bus crash

Mersey Fire

tweets: Bus In Collision With Railings In Childwall

Work starts on Shankly Hotel

Work is due to start this week on a new £20m Shankly-themed hotel in Liverpool.

Bill Shankly

The 83-bedroom hotel will honour the legendary Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly.

The Shankly Hotel on Victoria Street will create over 200 new full and part-time jobs and includes a museum dedicated to the football icon.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

A former firefighter says the police match commander at the Hillsborough disaster wasn't inside the control box 25 minutes after the match was cancelled.

Lawrence Fletcher told the Hillsborough inquests he went to the command post to make contact with senior police officers but the two constables inside told him that Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield wasn't there.

Mayor riled by Clarkson comments

Liverpool Echo

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said he will speak to a BBC director about Jeremy Clarkson after the

Top Gear host made comments about the city in a national newspaper column.

Jeremy Clarkson

The mayor branded the presenter an "oaf" and "buffoon" after his column in the Sunday Times included a description of a stay in the city where, he claimed, a waitress didn't know what a kipper was.

MP's pledge to nursery

BBC Radio Merseyside

Labour's shadow childcare minister and Wirral South MP Alison McGovern has been outlining the party's commitment to boost free childcare provision for three and four-year olds, if it wins the next election.

Alison McGovern (centre) with staff from Ganneys Meadow Early Years Centre

Labour is pledging to increase the number of free hours from 15 to 25 hours a week.

This morning, she visited

Ganneys Meadow Early Years Centre in Woodchurch, where she heard from staff about the crucial skills a child can develop if they're given access to nursery education.

McGovern backs children's centres

Liverpool screenwriter Jimmy McGovern is backing a campaign to prevent up to ten children's centres in Liverpool from closing.

Child playing
Getty Images

Last month, the authority announced

plans to shut ten of the 17 across the city to save cash as part of plans to cut £150m from its budget.

Families have been invited to meet the Mayor at St George's Hall this afternoon.

Saints' coach praises Souths

BBC Sport

Keiron Cunningham praised the ruthlessness of South Sydney Rabbitohs after they beat St Helens by a record margin in the World Club Challenge.

George Burgess
Getty Images

The Saints head coach watched on as his team were overpowered by the National Rugby League champions 39-0.

The Australian side ran in seven tries with Saints unable to score a point.

"They're a great side, they took every single opportunity and scored a try. I feel for my players - they're dejected," Cunningham said.

News on the hour

Giulia Bould

BBC Radio Merseyside

A member of the jury at the Hillsborough Inquests has been discharged this morning for what's been described as "wholly exceptional medical reasons".

The coroner told the remaining members of the jury about departure at the start of this morning's session.

Dog starts toaster fire

A boxer dog caused a fire in a Gateacre kitchen by accidentally starting the toaster, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said.

Firefighters said they suspect the dog activated the switch when it jumped onto the worktop causing a tea towel on top of the toaster to catch fire.

The dog, a Chihuahua puppy and the occupiers were out of the property before firefighters arrived.

Chester’s Chinese names unveiled

VisitBritain is hoping to attract more Chinese visitors to Chester by giving the city a Chinese name.


The name will be chosen shortly, with the three most popular choices being:-

  • Qing Si Cheng - "city filled with thoughts"
  • Qian Song Cheng - "city of a thousand odes"
  • Qian Si Gu Cheng - sounds like "Chester" and means "ancient city of a thousand thoughts"

New homes for Latchford

Warrington Guardian

Plans to build more than 100 homes in Latchford have been approved after an agreement was reached on affordable housing.

Halebank Developments will build 104 properties off Marsden Avenue, with 32 being affordable housing and the remainder being sold at market value.

Hillsborough inquests juror released

Ben Schofield

A member of the Hillsborough inquests jury has been discharged for "wholly exceptional medical reasons".

Lord Justice Goldring

The coroner Lord Justice Goldring told the hearing in Warrington it was "very sad" the juror had gone but "we, of course, must carry on".

Wet and windy

BBC Weather says sunny spells and scattered showers will continue through this afternoon, locally heavy with hail and thunder.

Wet and windy weather

Showers will be also wintry in places, giving some snow accumulations. It'll be cold and windy with severe gales, especially towards Southport.

News on the hour

Giulia Bould

BBC Radio Merseyside

A member of the jury at the Hillsborough Inquests has been discharged this morning for what's been described as "wholly exceptional medical reasons".

The coroner told the remaining members of the jury about departure at the start of this morning's session.

Brave Murray stopped by Golovkin

St Helens boxer

Martin Murray suffered an 11th-round defeat by WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in Monte Carlo.

Martin Murray v Gennady Golovkin

Murray, 32, was twice knocked down by body shots in the fourth but showed bravery to take the undefeated champion past 10 rounds for the first time.

The Kazakh also floored Murray in the 10th and the referee stopped it with 50 seconds left in the penultimate round.

Homeware store 'creating jobs'

A homeware chain says it's creating 79 jobs with opening of a new store in Bromborough.

The Dunelm store at Croft Retail Park on Welton Road will be opened by the Mayor of Wirral, councillor Steve Foulkes on 3 March.

'The day I sang with The Beatles'

When she was a teenager, Lizzie Bravo used to stand outside Abbey Road studios every day, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Beatles.

John Lennon with Lizzie Bravo
Courtesy of Lizzie Bravo

The Brazilian moved to London in the late 1960s to work as an au pair.

She told BBC Brasil's Fernando Duarte how one day

her patience paid off as she got invited to sing with them.