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  1. Updates on Friday 20 February 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Good evening

That's all from BBC Local Live today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday.

Henderson showed maturity - Rodgers

BBC Sport

Liverpool's stand-in captain

Jordan Henderson's maturity came to the fore in letting Mario Balotelli take the match-winning penalty against Besiktas, boss Brendan Rodgers says.

Jordan Henderson, Mario Balotelli
Getty Images

Substitute Balotelli took the ball off Henderson to score in Liverpool's 1-0 win in last night's Europa League tie.

"Jordan showed his maturity and what a team player he is," Rodgers said.

Money for crime prevention

A £88,000 crime prevention fund has been launched today by Merseyside Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy.

Jane Kennedy
Getty Images

She invited community groups and charities to submit ideas to deter people from illegal or anti-social behaviour.

Ms Kennedy said they could receive "small cash boosts" ranging from £5,000 to £25,000 innovative schemes for the next financial year.

Happy birthday to Liverpool legend

Happy 64th birthday to former Liverpool full-back Phil Neal, who won four European cups with the club.

Phil Neal
Getty Images

He is the most decorated player in Liverpool's history, the

club says.

He left Anfield with a haul of medals which also included eight league titles, four League Cups and a Uefa Cup.

Flood alert on Mersey estuary

A flood alert has been put in place at the Mersey estuary from Liverpool to Warrington by the

Environment Agency.

Flood warning
Environment Agency

It has warned high tides, waves and unsettled weather may combine to bring a risk of localised flooding along the coast.

Jonathan Day, flood risk manager, said: "We are monitoring the situation closely with the

Met Office and will issue flood alerts and warnings as required."

Dispersal zones in New Brighton

Wirral Police say they are introducing two temporary dispersal zones in New Brighton this weekend after reports of increasing anti-social behaviour during half term week.

Getty Images

Officers will have the power to order people causing anti-social behaviour to leave the zones, under Section 34 of the new Anti-Social Behaviour legislation. If those people return to the area within 48 hours they can be arrested.

The first zone will cover Kings Parade, Wellington Road, Marine Park and the surrounding area; the second will cover Tower Grounds, Vaughan Road, Victoria Road, Victoria Parade and the surrounding area.

They will be in operation from 18:00 tonight until 17:00 on Sunday.

Missing man found

A 51-year-old man from Huyton who was reported missing has been found safe and well,

Merseyside Police said.

Gary Potter was last seen by friends and family at about 22:00 on Saturday.

Peel Hall housing plan latest

Warrington Guardian

Development of land at Peel Hall has edged a step closer after a High Court challenge resulted in the removal of elements of the council's housing policies from its local plan.

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Mersey Ferry prepares to dazzle

Tom Mullen

BBC News

A Mersey Ferry has been painted to look like a Dazzle Ship,

which were designed to disorientate enemies in conflict, as part of plans to mark the centenary of World War One.

Snowdrop dazzle ship

The Snowdrop has been re-painted in a unique design created by Sir Peter Blake, the artist behind the cover of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper album.

You can

watch a video package about the project.

On the programme tonight

Roger Johnson

Presenter, North West Tonight

A super-powerful electron microscope, unveiled by scientists in Warrington, has been described as a "game changer".

Super Stem 3 microscope

It's known as Super Stem 3 and it gives scientists their closest view of individual atoms.


North West Tonight at 18:30 to find out more.

Merseyside Police raises tax by 1.95%

Merseyside's Police and Crime Commissioner and the chief constable have agreed a budget by using £9m from their reserves and increasing their share of council tax by 1.95%.

Merseyside Police badge

Jane Kennedy and Merseyside Police chief Sir John Murphy approved the plan for the next financial year at a public meeting. They say they need to make cuts of £12.7m.

It followed a two-week public consultation where 89% of more than 1,500 people supported the proposals.

Teenager jailed for manslaughter

Emma Stanley

BBC News


teenager with mental health problems has been given a life sentence at Liverpool Crown Court for killing a man in a "callous and vicious" attack.

Anthony Hallard
Merseyside Police

Police found the body of David Rimmer, 69, in a flat in Borough Road, St Helens, on 13 September 2013.

Anthony Hallard, 19, of Rainhill Road, St Helens, was told he must serve a minimum term of seven years and 205 days after previously pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

News on the hour

Megan Key BBC Radio Merseyside

British Transport Police are trying to track down a woman they believe was sexually assaulted on a train from Chester to London.

Passengers reported a man verbally abused the woman and indecently assaulted her at about 19:30 yesterday before she got off the train at Crewe.

A cold one

Sara Blizzard

Weather Presenter

It will be a cold night with further showers, these perhaps wintry to lower levels during heavier bursts.

Sara Blizzard

Clearer spells will allow temperatures to fall low enough inland for frost and some icy patches.

Minimum temperature: -1C/30F

Mattress fire

Mersey Fire

tweets: Fire Involving a Mattress At A House In Walton

News on the hour

Megan Key BBC Radio Merseyside

British Transport Police are trying to track down a woman they believe was sexually assaulted on a train from Chester to London.

Passengers reported a man allegedly verbally abused the woman and indecently assaulted her at about 19:30 yesterday, before she got off the train at Crewe.

Man jailed for killing club landlord

Lynette Horsburgh

BBC News

A man who killed a Liverpool club landlord in what police described as a "despicable attack" has been

jailed for eight years.

Matthew Connah
Merseyside Police

Matthew Connah, 38, admitted the manslaughter of 64-year-old Richard Williams in August.

Rail disruption

Merseyrail say there will be no trains between Sandhills and Southport this Sunday and on 1 March due to engineering work.

Merseyrail sign

Rail replacement buses will run throughout the day.

Find more details here.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

A man has been arrested after two police officers were injured during a fight at Liverpool Crown Court.

It happened as 23-year-old Wayne Erskine arrived on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving after Vinnie Holligan - the son of boxing champion Andy Holligan - was killed.

Lukaku's hat-trick in focus

Romelu Lukaku's hat-trick for Everton last night was his second for an English club - he scored three goals in May 2013 for West Brom in a 5-5 Premier League draw with a Manchester United side who were being managed for the last time by the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson.

Romelu Lukaku
Getty Images

Roberto Martinez said: "He's the complete striker, but he's only 21 and people forget about that. Our desire and work we put in over the summer was to show we are the perfect place for him to develop."

'Costly for everyone'

Chris Long

BBC News

The new scheme to licence private landlords in Liverpool will be "costly for everyone", the National Landlords Association say.

A Liverpool street

The council will require private landlords to buy a five-year licence from 1 April, which will cost upwards of £400.

The NLA's local authority policy officer Gavin Dick says the scheme will see "landlords who choose to not absorb the increased costs themselves pass it on to tenants as higher rents".

Landlord licence scheme 'heavy-handed'

Chris Long

BBC News

The National Landlord Association says Liverpool's new landlord licensing scheme is "heavy-handed" and risks "completely alienating" landlords.

The organisation's local authority policy officer Gavin Dick said selective licensing can be "an effective tool", but the "burden" of Liverpool's scheme "will be shouldered by reputable landlords who will feel compelled to comply with this heavy-handed regulation".

"We are concerned that it will do little to hinder the actions of criminals preying on the vulnerable," he added.

News on the hour

Jessica Robbins

BBC Radio Merseyside

A man's been arrested after a fight broke out inside Liverpool Crown Court leaving three people - including two police officers - with minor injuries.

It happened as 23-year-old Wayne Erskine arrived on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving after the son of boxing champion Andy Holligan was killed.

Bond filming in Rome...

Photos have been released of James Bond star Daniel Craig filming the latest instalment of the 007 franchise in Rome.

Daniel Craig and Monica Belluci filming Spectre

The 46-year-old actor, who moved to Wirral at the age of nine, and his Italian co-star Monica Bellucci were seen recording a funeral scene at a cemetery.

Spectre - the 24th James Bond movie - will also film in Mexico, Morocco and London. It's due to be released in November.

Windfarms operations centre rejected

Wirral Globe

Plans to build an operations centre

serving windfarms off the coast of Wirral were rejected for a second time last night.

Birkenhead shipbuilders Cammell Laird had hoped to create up to 45 jobs with their plans, which would have helped to maintain wind farms off the Merseyside coast.

News on the hour

Jessica Robbins

BBC Radio Merseyside

A man's been arrested after a fight broke out inside Liverpool Crown Court that left three people - including two police officers injured.

It happened as 23-year-old Wayne Erskine arrived on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving after the son of boxing champion Andy Holligan was killed.

Romelu Lukaku 'loves playing for Everton'

Roberto Martinez says Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku

has shown his commitment to Everton with his performance in last night's 4-1 victory at Young Boys.

Lukaku scored his first hat-trick for the club to secure a convincing Europa League round of 32 first-leg win.

Romelu Lukaku
Getty Images

The striker, 21, angered fans earlier this month by telling a newspaper that he hoped to leave for a "top club".

"He loves playing for Everton, and I think he showed that today," Everton manager Martinez said.

New park, new name

Liverpool's newest park has been named Alt Meadows after the River Alt, which runs through it.

School children and Joe Anderson walk through Alt meadows
Liverpool City Council

The name for the 20-acre site in Croxteth was chosen from more than 50 names suggested by schoolchildren, residents and community organisations.

The Cass Foundation, which led the project to convert the disused brownfield site, said more than 2,000 trees, nearly 4,000 shrubs and 2,100 wetland plants have been planted by the contractor and 300 volunteers.

Alt Meadows will be officially opened by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson on 29 March.

McGovern's drama in Australia

Liverpool writer Jimmy McGovern has penned the BBC's next big drama.

Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey on a beach

Starring Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey,

Banished is set in the penal colony in Australia in 1788.

The seven-part epic, filmed near Sydney, starts at 21:00 on 5 March on BBC Two.

News on the hour

Jessica Robbins

BBC Radio Merseyside

Police had to break up a fight inside Liverpool Crown Court ahead of the hearing into a case concerning the death of the son of boxing champion Andy Holligan.

The defendant, 23-year-old Wayne Erskine, was allegedly attacked by a relative of the dead teenager as he arrived at the court in Derby Square.

Happy Chinese new year

Gong xi fa cai - That's happy new year in Mandarin or if you prefer, gong hey fat choy (Cantonese).

Dragon parade in Liverpool
Getty Images

Liverpool is celebrating the arrival of the year of the goat with parades and fireworks on Sunday.

It starts at 11:00 with a market in Great George Street, followed by a dragon and lion parade in Chinatown, before a firecracker display in Great George Square rounds up events at 13:00.

Find details here.

Drug arrests in Liverpool and Scottish Highlands

Police in England and Scotland have

arrested 18 people in a joint operation to target a gang allegedly involved in organised crime.

Twelve people were arrested in Liverpool and surrounding areas, along with six people in Inverness and Aviemore in the Highlands.

generic image of police man
Getty Images

Police believe those arrested were involved in the supply of heroin from Merseyside to the Highlands.

Warrington kick off World Club Series

BBC Sport

Warrington face St George Illawarra tonight, kick-starting a series of matches between English Super League teams and their Australian National Rugby League counterparts for the annual World Club Series weekend.

Ryan Atkins
Getty Images

BBC Radio Merseyside will have coverage on

radio and
online. There will also be a live text commentary on the
BBC Sport website from 19:15 before the 20:00 kick-off.

News on the hour

Jessica Robbins

BBC Radio Merseyside

Twelve people have been arrested in Liverpool and six more in Scotland in a cross-border operation targeting a drug trafficking gang.

Officers say significant quantities of heroin were seized during the investigation.

Stealing Sheep discuss women in music

Chris Long

BBC News

I spoke to Liverpool trio

Stealing Sheep for a feature about
the gender gap that exists in the music industry.

Stealing Sheep

Band member Rebecca Hawley says a lot of the major success stories in the industry are of women who "have played on their sexuality", which "tends to reinforce the 'sex sells' ethos".

"It's difficult to decipher whether they are subject to some kind of exploitation or are liberating their own free will and displaying anarchical messages, but whichever, it can stimulate a negative ideology [and] lead to the objectification of the female artist."

Partying the American way

It may seem a bit early to think about the Fourth of July, but it has just been confirmed that Liverpool will host an attempt at the UK's biggest celebration of America's independence from the Brits.

Participant in a cowboy hat silhouetted against the US flag

In a spirit of transatlantic friendship, an outdoor party and vintage festival will be held on the waterfront, paying tribute to the culture and food enjoyed in both countries.

Organisers, including fashion designer Wayne Hemingway, hope it will be big enough to break a Guinness World Record. It's also one of the highlights of the One Magnificent City events marking Liverpool's maritime history and Cunard's 175th anniversary this summer.