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Summary

  1. Updates on Tuesday 29 March
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates resume at 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Jenny Coleman

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Live updates have now finished for the day, but we'll be back from 08:00 on Wednesday with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from across Merseyside and Cheshire.

Weather: Chilly with scattered showers

Dianne Oxberry

Weather presenter, BBC North West Tonight

Scattered showers will continue through the night. Eastern parts around Warrington will be more sheltered and prolonged clear spells may allow a patchy frost to form towards dawn.

Weather
BBC

Wednesday is another chilly day with sunny spells and showers. Showers will be less frequent than Tuesday but contain a risk of thunder and hail.

Weather: Chance of frost tonight

Coming up: Council workers lose lifetime gifts

Annabel Tiffin

Presenter, BBC North West Tonight

On BBC North West Tonight we hear from a council worker who is having to return his retirement gift of lifetime membership to council leisure facilities.

We learn the extent of gun crime amongst children on Merseyside.

And we have the best of yesterday's Rugby League action.

Join us on BBC One at 18:30.

Football: Strong Merseyside contingent for England vs Holland clash

BBC Sport

Liverpool and Everton will be strongly represented in the England team due to face Holland in tonight's international friendly clash at Wembley.

England team training
Getty Images

Liverpool midfielder James Milner will captain the team, while striker Daniel Sturridge will make his first England start in 18 months.

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley and defender John Stones are also expected to be involved.

Read a full preview of the match here.

Education bosses consider school academy plan

Education bosses in Liverpool are considering setting up an academy trust for state schools in danger of losing their connection with the council.

A council spokesman said it is in the early stages of "discussing with education partners the possibility of one or more of them setting up a sponsored academy trust which is based locally".

The government has announced plans for all schools to become academies removing them from local council control.

The council stressed that any new academy would be not be led or managed by the local authority.

Travel: Crash closes two motorway lanes

BBC Travel

Two lanes are closed with stop-start traffic on M56 eastbound after J14 because of an accident involving a lorry and a car. 

WWI stories told on city landmark

Letters and photographs from World War One are to be used in an art display on a Liverpool landmark.

Lyceum mock up
Liverpool BID Company

Liverpool BID Company has commissioned local artists to use an archive of letters from local soldiers to adorn The Lyceum, a Grade II listed building on Bold Street.

The installation will see five 14m high panels fixed between the building’s Doric columns and will also incorporate a poppy motif.

Lifetime leisure passes for Wirral Council staff withdrawn

Four hundred former Wirral Council staff have been told to hand back lifetime leisure passes they were given as retirement gifts from the authority. 

The move is part of £28m of budget cuts which the authority says it has to introduce next month. 

Free swimming for under-18s during school holidays is also being stopped.

Travel: Moorfields platform to open this Saturday

Liverpool academy trust 'could ensure local control' over schools

Liverpool Echo

Liverpool education chiefs could set up their own academy trust for schools that are forced to cut ties with the council.

Watch: Baby meerkats explore outside their burrow for the first time

Three meerkat pups born at Chester Zoo take their first steps outside their underground burrows

Latest headlines in Cheshire and Merseyside

Today's top stories in in Cheshire and Merseyside:

Police appeal after attempted bank robbery in Prescot

Four men tried to rob a bank in Prescot using a sledgehammer but left empty-handed.

HSBC, Prescot
Google

Staff at the Eccleston Street branch of HSBC called police when the men forced their way into the building at about 09:25.

However the men then fled, and are believed to have driven off in a dark coloured vehicle down Market Street. Merseyside Police are appealing for information.

Football: Liverpool duo named in England squad

Grand National: Police ask Aintree and Maghull residents to voice concerns

Sex shop plans for former Little Chef

St Helens Star

An application has been submitted to turn the former Little Chef on the East Lancashire Road into a sex shop.  

Football: Milner says captaining England is 'massive honour'

BBC Sport

Liverpool midfielder James Milner has spoken of his pride at being selected to skipper England in their friendly clash against Holland tonight.

James Milner
Getty Images

Meanwhile, here are a few sobering stats ahead of the game:  

  • England have not won any of their last six meetings with the Netherlands, (D4, L2)
  • The Netherlands have lost only one of their last 12 meetings with England 
  • The Three Lions have not won any of the previous five home games against the Netherlands

Merseyside has 'one of highest' child gun crime rates in UK

Seventy-three children in Merseyside are among hundreds of youngsters arrested for suspected gun crimes in the last three years, new data reveals.

Gun
Thinkstock

More than 1,500 children were held over alleged firearm offences between 2013 and January 2016.

Merseyside Police said, of the 73 children arrested, 14 boys were charged with crimes including robbery, possession of a firearm, possession of an air weapon, sending threats, wounding and false imprisonment.  

Libraries: Sefton has closed seven of its 13 libraries

Almost 8,000 jobs in UK libraries have disappeared in six years, about a quarter of the overall total, an investigation by the BBC has revealed.  

The figures show Sefton Council has closed seven of its 13 libraries but  has dramatically increased the number of computer terminals available for people in the area - going from just over 6.6 computers per 100,000 people in 2012 to more than 50 per 100,000 in 2014.

Wirral Council to cut free leisure passes as part of budget cuts

A former Wirral council employee who was given a lifetime pass to the council's leisure services says he is "angry" it is being taken away. 

Mike Garbett, 58, was given the pass when he retired for health reasons after 34 years working on the authority's parks. 

The council says cutting lifetime passes to former staff is part of a range of budget savings coming into force next month. 

Man swimming in pool
Thinkstock

Free access for foster carers and their families, free swimming for under-18s during school holidays and over-65s between 09:00 - 12:00 will also be cut.  

Wirral angler lands record 93lb cod in Norway

A Wirral fisherman is celebrating after landing the biggest cod ever caught by a British angler.

Bert Williams
Sportquest

Bert Williams, 71, from Prenton, Wirral,  told the BBC that he initially thought he'd "caught a dolphin" after hooking the 93lb fish in the sea off Soroya, Norway.

It took two anglers more than 25 minutes to land the massive catch.

Sixteen-year-old charged after boy stabbed in face in St Helens

A 16-year-old boy has been charged after another boy was stabbed in the face in St Helens in the early hours of Good Friday. 

The injured boy - also 16 - was found on Chalon Way East by police officers. 

He needed hospital treatment.

Libraries are 'hubs of the community', say Ainsdale Library staff

A BBC investigation has found almost 8,000 jobs in UK libraries have disappeared in the last six years - around a quarter of the workforce. 

Ainsdale library
Google

One of those saved is Ainsdale Library in Southport. It's now owned by a private company as a community arts centre and independent library.

Cheryl Craven who runs it says it's a real hub for the area: "They are great assets - it's not just about lending books it about being there for the community."

Weather: A mix of sunshine and showers today

Travel: Rail disruption at Liverpool Moorfields

BBC Travel

Trains aren't stopping on Merseyrail southbound at Liverpool Moorfields due to engineering works.

More from BBC Travel

Libraries lose a quarter of staff as hundreds close

Almost 8,000 jobs in UK libraries have disappeared in six years, about a quarter of the overall total, an investigation by the BBC has revealed.

Library books
Thinkstock

This is the breakdown for the North West:

  • Jobs: 34% of jobs in North West libraries have gone since 2010. There are 2,007 now compared with 3,025 previously
  • Volunteers: Volunteer numbers have increased by almost two-thirds, from 1,066 to 1,741
  • Closures: Thirty libraries have closed and eight mobile services were withdrawn, according to council responses to the FOI request

Football: Daniel Sturridge set to start for England against the Netherlands

BBC Sport

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge will make his first England start in 18 months when they host the Netherlands in a Wembley friendly later.

Daniel Sturridge
BBC Sport

The 26-year-old missed the entire Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with injury.

Wirral youth charity set to transform area of Birkenhead Park

Wirral Globe

A corner of Birkenhead Park is set to be transformed into a multi-functional area for young people – thanks to a Wirral youth charity.

Latest headlines in Cheshire and Merseyside

Today's top stories in Cheshire and Merseyside:

  • Merseyside has one of the highest numbers of children arrested for suspected gun crimes in the country
  • A teenager's been shot as he ran from his two attackers in Bootle
  • Two men are bailed over a stabbing at Thornton Manor in Wirral - a man is in a stable condition in hospital

Drivers warned of delays in Widnes Runcorn as Ditton flyover closes

Drivers heading between Liverpool and the Widnes-Runcorn bridge are being warned of delays with the closure of the Ditton flyover.

It is being demolished as part of the road scheme for the new Mersey Crossing which is due to open in Autumn next year. Diversions are being signposted.

View more on twitter

Merseyside has 'one of highest' child gun crime rates in UK

Merseyside has one of the UK's highest rates of children being arrested for suspected gun crime. 

Seventy-eight children have been questioned since 2013

In total 14 boys have been charged, of whom three were under the age of 14.

Rugby League: Determined Saints overcome Vikings

BBC Sport

St Helens sent early pacesetters Widnes to a second successive Super League defeat and a first home loss of 2016.  

St Helens
Rex Features

The Vikings began the Easter programme top of the table, but followed Friday's defeat at Warrington with a second loss to one of their local rivals. More from BBC Sport.

Thornton Manor stabbing: Two men bailed

A Wirral man is stable in hospital after he was stabbed in his stomach in Thornton Hough during a fight

Thornton Hough
Google

It happened during an event at Thornton Manor on Easter Sunday. 

Two men - aged 25 and 26 - were arrested and have been released on bail.

Library closures: Book borrowing rates plummet in St Helens

Almost 8,000 jobs in UK libraries have disappeared in six years, about a quarter of the overall total, an investigation by the BBC has revealed.  

St Helens library
Google

St Helens features in the top 10 list of areas in which book borrowing rates have fallen the most during the last two years for which figures are available.

Teenager shot as he ran from attackers in Bootle

A teenager has been shot as he ran from his two attackers in Bootle. 

The 18-year-old was knocked to the ground close to Cooksons Bridge near Swifts Lane late on Sunday evening. As he tried to escape he heard a loud bang. 

The victim did not go to hospital for 24 hours - and officers are now looking through local CCTV footage.

Latest headlines in Cheshire and Merseyside

  • Merseyside has one of the UK's highest rates of children arrested on suspicion of gun crime
  • A teenager is shot as he runs from two attackers in Bootle
  • Drivers heading between Liverpool and the Widnes-Runcorn bridge are being warned of delays this morning with the closure of the Ditton flyover

Travel: Two accidents on M58 this morning

BBC Travel

There have been two accidents on the M58 which are causing disruption.

One lane is closed westbound between Junction 3 at Bickerstaffe and and Junction 1 at Kirkby and one lane is closed westbound at Junction 5 at the A557 at Upholland.

More from BBC Travel