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Summary

  1. Updates from Thursday 11 August
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday 12 August

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across day

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

Weather: Cloudy with occasional rainy outbreaks

Dianne Oxberry

Weather presenter, BBC North West Tonight

It will be rather cloudy for many tonight, with occasional outbreaks of light rain or drizzle throughout.

Weather graphic
BBC

The combination of a brisk breeze and thick cloud cover will ensure a mild night.

More from BBC Weather

Serial handbag snatcher jailed

A man who admitted snatching handbags from elderly women in Merseyside has been jailed for seven years and four months.

Peter Mellor
Merseyside Police

Peter Mellor, 41, of Courtenay Road, Waterloo, admitted three charges of robbery and one of theft at Liverpool Crown Court.

Merseyside Police said he stole bags from four women in the Crosby area - including one who he had thrown to the ground.

Det Con Jamie Dean said: "These were particularly nasty incidents in which Mellor targeted elderly or vulnerable women.

"What was even more shocking was these incidents frequently took place during the daytime and often in busy residential areas."

Sadie Hartley: Murder accused's alleged motive 'does not stand up to scrutiny'

The alleged motive for a woman accused of murdering a love rival "does not stand up to scrutiny", a jury was told.

Sadie Hartley
Lancashire Police

Sadie Hartley, 60, was stunned with a cattle prod and stabbed 40 times in Helmshore, Lancashire, on 14 January.

The prosecution claims Sarah Williams, 35, murdered her so she could have her partner, Ian Johnston, to herself.

But defence barrister, Gordon Cole QC, said it made no sense for her to cut off the "financial lifeline" provided by her long-time lover, David Hardwick.

Ms Williams of Treborth Road, Blacon, Chester and co-defendant Katrina Walsh, 56, of Hare Lane, Chester, deny murder.

Liverpool mayor 'should be scrapped', Lib Dems and Greens say

BBC Politics

Liverpool should not have its own mayor following next year's elections for a post covering the whole city region, opposition councillors have said.

Joe Anderson
PA

The Liberal Democrats and Green Party said the role, currently held by Joe Anderson, should be scrapped as it will duplicate much of the city region mayor's remit.

A petition has been launched aimed at sparking a referendum, which could lead to the return of a council leader and cabinet model.

However, the Labour Party said the Lib Dems were ignoring public support for a mayor.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • The first black footballer to play for Liverpool turns down an MBE nomination, saying it would be "a betrayal" to Africans who suffered at the hands of the British Empire

Three held over St Helens man's resort death

Liverpool Echo

Three people have been arrested in connection with the death of a St Helens man in Scarborough.

Rubgy League: Widnes Vikings CEO wants rule change

BBC Sport

Super League clubs chasing a play-off spot should all start on zero points again in the Super 8s competition, Widnes chief executive James Rule has said.

Widnes sit seventh in Super League, 10 points off the top four places
Rex Features

Currently, teams in the Super 8s and third-tier Championship Shield carry over points from the regular season.

However, The Qualifiers, often referred to as the Middle 8s, start fresh on zero for their seven matches.

"I would change it. The interest in the Middle 8s is because of the jeopardy," Rule told BBC Radio Merseyside.

Who else said "no thanks" to honours?

The first black footballer to play for Liverpool, Howard Gayle, has turned down an MBE nomination, saying it would be "a betrayal" to Africans who suffered at the hands of the British Empire. 

Honours
PA

Here are some other notable people who've snubbed honours:

  • LS Lowry - the painter turned down a total of five honours, including an OBE in 1955, a CBE in 1961 and a knighthood in 1968 
  • Benjamin Zephaniah - the poet spurned an OBE in 2003 saying it stood for colonial brutality and slavery 
  • David Bowie - the music legend turned down a CBE in 2000 
  • Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders - the comedy duo refused OBEs in 2001 
  • John Lennon - the Beatles legend returned his MBE four years after accepting it in 1965 in protest against the Vietnam and Biafran wars 
  • JG Ballard - the writer rejected a CBE saying he was opposed to the "preposterous charade" of the honours system

Howard Gayle MBE snub: Facebook users praise decision

Facebook users have reacted to Howard Gayle's decision to decline an MBE for his work tackling racism. 

Howard Gayle
Colorsport/Rex/Shutterstock

The former Liverpool star was hailed "a man of principle", and Kevin Edgar added: "Takes a lot of mental strength and self belief that Howard. Standing up for what you believe has real dignity too."   

Paul Al-Naqib said: "So sad that a history of oppression can still have a negative effect today... years after.

"You are a good honest man... many crumble and forget their morals when presented with their pieces of silver. You'll always be Sir Howard Gayle of Tocky to me."

Firearms arrests near Goodison Park

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of possessing firearms after armed officers stopped a car near Goodison Park in Liverpool.

Spellow Lane and Walton Lane junction
Google

A car was stopped at the junction of Spellow Lane and Walton Lane just after 18:00 last night.

The men are also being held on suspicion of the unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • The first black footballer to play for Liverpool turns down an MBE nomination, saying it would be "a betrayal" to Africans who suffered at the hands of the British Empire

First black Liverpool football player rejects MBE

The first black footballer to play for Liverpool has turned down an MBE nomination, saying it would be "a betrayal" to Africans who suffered at the hands of the British Empire.

Howard Gayle Liverpool 1981
Colorsport/Rex/Shutterstock

Howard Gayle, 58, was born in Toxteth and made his Reds debut in 1977.

He said he had to decline the nomination, for his Show Racism the Red Card campaign work, as his ancestors would be "turning in their graves".

The Cabinet Office said it did not comment on individual cases.

Weather: Drizzly afternoon

BBC Weather

A drizzly afternoon and feeling breezy.

North West weather forecast on Thursday 11 August

More from BBC Weather

'Save Rapid Hardware' petition reaches over 1,000 signatures

Liverpool Echo

A petition to save the former home of Rapid Hardware has collected over 1000 signatures after campaigners compared it to the Futurist Cinema.

Former Rapid building
Google

Beatles sculptor to create Cilla Black statue

The sculptor behind Liverpool's latest Beatles statue will create a statue of singer and TV personality Cilla Black who died last year at the age of 72.  

Cilla Black in 2004
PA
Beatles statues
BBC

Andy Edwards was approached by Cilla Black's family, who were impressed with his bronze statues of the Fab Four at Liverpool's Pier Head.

The statue will be created at Castle Fine Arts Foundry in Wales and is due to be completed in early 2017.  

Have you seen missing 14-year-old Destiny Marston?

Police are appealing for help as they search for a teenager who has been missing from Ormskirk for four days.

Destiny Marston
West Lancashire Police

Fourteen-year-old Destiny Marston was last seen in the town's McDonalds restaurant around 17:00 on Sunday. 

She is described as white, slim , 5ft 2in with long, light brown hair and was wearing a grey hooded top, jeans and white trainers.

Former Liverpool star turns down MBE

The first black footballer to play for Liverpool has turned down an MBE nomination, saying it would be "a betrayal" to Africans who suffered at the hands of the British Empire.

Howard Gayle facebook
Facebook

Howard Gayle, 58, was born in Toxteth and made his Reds' debut in 1977.

He said he had to decline the nomination for his Show Racism The Red Card campaign work as his ancestors would be "turning in their graves".  

St Helens NHS group scraps non-vital op ban idea

A hospital worker on a ward
PA

St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) withdraws proposals to put a temporary ban on non-vital operations in a bid to save money.

The body said feedback had shown the plans were unpopular.

Football: Woodgate joins Liverpool scouting team

BBC Sport

Jonathan Woodgate
Getty Images

Former Leeds United, Newcastle and Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Woodgate has joined Liverpool as a scout focusing on Spain and Portugal.

The centre-back also played for Real Madrid.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • A campaign is launched by Liverpool's Liberal Democrats to trigger a referendum on the role of elected mayor of the city
  • NHS bosses in St Helens scrap plans for a four-month ban on non-urgent hospital referrals
  • The date for an inquest into the deaths of the four members of the Warrington band Viola Beach and their manager is set for 7 December 

Drink and drug driving arrests on Merseyside up by 47%

The number of people arrested on suspicion of drink and drug driving this summer has risen by 47%, Merseyside Police have said.

Police
BBC

The force arrested 283 people during a crackdown in June and July - that compares to 192 last year. 

Police said the figures are partly down to better techniques in detecting drink and drug drivers.

Ch Insp Tony Jones said: "We have caught more people drink and drug driving this summer than last so it is positive... there is clearly a need for campaigns such as this one."

Travel: Resurfacing works causing congestion in Wallasey

BBC Travel

There is slow traffic on A551 Leasowe Road in Wallasey, Wirral around the Wallasey Road Roundabout because of resurfacing works and temporary traffic lights.

More from BBC Travel

Asda worker jailed for sexually abusing young girl

Warrington Guardian

A supermarket worker has been jailed for five years for sexually abusing a vulnerable girl over a three-year period when she was as young as eight.  

Viola Beach crash inquest date set

An inquest into the deaths of Warrington band Viola Beach and their manager has been set for 7 December.

Viola Beach
BBC

Band members Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Jack Dakin and Tomas Lowe died along with manager Craig Tarry, 33, in a car crash near Stockholm on 13 February.  

Last week the band's posthumous album reached number one in the charts. The self-titled debut was compiled by the band's families, using live sessions and studio recordings.

The inquest will be heard at Warrington Town Hall.

Football: Reds and Toffees enter EFL Cup

BBC Sport

Jurgen Klopp
PA

Last season's runners-up Liverpool will begin their EFL Cup campaign away at Championship side Burton Albion while Everton were drawn at home to Yeovil.

Read the full cup draw here

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • Liverpool's Liberal Democrats launch a petition calling for the abolition of the role of the city's elected mayor
  • Health bosses in St Helens say they still have some tough choices to make after scrapping plans to suspend non-urgent hospital referrals
  • Two men are arrested on suspicion of possessing firearms after armed officers stopped a car near Goodison Park

NHS group withdraws proposal to ban non-vital operations

An NHS commissioning group has withdrawn its proposal to temporarily ban non-vital operations in a bid to tackle funding problems.

St Helens Hospital
St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals Trust

St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in Merseyside said it had received feedback indicating the move "is not supported".

The CCG, which was recently rated "inadequate" by NHS England, is facing a funding gap of £12.5m this year.

The British Medical Association said it was the "right decision but this does not address the underlying problem, that investment in the NHS is not keeping up with demand".

Travel: Crash causing congestion on Knowsley Expressway

BBC Travel

A crash on the Knowsley Expressway is causing congestion between Tarbock Island and the Speke Road junction.

More from BBC Travel

Teen fills Widnes stadium with teddy bears

A teenager has filled a rugby league stadium with thousands of teddy bears to raise funds in memory of his friend.

The Select Security Stadium in Widnes was filled with with 13,350 teddy bears

Aidan Jackson, 13, has been raising funds and awareness for the Olivia Alice Foundation since 2014 following the death of his friend Olivia Walker, who passed away aged 15.

Aiden - and 40 volunteers - filled Select Security Stadium, the home of Widnes Vikings, to its full capacity with 13,350 teddy bears.

Travel: Congestion on Edge Lane in Liverpool

BBC Travel

Edge Lane, in Kensington Liverpool, is busy but moving at the Durning Road junction.

More from BBC Travel

Petition launched to abolish Liverpool elected mayor role

A petition has been launched calling for the abolition of the role of the city's elected mayor, which is currently held by Joe Anderson.

Joe Anderson
PA

The Liberal Democrats in Liverpool are hoping to secure 17,000 signatures to trigger a referendum about the role.

It comes after Joe Anderson lost out to Steve Rotheram in his bid to be Labour's candidate to be the mayor of the city region.

Liverpool City Council could vote to abolish the role of city mayor in February 2017, which would mean a return to the old system of a leader and a cabinet.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • Liberal Democrats in Liverpool launch a petition calling for the abolition of the role of the elected mayor, which is held by Joe Anderson
  • NHS bosses in St Helens scrap plans for a four-month ban on non-urgent hospital referrals
  • The number of people arrested for drink and drug driving this summer has risen by 47%, Merseyside Police say

Weather: Dull, drizzly day

BBC Weather

A wet start but the rain will gradually clear to leave a mostly dry afternoon with some light rain or drizzle over hills. Staying breezy but feeling warmer than yesterday. Highs of 18C.

North West weather forecast for Thursday 11 August 2016

More from BBC Weather

Good morning: Join us for today's live coverage

Jenny Coleman

Reporter, BBC Local Live

Hello from Liverpool, I'm here with all your news, sport, travel and weather updates from across Merseyside and west Cheshire today. 

If you've got a story you'd like me to hear about or a photograph you'd like to share, you can contact me on email, Facebook or Twitter.