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  1. Updates on Friday 22 April 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

By Andy Giddings

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Live updates for Shropshire have finished for the day but we'll be back from 08:00 Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Weather: A cloudy night, clearing by dawn

Rebecca Wood

BBC Weather

Today's cloud will hang around overnight and we could have some showers, but it should start to clear by tomorrow.

Council leader says last five years in office have been "quite stressful"

Tracey Higgins

BBC Local Live

The Leader of Telford and Wrekin Council says the last five years in office have been "quite stressful".

Kuldip Sahota was speaking as he chaired his last cabinet meeting.

Kuldhip Sahota

Labour will pick a new group leader next week. 

Councillor Sahota will officially step down before the authority's AGM next month.

When I became a leader in 2011, the cuts were just coming in, £80m. Of course we did our best, but the people still say why are you cutting my care, why are you cutting this and that. That does take a toll on you. You pretend it doesn't, but it does, because after all you're human."

Kuldip SahotaLeader of Telford and Wrekin Council

Watch: Bell ringers prepare for marathon royal tribute

Genevieve Tudor

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

Tomorrow, bell ringers at two Shropshire churches will be tackling a big challenge for the Queen's 90th birthday. 

Teams at Edgmond and Lilleshall are both attempting a "full peal" for the Queen.

That's about three hours of continuous ringing.

Politicians meet mobile phone companies to talk about coverage

Andy Giddings

BBC Local Live

Shropshire politicians have been meeting with mobile network operators today, to hear how mobile phone reception could be improved in the county.

The companies said that since the last meeting in January they had been reviewing their plans and would try to improve the network of phone masts.

Mobile phone masts
Getty Images

The councillors and MPs promised to support a change in the law which allows phone masts to be taller in the future.

Rather than talking about what they might do in the future, they’re now actually taking some action."

Councillor Steve CharmleyShropshire Council

Why silver ring found near Oswestry could qualify as treasure

Andy Giddings

BBC Local Live

You can't keep everything you find lying about in a field and some valuable objects have to be handed over to the nation if they are deemed to be "treasure" under the Treasure Act.

Generally speaking, collections of coins or other items qualify as treasure if they are at least 300 years old or found along with other items which are deemed "treasure". 

Sometimes items which are less than 300 years old can also be included, if they have a lot of gold or silver in them.  

Silver ring
Chris Langston

So Chris Langston's silver ring could qualify if it really is Saxon, but in all these cases, the decision has to be made by a coroner.

Watch: Preview of AFC Telford United's match with Worcester City

Nick Southall

AFC Telford United Commentator, BBC Shropshire

AFC Telford United could secure their place in the National League North if results go their way this weekend.

Here's a look ahead to the game.

Children create replacement for stained glass window

Les Walton

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

Children have created a work of art to replace a 19th Century stained glass window at St Alkmunds church in Whitchurch that has been removed for restoration.

replacement window
Judy Hunt

Pupils at Sir John Talbot's and Whitchurch primary schools joined together to paint over 70 panels that have been joined together to make a screen over 15ft (4.5m) tall.

The work is part of a £400,000 restoration scheme and the windows alone will cost nearly £60,000.

Headlines: Police apologise for witness naming error; Southwater plans to go on show; silver ring 'could be Saxon'

Andy Giddings

BBC Local Live

These are our top stories this evening:

- West Mercia police apologises for identifying trial witnesses

- Plans for next phase of Southwater development to go on show

- Silver ring found in field could be Saxon

Football: TNS put on bus say 'thank you' to fans

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

The New Saints are putting on a free supporters’ bus for tomorrow’s final League game at Llandudno.

They're doing it to say "thank you" after clinched a fifth successive Welsh Premier championship two weeks ago.


Next up is the Welsh Cup final a week on Monday, against Airbus and then everyone will be waiting for the draw to see who the Saints will face in the European Champions League qualifiers.

Silver ring found near Oswestry could be Saxon

A silver ring, which could be over 1,500 years old, has been found in a field near Oswestry.

Chris Langston from Queen's Head discovered it when he was out with his metal detector and believes it could be Saxon after doing some research on the internet.

Silver ring
Chris Langston

Mr Langston says it could be worth anywhere between £2,000 and £20,000 and has reported it to the Finds Liason Officer.

Jack Rea is passed as fit to play for AFC Telford United tomorrow

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

Jack Rea has been passed fit to play for AFC Telford United tomorrow, after recovering from a virus. 

The midfielder was substituted in the Bucks' goalless draw at Brackley, on Tuesday, after feeling ill. 

Jack Rea
Tim Roberts

Telford have two league games to go and are two points above the National League North relegation zone. 

They play Worcester tomorrow at the New Bucks Head.

West Mercia police apologises for identifying trial witnesses

West Mercia Police has apologised for accidentally publishing the names of two witnesses in a murder trial who had been granted anonymity.

Chief Constable David Shaw

Chief Constable David Shaw said the force recognised it was a serious matter, but said it was down to "genuine errors" which the force had learned from.

He also said West Mercia Police takes full responsibility for its actions.

Following the errors, our first concern was to protect those affected, who we informed immediately as they were unaware of the error. We then put support in place around them according to their wishes."

Chief Constable David ShawWest Mercia Police

Plans for next phase of Telford development going on show

Andy Giddings

BBC Local Live

Plans for the next phase of Telford's Southwater development go on show next week.

The council would like to build a 68-room hotel and shops alongside the ice rink and create a new landscaped area next to the Premier Inn.


The plans will be available to see at the library in Southwater next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

We know that many people have been keen that we retain the green space in the Southwater development and have listened to these comments."

Councillor Shaun DaviesTelford and Wrekin council

North Shropshire College holds 'football shirt Friday'

Staff and students at North Shropshire College's Oswestry Campus have been wearing their football shirts today, to raise money for Cancer Research UK's Bobby Moore Fund.

Here's a group of them with their collection bucket.

Staff and students in football kit
North Shropshire College

Headlines: Police apology for witness naming error; Deepcut coroner starts considering verdict

Andy Giddings

BBC Local Live

These are our top stories this afternoon:

- West Mercia police apologises for "genuine errors" which led to identifying trial witnesses

- Deepcut coroner begins considering his verdict

- Council explains why it couldn't light a Queen's birthday beacon on top of Wrekin

Deepcut coroner considering evidence

Andy Giddings

BBC Local Live

All the evidence has now been presented in the second inquest into the death of Private Cheryl James at Deepcut Barracks in 1995.

The lawyer representing the family of the young recruit, who live near Oswestry, said they "reluctantly accept" there is insufficient evidence to establish exactly how she died, but believe there is enough to conclude she was shot from a distance.

Cheryl James

Judge Barker has now started considering his verdict and is expected to present his conclusions on 18 May.

Cricket team reformed to please grandmother

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

A Shropshire cricketer has revived his former team, to please his grandmother! 

Margaret Mitchell was fed up that the team she supports at Whittington pulled out of the Shropshire League last season, because they couldn't always raise enough players. 

Johnny Mitchell

So her grandson Johnny Mitchell took up the challenge and reformed the side, ready for the start of the new Shropshire League campaign which starts tomorrow.  

It's my nan's club, that's the only reason we've all come back really and we've got a few new players in so it should be an alright season for us."

Johnny MitchellWhittington cricket captain

Expert explains rise in cannabis grown in county

Andy Giddings

BBC Local Live

A researcher from the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit says the rising number of cannabis seizures in the West Mercia area could be explained by criminals wanting to grow their crops locally.

Importing the drugs is seen as being more risky, Matthew Atha said.

Cannabis farm
West Mercia Police

The number of cannabis seizures in the West Mercia force area rose by 14% in the last year.

Police 'incompetent' for naming murder trial witnesses

West Mercia's actions in naming two of the witnesses in a murder trial, has been described by a judge as "careless in the extreme" and "culpably negligent".

Lynnette Williams, the mother of murdered teen Georgia Williams, described the force as "incompetent".

In giving his ruling, Judge Jonathan Gosling, said even after one name had been spotted and redacted from an official report, the force failed to spot the second name and it was once again published online.

However, he said he was happy there was no intention on the part of West Mercia to publish the names.

Beacons are lit across Shropshire to mark Queen's 90th birthday

Genevieve Tudor

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

Beacons have been lit across the county to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. 

This is the beacon being lit in Clunton in South Shropshire.

Council defends decision not to light beacon on Wrekin

Telford and Wrekin Council has come in for some criticism on our Facebook page for choosing to light a beacon in Southwater to mark the Queen's 90th birthday, instead of at the top of the Wrekin.

But the authority says the Wrekin was unsuitable for a number of reasons, the main one being that Southwater is easier to get to.

Beacon in Telford

The authority also said the Wrekin isn't council-owned land and that the 50-piece school band it had booked couldn't have made it to the top of the hill.

We realised the diversity of our audience and, in terms of equality of opportunity, the Wrekin is not accessible for a large part of the public who wished to attend whereas Southwater presented the perfect backdrop for the beacon."

Telford and Wrekin Council

Headlines: Police forces won't face contempt prosecution; council defends Wrekin beacon decision

Andy Giddings

BBC Local Live

These are our top stories this lunchtime:

- Police forces won't be prosecuted for naming Georgia Williams murder trial witnesses

- Council defends decision not to light Queen's beacon on Wrekin

- Rising number of cannabis seizures

Judge explains decision not to prosecute police forces

A judge at Stafford Crown Court has explained that West Mercia and Warwickshire police won't be prosecuted for contempt of court, because they didn't intend to reveal the names of two murder trial witnesses.

Stafford Crown Court

Both were involved in the trial of Jamie Reynolds, the man who murdered the Wellington teenager Georgia Williams and were granted anonymity by the court.

The court cannot lawfully impose punishment for the breach unless those responsible are shown to have breached the order with the intention of interfering with the administration of justice."

Judge Jonathan GoslingStafford Crown Court

Criticism of Telford beacon location

The beacon lit in Telford town centre to mark the Queen's 90th birthday has been drawing some criticism from some of you.

Here it is, burning in Southwater last night.

Stuart Williams wrote on BBC Shropshire's Facebook page: "A proper beacon should of been lit on the Wrekin like it has done throughout history to mark events of national importance."

Mark Hall wrote: "That's not a beacon, is that really representative of the Queen in our eye's. Just not good enough. A proper fire on the Wrekin would be much more appropriate."

And Jackie Stokes wrote: "Not right there there. Meant to be seen for miles. Should of been lit on top of Wrekin." 

Weather: A cloudy afternoon ahead

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

We can expect a lot more cloud this afternoon and temperatures staying below 10C (50F).

Witness unhappy with decision not to pursue contempt of court prosecution

Georgia Williams's mother isn't the only one to be critical of the decision not to pursue a contempt of court prosecution against West Mercia and Warwickshire police.

One of the victims who was unintentionally named by the forces, despite a court order banning their identification, said: "I feel let down again for the second time.

"I could have been in a life threatening situation and we could have been exposed by their incompetence in printing our names."

Criticism of decision not to prosecute police for contempt of court

The mother of the murdered Wellington teenager Georgia Williams, says she "can't believe" there will be no action taken against two police forces which published the names of two witnesses in the trial of her killer.

The names were included in an independent review by Devon & Cornwall Police, which was published after the trial and was online for 11 days and viewed 197 times before it was taken down, despite a court order that they shouldn't be named.

Lynnette Williams

Georgia Williams's mother Lynnette said: "I can't believe they aren't going to be punished just because they didn't do it on purpose. It's complete incompetence again."

BreakingPolice forces won't be prosecuted for contempt of court

The West Mercia and Warwickshire police forces won't be prosecuted for contempt of court, after they admitted publishing the names of witnesses in the Jamie Reynolds murder trial.

Judge Jonathan Gosling at Stafford Crown Court said the mistake, was "careless in the extreme" and both victims had "suffered seriously".

But he was satisfied it was not intentional and therefore he could not lawfully impose any punishment.

BBC Weather Watchers: Thick grey cloud over Shropshire

BBC Weather Watchers

Looking at the skies over Shropshire today it's easy to forget the blue skies we had earlier in the week.

These are two of the photos sent in by the BBC Weather Watchers this morning and they seem fairly representative.

You are looking at Myddle (top) and Ludlow (bottom).

Len Ticular

Telford's Crisis Support Network issues urgent appeal for food

Tracey Higgins

BBC Local Live

Telford's Crisis Support Network has issued an urgent SOS for food. 

It says it's food bank is running out of stock - and needs more support. 

Food bank parcels
Getty Images

It's looking for cereals and tinned meals, such as pies, mince, and hot dogs. 

Donations can be dropped off at its Community Store on the Forge Retail Park near Sainsbury's, or at the centre on Park Lane, in Woodside.

Headlines: Cannabis seizures up; Telford college mergers on horizon; food bank low on stock

Andy Giddings

BBC Local Live

These are our top stories this morning:

- Big rise in West Mercia cannabis seizures 

- Telford college mergers a step closer

- Telford food bank running out of stock

Shrewsbury Town fans urged to 'lay off' Vassell

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

Shrewsbury Town Manager, Micky Mellon is urging Shrewsbury Town fans to "lay off" criticising Kyle Vassell. 

The striker's come in for some stick on social media for missing a penalty in Tuesday's 2-1 defeat by Sheffield United. 

Kyle Vassell

They're human beings and they make mistakes. It's unfortunate that Kyle's missed a penalty, but of course the way the world is now, they'll jump all over that."

Micky MellonShrewsbury Town Manager

College mergers on the horizon

Tracey Higgins

BBC Local Live

Telford's College of Arts and Technology has welcomed plans to merge with New College sixth-form in Wellington.

New College was thinking about joining two colleges in Shrewsbury, but is now considering a link-up with TCAT, partly because students didn't fancy all the extra travelling.


Plans to merge Shrewsbury College and the town's sixth form are due to go-ahead.

We don't have to worry, in a sense, what our relationship with Telford is like in the future. We've concluded our consultation. We've now got the green light to proceed with our merger plans, as scheduled, for the end of July this year."

Steve WainPrincipal of Shrewsbury College

South Shropshire marks Queen's 90th birthday

Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser

Here's what's making the headlines on the front and back pages of this week's Ludlow Advertiser, including celebrations to mark the Queen's 90th birthday.

Front and back pages of the Ludlow Advertiser
Ludlow Advertiser

Cannabis seizures by West Mercia Police are on the increase

Tracey Higgins

BBC Local Live

The number of cannabis seizures by West Mercia Police has gone up by 300 in a year. 

There were more than 2,100 seizures in the area covered by the force in 2014-15 compared with 1,800 the year before. 

Cannabis smoker

Nationally, arrests for possession have dropped by nearly a half since 2010.

Latest: Cannabis seizures by West Mercia Police go up and college mergers on the horizon

Tracey Higgins

BBC Local Live

The top stories in Shropshire this morning:

- The number of cannabis seizures by West Mercia Police has gone up by 300 in a year

- Telford's College of Arts and Technology has welcomed plans to merge with New College sixth form in Wellington

- Telford's Crisis Support Network has issued an urgent SOS for food

Watch: Latest Weather for the West Midlands

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

A cloudier and cooler day across the West Midlands today, with patchy rain affecting southern parts at times. However, it will be drier in the north with brighter spells. During the evening, the patchy rain in the south will ease.  

Top temperatures of 11C (52F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands