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  1. Updates on Thursday 23 June 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 06:00

Live Reporting

By Andy Giddings

All times stated are UK

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Calls to clean up brownfield sites for housing

BBC Midlands Today

Green belt land in the Midlands could be developed if the government goes ahead with plans to relax planning laws, so more new houses can be built.

Homes built on brownfield sites

The move's expected to be announced in today's budget, giving more freedom to developers who are reluctant to fund the clean-up of brownfield sites.

Telford and Wrekin Council is building on cleaned-up land thanks to a grant from the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Housing map in Telford

My call on the government is, rather than give a freedom pass to the private sector to build on our green belts, what they should be doing is working with the local authorities and West Midlands Combined Authority to de-risk those sites because there are thousands of homes on brownfield sites that are available if the government put some public subsidy into them."

Shaun DaviesLeader, Telford and Wrekin Council

Greg Leigh scores the only goal of the game as last-placed Bury beat League One leaders Shrewsbury Town.

Read more

Canal murals unveiled

Kathryn Emerson

Reporter, BBC Shropshire

Two murals have been unveiled on a stretch of canal near Market Drayton.

Canal murals at Market Drayton

The works of art have been created by children from Longlands Community Primary School.

Canal murals at Market Drayton

Outcry over 600 new homes

BBC Shropshire

Residents in Shrewsbury are raising concerns about plans to build 600 homes at the back of the Shirehall.

Shrewsbury Shire Hall, Preston Street

People living near Preston Street cite levels of traffic that would be created and a lack of planned infrastructure.

The plans, which are recommended for approval, go before the council on Thursday.

Plans to build homes in Shrewsbury, Preston Street

Plea over busy A&E departments

Nigel Dolman

Reporter, BBC Shropshire

The trust which runs Shropshire's two main hospitals says it's experiencing one of its busiest times of the year.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is urging people to "think twice" before visiting A&E after saying yesterday was the second busiest day in 2017 for the departments, with 426 patients attending.

On Monday, we reported that one woman in Ludlow had to wait nearly two hours for an ambulance after suffering a head injury.

View more on twitter

Ex-head charged with child sex offences

Nick Southall

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

A former headteacher has been charged with 15 child sex offences and a charge of child abduction.

Timothy Moule, 46, from Shropshire, has been charged with one count of child abduction, six counts of making indecent images, five counts of voyeurism, two counts of taking indecent images and two counts of causing a child to look at a sexual image.

He was first arrested by detectives following an allegation of child abduction of a boy from the West Midlands.

He is due to appear at Walsall Magistrates Court later.

Party on - or party off - amid festive noise fears?

Tim Page

News Editor, BBC Shropshire

A restaurant in Oswestry is fighting to save its Christmas party nights amid claims celebrations will be too noisy.

The Townhouse is planning to put up a teepee in its walled garden and charge £40-a-head for Christmas parties - with food and live music around the tent’s fire pit.

The Townhouse, Oswestry

Shropshire Council’s environmental health department has objected in order to protect neighbours from noise, meaning the case will be heard by councillors on the licensing committee later.

The Townhouse says it’s had only two complaints in the three years since it opened, and holds music events in the garden at other times of the year without objection under its regular licence.

Ice hockey: Defenceman released after a month

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

Telford Tigers have released defence man Kim Miettinen.

Coach Tom Watkins says the import quota in their league made it difficult to keep Miettinen on the ice as much as they'd like.

The 23-year-old joined the club last month after a move from Solway Sharks.

Telford Tigers defenceman Kim Miettinen.
Telford Tigers

Getting an ambulance 'potluck'

A councillor from Shropshire says patients in rural areas are being let down by the ambulance service.

Earlier the BBC learnt a woman was left lying in a street in Ludlow for an hour and 45 minutes before an ambulance could attend. She had fallen, injuring her head.

Local councillor Andy Boddington said it was a symptom of a "broken" NHS service in rural areas such as Ludlow.

"Last Wednesday, one of the doctors' surgeries called for an ambulance for someone they thought was at risk of death. It took 59 minutes to arrive," he said.


When you live in rural Shropshire, this is pretty normal. Getting an ambulance on time is simply potluck."

Andy BoddingtonShropshire councillor

West Midlands Ambulance Service apologised and in response to the delays today said it was seeing levels of demand typically associated with New Year's Eve.

As a result, it had to prioritise care.

Woman waits almost two hours for an ambulance

A woman's waited for an hour and 45 minutes for an ambulance after falling and hitting her head in Ludlow.

The middle-aged woman fell and hit her head just after 11:00 on Mill Street.

Paramedics were called, but didn't arrive until nearly 12:50. She was then taken to hospital in Hereford.


West Midlands Ambulance Service says it's dealing with New Year's Eve levels of calls in the county, including two cardiac arrests in Oswestry within 10 minutes of each other.

It says the situation's "clearly not what we'd want", but have to prioritise cases.

Ludlow councillor Andy Boddington said the woman was left to lie in the street covered by umbrellas until the ambulance arrived. He said it showed the NHS in rural areas was "broken".

We need more resources, obviously, but also we need to see more data. West Midlands Ambulance Service has an 'outstanding' rating. It gets to a lot of incidents on time, but this is biased by the urban areas."

Andy BoddingtonShropshire councillor

Severe accident: M54 Shropshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M54 Shropshire westbound severe accident, at J5 for A5.

M54 Shropshire - M54 lane closed on exit slip road westbound at J5, A5 (Telford Central), because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

In the papers: Firefighters fight back against thieves

Shropshire Star

Good weekend for ice hockey teams

It was a mixed weekend for Coventry Blaze.

Captain Jordan Pietrus scored a hat-trick as they beat the Guildford Flames 5-2 in the Challenge Cup on Saturday night, but then slipped to a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Edinburgh Capitals in the Elite League.

Hat Trick Hero Jordan Pietrus
Scott Wiggins

Telford Tigers are second in their conference in the NIHL after thrashing Nottngham Lions 9-0 at the National Ice Centre last night. On Saturday they beat Deeside Dragopns 11-1 at Telford Ice Rink.

Solihull Barons extended their winning run in the National Ice Hockey League to five games with a 6-2 win at home against the Blackburn Hawks last night. This pushes the team to fifth in the league.

Man of the Match Andy Whitehouse gets the Barons final goal of the night
Steve Crampton

School puts farming at heart of turnaround

BBC Midlands Today

A primary school in Shropshire, once renowned for poorly behaved pupils, has been transformed after nature and farming were put at the heart of the curriculum.


Pupils at Wombridge Primary in Telford are encouraged to do their lessons by engaging with nature and have also forged links with a local farm.

It's inspired the children so much, 100 of them have achieved a GCSE in computing at just 11 years old.


Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst enjoys the perfect return to his former club Rotherham as they earn a last-gasp 2-1 win to stay top of League One.

Read more

Severe accident: A483 Shropshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A483 Shropshire southbound severe accident, between A495 and B4398.

A483 Shropshire - A483 in Llynclys closed and slow traffic southbound between the A495 junction and the B4398 junction, because of a serious accident involving an overturned vehicle. Diversion in operation - Traffic is being diverted via local routes.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M54 Shropshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M54 Shropshire eastbound severe disruption, at J4 for A464.

M54 Shropshire - M54 lane closed on exit slip road eastbound at J4, A464 (Shifnal), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Mini Donald Trump raising money for Children In Need

Stephanie Barnard

BBC News

How are you raising money for Children In Need today? From bake sales to sponcered bike rides - you've been a busy bunch.

This caught our eye though... St Leonard's Primary School in Bridgnorth are having a "are you famous day". Stacey Tranter tweeted us this photo of her eight-year-old niece Ava who has dressed as a mini Donald Trump.

Mini Donald Trump

And kids in Bromsgrove are getting into the spirit adorning Pudsey ears and clothing.

View more on twitter

Your comments: Theories about slime on railway bridge

Andy Giddings

BBC News

News that Network Rail is carrying out tests on "slime" running down the walls of Shrewsbury's railway station bridge has got you talking on BBC Radio Shropshire's Facebook page.

Stewie Forbes suggested it might be "engine oil from the locomotives".

Slime on wall

But, Barry Penson said it was more likely to be "mould of some sort, caused by water running down the walls, and mixing with the organisms and dirt etc already there".

And Andy Huxley suggested "has anybody tasted it? Maybe it's curry sauce".

After you Andy.

Barons look to maintain winning run against Hawks

BBC Sport

Solhull Barons will look to continue their climb up the NIHL North 1 table and could close the gap on the group at the top, when they host Blackburn Hawks on Sunday.

They are on a run of four league wins and beat the Hawks 2-1 when they last met at the start of the month.

Solihull Barons
J&K Davies

Telford Tigers will also hope to improve their league standng with matches against the division's two bottom-sides, the Dragons and the Lions.

Coventry Blaze host the Guildford Flames in the Challenge Cup tomorrow, before travelling to face Edinburgh Capitals in the Elite League on Sunday.

School dances for Children in Need

Children in Need

All sorts of things are going on around the West Midlands for the BBC's Children in Need appeal today.

The pupils at Ellesmere Primary School in Shropshire are wearing spots and holding a cake sale.

And they're also preparing to greet parents with a large flash mob at the end of the day, with more than 360 children taking part.

They've been warming up in the playground.

Pupils dance for Children in Need

Woman denies causing diet-drug death

A woman charged with causing the death of a student by providing her with a potentially lethal slimming aid has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.

Eloise Parry, 21, from Shrewsbury, took diet pills containing the drug DNP before she died in hospital in April 2015.

Mary Roberts, 32, from Southall in west London also pleaded not guilty to breaking an EU food safety convention by supplying the DNP drug and not guilty to a money laundering charge.

Eloise Parry
Parry family

A co-defendant, 32-year-old Albert Huynh from Northolt in north-west London, was also charged with manslaughter and the food safety offence, but chose not to plead. An application to dismiss charges against him will be made on 18 December.

A third man, 30-year-old Bernard Rebelo from Beckton in east London, had pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter and food safety charges at a hearing on 17 October.

A trial is scheduled to start on 30 April 2018.

Council asks for more help with young asylum-seekers

Shropshire Council is lobbying the government for more money to help look after asylum-seeking children who've arrived in the county without their families.

The government pays £114 a night for under 16s and £91 a night for those above 16, but the authority says that doesn't cover its costs.

Shropshire Council

Shrewsbury's MP Daniel Kawczynski has also written to the Secretary of State for International Development to ask for her help and is taking Council leader Peter Nutting to meet the local government minister Sajid Javid later this month.

Man charged with street assault

A man has been charged with a number of offences after the centre of Ellesmere was evacuated on Tuesday night.

The 35-year-old appeared before Telford magistrates yesterday, accused of assaulting a person and causing actual bodily harm.

He's also been charged with criminal damage to property, affray, and threatening a person with a blade or sharp object in a public place and is due to stand trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court on 18 December.

Iron Bridge fundraising deadline extended

Carlie Swain

BBC News

The crowd-funding campaign, set up to raise money for repairs to Shropshire's Iron Bridge has been extended after hitting its original target of £25,000 in just 48 hours.

English Heritage is hoping to get an extra £15,000 to pay for the cost of weather-proof paint.


Work to restore and repair the landmark in Ironbridge started earlier this week and should take around a year to complete, costing £3.6 million pounds.

Most of the money is coming from English Heritage, but contributions have been made by other donors and charities.

Tests carried out on town centre 'slime'

Brown slime under the railway bridge in Shrewsbury town centre is being investigated by Network Rail which says it will carry out tests.

Some local residents have described it as "health hazard" and a poor advert for visitors to the town.

Slime on bridge

Network Rail said it's working with the council to arrange for the bridge to be cleaned "at a time that will cause least disruption".

It's also hoping to identify the cause of the problem, "so we can take steps to ensure it doesn't reoccur".

Town centre roadworks complete at busy junction

The gyratory system by Shrewsbury's English bridge, which merges four busy roads, has been fully reopened today after four months of roadworks.

Shropshire Council

Workmen have been widening the pavements, making changes to the road markings and installing new traffic lights which communicate with others around the town, so they can manage traffic better at busy times.

Shropshire Council

The work is part of a £12m programme of road improvements around the town, which Shropshire Council says will reduce traffic going through the town centre.

Strike action threat for Virgin trains in West Midlands

Virgin rail services across the West Midland could be disrupted by a strike by RMT members working on the West Coast line.

The union voted 9-1 to take industrial action, including strike action, in a dispute over pay.

Virgin train

The RMT said it wanted a "suitable and equal" pay offer, but Virgin said it had offered an above-average increase already and that it was open to continuing talks.

Former restaurant could become homes

A 19th Century building in Oswestry that has been a school, and more recently a restaurant, could be turned into homes.

The Walls restaurant closed its doors last year when the owners retired, and has been put on the market for £525,000.

Town Walls
Towler Shaw Roberts

The building isn't listed and the sellers say a pre-application has been made to convert it into seven homes, with three more in the grounds.

Agents, Towler Shaw Roberts, said there is also scope for the property to continue as a restaurant.

Health bosses put forward hospital plan

Shropshire health bosses are meeting NHS England today to ask for permission to put their hospital reorganisation plans out to public consultation.

They're suggesting basing emergency care at Shrewsbury's hospital and planned care at Telford, but had to spend extra time drawing up their business case after NHS England raised questions.


The plans have been opposed by some people in Telford, who are unhappy at the idea of their accident and emergency department being downgraded and losing key specialist women and children's services to Shrewsbury.

Tanker carrying diesel catches fire on A41

Firefighters from Shropshire and Cheshire were called to deal with a tanker fire on the A41 near Malpas last night.

It involved a tanker carrying 37,000 litres of diesel, Cheshire Fire Service said.

Burnt tanker

They were called at 19:43 and remained at the scene for more than three hours.

Aldi in Oswestry

The purse was taken from an 87-year-old's handbag as she shopped at a store in Shropshire.

Read more

Council seeks reimbursement for child asylum seekers

Shropshire Council is calling on the government to reimburse money it has spent to look after children seeking asylum.

The local authority revealed it had spent about £1m to care for 10 youngsters who arrived in the county without their family.

Shropshire Council house

Councillor Nick Bardlsey said the authority does get money back from central government "but nothing like enough to cover the cost".

"I shall be pressing our MPs and ministers to adequately cover the additional cost," he said.

Spending freeze to address £5m council overspend

Joanne Gallacher

Political reporter, BBC Shropshire

A spending freeze and a freeze on filling vacant posts have both been announced by Shropshire Council.

It's to try and stop the authority from going a projected £5m over its agreed budget.

Shropshire Council

Members of the council's cabinet say they can reduce the overspend to £400,000 by taking money from a number of budgets - including £1m from adult social care.

A51 fatal crash victim named

A woman who died in a crash on the A51 in Staffordshire on Monday evening has been named by police as 26-year-old Katie Bennett from Market Drayton.

The car she was driving collided with a tanker near Great Haywood and she died the following morning at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, police said.

Katie Bennett
Staffordshire Police

BreakingHotel reopens following Legionnaires' outbreak

The Feathers Hotel in Ludlow has reopened after the death of a woman who contracted Legionnaires' disease there in July.

It has been closed since September. Another woman fell ill in a separate outbreak in April.

Shropshire Council and Public Health England said they were satisfied that all the necessary steps had been taken by the hotel to identify possible sources of contamination and carry out remedial work.

Feathers Hotel

They say they will work with the hotel to carry out regular tests and make sure the legionella bacteria don't return.

Shropshire Council said a health and safety investigation into the death of Elaine Brown (pictured below) from Merseyside was in its early stages and would take "a significant period of time to complete".

Elaine Brown
Brown family