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  1. News, sport, weather and travel updates resume at 08:00 on Friday
  2. Updates on Thursday 26 May

Live Reporting

By Kate Linderholm

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Kate Linderholm

BBC Local Live, Sheffield

That's it for live updates until 08:00 tomorrow. Do get in touch if you have a story or a photo. 

I'd love a picture of a bat using some of the new bat boxes put up in Sheffield this week.


Weather: A cloudy evening with drizzle and hill fog

Paul Hudson

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

Remaining rather cloudy and damp into the evening and overnight, with light onshore winds continuing to bring in mist, low cloud and hill fog in from the North Sea.

Hourly forecast

Archive photos of Rotherham firehouse

Every Thursday South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service pick a photo from thier archives to share. Today it's a classic line up of bright red vehicles from the 1980s:

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Latest Headlines: Union fights on over BIS closure and Pennine foods workers hold M&S demo

Gina Bolton

BBC Radio Sheffield

The top stories in Sheffield and South Yorkshire include:

BIS Closure: Vince Cable condemns move to shut Sheffield office

The Liberal Democrats have joined condemnation of the decision to move jobs in a key government department from Sheffield to London. 

View more on twitter

Man convicted of kidnapping Sheffield woman

A 51-year-old man will be sentenced in July after being convicted of kidnapping a woman and possessing a stun gun in Sheffield.

Levi Solomon

Sheffield Crown Court heard how Levi Solomon, of Skelton Grove, Woodhouse, went round to his former partner’s home in Sheffield on the morning of 26 November 2015.

He threatened to kill the woman, who is in her 20s and wishes to remain anonymous, if she did not go with him back to his flat in Woodhouse. Fearful for her life, the woman agreed and he drove her to his home.

Once at his property, Solomon assaulted his victim, punching her in the face, and refused to let her leave, locking the door and threatening her with further violence.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Christopher Blincow said: 

“This woman has been exceptionally brave in coming forward to tell of her awful ordeal at Solomon’s hands. After a number of hours trapped in his apartment, Solomon fell asleep and his victim was able to flee and phone police. Domestic abuse in any form is despicable and we will not tolerate any individual seeking to harm, intimidate or control another person. "

Dispute over percentage of BIS staff now outside London

James Vincent

Reporter BBC Look North

There's been disagreement between unions and the department of Business, Innovation and Skills this afternoon over just how many staff now work for BIS outside the capital.  

BIS strike placard

BIS says the 80% figure it's quoting for staff working outside London includes partner organisations funded by BIS. Like the Student Loans Company and Innovate UK..

The PCS union says that's "nonsense" as those staff don't actually work for BIS.

Sport: Owls head coach wants to stay at Wednesday for seasons to come

Rob Staton

BBC Radio Sheffield

On the eve of the Championship playoff final Sheffield Wednesday Head Coach Carlos Carvalhal has revealed that his new contract is for three years. 

Carlos Carvalhal
Rex Features

The Owls boss also says win or lose against Hull on Saturday he wants to stay at Hillsborough for many seasons to come: 

I hope we can extend it to five or six or ten, I don't mind, so it's not a problem to me. I want to be happy all the time, I want to to enjoy what I am doing, enjoy with my players, the fans. And in the time that we do these kinds of things I'm a happy coach."

Watch: MP Louise Haigh says innovation department's inability to use Skype is embarrassing

There's been widespread condemnation of the government decision to close the Sheffield Business Innovation and Skills office with the loss of 250 jobs in the city. 

The department says moving the posts to London is part of modernisation plans save money. 

Sheffield Heeley Labour MP Louise Haigh says there's nothing modernising about a department supposedly championing innovation finding it impossible to communicate electronically: 

Plans for Tata pension freeze causing concern among former steelworkers

The Government is considering whether to allow changes to the pension scheme for steel workers in an attempt to help Tata Steel find a buyer for its British operations. 

Steel demo

More than 2,000 people are employed by Tata in South Yorkshire. 

Mick Hawker, a former steel worker who lives in Sheffield isn't impressed with the idea:  

As you can imagine I'd be very unhappy about the prospect. Four years away from being able to take my deferred British Steel pension and to see it reduced, I'd be very unhappy about that."

BIS staff in Sheffield say business case for keeping office open was ignored

Workers at the Government's Business Innovation and Skills Office in Sheffield are angry at the final decision that their office will close and their jobs will move to London.  

Strikers outside BIS office

Almost 250 jobs will go from Sheffield by 2018. The Government says the plan will save money and make the department more responsive. 

But Amerjit Basi, a senior policy adisor with BIS says it makes no sense:

We've put forward a business case about why keeping Sheffield open saves taxpayers money and is actually better for BIS. A proposal from the union again making the point that it's better for BIS to have policy outside of London. But seemply they haven't paid any attention to the evidence at all. "

Four charged over alleged drugs offences in Broom

Four people, three men and a woman, have been charged in connection with alleged drugs offences, following a multi-agency investigation at Broom Valley Road in Rotherham on Tuesday.

Police operation at Broom Valley Road

Nehdi Tajabidi, 31, of Broom Valley Road, Rotherham, Mehdi Esmacpoor, 38, of Farm Drive, Rawmarsh, Luliana Otaraseanu, 30, of Manor Fields Close, Kimberworth, and 30-year-old Mohammed Chernarli of Mary Hill Road, Glasgow, appeared before Rotherham Magistrates’ Court today charged with conspiracy to produce Class A drugs.  

Watch: Owlets get behind #OurTime campaign

The latest recruits for BBC Radio Sheffield's #OurTime campaign to support Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday on the road to Wembley are these youngsters from Snowdrops Pre-school in Broomhill, Sheffield.

Sheffield Council leader condemns BIS closure as bad decision by the government

The leader of Sheffield City Council, Councillor Julie Dore has condemned the relocation of 247 jobs from the Business, Innovation and Skills department in Sheffield to London. 

BIS strike

She says the Business Secretary Sajid Javid refused to meet her last week when he was in Sheffield despite requests dating back to January:   

This is a bad decision and the government have completely failed to explain the reasoning behind it. This isn’t about saving money, because moving the jobs to London costs more and flies in the face of the government’s Northern Powerhouse rhetoric. Our first thoughts must go to the people who are most affected by this, most will not be able to relocate to London, we will do everything we can locally to put in place support for local people to find new employment in the city as quickly as possible.”

Strike over wage cuts at food firm owned by multi-millionaire

Workers at Pennine Foods in Sheffield have staged a demonstration in the city centre this lunchtime.

Pennine Foods demo
Simona Luca

They're fighting plans to change their contracts affecting weekend pay and bank holidays. Pennine Foods makes ready meals for Marks and Spencer. Worker Mark Cotton joined the demo this lunchtime and says the wage cuts by a company owned by a multi-millionaire are causing real hardship: 

Wage cuts are costing some familes up to £5,000 in salary per annum. So it's not acceptable to the members of union and this is the sort of action we are taking not only at Pennine Foods but also at Marks and Spencer's retail centres and outlets."

Latest Headlines: Government confirms Sheffield BIS closure and Pennine Foods demo in city

Gina Bolton

BBC Radio Sheffield

The top stories in Sheffield and South Yorkshire include:

Bat boxes installed across Sheffield in wake of tree removal protests

Kate Linderholm

BBC Local Live, Sheffield

The Streets Ahead ecology team in Sheffield is installing around 100 bat boxes across the city, after partnering with Reclaim Sheffield to produce the boxes which are made from recycled pallets.  

Campaign poster on tree

It follows widespread campaigning against the removal of trees with some residents concerned that some of the trees being cut down, particularly in the Nether Edge area, have been regular bat roosts.

Thomas Cullingford, Streets Ahead’s Environment Manager, said:

Bats are an important and protected local species and it’s important to us that we’re always looking for ways to improve the wildlife across the city. Working with Reclaim Sheffield to produce these bat boxes is just one of the ways that we have been able to do this.”

Watch: 'Shameful' BIS closure in Sheffield

James Vincent

Reporter BBC Look North

The Government has confirmed the closure of the Sheffield Business Innovation and Skills office, with the loss of 250 jobs. 

It says the decision to close the Sheffield office and move the posts to London is part of wider modernisation plans. 

Unions, however, have described the decision as shameful.

Police prevent puppy panic

It's not all dealing with criminals when you're a PCSO. Sometimes you get to reunite a puppy with its owner.

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Tata Steel pensions deal could set precedent

The government is considering reducing benefits for British Steel pensioners in a bid to save Tata Steel's UK business. 

Steel jobs march

The proposals would base pension increases on the Consumer Price inflation measure, which is usually lower than the one currently used -- the Retail Price Index. Tom McPhail, who's a pensions expert, says any alterations could set a precedent:  

Whilst I'm sure they will do everything they can to ring-fence this deal to argue that it's a special case, that it's a one-off, that they're going to consult on it and establish this arrangement to protect the jobs, which is critically important, nevertheless once they've done it once, it would be very hard to avoid this question arising again."

Sport: Former Owls legend Harksey praises Wednesday head coach

Andy Giddings

Sports Editor, BBC Sheffield

Sheffield Wednesday's former Wembley goal scorer John Harkes has heaped praise on Head Coach Carlos Carvalhal.

John Harkes

The Owls are on the verge of returning to the Premier League after a 16 year absence. And Harkes feels the tactics introduced by the Portugese boss are the main factor for this seasons success:  

He's done such a great job of re-igniting that city, the style of play, the discipline that's there within Sheffield Wednesday, the balance in the team they have. They did very well in thier promotion playoff to get to the final so I look forward to supporting them and hope they get up."

John Harkes

BIS closure: Sheffield MP slams 'phony consultation'

Labour's Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield has called today’s announcement from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills that it will go ahead with the closure of its Sheffield office, moving 247 policy jobs to London, "disgraceful" and slammed what he called the "phony consultation" that led up to it.

Paul Blomfield MP
Labour Party

Mr Blomfield raised the issue in Parliament:  

We had hoped that the consultation on the January announcement would be genuine, but it’s clearly been phoney. Time and again, Departmental bosses were unable to defend their decision, but they’re pressing ahead regardless. I am confident that when the National Audit Office publish their report into this there will be some red faces. This is a shocking indictment of the Government’s approach to running the country and another kick in the teeth for the so-called northern powerhouse.”

Latest Headlines: Sheffield BIS jobs move to London confirmed and Pennine Foods owner urged to drop dismissal threat

Gina Bolton

BBC Radio Sheffield

The top stories in Sheffield and South Yorkshire include:

  • Workers at the Business Innovation and Skills office in Sheffield have  just found out that their office is to close with 250 jobs moved to London
  • The millionaire owners of a factory in Sheffield, at the centre of a dispute over proposed new contracts for their workers, are being urged to drop any threats of dismissal for those who don't sign them
  • A car salesman from Rotherham's been ordered to pay over £1,500 after selling dodgy vehicles   

Tata Steel pensions raid warning

A former pensions minister is warning that a plan to cut pension benefits to help save Tata Steel's UK operations could take the Government down a "dangerous path". 

Tata Steel sign Stocksbridge
Terry Robinson Geograph

Ministers are announcing a consultation on the idea later. 

The former Liberal Democrat pensions minister, Steve Webb, said rushed changes to pensions legislation could have implications for workers well beyond the steel industry:  

The worry is the knock-on effect of what looks like rushed legislation. Once you break the principle that the pension right you've built up is yours, is sacrosanct, then that changes the fundamental nature of what we do, and could have ripple effects the government hasn't even thought about."

Afrofest comes to Sheffield

Alice Olusoga

BBC Radio Sheffield News

There's a festival in Sheffield this weekend and organisers are making the brave promise that it'll be a stress-free "hakuna matata" family day out.  

Afrofest poster
Sheffield Afrofest

Launched in 2014 Afrofest is an annual cultural festival that showcases the diversity of african music, food, dance and culture. It's happening on Sunday at Hagglers Corner from 13:00.

Weather: Cloudy with possible brightness later

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

Largely dull with mist, fog on hills, and outbreaks of rain or drizzle. But tending to become mainly dry later, and some sunny intervals may develop in the south. Feeling cool where cloud persists with light easterly winds.

Hourly forecast

Former Home Secretary raises border concerns in EU debate

The former Home Secretary, Lord Blunkett, claims leaving the EU would mean UK border officers being moved from their post near Calais.

Lord Blunkett

The subject of immigration is likely to dominate campaigning in the EU referendum debate today, as the latest official figures on net migration are published. 

Lord Blunkett said leaving the EU  would make it harder to enforce migration policies  

Without those controls on French soil, our border would be moved back to Kent. We wouldn't have the border controls in France which allow us to weed out, to prevent people who have no right to come to the UK from doing so. They'd reach the soil of Britain, they'd claim asylum, or they'd disappear into the sub-economy and work illegally. "

Yorkshire Ambulance Service defends use of private providers

In the last financial year the Yorkshire Ambulance service spent £7m on buying in private providers to respond to 999 calls.  

Yorkshire Ambulance vehicle

Dr David Macklin, Executive Director of Emergency Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: 

We have a major recruitment and training programme underway to increase the number of staff in our A&E Operations team to ensure we are sufficiently resourced to meet demand which has risen significantly over the last three years. Robust safeguards and operating standards are in place to ensure that the use of private services maintains our own expectations of the level of service provided."

Sheffield MP urges millionaire food factory owners to drop sacking threat

The owners of a factory in Sheffield, at the centre of a dispute over proposed new contracts for their workers, are being urged to drop any threats of dismissal for those who don't sign them. 

Pennine food Strike
DPAC Sheffield

A 48-hour strike took place at Pennine Foods last week after members of the Bakers Union rejected the changes. 

The Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough Gill Furniss is accusing the firm's parent company - the Two Sisters Food Group - of  "seeking to offset the costs of the new National Living Wage by undermining the terms and conditions of employment of their staff".

She's tabled a Commons motion, suggesting that the owners can afford the pay rise as they're featured in the Sunday Times Rich List and are worth £430m.   

BIS closure: Sheffield office decision 'not made lightly'

The government has been defending the decision, confirmed this lunchtime, to close the Sheffield Business, Innovation and Skills Office.

BIS strike Sheffield

It's claimed the move along with other plans will save around £350m by 2020.

Everyone affected will be able to stay in post in their current location until January 2018 and if they choose to take up a post in London there will be financial assistance for travel available for the first 3 years.

Permanent Secretary Martin Donnelly said:

Creating one policy centre in London and closing the BIS office in Sheffield in 2018 is a decision that has not been made lightly. It remains our top priority that staff are fully supported and briefed on what this means for them and their options."

Sport: Doncaster Knights miss out on Premiership after dramatic battle

Andy Giddings

Sports Editor, BBC Sheffield

The Doncaster Knights missed out on their dream of reaching the Premiership after a titanic battle with Bristol at Ashton Gate

Ashton Gate ground
Getty Images

They won on the night 34-32, but lose on aggregate by 60 points to 47. 

Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths hopes it is only the start of things to come:  

We just want to maintain this now next season, I think it's going to be an even tougher season next year with what we see the other clubs recruiting so we've got to be ready for that. We'll take a short break in the month of June be back in early July and off we go again."

BreakingPCS union call BIS office closure in Sheffield a "shameful decision"

The PCS union says decision to close the Business, Innovation and Skills office in Sheffield is "shameful" and "we will continue to campaign to reverse the decision.

PCS strikers at BIS building in Sheffield

It's not been confirmed yet by the government but PCS members appear to have been informed. The union’s members in the Sheffield office are currently on the second day of a two-day strike over the plans

The Public and Commercial Services union general secretary Mark Serwotka said:

“This is a shameful decision that flies in the face of what the government claims to want for the north and the wider civil service. As a northern powerhouse city, ministers should be investing in jobs in Sheffield, not devolving them back to central London. We do not believe there is any money to be saved by closing this office, it could actually end up costing more, and we will continue to campaign to reverse the decision.”

Did you see motorbike crash in Adwick-le-Street?

Police in Doncaster are appealing for witnesses after a 17-year-old motorcyclist was seriously injured earlier this week.

Lutterworth Drive

At around 14:30pm on Monday 23 May a white Debri Cross motorcycle and a grey Peugeot 307 crashed on Lutterworth Drive, close to the junction with Bosworth Road.

The 17-year-old boy riding the motorcycle was taken to hospital with serious injuries. 

If you have information please call 101 or email quoting incident number 627 of 23 May 2016.

Photos needed for wild reptile survey

Can you help with sightings of local reptiles for a large-scale survey of the creatures in South Yorkshire? 

Grass snake
Tony Phelps

The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP) has been gathering information on the reptilian residents of the Dearne Valley area since the start of the year, but needs help from the public to look for more.

Slow worm
Geoff Simpson

The aim is to build up an accurate picture of the numbers of lizards, slow worms and snakes which inhabit the local woodlands, grasslands, waterways, hedges, verges and shrubland. 

To submit photographs and details of your own reptile sightings, email      

BIS office staff in Sheffield await decision over closure

Striking PCS staff at the government's Business, Innovation and Skills office in Sheffield are picketing the building as they wait an imminent decision on whether it will be closed and the jobs moved to London.

View more on twitter

Watch: Daniel Evans on directing final show for Sheffield Theatres

Tom Ingall

Journalist, BBC Look North

The new musical 'Flowers for Mrs Harris', which opened at the Sheffield Crucible this week, has been a massive hit with the critics.

It is the last production to be directed by Daniel Evans, who over the last six years has helped to take Sheffield Theatres to new levels of national recognition.   

Doncaster changes bin day for thousands of homes

Almost 7000 homes in Doncaster are going to see their bin day change for the second time in a year. 

Overflowing wheelie bin
Getty Images

The change affects some homes in Rossington, Conisbrough, Denaby, Intake and Wheatley.  

If you don't get a letter your bin day is staying the same.

Watch: NHS staff in Mexborough too frightened to visit some areas

Kevin Larkin

Doncaster Reporter, BBC Radio Sheffield

Health service staff in Mexborough say they're too frightened to go to some parts of the town.

They're afraid of violence by local gangs. 

The local health trust RDASH say they're taking the concerns seriously.

BIS workers awate decision on Sheffield office closure

Workers at the government's Business, Innovation and Skills office in Sheffield will find out today whether their jobs are moving to London.  

Strike placard

They've been fighting proposals which would see the office closed and the two hundred and fifty jobs based there transferred to the capital. Staff are in the middle of strike action after walking out yesterday. The government's final decision will be announced later this morning.  

Watch: Elderly woman mugged in Thurcroft wants to meet her attackers

Kevin Larkin

Doncaster Reporter, BBC Radio Sheffield

An woman who was mugged in Thurcroft says she wants to meet face-to-face with the two men involved in attacking her.

81-year-old Joan Richardson was pushed to the ground in Cedric Crescent and had her handbag stolen.