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  1. Updates on Monday 4 April 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

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

Fake cigarettes worth £75,000 seized in one year

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

More than 150,000 fake cigarettes worth £75,000 have been seized in Staffordshire in the last year, the county council says

Cigarette being lit

The authority's trading standards team says it received £35,000 from the government to tackle illegal tobacco and alcohol. 

Also in the last 12 months, the council says it also made 12 arrests, carried out 15 investigations and issued fines for firms employing illegal workers.

Tonight on BBC Midlands Today: Police team up on street racing

Nick Owen

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Car cruising and street racing will be one of the big stories we're covering this evening on BBC Midlands Today. 

Car parked at side of road

It's after all four of our region's police forces teamed up to tackle it, saying it's a growing problem in the West Midlands. 

However there are fears it's just pushing the problem to other areas - we'll examine all the issues tonight from 18:30 on BBC One.

Santander Cheshire ATMs 'not linked to card skimming'

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Santander cash machines in Wilmslow that were found tampered with are not thought to be linked to so-called card skimming, Cheshire Police say. 

Santander sign
Getty Images

A number of ATMs in Lancashire were shut down by the bank which said it due to "potential criminal activity and vandalism".

Cheshire Police had tweeted yesterday that officers had received "reports of issues with Santander ATMs in Wilmslow". 

Your pictures: Cheshire daffodils and a solitary narrow boat

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

These lovely looking daffodils were photographed by Jonathan White who said in an email that they are "opposite the Wistaston Memorial Hall & Community Centre on Church Lane in Wistaston".

Jonathan White

While this solitary boat on the canal in Cheddleton was photographed by Nicky Hall who shared it with me.

If you've got a photo of Staffordshire or Cheshire to share, the best ways to do so are via email, tweet @BBCRadioStoke or use Instagram and add #bbcstoke if you agree to share.

Nicky Hall

"Amazing husband" died in crash with tree

Phil Bowers

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A man who died when his car hit a tree in Staffordshire has been called an "amazing husband and daddy" by his family. 

Andrew Cooper
Staffordshire Police

Staffordshire Police have named him as Andrew Cooper, 39, from Thornhalm Close, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The force says he was found dead after the collision on Hollington Road, Rocester on Thursday. 

Football: Stoke City midfielder a doubt for Liverpool match

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City's midfielder Glenn Whelan is an early doubt for Sunday's game at Liverpool.

Glenn Whelan
Getty Images

He's currently struggling with a back problem.

Cheshire to share fire chief role with Cumbria

Sarah Robertson

Producer, BBC Radio Stoke

Cheshire is to share its chief fire officer role with Cumbria from tomorrow. 

Paul Hancock has held the role for Cheshire since 2009. 

Paul Hancock
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed this afternoon that Cumbria County Council will pay them £60,000 a year for his services, in an effort by both services to save money.

All public bodies are facing significant financial challenges but I am confident moves to share resources such as this will not only produce savings but also lead to increased resilience and expertise to help improve the safety of all the communities we serve."

Paul HancockCheshire’s Chief Fire Officer

News: Protest fails over children's centre closures; 'amazing dad' died in crash; Cheshire to share fire chief with Cumbria

Jack Dowling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The main headlines this evening include:

- Protesters have failed to get Cheshire East Council to review its plans to downgrade four children's centres 

- A man who died when his car hit a tree in Staffordshire has been called an "amazing husband and daddy" by his family

- Cheshire and Cumbria fire services have agreed to have a shared Chief Fire Officer to save money

Children's centres protest fails to change council's mind

Phil McCann

Political reporter, Cheshire

Protesters have failed to get Cheshire East Council to review its plans to downgrade four children's centres    

Today's council meeting

Parents are worried services will suffer or even close at four centres, including Nantwich and Sandbach. 

The council says it's too late to reconsider the plans, and insists a new mobile service will provide a better alternative.

Picture: Van crashes through wall near Nantwich

A van's collided with a brick wall near a bridge on Marsh Lane near Nantwich.

View more on twitter

Travel: Crash on A511 in Burton

BBC Travel

There's been an accident on the A511 Horninglow Road in Burton, near the Victoria Crescent junction.

Watch: Tonight and tomorrow's Stoke and Staffordshire weather forecast

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

You can get the latest weather forecast for your area at any time on the BBC website.

Watch: Cracking down on 'car cruising' in the West Midlands

Tom Turrell

BBC Midlands Today

More than 100 cars have been targeted by police forces in the West Midlands as part of a major crackdown on street racing. 

Officers say so-called "car cruising" is becoming an increasing problem in the region. 

All four police forces in the West Midlands have been involved in trying to tackle the problem. You can see more in Midlands Today on BBC One tonight from 18:30.

Your pictures: Historic Hay Meadow and a busy allotment bee

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

More of your pictures which you've shared on the BBC Radio Stoke Facebook page over the weekend.

This is from Jay Drew in Stone, Staffordshire showing the way to a local Historic Hay Meadow.

Historic Hay Meadow sign
Jay Drew

And just to show spring is well and truly upon us, Paul Guest shared this photo of a "busy bee" on one of his Blackthorn/Sloe bushes on his allotment.

It's terrific to see so many of your photo of Staffordshire or Cheshire - keep them coming in on email, tweet @BBCRadioStoke or use Instagram.

"Busy bee" on Blackthorn/Sloe bushes on allotment
Paul Guest

Football: 'Negative publicity' spurs on Burton

Nigel Cash

BBC Radio Derby Sport

Burton Albion defender Damien McCrory says the players want to prove the doubters wrong by completing back-to-back promotions.  

Damien McCrory
Getty Images

The Brewers are no longer top of League One after salvaging a 1-1 draw at home to Bury, but they're eight points clear of Walsall in third.  

McCrory says there's been some negative press after their Easter results, but maintains there's a strong belief among the squad they can finish the job off.  

Disabled boy wants to meet Prime Minister over treatment help

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

A boy from Newcastle-under-Lyme with cerebral palsy wants to go to Downing Street to personally ask the Prime Minister for help with his treatment.

Ben Baddeley

Ben Baddeley, 11, wrote a letter to David Cameron last month, asking him for help with his physiotherapy bills that cost £2,000 a month. 

However he wasn't happy with the reply - his mum Amy wrote on Facebook that Mr Cameron failed to answer any questions or offer any help. 

NHS England previously said it had not routinely funded the procedure undergone by Ben before his physiotherapy since April 2013.  

Drink-driver with children on board crashes twice in minutes

Burton Mail

A female driver who was more than three times the legal drink-drive limit who crashed her car twice in the space of a few moments with two young children on board has been banned from driving.

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court.
Burton Mail

News: Fatal lorry crash; children's centres protest; cannabis arrests fall

Jack Dowling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Staffordshire and Cheshire's main headlines this afternoon include:

- A woman has died in a crash involving a car and a lorry in Staffordshire

- Families who use children's centres in Cheshire have been protesting at Cheshire East Council's headquarters against plans that could lead to their closure

- Arrests for cannabis possession in Cheshire have dropped by almost half since 2010, figures obtained by BBC Breakfast suggest

Watch: Staffordshire wildlife centre gets new animal arrival

John Acres

BBC Radio Stoke

A Staffordshire wildlife centre's had a new arrival - a baby emu.   

However the arrival of the bird, which has been called Roo, didn't quite go to plan at Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre.  

Staff had bought an emu egg online but, when it turned out to be infertile, they found an emu breeder in Peterborough who sold them this chick.  

Protest over children's centre closures

Phil McCann

Political reporter, Cheshire

I'm at Cheshire East Council headquarters where mums and dads who use children's centres are protesting against plans which could lead to their closure.     

Children's centres protesters

The council wants to "de-designate" four centres in Knutsford, Macclesfield, Nantwich and Sandbach. 

But these protesters hope councillors meeting today will ask the authority to review its decision.

Cannabis arrests down since 2010 - police figures

BBC News England

Arrests for cannabis possession in Cheshire have dropped by almost half since 2010, figures obtained by BBC Breakfast suggest.

They went from 1970 in 2010 to 921 in 2015 - a fall of 47%; in Staffordshire the drop was 24%, from 733 arrests in 2010.

Man smoking a roll up

Crime survey data suggests cannabis use remained roughly level from 2010-15.

The Home Office said all crimes reported to the police should be taken seriously, investigated and, where appropriate, taken through the courts.

Travel: A5 in Lichfield partially blocked by accident

BBC Travel

The A5 in Lichfield is partially blocked eastbound between Muckley Corner Island and Lichfield because of an accident.

Call to give medal to Crewe D-Day veteran

Crewe Chronicle

Friends of a Crewe war veteran are backing a campaign to ensure he receives the prestigious Legion d’Honneur Medal being awarded by the French Government.  

Travel: A50 reopens

BBC Travel

The A50 has reopened eastbounds near Uttoxeter after a fatal crash this morning.

More from BBC Travel.

View more on twitter

This lunchtime on BBC Midlands Today: Cracking down on 'car cruising'

BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this lunchtime, we're looking at a major crackdown on street racing. 

Car cruising still

More than 100 cars have been targeted by police forces in the West Midlands as part of it. 

We'll have more on what police say is an increasing problem in the region - on BBC One from 13:30.

Dozens of dogs shot in area for 'worrying livestock' since 2011

Lucy King

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

Latest figures reveal 26 dogs have been shot over the past five years in Staffordshire and Cheshire for worrying livestock.

Sheep in a field in the Staffordshire Moorlands

The statistics have been found by the BBC and show that more than one dog a week is shot by landowners in England and Wales.

Since 2011, Staffordshire Police say nine dogs have been shot by landowners in their area - for Cheshire Police the figure was 17.

Legally, dogs which pose a threat to livestock can be shot, but the incident must be reported to police within 48 hours. 

News: Woman dies in lorry crash; judge summing up in toddler trial; major gun amnesty launched

Jack Dowling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The main headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire this afternoon include:

- A woman's died in a crash on the A50 near to Blythe Bridge this morning

- A judge has begun summing up today in the trial of two people accused of stamping a toddler to death in Staffordshire

- Cheshire Police has teamed up with neighbouring forces to launch the first major gun amnesty in the North West for nearly two years

Football: Crewe players urged to show 'fight'

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe manager Steve Davis says any players who are not prepared to battle to keep their side in League One can leave.  

Steve Davis`
Getty Images

The Alex are bottom of the table and 12 points adrift of safety with six games remaining after Saturday's 3-0 loss at Peterborough - their fifth straight defeat.

And Davis admits some players have begun to "throw in the towel".

We want people who are prepared to fight for the shirt. If they're not, they can go."

Steve DavisCrewe Alexandra manager

BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Blue skies and narrowboats

BBC Weather Watchers

Here are a couple of great pictures from over the weekend from our local BBC Weather Watchers - Stevie G and Dodger in this case.

You can sign up and become a BBC Weather Watcher by heading to the website to sign up.

Baddiley, Cheshire East
Stevie G
Narrowboat in Staffordshire

Woman dies in crash with lorry on A50

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A woman's died in a crash on the A50 near to Blythe Bridge this morning. 

A50 near Blythe Bridge

It happened shortly after 09:00 on the eastbound carriageway say Staffordshire Police when a car collided with a stationary lorry.

Officer say the road's been closed and traffic's being diverted via the A521. 

Memorabilia call for Tamworth boy's football team anniversary

Tamworth Herald

Past players and coaches of Tamworth's oldest boy's football team are being called upon to bring their old pictures and memorabilia forward as the club prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Gillway Boys Club, under 13s (1970)
Tamworth Herald

Watch: This afternoon's weather for Stoke and Staffordshire

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

Staffordshire and Cheshire's weather forecast can also be found at any time on the BBC website.

Travel: Crash on A53 in Stoke-on-Trent

BBC Travel

There's been an accident on the A53 Elder Road southbound in Burslem, at the Cobridge Traffic Lights.

Football: Dodds confident Port Vale can turn bad run around

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale midfielder Louis Dodds believes he and his side have the capability to turn their bad spell around.

Louis Dodds
Port Vale FC

The Vale are without a win in their last four games but Dodds says the players are working hard to put things right.

I know it probably didn't look like that second half but we are trying our backsides off to do the right thing and it's only going to come with hard work and eradicating those mistakes."

Louis DoddsPort Vale midfielder

Ayeeshia Jane Smith murder trial: Judge begins summing up

Peter Wilson

BBC Midlands Today Special Correspondent

A judge has begun summing up today in the trial of two people accused of stamping a toddler to death in Staffordshire. 

Ayeeshia Jane Smith

Ayeeshia Jane Smith died at a house in Burton in May 2014. 

Her mother Kathryn Smith, 23, and stepfather Matthew Rigby, 22, both from Nottingham, deny murdering the 21-month-old. They also both deny causing or allowing the death of a child and cruelty. 

Gun amnesty campaign in North West includes Cheshire

North West Today

Cheshire Police has teamed up with neighbouring forces to launch the first major gun amnesty in the North West for nearly two years. 

People are being urged to hand over firearms and ammunition in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria without fear of prosecution.

It follows a number of shootings in Salford and Merseyside over recent months.