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  1. Updates on Monday 18 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.

Tonight on BBC Midlands Today: Turmoil continues for Aston Villa

Nick Owen

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Our main story today is about a football club in turmoil after relegation - Aston Villa are facing a possible loss of £200m after going down and this afternoon two directors have resigned.

It's a huge deal but why has it happened? We'll try to get to the bottom of it all on BBC Midlands Today from 18:30 on BBC One.

Disappointment for Roxette's Cheshire fans - Tatton Park gig off

Rachael Connors

Reporter, BBC News Online

A planned concert by Roxette at Tatton Park, Cheshire has been cancelled.  

Marie Fredrikkson

The band's management has issued a statement saying the 30th anniversary tour including the Tatton concert on Friday 29 July has been cancelled because singer Marie Fredrikkson has been advised by doctors not to tour.  

Boy still 'critical' after hit by car last week

Lee Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A seven-year-old boy from Stoke-on-Trent remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital say police, after he was hit by a car last week. 

Police closed off the road in Stoke-on-Trent

The crash happened on Repington Road, Sneyd Green, on Thursday afternoon. 

Officers say they're continuing to investigate the collision while the boy is being treated at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

iWonder: Where did my local pub get its name from?

BBC iWonder

The Red Lion, the Royal Oak, the Bull’s Head. These names are found on the signs of pubs all over Britain. But where did these colourful names come from that we take for granted today?  

The BBC iWonder website's been pondering the question and has answers, history and videos to try and find out "What's in a name".

Football: 'Stoke can achieve things' - Hughes

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

The Stoke City manager Mark Hughes says his side can "achieve things" as they go into tonight's home game against Tottenham.  

Mark Hughes
Getty Images

The Potters are comfortably safe in the middle of the Premier League table but, after two games without a win, their boss is keen to not see their season fizzle out.  

There are five games to go and we want to finish in the right manner. Three at home, two away - we have a great opportunity to achieve things. It is Monday night under the lights at the Britannia. We are really looking forward to that.

Mark HughesStoke City manager

News: £2.7m emergency unit work starts; boy 'still critical' after crash; Stoke can still 'achieve things' this season

Phil Bowers

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The main stories this evening for Staffordshire and Cheshire include

- Work has begun today to improve the emergency department at County Hospital in Stafford in a £2.7m project      

- A seven-year-old boy from Stoke-on-Trent remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital say police, after he was hit by a car last week  

- The Stoke City manager Mark Hughes says his side can still "achieve things" this season as they prepare for tonight's home game against Tottenham

Watch: Personal trainer 'honoured' to be Team GB American Football captain

John Acres

BBC Radio Stoke

A personal trainer from Crewe's told BBC Radio Stoke she's honoured to be the captain of Team GB's American Football team.

Phoebe Schecter, originally from Connecticut, has been playing for three and a half years after moving to the UK. 

She admitted it's a "rough game" but a great way to "clear your head".  

Your pictures: Sky high in Betley and a watery Biddulph Grange

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A regular sharer of his photos with us is Duncan Richardson and this one came over the weekend from Betley, Staffordshire.

Duncan Richardson

While Nikki Johnson took this photo at Biddulph Grange.

To share a picture you've taken in Staffordshire or Cheshire, just pop it on an email, tweet it to @BBCRadioStoke or put one on Instagram and add #bbcstoke to the description.

Water side in Biddulph Grange
Nikki Johnson

Watch: Stoke and Staffordshire's weather for tonight and tomorrow

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

The BBC website also has the latest weather forecast at any time for Staffordshire or Cheshire.

Football: Burton boss calls for fans backing

Ed Dawes

BBC Radio Derby Sport

Tense times for Burton Albion as the club aims to clinch promotion to the Championship.

Brewers boss Nigel Clough has called on supporters to back the team through a difficult period.

Nigel Clough

He says he can't understand some of the negativity coming from the stands.  

I'm always amazed when you get the odd supporter who makes a negative comment when you're second in the league. Honestly I'm staggered by it. If you've got the energy to shout and you want to shout, shout something positive."

Nigel CloughBurton Albion manager

Travel: Car and lorry crash on A50 in Stoke-on-Trent

BBC Travel

There's heavy traffic on the A50 westbound In Meir, Stoke-on-Trent at the Meir Tunnel Interchange because of an accident involving a car and a lorry.

Police and Crime Commissioner candidates go head-to-head

Phil McCann

Political reporter, Cheshire

Among the views put forward were:

- John Dwyer (Conservative) said that police forces have finite budgets but said they can't prioritise crimes adding that some are more serious but "there can't be a hierarchy".

- David Keane (Labour) said he believed the most serious, violent crimes are what affect people for life and these are increasing and have to be a priority.

- Neil Lewis (Liberal Democrat) said he thought that the police are losing the race against cyber crime and said they need to "close the digital door".

- Jonathan Starkey (UKIP) said that the role of PCC was worth £75,000 but he would do it for £55,000 and "put more money into policing".

Watch again: Debate between Cheshire's Police and Crime Commissioner candidates

Phil McCann

Political reporter, Cheshire

Earlier this afternoon the four candidates contesting the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) election for Cheshire in May debated their views for BBC Radio Stoke.

It was broadcast live on the radio station's Facebook page where you can still watch the video.

The four candidates

Lucky escape for driver after car fire at Burton business park

Burton Mail

A driver had a lucky escape this morning after his car burst into flames at Centrum 100.

Car on fire
Burton Mail

Watch: Car theft gang members ram police

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Seven men have been given prison sentences for their part in a car theft ring that stole high-end vehicles totalling £500,000 from sites in Staffordshire, among others, in the space of a month, police say.

When spotted by police, two members of the gang rammed officers' unmarked vehicle in a bid to evade capture, driving through red lights and on the wrong side of carriageways before being forced to stop. 

View more on youtube

Parkinson's disease: 'Many patients hide symptoms'

BBC News Health

More than a third of people in the UK with Parkinson's disease feel the need to hide their symptoms or lie about having the condition, a survey for a charity suggests.  

Hand in front of person's face
Science Photo Library

They feel the symptoms are not socially acceptable and may embarrass those close to them, Parkinson's UK said.

It added it was concerned that too many people were struggling alone with their diagnosis, affecting emotional health.

The disease affects 127,000 people in the UK - about one in 500 people.

News: £2.7m for hospital emergency unit revamp; industrial fire still monitored; more schools planned

Phil Bowers

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

These are among Staffordshire and Cheshire's top stories this afternoon:

- Building work is due to start today on a £2.7m revamp to the emergency department at Stafford's County Hospital

- Fire crews are still at the scene of an industrial fire near Sandbach, which they were called to yesterday afternoon

- More schools are going to need to be build in Staffordshire the county council says, to meet future demand for primary school places

Video: Cheshire communities get boost from TV filming

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Two Cheshire communities have been used recently as the backdrop in TV shows.  

The second series of Home Fires is being broadcast at the moment and was filmed in Bunbury.

While last week, areas of Nantwich were used for a forthcoming thriller called Paranoid

Locals have had their shops altered while some people have also been used as extras in the programmes.  

Video: Poor 'lose out in scramble for primary school places'

BBC News Education

Following our story earlier about primary school places in Staffordshire, there's news that research suggests the poorest people are losing out on places at the best primary schools in England.

The least wealthy families have less than half the chance of the wealthiest of sending a child to a top-rated school, analysis from Teach First says.

The teacher training group adds poorer families' children are four times more likely to be at weaker schools.

The government says many more pupils are now in good or outstanding schools.

Work starting on £2.7m hospital scheme

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Building work is due to start today on a £2.7m revamp to the emergency department at Stafford's County Hospital. 

Stafford's County Hospital

The University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust says the scheme will see "significant improvements" including creating a four-bed clinical decision unit and facilities for rapid ambulance assessment. 

The trust says as part of the work, access to the children's emergency department and GP out-of-hours will be restricted for four weeks from 18 June. 

It says alternative arrangements will be brought in so patients get still access those services. The overall project's due to finish by November. 

Football: Crewe manager pleased with reaction to fan protest

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra's manager Steve Davis told BBC Radio Stoke that he spoke to his players about the supporter protests ahead of their 3-2 defeat at home to Scunthorpe on Saturday. 

Steve Davis

Fans demonstrated before the game, in which the club slipped to seven straight defeats.

It's football, these things are very evident in football these days, the modern game, so they [players] handled it superbly well."

Steve DavisCrewe Alexandra manager

BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Lakeside in Holmes Chapel

BBC Weather Watchers

Our team of BBC Weather Watchers keep uploading great pictures from across Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Sandy took this one in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire over the weekend.

A lake in Holmes Chapel

This one from a canal in Stoke-on-Trent was taken by Cokey.

You can easily become a BBC Weather Watcher too by heading to the website and signing up.

Canal in Stoke-on-Trent

Video: Fire service remain at site of Cheshire industrial blaze

Fire crews are still at the scene of an industrial fire near Sandbach, which they were called to yesterday afternoon.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has released this video of their crews tackling the blaze at Flowcrete Business Park. 

View more on twitter

On Midlands Today this lunchtime: Mother's call for brain tumour money

BBC Midlands Today

This lunchtime we're hearing calls from a Midland mother for more money to be put into researching brain tumours. 

Sabina Jones

It's after Sabina Jones' son Kian almost died from brain cancer in 2012 - watch the full story from 13:30 on BBC One in Midlands Today.

News: Major fire burns for hours; new disabled charity set up; council plans more school building

Phil Bowers

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

These are among this afternoon's stories for Staffordshire and Cheshire

- A major industrial building fire in Cheshire takes several hours to put out

- Families affected by the closure of an activity centre for disabled children and adults in Staffordshire say they are hopeful a new charity can fill the gap

- More schools are going to need to be build in Staffordshire the county council says, to meet future demand for primary school places

Football: Port Vale captain says 'vital' to keep current squad together

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale's captain Carl Dickinson says it is vital that they keep their squad together for next season.

Carl Dickinson
Getty Images

Vale have only nine contracted players for next season and Dickinson told BBC Radio Stoke that the players would be difficult to replace.

I think we have to keep this nucleus of the lads together because I think you've seen how hard we work for each other and I think sometimes that is hard to find."

Carl DickinsonPort Vale captain

Majority of Staffordshire children get first choice primary school

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Nine out of 10 parents in Staffordshire have got their first choice of primary school for their child, according to the county council.

Child with hand up in primary school

The authority says 92% got their top choice out of the 9,278 allocated places - but it says it's going to have to keep building schools if it wants to keep families happy in the future. 

The council's predicted it'll need to create another 7,000 primary places in the next five years to meet demand.

Deadline for registering to vote

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

There are elections taking place on 5 May but you will only be able to vote if you’ve registered to do so - and the deadline is today.  

Polling station
Getty Images

If you are not already registered, you can do so by visiting the following website:

And, if you want to find out more about the elections then you can visit the voter information website or the BBC News elections homepage.

Picture: Merseyside and Cheshire from space

Astronaut Tim Peake, who is on a six-month mission on the International Space Station, tweeted this amazing picture of Liverpool and Cheshire from space at the weekend.  

View more on twitter

Watch: This afternoon's Stoke and Staffordshire weather forecast

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

The BBC website also has the latest forecasts for Staffordshire and Cheshire at any time.

Watch live: Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner election debate

Phil McCann

Political reporter, Cheshire

Today we're doing something a little different for a debate between all four of Cheshire’s Police and Commissioner candidates.

It'll be broadcast live via the BBC Radio Stoke Facebook page from 13:00 this afternoon and you can watch it by going to the page at

Picture of the microphones for the debate

Fears historic trees will be lost in new Tamworth 'gateway' plan

Tamworth Herald

Outcry has been expressed by members of Tamworth and District Civic Society over plans to introduce a second pedestrian route to the town's train station, which could result in the loss of historic trees.

The map shows the proposals being put forward for the second linkage scheme in Victoria Road
Tamworth Herald

Major building fire takes hours to put out in Cheshire

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

A major industrial building fire in Cheshire took several hours to put out.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service says they were called yesterday afternoon at 17:40 to a commercial building on Flowcrete Business Park near Sandbach and "found smoke and flames coming through the roof". 

Fire crews tackle fire
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

They say they brought water from a nearby canal to fight the fire while roads were shut as they worked to stop it spreading. 

The service says the blaze was out just before 22:00 but they spent the night there damping down hotspots.

Travel: Crash closes lane on M6 in Cheshire

BBC Travel

A lane is blocked on the M6 northbound between junctions 18 and 19 in Cheshire because of an accident.

News: New charity follows disabled centre closure; major fire burns for hours; primary school places decided

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This morning's main stories for Staffordshire and Cheshire include:

- A new charity's been set up to help families affected by the closure of the North Staffordshire Special Adventure Playground  

- A major industrial building fire in Cheshire took several hours to put out, the fire service says

- Nine out of 10 parents in Staffordshire have got their first choice of primary school for their child, according to the county council