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Summary

  1. Updates on Tuesday 19 April 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 Wednesday

Live Reporting

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 Wednesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather. 

Football: Burton battling to hang onto automatic promotion

Owen Bradley

BBC Radio Derby Sport

Burton Albion midfielder Matty Palmer says automatic promotion remains the club's primary aim, despite the fact they could drop out of the automatic places tonight.  

Matty Palmer
Getty Images

Burton are home to League One leaders Wigan and need to better or match the result of third-place Walsall, if they're to hold on to second place. 

Watch: Traveller's message - 'We're not all thieves'

Cath Mackie

BBC News Online

Councils in the West Midlands are under growing pressure to provide permanent traveller sites.  

Government figures showed there were 1,889 more traveller caravans in the region in 2015, which is 124 more than 2013.  

One traveller who has spent her life on the road has spoken to the BBC of the prejudice she's faced from society.

Sabrina Stewart, who's currently living in a caravan in Nuneaton, said life as a traveller was "intimidating".  

Operation Freeway: Tolls can be suspended

Charges can be suspended on the M6 Toll in the event of major infrastructure failure, the chief executive of M6 Toll says.

Responding to calls to scrap the charges when the motorway network becomes gridlocked Andy Pearson said it was up to the Secretary of State for Transport to choose when to invoke Operation Freeway.

The M6 Toll company is happy to discuss amending the terms of the agreement, he added.

Watch: The stories on BBC Midlands Today this evening

BBC Midlands Today

Nick will be on BBC One from 18:30 with Midlands Today - here's a look ahead to some of the main stories he'll be sharing.

View more on twitter

Shortage of sports grounds called 'crisis' in Stafford

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A shortage of sports pitches in Stafford has been described as a "crisis" by the town's MP.

Jeremy Lefroy was reacting to the news that playing fields at both the Shugborough Estate and Beaconside, Stafford, could soon close.  

Shugborough Hall
BBC

Stafford Borough Council has launched a consultation asking local teams how best to provide facilities for the future. 

Latest: Charity plans for Stoke homeless centre; 'cannabis factory' found; children's centres won't be closed

Lee Blakeman

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The main headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire this evening include:

- The former Stoke City manager Lou Macari is in talks to set up a charitable trust to take over the running of a homeless shelter in Stoke-on-Trent that bears his name

- Two men have been arrested after a "cannabis factory" was found in Stoke-on-Trent, police say

- Council bosses claim new plans mean most of the services at four children's centres in east Cheshire will continue - despite major changes to the way they're run

Watch: Shot goose 'lucky to be alive'

Judy Hobson

North West Tonight

A goose that was shot with an arrow is "lucky to be alive" after it missed his heart by just millimetres, the RSPCA in Cheshire says.  

Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange, Nantwich, said the bolt was removed and the goose is now recovering. He is on painkillers and antibiotics for the next five days.

The goose was found in a lake in Hazel Grove yesterday and it had been injured for at least 24 hours.  

'Significant number' of plants found in 'cannabis factory'

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Two men have been arrested after a "cannabis factory" was found in Stoke-on-Trent, police say.

The "cannabis factory" on Atlas Street
Staffordshire Police

Staffordshire Police says the pair, aged 21 and 24, were arrested this morning in connection with the supply and cultivation of the drug. 

According to officers, the "significant number" of plants was found on Atlas street, Fenton.

Your pictures: Sunrise over Stoke canal bridge

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Paul Guest emailed this picture in to me, saying he took it "whilst walking my dog this morning."

He added that it is Ivy House canal bridge, with the "trees of Meakins cricket club silhouetted behind".

Ivy House canal bridge
Paul Guest

If you want to share a picture of Staffordshire or Cheshire and potentially see it featured here, you can email it in, tweet it to @BBCRadioStoke or put it on Instagram.

Children's centres set to stay open under new plans

Phil McCann

Political reporter, Cheshire

Council bosses claim new plans mean most of the services at four children's centres in east Cheshire will continue - despite major changes to the way they're run.

Nantwich and rural children's centre
BBC

It was feared the centres in Knutsford, Macclesfield, Sandbach and Nantwich could close. 

But Cheshire East Council now says they'll all stay open and there'll be no compulsory redundancies.

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

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

If you need a weather forecast at any other time for your part of Staffordshire or Cheshire you can head to the BBC website.

Digital Nation: The Staffordshire maker of unusual clocks

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

It you're not someone who keeps to time, you might pay to watch Paul Parry in action.

This man from Staffordshire is a creator of timepieces - although he tends to make more unusual ones. 

Hand working on a clock
BBC

You can watch a video about his hand-made clocks here - in the latest Digital Nation episode, a weekly round-up of the best local independent television from around the UK.

Watch: Calls for M6 toll charges to be scrapped during congestion

Cath Mackie

BBC News Online

There have been renewed calls for the M6 toll to be made free to drivers at times of heavy congestion on the M6.

A serious incident in February saw the M6 closed for 24 hours and on Monday night it was shut for 10 hours after a fuel spillage.

MPs have debated the issue at Westminster. Julian Knight, Conservative MP for Solihull, said the toll road was a rich person's motorway. "It was designed as the Birmingham relief road, but it brings no relief", he said.

Young Nantwich cancer patient embarks on Ellen MacArthur adventure

Nantwich News

A young cancer patient from Nantwich took part in a four-day adventure with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust  

The group involved in the event
Nantwich News

BBC Weather Watcher: Lakeside in Congleton and farming in Cheshire

BBC Weather Watchers

More great pictures today that have been uploaded to the BBC Weather Watchers by our volunteers in the area.

This first one's from user Dawn Treader in Congleton.

Congleton lake
Dawn Treader

While Charles in Chelford, Cheshire, took this snap of a farmer's field.

Want to be one of our BBC Weather Watchers? You could get your photo featured here or on the regional TV weather updates - head to the website to sign up.

Tractor in field in Chelford
Charles

News: Two 'slavery' arrests in police raids; calls for M6 toll charges to be scrapped; police probe gas canister case

Lee Blakeman

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Our top stories this afternoon include:

- Two people have been arrested on suspicion of slavery offences after raids in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme, police say

- There have been renewed calls for the M6 toll to be made free to drivers at times of heavy congestion

Three teenagers have been arrested by police after a gas canister was set off at a McDonald's in Stafford last night  

Farm building damaged in fire

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A fire at a large farm building near Stafford meant a nearby main road had to be closed. 

The damaged farm building
BBC

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to the site on the A34 in Brocton this afternoon. 

The fire is now out, although part of the building's roof has collapsed.

Former Stoke manager Macari looking to run homeless centre

James Bovill

Political reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

The former Stoke City manager Lou Macari is in talks to set up a charitable trust to take over the running of a homeless shelter in Stoke-on-Trent that bears his name. 

The Macari Centre opened in Hanley in February,offering 18 beds for rough sleepers. 

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is proposing to fund the centre until the start of July when it's hoped the charitable trust will be ready to take over.  

Football: Captain hopes Port Vale squad stays together

BBC Sport

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

Carl Dickinson
Getty Images

Up-for-sale Vale, who still have an outside chance of reaching the League One playoffs, currently have only nine contracted players for next term.

Dickinson, one of those whose deal expires this summer, told BBC Radio Stoke that the players would be difficult to replace.

We have to keep this nucleus together. If something can get sorted, that would be brilliant.

Carl DickinsonPort Vale captain

Watch: Queen's 90th birthday marked with special Stoke-made china

Tim Wedgwood

BBC Local LIve

Commemorative china has been made in Stoke-on-Trent to mark the Queen's 90th birthday. 

Burleigh has produced 1,000 mugs and 500 cups and saucers for the occasion. 

Britain's longest-serving monarch celebrates her 90th birthday on 21 April, and there are a host of events planned to mark the occasion.  

M6 lane closures are 'daily occurrence', figures show

Louise Hancock

Newsreader, BBC WM

We can reveal that on average, a lane was closed during every rush hour on the M6 last month between Junctions Five and 10. 

M6 at junction 10
Google

Figures given to us by Highways England show from 14 March to 10 April, there were 64 incidents that resulted in one or more lanes closing on the so-called smart motorway - which can have an extra lane running in high traffic - between 07:00 and 09:00, and 16:00 and 18:00.

Bhanu Dhar, from the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said it was unacceptable.

Cat found 'poisoned' in Newcastle-under-Lyme street

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A cat's said to be in an "extremely poorly condition" after he was poisoned in Newcastle-under-Lyme, the RSPCA says. 

Cotswold Avenue
Google

It says the one-year-old was found lethargic and lying on his side in Cotswold Avenue on Saturday. 

The animal was rushed to a vet who, the RPSCA says, confirmed it was suffering from the effects of poison.

On BBC Midlands Today this lunchtime: Could the M6 Toll become free at times?

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Today

This afternoon we'll be hearing about renewed calls for the M6 Toll to be made free for drivers at times of heavy congestion. 

Sign for M6 Toll
BBC

There's been a special debate in Westminster this morning and I'll be looking at what could happen in Midlands Today on BBC One from 13:30.

Charity Trekstock 'disappointed' over missing donations

Phil McCann

Political reporter, Cheshire

A cancer charity says it is "incredibly disappointed" not to have received donations raised at a music festival by a company that has now gone bust.  

Sam Gardner quit as a cabinet member of Cheshire East Council last week after admitting that Fomfest Ltd, of which he was a director, had "misused" donations collected at Friends of Mine in 2011.  

The 2011 Friends of Mine music festival was held at Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire
Mark percy/geograph

The charity Trekstock said the money was earmarked for a cancer drugs trial.

Mr Gardner said he had "total confidence" he would be exonerated.

News: 'Slavery' raids in Staffordshire; police make gas canister arrests; cat found 'poisoned' on street

Lee Blakeman

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's headlines include:

- Two people have been arrested on suspicion of slavery offences after raids in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme, police say

Three teenagers have been arrested by police after a gas canister was set off at a McDonald's in Stafford last night  

- A cat's said to be in an "extremely poorly condition" after he was poisoned in Newcastle-under-Lyme, the RSPCA says  

Football: Crewe's Turton wants side to finish 'disappointing' season strongly

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra are in action tonight as they host Colchester in League One

With a win, the Alex can relegate their opponents to join them in League Two next season.

Ollie Turton
crewealex.net

Meanwhile, Crewe's Ollie Turton says the season's been hugely disappointing which is why he didn't feel like celebrating his first goal of the season last weekend.

I wish I could have scored and helped the team to stay up but it was too late. If we get these last games out of the way, try and get some results, try and start playing well, not letting goals in and we start fresh next season.

Ollie TurtonCrewe Alexandra player

Two arrested over 'slavery offences' in Staffordshire

Alice Bentley

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Two people have been arrested on suspicion of slavery offences after raids in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme, police say. 

Staffordshire Police says the force, along with officers from the Immigration Service, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and other law enforcement agencies, searched six homes on Monday 11 April.  

Police cars
BBC

A man and a woman, both aged 45, were arrested on suspicion of Modern Day Slavery offences and have been released on bail.

The force says a third person, arrested on an immigration matter, is being detained in a secure immigration detention centre.

House fire spreads to second home

Sarah Robertson

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

More than 25 firefighters have tackled a house fire in Newcastle-under-Lyme that spread to a second house and a third garden.  

Smallwood Close
Google

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service says no-one was hurt. It was called to Smallwood Close in Waterhayes this morning. 

The service says a structural engineer has been called to the scene, and fire investigators are now working to establish what caused it.

Your pictures: Lakeside in Uttoxeter and Trentham

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

These birds, weighing up whether to have a dip in the water, were spotted and photographed in Uttoxeter by Sara Spooner.

Birds by the waterside
Sara Spooner

While this next lake, in Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, was photographed by Jon Kelso.

It's great seeing the pictures you take of this area - keep sending them in on email, tweet @BBCRadioStoke or use Instagram.

Daffodils by Trentham lake
Jon Kelso

Watch: This afternoon's Stoke and Staffordshire weather

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

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

No delays in Rugeley Power Station redevelopment, minister vows

Express and Star

There will be no 'unnecessary delays' in the redevelopment of Rugeley Power Station, the Government's planning minister has vowed.  

Energy secretary MP Greg Clark outside Rugeley Power Station
Express and Star

Three arrests after gas canister set off in branch of McDonald's

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Three teenagers have been arrested by police after a gas canister was set off at a McDonald's in Stafford last night. 

Emergency services at the McDonald's
WMAS

Staffordshire Police say the three - two 17-year-old males and one 18-year-old girl, all from the Stafford area - have been arrested on suspicion of administering a noxious substance. 

Two teenagers needed hospital treatment after the canister was released in the Eccleshall Road branch.

Watch: Football - Hughes frustrated by 'poor' Stoke City

BBC Sport

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes says his side were poor and played into their opponents' hands after being thrashed 4-0 by title-chasing Tottenham.

Teenagers suffer breathing difficulties in McDonald's gas canister incident

Lee Thomas

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

More on the story we brought you earlier of a gas canister being set off in the McDonald's on Eccleshall Road last night. 

Ambulances at the scene last night
WMAS

West Midlands Ambulance Service says when they arrived at the scene they found 12 people, staff and customers, had suffered respiratory and stomach irritation. 

It says two teenage girls needed more treatment in hospital. A 17-year-old girl was suffering "severe" respiratory irritation and an 18-year-old girl had "severe" abdominal pains.  

News: Teenagers hurt in McDonald's gas canister incident; dozens of firefighters tackle house blaze; M6 Toll charges set for debate

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Staffordshire and Cheshire's main headlines include:

- Two teenagers suffered breathing difficulties, paramedics say, after a gas canister was set off in a McDonald's

- More than 25 firefighters have tackled a house fire in Newcastle-under-Lyme that spread to a second house and a third garden

- Calls to waive charges for motorists on the M6 Toll when serious accidents are causing gridlock elsewhere will be debated in Westminster today