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  1. Updates on Wednesday 27 April 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Jack Dowling

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

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

PCC elections: Hopes for less embarrassing turnout

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

With a turnout of just 11.6%, the first election for Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner was the lowest of any in England.

Across the board, organisers of next month's PCC elections in England will be hoping to improve on November 2012's turnout.

Ministers hoped to introduce a greater level of democracy in monitoring police forces, yet six in seven voters were completely unmoved.

Sign for polling place

The first Thursday in May looks a much better bet for a less embarrassing turnout - it's when people expect elections.

Candidates standing for Staffordshire PCC:

George Adamson (Labour)

Natalie Devaney (Independent)

Matthew Ellis (Conservative)

Watch: Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

There's still a cold element to this evenings weather I'm afraid.

Minimum temperatures overnight of 1C (34F).

Affelay to 'come back stronger'

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City defender Mac Muniesa says teammate Ibrahim Afellay will come back stronger from his recent knee injury.

The Dutch international, 30, damaged his cruciate ligament in training last week.

The midfielder joined for free from Barcelona last year. He may be out until Christmas.

Ibrahim Afellay of Stoke City
Clint Hughes / Stringer

It's really sad, I saw him crying the other day because he's done his knee again. When you come back [from injury] you're hungry to help the team, and I know he will be like that."

Marc MuniesaDefender, Stoke City

Headlines: UHNM 'coped really well' during strike; mediators could help in allotment row; two threatened at knife-point

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Some of the headlines we're talking about today have been:

- The University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust has "coped really well" during the doctors' strike, according to its medical director

- Mediators could be brought in in a row over who owns allotments in Crewe

- Two women were threatened at knife-point at an off licence in Stoke-on-Trent

Man loses four stone in city health drive

Obesity levels in Stoke-on-Trent are rising, despite the city council investing £7m in recent years on a health and lifestyle programme.

Thousands of people have dropped out of the council's LifeStyle campaign over the last seven years.

However, Andrew Canes (featured below) said it had helped him lose four stone in just three months.

UHNM 'coped really well' during strike

Sarah Robertson

Producer, BBC Radio Stoke

The University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust "coped really well" during the junior doctors' strike, according to its medical director.

Dr John Oxtoby told BBC Radio Stoke that efforts from consultants, nurses and those junior doctors not striking, meant just 90 non-emergency procedures were cancelled.

Junior doctors on strike holding signs
Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

The two-day strike is the latest in the dispute between the British Medical Association members and the government over a new contract. 

Bogus advertising seller targets care home near Stone

Staffordshire Newsletter

Business owners are being warned about bogus advertising sellers after a care home near Stone received a suspicious phone call

Mediators could help in allotment row

Phil McCann

Political reporter, Cheshire

Mediators could be brought in in a row over who owns allotments in Crewe. 

The town council says the dispute has already cost taxpayers thousands of pounds.

Tamworth restaurant plans turned down

Tamworth Herald

Plans for a "high-quality" development that would have brought two restaurants to the outskirts of Tamworth town centre have been refused - after its modern design was criticised.

Headlines: Two women threatened at knife-point; passers-by stop attack in Meir; reports of mini tornado

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

- Two women are threatened at knife-point at an off licence in Stoke-on-Trent

- A man's been punched to the ground and kicked in the head in an attack in Stoke-on-Trent

- There were reports of a "mini-tornado" in Wolstanton yesterday evening - high winds knocked over walls and damaged buildings

Preparations continue for Staffordshire Day event

Ros Chimes

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Preparations for Staffordshire Day celebrations at Rudyard Lake are nearing completion as the big day draws near.

Performer Bullzini will be crossing a high wire over the lake on Sunday in one of a number of events designed to turn the area into a picturesque 19th Century holiday destination. 

Lake with boats

'One-off' market to encourage shoppers in town

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Stafford is playing host to a "one-off" market today to try and increase the number of shoppers on the high street.

I visited this morning, as the stall holders were setting up, and was amazed by the variety on offer in the 50-odd stalls.

Market stall with various baked goods and wooden statues

It's been organised by the group behind Walsall's popular Bescot market, and if it's a success they hope it will become a regular event.

Travel: Lane closed on M6 in Cheshire

BBC Travel

There's congestion on the M6 southbound in Cheshire due to a broken down vehicle.

One lane is closed near J18 for the A54 (Sandbach).

Passers-by stop attack in Meir

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

A man's been punched to the ground and kicked in the head in Stoke-on-Trent - and the attack only stopped when locals came to his aid. 

Staffordshire Police say it happened just before 19:00 on Monday night when a car of young men pulled up behind the 19-year- old as he was walking along Ryder Road in Meir. 

BBC Weather Watchers: Four seasons in one day

What a crazy 24 hours of weather. It seems like we've had all four seasons in the last day. 

Our BBC Weather Watchers have been in fine form sending in some brilliant photos.

Two women threatened at knife-point

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Two women were threatened at knife-point at an off licence in Stoke-on-Trent last night.

The robbery happened at around 21:45 at Bargain Booze in Blurton Road. A masked man held a knife and demanded cash from the till, while an accomplice held the door open for their escape.

Staffordshire Police are appealing for witnesses, the armed suspect is described as white, tall and of medium build. 

Off licence building on street corner

Headlines: Reports of mini tornado; 30 cases of revenge porn; junior doctors strike

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Our top stories across Stoke and Staffordshire include:

- Walls, roofs and even cars were badly damaged by high winds in Wolstanton yesterday afternoon

- Staffordshire Police have investigated 33 cases of so called revenge pornography over the past year, BBC figures show

- The second day of a junior doctors' strike is under way

'Tornado' damage highly localised

Walls, roofs and even cars were badly damaged in Wolstanton yesterday afternoon.

The damage seemed to be highly localised - with some people reporting sightings of mini tornadoes. 

The Met Office says the conditions were right for tornadoes, but it could neither confirm nor deny whether they formed.

'Mini tornado' could be repeated today

Weather similar to yesterday's reported "mini-tornado" in Wolstanton - which badly damaged cars and buildings - could be repeated again today.

Speaking on BBC Radio Stoke, Meteorologist Paul Michaelwaite said: "The strength of the sun is warming up the ground and cold air above, it's a perfect breeding ground to create these things."

A wall with dozens of bricks lying about it after high winds

Mr Michaelwaite, from Net Weather, also said the damage could have been caused by strong winds: You can get very, very strong localised gusts called 'straight line gusts'. It may be just more likely to be that."

Police investigate more than 30 cases of revenge porn in Staffordshire

Staffordshire Police have investigated 33 cases of so called revenge pornography over the past year, figures revealed to the BBC have shown.

No action was taken by the force in 70% of the cases - only 3% resulted in charges being brought.  


Victims ranged in age from 15 to 62. 

The BBC analysed Freedom of Information requests from 31 forces in England and Wales between April and December.

Homes and cars damaged in 'mini tornado'

Cars and homes were badly damaged in Wolstanton after what local residents described as a "mini-tornado".

Roof tiles were blown off a local school and structures were blown over.

A Met Office spokesperson said it was "likely" there were tornadoes in the area yesterday, but it was impossible to be sure without photos.

He said the damage could equally have been caused by strong winds.

Damage in Woolstanton

The [weather] set up would definitely have allowed for tornadoes. I'm pretty confident there were funnel clouds in the area."

Watch: Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

More showers are expected through the day - many of them could be wintry

Highs of 8C (46F).

Obesity levels rise in Stoke-on-Trent

More than 60,000 people living in Stoke-on-Trent are classed as obese - nearly a third of the adult population. 

The figure has gone up by 6,000 since 2011. 

Obese person

Seven years ago the city council launched the Lifestyle Programme to help people lose weight.

Despite spending about £7m, only a quarter of the 17,500 clients have succeeded.   

Travel: Lane closed on M6 northbound

BBC Travel

There's slow traffic northbound on the M6 between J15 for the A34 (Stafford North) and J15 for the A500 (Stoke-on-Trent). 

One lane is closed due to a broken down vehicle.

Headlines: Reports of mini tornado; junior doctors strike; 60,000 obese in Stoke

Our top stories this morning:

- People in Newcastle report mini tornado

- Junior doctors begin second day of strike

- More than 60,000 people in Stoke-on-Trent classed as obese

Dispute follows break down of talks

This week's strikes are the first time doctors have stopped providing emergency care in the history of the NHS.

The dispute is over a new contract that the government announced in February would be imposed from the summer. This followed the breakdown of talks between the two sides in January.  


Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt described the walkout as a "very, very bleak day", but said the government would not back down, saying no union had the right to stop a government trying to act on a manifesto promise - to introduce a truly seven-day NHS.  

The British Medical Association has argued it is unfair and the NHS needs extra investment to pay for seven-day services. 

Junior doctors walk out for second day

Junior doctors in Staffordshire and Cheshire are beginning their second walk-out in as many days today, without providing emergency cover. 

Like yesterday, medics walked out of both emergency and routine care at 08:00 and will not return until 17:00. 


Yesterday, local hospitals say they coped well and are hoping less urgent patients will once again stay away.

Crewe set up return of experienced striker Ryan Lowe

Crewe Alexandra could be close to bringing back striker Ryan Lowe back to Gresty Road when his current contract expires at League One rivals Bury this summer.

Ryan Lowe

The 37-year-old Liverpudlian, who first joined Crewe a decade ago, returned to the Alex on loan in November.

Latest: Mini tornado reports; junior doctors strike; obesity figures rise

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Here are some of the main stories we are looking at in Staffordshire and Cheshire:

- People living in Newcastle have described seeing a mini tornado in the area during last night's strong winds

- Junior doctors in Staffordshire and Cheshire are beginning their second strike

- More than 60,000 people living in Stoke-on-Trent are classed as obese, nearly a third of the adult population

Travel: Slow on M6

BBC Travel

Traffic's slow on the M6 southbound through Staffordshire between J11 for the A460 (Cannock) and J7 for the A34 (Great Barr). 

 It's partly due to an earlier breakdown. More on BBC Travel.

Weather: A chilly start

Another chilly start, followed by a day of sunny spells and widespread showers, these turning heavy and wintry in places, with the risk of hail and thunder too. 

Highs of 8C (46F).


Good morning - welcome to our live updates for the day

We're here with all your news, sport, travel and weather this morning. 

Do get in touch if you have a story or pictures that you'd like to share with the rest of Stoke and Staffordshire.

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