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Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday 5 May 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's it for live updates this afternoon. 

My colleague Alex Homer will be back from 22:00 bringing you comprehensive coverage of the local and police and crime commissioner elections as the results come in overnight. 

He'll be bringing you live text updates for the West Midlands on our dedicated BBC News live page between 22:00 and 08:00 on Friday.  

Investment in new facility will help us grow say scouts

Tamworth Herald

Residents from in and around Polesworth are invited to attend the official opening of a new Scout hut and community facility.

Scouts outside hut
Tamworth Herald

Tonight on BBC Midlands Today: Traders predict shopping centre struggles

Giles Latcham

BBC Midlands Today

Town centre traders in Stafford have told the BBC they fear they'll struggle to survive when a new £70m shopping centre opens up on their doorstep.  

Stafford town centre
BBC

Council officials claim the town is faring better than others, but they've come up with an innovative scheme to cut business rates which they think will help. 

I've been in Stafford and will bring you more on this story on BBC Midlands Today from 18:30 on BBC One.

Watch: Mark Hughes on Foxes' Premier League lesson

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

The Stoke City manager, Mark Hughes, says Leicester City have shown "it can happen" to other clubs by winning the Premier League

However the Potters' boss told today's press conference he also expected the "bigger clubs" in the league to come back stronger next season.  

Watch: Cheshire mum designs autism-friendly garden for Tatton

BBC North West Tonight

A Cheshire mother has designed an "autism-friendly garden" for this year's RHS Tatton Flower Show. 

Shea O'Neill is from Northwich and says gardening has helped transform her son Eoghan after he was diagnosed with autism.  

She's designed a colourful garden called "Spectrum of Genius" for the July event at Tatton Park which features a "calm space for children". 

After the show the garden will be relocated to Barnton Primary School in Northwich.

Work beginning this month on £90,000 play area

Ros Chimes

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Work is due to start later this month on a new £90,000 play area in Biddulph, Staffordshire. 

Halls Road, Biddulph
Google

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council says the scheme on Halls Road will be suitable for children of all ages and will take around four weeks to complete.  

M6 Cheshire crash: Lanes all reopened

All the lanes on the M6 northbound in Cheshire between junctions 18 and 19 have reopened after the earlier crash, according to Highways England.

View more on twitter

Watch: Water Plus Stoke move an 'easy option'

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

The chief executive of new joint enterprise firm Water Plus says it was an "easy option" to come to Stoke-on-Trent.   

The venture has been set up by Severn Trent Water and United Utilities who say it will create hundreds of jobs in the city. 

Staff at Severn Trent's headquarters in Coventry will be asked to relocate as part of the move but today chief executive, Sue Amies-King, told the BBC the move would not lead to anyone losing their job.  

Latest: Delays after multi-vehicle M6 crash; traders predict shopping centre struggles; water firm boss say Stoke move 'easy option'

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The main headlines this evening include:

- Drivers are still facing major delays in Cheshire after a serious multi-vehicle crash on the M6 this afternoon, which saw two people have to be cut free by fire crews

- Town centre traders in Stafford have told the BBC they fear they'll struggle to survive when a new £70m shopping centre opens up on their doorstep

- The chief executive of new joint enterprise firm Water Plus says it was a "easy option" to decide to come to Stoke-on-Trent and create hundreds of jobs

Your pictures: Incinerator vapour and a Staffordshire canal tunnel

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A couple of the many nice, scenic pictures we get sent by you of Staffordshire or Cheshire.

This one's from Jon Kelso who says it shows vapour coming from the incinerator in Stoke-on-Trent.

Vapour from the incinerator in Stoke-on-Trent
Jon Kelso

While this, from Matthew Johnson, shows the south Harecastle Tunnel entrance on the canal near Kidsgrove, Staffordshire.

To share your pictures and see them featured here, you can send them in on email, tweet @BBCRadioStoke or put them in Instagram.

The south Harecastle Tunnel entrance on the canal near Kidsgrove, Staffordshire
Matthew Johnson

Football: Davis wants more 'leaders' at Crewe

Dan Wheeler

BBC Sport

Manager Steve Davis says relegated Crewe Alexandra need leaders "on and off the pitch" for their attempt to get back into League One next season.

Steve Davis
Empics

The Alex will play in League Two next season after a four-year absence and Davis knows the sort of recruits he needs to bolster his young squad.  

Leaders set the right examples. They have experience of playing at different levels that help the young players - especially when it's tough."

Steve DavisCrewe Alexandra manager

Watch: Tonight and tomorrow's Stoke and Staffordshire weather

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

If you want a BBC Weather forecast at any other time, you can get one from the BBC website.

M6 Cheshire crash: Two lanes remain shut

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

We've just checked with Highways England about the situation on the M6 northbound this afternoon, following the earlier crash between junctions 18 and 19.

They say two lanes are still shut as the four vehicles involved are recovered.

View more on twitter

Deaf event gets police support

Alice Bentley

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Police officers will be taking part in a Stoke-on-Trent event aimed at raising awareness of people who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Hearing aid
Thinkstock

The "See Me, Hear Me" exhibition is being held at Stoke City's Britannia Stadium on May 13. 

Staffordshire Police says it will have officers there to try and promote the services they offer to communicate with deaf people.

Police find drugs sent without 'right postage'

Drugs have been sent through the post without the right postage, police in Stoke-on-Trent say, having tweeted a picture of the opened parcel.

View more on twitter

BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Sunshine days in Staffordshire and Cheshire

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

As far as the weather goes, the sunshine's the big talking point this week as temperatures start to rise.

Let me point you towards our BBC Weather Watchers website for sunny pictures of the area, such as those below - you can sign up to become one yourself.

Barlaston
Jon
Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent
StaffordshireSamuel

BT to invest £6bn in faster broadband and mobile services

BBC News England

BT Group has outlined plans to invest £6bn over the next three years in faster broadband and mobile services.

It plans to offer what it describes as "ultrafast" broadband to 12 million premises by 2020.

BT Business
BT

Under the investment plan, a minimum of 10 million homes and businesses will receive access to BT's ultrafast broadband service, and the company has an "ambition" to reach 12 million.  

M6 Cheshire crash: Picture of lorry involved in crash

This is one of the lorries which was involved in the crash this afternoon on the M6 northbound in Cheshire, according to the police.

View more on twitter

Latest: Two hurt in multi-vehicle M6 crash; cat shot in Lichfield; 'oldest dog show' starts in Stafford

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's headlines include:

- Two people have been cut free after a crash involving two lorries and two cars on the northbound M6 in Cheshire this afternoon

- A cat has been shot in Lichfield with what the RSPCA says is thought to be a shotgun

- An event that's been called "the world's oldest dog showhas started in Stafford today

Travel: Trains delayed from Lichfield to Birmingham by 'faulty train'

BBC Travel

Trains between Lichfield Trent Valley and Birmingham New Street are being delayed by a faulty train.

Get the latest from the BBC Travel website.

View more on twitter

M6 Cheshire crash: 'Injuries not thought to be serious'

Two lanes are still shut on the M6 northbound at junction 18, police say.

Cheshire Police also say the two people who had to be cut free from their vehicles aren't thought to have suffered serious injuries.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

M6 Cheshire crash: Air ambulance takes second victim to hospital

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

The second person who was trapped by the crash on the M6 in Cheshire this afternoon has now been released by the fire service.

They're being taken to hospital by air ambulance, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service say.

M6 Cheshire crash: Fire crews cut man free from lorry

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

One person has been released from a lorry involved in the crash on the M6 northbound in Cheshire this afternoon, according to the fire service.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service say the man is being taken to hospital by ambulance - they say the are still working to cut a person free from a car.

Cheshire Police say they are diverting vehicles from the scene of the crash, between junctions 18 and 19.

M6 Cheshire crash: One lane re-opened

One lane's now been re-opened by the police on the M6 north in Cheshire following the earlier accident.

View more on twitter

M6 crash: More fire engines sent to scene

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Three more fire engines have been sent to the scene of the crash this afternoon on the M6 northbound in Cheshire, the fire service says.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service say they're working to free the two people who are trapped, after two lorries and two cars crashed between junctions 18 and 19.

Stafford hosting 'world's oldest dog show'

Sarah Robertson

Producer, BBC Radio Stoke

What's been called "the world's oldest dog show" has started in Stafford today

Staffordshire County Showground
Google

The Birmingham Dog Show Society Championship Show, which began in 1859, will feature more than 200 breeds competing for a place at Crufts next year. 

More than 10,000 dogs are expected to take part in the four day event at the Staffordshire County Showground. 

M6 shut at junction 18 north after crash

The whole of the M6 northbound at junction 18 has been shut following an accident, police say.

View more on twitter

Two trapped after M6 crash in Cheshire

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Two people have been trapped after a collision involving two cars and two trucks on the northbound M6 in Cheshire this afternoon, the fire service say.

The crash scene
Cheshire Police

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service say it happened between Middlewich and Knutsford at around 12:30.

They say one person has been trapped in a car, the second in a truck. Get the latest travel news from the BBC Travel website.

Hospital in Lichfield 'does not pay firm to run car park'

Lichfield Mercury

The trust which runs Lichfield's Samuel Johnson Hospital has revealed it does not pay Parking Eye to operate its controversial car parking system.

Car park sign at Samuel Johnson Hospital
Lichfield Mercury

On Midlands Today this lunchtime: Jobs impact of new water firm

BBC Midlands Today

This lunchtime on Midlands Today - hundreds of jobs are being created in Stoke-on-Trent through a new joint enterprise between two of the country's biggest utility companies.  

Tap
Getty Images

Severn Trent Water and United Utilities have created "Water Plus" to offer services to business customers from next year. 

We'll be hearing from the boss of the new joint venture on how this could impact on jobs in Staffordshire and in Coventry - on BBC One from 13:30.

Staffordshire WW2 veteran given Russian honour

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

The Russian embassy has hand-delivered a military medal to a Staffordshire veteran of the Arctic convoys, more than 70 years after the end of World War Two.

Ronald Gray with the medal
BBC

Ronald Gray, who's 92 and from Eccleshall, was part of what Sir Winston Churchill called "the worst journey in the world" as a Royal Navy engineer on the destroyers helping deliver vital supplies to Russia.

He's now one of several thousand honoured with the Ushakov medal.

It means a great deal. It shows appreciation of what we did during the convoys because they were hell on earth."

Ronald GrayWorld War Two Arctic convoy veteran

Football: Davis wants Bakayogo to sign Crewe deal

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra's boss, Steve Davis, says Zoumana Bakayogo deserves to have been offered a permanent contract.

Zoumana Bakayogo
crewealex.net

Bakayogo has battled back from career-threatening injuries to make 15 appearances for the Alex this season. 

Davis says the player passionate about the game and he hopes they can agree a deal.

Great character, great person to have around. Came to the club for nothing for a long period and has earned very little money this year so deserves more from us now that he's done well for us."

Steve DavisCrewe Alexandra manager

Latest: Business rates deal in Stafford; cat shot in Lichfield; 'oldest dog show' starts in Stafford

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's stories include:

- New shop owners in Stafford will be freed from paying business rates in an attempt to protect part of the county town from neglect   

- A cat has been shot in Lichfield with what the RSPCA says is thought to have been a shotgun

- An event that's been called "the world's oldest dog showhas started in Stafford today

Cat shot in face in Lichfield

Jack Dowling

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A cat has been shot in Lichfield with what the RSPCA says is thought to have been a shotgun. 

Tom, the cat which was shot
RSPCA

The organisation says the six-year-old cat, called Tom, was found by his owner on April 23 near his home in Broadbent Close with serious facial injuries. 

The RSPCA says a vet found fragments of a bullet which have been sent to the police. The cat has lost part of his tongue and has damaged sinuses and eyes.

It’s thrown me off my feet because this happening to Tom has made me feel like I’ve lost an arm, because we are so close and he follows me everywhere."

Amanda DukesTom’s owner

Your pictures: A singing Kinver bird

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

We get great scenic shots of Staffordshire or Cheshire emailed in but we also get some great wildlife pictures too.

This stunning one of a bird in full voice has come from Shelley Nutting in Kinver. 

Bird singing
Shelley Nutting

Like Shelley you can share your pictures via emailtweet @BBCRadioStoke or put them on Instagram - adding #bbcstoke to the description, so we can find them.  

Picture: Sun shines on Stoke-on-Trent history

A lovely picture has been tweeted by the Gladstone Pottery Museum of the sunshine and blue skies behind their historic bottle kilns.

View more on twitter

Watch: This afternoon's Stoke and Staffordshire weather forecast

Alexandra Hamilton

BBC Weather

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