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  1. Updates on Monday 16 May 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.

Cheshire's new police chief to keep council roles

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

Cheshire's new police and crime commissioner insists he will be able to do the job effectively alongside his role as a councillor. 

David Keane

Labour's David Keane has left his old job but will stay as a borough and parish councillor in Warrington and insists he can do all three. 

Man attacked during walk with daughter

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A man has been attacked and had cash taken as he was walking with his four-year-old daughter in Stoke-on-Trent.

Staffordshire Police say it happened just after midnight on Saturday in Sneyd Green near Brocklehurst Way. 

Brocklehurst Way

Officers say they are looking for a group of men after the man suffered injuries to his face and ribs.

Football: Hornby leaves coaching job at Burton

Nigel Cash

BBC Radio Derby Sport

Burton Albion have announced that coach Neill Hornby has left the club. 

Burton Albion
Getty Images

He was part of ex-boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's backroom team and agreed to stay until the end of the season when Nigel Clough took over after the Dutchman left for QPR in December.

"It was important we had that continuity when we took over," Clough told Albion's website. 

"I would like to thank Neill for helping us keep on track and ultimately gain promotion."

Ofsted warns of 'illegal school' in Staffordshire

Lucy King

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

More now on the story we first brought you earlier, that Ofsted's chief inspector has issued a warning notice to seven suspected illegal schools in areas including Stoke-on-Trent.

Ofsted's press office have been in touch this afternoon to say that the final location mentioned by Sir Michael Wilshaw in his letter to the Secretary of State should have been Staffordshire and not Stoke-on-Trent.

Children in headscarves
Getty Images

Unregistered schools are those that operate outside the supervision of the Department for Education, local authorities or Ofsted inspections.

A Department for Education spokesman said nothing was more important than keeping children safe, adding that councils have clear powers to take action where there are concerns.  

Football: Crewe boss admits failure had 'become a habit'

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra's boss Steve Davis has admitted that failure has become a habit at the football club. 

Steve Davis

The Alex ended the season with just seven league wins all season

Davis told BBC Radio Stoke it was important to turn around their outlook to inject some "positivity" and focus on "becoming winners".

New hope for disabled Staffordshire boy

Michele Paduano

Health correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

There's renewed hope for the family of a Staffordshire boy with cerebal palsy who are having to pay for his treatment.

Ben Baddeley from Silverdale broke down in tears outside 10 Downing Street earlier this month, after taking his case to the prime minister.  

His operation was funded privately in 2014 but that meant his aftercare and physiotherapy also had to be paid for. 

Now senior health officials in Staffordshire have agreed to meet the family with the hope of resolving the matter. 

Cannabis factory found in police raid

Alice Bentley

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A cannabis factory has been found today by police in Stoke-on-Trent after officers forced their way into a house. 

Hartshill Road

Staffordshire Police say it was on Hartshill Road and they've arrested a man on suspicion for being concerned in the supply of drugs. 

The force says they will remove the plants and equipment and destroy them, once their investigations are finished.

On Midlands Today this evening: Suspected illegal schools in the region

BBC Midlands Today

It's emerged that suspected illegal schools in parts of the Midlands have been issued with warning notes after a special task force was set up last year to uncover them


Today the Chief Inspector of Schools announced Ofsted's latest findings - we'll be analysing them on Midlands Today on BBC One from 18:30.

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

Alexandra Hamilton

BBC Weather

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

Travel: Emergency repairs on A38 in Burton

BBC Travel

There's a lane closed on the A38 southbound in Burton at the Branston Interchange because of emergency repairs.

Congestion is back to Clay Mills.

News: Toddler murder mother attacked in jail; Stoke among areas to get 'illegal schools' warning; new hope for disabled boy

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The main headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire this evening include:

- A mother who stamped her daughter to death in Burton has suffered "minor injuries" in an attack in jail, Derbyshire police has said

- Seven warning notices have been issued to schools including in Stoke-on-Trent by Ofsted as it investigates suspected illegal schools

- There's renewed hope for the family of a Staffordshire boy with cerebal palsy who are having to pay for his treatment

Ayeeshia Jane Smith murder: Mother suffers 'minor injuries' in jail attack

Jennifer Meierhans

BBC News Online

A mother who stamped her daughter to death in Burton has suffered "minor injuries" in an attack in jail, Derbyshire police has said.  

Kathryn Smith, 23, was sentenced in April to 24 years for the murder of 21-month-old Ayeeshia Jane Smith.

Ayeeshia Jane Smith

She was attacked by two inmates at HMP Foston Hall women's prison in Derbyshire last month.

A spokesman for the Prison Service said: "There is no evidence a weapon was used... and the prison began disciplinary action against those involved."

BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Brereton cum Smethwick and Leek

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

I come back from a week off and find the BBC Weather Watchers have continued to produce some fantastic images.

These two are from Welsh Wizard in Brereton cum Smethwick, Cheshire and Videoman in Leek.

Brereton cum Smethwick
Welsh Wizard

Swimming: Peaty fastest in European 100m semi-final

Euan Duncan

BBC Local Live

World record holder Adam Peaty from Uttoxeter has continued his brilliant build-up to the Olympic Games in Rio.  

Adam Peaty in action today
Getty Images

He's qualified fastest for the 100m breaststroke semi-finals at the European Swimming Championships in London. The final is this evening.

Support offered ahead of 600 jobs development in Stafford

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Career advice sessions are being offered to people in Stafford as 600 jobs are set to be created at the town's new Riverside development. 

Riverside development

The shopping and leisure complex is due to open later this year and includes a cinema, restaurants and clothes stores. 

The first recruitment advice drop-in is being held by the borough council tomorrow morning at the Northfield Centre. 

Too many delay seeking dementia diagnosis, charity says

BBC News Health

More than half of those seeking a diagnosis for dementia have delayed going to their GP by at least a year, according to a survey carried out by the Alzheimer's Society.

Doctor and a stethoscope

The charity says nearly two-thirds of people fear a diagnosis would mean their life is over.

But it says an early diagnosis can actually help people to live as well as possible.

And it wants everyone to confront head-on the challenges posed by dementia.

Football: Trio to stay at Burton

Owen Bradley

BBC Radio Derby Sport

Burton Albion will be taking up options to keep midfielders Matty Palmer and Marcus Harness, along with defender Tom Flanagan.  

Matty Palmer
Getty Images

Two leaving the Pirelli Stadium are striker Timmy Thiele and goalkeeper Dean Lyness.

Travel: Shorter trains between Lichfield and Redditch

Trystan Jones

BBC News Online

Some trains running between Redditch and Lichfield Trent Valley will be running with fewer carriages until December, London Midland say.

London Midland

The operator says 26 of its trains are having their engines upgraded and rather than cutting a whole service it has decided to shorten some trains.

The busiest departures affected will be:

- 07:50 Lichfield to Longbridge (08:30 arrival at New Street) - 17:16 Four Oaks to Redditch (17:43 departure from New Street)

News: 'Illegal school' warning in Stoke; caravan fire death; advice sessions ahead of jobs boost

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's Staffordshire and Cheshire headlines include:

- The chief inspector for education says warning notes to suspected illegal schools operating in areas including Stoke-on-Trent have been issued

 - A man has died in a fire in a caravan in Staffordshire

- Careers advice sessions start in Stafford tomorrow, ahead of 600 new jobs coming to the town

Football: Wilko's farewell to Stoke City

John Bray

BBC Midlands Today

Thousands of Stoke City fans are expected to say farewell to one of the club's long-serving players at the Britannia Stadium this evening.

A head injury has forced Andy Wilkinson to retire early. And he's donating the proceeds from tonight's testimonial to local charities.

The match will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Stoke.

Cheshire postmaster 'foils' online scammers

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

A Cheshire postmaster claims he has foiled an international online scam involving eBay and PayPal.

Steve Howard, who runs Comberbach Post Office, first discovered the scam when he says his daughter nearly posted her old mobile phone to Nigeria after receiving a fake email saying she had received payment for it. 

Comberbatch Post Office

He told BBC Radio Stoke he then noticed many customers were coming into the shop to post goods to similar addresses and warned them. 

EBay and PayPal both say they recommend always making sure transactions are done through the two sites.

Pensioners: Nearly 1m over-75s living in poverty, report says

Alex Morrison

BBC News reporter

Nearly one million people aged over 75 live in poverty and need more help from the government, a report suggests.

The charity Independent Age says ministers should do more to make older pensioners aware they can top up their pensions with other benefits.

Pensioner poverty

It also suggests the income of those aged over 75 is, on average, £3,000 a year less than younger pensioners.

Pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann said the government had run campaigns to encourage pension credit claims.

Your pictures: A stunning sunset and Stoke bluebells

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

You send in some great photos of Staffordshire and Cheshire and so do some of the staff at BBC Radio Stoke.

Max Mallen took this in Gnosall while on her way home of a stunning sunset.

Gnosall sunset
Max Mallen

While this other one's come from Perry Spiller of bluebells in a copse in Bagnall Grange, Stoke-on-Trent.

Of course you can send a picture you've taken in the area in at any time - use email, tweet @BBCRadioStoke or put them on Instagram with #bbcstoke in the description.

Bluebells from Perry
Perry Spiller

Controversial £36m greenbelt plans face council decision


A decision will be made this week on whether a greenbelt site in the Staffordshire village of Essington will become the new base of a delivery firm.

Hobnock Road, Essington

Hundreds of Essington residents have been protesting against the plans, raising safety and environmental concerns. 

DX Freight wants to open its new £36m base next summer and South Staffordshire Council will make a decision on it tomorrow.   

Football: Port Vale boss in waiting game as players consider new deals

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale manager Rob Page says he won't be able to make any new signings until he knows which players he's offered contracts to will be staying. 

Vale Park

Thirteen players are now considering their deals and have 28 days to respond.

Page told BBC Radio Stoke there's no room in his budget to negotiate.  

We've had to do it down to the penny, it's been difficult, trying to keep hold of the good lads we've got. They've been fantastic for me all season, really proud of how they've conducted themselves."

Rob PagePort Vale manager

On Midlands Today this lunchtime: Special needs trial and historic cloth

BBC Midlands Today

This lunchtime on Midlands Today we'll have the latest on the trial of a husband and wife who are accused of the rape and murder of a woman from the region with special needs.

Piece of cloth

And you'll see a piece of cloth, once stored under a vicar's bed in the Herefordshire, which is being described as one of the most important textiles in the world. 

Both those stories and more on Midlands Today on BBC One from 13:30.  

Caravan death: Cause of fire under investigation

Caroline Gall

BBC News Online

Work's underway to try and find out what caused a fire in a caravan in Staffordshire after a man's body was found. 

St James Park, Featherstone

Staffordshire Police say they and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service were called just after midnight to St James Park in Featherstone. 

Officers say the caravan was gutted by the blaze and they found the body inside a doorway in the caravan. The force says he's not yet been identified.

News: Death after caravan fire; illegal schools warning in Stoke-on-Trent; work 'on target' to clear school after chemical leak

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The main headlines this afternoon include:

- A person's died after a caravan fire in Staffordshire, the fire service says  

- The chief inspector for education says warning notes to suspected illegal schools operating in areas including Stoke-on-Trent have been issued

- A Stafford school says work to remove formaldehyde from its building is "on target"  

Watch: Stephen Sutton mother made Teenage Cancer Trust ambassador

BBC Midlands Today

The mother of Staffordshire teenager Stephen Sutton has been chosen as an ambassador for the Teenage Cancer Trust. 

Stephen died on 14 May 2014, after contracting bowel cancer. 

The 19-year-old, of Burntwood, became well known after posting a picture online of his "final thumbs up" from a hospital bed and raised £1m for the charity before he died.   

Yesterday, Jane Sutton marked the second anniversary of her son's death with a charity ride out in Lichfield, continuing to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust. 

Work 'on target' to clear Stafford school after chemical leak

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A Stafford school says work to remove formaldehyde from its building is "on target".

Flash Ley school

Flash Ley Community Primary School has been closed since October after around 20 children fell ill. 

A message on the school website says a trial to remove some of the toxic foam has been successful and work is progressing well. 

Pupils have been having lessons at three other sites in the town. 

BreakingCaravan fire death in Staffordshire

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A person's died in a caravan fire in Staffordshire, the fire service says.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called just after midnight to St James' caravan park on New Road, Featherstone. 

They say they had three crews there and two from West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service and they were there for more than five hours.

University changes: Plan for more new universities and higher fees

Sean Coughlan

BBC News, education correspondent

It will be made easier to open new universities in England, under plans to be announced by Universities Minister Jo Johnson.

The government's proposals for higher education also confirm plans to allow tuition fees to increase above £9,000 from autumn 2017.

Female graduates

This will depend on universities having high-quality teaching. Labour's Gordon Marsden warned of "inadequate" controls over a "rapid expansion" in new universities.

Staffordshire currently has Staffordshire University and Keele University based in the county.

Watch: This afternoon's Stoke and Staffordshire weather forecast

Alexandra Hamilton

BBC Weather

The BBC website also has a latest weather forecast at any time.

Chief schools inspector warns of 'more illegal schools'

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The chief inspector for education says warning notes to suspected illegal schools operating in areas including Stoke-on-Trent have been issued.

Sir Michael Wilshaw

A special task force was set up last November after three illegal schools were found in Birmingham, which were teaching a narrow, Islamic-based curriculum, including homophobic and anti-semitic texts.

In a letter to the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, HM Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw says inspectors issued seven warning notices across England.

The evidence that they [taskforce] have gathered so far during this short period firmly reinforces my belief that there are many more children hidden away from the view of the authorities in unregistered schools across the country than previously thought."

Sir Michael WilshawHM Chief Inspector of Schools