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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 18 May 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Andrew Dawkins

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's all for now. We'll have more news, sport, weather and travel for Staffordshire and Cheshire from 08:00 tomorrow.

Watch: Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

Heavy, slow moving and perhaps thundery showers during the early evening will gradually ease to leave dry conditions, with clear spells overnight. 

There may be some mist and fog patches forming in rural areas by dawn. Lows of 8C (46F).

Northampton to appoint Vale boss Page

BBC Sport

League Two champions Northampton are set to appoint Port Vale boss Rob Page as Chris Wilder's replacement as manager.

Rob Page
Rex Features

Jury shown CCTV images of man being mown down by car

Burton Mail

A jury has been shown footage from a security camera that captured the moment a Burton man was run down by a car near his home.

Deal done on taxi driving licence points plan

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Councillors have agreed to allow taxi drivers to continue working in Stoke-on-Trent with up to nine points on their licence. 

It was originally proposed that existing drivers could only have a maximum of six points before they appeared before a review panel - new applicants would have to have a clean licence. 

Stoke-on-Trent private hire drivers association said on the whole they're relieved.

Stoke 'thinking about potential transfers'

BBC Radio Stoke Sport

Stoke City first team coach Eddie Niedzwiecki says the club are thinking about potential transfers over the summer.

Stoke against West Ham
Getty Images

The Potters signed off their season with a 2-1 win at home to West Ham to finish ninth in the Premier League table.

Bentley Crewe HQ plans approved

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Plans for a major expansion of Bentley's headquarters in Crewe have been approved. 

The company will now build a five-storey engineering technical centre on the site of the recycling centre on Pyms Lane. 

It's claimed the plans will create new jobs and investment. Councillors took less than 10 minutes to approve them.

Watch: Send in the drones

Tim Wedgwood

BBC Local LIve

During the Queen's Speech, the government outlined plans to encourage extra investment in drone aircraft.

When retirement called, Ian Revans from Stone, Staffs, decided to take up flying - albeit without leaving the ground.

He’s learnt to fly drones and has some great tips if you fancy having a go.

Man stabbed in the leg as fight erupts on city estate

The Sentinel

A man was stabbed in the leg after a mass brawl broke out in a street next to a children's playground.

Latest: Bentley Crewe HQ expansion approved; taxi deal over licence points; satellite tagged inmates may be home during week

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Here are some of the stories we are looking at:

- Plans for a major expansion of Bentley's headquarters in Crewe are approved

- Councillors agree to allow taxi drivers to continue working in Stoke-on-Trent with up to nine points on their licence

- Satellite tagged inmates in Staffordshire could be sent home during the week as part of the government's prison reforms

Busy month at Royal Stoke University Hospital A&E

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

North Staffordshire's main A&E department is having an extremely busy month.

Royal Stoke University Hospital
BBC

More than 400 people a day have been visiting the Royal Stoke University Hospital over the last few weeks - the department was built for 350. 

Medical director Dr John Oxterby said: "We need to make sure that we're providing the best possible service, particularly for patients who are critically ill and in life-threatening situations.

"I guess to enable us to focus on this what we're saying is 'stay away if you're not in that category."

'Hidden army' of carers in their 80s, says Age UK

BBC News Health

The number of people in their 80s or older who are relied on as carers has rocketed in the last seven years, according to a charity.

Age UK says one in seven of the "oldest old" - an estimated 417,000 people in all - now provides some sort of unpaid care to family or friends.

Hands
Thinkstock

Over half of these clock up more than 35 hours a week.

Many are exhausted and say they worry about how long they might be able to carry on, says the charity.

Bentley looks set to get HQ expansion go-ahead

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Luxury car maker Bentley looks set to be given the go-ahead for a major expansion of its Crewe headquarters. 

The company wants to knock down existing buildings on its Pyms Lane site. 

It is looking to replace them with a new five-storey engineering and two-storey design centre. The plans are recommended for approval.   

Bentley - generic image
Getty Images

Councillors reject freight HQ plans

Rob Mayor

Black Country Political Reporter, BBC WM

Councillors in South Staffordshire have refused planning permission for a £36m distribution centre near the village of Essington.

Site earmarked for distribution site
Google

Campaigners cheered as the proposal put forward by Willenhall-based delivery firm DX Freight was turned down.

The council’s planning committee said the plans did not meet the test of "very special circumstances" for building on green-belt land.

The land had previously been used as a brick works (pictured right) in Hobnock Road

Latest: Satellite tagged inmates may be home during week; busy month at A&E; Bentley plans Crewe expansion

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Here are some of the stories we are looking at:

- Satellite tagged inmates in Staffordshire could be sent home during the week as part of the government's prison reforms

- North Staffordshire's main A&E department is having an extremely busy month

- Luxury car maker Bentley looks set to be given the go-ahead for a major expansion of its Crewe headquarters  

Falcon found in Stafford

An unusual find by police in Stafford last night.

View more on twitter

Queen's Speech: Prison shake-up at heart of new laws

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

As part of prison reforms, Staffordshire will be one of eight police areas piloting satellite tracking of offenders from September.

Queen
BBC

The government's planned new laws have been set out in the Queen's Speech - including the biggest prison shake-up in England and Wales.

Fatal fire at caravan park caused by electric blanket

A fatal fire at a caravan park in south Staffordshire was caused by an electric blanket, the fire service says.

Firefighters arrived at St James's caravan park on New Road, Featherstone, in the early hours of Monday and spent more than five hours tackling the blaze, although there was nothing that could be done to save an elderly man found at the scene.

The fire
BBC

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue is urging people to get their electric blankets tested and said all older or faulty blankets should be replaced.

Taxi licence rule changes discussed

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A meeting is still ongoing to review proposals to change rules over taxi licences in Stoke-on-Trent.

There has been significant opposition to the original plans which would see the city council change the way it views points on a driving licence. 

The council also wanted drivers to complete a local knowledge test.

Coming up on TV: Unemployment rises in West Midlands

BBC Midlands Today

Unemployment has risen slightly in the West Midlands by 8,000, despite a general drop across the country.

The latest job figures show that 154,000 people were out of work in the region between January and March this year. 

Overall, that figure is still 24,000 less than the same time last year. 

Well have more on Midlands Today from 13:30 on BBC One.

Factory
Getty Images

Man thanked over cyclist help

Pete Morgan

Presenter, BBC Radio Stoke

A man from Loggerheads has told Morgan in the Morning on BBC Radio Stoke how he came to the rescue of a cyclist who had been hit by a car. 

It happened as Simon Croft was driving through Gloucestershire. 

He helped to ensure the man stayed still to stop him damaging his back. 

Mr Croft said: "Three weeks later Michael phoned me to say 'thank you for what you did...I'm out of hospital... I'm able to walk' so that was the last time I spoke to him."  

Watch: Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Lucy Martin

BBC Weather

There's a chance of seeing some bright spells in the afternoon but also some scattered heavy showers that could be thundery in nature.

Highs of 16C (60F).

Latest: Taxi licence changes discussed; developments plans set for approval; new homes built in Stafford

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Here are some of the stories we are looking at:

- A meeting is under way to review proposals to change rules over taxi licences in Stoke-on-Trent

- Plans for two major business developments in north Staffordshire are set to be approved later

- About 750 new homes have been built in and around Stafford in the last 12 months 

When can too much democracy be bad for your health?

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

Should health be taken out of politics? It's a question I find myself asking more and more often.

Every year the NHS accounts for nearly £120bn. Surely there could be no more obvious example of the need for political accountability and rigorous debate among our elected representatives and decision-makers.  

NHS finances picture
Thinkstock

We hear the rival parties trading blows over whether or not the health service is safe in their, or their opponents', hands. 

What has been the net effect of all this politics in health? 

Main road in Crewe could be closed for months

Crewe Chronicle

Crewe's traffic chaos could continue until after Christmas because a developer wants to close Middlewich Street for up to eight months to carry out drainage works for its new housing scheme. 

Stafford home building figures revealed

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

About 750 new homes have been built in and around Stafford in the last 12 months.

Bricks
BBC

The borough council said that figure did not include nearly 350 that were built for the Ministry of Defence and it was up significantly on recent years. 

The authority said the resurgence of house building in the county town showed the confidence investors had in the area.  

Peaty sets new championship record in 100m final

BBC Sport

Great Britain won five medals on day two of the European Swimming Championships in London yesterday.

Uttoxeter's Adam Peaty successfully defended his 100 metres breaststroke title, with Ross Murdoch taking silver, before then helping the 4 by 100 metres mixed relay to gold.

World record holder Peaty stole all the headlines last night as he set a new championship record in the 100m breastroke final.

His time of 58.36 seconds was the third fastest time in history.

Latest: Taxi licence changes discussed; new homes built in Stafford; Bentley plans Crewe expansion

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

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

- Proposed changes to the way taxi licences are handed out in Stoke-on-Trent will be discussed later

- Around 750 new homes have been built in and around Stafford in the last 12 months

- Luxury carmaker Bentley looks set to be given the go-ahead for a major expansion of its Crewe headquarters

Taxi licence changes discussed

Proposed changes to the way taxi licences are awarded in Stoke-on-Trent will be considered later. 

They include plans to alter the number of points applicants can have on their driving licence and make them take a local knowledge test. 

Taxi sign
BBC

There's been a lot of opposition to the idea.

The city council says some of the opposition was "persuasive" and recommended the review being discussed today with the possibility that some of the proposals could change.

Driver guilty over cyclist's death

A van driver has been found guilty of killing a cyclist on the A5 in Tamworth.

Dean Swift hit 58-year-old Paul Maguire from behind in May, 2015.

Slip road off the A5 for the B5440
Google

Swift, 23, of Rosewood Park, Cheslyn Hay, was convicted of causing death by careless driving at Stafford Crown Court and will be sentenced next month.

Latest: Taxi licence changes discussed; new homes built in Stafford; Bentley plans Crewe expansion

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

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

- Proposed changes to the way taxi licences are handed out in Stoke-on-Trent will be discussed later

- Around 750 new homes have been built in and around Stafford in the last 12 months

- Luxury carmaker Bentley looks set to be given the go-ahead for a major expansion of its Crewe headquarters

Weather: A wet start to the day

It'll be a wet start to the day for most as showery rain moves eastwards this morning. 

Scattered showers will linger through the afternoon, with thunder likely, but there will be some sunshine too. Highs of 15C (59F).

Lucy Martin
BBC

Travel: Lane closed on M6 in Cheshire

BBC Travel

It's a similar story on the M6 in Cheshire. 

One lane is blocked southbound between J19 for the A556 (Knutsfiord) and J18 for the A54 (MIddlewich), due to a broken down lorry

Lane closed on M6 near Gailey

BBC Travel

One lane is closed on the M6 northbound between J12 for the A5 (Gailey) and J13 for the A449 (Stafford South), due to a broken down vehicle. 

There's heavy traffic in the area.

Good morning - welcome to our live updates for the day

Welcome to Stoke and Staffordshire Live on Wednesday morning. 

We'll be bringing you all the news, sport, travel and weather as it happens. 

If you'd like to get in touch you can emailtweet us on @bbcradiostoke or message via Facebook.