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  1. Updates on Monday 23 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.

On Midlands Today this evening: Body image, water supply and a Chelsea first

BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this evening - we're talking body image with a Midlands model who was bullied online because of her size.

River in a valley

We'll also feature a multimillion-pound scheme to try and keep water coming to a city in the region - and heading to the RHS Chelsea Flower show to hear about a local first. 

Plenty more news and sports stories too - join us on BBC One from 18:30.

Football: Crewe Alexandra board had 'long debate' over whether to back manager

Ged Scott

BBC Sport

Crewe Alexandra chairman John Bowler admits the board's had a long debate at Gresty Road before deciding to stick with manager Steve Davis despite relegation to League Two. 

Steve Davis
Getty Images

The Alex finished six points adrift at the bottom of the table after winning only seven of their 46 games.  

Swapping managers is easy but not often successful. If we think we have the right balance and the right staff, we have got to be ready to show our support."

John BowlerCrewe Alexandra chairman

Thousands of pharmacies in England 'at risk of closure'

BBC News Health

Thousands of local pharmacies in England are at risk of closure because of cuts by the Department of Health, a campaign group has said.

Pharmacy Voice, which represents High Street chemists, says that without access to a community pharmacist one in four people would visit their busy local GP instead.

Science Photo Library

The government says outlets in some areas are too close together.

It proposes giving more people access to a community pharmacy.

Football: Sproson says Port Vale job should get 'plenty of interest'

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

The former Port Vale player Phil Sproson says he's expecting there to be plenty of interest in the vacant manager's job.

Port Vale FC
Getty Images

The search has started for Rob Page's successor after he left last week to take over at Northampton Town. 

Sproson told BBC Radio Stoke he feels the job will be much sought-after.

It's a club that's got a good name, it's a club that's in the middle of League One, there is a solid fan base, it has a lovely training ground, nice ground, there's a lot of things going for it."

Phil SprosonFormer Vale player

Watch: Residents angry over 'rejected' Stafford recycling bins

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A number of Stafford residents have told BBC Radio Stoke they're angry some recycling bins haven't been collected.   

"Rejected" stickers have appeared on some blue bins because the local authority's staff say the contents can't be recycled. 

In the case of the bins in the video, Stafford Borough Council's website says plastic bags must be empty before being placed in their blue bins.

The authority says it needs to make sure waste isn't becoming contaminated because it costs them thousands of pounds of tax payers money to sort when it is.  

Watch: Pupils reach 'space seeds' conclusion

John Acres

BBC Radio Stoke

Pupils at a Stafford school say they've found "space seeds" from British astronaut Tim Peake have grown at the same rate as normal seeds.

King Edward VI High School was one of thousands across the UK that signed up for the mass experiment with the Royal Horticultural Society and the UK Space Agency

They grew the salad leaf rocket seeds that had been in space along with those kept out of orbit - and both have grown at the same rate.  

Police find 'Taser-style device' after Stafford fight

Alice Bentley

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A suspected "Taser-style device" has been recovered by police after a fight in Stafford.

Walden Avenue

It happened on Friday evening Staffordshire Police say, on Walden Avenue - officers found 15 people in the street when they arrived.

One man, 23, from the town, was arrested for suspected possession of an offensive weapon.

Latest: Police fine 'Taser-style device' after fight; gaming tech shows text-and-drive risk; statues plan for army regiments

Chris King

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

These are among the top stories for Staffordshire and Cheshire this evening:

- A suspected "Taser-style device" has been recovered by police after a fight in Stafford

- Police in the West Midlands are using gaming technology to simulate the hazards of driving while texting on your phone

- Three statues honouring the Devonshire, Dorset and combined Devon and Dorset Army regiments are being planned for the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire

Action proposed to tackle Longton anti-social behaviour

Jack Dowling

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

People living in Longton in Stoke-on-Trent are being urged to have their say about tackling anti-social behaviour in the town.

Longton market hall

Stoke-on-Trent City Council's launched a six-week consultation asking people in the town for their thoughts on introducing measures to stamp out aggressive and threatening behaviour and drinking on the streets.

The authority is proposing to bring in a "public space protection order" - meaning police and some council officers could ask people to stop drinking in the town centre and hand over their alcohol. 

Gaming tech shows text-and-drive risk

Joanne Writtle

BBC Midlands Today

Police are using gaming technology to simulate the hazards of driving while texting on your phone. Central Motorway Police Group has fitted a car with the equipment - I gave it a go.

Studies have found that driver reaction times when using a mobile are 30% slower than someone who's just above the drink drive limit.  

Watch: Tonight and tomorrow's Stoke and Staffordshire weather forecast

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

Swimming: Peaty 'fitter than I've ever been'

Euan Duncan

BBC Local Live

Uttoxeter's Adam Peaty certainly looks like a man on a mission, and even he accepts that things are on track for a strong performance at the Rio Olympics.

Adam Peaty with team mates

After his fourth gold at the European Swimming Championships in London, he said: "It's great to come here and defend all my titles mid-season.

"I can't really complain. The stroke feels in the best place it's ever been and I feel fitter than I've ever been except in that last 25m where I felt awful."

Travel: Crash blocking A38 near Lichfield

BBC Travel

The A38 is blocked southbound near Lichfield in Streethay because of an accident.

Staffordshire statues plan for three Army regiments

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Three statues honouring the Devonshire, Dorset and combined Devon and Dorset Army regiments are being planned for the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

It is hoped models of three soldiers - each depicting one of the old regiments - will be cast in bronze and displayed at the Arboretum

The models of the three bronze sculptures which will represent the Devonshire Regiment, the Dorset Regiment and the Devon and Dorsets

The Devonshire and Dorset Regimental Association said a "substantial amount" of the £140,000 cost had been raised.

A fundraising appeal has now been launched to raise the remaining money.

Watch: Princess Royal meets arthritis clinical trial patients

John Acres

BBC Radio Stoke

HRH The Princess Royal has met patients taking part in arthritis clinical trials in Stoke-on-Trent.

Princess Anne visited Haywood Hospital in her role as Patron for the College of Occupational Therapy.  

Warning: There is no commentary on this video

She spoke to staff from the hospital's research department and heard from patients taking part in a trial looking to improve treatment of rheumatoid arthritis or early inflammatory arthritis.  

BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Sunshine in Ipstones and Gnosall

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

The sunshine over the weekend's been reflected in these pictures from our BBC Weather Watchers - AppyIppy in Ipstones and JR in Gnosall.

As well as uploading photos, our weather watchers keep us updated with the forecast in their area - to become one, join up on the website


Children in care: Call to cut prosecutions for minor offences

BBC News Education

Children in care should not be prosecuted for minor offences, a report looking at their over-representation in the criminal justice system says.

The review for the Prison Reform Trust calls on the government to draw up new procedures to protect these children from criminalisation.

Child leaning against wall

Lord Laming's report says half of children in custody in England and Wales have, at some time, been in care.

The government said the safety and well-being of children was "paramount".

News: Assault charge for teen girl; police find 'Taser-style device' after fight; tigers and camels among county's exotic pets

Chris King

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's headlines include:

A teenage girl is charged with assault, after an incident involving a 14-year-old boy from Nantwich

- A suspected "Taser-style device" has been recovered by police after a fight in Stafford  

- Tigers, lions, camels and black widow spiders are among the wild animals being kept legally on private property in Staffordshire, figures have revealed

Watch: Cheshire castle team create Chelsea Flower Show entry

James Watt

Presenter, BBC Radio Stoke

Staff from Cholmondeley Castle Gardens have put together a garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  

The team there have recreated the castle's Temple Garden at the London event.

Football: Stoke City defender out of Euros

Lyle Jackson

BBC Sport

Republic of Ireland defender Marc Wilson has been ruled out of Euro 2016 in France after failing to recover from a knee injury in time.

The 28-year-old Stoke City man, who can also play in midfield, was injured in an FA Cup tie against Crystal Palace in January.

Marc Wilson

Manager Martin O'Neill said on Monday the 24-cap player had suffered a setback and would not make the squad.

Rugeley Power Station to be demolished within three years

Cannock Mercury

The iconic sight of the Rugeley cooling towers will be no more within three years it has been confirmed.    

Cooling towers
Cannock Mercury

'More people caring for someone with cancer'

BBC News Health

The number of people caring for someone with cancer in the UK has risen to almost 1.5 million, new figures show.

According to one leading charity, this is an increase of almost a third in the past five years.

Old couple holding hands

Family and friends are now spending an average of 17.5 hours a week looking after a loved one who is affected, said Macmillan Cancer Support.

One in five of those surveyed care for someone with cancer for more than 35 hours a week.

In photos: RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Gary Andrews

Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

Green fingered gardeners from Staffordshire and Cheshire are hoping for success at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Judging takes place today at the prestigious event - here's some pictures from the BBC Radio Stoke team who are at the show with more photos on the Facebook page.

A peacock made from flowers
Flowers on display

Teenage girl charged with assault

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

A teenage girl's been charged with assault, after an incident involving a 14-year-old boy from Nantwich.

Cheshire Police say the 15-year-old from Crewe, who can't be named for legal reasons, was arrested following the attack in a field off Wall Lane in Nantwich on Saturday 30 April. 

Field off Wall Lane

She's been charged with assault by beating and affray and released on bail.

On Midlands Today this lunchtime: Taking rare flowers to Chelsea show

Sarah Falkland

BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this lunchtime - a Midlands gardener is presenting the first ever display of Hepaticas at this week's RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

John Massey

The woodland flower normally blooms in late February but John Massey has managed to get hundreds of them looking their best for the judges in May. 

I'll have more on BBC One from 13:30.

Staffs book home quarter-final

Ged Scott

BBC Sport

Staffordshire have booked a home tie in the quarter-finals of the Minor Counties Cricket Association Knock-out Trophy after completing their Group Two campaign with a fourth straight victory.

In the last of their four qualifying games, they beat neighbours Shropshire by eight wickets at Leek to book a home tie with Norfolk at Longton on 12 June.

The game was over just after lunch, leg spinner Matthew Parkinson taking 4-13 as Shropshire were rolled for just 78.

Staffordshire and Lancashire legspinner Matthew Parkinson
Getty Images

Sam Kelsall then made an unbeaten 41 as Staffordshire reached their target on 79-2 in the 22nd over.

Twice former winners (in 1991 and 1993), Staffs now have the chance to avenge their 104-run defeat by Norfolk at Chester-le-Street's Riverside the last time they got to the final in 2009.

News: Teen girl charged with assault; cleaning under way at Norovirus school; exotic animals kept as Staffordshire pets

Chris King

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's top stories include:

A teenage girl is charged with assault, after an incident involving a 14-year-old boy from Nantwich  

- Cleaners are moving into a Staffordshire primary school to try to eradicate traces of Norovirus which affected 103 children and eight staff  

- Tigers, lions, camels and black widow spiders are among the wild animals being kept legally on private property in Staffordshire, figures have revealed

Lions and camels being kept at Staffordshire homes


Tigers, lions, camels and black widow spiders are among the wild animals being kept legally on private property in Staffordshire, figures have revealed.

Across the UK, more than 100 councils have issued licences to people who keep undomesticated animals at home, a freedom of information request by the Press Association news agency found.

Female tiger

Animal welfare experts have expressed concern at the findings.  

In this area:

- Cannock Chase Council has issued licences for three tigers and two lions

- Stafford Borough Council did the same for six camels

- Stoke-on-Trent City Council issued licences for two dwarf caiman, 30 elapids, vipers or colubrids and six black widow spiders

In photos: Scooter lovers descend on Staffordshire town

John Bray

BBC Midlands Today

We've also had some great pictures come in from Mark Ollier from the weekend's Scooter Fest event in Leek.

Here's a sample - there are plenty more on the BBC Radio Stoke Facebook page.

Man on scooter
Mark Ollier
Mark Ollier

NHS agency pay caps breached more than 50,000 times a week

Daniel Wainwright

Data unit - English regions

Rules on the amount hospitals can pay agency staff are being flouted more than 50,000 times a week, figures show. 

Nurse looking at watch

The government introduced a cap on sums paid to locum workers, but it can be breached by NHS bosses if they consider there is "significant risk" to patient safety.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said it exposed "poor workforce planning" but said trusts had put safety first.

NHS Improvement said the cap had saved £300m.

Watch: This afternoon's Stoke and Staffordshire forecast

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

If you want to get your latest weather forecast at any other time, you can get one from the BBC website.

Football: Stoke waiting on Arnautovic over new deal

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City will have to remain patient over Marko Arnautovic's future, according to chief executive Tony Scholes, as potential buyers decide whether to trigger a £12.5m release clause in his contract. 

Marko Arnautovic
Getty Images

The Austrian finished top-scorer for the The Potters last term with 12 goals. 

Scholes told BBC Radio Stoke any decision to extend his stay is with the player.

It's in Marko's hands. He knows that we want him to sign, he knows what we are prepared to pay, the decision is with him. At this moment in time the decision that he has taken is that he doesn't want to sign yet."

Tony ScholesStoke City's chief executive

Rail bridge reopened to traffic in Crewe

A railway bridge that was closed for work to be carried out by Network Rail has reopened, Cheshire East Council tweets.

View more on twitter