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Summary

  1. Baby snatch hospital lockdown a false alarm
  2. Missed appointments 'costing hospital trusts £8m'
  3. Crash involving lorry and two cars brings M6 to a standstill in Cheshire
  4. Cheshire records some of the highest figures for drug driving arrests
  5. Updates on Wednesday 1 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Monica Rimmer

All times stated are UK

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The weather for the West Midlands

The weather for the West Midlands.

Our coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 tomorrow, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening and into the morning.  

Watch: Latest weather for the West Midlands

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

This evening will be cloudy with more outbreaks of patchy rain and drizzle. 

Temperatures dropping to 8C/46F. 

Tomorrow will be cloudy start to start with sunny spells developing as the day goes on. Highs or 14C / 57 Deg F

Afternoon weather forecast for the West Midlands

EU war of words becomes a numbers game

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

I've taken a look a some of the statistics being used as part of the numbers game in the EU referendum debate.

What can the number-crunchers tell us, for example, about the farms often dependent on migrant workers from eastern EU countries to pick crops? 

Find out some of the facts in my political blog

EU and Union Jack flags
Getty Images

University strike: Give docked pay to student hardship funds, union says

BBC News Education

Any money universities saved by docking wages of lecturers who went on strike last week should be given to student hardship funds, a union says.

Lecturers at Keele University joined colleagues across the country in a demonstration against a 1.1% pay rise, which they described as "an insult".

Protest
CHRIS ISON, PA

Sally Hunt, head of the University and College Union (UCU), will say in a speech "every penny" should be donated to hardship funds.  

The Universities and Colleges Employers' Association (UCEA) said students faced no major disruption.

Young farmers make 'world's largest milkshake'

Young farmers in Staffordshire claim to have created the world's biggest single milkshake.

The 1,000-litre strawberry milkshake was served in a special cup.

The world record attempt took place at the Staffordshire County Show and was partly designed to raise awareness about falling milk prices paid to farmers.

The young farmers' attempt is likely to take a few weeks to be verified by Guinness World Records.

The record for the biggest ever milkshake was set in the USA in 2000. While that stands at more than 22,000 litres, it was produced in a milk tanker, rather than single vessel.

Watch: Rare ducklings hatch at Chester Zoo

Sarah Robertson

Producer, BBC Radio Stoke

Four of the world’s rarest ducklings have hatched at Chester Zoo.

The quartet of white-winged ducks - a species listed as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species - were caught on camera for the first time enjoying their first dip with mum.Chester Zoo is one of just a handful of zoos in Europe that works with the Asian ducks.

Latest: M6 reopens but severe delays remain; baby snatch reports were 'false alarm'; drug driving arrests

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire include:

- The M6 through Cheshire has reopened following a crash involving three cars and a bus near J18 - there are still severe delays

- Leighton Hospital says reports that a baby was snatched from the maternity ward were a false alarm. The hospital was put in lockdown after concerns were raised by a member of staff

- Cheshire Police has recorded the third highest number of arrests for drug-driving in England and Wales

Heiffers strut their stuff at Staffordshire County Show

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Some 70,000 people are expected through the gates at the Staffordshire County Show today.

Earlier today I saw some Hereford heifers being judged at the show. 

Everything is flowing nicely, I can imagine it must take a lot of planning. 

Richard Williams is the Chief Executive and spoke to Morgan in the Morning earlier.

It's always the most exciting day of the year really. We've been planning this for two years and it's a case of making sure that everything goes right on the day. I have to say everything is gonig absolutely fine so we're looking forward to two great days

Richard WilliamsChief Executive of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society

Report a baby had been taken from hospital was a false alarm

Lucy King

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

Leighton Hospital say a report of a baby being snatched this afternoon was a false alarm.

A member of staff raised a concern and they contacted the police.

The hospital was in "lockdown" as a precaution, but it has now fully reopened. 

Leighton Hospital
Google

A statement from the hospital says: "A member of staff raised a concern, which was the correct thing to do, and so in conjunction with Cheshire Police we responded appropriately, which involved locking down Leighton Hospital as a precautionary measure. 

"Following checks we can confirm that no babies were taken from the site, and that the lockdown has now been lifted."

Latest: Leighton Hospital 'lockdown'

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

At approximately 14:50 Cheshire Police say they received reports a baby had been snatched from a ward at Leighton Hospital in Crewe.

Officers are currently at the scene establishing the circumstances surrounding the incident. 

All wards at the hospital have been checked and at this stage it is believed all babies have been accounted for, police say. 

Leighton Hospital
Google Maps

BreakingLeighton Hospital in lockdown after reports of a baby being taken

BBC North West Tonight

Leighton Hospital in Crewe is in "lockdown" following reports that a baby has been snatched from a maternity ward, according to the police, who are on site investigating the claim. 

The hospital say they are still trying to establish what has happened and that the lockdown of site is a "precautionary measure".  

Your pictures: Cow grazing in Barlaston

BBC Weather Watchers

BBC Weather Watcher Kath Dawson took this picture along the Trent and Mersey Canal in Wedgwoods, Barlaston.

Cow drinking from lake
Kath Dawson

Latest: Police courses to tackle drink crime; missed appointments cost hospital millions; M6 northbound closed

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire include: 

- Cheshire Police are offering courses to try to tackle drink-related crime

- Missed appointments costing hospital trusts millions

- M6 Northbound closed at junction 17 and 18 because of a serious crash

Update: Firefighters on the scene of M6 crash

BBC Travel

Cheshire Fire and Rescue are at the scene of the crash near Sandbach involving multiple vehicles. 

View more on twitter

Union meeting held over 243 job losses in Kidsgrove

Ros Chimes

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Union leaders say they want answers over the 243 jobs that could go at General Electric's factory in Kidsgrove. 

The firm announced last week it was to consulting on the closure of the plant, which makes industrial electrical equipment. 

The Unite Union held a meeting with the plant's owners yesterday.

General Electric factory
BBC

The biggest question we want answered is why. So why has this site been selected. They're saying it's the market conditions, well explain that to us. Give us some more rationale."

Zoe MayouRegional Officer for Unite the Union

General Electric says it blames the possible closure on market conditions and it's looking at how to minimise the impact the closure will have.   

Travel: Accident on M6 northbound

BBC Travel

Two lanes are closed and there's queuing traffic due to a crash on the M6 northbound.

It's between J17 for the A534 (Sandbach and Crewe) and J18 for the A54 (Middlewich and Holmes Chapel).

Football: Stoke City chairman says patience needed when signing new players

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates says they'll have to be patient when trying to sign players this summer. 

The club have just completed their eighth season in the Premier League - by finishing ninth for the third year in a row. 

Speaking exclusively to BBC Radio Stoke, Coates said being in the top flight can make deals more complex.

Peter Coates
BBC

Your pictures: Gorgeous sunset

BBC Weather Watchers

BBC Weather Watcher Tailend sent in this amazing picture of the sunset in Market Drayton.

We'll be sharing more photos of the area throughout the day. 

If you've taken any photos you would like to share, you can do on emailtweet it to @BBCRadioStoke or put it on Instagram with the tag #bbcstoke.

Sunset looking towards Market Drayton
Tailend

Drug driving: Effects of drugs 'completely unpredictable'

Assistant Chief Constable of Cheshire Police Mark Roberts said even had a small amount of cannabis "could impair your ability to respond" and said its effects were "completely unpredictable".

"You don't know what you're putting in your system. You can't consider yourself safe and you shouldn't be doing it," he said.

'I drove for years while high on drugs'

Cheshire third highest in drug driving arrests

Lucy King

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

Cheshire Police has recorded the third highest number of arrests for drug-driving in England and Wales

The crime was introduced last year to crack down on motorists who drive under the influence of drugs. 

Cheshire Police arrested 546 people in the last 12 months, beaten only by Greater Manchester Police and the Met in the figures obtained by the BBC.

Police officer and police car
BBC

Latest: Missed appointments costing hospitals millions; jobs threatened in Kidsgrove; third highest number of drug arrests in Cheshire

Phil Bowers

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire include: 

- Hospitals in Staffordshire and Cheshire say they're doing all they can to bring down the number of people missing appointments - as it's costing them almost £8m

- A consultation's begun with employees whose jobs are under threat at the General Electric factory in Kidsgrove

- Cheshire Police records the third highest number of arrests for drug-driving in England and Wales

Staffordshire Police release two people following sudden death

Phil Bowers

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Two people arrested after a man was found dead in Newcastle-under-Lyme yesterday have been released without charge. 

A 16-year-old boy from Newcastle and a 16-year-old girl from Cheadle will face no further police action. 

A 45-year-old woman is still in custody to help police with their inquiries

Watch: Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Kay Crewdson

Weather presenter

It's the first meteorological day of summer today, but don't let that fool you. 

It will be a cloudier day than yesterday, with outbreaks of patchy light rain and drizzle at times. Maximum Temperature: 15C (59 Deg F). 

Missed appointments costing hospital trusts millions

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Missed appointments in Staffordshire and Cheshire are costing the NHS almost £8m, according to hospital trusts.

Across the two counties, about 65,000 people didn't turn up - 50,000 at the University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust, and 15,000 at the Mid Cheshire Trust. 

Patients waiting
BBC

The pattern that we see here in Staffordshire runs right across the country. There's a 7% rate of people failing appointments. That's pretty much the national figure. People don't pay for appointments, it's a free good and I don't think people realise how much it's costing them indirectly."

Dr John OxtabyMedical Director at the University Hospital of North Midlands Trust

Your pictures: Cloudy Congleton

BBC Weather Watchers

It might be the first official day of summer, but you wouldn't believe it looking out of your window! 

BBC Weather Watcher Dawn Treader sent in this picture from Congleton. 

Despite its grey appearance, I still think it's a rather lovely picture. 

Lake in Congleton
Dawn Treader

Cheshire Police Chief Constable attends roll of honour

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

The Police Roll of Honour Trust names and commemorates all British police officers killed in the line of duty. 

Chief Constable of Cheshire Police Simon Byrne is attending a memorial service for their fallen officers this morning.   

View more on twitter

World Record Attempt at Staffordshire County Show

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Young farmers from across Staffordshire are hoping to set a new Guinness World Record today - for the world's largest milkshake. 

The enormous drink will be made at the County Show this afternoon - using almost 1,000 litres of milk and ice cream. 

Some of the 70,000 visitors expected at the event will be able to taste the record attempt free of charge.  

Travel: All lanes reopen on M6

BBC Travel

All lanes have reopened on the M6 northbound after an accident involving a lorry and three cars earlier on in the roadworks area. 

There's still severe delays on surrounding routes. 

Latest: Missed appointments costing local hospital trusts millions; world record attempt in Staffordshire; delays on the M6

Phil Bowers

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

 These are among Staffordshire and Cheshire's top stories:

- It's costing hospital trusts in Staffordshire and Cheshire almost £8m to cope with missed appointments

- Young farmers from across Staffordshire are hoping to set a new world record today - for the world's largest milkshake

- There's severe delays on the M6 northbound at junction 18 following an earlier accident

Football: Port Vale manager to be named by 21 June

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite says a new manager will be appointed by 21 June. 

It's nearly two weeks since Rob Page left the club to join Northampton

Smurthwaite told BBC Radio Stoke's Sport at Six that he's been taking advice from a number of people on who Page's successor should be. 

Norman Smurthwaite
Port Vale FC

Travel: M6 northbound closed in Cheshire

BBC Travel

The northbound carriageway of the M6 near J18 in Cheshire is now completely closed after the earlier accident involving a lorry and two cars.

There are severe delays in the area and queues are backing up to J16 for the A500 (Crewe / Stoke-on-Trent) and beyond. 

County Show arrives in Staffordshire

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

About 70,000 people are expected to visit the 216th annual Staffordshire County Show today. 

Attractions at the two-day event at the show ground on Weston Road near Stafford, range from donkey rides to motorbike displays. 

Drivers are warned to expect diversions as the venue as Blackheath Lane leading to A518 is closed due to roadworks.

I'll have plenty of updates on the show throughout the day. 

Leitch-Smith rejects Port Vale contract

Port Vale top scorer AJ Leitch-Smith has rejected the offer of a new contract with the League One club.

The club's 12-goal scorer, who signed on a one-year deal from Yeovil in July 2015, has already been linked with a move to join newly departed ex-Vale boss Rob Page at promoted Northampton.  

AJ Leitch-Smith
Getty Images

Latest: Missed appointments; university raises £3m by selling rare cup

Here are some of the stories we're looking at this morning:

- About 65,000 people have missed appointments at hospitals in Staffordshire and Cheshire over the past 12 months

- Staffordshire University sells rare Chinese cup for £3m

- Some 70,000 people are expected to visit the Staffordshire County Show today

Watch: Latest weather forecast for West Midlands

Kay Crewdson

Weather presenter

A rather cloudy and murky day with some outbreaks of rain possible.

Feeling cooler than yesterday - highs of 17C (63F).