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Summary

  1. Review into returning maternity services to Stafford's hospital begins
  2. Bosley mill explosion: Events to be held to mark anniversary
  3. Man in hospital after lorry and car crash
  4. Updates on Monday 4 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live 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.

On Midlands Today this evening: Stoke firm making Disney princesses

Laura Mcmullan

Reporter, BBC Midlands Today

A small ceramic company from Stoke-on-Trent has been awarded an exclusive contract with Disney, to produce fine bone china figurines of their well known princesses.

Man designing the princesses
BBC

The English Ladies Company is the only one in the world who has the rights to produce these high-end pieces.

And I've been finding out just how far afield they'll be selling them - find out more from 18:30 on Midlands Today on BBC One.

BBC Weather Watchers: Cloud busting - Mares' Tails

BBC Weather Watchers

Pretty, wispy clouds have been filling your reports today in the skies over Staffordshire and Cheshire but you might be wondering what they are.

Well, these are a type of cirrus cloud, known as cirrus uncinus. The name is derived from Latin and means "curly hooks".

A sky full of mare tail clouds in Stafford, Staffordshire
Flying Ant

The clouds occur at very high altitudes, at a temperature of about −50 to −40C.

They are commonly known as mares' tails because of their likeness to horse tails.

Football: Former Newcastle man joins as Macclesfield number two

BBC Radio Stoke Sport

The former Newcastle United defender Steve Watson has been appointed assistant manager at Macclesfield Town, the club have confirmed today.

He'll join up with manager John Askey having previously coached at Huddersfield and Birmingham City.

View more on twitter

Bosley mill explosion: Events to be held to mark anniversary

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

A flower festival and religious services will held by people in Bosley, Cheshire to mark a year on from a devastating mill explosion that killed four people. 

Firefighter at the scene of the explosion last year
BBC

Derek Moore, 62, Jason Shingler, 38, William Barks, 51, and Dorothy Bailey, 62, died in the blast at the Wood Treatment Ltd plant on 17 July 2015.

Cheshire East Council says villagers, the wider community and groups like itself and the emergency services will come together in a weekend of events themed as "a country parish remembers".

Travel: Crash on A525 in Newcastle-under-Lyme

BBC Travel

There's been an accident on the A525 Keele Road in Newcastle-under-Lyme near the Poolfield Avenue junction.

Police appeal after five break-ins discovered in Penkridge

Cannock Mercury

Police are appealing for witnesses after several businesses were broken into, or attempts made to break in.  

CCTV images of the suspected offenders
Cannock Mercury

Elderly woman hit by 'stolen' motorbike

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

An elderly woman in Nantwich has been hit by a motorbike which police believe was stolen.

Beam Street, Nantwich
Google

Officers at Cheshire Police say the rider had run off when they were called to Beam Street on Saturday afternoon.

They say a 68-year-old woman is thought to have suffered minor injuries.

News: Review into Stafford maternity services; community to mark year after Bosley explosion; man in hospital after motorbike crash

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Let's round up your headlines this evening:

- A review into whether maternity services could return to Stafford's hospital has begun  

A flower festival and religious services will held by people in Bosley, Cheshire to mark a year on from a devastating mill explosion that killed four people

- A man's been taken to hospital after a crash between a motorcycle and a lorry near Stafford this afternoon

Football: No excuses for young players - Crewe boss

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis says there are no excuses for the young players in his squad if they don't perform in League Two this coming season

Gresty Road
Getty Images

Despite all but two of the Alex's current squad being under the age of 25, they made more than 300 League One appearances between them last season. 

Davis says his players can't blame a lack of experience if they don't perform next season.

They've played a lot of games now and they've had a lot of experience so they are young-ish (sic) players but have experience and I'm looking for them to push on."

Steve DavisCrewe Alexandra manager

Hospital boss seeking funds to keep dementia ward open

Alice Bentley

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

More now on the specialist dementia ward at Harplands Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent, which families are calling for to stay open. 

It's because the local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) want to look at whether the care could be provided elsewhere.

Generic picture of doctors meeting
Thinkstock

Now, as well as families of those treated there, the chief executive of the North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, has written a blog mentioning ward four. 

Caroline Donovan has described it as an "excellent initiative" and that they are disappointed the CCGs aren't continuing to fund it. 

She adds in her blog that they are still working with them and the neighbouring University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust "to see if we can find the funding for this".

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

Alexandra Hamilton

BBC Weather

You can also get up-to-date weather forecast from the BBC Weather website.

Man in hospital after lorry and car crash

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A man's been taken to hospital after a crash between a motorcycle and a lorry near Stafford this afternoon. 

A518 near Chartley Castle
Google

It happened at 14:41 Staffordshire Police say, on the A518 near Chartley Castle.

The force says the road is blocked in both directions after the crash - they haven't revealed the extent of the injuries suffered by the man.

BBC Weather Watchers' pictures: Kidsgrove and Cheddleton

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

"At last sun" was the cry of one of our BBC Weather Watchers today and our volunteers have been uploading their photos from Staffordshire and Cheshire already.

If you'd like to be one, you can sign up on the website.

Cheddleton
Chedd Chick
Kidsgrove
Tracker1

Watch: New scheme to make recycling 'easier' launched

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A new recycling scheme is being rolled out in Newcastle-under-Lyme today which the council says will make the system easier for residents.  

Previously, homeowners had five containers for their recycling - they've now been replaced by three boxes and there'll be weekly recycling collections. 

Trevor Nicholls from the authority (featured in video) say the changes will make it easier for people to recycle and save £500,000 a year.  

Latest: Review could see return of maternity services; not guilty plea to 1980s rape allegation; call to keep dementia ward open

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's top stories include:

- The NHS has launched a review today into whether Stafford's County Hospital could see consultant-led maternity services return

- A Staffordshire man has pleaded not guilty to the rape of a woman 30 years ago

- Families who rely on a specialist dementia ward in Stoke-on-Trent are urging the officials who pay for the service not to shut it

Football: 'We make jokes' - Port Vale signings settle in

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale's new striker Rigino Cicilia says all of the new additions to the squad have settled in well.

Rigino Cicilia
Port Vale FC

Five new players arrived at Vale Park last week, with more expected to join the club today. 

Cicilia told BBC Radio Stoke that the new-look team has already started to gel.

Everybody understands each other and respect is also there. We make jokes and laugh so the atmosphere is really great."

Rigino CiciliaPort Vale striker

Could Stoke be City of Culture?

Nick Higham

BBC Correspondent

Is there more to culture in Stoke than its world-famous potteries?

If you want a proper cup of tea from a proper teapot, the place to go is Stoke-on-Trent - not so much for the tea itself as because the chances are it'll be served in decent china.

But is it just ceramics or, as the area looks to become UK City of Culture in 2021, can the Potteries bring more to the table?

I've been looking at Stoke-on-Trent as I profile all the cities bidding for the title.

Families' plea to keep dementia ward open

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Families who rely on a specialist dementia ward in Stoke-on-Trent are urging the officials who pay for the service not to shut it.

Ward four at Harplands Hospital opened last year to help ease pressure on the Royal Stoke University Hospital. 

Harplands Hospital
Google

It's been praised to BBC Radio Stoke by patients and regulators, but officials want to look at whether the care could be provided elsewhere. 

The Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups say they want to use the experience gained from the ward to commission services to ensure patients receive the "most appropriate care to meet their needs". 

Your pictures: Sunrise near Tamworth and scenic Cannock Chase

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

I've said it before but you really are a bunch of talented photographers from the quality of the pictures you send in.

This one's from Clive Fisher who says it shows the sunrise over the River Mease at Clifton Campville near Tamworth.

Sunrise over the River Mease at Clifton Campville near Tamworth.
Clive Fisher

While this shot of Cannock Chase came from Will Hook.

If you've taken a photo of Staffordshire or Cheshire you want to share, send it to me on email, tweet @BBCRadioStoke or use Instagram (with the tag #bbcstoke).

Cannock Chase
Will Hook

Stafford's maternity services: A controversial recent issue

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

More now on the recent history of maternity services at Stafford's County Hospital after the NHS launched a review today which could see consultant-led services return to the site.

It dates back to the fallout from when the site was Stafford Hospital in 2013 and the trust running it was deemed not "clinically or financially sustainable". 

Stafford Hospital entrance in 2013
Getty Images

The scandal-hit site was folded in with the trust running the Royal Stoke in 2014 and the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust created to run both sites.

Managers of the trust decided to transfer services, including all consultant-led maternity, to the Royal Stoke in January 2015 - despite campaigners saying patients' safety could be put at risk.

On Midlands Today this lunchtime: Hunting for future Olympians

Bob Hockenhull

BBC Midlands Today

With a month to go until the start of the Rio Olympics, one Midlands academic has devised a ground-breaking study about what we can learn from the competitors' attitudes, backgrounds, and sporting experiences.

One of the winning Olympians in 2012
BBC Sport

It's hoped his research could be used to uncover the champions of the future. 

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

Man denies historical rape allegation

Alex Smith

BBC News Online

A Staffordshire man has pleaded not guilty to the rape of a woman 30 years ago.

John Bainbridge, 54, denied one count of rape via video link at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday.

Nottingham Crown Court
BBC

The offence is alleged to have taken place in Vernon Road, Basford, in May 1986.

Mr Bainbridge, of Burton-on-Trent is set to stand trial on 12 December. He was remanded in custody after today's hearing.

Latest: Review into Stafford's maternity services; man denies historic rape allegation; derelict factory fire treated as arson

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This lunchtime's headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire include:

- The NHS has launched a review today into whether Stafford's County Hospital could see consultant-led maternity services return

- A Staffordshire man has pleaded not guilty to the rape of a woman that allegedly took place 30 years ago

- A fire at a derelict building in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent was started deliberately, the fire service says

Arson at derelict factory in Stoke-on-Trent

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A fire at a derelict building in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent was started deliberately, the fire service says .

Former Care Knight factory on Atlas Street
Google

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service says they sent crews from Hanley and Longton to Atlas Street last night and found the third floor of the former Care Knight premises was "well alight". 

This morning they've told BBC Radio Stoke that they are treating it as arson.

West Midlands MEP 'not surprised' over Farage resignation

UK Independence Party MEP for the West Midlands James Carver says he's not surprised Nigel Farage has stood down as party leader.

"He's still going to lead our group in the European Parliament, which is an extremely powerful position to be in.

"He's been a great leader but there's plenty of talent within UKIP."

James Carver
BBC

Watch: This afternoon's weather forecast for Stoke and Staffordshire

Alexandra Hamilton

BBC Weather

The BBC Weather website also has latest forecasts if you want one at any other time.

Could maternity services return to Stafford's County Hospital?

Sarah Robertson

Producer, BBC Radio Stoke

The NHS has launched a review today into whether Stafford's County Hospital could see consultant-led maternity services return.

They were downgraded in January 2015 and switched to the Royal Stoke University Hospital after the previous Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust was declared financially unviable.

Stafford's County Hospital
BBC

Now NHS England says an Independent Review Panel, made up of a lay member and independent experts, will look at whether the services could be done at the County Hospital "in a safe way in the future".

It says the panel will listen to local patients, health groups and members of the public with final recommendations going to the Secretary of State this autumn.

Pollen levels 'very high' for Midlands

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

If you are one of the many people who suffer with hay fever, you've probably sneezed already this morning. 

Pollen levels are very high today - so tissues at the ready for watery eyes and a runny nose.

View more on twitter

Football: Stoke City has 'an interest' in Portugal's Nani

BBC Sport

Some football gossip this morning - the Stoke City assistant manager Mark Bowen tells Talksport the club has "an interest" in signing Nani.

Nani
Getty Images

The 29-year-old joined Fenerbahce last year from Manchester United after spending a season on loan at Sporting Lisbon.

He is currently part of Portugal's squad at Euro 2016. Valencia are also thought to be keen on the winger.

Travel: Three vehicle crash on A50 near Stoke-on-Trent

BBC Travel

The A50 in Draycott in the Moors is partially blocked westbound between the Blythe Bridge roundabout and the Creda roundabout.

It's because of a crash between three vehicles, including a lorry.

Police station shut today in Cheshire

Nantwich police station's going to be shut today Cheshire Police say.

View more on twitter

Latest: Pleas to keep dementia ward open; Stoke City player's wife 'shaken' by burglary; Stone runner in double marathon success

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A round-up our top stories now:

- Families who rely on a specialist dementia ward in Stoke-on-Trent are urging the officials who pay for the service not to shut it   

- The wife of Stoke City striker Peter Crouch, Abbey Clancy, has been left shaken after coming face-to-face with burglars at their holiday home

- Stone's Ben Gamble has become the first person to hold both titles of Potteries Marathon winner and Potters Arf winner

Stone runner at the double with marathon win

Graham McGarry

BBC Radio Stoke Sport

Stone's Ben Gamble has become the first person to hold both titles of Potteries Marathon winner and Potters Arf winner.

Ben Gamble after winning Potters Arf
BBC

After winning the Potters Arf last month, he won the other event yesterday in a time of 2:31.33.

Yorkshire's Hannah Oldroyd retained the women's title coming home 11 minutes clear of her rivals.