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  1. Updates on Friday 8 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Monica Rimmer

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 Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Watch: Latest weather for West Midlands

Rebecca Wood

BBC Weather

Looking to tonight, any showers should ease leaving a fine end to the day. Thickening cloud and outbreaks of rain will spread in from the west overnight, with freshening winds.

Tomorrow is mainly wet, with bands of cloud and rain, heavy at times, moving northeastwards with perhaps some drier and brighter interludes. It'll feel warm and humid.

Weather for the West Midlands

Fine for Stafford landlord

Sarah Robertson

Producer, BBC Radio Stoke

A landlord has been told he must pay more than £14,000 in fines and costs within the next month for failing to keep a home he rented out in Stafford in good order. 

Chee Keon Wong from Vauxhall Grove in London was taken to court by Stafford Borough Council for failing to comply with a range of housing regulations. 

They related to a property on Marston Grove. He was found guilty in his absence.

Football: Stoke City players given extra time off

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City's international players have been given extra time off to recover from the European Championships and the Copa America.

The squad is set to head off to Australia soon for a pre-season training camp.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Potters won't be playing any matches during the Australia trip.

Football: New signings could be in pre-season action today

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra fans travelling to the first pre-season fixture against Buxton tonight could get to see the club's new signings. 

The Alex have added strikers Ryan Lowe and Chris Dagnall to their squad. 

Davis says he'll take a squad of 22 players during this evening's match, but will assess the condition of his new signing Dagnall.

Ryan Lowe

Man jailed for life after admitting sex offences

Lucy King

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

A Stoke-on-Trent man has been jailed for life for sex offences against six women in the city over a 27-year period.

Clive Brown, 43, of Greenhead Street in Burslem was today told he would serve a minimum of 13 years and six months in prison, after pleading guilty in May.

The offences included rape and encouraging women into prostitution. His victims were mostly in their late teens and early 20s, but he also admitted an indecent assault against a child.

Clive Brown
Staffordshire Police

Latest: Life sentence for Stoke sex offender; M6 problems affect Talke; Crew Alex to get cash windfall

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire include: 

- Stoke-on-Trent man given life sentence for sex offences 

- Talke councillor says village roads can't cope with M6 problems

Crewe Alexandra are set to get an unexpected cash windfall believed to around £500,000

Stoke-on-Trent man arrested for drug supply offences

Staffordshire Police

Officers have arrested a 25-year-old man from Stoke-on-Trent on suspicion of drug supply offences.

At around 08:45 this morning, officers attended an address in the Dresden area at around found a significant amount of cash and some cannabis vegetation.

An investigation is under way and the suspect remains on police bail.

Your pictures: Sunny Staffordshire

BBC Weather Watchers

You can't beat a great rainbow picture, this one has come in from the lonely tree and was taken in Tatenhill, Staffordshire. 

If you would like to become a BBC Weather Watcher, you can sign up here

Rainbow and trees
The lonely tree

Football: Familiar opponents for Port Vale

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale are preparing to start their pre-season fixtures against a familiar face. 

Former Vale player, Robin Van Der Laan, is back in his coaching role at Newcastle Town after his illness and are Vale's first pre-season opponents tomorrow. 

Van Der Laan told BBC Radio Stoke it's a fixture with a lot of tradition.

There's always a good crowd, hopefully we can expect 2,000 plus with the new manager, new players coming in, it's a very exciting time."

Robin Van Der LaanNewcastle Town coach

Wedgwood vase sells for £400k

A vase made by the historic potter Josiah Wedgwood in Staffordshire sold at auction in London yesterday for £400,000, far exceeding its £120,000 estimate.  


Auctioneer Christie's says it was created by Wedgwood himself on the opening day of his Etruria Factory on 13 June 1769.

Watch: Talke councillor says village roads can't cope with M6 problems

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

All three lanes have now reopened following the earlier crash on the M6 northbound.

The driver is said to be in a serious condition and is being treated in Wythenshawe hospital. 

The crash highlighted problems in nearby Talke, with one councillor warning that the village just cannot cope with the traffic whenever there are nearby problems on the M6.

Mike Stubbs, a Labour councillor for Talke, told me the road layout could not cope with either large vehicles or the sheer volume of traffic involved. 

Talke councillor Mike Stubbs says surrounding roads can't cope with M6 traffic

Charities bid for Newcastle-under-Lyme community space

James Bovill

Staffordshire Political Reporter, BBC News

A charity set up in the wake of the closure of the North Staffs Adventure Playground in Newcastle, has put in a bid to take over the premises.

Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council advertised for new tenants for the building back in May. It's listed as an asset of community value. 

The adventure playground helped hundreds of disabled children for 30 years but closed last December because of funding problems. Former staff and parents set up the new charity Our Space and have now bid to take over the building.

Adventure playground

The new charity says it thinks it's got a strong case, but I understand at least one other charity has put in a bid as well. The deadline for bids was last Friday - a council panel will meet to discuss the applications in due course.  

Football: Stoke players return to training

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City have shared a video of their players in training. They have returned to their training ground following international games. 

The new season starts on Saturday 13 August when the Potters travel to newly promoted Middlesborough. 

View more on twitter

Hefty fine for cigarette dropper in Stafford

A man who dropped a cigarette on a street in Stafford has been ordered to pay almost £400.

The defendant was spotted dropping a cigarette butt on to the ground in Market Square, Stafford – and was handed a £75 fixed penalty fine.

Magistrates in Stafford heard on Wednesday that the fine had not been paid, which was why the case was brought to court by the borough council.

Shahid Hussain, of St Aidan’s Street, Stoke-on-Trent, was found guilty in his absence of an offence of littering in February and was given a fine, costs and victim surcharge totalling £384.15.

Your pictures: Clear skies in Market Drayton

BBC Weather Watchers

BBC Weather Watcher Forestgump sent in this brilliant photo, they commented that it's been a "lovely morning in Market Drayton" and that the "crops are looking really well".   

We love seeing your photos, if you have any you would like to share, you can send them in via email, Facebook, Twitter and use the hashtag #bbcradiostoke for Instagram. 

Crops in Market Drayton

Football: Half a million windfall expected for Crewe

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra are set to get an unexpected cash windfall believed to around £500,000.

It's because of the expected transfer of Blackburn Rovers captain Grant Hanley to Newcastle United for a fee we understand to be around £6m.

Crewe inserted a sell-on clause when Hanley left the Alex aged 16 to join Blackburn's academy.

Grant Hanley

Latest: All lanes of M6 reopened; power restored to Newcastle homes; free childcare to be offered in Staffordshire

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire include: 

Highways England says all lanes between junction 17 and 18 of the M6 have now full reopened following the earlier accident

- Over 2,000 homes and businesses that suffered a power cut in Newcastle-under-Lyme have had their electricity supply restored

- Plans to give parents up to 30 hours a week free childcare are to be trialled in Staffordshire

Football: Stoke City's Jack Butland shares pre-season training delight

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City's goalkeeper Jack Butland has shared his delight on social media at being back at pre-season training. 

It comes as assistant manager, Mark Bowen, has tipped the shot-stopper to replace Joe Hart as England's number one

View more on twitter

It's been a long road to recovery after the 23-year-old fractured his ankle in March during an England friendly with Germany

Hundreds to benefit from 30 hours free childcare

Plans to give parents up to 30 hours a week free childcare are to be trialled in Staffordshire.

It's part of government plans to extend the existing 15 hours a week scheme to help more parents.

Over 400 places are available under the 12-month pilot scheme.

Child care

Power restored to more than 2,000 Newcastle homes

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

More than 2,000 homes and businesses that suffered a power cut in Newcastle-under-Lyme this morning have had their electricity supply restored.

Western Power Distribution say engineers have fixed the fault which was affecting the ST5 area. 

M6 latest: Delays likely until lunchtime

BBC Travel

Highways England say normal traffic conditions are not expected to return northbounds on the M6 at J17 until about 12:30.

One driver is believed to be seriously injured, but there are currently few other details.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue say four crews and rapid response units were called at about 05:20 and arrived to find one driver trapped. The casualty was freed shortly after 07:15 and handed over to ambulance crews.

Crash scene
Cheshire Fire and Rescue / Highways England

Driver 'seriously injured' in M6 crash

BBC Travel

One driver's been seriously injured in the accident on the M6, police say. The nature and extent of their injuries is unknown.

Two lorries were involved in the crash shortly after 05:15. One lane is still closed northbounds near J17. Accident investigators are at the scene.  

Traffic's already been held up for more than two hours. Despite two lanes recently reopening, delays are likely to remain in the area for some time.

Traffic camera
Highways England

M6 latest: Two lanes reopen northbound

BBC Travel

North West motorway police have just updated the situation on the M6. Two lanes are now open to traffic, lane one remains closed. 

View more on twitter

Weather: High pollen and UV levels

BBC Weather

Despite a damp and cloudy start to the day the pollen and UV levels are looking high, so you might need to pack the antihistamine and sun cream.

Highs of 21C (70F)

Pollen levels

Power cut affects thousands in Newcastle

More than 2,000 homes and businesses are without electricity following a power cut in Newcastle. 

Western Power Distribution says engineers are working to restore power in the ST5 area and it's hoped to be back on around 10:00.

Drivers urged to use diversion due to M6 northbound closure

The M6 northbound remain shut from J17, Sandbach, to J18, Holmes Chapel, drivers are warned. Highways England is advising drivers to follow a diversion.

View more on twitter

Latest: M6 closed after accident; power cut affecting thousands in Newcastle

These are some of our headlining stories today:

- A section of the M6 northbound remains closed after a serious incident involving two lorries

- More than 2,000 homes and businesses affected by power failure in Newcastle

- Plans to give parents free childcare to be trialled in Staffordshire

Watch: Latest weather for the West Midlands

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It'll be a cloudy start for many with outbreaks of rain, perhaps heavy in places. However, it will soon become drier and brighter with frequent sunny spells and a few showers.

Maximum Temperature: 21C (70F).

Travel: M6 closed from J17

BBC Travel

The M6 is closed northbound in Cheshire after an accident involving two lorries. 

It's blocked between J17 for the A534 (Crwee) and J18 for the A54 (Middlewich). Diversions are in place. 

Congestion is backing up to J16 for Stoke-on-Trent and on the A534.

Good morning - welcome to our live updates for the day

Welcome to Stoke and Staffordshire Live on Friday 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.