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Summary

  1. Hospital trust 'has to save £50m by March'
  2. 'Nobody's been interested' in saving historic pottery firm
  3. Marathon cancelled by 'lack of all round support'
  4. Calf rescued after getting stuck in trees by canal
  5. Updates from Wednesday 7 June 2017

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.

Live coverage continues on Thursday here.

Wheelchair racer's delight at Team GB selection

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The Nantwich wheelchair racer Andy Small's in the Great Britain squad for next month's World Para-Athletics Championships in London.

Andy Small in Rio
Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images

He won bronze in the men's T33 100m at Rio last year and says he's delighted to have been selected.

The 49-strong team for the event, which will be at London Stadium in Stratford from 14-23 July, contains 10 athletes who won gold at Rio 2016.

Your photos of Staffordshire and Cheshire

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Here's five great photos of Staffordshire and Cheshire to brighten your day.

If you've recently taken a picture in the area and want to send it in to potentially be featured, email it or put it on Instagram (adding the tag #bbcstoke to show you want to share it).

Your pictures

On Midlands Today from 18:30: Election campaign nears end

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this evening, with the election campaign into its closing hours, we'll look at how the leaders of the main political parties have been touring our key constituencies.

Sign for University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust
BBC

We'll also have news of millions of pounds needing to be saved by the NHS in Staffordshire which could see the sale of some buildings.

Both those stories and more from 18:30 on BBC One.

Cricket: Staffordshire spinner keen for more Warwickshire team chances

BBC Sport

Staffordshire spinner Sunny Singh says taking his first five-wicket haul in only his second County Championship match has made him determined to get more first-team experience at Warwickshire.

Sunny Singh
Getty Images

Slow left-armer Singh, 21, took 6-144 as the Bears' difficult season continued with another heavy defeat - this time by Hampshire at Southampton.

He came to England as a 10-year-old and has been part of the set-up at Warwickshire since he was 16.

Singh has played minor counties cricket for Staffordshire including this season, along with for the Bears' second XI, before making his first-class debut.

Watch: Your weather for tonight and tomorrow

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

For most places today has been dry and sunny - here's how tonight is looking and the start of Thursday.

Keep updated with the BBC Weather website.

Shefali Oza

Football: Stoke's Butland enjoying Hart rivalry for England

BBC Sport

The Stoke City and England goalkeeper Jack Butland says his "healthy" rivalry with fellow England goalkeeper Joe Hart is a positive for the national side.

Jack Butland at England press conference

The Stoke keeper, 24, has returned to the squad after a year of injury problems which started on England duty in Germany last March.

Butland is one of four goalkeepers in the squad but first trained with Hart, who is likely to start against Scotland on Saturday, when the pair were at Birmingham City.

I've known Joe a long time. We've always had a healthy relationship. I think that bodes really well when we come into squads. I'm keen to do as well as I can and in turn that pushes him and likewise pushes me back. It's really healthy and positive and it gets the best out of each other."

Jack ButlandStoke City goalkeeper

Sewer work: Severn Trent not closing road to pedestrians

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

We've had confirmation from Severn Trent that the pedestrianised area on Piccadilly, Hanley won't be shut when they install new sewer pipes from Monday.

They're carrying out around five weeks of work but say people will still have walking access to the area and they'll also work to try and reduce impact on businesses.

Marathon cancelled by 'lack of all round support'

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

This year's Potteries Marathon has been cancelled in Stoke-on-Trent.

Runner in previous Potteries Marathon
Potteries Marathon

In a statement, organisers have blamed a lack of "all round support" for the event which was due to take place next month.

They say full refunds will be given to all the runners who'd already signed up.

'Nobody's been interested' in saving historic pottery firm

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

An investment firm says it couldn't find anyone interested in saving a historic pottery firm from closure.

Today the BID Group confirmed Hudson and Middleton had shut down with the loss of 25 jobs.

Hudson and Middleton site
Google

The company, which dates back to 1875, had been bought out of administration last July.

But BID Group's managing director Lee Smith says, despite spending £150,000 on the company, orders were slow and they couldn't find investors.

Pretty distressing for everyone concerned. We obviously wanted to save jobs and we have done for 11 months but it's extremely unfortunate and disappointing that nobody's been interested in the business or the sector."

Lee SmithBID Group managing director

Calf rescued after getting stuck in trees by canal

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A calf that got stuck between trees next to a canal in Staffordshire proved a "tricky" and "difficult" rescue for the fire service.

Calf rescue

Staffordshire Fire Service says a rambler spotted it on the Caldon Canal off Cheadle Road yesterday morning, near the Cheddleton Flint Mill.

They say four crews and their water rescue team were sent and locally moored canal boats helped ferry them across.

The service says the calf was winched free and then floated across using an inflatable walkway before being reunited, unhurt, with its farmer.

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire northbound severe disruption, between J16 for A500 Crewe and J17 for A534 Sandbach.

M6 Cheshire - One lane blocked and heavy traffic on M6 northbound between J16, A500 (Crewe) and J17, A534 (Sandbach), because of a broken down van. In the roadworks area.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Giant abnormal load reaches final destination

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Earlier in the week, plenty of you were asking what a giant abnormal load was that was heading through Staffordshire.

It had headed from Cheshire through Newcastle-under-Lyme on Monday before stopping off in Trentham overnight.

Abnormal load with police
Derbyshire Police

It then carried on toward Uttoxeter, through Derbyshire before ending in Burton.

What was it? Giant brewery drums which arrived last night at the Molson Coors site - mystery solved!

Travel: Delays to trains between Stafford and Wolverhampton

BBC News Travel

BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Rainbows appear after rainfall

BBC Weather Watchers

It may have chucked it down with the rain yesterday in Staffordshire but, when things cleared up, it led to some lovely BBC Weather Watcher pictures of rainbows.

These two are from users Dandy in Wombourne and Happy Spaniels in Barton under Needwood.

Wombourne
Dandy
Barton under Needwood
Happy Spaniels

The general election campaign in 120 seconds

BBC Politics

As people prepare to head to the polls, we take a look at some of the key moments from the campaign.

The general election campaign in 120 seconds

Stoke-on-Trent artist set for Glastonbury 2017 appearance

BBC Music

A Stoke-on-Trent musician is among 21 artists picked by BBC Music Introducing to appear on their stage at Glastonbury 2017.

Onyda
BBC

Onyda was among the many who originally uploaded their music to the BBC Music Introducing Uploader and, in her case, caught the attention of BBC Radio Stoke's Introducing show.

She's described by host Rob Adcock as "one of the most exciting talents to come from our area in ages" and "scarily talented".

Hospital trust 'has to save £50m by March'

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Bosses at Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent's main hospital's have got to save £50m by next March.

The figure was revealed at a University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust board meeting.

Royal Stoke University Hospital
BBC

A report for the board said the figure was part of proposals to wipe out a deficit of £119m over the next three years.

Earlier this year, the University Hospital of North Midlands Trust was put into financial special measures by NHS Improvement.

At the time, NHS Improvement said the trust was not on course to meet savings targets and the move would help get them the support needed to improve.

Police officers 'in stable condition' after M6 crash

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Two police officers are said to be in a stable condition in hospital after suffering serious injuries in a crash on the M6 in Staffordshire yesterday.

Staffordshire Police says their patrol car collided with another car and came off the motorway during the early hours of Tuesday morning near Stafford.

Councils consider department merger

Jack Dowling

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Councillors will meet today to discuss a plan to merge the legal departments of Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council
BBC

The proposal being considered by the borough includes them paying the city £65,000 a year to use their lawyers.

The report by council officers for the cabinet says it's hoped the change would mean savings for both authorities.

Winds bring tree down on canal

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Tree down on canal
Paul Guest

To give you an idea how strong the wind was overnight and yesterday, Paul Guest posted on Instagram that he had a surprise on his usual morning dog walk in Stoke-on-Trent.

He says this tree had come down near Northwood and Birches Head and made it "an obstacle course".

Tree down on canal
Paul Guest

Appeal to keep Wedgwood vase in Stoke-on-Trent nears halfway total

Jack Dowling

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

An appeal to raise £482,500 to keep a rare piece of Wedgwood pottery in Stoke-on-Trent has almost reached the halfway point, campaigners say.

The vase, created on the first day of Josiah Wedgwood's Etruria factory in the 18th Century, had been on loan to The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.

Wedgwood vase
BBC

But it was withdrawn by its owner and sold at auction to an overseas buyer last year, the city council said.

The authority says the campaign has until 14 July to raise the total and a £25,000 grant from the Headley Trust has moved them to just over £215,000.

Centenary of famous WW1 battle marked

Express and Star

At 03:10 today, the exact time to the minute 100 years ago that arguably the greatest Allied victory of World War One was launched, a delegation from Staffordshire and the Black Country paid tribute to the men who took part in the offensive.

The Messines Terrain Model, Cannock Chase completed
Staffordshire County Council/Express and Star

On Midlands Today from 13:30 Marginal seats in general election

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

On Midlands Today this lunchtime, we'll be reflecting on the impact marginal seats could have on tomorrow's general election.

Polling station sign
Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

Politicians are crisscrossing the country, including this region, as the final hours of campaigning play out.

I'll be looking at the whole picture on BBC One from 13:30.

Chevaze McGregor

Jeremiah Regis-Ngawah was left in agony before succumbing to peritonitis caused by a beating, police said.

Read more

Second election for constituency in four months

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Voters in Stoke-on-Trent Central will head to their polling stations on Thursday for the second time in just four months.

Labour's Gareth Snell won the seat in February, succeeding Tristram Hunt who quit as an MP to become director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

The returning officer reads the result of the Stoke Central by-election in February 2017

Labour's majority fell from the 2015 election. The turnout in February was 38.1% - 21,170 people.

Standing this time around is:

  • Peter Andras (Lib Dems)
  • Adam Colclough (Greens)
  • Barbara Fielding (Independent)
  • Mick Harold (UKIP)
  • Daniel Jellyman (Conservatives)
  • Gareth Snell (Labour)

Football: England boot camp 'most rewarding experience' for Stoke goalkeeper

BBC Sport

Stoke City and England goalkeeper Jack Butland says the squad's visit to a Royal Marines boot camp was "one of the most rewarding experiences" he has ever had.

England players at the camp
Ministry of Defence

England manager Gareth Southgate arranged the trip to a Commando Training Centre in Devon as part of their preparation for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Scotland, and a friendly with France three days later.

Twenty England players were taken out of their comfort zones in the 48-hour boot camp designed for Marine recruits.

I think as a squad and players we all benefited from that. There was a lot to learn, stuff that we're keen to take forward in what we're trying to achieve. We always want to achieve as well as we can do but if you keep preparing the same, you'll get the same results."

Jack ButlandEngland goalkeeper

Hudson and Middleton pottery firm closes

Jack Dowling

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

One of Stoke-on-Trent's oldest pottery firms has closed with the loss of 25 jobs.

Hudson and Middleton dates back to 1875 and made fine bone china products.

Hudson and Middleton site
Google

The firm went into administration a year ago and was taken over in July 2016 by the BID Group who, at the time, said they worked to turn around struggling firms.

The Surrey-based company says it contacted numerous ceramics firms to see if they wanted to take on the business but there was no interest - it closed suddenly on Friday.

Five weeks of sewer work 'to stop Hanley flooding'

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Installing bigger sewer pipes in the centre of Stoke-on-Trent will stop homes and businesses in Hanley getting flooded in heavy rain, Severn Trent says.

Piccadilly, Hanley
Google

The firm's going to spend £170,000 on doing the work from Monday on Piccadilly and say they will try to minimise disruption. The pedestrianised area, used only for access, is not expected to shut.

According to the company it should all be finished within five weeks.

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J12 for A5 and J13 for A449.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J12, A5 (Gailey) and J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Arrests for sex offences in Burton

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Three men have been arrested for alleged sexual offences in Burton.

Staffordshire Police says the trio were detained after they received information involving two victims earlier this year.

The force says the three men, one aged 17 and two 18, are all from Burton and remain in custody.

They add they won't reveal more information at this stage of their investigation.

Canal chase fruit machine raiders jailed

BBC News England

Two men who stole more than £33,000 in pound coins from pub fruit machines, including in Staffordshire, in a six-week spree have been jailed.

Police pursuit ends in thief's canal plunge

Matthew Sadler and Richard Palmer burgled more than 50 pubs - targeting one premises four times in a matter of weeks - smashing the machines with a hammer and crowbar.

They were caught after a police chase in Birmingham which saw Sadler, on a motorbike, career into a canal.

Sadler, 41, of no fixed abode, was jailed for seven years and Palmer, 39, of Springthorpe Green in Erdington, six years and four months.

Watch: Your 50-second weather forecast

Mel Coles

Presenter, East Midlands Today

The region will have a mainly dry day with plenty of morning sunshine and lighter winds than yesterday.

It will cloud over during the afternoon and some rain will reach Herefordshire and Shropshire later. Highs of 18C ( 64F).

Weather for the West Midlands.

Welcome to Wednesday's live coverage

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Good morning and it's a much brighter start to the day in Stoke-on-Trent compared to the past couple, although it's still windy.

BBC Weather Watcher Big G in Nantwich took this photo this morning:

Nantwich
Big G

There'll be a full weather update along shortly and then there'll be news, sport, travel and more updates through the day for Staffordshire and Cheshire.

I'm also keen to keep featuring your photos of the area so keep those coming on email or put them on Instagram, adding the tag #bbcstoke to show you agree to share them.

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire northbound severe disruption, at J17 for A534 Sandbach.

M6 Cheshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound at J17, A534 (Sandbach), because of a broken down lorry. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire southbound severe disruption, at J17 for A534 Sandbach.

M6 Cheshire - M6 entry slip road partially blocked southbound at J17, A534 (Sandbach), because of a broken down lorry. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J12 for A5 and J13 for A449.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J12, A5 (Gailey) and J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time