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  1. Social care plans 'cost Conservatives a lot of support' - Stafford MP
  2. Neck-and-neck Newcastle-under-Lyme race settled by 30 votes
  3. Masked men attack homeowner after breaking in
  4. Tokyo 2020: Mixed events would add 'fun' element to Olympics – Adam Peaty
  5. Updates from Friday 9 June 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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New Cheshire MP was elected after school funding campaign

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Laura Smith, the new Labour MP for Crewe and Nantwich, who this week was sworn in at the House of Commons, led a campaign over school funding cuts before standing for the seat.

The 32-year-old was born in Leighton Hospital, grew up in Nantwich and went to local schools and then Manchester Metropolitan University in Crewe.

Laura Smith in school campaign
Jonathan White

She says she set up a local tutoring business while a single parent and organised a campaign earlier this year against what she claimed were "unfair" school funding plans.

The local Labour party then nominated her as a candidate in May to fight the seat - she defeated the sitting MP, Conservative Edward Timpson, in this month's general election by just 48 votes.

Cladding in £5.5m tower block revamp 'not the same' as London fire

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Cladding used to refurbish five tower blocks in Stoke-on-Trent is not the same as cladding used on the Grenfell Tower in London, the city council says.

Concerns have been raised over what role the external cladding could have played in the blaze in London although fire investigators have not yet identified the cause of the fire or how it spread.

Flats on Bucknall New Road

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has issued a statement today to say cladding being installed on five high-rise buildings off Bucknall New Road has the highest fire rated system, has a four-hour fire resistance rating and is fixed directly to the wall, without a cavity between the insulation and the wall.

A £5.5m revamp of the blocks of flats started early in 2016.

Results of death probe after Stoke hospital fire 'could take three months'

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Police say they are waiting for confirmation of how an elderly woman died to decide if her death is linked to an alleged arson attack carried out in a hospital's main building.

A fire broke out in Royal Stoke University Hospital on 7 June and patients had to be taken outside in their beds.

Royal Stoke University Hospital

Staffordshire Police says, working with the coroner, they've identified an 89-year-old woman that may have died as a result of the fire and evacuation.

The force says a post-mortem examination's been carried out but it could take up to three months to get the cause of death confirmed.

Football: Character the key for Crewe boss over new signings

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

The Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell says he will only continue to sign players with the right "character".

Chris Porter

The club's former captain has already captured Jordan Bowery, Chris Porter and Michael Raynes.

Artell told BBC Radio Stoke he is hopeful the trio will make a big impact at the club.

With Michael and Chris, I met both of them before they signed. It was quite clear what kind of characters they were, we'd only had good reports up to that point and hopefully they'll be great additions."

David ArtellCrewe Alexandra manager

Your say: City centre market loses thousands of customers

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

You've been having your say on news that market stalls in the middle of Stoke-on-Trent are struggling to attract customers.

The manager of Hanley market says there's been a drop of 10,000 visitors a week over the past few years.

Hanley Market entrance

On BBC Radio Stoke's Facebook page, asked if you still used markets, Vanessa Boden posted: "I use Stoke or Longton markets every week. The freshest meat, vegetables and fruit."

Patricia Cartlidge added: "I walk round it occasionally but there's nothing in there to really attract customers in."

While Lynn Marie Woodcock wrote: "Markets used to be cheap but now you can get stuff cheaper from Poundland. I don't bother with them now."

The hospital

The death of a patient at Royal University Stoke Hospital may be linked to an alleged arson attack there.

Read more

Weather: Scorchio

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

We're forecast a hot weekend and a muggy night tonight.

Temperatures could reach as high as 27C (81F).

Rebecca Wood has your forecast

Hospital trust suffers 'cyber incident'

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A hospital trust in Staffordshire has confirmed it's suffered a "cyber incident", just months after being affected by a large-scale ransomware program that hit much of the NHS.

The University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) said the latest incident was not specifically a cyber-attack, but refused to elaborate.

Ambulances at Royal Stoke University Hospital

The BBC understands it's affected the critical care computer system at the Royal Stoke University Hospital and some staff have had to use paper and pens instead.

The trust says it has taken precautionary measures "to ensure minimum disruption".

Last month, NHS services across England and Scotland - including UHNM - were hit by a large-scale cyber-attack which disrupted hospital and GP appointments.

Man who 'drove at traffic marshal to avoid queue' avoids jail

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A man who drove his car into a marshal at a car boot sale in Staffordshire has been given a suspended sentence and a driving ban.

Martin Wiggin from Stourbridge had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

Stafford Crown Court

The Crown Prosecution Service says he hit the traffic marshal's legs as he tried to avoid the long queue leaving the car boot sale in Wombourne in May 2015.

The 48-year-old was given a two month suspended prison sentence at Stafford Crown Court, banned from driving for 18 months and told he would have to pass an extended driving test.

School investigated 'inappropriate' actions by teacher

Newport's Burton Borough School says it held an investigation when reports of inappropriate behaviour by an IT teacher came to light.

Jennifer Cann has been given an indefinite suspension from teaching after admitting she failed to "maintain professional boundaries" and that she engaged in an "inappropriate relationship" with a pupil.

Burton Borough School

Christine Carter, the head teacher at Burton Borough School, said the 30-year-old resigned before a disciplinary process could be completed, but that the investigation by school governors into her conduct was completed.

Road closures warning for Staffordshire triathlon

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

People in Lichfield, Burton, Cannock Chase and the surrounding areas are being warned of road closures and diversions this Sunday.

Last year's Staffordshire Ironman
Staffordshire County Council

Lichfield Police says it's because of the Staffordshire Ironman race which will see more than 2,000 people take on the course.

They'll be running, swimming and biking through the area and the county council's released a list of the roads affected on their website here.

Burton Borough School in Shropshire

Jennifer Cann is stopped from teaching after having an "inappropriate relationship" with the child.

Read more

BBC Weather Watcher photos: Cloud returns

BBC Weather Watchers

It's turned more cloudy today across Staffordshire and Cheshire and here are two photos uploaded by our local BBC Weather Watchers.

They're from users Mustnt in Alsager and Dave-Stoke in Mow Cop.

Mow Cop

Boxing: Burton's Frazer Clarke inspired by Anthony Joshua sparring

BBC Sport

Burton boxer Frazer Clarke believes sparring with Anthony Joshua can propel him to a gold medal in the European Boxing Championships.

Frazer Clarke (left)
Getty Images

The 25-year-old super-heavyweight is among 13 British men in Ukraine for the championships, which will be held 16-24 June.

The tournament in Kharkiv is also an opportunity to qualify for August's World Championships in Hamburg.

I've been sparring with Anthony for a long time; it gives you real confidence. If I can compete with Joshua, the best heavyweight in the world, I can compete with anyone else on the planet."

Frazer ClarkeBurton boxer

Death 'might be linked' to hospital fire

Sarah Robertson

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Meanwhile, separately, a coroner's confirmed today that one death at the Royal Stoke University Hospital is being looked at that might be linked to the fire.

Royal Stoke University Hospital

Six fire engines were sent to the scene on 7 June and a major incident was declared by the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust.

The North Staffordshire coroner Ian Smith says more investigations are being carried out into the death that could be linked to the blaze, as a post-mortem examination's proved inconclusive.

Union concerns over 'smoke in corridors' during hospital fire

Lucy King

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

Questions are being raised by a union about why a system, designed to contain smoke at Royal Stoke University Hospital, didn't appear to work during a fire last week.

Hundreds of people had to be evacuated and smoke got into corridors and wards during the blaze on 7 June.

Patients outside the hospital after being evacuated
Paul Bradbury

Staffordshire Fire Service has confirmed to BBC Radio Stoke that, although the fire was contained, smoke wasn't.

The hospital says a review is taking place into all aspects of the major incident.

The Royal College of Nursing union has told BBC Radio Stoke they're concerned at the reports of smoke in corridors and want to see a full and thorough debrief following the blaze.

A 39-year-old man has been charged with arson with intent to endanger life following the fire.

Baby freed after accidentally locked inside car

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A baby's been freed by firefighters after getting locked inside a car in Stoke-on-Trent.

Staffordshire Fire Service says they were called to Norris Road in Burslem last night.

They say it was a rental car and the 11-month-old's mum accidentally left the keys inside and it locked.

Firefighters say they quickly reunited mother and baby.

East Midlands teams learn EFL Cup fate

Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

The draw has been made for the first round of the EFL Cup - now rebranded as the Carabao Cup. Here's who our East Midlands teams will be playing:

  • Nottingham Forest v Shrewsbury Town
  • Mansfield v Rochdale
  • Grimsby v Derby
  • Oldham v Burton
  • Sheffield Wednesday v Chesterfield
  • Scunthorpe v Notts County

Leicester City will enter the competition in the second round, along with other Premier League sides not involved in Europe.

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, at J13 for A449.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M6 southbound at J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Championship challenge for Port Vale and Crewe in League Cup first round

BBC Radio Stoke Sport

Both Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra will face Championship opposition in the first round of next season's League Cup.

Carabao Cup in stadium
Carabao Cup

The Vale travel to Leeds United, while The Alex host Bolton Wanderers.

Meanwhile Burton Albion are away at Oldham Athletic - all ties will be played the week starting 7 August.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Michael Carrick

Sunderland will travel to Bury in the EFL Cup first round following their relegation from the Premier League.

Read more

Staffordshire celebrated in five audience pictures

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

The southern part of Staffordshire gets well featured in today's pick of pictures you've sent in of the county.

If you want to send in one of your photos, drop us an email or use Instagram (adding #bbcstoke to show you agree to share it).

Your pictures

Man who complained about problem potholes is 'inundated' with more

Burton Mail

A Burton resident who has hit out at "dangerous potholes" which are blighting the lives of drivers in the town has told the Burton Mail he has been "inundated with comments and requests" since he highlighted the issue.

John Anderson at the island in Belvedere Road
Burton Mail

Football: Stoke City chief rules out signing Wayne Rooney

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City have ruled themselves out of signing the former England captain and Manchester United player Wayne Rooney.

Erik Pieters of Stoke City (L) and Wayne Rooney of Manchester United (R) battle for possession in January
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Image

The Potters have been heavily linked in the national media with the 31-year-old striker, with some bookmakers slashing the odds on Rooney becoming a Stoke player.

However the club's chief executive Tony Scholes told BBC Radio Stoke there hasn't been any contact with Rooney or his representatives.

Wayne Rooney's been one of the best players of his generation. He has been and still is a great football player but there have been no conversations whatsoever about Wayne Rooney coming to Stoke."

Tony ScholesStoke City's chief executive

Swimming: Adam Peaty frustrated by 50m Olympic omission

Nick Hope

BBC Sport Olympic sports reporter

Uttoxeter swimmer and Rio gold medallist Adam Peaty says the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made a mistake by not including three new 50m sprint events for Tokyo 2020.

Adam Peaty
Getty Images

The IOC said last week that men's 800m and women's 1500m freestyle races would be added to the swimming programme.

Peaty, who won 100m breaststroke gold at last summer's Olympics, was in favour of including 50m races in breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly.

Sprints engage people more than distance events. I don't like that there's another distance event and I don't think that's what's needed. I'm a bit disappointed."

Adam PeatyUttoxeter swimmer

Lemmy 'would have loved' getting a blue plaque

Liz Ellis

Presenter, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke-on-Trent-born rock music legend Lemmy would have "loved" getting a blue plaque in the city, according to his friend, Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi.

Blue plaque unveiled for Lemmy

The tribute was unveiled last night at Port Vale FC as part of BBC Music Day and saw fans turn out to witness the unveiling.

Mission to build football stadiums out of Lego reaches Stoke City's

Hazel Morgan

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A football fan who's set about reconstructing all 92 Premier League and English Football League grounds out of Lego says he almost finished Stoke City's.

Stoke City in Lego
Brick Stadiums

Julian Richards started earlier this year and told the BBC he was surfing the internet one day, found nobody else had already done it so decided to start himself.

He said this week he's done three sides of the Stoke City stadium and the club says it loves his work.

Alcohol and perfumes thought stolen in store burglary

Lucy King

News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

Alcohol and perfumes are thought to have been taken in a burglary at a Stoke-on-Trent city centre store.

Police van outside B&M

Staffordshire Police says the break-in happened early this morning at the B&M shop on Old Hall Street, Hanley.

They say the thief or thieves got in through the main entrance.

Severe congestion: M6 Cheshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire southbound severe congestion, between J19 for A556 and J16 for A500 Crewe.

M6 Cheshire - Very slow traffic on M6 southbound between J19, A556 (Knutsford) in Mere and J16, A500 (Crewe) in Cheshire. In the roadworks area. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

IT teacher banned for 'inappropriate relationship' with student

A former IT teacher at the Burton Borough School in Newport who hugged one of the students has been suspended from teaching indefinitely.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership found 30-year old Jennifer Cann had "failed to maintain professional boundaries" and engaged in an "inappropriate relationship" with the pupil, who she met outside school on a number of occasions to tutor them.

While she admitted hugging the pupil, the panel said there was "no suggestion that there was any sexual element to this".

Burton Borough School

Ms Cann also admitted giving pupils answers to two test questions.

She is banned from teaching in schools or children's homes, but can apply to have the prohibition order set aside in two years' time.

New Cheshire MP says election result 'hasn't sunk in'

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

The new Labour MP for Crewe and Nantwich says she will be listening to and acting for her constituents - although she admits being elected hasn't yet sunk in.

Laura Smith outside Houses of Parliament

Laura Smith, who's only been involved in politics for four months, unseated Conservative Edward Timpson at last week's general election.

She's now stepped foot inside the Palace of Westminster for the first time since then and says she's still getting used to her new role.

I think when you are surrounded by history like this and, as a little bit of a history geek myself, no it hasn't sunk in and I don't think I'll ever stop being amazed at seeing these beautiful surroundings."

Laura SmithNew Labour MP for Crewe and Nantwich

Mistakes in Kevin Nunes case a 'terrible' situation - outgoing police chief

The outgoing chief constable of Staffordshire Police says mistakes were made in the investigation of the 2002 murder of Kevin Nunes, a suspected drugs dealer from Wolverhampton.

Jane Sawyers is retiring today after more than 30 years in the force.

She was the head of professional standards there when 20-year-old Mr Nunes was killed in a suspected gangland shooting in Pattingham, Staffordshire. Five men were convicted of his murder but were later cleared.

Kevin Nunes
Staffordshire Police

She said "it is terrible that mistakes were made and no one has been brought to justice".

The mistakes were around disclosure and there was certain national rules that were not in place, those same mistakes would not happen again not because of the case but because things have moved on significantly."

Jane SawyersOutgoing chief constable

In 2017, a report highlighted concerns about officers in relation to looking after protected witnesses.

Travel: Barrier repair warning on M6 in Staffordshire

BBC News Travel

Drivers heading southbound through Staffordshire today are being warned to take care between junctions 12a and 11 due to barrier repairs.

View more on twitter

Staffordshire Police boss steps down

Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

The chief constable of Staffordshire Police is retiring today after 33 years with the force.

Jane Sawyers joined the profession straight after leaving school and early shifts were spent policing the Miners' Strike in 1984.

She has been Staffordshire's chief constable since 2014.

Jane Sawyers

Her replacement, Gareth Morgan, will start work on Monday.

Football: Burton Albion defender loses FA racial abuse charge

BBC Sport

Burton Albion's Ben Turner has lost his appeal against a Football Association racial abuse charge and will miss the first five games of next season.

Turner was charged after an incident involving Brentford's Nico Yennaris in the Championship match in December.

Ben Turner
Rex Features

An independent panel found the 29-year-old defender guilty as his language "included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality".

Turner will also have to attend an education course and pay a £8,000 fine.

He had "strongly denied" the charge and the club were "extremely disappointed" by the commission's original decision.

Severe disruption: A515 Staffordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A515 Staffordshire both ways severe disruption, between A513 Alrewas Road and Meadow Lane.

A515 Staffordshire - A515 Yoxall Road in King's Bromley closed in both directions between the A513 Alrewas Road junction and the Meadow Lane junction, because of a vehicle fire.

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