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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Use our tracker to check whether your local services are meeting strict waiting-time targets for cancer, routine operations and A&E.

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Video: What will the weather be like today?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be cloudy with some bright spells and the odd shower over higher ground with highs of 9C (48F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire southbound severe disruption, between J17 for A534 Sandbach and J16 for A500 Crewe affecting J18 for A54 Middlewich.

M6 Cheshire - Very slow traffic on M6 southbound between J17, A534 (Sandbach) and J16, A500 (Crewe), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J18, A54 (Middlewich).

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

Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe accident, 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 an accident. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: A54 Cheshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A54 Cheshire both ways severe disruption, between Quarnford Road and A537.

A54 Cheshire - A54 closed in both directions between Rose and Crown in Wildboarclough and the A537 junction in Buxton, because of snow.

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

Severe accident: A50 Staffordshire westbound

BBC News Travel

A50 Staffordshire westbound severe accident, between A522 Uttoxeter and A522 Uttoxeter.

A50 Staffordshire - A50 closed and slow traffic westbound between Uttoxeter and Uttoxeter, because of a serious accident.

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

Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe accident, between J15 for A500 and J14 for A34.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M6 southbound between J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) and J14, A34 (Stafford North), because of an accident and snow.

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

Severe accident: A522 Staffordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A522 Staffordshire both ways severe accident, at Bate Lane.

A522 Staffordshire - A522 Leek Road in Kingsley closed and slow traffic in both directions at Bate Lane, because of an accident.

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

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 - M6 partially blocked and very slow traffic northbound between J16, A500 (Crewe) and J17, A534 (Sandbach), because of emergency repairs. In the roadworks area.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J12 for A5 and J11A for M6 Toll.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound between J12, A5 (Gailey) and J11a M6 Toll, because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Football

Sean McConville's double helps Accrington fight back to beat Port Vale and stay third in League Two.

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Cheshire West and Chester Council headquarters

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

Cheshire West and Chester Council plans to raise its portion of council tax by 4.99%.

Read more
Rui Fonte

Fulham extend their unbeaten league run to six matches as struggling Burton slide to the foot of the Championship.

Read more

Severe accident: M42 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire northbound severe accident, at J10 for A5.

M42 Warwickshire - M42 lane closed on entry slip road northbound at J10, A5 (Tamworth), because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire northbound severe disruption, between J17 for A534 Sandbach and J18 for A54 Middlewich.

M6 Cheshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J17, A534 (Sandbach) and J18, A54 (Middlewich), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J15 for A500 and J14 for A34.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound between J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) and J14, A34 (Stafford North), because of a lorry having a tyre changed. Traffic is coping well.

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

Zak Jules made six appearances for Vale's League Two rivals Chesterfield earlier this season before suffering a hamstring injury

Shrewsbury Town loan defender Zak Jules to League Two neighbours Port Vale for the rest of the season.

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Driver jailed for fatal crash

Allen Cook

BBC News

A driver's been jailed by judges at the Court of Appeal after they ruled his original sentence was "lenient".

Stephen Whilde, 24, of Market Drayton, was speeding round a bend on the A529 between Audlem and Market Drayton in 2016 when he lost control.

Royal Courts of Justice
AFP/Getty Images

The car came off the road and hit a fence, leaving his best friend and passenger Will Bye, 24, with fatal injuries.

Whilde had admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was given a two-year suspended sentence and a five-year driving ban last year at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

But, after the Solicitor General argued it was wrong to spare him jail, the Court of Appeal judges jailed him for three years and reduced his driving ban to four-and-a-half-years.

'No plans' to remove 'drug deals' phone box

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Telecoms giant BT says it doesn't plan to remove a phone box in Stoke-on-Trent which a local MP claims is used for drug dealing.

Phone box on Portland Street, Hanley
Google

Ruth Smeeth told the House of Commons the booth in Hanley is used to sell the synthetic drug Black Mamba.

A BT spokesperson said: "In this particular case, we’ve been helping the local authorities deter anti-social behaviour and have already taken a number of steps to combat the problem at this phone box.

"However, if we remove the phone box, the local community will be left without a service they clearly want. Anti-social behaviour is a matter for the police and we’re supporting the efforts of them and others to combat the issues.”

The Staffordshire force says it's been told of drugs misuse involving the phone box and is working to tackle the problem.

UK terrorism memorial set for dedication in May

Allen Cook

BBC News

A memorial dedicated to UK victims of terrorism overseas is going to be officially dedicated at the National Memorial Arboretum in May.

Still Water memorial
Angus Mills/UK Government

The sculpture, called Still Water, has been installed at the Staffordshire site and the government says it commemorates all UK citizens who have been killed in terrorist attacks overseas.

Defence minister Tobias Ellwood's said today that the dedication will be on 17 May and the families of victims are being invited to apply to attend the dedication.

Weather: Showers continue overnight

BBC Weather

Wintry showers will fizzle out overnight leading into a dull start to Saturday. Temperatures around freezing.

More from BBC Weather.

Watch: What's the weather got in store?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

We can expect a largely dry night however some rain will push up from the south in the early hours with lows of 0C (32F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, between J10 for A454 and J10A for M54.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M6 northbound between J10, A454 (Wolverhampton) and J10a M54, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Egypt's first female footballer in the Premier League

BBC World

Sarah Essam is the first Egyptian woman to play in the Premier League, but her journey to achieving her dream was not always easy.

Her family were against her career in football and she now juggles playing for Stoke City with studying for a degree but she says it's all worth it.

Sarah Essam's story

Your photos: Snow in the Moorlands

BBC Weather Watchers

You might not have noticed in some parts of the West Midlands, but there's been snow last night and today in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

BBC Weather Watchers Notvideoman in Leek and AppyIppy in Ipstones captured two views of the wintry weather:

Leek
Notvideoman
Ipstones
AppyIppy
A529 leaving Market Drayton

Stephen Whilde had reached speeds of almost 80mph in his Honda Civic before he lost control

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Dogs rescued from 'filthy backyard'

Allen Cook

BBC News

A woman who the RSPCA says kept four emaciated puppies and a dog in a filthy backyard has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Puppies looking for food in bin at house
RSPCA

The RSPCA says their inspector found the puppies in a garden which was full of rubbish bags and debris.

The charity says the owner told them she'd been woken up the night before by the puppies and put them outside in the pouring rain.

Carly Bennett, 28, of Trowbridge Crescent, Stoke-on-Trent pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences at the North Staffordshire Justice Centre.

She was given a 12-month community order and fined £120.

Snow and ice warning for north Staffordshire

Allen Cook

BBC News

Parts of north Staffordshire could be hit by snow and ice this weekend, the Met Office is warning.

Area affected by latest weather warning
Met Office

A yellow alert's been put out from 06:00 on Sunday until 18:00 later the same day.

The Met Office says it's more likely to affect higher areas but could still lead to disruption on roads and a chance of injuries frm slips and falls.

Main routes cleared of snow

Allen Cook

BBC News

Two main routes in the Staffordshire Moorlands and south Cheshire have reopened after being blocked by heavy snow.

Cheshire East Council says the A537 Cat and Fiddle in Macclesfield and the A54 Buxton Road are now cleared but warns drivers to take care.

Cat and Fiddle route on Friday lunchtime
Cheshire Police
Cat and Fiddle route on Friday lunchtime
Newcastle United's Dan Balaser (left) and Aston Villa's Harry McKirdy

Crewe Alexandra sign Newcastle United midfielder Dan Barlaser and Aston Villa forward Harry McKirdy on loan.

Read more

Drugs sold from phone box MP claims

BT is being urged to move a public phone box in Stoke-on-Trent which it's claimed is being used by drug dealers.

Ruth Smeeth MP
BBC

Stoke North MP Ruth Smeeth told the Commons she believes the drug Black Mamba is being sold from the booth in Hanley.

But, she said, BT is refusing to close it, because it's making money.

I've asked BT to move it, the police have asked BT to move it and the council have asked BT to move it. But because of what they're using it for, it's making money.

Ruth SmeethLabour MP for Stoke North

Weather: Cold with snow over hills

BBC Weather

Cold and windy this afternoon. Wintry showers are possible, mainly on hills. Highs of 4C.

More from BBC Weather.

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

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

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

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

Crouch 'one of number of players' discussed by Chelsea

Simon Stone

BBC Sport

My understanding is Peter Crouch is one of a number of players Chelsea have discussed as potential transfer targets, which is why there has been no contact with Stoke.

Manager Antonio Conte wants to bring in another striker that would allow Michy Batshuayi to leave Stamford Bridge this month.

Peter Crouch after scoring this season for Stoke City
Getty Images

West Ham's Andy Carroll was an option but that avenue has been closed by the ankle injury that will keep him out for at least a month and possibly longer.

Conte is still considering his next move but it is understood 36-year-old Crouch is one of the players he is thinking of.

There is no guarantee Chelsea will approach Crouch, whose Stoke contract expires in 2019, but the mere fact his name is being floated as a potential option underlines how little faith Conte has in Batshuayi.

Crouch to Chelsea: 'Strangest transfer of all time'

BBC Sport

The news that Peter Crouch could be heading to Chelsea has surprised many football fans this morning.

The Telegraph reported today the London side are interested in the 36-year-old Stoke City striker.

Stoke City striker Peter Crouch doing the "robot" dance
Getty Images

Fans have been quick to comment on the BBC Sport website:

Stoke fan Dave Wakefield responded: "Unthinkable to even contemplate selling Crouch with where we are in the league."

Mick from Stoke texted: "I would hate to see Crouch leave Stoke and would like him to stay and coach when he retires but what a story for the gentleman of football."

And Gary from Manchester says he's still got it: "I was at the game on Monday at Old Trafford - Peter Crouch was the outstanding player for Stoke, every ball was aimed at him going forward and his lay-offs nearly provided a goal."

In the papers: Animal ban after puppies rescued

The Sentinel

Your pictures: An icy start to the day

BBC Weather Watchers

BBC Weather Watcher mags said there's no wind or rain in Kidderminster this morning - it's "just cold".

Kidderminster
mags

The windscreen needed scraping in Hednesdford- as seen in this image uploaded by Angus and me.

windscreen
Angus and me

And Telford looks pretty icy, thanks to savannahuk for this image.

ice
Savannahuk