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Motorways get 'drive-through' litter bins

Drivers are being encouraged to throw rubbish out of their windows into bright orange bins in a bid to keep motorways cleaner.

funnel bins
Highways England

The funnel-shaped bins will be introduced at 25 service areas in North West, said Highways England.

They are designed so drivers do not need to leave their vehicles. The first will be installed near the M6 at Lymm in Cheshire.

Clean Up Britain founder John Read described the funnel bins as a low-cost gimmick.

Cheshire East Council face three criminal investigations

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

Cheshire Police has launched three separate criminal investigations into Cheshire East Council.

Air pollution data
Getty Images

Earlier this year, an external review found Cheshire East Council's pollution data had been deliberately falsified.

Last month, it was revealed a grant had been made to a school near Crewe without going through the normal process after a council letter formed a contract.

Both matters have now been referred to Cheshire Police, who have confirmed they will launch formal investigations.

They will also look into previously unpublicised concerns about land purchases.

The probes will run alongside an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct in public office, over the way contracts were awarded.

Pictured: Horse in a hole rescued by fire service

Chris King

South Cheshire reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

We've been sent this picture of a horse being winched after getting stuck a 5ft ditch in Scholar Green.

A vet sedated the horse before Cheshire firefighters used mechanical lifting equipment to rescue it.

Horse being rescued
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Weather: Dry with sunny spells

BBC Weather

Dry this afternoon with plenty of sunny spells. Winds will be light and it will feel pleasantly warm. Highs of 16C.

More from BBC Weather.

Rise in complaints against police

Tim Wedgwood

BBC Local Live

The number of recorded complaints about Staffordshire and Cheshire Police forces has gone up compared to last year.

The latest figures from the Independent Police Complaints Commission reveal in Staffordshire there were 421 recorded complaints in total, a 3% increase on last year.

In Cheshire there were 595 recorded complaints - up by 11% compared to last year.

Police vehicle

Air quality data investigation to address concerns 'thoroughly and transparently'

The police investigation into the alleged manipulation of Cheshire East Council air quality data is the result of the authority's "ongoing work to address these concerns thoroughly and transparently", a spokesman has said.

Air quality monitors
Getty Images

The investigation follows August's admittance by the council that "deliberate and systematic manipulation" took place from 2012 to 2014.

Concerns about the allocation of public funds in making a grant to Berkeley Academy and about land purchases have also been passed to the police.

Council leader Rachel Bailey said it was "vital these serious matters are dealt with fully and that if there has been any wrongdoing it is exposed".

She added:

While a police investigation is a serious matter, I would like to reassure residents that the council itself has brought these matters forward in order to put things right.

We will ensure that council services continue to be delivered to the high standards that residents have come to expect.

Latest headlines for the North West

  • A "formal investigation" into allegations Cheshire East Council manipulated air quality data will be run by Cheshire Police
  • Merseyrail and Arriva Rail North workers will stage two strikes in October in an ongoing dispute over driver-only operated trains
  • Blackpool Council is to receive £400,000 government funding to help victims of social abuse

Formal investigation launched into 'manipulated' air quality figures

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

Cheshire Police has launched a formal investigation into air quality data at Cheshire East Council.

It's after a report found the figures were "deliberately manipulated". The authority summoned councillors to a meeting this morning to discuss the issues.

Air quality monitoring station
Getty Images

Formal investigation into air data quality manipulation claims

Cheshire Police will hold a "formal investigation" into allegations Cheshire East Council manipulated air quality data.

Air pollution check
Getty Images

A Freedom of Information request by the BBC in July found issues in data submitted by the local authority between 2013 and 2015 "and possibly earlier".

This morning's announcement comes after Cheshire East councillors were called to an "urgent meeting".

All UK local authorities are obliged to monitor local air quality and submit their findings to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.