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  1. Latest updates on Friday 29 June

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Severe disruption: Greater Manchester both ways

BBC News Travel

Greater Manchester both ways severe disruption, at Lower Broughton Road.

Greater Manchester - Great Clowes Street closed at the Lower Broughton Road junction, because of emergency repairs.

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

Man's body moved after Manchester grave desecrated twice

The body of a man has been exhumed after his grave was desecrated at a cemetery in two "despicable" incidents which police believe are linked.

Blackley Cemetery, Manchester

The grave of William "Billy" Isaac was "disturbed" at Blackley Cemetery in Manchester, Greater Manchester Police said.

The remains of Mr Isaac, who died aged 45 in 2013, have now been moved, the force said.

His family said he was not buried with "any items of monetary value".

Theme park offer for smoking mums-to-be

Pregnant women are to be given incentives including theme park vouchers in a scheme which aims to encourage them to quit smoking.

Pregnant smoker and rollercoaster
Getty Images

The project is part of a wider drive to reduce smoking in Blackpool, and has been backed by councillors.

It will see support workers monitoring women's carbon monoxide levels to prove they have quit.

Recent NHS data show the Lancashire seaside town has the highest rate of smoking during pregnancy in England.

Severe accident: M55 Lancashire westbound

BBC News Travel

M55 Lancashire westbound severe accident, from J3 for A585 Fleetwood Road to J4 for A5230.

M55 Lancashire - M55 closed and stationary traffic westbound from J3, A585 (Kirkham) to J4, A5230 (Blackpool), because of an accident involving motorbike. Diversion in operation - Exit onto A585 towards Kirkham, take 3rd exit at next roundabout onto A583 tow Blackpool. At Whitehill Park roundabout, take the 3rd exit and rejoin at J4.

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

North West weather: Some late sunshine and dry overnight

BBC Weather

Showers will die away to leave some late sunshine. Dry with clear spells overnight.

More from BBC Weather

Dog on beach

Wirral Council has shelved a plan to ban dogs from some beaches after more than 8,500 people objected.

Read more
Girl with hose

The ban will affect people in north-west England, but other firms say they have no plans to follow suit.

Read more

Ex-ambulance crash driver charged

The driver of a decommissioned ambulance which crashed into a level crossing during a police chase has been charged with dangerous driving.

The decommissioned ambulance
Sgt Paul Cording/@OscarRomeo1268

The vehicle hit a barrier near Kildwick, North Yorkshire, after being pursued from the scene of a fatal collision on the A65 near Clapham.

It was not involved in the first crash but was thought to have been travelling in convoy with a vehicle that was.

Joseph Keane, 28, from Billinge, near Wigan, died in the crash on the A65.

Further Poundworld stores to close

Poundworld has said it will close a further 40 stores, resulting in 531 more job losses.


The discount goods retailer, which went into administration in June, said the stores - including Ashton-under-Lyne, Bury, Preston, Rochdale, Southport, St Helens and Wigan - would close on 24 July.

Poundworld previously announced plans to close 105 of its 335 stores, having failed to strike a rescue deal.

Its administrators, Deloitte, said they were still looking for buyers for all, or parts, of the remaining business.

Hillsborough: Application for separate trials rejected

A bid to separate the joint trial of Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield and ex-Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell has been rejected.

David Duckenfield

Lawyers for Mr Mackrell, 68, argued his case for alleged offences in connection with the 1989 disaster should be heard by a different jury.

But Sir Peter Openshaw at Preston Crown Court turned down the application.

They will stand trial together at the same court as scheduled on 14 January.

Design flaw caused army tank blast deaths, says coroner

A tank explosion which killed two British Army soldiers was caused by a design flaw, a coroner has found.

Cpl Neilson (left) and Cpl Hatfield
Wales News Service

Cpl Darren Neilson, 31, from Preston, Lancashire, was the tank commander and was thrown from the turret in the blast on 14 June 2017.

He died alongside Cpl Matthew Hatfield, 27, during a live firing exercise at Castlemartin Range in Pembrokeshire.

A seal stopping explosive gases escaping into a tank crew's turret was not in place before the lethal blast.

The manufacturer failed to spot the tank's gun could fire without the key safety component.

Daniel Gee-Jamieson's family make plea over 'mindless' stab death

The individuals who stabbed a boy to death on a city street must be caught to "stop any further children being killed by mindless knife crime", his family have said.

Daniel Gee-Jamieson
Family handout

Daniel Gee-Jamieson, 16, died on 3 July after he was found injured on Belle Vale Road, Gateacre in Liverpool.

Appealing for information, his family said he was loved "more than life".

Two 17-year-old boys arrested on suspicion of murder over his death have been released under investigation.

Darren Pratley

League One Charlton Athletic sign experienced midfielder Darren Pratley after his release by Bolton Wanderers.

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St Helens hooker James Roby accelerates away from opposite number Tommy Leuluai

Team news as Wigan Warriors host St Helens in Thursday's Super League fixture at the DW Stadium (19:45 BST).

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Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire northbound severe disruption, between J18 for Middlewich and J19 for .

M6 Cheshire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M6 northbound between J18, Middlewich and J19, Knutsford, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

'There are far more people full of love'
A year on from being being left for dead at the side of the road, a Salford artist is back on his bike.

Hosepipe ban to hit parts of the region

Millions of people, including those in south Cheshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme, will be affected by the first hosepipe ban of the summer in England.

United Utilities said a temporary ban, affecting seven million people in the North West of England from 5 August, would "safeguard essential supplies".


It said reservoir levels were already low and that hot weather was forecast for the rest of July.

Other water companies across England said they had adequate supplies and had no plans to impose similar bans.

Large warehouse fire in Kirkdale

Firefighters are at the scene of a large warehouse fire in Kirkdale, Merseyside Fire said.

Foster Street fire
Merseyside Fire

Fire crews were called to to a single storey, steel-framed warehouse on Foster Street just after 13:10.

Foster Street fire
Merseyside Fire

Merseyside Fire said a large amount of household waste is alight and the incident is ongoing.

Severe accident: A57 Merseyside both ways

BBC News Travel

A57 Merseyside both ways severe accident, from Finch Lane to Liverpool Road.

A57 Merseyside - A57 Liverpool Road in Dovecot closed and slow traffic in both directions from the Finch Lane junction to the Liverpool Road junction, because of a serious accident.

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

Ousmane Fane

Oldham Athletic could be without midfielder Ousmane Fane for about four months because of a serious leg injury.

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North West weather: Sunny spells with risk of shower

BBC Weather

Some sunny spells and patchy cloud this afternoon with a few scattered showers. A gentle wind and highs of 20C.

More from BBC Weather

Joe Hart

Goalkeeper Joe Hart is named in the Manchester City squad for their pre-season tour to the USA.

Read more

Former club secretary loses bid to separate Hillsborough trial

A bid by the former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary to have his trial heard in a separate courtroom from Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield has been rejected.

Graham Mackrell and David Duckenfield

Graham Mackrell, 68, is charged with breaching health and safety and safety at sports ground legislation following a fatal crush on the terraces at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in April 1989.

Mr Duckenfield, 73, is accused of the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool supporters.

Earlier, lawyers for Mackrell argued that his case should be heard by a different jury.

But the application was turned down by a judge at Preston Crown Court and both men will stand trial together on January 14 next year.

Both defendants are set to enter their pleas at a pre-trial hearing at Preston on September 10

In the papers: Stoke-on-Trent man charged with murder

Stoke-on-Trent Live

Here are three of the main stories from the Sentinel newspaper in Stoke-on-Trent:

Chris Hankinson

Wigan Warriors sign centre Chris Hankinson from Championship side Swinton Lions on a deal until 2020.

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Cuadrilla completes second fracking well in Lancashire

Final preparations for fracking are to begin at a site in Lancashire following the completion of a second well, an energy firm has said.

Drilling rig
Getty Images

Cuadrilla, which finished the first well in Little Plumpton in April, will start fracking once it has final government consent, a spokesman said.

He added that the firm expected to get that consent "imminently".

A trespassing ban at the site, which has seen numerous protests, was recently extended for two years.

Environmental charity Friends of the Earth has sought a judicial review over the Environment Agency's decision to allow hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - and is awaiting a decision on their application.

Hosepipe ban: How much water is lost to leakage?

In 2016-17, United Utilities was one of five companies in England and Wales losing more water than the national average of 121 litres per property per day from leakage.

However, that was an improvement on the previous year, with leaks down 2.8%.

Leakage for water and sewerage companies

Across the north west, United Utilities lost 439.2 million litres per day - the equivalent of 133.4 litres from each household.

That’s more than one-and a-half bath tubs of water lost (a standard bath tub is 80 litres) per property per day, in the United Utilities area.

As of 8 July 2018, United Utilities reservoirs were about two-thirds full (67.1%), down from 84.1% last year.

The average through the year is about 81.7% full.

Water levels in United Utilities reservoirs

Severe disruption: M60 Greater Manchester anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M60 Greater Manchester anti-clockwise severe disruption, from J11 for A57 Liverpool Road to J10 for B5214 Barton Road.

M60 Greater Manchester - Slow traffic and one lane closed on M60 anticlockwise from J11, A57 (Barton) to J10, B5214 (Trafford Centre), because of a broken down vehicle and recovery work.

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

Daley Blind

Simon Stone

BBC Sport

Daley Blind completes his return to Ajax from Manchester United for a fee that could eventually rise to £18.5m.

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Marc Bola

Blackpool sign Oldham defender Ryan McLaughlin on a two-year contract and ex-Arsenal left-back Marc Bola on a one-year deal.

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Reality Check: Do hosepipe bans work?

Reality Check

A hosepipe ban in the North West of England comes into force on 5 August. But do they work?

The answer is that they probably do, although the reductions in water demand tend not to be huge.

BBC Reality Check takes a closer look.

Getty Images

Parents of blood biker 'overwhelmed' by support

Sian Hall

BBC Radio Cumbria

The parents of a Cumbrian blood biker who died while delivering NHS supplies say they've been overwhelmed with support since the accident.

Russell Curwen
Lancashire Police

Russell Curwen, who was 49 and from Kendal, died in May, after a collision with a car in Lancaster.

Hundreds of fellow blood bikers and other riders were at his funeral.

His parents, Pat and Ken, were speaking in Kendal last night when Freemasons presented a new motorcycle, named after their son, to the volunteer service.

Detail of new motorbike showing name

Whatever they do won't bring him back, but it's great to think something is in his memory."

Pat Curwen

All this celebrity which is brought upon him accidentally, it's just unbelievable, we just can't get a handle on it."

Ken Curwen

Hosepipe ban: Hot weather impact on water reserves

BBC weather presenter Simon King has tweeted about the recent above average temperatures and below average water reserves leading to a hosepipe ban in North West England.

View more on twitter
A school is praised for its imaginative teaching methods, which include "Come Dine With Me" lessons.

'Mortar round' found in Formby

A "mortar round" has been found on Altcar Road in Formby, Merseyside Police say.

A cordon is in place from Stephensons Way to the Formby Bypass.

Police say there is no risk to the public but are asking people to avoid the area.

View more on twitter