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Summary

  1. Report shows computer delays in child grooming inquiries in Greater Manchester
  2. Businesses in Wirral hope to be given chance to assess blast damage
  3. A sexual predator has been found guilty of breaking into women's homes in Colne and Nelson in order to assault them
  4. The funeral of a former Liverpool John Moores University student who was killed in Goa takes place in Donegal
  5. Police raid suspected cannabis farms across the region
  6. Updates on Thursday 30 March

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Updates from across the North West

    That's it from us for another day - we'll be back on Friday morning from 08:00 with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates from across the North West of England.  Whatever you're doing, have a lovely evening.

  2. Weather: Cloudy with outbreaks of rain

    BBC Weather

    Remaining cloudy and mild with rain for some parts.

    Video content

    Video caption: Weather: Cloudy with outbreaks of rain

    Highs of 15C.

    More from BBC Weather

  3. Accrington students visit CERN

    BBC Radio Lancashire's mid-morning team have travelled to CERN in Geneva with students from Accrington for Women in Science Week.

    View more on twitter

    CERN is the home of the large Hadron Colider. The team will be exploring why only 10% of scientists are women.

  4. Football: How well do you know Merseyside derby?

    BBC Sport

    It is the Merseyside derby on Saturday so test your knowledge of the men who have defined this fixture over the Premier League years.

    Liverpool v Everton: How well do you the Merseyside derby?

    Steven Gerrard and Duncan Ferguson
  5. NHS abandons switching of Liverpool community health services provider

    Plans to transfer Liverpool community health services to an underperforming trust have been scrapped .

    Hospital ward

    NHS Improvement, which monitors care providers, said it was "not continuing" the switching of services to Bridgewater Community Healthcare (BCH) from Liverpool Community Health Trust.

    The former was rated as "requiring improvement" by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in 2016.

    BCH chief executive Colin Scales said the news was "extremely disappointing".

  6. Jobs created in Merseyside as Scottish Power use aerial laser scanning

    Scottish Power is spending £36m on managing trees next to power lines , in a bid to reduce damage during storms.

    Laser

    The contracts, over the next three years, mean employment for 200 people across southern and central Scotland, north Wales and Merseyside.

    The energy company has used aerial 3D laser mapping technology to assess the areas of most risk.

    Scottish Power said that could help assess tree growth rates in order to plan maintenance.

  7. Magistrate who lived with suspect fired

    A magistrate who did not report the fact that a criminal suspect was living at his home has been sacked.

    scales of justice

    Dennis Barry, who heard cases in Greater Manchester, failed to disclose that the family acquaintance had been arrested on suspicion of harassment.

    He also failed to report the individual was later sent to prison, the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said.

    Judicial heads ruled his behaviour had amounted to "serious misconduct" and removed him from the bench.

  8. Violet Youens: Man arrested over four-year-old's death

    A man, 23, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after a four-year-old girl was hit and killed by a car.

    Violet Grace Youens

    Violet Grace Youens  died after being struck  while walking through St Helens, Merseyside, on Friday.  

    The BBC understands the 23-year-old arrested is Aidan McAteer who police were trying to trace. 

  9. Liverpool v Everton: Bellew talks Merseyside rivalry

    Evertonian boxer Tony Bellew says Liverpool and Everton are at a "very, very similar level" during a round-table discussion about the upcoming Merseyside derby on the Premier League Show.

    Video content

    Video caption: Premier League Show: Liverpool & Everton on similar level - Tony Bellew
  10. Secretary of state visits Lancashire to discuss potential enterprise zones

    Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid has been in Lancashire this afternoon to discuss potential new enterprise zones.

    Sajid Javid

    Mr Javid attended a meeting in Morecambe with local MP David Morris and business leaders from across the district.

    In January, the Prime Minister Theresa May suggested that the idea of an enterprise zone in north Lancashire should be "looked into".

  11. Manchester nurse struck off over stuck sex toy op video

    A nurse who laughed as he showed colleagues a "revolting" video of a woman having a sex toy removed  has been struck off .  

    Sanjeev Varghese

    Sanjeev Varghese, 44, admitted showing the footage on WhatsApp to fellow workers at Manchester Royal Infirmary while on a shift in October 2014.

    The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) found him guilty of misconduct in November, but a decision to strike him off was suspended pending an appeal.

    A High Court judge ruled it was right.

  12. Cricket: James Anderson says he has no plans to retire

    BBC Sport

    Lancashire's James Anderson says he does not intend to retire after next winter's Ashes series.

    James Anderson

    The swing bowler from Burnley, 34, said that he would be "over the moon" if the team won the Test series, and has "no interest" in stopping now.

    Meanwhile, England Test captain Joe Root says having predecessor Alastair Cook in the side will be integral to both his and the team's future success.

  13. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M62 West Yorkshire westbound

    BBC News Travel

    M62 West Yorkshire westbound severe accident, between J23 for A640 and J22 for A672.

    M62 West Yorkshire - Very slow traffic on M62 westbound between J23, A640 (Huddersfield) and J22, A672 (Rishworth Moor), because of an accident involving lorry earlier on.

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

  14. Wirral explosion: Residents and businesses start to return

    A number of residents and business owners are being allowed back to their properties following a suspected gas explosion.

    
          Emergency services work at the scene of a suspected gas explosion in New Ferry

    Two people were seriously hurt and 31 others injured in the  blast in New Ferry, Wirral  on Saturday evening.

    More than 100 people were evacuated from their homes, but those living further away from the blast can now return, Wirral Borough Council said.

    More residents should be allowed access to their homes over the next 24 hours.

  15. Bury police pursuit 'was necessary', says IPCC

    A high-speed police chase in Bury was "necessary and proportionate", an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found.

    Bolton Road

    A woman suffered serious injuries when a stolen Honda Civic, driving at more than 100mph, crashed into her on Bolton Road West in May last year. 

    In-car video footage, and audio recordings of the two police constables in the police car, were examined by the IPCC investigator.

    The final report can be found here .   

  16. Latest headlines for the North West

  17. Football: Fifa looks into Wales defender's leg-breaking challenge on Seamus Coleman

    BBC Sport

    Fifa has opened proceedings against Wales full-back Neil Taylor after his leg-breaking challenge on Republic of Ireland's Seamus Coleman.

    
          Wales captain Ashley Williams comforted Everton team-mate Seamus Coleman as he was taken off on a stretcher

    The Everton player, 28, was taken off on a stretcher after the tackle, which saw Taylor sent off during last Friday's World Cup qualifier in Dublin.

    Coleman was taken to hospital and required surgery on a double break.

    Taylor, 28, will be suspended for the qualifier in Serbia in June, but could have his one-game ban extended by Fifa.

  18. Plan to close Lancaster sixth form in 2018

    A consultation over the planned closure of a sixth form in Lancaster will run until the end of May, Lancashire County Council has said.

    Central Lancaster High School

    Central Lancaster High School asked the council to begin a closure consultation due to concerns about the sixth form's financial and educational viability.

    The council is proposing to permanently lower its age range from 11-18 years to 11-16, with effect from 31 August 2018.