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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Thanks for joining us

    That's all from our live coverage for Wednesday. Many thanks for joining us.

    We'll be back from 09:00 on Thursday with more of the latest on the coronavirus pandemic and all of the rest of the day's news.

  2. Fire service launches weekly bedtime story

    Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service are launching a weekly video stream of firefighters reading bedtime stories for children who are self-isolating.

    Firefighters listening to a story

    A spokesman for the fire service said:

    Quote Message: For children, the day that they get a visit from firefighters at school is a memorable one. Not only do they get to see a fire engine, they come face-to-face with their heroes and learn all about fire safety.
    Quote Message: Unfortunately, the coronavirus has put a stop to these visits, so here at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, we decided to bring them to you.

    The first reading session will begin this evening at 19:10.

  3. Comedian uses lockdown to 'get cracking' on new BBC show

    Bolton comedian and writer Sophie Willan has been using the lockdown as a "chance to get cracking" on her sitcom, after seeing her pilot show Alma's Not Normal commissioned for a full series by the BBC.

    View more on twitter

    The first broadcast of the show, which the BBC said "offers a bitingly funny and unflinching take on class, sexuality, mental health and substance abuse", was watched by more than a million viewers.

    Willan, who was the first winner of the BBC's Caroline Aherne Bursary Award in 2018, both writes the programme and stars as the central character Alma Nuthall.

    She said:

    Quote Message: I’ve been overwhelmed by the fabulous response to the pilot and I'm so excited to be developing the series.
    Quote Message: I’ve already been using the lockdown as a chance to get cracking so I'm just pleased to have the official go ahead.
    Quote Message: I can’t wait to get it made and share the world of Alma with everyone.

    You can watch the pilot of Alma's Not Normal on the BBC iPlayer.

  4. 'Big Dunc' thanks NHS staff for hard work

    Everton assistant manager has shared a message of thanks and support for the staff at a Liverpool mental health facility - and also revealed his new found love of gardening.

    View more on twitter
  5. Council to cover pay of care workers who are self-isolating or sick

    Liverpool City Council has said it will cover the pay of workers in the adult social work sector who have to self-isolate or are off sick.

    It said the total cost of the support funding was £6m and it will also be used to provide mental health support for care home staff.

    Councillor Paul Brant, cabinet member for health, said carers were the "most important sector of workers alongside the NHS".

    View more on twitter
  6. Man dies after scrambler bike crash

    A man has died following a crash involving a car and a scrambler bike in Stockbridge Village on Monday, Merseyside Police have said.

    Two 22-year-old men riding on a Honda scrambler bike were taken to hospital after the collision with a Vauxhall Astra in Waterpark Drive.

    The other man remains in a serious condition in hospital, police said.

    A 27-year-old man from Huyton arrested yesterday on suspicion of attempted murder has been released on bail.

  7. Muslims urged to stay home during Ramadan

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Muslim leaders are urging people to stay at home during Ramadan, which starts later this week.

    Muslims sit for prayer

    Authorities have advised people not to congregate for late-evening prayers, as mosques have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Bolton Council of Mosques has announced it will be delivering packs filled with dates, other fruits and food for vulnerable and isolated people breaking the fast during the holy month.

    The Greater Manchester Council of Mosques said it is a "challenging time" and which "requires an extraordinary response".

    Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said:

    Quote Message: We must do this to protect ourselves, our families, our communities, the NHS and to help save lives by preventing the spread of this infection.
    Quote Message: Please don’t socialise beyond the immediate people that you live with.
  8. Pop mogul makes railway survival plea

    East Lancashire Railway will struggle to open again after the lockdown ends without the help of donations, its president Pete Waterman has said.

    Pete Waterman

    The heritage railway, which runs steam services between Heywood to Rawtenstall, halted all operations in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The pop mogul and rail enthusiast, who has been the charity's president for 13 years, said it had “taken 30 years to build the railway to what it is today”, but with no income, no volunteers and just three members of staff not furloughed, it will struggle to open again.

    He has asked people to donate the charity's survival fund, which has seen donations of about £50,000 so far.

    A spokesman said the railway would be closed until at least 30 May, adding that it cost about £2,000 to run a steam engine along the track for a day.

    He said:

    Quote Message: Due to the developing situation with the Coronavirus the railway has, in line with government advice, suspended all services until further notice.
    Quote Message: As a registered charity this is devastating for us. We rely heavily on our generated income and this is highly likely to have severe financial consequences for us, but it is important we do our part to protect our employees, the public, and particularly our older volunteers.
  9. Duckling rescued from park drain

    A duckling had to be rescued after it got stuck in a drain in a Liverpool park.

    The RSPCA needed some assistance from firefighters after the bird got stuck inside a pipe.

    View more on twitter
  10. Children's hospital closes to all but patients, parents and carers

    Alder Hey Children's Hospital will close down its main building to the general public, except for patients, parents and carers, as part of new visiting arrangements.

    In a statement, the hospital announced the action would "reduce footfall and adhere to social distancing measures".

    External food delivery drivers will also no longer have access to the premises.

    View more on twitter
  11. Football club trust to deliver fruit and veg to elderly and vulnerable

    Oldham Athletic Community Trust has launched its Food For Thought scheme for the elderly and vulnerable, which aims to deliver fruit and vegetable boxes to the local community.

    Trust spokesman Martin Vose said: "During these unprecedented times, we want to ensure that we do all that we can to support those living within our local community.

    "We are asking people to nominate either a family member, friend or neighbour to receive a box."

    View more on twitter
  12. Council makes appeal for PPE from businesses

    Trafford Council is appealing for businesses to donate any unwanted supplies of PPE.

    Medical staff in PPE

    The authority says that although it currently has sufficient supplies for its health and social care staff, demand is increasing.

    The council is particularly appealing for goggles, aprons, gloves, masks, visors and hand sanitiser.

    Public health director Eleanor Roaf said:

    Quote Message: We are working with our local care providers to ensure they always have the stock they need and are actively looking at ways to increase local stocks.

    A spokesman for the council also confirmed they are keen to hear from businesses who are interested in manufacturing PPE.

  13. Community charity does Desert Island Discs

    Community charity Manchester Cares brought together younger and older neighbours to create their own version of BBC Radio 4's programme Desert Island Discs.

    The virtual meet-up got people singing and dancing while staying at home on Friday.

    View more on twitter
  14. Tiny fraction of 'at risk' children attending schools

    BBC News Education

    Only a tiny fraction of vulnerable children in England are taking up the emergency school places kept open for them, official figures show.

    Children at school

    This has prompted concerns "at risk" children are facing increased danger in the lockdown, while schools and teachers struggle to get hold of them.

    New data shows only a maximum of 5% of the most needy children have been at school during the Coronavirus crisis.

    The Children's Commissioner says social workers should be "knocking on doors".

    The Department for Education data shows just 29,000 so-called vulnerable children attended school in the week before the Easter holidays.

    This compares to the more than 723,000 children who were known to children's social care services in 2019.

  15. Hospital staff salute 'incredibly popular' surgeon

    Hundreds of staff gathered outside Whiston Hospital to applaud an "incredibly popular" orthopaedic surgeon who died after contracting coronavirus.

    Sadeq Elhowsh, 58, who worked for St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, died at Whiston Hospital on Monday evening.

    Video content

    Video caption: Hospital staff funeral tribute to 'incredibly popular' surgeon
  16. Bin collectors make their way to Amarillo for charity

    Bolton Council's bin collectors have recorded themselves marching along to (Is This The Way To) Amarillo for the BBC's Big Night In charity show, which is raising funds for Comic Relief and Children in Need.

    Bolton comic Peter Kay is recreating his much-loved video for the song, which first helped raise money in 2005, and has asked the public to take part.

    View more on twitter
  17. How to combat back pain while working from home

    BBC World News

    As millions of people are told to work from home and adjust to doing their jobs remotely, there are likely to be inconsistent desk set-ups where injuries are more likely.

    Alishah Merchant, a physiotherapist at Rebalance Sports Medicine, gives some tips on how to optimise your home workstation.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: How to combat back pain while working from home