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Severe disruption: A62 West Yorkshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A62 West Yorkshire northbound severe disruption, between A616 Chapel Hill and A629.

A62 West Yorkshire - A62 Castlegate in Huddersfield closed northbound between the A616 Chapel Hill junction and the A629 junction, because of resurfacing work.

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

Police net cannabis worth £30,000 in Huddersfield raid

Drugs worth up to £30,000 have been seized in Huddersfield in what police say is the second large cannabis factory raid in Kirklees in just seven days.

cannabis factory
West Yorkshire Police

A total of 68 large cannabis plants were found in a drugs factory in Percy Street, Fartown, Huddersfield, on Sunday afternoon, say police.

A 21-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs and remains in police custody.

The latest seizure means hundreds of plants worth more than £100,000 have now been seized in less than seven days, according to West Yorkshire Police.

Sunday’s warrant followed the seizure of about 400 cannabis plants at a former commercial property on Bradford Road on the outskirts of Dewsbury town centre the previous Sunday.

Insp Graham Dyson said: “The two cannabis farms officers found in Huddersfield and Dewsbury were both of a sizeable scale and police inquiries are continuing in both investigations.

“I want to thank those who contact us with information about suspected drugs production in their communities and encourage them to keep getting in touch."

Councils have been adopting the wildflower verges to brighten up roadsides.
It's hoped more wildflowers will be used to help insects and bees survive.

Major delays continue on M62 due to lorry fire

Drivers are being warned to continue to expect big delays on the M62 near Huddersfield after a lorry fire between J21 and J22 eastbound.

Fire on M62
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

The road remains closed eastbound with major delays in the area and emergency services and Highways England traffic officers remain at the scene.

There are currently about five miles of congestion in both directions approaching the closure, according to Highways England.

Eastbound road users are being advised to divert by following the solid triangle symbol on road signs.

Drivers are being asked to leave the M62 at J21, take the second exit off the roundabout onto the A6193 eastbound, then take the A640 southbound, then follow the A672 northbound to re-join the M62 at J22

Additional journey times also expected on the diversion routes, Highways England says.

Lorry blaze closes stretch of M62 near Huddersfield

Drivers are being urged to avoid the M62 west of Huddersfield as fire crews tackle a blazing lorry.

Lorry on fire
Greater Manchester fire & Rescue Service

Firefighters are dealing with the fire which has sent huge plumes of thick, dark smoke into the air, between junctions 21 and J22.

Fire crews tackling lorry fire
Greater Manchester fire & Rescue Service

The road is currently closed in both directions and a diversion has been put in place.

Highways England says there are currently five miles of queues in both directions approaching the road closure.

Care home behind rise in Covid-19 infection rate - Council

An outbreak of coronavirus at a care home in Kirklees is behind a recent increase in the district's infection rate, the council has said.

People wearing masks
EPA/Andy Rain

The latest coronavirus data shows a 12% rise in infection rates in Kirklees last week after dropping by nearly a quarter the previous week.

Kirklees council said the “slight increase” was mostly due to an outbreak at a care home in the north of the district "which has now been contained".

The infection rate rose from 21.2 per 100,000 the previous week to 23.7 last week, government figures show.

The current national rate is 9.3, while the current West Yorkshire average rate standing at 27.9.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, strategic director for public health at Kirklees Council, said: "An encouraging sign is that we are no longer within the 10 highest areas for positive infection rates.

"This is a credit to local people and the efforts you are all going to, but please keep it up as our rates have increased and are still above the national average so we need to bring them down further.

The government announced new restrictions for areas in the north of England, including Kirklees, on 30 July.

Last Friday it was confirmed that these restrictions will remain in place and will be reviewed again on Friday 14 August.

Coronavirus: 'No changes' in West Yorkshire restrictions

Communities hit by coronavirus restrictions in West Yorkshire will see no changes to the rules that were imposed last week, it's been announced.

A man wearing a mask in Bradford
PA Media

About a million people living in Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees were put under extended restrictions last week, including the banning of meeting other households in their homes and gardens.

It was being done following a spike in Covid-19 cases.

The rules impacted people in Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the current rules on gatherings will remain in place for the affected areas.

He said while it had been difficult for people, there doesn't seem to be a decrease in cases.

He said: "Unfortunately the data does not yet show a decrease in the transmission of this terrible virus. It means we must keep the current restrictions in place to allow more time for the impact of this ban on indoor gatherings to be felt, and make sure local residents and their loved ones are protected.

"We are constantly examining the data on the prevalence of the virus in these areas, and we will review the measures again next week.

"As we continue to see rising rates of the virus across Europe, it is vital we take every precaution to protect our country. I urge everyone in these areas to follow the rules, get yourself a free test as soon as you get any symptoms, and isolate if NHS Test and Trace tells you to."

Yorkshire's Friday weather forecast

BBC Weather

A largely cloudy morning with the chance of an occasional shower.

The cloud will disperse throughout the day allowing very warm sunny spells.

Tonight it will remain dry and clear with light winds:

Weather graphic
BBC

Chicks hatched from eggs seized in police raid

Four wild birds have been given a second chance at life after being found as eggs in a house by police.

Baby Golden Plover chicks
South Yorkshire Police

The four eggs, three Golden plover and one curlew, were found among a collection of 200 birds' eggs at a house in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, by police and the RSPB.

The eggs were taken to a nursery in Thorgumbald, East Yorkshire, where they were cared for until they hatched.

Charles Hardcastle from the nursery said: "We're so pleased with how well they've done, they would have had no chance of life had they been left as they were."

Curlew
South Yorkshire Police

Howard Jones, RSPB Investigations Officer, said: "We're delighted to see a happy end to this story.

"Thankfully very few egg collecting cases come to light these days, but finding live eggs, which have then gone on to hatch, is unprecedented."

The birds were released yesterday.

A 63-year-old man has been arrested and released under investigation as inquiries are carried out by South Yorkshire Police, the National Wildlife Crime Unit and the RSPB.

Yorkshire's Thursday weather forecast

BBC Weather

A misty and muggy start today, becoming largely dry and warm, with areas of cloud around.

The cloud will disperse in the afternoon to allow for some sunny spells.

Tonight will be mostly dry and mild with large areas of cloud and light southerly winds:

Weather graphic
BBC

Fines brought in to enforce new coronavirus rules

New rules making it illegal for people from different households to meet in a private home or garden have come in to force in parts of West Yorkshire.

Coronavirus testing centre, Bradford
PA Media

Fines ranging from £100 up to £3,200 can now be issued to anyone caught breaking the regulations.

The new restrictions were announced late on Thursday night following a spike in cases of Covid-19 in Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees as well as in Greater Manchester and east Lancashire

What is the law from 5 August?

Restrictions:

  • No gatherings in private dwellings of two or more people within the protected area
  • Someone living in the protected area cannot meet anyone else inside a private dwelling outside the area
  • Both of these apply only if the people are from different households or protective bubbles

Exemptions:

  • Attending someone giving birth, at their request
  • Visiting if they "reasonably believe" someone is dying as long as they are a close family member or a close friend (or anyone if the dying person has no close family or friends)
  • Fulfilling legal obligations
  • Necessary for work, volunteering, education, registered childcare
  • Providing emergency assistance or avoiding injury
  • Moving house
  • Continue access to children with separated parents

A dwelling does not include hotels, hostels, care homes and children's homes.

Details of new West Yorkshire restrictions published

Kevin Larkin

Political reporter, BBC Radio Leeds

The new restrictions in Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale have now been given legal power thanks to new documents published today.

A man wears a mask in Bradford
PA Media

The new laws, which come in to force from Wednesday, allow West Yorkshire Police to issue £100 fines to people who break the rules which were brought in last week.

The fines also double each time someone breaks the rules up to a huge £3,200.

Details are also out of some of the exemptions.

These range from matters of life and death - allowing midwives to enter homes to help with births and also allowing family and friends to say goodbye to dying relatives - to the more unusual - for example Olympic and Paralympic athletes in the areas can still train with a coach.

We also know now that a houseboat counts as a house for the purposes of the rules.

Although concerns still remain about how likely it is that West Yorkshire Police will be able to enforce the rules in practice.

They have until the law is reviewed by the 19 August to try and work it out.

Origami angels raise more than £130,000

Thousands of paper angels have taken flight above the nave of Ripon Cathedral where they will flutter above worshippers throughout August and September.

Origami angels
Ripon Cathedral

About 10,000 of the origami creations were handmade by more than 100 volunteers during the coronavirus lockdown and feature prayers offered to loved ones and key workers.

The project has so far raised over £130,000, which will be split between the cathedral and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Angels above the nave
Ripon Cathedral

The cathedral's Canon Michael Gisbourne told BBC Radio York's Georgey Spanswick the angels cover the whole length and width of the nave - you can hear the interview by clicking this link.

Government to invest £115m in Covid-19 recovery projects

The Government has announced more than 50 projects across Yorkshire will share £115m to build homes, infrastructure and create jobs as part of the region's economic recovery from coronavirus.

digger
PA Media

The successful projects will receive a portion of the £900 million Getting Building Fund which was announced by the Prime Minister in June.

Among the projects to benefit are upgrades to cycling infrastructure in East Yorkshire, improvements to Barnsley town centre, the redevelopment of the George Hotel in Huddersfield and improving older terraced homes in the Holbeck area of Leeds.

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis, which secured more than £33m, said: "This investment will strengthen our digital infrastructure, improve learning spaces within our schools and colleges, support businesses and create new walking and cycling infrastructure.

"It will help our effort to make South Yorkshire stronger, greener and fairer as we build back from COVID."

Leader of Leeds City Council Judith Blake, which was awarded £18m, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding as it will allow us to press ahead with three shovel-ready schemes in Leeds.

"These are all projects that will help reduce our city’s carbon impact and help the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic."

Man admits manslaughter of York student

A man has admitted killing student Bethany Fields, who was stabbed in the street in Huddersfield.

Bethany Fields
West Yorkshire Police

Paul Crowther pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 21-year-old Ms Fields, from Leeds, who died in the town's Fitzwilliam Street in September.

At Leeds Crown Court, Crowther entered a not guilty plea to a charge of murder.

The case was adjourned until 21 August and Crowther of Elm Way, Birstall, West Yorkshire, was remanded in custody.

The student's family in a statement after her death that she was "a daughter, who any parent would have been proud of, much loved and respected by all; family, friends, work colleagues and fellow students".

Ms Fields, an environmental geography student at the University of York, was also described as "the brightest star of them all".

Huddersfield MP apologises for alleged anti-Semitic tweet

A campaign group has called on a Labour MP to lose the party whip over an alleged anti-Semitic tweet.

Barry Sheerman
BBC

Barry Sheerman tweeted about a "run on silver shekels" in an apparent reference to a rumour about two high profile Jewish businessmen missing out on peerages.

The Huddersfield MP deleted the post and said he was "deeply sorry that my clumsy tweet has caused offence".

The Campaign Against Antisemitism said he should face disciplinary action.

A spokesperson for the group said: "His first reaction on hearing two prominent Jewish businessmen supposedly missed out on peerages is to think about 'silver shekels', alluding to both classic and modern anti-Semitic tropes about Jews corrupting politics with money."

After deleting the tweet Mr Sherman posted another tweet saying: "I apologise for my earlier tweet. I did not intend the meaning which has upset many, and I am very sorry for the upset and offense I have caused."

In June, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer dismissed MP Rebecca Long-Bailey from her role as shadow education secretary saying she had retweeted an article containing an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

Yorkshire's Monday weather forecast

BBC Weather

A dry day with sunny spells, with cloud developing in the afternoon and a few thundery showers later.

Tonight there will be some patchy cloud with the occasional shower, but it will become dry with clear spells as the night progresses:

Weather graphic
BBC

Halifax MP thanks people observing new coronavirus rules

The MP for Halifax has thanked people in parts of West Yorkshire for observing new rules banning separate households from meeting each other at home, after a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Holly Lynch
UK Parliament

People in parts of northern England, including Calderdale, Bradford and Kirklees, are now not allowed to meet in homes or private gardens.

Individual households will still be able to go to pubs and restaurants, but not mix with another household.

The timing of the new restrictions, which were announced late last night, is expected to have a major impact on Eid celebrations.

Writing on social media, MP Holly Lynch said: "I know this is not how Muslims across Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford had hoped to spend Eid al-Adha, but thank you for observing the new rules.

"Let's keep each other safe - best wishes for a safe, joyous and blessed day."

Leader criticises 'insensitive timing' of new restrictions

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The leader of Kirklees Council has criticised the "insensitive timing" of the announcement of further coronavirus restrictions for the area.

Councillor Shabir Pandor
Kirklees Council

Labour councillor Shabir Pandor has asked for a “clear rationale” for government actions given that infection rates in the borough had dropped.

He said: “We deserve answers and I will hold the government to account on this, because people across Kirklees have made many sacrifices in the past few months and we are now being asked to make more.

“I will be talking with ministers about how we can make sure these restrictions are temporary and if we continue to see a fall in cases here, I will be arguing strongly for them to be lifted as soon as possible.”

He added: “As soon as the government started to release local data on infections, we took quick and decisive action to get rates down and over the past week, we’ve seen a significant fall in the rate of infection."

He offered sympathy to those people preparing to celebrate Eid and said he was frustrated for those affected by the new measures.

Watch: Your questions answered on new local lockdown

BBC Look North

New local lockdown restrictions have been introduced in some parts of West Yorkshire today.

The rules ban separate households in Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford from meeting each other at home after a spike in Covid-19 cases.

We're answering any questions you might have with BBC Yorkshire's political editor James Vincent and virologist Professor Mark Harris:

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Local lockdown 'not postcode-based' - Bradford Council

People who pay council tax to specific councils are affected by the new local coronavirus lockdown rules, according to one West Yorkshire council.

A Covid-19 testing centre in Bradford
Danny Lawson/PA Media

Some social media users have expressed confusion over who is affected by new rules which were brought in overnight in Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees.

Following a spike in coronavirus cases in those areas, they will now be subject to extra rules.

Designed to slow the spread of the virus, separate households living in those areas have been banned from meeting each other indoors and in their gardens.

Bradford Council says the lockdown is not based on specific postcodes, but rather on who you pay your council tax to.

Breaking'Higher risk settings' reopenings postponed

As coronavirus infection rates begin to rise again in England, the government has postponed the reopening of "high risk settings" such as casinos and bowling alleys for a fortnight.

Boris Johnson
PA Media

At a press conference, Boris Johnson said the government needed to take "swift, decisive action", and would "squeeze the break pedal" on reopening society.

Changes to wedding celebrations will also be postponed, he added.

The PM says people in England would also be encouraged to wear face coverings in new settings - such as museums - from 8 August.

The prime minister said planned reopenings for 1 August will be postponed for a fortnight.

At a national press conference Boris Johnson said: "With those numbers creeping up, our assessment is that we should squeeze that brake pedal... in order to keep the virus under control.

"That means until August 15 at the earliest casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and the remaining close-contact services must remain closed.

"Indoor performances will not resume, pilots of larger gatherings in sports venues and conference centres will not take place, and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted."

Boris Johnson said: "I know that the steps we are taking will be a real blow to many people, to everyone whose wedding plans have been disrupted or who cannot now celebrate Eid in the way that they would wish. And I'm really, really sorry about that but we cannot simply take the risk."

New lockdown: 'Would they do this on Christmas Eve?'

The timing of new coronavirus lockdown restrictions which have been introduced in parts of northern England will have a major impact on Eid celebrations, an organisation representing Muslims in part of West Yorkshire has said.

Eid prayer service
EPA/SERGEI ILNITSKY

The restrictions, which ban separate households in areas including Calderdale, Bradford and Kirklees, from meeting each other at home after a spike in Covid-19 cases, were announced last night and came into force at midnight.

The changes come as Muslim communities celebrate Eid, and nearly four weeks after restrictions were eased across England - allowing people to meet indoors for the first time since late March.

Yunus Lunat, from the Indian Muslim Welfare Society in Batley, has criticised what he calls a "lack of awareness" at the government level.

He says: "The problem for the Muslim community, certainly that I represent in Batley, with it being Eid today, is what data became available so late in the day last night for this to be announced at three hours' notice?

"Would they do this on Christmas Eve? On the government website it refers to Muslims celebrating Eid this weekend. No, we're celebrating Eid three hours after the announcement."