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National League's three divisions suspended indefinitely

BBC Sport

The three divisions of England's National League have been suspended indefinitely because of coronavirus.

The competition had been originally postponed until 3 April but that has now been extended following a board meeting on Tuesday.

It comes after all non-league football in steps three to seven wasended immediately on Thursdaywith no promotion or relegation.

The National League said it was looking at "how best to conclude" the season.

But it is not yet known if the competition, which is made up of the National League, National League North and National League South, will also be cancelled with all results expunged.

Stockport County currently lie seventh in the National League, occupying the final play-off place, while AFC Fylde and Chorley sit in the bottom two places, facing relegation.

One league down, both Altrincham and Chester are in contention for promotion in the National League North, placed fifth and seventh respectively, while Southport sit mid-table in 12th and Curzon Ashton lie just above the relegation zone in 18th.

Severe disruption: M62 West Yorkshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M62 West Yorkshire eastbound severe disruption, at J25 for A644 Wakefield Road.

M62 West Yorkshire - One lane closed on M62 eastbound at J25, A644 (Brighouse), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Rochdale food parcels were 'additional supplies', says Defra

We reported earlier that Rochdale Council topped up "unhealthy" government food supplies for people most at risk from Covid-19.

Food items
Rochdale Council

It said the first delivery, received on Monday, consisted of chocolate bars, biscuits, cordial, teabags, noodles and an apple.

Council leader Allen Brett called on the government to improve them and claimed other areas are getting "more nutritionally balanced" ones.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has responded by saying the items were to supplement councils' provisions and "should not be confused with" its food boxes containing enough food for one person for a week it was delivering directly to vulnerable people.

Public asked to report takeaways ignoring new rules

Local Democracy Reporting Service

People living in Trafford are being asked by the council to report takeaways not complying with the new restrictions issued by the government.

Takeaway pizza
Getty Images

Trafford Council said it has instructed restaurants and cafes to not allow customers into their buildings when picking food up.

The guidelines also include staggering customer collection times, and only taking orders over the telephone and online.

Councillor Mike Freeman said:

Takeaways can perform an important role in our communities, especially for our key workers but we want to ensure they are safe and that they offer a sensible and careful approach to customers.

Residents who spot takeaways breaking the rules are being encouraged to email Trafford Council.

Unauthorised closures of Peak District routes

Sandish Shoker

BBC News

The Peak District National Park says it has received reports of unauthorised closures of footpaths and legal rights of way.

It said unofficial signs had been erected by footpaths with some being closed-off or blocked for access in Buxton and Hayfield, Derbyshire.

It said some Peak District residents had been prevented from being able to exercise locally, while those who are key workers have reported their route to work being inaccessible and their cars being targeted with signs about staying at home.

Signs in Peak District
Peak District Park Authority

Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the Peaks authority said: "I can understand a reaction to the high numbers of visitors we saw last week could, for some, be seen as needing to set up makeshift closures and blockages to rights of way.

"However, this is unauthorised activity....There have been no changes to rights of way legislation as a result of the COVID-19 measures."

The authority said any signs referencing the Peak District being closed were not in line in their official signage and thanked people who had listened to advice and stayed at home, or exercised closer to home.

Manchester over-65s to receive activity packs

More than 600 elderly residents living in Manchester will receive activity packs to keep them engaged while staying at home.

Activity pack letters and drawings
Manchester Cares

Volunteers from community charity Manchester Cares have posted 630 letters of support, drawings and poems to people aged over 65 suffering from loneliness.

The Alone Together packs contain an activity to complete for each day in April.

Police 'amazed' by Manchester to Leeds food run

Police in West Yorkshire say they've been left "amazed" by a motorist who drove more than 40 miles from Manchester to Leeds to go food shopping.

POlice car in Leeds street
West Yorkshire Police/@WYP_RPU

Officers say the man, and the friends he collected on route, have "all been dealt with."

Writing on social media police said: "This is serious stuff people, think!"

Severe disruption: M61 Greater Manchester southbound

BBC News Travel

M61 Greater Manchester southbound severe disruption, at J6 for A6027 De Havilland Way.

M61 Greater Manchester - M61 lane closed on exit slip road southbound at J6, A6027 (Horwich), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Tower to be lit up blue for NHS thank you

A tower in West Yorkshire is to be lit up blue every night as a way of saying thank you to doctors, nurses and NHS staff.

Wainhouse Tower
Calderdale Council

Standing at 253ft (77m) tall Wainhouse Tower near Halifax was built in the late 19th Century by John Edward Wainhouse.

Calderdale Council now says it's to light the tower blue to thank those on the frontline fighting the coronavirus.

A man was seriously injured in the 'explosion' at the Ravensthorpe house
Fire officers say the cause of the blast in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, is not yet known.

Severe disruption: M62 Greater Manchester eastbound

BBC News Travel

M62 Greater Manchester eastbound severe disruption, from J19 for A6046 Middleton Road to J20 for A627.

M62 Greater Manchester - One lane closed on M62 eastbound from J19, A6046 (Heywood) to J20 A627(M) J3 Rochdale, because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M1 West Yorkshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 West Yorkshire southbound severe disruption, at J41 for A650.

M1 West Yorkshire - M1 exit slip road partially blocked southbound at J41, A650 (Carrgate), because of an overturned car. Traffic is coping well.

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

NHS worker stabbed to death in Barnsley named by police

An NHS worker found stabbed to death at a house in Barnsley has been named by police.

Victoria Woodhall
Family photo

Victoria Woodhall, 31, was found dead at a house in Windsor Crescent on Sunday evening. A post-mortem examination revealed she died from multiple stab wounds.

Earlier today, 40-year-old Craig Woodhall, appeared at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court charged with murder. He has been remanded in custody to appear at Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday.

Mother-of-three Ms Woodhall was an operating department practitioner at Rotherham General Hospital.

A GoFundMe page set up by her friends, Donna Wetherall and Kelly Sims to raise money towards funeral costs and to help her children has raised more than £5,000 in 24 hours.

Severe disruption: M1 West Yorkshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 West Yorkshire southbound severe disruption, at J41 for A650.

M1 West Yorkshire - M1 exit slip road partially blocked southbound at J41, A650 (Carrgate), because of an overturned car. Traffic is coping well.

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

In pictures: Latest images from Ravensthorpe 'explosion'

These are the latest pictures from the scene of a house explosion in West Yorkshire in which two men were injured, one seriously.

It happened at about 11:30 on Crescent Walk in Ravensthorpe near Dewsbury.

West Yorkshire Police say the property suffered significant damage and was on fire when firefighters arrived.

scene of explosion
Emergency services at scene of house explosion
Emergency service at scene

Rochdale leader angry at quality of government food packages

Rochdale Council are "taking steps to improve the quality of the government food parcels for people most at risk from coronavirus" after the ones sent to residents were found to be "not of the quality we were expecting", according to its leader.

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A council spokesman said the parcels that arrived in Rochdale on Monday were expected to contain "essential food and household items such as pasta, fruit, tinned goods and biscuits".

However, he said they actually had tea bags, cordial, a single apple, chocolate bars, dry noodles and gingerbread men inside and only 44 were sent, despite the borough having 129 people classed as needing them.

As a result, the council added extra items including milk, bread and tinned meat and fruit.

Council leader Allen Brett said other areas had received better quality packages and it was "not clear" why Rochdale had not been sent the same.

He added:

Everyone appreciates that this is an unprecedented situation but the parcels that have been provided were not of the quality we were expecting.

The people receiving these parcels are likely to be alone and quite possibly afraid, so there must be a greater effort to provide them with everything they need to get through this.

We are doing all that we can, I expect government to do the same.

The government has been contacted for comment.

Two injured in suspected explosion at house

A 55-year-old man has been seriously injured in a suspected explosion at a house in Ravensthorpe.

scene of explosion

Emergency services were called to Crescent Walk, in Ravensthorpe, near Dewsbury, shortly after 11.30 this morning to reports of a house fire.

West Yorkshire Police said on arrival the property had suffered "significant damage and was on fire".

The force said a 55-year-old man has been taken to hospital for treatment, though his injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

A second male is being treated for a head injury suffered after he was hit by flying debris.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.

Man in court charged with 'coughing at police officer'

A man has appeared in court charged with assaulting an emergency worker after allegedly coughing at an officer and claiming to have coronavirus.

Bradford Magistrates Court
David Dixon/Geograph

The incident is said to have happened when officers attended a report of a disturbance in Sowerby Bridge, according to West Yorkshire Police.

While officers were there it is alleged that Jason Roberts, 45, of Athol Gardens, Ovenden, coughed at an officer, saying he had coronavirus.

Mr Roberts appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court yesterday and was remanded on bail.

He is due to appear at Bradford Magistrates' Court on 20 April.

'How do I get a food parcel?'

BBC Business News

Free food boxes containing essential supplies have been delivered in England to people considered to be at the highest risk from coronavirus.

One-and-a-half million people in England have been identified as being extremely medically vulnerable and the government will distribute free food parcels every week to more than 50,000 who have no family or friends to help them.

Government food parcel
PA Media

The identical parcels contain essential non-perishable supplies like pasta, cereal, fruit, tea bags, potatoes and tinned goods, as well as toilet paper.

A food distribution company will deliver the packs to people's doorsteps, although in some cases local authorities, charities or emergency services may help out.

You can register for support on the government website.

BreakingFire service respond to 'explosion' in Ravensthorpe

Fire crews and other emergency services are at the scene of an incident in Ravensthorpe.

West Yorkshire fire service say they were called at 11:37 today to reports of an explosion on Crescent Walk.

It is believed to be in a house.

Crews from Cleckheaton, Mirfield, Dewsbury, Rastrick, Ossett and Morley are at the scene.

An aerial appliance has also been deployed by the fire service.

Blog 'opens bowels of Manchester Central Library'

A new blog which will see staff "opening up the bowels of Manchester Central Library" and offering readers an insight into its "fantastic and unique special collections" has been launched by the city's library services.

The Underground Manchester Central Library is a reaction to "these peculiar times of social isolation and mass toilet roll panic" and will focus on the best of the 40,000 rare volumes held by the library, a spokeswoman said.

She added:

During the closure period, we will be spotlighting some of these individual treasures or collections, from the internationally renowned to the quirky and those with a Manchester connection.

View more on twitter

Pedestrian dies after Sheffield collision

A man has died a week after a collision in Sheffield, police say.

Beet Street

The 51-year-old pedestrian was involved in a collison with a black Skoda Yeti on Tuesday 24 March at about 19:10.

It happened on Beet Street, Netherthorpe.

The man was taken to hospital with serious injuries. He has since died.

Any witnesses to the incident, especially those who may have dash cameras video, are being asked to come forward.

Driver hospitalised after Glossop crash

Liam Barnes

BBC News

Glossop crash
Derbyshire Police

A motorist has been taken to hospital after a car crashed into four parked vehicles in Glossop.

Officers were called to the scene on High Street East at about 07:00 this morning.

Derbyshire Police said the driver has "serious but not life-threatening" injuries, and urged any witnesses to contact officers.

Glossop crash
Derbyshire Police

Severe disruption: M62 Greater Manchester westbound

BBC News Travel

M62 Greater Manchester westbound severe disruption, between J12 for M60 M602 and J11 for A574 Birchwood Way.

M62 Greater Manchester - One lane blocked on M62 westbound between J12, M60 (Eccles Interchange) and J11, A574 (Birchwood), because of debris on the road. Traffic is coping well. In the roadworks area.

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

Missing Leeds woman found 'safe and well'

A 31-year-old woman who had been missing from the Holbeck area of Leeds since 20 March has been found.

West Yorkshire Police said Roxanne Bootland had been found "safe and well".

Burnley 'open stadium to NHS trust'

Burnley say they made facilities at their Turf Moor stadium "available to the NHS to cope with potential added demands of the coronavirus pandemic".

Turf Moor
Graham Hogg/Geograph

The football club say parts of the stadium, starting with the Elite Training Centre, will be opened to East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust "to help them deal with any necessary extra hospital capacity in and around Burnley".

Chief executive Neil Hart said the "safety and well-being of everyone in our area is our primary concern", but the Clarets would also be "paying our own tribute" to NHS staff when the crisis passes.

We will willingly allow the trust to utilise facilities at Turf Moor to help manage their demand in any way we can.

Beyond that, when football resumes we will be paying our own tribute and saying thanks to the key workers of the NHS for the incredible jobs they are doing.

Final plans will need to be determined around a restart of the game, but we will be hosting a day of full engagement and participation for NHS employees on a matchday in the future.

Sheffield man stuck in Africa after flight cancelled

A man from Sheffield who is stuck in West Africa says he is unsure if he is eligible to be flown home under the the Government's plans to repatriate UK tourists stranded overseas.

Adam Bradford
Adam Bradford

Adam Bradford, 27 was meant to fly home from Cotonou, in Benin, on 19 March.

However, his flight was cancelled and prices for tickets have risen to more than £4,000.

The government announced yesterday that it has made an arrangement with airlines to fly home tens of thousands of stranded British travellers where commercial flights are no longer available.

But Mr Bradford says it was unclear what constituted a priority country and didn't know if he was included.

He said: "I have overstayed my visa and cannot get an extension. Thus I am here illegally until further notice."

He said that shortly after the announcement, he was told by the nearest British embassy, across the border in Ghana, that Benin did not constitute a priority country.

Mr Bradford said he is now looking for affordable flights in May, but added: "But they could well be cancelled, the ones before it were."

Supermarket sales in March 'busier than Christmas'

BBC Business News

Sales of groceries in the UK in March beat all previous records as shoppers stocked up for a long period at home, according to consumer analysts Kantar.

Supermarket queues

The busiest spell was 16-19 March, when 88% of households visited a food store, adding up to 42 million extra trips across four days.

In the last four weeks, year-on-year supermarket sales grew by 20.6%.

Kantar's Fraser McKevitt said £10.8bn sales in the past four weeks were "even higher than levels seen at Christmas".

Severe disruption: M56 Cheshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M56 Cheshire eastbound severe disruption, between J11 for A56 Chester Road and J10 for A49 Tarporley Road.

M56 Cheshire - One lane closed on M56 eastbound between J11, A56 (Preston Brook) and J10, A49 (Stretton), because of a break down and recovery work.

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

Severe disruption: M60 Greater Manchester clockwise

BBC News Travel

M60 Greater Manchester clockwise severe disruption, between J13 for A575 Walkden Road and J15 for M61.

M60 Greater Manchester - One lane closed on M60 clockwise between J13, A575 (Worsley) and J15, M61 (Swinton Interchange), because of debris on the road. Traffic is coping well.

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

Free school meals children to get food vouchers


Families with children eligible for free school meals in England will be able to claim weekly shopping vouchers while schools are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, say ministers.

Children in school dinner queue

The scheme will allow schools to issue vouchers worth £15 a week per child.

Headteachers have warned that even with the vouchers, some parents will struggle to feed their children.

But the Department for Education says the rate exceeds that normally paid to schools for free school meals.

'Concern' over Leeds woman missing for more than a week

There are concerns for the welfare of a woman who has been missing from Leeds for more than a week.

Roxanne Bootland
West Yorkshire Police

Roxanne Bootland (pictured), 31, was last seen on 20 March in the Holbeck area, according to West Yorkshire Police.

She's described as white, about 5ft 9ins tall, with red long hair, blue eyes and tattoos on the back of her neck, right hand and left leg.

When last seen she was wearing black jeans, a white shirt, black high-heel boots and a black denim jacket.

Anyone who sees her is being asked to contact police.

Police told to be 'consistent' on lockdown powers


Police officers have been told to take a "consistent" approach when ensuring people comply with emergency measures aimed at curbing coronavirus.


Guidance to officers calls on forces to "coordinate" efforts and emphasises the importance of professionalism.

It comes amid criticism of the way some forces have handled the new measures.

A former Justice of the Supreme Court told the BBC one force's use of drones to film walkers in the Peak District had been "disgraceful".

But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said police forces were doing a difficult job and being sensible about enforcing social distancing measures.

Yorkshire MPs on life working from home

James Vincent

Political Editor BBC Look North

As many of us ditch the office and instead work from home, MPs across Yorkshire are doing the same.

Holly Lynch
Holly Lynch

Halifax Labour MP Holly Lynch (pictured above) says she has a team logging on to help constituents despite all of them being at home.

She said: "My team and I have been trying to deal with as many phone calls and emails from constituents, trying to answer questions.

"We held things like the Home Affairs Select Committee via Skype, connecting with other MPs.

Rother Valley Conservative MP Alexander Stafford (pictured below) has been working from his kitchen table and says he's been getting up to 500 emails a day about coronavirus.

He said he's setting up a regular call for his constituencies where they can chat, not necessarily about politics, and have a cup a tea together to beat isolation.

Alexander Stafford
Alexander Stafford

Severe disruption: M61 Greater Manchester both ways

BBC News Travel

M61 Greater Manchester both ways severe disruption, from J2 for to J1 for M60 J15.

M61 Greater Manchester - One lane closed on M61 from J2 to J1, M60 (Swinton Interchange), because of debris on the road. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire northbound severe disruption, from J22 for A49 Winwick Link Road to J23 for A580 East Lancashire Road.

M6 Cheshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound in Merseyside from J22, A49 (Newton Le Willows) to J23, A580 (Haydock), because of an obstruction. Traffic is coping well.

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

Sixty-six non-league clubs send open letter to FA over expunging season

BBC Sport

Sixty-six non-league clubs - including North West sides 1874 Northwich, AFC Liverpool and Bootle - have sent an open letter to the Football Association, calling for it to "urgently" reconsider the decision to expunge their seasons.

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It was announced last week that football in England below the National League's three divisions would end immediately with results expunged.

It means there will be no promotion or relegation in these 91 leagues. The same applies in the women's game below the Women's Super League and Championship level.

The decision is yet to be ratified by the FA Council.