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  1. Knowsley named as worst performing authority for secondary schools in England
  2. North West Ambulance Service requires improvement, inspectors say
  3. Cheshire Police to investigate abuse of 83 footballers
  4. Updates on Thursday 19 January

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Live updates from Merseyside and west Cheshire have finished for the day, but we'll be back from 08:00 on Friday with more news, sport, travel and weather updates from across the region.

Weather: Cloudy night, drizzle on the way

Lucy Martin

BBC Weather

Overnight it will stay cloudy, with further patchy light rain and drizzle for some, particularly over the hills.

The cloud cover will keep the temperatures from falling too far, with most places staying frost-free. Highs of 9C.

More from BBC weather

Shock after 'targeted' shooting in Stockbridge Village

Liverpool Echo

Neighbours reacted with shock after a man was blasted in the leg and buttock in what police said was a "targeted" shooting in Stockbridge Village.  

Get involved with the FA People's Cup

Get Inspired

Get Inspired

Ever dreamed of lifting a trophy on the pitch at Wembley? Well, here's your chance.

BBC Get Inspired has again teamed up with the Football Association to launch the 2017 FA People's Cup, a free five-a-side knockout competition that gives the people of England the chance to play in their version of the FA Cup.Watch as Radio 1Xtra DJ Nick Bright shows his (almost) silky ball skills, while explaining how you can get involved - and for all the information you need, read our Get Inspired guide.

Untold stories of black seafarers wanted by museum

Are your family from a seafaring background? Merseyside Maritime Museum is running a special exhibition about the hidden story of Britain’s black seafarers and their pioneering work, as well as the challenges they faced.

View more on twitter

Pay-and-display blitz to hit Wirral

Wirral Globe

A pay-parking blitz is about to hit Wirral with shopping streets, country parks and seafront promenades bearing the brunt.  

Pay and display sign

Football: Deulofeu can leave Everton says Koeman

BBC Sport

Winger Gerard Deulofeu can leave the Toffees before the January transfer window closes in order to get more games, boss Ronald Koeman says.

Gerard Deulofeu

Koeman also said the future of England defender Phil Jagielka "depends if there is interest from other clubs".

The Toffees have rejected a bid from AC Milan to take Deulofeu, 22, on loan for the remainder of the season.

Chester Zoo launch elephant name vote

Chester Zoo are giving pachyderm lovers 24 hours to vote for the name of their latest elephant calf.

The calf was born earlier this week to mum Sithami

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View more on twitter

Football: Nigeria eye young England striker Lookman

BBC Sport

Nigeria want to persuade 19-year-old Everton striker Ademola Lookman to play for them rather than England.

Everton striker Ademola Lookman

Lookman was born in England but can play for Nigeria through his parents.

He has already played for England Under-19s and U20s but can switch allegiances because he is yet to play for the senior side.

Businesses reconnected after St Helens power cut

Power has been restored to businesses in St Helens town centre following disruption to the electricity supply earlier.

Electricity pylons

Church Square Shopping Centre was temporarily closed during the cut. However, traffic lights at Chalon Way West and Linkway West A58 remain out of use.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area.

The outage is believed to be linked to construction work at Linkway West, the council says.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • More than 200 reports of historical sex abuse against 83 young footballers are being investigated by Cheshire police
  • Department for Education figures have revealed that all six of Knowsley's secondary schools are underperforming  
  • There is criticism of how the Band of Life Hillsborough memorial is being maintained after three lights have gone out - one has been out for six months

Axel the puppy's first day as Cheshire Police dog

After a public vote to name their newest recruit, Chief Constable of Cheshire Police Simon Byrne has welcomed puppy Axel to the force.

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Power outage in St Helens town centre

Part of St Helens town centre has been affected by a power cut this afternoon.

Church Square Shopping Centre is temporarily closed and traffic lights at Chalon Way West and Linkway West A58 have also been affected.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area.

The outage is believed to be linked to construction work at Linkway West, the council says.

Power cut in St Helens affecting town centre

Weather: Mainly grey but dry afternoon

BBC Weather

A mainly dry cloudy and grey afternoon with the odd spot of drizzle. Highs of 9C.

More from BBC Weather

Cheshire Police to probe abuse of 83 young footballers

More than 200 reports of historical sex abuse against 83 young footballers are being investigated by Cheshire police.

Young footballers

Cheshire Constabulary said it had identified three suspects since it started investigating in November.

The force is yet to confirm the number of Cheshire-based football clubs affected by the reports.

Young mum goes to hospital with bad back pain and leaves with new-born baby

Liverpool Echo

New mum Latisha Bishop, 21, went to hospital complaining of a bad back - and 48 hours later gave birth to a baby girl.

Tyrers building £1m makeover revealed

Developers have released images showing what the former Tyrers building in St Helens will look like after a £1m makeover.

Tyrers building in St Helens
Luxor Group

Merseyside-based Luxor Group bought the iconic building last year after the independent department store Tyrers closed.

The five-storey building on Bridge Street is set to be redeveloped for housing and retail space.

Cheshire emergency services ranked highly in LGBT charity index

Cheshire's emergency services have been placed in the top 20 of Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index.

The index is compiled by the equality charity every year and highlights those organisations which have done work "to help make sure that every LGBT employee can be themselves in the workplace".

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service were ranked as joint eighth and Cheshire Police were ranked 16th.

Lloyds Banking Group were rated as the overall best employer for LGBT people.

Sir Paul McCartney sues Sony over Beatles songs

BBC Entertainment and Arts

It could become one of the most important legal battles in music - Sir Paul McCartney is suing Sony over control of The Beatles' back catalogue.

Sir Paul McCartney
AFP/Getty Images

The star has gone to a US court, seeking to regain the publishing rights to 267 of the band's classic songs.

He's been trying to get them back since the 1980s, when Michael Jackson famously out-bid him for the rights.

Jackson's debt-ridden estate sold the songs to Sony last year, along with others including New York, New York.

Sir Paul's legal case, filed in a Manhattan court on Wednesday, is over what is known as copyright termination - the right of authors to reclaim ownership of their works from music publishers after a specific length of time has passed.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

NWAS chief 'accepts' need for improvement after CQC report

The Chief Executive for the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust says he "accepts" comments from the Care Quality Commission that the service requires improvement, but believes some issues have already been addressed.

Getty Images

The service was given a "requires improvements" rating in safety and leadership, but was rated good for being caring, effective and responsive.

The NWAS, which receives more than 1.3 million calls a year, currently has a 16% vacancy rate for paramedics, and has recently had to recruit 35 from Europe.

I was extremely pleased to hear that the CQC believes our staff to be caring and compassionate and that we regard safety and quality as a priority.

We accept the comments in the report relating to improvements required for procedures, guidelines and training, however the inspection took place almost ten months ago and the majority of the points highlighted have already been addressed.

Derek CartwrightNorth West Ambulance Service Chief Executive

Knowsley 'taking positive action' to deal with secondary schools underperformance

Knowsley Council says it is taking "positive action to drive up standards" in the borough's secondary schools after figures published today revealed it has the highest percentage of underperforming secondary schools in the country.


The DfE looks at pupils' performance throughout secondary school and their results across eight GCSE qualifications. 

All six of Knowsley's secondaries - four of which are academies - failed hit the targets, giving the authority a 100% underperformance rate. 

In a statement, Knowsley Council said: 

We have been aware of these results since the summer and are naturally disappointed in the outcome.

We recently invested £1m to establish an Education Commission for Knowsley, made up of local, regional and national education leaders.

The commission is focussing its work on the six secondary schools in Knowsley to provide support and challenge to drive up standards and attainment levels.

Plymouth and Liverpool fans unite to mark death of supporter

Football fans united last night in a show of support for the family of a man who died during an FA Cup match.

Plymouth and Liverpool fans stood and applauded in the 25th minute during a FA Cup third round replay at Home Park.

Daniel, 25 - who was quadriplegic, blind and had cerebral palsy - died in hospital during the first tie at Anfield on 8 January.

His father Kevin found out during the match and was comforted by stewards at the stadium.

DfE reveals 100% of Knowlsey's secondary schools are underperforming

Marc Gaier

Reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

Department for Education figures have revealed that all six of Knowsley's secondary schools are underperforming.

The figures also show underperformance, defined as being below the government's floor standard, at 37.5% of secondary schools in Halton, 30% in St Helens, 29% in Liverpool, 15.8% in Sefton, 15% in Wirral and 5.3% in Cheshire West and Chester.

Warrington was shown to have no underperforming secondary schools.

The figures use a new measure of performance, which was recently introduced and is based on GCSE results from grades A* to G across eight subjects, known as Attainment 8, along with another measure, known as Progress 8.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

Severe accident: M53 Merseyside northbound

BBC Travel

M53 Merseyside northbound severe accident, between J4 for A5137 and J3 for A552.

M53 Merseyside - Heavy traffic and two lanes closed on M53 northbound between J4, A5137 (Bebington) and J3, A552 (Woodchurch), because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Bishop James Jones given freedom of Liverpool for Hillsborough work

The bishop who was a key figure in the campaign to uncover the truth about the Hillsborough disaster is to receive the Freedom of Liverpool.

Bishop Jones
Getty Images

Bishop James Jones chaired the Hillsborough Independent Panel, whose report led to the quashing of the 1989 tragedy's inquest verdicts.

The cleric will be honoured later at a ceremony in the city.

Bishop Jones, 68, was made Knight Commander last year for his services to the Hillsborough Inquiry.

Probe into Stockbridge Village suspected shooting

An investigation has been launched into a suspected shooting in Stockbridge Village.

Marled Hey

A man in his 20s needed hospital treatment last night for injuries to his leg and buttock.

It is thought the incident happened in Marled Hey at about 19:00.

Police at scene of 'peaceful protest' in Cheshire

Cheshire Police say they have increased patrols in the village of Ince near Ellesmere Port, because of a protest. 

The demonstration is thought to be taking place in the area of Pool Lane.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Liverpool gas leak: Engineers carrying out repairs

Engineers from Scottish Power are continuing to carry out repair work, following a gas leak in Liverpool city centre. 

London Road

Around 20 buildings had to be evacuated, after a gas line was broken on Moss Street yesterday afternoon. 

It emerged an electricity cable had burnt through a gas main while work took place near a disused pub.

Motorists are being advised to avoid London Road and Norton Street, while the work is carried out this morning.

Roads: Demonstration causing disruption in Ince, Cheshire

BBC Travel

There is heavy traffic on Pool Lane in Ince, Cheshire from the A5117 junction because of a demonstration. Police are directing traffic.

Latest from BBC Travel

North West Ambulance Service 'requires improvement'

The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust has been told it "requires improvement" by a health regulator.


The Care Quality Commission report was compiled after a five-day announced visit and a surprise inspection.

Concerns included a high level of vacancies among front-line paramedics, the trust's complaints policy and mental capacity assessments.

But the inspection also praised three areas of "outstanding practice" and the trust's "exceptionally caring" staff.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

Roads: Street closure after gas leak in Liverpool city centre

BBC Travel

Moss Street in Liverpool is closed in both directions between the Islington junction and the London Road junction because of a gas leak.

Latest from BBC Travel

Weather: Cloudy and mainly dry

BBC Weather

A mostly dry and cloudy day. Some light rain and drizzle at times. Highs of 8C.  

More from BBC Weather

Good morning: Join us for today's live news coverage

Jenny Coleman

Reporter, BBC Local Live

Hello from Liverpool, I'm here with all your news, sport, travel and weather updates from across Merseyside and west Cheshire today. 

If you've got a story you'd like me to hear about or a photograph you'd like to share, you can contact me on email, Facebook or Twitter.