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Summary

  1. Updates on Tuesday 24 January
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates resume at 08:00 on Wednesday

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 Wednesday with the latest news, sport, weather and travel from across the region.

Weather: Breezy night

BBC Weather

Cloudy and breezy for most overnight with further outbreaks of mostly light rain and drizzle, particularly over the hills. Risk of patchy frost in places by dawn.

Lows of 4C overnight

More from BBC Weather

Liverpool bride-to-be slims down to half her weight

A bride-to-be from Liverpool has shed more than 9 stone after being ashamed that she could not fit into a rollercoaster seat.

Jennifer Ginley
PA

Jennifer Ginley, 26, won a slimming award after dropping more than half her original 19 stone weight.

The Citizens Advice caseworker was given the Slimming World award after joining in May 2015 after finding herself "buying size-26 clothes" for a holiday she had booked.

"I had to ask for a seatbelt extender on the plane, I spent our time there having to ride on the adjusted seats for larger people. I knew something had to change," she said.

Jennifer Ginley
PA

Now she is preparing to get married and said it is "such an incredible feeling".

"I feel like I'm a butterfly, emerging from my cocoon".

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • Doctors at the Royal Liverpool Hospital say the first stage of a kidney transplant - being followed by BBC Radio Merseyside - has been a success
  • Man arrested on suspicion of murder after early morning attack in Birkenhead
  • Taxi drivers in Widnes and Runcorn criticise Halton Council for refusing to exempt them from paying Mersey Gateway Bridge tolls

Call for review of Wirral parking charges

A member of the committee that is due to discuss plans to introduce new parking charges across Wirral is calling for a review of the proposals. 

West Kirby town centre, near the train station
Google

Drivers could be forced to pay to park on the street in several locations - including West Kirby, Hoylake and New Brighton. 

The idea will be discussed this evening and a final decision could be made before the end of March. 

Warren Ward, a councillor for Bromborough, Port Sunlight and New Ferry and a member of the scrutiny committee, has concerns about the impact on small businesses and traffic. He said:

What I want to do tonight is ask the councillors to take this report back and come back to the committee with a full report and business impact statement on what actual effects charges are going to have."

Live kidney transplant: First stage a success, doctors say

Doctors at the Royal Liverpool Hospital have said the first stage of a kidney transplant from one friend to another has been a success. 

Andy Clewes and Helen Crowther
Andy Clewes

We've been following Helen Crowther, 46, from Runcorn, who is donating her kidney to friend Andy Clewes, 46, who has suffered with chronic kidney disease since birth.

Before the op, Helen, a charity worker from Runcorn, said she thought donating a kidney was "the obvious thing to do". 

"I do appreciate it's a huge thing. I just didn't want to see Andy poorly. I was aware you can live well with one kidney so couldn't see why you wouldn't do it."

The kidney has been transported to Manchester where Andy is now having his operation.

You can follow more updates on Radio Merseyside's Facebook and Twitter pages.

Arrest after man attacked in Birkenhead

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after an attack in Wirral. 

Claughton Road in Birkenhead, near Asda
Google

Police were called to Claughton Road in Birkenhead just before 05:00 this morning where they found a man with injuries to his face and hands. 

He was taken to hospital and his condition is not thought to be life-threatening. 

A 50-year-old man from Egremont is being questioned by detectives.

Wales to run Wirral railway

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

A group of MPs has endorsed proposals for the Welsh government to run the Borderlands railway line through Wirral and Cheshire.

Neston railway station
BBC

A report by the Welsh Affairs select committee says English passengers must not lose their right to complain about services on the Bidston to Wrexham line when ministers in Cardiff take over responsibility for it.

The report adds transferring the route to ministers in Cardiff will mean improvements, after a "huge failure" to deal with increased passenger numbers.

Runcorn woman on why she is donating a kidney to her best friend

Before heading into surgery this morning Helen Crowther talked about why she is donating one of her kidneys to her best friend Andy Clewes.  

She had it removed at the Royal University Hospital and it has been taken to Andy at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

You can follow the operation as it happens today on BBC Radio Merseyside's Facebook and Twitter pages.  

We wish both of them well.

Police gun crime convoy - what you thought of the huge procession

Liverpool Echo

A huge convoy of police vehicles drove from Liverpool city centre to Speke, through Toxteth, Garston and Dingle on Monday and has attracted a lot of attention.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • Doctors at the Royal Liverpool Hospital say the first stage of a kidney transplant - being followed by BBC Radio Merseyside - has been a success
  • Call to review plans to introduce new parking charges across Wirral
  • Taxi drivers in Widnes and Runcorn criticise Halton Council for refusing to exempt them from paying Mersey Gateway Bridge tolls  

Reality Check: Is North of England getting a big boost?

screen graphic
BBC

The claim: The government is announcing a cash boost for the North of England.

Reality Check verdict: The money has already been announced twice.

Prime Minister Theresa May is to continue former chancellor George Osborne's plans to create a Northern Powerhouse.

On Monday, she held a cabinet meeting in Daresbury in Cheshire, where she unveiled her new, more interventionist industrial strategy.

Details on where exactly the Northern Powerhouse cash will be spent are new, but the £556m total is not.

Read more here

Weather: Cloudy with a risk of drizzle

BBC Weather

A cloudy afternoon with a risk of drizzle later. Highs of 9C,

Weather

More from BBC Weather

Football: Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin eyes first-team place by season end

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has set himself the target of regaining his Everton first-team place before the end of the season. 

The 19-year-old suffered an ankle injury just 15 minutes into his first Premier League start against Southampton earlier this month. 

The forward is now focusing on his recovery work at Finch Farm.

Live kidney transplant: Helen's kidney on its way to Andy

Helen Crowther's kidney has been signed over to the courier and is heading down the M62 to her best friend Andy Clewes in Manchester.

Courier signs for kidney
BBC

It was removed this morning at the Royal Liverpool Hospital and Andy, 46, will receive the organ at Manchester Royal Infirmary later.  

View more on twitter

You can follow the operation as it happens today on BBC Radio Merseyside's Facebook and Twitter pages.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • Taxi drivers in Widnes and Runcorn are criticising Halton Council for refusing to exempt them from paying Mersey Gateway Bridge tolls  
  • The kidney of a Runcorn woman is on its way to her best friend Andy Clewes in Manchester - Radio Merseyside has been following her journey on Facebook and Twitter
  • Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin sets a target of regaining his first-team place before the end of the season

Live kidney transplant: 'It takes a special kind of person to do this'

A woman from Runcorn is donating her kidney to her best friend today - and BBC Radio Merseyside is following the live organ donation process on Facebook and Twitter

Helen Crowther, 46, from Runcorn, is donating one of her kidneys to her best friend Andy Clewes, 46, who has suffered chronic kidney disease since birth. 

Helen Crowther and Andy Clewes
Helen Crowther and Andy Clewes

The operation is due to finish shortly and then Helen's kidney will make its way down the M62 to a hospital in Manchester to Andy Clewes, 46.

He has suffered with chronic kidney disease since birth and has recently started to need dialysis treatment.  He says he'll "always be grateful for the sacrifice" his friend is making for him.

Speaking earlier he said: 

The last 12 months have gone so slowly and to finally get to this end point is fantastic."

I was just on the cusp of dialysis, feeling exhausted all the time and unable to concentrate in work - now I can't wait to get my life back. I'm really excited.

I'm incredibly lucky and grateful. It's hard to put into words such a massive thing... it takes a special kind of person to do this".

Football: Liverpool's Joel Matip expected to return for EFL Cup semi-final second leg

Joel Matip is expected to return to Liverpool's line up for the EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Southampton tomorrow. Joel Matip

Joel Matip
Getty Images

The centre-back has not been in the Reds starting eleven for six weeks because of injury and uncertainty over his eligibility, but he is now fully available. 

Captain Jordan Henderson has been struggling with a heel problem but he is expected to play.  

Taxi drivers to meet union over bridge toll row

Taxi drivers in Widnes and Runcorn are meeting with union officials to decide on their next move, following a row with Halton Council over the new Mersey Gateway bridge.

Mersey Gateway
Mersey Gateway

They say they've been told they will have to pay the tolls to cross both bridges when the Mersey Gateway opens later this year - and pass on the charge to customers. 

Halton Council says the scheme, in respect of taxi usage, is still in development and welcomes any comments.

Final preparations as Runcorn woman donates kidney to her best friend

This is the operating theatre at Royal Liverpool Hospital where surgeons will perform a live organ donation.

Helen Crowther, 46, from Runcorn, is donating one of her kidneys to her best friend Andy Clewes, who has suffered chronic kidney disease since birth. 

Radio Merseyside has been given exclusive access - follow her journey on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

View more on twitter

Liverpool cultural events will mark 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love

Liverpool Council says organisations across Merseyside have submitted more than 60 cultural events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love this year.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
Google

In 1967 The Beatles released the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

In the same year the Catholic cathedral opened.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • Surgeons are about to start operating on a live organ donor from Runcorn - Radio Merseyside is following her journey
  • Taxi drivers in Widnes and Runcorn have described plans to make them pay the tolls on the new Mersey Gateway Bridge as "ridiculous"
  • Liverpool has reportedly opened talks with Philippe Coutinho about a new deal to keep the midfielder at Anfield

Taxi drivers toll-free Mersey Gateway bridge crossing row

Taxi drivers in Widnes and Runcorn are criticising Halton Council for refusing to make them exempt from paying the tolls when the new Mersey Gateway bridge opens later this year. 

Both the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge will be tolled when the new bridge opens in 2017. It will cost the same to cross either bridge. 

Mersey Gateway Bridge
Getty Images

Residents in the borough won't have to pay the fee when they cross either bridge - but the authority says hackney and private hire vehicles will be charged, and should pass the cost onto their passengers.

Customers will be able to reclaim the cost of the toll. 

Halton Council says a scheme, to reimburse residents, is still in its development - and would welcome any comments.

Live organ donor: What would you do for your best friend?

A woman from Runcorn is donating her kidney to her best friend - and BBC Radio Merseyside is following the live organ donation process today.

Helen Crowther and Andy Clewes
Helen Crowther and Andy Clewes

Helen Crowther, 46, is donating one of her kidneys to her friend Andy Clewes, who has suffered chronic kidney disease since birth.

When she first offered her kidney he laughed along, thinking it was a joke.

Helen's kidney is being removed at the Royal Liverpool Hospital and Andy, 46, will receive the organ at Manchester Royal Infirmary later.

Follow the operation as it happens today on BBC Radio Merseyside's Facebook and Twitter pages and hear from the patients and doctors involved in the process.

Roads: Congestion on Mount Vernon in Liverpool

BBC Travel

There is heavy traffic on A5047 West Derby Street westbound in Liverpool around the Mount Vernon junction in the roadworks area.

Latest from BBC Travel

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • BBC Radio Merseyside is following an organ transplant today from a live donor from Runcorn
  • Taxi drivers in Widnes and Runcorn are criticising Halton Council for refusing to make them exempt from paying Mersey Gateway Bridge tolls
  • Liverpool Council says more than 60 events have been submitted to mark the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love in the city

Weather: Chilly start and a cloudy morning

BBC Weather

A chilly start to the day with some frost and mist in parts. There’ll be plenty of cloud around however this will occasionally break, particularly this morning, to allow for some brighter conditions. Highs of 7C (45F).

Weather

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.