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  1. Updates on Wednesday 22 June 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Live updates have finished for the day but we'll be back from 08:00 on Thursday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Weather forecast for the West Midlands

BBC Weather

A dry and fairly cloudy night tonight, Rebecca Wood as the latest forecast.

Coming up on TV: Referendum campaign draw to a close and vigils for Jo Cox

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

After four months of campaigning, the battle buses are heading back home - and our political editor Patrick Burns has had a chance to put his feet up after his EU referendum road trip. 

We will look at his whistle-stop tour. 

And vigils are taking place in memory of MP Jo Cox on what would have been her 42nd birthday.

Join us for more on these stories and more on BBC Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

Police apologise for sending 'dummy explosives' to tourist attraction

Mark Elliott

Reporter, BBC Shropshire

Bedfordshire Police has admitted accidentally sending what they describe as "dummy explosives" to the British Ironworks Centre in Oswestry.

The attraction was sealed off after suspected explosives were discovered at the bottom of a pile of knives - a controlled explosion was carried out.

Bedfordshire Police is one of many forces across the country to send confiscated knives to the British Ironworks Centre, which is using them to construct a sculpture in memory of stab victims.

bomb disposal unit at Brtish Ironworks
British Ironworks Centre

We believe that these were dummy explosives that had been used in training exercises, and had accidentally been picked up from a property store along with knives collected following a recent knife surrender. We have written to the company and apologised for any distress caused."

Bedfordshire Police

EU Referendum: How to vote on polling day

BBC Politics

Tomorrow, voters go to the polls to decide whether the UK will remain in the European Union. 

Polls are open 07:00 to 22:00 and you'll be asked to answer the following question: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union."

Counting by local authorities begins after 22:00 and the official declaration will be made at Manchester Town Hall when all the votes are in.  

Find out how to vote, what you'll need and what you can and can't do with your ballot paper.

Ballot paper

EU referendum voters top four million in West Midlands

Kathryn Stanczyszyn

Political Reporter, BBC WM

The number of voters registered in the West Midlands for the EU referendum stands at 4,116,119. 

This is a rise of 153,842, or 3.9% since December.

Polls are set to open in less than 24 hours and both the Leave and Remain camps are using the dying hours of the campaign to get their messages across.

If you missed the BBC's Great Debate last night, find out how the two sides got on in front of a live audience of 6,000 at Wembley Arena.

'Nato kept the peace' not the EU - James Carver

Joanne Gallacher

Political reporter, BBC Shropshire

The final stages of Shropshire campaigning ahead of tomorrow's EU referendum are drawing to a close.

West Midlands UKIP MEP James Carver disagrees with the idea that the EU has maintained the peace in Europe since World War Two, saying that's largely thanks to Nato, rather than the EU.

MEP James Carver

EU is a 'remarkable achievement' according to Vote Remain campaigners

Joanne Gallacher

Political reporter, BBC Shropshire

Shropshire's politicians are doing last minute campaigning ahead of tomorrow's EU referendum. Callers to Jim Hawkins's show on BBC Shropshire this morning have been asking how they'll be affected. 

One wanted to know why the UK fought two world wars to hand power over to Brussels?

Vote Remain campaigner Peter Bradley says the EU helps to keep the peace.

Not the EU alone but nevertheless a remarkable achievement of the EU, that it brought together countries that had been in conflict and at war with each other and we have now for the last 60 to 70 years had peace and stability in Europe."

Peter BradleyFormer Labour MP for The Wrekin
Graphic of national flags included in the EU

News: Telford hospital admits it failed to follow guidelines over baby death; Shropshire A&E plans 'are not a done deal'

Sam Fleet

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

The latest headlines:

- Telford's Princess Royal Hospital has apologised and admits it failed to follow guidelines in connection with the death of a baby

- Having Shropshire's A&E unit at either Shrewsbury or Telford is not a done deal, says health commissioner David Evans

- Two Shropshire singer songwriters are heading to Glastonbury this week to perform on the BBC Introducing stage

Newport teenager missing from home for 10 days

Shropshire Star

A 16-year-old boy has been missing from his home in Newport for almost 10 days. Police are appealing for information about the whereabouts of Leon Wykes, who was last seen at his home in Ercall Heath in Newport on June 13 at 7pm.

Missing boy Leon Sykes
Shropshire Star

Footage of early female aviator uncovered

A Shropshire project to find lost film footage has unearthed a couple of gems recently.

A man in Bishop's Castle handed over reels of film which included this rare footage of the early aviator Amy Johnson, on a flight over the Long Mynd.

View more on youtube

She was the first female pilot to fly solo from Britain to Australia.

The Bigger Picture project has also been given footage of the Ethopian leader Haile Selassie visiting Shropshire.

Travel: Lines reopen at Newport

Delays on trains between Shrewsbury and Dovey junction are expected to clear soon after a vehicle earlier hit a bridge outside Newport, Powys.

View more on twitter

EU 'protects' UK farming - Bill McClements

Joanne Gallacher

Political reporter, BBC Shropshire

The former Telford and Wrekin councillor and Remain campaigner Bill McClements was brought up on a farm. 

He says the European Union helps farmers and the industry would face "meddling" if subsidies were taken on by the British government.


I can remember when farming subsidies were run by the British government. Every year the Chancellor meddled with the subsidies. Over the last six years we have had a major austerity in this country and our farming subsidies weren't effected by the Chancellor because the EU was doing it."

Bill McClementsFormer Telford and Wrekin Councillor

Shropshire school launches Lego classroom

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

A Shropshire school has added a new subject to its curriculum - Lego. 

Birchfield School in Albrighton has a partnership with Lego Education to use the bricks to deliver lessons, designed at producing the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Teacher Penny Shevyn says the benefits reach beyond other conventional subjects.

children with teacher playing with lego

It covers a wide range of the curriculum, knowledge and understanding of the world, creativity and most important most of all is the mathematical knowledge that they gain."

Penny ShevynTeacher

Farming 'won't be affected' if UK leaves EU - Owen Paterson

Joanne Gallacher

Political reporter, BBC Shropshire

Both sides in the referendum debate are making their final appeals to voters, before the polls open tomorrow morning. 

Callers to Jim Hawkins's show on BBC Shropshire have been asking how they might be affected. One asked whether farm subsidies would be cut if Britain leaves the EU. 

The North Shropshire MP and former Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson says no.

The £2.9bn which we put in at the moment through pillar one and pillar two we could continue, or if we want to be like Norway, Switzerland we could actually spend more."

Latest news: Telford hospital apologises over baby death; police appeal after Market Drayton death

Mark Elliott

Reporter, BBC Shropshire

The headlines:

- The Princess Royal hospital in Telford apologises to parents after the death of a baby 

- Detectives investigating the death of a man found in Market Drayton last week are appealing for information

- A Shropshire cat's been nominated for a national award for saving its owners' lives

Travel: Rail delays after vehicle hits bridge

BBC Travel

Rail commuters heading west into Wales face delays after a vehicle struck a bridge near Newtown, in Powys.

View more on twitter

Your pictures: Beautiful sunset in south Shropshire

BBC Weather Watchers

This snap was taken last night just as the sun set over Church Stretton.

Got a picture you'd like to share? Send it to us by emailtweet, or head to our Facebook page.

Hazler Hill at sunset
Weather Watcher: Ashfield

See behind the scenes at Severn Valley Railway

Sam Fleet

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

There's a chance to see behind the scenes at Severn Valley Railway on 16 July.

Visitors will be able to see the engine sheds, carriage works and new Diesel Depot, as well as the work undertaken by staff and volunteers to keep the railway running on a daily basis, the SVR says.

Signal box at Severn Valley Railway

Witness appeal after Market Drayton street death

Police in Market Drayton are appealing for witnesses after the death of a man found in the street with serious head injuries.

Graham Whittingham, 58, was discovered on Smithfield Road shortly after 00:00 on Tuesday 14 June and later died in hospital.

A post-mortem test was carried out yesterday, but the findings are yet to be revealed.

west mercia police car

'Positive start' for Shrewsbury collection boxes

Homeless collection boxes have helped get three people off the streets and raised nearly £500 since they were installed four months ago in Shrewsbury. 

Shropshire Council's Housing Services team have described it as a "positive start".  

Two of the "alternative giving" boxes have been stolen in that time, but they've since been redesigned and reinstalled.

Homeless charity box

Shropshire claim second straight win

Gerald Scott

BBC Sport Online

Shropshire made it two wins out of two in the Minor Counties Championship as they pulled off an unlikely 56-run win against Oxfordshire at Aston Rowant.

After losing the second day to bad weather, Oxfordshire declared their first innings on 42-3, 222 runs behind.

Shropshire rattled up 115-0 from 10 overs against Oxfordshire's occasional bowlers before also declaring to set a victory target of 300 in a minimum of 87 overs.

Shropshire fast bowler Alex Wyatt
BBC Sport

Three early wickets for Alex Wyatt, who finished with 5-83, were followed by a fourth-wicket partnership of 119 to offer the home side hope. But, despite a further ninth-wicket stand of 57, Oxfordshire were bowled out for 243.

Shropshire now face Cornwall at home in Bridgnorth starting on Sunday 3 July.

Ice Hockey: Tigers add defenceman from Canadian league

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Telford Tigers have signed another defenceman to add to their squad. 

Adam Jones is joining from the Canadian junior leagues, but doesn't count as one of their overseas players, because he was born and brought up in this country.

Adam Jones
Sumnmerland Steam

The 20-year-old has played for Great Britain's under-20s and head coach Tom Watkins says he's very calm and reads the game well, but also "plays hard".

Adam has good size, which is great, but his main attribute is his overall defensive play. He’s a tough guy to play against and will surprise a few people."

Tom WatkinsTelford Tigers head coach

Telford hospital accepts failings in baby death

Nick Southall

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

The parents of a baby who died following failures to monitor his mother during her labour, believe their son would still be here now if it wasn't for failings by staff at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford. 

Katie Anson and Matthew Hall from St George's say the lack of regular monitoring during the labour was the reason Kye died last year. 

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust said it accepts that there was "a failure to fully follow Nice guidelines on antepartum haemorrhage, and for this we are extremely sorry".

It said systems had since been "strengthened" to give staff "explicit guidance around monitoring responsibilities during labour".

Princess Royal Hospital

Coroner John Ellery has yet to deliver his official verdict.

The inquest heard Kye's death could have been prevented, the Shropshire Star reported.

Latest News: Hospital admits failings in baby death; Telford police investigate suspected arson attack

Sam Fleet

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

Our top stories this lunchtime:

- Telford hospital admits it failed to follow guidelines after baby death, an inquest hears

- Police are investigating after aerosols and barbecue coals we set alight outside an eldery man's home in Leegomery

- The owner of a Shropshire-based travel firm says not enough is being done to attract visitors from overseas

Swimmer inspired by Victorian channel crosser

A Shropshire man is planning to swim the English Channel, inspired in part by the Victorian hero who completed the feat first. 

In 1875, Captain Matthew Webb of Dawley swam from Dover to Calais in less than 22 hours. 

As a boy Ian Preece, also from the town, dreamt of emulating him and next month he'll attempt it with the help of a back-up team.

Shropshire artists head to Glastonbury

BBC Introducing in Shropshire

Ludlow's AKA George and Zach Said from Shrewsbury are heading to Glastonbury!

We chose them to appear on the BBC Introducing Stage on Friday night.

Watch all the festival coverage here.

AKA George & Zach Said

EU Leave warnings 'simply scare stories'

Andrew Hewkin

Newsreader, BBC Shropshire

Leave campaigners like the North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson are disputing that claim.  

It was quite clear we had all these scare stories at the time of the Euro. All those scare stories on the Euro proved to be completely wrong and we have grown must faster than the rest of the EU."

Owen PatersonMP for North Shropshire
Owen Paterson

Economy warning over EU Leave vote

Andrew Hewkin

Newsreader, BBC Shropshire

Both sides in the EU referendum debate are making their final appeals to voters before the polls open tomorrow morning. 

Speaking on Radio Shropshire's mid morning show in the past hour the former Telford and Wrekin councillor Bill McClements said the UK economy was already suffering and would do even worse if the country walks away.

If we come out, already the pound is down 14%, £80bn has been taken off shore by the financial institutions. The pound will fall more, our economy will stall."

Bill McClementsFormer Telford and Wrekin Councillor

Hero cat up for award

Les Walton

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

A cat named Tink has been hailed as a hero after saving her owners' lives when a fire broke out at their home in Shrewsbury.

Claire Hopkinson and her family were sound asleep until the five-year-old tortoiseshell alerted her to a fire over night.

Tink has been nominated for a national award, but will have to wait until August to find out if she's won.

woman holding her cat

Call for more foreign tourism to Shropshire

A Shropshire travel agent says the county is losing out on millions of pounds worth of foreign tourism, because it's not well-known overseas.

Janet Redler Travel & Tourism, based in Shrewsbury, says that if just 10% of the visitors who go to the Brecon Beacons National Park came to the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it could provide an £8m boost to the local economy.


Shropshire Tourism says the county can't compete with places like London, Bath and Stratford-upon-Avon when it comes to attracting overseas visitors and it prefers to concentrate on tourists from within the UK.

We have a big enough challenge, to be honest, enlightening the domestic market on what Shropshire has to offer and they're on our doorstep, they're easy to reach and they're more cost-effective to market to."

Simon McCloyShropshire Tourism Chief Executive

Latest: Plans for multimillion-pound footbridge go on display; more calls for A&E to stay at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Andrew Hewkin

Newsreader, BBC Shropshire

The top stories this morning:

- Plans are going on show today for a £7m footbridge linking Telford's railway station with the town centre

- Further calls in Oswestry for Shropshire to have an A&E centre in Shrewsbury if there's to be only one unit under hospital reorganisation

- Three homeless people have been found somewhere to live thanks to money put into collecting boxes in Shrewsbury over the past four months

Footbridge plans go on show

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Telford town centre is getting a new, £7m footbridge, linking the railway station to the shopping centre - the plans go on display today. 

Telford and Wrekin Council says the existing one needs replacing because it is too steep, expensive to maintain and doesn't comply with the latest disability laws.

Designs for new Telford footbridge
Telford and Wrekin council

You can see the plans for yourself at the train station today and next Tuesday and in Southwater tomorrow.

Football League fixtures

For fans of other teams, BBC Sportsday has a breakdown of the opening fixtures for the ChampionshipLeague One, and League Two.

You can check out all the fixtures now on the BBC Sport website:

Full Championship fixture list for 2015-16

Full League One fixture list for 2015-16

Full League Two fixture list for 2015-16

Shrewsbury Town full fixtures

Here's a full list of Shrewsbury Town's fixtures in League One in case you want to plan your season.

They'll be hoping for a stronger showing this time around, after narrowly missing out on relegation in 2015-16.

BreakingShrewsbury Town start season at home to MK Dons

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

The new Football League fixtures are out and Shrewsbury Town will start the 2016-17 campaign at home to Milton Keynes Dons on 6 August.

Greenhous Meadow
Getty Images

A week later, it's away to Coventry, followed by a midweek trip to Charlton.

Town fans will travel to Bolton on Boxing Day and end the season away to Oxford.