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  1. Voting underway in local authority elections
  2. Scientists developing drone-tractors
  3. New TCAT principal says merger will make 'tremendous difference'
  4. Updates from Wednesday 3 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Andy Giddings

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 tomorrow.

Football: The New Saints say goodbye to coach

The New Saints are losing the service of coach Carl Darlington, who says he is leaving to "seek a new challenge".

He came to the club four seasons ago, to train both the players and the coaches and during that time the club has won 10 trophies and set a record this season for consecutive victories.

Carl Darlington
The New Saints

Chairman Mike Harris and Chief Operating Officer Ian Williams both wished him well for the future, with Harris saying he was "always welcome back at Park Hall".

This decision was extremely hard as everyone wants to be successful and consecutively win honours. This is exactly what I had at TNS that has been designed over many years. I know that leaving the club, I will always be part of this history and I’m very proud of my personal achievements at the club."

Carl DarlingtonTNS coach

Weather: A cloudy night and more sunshine tomorrow

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

It's going to be overcast again tonight, but we should see some sunshine across the region tomorrow.

Shefali Oza has your forecast

Woman admits Northern Ireland charges

A woman has admitted attempting to murder a policeman in Northern Ireland, a year after her co-defendant from Shrewsbury killed himself. 

Christine Connor also pleaded guilty to explosives offences, relating to a pipe bomb attack in Belfast four years ago and will be sentenced at Belfast Crown Court in June.

Bomb scene

Stuart Downes from Ryton Close in Shrewsbury was originally charged with helping her and the 31-year-old was found in thick woodland near the A5, four days after being reported missing.

Biker's death leaves 'a big void that will never be filled'

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

The family of a motorbiker who died in a crash with a car says his death has left a "big void, that will never be filled". 

Conna Stewart, 24, from Norton Canes, was riding on the A5 at Watling Street, Weston-under-Lizard, when the collision happened, police said.

Conna Stewart
Staffordshire Police

He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

In a statement, his family says their "world fell apart" at the news, adding that Mr Stewart had "lived life to the maximum".

Conservatives look to maintain hold of Shropshire Council

Polls open for Shropshire Council elections at 07:00 tomorrow. 

A reminder that a full list of candidates in each ward is available on the Shropshire Council website.

On Friday we'll report all the results as they come in.

The Conservatives were the largest party on Shropshire Council before the election

Your photos: More sunny scenes from around Shropshire

BBC Weather Watchers

We're seeing some great photos of sunny Shropshire today.

These ones were taken by BBC Weather Watchers near Badger (top) and in Shrewsbury (bottom).

Field near Badger
Shrewsbury river

Woman charged with attempted murder of baby

A woman from Oswestry has been charged with the attempted murder of a newborn baby girl. 

The 31-year-old will appear at Telford Magistrates' Court tomorrow.

The baby was discovered with serious injuries in the Meole Brace area of Shrewsbury, on 22 April last year. 

The child remains in the care of the local authority.

Man airlifted to hospital after forklift truck fall in Telford

Shropshire Star

A man has fallen from a fork lift truck in Telford. 

The 57-year-old has been airlifted to Royal Stoke Hospital after he collapsed and was resuscitated at the scene on Station Road in Ketley.

Watch: First bricks laid on Bridgnorth railway station expansion

Kevin Reide

Midlands Today

The first bricks have been laid this lunchtime for the new cafe at the Severn Valley Railway's Bridgnorth station.

It's part of a major revamp of the station, which will also involve improvements to the ticket booth, waiting room, pub and toilets.

Former railway workers have laid the first bricks for Bridgnorth's station expansion

Your Questions: Which is the oldest pub in Shropshire?

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

A reader got in touch with the Your Questions section of the BBC website to ask "what is the oldest public house in Shropshire?" 

We asked Norrie Porter from the Campaign for Real Ale in Shropshire, and he says they believe the oldest pub in the county is The Royal Oak in Cardington (pictured below), which can trace its history back to the 15th Century.

The Royal Oak

Mr Porter said there are two pubs which dispute that claim, but The Three Horseshoes in Alveley has closed and while The Swan Inn in Aston Munslow claims to have opened in the 14th Century, English Heritage believes the building is 16th Century. 

He said the pub in the oldest building is probably The Old Eagles in Whitchurch, which was built in the 14th Century, but it has only been a pub since 1868. 

And he explained this is further confused because pubs were only really licensed after the 1751 Gin Act and before then any house could claim to be a beer house.

Cat trapped inside narrow wall cavity is rescued

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Firemen have used drills, hammers and chisels to break through a wall in Shrewsbury and rescue a trapped cat.

They think it slipped down into the three inch gap, between two houses on Longville Road, and it was stuck with its legs in the air.

It took over an hour to carefully cut it free and coax it out and it was taken to a vet for a check-up.

Football: Shrewsbury Town offers new deals to four players

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

Shrewsbury Town has offered new deals to four players, but released four others.  

As we revealed last week, Paul Hurst wants to keep the club's player of the year Mat Sadler and winger Shaun Whalley (pictured below).

Shaun Whalley
Getty Images

He's also offered new contracts to goalkeeper Shaun Rowley and Bryn Morris, who joined from Middlesbrough mid-season.  

Hurst has released long-serving number two keeper Mark Halstead, and three younger players Kaiman Anderson, Callum Grogan, and Ethan Jones.

Council plans major revamp of offices

Shropshire Council is considering a £7.5m revamp of its Shirehall offices in Shrewsbury.

The authority has published tender documents for work on its 50-year-old headquarters, which it says should extend its lifespan by the same period again.


The documents say the work is needed after years without investment in the building, but it comes at a time when the authority is trying to cut its budget by £77m by 2020/21.

Plans to sell off the site were dropped last year, after a change in the council's leadership.

Shropshire couple die in Mauritus taxi crash

A Shropshire couple have been killed in a crash while travelling in a taxi in Mauritus.

Hugh Vaughan (pictured below) and his wife Liz lived in Prees Heath, near Whitchurch and had been on holiday on the island.

Hugh Vaughan

The foreign office says it is supporting their family and remains in contact with the Mauritian police.  

Football: No summer holidays for Shrewsbury Town defender

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

While the rest of the Shrewsbury Town squad prepare to head off on their summer holidays, defender Joe Riley will have to stay at home to recover from his broken ankle.

He suffered the injury in the final home game of the season and will be having an operation on it tomorrow.

Joe Riley
Getty Images

Shrewsbury's physio Chris Skitt says it isn't a simple break, so Riley faces a long period of rehab.

I've made him come in, he's going to have to cancel a few holidays that he's got planned. Unfortunately that's the life of a footballer, he's going to have to cope with that and I'm sure he'll be able to get some time off during his rehabilitation, but for the short term, he'll need to be in getting treatment."

Chris SkittShrewsbury Town's Physio

BBC Midlands Today

Nicola Beckford

Reporter, BBC Midlands Today

Former railway workers have been the guests of honour at the Severn Valley Railway today.


They were there to lay the first bricks of a major new development project in Bridgnorth. 

You can find out more on BBC Midlands Today at 13:30 on BBC One. 

Your photos: Clear blue skies around Shropshire

BBC Weather Watchers

It looks beautiful out today.

These photos were taken by BBC Weather Watchers near Norton (top) and Church Stretton (bottom).

Fields near Norton
Ice Queen
Hills near Church Stretton
Snapper Simon

First bricks laid at new railway building

A number of former railway staff have been invited to lay the first bricks at the extension to the Severn Valley Railway's Bridgnorth station.

They include a number of people who used to work on the line when it was operated by British Rail.

Bridgnorth station

The steam railway is building a new refreshment room at the station and refurbishing the pub, waiting room and booking hall.

It has launched an appeal to raise £2.5m through the sale of shares.

General Election 2017: Kuldip Sahota to stand for Labour in Telford

Newport Advertiser

Former Telford & Wrekin Council leader Kuldip Sahota is to stand for Labour in Telford at the general election.

Kuldhip Sahota
Shropshire Star

'Concrete jungle' warning over 220 homes plan for Telford estate

Telford Journal

Building more than 200 homes could be the next step in turning part of Telford into a “concrete jungle”, residents have warned.

Some of the house designs in Priorslee
Shropshire Star

Football: Lee Hughes leaves AFC Telford United

Nick Southall

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

AFC Telford United say Lee Hughes will not be signing a new contract to stay at the club.

Lee Hughes
Mike Sheridan

The former West Bromwich Albion striker scored four goals in 11 appearances for Telford. 

Hughes says he's been offered the chance to become a manager at another club for next season.

Woman in hospital after A5 crash

A woman has been taken to a major trauma centre in Stoke after being thrown from her car when it crashed on the A5 this morning.

The 57-year-old was suffering cuts to her arm, chest, back and abdomen pain and a cut to the back of her head.

Car in hedge

Her car ended up resting in a hedge and when ambulance crews arrived she was being treated by an off-duty paramedic and an off-duty police officer.

Football: Market Drayton Town lift Shropshire Premier Cup

Market Drayton Town have won their second successive Shropshire Premier Cup, beating Shawbury United 1-0 at the Greenhous Meadow

Andre James got the goal, midway through the second half.

Greenhous meadow

Travel: A5 open again after earlier accident

BBC News Travel

The A5 between Wellington and Shrewsbury is open again after an accident on the eastbound carriageway earlier.

A woman has been taken to hospital after being thrown from the vehicle.

Car in bush
West Mercia Police

Wife of military policeman accuses MoD of letting down personnel with PTSD

Tracey Higgins

BBC Local Live

A military wife at RAF Shawbury is accusing the Ministry of Defence of letting down personnel who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.  

Nikita Dallison says her husband Luke, a military policeman, became mentally ill after a tour of Afghanistan. 

Luke Dallison
Nikita and Luke Dallison

Mrs Dallison has called on the Ministry of Defence to make changes to provide more help for people with the condition, in a video posted on social media. It's been viewed more than a million times.    

A recent statement from the MoD said the mental health of their people was of utmost importance, they provide a range of support, and encourage those who need help to get the assistance they deserve.

He was passed round nine different clinicians in the space of 12 months alone. I've had so many messages from hundreds of people who're going through the same thing, who've been through a similar thing. And some of them, unfortunately have actually lost their loved ones now because their loved ones could not cope with what they'd been through and the lack of help given to them."

Nikita Dallison

£7.5 million revamp plan for Shropshire Council headquarters

Shrewsbury Chronicle

Shropshire Council's Shirehall headquarters will undergo a £7.5 million refurbishment to “bring the building to modern standards”.

Shropshire Star

Politicians woo voters ahead of 4 May poll

Political parties are taking to the streets in the last day of campaigning ahead of Thursday's local elections.

A total of 4,851 council seats are up for grabs across England, Wales and Scotland on 4 May.

Polling station sign
Getty Images

They include all seats on Shropshire Council, although no council elections are taking place in Telford.

The poll will give voters a chance to deliver verdicts on the major parties before the general election, which is being held on 8 June.  

Ex council leader selected to fight Telford constituency for Labour

Tracey Higgins

BBC Local Live

The former Leader of Telford and Wrekin Council Kuldip Sahota has been chosen as Labour's candidate for the Telford constituency in next month's general election.

Kuldip Sahota

He'll be fighting the Conservative candidate Lucy Allan, among others, who had a majority of 730 at the last election.

All candidates have until 11 May to submit their applications to stand. A full list of candidates will appear on the BBC's constituency page.

Still long delays on A5 after accident

Tracey Higgins

BBC Local Live

Expect severe delays if you're travelling eastbound on the A5 this morning.

The road has been closed following an accident that resulted in a car ending up upright at the side of the road. 

Accident on the A5
West Mercia Police

Traffic is very slow between the Preston island and Wellington and surrounding roads are also heavily congested.  

Diversions are allowing traffic to rejoin the M54 at junction 7 eastbound.

Watch: Latest weather forecast

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

It's shaping up to be another nice morning - find out what the weather has in store.

West Midlands Weather

Good Morning from BBC Shropshire

Tracey Higgins

BBC Local Live

I'm here with all your news, sport, travel and weather updates this morning. 

Do get in touch if you have a story or pictures you'd like to share. 

You can email, tweet of get in touch via our Facebook page.  

Severe disruption: A5 Shropshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

A5 Shropshire eastbound severe disruption, between A49 and M54 J7 affecting A5124.

A5 Shropshire - A5 closed, very slow traffic and long delays eastbound between Preston Island in Uffington and Wellington in Shropshire, because of an overturned car. Diversion in operation - Traffic to follow hollow triangle symbol. At Preston Island take the A5 southbound to Emstrey roundabout. Then take the B4380 towards Norton. Then the B5061 and continue eastbound, through Uckington and Overley. Re-join the M54 at J7 eastbound. Congestion on A49 to Battlefield Roundabout and to Dobbies Island.

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

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 tomorrow, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening and into the morning.

Football: AFC Telford United 'disappointed' with share sales

BBC Sport

AFC Telford United say they are disappointed with the take-up for shares, after putting them up for sale for a second time.

The club says 3,430 of the £100 shares were on offer, and it had hoped to attract big investors after scrapping a limit on the number of shares which could be owned by any one person or group.

Bucks Head
Getty Images

It has not yet revealed how many shares it was able to sell, or whether the shares would be put up for sale for a third time, but all applications for 50 shares or less will be approved.  

AFC Telford documents release is just ‘bunkum’, says former councillor

Telford Journal

A former councillor who requested copies of correspondence between Telford & Wrekin Council and AFC Telford has described the recent publication of documents as “bunkum”.

Weather: Sunshine and light cloud to remain with us

Rebecca Wood

BBC Weather

This mix of sunshine and light cloud is set to remain with us into tomorrow and temperatures are forecast to reach 14C (58F) in places.

Rebecca Wood has your forecast

Watch: Electric fences to protect Shropshire curlew nests

Bob Hockenhull

BBC Midlands Today

Electric fences are being used in Shropshire to protect curlew nests from predators.

Their numbers have seen a sharp decline in the past decade and conservationists believe this is partly because they are being eaten.

Conservationists are working to protect curlew nests from predators

Man pleads guilty to robbery charges

A man accused of a series of robberies across Shropshire, including a raid on a bank in Shifnal, has pleaded guilty to a number of the charges in court.

Shrewsbury Crown Court

Mark Gillon, of no fixed address, appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court today and admitted robbing the One Stop Shop in Market Drayton and attempting to rob the Barclays in Shifnal, but denied a charge of robbing the Lloyds bank in Madeley.

The 33-year-old also admitted the theft of a car and number plates and two charges of possessing an imitation firearm. He denied a third charge of possessing an imitation firearm.

The not guilty pleas have been accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service and he is due to be sentenced on Friday.

Football: Telford in the dark over mystery consortium

BBC Sport

AFC Telford United say they are still in the dark about the interest of a mystery consortium which claimed it was interested in buying a large nunber of shares in the club.

Bucks Head
Getty Images

It explained that on 3 April it was contacted by a person claiming to represent the group, who wouldn't reveal the names of the people involved.

The club said it agreed to this person's request for a non-disclosure agreement, but that was the end of the contact and that at this stage it has no evidence a consortium even exists.