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  1. Conservatives increase majority on Shropshire Council
  2. Labour group leader "concerned" by national picture
  3. Man jailed after admitting for two armed raids
  4. Further closures at Ludlow maternity unit
  5. Updates on Friday 5 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Andy Giddings

All times stated are UK

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather on Monday.

Maternity unit faces another closure

Ludlow's maternity unit is closed from tonight until Monday morning. 

Officials are blaming unexpected staff shortages and increased activity. Mums who go into labour will be offered a birth at another maternity-led unit.

Ludlow maternity

The Ludlow unit is still open for antenatal and postnatal appointments.

Watch: Art trail in Ironbridge Gorge this weekend

Genevieve Tudor

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

Ironbridge artists are displaying their work in a number of venues along the Gorge this weekend. 

The Secret Severn Art Trail is a collaborative event and gives local painters, makers and craftspeople a shop front to show off their work.

Artists in Ironbridge arrange an art trail

Local Elections: Defeated Broseley candidate praises winner

Labour have one fewer seat on Shropshire Council after losing Broseley to the Conservatives.

The party had put forward Gavin Goodall as their candidate after the previous councillor, Jean Jones, decided not to stand again.

And he had praise for the winner, Simon Harris.

Labour's defeated candidate in Broseley praised his Conservative opponent

Conservatives make gains and keep control of council

Shropshire Star

Conservatives have gained seats and kept control of Shropshire Council in the local elections.

Bank robber had 21 previous convictions

Tracey Higgins

BBC Local Live

The man who held up the Barclays bank in Shifnal with an imitation handgun and then robbed a shop in Market Drayton hours later has 21 previous convictions - including ones for robbery and theft.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard 33-year-old Mark Gillan had been a law-abiding citizen for over four years and Judge James Tindal called the raids "24 hours of madness".

Shrewsbury Crown Court

Gillan has been jailed for seven years for carrying out the raids, for possessing imitation firearms and for stealing a car and number plates.

In 24 hours of madness, you undid all the good work you'd done by staying out of trouble... and left a wake of anxiety, stress and psychological trauma in your victims."

Judge James Tindal

Work on Shawbury church is complete

Repairs to the roof and tower on St Mary's church in Shawbury are complete and workmen will be packing up their bags on Monday.

The work started last autumn and it ended up costing a lot more than expected, because of damage done in high winds last November.

Repairs to St Mary's church have cost £80,000 more than expected

Local Elections: Conservative Dunne insists credible opposition still exists on council

Only three of the 74 seats on Shropshire Council changed hands in the local authority elections, meaning the Conservatives have more than 30 extra councillors than their nearest rivals - the Lib Dems.

Owen Paterson, the man who will fight to retain the North Shropshire seat for the Conservatives at the general election, tweeted to say it was a clear mandate for the party.

But Philip Dunne, their candidate for the Ludlow seat, said there was still a credible opposition on Shropshire Council.

Conservative Philip Dunne says opposition parties still have a role on Shropshire Council

Local Elections: Green Party to 'continue to challenge'

Joanne Gallacher

Political reporter, BBC Shropshire

The main story of the Shropshire Council elections was the Conservatives further strengthening their grip on power, but the results of the Green Party was an interesting sub-plot.

They gained one seat in Shrewsbury and lost one in Oswestry and came within 11 votes of taking another.

Their outgoing councillor, Duncan Kerr, believes the party still has a big role to play.

The Green Party won one seat and lost one on Shropshire Council

Local Elections: Lib Dems pleased with vote in south Shropshire

The Lib Dems ended up losing one seat on Shropshire Council, with the Green Party taking the Porthill ward from them.

But, Councillor Heather Kidd said she was relatively pleased with the way their vote held up, especially in the south of the county.

Results on wall

The party maintains its grip on all three Ludlow wards.

Ludlow town stays yellow, that's very good. Clee Hill yellow."

Heather KiddLib Dem councillor

Local Elections: Labour leader admits to concerns

The leader of the Labour group on Shropshire Council, Alan Mosley, admitted to having "concerns" after failing to gain any seats in the local authority elections.

His party ended up losing one to the Conservatives and Mr Moseley said "in normal circumstances we'd be gaining lots of council seats".

Alan Mosely
Alan Mosely

But the councillor refused to answer questions about the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn

Of course we've got concerns. We should be polling a lot better than we are."

Councillor Alan MosleyLabour leader on Shropshire Council

Rooting out the next generation


Kids playing All Stars Cricket

Know any young children who might be interested in having a go at cricket?

Now's the time to get them involved with the England & Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) grassroots programme for five- to eight-year-olds called All Stars Cricket.

All Stars Cricket is an eight-week course that is being introduced in May through local cricket clubs and centres, offering youngsters a first experience of the sport.  

Sign up here and children will receive a backpack of cricket gear. 

Three months of closures for major works on A483

Shropshire Star

A major road between Shropshire and the Welsh coast will be closed overnight for three months this summer and completely over some weekends for improvement works to be carried out.

In Pictures: Sun shines across Shropshire

BBC Weather Watchers

The sun is out across Shropshire this morning. Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher Bingoswestry for this picture of blue skies across Ludlow. 

If you have a picture that you'd like to share do get in touch. As well as becoming a BBC Weather Watcher, you can email, tweet or get in touch via our Facebook page.  


Local Election: Malcolm Pate wants to remain as council leader

Councillor Malcolm Pate wants to remain as the leader of the council after seeing the Conservatives increase their majority by three seats.

He said there will be a meeting on 15 May when the party will select its leader and that he wanted to "finish the job he started".

Malcolm Pate
Shropshire Council

Shropshire Council in numbers

Here's how Shropshire Council is shaping up and how it compares with the pre-election numbers.


Local Elections: Little change in Shropshire

The counting has finished in the Shropshire Council elections and very little has changed as a result of it.

The Conservatives keep their comfortable majority and gained three extra councillors.

Empty tables

Labour and the Lib Dems both lost a councillor and there is one fewer independent.

The Greens came within a whisker of gaining Oswestry West, but end up with just the one councillor.

Local Elections: Conservatives relieved to hold on to Oswestry West

Joanne Gallacher

Political reporter, BBC Shropshire

The Green Party almost pulled off another surprise - coming within 11 votes of taking the Oswestry West ward from the Conservatives.

Vince Hunt has held on to the seat, but said he was disappointed it ended up so close.


Local Elections: Green Party hail 'real enthusiasm' in Porthill

It's been a mixed morning for the Green Party in the county, gaining one seat on Shropshire Council, but losing another.

Elsewhere, most of the wards are being retained by the councillors who held them before the election - meaning very little change to the overall make up of the authority.

Julian Dean, the man who took the Porthill ward for the Greens pointed to an increase in the turnout as evidence of "real enthusiasm" for their message.

View more on twitter

Tyre fire in Wrockwardine Wood put out

A fire affecting a tyre business in Wrockwardine Wood is now out.

Firefighters are remaining at Plough Road as a precaution and say it now appears no serious damage has been done to a neighbouring bungalow.

Robber jailed for seven years

A 33-year-old man has been jailed for seven years after admitting robbing the One Stop Shop in Market Drayton and attempting to rob the Barclays in Shifnal.

Oliver Jones

Mark Gillon, of no fixed address, appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court for sentencing, after admitting the charges earlier this week.

He also pleaded guilty to stealing a car and number plates and possessing an imitation firearm, but prosecutors accepted not guilty pleas relating to the robbery of Lloyds in Madeley.

Shortage of track and field judges and timekeepers

Alex Seftel

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

The Shropshire Athletics Association has a shortage of officials for next weekend's county championships at Telford's stadium and the Shropshire Schools Championships next month. 

It's putting out a call for volunteer track and field judges and timekeepers. 

Oakengates Leisure Centre

Margaret Afford from Oakengates, who's been travelling the country with a stopwatch for nearly three decades, covering the likes of Linford Christie and Mo Farah, says there are plenty of perks to the job. .

A lot of officials give up once their children grow up and don't compete anymore. The rest of us get bitten by the bug. We're all volunteers, we don't get paid but we keep coming back, having fun, meeting friends as well as service to the athletes. We are there to ensure there is fair competition for everybody."

Margaret AffordTrack and field judge

Fire at garage spreads to bungalow

Firefighters are dealing with a large tyre fire in Wrockwardine Wood and say it has now spread to a nearby bungalow.

They say they were called out to Pine Lodge Tyres on Plough Road at 11:26 and there are now four fire engines there.

fire engine

Local Elections: Green Party loses Oswestry South

We've just had it confirmed - the Green Party has lost Oswestry South to the Conservatives.

And the former Conservative councillor Keith Barrow is celebrating - it used to be the seat he held, before he stood down, triggering a by-election.

View more on twitter

Motorcyclist seriously hurt in Market Drayton crash

A motorcyclist in his 70s has been seriously hurt in a crash in Market Drayton.

The police say the man was injured in a collision with a black VW van on Adderley road at 18:30.

He suffered serious arm and leg injuries and was taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Local Elections: Greens could lose seat to Conservatives

The Green Party had only just been celebrating gaining a councillor in the Porthill ward, but now it's bad news for them - it looks like they might have lost the Oswestry South seat to the Conservatives.

That was the one Duncan Kerr (pictured below) had taken from the Conservatives in a by-election after the resignation of the former council leader Keith Barrow.

Duncan Kerr
Duncan Kerr

Local Elections: Green Party take Porthill ward

The Green Party have taken the Porthill ward in Shrewsbury from the Lib Dems.


Local Elections: Few surprises so far

It's been a morning of few surprises so far in the Shropshire Council elections, with most of the wards being held by the parties which held them before the election.

The leaders of the three main parties on Shropshire Council have held their seats

Local Elections: Conservatives take Broseley from Labour

We've had our first Shropshire Council seat changing hands - the Conservatives have taken Broseley from Labour.

Local Elections: Leaders of three main parties keep their seats on council

The leaders of the Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour on Shropshire Council have all kept their seats on the authority.

We are waiting to see how many of their colleagues will join them, but so far there have been no wards changing hands.

Shropshire Council

Local Elections: Greens could win in Porthill

Joanne Gallacher

Political reporter, BBC Shropshire

The Lib Dems believe they may have lost the Porthill ward in Shrewsbury to the Green Party.


Local Elections: Former council leader in optimistic mood

The former leader of Shropshire Council, Keith Barrow, is in a confident mood as the results start to come in for the local authority elections.

We have six results in so far - five wins for the Conservatives and one for the Lib Dems.

View more on twitter

Local Elections: Turnout announced and counting under way

Turnout in the Shropshire Council elections was 36.39% and 35.38% in the town and parish elections.

Counting is now under way in Shrewsbury and the first result has been announced - the Conservatives have retained Hodnet.


Business group wants more taxis in Shrewsbury

Ian Perry

BBC Radio Shropshire

A group that represents businesses in Shrewsbury says it wants to see more taxis in the town.

Shrewsbury Business Improvement District says that to have a "vibrant and safe late-night economy" people need to know they can get home safely and without delay.


It says it's talking to taxi operators and is considering the possibility of a new taxi rank on Shoplatch, next to the Market Hall.  

Fun fair operator given extension to stay on former school site

A long-established fun-fair operator has been granted an extension to stay on the grounds of the former primary school at St Martin's, near Oswestry. 

Former Ifton Heath primary School

There was some local opposition when Alan Stokes and his extended family were originally allowed to move their caravans and fairground machinery on to the site.

Part of the original agreement was that Mr Stokes would maintain the site.

I think they thought we were going to operate the funfair on the school and be playing loud music and having generations running late at night. Hundreds of teenagers coming down, making a noise and that kind of thing. But they soon realised we were only using it as a base."

Alan StokesFun fair operator

Football: News Saints Ladies win the Shropshire Women's Cup

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

The Shropshire Women's Cup has been won by The New Saints Ladies Reserves. They beat Shrewsbury Town Ladies 4-2, last night at the Greenhous Meadow.  

News Saints Ladies Reserve team
New Saints FC

The trophy was presented by Maureen Farmer, widow of the late Tom Farmer, who was chairman of the Shropshire FA for many years.

Man faces jail over armed raids

A man's due to be sentenced today after admitting two armed hold-ups in the county - one at the One Stop shop in Market Drayton six weeks ago and an attempted robbery at Barclays Bank in Shifnal.

Shrewsbury Crown Court

On Tuesday, Mark Gillon, 33, of no fixed address, also admitted the theft of a car and number plates and two charges of possessing an imitation firearm. 

Local Elections: Counting due to get under way this morning

Counting in the local elections here in Shropshire will get under way at 10:00, although we understand the ballots were verified overnight, which should save some time.

As well as the 74 Shropshire Council seats, they'll also be totting up totals for the town and parish elections, although those won't be announced till tomorrow.  

Shrewsbury sports village

More than 150 people will be counting the votes, at the Sundorne Sports Village, on the outskirts of Shrewsbury.

Shropshire Council was controlled by the Conservative Group. 

For a different outcome, the Tories would have to lose nine seats and the other parties join forces in a coalition to get the magic number of 38.

UKIP MEP says he won't stand in general election

Phil Maiden

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

The West Midlands UKIP MEP, Jim Carver, has told the BBC he won't be standing as a candidate at the general election.

The Worcester-based politician resigned as his party's foreign affairs spokesman over what he called its "misguided" plan to ban the wearing of the burka. 

Jim Carver

You know my personal position over a policy so I made the decision I won't be standing."

Jim CarverUKIP MEP