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Live Reporting

Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

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

  2. Homeless removed by police from council cycle hub

    Tim Wedgwood

    BBC Local LIve

    Homeless people have today been removed from a Stoke-on-Trent cycle hub by police officers.

    Video content

    Video caption: Homeless removed from council cycle hub by police.

    Staffordshire Police says it is reclaiming the shelter for public use in response to concerns from local businesses. 

    Officers say the city council hub on Old Hall Street hasn't been used for its proper purpose for the past few months, and it's been at the centre of a lot of anti-social behaviour.  

  3. Ayeeshia Jane Smith murder trial: Mum 'said take girl away'

    Jennifer Meierhans

    BBC News Online

    A mother accused of murdering her 21-month-old daughter told social services "to just take her away", a court heard.

    Kathryn Smith was told Ayeeshia Jane Smith would be taken into care if she continued to see "abusive" Joshua Collier, whose baby she aborted.

    Ayeeshia Jane Smith

    Ayeeshia died at her home in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, when her heart was torn by a forceful stamp, a jury was told.

    Ms Smith and her partner Matthew Rigby, 22, both from Nottingham, deny murder.

    The trial continues.

  4. This evening on BBC Midlands Today: Winners and losers from the Budget

    BBC Midlands Today

    There's been a mixed reaction here in the Midlands to George Osborne's eighth Budget.  

    Video content

    Video caption: Some of the key announcements from George Osborne's 2016 Budget

    Some business leaders welcome his cuts in business taxes. Others are disappointed he said so little about the political and spending powers to be devolved to the new combined authority. 

    Our Political Editor Patrick Burns will have a full round up on Midlands Today tonight from 18:30 on BBC One.

  5. Football: Crewe defender trying to relish relegation battle

    Dan Wheeler

    BBC Sport

    Fit-again defender Harry Davis says he is doing his best to enjoy the challenge of trying to keep Crewe Alexandra in League One.

    Harry Davis

    After seven months out with a knee injury, Davis, 24, is back in the thick of the action with the Alex 23rd in the table, seven points from safety.  

    Quote Message: Everyone's relishing the challenge in the dressing room. We haven't been good enough in the first 15 minutes of games and that has to change." from Harry Davis Crewe Alexandra defender
    Harry DavisCrewe Alexandra defender
  6. Watch: Puppies used to help Staffordshire students to relax

    John Acres

    BBC Radio Stoke

    There were puppies in the library at Staffordshire University this afternoon, to help the students relax.

    Video content

    Video caption: Puppies help Staffordshire University students to relax

    The guide dogs were in the Cadman Building on the Stoke-on-Trent campus.

    The university says the event was arranged so students could "chill out" ahead of assignment deadlines

  7. Your pictures: Sunny sheep and a gleaming river from BBC Weather Watchers

    Monica Rimmer

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    The sun's come out in Staffordshire and Cheshire this morning and these are a couple of the many photos our BBC Weather Watchers have sent in.

    This first one's from Videoman in Leek.

    Sheep in a field in Leek

    And this second one of a river in Cheadle's been uploaded by Frankie.

    You can be one of our Weather Watchers by signing up on the BBC website.

    River in Cheadle
  8. Budget Day bouquets and bombshells for the Midlands

    Patrick Burns

    Political editor, Midlands

    "Youth unemployment is falling fastest in the West Midlands."

    This was George Osborne's opening salvo in a Budget statement designed to show that his much-vaunted rebalancing of the economy is fast materialising.

    George Osborne in the House of Commons

    In my view it was a more cautious, cagey Budget than you would have expected at this stage in the electoral cycle. You can't afford to upset too many people when your majority is just 12.

    You can read more of my thoughts including who I think benefits and why on the BBC website in my latest blog post.

  9. Whatever happened to the Great British nightclub?

    BBC News England

    The nightclub has fallen out of fashion so much that it is no longer viewed as statistically significant by the Office for National Statistics. What happened, asks Chris Stokel-Walker on the BBC Magazine website

    Hand in the air at a club

    In 2005 there were 3,144 night clubs across the country, according to the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR). Last year, there were just 1,733.  

    People in Staffordshire will know the Zanzibar nightclub in Newcastle-under-Lyme's been shut for at least 10 years - the well-known Place nightclub in Stoke-on-Trent went decades ago.

  10. Lambing warning over dog attacks on farm animals

    Ros Chimes

    Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

    A sheep farmer in Staffordshire is urging dog owners to keep their pets on leads, especially during lambing season.

    Jackie Langford-Mycock

    It comes as the NFU Mutual insurance group says dog attacks on farm animals cost the industry £1.1m in 2015 through lost livestock. 

    The organisation says it estimates over 18,500 livestock were killed or injured in such incidents last year.

    Quote Message: The countryside is here for everybody to enjoy. I mean look, it's absolutely beautiful, it's just at this time of the year we just ask people to keep their dogs on leads and if possible, avoid fields with baby lambs in them. from Jackie Langford-Mycock (pictured) Sheep farmer in the Staffordshire Moorlands
    Jackie Langford-Mycock (pictured)Sheep farmer in the Staffordshire Moorlands
  11. News: 'Vicious' attack in Burton; police remove homeless from cycle shelter; misspelt sign 'confuses' shoppers

    Lee Thomas

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    These are among Staffordshire and Cheshire's main stories this evening:

    - A man's needed hospital treatment after suffering a "vicious and unprovoked attack" in Burton, police say  

    - Homeless people have today been removed from a Stoke-on-Trent cycle hub by police officers

    - Shoppers in Stafford have told BBC Radio Stoke they have been left confused by a spelling mistake in a new shop sign   

  12. Watch: Tonight and tomorrow's weather for Stoke and Staffordshire

    Rebecca Wood

    BBC Midlands Today

    The latest forecast for Staffordshire and Cheshire can also be found on the BBC website.

    Video content

    Video caption: Afternoon BBC Weather forecast for the West Midlands
  13. Football: Hooper praises Port Vale manager for his own improvement

    BBC Radio Stoke Sport

    Port Vale striker JJ Hooper has praised manager Rob Page's work in developing him as a player.

    JJ Hooper

    Hooper scored his second goal for the club, after coming on as a substitute, in Saturday's 3-2 win at Peterborough.

    He told BBC Radio Stoke that he's fit and ready to start, should he be chosen.

    Quote Message: When I first came, maybe I wasn't as sharp as everyone else but the longer I've been here the sharper I've become so I appreciate what he has done." from JJ Hooper Port Vale striker
    JJ HooperPort Vale striker
  14. Your pictures: Spring is 'sprung' in Staffordshire

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    This week has certainly felt like spring is in the air and Duncan Richardson's picture from Audley today seems to back this up - crocuses in flower.

    Crocuses in flower

    Have you taken a picture showing spring in Staffordshire and Cheshire? If so and you want to share it, send it in on email, Twitter or Instagram.

  15. Gold bars taken in Staffordshire break in

    Lee Thomas

    Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

    Bars of gold have been stolen during a burglary in Staffordshire.

    Old Eaton Road

    Staffordshire Police say the break in at a house on Old Eaton Road, Rugeley, was discovered on Monday when the owners returned from a long weekend break. 

    High-value watches, spare keys to the couple's cars and a necklace were also taken, after the back door of the house was forced open.

  16. Call for new bypass around Stoke-on-Trent

    James Bovill

    Political reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

    A Stoke-on-Trent MP has called for a new bypass to relieve traffic in the city. 

    Traffic jam on the M6 motorway

    Labour's Rob Flello says he wants a route to connect the M6 and M1 without disrupting the city's local roads. 

    He's written to the chancellor, George Osborne, asking for a feasibility study for a project similar to the M64 plan which was scrapped in the 1970s