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Council to confirm new chief executive

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Cheshire East Council is due to confirm its new chief executive at a meeting tomorrow night.

Lorraine O’Donnell was recently the director of transformation and partnerships at Durham County Council and will replace Kath O’Dwyer, who has served as acting chief executive since April 2017.

Council headquarters

Ms O’Dwyer was due to be appointed to the £151,000-a-year role in December, but decided to return to her hometown of St Helens instead, to become the council chief executive there.

A report going before councillors tomorrow said there was a "rigorous assessment phase" to choose Ms O'Donnell, including an interview last Thursday.

Bin lorries converted to use gas fuel

Bin lorries in Crewe and other parts of Cheshire are going to be converted to use hyrdogen fuel.

Cheshire East Council has been given £1m to pay for the move and will also set up the first green hydrogen fuelling facility in the North West of England.

Ex-MP looks to win council seat

BBC Radio Stoke

The former Crewe and Nantwich MP Laura Smith is hoping to become a Cheshire East borough councillor.

She has been confirmed as Labour's candidate for the Crewe South ward by-election next month.

Laura Smith
Getty Images

The former teacher lost her parliamentary seat in the December general election after two years as MP.

Prospective candidates had until 16:00 today to register their nomination. The full list of candidates will appear on the Cheshire East Council website.

8% of urgent ambulance calls in the North West take more than an hour

A BBC investigation has found that thousands of patients who've had strokes, heart attacks and fits are being made to wait over an hour for an ambulance.

Across the North West, 84,548 out of 1,044,119 calls led to waits of more than an hour. That's a higher proportion than in many other English regions that responded to a request for their data. Only the East Midlands and South West were higher.

BBC News obtained the data under the Freedom of Information Act covering the period from the start of 2018 to September 2019.

The North West Ambulance Service has been invited to respond.

Close up of side panel of large ambulance
Trying to escape from police, Stephen Beaumont also tries to perform a U-turn into traffic
Trying to escape from police, Stephen Beaumont also tries to perform a U-turn into traffic

Change to council decision-making process delayed

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Cheshire East Council is going to wait another 12 months before scrapping its cabinet and replacing it with a number of decision-making committees.

The idea was a manifesto promise from the Independent Group before it entered a coalition with Labour after last year's local elections. Councillors had voted to introduce the change in May.

Cheshire East Council

Councillor Brendan Murphy, leader of the Real Independent Group, said he understood there would be some disappointment, but more work needed to be done to ensure " a robust process is fully in place".

MP wants HS2 to relieve rail congestion

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The government is being urged not to cancel HS2 by the MP for Crewe and Nantwich.

Artist's impression of HS2 train
PA Media

If it is approved, phase two of the high-speed rail project will connect Birmingham with Leeds and Manchester, via Crewe.

Today, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said a decision on its future will be made next month.

BBC Radio Stoke understands Dr Keiran Mullan is behind a letter from 40 MPs pushing for HS2 to go ahead, despite the overall project's expected £106bn price tag.

The congestion on the West Coast Main Line means that journeys are jam-packed, if there's a problem on one part of the railway it causes knock on effects locally and so I know residents want to see that investment locally in a new railway line to free up capacity."

Dr Keiran MullanCrewe and Nantwich MP

Woman dies day after being hit by lorry

Vicky Norton

BBC Radio Stoke

A woman's died a day after she was hit by a lorry.

Haslington Bypass in Crewe Green

The 37-year-old, from Sandbach, was struck by the vehicle on Tuesday on the Haslington Bypass near Crewe Green roundabout, Crewe, Cheshire Police said.

She suffered serious injuries and died on Wednesday at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Woman critical after lorry crash

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A woman's in a critical condition after being hit by a lorry.

Haslington Bypass near Crewe Green

It happened on the Haslington Bypass near the Crewe Green roundabout, Crewe, in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Police said the pedestrian in her 30s suffered serious injuries and remains at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Officers said they were keen to hear from witnesses, particularly anyone with dashcam footage.

Council could vote for badger cull ban

Cheshire East councillors could vote today to ban badger-culling on land it owns, including rented farms.

The culls have been taking place for the last two-and-a-half years as part of an annual government programme to try to eradicate tuberculosis in cows.

Getty Images

Under council proposals, badgers on its land would be vaccinated instead.

The National Farmers Union said the plan was worrying as the cull was working.

Unifinished business: £3m spent so far on emergency base

Bob Cooper

Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

More than £3m has been spent on an emergency services base in Cumbria, that still stands half-built when it should should have been finished two years ago, BBC Cumbria has established.

Half-finished building

Work on the base for the police, fire and ambulance services in Ulverston, called the Blue Light Hub, was held up by a contractual dispute.

Cumbria County Council has refused to release details of any pay-out to its former contractor.

The authority says it's now got a new builder in place and hopes soon to say more about when work will re-start.

Former stately home devastated by fire

Allen Cook

BBC News

A 19th Century mansion has been left badly damaged after a large fire, according to photos released by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The roof of the building
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

At its height, dozens of firefighters battled the blaze on Sunday evening at Tilstone House on Nantwich Road in Tarporley, near Nantwich.

The fire service said the fire swept across all three floors of the former stately home, which is now used as a wedding venue.

By 15:30, just one fire engine was still at the house.

Looking into the roof
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

'No more hotspots' in stately home blaze

Allen Cook

BBC News

The blaze at the 19th century Cheshire mansion looks to now be out, the fire service's said.

Fire crews jetting water on to blaze
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Fifty firefighters were sent just after 20:30 on Sunday to Tilstone House on Nantwich Road in Tarporley.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) said at 11:00 their crews had stopped damping down and no more hotspots had been found.

Fire at 19th Century mansion 'under control'

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A fire at a 19th Century country house is now under control, the fire service has said.

Fire at the building
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Dozens of firefighters had to be called to Tilstone House on the A51 Nantwich Road, near Nantwich, from just before 20:30 last night.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze had spread through all three floors but no-one's thought to have been hurt.

By just after 08:00 they said crews were damping down at the scene and checking for any remaining hotspots.

The owners of Tilstone House describe it on their website as a "luxury wedding venue" which was built in 1888.