Live updates

Special needs nursery asks for donations of Easter eggs

The Peter Pan Nursery is asking for Easter eggs to be donated
The Peter Pan Nursery is asking for Easter eggs to be donated Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Peter Pan Nursery in Newcastle-Under-Lyme is appealing for Easter eggs to be donated to children in time for the Easter holidays.

The nursery provides care and education for children with special needs from birth to five years old.

Sophia Baker, head of fundraising at the charity, said:

This is the second year we have launched the Easter Egg appeal, which was a fantastic success last year in which all of our children received a delicious treat.

Soldier's mother: Arboretum closure would break hearts

A woman who lost her son in Basra says the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is too important a place to get rid of, and it would break her heart if it closed.

Carol Jones was instrumental in getting the Basra Memorial moved from Iraq to the Arboretum. She says she prefers to go to the memorial in Staffordshire than to her son John's grave.

Advertisement

MP: Memorial Arboretum cuts an 'embarrassment'

A Staffordshire MP has criticised a decision by the Ministry of Defence to cut funding to the National Memorial Arboretum, calling it an "embarrassment".

While the MoD says it extended funding which was due to be cut altogether last year, Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant argues that it's still not enough. He says the Arboretum gets a fraction of the funding given to other memorials - despite attracting much higher visitor numbers.

MP slams cuts to National Memorial Arboretum

General view of the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire Credit: ITV News Central

There are calls for the government to re-think its decision to cut funding for the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The MP for Lichfield, Michael Fabricant, has called the removal of the grant a national disgrace, saying:

> "This is an embarrassment and a national disgrace. I shall work with the NMA to pile the pressure on the Ministry of Defence into supplying adequate funding... The National Memorial Arboretum and the Armed Forces Memorial are an iconic centre for national remembrance."

The arboretum contains the National Armed Forces Memorial dedicated to the 16,000 servicemen and women who have died since the Second World War.

'Sense of grief' at loss of PC who was keen boxer

Bf23a5e7589f63318ca9952a23762ed9_normal

@staffspolice Rest in Peace mate, #5735 PC Dave BEECH. Former special and good all round officer!

J5uxwijs7uvggt9700eh_normal

Real sense of grief in @staffspolice following tragic death of PC Dave Beech after fire at his home. Thinking of his family and friends

Advertisement

Fatal house fire started in the kitchen of PC's home

A house fire which killed a Staffordshire police officer and his two pet dogs started in the kitchen, investigators have revealed.

Neighbours called the fire service shortly before 11.30am on Sunday after noticing the external extractor fan on PC David Beech's home in Tunstall had melted.

When firefighters broke in to the property, they found PC Beech along with the two animals.

Fire investigators said while the fire had not spread beyond the kitchen, the house was heavily smoke-logged.

Zoo could add to tourism economy of Staffordshire

A zoo in Staffordshire, which is looking for new owners, could add to the tourism economy in the county, according to a councillor.

Cllr Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure at Staffordshire County Council says the area already has a growing tourism trade, so a thriving zoo could also become popular with visitors.

Staffordshire has a booming tourism economy, up around 35 per cent over the last four years and I’m sure with some good investment and clever marketing the zoo could become a real hit with visitors.

We have a rich tapestry of visitor attractions here in Staffordshire with Alton Towers, one of the country's leading theme parks just down the road, and a host of other exciting places including Cannock Chase and the majestic Shugborough Estate near Stafford – and Blackbrook is certainly one of the quirkier attractions.

Staffordshire zoo still looking for new owners

The entrance to the park Credit: Staffordshire County Councl

A zoo in Staffordshire, which is in administration, is still looking for new owners.

Meerkats at the zoo Credit: Staffordshire County Council

Blackbrook Zoological Park, near Leek, has more than 200 types of animals including penguins, flamingos, Emus, tortoises and meerkats.

It is thought the zoo would be available to buy for about £350,000.

Police chiefs pay tribute to 'exceptional' colleague

Police chiefs in Staffordshire have paid tribute to an “exceptional” police officer who died in a house fire in Stoke-on-Trent.

Thirty-year-old PC David Beech was found dead at his home in Wyreley Way along with his two pet dogs on Sunday morning.

Ch Cons Mike Cunningham said PC Beech had been awarded a number commendations for his work with the force.

His family were immensely proud of Dave and his exceptional service in our police family, and we all share this great loss of a valued friend and colleague.

He had been awarded a number of commendations during his time with the force and we know he was extremely proud to be a police officer.

He will be a great loss to us all.

– Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, Staffordshire Police

Ch Insp Clare Riley, commander at Newcastle Local Policing Team where PC Beech was based, added:

Dave was a well respected police officer who loved his job and serving the community.

He was also one of the most genuine people that you would care to know and his friends and colleagues will miss him dearly.

– Chief Inspector Clare Riley, Newcastle LPT commander
Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories