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Seven injured in six-vehicle shunt on M6 today

Seven people were injured in a shunt on the M6 this morning Credit: West Midlands Ambulance Service

Seven people were injured in a six-vehicle shunt on the M6 in Staffordshire this morning, but nobody was seriously hurt.

The crash happened at 8:45am on the southbound carriageway, about a mile before junction 14.

Two ambulances and a paramedic rushed to the scene.

“Although a number had suffered significant front and rear end damage, none of those inside the vehicles was seriously hurt.

“A woman was taken by ambulance to Royal Stoke University Hospital with neck and back pain, but it's not thought that it was serious.

“A man was taken to County Hospital in Stafford with chest and abdominal pain, but again this was for precautionary checks.

“Another five men were assessed at the scene and discharged without the need to go to hospital.”

– West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman

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Half of top ten worst towns for empty shops in West Midlands

Boarded-up shops Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Five of the top ten worst town centres in the country for empty shops are in the West Midlands.

The Local Data Company has found that Burslem in Staffordshire is the worst for vacant stores in England, with Stoke-on-Trent coming in second. Dudley in the West Midlands had previously been top of the list for three years running.

The report found that 20% of all the shops it tracked had been vacant for more than three years, which amounts to almost 10,000 outlets.

"This is the equivalent of five Manchesters lying empty."

– Local Data Company director Matthew Hopkinson
Burslem in Staffordshire has the most empty shops of any town in the UK Credit: Google Maps

The top 10 worst town centres for vacant retail and leisure space contain five in the West Midlands, four in the North West and one in the North East.

The top three are Burslem in Staffordshire with a vacancy rate of 29.4 per cent, Stoke-on-Trent with a vacancy of 28 per cent and Hartlepool in County Durham, with a vacancy rate of 27.3%.

The top 10 best town centres have six in Greater London and the South East.

"At a regional level the polarisation between the North and the South is as wide as ever with London's vacancy rate being less than half that of the northern regions."

– Local Data Company director Matthew Hopkinson

Report: Stafford Hospital protestors leave camp

Protestors at Stafford Hospital spent the morning dismantling their camp Credit: Wesley Smith / ITV News Central

After 198 nights, protestors at Stafford Hospital have spent the day dismantling their camp and packing up.

They have been campaigning about the restructuring of services which will see emergency surgery moved to Stoke-on-Trent, but they vow to fight on. Wesley Smith reports.

  1. Wesley Smith

Protestors at Stafford Hospital packing up camp

People protesting over the protection of services at Stafford Hospital are packing up camp Credit: Wesley Smith / ITV News Central

The protesters at Stafford Hospital are packing up camp, but say their campaign is far from over.

The camp is being dismantled after some fell in the cold weather Credit: Wesley Smith / ITV News Central

A new shop is opening in the town centre and one member is standing for parliament.

Some have been on site in all weathers for more than 200 nights.

Campaigners say the fight goes on to protect services at the hospital Credit: Wesley Smith / ITV News Central

Hospital protest camp dismantled due to illness

A protest camp in the grounds of Stafford Hospital is being abandoned today, as some of the protesters have become ill.

The protest camp will be dismantled today almost 200 days after it was set up Credit: ITV News

The Save Stafford Hospital campaigners have been protesting about emergency surgery being moved to Stoke-on-Trent. NHS officials deny anyone will be at risk but the protestors disagree.

After a bitterly cold winter weather some in the protest camp have developed chest infections, flu and even pneumonia. The camp will be dismantled this morning, almost 200 days after it was set up.

The Save Stafford Hospital campaigners say they will carry on with their fight from a town centre office.

More: Stafford Hospital renamed in £250 million investment

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NFU stage dairy debate in Staffordshire

A debate on falling milk prices and the challenges faced by local dairy farmers will be held in Staffordshire today.

The price of milk has fallen to its lowest since 2007 Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The event has been organised by the National Farmers Union which says the number of dairy farmers will continue to decrease unless market conditions improve.

Farmers have seen the price of milk fall to around 20p per litre - its lowest since 2007.

Thousands of cars seized by Staffordshire Police

Superintendent Mick Boyle and PCC Matthew Ellis Credit: Staffordshire Police

Over 3, 250 vehicles have been seized by Staffordshire Police officers in a major crackdown on car insurance dodgers.

Cars Behind Bars is a scheme that was started by Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis.

Since it launched in May last year, police officers have seized thousands of cars, vans, motorcycles, mopeds, lorries and tractors.

Cars Behind Bars uses automatic number plate recognition, and if laid end to end, the number of vehicles that have so far been seized would stretch to over 12km.

One of the cars seized by police for having no insurance Credit: Staffordshire Police

“It’s clear that the message is hitting home as the number of insured motorists on Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent roads has risen significantly.

“Those who drive without insurance can’t hide in Staffordshire. They are being caught and dealt with by having their vehicles seized and, in many cases, scrapped or sold at auction.

“It’s definitely struck a chord with law-abiding motorists who are hit by rising premiums because of these law-breakers. Why should all pay more because some people don’t pay at all?”

– POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER MATTHEW ELLIS
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