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  1. Chris Halpin

Rising London rents sees mother 'evicted' to Midlands

When it came to light two years ago that councils in London were moving tenants to the Midlands because of a social housing shortage, critics claimed it amounted to social cleansing.

In April 2012 it emerged local authorities in the capital were telling social housing tenants who couldn't afford London rents, they'd have to move to cities like Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton.

Now mother-of-three Cecilia Bruce-Annan says because of Government benefit caps, she's in rent arrears and is being forced to move away from her family in Harrow, 150 miles to Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire

Her local council says that with rising rents, and shrinking benefits, her housing allowance is unsustainable unless she moves a place where rent is more affordable.

Chris Halpin reports.

Nelson takes bronze to make history

Ashleigh Nelson celebrates third place in the Women's 100m Final Credit: PA

Ashleigh Nelson has become the first female british sprinter in 40 years to win a European 100m medal.

The 23-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent ran 11.22 in difficult conditions to win a bronze medal in the final at the European Athletics Championship in Zurich. She won a bronze as part of the 4x100m relay team at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow two weeks ago.

She ran a personal best in the semi-final earlier in the week to qualify for the final.

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Lorry driver's lucky escape after smashing into garden

The lorry came to rest in a front garden Credit: West Midlands Ambulance Service

A man was lucky to escape serious injury after the lorry he was driving smashed through a wall, a tree and telegraph pole before eventually stopping in a front garden in Stoke-on-Trent.

It happened on the A53 Leek Road at around 10am, and two ambulances and a paramedic attended the scene.

Crews arrived to find a lorry in the front garden of a property. A wall, tree, telegraph pole and various other items had been damaged in the collision.

The driver of the lorry, a man in his 20s, was treated by ambulance staff for a minor head injury. A woman in her 70s, who witnessed the incident, was in shock and also required treatment. Both were taken to University Hospital North Staffordshire as a precaution.

– West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman

Police officer threatens to "knock out" woman

A Staffordshire police officer has been suspended after a video emerged of him threatening to "knock out" a woman in Stoke-on-Trent.

The footage shows the officer dealing with a disturbance outside a nightclub in Hanley in the early hours of Sunday morning.

He can be heard swearing at the woman and warns her he will "knock her out".

Staffordshire Police officer suspended

A Staffordshire Police officer has been suspended after an incident in Hanley in Stoke-on-Trent at the weekend.

The force says it is undertaking a "thorough and robust investigation" into the complaint.

"Our communities expect only the highest standards of conduct from our officers, and whilst we recognise they can often face challenging situations, it is important that they remain professional throughout. A formal complaint has been taken in relation to the incident in Hanley involving one of our officers in the early hours on Sunday morning. We have reviewed the initial information and taken the decision to suspend the police officer concerned whilst we undertake a thorough and robust investigation into the complaint. It would not be appropriate to comment any further until the investigation has been concluded and experienced investigators from our performance assessment unit will be maintaining contact with the member of the public concerned."

– Police spokesman

The incident has been voluntarily referred to the IPCC.

Growing concern as 13-year-old girl missing for 4 days

Bethany Hughes was last seen on the evening of Saturday 12 July Credit: ITV News Central

Police say they're becoming increasingly concerned for a 13-year-old girl from Stoke-on-Trent who's been missing for four days.

Bethany Hughes, from Gilman Street, was last seen on the evening of Saturday 12 July on Chorlton Road, Birches Head.

She is described as white, 5ft 5in tall and of medium build. She has very long black hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion.

She is thought to be wearing dark jeans, a black leather jacket, black trainers and a black and pink cap with the word ‘Brooklyn’ on it.

Anyone who has seen Bethany or anyone who has any information about her whereabouts is urged to call Staffordshire Police immediately on 101 quoting incident number 953 of 12 July.

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Robbie Williams given the freedom of Stoke-on-Trent

Robbie Williams has been presented with the Freedom of Stoke-on-Trent. Credit: Simon Niblett copyright Farrell Music Ltd

Robbie Williams has been presented with the Freedom of Stoke-on-Trent at a private ceremony in his home city.

He was awarded a commemorative scroll by Lord Mayor Majid Khan at the Town Hall yesterday.

His parents attended the event along with his wife Ayda and 22-month-old daughter Teddy.

He was awarded a commemorative scroll by Lord Mayor Majid Khan. Credit: Simon Niblett copyright Farrell Music Ltd

Five hour car journey to make £2000 donation to Staffordshire boy preparing to step out without pain...but it's just a drop in fundraising ocean

Ben gets his first pair of trainers before his operation Credit: ITV News Central

A little boy from Staffordshire with Cerebral Palsy, who is preparing to have an operation to help him walk, has just received a £2000 donation for his aftercare, his mum has told ITV Central.

A man visited the family home in Silverdale, Staffordshire, last night after a five hour car journey.

But this will only pay for two and a half weeks of post-operation treatment.....and he'll need two whole years of physiotherapy.

The family have been urgently raising money for the operation itself, but are now turning their attention to the vast amounts of money Ben will need for aftercare so won't have to use a wheelchair.

Victorian pottery to re-open after £9million revamp

The pottery was renovated for £9million Credit: ITV News Central

The UK's last working Victorian pottery factory will reopen to the public today after a £9million revamp.

Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent was set to close in 2011, but after being bought by the Prince's Restoration Trust, a three-year redevelopment project has secured it for the future.

It is the last working Victorian pottery factory in the UK Credit: ITV News Central
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