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17 arrested after drugs raids in Knowsley

Police carry out raids in Knowsley Credit: Merseyside Police

Police have arrested 17 people on suspicion of drug-related offences after raids in Knowsley. The early morning raids are the culmination of an investigation into individuals who have been involved in drug dealing, crime and antisocial behaviour in the Huyton area .

Witness unaware of casualties

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Inquests hear 'obvious fans would die'

Phoenix Nights hits the stage

Peter Kay Credit: PA

Peter Kay has announced that he'll be staging a production of Phoenix Nights. The Bolton comedian says there'll be a live show at Manchester arena. The programme hit the screens 13 years ago and the original cast including Paddy McGuinnes, Dave Spikey and Neil FitzMaurice will appear in the new version to raise money for Comic Relief. They'll appear at the Manchester arena on Saturday 31st Jan and Sunday 1st Feb.

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Childcare providers get top marks from OFSTED

The majority of childcare and early years providers in the region are above average according to new figures from OFSTED. The figures include statistics about inspections that took place between 1 July and 31 August 2014 - 442 early years registered providers were inspected. Of these, Ofsted judged:

43 (10 per cent) to be outstanding;292 (66 per cent) to be good;69 (16 per cent) to require improvement; and38 (nine per cent) were inadequate.

Local authority figures and more statistics are available at http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/official-statistics-early-years-and-childcare-registered-providers-inspections-and-outcomes

“Nurseries and other early years providers are getting better. These statistics show that four-fifths have been judged to be good or outstanding at their most recent inspection. However, the gaps for the poorest children are still too wide. We are clear that good teaching is essential to help more young children, particularly those from poorer areas, be ready to learn when they begin primary school. We are working with those providers judged to require improvement to help them provide a better service for young children and their parents. We are currently consulting on the future of education inspection, which includes early years, and would urge nurseries and other providers to consider our consultation carefully.”

– Ofsted spokesperson

Police forces doing well overall

A new report into the work of the region's police forces shows that overall they are doing a good job. The survey from the Inspector of Constabulary examines how effective they are in combating and preventing crime, and managing resources. It shows that in general they are coping well with the challenges they face. And as Mike Cunningham from the HMIC explains Lancashire is doing particularly well.

Cat shot with airgun

Norris Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA is investigating the shooting of cat in a Lancashire village.

The adult male Maine Coon cat, called Norris, was found collapsed with serious injuries near his owner’s home in Calder Vale earlier this month.

He had several airgun pellets lodged in his body.

RSPCA inspector Amy McIntosh says the pet was nearly killed.

“It was touch and go for a while when he was taken straight to the vet. Because of injuries to his face, it was very difficult for him to eat.

“It is by sheer luck that he didn’t suffer a slow and painful death that no animal should have to endure.”

AMY McINTOSH, RSPCA

Norris is now back home, but still hasn’t been outside after spending a week at the vets.

His owner, Martin Meighan, says it was a huge shock when the vet told them what had happened.

“We thought he might have been hit by a car, as these things happen. When the vet told us that he’d been shot though, we couldn’t believe it.

“He’d got a broken jaw and there was damage to his tongue as well, but he’s a big cat and maybe that is what saved him as he was able to drag himself back home where we found him. “Everybody around here has animals and we’re all big animal lovers, so nobody can understand who would do this, or why?”

MARTIN MEIGHAN, OWNER

The maximum sentence someone can face for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal under the Animal Welfare Act is up to six months in prison and a fine of up to £20,000.

The RSPCA is asking anyone with information to call 0300 123 8018

The cat suffered multiple injuries Credit: RSPCA
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