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'Most Wanted' Liverpool drug trafficker held in Tenerife

Stephen Blundell handed himself in to Spanish police on Monday. Credit: Crimestoppers.

A Liverpool drug trafficker who headed a crime group that supplied huge amounts of heroin to the South West of England has been arrested in Tenerife after two years on the run.

Stephen Blundell, 36, from Halewood, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin but fled to Spain before he could be sentenced in April 2013.

He was later jailed for nine years eight months in his absence.

Police say Blundell controlled a crime group which included a Cornish grandmother caught transporting £50,000 heroin under pasties in her shopping bag.

He was held after handing himself in to the Spanish authorities in Tenerife on Monday.

Extradition proceedings will begin tomorrow when Blundell appears at the Spanish National Court in Madrid.

Blundell is the 64th fugitive to be located through Operation Captura – the initiative between Crimestoppers, the National Crime Agency and the Spanish authorities.

He featured in the Captura ‘unlucky thirteen’ campaign launched in November 2013.

Blundell's initial wanted photograph. Credit: Crimestoppers.

It was only a matter of time before he was caught as the Spanish National Police had been carrying out intelligence-led operations in Tenerife.

"The law enforcement net was tightening and I believe he handed himself in when he realised his days on the run were numbered.”

– Hank Cole, Head of International Operations for the NCA

New Land Rover revealed at Halewood

New Land Rover model

A new sports utility vehicle which has helped create 250 jobs is being revealed today by Jaguar Land Rover .

The new seven-seater Land Rover Discovery Sport will be made at Jaguar Land Rover's Halewood plant on Merseyside and is part of the £200 million the company is spending on developing the Discovery family of vehicles.

The new 2.2 litre turbo diesel-powered vehicle will be available from January and prices will start at £32,395.

The extra jobs take the total number at Halewood to 4,750 - more than treble the number employed there in 2010.

The Discovery Sport is being revealed at Spaceport America in New Mexico, US, the base for Virgin Galactic's sub-orbital space flights.

JLR is also launching the Land Rover Galactic Discovery competition, in which four people can win a trip to space with Virgin Galactic.

JLR said its capital spending for the 2014/15 financial year was expected to reach up to £3.5 billion.


Gas leak at Halewood chemical plant

A cordon was set up around Pentagon Fine Chemicals in Halewood Credit: Google

Emergency services were called to a chemical plant in Halewood after reports of a gas leak.

Roads around Pentagon Fine Chemicals in Lower Road were shut as a precaution. An investigation found that some gas had escaped but the leak was confined to the site.

Chief Inspector Chris Hitchell said: "I want to reassure people living in the area that there was no danger to local residents and no escape of any chemical from the site."

Strike hits Jaguar Halewood plant

JLR Halewood Credit: PA

Workers employed by firms which deliver parts to Jaguar Land Rover sites including Halewood are to take industrial action in a row over pay and jobs.

Members of Unite will walk out for half an hour on August 28 and ban overtime at four firms.

The agencies supply staff who deliver parts to JLR plants in the West Midlands and Halewood.

A Unite spokesman said: "Negotiations are ongoing and Unite hopes to reach an agreed resolution.

"The union has a meeting with the employers this Thursday (August 22) where we will be continuing to push for a settlement which ends low pay and exploitation while delivering permanency for agency workers.

"Unite has given seven days' notice of industrial action to DHL and other agencies providing services to JLR plants. The law insists that the union must take industrial action within 28 days of a ballot.

"The union will therefore take minimum action to allow talks to continue while keeping our mandate for action alive so negotiations can continue."

Around 3,500 workers are involved in the dispute.

The employers where workers were balloted for industrial action are DHL, NAC, Staffline and Milestones.

The action will consist of a half hour stoppage at the start of the workers' shifts on August 28.

In addition, Unite members will ban overtime from August 28 to 0700 on August 29

Evoque made in Halewood is JLR's biggest ever seller

Jaguar Land Rover have announced the Evoque is their biggest selling model ever.

The plant in Halewood produced 220,000 vehicles in the last two years.

Range Rover Evoque Credit: Press Association

Jaguar Land Rover employs around 4500 people at its Merseyside plant.

IAC, a local manufacturer which produces the car's dashboards, have increased their workforce four-fold and have now gone into 24-hour production.

Halewood's Range Rover Evoque has reached it's two year milestone. Credit: Press Association

JLR have seen almost 2000 apprentices work through the ranks since the car started production at the Merseyside plant.

Evoque production line at Halewood Credit: Ashley Derricott


Hundreds of Merseyside-made Evoques and Freelanders being recalled

All the vehicles being recalled were made at Halewood on Merseyside Credit: Dave Thompson/PA

Hundreds of Range Rover Evoques and Land Rover Freelanders are being recalled by the manufacturer.

Jaguar Land Rover, which makes the cars at its Merseyside factory in Halewood, says 1,400 of the cars need to come back to the plant for inspections.

About 800 Evoques may have a steering issue, while another 600 Evoques and Freelanders could have faulty brakes. There have been no reported accidents.

The problems affect 235 cars in the UK.

A JLR spokesman said: "Land Rover is voluntarily conducting a safety recall to inspect the power steering gear mounting fixings in certain Range Rover Evoque models and the brake callipers in certain Freelander and Evoque models.

"Customers with vehicles that are potentially affected by these issues will be contacted in the near future."

The Halewood plant had been celebrating one of its most successful years.

International demand for the Evoque had pushed production to go 24 hours-a-day for the first time. Hundreds of new staff have also been taken on.

JLR recently reported that sales of the Evoque were up by 39% in November, compared to the same month in 2011.

Sales of the Evoque were up 39% year-on-year in November Credit: AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Round the clock operations at Halewood's Jaguar Land Rover plant

Fifteen years ago, Ford's Halewood factory looked set to close with the loss of thousands of jobs.

Today the situation couldn't be more different.

The plant now makes Land Rovers and Range Rovers, which are proving so popular they've already taken on a thousand extra staff.

Now, for the first time in its history, workers there are producing cars around the clock to try to meet demand.

  1. Andy Bonner

Halewood's Jaguar Land Rover plant to produce cars around the clock

Fifteen years ago, Ford's Halewood factory looked set to close with the loss of thousands of jobs.

Today the situation couldn't be more different.

The plant now makes Land Rovers and Range Rovers which are proving so popular they've already had to take on a thousand extra staff.

Now, for the first time in its history, workers there are producing cars around the clock to try to meet demand.

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