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Beechmere fire resident donations delayed by council error

A payout for residents who lost their retirement homes in a fire was delayed for two months due to a council error.About £58,000 was raised for 130 residents of the Beechmere complex, Crewe, which was devastated by fire.A motion to approve the distribution of the funds should have been made in September but was missed off an agenda, Crewe Town Council said.The meeting was finally held last night and residents will receive about £450 each, but it is not known when.Claire Bagnall, whose 86-year old mother Norma lived in a block destroyed by the blaze in August, called the procedural error "frustrating.""It was a bit careless that it wasn't listed in the last meeting. It's an exceptional circumstance, it should have been at the top of their agenda to look after these people," she said."I think if they could do it before Christmas, people would be really grateful."Latest news from the West MidlandsFormer resident Marleene Williams, who lost "everything" in the fire, said she was pleased to hear the money would be split equally."There's some residents that still don't have anything - no furniture, no clothes - so this will come in very useful to try and rebuild their lives. I'd like to thank everybody on behalf of all the residents," she said.It is not yet known how soon the transfer, which is subject to a legal agreement with landlord Your Housing, will take place.The council, which is holding the funds, has been buying items for the residents in the interim. "On 24th September, council met and expressed a clear desire that monies be transferred. Regrettably this desire did not constitute a formal decision as the issue had not been listed... on the agenda," a spokesman added.Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

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West Midlands Trains: Apology over rail delay claim rise

The number of compensation claims from West Midlands Trains passengers is currently 10 times higher than average, the BBC has learnt.Figures show 32,000 Delay Repay claims were made in the last month, with about 50% covering half-term week.It follows several weeks of delays, cancellations and strike action.The company, which received about 3,000 claims before a new timetable in May, apologised to passengers, particularly for problems during half term.West Midlands Trains operates London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railways, running services from London Euston to Birmingham and around the Midlands.The figures seen by the BBC relate only to its operations on West Midlands Railways.Passenger Jo Martyr travels to Birmingham from Worcester and said fewer carriages has meant more overcrowding which makes journeys "anxiety inducing".Season ticket holder Melissa Blewitt said she was claiming over delays to her journeys to the city from Malvern in Worcestershire, but said refunds have sometimes just been pennies. She said: "32p to suffer and not getting home until 10pm at night. It's fairly appalling really."It doesn't justify the conditions we have to suffer and on a daily basis."Latest updates in the West MidlandsFrancis Thomas, from the operator, apologised for passengers "having to claim at all".He added: "I would say not enough people do make claims. We would like to see more people claim the compensation they are entitled to."Mr Thomas said 99% of the claims are paid within 10 days and that annual season ticket holders get a discounted fare and so compensation for delays of between 15 to 29 minutes will be a low figure.Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

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RSPCA forensic testing kit leads to Nantwich dog owner's conviction

A dog owner who stabbed his pet then drowned it in a canal was convicted after the RSPCA's first bone marrow test was used in a prosecution. Chester Magistrate's Court heard Brendan Murphy, who lives on a barge at Nantwich, anchored his dog Tara with a chain before throwing it in the water.Mr Murphy, 52, has been banned from keeping animals for ten years and given a 10-week suspended sentence."It is upsetting to think about what she must have endured," said the RSPCA.The charity was alerted after the decomposed body of the Japanese Akita, was found floating in the Shropshire Union at Nantwich on 6 October 2018, with a chain attached to her abdomen.A post-mortem revealed the animal had been stabbed twice before entering the water alive, where it remained for around three weeks after it perished, the RSPCA said.The vet also found Tara was suffering from a lung disease at the time of her death, which was left untreated.Latest news from the West MidlandsThe dog's microchip identified Mr Murphy as the owner.At first he claimed he had been unable to afford veterinary treatment and had buried his pet in woodland near Nantwich after she died on the barge, returning later to find the body disappeared, said the RSPCA.But after the charity sent samples from the animal for forensic testing, canal algae present in the dog's bone marrow confirmed Tara died from drowning, the court heard.The RSPCA said it used this technique, commonly employed by police, because the dog's body was so badly decomposed. At the hearing on 11 November Mr Murphy was found guilty of three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to his dog by failing to provide veterinary treatment, as well as stabbing and drowning it.Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

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West Midlands officer hit by car an 'inspiration'

A police officer seriously injured after being hit by a car has been hailed an "inspiration" and "credit" to the force.Special Constable Resham Nahal, 52, was struck while attending the scene of a separate collision on Wolverhampton Road, Oldbury, on 8 November.The officer, who suffered multiple fractures to his leg, was visited in hospital by Assistant Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine."He was so positive," said Ms Jardine.The officer, who has been a special constable for more than 15 years, remains in a serious but stable condition, said police.A 59-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving but has been released while inquiries continue.Special Chief Officer Mike Rogers said: "This incident does clearly illustrate the risks we, and all the policing family, face in our role of protecting the public we serve."Our thoughts and best wishes go to him and his family who are helping support him in his recovery."Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

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Transport for Wales announces 186 more Sunday train services

An additional 186 Sunday train services have been announced by Transport for Wales. The train operating company said Sunday services would be "transformed" from December by a 40% increase. It said it was a "significant step towards the creation of a truly seven-day railway".Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates described it as a "dramatic increase" in services that would "increase connectivity". Transport for Wales (TfW) said the new services would provide a boost to tourism and provide "essential links between cities, towns and villages".  The announcement includes: Four services in each direction between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog, making it a year-round service The single service between Machynlleth and Pwllheli increased to five in each direction A Cardiff Central to Maesteg service for the first time More than doubling the number of services between Cardiff Central and Swansea from 14 to to 29 Services from Cardiff to Gloucester starting two hours earlier than during the December 2018 timetable Faster direct journey times between Shrewsbury and Crewe with most Marches services stops removed, and stopping services increasing from nine to 16 Services between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury increasing from 16 to 21 The Chester to Crewe summer service becoming year-round Thirty-two new services between Llandudno and Llandudno Junction Seven extra services between Rhymney and Cardiff Services to or from Caerphilly increasing from 16 to 45 Hourly service between Treherbert and Cardiff, increasing from 15 to 28 Enhanced Barry Island service, making it similar to the current summer timetable all year The Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Bay shuttle will increase from 100 services to 130 and will run until 22:00 - previously services finished at 19:00 The summer timetable along the north Wales coast will run all year Mr Skates said: "Transport is fundamental to the success of our economy in Wales and this dramatic increase in the number of Sunday services will increase connectivity between our cities, towns and villages."These services will improve access for social, recreational and educational opportunities, as well as employment opportunities. Later services will also increase options for people attending late night events across the country."James Price, chief executive for Transport for Wales, said: "This significant increase in Sunday services is an important commitment that we made when we launched our new rail service over a year ago, and follows the successful launch of our May 2019 timetable, where we introduced direct services between Liverpool and Wrexham for the first time in decades."We hope that our customers and potential customers will welcome these services as an important step in building a transport network that the people of Wales can be truly proud of."


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BORN AND RAISED IN NEW JERSEY, U.S.A., CHARLIE IS A VETERAN OF THE NEW YORK / NEW JERSEY FOLK / ROCK MUSIC SCENE. AS FAR BACK AS 1979, HE HAD BEEN GUITARIST / VOCALIST / SONGWRITER IN MANY POPULAR BANDS ON THE NEW JERSEY / NEW YORK CLUB CIRCUIT. OVER THE YEARS, HE HAS MADE COUNTLESS APPEARANCES WITH POPULAR FOLK ARTISTS PETE SEGER, BILLY BRAGG, ARLO GUTHRIE, NORA GUTHRIE, DON MCLEAN, AS WELL AS ROCK LEGENDS CHUCK BERRY, RICKY NELSON, GARY U.S. BONDS, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, JOHN BONJOVI, AND MANY MORE. IN 1996, HE RELOCATED TO MANCHESTER, ENGLAND FROM NEW JERSEY TO CONTINUE HIS SOLO CAREER WITH HIS WELL ACCLAIMED ALBUM ”COLD RAIN”. HE NOW RESIDES IN CANNOCK WITH HIS WIFE ELLIE, AND CONTINUES TO MAKE APPEARANCE’S IN THE U.K., SCOTLAND, IRELAND, AND THE OCCASIONAL APPEARANCE IN THE CANARY ISLANDS.

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Join me BIG Dan Weeks on Sunday Morning Love Songs every Sunday morning from 10 til 12. Helping you start your Sunday morning nice and chilled with the greatest love songs from across the decades. If you would like a request or dedication email me studio@cannockchaseradio.co.uk luv as always xxx

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