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Good evening. on the BBC News Channel,
Business leaders in Ludlow say a change in how business rates
are calculated could damage the character of the town forever.
A large number of the retailers in the Shropshire town are independent.
From April, smaller shops will pay no business rates,
but larger stores are facing increases, which they say
could gradually force them out altogether.
GD Ginger Antiques have been trading in Ludlow for 31 years.
But over the road, at least three shops will pay nothing.
It's a system which is totally unworkable.
Everyone should pay a little, and they shouldn't expect the 40%
of shops in Ludlow that are paying rates to subsidise this
At the Queen's Pub, expansion plans are on hold,
We've been informed that our rates are going to be increased 130%,
We're a small pub in a small market town.
I've looked at the business rates of every shop in town,
and they're going up four times the national average.
I don't quite know why that's so, but it's going to affect our
The Department for Communities and Local Government says
three quarters of properties will see no change, or even a fall
The problem is that the quarter that do aren't spread
Business leaders say they're worried, if independent shops close,
the character of the town will be destroyed.
The times I hear, as I walk down the street, "Oh, isn't it lovely?
People are really valuing what a good high street is,
because so many other towns have lost it.
Traders will meet with their MP, Phillip Dunn, next week
Police are appealing for information about a mother from Dudley who has
Patricia Lashley, who is also known as Pat or Jade,
was last seen at a flat in Hall Street in September 1998.
She had seven children, and her eldest son has recently had
a baby of his own who he'd like to introduce her to.
A man has been rescued from the tower of Worcester Cathedral.
Firefighters used specialist equipment to winch him the 80 feet
down to safety after he fell during evensong yesterday.
He was then taken to hospital for treatment.
Five of the candidates hoping to become the next MP
for Stoke-on-Trent Central went head to head in a live TV debate
And the highest passions emerged when the discussion turned to local
hospitals and the impact of Brexit on the ceramics industries.
Today, the candidates gathered at Staffordshire University,
knowing this was a key chance to try connect with voters.
One of the biggest issues on the doorstep - the NHS.
Jack very clearly forgets that it was the Tory Government
for the last seven years that's been slashing our NHS,
You pledged 1.3 billion less at the last election for our NHS
I take no lessons off the Tory party about the NHS.
The Labour Party created the NHS, and we clear up the mess every time,
Ukip also under attack about privatisation of the NHS.
We, as a party, had a debate between 2012 and 2014,
and we fell upon the policy that the NHS should remain public
We're the only party, by the way, who can say
where the money will come from, because we will slash
And firing up the debate throughout, one of the most
used words of 2017 - Brexit.
We're the only party that has a clear plan to deliver Brexit
And I met with the Prime Minister only this week to discuss that,
discuss that plan, and ensure that we're getting the best deal
I'm fearing that if we leave the single market, there will be
loss of manufacturing, loss of trade and there
And I also fear the loss of research funds to local universities here.
In the Brexit agreement, there's no mention of disabled people.
A hard Brexit will damage the most vulnerable people.
And in an area like Stoke, and I say this as a charity worker, that
With today's battle over, candidates and their teams are well
aware it's the final few days of the campaign that will be crucial
And the for a full list of the ten candidates standing
for the Stoke-on-Trent Central seat, go to the Politics pages
Just one sports result to bring you this evening,
and Wasps move five points clear at the top of the Aviva Premiership
The match, which ended 35-35, was level at half-time,
with 100% conversion rates from kickers Gareth Steenson
Time to catch up with the weather now, here's Rebecca Wood.
It's been a cold and grey day today, this was the scene
pretty much everywhere, plenty of rain and a
Slowly, heading through tonight, the last of those
Possibly left with some mist over the tops of high ground.
Starting to see things going away further south, but we'll keep that
The breeze helping to keep us frost-free.
Tomorrow, drier and brighter weather on the way.
A chilly day, the biting, easterly wind affecting temperatures.
But starting to brighten up through the day.
It won't feel quite that mild with the biting, easterly wind,
Midlands Today will be here with your late news
Good evening, dull, grey, cold, miserable. And that's just me! The
weather hasn't been great leader for most of us, it will be chilly out
there with this nagging easterly breeze, wetter weather for Northern
Ireland, by the end of the night most of the dampness across parts of
Eastern Scotland and North East England, most of the high ground
Luus will have faded away as well. But not warm, another chilly