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Need To Know: Whaley Bridge residents can return after dam stabilised

■ Whaley Bridge residents can return after dam stabilised

RESIDENTS of evacuated Whaley Bridge have been told it is safe to return to their homes.

Derbyshire Police said stability of the dam wall at Toddbrook Reservoir had been achieved at 1pm today.

More than 1,500 people had been evacuated from the Derbyshire town since Thursday following heavy rain, although a small number refused to leave their properties.

Police allowed 55 households in the Horwich End area of the town to return home following a public meeting yesterday afternoon after the target water level was reached.

One resident of Whaley Bridge, Bernie Sharples, who has just been told she can return home, said: ‘It’s absolutely fantastic, it’s just great to see everyone again.

‘It’s been an upsetting time but it’s absolutely fantastic all the authorities, the police, all who helped get us back here — a big thank you to everybody.

‘I just can’t wait to get back to work tomorrow in the morning.’

■ Lorry drivers speak of no-Brexit fears

LORRY drivers in Dover face the ‘absolutely outrageous’ scenario of sitting in two-day long queues without food or toilets if the UK crashes out of the EU, hauliers have warned.

A Road Haulage Association (RHA) spokesman said a no-deal Brexit means thousands of drivers may end up waiting in queues for more than 48 hours with no welfare facilities.

The RHA is among organisations meeting Cabinet ministers in Dover later to discuss preparations for Brexit at the border.

Duncan Buchanan, policy director for the RHA in England and Wales, will meet Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, home secretary Priti Patel and transport secretary Grant Shapps at the Port of Dover.

He said: ‘I think people under-estimate the scale of the complexity of it.’

■ Man who murdered eight in house fire jailed for at least 23 years

A MURDERER who took the lives of five children and three adults in a house fire 17 years ago has been jailed for at least 23 years.

Eight members of the Chishti family died when Shahid Mohammed, 37, (pictured) carried out the attack with other men following a long-running and bitter family dispute.

The victims were asleep in their home on Osborne Road, Birkby, Huddersfield, when petrol bombs were thrown inside the property, with petrol also being poured through the letterbox and ignited.

The five children that died along with their mother, uncle and grandmother stood little chance of escaping the burning inferno, prosecutors told Leeds Crown Court.

Mohammed had been investigated by the police for his role in setting the fire, but while others stood trial in 2003 he instead skipped bail and fled to Pakistan.

After more than a decade on the run, he was extradited back to the UK last year.