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  1. Updates from Thursday 13 November 2014
  2. More from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Today's Local Live updates have now finished. The service will start again at 08:00 on Friday.

Walsall 'eyeing Wembley'

Ged Scott

BBC Sport

Walsall manager Dean Smith admits it's hard not to think about

the chance of a trip to Wembley after steering the Saddlers to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy northern area semi-finals.

Walsall manager Dean Smith and his Saddlers number two Richard O'Kelly

The Saddlers are one of only four among English football's top 92 clubs never to have played at Wembley.

Tourism reaches new levels

Qasa Alom

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

New tourism figures released today show hotel occupancy in Birmingham reached record levels in September.

Birmingham skyline

According to

STR Global research, 82% of rooms in the city were booked, the highest since records began.

Birmingham hosted two political party conferences, which played a major role in the city's performance, as well as major sporting events and conferences.

£4bn transport plans

Birmingham's transport network could be radically redesigned over the next 20 years.

The city council announced the "Connected" scheme earlier today, though it admits the funding isn't yet in place.

Transport plan infographic

BBC One at 18:30

Nick Owen

Presenter, Midlands Today

If we needed reminding that Christmas is thundering towards us from the distant horizon, there'll be no doubt after Midlands Today this evening.

We're live in the centre of Birmingham on the opening day of the annual Frankfurt market, which dominates Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Chamberlain Square and New Street from now until 22 December. We'll be hearing all about the buzz of the market from Shefali who's in amongst the stalls there during the programme.

Also this evening, we have a glimpse of the transport of the future in Birmingham with some radical ideas for the next 20 years plus we pay a visit to the NEC where thousands of young hopefuls are hearing about the skills they need for the work place and how they can acquire them. I am even there myself round about lunchtime tomorrow! You have been warned.

History of the market

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

Kurt Stroscher told me the first ever attempt at a German-style event in the city was held in 1997, with just 11 stalls. Mr Stroscher, who's part of Frankfurt's tourist board, said they tried other locations before settling on Birmingham, its twin town.

The market has been a yearly fixture since 2001, and there are about 200 stalls.

People visiting the market

He said Frankfurt also organises Leeds' version of the Christmas market, although he said the northern cousin, which has a large beer tent at its centre, had more of an English feel than

its Birmingham counterpart.

"In Germany we tend to be much quieter, like the market here in Birmingham."

Watch: Lorry u-turn on M6 Toll

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

A lorry driver was caught on camera heading the wrong way down an M6 slip road - and then trying to turn around in front of three lanes of oncoming traffic.

The lorry performs the u-turn
West Midlands Police

Leonid Papachin's drove his 40+ tonne lorry on to the slip road on 23 October.

The 51-year-old was given a

15-week suspended sentence and disqualified from driving. You can watch the footage

'More bothered about Warwick Castle'

Bethan Bell

Journalist, BBC News

No-one was seriously affected by the

exhaust fumes on board the coach and a second one collected the children and took them back to school.

A spokeswoman for the school said: "The children weren't bothered about the coach, but they were very upset about missing the trip to Warwick Castle."

News on the hour


A new vision for the future of transport in Birmingham has been unveiled today.

It includes, amongst other things, plans to introduce high speed buses and even a supertunnel for cars under the city centre.

But there's concern over who will eventually foot the bill with plans for increased business rates or a new local tax on the table.

Patrick Twist, from Birmingham Law Firm Pinsent Masons, tell us businesses should get behind the plans in

our 17:00 bulletin.

Exhaust fumes on coach

Bethan Bell

Journalist, BBC News

Paramedics and an emergency response team tested 53 children, eight members of staff and the driver of the coach for carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation earlier, after

they smelt exhaust fumes.

The group were on a school trip to Warwick Castle and were travelling on the M42.

The pupils, all aged about six, were from Yorkswood Primary in Solihull.

Burst water main

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

The B4169 High Street in Smethwick is closed in both directions between the Stony Lane junction and the A4030 High Street junction, because of a burst water main.

There is a diversion in operation via Fenton Street, Tollhouse Way and A4030,

warns BBC Travel.

Expansion for Touchwood centre

Birmingham Post

A key Midland shopping centre is to

undergo a massive expansion, with 25 new shops and restaurants on the cards.

'Most hectic' first day

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

I've just been to see Kurt Stroscher, the organiser of

Birmingham's Christmas market, who kindly took time out of his schedule for a chat about the yearly event.

Mr Stroscher, who's been involved with the market since it was first brought to the UK, seemed remarkably calm, although he admitted the first day of trading is always the most hectic.

Kurt Stroscher

"The first day is the busiest. After that it is much better but on the first day we have to make sure everything is all right," he said.

Nevertheless, it didn't seem to put people off going down. The main German market area, in Victoria Square, was crammed with people at lunchtime, with beer and Glühwein already flowing.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

The leader of Birmingham City Council says it currently does not have "anywhere near" the £4bn needed to pay for its transport vision for the city.

At 16:00 we will hear from business leaders who say they would not mind contributing towards a more accessible city.

Listen live


Diwali celebrations

A free event is being held in Hockley Circus this weekend as Diwali celebrations get underway.

Birmingham City Council says it's hosting a free event at New Bingley Hall this Sunday from 14:00.

The Chaplains

Have you seen the BBC Two series which follows the chaplains of Birmingham Children's Hospital?

Chidren's Hospital: The Chaplains

Find out more about the programme and catch up on

BBC iPlayer.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Des Quinn from Unite the union tells us the proposed 3.6% pay rise and changes to pensions, which have been rejected by Jaguar Land Rover workers, just aren't "enough".

More on this and other stories in

our 15:00 bulletin.

Have your say

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you news, sport, travel and weather updates in one place.

We'd like to find out what you think of the service, which we run from the BBC's Birmingham office.

JLR workers strike threat

Workers at Jaguar Land Rover are threatening strike action after rejecting the company's pay and pensions offer.

Ninety-six-percent of staff across the firm's five plants, including Castle Bromwich and Soilhull, voted against it.

The Unite union says the company must get back around the negotiating table or there will be a ballot on industrial action.

Christmas market

Email your pics:

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The Birmingham Christmas market has opened and it's feeling that little bit more festive in the city centre.

Birmingham Christmas Market facts

We'd love to see your Christmas photos as you get ready to welcome Santa.

tweet or get in touch via

News on the hour


Workers at Jaguar Land Rover are threatening strike action after rejecting the company's pay offer and pension arrangements. We'll have more on this in our 14:00 news.

Garage worker fends off knife raider

Express and Star

Dramatic CCTV images show the moment a

brave shop assistant fought off a knife-wielding raider during a robbery at a Wolverhampton petrol station.

'Lunchtime Bratwurst'

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

I'm down at the German Market, waiting to interview organiser Kurt Stroscher, from Frankfurt.

Birmingham Christmas Market

There are already crowds of lunchtime customers, and more than a few people with a Bratwurst in one hand and a beer in the other.

Anyone else hungry?

'Discharged at the scene'

West Midlands Ambulance Service says some of the 53 school children and eight staff had suffered smoke inhalation.

Their carbon monoxide levels were checked and none required hospital treatment.

Children treated for exhaust fumes

More than 50 school children have been treated by medics after the coach they were travelling on filled with exhaust fumes.

West Midlands Ambulance Service says it treated 60 people, 53 of whom were school children on the M42 southbound between junctions 4-5 at about 10:00.

A spokesman says: "Crews then began assessing the patients and once it was determined that no one was seriously injured, they were moved back on to the coach out of the cold. By this stage it had been determined that the coach was safe for them to return to."

BBC One at 13:30

Colin Roobottom

Producer, BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today at 13:30 we'll be looking at the radical

new vision for transport in Birmingham - complete with high speed buses and a new super tunnel for cars!

And Shefali will be live in the city centre for the

opening day of the Frankfurt Christmas Market.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

In the news at 13:00 we'll hear from a Unite spokesman on workers at Jaguar Land Rover threatening industrial action.

Listen live.

'Stopped bowling the doosra'

Moeen Ali has stopped bowling the doosra fearing he could be banned from international cricket following the recent crackdown on suspect actions

Read more on the Birmingham cricketer on The Telegraph.

Watch: IS propaganda 'targeting' Midlands'

The head of counter-terrorism in the West Midlands warns "

vulnerable youngsters" are being targeted by Islamic State (IS) propaganda.

IS propaganda 'targeting' Midlands' youngsters

Det Ch Supt Sue Southern, from West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "There is a propaganda machine that sits supporting IS, pushing out messages... and drawing young people in particular, to what is being portrayed as this idealistic environment."

Penalty for 'wrong details'


People who don't fill in their council tax forms properly in Wolverhampton are to be fined £70.

Last year, the council lost £2m in unpaid council tax so it's now going to issue fines which could rise to £350 if they're not paid in time.

News on the hour

Jay Vydelingum

Journalist, BBC WM

Having a motorway running all the way under Birmingham city centre is among plans being

looked at for the future of transport in the city.

Hear more on this story and others in the news at 12:00 on


Pushchair woman 'spat at PCSO'

Birmingham Mail

A drunk left in charge of a child at Birmingham's New Street railway station

spat at a police worker alerted by worried passengers, a court heard.

Morning meeting

Dave Hart

Producer, BBC Midlands Today

Getting around Birmingham. Do you find it a pain? Well many people do but fixing the problem won't come cheap says the city council leader Sir Albert Bore.

He's started a debate about it, but says the only way might be a local tax on companies and some business leaders believe that could cost jobs.


Roy Keane's been in a spot of bother on his duties with the Republic of Ireland squad. Irish police were called after a row with a fan but no arrests were made. Midlands Today will be trying to find out what Keano has to say about it.

Keane 'hotel incident'

BBC Sport

Aston Villa assistant manager

Roy Keane called police to the Republic of Ireland team's hotel following an incident, the FA of Ireland says.

Roy Keane
Getty Images

An ambulance also attended the Portmarnock Hotel, near Dublin.

Keane was allegedly involved in an altercation with a fan in the hotel's reception area.

The Football Association of Ireland says Keane has its "full support" following "inaccurate media reports".

News on the hour

Jay Vydelingum

Journalist, BBC WM

New NHS statistics have revealed a significant rise in the number of last minute cancelled operations at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Hear more in the news at 11:00 on BBC WM.

Have your say

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

What do you think of BBC Local Live? We write it from here in Birmingham.

We'd like to get your views.

The Skills Show

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Business Correspondent

Have a go heaven for young people at the NEC today.

Children at The Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham

Today I'm at

The Skills Show. More than 75,000 people are expected to gather here over the next three days.

Warning over Perry Barr gridlock

Birmingham Post

Birmingham highway bosses have been

told to set up pre-planned diversions to avoid a repeat of A34 gridlock which brought commuters to a standstill after underpass was blocked