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  1. Updates for Friday 12 December 2014
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Have a good weekend

BBC Local Live will be back from 08:00 on Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Tonight's weather

A few showers are possible this evening but it should otherwise be a dry night with clear spells, which will lead to a frost and icy stretches by morning.

BBC Weather's Rebecca Wood

Some patchy mist or fog could also develop. A low of -4C (25F).

You can watch the latest forecast from Rebecca Wood on Facebook.

BBC One at 18:30

Nick Owen

Presenter, Midlands Today

Our top story on Midlands Today this evening potentially concerns us all. It's about A&E departments bursting at the seams, with reports of patients waiting for hours on trollies before they're seen by a doctor.

Heartlands Hospital and the Children's Hospital in Birmingham are urging people not to go there unless it is genuinely urgent.

We've a report on the programme tonight and I will be talking live to a senior member of the College of Emergency Medicine to find out the extent of the problem and what the answer is.

External recruitment for post

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

The former director of improvement and efficiency Melanie Dudley has now been made assistant chief executive while the old director of legaland governance Neeraj Sharma has been appointed to a new role as director of governance and risk.

Neither the old deputy chief executive John Garrett nor former director of strategic resources Stuart Kellas have been appointed to the one new remaining role as director - human resources and finance.

Jan Britton, council chief executive, said the authority "would move to external recruitment for this vacant post".

Sandwell council officers axed

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Two senior officers will leave Sandwell Council under a management restructure the authority claims will save at least £130,000 a year.

The authority's ruling cabinet approved a plan to

merge four roles into three in September, after a root-and-branch review.

West Brom v Aston Villa

Mark Regan

BBC WM Sport

Alan Irvine (pictured) knows the pressure is on his men - for

Villa this could be the best time to be playing at The Hawthorns.

Alan Irvine
Getty Images

But in football, always beware of the underdog and let`s not forget this is a derby and anything could happen.

The last one was 3-3 at half time.

We'll have match build-up and coverage on

BBC WM from 12:00.

M6 death appeal

A dog walker may have witnessed the death of a Penkridge man on the M6, police have said.

Alan Bird, 41, died on 27 October after being hit by "several vehicles" on the motorway.

Staffordshire Police say a man walking a border collie-type dog was seen on a bridge between junctions 12 and 13. They've appealed for him, and any other witnesses, to get in touch.

Former police chief dies

One of the men who helped form West Midlands Police has

died at the age of 94.

Lord Philip Knights
West midlands police

Lord Philip Knights, who is credited with helping to form six separate forces into one in 1974, died yesterday.

New Street crowd control

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

Birmingham City Council has tweeted to let people know there will be crowd control measures in place at New Street station over the weekend.

If you're heading to a Christmas party in town tonight, it might be an idea to give yourself a bit of extra time.

West Brom v Aston Villa

Mark Regan

BBC WM Sport

Villa go into this match as firm favourites.

They have the chance to win three Premier League games back to back and to add further distance between them and the clubs towards the bottom.

But for WBA things are very different, with many feeling defeat would force Chairman Jeremy Peace to make a change at the helm.

'Contract expired'

Richard Wilford

BBC WM Sport

Pannu's contract as acting chairman at St Andrew's expired at the end of September, since when he has had no influence on day-to-day matters at the club.

His future with BIHL is expected to be clarified before the end of this month.

News on the hour

Rebecca Hume

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 17:00 on

BBC WM: The Duke of Cambridge has
dedicated a memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield to the soldiers of World War One who stopped fighting at Christmas in 1914.

We'll hear from him shortly in the news bulletin.

Details on resignation

Richard Wilford

BBC WM Sport

Birmingham City's former acting chairman Peter Pannu has

resigned from the club's board of directors and the PLC.

He does retain his place on the board of the club's parent company Birmingham International Holdings Limited.

Flights re-routed

Birmingham Airport

tweets: Some departures from #BHX are being re-routed to avoid flying through London airspace. Pls visit our arrivals/departure pages for info #ATC

See more on the Birmingham Airport website.

Birmingham Airport update

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

I've just spoken to Birmingham Airport and a spokesman tells me some southbound flights are being diverted around London airspace.

The airport has had no requests from other airports to accept diverted flights.

Northbound flights are unaffected. All are being dealt with on a plane-by-plane process.


Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like

your feedback about this service.

Water bills to fall

Water bills for England and Wales will fall by an average of 5%, with Severn Trent customers having the cheapest yearly bills, the regulator Ofwat rules.

Read more on BBC Business.

News on the hour


In the news at 16:00 on

BBC WM: A pensioner's been found guilty of attacking his teenage ex-girlfriend with acid in the Black Country because she finished with him.

In the bulletin we'll hear from Det Con Jason Moseley, from West Midlands Police.

London airspace closed

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

All London airspace has been closed until 19:00 after a computer failure, European flight safety body Eurocontrol says.

I've just put a call into Birmingham Airport to see if there is a knock-on effect in the Midlands.

I'm told flights have left in the past couple of minutes but will be given a full update shortly.

Parking restrictions lifted

Solihull Council is suspending residential parking restrictions between 24 December and 5 January.

The council says: "With many residents expecting family and friends to visit over the festive period there will inevitably be an increase in the amount of parked cars on residential streets."

Great year for athlete

Nick Clitheroe

Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

Likeable 19-year-old Matthew Hudson-Smith memorably anchored the British quartet to victory in the rain in the 4x400 metres at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow - but that was just the start.

He went on win his first

senior individual medal with a silver in the 400m at the European Championships in Zurich as well as another relay gold.

The big test next year will be maintaining that rate of progress now that he's an established name rather than a newcomer.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

A pensioner has been found guilty of attacking his teenage ex-girlfriend with acid in the Black Country because she finished with him.

More on this and other stories in

our 15:00 bulletin.

'More than physical scars'

Acid victim Vikki Horsman says she has

severe scarring to her neck and chest after acid was thrown over her in Wolverhampton earlier this year.

Acid victim Vikki Horsman

She says: "It is not just what everyone can see that causes me pain. The trauma and distress that Rafiq and his accomplices have put me under have left mental scars that I fear will never go away.

"I still have sleepless nights and keep leaving my home to stay with friends and relatives as I can't bear to be on my own."

Love-hate relationship

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

BBC Midlands Today is getting lots of shares on Facebook for its video featuring Villa fan Moin Younis and West Brom defender Joleon Lescott.

Joleon Lescott and Moin Younis

Baggies players were at

Birmingham's Children Hospital earlier this week ahead of Christmas.

It's been shared by more than 400 people. Moin posts: "Thanks for the positive comments guys. VTID UTV".

It's now available to watch on BBC Sport.

'Message of hope'

Tim Stokes

BBC Local Live

The Duke of Cambridge says the 1914 Christmas Truce "remains wholly relevant today as a message of hope and humanity even in the bleakest of times".

Duke of Cambridge unveiling Christmas Truce memorial

Unveiling a new memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, Prince William says "it is vital that 100 years on we keep the Christmas Truce story alive."

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Managers at a Birmingham hospital say their accident and emergency department is under "extreme pressure" and they're warning people to stay away if they can.

In the news at 14:00 on

BBC WM we'll hear from consultant Steve Smith, who was on shift yesterday evening.

Crowd control

Birmingham City Council

tweets: Please allow more time when using New St Station. Crowd Management implemented Fri 1-1pm, Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 11am-11pm


The director of Birmingham City Football Club Peter Pannu has resigned,

the club announces.

BBC One at 13:30

Giles Latcham

Presenter, Midlands Today

We'll be hearing from medics at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham who say they're under "extreme pressure" and they're asking the public to stay away unless their need is urgent.

Plus, we find out what happened when a 12-year-old Aston Villa fan came face to face with the stars of West Bromwich Albion ahead of their derby clash tomorrow.

Ice warning

The Met Office has issued a weather warning for ice overnight.

Warning of ice in the West Midlands
Met office

Ice is likely to form on untreated surfaces during tonight and early Saturday morning, particularly where showers have occurred during today.

Read more on the Met Office's website.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

In the news at 13:00 on BBC WM: Water bills in England and Wales will be cut by 5% over the next five years.

Plus, more on the pensioner found guilty of an acid attack on his ex-lover.

'Horrifying and complex'

Mohammed Rafiq enlisted the help of 25-year-old Steven Holmes and 23-year-old Shannon Heaps to carry out the attack while the 80-year-old was with his ex-girlfriend.

Mohammed Rafiq - Steven Holmes and Shannon Heaps
West midlands police

All three have been found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm.

Det Con Jason Moseley says the case "was horrifying and complex".

Acid attack was revenge for break-up

A Smethwick pensioner has been found

guilty of arranging an acid attack on his 19-year-old ex- girlfriend.

Mohammed Rafiq
Police handout

Vikki Horseman had told her 80-year-old partner Mohammed Rafiq that she was leaving him in April due to his controlling behaviour. A short time after their split he took revenge on his ex-girlfriend by enlisting two other men to throw acid over her, leaving her with "horrific injuries".

Rafiq (pictured), was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and perverting the course of justice.

Acid attack plotter, 80, guilty

A man has been convicted of arranging an acid revenge attack on his former lover.

Mohammed Rafiq, 80, denied inflicting grievous bodily harm on Vikki Horsman, 20, who was left scarred by the attack.

Shannon Heaps, 23, and Steven Holmes, 25, were also found guilty of being involved in the plot to attack Ms Horsman. The three will be sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court on 19 December.

Hudson-Smith wins award

Nick Clitheroe

Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

Birchfield Harrier Matthew Hudson-Smith has been

named British Athletics Young Athlete of the Year.

Matthew Hudson-Smith
Getty Images

The 400m runner stormed

Glasgow 2014 and took gold for Team England in the 4x400m relay.

It's been a major breakthrough year for Hudson-Smith and this award recognises the dramatic impact he has made on the sport in 2014.

Derby banter

via Facebook

West Bromwich Albion face Aston Villa tomorrow and the banter is already flying.

Villa fan Moin Younis met Albion defender Joleon Lescott

Here's what happened when 15-year-old Villa fan Moin Younis met Albion defender Joleon Lescott at Birmingham Children's Hospital...

See what happened on the BBC Midlands Today Facebook page.