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  1. Updates for Monday 29 December 2014
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 Tuesday

Live Reporting

By Gavin Bevis

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Today's Local Live updates for Birmingham and the Black Country have finished. The service will start again at 08:00 on Tuesday.

Frosty night

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

Another cold winter's night across the region with clear skies and light winds allowing temperatures to fall sharply with a widespread frost forming and some mist and freezing fog patches.

Weather information

There's more information available


Sako named in Mali Nations squad

BBC Sport

Wolverhampton Wanderers' top scorer Bakary Sako, who has scored seven goals this season, has been

called up to represent Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Bakary Sako
Getty Images

He will miss up to five Championship games for Wolves as they chase promotion to the Premier League.

Ambulance staff feeling pressure


West Midlands Ambulance Service says it is going through

one of the busiest periods in its history.

The service revealed this December has featured ten of the 20 busiest days it has ever experienced.

Walsall surprise Dons

BBC WM Sport

Two-goal hero Tom Bradshaw said

Walsall's 3-0 demolition of MK Dons yesterday showed what the side are capable of.

Tom Bradshaw
Walsall FC


told the club's website: "It's a great way to end the year. We know that we can beat anyone in this League and there is no reason why we can't really push on in 2015."

Brierley Hill mum avoids jail after hiding son's drugs

Dudley News

A Brierley Hill woman who

hid a stash of cocaine for her drug dealer son has avoided spending time behind bars.

But her 28-year-old son was jailed for two years after he was found with the class A drug on the car park of The Swan pub in Kingswinford.

Free theatre project hits decade deadline

A decade-long project to

allow children from some of Birmingham's most deprived areas to see free theatre for their first 10 years has come to a close.

Alison Fuller and daughter Amaya
Phil Riley and Ian Tennant

Alison Fuller and daughter Amaya were among the first families to join the theatre project.

A total of 240 children were signed up to Rep's Children and were able to see special annual performances by Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

City Link failure 'won't cost taxpayer'

Former City Link owner Jon Moulton

dismissed criticism taxpayers would end up paying for the firm's redundancies after administrators said they would refer employees to the government's statutory redundancy payments scheme.

City Link sign

"I don't think the taxpayer is going to end up footing much of a bill on this," he said, adding the firm had paid "a fortune" in taxes such as PAYE.

Car flips over

Solihull Police

has shared a photo of a car which flipped onto its roof amid icy conditions on Dovehouse Lane this morning.

Flipped car
St Alfs Police Team

They said nobody was hurt in the accident.

Taxpayers still owed cash

Express and Star

A council in the Black Country has yet to refund more than £1 million in overpaid council tax,

it has been revealed.

Paradise Circus redevelopment

Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

Buses in Birmingham city centre will be diverted from 5 January while work starts to demolish buildings as part of the

Paradise Circus redevelopment.

From 10 January there will be restrictions on all vehicles.

MPs remembered

Former Wolverhampton MP Lord Bilston, originally Dennis Turner, features in a BBC Politics round-up of ex-Parliamentarians

who died in 2014.

Dennis Turner

The list also includes Tony Benn and Lord Barnett.

Gritters sent out

Gritters will be treating roads in Birmingham from 18:30,

the city council says.

Priority footways will be treated from 03:00 on Tuesday.

City Link staff addressed

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

A total of 50 out of 56 workers at City Link's depot in Wednesbury have been told today they are out of a job.

City Link vans

The courier company

went into administration on Christmas Eve and is expected to have made more than 2,000 redundancies by New Years Eve.

'Treecycling' push


Hamish Shilliday, community fundraising manager at

Selly Oak's St Mary's Hospice, said the Treecycling scheme was a key fixture in their fundraising calendar.

He said: "We collected nearly 500 trees last year and the average donation was well above the £10 we ask for."

Wolves 'back in the mix'

Wolves defender Richard Stearman says concentrating on "the basics" in training helped the team pick up two Christmas wins which have put them back into play-off contention.

Richard Stearman
Getty Images

He told the club's official site: "We have picked up two tough wins in the space of three days and are back in the mix - we're delighted with that."

Football rumours

BBC Sport


BBC Sport football gossip round-up includes speculation Liverpool want to sign Saido Berahino from West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa are interested in a Fulham midfielder.

'Treecycling' time


St Mary's Hospice in Selly Oak is heading out again to collect used Christmas trees for a small donation.

Its annual Christmas Treecycling scheme has now been running for three years, raising thousands of pounds for the hospice.

Cold alert to last days

The Met Office says a cold weather alert for the Midlands

will stay in place until 12:00 on Wednesday.

The alert level is one below a national emergency and indicates social and healthcare services should target "high-risk" groups, such as the very young or old, or those with chronic diseases.

No Irvine announcement

BBC Sport

West Bromwich Albion

are not expected to make an announcement about the future of manager Alan Irvine today.

Alan Irvine
Getty Images

The 56-year-old's job is thought to be in the balance after a poor run of results left the Baggies a point off the relegation places.

Crash in Solihull

BBC Travel

Dove House Lane in Solihull is closed near the B425 Lode Lane junction following an accident,

advises BBC Travel.

Unusual 12 months

From a chocolate teapot to Angelina Jolie attempting a Midlands accent, BBC News has been looking back at

some of the zaniest stories of the past year.

Angelina Jolie
Getty Images

Have your say

Gavin Bevis

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.

Metro plan

Express and Star

A long-awaited

new Midland Metro tram line from Wolverhampton to New Cross Hospital is being revived after 10 years on the shelf.

Plans for the new line have been a dream since the Metro was first opened in 1999 but suffered various setbacks over funding.

Bus attack pic appeal

Police have made a photo appeal

after a group of men smashed a bus window in Birmingham.

CCTV still
West Midlands Police

Officers believe the group were trying to get to the person in this photo when they used a large weapon, possibly an axe, to smash a window on the 11C service in Stechford in October.

Blues happy with Rowett

Birmingham City FC

tweets: P10, W6, D2 highest St Andrew's score in 20 years, 23rd place to 14th . . great start under Gary Rowett to end year

Festival bosses consider charge


Organisers of Birmingham's Chinese New Year Festival

say they could be forced to charge for the event from 2016 as a result of city council funding cuts.

Chinese New Year celebrations
Birmingham Chinese New Year Festival

The event was one of several to lose money when the authority announced £117m savings earlier this month and festival bosses say they're looking at other ways of funding it.

Team attitude impresses Lambert

BBC Sport

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says he was delighted with how his players responded after Fabian Delph was sent off during yesterday's

home draw with Sunderland.

Fabian Delph
Getty Images

He said: "All credit to the lads, we could have won it and had chances at the end."

Heavy congestion

BBC Travel

BBC Travel warns there's disruption in King's Heath on the A435 in both ways around Addison Road.

City Link

BBC Radio 4

Jon Moulton of Better Capital, the investment firm that owns City Link, is defending his firm's ownership of the now closed City Link. "We chased every possible way to save this company," he's told


A Citylink worker and van

Mr. Moulton says the company had simply failed, and that delaying the closure over Christmas had not been an option, as trading while insolvent was a criminal offence. Could the affair have been better handled? "Not particularly, no," he says.

Irvine under pressure

BBC Sport

West Bromwich Albion boss Alan Irvine accepts his job is on the line after yesterday's

2-0 defeat at Stoke left his side a point above the relegation places.

Alan Irvine
Getty Images

In his post-match press conference, he said: "Obviously it is up to other people [about my future]. All I can do is keep working as we do and we will see what happens."

Icy roads warning

West Midlands Ambulance Service

tweets: Back to work today? Don't start your week with a visit from us; it's icy out there. The gritters have been out, but ease off the accelerator

City Link future


Administrators for West Midlands courier firm City Link say depots will reopen this morning, even though

the company is expected to close on New Years Eve.

City Link vans
Getty Images

Staff found out on Christmas Eve that the company had gone into administration with about 2.700 jobs thought to be at risk, including 126 at depots in Aston and Wednesbury.

Good morning

Gavin Bevis

BBC Local Live

Hello everyone. I'll be bringing you today's news, sport, travel and weather updates for Birmingham and the Black Country.

I love to feature your comments and photos, so email them to or tweet us at