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  1. Updates for Friday 16 January 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates return from 08:00 Monday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Local Live has finished for the day. Join us for more news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Monday.

Cold and frosty night

Rebecca Wood

BBC Weather

Mostly dry and clear this evening. During the early hours, however,

a band of rain, sleet and snow will move southeastwards, with snow settling in places, especially over hills.

A fairly widespread frost will develop, with localised icy patches likely. Lowss of -1C (30F).

Coming up on TV

Nick Clitheroe

Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

If Aston Villa are goalless tomorrow that will equal the club record of five straight league games without one. But Villa are hoping they've finally found the man who can transform their fortunes in Carles Gil.

Carles Gil

Join me on

Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

Warning over M6 delays

BBC Travel

One lane is closed and there is slow traffic on the M6 northbound between J10 for Wolverhampton and J10a for the M54 because of a crash,

drivers are being warned.

Have your say

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

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

Tell us what you think.

Serious crash on M42

Highgate Community Fire Station

tweets: "Both appliances attended serious RTC on the M42 with @solihullfire, lucky escape for occupants"

The crash scene

News on the hour


The chief executive of the NEC Group tells us its sale by Birmingham City Council is the right decision.

More on this in

our 17:00 headlines.

Scrap metal dealer database

Caroline Gall

BBC News

A new database of scrap metal dealers is being piloted in the West Midlands

in a bid to tackle illegal sales.

Scrap metal yard

British Transport Police, which has led a taskforce tackling metal thefts, is running the database.

The number of thefts from, or connected to, railways in the West Midlands force area is down by 57% over the past two years.

Harvey goes to West End

A production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, Harvey, is to transfer from Birmingham to the West End. Notting Hill star James Dreyfus plays Elwood P Dowd - the affable man who has a six foot invisible rabbit for a friend - with Maureen Lipman as his sister, Veta.

Maureen Lipman and James Dreyfus
Gregg Stone

The show will run at the

Birmingham Rep, from 6 February, before transferring to the
Theatre Royal Haymarket in March.

Villa man could debut

Mike Taylor

BBC WM Sport

Joe Cole is doubtful for

Aston Villa's home game against Liverpool on Saturday. Otherwise Paul Lambert has no new injury problems to concern him. New signing Carles Gil (pictured) is available to make his debut.

Carles Gil
Getty Images

Fabian Delph returns to the squad after suspension but Ciaran Clark serves a one-match ban .

News on the hour

Charlotte Harriman

Broadcast Journalist, BBC WM

Birmingham City Council has sold the NEC Group. It's been bought by a part of the Lloyds Banking Group for £307m.

In the

16:00 bulletin we hear from the Council Leader Sir Albert Bore.

NEC deal welcomed

David Lumb

BBC News, West Midlands

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "The

announcement of a new owner is a landmark moment in the history and development of the NEC Group and its three operating sites: NEC, ICC and Barclaycard Arena.

"We are very pleased to have attracted a Birmingham-based buyer in LDC that understands the local importance of the NEC and shares our vision for the future. "

Martin Draper, LDC's Chief Executive Officer, said: "The NEC Group is one of the UK's best known and iconic businesses, particularly so in the Midlands."

Berahino: West Brom not commenting

West Brom will not be making any comment on Saido Berahino,

who's been banned from driving for 12 months after admitting drink-driving.

Saido Berahino
Getty Images

The 21-year-old was arrested by Cheshire Police after being stopped on the M6 in Cheshire in the early hours of 22 October.

He was also fined him £3,400 and offered a drink-driver referral course which, if completed, would reduce the length of his ban to nine months.

Who's bought the NEC Group?

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

LDC is the

private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group.

It provides finance of up to £100m to support management buy-outs, equity release and development opportunities within UK companies.

It says more than 80 of its businesses are valued in excess of £2bn.

Some of the companies it has funded include Orion Media, which owns eight radio licenses in the Midlands. It was recently renamed Free Radio.

News on the hour

Charlotte Harriman

Broadcast Journalist, BBC WM

The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police says he is reviewing how to strengthen the protection of its officers, in the light of the alleged plot in Belgium and last week's deadly attacks in Paris.

More on this and other stories in

our 15:00 bulletin.

NEC Sale: Council's right to 'claw back'

David Lumb

BBC News, West Midlands

Birmingham City Council has retained a right to claw back certain non-core land at the NEC site for future development.


deal does not include various plots of undeveloped land adjacent to the NEC site (mostly east of the M42), which will be retained by the authority.

Listen: Sir Jack Hayward tribute

Rob Gurney

BBC WM Sport

Following the death of former Wolves owner Sir Jack Hayward at the age of 91, I've been delving into the audio archives to recapture some cherished memories of one of Wolverhampton's favourite sons.

Sir Jack Hayward celebrates promotion to the Premiership, Millennium Stadium, 2003

Take a

listen here.

Bullring reopens

Birmingham Police

tweets: The @Bullring has re-opened. It's business as usual for the rest of the city.

Part of Bullring evacuated

Birmingham Mail

tweets: BREAKING: Part of Bullring evacuated. Police on the scene. More as we get it.…

Two cars on fire after crash

Central Motorway Police Group

says there are two cars on fire in the carriageway of the M42 northbound between junctions four and five.

It tweets: "luckily, at this stage it appears minor injury. Fire service in attendance."

News on the hour


In our

14:00 news, we'll have more on Birmingham City Council selling the NEC Group for £307m.

M42 blocked after crash

Central Motorway Police Group

tweets: Multiple vehicle RTC M42 north J4-5. One vehicle has caught fire. All lanes appear blocked. Officers attending.

Extremism warning '19 years earlier'

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Senior leaders and a reverend warned the Department for Education about the extremist infiltration of Birmingham schools 19 years before the so-called Trojan Horse letter emerged outlining an alleged plot by hardline Muslims to takeover city schools,

the Wormald review said.

It was contacted by The Reverend John Ray and representatives of three unnamed schools in 1994 expressing concerns about extremist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir gaining an influence over schools in the city, the review said.

Mantom out for Walsall

Ged Scott

BBC Sport


Sam Mantom, who faces surgery on his long-standing knee injury, is the only Walsall absentee for
the trip to Colchester United.

But boss Dean Smith may be tempted into defensive changes after last weekend's

4-1 home defeat by Scunthorpe.

What the NEC deal involves

David Lumb

BBC News, West Midlands

Birmingham city council says the £307m sale to

LDC encompasses all
NEC Group businesses and
it's now entered a "binding agreement for the sale".

Contracts were exchanged in the early hours of today and completion is expected towards end of April.

The NEC Group

The deal would give LDC a 125-year leasehold in the NEC Exhibition halls, the Genting Arena (formerly the LG Arena) and the Resorts World development, and a 25-year leasehold in the ICC and Barclaycard Arena (formerly the NIA).

The city council's keeping the freehold of all the NEC sites.

The transaction also protects the existing uses of all venues as well as Symphony Hall.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

It's just been announced that Birmingham City Council has sold the NEC Group.

More on this breaking story in

our 13:00 headlines.

BreakingBreaking News

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Birmingham City Council has named the buyer for the NEC Group, in a deal valued at around £307m.

LDC - the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group - has been selected after an "extensive sale process", according to the authority.

It is being sold because the council faces a £1.1bn equal pay backlog bill.

The pay settlements have been agreed with thousands of women who, over many years, were paid less by the city council than workers - mainly men - who did equivalent jobs.

Berahino admitted drink-driving

Berahino pleaded guilty when he appeared before North Cheshire magistrates in Runcorn.

West Bromwich Albion's Saido Berahino
Getty Images

Two days before the offence, Berahino had scored in the 2-2 draw against Manchester United.

A police spokeswoman previously said the 21-year-old's car had been travelling at "high speed" on the southbound carriageway.

Dudley MP demands action over hospital job cuts

Stourbridge News

A Dudley MP is

demanding action from the government to save jobs 400 jobs Russell's Hall hospital.

The Trust which runs the hospital is planning to battle a budget black hole by cutting 400 non-clinical jobs but Dudley North MP Labour Ian Austin says ministers should plough more cash into their coffers.

BreakingBreaking News

West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino has been banned from driving for 12 months.

Saido Berahino
Getty Images

He was pulled over near junction 20 of the southbound M6 in the early hours of 22 October and

charged with drink-driving.

He has also been fined £3,400.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

A report out today shows MPs don't think the

High Speed rail link between London and Birmingham is value for money.

We will hear from Margaret Hodge MP, the chair of the Public Accounts Committee responsible for the report, at 12:00.

Listen live


Background to review on 'missed warnings'

Alex Forsyth

BBC Education correspondent

The former Education Secretary Michael Gove ordered a review into whether the Department for Education (DFE) missed prior warnings about extremism, looking back over 20-years.

Last year Birmingham headteacher

Tim Boyes (pictured) told the BBC he'd warned DFE officials that Muslim hardliners were trying to take over schools in the city three years before the so-called "
Trojan Horse" letter.

Tim Boyes, head of Queensbridge School

The current Education Secretary Nicky Morgan says the DFE "needs always to be vigilant and inquisitive and have robust systems in place".

The statement set out a series of measures, including bringing in a formal system for staff to refer concerns and establishing a "counter extremism steering group".

BreakingBreaking News

Alex Forsyth

BBC Education correspondent

A government inquiry into historic allegations Muslim hardliners were trying to take over Birmingham schools - three years before probes into

the alleged Trojan Horse plot - has found the Department of Education "lacked inquisitiveness".

The review, by the DFE's Permanent Secretary Chris Wormald, found procedures "could have been tighter" but there were no instances where specific warnings were ignored or where officials acted inappropriately.

Party TV debates

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

Will the party leader debates go ahead? What price the empty podium?

After a week in which Messrs Milliband, Clegg, and Farage found themselves in unaccustomed agreement, accusing David Cameron of being a "chicken", I will be putting to these questions to Tory MP for Staffordshire South, Gavin Williamson (pictured), (the Prime Minister's Parliamentary Private Secretary) on this weekend's

Sunday Politics Midlands.

gavin williamson

Also joining me on the programme will be Gisela Stuart, the Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, the constituency which is home to the University of Birmingham where, in 2010, the last party leaders' debate was staged. But will that last debate turn out to have been the last ever?

Join us at

11:00 on BBC One on Sunday.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

Protestors from the West Midlands will be outside parliament today - opposing law changes which would allow doctors to help terminally ill patients die.

Listen live to

BBC WM for more on this.

Teachers 'not speaking English'

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

A sponsored academy school in Aston has been

told it requires special measures by Ofsted inspectors.

Teachers and teaching assistants did not always speak or write using standard English, according to the education watchdog's report, which proved a barrier to pupils for whom it was not their first language.


Mansfield Green E-ACT Primary Academy's strengths included improved pupil behaviour and improved teaching in the reception classes and notable strides in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Sinclair deal stalls?

BBC Sport

Aston Villa's pursuit of midfielder Scott Sinclair, 25, has stalled because of Manchester City's £3m asking price according to the

BBC Football gossip page.

Scott Sinclair
Getty Images
Scott Sinclair

Fight goes on to save two Walsall libraries

Express and Star

Thousands of people have signed petitions

to ensure Streetly and Pheasey facilities are retained after being identified to shut under cost-cutting measures.

A motion asking Walsall Council to keep them open and find savings from elsewhere was rejected by the Labour-run authority, while they go through the consultation process.