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  1. Updates for Thursday 29 January 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates return from 08:00 Friday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

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

Overnight forecast

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

Cold, with some wintry showers at first, but with any snow becoming confined to the hills. Winds gradually easing, and with a widespread frost developing.

Shefali Oza

Icy stretches also developing on untreated surfaces where showers have fallen. Low of -2C (28F).

BBC One at 18:30

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Coming up at 18:30: When the Black Country turned white, the snow which caught many by surprise - we'll have the pictures.

Kay Alexander

An increase in homelessness on the streets of Birmingham, we've been out with one charity offering hot drinks and support.

And if you're wondering what all the fuss is about with a few flakes of snow - Kay Alexander (pictured) will remind you of some of the weather extremes we've been through

Rail hub investment

Jennifer Harby

Journalist, BBC News Online

A West Midlands

railway line which has been closed to passengers for 50 years could be reopened in a £20m scheme.

A plan of the rail line
Dudley Council

Dudley Council and Warwick Manufacturing Group - part of the University of Warwick - plan to reconnect Dudley to the national rail network and build a "light rail innovation hub" in the town centre.

The hub, which would create 50 jobs, would develop light rail technology.

Read more on this story on BBC News.

Growth deal

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country are getting more than £45m to help boost growth and create jobs.

The government is giving the cash to Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says it'll help create more than 30,000 new jobs in the area within the next six years.

Morrison out for six weeks

BBC Sport

Birmingham City defender Michael Morrison could be

out for between two and six weeks with an ankle injury.

Michael Morrison

The 26-year-old has played 15 times for Blues since joining, initially on loan, from Charlton in October, but was taken off in the first half of

Tuesday's 0-0 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

The Education Secretary has told the Commons teaching British values in schools is vital to tackle the spread of extremism in cities like Birmingham.

More in the news at 17:00

College closed

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Bournville College is closed due to "extreme weather conditions".

The college posts on Facebook: "Any exams running this afternoon are to proceed as planned.

"All other commercial enterprises are closed. Check our website or social media channels tomorrow morning for further updates."

Birmingham schools: Council reaction

Earlier today

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said she'd told Birmingham council officials that reform of the so-called Trojan Horse schools "is too slow".

Councillor Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children and family services, said: "Parents of children in academies, which answer directly to the DfE, need confidence that failings in those academies will be taken as seriously by the DfE as we have taken the failings in ours.

Birmingham City Council house

"On that note, however, I must again express my disappointment that the Department for Education's recent review of its own actions was undertaken internally.

"Birmingham City Council submitted itself some time ago to extensive independent external review on this issue, and to command the confidence of parents I believe the DfE should have done the same."

'Delighted' by McManaman signing

Rob Gurney

BBC WM Sport

West Bromwich Albion head coach Tony Pulis says

he's delighted with the signing of winger Callum McManaman (pictured) from Wigan, and wants to bring in "a few more" before Monday's deadline.

Callum McManaman from Wigan
Getty Images

McManaman is in line to make his debut in Saturday's game with Spurs at The Hawthorns and Pulis says it's great The Baggies have been able to sign him.


Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

BBC Local Live brings news, sport, travel and weather together in one place.

What do you think of it?

News on the hour

Jo Tidman

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 16:00 on

BBC WM: Snow has hit Birmingham and the Black Country this afternoon.

David Cameron says he's asked officials for an update on contingency plans for dealing with

heavy snow as severe weather causes disruption across large parts of the UK.

'Gritters will be out'

via Facebook

Dudley Borough Council posts: It's going to be another cold one tonight! Our gritters will be out and about this evening, but please continue to drive carefully…/social-media/gritting-and-roads/

Sandwell Council says it will be gritting its roads from 18:30.

Latest forecast

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

We could see a couple of centimetres of snow to a light dusting in the Midlands. It's really quite variable due to the nature of the showers from the north.

Shefali Oza

There's also a chance of snow later on this week too.

I'll have a full forecast on Midlands Today at 18:30 and you can

keep up to date online via BBC Weather.

Snow in Kings Norton


Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Looking out of the window we're getting mixed patches of snow showers.

Snow in Kings Norton
damien eden

Damien Eden tweeted this picture of Gildas Avenue in Kings Norton earlier.

Let us know what it's like where you are -

share your photos on Facebook.

News on the hour

Jo Tidman

Journalist, BBC WM

The lead story in our news bulletin at 15:00 on

BBC WM: Birmingham City Council says a huge amount of work has been done in the wake of the so-called "Trojan Horse" affair
after it was criticised by the Education Secretary.

We'll hear from Nicky Morgan in the news bulletin.

Birmingham's homeless helpers

Bob Hockenhull

Reporter, Midlands Today

A charity says it's seen a big increase in the number of rough sleepers on Birmingham's streets.

homeless charity worker

The Reachout Network has been providing tea and biscuits to those forced to stay out all night in freezing temperatures. I've been out with their volunteers this morning.

See more on

Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

Debt struggle

Sarah Falkland

BBC Midlands Today presenter

More people in the West Midlands are struggling with debt and are only just able to meet their living costs.

New figures released by the StepChange Debt Charity show nearly 18,000 people called their helpline last year -a rise of nearly a third.

Black Sabbath arrest

Birmingham Mail

Black Sabbath's Birmingham-born bass player

Geezer Butler has been arrested following an alleged bar brawl in California.

The 65-year-old rock legend reportedly spent Tuesday night in jail after getting into a fight at the Corkscrew Saloon, the only bar in the small town of Furnace Creek Ranch, in Death Valley.

Charged under this full name of Terence Michael Butler, the Aston musician was accused of misdemeanor assault, public intoxication and vandalism.

Butler has since been released.

Your photos

Tweet @BBCWM

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Thanks to

Phil Oldershaw for tweeting these pics of the snow in Birmingham city centre.

Share your photos with us on Facebook.

Snow in Birmingham city centre
Phil oldershaw

Find out about the latest delays on the roads and if they're being affected on

BBC Travel.

£60m cuts at Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Birmingham Post

Birmingham's flagship

Queen Elizabeth Hospital is facing demands to make savings of up to £60 million - which it insists it simply cannot do without putting patients at risk.

Officials warn the only way they could make the required savings would be by drastically cutting staff numbers, which would hit patient safety - but said this is not an option they would consider.

Birmingham schools statement

House of Commons


Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt says the government "did nothing" in response to warnings emerging from Birmingham before the 'Trojan Horse' story hit the newspapers.

Tristram Hunt in the Commons

Hunt says there is a broader problem for which the coalition is ultimately to blame. "We do hold this government to account for a chaotic and disjointed schools policy which has increased the threat to child safety and attainment. And sadly, the government's response to this has fallen short."

More details on the

BBC Politics Live page.

Black Sabbath star arrested


Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler's been arrested in the United States after a bar fight, police say.

Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler
Getty Images

Officers were called to the Corkscrew Saloon in Death Valley National Park, California shortly after midnight on 27 January.

Inyo County Sheriff's Office said the 65-year-old musician, real name Terence Michael Butler, was arrested for misdemeanour assault, public intoxication and vandalism.

He was released after "detox and citation", police said.

News on the hour

Jo Tidman

Journalist, BBC WM

Our top story at 13:00 on

BBC WM: The Government is warning Birmingham City Council that it needs to do more to eliminate extremism in schools in the wake of the so-called Trojan Horse affair.

Five schools were put into "special measures" after an inquiry ruled that hard-line Islamist governors were seeking to take over their running.

It's snowing


Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Uh-oh. It's snowing in Birmingham city centre! Here's a pic I've just taken from out of the office window.

Snow in Birmingham city centre

tweet @BBCWM or upload your
photos on Facebook.

I don't think we're quite snowed in yet! Do share your pics with us.

Birmingham schools statement

House of Commons


Education Secretary Nicky Morgan says she has told Labour-run Birmingham council officials that "reform is too slow" - and threatens to use emergency powers allowing her to intervene if they do not make changes quickly.

More details on the

BBC Politics Live page.

Manchester planes diverted to Birmingham Airport after snowstorms

Birmingham Mail

Birmingham was

on alert today for flights diverted from other airports because of snowstorms.

Flights to Manchester faced problems because of heavy snowfalls and two planes - a Finnair service from Helsinki and a Luftansa from Frankfurt - were rerouted to Birmingham.

News on the hour


The Government is warning Birmingham City Council that it needs to more to eliminate extremism in schools in the wake of the so-called "Trojan Horse" affair.

Listen live.

Snow showers

Charlie Slater

Weather Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

A wintry day ahead for us with a few snow showers around this lunchtime.

Charlie Slater

It may settle and we could see a few centimetres of snow.

For the latest follow

@BBCWeather on Twitter or you can
watch the forecast online.

Fans to gather at Molineux

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

Wolverhampton Wanderers are hoping thousands of people from across the city will pack Moulineux Stadium for Sir Jack Hayward's final journey from the club he loved.

Tributes to Sir Jack Hayward
Getty Images

The former Wolves owner and President died earlier this month at the age of 91.

His funeral service will be held at St Peter's Collegiate Church next Tuesday after the cortege sets off from Molineux.

Birmingham schools update

House of Commons


Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is on her feet in the Commons, making a statement on Birmingham schools and the so-called Trojan Horse plot.

Nicky Morgan

Nicky Morgan says progress has been made since concerns about extremism in Birmingham schools emerged.

The schools in question are being incorporated into broader networks in Birmingham and teachers are being investigated, the education secretary says. "We have acted swiftly," she adds.

More details on the

BBC Politics Live page.

Marston's landmark Wolverhampton HQ revamp

Express and Star

Work is due to start next week on

the multi-million pound redevelopment of Marston's landmark headquarters in Wolverhampton.

It will see the dowdy four-storey 1960s office block partly demolished and then rebuilt and refurbished over the coming months.

Is your local school making the grade?

The number of state secondary schools in England deemed to be underperforming,

has more than doubled in a year.

girl at

This year 330 - up from 154 - failed to both reach 40% of pupils attaining five good GCSEs including maths and English and make the expected progress.

Check how

your local school fared here.

999 calls back-up

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Police say the fault to its 999 calls service has now been fixed.

West Midlands Police tweets: We're back up and running on the 999 number. Technical fault has now been fixed and calls no longer being diverted.

Digbeth collision

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

There's been a serious collision in Digbeth.

A lorry has hit a woman walking across the road, it's thought she has serious leg injuries.

The police are on the scene.

Geezer Butler arrest

The Sheriff's Department in Inyo County, California, has confirmed that Black Sabbath's bassist, Geezer Butler, has been arrested after "a verbal and physical altercation" in a bar called the Corkscrew Saloon.

Geezer Butler
Getty Images

The musician, who was born in Birmingham, has been released after "detox and citation".