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  1. Updates for Thursday 5 February 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Good evening

Local Live has finished for the day. We're back from 08:00 on Friday with more news, sport, travel and weather. Join us then.

Tonight on Midlands Today

Elizabeth Glinka

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Cadbury's is surely the most famous brand of chocolate in the world, but it seems people living in America won't be able to enjoy its special flavour much longer.

Rival American firm Hershey have gained an import ban, saying British chocolate creates brand confusion in the United States. But, as chocaholic-in-denial Ben Sidwell reports, there are plenty across the Atlantic who are far from happy at losing what they call "proper" chocolate.

And Giles Latcham reports on a campaign to save school lollipop patrols - a feature on our roads since 1937.

Join us for the

Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

Tonight's forecast

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

Wintry showers are moving west across the Midlands giving occasional snow flurries, but these are dying out around midnight.

Thereafter it will be dry, cold with increasing cloud and a frost developing under clearer spells. Winds increasing slightly in the south.

Highs of 3C (37F).

Building firm loses workers

David Lumb

BBC News, West Midlands

A building firm in West Bromwich has gone into administration with

52 of the 67 workers made redundant.

Anglo-Holt Construction Limited, founded in 1969, developed industrial and commercial buildings.

Anglo-Holt Construction Limited

Joint administrators Baker Tilly said the company had suffered "substantial contract losses" over the past 18 months leading to an inability to pay suppliers and contractors.

Traffic warnings

BBC Travel

BBC Travel

There is very slow traffic on the A452 Chester Road in both directions in Birmingham between Tyburn House Island and Castle Bromwich in the roadworks area.

Drivers are also warned about the closure of the entry slip road at J9 of the M6 for Wednesbury and the knock-on effect that is having on surrounding roads.

Wolverhampton facelift progress

New bus shelters will be installed and others replaced across Wolverhampton as part of a £1.6m facelift of the city centre. It includes repaving and resurfacing in Princess Street, Market Street and Garrick Street.

Artist's impression of how Princess Street might look after the work
Wolverhampton City Council

Traffic signals will also be upgraded at the junction of Market Street and Bilston Street and the junction of Garrick Street and Snow Hill.

Work will be completed by September, according to the council.

News on the hour

Jo Tidman

Journalist, BBC WM

Richard Muncaster, the director of development at Living Streets - a charity which says it puts pedestrians first - speaks to us as there are calls to save school crossing patrols from council cuts in Birmingham.

Listen live to


Harborne distraction theft appeal

Police want to speak to these men after a 90-year-old man was conned out of cash at a Harborne supermarket.

the two men
West Midlands Police

The man had just collected his weekly pension and was buying groceries at the Sainsbury's Local in Harborne High Street when two men let him jump the queue, police say.

As he steadied himself outside the shop, the two men engaged him in conversation asking about a phone number on a piece of paper. After they had walked away the elderly gent quickly realised that his wallet was missing.

Officers are

appealing for information about the theft on 16 December.

Equine abandonment


The RSPCA received 1,300 calls to abandoned horses, donkeys and ponies last year in the West Midlands.

The revelation comes after Sandwell Council highlighted this week that

a horse was starved to death on land known as The Cracker in Tipton.

Keeping Gray 'important' for Blues

BBC WM Sport

Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett says

keeping Demarai Gray at the club and rejecting a £5m bid for him was an "important thing to do".

Birmingham City winger Demarai Gray

He added: "We don't want to be a team that just sells players whenever we create a good footballer".

News on the hour

Jo Tidman

Journalist, BBC WM

Council bosses in Birmingham say they are asking schools whether they can take over responsibility for lollipop men and women.

Reducing them is one of the proposals being considered by the Labour-run authority - which needs to save £72m in the next year.

A campaign to save school crossing patrols has been launched today and the Labour MP for Erdington Jack Dromey is urging the council to reconsider.

We will hear from him in

our headlines at 16:00.

Weather update

Head to the BBC Midlands Today

Facebook page to see a weather update for this afternoon from forecaster Shefali Oza.

Facebook weather

Cop commended for bravery

A police officer has been

praised for his efforts in saving a man who was critically injured in a crash between two vans in 2013, says West Midlands Police.

Phil Dolby awarded
West Midlands Police

Ch Insp Phil Dolby (pictured right) was the first to arrive at the accident on the Aston Expressway. He crawled into the wreckage to administer first aid to the man who was one of the passengers in the van.

Ringing off the hook

Blues manager Gary Rowett made 62 phone calls on transfer deadline day, the club has


News on the hour

Jo Tidman

Journalist, BBC WM

Council bosses in Birmingham say they're in talks with schools to see if they can pay for "lollipop" wardens in order to help the authority save money in the next year.


campaign has been launched today to save school crossing patrols. It has already gained more than 100 supporters.

Striker ruled out against Doncaster

Rob Gurney

BBC WM Sport

Walsall striker Tom Bradshaw is

sidelined by another hamstring injury, so boss Dean Smith is likely to bring in new loan striker Jordy Hiwula.

Walsall Tom Bradshaw is chaired off by Saddlers fans after helping his club reach the JPT final

The Saddlers' 15-goal top scorer, who has already missed seven weeks of action with a similar hamstring problem, is due back in a fortnight.

Your views on Cadbury 'ban'

Lots of people have been having their say over Hershey securing a ban on British-made Cadbury products in America on

BBC Midlands Today's Facebook page.

Nyssa Annable

posted the ban was "Cause dairy milk is the best and they can't keep up with the competition".

Sandra Bridge

posted: "Cadburys stuff isn't the same anymore, my preferred choc is Fry's Turkish delight and co-op own white chocolate. If I lived abroad I would miss a proper cup of tea".

Keep your comments coming. What do you get asked to take in a food parcel from England if visiting friends now living abroad? Get in touch by

Twitter or

Your views

Email us:

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Lots of people are having their say about Giles Coren

dismissing Birmingham's restaurant scene as "a bit rubbish" with BBC WM.

Giles Coren

John Ryan

posted on Facebook: "He's an idiot, we have every dining choice and quality in the world. What did he sample McDonalds?"


tweeted: "I liked him up until this comment."

Join in the discussion


News on the hour

Jo Tidman

Journalist, BBC WM

The airline group Flybe has announced it is cutting five routes from Birmingham Airport as part of a review of its network.

Services to Oslo, Porto, Toulouse, Ireland West and Waterford will all be suspended.

However, new routes have been introduced to Biarritz and Corsica. The airport says it is "in discussions with other airlines in a bid to fill the cancelled routes".

More stories

with us from 14:00.

Chocoholic treats

Ex-pat chocoholics are stocking up on their favourite Cadbury bars after Hershey Inc successfully

blocked the import of many British sweets because, the company argued, it created "brand confusion" with their products.

Bars of chocolate

Feeling in need of a guilt-free lunchtime chocolate fix? Here's some

recipe ideas from BBC Food.

Coming up on TV

Elizabeth Glinka

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

A campaign has been launched to save school crossing patrols in Birmingham.

It follows proposals to axe them as the city council looks to make savings of £72m. The authority says no final decision has been made, but campaigners say losing the "lollipop" service would put children at risk.

Join us for the

Midlands Today on BBC One at 13:30.

Food fight: Your views

David Lumb

BBC News, West Midlands

Times writer and food critic Giles Coren says Birmingham is not well-served by restaurants and is "just a bit rubbish"

when compared to similar-sized cities in Europe.

Quote: "Compared to comparable cities in Europe - Birmingham's just a bit rubbish. Sorry."

BBC WM has had a lot of reaction on Twitter. Rob Newman

tweeted: "It probably is rubbish to those who don't know about the hidden gems...Brum doesn't require pen pushers to promote!"


tweeted to ask if Giles Coren was "related to that American bloke who commented on Fox news, talking rubbish & has probably never been to Brum"

Join in the discussion


News on the hour

Jo Tidman

Journalist, BBC WM

The government is being urged to introduce tougher penalties against hit-and-run drivers after a 12-year-old girl was knocked over on a zebra crossing in Birmingham.

Phebe Hilliage was left with a broken ankle and shattered foot after a car ploughed into her as she walked to school in Selly Oak.

Her MP - Steve McCabe - said more needed to be done. Hear from him in the

bulletin at 13:00.

Work rescheduled to allow London trains

Passengers will be able to travel from the West Midlands to London Euston, along the West Coast main line, as Network Rail has

tweeted that it was cancelling its work planned for Watford over two weekends in February.

Aerial view of the landslide
Dave Brassington
Estimates suggest 350,000 tonnes of earth and rocks will need to be removed to make the area safe

The Chiltern route is currently closed by a landslip between Warwickshire and Oxfordshire and was expected to stay shut for several weeks, Network Rail has said.

An estimated

350,000 tonnes of earth slipped at Harbury Tunnel on Saturday, closing the Chiltern Line between Leamington Spa and Banbury.

Breakdown on the A38

BBC Travel

BBC Travel

One lane is closed and there is queuing traffic on the A38 Paradise Circus Queensway northbound in Birmingham city centre around the A38 Queensway Tunnel junction because of a breakdown,

drivers are warned.

JLR history showcase


Jaguar Land Rover has set up a special exhibition to celebrate the history of its Defender model at the company's plant in Solihull.

Montage of Land Rover pictures

It was developed from the original Land Rover in 1948 and the last Defender will come off the production lines in December after a continuous run of 67 years.

News on the hour

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

Our top local story at 12:00: A Birmingham boys' school is being kept in special measures because its action plan is "not fit for purpose".

Inspectors visited Lordswood Boys' School on the Hagley Road and found that the school leadership had been slow to take any decisive action.

Burger branch reopens after mouse problem

Birmingham Mail

The Burger King restaurant in the Bullring is set to reopen today after being

shut down due to the discovery of a mouse infestation by health officers during an inspection on Monday.

Wolves 'need to believe'

BBC Sport

Wolves winger James Henry says the promotion-chasing club have

"got to believe" in their chances of going up.

James Henry

Thanks to Henry's

late equaliser at Bolton, Wolves have picked up 18 points out of 24 from an unbeaten eight-game run and are seventh in the table.

Bitter battle over boozers

Halesowen News

Pubgoers across Halesowen and Cradley will be drowning their sorrows after it emerged

more pubs are set to be bulldozed to make way for supermarkets.

News on the hour

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

The NHS watchdog Monitor has appointed a health expert to help a Birmingham hospital trust improve its services.

Diane Whittingham - who has 30 years' experience - will work with the

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust on a part-time basis, following concerns over its leadership.

More on this story and others in

our 11:00 headlines.

It's a hoot

Ed Barlow

BBC Inside Out

On Monday night's

Inside Out we have a film on barn owls with David Gregory-Kumar, but Andy Akinwolere went to find out more about a different kind of owl that
will be appearing across Birmingham this summer.

Andy Akinwolere with the owls

Organised by Birmingham Children's Hospital to raise money, up to 100 owls will be appearing all over the place. Schools can

get involved too.

How long would it take you?

Global football stars earn some of the highest wages in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo's contract at Real Madrid earns him around €350,000 (£265,000) each week. How much do you get paid compared with a top footballer?

Footballer's salary calculator


this calculator - part of the BBC's
A Richer World season - to find out.

Taxi driver's knife ordeal

Express and Star

A man who pulled out a knife in a taxi in West Bromwich and

threatened to kill the driver has been spared jail.

Safety fears over patrols plans

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

Lollipop man David Dyke told me he would be worried for children's safety if he wasn't outside

St Margaret Mary RC Primary School in Erdington, as council plans are revealed to scrap crossing patrols.

David Dyke leading children across the road

News on the hour

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

Council bosses in Birmingham are defending proposals to reduce school crossing patrols in the city.

The deputy leader Ian Ward has told us they've got a difficult balancing act - as they need to save £72m in the next year.

Campaigners say it will put lives at risk. More on this story and others in

our 10:00 news.

Prison 'failings' played part in suicide

Jerry Chester

BBC News Online

A number of failings by prison and healthcare staff contributed to the suicide of a Wolverhampton father-of-five in a jail,

an inquest has found.

HMP Hewell sign

Paul Coley, 44, was found dead in his cell at HMP Hewell on New Year's Eve in 2013.

The coroner said the prison's risk assessments for Mr Coley had been "inadequate and inconsistent".

Panic buying chocolate

Regan Morris

BBC, Los Angeles

In a globalised world it's increasingly easy for British ex-pats to buy the creature comforts of home - English tea, Irn-Bru or that most beloved British staple - Cadbury chocolate.


But in the United States consumers will soon have trouble finding the "proper" Cadbury chocolate, made with the British recipe, after American chocolate giant Hershey Inc has successfully blocked the import of many British sweets.


stockpiling of their favourite British sweet treats has begun.

Routes dropped at airport

Birmingham Post

Birmingham Airport has suffered a major blow after cutbacks by the airline Flybe means

five routes will be wiped from its schedule.