Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Updates for Wednesday 11 March 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Local Live has now finished for the day. We'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Thursday.

Tonight's forecast

Any remaining patchy rain will soon ease away with some brief clearer spells possible in the north.

However, cloudier skies will persist across southern parts, before spreading north again during the early hours.

Get your local forecast.

Travel disruption

BBC Travel

  • There's heavy traffic on the M6 northbound from J6, at Spaghetti Junction, to J7, Great Barr, because of an earlier accident. All lanes have been reopened
  • An overturned lorry and shed load is blocking a lane on the A454 Wolverhampton Road eastbound in Walsall, at the Bloxwich Lane junction

Get the latest updates

Resignation letter published

The resignation letter of accident and emergency consultants from the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch

has been published by the trust running the hospital.

The entire team

quit in February. It comes as a protest group report suggests transferring the running of the hospital to a trust in Birmingham.

Man climbs from train window

British Transport Police has released a CCTV image after a passenger climbed out of a train window when he boarded the wrong service.

CCTV of man
BTP

PC Dawn Dominguez says

the delays he caused led to more than £2,300 in fines.

Why 'Smithfield'?

Birmingham City Council

tweets: the Wholesale Markets in the news why is the redevelopment called Smithfield?

Here's the answer.

Sentenced while on the run

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

John Anslow admitted a separate charge of conspiracy to escape from lawful custody and was jailed for seven years in December 2013.

He had already been sentenced while he was on the run to 22 years for his involvement in large-scale drugs supply.

Anslow was due to appeal against his escape conviction and sentence today - but the Court of Appeal confirmed this afternoon the case was abandoned on 9 March.

Fugitive drops conviction challenge

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

A fugitive drug baron who went on the run abroad has abandoned a bid to appeal against his conviction for the escape.

John Anslow
Other

John Anslow, from Tipton, had been charged with killing Richard Deakin in Staffordshire when he was freed by an armed gang near HMP Hewell, Redditch, on 23 January 2012.

About 14 months later he was arrested in Alsancak, in northern Cyprus, for immigration offences and brought back to the UK on 16 March 2013. He was later

cleared by a jury.

Fire investigation to begin

An investigation into the cause of a large fire at a factory in Tamworth this morning will begin tomorrow, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service says.

Town with smoke above
James Roberts

Crews are still damping down at the Timms UK building on Lichfield Road Industrial Estate.

At its height, 50 firefighters were tackling the blaze.

Canal to reopen tomorrow

Birmingham's Gas Street basin stretch of canal

is set to reopen tomorrow after repairs to stop a leak last month.

Drained canal basin
BBC

Engineers drained the waterway, rescued fish, replaced a section of the bed and then refilled it.

Prime minister in Birmingham

David Cameron is in the Midlands this afternoon, starting at the Science Fair at the NEC.

David Cameron and some children
Getty Images

He will announce A-level students thinking of studying maths and physics at degree level could be given £15,000 in return for becoming teachers.

Schools 'turn children away'

Paul Franks

Presenter, BBC WM

The head teacher of a Polish school in the Black Country has told BBC WM Eastern European children are being turned away from mainstream schools because they can't speak English.

For more, listen to

BBC WM now.

Charge over crash death

A Dudley motorist has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving after his passenger died during a collision in Netherton last June,

West Midlands Police says.

Timothy Pearson, 23, from Quarry Bank, was a passenger in Jamie Wharton's Nissan Skyline, which hit a garden wall.

Doctors urged to open at Easter

Doctors' surgeries in Birmingham and the Black Country have been offered £650 a session to open on Easter Saturday.

According to an email obtained by

medical magazine Pulse, GP practices had until today to sign up.

Feedback

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

your feedback about this service.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

A former lord mayor of Birmingham tells BBC WM the city council's

plan to sell Grand Central shopping complex for a profit is "a sensible decision".

There's more information in my

bulletin at 17:00.

Edgbaston Ward meeting tonight

Birmingham City Council

tweets: It's #Edgbaston Ward Committee tonight 7pm. Bournbrook Fire Station, Bristol Road, Edgbaston, B5 7SN
bit.ly/wardcomms

Grand Central sale 'pressure'

Phil Mackie

News Correspondent

There is a backdrop of trying to balancethe books behind the decision to

sell Birmingham's Grand Central shopping centre.

Grand Central food court
Network Rail

Birmingham is under tremendous pressure to settle backdated equal pay claims of more than £1bn.

For years low paid workers, usually women, earned much less than others, usually men, on the same grade.

Because the council also has to impose swingeing spending cuts, it has few options other than to raise money through the sale of capital assets.

Selfies with the Prime Minister

Bethan Bell

Journalist, BBC News

Schoolboys try to get selfies with Prime Minister David Cameron during his visit to the The Big Bang UK Young Scientists Engineers Fair at the NEC.

Selfies with the Prime Minister
Getty Images

During the prime minister's visit he chatted to school children and viewed their exhibition stands.

City centre £500m regeneration plan

A £500m plan to

regenerate part of the centre of Birmingham has been unveiled by developers.

To be called Birmingham Smithfield, the project involves moving the wholesale market to make way for a major shopping area, tram line and 1,000 homes.

Model showing Birmingham Smithfield development
Context model © Zmapping 2015

Birmingham Smithfield will be near the planned Curzon terminal for the HS2 rail line.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

A new report says transferring the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch to the control of a trust in Birmingham should be considered, but warns it would mean the end of the trust currently running the county's hospitals.

There's more information in my

16:00 bulletin.

Tamworth fire 'not suspicious'

The cause of a fire which broke out at a factory in Tamworth this morning is not thought to be suspicious, Staffordshire Fire Service says.

Crews are expected to remain at the site on Lichfield Road Industrial Estate until "at least tomorrow morning", the service says.

Rabbits' future 'uncertain'

A rabbit rescue centre in Hampton-in-Arden might lose the right to look after the animals after putting up hutches without planning permission.

A rabbit at Fat Fluffs
Fat Fluff's

The local council says

Fat Fluffs is on green belt land and if retrospective permission is not granted, the centre could have to take down its buildings.

'Overseas buyer' likely for Grand Central

Phil Mackie

News Correspondent

The Grand Central shopping complex is to be sold by Birmingham City Council.

There are many who would argue that local authorities ought to concentrate on their core duties, the provision and delivery of services, and not become major commercial landowners.

Others will regret that more major city attractions are being lost to private investors, most likely from overseas.

Burton loan Reilly from Blues

BBC Sport

Burton Albion have signed midfielder Callum Reilly from Championship side Birmingham City on loan until the end of the season.

Callum Reilly
Getty Images

Reilly, 21, joined Birmingham's youth system as a seven-year-old and has played 66 games for Blues since making his debut in January 2012.

News on the hour

BBC WM

The Grand Central shopping complex is to be sold - it will be the second major council asset sold this year after sale of the NEC Group in January.

There's more in the

15:00 bulletin.

Canal opening delayed

Bethan Bell

Journalist, BBC News

The reopening of Gas Street canal basin in Birmingham has been delayed, the Canal and River Trust has just announced.

The stretch was closed to repair a hole in the waterbed, and was originally scheduled to reopen later.

That's now been pushed back to tomorrow lunchtime.

Grand Central for sale

The Grand Central shopping complex will be sold before it opens,

Birmingham City Council announces.

The pallasades
BBC

The area used to be known as

the Pallasades and is part of the development of New Street Station.

Canal work complete

The

Canal and River Trust say work to repair Gas Street canal basin is complete and the stretch is expected to reopen later.

Men repairing canal
BBC

Work was needed to fix a hole in the canal bed after water started seeping into a disused railway tunnel.

News on the hour

BBC WM

Birmingham City Council has announced it is selling off the Grand Central shopping complex which is due to open in September.

Hear more in the

news at 14:00.

Accident on M6 southbound

BBC Travel says there's been an accident on the M6 southbound at J11a for the M6 Toll.

All lanes have reopened but there's congestion to J12, A5 (Gailey).

Firefighters to begin damping down

Staffordshire Fire Service says firefighters will begin damping down at a factory in Tamworth shortly.

Group manager Tim Hyde, who was at the fire, said: "The factory was well alight when firefighters first arrived on the scene and the crews have done an excellent job in bringing it under control swiftly and safely.

"They faced an added complication when tackling the blaze as the roof, which was on fire, was made of asbestos cement sheeting. This posed no risk to the public as it remained within 25 metres of the factory itself. The material will be removed by specialists."

Man killed by train

Express and Star

A

man was struck and killed by a train today, leading to delays between Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

Teenager questioned over assault

Police are

questioning a teenager over the assault of a Watford football fan following a Wolverhampton Wanderers game.

Nick Cruwys
SOUTH BEDS NEWS AGENCY

Nick Cruwys, 44, was assaulted in Littles Lane on Saturday. He suffered head injuries and remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

Health warning over factory fire

A number of nearby businesses have been evacuated as a safety precaution due to a large factory fire in Tamworth.

Factory fire in Tamworth
James Roberts

Staffordshire Police are telling

residents close to the Timms UK factory in Lichfield Road Industrial estate to stay indoors and keep their windows closed.

"Anyone who begins to suffer from breathing difficulties or irritation is advised to contact the ambulance service and seek medical help," police say.

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

A woman has won the right to pursue a financial claim against her former husband, who became a millionaire after they divorced 20 years ago.

You can hear more about this in my

13:00 bulletin.

Factory fire: 'No reported injuries'

Police are helping Staffordshire Fire Service deal with a large factory fire at Lichfield Road Industrial estate in Tamworth.

"A number" of nearby premises have been evacuated as a safety precaution and there are no reports of injury, Staffordshire Police said.

Arrest in football assault inquiry

Detectives have arrested a teenager in connection with

an assault on a Watford fan following the Wolverhampton Wanderers match at the weekend.

The 18-year-old

was arrested at a house in Wednesfield in the early hours on suspicion of wounding, West Midlands Police said.