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Summary

  1. Updates from Wednesday 18 March 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates return at 08:00 Thursday

Live Reporting

By Gavin Bevis

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Today's Local Live updates have now finished. We will be back with more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 tomorrow.

Tonight's outlook

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

A clear start to the evening but cloud will move in overnight

with lows of 4C (39F) and the possibility of mist and fog.

MAP
BBC

Pair face Wembley fitness race

BBC Sport

Walsall boss Dean Smith (pictured) is hopeful Tom Bradshaw and Andy Taylor

will be fit for Sunday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy final after being rested for last night's draw at Sheffield United.

Dean Smith
Getty Images

Bradshaw, the club's top scorer, has a hamstring injury while left-back Taylor is suffering from a calf injury.

Rail problems

London Midland says problems with overhead lines between Leighton Buzzard and Bletchley are causing delays on West Coast Mainline services to Birmingham.

The company said the issue may not be resolved until 06:00 tomorrow.

Cadbury: Bournville workers handed list of 30 'unacceptable' behaviours

Birmingham Mail

Cadbury workers at the giant Bournville plant

have been handed a list of 30 "unacceptable" examples of behaviour by company bosses.

Poor use of language, self-promotion and a closed mind were among the no-nos.

The directive, from Mondelez International, is the latest initiative to ruffle feathers at the world-famous chocolate plant.

'We wish to draw a line'

The co-owners of a dog that was thought to have been poisoned while competing at Crufts

have issued a statement after a toxicology report ruled this out.

Jagger
AP

They said: "We accept that we will never know the true facts of why, where and when Jagger ingested poison which resulted in his death. We wish now to draw a line under this tragedy."

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

In my

17:00 bulletin, we'll have local reaction to George Osborne's Budget speech.

George Osborne
PA

Police chief has 'no case to answer'

BBC WM

Staffordshire's temporary chief constable has welcomed a decision by the police and crime commissioner that she has no case to answer over a mishandled murder investigation.

Five men jailed in 2008 for murdering Kevin Nunes in a country lane near Wolverhampton had their convictions overturned due to concerns over police evidence.

Last year, Jane Sawyers was one of 14 officers involved with the case

who were told they would not face criminal charges over the investigation.

Stories we're working on

John Bray

Assistant editor, BBC Midlands Today

Our plans for 1830 are dominated by a report suggesting

almost 500 children across the West Midlands were victims of or vulnerable to sexual exploitation in the first half of last year. Mary will be talking live to the report's author.

Our Political Editor Patrick Burns will be live at Westminster reacting to the

Budget with two Midlands MPs.

And we'll be reflecting on the unemployment figures with a Black Country project offering young people jobs hope.

Trott is back

BBC Sport

Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott

has been recalled to the full England squad for the first time since quitting an Ashes tour with a stress-related condition.

Jonathan Trott
Getty Images

The 33-year-old is included in a 16-man group for a three-Test tour of West Indies in April and May.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

Staffordshire's temporary chief constable says she welcomes the police and crime commissioner's decision that she has no case to answer over her role in the way a murder was investigated in 2002.

I'll bring you the details in my

16:00 bulletin.

Cash for station revamp

A project to redevelop Wolverhampton railway station

is to get £13.5m of government funding.

Wolverhampton
Google

David Cameron confirmed the investment in response to a query from Wolverhampton MP Paul Uppal during Prime Minister's Questions.

Killer said partner fell down stairs

Birmingham Mail

A computer programmer

has been convicted of killing his partner after she was found dead in the hallway of their Birmingham home.

How many mentions?

Chris Doidge

BBC Radio Derby political reporter

How often did cities in the North and Midlands come up in the 2015 Budget compared with London's 50 mentions?

The North

  • Manchester: 25
  • Leeds: 15
  • Sheffield: 9
  • Hull: 7
  • Liverpool: 4

The Midlands

  • Birmingham: 9
  • Stoke: 1
  • Derby: 1
  • Leicester: 1
  • Nottingham: 0

Cities in the Midlands have previously said they are concerned about being left behind by the "

Northern Powerhouse".

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Unemployment in the West Midlands has fallen again - but people here are earning less per week than in any other region except the North East.

Find out more in my

15:00 bulletin.

Getting ready for Wembley

Nick Clitheroe

Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

All this week I'm speaking to people about Walsall as they get ready for Wembley on Sunday.

One of the club's oldest fans says it will be an emotional day watching them play this weekend.

Jack Huskisson
BBC

The 90-year-old D-Day veteran Jack Huskisson has been following the Saddlers since the 1930s.

You can see my report on BBC One from 18:30.

'Serious child sexual exploitation' issue

Last year, Birmingham City Council acknowledged there was "serious child sexual exploitation" in the city, but at the time said the scale of the problem was unclear.

Its children's services department has been consistently rated inadequate by Ofsted and in 2013 was branded a "national disgrace".

Stephen Rimmer, a senior civil servant who led the project which says

almost 500 children in the West Midlands were victims of or vulnerable to sexual exploitation, said it would help improve support for children.

Listen: New pound coin took 'a few hours' to design

BBC Radio 5 live

The new £1 coin will look a little different from 2017 when it will have 12 sides and feature a new design on the 'tails' side.

New £1 coin
Royal Mint

15-year-old David Pearce from Walsall's design will be printed onto 1.4bn brand new coins.

He told 5 live's Rachel Burden it took him "a few hours" to design his coin, which features a leek, thistle, rose and shamrock, united by the crown.

Listen to the interview here.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

David Cameron has confirmed that £13.5m has been set aside to help redevelop Wolverhampton's train station.

You can hear more on this in our

14:00 bulletin.

A budget for Dudley?

The World at One BBC Radio 4

Presented by Martha Kearney

We have been canvassing views in Dudley asking how the Chancellor's 2015 budget will affect the people who live there.

Will Butler, an engineering apprentice, said he would love to see an extension to the Help to Buy scheme.

"I'm living at home with my folks at the moment - there's no way I could afford to move out at the moment," he said.

Budget 2015: West Midlands announcements

The Chancellor George Osborne has announced the West Midlands Energy Research Accelerator is to get £60m and confirmed the new national energy catapult will be in Birmingham.

Chancellor George Osborne
BBC

He has also announced "we're going to back our brilliant automotive industry by investing £100 million to stay ahead in the race to driverless technology."

Read more announcements on the

Budget 2015 live page.

Stearman injury 'not serious'

BBC Sport

Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett

has eased fears about the injury suffered by Richard Stearman in last night's 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Richard Stearman
Getty Images

The 27-year-old defender went to ground needing attention to nerve pain in his hamstring and lower back, but Jackett said the injury was not as bad as had been feared.

£13.5m for Wolverhampton station

A project to redevelop Wolverhampton railway station is to get £13.5m of government funding.

David Cameron made the announcement during Prime Minister's Questions, in response to a query from local MP Paul Uppal.

David Cameron
BBC

The Prime Minister said it was "absolutely essential Wolverhampton benefits from good road, rail and other infrastructure connections, so it can benefit from the growth we're seeing in our country".

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

In

the news at 13:00.

The Chancellor is delivering his annual Budget to the Commons, while the Prime Minister has confirmed that £13.5m has been set aside to help redevelop Wolverhampton Train Station.

Crufts poisoning 'to stay a mystery'

The owners of the Irish setter wrongly thought to have been poisoned at Crufts have said the "true facts" surrounding its death may never be known.

Jagger
AP

It comes after The Kennel Club said a toxicology report had shown Jagger, who died after returning to Belgium,

could not have been poisoned at the Birmingham event.

M42 delays

BBC Travel

A broken down vehicle has closed a lane

on the M42 southbound at J4.

What will the Budget mean for the West Midlands?

George Osborne is due to deliver the final Budget of this Parliament at 12:30.

Budget live page
BBC

You can read live updates from BBC News before, during and after the speech

here.

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

In my

12:00 bulletin, the Department for Work and Pensions says more people are in work in the West Midlands than ever before.

Analysis on jobs figures

Patrick Burns

Political editor, West Midlands

As George Osborne prepares to deliver his last Budget before the General Election, he'll no doubt have been cheered by

the latest unemployment figures which showed a further 5,000 fall in the West Midlands between November and January to 182,000.

But Labour will also find evidence in these figures that the Chancellor's much-trumpeted 'national recovery' is in practice a divisive one: our regional unemployment rate of 6.5% is still significantly higher than the UK average of 5.7%, and the rate at which unemployment fell here has slowed considerably since the previous quarter.

Market set to re-open

After a four year absence it looks highly like that the Darlaston Market will be brought back.

Its been closed since 2011 but now members of Walsall Council are widely expected to approve it's return in a

cabinet meeting taking place tonight.

The council document says a commercial outdoor market on King Street for three days a week has been proposed at "no cost to the council".

Scarlet fever on the rise in the Midlands

Express and Star

Cases of scarlet fever in the Black Country and Staffordshire have

more than trebled in a year, new figures have revealed.

Since the start of the current season in September there have been 235 people diagnosed with the infectious disease - 106 of these have been reported in Dudley.

Between September 2013 and March 2014, there were 73 cases across the region.

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

Coming up in the news at 11:00 on

BBC WM: After a four year absence it looks highly like that the Darlaston Market will be brought back.

In the bulletin we'll hear from Labour councillor Doug James.

West Midlands unemployment down

Unemployment dropped by 5,000 in the last quarter in the West Midlands.

It now stands at a total of 182,000 - which is 6.5% of the working population.

Unemployment here remains

higher than the national average which is 5.7%.

A woman walks past a job centre
PA

Nationally UK unemployment's fallen to 1.86m.

Read more details here.

Walsall 1-1 Sheff Utd

BBC WM Sport

Walsall boss Dean Smith says he expects Tom Bradshaw and Andy Taylor to declare themselves fit for Sunday's Johnstone paint Trophy Final.

The pair missed

last night's game against Sheffield United in League One which finished 1-1 all thanks to an equaliser from Ashley Grimes.

Smith says Bradshaw and Taylor have both had scans as a precaution.

University of Birmingham racist graffiti attack: third incident hits campus

Birmingham Mail

Vile Islamophobic graffiti has been found at the University of Birmingham

for the third time this year.

Police investigating the latest scrawls, discovered on Saturday morning (March 14), believe they are related to a previous incident of hate-fuelled vandalism at the Edgaston campus in Edgaston in January.

These incidents were also linked to racist graffiti found at the nearby Jahalabad Mosque in Selly Oak, also in January.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

In the news at 10:00 on

BBC WM: we'll have the latest local job figures: Unemployment dropped by 5,000 in the last quarter in the West Midlands.

It now stands at a total of 182,000 - which is 6.5% of the working population.

Unemployment here remains higher than the national average which is 5.7%.

New £1 coin designed by Walsall teenager

The new £1 coin will feature

a drawing by a 15-year-old from the Black Country, after he won a competition to design the "tails" side.

New £1 coin
Royal Mint

David Pearce, from Walsall, was told the news by Chancellor George Osborne, who said the image will be "recognised by millions in the years ahead".

It features the four plants associated with the four nations that make up the UK.

The new coin has the same shape as the old 12-sided threepence piece - not used since 1971.