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  1. Updates for Wednesday 25 March 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates are back from 08:00 Thursday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

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

Tonight's forecast

Rebecca Wood

BBC Weather

After a clear start to the evening,

cloud will thicken across the region by midnight.


Outbreaks of rain will then spread across the region during the night. It will be a chilly night.

Lows of 3C (37F).

Coming up on TV

Nick Owen

Presenter, Midlands Today

We will be reporting on major investment by Jaguar Land Rover into its Coventry headquarters and more expected at its Castle Bromwich plant.

And a "kind, generous and a lovely man" - that's how friends and neighbours of Martyn Matthews have described the Wolverhampton businessman who died in the Alps plane crash.

We will have more on these stories and others in the

Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

Gavin's 'biggest fight'

BBC Sport

World title hopeful, Birmingham-born Frankie Gavin, is billing his forthcoming fight with with Chris van Heerden in the city as

the biggest of his career.

The 29-year-old will challenge the South African IBF international welterweight champion on 9 May.

Frankie Gavin
Getty Images

"This could set my professional career alight. I'm going to win this fight, definitely," he told

BBC WM 95.6.

Warwickshire delays warning

BBC Travel

BBC Travel

There's slow traffic on the M42 northbound between J9 on the M6 Toll at Curdworth and J10 for the A5 at Tamworth because of an earlier breakdown.

Travel time is about 30 minutes even though all lanes have re-opened,

drivers are warned. Congestion is back to J6 for Birmingham Airport.

Not your average footballer

The appointment of ex-Aston Villa striker

Dion Dublin as a new presenter on BBC One's Homes Under The Hammer highlights his interests outside of football.

dion dublin
Getty Images


invented a cube-shaped drum called The Dube, and in the past has also been on the board of directors at Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Blues Ladies look ahead to new season

BBC Sport

The 2015

Women's Super League One season gets underway tonight.

Karen Carney
The FA

Birmingham City Ladies will be looking to improve on their third place finish last season.

Karen Carney (pictured) will again be the one to watch, after she was recently inducted into the club's Hall of Fame.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

We hear from the neighbours of a Wolverhampton man who died in the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps in the

news at 17:00.

Wolverhampton Wiggle jobs boost

Up to 150 jobs will be created by the relocation of online cycle and tri-sports retailer, Wiggle, to the Citadel logistics centre in Bilston by October.

That is according to Wolverhampton City Council, which says it has been working with the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership to support the company through the move from its current distribution base 150 miles away in Portsmouth.

Left to right: Sarah Middleton, chief executive of the Black Country Consortium Ltd, city council economy leader Peter Bilson, city council leader Roger Lawrence and Wiggle CEO Stefan Barden.
Sam Bagnall

The Citadel logistics centre, which serves as a landmark thanks to the eagle feature outside, has been empty since it was built and is around two miles away from the M6.

Lords' committee 'focussed on the capital'

Birmingham business leaders today criticised a House of Lords report on HS2 as ignoring the needs of the West Midlands.

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) was responding to the Lords' economic affairs committee which claimed the government

had not made a convincing case for the £50bn project.

HS2 route
Getty Images

But Jerry Blackett, the GBCC's chief executive, who gave evidence to the committee, said: "The chamber believes there is a strong economic case, especially for the West Midlands, for three reasons - capacity, regeneration, and rebalancing."

Alps crash victim's family 'devastated'

This is the first picture released of Martyn Matthews from Wolverhampton, who was among 150 people killed when an Airbus 320 operated by Germanwings

crashed in the French Alps yesterday.

From left to right: Daughter Jade, Martyn, wife Sharon and son Nathan.

The 50-year-old (pictured centre left) is thought to have been travelling to Germany for a meeting.

His family's released a joint statement today: "We are devastated at the news of this tragic incident and request that we are allowed to deal with this terrible news without intrusion at this difficult time."

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

The family of Martyn Matthews from Wolverhampton who died in the plane crash in the Alps yesterday, say they are "devastated" at the news.

More live on

BBC WM in the news at 16:00.

Cadbury workers 'unaffected by merger'


Union bosses say Cadbury will not be affected by

Kraft's merger with Heinz which has been announced today.

Kraft bought Cadbury in 2010.

And after today's announcement Unite the Union says although it wants assurances about British Heinz workers, Cadbury in Bournville will not be affected.

MP made 'apology of the year'

Lichfield Mercury

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has won an award for an apology issued after an earlier inflammatory Tweet landed him in hot water.

Mr Fabricant

scooped the 'Apology of the Year' category at the 2015 Political Twitter Awards for his message last June seeking to retract his spur-of-the-moment joke
about punching controversial journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown "in the throat" following her appearance in a Channel 4 debate.

Michael Fabricant

The award-winning Tweet was: "So just for the avoidance of any doubt: I am v sorry for tweet. It was wrong to joke abt punching + I completely withdraw and apologise."

'Processes will be strengthened'

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

The decision not to take action against two Sandwell councillors who admitted errors on their register of interests comes after a behind-closed doors meeting of the council's standards committee.

Director of governance Neeraj Sharma added: "The standards committee

met on Friday 13 March and decided to take no further action with regards to this matter.

"We will be strengthening our processes to make sure that mistakes like these don't occur in the future."

News on the hour


In the

15:00 bulletin: The BBC will not renew Jeremy Clarkson's contract at the end of the month.

It's after the Top Gear presenter, who had almost 25 years of service at the BBC, shouted at a senior producer and punched him, causing him to go to accident and emergency.

Don't clap, use 'jazz hands'

BBC Newsbeat

Radio 1 and 1Xtra

Women at a national student event taking place in Solihull have been asked to

use jazz hands instead of clapping.

The request came during the National Union of Students (NUS) Women's Conference.

Clapping hand emoji

The NUS Women's Campaign tweeted: "Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping, as it's triggering anxiety. Please be mindful!"

HSBC move to Birmingham will 'send ripples across Europe'

Birmingham Post

HSBC's investment in Birmingham

will send ripples across Europe, according to city leaders.

Marketing Birmingham chief Neil Rami said the banking giant would become an "anchor tenant for Birmingham" - showing it was a city open to big brands and front-office operations.

From Premier league to presenting

Former Aston Villa striker

Dion Dublin is swapping punditry for property and joining daytime show Homes Under The Hammer as a presenter.

dio dublin
Getty Images

The footballer, who also counts Manchester United, Coventry and Cambridge United among his former clubs moved into punditry when his career on the pitch finished but says he's always had "a passion for property".

News on the hour


It's been confirmed that a man from Wolverhampton died in yesterday's plane crash in the Alps.

More details in

the news at 13:00

Coming up on TV

Sarah Falkland

BBC Midlands Today presenter

Good afternoon.

Jaguar Land Rover is set to announce a major investment in its factory at Castle Bromwich in Birmingham. It's also

doubling the size of its engineering and design centre at Whitley in Coventry, the company's global headquarters.

Jaguar badge

Our business correspondent Peter Plisner reports from Coventry for

Midlands Today at 13:40 on BBC One.

Overnight city centre tunnels closures

Birmingham Updates

The A38 St Chad's and Queensway tunnels

will be closed from 22:00 until 06:00 from Wednesday 1 April until Friday 8 May 2015.

The closures are being scheduled to carry out a number of combined activities, including remedial works to collision damage, cleaning of the walls and signage, and to allow parties involved in the Paradise Circus works to enter the tunnels.

Alps crash victim: Call to respect privacy

Police standing outside Martyn Matthews' home, near Bushbury in Wolverhampton, have asked reporters not to knock at the door of his semi-detached house.

Four people later left the property without comment.

It's after it was confirmed the businessman was

among the 150 people killed in the Germanwings plane crash

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

Our top story at 13:00: One of the three British people killed in the French plane crash has been identified as a father of two from Wolverhampton.

Martyn Matthews who lived in Bushbury, worked as an engineer at the German firm HUF UK in Tipton.

It is thought he had been travelling to Germany for a business meeting. Listen live for more on this


Jaguar Land Rover base 'to double'

Trystan Jones

BBC News

Car giant Jaguar Land Rover's announced plans to

double the size of its operations at its headquarters in Coventry.

Whitley base

The firm said land bought in Whitley meant it could expand its base from 55 to almost 120 acres.

The site expected to be used for research and advanced engineering, although it is not yet clear how many jobs could be created

Wolverhampton father among Alps crash dead

Businessman Martyn Matthews, from Wolverhampton, was among the British victims of the crash.

The 50-year-old father of two grown-up children is thought to have been travelling to Germany for a business meeting.

Neighbours of Mr Matthews said they were unaware that he was believed to have been on board

the Germanwings flight.

Kraft Foods to merge with Heinz

US food giant

Kraft Foods Group is to merge with Heinz, creating what the companies say will be the third-largest food and beverage company in the US.

Tomato-ketchup on shelf
Getty Images

In 2010, Kraft took over Birmingham chocolate firm Cadbury, but in 2012

spun the firm off as part of its global snacks business Mondelez, which includes brands such as Oreo biscuits and Trident gum

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

The owners of Cadbury, Kraft Foods have agreed to merge with Heinz creating a global food giant valued at more than $40bn.

The deal will create the third largest food company in the US.

More on this story and others in

our 12:00 bulletin.

Dublin's TV break

Former Aston Villa footballer

Dion Dublin is joining BBC One Daytime hit show Homes Under The Hammer.


The ex-striker will join the original line-up of Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander.

Dion says: "I am thrilled to be joining Martin and Lucy on Homes Under The Hammer. I have a passion for property and look forward to meeting people on the show who share that passion."

Foundry wants to be good neighbour

Express and Star

A foundry ordered to compensate its neighbours to the tune of £1.4 million due to bad smells is

setting up a liaison group in a bid to nurture better relations with local residents.

Norton Aluminium lost a costly court case when Birmingham High Court ruled in favour of 132 claims brought by neighbours over emissions from the plant in Norton Canes, near Cannock.

The company has recently invested in improvements to its operating procedure to help mask smells and has enlisted the help of Cannock Chase Council to set up the group.

'Concerning' interim headteacher axed

A letter sent out to parents at Nansen Primary School by its executive principal Adrian Packer, confirmed Rashida Sharif, its interim headteacher, was removed from her post immediately after

a critical inspection by Ofsted in February.

Mr Packer wrote: "You will note from the report that many of the concerns relate to the leadership of the school at the time of the visit in February.

You will know from my previous letter to you immediately after the inspection, that the interim headteacher at the time of the inspection and to whom this latest report is addressed, was removed from her post immediately."

No action over councillors' errors

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Two Sandwell councillors who apologised for "errors" on their public register of interests will face no further action, the authority said today.

Sandwell Council House

Labour councillor Lucy Cashmore didn't declare her employment and fellow Labour councillor Tony Meehan didn't disclose his interest in the property where he lived.

The council's director of governance Neeraj Sharma said: "Both apologised for the error. There is no suggestion either gained financially or otherwise from their omission. "

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

It has been confirmed that three British nationals were among the 150 people who died in yesterday's plane crash in the French Alps, one of whom is reportedly from Wolverhampton.

The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond says it is possible there are more British victims.

More on this in

our 11:00 bulletin.

Cifas: Birmingham among fraud hotspots

Kevin Peachey

Personal finance reporter

Sophisticated identity theft "on an industrial scale"

is on the rise with a 46-year-old man the most likely victim, and with
Birmingham among the fraud hotspots, a new report says.

Recorded fraud was up by 25% last year compared with 2013, according to fraud prevention service Cifas.

Shredded bank statement

ID fraud accounted for 41% of all fraud. Digitally-savvy young adults were increasingly becoming targets, Cifas found.

Headteacher removed after two months

Birmingham Mail

The interim head of a Birmingham school embroiled in the Trojan Horse scandal has been

axed after less than two months in the job.

Dr Rashida Sharif's departure from Nansen Primary - placed in special measures last year - was confirmed after a damning Ofsted report found violence, racism and wasted funds.

HS2 criticism

Radio 5 live

Lord John McFall has been looking into the HS2 project for

the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.

Tain on tracks
Getty Images

He does not want the project abandoned, but says there has not been "adequate assessment". His committee thinks the real problem is overcrowding on trains coming into London's Euston. On

Wake Up to Money Lord John also says there's no evidence that HS2 will rebalance the economy, by boosting the North.

Delph links up with England

BBC WM Sport

Aston Villa captain Fabian Delph has joined up with the rest of the England squad at St George's Park after overcoming a stomach bug.

Fabian Delph of Aston Villa
Getty Images

He'll be training today ahead of

Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania.

News on the hour


West Midlands Police has cut its use of "stop and search" by more than two thirds in the past 18 months, from 50,000 stops and searches to under 20,000.

The force's Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson says work still needs to be done. We will hear more from him in

the 10:00 bulletin.

Wolverhampton father among victims

The Telegraph


father-of-two from Wolverhampton was among the 150 victims of the Germanwings Airbus A320 disaster in the French Alps, it has emerged.

Martyn Matthews, 50, had been on business in Barcelona and was en route to a meeting in Germany when the passenger jet crashed into a mountainside on Tuesday.

He leaves a wife, Sharon, 48, and children Jade, 20, and Nathan, 23.