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  1. Updates from Wednesday 8 April 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

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

Chance of frost overnight

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

A dry, settled night with light winds and clear spells for most is forecast.

Shefali oza

This will allow temperatures to fall close to freezing in the countryside, perhaps with a touch of frost with a low of 3C (37F).

Rover campaigner on programme

Hilary McConnell

Producer, BBC Midlands Today

Nick Owen will be presenting BBC Midlands Today live from Longbridge tonight.

He'll be joined by Gemma Cartwright, who campaigned for help for MG Rover workers after her husband lost his job, and Prof David Bailey, a car industry expert from Aston Business School.

We'll also have a blast from the past with a Rover 75 and Mini Metro.

Compensation for Hajj scam customers

Trystan Jones

BBC News

A travel company has been ordered to pay almost £70,000 after mis-selling trips to Mecca.

Umrah & Hajj Specialist Ltd, based on Coventry Road, Birmingham admitted five charges under unfair trading regulations.

Birmingham Trading Standards said one traveller had spent thousands of pounds arranging trips for his family, but they failed to match what was promised by the firm. The sentence includes £38,000 in compensation to customers.

Live from Longbridge

Nick Owen

Presenter, Midlands Today

I'm in Longbridge, Birmingham, where many years ago thousands of workers produced millions of cars until it all came crashing down 10 years ago today.

Nick Owen at Longbridge

That was when MG Rover went bust, causing acute financial and domestic distress to so many people either directly or indirectly involved with the motor manufacturer.

We have some fascinating and indeed surprising tales to tell on Midlands Today tonight, when I will be presenting the programme live from Longbridge. Join me on BBC One from 18:30.

Blues 'exclusive negotiations'

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

The receivers for the company that owns Birmingham City Football Club say they are considering seven different offers for the club.

They've told the Hong Kong Stock Exchange they're hoping to enter exclusive negotiations with one of the potential investors as soon as possible.

But they've added it's not certain an agreement will be reached.

Slow traffic on M42

BBC Travel


slow traffic on the M42 northbound between J5, A41 (Solihull) and J6, A45 (Birmingham Airport), because of an accident earlier on.

All lanes have been reopened.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

Our top story in the news at 17:00 on

BBC WM: A decade on from the collapse of MG Rover, the BBC has found out that administrators are still chasing £56m in overpaid VAT, which could go to former workers.

More offers for Blues

Nick Clitheroe

Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

Receivers for Birmingham City's parent company BIHL say they've received two more purchase offers. That's now seven in total.

The receivers say they're analysing all offers, but

intend to enter into an exclusivity agreement with a potential investor as soon as practicable.

Watford fan making 'steady progress'

The family of a Watford fan who was attacked after

watching a match at Wolves last month say he's making "steady progress".

Nic Cruwys

Nic Cruwys, 44, is able to walk with some assistance, but his family say "he still has a long road ahead".

No-one's been charged with the attack, but seven people have been arrested and bailed.

You can read more on this story on BBC News.

Dudley election debate

Kath Stanczyszyn

Political reporter, BBC WM

On Thursday night

BBC WM will be holding a live debate at Dudley College with the six candidates standing for election in Dudley North.

Adrian Goldberg will be putting them through their paces in front of an audience on the topic of immigration - as well as other local and national issues.

If you'd like to come along and take part between 7pm and 8pm at the Evolve building,

please get in touch with us.

Trains delayed

National Rail

tweets: #Canley Disruption between Coventry and Birmingham New Street expected until 18:00. More info:…

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Coming up in the news at 16:00 on

BBC WM: The West Midlands police and crime commissioner says his force needs to up its game, after it emerged only one of the last 162 officers recruited was black.

David Jamieson says while it's right the force only recruits the best people, it should also look like the public it serves.

Hajj trip seller pleads guilty

Nadine Towell

Producer, BBC Midlands Today

A Birmingham company which offered trips for Muslims wishing to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca has pleaded guilty to five charges in connection with fair trading regulations.

Umrah & Hajj Specialist Ltd will be sentenced this afternoon, following a prosecution brought by Birmingham Trading Standards.

One victim spent thousands of pounds arranging travel packages for his family, but his experience failed to match what was promised by the firm.

Watch: 'Good life for children'

David Lumb


Immigration is one of the key issues this general election.

Romanian migrant Marian Osman (pictured) says he's concerned about some of the headlines about European migrants.

Romanian migrant Marian Osman

His son is one of 44 eastern European children at Ark Tindal Primary School, in Balsall Heath.

See his video and find out what the main parties plan to do about immigration.

How well do you know your candidates?

There's just under a month to the 2015 general election.

Faceless candidate

In the weeks up to the vote, BBC Magazine is publishing a series of quizzes on all things electoral. This week -

the candidates.

Developments at Longbridge

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Transport Correspondent

This is my view this lunch time - development works at Longbridge. Today

marks 10 years since MG Rover went bust.

Development work at Longbridge, 2015

I'm out and about today filming and speaking to people who have seen this whole area change.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

A decade on from the collapse of MG Rover, the BBC has learned administrators are still chasing £56m in overpaid VAT.

I'll bring you the full story in my

15:00 bulletin.

Election: Win support?

David Lumb


We've been asking people in Birmingham how politicians can win their support as part of our new election project for young voters -


If you want my vote suggestions

You can get involved by following us on

Twitter @BrumVotes and using the hashtag

What is BrumVotes? We're looking at some of the big issues affecting young people in Birmingham ahead of the General Election in May.

Nine flights cancelled

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

I've just spoken to Birmingham Airport who say nine flights have been cancelled

due to industrial action by French air traffic controllers.

The airport advises to check with their airline before heading to the today and tomorrow (Thursday).

A number of flights are also delayed due to diversions.

Sport round-up

BBC WM Sport

Birmingham City hope to have Diego Fabbrini (pictured) fit to face Wolves in Saturday's local derby at St Andrew's.

diego fabbrini
Getty Images

The Italian, on loan from Watford, could be fitted with a face mask to protect a broken nose.

Wolves' have sold their entire allocation of four thousand tickets for the game.

Walsall have extended striker Jordy Hiwula's loan from Manchester City until the end of the season.

Astle Day

West Bromwich Albion

tweets: #AstleDay is officially sold out! Full house at The Hawthorns for Albion v @OfficialFOXES #wba

West Brom v Leicester
West bromwich albion

Baggies say: "Saturday's fixture will pay a lasting tribute to club legend Jeff Astle, with Albion donning a replica of the famous white 1968 Wembley strip in which their never-to-be-forgotten centre forward enjoyed his most iconic moment."

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Coming up in the news at 14:00 on

BBC WM, we'll have more on the disruption at Birmingham Airport, as passengers face delays and cancelled flights.

A new era

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Transport Correspondent

I can't believe it's 10 years since the MG collapse. Like others in the media, I was outside the gates of MG Rover to see the sun rise that fateful morning a decade ago.

Inside MG Rover plant, Longbridge

Sadly it was the dawn of a new era for MG Rover, but it certainly was for Longbridge which now has the town centre it never had.

I will be there at lunchtime broadcasting live and later on Midlands Today I will be live on part of the Longbridge site where cars are still made by a Chinese company.

BBC One from 13:40

Qasa Alom

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

We're live at Longbridge a decade on from the car company MG Rover's collapse, as the

BBC has discovered administrators are still chasing £56m in overpaid VAT.

BBC Midlands Today live sign

And we round up last night's Premier League rollercoaster ride that is

Aston Villa's fight to stay in the top division.

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news bulletin on

BBC WM at 13:00: People hoping to fly out of Birmingham Airport are facing long delays.

Nine flights have been cancelled because of a

strike by French air traffic controllers, including Rynair services from Birmingham to places such as Spain and Morocco.

In pictures: Life at Longbridge

Did you know Rover's factory at Longbridge, set up by Herbert Austin in 1906, survived two world wars?

Sir Herbert Austin locks an Austin 7
Getty Images

It also fought off post-war economic depression, the emergence of the motor industry abroad, strike action, mergers and drops in its share value.

See the story of MG Rover in pictures.

Life after Longbridge: Documentary

Adrian Goldberg

Presenter, BBC WM

In a special documentary this evening I'll be exploring the impact of the closure on the people who worked at MG Rover in Longbridge.

Fight to save Longbridge plant, Rover in 2005
Getty Images

We look at the remarkable survival of car-making in the West Midlands

And we see how the closure dramatically changed the landscape of this little corner of Birmingham and those who live here.

You can hear it on BBC WM from 19:00.

Community risen from Longbridge ashes

Birmingham Post

The £1 billion rebirth of Longbridge has

created an "entire suburban community" from scratch - ten years on from the devastating collapse of MG Rover.

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 12:00: It's

10 years since the collapse of car maker MG Rover.

Locked gate and archive production line
Getty Images

Shortly on

BBC WM we'll hear from a former worker, who vividly recalls what the feeling was like among staff when the plant closed.

Can Villa survive?

Nick Clitheroe

Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

A pessimist would point to a leaky defence - not helped by the injuries which have seen a constant rotation of personnel - and the rotten home form which has seen just three league wins at Villa Park all season.

Three of Villa's last four games are at home, so transforming that unwelcome record will be critical to their chances of survival.

Finishing April in bottom three?

Nick Clitheroe

Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

In the circumstances, one point was better than none. But

last night's 3-3 draw leaves Aston Villa in the most precarious of positions in the Premier League relegation battle.

Tim Sherwood
Getty Images

Away trips to Spurs and Manchester City will be tough and there's a very real prospect of Villa finishing April in the bottom three.

On the positive side, Christian Benteke has rediscovered his goalscoring mojo under Tim Sherwood (pictured) and the fans will take heart from the manager's positive approach to games.

Taxi driver returns bag containing £10k

Halesowen News

A businessman has made a friend for life after

recovering the £10,000 he accidentally left in a taxi.

Car dealer Adrian Quinn said cabbie Mohammed Nisar saved his company when he held on to the large amount of cash left in his vehicle.

What we're looking at today

Hilary McConnell

Midlands Today

BBC Midlands Today has a special programme tonight marking 10 years since the collapse of Rover.

Save British industry banner in bid to save MG Rover plant at Longbridge
Getty Images

Nick Owen will be broadcasting live from the site in Longbridge and will be finding out what the administrators have to say about the ongoing battle to get money for the former workers and creditors.

We've caught up with some workers to find out where they are now and we'll be asking what impact the collapse of Rover really had on the car industry.

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

Coming up in the news at 11:00 on

BBC WM: Cadbury's in a dispute in India over a £60m tax bill.

In the news we hear from the BBC's business expert Rico Hizon.

Company to expand factory

Express and Star

A manufacturing firm in Willenhall will

expand its factory and offices after plans poised to safeguard jobs and create new roles were approved.

Longbridge closure 'the darkest day'?

Jerry Chester

BBC News Online

The news of the end of mass car production at the Longbridge works in Birmingham was described as "devastating" back in April 2005.

Sign outside the Longbridge works in Birmingham
Getty Images

But 10 years on, have the dire predictions about the effect of the plant's closure on the city's economy

proved true or false?

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 10:00 on

BBC WM: Campaigners working to raise awareness of loneliness among older people are calling on councils in the West Midlands to do more to help identify those at risk.

Plus, we'll have more on the

10th anniversary of the closure of the former MG Rover site at Longbridge.

One black officer out of 162 new recruits

Birmingham Mail

West Midlands Police has faced questions from its own crime commissioner after it emerged that

just one black officer was among 162 new recruits.