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Summary

  1. Updates for Wednesday 6 May 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.

Showers to die out this evening

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Weather

Scattered showers will die out this evening and the strong westerly wind will gradually ease.

Shefali
BBC

It will then be a dry night with some clear spells developing, with a low of 5C (41F).

Tomorrow, one or two isolated showers are possible but most places will have a dry day with some sunshine.

Election coverage on BBC WM

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Journalists here in the newsroom at

BBC WM are getting ready for round-the-clock election coverage.

Our general election programmes starts at 10pm tomorrow and we'll have reporters at all the counts across the West Midlands, so wherever you live we will tell you the results first.

Paul Franks will be hosting the show from The Mailbox with Adrian Goldberg live at the Council House in Birmingham.

General election live updates

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Tomorrow the polls open - time to cast your vote.

When the polling stations close and the votes are counted we'll be bringing you live updates from each count across the West Midlands.

We'll be live from 22:00 on Thursday through to Friday. If you'd like to get in touch with us and tell us about something happening which you think we should be covering -

email or
tweet @BBCWM.

Car 'drove off at 60mph'

Jerry Chester

BBC News Online

Read more on BBC News about a man who's been arrested after he drove along the course being used for the Birmingham 10k race.

10K competitors
Great Birmingham 10K

A council worker and police officer stopped the driver, who reversed and drove off at about 60mph (about 100km/h) along the course, police said.

Latest headlines

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The latest stories at 17:00 in the newsroom here at BBC Birmingham:

  • Undecided voters: With voting due to get under way at 07:00 tomorrow, David Cameron and Ed Miliband both say the election is going "right down to the wire"
  • Mosque demo: Police and traders in Dudley are meeting tonight, as another far right demo heads to the town on Saturday
  • Weather: A dry night with some clear spells developing

U21 snooker champ?

Ian Winter

BBC Midlands Today

A teenager from Birmingham is aiming to become the

Midlands Under 21 champion tonight.

Hamim Hussain from Small Heath
BBC

Hamim Hussain, from Small Heath, (pictured) has just become the first player ever to win the national under-14 title two years running.

The only other person to also win it twice is Judd Trump, who reached the semi finals at this year's World Snooker Championships.

Collection of by-elections?

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

If this turns out to be more like a collection of by-elections, this could be a genuinely local general election. And the result itself may not be quite as close as some of those electoral seers and prophets predict.

Keep up to date with the latest

general election news on the BBC's special page, as well as on BBC One tomorrow night from 22:00.

Poundland invites scrutiny over 99p Store deal

Discount store

Poundland has invited the competition authorities to move to a full review of its proposed tie-up with rival 99p Stores.

Poundland, South London
Getty Images

The discount store, based in Willenhall, wants to buy its closest rival in an agreed deal worth £47.5m in cash and £7.5m in shares.

Watch: Floating voters

Noel Phillips

Brumvotes

I was out filming on Friday speaking to some floating voters living on the region's canals, who say politicians haven't been round to persuade them to vote.

Karen Bayley talking to Noel Philips
BBC

"We don't exist", says Karen Bayley. "I'm a water gypsy on the fringes of society, so I don't think anybody cares about us."

Watch what happened here.

'Key role in negotiations'

More on the news that Birmingham Women's Hospital's chief executive Prof Ros Keeton is stepping down.

Elisabeth Buggins, who chairs the trust, says: "She has developed both our genetics and research and development credentials, as well as led the plans to maintain and develop services to meet growing demand for women and family-centred services.

"She has also played a key role in our negotiations with Birmingham Children's Hospital."

Postal votes

BBC WM

Election officials in Tamworth say they're hand delivering postal ballots to people who should have had them already but haven't.

They say a system error means some people haven't received them, but haven't revealed the scale of the problem.

They say once delivered it should be ok to send a vote in the last post tonight - but it can also be delivered to any polling station in the Tamworth constituency tomorrow.

Latest headlines

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Our top stories in the newsroom at 15:00:

Speedway: Tonight's action

BBC WM Sport

Wolves look to complete the double over defending Elite League champions

Poole as they head down to Wimborne Road this evening.

The visitors will take a full strength line-up to Dorset.

And in the National League, the

Birmingham Brummies meeting to King's Lynn at home has been postponed.

Hospital chief exec to step down

The chief executive at Birmingham Women's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is to step down, it has been announced.

Prof Ros Keeton has been in the role for three-and-a-half-years and has decided to step down for personal reasons.

Weather this afternoon

Charlie Slater

Weather Presenter, BBC East Midlands Today

It's not a brilliant afternoon ahead of us. It will be wet and windy and we're likely to see gusts of about 40-60mph.

Charlie Slater
BBC

As we make our way through the evening things will slowly improve, as the rain dies away.

For the latest forecast for Birmingham and the Black Country visit

BBC Weather.

One day to go

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

At last we near the end of this marathon election campaign.

It will soon be time for the politicians to give us all a period of radio silence while we go about the slow, steady, cross-by-cross business of electing the next Parliament.

We keep being told it's the most unpredictable election in living memory. So why the fetish for predicting it?

Round 2: Head-to-head

Noel Phillips

Brumvotes

Two more ballot box battlers now - can Labour's Yardley challenger Jess Phillips pack the political punches to outpoint the Edgbaston Independent Henna Rai?

Labour's Yardley challenger Jess Phillips and Edgbaston Independent Henna Rai
BBC

See how they got on, on the

Brumvotes YouTube page.

Benefits Street stars 'sold drugs'

Four residents of TV's Benefits Street ran a drugs operation, a jury in Birmingham has been told.

Samora Roberts
PA

Tina Thomas, 47, Charlene Wilson, 31, Samora Roberts, 33, (pictured) - known as Black Dee in the Channel 4 show - and Ian Wright, 39, were charged after raids in Birmingham in June 2013.

The four, from James Turner Street, Winson Green, deny charges of conspiracy to supply drugs along with two other men, who also deny charges relating to the supply of drugs.

David Cameron in Cannock

Kath Stanczyszyn

Reporter, BBC WM

I was in Cannock Chase this morning as Conservative leader David Cameron swung by.

David Cameron in Cannock
BBC

Visiting a nursery, he told me he thinks lots of voters are still being persuaded today.

You can hear my interview with him on

BBC WM from 16:00 and read more about the
constituency profile of Cannock Chase on BBC Politics.

BBC One this lunchtime

Midlands Today

An estimated two million votes are still up for grabs in the West Midlands, less than 24 hours before polling begins.

And we meet the Warwickshire sailor who'll be making a bid to win one of the toughest races in the world.

Join us for the latest news from the Midlands on BBC One from 13:40.

Candidates go head-to-head

Noel Phillips

Brumvotes

Last week we had

politicians singing, now we've got them in a
boxing ring.

Lee Dargue and Joe Belcher go in the ring
BBC

Two political warriors square up for a big contest - can the Lib Dems' Edgbaston contender Lee Dargue score some punchy points? Or will the Erdington Green gladiator Joe Belcher find the arguments to put his opponent on the ropes?

Watch the video here.

One more day to go before the polls open!

Read more on Brumvotes.

What CAN'T you do in a polling station?

Election 2015

The process of voting in a UK polling station hasn't changed much in years. But what is and isn't allowed in there?

BBC News asks....

  • Can you take a selfie?
  • Can you tweet about voting?
  • Can you bring a dog?
  • Can I vote if I've been drinking?

Find out the answers here.

Latest headlines

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Here's the latest stories we're looking at in the BBC Birmingham newsroom at the moment:

  • A West Midlands man known as the Paedophile Hunter has secured 25 convictions against the people he entraps
  • Man arrested after driving his car on to the route of Sunday's Birmingham 10k
  • Travel: Myvod Road in Wednesbury partially blocked due to a fallen tree

Man admits Facebook harassment charge

Birmingham Mail

A yob who filmed a cat being thrown from a tower block

put a photo of a nurse performing a sex act on Facebook - and threatened to send it to her parents.

Christopher Lees tormented his ex-girlfriend after they broke up and she fell pregnant by another man.

Appeal for info after run route crash

The 35-year-old man allegedly abandoned his car and ran off after crashing it on the 10k route in Birmingham,

police say.

He's been arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving and bailed pending further inquiries.

PC Gareth Johnson, appealing for witnesses, says: "We know there were lots of people in the area at the time this happened."

Arrest after man crashed on 10k route

A 35-year-old man's been arrested after driving his car on to the Birmingham 10k course on Sunday.

Car smash on Birmingham 10k route
West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police says he drove on to the course at Pershore Road at about 12:00 but was blocked by police.

He narrowly missed runners on Sherlock Street before crashing his car into railings.

Stories we're working on

Hilary McConnell

Producer, BBC Midlands Today

BBC Midlands Today will be speaking to traders and shoppers in Dudley, as the town will be the location of a rally by the far right group Britain First on Saturday. We'll be finding out about the impact it's going to have on them.

On the final day of the campaign in the general election, we'll be speaking to floating voters about why they've still not made their mind up.

And snooker loopy - we meet the English Under 14 champ who's hoping to become a professional player. Hamim Hussain is the first teenager ever to retain the title.

Latest headlines

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Office building to undergo £4.5m renovation

Birmingham Post

An office building in the heart of Birmingham's business district is

undergoing a £4.5 million renovation.

19 Cornwall Street, Birmingham
Google

Fight to sign Tom Cleverley

Steve Hermon

BBC WM Sport

It's reported Aston Villa face competition from Everton for the signing of Tom Cleverley (pictured).

Tom Cleverley
Getty Images

Villa pipped the Toffees earlier this season by getting the Manchester United midfielder on loan.

Boss Tim Sherwood is believed to be interested in making it a permanent deal.

Floating voters

Jo Tidman

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

With almost 24 hours to go before voting starts in the general election, it's estimated that more than two million people in the West Midlands have yet to make up their minds who to vote for.

Oversized ballot box
Getty Images

Some floating voters living on the region's canals say canvassers haven't been round to persuade them.

A voting statistics expert says apathy is a problem that's going to get worse in years to come.

500 new cases of FGM

Figures obtained by the BBC suggest there were more than 500 new cases of

female genital mutilation in the West Midlands. during the past six months.

FGM poster
BBC

They cover the period from September 2014 to March this year and two thirds of the cases were identified by hospitals run by the Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust.

The practice, which is when a girl's genitals are either partially or totally removed for non-medical reasons, is illegal in the UK.

Points failure at Wolverhampton

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Trains will be delayed at Wolverhampton due to a points failure,

Virgin Trains warns.

The train company says services are subject to heavy delay or cancellation.

Latest headlines

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Here's the latest stories we're looking at this morning in the newsroom:

  • Figures suggest there have been more than 500 new cases of female genital mutilation in the West Midlands
  • A man walks into an Oldbury fast food restaurant with multiple stab wounds
  • Weather: A day filled with a mixture of sunshine and showers

Trains into New Street delayed

National Rail

tweets: NEW: Disruption between Lichfield City and Birmingham New Street until at least 10:00 #LichfieldCity
nationalrail.co.uk/service_disrup…