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Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

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Live coverage is ending

Live updates for Birmingham and the Black Country have finished for the day but we'll be back from 08:00 Wednesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.  

Watch: Showers likely overnight

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

It will be largely cloudy this evening, with perhaps the odd spot of rain or drizzle.

Late in the night heavier outbreaks of rain will spread from the west with lows of 8C (46F).

The weather for the West Midlands.

Spring bank rail disruption

Leaflets warning of engineering work over the Spring bank holiday are being handed out at Birmingham New Street station.

Between 28 May and 30 May there will be reduced and amended services between Stafford, Crewe and the north west and Stafford to Stoke via Stone.

Network Rail leaflet
BBC

Replacement buses may be in use.

Network Rail says the disruption is to complete track work on the West Coast main line at Norton Bridge.

M6 northbound: Lane blocked near Aston Expressway

BBC Travel

There's one lane blocked and slow traffic on the M6 northbound between J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich) and J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway, because of an accident, BBC Travel news reports.

Congestion to J4a M42.  

'First open transgender person to be elected as a councillor'

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

For some, the local council elections were pretty unremarkable but for Anwen Muston, they were a watershed moment. 

She became the first openly transgender person in the country to be elected as a councillor. 

Anwen Muston
BBC

Her victory came in Wolverhampton where she grew up. 

She's now calling for greater awareness of the needs of the LGBT community. See my report on BBC Midlands Today at 18:30.

Latest headlines: Car left balanced on car roof on M6 after crash; Man arrested in Birmingham over alleged plot to join IS

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories for Birmingham and the Black Country this evening include:

- A Labour councillor has been suspended from his party, according to the West Midlands Labour Party

A car ended up balanced on top of another car after a six-vehicle pile-up on the M6 near Birmingham

- A 21-year-old man has been arrested in Handsworth on suspicion of planning to join so-called Islamic State in Syria

'New sensor could save millions-of-pounds' for council gritters

Researchers at Birmingham University are trialing new technology which they claim could save millions of pounds on the cost of gritting roads during the winter.

They've developed an infra red sensor that could create a more accurate picture of exactly where grit is and isn't needed. 

Salt depot
BBC

It's incredibly cheap to produce - just £100 - and we can put these out in there hundreds, if not thousands, across the city.

Dr Lee ChapmanUniversity of Birmingham

Bridge strike causing rush hour rail delays

A vehicle has struck a bridge at Rugeley Trent Valley, causing disruption to trains between Stafford / Stoke-on-Trent and Nuneaton, Network Rail reports.

Trains are now able to run but a speed restriction will remain in place causing delays of up to an hour until 18:00.

Road transport is operating for London Midland passengers travelling between Stafford and Nuneaton.

Watch: Queen dedicates new memorial in Staffordshire

Her Majesty the Queen has dedicated a new memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum. 

It's to the fallen of the Duke Of Lancaster's Regiment.

Her Majesty the Queen has dedicated a new memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum.

The regiment - of which she's Colonel-in-Chief - celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.  

Warwickshire escape points deduction

Clive Eakin

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Sport

Warwickshire have escaped a points deduction after having their pitch for the match against Somerset at Edgbaston marked "poor" by the umpires.

Edgbaston wicket
BBC

The ECB's Cricket Discipline Commission has ruled there was no evidence Warwickshire had breached the regulation that requires a county to "actively seek to prepare the best quality cricket pitch that it can" and so has taken no further action.

The commission could have docked Warwickshire up to 20 points.

Dog food stolen from animal rescue centre

Dog food and toys was taken from an animal charity in Kings Norton, Birmingham, over the weekend.

The charity has released CCTV footage which shows a man taking bags of food and toys, all donated by the public, from the compound of Wythall Animal Sanctuary on Sunday evening after he climbed over the fence and broke the locks.

Animal food thief

The thief escaped with his loot in a red Volkswagen Up, said West Mercia Police who are appealing for witnesses. 

Travel: All lanes of the M6 have re-opened

BBC Travel

Photo: Lorry-hit railway bridge affects services around Rugeley

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Trains are delayed up to an hour on London Midland services and Virgin Trains between Stafford and Lichfield Trent Valley due to a vehicle hitting a bridge at Rugeley Trent Valley. 

Tickets are being accepted on Cross Country services.  

Van which struck a bridge
Birmingham New Street

Lib dems 'no pushover'

Rob Mayor

Black Country Political Reporter, BBC WM

The Liberal Democrat leader on Walsall Council says he's been "no pushover" in negotiations with the Labour group. 

Both parties have struck a deal for Labour to take over of the local authority after council elections earlier this month left it in no overall control, with 28 of the 60 seats. 

It will be made official at the council's annual meeting next week.

Travel: Rail lines blocked between Stafford and Lichfield

BBC Travel

A vehicle's hit a bridge between Stafford and Lichfield, blocking all railway lines, according to Virgin Trains.

Get the latest from the BBC Travel website.

View more on twitter

Jess Varnish targets return to GB squad for Rio

BBC Sport

Jess Varnish says she hopes to regain her place on the Great Britain cycling team for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Sprint rider Varnish from Bromsgrove, 25, was dropped in April after failing to qualify in the team sprint for the Rio Games through the World Championships.

She later said she was the victim of sexist comments from technical director Shane Sutton, who has since resigned.

Jess Varnish
Getty Images

I maintain that I am a world-class athlete and have the ability to win more medals. It has been a dream for me ever since London 2012 to compete and be successful in Rio.

Severe delays on M6 northbound

BBC Travel

The M6 exit slip road is blocked northbound at J10, A454 (Wolverhampton), BBC Travel reports.

There's also two lanes closed and very slow traffic on M6 northbound between J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich) and J6 A38(M) Spaghetti Junction, because of an accident involving three lorries and recovery work. 

Travel time is at least 20 minutes and congestion is back to J4, M42 (Coleshill).

Sandwell councillor suspended by Labour party

A Labour councillor has been suspended from his party, according to the West Midlands Labour Party.

Mahboob Hussain, a former deputy leader of Sandwell Council, had faced a police investigation over claims of irregularities regarding the sale of former Sandwell Council properties. Police said there was insufficent evidence to bring charges.

The council said a separate internal investigation was ongoing.

Councillor Mahboob Hussain
Sandwell Council
Councillor Mahboob Hussain

Former deputy leader Mahboob Hussain and former economy chief councillor, Ian Jones, stood down from the ruling cabinet after the investigation began.

BBC to close websites as part of £15m savings

The BBC announces the closure of a number of websites including BBC Food in a bid to save £15m.

The proposals, announced by James Harding, director of BBC news and current affairs, include closing the Newsbeat website and app.

Up to 40 news index web pages will also close offering instead an open stream on the rolling guide to BBC and local news provider stories, 'Local Live'.

BBC Birmingham website
BBC

The announcement on Tuesday follows the publication of the government's White Paper on the future of the BBC last week.  

Gambling winnings stolen from supercar

Tens of thousands of pounds were stolen from the passenger seat of a McLaren supercar, police have said.

A 52-year-old man was in the orange McLaren, parked on New Meeting Street in central Birmingham, when two robbers forced open the door.

Orange supercar
West Midlands Police

After a struggle the men wrenched the bag of cash, which was bookies' winnings, from the passenger.

Police said a group of men taking selfies by the car moments before "may have witnessed the robbery".

Man charged over Birmingham market blaze

A man has been charged with arson following a fire at Digbeth wholesale market last year

Fire breaks out in Birmingham market

Stephen Wilkinson, 59, of Mickleton Close, Redditch has been charged with arson with reckless intent to endanger life after the severe blaze in August last year.

The blaze in Digbeth sent plumes of smoke into the sky that could be seen across the city centre.

Walsall FC have got to be confident on Thursday, says captain

Walsall captain Adam Chambers says they have to stay positive despite facing a massive task to make the League One play-off final. 

The Saddlers are 3-0 down going into Thursday's second leg

Walsall captain, Adam Chambers
Getty Images

It's been an interesting season for us. This season we've had our ups and downs. We've got to be confident and dust ourselves and be ready for Thursday night

Adam ChambersWalsall captain

Two lanes open on M6 northbound after three lorries crash

BreakingThree lanes closed on M6 northbound: 'Severe delays'

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Three lanes are closed on the M6 northbound between J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich) and J6 A38(M) Spaghetti Junction, because of an accident involving three lorries.

BBC Travel reports of severe delays in the area with travel time expected to be at least 60 minutes.

View more on twitter

Latest headlines: Labour and Lib Dems do deal with Walsall Council; police wearing body cams more likely to be attacked, study says

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories in the newsroom this morning include:

A 21-year-old man has been arrested in Birmingham on suspicion of planning to join so-called Islamic State in Syria

- The level of assaults against police officers increases when officers wear body cameras, a study involving UK and US police forces including West Midlands Police

- Adrian Bevington has left his advisory role with Aston Villa, the club has confirmed

Cinema opens in care home to aid memory

Amy Cole

BBC Midlands Today

A new cinema has opened at a care home in Walsall, aimed at helping dementia sufferers. 

The idea of the cinema, at The Watermill, is to evoke residents' memories of going to watch a film when they were younger.

Cinema in a care home
BBC

Bevington leaves Villa advisory role

Adrian Bevington has left his advisory role with Aston Villa, the club announces. 

The former managing director of the FA only joined the club in March to help review what went wrong this season. 

Adrian Bevington
Getty Images

His departure follows the resignations of Mervyn King and David Bernstein from the board of directors last month.  

Bevington says on the club website he was "not looking to take on a full-time role with the club, but agreed to remain as an advisor until the end of the season".

Travel: Three lorries blocking M6

BBC Travel

Two lanes are closed and there's slow traffic on the M6 northbound between J5, for the A452 (Castle Bromwich), and J6, at the A38(M) Spaghetti Junction, because of an accident involving three lorries.

BBC Travel is reporting congestion to J4a, for the M42, and travel time of at least 55 minutes.

View more on twitter

Man arrested as police believe he 'was preparing to join IS'

A man has been arrested in Handsworth on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offences.

West Midlands Police believe the 21-year-old man was preparing to travel to Syria to join so-called Islamic State.

The counter terror unit says the arrest was planned and there is no immediate threat to public safety.

BreakingMan arrested on suspicion of Syria related terror offences

A 21-year-old man has been arrested in Handsworth, Birmingham, on suspicion of Syria terror-related offences, West Midlands Police says.

Labour and Lib Dems agree deal to run Walsall Council

Rob Mayor

Black Country Political Reporter, BBC WM

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have done a deal to run Walsall Council.

The authority was left under no overall control after the local elections earlier this month

Labour was the biggest party, with 28 of the 60 seats, but needed Lib Dem support or the casting vote of the mayor to take over.  

Assaults on police officers rise when they have body-worn cameras, study finds

The level of assaults on police officers actually increased when officers wear body cameras, a study has suggested.

Police body camera
BBC

Criminologists carried out trials with eight forces including the West Midlands and found rates of assault were 15% higher when cameras were worn. 

Experts said one possible reason could be officers feel more able to report incidents once they are captured on camera.