Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. 'Music act of devil' leaflet in school
  2. Fake faith healer jailed
  3. Aston Expressway could be closed for months
  4. Man dies after collision with lorry
  5. Updates on Thursday 16 June 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Good evening from Local Live for Birmingham and the Black Country

That's it from us for Thursday. We're back from 08:00 on Friday with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather, but keep an eye out here for updates through the evening and into the morning.

Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Showers will generally ease this evening, although a few may well persist through the night. 

Otherwise it'll be mainly dry with some clear spells and local mist or fog patches.

Lows of 12C (54F). 

weather forecast
BBC

Coming up on TV

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

There's growing concern among parents and teachers, as the West Midlands heads for a shortfall in secondary school places.

We'll have more on the case of a bogus faith healer who has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years, for defrauding vulnerable women out of tens of thousands of pounds.

And we'll speak to a Michelin-starred chef who is risking losing his prestigious industry award by ditching his tasting menu.

Join us for Midlands Today on BBC One.

Drug gang which supplied heroin, cocaine and cannabis jailed

A total of 15 members of a drugs gang which supplied heroin, cocaine and cannabis on Birmingham's streets have been jailed, according to police.

The network operated for at least 14 months from March 2014 to May 2015, said police, who uncovered drug safe houses, cannabis factories and dealer phones taking orders and "issuing text advertisements".

Shaymas Ulhaq, from Handsworth, was the "kingpin" of the cartel and oversaw six cannabis grows – including one with a £150,000 yield operating from the back of a tyre firm in Erdington – and managed a group of drug runners and farmers, said West Midlands Police.

He was jailed for 18 years after being found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis.

Shaymas Ulhaq
West Midlands Police

Latest: Bogus faith healer jailed; shortfall in school places; fatal Erdington crash

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here is a quick recap of Thursday's news:

- A bogus faith healer who conned his victims out of a combined £145,000 has been jailed

- Birmingham City Council is among the authorities facing the biggest shortfalls in secondary school places

- A man has now been confirmed to have died after being involved in a collision with a lorry in Birmingham

Faith healer victims 'to be applauded'

Trading Standards in Birmingham have praised the bravery of the victims of bogus faith healer, Abdoulie Gassama, for coming forward as he was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Travel: M6 northbound delays

BBC Travel

There is slow traffic on the M6 northbound between J6, for the A38(M) Aston Expressway, and J7, for Great Barr, because of a crash earlier, even though all lanes have been reopened, drivers are warned.

Video: Have we lost appetite for tasting menu?

Bob Hockenhull

BBC Midlands Today

A Michelin-starred chef has said he's dumping the formal tasting menus at his Birmingham restaurant in favour of "accessible cooking".

Richard Turner, of Turners, in Harborne, said he was making the "brave decision" to break with what many Michelin-starred restaurants offered, to respond to what customers were asking for.  

Front page: Major revamp for historic centre

Lichfield Mercury

A major revamp for a historic centre is the lead story in this week's Lichfield Mercury.

Lichfield Mercury front page
Lichfield Mercury
Kingsbury Road Erdington

A man dies after being involved in a collision with a lorry in Birmingham, emergency services confirm.

Read more

Fake faith healer used bogus names to ply his dubious services

Sarah Falkland

BBC Midlands Today

Abdoulie Gassama, of Slade Road, Erdington, pleaded guilty to 22 offences under the Theft Act 1968 and Fraud Act 2006 at a hearing on 22 April 2016, according to Birmingham City Council trading standards.

It said the 34-year-old advertised his services under the pseudonyms Shaikh Jammal and Shaikh Riyad in "a number of local and Asian newspapers", claiming to have 40 years’ experience and guaranteed results.

Complaints came from "several women" between December 2014 and March 2015, prompting trading standards to investigate.

Former Sutton Coldfield MP made next Lord Speaker

The Conservative former cabinet minister and former Sutton Coldfield MP, Norman Fowler, has been elected as the next Lord Speaker. 

He will take his place on the Woolsack on 1 September.  

He is the third elected Lord Speaker and first man to take the post since it was established in 2006.  

Norman Fowler
Parliament

Aston Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo reveals why players must leave

Birmingham Mail

Roberto Di Matteo has warned that there could be an exodus of players as he looks to trim Aston Villa's squad.  

BreakingBogus faith healer who ripped off three women jailed

Sarah Falkland

BBC Midlands Today

A bogus faith healer from Birmingham, Abdoulie Gassama, has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison. 

He defrauded three women out of £150,000. 

class

Daniel Wainwright

BBC News

More than 16,000 new secondary school spaces are needed within seven years to accommodate new pupils starting primary education, official figures reveal.

Read more

Latest: Shot cat loses eye; trunk road disruption expected; pedestrian hit by lorry

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

If you are just catching up on Thursday's news, here are our headlines:

- A cat has lost an eye after being shot with an air rifle in Dudley

- The Aston Expressway into and out of Birmingham could be closed for works for months, according to a public notice

- A man has been hit by a lorry in a crash in Erdington

Lorry hits pedestrian in Erdington crash

David Lumb

BBC News Online

A man in his 40s has suffered "serious injuries" after being hit by a lorry in Erdington.

The collision on the Kingsbury Road involved a pedestrian and took place at about 11:55, according to police.

Officers say the road has been partially closed.

Intense rain moving across the Midlands now

Homelessness in the spotlight with anniversary of Cathy Come Home

Elizabeth Glinka

BBC Midlands Today

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the film Cathy Come Home.

Partly shot in Birmingham, the drama told the story of a family evicted from their home, falling into poverty.

Shelter was formed after the film struck a chord nationally and figures the charity released this week show more than 13,017 households - or about 30,850 people - have been threatened with eviction.

Housing
BBC

The problem is caused by a shortage of social housing stock - the number of households on the waiting list as of 1 April 2015 in Birmingham was 16,130 - and private landlords unwilling to rent to some families, Shelter says.

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government said it was investing £8bn in building 400,000 "affordable homes" nationwide including "quality homes for rent" and stressed landlord repossessions had gone down year on year.

Live on Midlands Today

Qasa Alom

BBC Midlands Today

New figures suggest parts of the West Midlands are heading for a shortfall in secondary school places in the next five years. 

Bordesley Green Girls and schools across the city are being asked to take small numbers of extra pupils each year.

There's more on this story now on Midlands Today - and we're looking forward to England against Wales in Euro 2016.

Latest: Cat shot with air rifle; months of potential disruption; sporty West Midlands

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here is a recap of the stories we have been covering in the past few hours:

- A cat has lost an eye after being shot with an air rifle in Dudley

- The Aston Expressway into and out of Birmingham could be closed for works for months, according to a public notice

- The West Midlands has bucked the national trend of falling numbers of people playing sport since the London 2012 Olympics

Front page: Man jailed for 'cowardly' attack on clubber

Walsall Advertiser

A man being jailed for a "cowardly attack" on a fellow clubber is the lead story on this week's Walsall Advertiser.

Walsall Advertiser front page
Walsall Advertiser

EU referendum: Problems of filming on location

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

I came across a slight problem of filming on location about the hot topic of the moment - a chilli vendor.

EU referendum: Problems of filming on location - being interrupted by a chilli vendor

West Midlands bucks the trend of drop in sports activity since London 2012

David Rhodes

BBC Yorkshire

The West Midlands has bucked the national trend of falling numbers of people playing sport since the 2012 London Olympics, after the Games' pledge to "inspire a generation".

Latest figures show 15.8 million people play sport or exercise at least once week, a drop of 0.4% since 2012 across England.

The West Midlands saw a rise from 1,540,100 to 1,590,200 over that time. 

BBC analysis of the data found five of the nine regions in England recorded a decline in sports participation, which former sports minister Richard Caborn dubbed "disappointing".

The Olympic rings
PA

Plans for Aston Expressway works still being discussed

Kathryn Stanczyszyn

Political Reporter, BBC WM

Highways England says it is "in discussions" with Birmingham City Council over works planned for the A38(M) Aston Expressway, that a public notice suggests could last up to seven months and see the carriageway closed.

Highways England says it wants "to ensure the least amount of disruption as possible" and it plans to give full details of any closures drivers can expect next week.

EU referendum: Husband and wife's split opinion

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

Husband and wife Paul and Hayley Smith, who sell flowers at Birmingham's Wholesale Market, have a split opinion on how to vote.

EU referendum: Husband and wife's split opinion

Latest: Shot cat loses eye; 'weeks' before boy's cause of death known; sporty West Midlands

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here are the top stories on Thursday so far:

- A cat has lost an eye after being shot with an air rifle in Dudley

- It may be "several weeks" before the cause of a baby boy's death in Bilston is established, say murder detectives

- The West Midlands has bucked the national trend of falling numbers of people playing sport since the London 2012 Olympics

Weather: More heavy rain this afternoon

This map shows where the heaviest rain is expected to fall - watch out for flash flooding.

View more on twitter

Flood warning and alerts for Staffordshire

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

People living near the River Penk in Penkridge are still being warned by the Environment Agency that there could be flooding. 

There's a flood warning in place for the area, although the agency says river levels are "falling slowly".

River Penk in Penkridge
Google

The Environment Agency also still has several flood alerts in place, meaning flooding is possible, including these areas:

- The Bourne Brook in Tamworth

- The Lower Tame between Hopwas and the National Arborteum near Alrewas 

- The Middle Tame between Water Orton and Tamworth

Albion's oldest fan dies peacefully at the age of 108

West Bromwich Albion has announced the death of its oldest fan at the age of 108, just 30 years younger than the club itself.

Jack Jones died peacefully on Wednesday, said the club.

He had been a guest of honour at The Hawthorns in February 2015 to celebrate his 107th birthday and watched the Baggies beat Southampton 1-0.

Tony Brown with Jack Jones and club captain Darren Fletcher
West Bromwich Albion

Nischa Pritchard, care manager at Tudor Manor Care Home where Jack had resided since 2013, said: "Jack was given the VIP treatment on that last visit to The Hawthorns and he even got to meet Tony 'Bomber' Brown, which brought a lot of pleasure and conversation to Jack and all his friends at Tudor Manor."

Tony said: "Talking to him about Albion was special because he had seen and experienced so much history. I'm so sad to hear of his passing - it is a sad day for the club."

Aston Expressway could be closed for months

Kathryn Stanczyszyn

Political Reporter, BBC WM

A major trunk road in and out of Birmingham could face months of disruption.

The A38(M) Aston Expressway could be closed northbound and southbound from 27 June, according to a public notice in the Birmingham Mail.

The notice says the measures are needed to allow for waterproofing works, concrete repairs and the resurfacing of the viaduct.

The traffic ban could last seven months, or until whenever the work is complete - whichever is sooner, the public notice says.

The public notice
Birmingham Mail

Police could take 'several weeks' to work out cause of baby boy's death in Bilston

It could be "several weeks" until West Midlands Police can establish what caused the death of a six-month-old boy in Bilston, the force says.

A murder investigation is under way after the child died on Sunday. 

Two people arrested on suspicion of murder have been released on bail. 

A post-mortem examination is under way. People living nearby have spoken of their shock.

Police line
PA

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

Another day full of heavy downpours with yellow weather warnings is in place.

There is also the chance of some thunder. Highs of 19C (66F).

Find out more about the next few days.