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Summary

  1. Woman dies after flat fire
  2. Storm Doris: Homes still without power
  3. Storm Doris: Council tackles aftermath
  4. Man named in hunt for thief
  5. Campaign follows child prostitution case
  6. Arrest over motorcyclist death
  7. Headteachers warn of 'funding crisis'
  8. Updates from Friday 24 February 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

'Slap in the face' for families not invited to Iraq and Afghanistan war memorial

The sister of a soldier killed in Afghanistan has traveled to the dedication of a memorial to those who served, without an invitation, says a friend.

Memorial
Paul Day

The unveiling of the memorial, by the Queen, has been overshadowed by a row over the failure to include the families of the 682 service personnel who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Victoria Batemen told PA News she was travelling to the event at Horse Guards Parade in Whitehal with Shanna, the sister of Pte Jeff "JJ" Doherty, from Southam, Warwickshire.

Mrs Bateman, 33, described the situation as a "bit of a slap in the face". 

"She has not been given an invite, but she is here and we are going to try and get her in," she said.

Spring budget: Tax rises for the self-employed

Mike Taylor

BBC WM

Chancellor Philip Hammond has increased National Insurance bills for self-employed people in the spring budget.

Chancellor's budget box
BBC

The number of self-employed workers has increased notably in the West Midlands in recent years.

Most recent figures, released only last month, show the figure has risen by 14% in five years and working men in the West Midlands are about twice as likely to be self-employed as women. 

So these changes will affect hundreds of thousands of people in our area, and more men than women.

Pie chart
BBC

More babies die before they are one in the West Midlands than in any other part of the country

Sarah Bishop

BBC Midlands Today

More babies die before their first birthday here in the West Midlands than in any other part of the country, according to latest figures from the Office of National Statistics. 

baby box
MILLA KONTKANEN

Health professionals are trying to reduce the number of deaths by 20% by 2021.

Often no-one knows for sure why this is happening. Maternity services are being overhauled and  Finnish-style baby boxes  are being handed out to expectant mothers - Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.

The Lily Mae Foundation, based in Balsall Common, offers supports parents who have lost a baby to stillbirth or to neonatal death.

Four Wasps picked for Six Nations' team

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Sport

The Wasps quartet of Elliot Daly, Joe Launchbury, James Haskell and Nathan Hughes have r etained their places in England's starting fifteen for this weekend's Calcutta Cup match.


          Clockwise from top left: Elliot Daly, Joe Launchbury, Nathan Hughes and James Haskell
getty
Clockwise from top left: Elliot Daly, Joe Launchbury, Nathan Hughes and James Haskell

A victory for England on Saturday would give the defending Grand Slam champions a record-equalling 18th consecutive win.  

Checks that anglers are fishing legally

Anglers in the Southam area are being checked on by Environment Agency officers. 

Manager, Dave Throup tweets that they're all legal so far.

View more on twitter

Nuneaton's Armed Forces Day is renamed in Jesse's honour

Nuneaton News

A towering figure in the borough and the ex-service community will be remembered at an event incredibly close to his heart.

Jesse Owen
Nuneaton news

Co-op redevelopment scheme announced

Vanessa Pearce

BBC Local Live

Plans for the redevelopment of the former 1950s Co-op store in Coventry have been unveiled.

Artist impression of Co-op scheme
EDG Property

The creation of around 60 residential apartments, along with provision for restaurants, shops and an indoor park, are included in the blueprint.

EDG Property, the firm behind the scheme, are showcasing the plans at the MIPIM property exhibition in Cannes.

Big Issue seller says he would be 'better off begging' in town

Leamington Observer

A Big Issue seller says he would be better off begging as other homeless people are constantly "stealing his pitch" to beg.  

Michelin star restaurant gets one-star hygiene rating

A Michelin-starred restaurant in Kenilworth has been told to improve its standards of hygiene after receiving one of the lowest ratings following an inspection.

The Cross
Google

The improvement notice was served on The Cross by officers from Warwick District Council, on behalf of the Food Standards Agency. 

Problems included ice being stored under the sink and issues surrounding a vacuum packer for raw food.

A spokesperson said the restaurant takes the issue "extremely seriously" and the issues raised resulted from a "paperwork misunderstanding" and a "broken vacuum packing machine".   

The Cross had a four star rating in December prior to this inspection, little has changed in the set up or personnel, we re-applied hoping for an even better score at a revisit arranged for January 2017. At the revisit one of our vacuum packing machines was broken - we had implemented controls to protect customers but the inspector marked us down for the issue.

Statement from The Cross

Travel: M6 congestion

BBC News Travel

An earlier incident is causing congestion on the M6 northbound, between J3 (A444) and J3a.

All lanes have re-opened, but there's queuing traffic back to J2, (M69).

The incident is having a knock-on effect on other roads, with heavy traffic reported on the A444, A45 and A4600 Ansty Road.

View more on twitter

Severe accident: M6 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire northbound severe accident, between J3 for A444 and M6 J3A affecting J2 for M69.

M6 Warwickshire - Stationary traffic on M6 northbound between J3, A444 (Nuneaton) and M6 J3a, because of an accident and a rolling road-block. Congestion to J2, M69 (Coventry).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Police hunt assault suspect who failed to appear in court

A warrant has been issued after a man due in court on indecent assault charges failed to turn up. 

Robert Edward Edmondson, aged 48, from Windsor Street, Coventry, was due to appear at Warwick Court Court on 21 February.

He is described as white, 5ft 8ins tall, of slim to medium build and with short dark hair.

Police have urged anyone with information about his whereabouts to call Warwickshire Police on 101.

Robert Edward Edmondson
Warwickshire Police

Severe disruption: M6 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, between Corley Services and J3 for A444.

M6 Warwickshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M6 southbound between Corley Services and J3, A444 (Nuneaton), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Watch: Tonight and tomorrow's weather forecast

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

You can also get the latest forecasts for your part of the West Midlands by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Shefali Oza

Slideshow: Catkins and clouds

BBC Weather Watchers

Here are some of the great images taken by BBC Weather Watchers across Warwickshire. 

These come from Melanie, Warwick Ram, Ron's View and Gman. 

Slideshow: Catkins and clouds

Coventry half marathon: Over 200 volunteers already signed up

Around 200 people will be volunteering their time as the Coventry half marathon returns on Sunday 19 March.

Allesley Village Scouts and the Coventry Ambassadors are among the groups  are among the groups helping runners and spectators with their local knowledge.

Coventry Half Marathon
Coventry City Council

We have currently recruited over 25 Coventry Ambassadors who are local people, proud of their city and they are really looking forward to being back involved as part of the wider volunteer team supporting Coventry Half Marathon.

David Boughey Coventry Ambassador programme manager

Budget 2017: Full reaction and analysis on the BBC website

BBC Business News

The chancellor Philip Hammond has unveiled his first budget today

He's announced an extra £2bn for social care services in England, help for firms hit by business rate rises and plans to increase national insurance for self-employed people.

Chancellor Philip Hammond revealing his budget
HOC

You can get a full picture of the budget and analysis of its impact on the BBC website here:

Four men charged with burglary

Four men from Birmingham were arrested in Grendon yesterday following a house burglary in the area, Warwickshire Police say

Eye witnesses called the police to report that he had seen four men enter a house at around 09:00. 

Police tape
BBC

Police officers attended and arrested one male at the scene while the three other males ran off on foot. 

The three men were then found and were arrested, all four men have since been charged with burglary.

Your pictures: Spring has sprung

BBC Weather Watchers

This lovely up-close shot of flowers was sent in by the aptly-named BBC Weather Watcher  Daisynics. 

Flowers
Daisynics

Send us your weather pictures and we'll feature our favourites. 

Your questions: Why do parts of west Leicestershire have a Warwickshire postcode?

Amy Woodfield

BBC Local Live

M.J. has been in touch with us using Your Questions to find out why part of west Leicestershire has a Warwickshire postcode - places like Market Bosworth, Higham on the Hill and Congerstone all have a CV13 postcode.

He claims some well known local attractions, like Twycross Zoo, are deemed by many visitors to be in Warwickshire because of the postcode: "It is totally misleading and a detriment to Leicestershire."

Twycross Zoo enterance
Google

I've been looking into the issue with the help of the people behind postcodes, the Royal Mail.

They told me that the postcode is their "operational tool" to ensure the accurate sorting, routing and delivery of post and that postcode boundaries do not necessarily reflect geographical boundaries.

Basically - the postcode for a street is determined by its nearest  postal town  not the county it is in and, as parts of west Leicestershire are closer to Coventry than Leicester, they have a CV postcode.

Royal Mail in Covenrty
Google

Postcodes started in 1959 - long before we started using them for things like sat navs.

Royal Mail said organisations who use the data shouldn't solely rely on the post town and recommend using other ways to identify locations.

Severe disruption: M40 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, between J16 for A3400 and J15 for A46.

M40 Warwickshire - One lane closed on M40 southbound between J16, A3400 (Henley In Arden) and J15, A46 (Longbridge Island), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Warwickshire bowler ruled out of national series

BBC Sport

Ireland and Warwickshire bowler Boyd Rankin has been ruled out of the T20 series against Afghanistan because of a back problem .

The former England paceman has been suffering from a "lower back issue", but is expected to feature in the five-match ODI series beginning next week.

Ireland play the Afghans in three T20s in India, staring on Wednesday.

Boyd Rankin
Press Eye

Jaguar ad 'encouraged unsafe driving' rules watchdog

Navkiran Mann

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Jaguar Landrover
Jaguar Landrover

Coventry-based Jaguar have had an advert for their latest X-E model banned - for encouraging unsafe driving. 

The Advertising Standards Authority says ad for the car's hands-free kit would mean people wouldn't be concentrating on the road when they were using the kit. 

Drugs gang masterminded from behind bars busted

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

A nine-strong drug network peddling cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy and masterminded from a prisoner behind bars has been busted, according to police.

Tavaseen Iqbal, who since December 2015 has been serving six years in jail for firearms and drugs offences, used phones smuggled into HMP Featherstone near Wolverhampton to pull the strings, according to police .

Tavaseen Iqbal on a BBC News background
West Midlands Police

On the other end of the line, his cousin Saif Iqbal, from Ransom Road in Foleshill, Coventry, co-ordinated the supply chain and managed "safe houses" from which the drugs were distributed, officers said.

A trio kept the drugs supply flowing around-the-clock, according to West Midlands Police, including Haroon Tasharat, 33, from Dunbar Avenue, Rohan Patel, 22, from Alum Close and Mahmud Ali, 23, from St Georges Road.

Brothers Dahiru Barka (28), Elijah (19) and Samuel Enenche-John (22) allowed their Humber Avenue home to be used to weigh and bag-up orders, according to police.

Seven of them were arrested in raids on 13 July 2016. Rohaib Iqbal, Saif Iqbal's brother, was arrested in September after picking up the reins of the business following the earlier raids, and Patel was arrested later after returning from abroad. All nine have now been jailed for a combined 40 years, police said.

Football: Sky Blues' recruitment 'needs to improve'

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Sport

Mark Robins says he wants to set up a recruitment department to bring players into the team during the summer. 

He told us the system of him and the club's technical director Mark Venus picking fresh talent is not enough. 

Mark Robins
Empics

Community groups take over three Coventry libraries

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Three Coventry libraries are to be handed over to community-led management groups - as part of city council plans to save £35m.

Earlsdon Library
Google

The ones in Earlsdon, Cheylesmore and Finham will be the first affected and Abigail Davies from the Friends of Earlsdon Library says the hard work for their group starts now. 

The council says its still in talks with groups about the future of Caludon and Coundon libraries.

Watch: Weather for the West Midlands

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

Our region will stay mostly cloudy and damp today , though Shropshire and Staffordshire will probably stay dry. 

It will feel milder with temperatures up a few degrees compared with yesterday. Highs of 11C ( 52F).

Weather for the West Midlands.

Severe accident: M6 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire northbound severe accident, between J3 for A444 and M6 J3A.

M6 Warwickshire - One lane blocked on M6 northbound between J3, A444 (Nuneaton) and M6 J3a, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M69 Leicestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M69 Leicestershire southbound severe disruption, between J1 for A5 Hinckley and M6 J2.

M69 Leicestershire - One lane closed on M69 southbound between J1, A5 (Hinckley) and M6 J2, Coventry, because of an incident. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Sky Blues re-appoint boss who first managed the club in 2012.
Mark Robins has returned as Coventry City manager after a five-year gap, meaning another round of media interviews.

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, between J4A for M42 and J5 for A452.

M6 West Midlands - Two lanes closed and queuing traffic on M6 northbound between J4a M42 and J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Coming up on Midlands Today

Nick Owen

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

An investigation has been launched into the death of an eight-year-old boy, who died less than 24 hours after he was sent home hospital.  

We hear more about Coventry's efforts to stamp out anti-social behaviour in the city centre.

And Billy Elliot, the hit film which told the story of young boy's fight to become a ballet dancer against the backdrop of the miners strike, is being re-told in a stage musical starring a West Bromwich lad.

More on these stories and others on the Midlands Today on BBC One from 18:30.

In pictures: RAF jets escort plane to Birmingham airport

Thanks to Ron Kosys from Coventry who sent us these pictures he captured of the drama that unfolded earlier when RAF jets intercepted a Hungarian plane after the aircraft lost communications, and escorted it to Birmingham .

The Saab 340 travelling from Bucharest in Romania landed in Birmingham at about 07:30 GMT. After escorting the plane, one of the Typhoons flew alongside an A330 Voyager refuelling tanker 


          After escorting the plane, one of the Typhoons flew alongside an A330 Voyager refuelling tanker
Ron Kosys
The Saab
Ron Kosys

Severe disruption: M42 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, between J3 for A435 Portway and J2 for A441 Alvechurch.

M42 Worcestershire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M42 northbound between J3, A435 (Portway) and J2, A441 (Alvechurch), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Godiva Festival: Tom Clarke to celebrate Enemy album anniversary

Former Enemy front-man Tom Clarke will play an acoustic set for the headline slot of Saturday's Rhythm Tent at the Godiva Festival, say organisers.

Tom Clarke
Simon Derviler/Imaginate

Tom will be touring as a solo artist, after the band broke up last year, to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their number one album "We'll Live and Die in These Towns".

The Stranglers will headline Friday night, while The Darkness will headline Sunday evening at the event which begins on 7 July.

Mark Robins returns to the Sky Blues

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Sport

Coventry City will confirm Mark Robins as their new manager today after sacking Russell Slade on Sunday.  

Mark Robins
Getty Images

It will be a second spell at the Sky Blues for Robins who initially took charge in 2012. 

Coventry City are bottom of League One and 13 points adrift of safety.