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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Use our tracker to check whether your local services are meeting strict waiting-time targets for cancer, routine operations and A&E.

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Freezing weather closes hundreds of schools

Hundreds of schools across the region are closed this morning following heavy snowfall yesterday and freezing temperatures overnight.

Birmingham City Council says all council-run schools are closed, as are many in Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Shropshire.

Most schools contact parents direct via an app or text if there's a closure, but some councils also publish lists online.

There are the council lists we're aware of and that seem to be working:

Weather: A cold day in store

A cold, frosty and icy start to this morning – ice that’s developed overnight could cause travel disruption.

It should be a largely dry and bright day with some sunny spells in the afternoon and highs of 1C (34F)

weather
BBC

Severe accident: M42 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire southbound severe accident, at J3A for M40.

M42 Warwickshire - Stationary traffic on M42 southbound at J3a M40, because of all traffic being temporarily held and an accident.

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

Severe accident: M40 Oxfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Oxfordshire northbound severe accident, between J11 for A361 and J12 for B4451.

M40 Oxfordshire - One lane closed on M40 northbound between J11, A361 (Banbury) and J12, B4451 (Gaydon), because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: M40 Oxfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Oxfordshire northbound severe accident, between J11 for A361 and J12 for B4451.

M40 Oxfordshire - One lane closed on M40 northbound between J11, A361 (Banbury) and J12, B4451 (Gaydon), because of an accident involving a van. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: M42 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire southbound severe accident, at J3A for M40.

M42 Warwickshire - The main road is closed, with traffic being routed around the junction and back on again, and queuing traffic on M42 southbound at J3a M40, because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: M42 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire northbound severe accident, between J7A for M6 and J8 for M6.

M42 Warwickshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M42 northbound between J7a M6 and J8 M6, because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: M6 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire northbound severe accident, between M42 J7A and M42 J8.

M6 Warwickshire - Slow traffic and one lane closed on M6 northbound between M42 J7a and M42 J8, because of an accident.

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

Mal the orangutan makes snowballs
Mal tries her hand at the traditional winter "sport" of snowballing.

Severe disruption: A46 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A46 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, at A425 Birmingham Road.

A46 Warwickshire - The main road is closed, with traffic being routed around the junction and back on again, on A46 Warwick By-Pass northbound in Warwick at the A425 Birmingham Road junction. Diversion in operation - Traffic is able to use the exit and entry slip road to pass the scene.

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

Severe disruption: M40 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, at J14 for A452.

M40 Warwickshire - M40 exit slip road closed and slow traffic southbound at J14, A452 (Royal Leamington Spa), because of emergency repairs.

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

Severe accident: M42 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire northbound severe accident, between J7A for M6 and J8 for M6.

M42 Warwickshire - Two lanes closed and slow traffic on M42 northbound between J7a M6 and J8 M6, because of an accident.

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

Football

Morecambe produce a fine performance to pull off a surprise win over high-flying Coventry at the Globe Arena.

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Police officers

Police want to trace the "Good Samaritans" who went to the aid of the woman who jumped from a car.

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Jim Lynskey with his batteries

Clare Lissaman

BBC News

It is 50 years since the world's first heart transplant, but what is it like to live with a mechanical heart pump?

Read more
June Foxwell

Michele Paduano

BBC Midlands health correspondent

University Hospitals Coventry says it has changed its procedures after a woman died from an aneurysm.

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Your photos: Roe deer in snow

Stephanie Barnard

BBC News

More snow is forecast for Sunday and we're hoping you'll continue to send in wonderful photos like these.

How does this ancient old tree in Ellesmere tree stay upright asks Tree Hunter Rob? It's a good question, considering half of the trunk is missing.

Snow in Ellesmere
Tree Hunter Rob

@eskimoden captured this amazing photo of roe deer in the snow in Bidford, Warwickshire.

Roe in Bidford
@eskimoden

'Be prepared' warning for snow issued

BBC Weather

Most of the West Midlands falls under an amber "be prepared" weather warning on Sunday.

Significant snowfall is forecast with impacts for travel expected.

Louise Lear explains the potential impacts.

A warning has been issued by the Met Office advising significant snowfall on Sunday

PM pays tribute to 'city of innovation'

The prime minister said she's "delighted" Coventry has been named the next UK City of Culture, saying local residents should all be "very proud".

Godiva Festival
BBC

"I've no doubt that you’ll put on a spectacular year of events and really create a lasting legacy for people here", she told the Coventry Telegraph.

"Because your city has always been a place of innovation, from the air and motoring industries working at the cutting-edge of their fields, to major family events like the Godiva Festival that attract many thousands.

“There was huge support for your bid, with everyone from the two universities, a vast range of businesses and grassroots groups coming together to shine a spotlight on Coventry’s strengths and potential - and it’s this sense of community spirit that is the beating heart of your city."

'Fire' in youth at heart of City of Culture bid

Coventry Choreographer Louis Lewinson, who was part of the City of Culture bid team, said the win "means absolutely everything" to young people in the Coventry.

With an average age of 33, the city is seven years younger than the UK average.

Louis Lewinson
BBC

"There is so much that Coventry has to offer", he said, "there is no fire in youth like there is in this city, I can assure you", he said.

Businesses and artists celebrate City of Culture

Local businesses and arts organisations in Coventry hosted the City of Culture judge Phil Redmond at a party today.

Phil Redmond
BBC

Rob, the owner of Dashing Blades barber shop at FarGo Village said the decision was "going to change everything".

Alison Johnson is an artist who has owned a studio there said “I think this will bring a whole new dimension to Coventry.”

“I just don’t think that people have had the confidence for arts and culture and it’s just opening lots of avenues.”

Power cuts hit 900+ homes and firms in West Midlands

Allen Cook

BBC News

More than 900 homes and businesses are without power this afternoon in the West Midlands.

A large chunk of that figure are 434 in Bridgnorth, Shropshire while there are 152 affected in part of Birmingham.

Wolverhampton, Telford and Coventry are also affected with Western Power Distribution saying it could be this evening before some get their power back.

Attempted murder arrest after shooting

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a teenage boy was injured in a firearms incident, police say.

Officers were called to an address on Brookside Road, Stratford-upon-Avon on Monday 4 December after a 17-year-old was found with a leg injury.

The man, from Leicester, was arrested in Bristol and remains in police custody.

Latest weather forecast: More snow expected

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Scattered snow showers are likely to remain throughout the day.

Isolated snow showers will continue overnight, but for most places it will turn dry with clear spells and risk iof icy patches.

Minimum Temperature: -3C (27F).

Rebecca Wood has your forecast

George Eliot would be 'delighted' with Coventry

Riyah Collins

BBC News

George Eliot "would have been delighted to have a multi-cultural community in Coventry," according to chairman of The George Eliot Foundation John Burton after plans were submitted to turn her former residence into an Islamic School.

Bird Grove, on George Eliot Road
Google

The writer lived at Bird Grove (pictured), on what is now George Eliot Road in Coventry, for eight years from the age of 21 after growing up in nearby Griffiths House in Nuneaton.

Mr Burton says the Grade II* listed house, which is looking a bit "sad" after being empty for a year, is a "genuine cultural asset" and although Eliot didn't write any of her novels there, her time in Coventry was important in the development of her later novels.

"There is a story to be told in Coventry," Mr Burton said, "and we think Bird Grove could help tell that story."

'Not city of culture, but city of multiculturalism'

Author and lead singer of The Selecter, Pauline Black said Coventry's successful City of Culture bid was in part down to the city's diverse population.

Pauline Black
BBC

“Across the city there is so much diversity with other people getting involved in other people’s culture and that’s what it’s all about", she said.

"It’s not just UK City of Culture, I consider it to be UK city of multiculturism and Coventry is the bearer of that sign.”

On the old adage of people being sent to Coventry - "people can now get sent to Coventry and feel like they're really part of something", she said.

Dancing for joy at City of Culture success

Congratulations have been flooding in following Coventry's successful bid to become City of Culture 2021.

We particularly like this one from West Midlands Police, even if it was originally recorded for something very different.

View more on twitter

Minister celebrates city's culture win

"There's a great deal of energy, enthusiasm and vibrancy" in Coventry, said Arts Minister, John Glen on a trip to the city.

John Glen
BBC

He said the bidding process to become UK City of Culture had been "long and tough" but "Coventry have come out the winners and I'm thrilled to be here to celebrate".

"There are some funds available.. from the Heritage Lottery Fund", he said, "but what we've seen in Hull is that it has an enormous effect in terms of the momentum around business and investment in the city".

In the papers: Coventry named as UK City of Culture

Coventry Telegraph

BreakingHundreds without power in West Midlands

Allen Cook

BBC News

There are more than 400 homes and businesses without power this afternoon across the West Midlands.

Western Power Distribution says the largest numbers are 164 in Brown Edge, Staffordshire, 122 in two parts of Coventry and 95 in the Ironbridge area of Shropshire.

The firm says it's working to get their power back on this afternoon.

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

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

M6 West Midlands - Slow traffic on M6 southbound between J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich) and J4a M42, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Snow forces more than 300 school closures in West Midlands

Allen Cook

BBC News

More than 300 schools in the West Midlands have fully or partially closed today because of the wintry weather.

Shrewsbury today
Michael Hare

Snow's been falling in many places since later night.

The worst affected places in terms of school closures have been Shropshire, Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell and Worcestershire.

All of those places have nearly or more than 50 schools closed today although there are some closures in Stoke-on-Trent,Staffordshire, Wolverhampton and Warwickshire as well.

BreakingSnow warning upgraded to amber for Sunday

Allen Cook

BBC News

An amber weather warning for heavy snow for much of the West Midlands has been issued by the Met Office.

Area covered by amber warning
Met Office

It says it's been issued from 04:00 till 18:00 on Sunday.

The Met Office says transport delays are likely along with cancellations and says there's a "good chance" of some rural areas getting cut off.

Snow to continue into the weekend

Snow showers will contiune to spread southwards today, causing some travel disruption across the West Midlands.

Warning map
Met Office

The Met Office warning for snow and ice continues into the weekend with heavy snow forecast on Saturday and Sunday.

Young ska fans in Coventry in 1980

Vincent Dowd

Arts reporter, BBC News

The city was a Ghost Town in the 70s but has now been picked to be the UK's City of Culture in 2021.

Read more

School shut due to norovirus outbreak

A school in Warwickshire has been shut due to a norovirus outbreak.

Education bosses say St Matthew's Bloxam C of E Primary School is fully closed to pupils and is being deep cleaned.

It is not clear as yet how many pupils contracted the virus.