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Summary

  1. Man still critical after M5 crash
  2. Worcestershire man's fight for justice after son's death in Iraq turned into BBC drama
  3. Hereford's Southern Link Road set to be given the go-ahead, despite objections
  4. Updates on Monday 6 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Francesca Osborne

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Watch: Latest weather for the West Midlands

BBC Weather

It'll be mainly dry tonight with clear spells, turning cold with a risk of frost. Lows of -3°C (27°F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J4A for M42.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 northbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J4a M42, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Evesham Hospital porter Alex Abbott hits 90
Alex Abbott has worked as a mortician, telephonist, hairdresser, theatre porter and gardener.

M1 Newport Pagnell crash death trial: Jury sworn in

A jury has been sworn in for the trial of two men charged in connection with a crash on the M1 which killed eight people in a minibus.

Ryszard Masierak, 31, of Evesham, Worcestershire, and David Wagstaff, 53, of Stoke-on-Trent, were both driving lorries on the southbound carriageway near Newport Pagnell when the crash happened in the early hours of 26 August.

The minibus was travelling from Nottingham to London when its driver and seven passengers were killed.

David Wagstaff (left) and Ryszard Masierak (right)
South Beds News Agency
David Wagstaff (left) and Ryszard Masierak (right)

Both men face eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. Mr Masierak is also facing drink driving charges.

Judge Francis Sheridan told the 12-person jury to ignore anything they've read, heard or seen about the case.

"You must decide the case on the evidence given in this courtroom and only on that evidence," he said.

Plans for bell tower considered by councillors

A planning application to build a bell tower at a Worcester school could be approved by councillors today, despite complaints from residents.

Proposed bell tower
One

If Worcestershire County Councillors gives it the go-ahead, Christopher Whitehead Language College could become the first state school in the country to have its own belfry.

The £4m project also includes a new performing arts centre.

South African utility back Scott Van Breda

Worcester sign South African utility back Scott Van Breda from Championship side Jersey Reds for next season.

Read more

Your comments: Visitors 'shaken' by lions on car

Monica Rimmer

BBC News

Yesterday we brought you the story of visitors being left "shaken" during a trip to West Midland Safari Park after "aggravated" lions jumped on to their car in an enclosure.

On BBC Midlands' Facebook page, many of you have been getting in touch with us about the footage.

Eleanor Stevens said she's "never felt unsafe" at the park and added: "There are many staff in jeeps and towers monitoring at all times... I'm more scared of the rides on the park!"

Sammie Hughes commented: "Oh my. I felt scared watching. I'll stick to going to the farm."

While Gaynor Floyd added: "They are lions and you are in a safari park what do you expect if you want ones lying still buy a cuddly toy!!!!"

Lions running towards the car at West Midlands Safari park

A park spokesman said: "As with all wild animals, normally harmonious groups can on occasion become particularly active.

"This is constantly monitored closely by trained staff who are always in the enclosure when guests are too and will intervene if necessary."

Your pictures: Longnor and Severn Stoke

BBC Weather Watchers

The BBC Weather Watchers have shared some lovely pictures this morning.

The first was taken by Peter Steggles, in Longnor - we love all the different colours of the morning sky.

Longnor
Peter Steggles

While Severn Stoke is the setting for this snap taken by j at Severn Ridge.

If you have a picture you'd like to share, you can become a BBC Weather Watcher here.

Severn Stoke
j at Severn Ridge
Lions running towards the car at West Midlands Safari park
Visitors were inside the lion enclosure for more than half an hour after rangers shut the gate.

Watch: Latest weather for the West Midlands

BBC Weather

Cold, dry and cloudy tonight with a widespread frost and a chance of freezing fog, lows of 0C (32F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

New £7m business park plan approved

Nicola Goodwin

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Work on a new £7m business park on the edge of Ross on Wye will start this year and could bring 1,000 new jobs to the county.

The Model Farm Enterprise Park has been given planning permission today and it's hoped it will attract businesses to invest in Herefordshire.

The 15-acre site at Hildersley is right next to the M50.

Masterplan of Model Farm Enterprise Park
herefordshire council

Man claiming to be police officer targets elderly

Elderly people in Worcester are being urged to be vigilant after fraudsters targeted two people in as many days for money.

The victims, aged in their 70s and 80s, were targeted on Monday and Tuesday. Police said they had received a phone call from a man claiming to be a police officer.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M5 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, between J3 for A456 Halesowen and J4 for A38 Bromsgrove.

M5 West Midlands - All traffic being temporarily held and a police incident on M5 southbound between J3, A456 (Halesowen) and J4, A38 (Bromsgrove).

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

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J4A for M42.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M5 northbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J4a M42, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Alafoti Faosiliva

Worcester Warriors' Samoa international back-row forward Alafoti Faosiliva signs a one-year contract at Sixways.

Read more

Council tax to increase in city

A "short-term attempt to seek election opportunity". That's how a call to partly freeze council tax for residents in Worcester was described by Labour last night.

The proposal from the Conservatives was defeated by a combination of Labour and Green councillors, which means council tax in the city will rise by an average of 4.5% from April.

Adrian Gregson
WORCESTER CITY COUNCIL

This is not a one-year budget - this is a budget which is part of a five-year plan. We can't just make one-off decisions. We have to be responsible. We have to make those decisions in the context of everything else which is going on, including government cutbacks.

Adrian GregsonLeader, Worcester City Council

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, at J4A for M42 affecting J5 for A38 Droitwich.

M5 Worcestershire - Two lanes closed and queuing traffic on M5 northbound at J4a M42, because of a car fire. Congestion to J5, A38 (Droitwich).

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

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J4A for M42.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 northbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J4a M42, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe disruption: A49 Herefordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A49 Herefordshire northbound severe disruption, between A4112 and A456.

A49 Herefordshire - A49 closed northbound between the A4112 junction in Stockton and the A456 junction in Woofferton, because of a spillage of diesel on the road. Diversion in operation - Traffic to follow solid circle symbol. Exit the A49 at the A44 Mill Street and travel W/B. At the junction with B4361 turn right and travel N/B, continue along B4361 to B4362 Orleton. Join B4362 and travel E/B to re-join A49.

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

In the papers: Gymnastics couple ordered to repay money

Worcester News

Three headlines from the Worcester News today:

Princess to visit brain injury charity

Princess Anne will be visiting the Worcester offices of the brain injury charity Headway next month.

The Princess Royal is due to officially open its new kitchen and meet some of the people the charity supports on 2 March.

Princess Anne
BBC
City of Worcester Gymnastics Club

The money is said to have gone missing in a burglary at the home of a couple involved in a charity.

Read more
Doncaster scrum-half Michael Heaney (left) and London Scottish hooker Isaac Miller

Worcester Warriors sign Doncaster's Michael Heaney and hooker Isaac Miller from London Scottish for 2018-19.

Read more

Hospital apologises after ambulance hold-ups

Hospital bosses in Worcestershire have apologised after 14 of the 21 ambulances in the county were stuck outside the Worcester Royal Hospital on Friday night.

Paramedics were unable to unload their patients, with 10 being stuck for more than three hours, and West Midlands Ambulance Service has complained about the situation to the Care Quality Commission.

Ambulance
BBC

The trust which runs the hospital says it's working closely with the ambulance trust and other local health and care organisations and its "priority remains the safety of patients".

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire southbound severe disruption, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J6 for A449.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 southbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J6, A449 (Worcester), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire southbound severe disruption, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J6 for A449.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 southbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J6, A449 (Worcester), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Travel latest: More on the points failure at Cheltenham Spa

Here's what we've been told about the problems causing delays between Cheltenham, Worcester and Birmingham New Street.

Disruption is expected until 11pm.

A points failure near Cheltenham Spa is causing disruption to trains running between Cheltenham Spa and Worcester / Birmingham New Street. Trains may be delayed by up to 60 minutes, cancelled or revised. Disruption is expected until 23:00. Alternative Travel Options: Replacement road transport services are conveying passengers between Cheltenham Spa and Great Malvern via Worcester Shrub Hill.

CrossCountry Trains

Cathedral's past is 'appy' occasion

Visitors to Worcester Cathedral can download a smart phone app to help bring its historic stories to life.

Worcester's role in the Civil War is among the topics included on the app, which has been developed in-house by the cathedral's education department.

Worcester Cathedral app screengrabs
BBC

Our aspiration is to use augmented reality - to have video clips and reenactments taking place in various locations across the cathedral, where people can see exactly what went on and really capture a flavour of the past."

Benjamin SmithDirector of education, Worcester Cathedral

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J4A for M42.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 northbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J4a M42, because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J4A for M42.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 northbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J4a M42, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, between J4 for A38 Bromsgrove and J3 for A456 Halesowen.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 northbound between J4, A38 (Bromsgrove) and J3, A456 (Halesowen), because of a vehicle fire.

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

Worcestershire Royal Hospital A&E

Michele Paduano

BBC Midlands health correspondent

At one stage over half the ambulances covering Worcestershire were tied up at one hospital.

Read more

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire southbound severe disruption, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J6 for A449.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 southbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J6, A449 (Worcester), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe accident, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J4A for M42.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 northbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J4a M42, because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire both ways severe disruption, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J6 for A449.

M5 Worcestershire - Stationary traffic on M5 in both directions between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J6, A449 (Worcester), because of a rolling road-block.

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

Man appears in court over fatal Hereford stabbing

Nicola Goodwin

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

A 31-year-old man has appeared in court charged with conspiracy to commit murder over the death of Robert Eacock.

Artaf Hussain, of Slater Street, Tipton, spoke only to confirm his name at Hereford Magistrates Court this morning.

Robert Eacock
Family handout

Robert Eacock died after a single stab wound to his leg in Hereford’s High Town in January.

Anthony Boyd from Willenhall has been charged with his murder and is due to appear in court again next month.

Mr Hussain is next due to appear at Worcester Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

£1m compensation paid out for pavement fails

Tom Edwards

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Compensation claims for people who have fallen on pavements in Herefordshire and Worcestershire have cost more than £1m over the past five years.

A Freedom of Information Request by the BBC reveals the payouts which have been made to members of the public since 2012.

People walking on a pavement
Getty Images

Only about 1 in 10 of the 400 claims were successful.

Herefordshire Council has given us a statement saying they have more than 450 miles of pavements to maintain and have spent "more than £150,000" on improving surfaces since 2012.

Worcestershire County Council, meanwhile, says it is investing record sums in pavements.