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Summary

  1. Respite centre for children with disabilities closes its doors
  2. Marathon run by postman injured in dog attack
  3. Climbers scale cliffs to clean up beauty spot
  4. Updates on Friday 31 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Jerry Chester

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Severe accident: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe accident, between J8 for M50 and J7 for A44 Worcester.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 northbound between J8 M50 and J7, A44 (Worcester), because of an accident. 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 on M5 northbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J4a M42, because of a medical emergency. 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 on M5 northbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J4a M42, because of a broken down van. Traffic is coping well.

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

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening and into the morning.

On TV: Digby v Rigby on Brexit

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

Nine months since the referendum and Article 50 has finally been triggered. 

The West Midlands voted to leave more enthusiastically than any other region of the UK. 

I'll be hearing from, among others, leaver, the Worcestershire-based Lord Digby Jones (pictured) and remainer, Sir Peter Rigby .

Lord Digby Jones
BBC

You can hear the debate on BBC Sunday Politics Midlands - from 11:00 on BBC One.

Basketball: Wolves take on Eagles

There's basketball action at the University Arena in Worcester tonight as the Worcester Wolves take on the Newcastle Eagles in the BBL.

Tip off is at 19:30.

University Arena in Worcester
BBC

Watch: Latest weather forecast

Rebecca Wood

BBC Weather

Find out what the weekend has in store.

You can also get latest forecasts at any other time from the  BBC Weather website .

Rebecca Wood has your forecast

Boy's racecourse 'marathon' by boy to raise money for injured jockeys

An 11-year-old horse racing fanatic made his debut at Hereford Racecourse this morning... but he wasn't on a horse.

James Clarkson has set himself the challenge of running around all 34 National Hunt racecourses in England in a week - and today he's been in Hereford.

He's raising money for the Injured Jockeys Fund, and is being ferried around the courses by his father, Edward.

James Clarkson
Clarkson Family

The first three days were really good fun, but now I'm getting a bit tired. I've done around 40 miles and I've been going for four days and it's sort of caught up on me."

James Clarkson
James Clarkson
Clarkson family

He was cheered on by the Champion Jockey Richard Johnson at Hereford. 

Open habitats restored on the Malvern Hills

The Malvern Hills Conservators are the charity who look after the hills, and they've been busy working with the Environment Agency to clear areas.

View more on twitter

Travel: Advance notice of road closure

BBC News Travel

Part of Barbourne Road in Worcester will closed for resurfacing work on Sunday.

View more on twitter

Museum reopens after 'major refurbishment'

The Black and White House Museum in Hereford will reopen tomorrow after a "major refurbishment", the council says.

The museum is based in an original Jacobean museum dating back to 1621 and was at one time a bank.

Bull and a black and white house
BBC

The musuem shows what life was like in Hereford during the 17th Century, using recreated rooms, original furniture and everyday family items.

There is also an activity area and dressing up room for children.

When tackles go wrong...

#PeoplesCup

Just how did those legs end up there? Find out with our top 10 magic moments from last weekend's FA People's Cup semi-finals.

For more FA People's Cup action, watch our semi-final highlights programme,  available on the iPlayer from 06:00 BST on Saturday morning, 1 April, and on the Red Button at 13:50 BST and repeated throughout the weekend.

Football: Bulls ordered to replay abandoned fixture

Hereford FC have been told by the league that they will have to replay their fixture against Didcot Town, which was abandoned in March after crowd trouble .

The Bulls were leading 2-1 when the incident took place in the 87th minute.

A date has yet to be decided for the rearranged fixture, the club say.  

Hospice announces new boss

St Richard's Hospice has announced its care director, June Patel, will be the charity's new chief executive. 

Mrs Patel will replace Mark Jackson, who is retiring after holding the role for more than 10 years. 

The hospice, based in Worcester, supports more than 2,500 patients and family members in Worcestershire each year.

St Richard's Hospice
Google

Slideshow: Blossoms and blackbirds

BBC Weather Watchers

As the sun breaks through the clouds across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, BBC Weather Watchers have been out with their cameras.

Thanks to Postman Les, Hillman, Cloudgazer and J at Severn Ridge for the photos.  

Blossoms and blackbirds

Safe driving app welcomed by police chief

A virtual reality app aimed at promoting road safety is being rolled out across the West Mercia force area.

The DriveVR app allows people to be in a virtual driver's seat, and looks at driving challenges including speeding, mobile phones, drink driving, drug driving and passenger distractions.

It is being delivered to around 5,000 young people each year as part of the Green Light Programme.


          PCC John Campion with Safer Roads Partnership Communications Manager, Anna Higgins
Police and Crime Commissioner

Too many people are killed or seriously injured on our roads, in collisions which could have been prevented. Education is vitally important to ensure everyone understands the impact of making a decision which puts road users at risk."

John Campion West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner

Emaciated dog found at half its proper weight piles on the pounds

A stray dog rescued when he was half his ideal weight is now back to almost full health, according to the charity which took him in.

Vegas, a three-year-old Doberman, weighed only 24kg (50lbs) when he arrived at the Dogs Trust centre in Evesham .

He had to be gradually built back up to his correct weight as his stomach wouldn't have been able to cope with a sudden increase in food, the trust says.

Dog and owner
Dogs Trust Evesham

Vegas has now been adopted by dog lover Yasmin Tredell (pictured above), but still needs regular check-ups by a vet.

Vegas is one spoilt pup and so different to the dog I first met a few months ago. He has made such amazing progress, growing so much in confidence despite what he must've been through."

Yasmin Tredell

Severe accident: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe accident, between J8 for M50 and J7 for A44 Worcester affecting J10 for A4019.

M5 Worcestershire - Two lanes closed, queuing traffic and severe delays on M5 northbound between J8 M50 and J7, A44 (Worcester), because of an accident. Travel time is around 60 minutes. Congestion to J10, A4019 (Cheltenham).

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

Postman injured in dog attack plans memorial marathon

A Hereford postman will run the London Marathon in memory of his mother, despite injuring his pelvis in a dog attack. 

Mike Chandler is raising money for the Breast Cancer Haven in the city, in honour of his mother who died from the disease when he was only 16.

He's now back in training after being badly hurt last year.

Mike Chandler
Breast Cancer Haven

A dog came out of a farm house and came chasing towards me. I did not have time to turn and run. Although during the dog attack I did manage to kick him off without getting bitten, I did fall very heavily on to concrete on my left hip bone which went straight up on to my spine."

Mike ChandlerPostman

Mobile phone driving convictions: Motorists still not getting the message

West Mercia Police say there are still drivers using mobile phones at the wheel, despite tougher penalties being introduced. 

About two offences a day have been recorded by the force since the start of the month when fines increased to £200 and points rose from three to six. 

Mobile while driving
PA

There are people who are driving at speed and still texting or listening to calls, and then there are other people who are going into slow moving traffic, coming up to traffic lights, vehicles are more or less stationary, and they pick the phone up. Both can cause accidents."

Supt Kevin PurcellWest Mercia Police

Tour series cycle race: Town stands to make more than £400k

Staging a Tour Series cycle race in Redditch in May could bring more than £400,000 into the local economy, the council says.

That's the amount visitors and competitors spend locally on accommodation, food and souvenirs when the race was staged in the town last year, according to Worcestershire County Council .

Cycle Race
Tour Series

This year's race takes place on 9 May and will be covered on TV.

We are proud to be showcasing Redditch as a place to visit. The Tour Series will see thousands of visitors coming to the town to enjoy the race and we hope they also make the most of what our town has to offer while they’re here."

Kevin Dicks Chief executive, Redditch Borough Council

Respite centre closure: 'Families still have a range of options'

Herefordshire's respite care centre for children with mental and physical disabilities will close its doors for the last time today, despite a long campaign from families who say it's their lifeline. 

The Number One Ledbury Road centre was due to close last April before Herefordshire Council allocated £600,000 to keep it open for an extra 12 months. 

There are providers for short breaks within Herefordshire, these are above the opportunities for using Acorns [Children's Hospice] and other providers. There are providers who are showing an interest in providing even more services in Herefordshire, but these haven't been announced yet."

Councillor Jonathan Lester Herefordshire Council

Slideshow: Spring skies and scudding clouds

BBC Weather Watchers

There have been some very mixed skies about this morning, as you can see from this selection of images from BBC Weather Watchers

This selection come from The Wolster, Coco Cholet, Mikesnapper, Sunshine Seeker and Postman Les. 

Spring skies and scudding clouds

Help us find the Dunkirk cook who fed our dad

Worcester News

A veteran's son is searching for information about a hero cook of the Dunkirk campaign , who kept his father, and other troops, brilliantly well fed under enemy fire.  

Watch: Anger over cycle race road closures

Ben Sidwell

BBC Midlands Today

Businesses on the route of a planned 100-mile cycle ride say it will cost them thousands of pounds worth of lost trade. 

Roads across Herefordshire and Worcestershire will be closed to traffic for the entire day.  

Anger over cycle race road closures

About 15,000 riders are expected to take part in Velo Birmingham in September, which will pass through places such as Belbroughton, Cutnall Green, Martley, Bromyard and Bewdley.

The organisers and Worcestershire County Council say they will work with local people and businesses to minimise disruption.

Respite centre closure: 'I don't know how there are going to take it'

Nicola Goodwin

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Families in Herefordshire say the closure of the county's only respite centre for children will leave them without a much-needed lifeline.

The Number One Ledbury Road centre, which cares for children with mental and physical disabilities, will close for good today, after being kept running part-time for a year by a £600,000 grant from Herefordshire Council.

Melissa Boyle's two children, Fergus and Gwen (pictured) both spend time at the centre - she say's she want to see "proper provision in the county, not miles and miles away".

Fergus and Gwen Boyle
BBC

It's been very difficult - we've just started talking it through with them. I don't know how they are going to take it. I'm concerned about how this will affect their well being because they will be anxious not knowing what's around the corner."

Melissa BoyleParent

The council says it is working with families, professionals and providers to ensure short-break opportunities are available to families.

West Mercia Police make use of tougher mobile laws

Alex Seftel

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

Two mobile phone offences per day have been recorded by West Mercia Police, since tougher penalties were introduced at the beginning of this month. 

The new government rules mean drivers face a £200 fine and six penalty points if they're caught using a mobile behind the wheel.

Driving whilst using a mobile phone
Thinkstock

Watch: Climbers go litter picking at beauty spot

Nicola Goodwin

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Dozens of climbers will be taking part in an extreme litter pick this weekend, hundreds of feet above the ground on the crags and cliffs at Symonds Yat, in Herefordshire. 

They'll be removing litter, checking and replacing safety pegs and tidying up loose rock and invasive plants.  

Extreme litter pick at beauty spot

Respite centre for children closes its doors

A respite centre that cares for children with mental and physical disabilities is closing for good today. 

Number One Ledbury Road in Hereford is the last centre of its type in Herefordshire.

Families will now have to choose from alternative care including Acorns in Worcester and sites in Wales.

Number One Ledbury Road
Google

Up to 25 children are cared for at the centre, which was due to close last April, before Herefordshire Council allocated £600,000 to keep it open part-time for an extra 12 months. 

The council says it has has been "working closely with families, professionals and providers over an 18-month period to ensure a wide range of short-break opportunities are available".

Families unhappy with the services available can take a direct payment instead to "allow them to access services they feel better suit their needs," the council added.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

After a cloudy and damp start to the day, the clouds should clear, leaving a drier and brighter afternoon with highs of 16C (61F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Good morning from today's Herefordshire and Worcestershire live page

Jerry Chester

BBC News Online

Welcome to the Local Live service for Herefordshire and Worcestershire on Friday morning. A damp start to the day, but there's nicer weather to come - this picture of the morning sky was taken in Ashton-under-Hill by BBC Weather Watcher , Morning Amble.

Morning sky
Morning Amble

I'll be bringing you all the news, sport, travel and weather as it happens. 

If you'd like to get in touch you can  emailtweet us on @bbchw  or message via  Facebook .

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, at J8 for M50.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 northbound at J8 M50, because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 tomorrow, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening and into the morning.