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Summary

  1. Eleven taken to hospital after M5 crash
  2. Cricket club chief executive resigns
  3. Beavers introduced at three secret sites
  4. Judge throws out bid to save pub
  5. Updates on Friday 1 September 2017

Live Reporting

By Jerry Chester

All times stated are UK

Council admits pressure on special school places

James Pearson

Political reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

A shortage of school places for pupils with special educational needs is being worked on, Worcestershire County Council says.

A Worcester headteacher, Sarah Harding, claims that local special schools are "fit to burst" and that the council is failing to fund support for her pupils properly.

Councillor Marcus Hart, who's reponsible for Educaiton in the county, says the authority is doing all it can to alleviate the pressure on places.

Marcus Hart
Worcestershire County Council

You might argue that we're sending more pupils to special schools than perhaps we ought to and that we ought to do more to keep them in the mainstream, but of course there's better diagnosis. Autism is much more widely recognised, which is a good thing, which leads to pressure on places."

Marcus HartWorcestershire county councillor

More prisoners punished with "draconian" extended sentences

Criminals in Worcestershire's prisons are increasingly having their bad behaviour punished by the use of extended prison sentences, according to figures released today.

The Howard League for Penal Reform says the practice of increasing sentences has gone up at both HMP Hewell in Redditch and HMP Long Lartin in Evesham, with a total of seven years extra incarceration being handed down at the two prisons last year.

Long Lartin
goo

The campaign group describes the practice as "draconian" and claims all the evidence points to it being ineffective at improving behaviour.

Prisons are out of control. More people than ever before are losing their lives to suicide, and violence and self-injury are at record levels. The adjudications system has become a monster that is making these problems worse."

Frances Crook,Chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform

The Ministry of Justice says the vast majority of offenders leave prison without serving a single additional day, but that prisoners who break the rules should face the consequences.

Watch: Fundraising "with a difference" in Bromsgrove

Here's something you don't see everyday!

Fire and police officers in Bromsgrove have joined forces to do some wacky fundraising.

View more on twitter

Driver suffers serious head injury

A man in his 50's has suffered a serious head injury after two vehicles collided near Inkberrow yesterday, police say.

The driver of a blue Hyundai was taken to hospital after it collided with a white Ford Ranger pickup on the A422 Inkberrow to Flyford Flavell road at around 15:50.

No one else was injured.

A422 Inkberrow to Flyford Flavell road
Google

Motorcyclist airlifted to hospital

A motorcylist has been flown to hospital in Birmingham after a collision involving a car in Malvern, police say.

The man in his 30's suffered suffered serious chest and back injuries after the crash on Spring Lane at 17:10 on Friday.

The driver of a silver Skoda Fabia was treated at the scene by paramedics for chest and back pain.

Spring Lane in Malvern
Google

Armed officers raid Worcester home

Gavin Kermack

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Armed police officers have raided a home in Worcester, following reports of a man with a bladed weapon and concern for the safety of two people inside, police say.

Officers arrested a 25-year-old man at the address in Northfield Street shortly before 19:00 on Sunday.

West Mercia Police say the man, who was wanted for breaching of a court order, has been remanded to appear at Worcester Magistrates' Court today.

Giant pear and apple about to land in Worcester

Claudia Berry

Producer, BBC Hereford & Worcester

A human-sized pear, made from steel, and a similar sized apple have been created to mark the start and end of a new art and heritage trail in the St John's area of Worcester.

The local tannery industry, Roman finds and the former local Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Ernest Payne will be depicted on plaques along the mile-long trail, which will run between Cripplegate and Pitmaston parks.

giant pear with its creator Ron Thompson from Planet Art
Worcester City Council

The giant fruit sculptures have been created by Ron Thompson from Planet Arts, a Midlands-based arts partnership.

plaque depicting tanning industry
Worcester City Council

These beautiful and innovative works of art reflect Worcestershire’s strong fruit-growing tradition. It is fantastic that Worcester can boast original new art of such a high calibre.”

Steve Mackay,Mayor of Worcester

The trail will be officially launched at a ceremony in Cripplegate Park on Friday, 8 September, at 15:00.

Your photos: A foggy start across Herefordshire and Worcestershire

BBC Weather Watchers

The fog has been slow to lift across Herefordshire and Worcestershire this morning, but it hasn't stopped BBC Weather Watchers getting out and about with their cameras.

Thanks to HappySnapper71 in Eaton Bishop and Rocketron in Redditch for sending in these beautiful photographs.

cattle in a foggy field in Eaton Bishop
HappySnapper71
Redditch pond
Rocketron

Children with special needs 'short changed' by county council

James Pearson

Political reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

The headteacher of a Worcestershire school for children with special educational needs is taking legal action against the county council for not paying out the extra funding to which she says her pupils are entitled.

Children who aren't suitable for mainstream school are eligible for tens of thousands of pounds a year for specialist support, teaching and equipment, but Sarah Harding, headteacher at Regency High School in Warndon, says the council isn't fulfilling its statutory duty.

Regency High School
Google

Every child has place funding which is £10,000, but then for the additional interventions we have what's called top-up funding. We believe every child in a special school is legally entitled to top-up funding and Worcestershire as an authority are not meeting that obligation."

Sarah Harding,Headteacher at Regency High School in Worcester

Worcestershire County Council denies it is legally required to pay top-up funding.

Car crashes into house causing structural damage

Nina Das Gupta

Presenter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

A house on the Gilgal in Stourport has been damaged after a car left the road and crashed into it this morning.

No one was injured, but the road was closed for over an hour.

worker assessing damaged house
BBC

A car has come down the Gilgal and has gone into the side of the building. There was one person inside the building at the time, but he's out and he's OK. There's been structural damage and there is a structural engineer in attendance."

Commander Alan BanksHereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service

Council offices re-open after £2m refurbishment

Blueschool House re-opens in Hereford today but the refurbishment of the council offices has cost almost £2m - £970,000 pounds over budget.

It will be home to customer services, JobCentre Plus, Home Point and Housing Solutions and the council says the refurbishment will save it £1m during the next decade.

Blueschool House
Google

Major road stays closed after roadworks overrun

One of the main routes into Hereford, the A438 Ledbury road, is to stay closed at the Lugg Flats until further notice.

The section at Bartestree has been shut since July while Western Power strengthened the road and bridge over a major power cable, but was due to re-open on Saturday afternoon.

Lugg bridge
Google

Western Power say that the re-opening has now been put on hold due to "unforseen circumstances" and that the council's contractors are carrying out assessments.

Watch: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

After a cloudy start with some bursts of rain and drizzle it should be a largely dry day with some bright spells this afternoon and highs of 20C (68F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Severe accident: A4103 Herefordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A4103 Herefordshire both ways severe accident, between Tanhouse Lane and B4214.

A4103 Herefordshire - A4103 closed in both directions between the Tanhouse Lane junction in Cradley and the B4214 junction in Castle Frome, because of an accident involving overturned vehicle earlier on and a fuel spillage.

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

Severe accident: A422 Worcestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

A422 Worcestershire both ways severe accident, between Withybed Lane and Cockshot Lane.

A422 Worcestershire - A422 in Inkberrow closed in both directions between the Withybed Lane junction and the Cockshot Lane junction, because of a serious accident.

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

Severe accident: A449 Worcestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

A449 Worcestershire both ways severe accident, at A449.

A449 Worcestershire - A449 in Claines blocked and slow traffic in both directions at the A449 junction, because of an accident.

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. 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 blocked 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 accident: M42 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Worcestershire northbound severe accident, between J1 for A38 and J2 for A441 Alvechurch.

M42 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M42 northbound between J1, A38 (Bromsgrove) and J2, A441 (Alvechurch), because of an accident.

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

About 100 officers raided addresses in Maidenhead, Farnham Royal and Kidderminster.
Police seize car parts which they suspect were stolen from across England by forced workers.

Severe accident: A4172 Herefordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A4172 Herefordshire both ways severe accident, between A438 and A449.

A4172 Herefordshire - A4172 in Trumpet closed in both directions between the A438 junction and the A449 junction, because of an accident.

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

Our live coverage across the day

Live updates for Herefordshire and Worcestershire have finished for the day but we'll be back from 08:00 on Monday with more live news, sport, travel and weather.

On air: Coming up on Midlands Today

BBC Midlands Today

More on the bumper crop of hops that's being harvested across Herefordshire and Worcestershire - the result of this year's mix of wet and sunny weather.

There's a global shortage of hops due to dry weather in Germany, so there's likely to be a big demand for the crop - good news for farmers.

Hops being harvested
BBC

Find out more on Midlands Today - BBC One at 18:30.

Rugby: Full commentary on Falcons v Warriors

BBC Hereford and Worcester

Worcester Warriors and Newcastle Falcons have been involved in quite a few relegation scraps in previous Premiership seasons.

They play tonight in the season's opening game - you can follow the whole match in a BBC Hereford & Worcester sports special, starting at 19:00.

Newcastle v Worcester
Getty Images

Milkman retires after two decades putting pints on doorsteps

A milkman who's been doing his round in Hereford city centre for 23 years in finally retiring.

Brian Hookham, who's 72, has only had one break in that time - to have an operation on his knee caused by getting in and out of his float so many times.

Brian Hookham
Hookham family

Your pictures: Nature reserve in the sunlight

This photo, taken at Upton Warren, just outside Bromsgrove, was taken by the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, for its forthcoming winter magazine.

The trust runs more than 70 nature reserves.

Upton Warren
Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

Watch: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

The West Midlands will have a completely dry and rather chilly night with long clear spells.

Some mist patches may develop, especially in rural parts of Shropshire and Staffordshire - lows of 10C (50F).

Weather for the West Midlands.

Your pictures: Fly-tipping in Worcestershire

Dave Throup, from the Environment Agency, spotted this fly-tipping incident near Worcester.

View more on twitter

Big response to consultation on green belt housing plan

Controversial proposals to build homes on the Green Belt in Kidderminster will need "careful consideration" before being sent to the government for approval, a council says.

More than 2,000 people submitted comments to Wyre Forest District Council over its Local Plan, which, if adopted, will see more than two miles of the green belt used for housing.

Building site
Getty Images

Football: One in, two out at Harriers

Trevor Owens

Sports Editor, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Kidderminster Harriers have had a busy couple of days with two players leaving Aggborough and one arriving on loan.

Central defender Frazer Horsfall has joined on loan from Premier League club Huddersfield Town, but Liam Daly has returned to Solihull Moors and Cieron Keane has also moved on.

Aggborough
Getty Images
Traffic on M5

Six vehicles were involved in the crash, which caused lengthy tailbacks on the M5 northbound.

Read more

Shire Hall anniversary: 200 years of history

Hereford Shire Hall will celebrate its 200th anniversary on Saturday, 9 September.

The Grade II-listed building has had a colourful history:

  • It's the sixth oldest court in the country
  • There is still an S-shaped hook behind the judge's bench where the black cap used for passing death sentences was hung

Hereford Shire Hall
Google
  • Its most famous case was the trial of Major Armstrong - the Hay murderer - a solicitor who was hanged for killing his wife in 1922
  • The basement contains a large safe, as the building was also once used as a bank

Source: Herefordshire Council

Cricket: Worcestershire's chief executive resigns

The chief executive at Worcestershire County Cricket Club has resigned, the club has announced.

Tom Scott will remain at the club until the end of the year and a replacement is found, a statement says.

Tom Scott
Worcestershire County Cricket Club

Malvern Gazette front page: We're buying the bank

Malvern Gazette

The town council intends to buy a former bank branch building and move its offices into the premises.

Malvern Gazette front page
Malvern Gazette

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

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

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

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