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  1. Shropshire MPs divided over who to support as Conservative leader
  2. Telford MP calls for changes to counter terrorism laws
  3. Passenger ratings for Arriva Trains Wales fall
  4. Shropshire teenagers part of team which may have found new planet
  5. Updates on Thursday 30 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Andy Giddings

All times stated are UK

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This time last year: The weather

BBC Weather

Need cheering up? Perhaps don't look here. A year ago today, temperatures were rather hotter at 36C.

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The weather for the West Midlands

The weather for the West Midlands.
Nathaniel Knight-Percival

Bradford sign centre-back Nat Knight-Percival on a two-year deal after he rejected a new contract at Shrewsbury.

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Midlands business leaders expect the unexpected

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

My latest blog post takes the temperature among Midlands decision-makers at the launch event for the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The atmosphere was spiced-up of course by the Brexit vote.

British and EU flags
Getty Images

Lord Heseltine was the star attraction, but I spent plenty of time mingling with the men and women at the sharp end of economic decision-making during the lunch and coffee breaks.

Their mood was, above all, uncertain.

Why was first day of Somme battle such a disaster?

BBC iWonder

The first day of the Battle of the Somme, in northern France, was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army and one of the most infamous days of World War One.  

But why was 1 July 1916 such a disaster? We've been looking it in detail on the BBC iWonder website.

End of an era as leisure centre demolished

BBC Hereford and Worcester

It's the end of an era this week - as a 30-year-old leisure centre in Kidderminster is demolished. 

The Wyre Forest Glades Leisure Centre - which was opened by Princess Diana - is to be relocated on the Kidderminster to Stourport Road in the town next week.

Wyre Forest Glades Leisure Centre

Defence Minister backs 'straight-talking' Stephen Crabb

Defence Minister Philip Dunne backs Stephen Crabb in the Conservative leadership election

Cheshire MP backs Theresa May's leadership bid

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

The Cheshire Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach has announced her support for Theresa May as the home secretary bids to become Tory leader.  

Antoinette Sandbach

The Eddisbury MP told BBC Radio Stoke the next Conservative leader will have a big affect on people's lives in her constituency. 

The decision to leave the EU is one of the most momentous decisions that's been taken for many, many years. It's going to impact on all my constituents and I think it's really important to have somebody who will unite both sides of the party."

Antoinette SandbachConservative MP for Eddisbury

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Latest weather for the West Midlands

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.

Weather: Some rain possible later this evening

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

It's going to be largely dry across Shropshire, but the cloud will stick around and there could be some rain later this evening.

Watch: Mystery of tunnel under the Stiperstones

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

As the nation prepares to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, we investigate a mystery mine dug in Shropshire in the same year - 1916

The mine driven into the Stiperstones failed to find anything substantial and was soon halted.

One theory is that the tunnel was created to protect young men from the horrors of World War One by keeping them at home.

Four jailed for burgling over 100 homes

Four men have been jailed after a spate of burglaries across Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Derbyshire, North Wales and Staffordshire. 

Gytis Dambaokas, Tomas Juospaitis, Grazvydas Kasarauskas and Giedrius Batutis, all of no fixed abode, targeted 120 properties which saw them escape with jewellery with an estimated value of £200,000, police say.

The four men
West Mercia Police

"These offences were undoubtedly concerning for the individuals targeted by this group of men, who gave no thought to the concern and distress they inflicted on their victims as they proceeded to ransack their homes," Det Sgt Andrew Chatting said.

All four - pictured above - were each found guilty of conspiracy to burgle at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

- Gytis Dambaokas, 30, was sentenced to six years and six months in prison

- Tomas Juospaitis, 31, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

- Grazvydas Kasarauskas, 34, was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

- Giedrius Batutis, 33, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Watch: 1970s changing rooms due to get a facelift

Les Walton

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

Good news for anyone using the changing rooms at Bridgnorth Endowed leisure centre.

They're going to be spruced up with the help of money from Sport England and we went inside to see what needs doing.

Passengers say Arriva Trains Wales worse than it was a year ago

Carlie Swain

BBC Local Live

Passengers using Arriva Trains Wales say the service has got worse in the past 12 months. 

An annual survey by the transport watchdog Transport Focus found they weren't happy with availability of staff, punctuality and car parking facilities, but nevertheless 82% (down from 89%) ticked the "satisfied" or "good" boxes to describe their journey.

Arriva train

Meanwhile, London Midland customers think the company has improved, especially the stations they are responsible for.

Telford MP says May is most able to offer stability and strong leadership

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The Telford MP Lucy Allan is backing Theresa May to be the next leader of the Conservatives.

She said there was an "excellent selection of candidates" but thinks she is "the candidate most able to offer the stability and strong leadership that the UK needs".

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Headlines: MPs divided over next PM; Arriva Trains Wales rating fall; students find possible new planet

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Our top stories this evening: 

- Shropshire MPs divided over who to support in Conservative leadership contest

- Arriva Trains Wales passenger rating falls

- New planet could have been discovered by team including Shropshire students

TV show reports ghostly goings on at castle and former prison

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The TV show Most Haunted will be featuring two Shropshire buildings in its new series, Whittington Castle and Shrewsbury's former prison.

Its presenter, Yvette Fielding said they filmed a piece of armour moving on its own at Whittington and books falling on the floor.

Yvette Fielding
Getty Images

And she said the crew had to hold hands at the Dana prison because it was so frightening and that they saw a metal crowbar fly through the air, narrowly missing her head.

(The crowbar) touched my hair as it went past my left ear and landed on the floor with a clatter and if I'd been to the left by an inch it would have hit me and possibly killed me."

Yvette FieldingMost Haunted presenter

Shrewsbury MP explains why he is backing Michael Gove

The MP for Shrewsbury, Daniel Kawczynski, is backing Michael Gove in the Conservative leadership contest.

He set out his thinking in a tweet.

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Nikki Sinclaire

A former aide to an ex-UKIP MEP raised fears her expenses claims were being inflated six months before going to police, a court hears.

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BBC Weather Watchers: Fields outside Norton in Hales

BBC Weather Watchers

We've see photos of everything today, from glorious sunshine to heavy cloud and rain.

This one was taken by one of our BBC Weather Watchers near Norton in Hales earlier.

Norton in Hales
Betton Bear

Decision on Shifnal medical practice by the end of August

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The NHS will decide if there is money for a new medical practice in Shifnal by the end of August.

A site has already been allocated for the building, as part of a housing development on Haughton Road, but it needs funding.

Shifnal medical practice

The Shifnal Forward business group says they're competing for funding with many other schemes and they might not be told what the decision was until later in the year.

Telford MP wants changes to counter-terrorism laws

Andrew Hewkin

Newsreader, BBC Shropshire

The Telford MP Lucy Allan is trying to get the law changed, so teachers and carers don't have to report potential signs of extremism or radicalisation in nurseries and primary schools. 

Her Private Members Bill has little chance of success but, as a libertarian, she says the existing rules put an unnecessary burden on staff who shouldn't have to "police" children in their care.

Lucy Allan

Ms Allan wants to get an amendment made to the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

Children's spellings, drawings, or sayings are often influenced by a variety of sources; placing a duty on staff to consider whether these constitute potential extremism damages the relationship between teacher and child."

Lucy AllanMP for Telford

Headlines: MPs divided on next PM; convoy of lorries in county; teens discover possible new planet

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

A recap of our top stories this afternoon:

- Shropshire MPs divided over who they want to see as next Conservative leader

- Convoy of lorries makes practice run through county

- New planet could have been discovered by Shropshire teenagers

'New planet' discovered by work experience teenagers

A group of teenagers from Shropshire on work experience at Keele University may have found a new planet.

The university says 24 students, aged between 15 and 17, from across Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire, have been working on a research project.

Artist's impression of new planet
Keele University

They were aiming to discover exoplanets - planets which orbit other stars outside the solar system. 

Keele University say they've found a new, strong candidate which is the size of Neptune and the discoveries will be followed up. 

Shropshire woman remembers father ahead of Somme anniversary

Ahead of tomorrow's centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme - a Shropshire woman's been speaking about the war memories of her father. 

Arthur Bown was awarded the military cross for gallantry at the battle of the Somme. 

His daughter, Lalage from Shrewsbury, says he joined up just a few days after war was declared. Although he survived, he carried the wounds for the rest of his life. 

Somme battle: 100 years on

Emergency repairs closes A442 at Quatt

We're now being told it is "emergency repairs" causing the closure of the A442 at Quatt, near the Dudmaston Hall junction.

Shropshire MPs divided on who they will support

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Our five Shropshire MPs are divided on who they will back in the Conservative leadership election.

The Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard says he is supporting Theresa May, as is the Telford MP Lucy Allan.

Leadership candidates

The MP for Shrewsbury, Daniel Kawczynski is backing Michael Gove.

The Ludlow MP Philip Dunne says he hasn't yet made his mind up and we are waiting to hear who Owen Paterson, the MP for North Shropshire, is backing.

Money for leisure centre

Sport England is giving £150,000 to the Bridgnorth Endowed Leisure Centre, to improve its swimming facilities.

It says the money will help modernise the changing facilities, which were built in the 1970s.

Getty Images

Headlines: Council leader predicts several contenders for Corbyn's job; MP wants counter terrorism law change; fan buys ticket for drum

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Our top stories this lunchtime:

- Leader of Telford council predicts several challengers for Corbyn's job

- Telford MP wants relaxation of counter terrorism laws in schools

- Ice hockey fan buys season ticket for his drum

Firefighters tackle Telford garage blaze

Shropshire Star

Two crews from Telford Central were called out to the fire at Oak Autos, Commercial Way, Oakengates, shortly after 06:10.

Photos: Convoy of lorries makes practice run through the county

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Some big lorries, with a police escort, will be will be making their way through North Shropshire this lunchtime. 

The convoy is part of a trial run to make sure turbines can be delivered to the new Tirgwynt wind farm in North Wales. 

These photos were taken at Gledrid lorry park and show what you can expect when the lorries come through the county for real next month.

Turbine on lorry
Glyn Gaskill
Turbine on lorry
Glyn Gaskill

Ellesmere homes appeal heads to High Court

A controversial plan for 68 homes off Teal Drive in Ellesmere is now the subject of a legal appeal. 


Shropshire Council initially refused permission, but that was overturned when the developer was backed by a government inspector after a four-day hearing. 

The council has stood its ground, and is now taking it to the High Court.

Telford council leader predicts several Labour leadership contenders

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The leader of Telford and Wrekin Council is predicting a number of MPs will come forward to challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the party.

Labour councillor Shaun Davies said it was difficult to see Mr Corbyn as a prime minister and that it was time to sort the leadership situation, because the ongoing debate wasn't good for the country.

Shaun Davies

The former shadow business secretary Angela Eagle is expected to be one of the challengers, but Mr Davies isn't saying whether he would support her or another candidate.

Weather: Some showers possible this afternoon

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

Parts of the county could see some showers this afternoon and in the evening.

Driver in Craven Arms crash had face and chest injuries

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

A driver involved in a crash that left his engine several metres away from his car is not thought to be in a life-threatening condition.

West Midlands Ambulance service says he suffered head and chest injuries in the crash near Craven Arms yesterday afternoon.

It added that he was conscious, but was airlifted to hospital because the paramedics were concerned about the way he was behaving.

Crash scene
West Mercia Police

Library reopens as community hub

Local students will help run a north Shropshire library - when it relaunches today as a community hub. 

Gobowen Library is being part-backed by the local parish council, as Shropshire Council offloads a number of its services. 


Students from Derwen College will volunteer as part of their work experience. North Shropshire College has also been approached.