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  1. Staffing at county A&E departments remains critical
  2. Royal visit for Shropshire hospital
  3. Telford has one of the highest rates for school exclusions
  4. FA chairman unhappy with 'embarrassing' Senior Cup matches
  5. Updates on Friday 21 July 2017

Live Reporting

By Andy Giddings

All times stated are UK

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Midlands Air Ambulance: The paramedic who is flown in to save lives
Paramedic Ian Lock is looking forward to the Midlands Air Ambulance getting a bigger aircraft.

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.

On Midlands Today from 18:30: Tracking the summer getaway

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this evening, school is out and the big summer getaway has started.

Traffic on motorway

It's set to be the busiest in years across the region with early figures suggesting planned journeys over the weekend are up by at least 10%.

We'll have the latest on the Midlands motorway network and how all the routes are coping on BBC One from 18:30.

Large stretch of A41 near Newport to close for roadworks

A 1.5 mile stretch of the A41, south of Newport, will close next week, to allow resurfacing to take place.

Telford and Wrekin Council says it has put the work off until the summer holidays and will take the opportunity to clear gullies and repair signs there, while the road is closed.

Road closed sign

Your comments: Has the Shropshire Senior Cup become an embarrassment?

We're seeing some interesting thoughts on the Shropshire Senior Cup on BBC Radio Shropshire's Facebook page, following the defeat for the youth sides sent out by Shrewsbury and Telford last night.

Kev Pardy said most teams around the UK "treat their County Senior Cup as a nuisance and of little value", because they want to play more meaningful friendlies and he suggested that Football Associations "should look at ways of making the Cup more attractive".

TNS vs Telford
Mike Sheridan

Del Williams suggested Shrewsbury and Telford should stay out of the cup and concentrate on their own games, writing: "I believe that the Shropshire Senior Cup should be represented by local teams and should be played by them only. Each team will have that chance to hold the trophy".

And Nick Brockis said some of the blame had to lie at the door of the Shropshire FA, for allowing the dates of the matches to change from season to season, he wrote: "Get the final played at the end of the season, with a date firmly nailed down".

Peacock memorial unveiled at hospital

A memorial to Percy the peacock has been unveiled by Princess Alexandra at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt hospital at Gobowen.

It was built by an artist from the British Ironworks Centre and is made of old surgical instruments and equipment.

Paacock statue

Percy lived for almost 25 years on the hospital’s grounds before he passed away in January and the statue stands at the main entrance.

When Percy died just after the New Year, we knew we had to do something to mark his importance to our story, so this just made sense."

Beverley TabernacleDirector of Nursing

Watch: Warnings of heavy rain and high winds for the West Midlands

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

The heavy rain will clear eastwards through the early hours on Saturday. By dawn clear spells will develop, with light winds.

Weather for the West Midlands.

Church chair to be replaced for first time in 500 years

Kate Tebby

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

St Laurence's in Ludlow, known for its beautiful medieval misericords, is to get a new one for the first time in 500 years.

It's a type of carved seat which was traditionally used for a cleric or member of a choir to rest on, when they're expected to stand for long periods of time.


The new one is being made by craftsman Andrew Pearson and was commissioned to mark the Queen's 90th birthday.

It features an image of the Queen on horseback and another of Windsor castle.

Pay not to blame for lack of A&E consultants, NHS Trust says

The NHS trust running the hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford says there are a number of reasons why it can't attract enough A&E consultants - but money isn't one of them.

The deputy chief executive of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, Neil Nisbet started by pointing out "our A&E departments are small and less attractive places to work than bigger units like Stoke" which has nearly five times as many permanent consultants on its books.


Mr Nisbet added that because it had just five permanent consultants and four on temporary contracts, the rotas forced them to work regular night-time and weekend shifts, which makes the jobs less attractive to newcomers.

And he said that uncertainty over the future of the two A&E departments, partly because of the short-staffing, was also putting applicants off.

But he said they were continuing to pay well, with one consultant receiving a salary of £250,000.

Telford has one of the highest rates of school exclusions

Telford and Wrekin had one of the highest rates of school exclusions in England in 2015-16, figures from the government have revealed.

There were 3,486 temporary exclusions handed out in the borough in those 12 months and there were 12 permanent exclusions on top of that, which equates to 12.5% of the pupils in primary and secondary schools.


Only Middlesbrough, Barnsley and Doncaster had a higher exclusion rate, although there were a number of larger local authorities with a higher total number.

Telford and Wrekin Council has yet to react to the figures.

Staffing at accident and emergency departments remains critical

The accident and emergency departments in Shrewsbury and Telford remain seriously under-staffed, the NHS Trust running them has told Telford and Wrekin councillors.

In a letter, the deputy chief executive of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trus, Neil Nisbet, explained that since the start of the year they've been operating both A&Es with just nine consultants

And he said four of them are on temporary contracts, so could leave with a week's notice.

A&E department

Mr Nisbet went on to say the Royal College of Emergency Medicine suggests a minimum of 10 consultants for each department to run a safe seven-day service - so they haven't got enough to run one site, let alone two.

If another one leaves, he said it would reach a "tipping point", meaning the overnight closure of Telford's A&E would be necessary.

Two charged with drugs offences after police raid

Two people have been charged with drugs offences after a police raid on a property in the Castlefields area of Shrewsbury yesterday.

The man and the woman were both charged with possession of drugs with intent to supply and were due to appear before Telford magistrates today.

Royal visitor at orthopeadic hospital

Princess Alexandra has been taking a tour of the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt hospital at Gobowen this afternoon.

She is there to officially open the new, £15m, operating theatre and oncology building and unveil a statue in memory of a much-loved local peacock, known as Percy.

Princess at hospital
Princess at hospital
Percy the peacock

Athletics: Bushell enters Para-athletics Championships

Telford’s Mickey Bushell will be flying the flag for Shropshire at the World Para-athletics Championships in London this weekend.

The Paralympic gold medalist races in the T53 100m on Sunday.

Mickey Bushell

Meanwhile, Shropshire's other big medal hope, Ben Rowlings has been reflecting on a disappointing games in which he finished outside the medals twice.

He said he would try to learn from the experience and come back stronger.

Last night was heartbreaking to come so close to something I've worked so hard for and to miss out is a tough pill to swallow, no excuses I got beaten by the better guys on the night and as tough as it is now, last night was a massive learning experience."

Ben RowlingsNewport wheelchair athlete

Football: Shrewsbury chasing another defender

Shrewbury Town manager Paul Hurst has revealed he still wants to sign another defender before the season starts, but he's unlikely to bring one in before tomorrow's home friendly against Wolves.

The club has already brought in 10 new players this summer and Hurst said they were "trying to make enquiries and move things forward".

Paul Hurst

Hospital boss defends progress to local authority

The task of defending moves to reorganise hospital services in the county to hostile Telford and Wrekin councillors fell to the trust's deputy chief executive last night.

A meeting last night was reminded that staff shortages could lead to the accident and emergency at the Princess Royal being closed overnight, as a temporary measure, but Neil Nisbit emphasised that no decisions had been made yet.

Hospital sign

Mr Nisbit said the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust board was doing "all we can do avoid having to close A&E at the PRH overnight" and that it wasn't about money or "about a trust board imposing cuts or reductions in services".

He also said trust board members would be "failing in our duty" if they didn't have a continuity plan in place.

Warning of fires in countryside as arson cases rise

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Last month, 40 fires were started deliberately in Shropshire and the fire service is warning that in the warm weather, fields, hedgerows and piles of rubbish are catching light very easily.

That's up eight on the same month last year and the fire service says 38 more fires have started accidentally, with the ground remaining very dry, despite the recent rain.

Fire in Shropshire
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters have dealt with 51 fires in the open so far this month, including one which damaged two large fields of cut and baled straw at Harmer Hill.

The countryside has been tinder dry this summer and it has taken very little to set them alight. We may be getting some rainfalls at the moment but the ground is still dry and with more hot days to look forward to in August we are appealing to everyone to be aware of the fire risk."

Derek TaylorShropshire Fire and Rescue Service

Swimming: Ellesmere Titan to take part in Youth Olympics

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

A 15-year-old from Ellesmere is flying to Hungary to take part in the European Youth Olympics.

Adam Metcalf and his family moved to the county from Cumbria after he won a swimming scholarship at Ellesmere College and he is a member of Ellesmere Titans swimming club.

Ellesmere swimmer Adam Metcalf is travelling to take part in the European Youth Olympics

On Midlands Today from 13:30: Summer getaway

BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this lunchtime, we'll be looking at how our roads are coping as the big summer getaway's expected to drive traffic up on many of our regions motorways.


More stories on Midlands Today from 13:30 on BBC One.

Athletics: Disappointment for Newport's Rowlings

BBC Sport

The Newport wheelchair racer Ben Rowlings finished sixth at the World Para Athletics Championships T34 800m in London last night.

The 21-year-old, who set a world record earlier this year, had finished fifth in the 400m earlier in the week.

Ben Rowlings
Getty Images

Plans for music festival for people with disabilities

A Telford man wants to organise a music festival exclusively for disabled people.

Dave Falshaw says he has been inspired by seeing similar events taking place around the country.

Woman in wheelchair at festival
Getty Images

He's planning to put on the event next summer and says he wants to avoid big crowds and loud music and add quiet "chill out" areas instead.

Your comments: Roundabout layout re-think criticised

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The introduction of another new layout at junction four of the M54 is generating some comment on BBC Radio Shropshire's Facebook page.

Some are obviously unhappy with the current layout, which was introduced three months ago, and Jenny Ball criticised the idea of having two lanes merging into one as traffic leaves the island, writing "there are going to be some bangs, they come racing up at breakneck speeds thinking you will just let them in".

M54 J4

Lisa Nixson added: "Just put it back to how it was.. there was nothing wrong with it. It worked and never any queues unlike now".

And Michelle Moreton wrote: "Waste of money and now more inconvenience".

Football: Telford youth player 'proud' despite huge defeat

BBC Sport

It was a tough night for the AFC Telford United youth players who went up against The New Saints in the Shropshire Senior Cup last night.

There weren't many positives to be drawn from the 14-1 defeat, but one of the players, Josh Trewartha, said he was "proud" to have represented the club nevertheless.

View more on twitter

Right-to-die campaigner to wait for judgement

The Shropshire right-to-die campaigner Noel Conway will hear later this year if his case is allowed to go forward.

Mr Conway, who suffers from motor neurone disease, is expected not to live more than 12 months and wants a doctor to be allowed to prescribe a lethal dose when his health deteriorates further.

Noel Conway

He is challenging the law which says anyone helping him would be committing a criminal offence.

A four-day high hearing in London has now concluded with the High Court deciding to reserve judgement until a later date, possibly this autumn.

Football: Shropshire FA chairman angry over Senior Cup matches

The chairman of the Shropshire FA has described last night's Shropshire Senior Cup matches as "embarrassing" and said he wanted talks with both Shrewsbury Town and AFC Telford United.

Telford were beaten 14-1 by TNS and Shrewsbury lost to Shawbury United of the West Midlands Regional League, prompting Dave Ralphs to say "in my mind the clubs are not treating the Shrosphire Senior Cup with the respect it deserves".

TNS vs Telford
Mike Sheridan

Dave Ralphs said the competition rules state teams should put out their "strongest available side" and while he couldn't stop them sending out youth sides, as Shrewsbury and Telford did last night, "the organising committee will want to speak to the clubs".

He said it was a shame for clubs like Market Drayton, Shawbury and Haughmond, who "look forward to playing the top sides" and speaking about Shrewsbury Town and AFC Telford United he said, "if I was the chairman or manager I would be really embarrassed".

It's extremely disappointing and quite honestly embarrassing, embarrassing for the Shropshire football association and embarrssing for a senior club."

Dave RalphsShropshire FA Chairman

Six-year-old gets running blade

A six-year-old girl, who had to have part of her leg amputated, is able to run around and play with her friends again after her parents managed to secure NHS funding for a sports blade.

Ffion Rudman, from Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain, contracted sepsis after getting pneumonia when she was two years old, her left leg was infected and couldn't be saved.

Ffion Rudman
Rudman family

The blades are routinely provided for free in England, but Ffion's parents Helen and Frank have managed to persuade health services in Wales to give her one too.

She absolutely loves it... it gives the simulation of the banks of the ankle joint which means she can run as best as she can."

Helen RudmanFfion's mother

Comedy festival kicks off tonight

Johnty O'Donnell

Producer, BBC Shropshire

Tonight sees the start of Shrewsbury's International Comedy Festival.

Acts include Shropshire-born Greg Davies (pictured below), Joe Lycett and Terry Alderton, among 18 others.

It is only a couple of weeks to go until the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and many of the acts here will be trying out their fringe routines.

Greg Davies
Getty Images

Venues include the Theatre Severn and a few unusual locations such as a converted church and the Old Market Hall.

A small first-floor room in the Old Post Office pub will also feature some of the 21 acts turning up.

Gigs have been organised there for a number of years and comedians have used it for trying out new routines.

Beth McGowan, who's organising the event, says it's had a lot of support locally and she is hoping it can be repeated next year.

Football: TNS 14-1 AFC Telford Utd

Fresh from their Champions League defeat, The New Saints thrashed AFC Telford United 14-1 in the Shropshire Senior Cup.

Greg Draper scored a hat-trick for the New Saints and Alex Darlington scored four.

In the other game, Shawbury Utd eventually came out on top against a youthful Shrewsbury Town side.

The scores were tied at full time and the game went to penalties, with Shawbury running out 5-3 winners.

Council 'loses confidence' in hospital trust

Joanne Gallacher

Political reporter, BBC Shropshire

Telford and Wrekin Council are going to write to Health Minister Jeremy Hunt to say they've lost confidence in senior managers at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.


In a unanimous vote last night members of all political parties said they had lost trust in those running the county's two main hospitals.

It comes after it was announced staff shortages could lead to the A & E at the Princess Royal being closed overnight at some point in the future.

Royal visit to Shropshire hospital

Nick Southall

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

Princess Alexandra will officially open a £15m operating theatre and oncology building at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital today.


The princess, who is a cousin of the Queen will also unveil a sculpture in tribute to Percy the Peacock who made the hospital grounds his home.

She's also set to visit the Lyneal Trust near Ellesmere. It's a charity that specialises in holidays and days out for people with disabilities.

Good morning from the BBC Shropshire newsroom

Les Walton

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

The team and I will be bringing you the latest news, sports, weather and travel between now and 18.00.

You can comment on our stories and share your pictures by email, Facebook or Twitter.

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.

Former Shrewsbury town chairman and president dies

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

The death's been announced of a former chairman of Shrewsbury Town football club.

Ken Woodhouse was in his late 90s and held the reins at Shrewsbury for seven years, before stepping down in 1991.

He then became the club president before moving away from Shropshire in 2002.

Shrewsbury Town stadium

Some crime falling in Shropshire

While overall recorded crime is rising in Shropshire, a number of crimes have seen falls over the 12 months from March 2016 until March 2017.

Burglaries from homes are down 13% in the Shropshire local authority area, and shoplifting is down 12%.

Police control room

In the Telford and Wrekin Council area, domestic burglaries have fallen by 27% and drug offences are down by 21%.

And bicycle thefts continue to fall in both areas.

Weather: Heavy rain for several days

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

We might have some showers tonight and over the next three days we are forecast some heavy rain.

It will remain warm though, with temperatures as high as 15C (59F) overnight.

Shefali Oza with the weather forecast for the West Midlands

Your photos: A sunny end to the day

BBC Weather Watchers

We're forecast plenty of rain over the next few days, but the sun has been out in Shropshire this afternoon.

These photos were taken by BBC Weather Watchers in Badger (left) and Oakengates (right).

Field and cat