Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. Updates on Thursday 16 June 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

Get involved

West Midlands parks 'at risk of decline'

BBC Midlands Today

Public parks in the Midlands are at risk of decline and some of the facilities in them could close, according to a new report by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Findings showed that 78% of councils across the region anticipate budget reductions of 10% or more over the next three years with nearly half their parks expected to deteriorate. 

Fallen gates at a park

Football: Stoke City's Joe Allen 'had to move on' from Liverpool

Paul Fletcher

BBC Sport

Wales midfielder Joe Allen says he feels "refreshed and positive" following his summer move from Liverpool to Stoke City.

Allen scored his first international goal on his 32nd appearance in Wales' 4-0 win over Moldova in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Joe Allen in action for Wales
Getty Images

The 26-year-old joined Stoke City from Liverpool for £13m in July after only starting eight league games in 2015-16.

"I think it had come to the point where I needed to move on," Allen said. "Personally, it was pretty obvious."

Joe Allen

Wales midfielder Joe Allen feels "refreshed and positive" following his summer move from Liverpool to Stoke City.

Read more
London Midland Trains

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Transport Correspondent

Bidders for the West Midlands rail franchise are being given permission to remove seats and create more standing room to fit more passengers in.

Read more
Stafford County Hospital

An A&E unit hit by staff shortages should have an emergency service for children with minor injuries within weeks, doctors hope.

Read more

Football: Chairman says Stoke have best squad ever

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates says the club's current group of players is the best in the club's history.

Wilfried Bony
Stoke City

Wilfried Bony, Joe Allen and Bruno Martins-Indi are just three of the additions made by Mark Hughes this summer.

I think it is the best squad we've had. We're always trying to improve but I think I would judge this as our best squad. I'm always cautious, football is a very unpredictable game and we want to demonstrate our quality by playing and winning football matches

Peter CoatesStoke City chairman

'Won every gold except Paralympics'

Sailor from Cheshire aiming for gold at Rio Paralympics
A sailor from Cheshire says he's confident he could win gold at this years Paralympic Games in Rio.
Niki Birrell, from Knutsford, and sailing partner Alexandra Rickham won a bronze medal at London 2012.
The five-time world champions will compete together in the Skud 18 class for a third time.

Travel: Delays on M6 southbound

BBC Travel

There's slow traffic on the M6 southbound between J13, for the A449 (Stafford South) and J12, at the A5 (Gailey), because of an earlier broken down vehicle.  

Brexit: Woman quits UK job to move to Poland
A woman has quit her job in the West Midlands to move to Poland, saying she is choosing to emigrate following the referendum vote to leave the EU.

James Jones strikes late to earn Crewe their first home success of the campaign as they beat Doncaster in a frantic finish.

Read more

James Vaughan scores twice on his Gigg Lane debut as Bury ease to a comfortable victory over Port Vale.

Read more
Chanda Chauhan

A victim of the Smiler rollercoaster crash calls for the Alton Towers ride to be shut after 30 people are trapped in a new incident.

Read more

Amelia and Muhammad are the most popular baby names in the West Midlands

Daniel Wainwright

Data unit - English regions

Amelia is the most popular girls name in the West Midlands while Muhammad is the most popular for boys, according to the Office for National Statistics. 

Only London had Muhammad as the most popular choice in 2014 but the new figures show the West Midlands has joined the capital in 2015 for having the most babies with that name. Oliver was most popular overall across England and Wales.

There were 649 Muhammads born in the West Midlands in 2015 compared with 622 Olivers. An alternative spelling - Mohammed - is also in the top 10.

chart showing most popular boys' names

For girls regionally, the top choice, Amelia, was the same as the overall favourite in England and Wales.

The data also shows the West Midlands to have a higher proportion of girls named Jessica than anywhere else. It ranks third for popularity in the region.

Chart showing most popular girl's names
Ruth Smeeth

A fanatic threatens to hang a Jewish Labour MP, prompting a counter-terrorism police investigation.

Read more
Jack Butland

Stoke and England keeper Jack Butland could be out of action for a further two months as he needs an ankle operation.

Read more
Birmingham police cordon

Police are given more time to question five men arrested in Birmingham and Stoke on suspicion of terror-related offences.

Read more
People stuck

The Smiler rollercoaster is closed after reports debris fell from a carriage - 14 months after it crashed leaving five people seriously injured.

Read more
Lee Clark with his Kilmarnock signings

Stoke's Mark Waddington and Swansea's Oliver Davies return to their clubs as Kilmarnock cut short their loans.

Read more

Football: New Stoke signing 'turned down Champions League'

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City's new signing Bruno Martins Indi turned down the chance to play Champions League football in order to come to the Premier League, according to the club.

Bruno Martins Indiwith Stoke City shirt
Stoke City

The 24-year-old followed Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony in signing a season-long loan deal at the bet365 Stadium yesterday. 

Stoke's Chief Executive Tony Scholes told BBC Radio Stoke the Dutch international picked them over a move to Italy.  

As soon as we expressed our interest, he was very keen to come. He had interest from a couple of top Italian clubs, playing in the Champions League and thankfully he chose us ahead of those."

Tony ScholesStoke City's Chief Executive

Football: Bony, Indi and Grant make trio of Stoke deadline signings

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City made three loan signings on transfer deadline day, including the Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony.

Ivorian Bony, 27, has made 15 league starts since joining City for £28m from Swansea in January 2015, but had not featured under new boss Pep Guardiola.  

Wilfried Bony in Stoke City shirt
Stoke City

The Potters have also signed Porto and Netherlands defender Bruno Martins Indi, 24, on loan for the season with a view to a permanent deal.

Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant, 33, has joined on loan until January.

Meanwhile, defender Philipp Wollscheid has left the club to join Bundesliga side Wolfsburg on a season-long loan and 26-year-old forward Joselu has joined Spanish side Deportivo la Coruna on a similar deal.  

Hockley Road, Tamworth - generic image

A man is arrested after a police officer was hit by an off-road motorcycle in Staffordshire.

Read more
BBC Sport looks back at some great goals scored by the big-name signings on deadline day, including David Luiz and Jack Wilshere.
Miguel Santos

Portuguese goalkeeper Miguel Santos and Switzerland-born winger Gezim Shalaj both join Port Vale on free transfers.

Read more
Jamie Ward

Nottingham Forest forward Jamie Ward joins fellow Championship side Burton Albion on a season-long loan.

Read more
Mother's tribute to backpacker killed in Australia
The mother of backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung, who was killed in Australia, pays tribute to her "vivacious and extremely funny" daughter.
Manchester City forward Wilfried Bony

Stoke City sign striker Wilfried Bony on a season-long loan deal from Premier League rivals Manchester City.

Read more

'Berahino to remain a Baggie'

Simon Stone

BBC Sport

It seems Saido Berahino won’t be leaving West Brom today.

Stoke had been interested in the England Under-21 striker.

But Berahino wanted to move at the start of pre-season, when West Brom weren’t willing to sell.

And as the transfer window has dragged on, it has appeared increasingly likely Berahino would remain at the Hawthorns.

As I understand it, that is exactly what will happen.

Tom Jackson

A backpacker who died after trying to save a fellow traveller as she was attacked at an Australian hostel is nominated for a bravery award.

Read more

Football: Stoke sign goalkeeper Grant on loan

Could it be the first of several for Stoke City today - the Potters confirm loan signing until January of Derby's Lee Grant

View more on twitter
Entrance to Huntercombe Hospital, Stafford

A hospital which cares for children with mental health issues is placed under special measures by watchdogs.

Read more
Tom's family release statement
The family of a backpacker who died trying to save another traveller as she was stabbed to death in Australia pay tribute to the "selfless" 30-year-old.
Tom Jackson

A "selfless" backpacker who was injured trying to save another traveller as she was stabbed to death in Australia has died, police say.

Read more
Gold medal winner Joe Clarke gets a hero's reception as he returns to Stone
An Olympic champion was carried aloft in his canoe as his home town celebrated his Rio 2016 success.

Weather: The latest forecast for the West Midlands

BBC Weather

What does the weather have in store for us today?

The latest weather for the West Midlands
Ken Purchase

Tributes are paid to Ken Purchase, the former MP for Wolverhampton North East, dies aged 77 after a short illness.

Read more
Sailor on Chasewater reservoir

Visitors to a Staffordshire reservoir are warned not to swim because of potentially harmful bacteria.

Read more