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  1. Updates for 16 February 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Good evening

    BBC Local Live will be back from 08:00 on Tuesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather for Birmingham and the Black Country.

  2. Coming up on TV

    Mary Rhodes

    Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

    Last week George Osborne, this week it's Ed Miliband. Tonight I speak to the Labour leader about apprenticeships, HS2, marginal seats and the NHS.

    Join me for the latest on BBC One from 18:30 in the Midlands.

  3. 'Welcome Tim'

    Aston Villa FC tweets: SHERWOOD UNVEILING: The gaffer dons the claret and blue! #AVFC #WelcomeTim

    Tim Sherwood
  4. New goalkeeping coach appointed

    West Bromwich Albion say they have appointed former keeper Jonathan Gould as their new goalkeeping coach.

    Jonathan Gould

    The former Scotland international keeper, son of former Baggies boss Bobby, was a former regular at Coventry City.

  5. Miliband sets out plan in Wolverhampton

    Express and Star

    A Labour government would guarantee an apprenticeship place to any school-leaver who gets the required grades, Ed Miliband announced in Wolverhampton as he set out his plan for boosting the UK's prosperity.

  6. Benteke's future a big test

    Nick Clitheroe

    Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

    The other big test for Tim Sherwood at Aston Villa will be trying to revive the fortunes of talismanic striker Christian Benteke.

    Christian Benteke

    Starved of service under Paul Lambert, the Belgian started snatching at the few chances he did get and the goals dried up.

    Sherwood says he knows what a handful Benteke can be and wants to get him back to the form which saw him coveted by top clubs across Europe.

  7. All the things fans wanted to hear

    Nick Clitheroe

    Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

    Tim Sherwood said all the things the fans want to hear at Villa Park this morning.

    He's confident of keeping them up and has promised to free the players from their shackles and get them playing with less fear.

    Tim Sherwood

    That was also the theme of Sunday's half-time intervention during the FA Cup tie with Leicester City and it certainly seemed to work.

    Returning a sense of excitement to Villa Park will be a guide to Sherwood's impact over the remaining critical 13 games.

  8. Care for older people

    The man in charge of care services for the elderly in Birmingham some older people are still being placed in homes rated "poor".

    Holding hands

    It comes after a BBC investigation last week found the council was using an online bidding system to find care places, with the contract going to the lowest bidder in nine out of 10 cases.

    But Jules Gregory said 90% of care homes in the city were ranked "good" or better.

  9. News on the hour

    Alice Rosenthal

    Journalist, BBC WM

    In the news at 17:00 on BBC WM: West Midlands Fire Service has approved the demolition and rebuilding of a 92-year-old listed fire station in Aston at a meeting this morning.

    Plus we'll have more on Ed Milband, who has been speaking about Labour's plans ahead of the general election.

  10. Defender's loan spell extended

    Gillingham have extended the loan spell of West Bromwich Albion defender Bradley Garmston until 15 March.

    Bradley Garmston
  11. Minimum wage

    Ed Milband says "we've got to raise the minimum wage" to £8 an hour if Labour wins the general election in May.

    Ed Miliband and Paul Franks, from BBC WM

    He's been in the area today to announce the party's business plan at Jaguar Land Rover.

    The Labour leader says: "People used to say introducing the minimum wage would be a disaster but they were wrong then and they're wrong now. We've got to raise the minimum wage and deal with the abuse of zero hours contracts."

  12. 'Manifesto to change country'

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    Ed Miliband has been speaking to BBC WM after unveiling the Labour party's business plan in Wolverhampton ahead of May's general election.

    Mr Milband says: "People think a coalition is an excuse for breaking promises.

    "I want a majority Labour government. I'm going to put before the electorate a manifesto to change the country so it properly works for working class people."

  13. 'No proper consultation' about free school

    Birmingham City Council says it is formally objecting to plans to open a free school in Small Heath.

    The council says the council had consulted on plans to open a free school in Perry Barr, but the "Department for Education made a last-minute decision to locate it in Small Heath without any proper discussion".

  14. Listen live

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    Ed Miliband is speaking to BBC WM's Paul Franks now. Listen live.

    Ed Miliband speaking to BBC WM's Paul Franks
  15. Showers this afternoon

    Sara Blizzard

    Weather Presenter, BBC East Midlands Today

    There's a chance of a shower this afternoon, so make sure you've got your brolly with you. Temperatures are about 9C (48F).

    Sara Blizzard

    For the latest forecast visit BBC Weather or follow the team on Twitter @BBCWeather.

  16. News on the hour

    Alice Rosenthal

    Journalist, BBC WM

    In the news at 16:00 on BBC WM: Two Birmingham drug dealers who were found with £50,000 of heroin stuffed in a car have been jailed.

  17. Parking wardens on living wage

    Parking wardens working in Birmingham are due to be paid the living wage, the city council says.

    A group of 55 saw their pay increased from £6.50 per hour to £7.85 per hour on 1 February.

  18. Offensive weapon charge

    Jennifer Harby

    Journalist, BBC News Online

    A Birmingham man is due to appear in court after officers were called to reports that a gun had been fired in Bartley Green on Saturday.

  19. Villa job 'no brainer'

    Tim Sherwood has been telling BBC Sport that taking up his new post as manager of Aston Villa was a, "no brainer".

    tim sherwood
    Image caption: Tim Sherwood is eager to get Christian Benteke back to his best form

    "I said 'yes, I'll take the job' then negotiate afterwards," he said.

  20. 'Chips for chips' sake'

    The Birmingham Mail's Graham Young is celebrating 10 years of his famous chippie review column.

    Some chips

    "The whole idea of doing the column was to enjoy chips for chips' sake," he told BBC WM.

    "Chips are timeless. Anybody can eat a bag of chips."

  21. Councillor resigns over 'remote leadership'

    Birmingham Post

    A senior Birmingham Labour councillor has resigned as committee chairman over increasingly remote council leadership and lack of democracy, it is claimed.

  22. News on the hour

    BBC WM

    In the 14:00 news bulletin: In a speech at Jaguar Land Rover's engine plant near Wolverhampton, the Labour leader Ed Miliband has said every school leaver in England who gets the grades will be guaranteed an apprenticeship if he's prime minister after May's election.

  23. Motorists in hospital after crash

    Two motorists were taken to hospital following a crash near the M42 at Beoley, Redditch.

    West Midlands Ambulance Service said it was called to the A435 Birmingham Road at just after 08:00.

  24. Talking politics

    Ben Godfrey

    BBC Midlands Today

    As Ed Miliband sets out Labour's plans for the economy at the JLR plant near Wolverhampton, I've be speaking to people and businesses in nearby Fallings Park, gauging reaction and asking what this community needs from the next government

    First-time voters

    I've been hearing from first-time voters who've come into school during half term to chat politics.

    You can see my report on BBC Midlands Today from 18:30.

  25. Stories we're working on

    Dave Hart

    Producer, BBC Midlands Today

    Aston Villa's new man at the helm was unveiled today. We'll find out more about Tim Sherwood's plans to dig them out of relegation trouble.

    And Osborne, Cameron and now Miliband. They're all heading for the Midlands with their eyes on election day. The West Midlands has roughly 25 marginal seats.

  26. News on the hour

    BBC WM

    In the headlines at 13:00: The new Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood says he is confident of keeping the club in the Premier League.

  27. Labour 'to offer extra training'

    Ed Miliband also said the Conservatives did not offer enough high-quality training.

    Ed Miliband

    Labour say they will offer an extra 80,000 apprenticeships.

    However, the Conservatives have accused Labour of being anti-business.

  28. Harry Potter event

    The Library of Birmingham says it is holding a half term Harry Potter event on Thursday.

    The Harry Potter event

    It says children and adults can turn up dressed as characters from the JK Rowling books and get their copies of the books marked with a Harry Potter stamp.

    The best costume will get a prize.

  29. Villa 'fantastic opportunity'

    BBC WM

    "It's a big club and a fantastic opportunity to me and one I couldn't turn down," Tim Sherwood told us in his first press conference.

    "Aston Villa is the right fit for me. We know they're not in a great position in the league at the moment but it's my job to get them out of that."

  30. A European future?

    Labour leader Ed Miliband has been telling business leaders in Wolverhampton it is crucial Britain remains in Europe.

    Ed Miliband

    He said: "There is no more important long-term security for our country than our place in the European Union."

  31. News on the hour

    BBC WM

    In the 12:00 bulletin: The new Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has given his first press conference since being announced as Paul Lambert's successor.

  32. Labour pledges fairer recovery

    Patrick Burns

    Political editor, Midlands

    Ed Miliband says his plan for prosperity would deliver a fairer recovery than is possible under George Osborne's austerity measures.

    Significantly, he will be delivering his message in our region where some areas (Solihull, Warwick, Lichfield) are generating new jobs as fast as anywhere in the UK.

    It's cheek by jowl with areas of Stoke, Coventry, Birmingham and the Black Country, where unemployment and deprivation remain stubbornly above the national average.

  33. 'Expect congestion' on M6

    BBC Travel is warning drivers of severe congestion because of roadworks operating on the A38 Aston Expressway between the M6, at Spaghetti Junction, and the A4540 at Dartmouth Circus.

  34. 'If you are scared of losing, it's going to happen'

    BBC WM

    Tim Sherwood says he does not want Villa to feel "scared" of losing.

    Tim Sherwood

    He told BBC WM: "If you are scared of losing, it's going to happen.

    "We win together and we lose together and I want them to feel as hurt as I do when we lose."

  35. Flooding is 'surface water'

    Birmingham City Council has denied the Aston Expressway is closed due to "flooding", as travel reports are suggesting.

    The council said the flooding at Dartmouth Circus was "surface water" and said there was a pump at the scene, adding the water should be cleared in the next couple of hours.

  36. News on the hour

    BBC WM

    Coming up in the news at 11.00:

    • The MP for Redditch Karen Lumley says she's seeking reassurances over the future of the Alexandra Hospital, after the entire A&E consultant team quit
    • Labour leader Ed Miliband is visiting Jaguar Land Rover in Wolverhampton this morning
    • We'll have the latest from Tim Sherwood's press conference
  37. 'Staying up a priority'

    And that's it - Tim Sherwood has finished his first news conference as Aston Villa boss.

    He's made it pretty clear that Premier League survival is the priority. He will aim to take the first step towards that target at home to Stoke this Saturday. Interesting times ahead at Villa Park.

    Let us know what you think by email or tweet @BBCWM.

  38. 'No decision on backroom staff'

    BBC Sport

    Tim Sherwood on appointing his backroom staff at Villa: "I'm giving it thought. I haven't made any decisions yet and any that I make will be in best interests of the club."

  39. 'Want to be at Villa longer'

    BBC Sport

    New Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood on getting the job at Tottenham in December 2013, and lasting five months as manager: "I was chosen for the job but Daniel Levy, the chairman, had a lot of options. He didn't have to choose me. I'm hoping to be here as long as I was at Tottenham."

    Reporter: But longer as a manager? "Yes."

    Sherwood joined Spurs as an assistant first-team coach in 2008 - hence the reporter's request for clarification.

  40. 'Not worried about owner'

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    Sherwood tells the media "we believe we can stay in the division" and says he's not worried about the owner. "It's all about winning games."

  41. 'No-one wants to get relegated'

    BBC Sport

    Tim Sherwood on Villa staying up: "You've got to try to win football matches. We've got good players. I remember facing Christian Benteke as a manager and I know what a handful he can be. There are a lot of big names in that squad and none of them want to get relegated."

  42. 'Players need to step up'

    BBC Sport

    Sherwood on the current Villa team: "We are not a one-man team. It's not only striker Christian Benteke. There are a lot of players at the club and they need to step to the front as well."

  43. 'Huge football club'

    BBC Sport

    Sherwood on taking over at Villa: "It's a fantastic opportunity and huge football club. When I got the call it was a no brainer and I said yes first and we'll negotiate afterwards."

  44. More from new Villa boss

    BBC Sport

    Tim Sherwood: "I spoke to (chairman) Randy Lerner briefly and (chief executive) Tom Fox at length about the vision of the club. I liked what I heard. We're in a difficult situation, and I need to get the best of this group of players to keep us in this division."

  45. 'Make Villa Park a fortress'

    BBC Sport

    New Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood on the club's poor home form: "I haven't been a manager here yet. But when I came to play here, it was a difficult place to come and get results. I want to turn this place back into a fortress. It's very important this club stay in the Premier League."

  46. 'Play on front foot a bit more'

    BBC Sport

    Tim Sherwood is Aston Villa's new manager after the club sacked Paul Lambert.

    Sherwood is having his first news conference as the boss of the Midlands club and he says: "The team looked a bit tentative against Leicester City in the FA Cup. We have to play on front foot a bit more."

  47. Sherwood speaks

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    And here he is:

    Tim Sherwood
  48. Sherwood unveiled as Villa boss

    Aston Villa FC tweets: SHERWOOD UNVEILING: Tim Sherwood dons the claret and blue scarf just before heading into his media briefing.

    Tim Sherwood in his Villa scarf
  49. Sherwood set for media conference

    BBC Sport

    Tim Sherwood has arrived for his first press conference as Aston Villa manager. The club has posted a Vine video of the new boss taking his seat. We'll bring you details of what he's had to say shortly.

    Tim Sherwood
  50. Conservative v Labour

    Patrick Burns

    Political editor, Midlands

    Last week it was the turn of the coalition's heavy-hitters to beat a pre-election path to our region: maybe it's our famous Midlands marginal seats which explain our magnetic attraction.

    David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband

    David Cameron, George Osborne and Vince Cable were all here, the latter two in Solihull which is set to be a knife-edge contest between the incumbent Liberal Democrat MP and the Conservatives.

    Today it's the turn of the Labour Leader Ed Miliband. He has chosen the Jaguar Land Rover engine plant on the i54 business park in South Staffordshire near its border with Wolverhampton as the venue for his keynote speech to get the message across that Labour also have an economic plan.

  51. Lane closed due to flooding

    BBC Travel News says one lane is closed on the A38 Aston Expressway northbound in Birmingham city centre at Dartmouth Circus because of flooding.

    There is some disruption to traffic.

  52. 'I feel let down' by benefits system

    BBC WM

    A blind Solihull man says he feels let down because his wife is being denied disability benefits by the government.

    John Flanner

    John Flanner's wife Sylvia is trying to apply for Personal Independence Payment from the Department of Work and Pensions after suffering two strokes but she's been told she's not entitled to any.

  53. Sherwood press conference

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    The new Aston Villa Boss Tim Sherwood will give his first media conference this morning.

    He watched from the stands as Villa beat Leicester in the FA Cup yesterday.

    Tim Sherwood with Villa fans

    We'll have coverage of the press conference from 10.15 on BBC WM.

  54. Ed Miliband due in Wolverhampton

    The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, is to outline his challenge to the Conservatives' long-term plans for the economy.

    The Labour leader, Ed Miliband

    The Labour leader is expected to tell an audience at Jaguar Land Rover in Wolverhampton he wants to create what he calls "more inclusive prosperity".

    And he is is expected to say paying the living wage and banning zero-hours contracts will raise productivity.

    But the Conservatives say Mr Miliband has "no economic plan".

  55. News on the hour

    BBC WM

    A blind man from Solihull is criticising the government for the way it hands out disability benefits.

    We'll hear from John Flanner in the news at 09:00 on BBC WM shortly.

  56. Revised train timetable

    Virgin Trains tweets: Due to the Watford engineering works being cancelled we are running a revised timetable today -

  57. Today's forecast

    Sara Blizzard

    Weather Presenter, BBC Weather

    It's a wet start with some heavy rain at first but it will brighten up, with sunny spells likely from midday.

    Today's forecast

    A couple of showers will follow in the afternoon but these should clear by the evening. A maximum temperature of 9C (48F).

  58. Good morning

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Birmingham and the Black Country.

    If you'd like to get in touch with the BBC Local Live team today - email or tweet @BBCWM.