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  1. Updates for Friday 10 April 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates return at 08:00 Monday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Good evening

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

Rain overnight

BBC Weather

Remaining largely dry and fine this evening, but thicker cloud and showery rain will arrive from the west overnight, with some heavier bursts possible towards dawn on Saturday. Low of 7C (45F).

Rebecca Wood

Tottenham v Aston Villa preview

Jonathan Pearce

BBC Match of the Day commentator

A shootout between Harry Kane and Christian Benteke, both sides in desperate need of a win and the extra edge of Tim Sherwood (pictured) returning to White Hart Lane - this promises to be gripping.

Tim Sherwood
Getty Images

Villa are again without the injured quartet of Alan Hutton, Scott Sinclair, Ashley Westwood and Carles Gil.

However, left-back Aly Cissokho has trained all week and could return from a groin injury.

Full preview of tomorrow's game here.

Shut the front door!

Dan Pallett

Sports presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Walsall might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of horse racing but that's where David Fox comes from and he owns Saint Are.

AP McCoy
Getty Images

The horse everyone's talking about though is Shutthefrontdoor.

He's the final national mount in the race for 19 times Champion jockey AP McCoy (pictured) and is trained in the Midlands by Cotswold trainer Jonjo O'Neill.

With so many runners we might just get the winner!

You can have a bit of fun and download a sweepstake kit on BBC Sport.

Blues v Wolves

John Platt

BBC WM Sport

Blues' recent loan signing Diego Fabbrini could feature in tomorrow's game at home against Wolves, playing with a face-mask.

Kenny Jackett's side are currently in sixth place, just five points off the automatic promotion spots.

There'll be commentary on Blues v Wolves on BBC WM 95.6 from 15:00 with former players Paul Devlin and Mel Eaves part of our team.

Read a full match preview on BBC Sport.

Men jailed after house raid plans

Two men who plotted to burgle homes across the West Midlands and steal expensive cars have been jailed for more than 10 years,

police say.

Gewrard Lundie, 26 (left) and 29-year-old Roy Day
West Midlands Police

Gewrard Lundie, 26 (left) and 29-year-old Roy Day (right) admitted charges of conspiracy to commit burglary at 13 houses in Birmingham, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Warwickshire.

Highs & lows of campaign trail

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

No question about the most memorable moment of my week. It came during a spectacularly sunny Tuesday in the Black Country...

Greater Birmingham map

Nigel Farage had arrived paradoxically early in UKIP's target seat of Dudley North, and during an unexpectedly detailed interview he told me he expected electoral reform to be one of the dominant themes of the next Parliament.

He didn't entirely rule out my "many a true word spoken in jest" suggestion that he could consider a Faustian pact with the Liberal Democrats.

Read my blog in full online.

Zoo boss steps down

The chief executive of Dudley Zoo has stepped down following an investigation into his conduct.

Peter Suddock

Peter Suddock had been chief executive at the zoo for more than 20 years. Last month he was suspended on full pay pending an inquiry which the zoo said in a statement could result in disciplinary action.

M6 reopens

Staffordshire Police

tweets: All three lanes of the M6 at J16 now reopen to traffic, but there are still delays. Thanks for your patience.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

Our lead story in the news at 17:00 on

BBC WM: Health officials say air quality is likely to improve in the midlands tomorrow - after a day of warnings for people with conditions like heart problems and asthma.

Cricket season preview

BBC Sport

BBC Sport's

guide to the new county cricket season, including a preview of Warwickshire.

Warwickshire 2015 cricket season preview

Like last season, most Championship games will start on Sundays, with the majority of T20 Blast group games on Fridays, beginning on 15 May.

One-Day Cup group games will all take place between 25 July and 19 August, with quarter and semi-finals to follow ahead of the final at Lord's on 19 September.

Read more on BBC Sport.

14 runners from the Midlands

Dan Pallett

Sports presenter, BBC Midlands Today

The Midlands has never seen a Grand National like it - 14 of the 40 runners have a Midlands jockey, owner or trainer.

And we're hardly short of a good story... Can Alvechurch trainer Ian Williams win it with his first runner in Super Duty?

Can last year's winner Pineau De Re repeat the feat for Worcester trainer Dr Richard Newland? For good measure he's also got Royale Knight in the field.

Confessions of an ex-politician

Noel Phillips


He was a former Birmingham MP and he's told us about the good, bad and the ugly in politics.

We're not going to reveal who, or which party he is from.

Who is the MP?

Take a listen to some of the things he wants you know about the politicians who are elected to represent you.

Watch it here.

M6 delays

BBC Travel

If you're heading towards the North West tonight be warned that there's heavy congestion on the M6 northbound following a crash on the M6 near junction 16.

Staffordshire Police say the crash involved seven of vehicles with 10 people being treated. Drivers heading in that direction are warned to expect severe delays.

For the latest visit BBC Travel.

Weekend snapshot

Rebecca Wood

BBC Weather

After a rather warm week things are changing this weekend.

Weather snapshot

We'll see cooler air seep in so temperatures will be down but we'll see some good spells of sunshine.

See my weekend forecast on Facebook.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

Health bosses are warning of higher than normal levels of pollution across the Midlands today. More in

the news at 16:00

Watch: Astle archive

Tomorrow West Brom are marking the achievements and life of Jeff Astle.

Jeff Astle, 42,

He scored arguably the most famous goal in the history of West Bromwich Albion, the winner in the 1968 FA Cup final.

Looking back through our archives is this piece of video from 1985. Aged 42 he talked about life outside of football after setting up his own cleaning business and the current state of football in the Midlands.

'A fair burden'

Noel Phillips


As part of

BrumVotes we've visited a barbers shop in Great Barr.

Antonio and his customers grill Tory candidate James Bird

Five politicians popped into the shop to talk about why they should have your vote and get their hair cut(!)

Today, Antonio and his customers grill Tory candidate James Bird (pictured left) in the second in our series of videos to highlight the disengagement of young voters in Birmingham.

Suspended Dudley Zoo boss leaves role by mutual consent

Birmingham Mail

Suspended Dudley Zoo boss Peter Suddock has

left his job 'by mutual agreement' after 22 years, it was revealed today.

The well-known Midland business leader, 68, officially retired ten days after the zoo announced his suspension.

Grand National

Dan Pallett

Sports presenter, BBC Midlands Today

The Midlands could provide the 19 times champion jockey AP McCoy with a perfect final ride in tomorrow's

Grand National.

Grand National 2014
Getty Images

McCoy will ride the favourite Shut-the-front-door for the Cotswold trainer Jonjo O'Neill.

McCoy will retire immediately after the race if he wins.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

Health bosses are warning of higher than normal levels of pollution across the Midlands today - mean people should avoid strenuous activity.

More in the news at 15:00

Pollution high in West Midlands


The government

has issued a health warning suggesting even healthy people should reduce their physical exertion today because of air pollution.

Government warning of high air pollution

Professor Paul Monks is Chair of the Air Quality Expert Group which advises


He told

BBC WM that there is a "high pressure situation which is acting as a pan-lid and collecting all the air pollution, some of which is coming off north-west Europe and mixing with our own air pollution".

Remaining bright this afternoon

Charlie Slater

Weather Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Temperatures are set to climb into the late teens this afternoon.

Charlie Slater

There will be a little bit of cloud building but it should remain bright. Also there's a warning for high pollution in the air today.

For the latest forecast follow

@BBCWeather on Twitter or go

Filming the Astle family

Laura May McMullan

Reporter, BBC Midlands Today

I'm heading to West Brom today to do a report about the launch of the Jeff Astle Foundation. Jeff died aged just 56 from heading heavy leather balls.

Jess Astle

I'm due to meet the daughter the legendary West Brom striker Jeff Astle today. The family have campaigned for years about his brain injury due to heavy leather balls.

Tune in tonight to see the preview about 'Astle Day' tomorrow. West Brom honouring their legendary striker Jeff Astle and launching the Jeff Astle Foundation.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Our top story in the news at 14:00 on

BBC WM: Health bosses are warning of higher than normal levels of pollution across the Midlands today.

MG hopes new MG6 will fuel further growth

Birmingham Post

A new version of MG Motor UK's MG6 is

aiming to replicate the success of the car-maker's MG3 supermini.

The launch of the latest MG6 comes on the back of a successful year for Longbridge manufacturer MG in 2014, which saw it lay claim to being the fastest-growing automotive brand in Britain.

Bulldozer fire

Brierley Hill Fire

tweets: Bulldozer fire in Oak Lane, Kingswinford. #RTB

Bulldozer fire at Kingswinford
West Midlands Fire Service

Local derby weekend

BBC Sport

There's a big West Midlands Derby in the Championship tomorrow as Blues host Wolves at St Andrew's.

Championship table

Wolves moved into the play-off places after beating Leeds on Monday and goalkeeper Carl Ikeme says it'd be special to get the club promoted.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

In the news at 13:00 on

BBC WM: A trainee soldier who was left with serious brain injuries after he was hit in the head with a single punch on a night out in Birmingham, says he's happy to be alive.

In the bulletin we hear from Liam McKenzie's mum.

High levels of pollution

The West Midlands is one of six regions in the UK to have high levels of pollution,

according to Defra.

Pollution outlook

The government department says the high levels are "due to a combination of pollutants trapped near the ground, a light southeasterly flow bringing additional pollutants from the continent and, in addition, a small amount of Saharan dust in the air".

Watch: One punch attack

Bob Hockenhull

Reporter, Midlands Today

A Sutton Coldfield man was left with a fractured skull and brain injury in what police described as an unprovoked "one punch" attack.


Liam McKenzie told me: "I just woke up in hospital and that's all I remember".

Watch my report in full online now.

Walsall Norovirus advice

People planning to visit a relative or friend in a care home or hospital in Walsall are being urged to stay away if they've experienced sickness and diarrhoea in the previous three days to avoid passing on stomach bugs including Norovirus.

Walsall Manor Hospital

Joanne Ellison, Head of Infection Control for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, says: "We have patients in the Manor Hospital with Norovirus symptoms and we currently have one bay closed on ward 10 and ward 3 totally closed.

This is so we can contain the virus in the affected areas and protect the health of our patients and their visitors."

I was a success at Spurs says Aston Villa boss

BBC Sport

Tim Sherwood

insists his time as Tottenham manager was a success as he looks forward to his first return to the club since his sacking in May.

Tim Sherwood while managing Tottenham
Getty Images

The 46-year-old, who takes his Aston Villa side to White Hart Lane on Saturday, was

dismissed by Spurs two days after leading them to a sixth-place finish last season.

"I knew it would be a tough job at Tottenham and it proved that," he said.

"But I was very successful, both as a development coach and as a manager."

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

The chief executive of Dudley Zoo Peter Suddock has stepped down following an investigation into his conduct. More in

the news at 12:00.

Walsall's fight for survival

BBC WM Sport

Walsall manager Dean Smith says the players' performance gives him cause for optimism in their battle to stay in League One.

The Saddlers have two big home games coming up, against Fleetwood tomorrow and Crawley on Tuesday, as they try to stop a run of just one win in the last eleven, which has seen them slip to within two points of the relegation zone.

Zoo chief exec steps down

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The chief executive of Dudley Zoo has stepped down from his role following an investigation.


Last month the zoo said he had been suspended on full pay pending an investigation into his conduct of certain affairs.

Today the zoo has released a statement saying: "By mutual agreement and after 22 years in post, Peter Suddock has retired from his position as Chief Executive Officer of Dudley Zoological Gardens."

'Pensioners vote - youngsters don't'

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

Figures from the Electoral Commission show fewer than half of Britain's 18-24 year olds voted last time; among 20-24 year olds, 70% were registered to vote compared with over 90% among retired people.

Bite The Bullet website
Bite The Bullet

Bite the Ballot campaigners, pressing for greater participation by younger voters this time round, estimate that around half a million potential first-time voters across the country are not yet registered to do so.

Some observers wonder if this is why younger voters seem to get a raw deal (student tuition fees) compared with pensioners (whose benefits have been largely untouched): pensioners vote, youngsters don't.

Child safety gadget award


A Staffordshire man who has come up with a new child safety gadget is up for a National Inventor's Award this week at the Gadget Show in Birmingham just months after launching.

Child Angel is a wristband that uses all-sorts of technology to allow parents to locate their kids, track them and even set boundaries on where they can go.

News on the hour

Michelle Dawes

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news on

BBC WM at 11:00 we'll have more on
West Midlands Police being given more time to question three terror suspects from Birmingham.

A 28-year-old man, from Lozells, a man aged 26, from Acocks Green, and a 25-year-old man, from Small Heath, remain in police custody.

Low young voting turnout

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

As the

BBC's BrumVotes goes online, a word about its context in the city often billed as "the youngest in Europe", with 40% of its population under the age of 25.

This goes some way to explain why parts of the city recorded among the lowest turnouts in the UK in the last general election in 2010.

There really is an issue about young people not voting.