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  1. Updates for Wednesday 13 May 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates return at 08:00 Thursday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

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

Overnight forecast

BBC Weather

A mainly dry night, with clear spells bringing a risk of an isolated grass frost. Cloud increasing in the far southwest later in the night.


Turning breezy with a low of 3C (37F).

BBC One this evening

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Coming up on BBC One at 18:30: The West Midlands bucks the national trend, with a rise in unemployment - we'll be looking at what might lie behind the numbers.

Indica Campbell

And - she may be the daughter of UB40 lead singer Ali Campbell, but Indica (pictured) is determined to sing her own song, our reporter Satnam Rana caught up with her at the release of her EP.

The Baggies Great Escape - 10 Years on

Rob Gurney

BBC WM Sport

Tomorrow night on BBC WM we look back on

West Bromwich Albion's Great Escape, 10 years on from the final day win over Portsmouth that kept them in what was then the Premiership.

Bryan Robson after WBA secure Premiership status May 15, 2005
Getty Images

From 18:00 you'll hear from the then manager Bryan Robson (pictured) and members of the Albion playing squad that season.

The marginals

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

So the general election is done and dusted for another five years. My latest blog is a reflection on why our famous marginals weren't very marginal at all.

Exit poll

I also examine what happened to the "UKIP Factor", and "multi-party politics" now that our region's Parliamentary map is entirely blue and red.

Read the full story on my blog page.

Latest headlines

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The headlines at 17:00 for Birmingham and the Black Country:

  • The West Midlands has bucked the national trend with unemployment rising by about 10,000
  • Five illegal immigrants have been detained after being seen on the M6
  • Travel: Spring Road in Lanesfield is closed due to a serious accident

Fire crews rescue two cats from Wolverhampton flat fire

Express and Star

Firefighters have rescued

two cats from a burning flat in Wednesfield.

Crews from Fallings Park were called to the blaze, which broke out in the living room of a flat on Anston Way just after 11am today.

School protest update

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Staff at a Birmingham school investigated over the Trojan Horse allegations have been

striking over fears it could be turned into an academy.

Dave Room, the general secretary of NUT Birmingham, was at the protest. He said: "We're worried about terms and conditions. But of course we're also concerned about education and provision. There is no evidence that academies work."

The school's head teacher Mrs Y Wilkinson posts on its website: "Public examinations will still take place and all students sitting these should attend school. Students sitting morning examinations will need to be at Upper School by 9am and 1.15pm if they are sitting afternoon examinations."

'Black Dee' in court

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

One of the Winson Green residents who featured in Channel 4's Benefits Street, told police she ran an open house for people to come and go, a court has heard.

Samora Roberts, 31, from James Turner Street, known as "Black Dee" is jointly accused along with five others who live on or near the road of conspiring to supply crack cocaine, heroin and cannabis in 2013.

Samora Roberts

Roberts also claimed that scales found in her house were so she could monitor her own drug intake.

All defendants deny the charges.

Football gossip: Benteke's a wanted man

BBC Sport

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke will decide his future in June after playing in Belgium's end-of-season internationals as Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Roma weigh up £30m bids, reports

The Mirror.

Getty Images

Read more on the

BBC Sportsday Live page.

Illegal immigrants arrested on M6

Caroline Gall

BBC News

I've just spoken to police who say they were called to M6 between junctions 6-7 (near Aston Expressway) at about 09:30 this morning after reports of five men seen getting off a lorry.

No lorry was there when officers arrived. Five illegal immigrants were found on a grass verge by the motorway.

Immigration officers have now taken them into custody.

Birmingham city centre gridlocked as new roadworks start to bite

Birmingham Mail

Drivers faced gridlock in Birmingham as

new roadworks around Paradise Circus saw parts of the city centre grind to a standstill.

Last night's problems were so bad that commuters were even said to have been stuck several floors up inside the Lionel Street multi-storey car park.

New laws to target radicalisation

BBC News Channel

David Cameron has outlined

plans for new legislation to crack down on extremism -- saying Britain has been a "passively tolerant society for too long". The bill will include banning orders for groups who preach hate in public.


Jahan Mahmood, a former adviser for the Government's Prevent strategy who also runs a de-radicalisation programme in Birmingham disagrees.

He says: "We have to be given the opportunity to challenge these narratives in the open and if legislation is going to come down hard of course they will go underground, and that's what we risk. We actually risk creating more radicalisation and more problems in the long run."

Charity to help blind & deaf

Midlands Today

A new £5.8m project is being launched today which aims to help blind or deaf people to get online and use technology for work, education and in their homes.

The Online Today project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and it's hoped that more than 10,000 people in the West Midlands could benefit from becoming more confident with internet shopping, banking and social media.

Campaigners vow to continue HS2 fight

Express and Star

Campaigners have vowed to continue the fight to stop HS2 going ahead

despite the fact that a Conservative election victory should ensure a smooth path for the £50 billion high-speed rail project, which will connect London with Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

Birmingham Blitz

Dave Hart

Producer, BBC Midlands Today

Tonight, on Midlands Today in our series marking the anniversary of Victory in Europe we remember the Birmingham Blitz.

Birmingham blitz photos

Birmingham was the third most bombed city in the country. The Germans targeted the many munitions factories and over 2,000 people were killed.

The end of the war was to see major rebuilding in the city, which didn't prove popular with everyone.

Our reporter Lindsay Doyle will have special report tonight looking at the redevelopments of the city.

Wolverhampton's £250m university plan

The University of Wolverhampton has unveiled details of a

£250m investment plan which includes the development of new buildings, courses and a "super-campus".

University of Wolverhampton

The aim is to create jobs, increase the skills-base in the region and boost local economy.

The university says it marks their most significant and ambitious investment program yet.

Herd of cows tramples dog walker

Bethan Bell

Journalist, BBC News

There are more details on a man

trampled by a herd of cows while walking his dog in Balsall Common, leaving him with serious injuries.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the disused Kenilworth railway line in Balsall Common at about 08:10 this morning where a man, in his 50s, suffered damage to his chest, "numerous" rib fractures and bruising to his abdomen.

He's being treated in hospital in Coventry.

Latest Headlines

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Here are the latest stories in Birmingham and Black Country at the moment:

Staying dry this afternoon

BBC Weather

Patchy cloud bringing some decent

sunny spells for all this afternoon.


With light winds it should feel slightly warmer than yesterday.

BBC One at 13:30

Qasa Alom

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Unemployment in the West Midlands has bucked the national trend by going up.

On BBC one this lunch time we'll have a full breakdown by our business correspondent Peter Plisner who is busy crunching the numbers.

And find out the latest on former Birmingham City owner

Carson Yeung who has failed to get his conviction for money laundering overturned.

Man trampled by herd of cows

A man's been taken to hospital after he was trampled by a herd of cows in Balsall Common.

West Midlands Ambulance Service says a man in his 50s was walking his dog near a disused railway line in Balsall Common this morning.

A spokesman says: "The man who is in his 50s, had a chest injury, numerous rib fractures and bruising to his abdomen."

Astle's birthday

West Bromwich Albion

tweets: ‏Jeff Astle would have celebrated his 73rd birthday today. The King's memory lives on. #No9

Jeff Astle
West Bromwich Albion

Latest headlines

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Here are the latest stories in Birmingham and Black Country at the moment:

Unemployment rising 'hopefully a blip'

The chief executive of

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce says he was "surprised" to see unemployment fall in the region.

Jerry Blackett says: "The recovery is still not predictable. We've had a good run in the region. We have seen job creation at a high rate so this is a blip. Well, I hope it's a blip."

He adds: "We've seen confidence tail off a little bit particularly in the manufacturing sector. It was a bit of a surprise."

Former Jewellery Quarter pen factory could be reborn as apartments

Birmingham Post

A former pen factory dating back to the late 19th century

could become the latest industrial site to be reborn as a mixed-use development in the Jewellery Quarter.

The listed building, at 3-5 Legge Lane, was completed in the 1890s for AH Woodward and until recently was run by Ashton & Moore as an anodising and powder coating factory.

Yeung: Remains largest shareholder

Nick Clitheroe

Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

More on Birmingham City's former chairman

Carson Yeung losing his money-laundering appeal.

On Friday, Yeung will also apply for leave to appeal against the length of his sentence -

Yeung was jailed for six years last March.

carson yeung
Getty Images

He still remains the largest individual shareholder in parent company Birmingham International Holdings but his grip on the company would seem to be weakening gradually.

Carson Yeung has been trying to halt the BIHL sale process but it won't get any easier while he's still locked up in prison.

Unemployment figures

Jo Tidman

Journalist, BBC WM

The West Midlands has bucked the national trend with unemployment rising by about 10,000 to 178,000.

Nationally figures show unemployment fell by 35,000 between January and March to 1.83 million.

The number claiming jobseekers allowance fell by 12 thousand to 763-thousand.

Doctors on This Morning

BBC Birmingham PR

tweets: Here's @owenbrenman & Chris Walker from @BBCDoctorsSoap on @itvthismorning at 11.30am ahead of the #SoapAwards

Owen Brenman & Chris Walker from BBC series Doctors

Carson Yeung: Case 'Not over yet'

Nick Clitheroe

Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today


failure of the former Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung to get his conviction for money laundering overturned in Hong Kong today feels like another step on the road to a change in ownership at the club, but perhaps only a small one.

Yeung has been allowed to take his case on to the Court of Final Appeal so the legal wrangling is not over yet.

Student held prisoner in 'honeytrap' sting

Birmingham Mail

Police are hunting two men after an internet Romeo was

lured to a Birmingham flat in a "honey trap" sting and held captive for nine hours.

The 25-year-old victim was locked inside an apartment and robbed while his home was stripped of valuables including a laptop, games console, watches, designer clothes and passports.

Council 'extremely disappointed' by strike

Jennifer Harby

Journalist, BBC News Online

Read more on BBC News about staff at a Birmingham school investigated over the Trojan Horse allegations,

striking over fears it could be turned into an academy.

Small heath School strike

Three teaching unions - the National Union of Teachers, the NASUWT and the ATL - are involved in the action at the secondary school.

Birmingham City Council says it's "extremely disappointed" by the strike.

Judge dismisses Yeung appeal

Steve Hermon

BBC WM Sport

A judge has

dismissed an appeal by former Birmingham City owner, Carson Yeung (pictured), who's been trying to get his money laundering conviction overturned.

Carson Yeung
Getty Images

He was jailed up for six years for five counts of laundering money last year.

During that time

receivers Ernst & Young and have taken control of Blues parent company Birmingham International Holdings and
received offers for the club and company.

Latest headlines

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top news headlines at 10:00 in the BBC Birmingham newsroom:

  • The government is setting out new measures to tackle extremism - saying it wants to stress "British values" in the wake of the Trojan Horse allegations in Birmingham
  • Staff at Small Heath School in Birmingham are on strike today because of fears it could become an academy
  • Travel: The M6 entry slip road is closed southbound at junction 10 due to a broken down vehicle

Small Heath school protest

David Lumb

BBC News, West Midlands

I've just got back from Small Heath School in Birmingham where

teachers are striking this morning in response to plans to turn it into an academy.

Strike at Small Heath

There were a few dozen people there including representatives from three unions. There was a lot of chanting and some of the protesters had banners.

Jack Grealish: 'Must follow his heart'

BBC Sport

Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish must not commit his future to the Republic of Ireland "if his heart's not in it", according to Kevin Kilbane.

Jack Grealish
Getty Images

Birmingham-born Grealish (pictured), 19, has

turned down a place in the Republic squad for next month's friendly against England, for whom he is also eligible.

"The only thing I can really say to him is to go with what he wants, what his heart is telling him," said Kilbane.

Coventry tourism questions


Coventry Tourism Information Centre says it's overwhelmed by visitors demanding information about Birmingham.

Reduced opening hours at the Library of Birmingham where the city's only visitor centre is located means people are having to look elsewhere.

Caroline Hobday who works in the centre in Coventry says: "Over the past couple of months I've been having quite a few inquiries about Birmingham and asking about buses and they say the phone number they had - they couldn't get through."

Carson Yeung loses money-laundering appeal

Trystan Jones

BBC News

Carson Yeung, the former chairman of Birmingham City, has

lost an appeal against his conviction for money laundering.

Carson Yeung at Birmingham City

He was jailed for six years in March 2014 after a court in Hong Kong heard HK$720m (£55m) had moved through his bank accounts between 2001 and 2007.

The businessman's appeal was rejected by the Hong Kong Court of Appeal.