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  1. Heath body approves outline plan for hospital reorganisation
  2. Telford council leader calls on Corbyn to stand down
  3. Corrected police figures show slight fall in hate crimes reported after EU vote
  4. Updates on Wednesday 29 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Andy Giddings

All times stated are UK

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Latest weather for the West Midlands

Latest weather for the West Midlands
Nikki Sinclaire

An MEP's claims for road journeys she never made would not have been paid if it was known she had travelled more cheaply by plane, a court is told.

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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.

Weather: A dry end to the day with some late sunshine

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

After all the rain today, we should have a dry end to the day and there might even be some sunshine later on.

Future of Ironbridge Gorge up for debate

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

You're being asked for your thoughts on plans for the management of Ironbridge.

The document looks at everything from the historic buildings, to the stability of the gorge, to car parking - they go on display at a series of drop-in sessions, starting on Monday at Broseley library.

Iron bridge

Telford and Wrekin Council says the Ironbridge Gorge attracts more than one million visitors each year and it is central to tourism in the area.

Whitchurch Herald front page: Take your seats

Whitchurch Herald

Fans of Whitchurch Alport football club will be able to enter into the Olympic spirit after the club secured 200 seats used at the 2012 games for its Yockings Park ground.

Whitchurch Herald front page
Whitchurch Herald

Well known Shrewsbury climbing-tree 'will be replaced'

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Shrewsbury Town Council says it will plant a new tree in the autumn, to replace the old hornbeam tree at the bottom of The Quarry.

It's also listed the measures it tried to keep it alive, including adding nutrients to the soil and pruning to encourage it to grow.

Workmen chopping down tree

Meanwhile, you've been giving your comments on BBC Shropshire's Facebook page.

Leigh-Anne Sayce wrote: "Think they should keep the stump and turn it into a carving or something."

While Sharon Bradburn said: "Very quick to make a decision, and get it sorted. I understand why but its such a shame. Lets hope its not chainsawed down to a stump!"

Former MEP denies accusation she claimed for mileage to Europe when she flew instead

Former Ukip MEP Nikki Sinclaire is accused of submitting 10 expenses claims dishonestly between 2009 and 2010.

In six, Antonie Muller, prosecuting, said Sinclaire flew via Brussels, Basel in Switzerland or Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, despite allegedly signing claims stating she had driven.

Ms Sinclaire denies all the charges against her. The trial continues.

MEP 'claimed travel expenses for mileage and ferry trips when she drove more cheaply'

A former Ukip MEP's expenses claims for road journeys she never made would "certainly not" have been paid if it was known she had travelled more cheaply by plane, an EU bureaucrat in charge of expenses has told a court. 

Nikki Sinclaire, who represented the West Midlands until 2014, signed and submitted "significant" expenses "in excess of the flight costs", according to the prosecution. 

It is alleged Sinclaire wrongly claimed for thousands of euros in road and ferry travel expenses when she had travelled more cheaply by air, but she denies all charges against her.

Nikki Sinclaire

Francisco Estela Burriel, head of the European Parliament members' travel and subsistence expenses unit, said: "In the files and documentation presented for the member for the European Parliament there is no evidence of flying."

Headlines: Hospital plans move forward; council leader calls on Corbyn to quit; hate crime figures down

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Our top stories this evening:

- Health body votes to move forward with hospital reorganisation plans

- Telford council leader calls on Corbyn to stand down

- Corrected police figures show fall in hate crime after Brexit vote

Leader of Telford council says Corbyn should stand down

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The leader of Telford and Wrekin Council Shaun Davies says that after the events of the last few days he thinks it's time Jeremy Corbyn stood down as leader.

In the initial aftermath of the EU referendum vote, before the motion of no confidence was announced, Mr Davies had said his party leader shouldn't resign.

Shaun Davies

But in a statement this afternoon, he said many people had lost confidence in Mr Corbyn and that an immediate leadership election was necessary because "for me it's clear that the national leadership debate is not good for the country".

Corrected hate crime figures show slight fall after EU vote

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

West Mercia police have corrected their figures for the number of hate crimes reported immediately before and after the EU referendum result.

On Monday they were saying there had been a slight rise when comparing June 17-19 to June 24-26, but after looking at the numbers again, they are now saying there has been a slight fall - from 10 to six.

West Mercia policemen

And the number of those hate crimes which were found to have some racial element was exactly the same - four.

Hospitals chief exec 'delighted' with decision to back reorganisation

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The chief executive of the trust running the hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford says he is "delighted" that reorganisation plans are moving forward after a vote today.

The Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group earlier backed an outline case put forward by the hospitals, which could one day result in just one emergency department in the county.

A&E ward

Simon Wright, who was at the meeting, also accepted that people have concerns about the move, but said it was the best way to ensure patients "receive safe and dignified care in the right place at the right time".

Hospital complaints fall for fourth year running

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Complaints to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal Hospital have fallen for the fourth year in a row.

The trust running them says they are down from 377 last year to 317 this year, a drop of 16% and in the last four years the number of formal complaints has more than halved.

Hospital bay

Meanwhile, the hospitals' Patient Advice and Liaison Service has helped 1,957 people in resolving concerns about their care.

The trust said it had been more proactive in encouraging patents and their families to give their feedback.

This has resulted in concerns being resolved at a much earlier stage rather than the need to make a formal complaint and has led to a continued downward trend in the number of formal complaints received."

Sarah BloomfieldSarah Bloomfield

Ludlow hydro-power project 'running pretty well'

Ian Perry

BBC Radio Shropshire

Six weeks after it was switched on, the hydro-power project in Ludlow is running "pretty well" and generating enough electricity to power 30 houses.

It uses an "Archimedes screw" which is set at an angle into the River Teme and generates power as it is turned by the flowing water.

Hydro power generator

The Ludlow Hydro Cooperative says it needs constant monitoring, but is already creating money for the shareholders, because the electricity is being sold back to the National Grid.

It was fabulous, obviously we were totally confident it would work, but actually seeing the electricity flowing through the meter back into the grid was very very pleasing."

Dick BickertonLudlow Hydro Cooperative

Cricket: Shropshire prepare for top-two clash with Cornwall

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Second-placed Shropshire face the side just above them in the Western Division table at Bridgnorth this Sunday.

Cornwall have also won both their three-day matches this season and are five points clear going into the match.

Steve Leach
Tony Marsh

Shropshire captain Steve Leach described the pitch they'll be playing on as "a belter" and said he was really pleased with their form in this format.

We've played really controlled cricket and have just gone about our business quietly. I feel there's a real confidence in the group now after getting two positive results. I feel we're getting a bit of rhythm, a bit of self belief, and this game with Cornwall is going to be a big one with it being first against second."

Steve LeachShropshire captain

Headlines: Hospital plan backed; hundreds not paying for fuel; Southwater square options

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Here's a recap of our top stories this afternoon:

- Health body approves outline case for hospital reorganisation

- Hundreds driving off without paying for fuel in West Mercia area

- A range of options for Southwater public square go on display

Photos: Giant salmon sculpture at Llansillin Primary School

The children at Llansillin Primary School have been learning all about salmon and looking after our rivers and helped create this impressive sculpture out of split hazel and fishing lures.

Salmon sculpture
Close Encounters with Nature

Change could still be a long way off for Shropshire's hospitals

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Despite the decision by the Shropshire Clinical Commissioning group today to approve an outline plan for hospital reorganisation, actual change could be a long way off yet.

The Strategic Outline Case sets out the problems facing the county's hospitals and the need for change, which most probably means a move to just one emergency centre in the county, supported by urgent care centres across the county dealing with less serious injuries.


But, even if things go to plan, the report says it could be August 2018 before a final decision is made and between three-and-a-half and five-and-a-half years before the changes are completed.

Your photos: Heavy rain in Norton

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

It looks like there's been some heavy rain around the county this lunchtime.

This photo was taken a short time ago by BBC Weather Watcher Ice Queen, in Norton.

Ice Queen

Southwater plans an attempt to make grassy area more useful

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The original plans for Southwater included an office complex, along the edge of the lake, but they were dropped after proving unpopular with the public.

Instead, the area was grassed over, but because it doesn't drain well, Telford and Wrekin Council says it isn't suitable for public events.

Southwater plans
Telford and Wrekin council

And that's why the authority is putting forward a range of designs, to turn it into a "public space", perhaps with lights and fountains.

Health body votes to move ahead with hospital reorganisation plans

Plans to reorganise emergency care at the hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford have moved a step closer, with members of Shropshire's Clinical Commissioning group approving a Strategic Outline Case.

The CCG meeting had to be delayed briefly because of the large number of people wanting to get in and there were shouts of "shame" and "sell out" when the vote was passed.

Simon Wright

The meeting in Shrewbury heard the chief executive of the hospitals trust, Simon Wright (pictured above), say he feared more doctors would leave unless something was done.

Coming up on Midlands Today: High numbers of children being brought up by grandparents

BBC Midlands Today

A record number of children in the West Midlands are being brought up by their grandparents.

It's not because their own parents are busy out at work, but because they're incapable of looking after them, due to problems ranging from alcohol and drug abuse to mental health issues. 

But what's it like parenting the second time around? Find out on BBC Midlands Today on BBC One from 13:30. 

Big turnout delays start of health meeting

Andrew Hewkin

Newsreader, BBC Shropshire

There's been a lively start to a meeting of NHS officials deciding Shropshire's future health provision.

This morning's meeting was disrupted, because there wasn't enough room for all the campaigners and protesters. 

It led to calls for a bigger room to be provided, and threats to suspend the gathering.

Royal Shrewsbury hospital sign

Headlines: Hundreds not paying for fuel in West Mercia; plans for new Southwater public space

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

These are some of our top stories this lunchtime:

- Hundreds drive off without paying for fuel in West Mercia area

- Plans for new Southwater public space go on show

- Well-known tree felled in Shrewsbury's Quarry park

Watch: Plans for future of Southwater Square

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

You're being asked to give your thoughts on plans for a revamp of Southwater Square and Telford and Wrekin Council has put together this short video, showing the options.

View more on youtube

Watch: Well-known Shrewsbury tree is felled

Sam Fleet

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

A tree that's been climbed by generations of children in Shrewsbury is being felled today. 

Despite efforts to save it, a number of branches have fallen off the hornbeam tree, by the splash-park in The Quarry and the Town Council says it is now unsafe.

Weather: Lots of rain forecast for Shropshire today

Alexandra Hamilton

BBC Weather

We're due a lot of rain today, but it could clear up a bit towards the late afternoon.

Hundreds drive off without paying for fuel

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The police say people drove off from the petrol station without paying 866 times in the West Mercia area last year.

Of the forces which replied to a Freedom of Information request by, West Midlands police saw the highest number of these thefts, with over 4,000.

Petrol pumps

West Mercia police were able to charge just five people in connection with petrol thefts last year.

BBC Weather Watchers: Rain clouds gathering over Shropshire

BBC Weather Watchers

It's going to be a rainy day and the early photos from the BBC Weather Watchers don't look promising.

Norton in Hales
Betton Bear

Telford football club launches appeal to build stand in memory of teenager

Shropshire Star

A Shropshire football club has launched a £5,000 fundraising appeal to build a new stand in memory of a popular player who has died.

Warning over Oswestry council tax

Oswestry Town Council says taking over local services could mean raising its council tax precept by 260%.

Town Clerk David Preston recently called for a referendum across the Shropshire Council area, to ask if people wanted to stump-up more tax, to save services.

Oswestry town centre

The town's Mayor Paul Milner says they're close to ruling-out taking over the library and leisure centre, as a high tax rise could be deemed "unreasonable" by the government. 

Champions League: TNS manager Harrison says sharpness not there

BBC Sport

The TNS manager Craig Harrison said his side should have scored more goals in their Champions League qualifier last night.

The game ended in a 2-1 victory over Tre Penne, but Harrison said: "We weren't quite as sharp as we could have been."

Craig Harrison

He believes the heat will play a part in the away leg in San Marino next week, but believes his players are fit enough to take on the challenge.

We created five very very good chances where I think I'd expect the players on the pitch to score the goals."

Craig HarrisonTNS manager

Headlines: Telford women in pensions protest; MP sees new future for Britain; TNS win in Europe

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

Our top stories this morning include:

- Telford women join pensions protest

- MP suggests Britain could become "Singapore of Europe"

- Narrow Champions League win for TNS

Photos: Rainbow over Shrewsbury

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

This photo, taken in Shrewsbury yesterday, has been getting a lot of comments on the BBC Shropshire Facebook page.

Rainbow over Shrewsbury
Richard Tisdale

Water supply shut off after Shrewsbury house floods

Shropshire Star

Fire crews had to shut off the water in a Shrewsbury home when it flooded today, causing problems to the electrics.

Fire engine

Telford pensioners to join protest outside parliament

Joanne Gallacher

Political reporter, BBC Shropshire

Thousands of women including a group from Telford are due to take part in a protest outside parliament later, calling for an end to what they consider to be pension inequality. 

Many women born in the 1950s say they weren't kept informed about increases to the state pension age.

Diane Hawtree

The protesters include Diane Hawtree from Telford (pictured above) has to wait until she's 65 to claim hers and says that when she lost her job at the age of 59 she was forced to sell her house, because she couldn't get a job.

The welfare system says it will look after you from cradle to grave, when in actual fact they haven't looked after a lot of woman, including myself."

Diane HawtreePensioner

Wrekin MP says Britain could become 'European Singapore'

Andy Giddings

BBC Shropshire

The MP for the Wrekin believes Britain could have a future as a "new Singapore of Europe".

Mark Pritchard thinks that by offering low taxes and reduced regulation, businesses could be encouraged to base themselves here, rather than mainland Europe.

Mark Pritchard

Mr Pritchard also said big companies were waiting to see what happens before making big decisions on future investment and expansion in this country.

Champions League: TNS scrape narrow win

BBC Sport

The New Saints secured a narrow victory in the first leg of their Champions League first qualifying round tie against San Marino's Tre Penne at Park Hall.

Scott Quigley gave the Welsh hosts the lead but Stefano Fraternali levelled for the reigning Marinese champions.

Champions League football
Getty Images

Quigley turned provider for the second, playing in Jamie Mullan to restore TNS's lead.

The second leg takes place in San Marino next Tuesday.

It's more of a tale of opportunities missed, we've had some very very good chances there and on another day we should probably be scoring five there."

Craig HarrisonTNS manager