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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Severe accident: A49 Shropshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A49 Shropshire both ways severe accident, from A489 to B4370.

A49 Shropshire - A49 closed and very slow traffic in both directions from the A489 junction in Wistanstow to the B4370 junction in Marshbrook, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Thomas Telford statue gets 50th birthday clean

Allen Cook

BBC News

A statue's going to be restored to its original state as part of Telford's 50th anniversary celebrations.

Thomas Telford statue
Telford and Wrekin Council

The Thomas Telford monument in Telford Square was unveiled in 1990 but, since then, the weather's taken its toll.

The town council says work's under way to restore it; washing away the grime before a repaint in the original colours of black and grey.

Rain today but here's how the weekend's looking

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

The rain's finally arrived today for parts of the West Midlands after the long heatwave - here's how your weekend is looking:

Rebecca Wood

If you want to get a latest forecast for your area at any other time, head to the BBC Weather website.

Severe accident: A495 Shropshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A495 Shropshire both ways severe accident, between The Sun Inn and A528.

A495 Shropshire - A495 in Welshampton blocked and slow traffic in both directions between The Sun Inn junction and the A528 junction, because of an accident involving two vehicles.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Aaron Amadi-Holloway

League One play-off finalists Shrewsbury Town sign striker Aaron Amadi-Hollloway from Oldham for an undisclosed fee.

Read more

'They're not fools' - Brexit White Paper divides Tory MPs

Allen Cook

BBC News

The former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson says he'll vote against Theresa May's Brexit plan unless it's changed, but he's fallen short of calling for her to go.

Why Tory MPs are fighting over the government's Brexit white paper

The government has published its blueprint for UK relations with the EU and the White Paper is aimed at ensuring trade co-operation, with no hard border for Northern Ireland, and global trade deals for the UK.

But North Shropshire's Conservative MP Owen Paterson says he can't support it.

I'm very worried about the public reaction. Seventeen-point-four-million people voted in the referendum to leave, they were given the absolute categoric, final decision, that was made clear by Parliament. This paper, I'm afraid, is going to disappoint people and they're not fools."

Owen PatersonShropshire North Conservative MP

However, the Worcester MP and Brexit minister Robin Walker says he's backing the new strategy.

I've been speaking to businesses who have really welcomed the proposals because they can see that they allow them to continue with their business, doing business across the UK and exporting into the EU without having to worry about tariffs or blockages at the border."

Robin WalkerWorcester MP and Brexit minister
James Husband

James Husband told his victim before he raped her it was "OK" as he had had a vasectomy.

Read more

Severe disruption: M54 Shropshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M54 Shropshire eastbound severe disruption, from J7 for A5 to J6 for A5223 Ketley Dingle Interchange.

M54 Shropshire - One lane closed on M54 eastbound from J7, A5 (Wellington) to J6, A5223 (Telford West), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

BreakingMore Poundworld stores to close

BBC Business News

Six Poundworld stores in the West Midlands are among another 80 branches which will be closed, the company's administrators have said.

The latest announcement means that 105 of the company's 335 stores are now earmarked for closure, including the one in Crewe, Cheshire.

Poundworld
PA

The closures in this region include two in both Coventry and Shrewsbury and one in Burton upon Trent and Bloxwich, resulting in 85 job losses.

They're set to shut by 22 July.

Poundworld went into administration last month after failing to cope with rising costs, fewer shoppers and greater competition.

In the papers: Man in hospital after assault

Shropshire Star

Man 'critical' after Telford attack

Faith Page

Reporter, BBC Shropshire

A man is in a critical condition in hospital after being attacked.

He and two other men were taken for treatment after the assault happened late on Wednesday night in Wellsfield in Woodside, Telford, police said.

Wellsfield
Google

Two are still in hospital, with one since discharged - only the 34-year-old is said to be in a stable but critical condition.

Officers say a 34-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.

Rain brings no respite for fish in 'drying out' rivers

Despite rain and possibly thunderstorms being forecast today for the West Midlands, more fish are set to be rescued from a river that's still drying out.

Dried out River Teme
Environment Agency

Parts of the upper River Teme in north Herefordshire completely dried out in the space of just a few days in the heatwave.

Hundreds of salmon, trout and lampreys have been rescued by the Environment Agency.

Today, the organisation says staff are back at the river and will also be checking the nearby River Redlake in Shropshire as it's also drying out.

Shropshire couple in passport row see baby via internet
Henry and Shane Curteis want their daughter to come to the UK after she was born abroad in April.
Build-A-Bear, Bullring

Families say they won't be returning to the shop after a cheap teddy offer caused eight-hour queues.

Read more

Cities and towns set for anti-Trump protests

Protesters are set to take to the streets of cities and towns across the West Midlands this afternoon to demonstrate against Donald Trump's visit to the UK.

Donald Trump
AFP/Getty Images

Mr Trump is on a two-day working visit to the country and has said that Britons "like me a lot" and he feels "fine" about any protests.

In the West Midlands, protests are planned in locations such as Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Leamington, Bewdley, Shrewsbury and Malvern.

Thundery weather 'could cause flooding'

A weather warning for thunderstorms comes into effect across the West Midlands from 11:00 today.

Weather warning map
Met Office

Heavy showers and thunderstorms could could some localised flooding, said the Met Office.

Police are warning that road surfaces are likely to be slippery after the recent hot spell of weather.

RAF base celebrates 80th birthday

RAF Cosford is celebrating its 80th anniversary this weekend.

RAF Cosford
Getty Images

The Shropshire military base was officially opened in July 1938 and played a crucial role in the World War Two.

In the decades since, hundreds of thousands of RAF personnel have been trained there and deployed on missions across the world.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a mainly dry day with the risk of some showers, which could turn thundery, and highs of 24C (75F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Government 'not happy' over forest holiday scheme

Andrew Hewkin

Newsreader, BBC Shropshire

An investigation is going to be carried out into links between the department responsible for England's forests and a holiday firm, the government has confirmed.

Forest Holidays was founded by the Forestry Commission in the 1970s with the aim of putting accommodation in forest locations.

Mortimer Forest, near Ludlow
Google

The Forestry Commission part-owns Forest Holidays,but insists it is an independent company and only a tiny percentage of its land is being leased by the holiday cabin firm.

However, it is accused of having a conflict of interest over a planning application for luxury holiday cabins to be built on its land in Mortimer Forest near Ludlow in Shropshire.

Local Conservative MP Philip Dunne today raised concerns in the Commons over the existing arrangements between the pair and the government says it's investigating them.

We are not happy about the arrangement the Forestry Commission entered into with Forest Holidays and that's why my right honourable friend has asked Colin Day to undertake a review, he's the non-executive director and also chair of the audit and risk committee and so he will be investigating this carefully."

Thérèse CoffeyEnvironment Minister

A mix of rain and showers across the West Midlands

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

Rain is spreading over from Wales, meaning some of us could see some showers over the coming days.

In other parts of the region there will be more sun.

Weather forecast with Shefali Oza.

Health boss 'not very concerned' by current deficit

A health organisation has revealed it's already £2.5m over its deficit target for this financial year.

Pound coins on top of banknotes
PA

Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is aiming to end 2018-19 with a shortfall of £13.3m.

But the group's revealed this week that there's already an estimated overspend.

The CCG's accountable officer, Simon Freeman, said he "would normally expect variances at this point in the year" and was "not overly concerned at this stage".

However, auditor Mark Stocks warned that if the CCG was a corporate business it would “struggle” to finance its deficit.

It gets harder every year with stretching financial targets and pressures, but our job is to understand and manage those."

Simon FreemanShropshire CCG accountable officer

Teddy bear offer leads to huge queues

Long queues have been reported outside Build a Bear stores and its shop in Telford has had to close for the day, after it reported an "overwhelming" response to a "pay your age" offer.

Some people queued from 06:30 in Telford town centre, to take advantage of the deal, with the store offering gift vouchers to people who gave up waiting.

Across the country, nine-hour waits and even fights have been reported.

Queues
BBC
Queues
BBC

The chain said all its stores around the country were seeing similar crowds.

Your photos: Rain arrives after the dry spell

BBC Weather Watchers

The rain has arrived!

Well, there's been light rain in parts of Shropshire this morning at least, according to our BBC Weather Watchers.

Here are three from Liams Eye in Dawley, Bingoswestry in Oswestry and BymsterFromLimster in Ludlow:

Dawley
Liams Eye
Oswestry
Bingoswestry
Ludlow
BymsterFromLimster

Driving warning with thunderstorms forecast

Allen Cook

BBC News

Drivers are being warned roads across the West Midlands could be slippery if there's rain today and tomorrow.

Area covered by thunderstorms warning
Met Office

After a long, dry spell, the Met Office says there's now a yellow weather warning for heavy showers and thunderstorms for almost all of the whole region on Friday, from 11:00.

Police say that could lead to greasy conditions on roads and are urging drivers to slow down if it rains.

MPs in bid to amend government Brexit proposals

The MPs for Shrewsbury and North Shropshire are among the Consevative rebels backing an attempt to amend Theresa May's Brexit proposals.

The eurosceptics are unhappy at the plan, agreed by the cabinet at Chequers last week, saying it will keep the UK tied to EU rules.

Daniel Kawczynski and Owen Paterson
BBC

They are calling on the government to commit itself in law not to allow a customs border down the Irish Sea.

The government is to publish a White Paper this morning which lays out, in more detail than ever before, how Britain would like to trade and co-operate with the EU after Brexit.

I am well aware of the parliamentary arithmetic, so I know full well the challenge that faces the Prime Minister. I will be working with colleagues in government, the party and the European Research Group to find a way forward that balances what is pragmatically achievable with honouring the result of the referendum."

Daniel KawczynskiMP for Shrewsbury

Council looks to make more cuts

Telford and Wrekin Council says it might need to save up to £25m over the next three years.

That's on top of the £117m already saved by the Labour-run local authority since 2010.

Telford and Wrekin Council
Google

Members of its cabinet, meeting tonight, will be told they've gone over budget paying for looked after children, social workers and some education provision.

Water leak affecting road

BBC News Travel

Chester Street in Shrewsbury is being affected by a water leak in the road, police said.

Severn Trent engineers have been called.

Increase in 999 calls recorded after England match

The ambulance service said it dealt with a large number of 999 calls across the West Midlands last night after England's World Cup exit against Croatia.

There was a big increase in reports of assaults and other alcohol-related incidents, West Midlands Ambulance Service said.

It fielded 240 calls in the hour after the match compared with 120 while England were playing.

View more on twitter

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

Early cloud will break leaving a mainly dry and fine day with long spells of sunshine and highs of 25C (77F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Town centre bus station could be scrapped

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Shrewsbury's bus station could be scrapped, as part of an overhaul of the town centre.

The local authority bought the leasehold of Riverside, plus the freehold of the Charles Darwin and Pride Hill shopping centres in January at a cost of £51m.

Bus station
Google

Councillor Peter Nutting said towns don’t have old-fashioned bus stations like that now and added he was looking for something "high class and high quality" to replace it.

He also said it could take a "year or two" to put together a plan together and questioned whether one was needed at all, suggesting the town centre could make do with spaces for buses to pull into.

Whatever we do has got to be high class and high quality because it’s going to be there for probably a 100 years or even more. If we do it properly it could be there forever."

Councillor Peter NuttingLeader of Shropshire Council

More than 1,000 fish rescued as another river dries up

Another river has dried up in Shropshire and the Environment Agency says it's now rescued more than 1,000 fish along the River Teme.

They are being moved downstream and it says it plans to start moving fish from the River Redlake (pictured below), which is connected to the River Club, next week.

River Redlake
Environment Agency
River Redlake
Environment Agency

Maths class breaks out into Three Lions

You can't escape Three Lions at the moment, and it seems to be especially popular in schools

These children at St Winefride’s RC Independent School in Shrewsbury broke out into song mid-way through a maths class.

(Although we suspect it may have been staged a little).

Football is coming home at St Winefride’s School in Shrewsbury.

In the papers: Extra police for World Cup match

Shropshire Star

These are among the headlines in the Shropshire Star:

Some wet weather on the horizon

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

Your bone-dry lawns will probably welcome a bit of rain and there's some forecast later this week.

Rain could be on the way later this week.

Yellow warning for heavy rain

Heavy showers, likely to become thundery in places, are expected to develop quite widely across parts of the region on Friday.

The Met Office says some of the showers are likely to become focussed into slow-moving bands with some locations receiving around 20mm in an hour.

rainwater
Getty

However it says that as is the nature of showers, many places within the yellow warning area of Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin will miss them altogether, and have a dry day.