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Meeting ambulance target in county 'would cost £45m'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Andrew Morris

An ambulance service has said the chances of meeting response times for the most critically injured patients in a county would cost an extra £45m a year.

Side of an ambulance

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) currently has 38 vehicles on the road in Shropshire.

In England, ambulance services are expected to reach patients within an average of seven minutes but, in the county, the average time was 10 minutes 44 seconds.

At a Shropshire Council health meeting, WMAS spokesman Mark Docherty said it would need another 75 ambulances to meet the target, costing £45m.

He said instead, it wanted to see more people trained in using defibrillators with more of the machines on street corners as "this is going to help save lives more than more ambulances".

Dry weather continues - here's the full forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

The dry weather's expected to continue this morning across the West Midlands with some sunshine around, here's the full forecast for today:

Alex Hamilton

If you want a latest forecast at any other time for your part of the West Midlands, head to the BBC Weather website.

Mum whose baby died speaks of pain of hearing others cry
Lynette Parkes lost her baby at seven months and spoke of the added pain of hearing other newborns cry nearby.

Police force officer numbers set for 'seven-year high'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Christian Barnett

The number of police officers working for the West Mercia force will reach a seven-year high by the end of the year, its police and crime commissioner (PCC) has pledged.

Police officers
Getty Images

This year, John Campion increased the police precept, the portion of council tax that goes to the local police force, to pay for 115 new officers.

He said the force was "well ahead" of recruiting that number this year and, on top of an extra 100 already promised, would bring the number of officers to 2,145, the most since 2012.

The figure includes an extra 10 officers for Evesham and Droitwich.

Oscar Saxelby-Lee starts preparations for transplant

BBC Hereford and Worcester

A boy with a particularly aggressive form of leukaemia is starting treatment today to prepare him for a stem cell transplant.

Oscar Saxelby-Lee
Family handout

Five-year-old Oscar Saxelby-Lee, from Worcester, was told he needed a transplant within three months of chemotherapy otherwise his chances of survival would "severely diminish".

In March, he was found to be free of leukaemia blast cells and three three stem cell matches were found for him after thousands of people signed up to be tested.

On Facebook, his family said he would have conditioning therapy to prepare his body so he can have the transplant after that.

Video: What's the weekend weather got in store?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

It will be a cloudy night with some patchy rain and lows of 8C (46F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Rail timetable changes set to come in

Rail timetable changes are set to be introduced across the West Midlands from Sunday.

West Midlands Railway is bringing in a number of new services, including one extra train an hour between Shropshire and Birmingham on weekdays and Saturdays and more trains on Sundays, additional evening services from Worcester and Hereford to Birmingham and an extra evening service between Kidderminster and Worcester.

It is also adding more carriages to services between Coventry and London and new direct trains to destinations such as Liverpool, Stoke-on-Trent and Crewe.

West Midlands Railway train
West Midlands Railway

Chiltern Railways is creating a new direct service from Stratford-upon-Avon to London, doubling the number of weekday trains it runs to the capital.

Cross Country trains, which stop in Birmingham, have also made some changes to their timetable.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a cool day with lots of cloud and highs of 16C (61F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Bid to cut number of river deaths

The Worcester-based Royal Life Saving Society is launching a new qualification teaching people how to use a throwline.

It's making the move following the death of 18-year-old University of Worcester student Thomas Jones, whose body was found in the River Severn nine months ago.


The charity says it hopes that training more people to use the water rescue equipment will save lives.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

It will be a cloudy night with some light showers and lows of 6C (43F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands
'A new heart would mean the world to me'
Anna Hadley, 14, has a rare heart condition and is raising awareness of the need for child donors.

Tiswas creator named chair of county council

The creator and former presenter of the TV show Tiswas has been elected as the new chairman of Worcestershire County Council.

The Saturday morning show became cult viewing for a generation of children until it ended in 1982.

Peter Tomlinson
Worcestershire County Council

Peter Tomlinson, who lives in Ombersley, has been a county councillor for three years, and a Wychavon District Councillor for eight.

But in the 1970s, while working as a continuity announcer for ATV, he came up with the idea of what went on to become Tiswas and later became a regular presenter between 1974 and 1977.

The anarchic series, which ended in 1982 is best known for its sketches and stunts, fronted by the likes of Chris Tarrant, Sally James and featuring Lenny Henry and Bob Carolgees.

2019 European elections: How many new MEPs might you get?

BBC News

Half of the existing MEPs in the West Midlands are not contesting the upcoming European Parliament elections.

European parliament
Getty Images

There are 72 UK MEPs currently serving, with one seat vacant. Of those, 43 are seeking re-election and there are 548 other new candidates.

That means at least 30 of those elected from 23-26 May might either never take their seats or serve only a few months if the UK leaves the European Union by the end of October.

Here are some facts and figures about the choice voters have about who represents them in Brussels and Strasbourg.

Under-fire schools trust 'back on the right track'

The new chief executive of the Bishop Anthony Educational Trust says a recent Ofsted evaluation was "very disappointing", but he is in "absolutely no doubt" it is now moving in the right direction.

A letter from Ofsted particularly criticised the previous leadership of the trust, which runs 16 schools across Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and says it "has not been successful enough in improving the quality of education for pupils".

The trust was set up by the Diocese of Hereford and the Ofsted report was drawn up following a visit in March.

Child writing
Getty Images

Andrew Teale says since he was appointed CEO in January "we have started a process to transform this multi-academy trust and provide better support for our academies".

He added "I firmly believe that in many areas we are already on the right track and that over the next few months the exciting and ambitious plans we have for further change will ensure that the multi-academy trust will, once again, becomes the strong school leadership body that it should always have been.”

Schools trust has 'failed' head teachers

An education trust that runs 14 primary and two secondary schools in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire has been heavily criticised by inspectors.

Ofsted said the Bishop Anthony Educational Trust had been "set up with good moral intentions and a clear purpose of meeting an educational need in the community" but had "failed".

Generic classroom

It said the weakest schools and lowest achieving pupils had been particularly let down, with three of the trust’s schools judged to require special measures in the most recent inspections and one requiring improvement.

A summary of the report said where there were improvements - 11 schools in the trust were judged good or outstanding - it was often due to head teachers or governors, "rather than the contribution and effectiveness of the trust".

Ofsted has made a number of recommendations, but welcomed the appointment of a new interim chief executive, who it said had a good understanding of the trust's weaknesses.

Pupils in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire deserve to have as good an education as those in other parts of the country. The Bishop Anthony Educational Trust was set up to do just that, but we have found that its good intentions have not brought about the change that is needed to improve pupils’ experience."

James McNeillieOfsted

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

After a fine start it will a dry sunny day with some cloud and highs of 17C (63F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

More dry weather on the way tonight

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

The dry, fine weather's set to continue tonight in the West Midlands - here's the full forecast for the night and tomorrow:

Shefali Oza

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

Former PC found guilty of gross misconduct

A former West Mercia Police officer has been found guilty of gross misconduct while serving on the force.

In October, Laura Lawson admitted assaulting a 17-year-old boy while attending a disturbance in Rugby in 2017 and was given a three-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, at Worcester Crown Court.

At a hearing at the Hindlip headquarters yesterday, Lawson was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour amounting to gross misconduct and was told she would have been sacked, had she not already resigned.

The West Mercia Head of Professional Standards, Supt Helena Bennett, said: "A serving police officer receiving a criminal conviction for assault brings discredit on the force and is completely unacceptable when we are responsible for protecting the public from harm."

Your photos: Drinking in the morning sun

BBC Weather Watchers

It's looking like a beautiful day across the West Midlands, with temperatures again forecast to reach 19C (66F).

These pictures were taken by BBC Weather Watchers in Bridgnorth, Worcester and Yoxall.


Another dry, sunny day

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Any early patches of mist should soon clear away leaving a dry and fine, sunny day.

Here's the full forecast for the West Midlands for Wednesday:

Alex Hamilton

You can get a latest forecast for your part of the region at any other time by going to the BBC Weather website.

Counties' four CCGs propose merger

BBC Hereford and Worcester

There are proposals to merge four clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in two counties into just one group to save the local NHS £2m.

Doctor typing on keyboard
Seb_Ra/Getty Images

The CCGs covering Herefordshire and Worcestershire said they had been set a target by the NHS to cut running costs by 20%.

They said creating one group for both counties would achieve the saving and they're launching a consultation programme next month.

It's the second proposed merger of CCGs in the West Midlands this month, following plans in Shropshire.

CCGs replaced Primary Care Trusts in April 2013 as the NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of healthcare services locally.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a dry night with mainly clear skies and lows of 3C (37F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Van crashes into Pizza Express

BBC Hereford and Worcester

A van's crashed through the front window of a pizza restaurant this morning.

Van after crashing into restaurant
West Mercia Police

Hereford and Worcester Fire Service said it smashed into the Pizza Express on Cathedral Square, Worcester, at about 08:15.

It said the driver had managed to get out of the vehicle by the time it arrived and was treated by paramedics.

The restaurant wasn't open at the time.

Boy hit by ambulance responding to 999 call

A teenage boy suffered potentially serious injuries when he was hit by an ambulance responding to an emergency call.


It happened in Lichfield Street, Walsall, just after 17:30 on Monday.

The teenager was treated at the scene before being airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

No-one in the ambulance was injured, though they were badly shaken.

The ambulance service will be working with collision investigators to establish what happened, the West Midlands trust said.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a dry fine day with sunshine and highs of 19C (66F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a dry night with largely clear skies and lows of 2C (36F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

After a chilly start it will be a dry and fine day with warm sunshine and highs of 18C (43F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands