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Weather: A dry and warm Thursday

BBC Weather

Today's going to be very warm and mainly dry with just the chance of the odd shower this morning. High: 25C/77F.

This morning in Moreton on Lugg, Herefordshire
BBC Weather Watcher Mightyship
This morning in Moreton on Lugg, Herefordshire

It will stay dry tonight with clear spells, feeling humid and mild with a low of 15C/59F.

Keep up-to-date on the forecast for your area by going to the BBC Weather website.

Guard of honour at funeral of special constable

A funeral has been held today for a special constable who died months after he was hit by a car.

Special Constable Resham Singh Nahal pictured in 2017 at Pride with Chief Constable Dave Thompson
West Midlands Police

Resham Singh Nahal (left) was hit by a car while attending the scene of a separate collision in Oldbury, on 8 November.

Last month, West Midlands Chief Constable Dave Thompson confirmed his death and the force said tests would determine if his death related to the injuries he suffered on duty.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said Mr Nahal was also part of its Patient Transport Service and colleagues formed a guard of honour at Perry Barr Crematorium.

Colleagues at the funeral
West Midlands Ambulance Service

Coronavirus: How many cases are there in your area?

The number of people testing positive for coronavirus in Sandwell has fallen, according to new figures.

A test sample is held at a COVID-19 testing centre
Reuters

The borough was named as an area of concern by Public Health England last month after a rise in cases.

But data from Public Health England shows there were 66 new cases in the week up to 31 July. Figures for the seven days to 24 July showed 96 cases.

That means 20.2 people tested positive for every for every 100,000 population (up to 31 July), down from 29.3 a week earlier.

Here are the rate of infections (per 100,000 people) for all local authorities in the West Midlands - for the seven days up to 31 July, compared with the previous week.

  • Birmingham down to 12.7 from from 13.4
  • Bromsgrove down to 6.1 from 7.1
  • Cheshire East up to 6.6 from 1.3
  • Coventry up to 14.7 from 8.7
  • Dudley up to 4.7 from 3.4
  • East Staffordshire up to 9.3 from 8.4
  • Herefordshire remains at 5.7
  • Lichfield up to 6.7 from 2.9
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme up to 7.0 from 3.1
  • North Warwickshire is down to 6.2 from 9.3
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth up to 17.8 from 8.5
  • Redditch remains at 1.2
  • Rugby up to 6.5 from 1.9
  • Sandwell down to 20.2 from 29.3
  • Shropshire up to 6.2 from 5.0
  • Solihull up to 7.0 from 4.2
  • South Staffordshire down to 3.6 from 6.2
  • Staffordshire Moorlands up to 6.1 from 1.0
  • Stoke-on-Trent down to 3.1 from 4.3
  • Stratford-on-Avon up to 3.1 from 0.8
  • Tamworth up to 2.6 from 1.3
  • Telford and Wrekin remains at 3.9
  • Walsall remains at 8.1
  • Warwick remains at 4.2
  • Wolverhampton up to 16.8 from 14.5
  • Worcester down to 3.9 from 7.9
  • Wychavon down to 4.7 from 7.9

Weather: Mainly dry and sunny today

BBC Weather

Monday will be mainly dry with sunny spells although there could be some more cloud around this afternoon with a few light showers. High: 19C/66F.

Leek this morning
Tammys Pics
This morning near Leek, Staffordshire

Then although there'll be some patchy cloud with the odd shower tonight, it will generally turn dry with clear spells through the night. Low: 8C/46F.

You can keep up-to-date on the latest forecast for your area by going to the BBC Weather website.

How hot is it going to get today?

BBC Weather

It will be a dry and hot day for most of the West Midlands with plenty of sunshine.

Later in the afternoon, some patchy cloud will build up, with the small chance of catching a sharp shower but temperatures could reach 32°C (90°F).

This was the scene in Eckington, Worcestershire, this morning and taken by BBC Weather Watcher Jo.

Eckington
BBC Weather Watchers/Jo
Paramedic on struggle to recover mentally from stabbing
Deena Evans and her colleague Michael Hipgrave were stabbed while attending a patient in Wolverhampton.

Warning against anti-social behaviour issued ahed of Eid

Muslims across the West Midlands will be celebrating the festival of Eid al-Adha on Friday.

Worshipers are being asked celebrate virtually due to social-distancing measures brought in during the coronavirus pandemic, and not gather in large family groups.

West Midlands Police is also asking people not to gather this evening causing anti-social behaviour including "revving engines and blowing horns into the early hours."

"Police ANPR operations and officers [will be] on duty until the early hours of the morning to deal with this problem should it arise," the force said.

Robots used to clean airport in coronavirus fight

Robots that can clean door handles and seats are being trialed at a Yorkshire airport to see if they can help in the fight against the coronavirus.

Robot cleaner
SELF-REPAIRING CITIES

The University of Leeds has been using the machines at Leeds Bradford Airport and in Leeds city centre where they spray objects with a mist of diluted alcohol.

The robots use artificial intelligence to identify objects that need regular cleaning, like seats, bike stands or doors.

They then work together to avoid crashing into things or people.

The project, which involves the universities of Leeds and Birmingham, and University College London, was set up in May to look at how robots can help slow the spread of the virus.

Dr Mohammed Shaqura, from the University of Leeds, said: “The aim is to have robots that can regularly disinfect those spaces, doing away with the need for people to clean them and the risks they would face in becoming contaminated themselves.

“We are using machine learning techniques to have the robots fully autonomous, so they "know" which objects need cleaning – and will only require high-level supervision from operators.”

People urged to get tested as city sees Covid-19 spike

BBC Radio WM

People living in Wolverhampton are being urged to get tested for coronavirus even if their symptoms are mild.

A doctor holds a test stick
Reuters

The city council is hoping extra testing will help them avoid a local lockdown after a recent increase in cases.

Their latest figures show 12.2 cases per 100,000 people in the city for the week up to 27 July, compared to 2.7 per 100,000 for the week before.

The authority says many of the new cases are being linked to family clusters or contacts of known cases.

Weather: Sunshine and showers

BBC Weather

A mix of sunny spells and showers today. Cool and breezy with a high of 17C/63F.

Knowle, Solihull this morning
BBC Weather Watchers/Dammo
Knowle, Solihull this morning

Then any remaining showers will die out through tonight with clear spells appearing later on. Low: 11C/52F.

Get an up-to-date forecast for your area at any time by going to the BBC Weather website.

Weather: Showers all day

BBC Weather

There'll be outbreaks of showers today, with gusty winds, and the rain could be heavy at times with a small chance of thunder and lightning. High: 21C/70F.

Rain in Bromyard, Herefordshire, this morning
Mrs Baggins
Rain in Bromyard, Herefordshire, this morning

Windy this evening with a few showers before turning largely dry and clear overnight. Low: 11C/52F.

You can keep up-to-date on the forecast for your area by going to the BBC Weather website.

Windrush campaigner had 'zeal to fight for justice'

Windrush campaigner Paulette Wilson turned anger over her treatment by the government into energy to help others, a friend has said.

Windrush scandal: One year on

She died aged 64 on Thursday morning, her daughter Natalie Barnes confirmed.

Ms Wilson arrived in Telford from Jamaica in 1968 aged 10 - but in August 2015 her benefits were stopped and was later sent to a detention centre.

Bishop Desmond Jadoo said "many people would have been ever so bitter... but she still had a smile on her face and she just kept going.

"I'll remember Paulette with her smile, her grace, and her humility, but most of all her zeal to fight for justice."

Windrush campaigner's death sparks Home Secretary pledge

Allen Cook

BBC News

The current Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the government must continue to "right the wrongs" of the Windrush scandal after the death of a campaigner.

Paulette Wilson
BBC

Paulette Wilson, who lived in Wolverhampton, came to Telford from Jamaica as a child and was one of thousands of people affected by the scandal which made headlines in 2018.

It emerged many children of Commonwealth citizens had been threatened with deportation despite living and working in the UK for decades.

Her daughter confirmed Ms Wilson's death on Thursday morning aged 64.

The government apologised for the scandal and, following Ms Wilson's passing, Ms Patel tweeted she had highlighted "the terrible injustices faced by the #Windrush generation".

Former Home Secretary and Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid also tweeted and said "we must keep working to make sure this never happens again".

Extra support for food bank

Food banks in Wolverhampton are to be supported by the council for a further two months, it has been announced.

Food
Getty Images

The services have been "hard hit" by the pandemic, with many of their usual volunteers needing to shield and fewer donations coming in, the council said.

It will continue to supply 1,000 food parcels a week until the end of September "to give them a chance to get back on their feet," said council leader Ian Brookfield.

"As unemployment increases due to the impact of the virus, we know that need will sadly also increase,” he added.

Coronavirus: How many cases are there in your area?

The number of people testing positive for coronavirus in Sandwell has risen again, according to new figures.

The data from Public Health England shows there were 86 new cases in the week up to 20 July. Figures for the seven days to 19 July showed 76 cases.

That means 26.3 people tested positive for every for every 100,000 population (up to 20 July), up from 12.2 a week earlier.

Dr Lisa McNally, the Director of Public Health for Sandwell, said on Monday it hadn't yet reached the stage where a local lockdown was needed, but she was monitoring the rise.

Infection rate slide
Reuters

Here are the rate of infections (per 100,000 people) for all local authorities in the West Midlands - for the seven days up to 20 July, compared with the previous week.

  • Birmingham up to 12.9 from from 7.0
  • Bromsgrove up to 5.1 from 4.1
  • Cheshire East down to 3.9 from 4.2
  • Coventry up to 7.4 from 2.5
  • Dudley down to 0.9 from 2.2
  • East Staffordshire down to 15.2 from 29.5
  • Herefordshire down to 16.1 from 43.7
  • Lichfield up to 4.8 from 3.8
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme down to 2.3 from 5.4
  • North Warwickshire is up to 9.3 from 1.5
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth up to 10.9 from 10.1
  • Redditch up to 3.5 from 0.0
  • Rugby down to 3.7 from 10.3
  • Sandwell up to 26.3 from 12.1
  • Shropshire down to 0.9 from 3.4
  • Solihull down to 5.1 from 7.9
  • South Staffordshire stays the same at 2.7
  • Staffordshire Moorlands down to 0.0 from 4.1
  • Stoke-on-Trent down to 2.7 from 9.0
  • Stratford-on-Avon down to 0.0 from 5.5
  • Tamworth down to 2.6 from 3.9
  • Telford and Wrekin stays the same at 7.3
  • Walsall down to 8.8 from 11.3
  • Warwick up to 2.1 from 1.4
  • Wolverhampton up to 5.7 from 4.2
  • Worcester up to 4.9 from 2.9
  • Wychavon down from 1.6 from 4.7

What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

It will be a largely dry day with areas of cloud and the chance of some showers with highs of 23°C (73°F).

This was the view in Bromyard, Herefordshire, earlier taken by BBC Weather Watcher Mrs Baggins.

Bromyard
BBC Weather Watchers/Mrs Baggins
Caitlin Moran adapts her book How To Build A Girl for big screen
Actress Beanie Feldstein has read all her books and now she is playing "a version" of author Caitlin Moran in How To Build A Girl.

University reveals £5m expansion plan

Hundreds more students could be trained at Birmingham City University under a £5m expansion plan.

Birmingham City University
Google

The university said it had bought a property for £2.2m on Harborne Road, near its City South Campus, which it's going to spend £2.8m transforming.

Once the makeover is carried out, officials said it would provide additional teaching and training space for more than 1,000 health and education students.

Weather: Sunny spells giving way to rain

BBC Weather

Some sunny spells this morning but it will soon turn pretty cloudy with some patchy, light rain forecast for this afternoon. A breezy day with a high of 19C/66F.

Barnt Green, Worcestershire this morning
OutwithArchie
Barnt Green, Worcestershire this morning

Any lingering rain will fizzle out through this evening, leaving a dry, fairly cloudy night with just a few clear spells. Low: 13C/55F.

You can keep up-to-date on the latest forecast for your area by going to the BBC Weather website.

Online harassement cases 'spiralling' during lockdown

The number of online harassment incidents has been "spiralling" during lockdown, West Midlands Police has said.

The number of cases has risen by 40% in recent weeks, with 2,500 reported in the last month.

Mobile phone
Getty Images

The force said the increase had come as "people spend even more time on social platforms" and that one victim had received 104 offensive or abusive messages in just one day.

Family and relationship disputes are listed as being the cause for about a third of incidents, but there have also been disputes between neighbours and workplace fall-outs.

The force has launched a social media campaign to warn offenders they could face jail and to highlight the impact online abuse can have on victims.

Covid-19 leaves councils with £20m+ shortfall

The Covid-19 pandemic will leave two councils facing budget shortfalls of more than £20m each, the local authorities have revealed today.

Currency
PA Media

In Stoke-on-Trent, teams put the figure at about £27m due to the cost of issues including the high cost of supporting children and families, adult social care and lost income.

The city council said it had £18m coming from the government towards the cost but has written to the government calling for urgent additional funding.

While in Wolverhampton, the council said today it expected the first wave of the pandemic to cost it £22.5m including paying for an emergency food hub and personal protective equipment.

The local authority said it would also lobby ministers for more cash on top of £19.4m it has already received but added, without more money from the government, it would have to consider cuts to services this year.

Zero Covid-19 deaths recorded for fifth day

BBC Midlands Today

There have been no coronavirus-related deaths recorded in the West Midlands for a fifth day in a row, figures show.

A test being carried out
Reuters

The data from NHS England has the total number of Covid-19 deaths recorded since the pandemic began at 3,852.

This evening from 18:30, BBC Midlands Today will be examining if this marks the start of the end of the pandemic or if we are just moving into a new phase of living with coronavirus.

Force 'can't afford pay rises'

West Midlands Police might have to lose 36 officers to pay for the government's proposed pay increases, its Police and Crime Commissioner has warned.

David Jamieson said that the 2.5% increase couldn't be afforded from the existing budget for his force.

David Jamieson
BBC

Almost 900,000 public sector workers are to get an above-inflation pay rise, including doctors and teachers.

But the Treasury said the money for the pay increases of up to 3.1% would come from existing departmental budgets.

'Back to school' pledge over wrong road markings

It's not always easy to find positive signs lately, so how about a funny one?

These road markings say "school keep clear".

The spelling is fine, and the words are in the right order. So can you guess what's wrong this picture?

School markings
PA Media

Give up? Okay, we'll tell you - the markings have just been added outside a place where there haven't been lessons for more than ten years.

Council contractors refreshed the paint outside the old Tettenhall Wood School site in Wolverhampton which is now a housing development.

Old School House development
PA Media

Wolverhampton City Council said it would be arranging for the markings' swift removal.

A spokesman said: "We maintain around 800km (497 miles) of roads across the city, and occasionally mistakes do happen.

"Clearly this re-marking, which was carried out as part of routine maintenance work in the area, was completed in error and we will be reviewing our procedures."

No social distancing required on school buses

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Mark Cardwell

Children going back to schools across the West Midlands in September will not have to observe social distancing on school buses, a meeting has heard.

Transport for West Midlands signs
Transport for West Midlands

Documents from Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) show school bus operators may be asked to increase capacity while space on public transport remains limited due to Covid-19 rules.

Pupils in all year groups are being told to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term, and schools are instructed to maintain social distancing “wherever possible” within buildings.

Government advice states pupils will not be required to keep two metres or “one metre plus apart” on dedicated school transport – used by more than 32,000 five to 18-year-olds in the West Midlands.

Can we expect more sunshine today?

BBC Weather

After a dry and sunny start some cloud will build later with top temperatures of 20C (68F).

It was a lovely start to the morning in Upton upon Severn as captured here by BBC Weather Watcher Dee.

Upton upon Severn
BBC Weather Watchers/Dee

Man in court over machete murder

A man has appeared in court accused of murder after a father-of-one died in a machete attack.

Paulius Petrasiunas
Police handout

Paulius Petrasiunas, 24, died at the scene in Chervil Rise, Heath Town, Wolverhampton, on 13 July.

Sean Bulle, 20, from Clover Ley, Heath Town, appeared before Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court on Monday, where he was remanded into custody to appear at the city's crown court on Tuesday.

Coronavirus cases continue to fall in West Midlands

Allen Cook

BBC News

Cases of coronavirus infections in the West Midlands are continuing to decline and the region's infection rate remains low, according to health officials.

However, spikes in Herefordshire, almost entirely connected with an outbreak on a farm, and in East Staffordshire saw those areas picked out as areas of interest.

Sign to Covid-19 test centre
AFP/Getty Images

The latest figures show there were two deaths reported in local hospitals today and the University Hospitals Birmingham said it now had 73 coronavirus patients compared with 180 four weeks ago.

At the latest West Midlands weekly briefing, the Covid-19 regional covenor, Clive Wright, said the local reproduction or R number was 0.7-0.9, lower than the national figure.

He added there was currently a low level of infections across the region and Stoke-on-Trent had the highest rate regionally, but is still about 10% of the rate in Leicester, which remains under a strict lockdown.

Two areas in the West Midlands have seen a rise in new cases in the past week compared to the previous seven days.

Herefordshire's cases per 100,000 rose from 3.1 in the week to 6 July to 43.2 for the following week during which 93 workers tested positive at a farm in the county.

There was also a big rise in the East Staffordshire area, from 7.6 cases per 100,000 to 28.7. By comparison, Leicester's cases fell from 127.0 per 100,000 to 101.1