England, United Kingdom

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  1. Mayor 'really pleased' over universal credit announcement

    West Midlands mayor Andy Street has welcomed universal credit changes outlined in the Budget.

    Andy Street

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set out changes he says will give low income families an extra £1,000 a year.

    Asked if Mr Sunak had gone far enough to calm his concerns about universal credit, Mr Street said he was "really pleased with what he announced".

    The mayor added: "You're right in saying I did have concerns. I said there should be mitigations and he has delivered a really good response to that."

    But Labour said the chancellor's universal credit measure would not make up for axing the £20-a-week top-up to the benefit.

  2. Weather: A blustery start

    Sara Blizzard

    BBC Weather

    It's a blustery start to Wednesday and later on we could get the odd shower too.

    There's a lot of cloud around but the occasional bright spell will break through and we can expect mild temperatures for this time of year with highs of 18C (64F).

    Video content

    Video caption: West Midlands weather 27 October
  3. Vaccination sites for 12 to 15-year-olds 'made safe' against protests

    Kathryn Stanczyszyn

    Political Reporter, BBC Radio WM

    Birmingham's director of public health says plans to open Covid vaccination centres to 12 to 15-year-olds were taking longer as it had to make the sites safe following anti-vaccination protests.

    Dr Justin Varney said: "There have been some issues around anti-vaxxers - aggression and abuse of staff at vaccination sites.

    "Yesterday when I had my booster I was hearing from the pharmacy where they had people coming in and being quite aggressive to them and that's disgraceful."

    Dr Justin Varney
    Image caption: Dr Justin Varney said new sites were opening up every day

    He said the council had to ensure sites, particularly those visited by children, "aren't environments where they can get hassled or abused by anti-vaxxers and that's what is taking a bit of time but there are sites opening up every day".

    He urged people to look for centres on the NHS website. Children aged 12 to 15 in England are being offered the vaccine outside schools in bid to get more vaccinated.

    Dr Varney said the latest Covid-19 case rate in the city was 310 cases per 100,000 people, which was about an 8% rise from the previous seven days.

  4. Weather: Mild and cloudy day ahead

    Rich Davis

    BBC Weather presenter

    It's going to be mostly cloudy as we go through the course of the day, later on there might be some sunny spells breaking through that cloud.

    It will feel pretty mild with temperatures reaching up to 17C (63F) but you might also notice a breeze picking up later this afternoon.

    Find your local forecast here.

    Video content

    Video caption: West Midlands weather 26 October
  5. Video content

    Video caption: Abandoned Coventry synagogue restored after 25 years

    A Coventry man is appealing for information about the 19th Century building he is renovating.

  6. Clean air zone 'starting to have impact'

    Fewer polluting vehicles are entering the centre of Birmingham since it became a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in mid-June, the council has said.

    Stephen Arnold, head of the city's zone, said the scheme, which brought in daily charges for vehicles not meeting emission standards, was "starting to have the right kind of impact".

    Stephen Arnold

    "It is very early days but we are cautiously optimistic so far. What we have seen is an improvement in the volume of compliant vehicles entering the zone," he said.

    He added while the overall volume of vehicles in that area had remained "reasonably stable", HGVs and coaches were "above 90% compliant". The council had estimated compliance in those categories would be closer to 60%.

    Meanwhile, the compliance rate among the city's licensed taxi fleet had doubled since 2018, Mr Arnold said.

    Speaking to BBC News Channel after London's charge zone was extended, he added walking and cycling was also being encouraged in Birmingham, as well as a greater use of public transport.