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Ambulance delays due to 'annual maintenance'

BBC Radio Stoke

Ambulances carrying 20 patients had to wait more than an hour to be admitted to the Royal Stoke Hospital yesterday because of "annual maintenance" at its accident and emergency department.

Ambulance
BBC

The hospital said "processes for ambulance handover were delayed and had an impact on the number of ambulances waiting at the emergency department for a brief period yesterday".

It said improvements had been made today.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it sent someone to help manage the hold-up yesterday and said it brought 205 patients to the A&E department - lower than the expected number.

Hazrat Umar death: More charges brought

A man has been charged with perverting the course of justice over the death of 18-year-old Hazrat Umar.

Hazrat Umar
West Midlands Police

The college student was stabbed in Norwood Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, on 25 February.

Mahmood Sarwar, 51, of Endicott Road, Aston has been charged with perverting the course of justice, and is set to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on 16 July.

Adam Muhammad,17, has admitted murdering the teenager and was sentenced to life, with a minimum term of 14 years and three months.

Charity urged to rethink closure plan

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Gurdip Thandi

Walsall councillors have called on the community to help save a town hospice from being axed.

Acorns
Tim Wilson

Earlier this month, Acorns Children’s Hospice announced its facility in Walstead Road, Walsall, could be closed after 20 years of supporting youngsters with life-limiting illnesses.

Bosses said the proposal, which has put 61 jobs at risk, was put forward due to the rising cost in care and they added families would be re-accommodated in their Birmingham and Worcester centres.

Councillor Tim Wilson, in charge of children's services at the council, said: “A decision had not yet been made. There is opportunity, through consultation, to shape and influence the decision. We must collectively take this opportunity.”

The formal consultation document setting out the plan can be found on Acorns website.

City clean air charges delayed

The introduction of Birmingham's Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is to be postponed due to a government delay in digital systems to make the zones enforceable.

Birminghamn
BBC

The proposed zone was due to come into force in January 2020, but the vehicle checker tool, due to be delivered in October, now won't be ready until December.

The council said the zone would now come into force in July next year at the earliest.

"While this does mean people will have longer to make these changes, it will also delay Birmingham in achieving air quality compliance, leaving our city exposed to dirty air for longer than anticipated."

Councillor Waseem ZaffarBirmingham City Council's cabinet member for transport and environment

Dan Evans in first round of Queen's

Dan Evans will play three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round at Queen's today.

Dan Evans
PA

The Birmingham player continued his impeccable Wimbledon preparation lifting the Nottingham title having won 10 straight matches.

World number 70 Evans, who was banned from the sport for a year from April 2017 for cocaine use, is already assured of a Wimbledon main draw slot.

Cricket World Cup weather
While it's set fine and dry for England v Afghanistan at Old Trafford today, heavy showers could delay the start of play tomorrow at Edgbaston.

Thunderstorms may bring torrential rain

Heavy rain and thunder could cause travel disruption across parts of the West Midlands later, the Met Office is warning.

View more on twitter

A yellow severe weather warning is in place from 18:00 today until 21:00 on Wednesday.

Weather warning map
Met Office

Thunderstorms may bring torrential rain, with anything from 15mm to 50mm expected.

Willenhall murder CCTV shows killer climbing into flat
Footage released by police shows the moments before the victim was beaten to death by three men.

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, from J10 for A454 Wolverhampton Road Wolverhampton to J10A for M54.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed and it's slow on M6 northbound from J10, A454 (Wolverhampton) to J10a M54, because of a break down.

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

College staff balloted over sacking of colleague

Staff at Sandwell College are being balloted for possible strike action over the sacking of a colleague.

David Muritu
University and College Union

David Muritu was sacked for defacing a poster promoting the government anti-extremism programme, Prevent.

The college lecturer said he had acted in "a moment of frustration" but felt the strategy unfairly targeted Muslims.

The Universities and College Union says the response from the college was "heavy-handed," and warned industrial action was now an option.

A college spokesperson said: "Safeguarding is of paramount importance to everybody at Sandwell College and we expect everybody to act professionally, ensuring that we adhere to our statutory duties whilst creating the best possible environment for all of our students and staff to thrive.

MPs to meet children's hospice boss over closure threat

BBC WM

The head of the Acorns Children's Hospice charity is due to meet MPs today, after announcing plans to close its Walsall site.

Acorns
BBC

The charity said an increase in care costs, reduced revenue from its shops and uncertainty over government funding means it can only afford to operate sites in Birmingham and Worcester.

The charity said it cost £10m a year to run its three sites.

Current spending figures are still being audited, but a spokesman said it looked likely that the charity's 2018-19 spending would exceed income by £1.6m.

Severe disruption: M42 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, from J9 for A4097 Kingsbury Road Curdworth to J8 for M6.

M42 Warwickshire - Two lanes closed and queues on M42 southbound from J9, A4097 (Curdworth) to J8 M6, because of a break down.

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

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

After a largely dry morning cloud will thicken and areas of showery rain will move in with highs of 18C (64F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Artist featured in finalist's portrait exhibition

The painting of a Birmingham artist, featuring his "curmudgeonly" late father, has been included in the National Gallery's BP Portrait Award Exhibition.

One Minute to Midnight
Nigel Whittaker

Nigel Whittaker's study, entitled One Minute to Midnight, was unveiled among the best contemporary works.

Nigel Whittaker
Nigel Whittaker

“Art really is a subjective thing,” said Nigel, “I put forward my painting of my late father more as a tribute to him, rather than anything else.

"Dad could be gloriously irritating and curmudgeonly, which made him feel happy. I’m so glad that he’s been honoured by this selection.”

The Finalists Exhibition is on show in London until 20 October before moving on to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, and the Ulster Museum in Belfast.

He is also planning a further solo exhibition in Birmingham.

Tennis: Early shock and British interest on day one

We've already had a shock defeat on the opening day of the tennis in Birmingham and there's British interest too in the matches.

Britain"s Johanna Konta in action during her first round match against Estonia"s Anett Kontaveit
Reuters

It's the Nature Valley Classic and fourth seed Elina Svitolina lost in three sets to Russia's Margarita Gasparyan.

While British number one Johanna Konta's been in action this afternoon - you can follow the action here on the BBC Sport website.

Patisserie Valerie owners put butter back in cakes

BBC Business News

Patisserie Valerie was in such dire straits that managers had ordered puff pastry be made from margarine rather than butter as a cost-cutting measure, its new owners have revealed.

A Patisserie Valerie  branch
Getty Images

Causeway Capital bought the Birmingham-based chain after it fell into administration following the discovery of a multimillion-pound hole in its accounts.

It plans to invest in the remaining 96 shops and boost online sales.

Causeway also plans to revamp the menu and provide new uniforms for staff.

"We will take every single recipe apart and put it back together," said Matt Scaife from Causeway.

Severe disruption: M6 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, between J4 for M42 J7 and J4A for M42 J8.

M6 Warwickshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J4, M42 J7 (Coleshill) and J4a M42 J8, because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Dogs paired with teens in animal welfare project

Troubled rescue dogs are being teamed with teenagers in a course which aims to help both parties.

The one-to-one care will help the animals find new homes, said the charity RSPCA, and help build confidence in young people.

Rebecca with dog Hugo
RSPCA

Rebecca, 15, from Droitwich was paired with Staffordshire bull terrier Hugo at the Paws for Chance course in Birmingham.

“Before I started the course, I didn’t really understand how to train dogs,” she said.

“I loved being with the dogs all week and teaching them to do things that they could not do before."

Paws for Change
RSPCA

Louise Causer, an RSPCA animal welfare specialist who ran the course, said: “You see a positive change in both the young person and the dog in every single incidence."

Paws for Change is part of the RSPCA's new programme called Generation Kind, eight projects which focus on educating young people from all backgrounds about animal welfare.

Severe disruption: M6 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, at J3A for M6 Toll.

M6 Warwickshire - One lane closed and it's slow on M6 northbound at J3a M6 Toll, because of a break down.

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

Severe disruption: M5 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, between J2 for A4123 Wolverhampton Road Oldbury and J1 for A41 Birmingham Road West Bromwich.

M5 West Midlands - One lane blocked and it's slow on M5 northbound between J2, A4123 (Oldbury) and J1, A41 (West Bromwich), because of a break down. Congestion to J3 (Halesowen / Birmingham). In the roadworks area. Travel time is 20 minutes.

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

Flooding threatens Staffordshire farmer's potato crop
Andrew Lockhart says consumers may end up paying the price if rain causes a potato shortage.

Dan Evans gets perfect preparation for Wimbledon

BBC Sport

Britain's Dan Evans continued his impeccable Wimbledon preparation with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 win over Evgeny Donskoy to lift the Nottingham title.

Dan Evans
Getty Images

Birmingham top seed Evans squandered three set points before taking the first-set tie-break and broke to love in the decisive eighth game of the second set.

He has won 10 straight matches after lifting the Surbiton title last week.

The 29-year-old will play three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round at Queen's on Tuesday.

Severe disruption: M6 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, between J3A for M6 Toll and Corley Services.

M6 Warwickshire - It's slow on M6 southbound between J3a M6 Toll and Corley Services, because of a break down earlier. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

Council owed £2.1m in unpaid tax

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Joe Burn

The amount of council tax owed to Lichfield District Council's grown by almost a third in three years to £2.1m.

Council tax bill
PA

But, despite the huge debt, councillors heard the overall council tax fund's working with a surplus of £46,215, which will be added to next year's budget.

The council's finance chief, councillor Rob Strachan, told his colleagues half of the money owed was "low risk" as debtors were working with the authority's support services.

Two charged after man found seriously injured dies

A man found with serious head injuries in Sandwell has died, police say.

Amjad Khan
West Midlands Police

Amjad Khan, 32, was found at a property in Yardley Close, Oldbury on Saturday 8 June and taken to hospital, where he died on Thursday 13 June.

Derek Brennan, aged 31, from the Smethwick area and Daman Sehra, aged 22, of no fixed address who were both arrested at the scene, have been charged with attempted murder.

West Midlands Police said they were treating the incident as a "targeted" attack and appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Severe disruption: M42 Leicestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Leicestershire southbound severe disruption, between J11 for A42 and J10 for A5 Watling Street.

M42 Leicestershire - One lane closed on M42 southbound between J11, A42 (Burton-Upon-Trent) and J10, A5 (Tamworth), because of emergency repairs. Traffic is coping well.

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

Boost for eating disorder clinic

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Gurdip Thandi

A Walsall clinic supporting young people with eating disorders has been given another welcome boost after plans to extend its base were approved.

Clinics
Google

Walsall Council’s planning department has granted planning permission to build a link extension from Newbridge House to a neighbouring property on Chester Road in Streetly that it owns.

Newbridge House provides bedrooms for in-patients as well as clinical rooms, while the adjacent property features classrooms, meeting and therapy rooms.

Bosses Newbridge Care Systems Ltd said connecting the two buildings would improve accessibility of services between both.

Fond memories for Bears skipper

Yorkshire v Warwickshire - start delayed

Apart from being the country’s joint top Championship wicket-taker, Warwickshire captain Jeetan Patel will have one other advantage when he leads the Bears against Yorkshire at York today.

The 38-year-old New Zealand off-spinner knows Clifton Park well, having spent a summer playing club cricket for York when he first came to England in 2003.

"As soon as I saw in the fixture list that we would be playing at York I was really excited," said Patel. "It will be great to go back and reconnect with a lot of friends I made. It's a lovely city and a lovely ground.

“I had an okay season there. I certainly didn't set the world alight but it was great life experience. It was my first time away from home, in a different country and I was having to fend for myself and fortunate to be around a great bunch of lads who looked after me.

Jeetan Patel
PA

He added: "I wasn't on a lot of money but that wasn't what I was there for. What I did was learn about the lifestyle in England which is so different. In New Zealand it's all about cafes and meeting people and friends there, whereas here it's all about going to the pub and sharing stories over a pint.

"I was a youngster learning my trade and wanting to get out and about and give things a go and that summer really grew me as a person.”

Severe accident: M6 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire northbound severe accident, from J4 for M42 J7 to J6 for A38.

M6 Warwickshire - One lane closed and queues on M6 northbound from J4, M42 J7 (Coleshill) to J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway Spaghetti Junction, because of an accident involving lorry and a car.

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

Car ban near schools considered

BBC Midlands Today

Plans to reduce traffic congestion around schools in Birmingham and Solihull are being considered by local councils.

School sign
BBC

The school streets scheme is already in place at Marston Green Infant Academy in Solihull, where most cars are banned during drop-off and pick-up times.

School Streets sign
BBC

At least five schools in Birmingham and eight in Solihull are looking at similar rules.

Severe disruption: M42 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, from J7A for to J7 for A446.

M42 Warwickshire - One lane closed and it's slow on M42 southbound from J7a, M6 interchange to J7, A446 (Coleshill), because of a break down.

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

Severe accident: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe accident, at J10 for A454 Wolverhampton Road Wolverhampton.

M6 West Midlands - M6 lane closed on entry slip road and it's slow northbound at J10, A454 (Wolverhampton), because of an accident.

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