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Staying dry for the next 24 hours

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

More dry weather ahead tonight and tomorrow for the West Midlands, here's the latest weather forecast:

Shefali Oza

You can get a latest forecast for your area at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Staying fine and dry on Wednesday

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

More fine, dry weather today with sunny spells - here's the full forecast for the West Midlands:

Alex Hamilton

You can get a latest forecast at any other time for your area by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Ambulance service 'to rely less' on fast cars

Local Democracy Reporting Service

West Midlands Ambulance Service says it's going to be relying less on motorbikes and response cars and more on traditional ambulances in the future.

Mark Docherty, its executive director of clinical commissioning, said: “We invested a lot in response cars, a lot of motorcycles and even bicycles. But what we found was that it was all well and good getting a paramedic there, but what do they then do with the patient?"

Ambulance
BBC

Mr Docherty said he also wanted more defibrillators "on every street corner", so that if someone suffered a cardiac arrest, they could get help quickly.

Staying dry in the West Midlands

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

There's no end in sight for the dry weather over the next 24 hours, with more forecast tonight and tomorrow - here's the full report for the West Midlands:

Alex Hamilton

You can get an up-to-date forecast for your area at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Mountaineers climb artwork in Birmingham underpass

John Bray

BBC News

Brutalist murals in a Birmingham city centre underpass could become a magnet for climbers - thanks to a group of university students.

Mountaineers climb artwork in Birmingham underpass

Members of the University of Birmingham Mountaineering and Climbing Club (UBMC) were asked to visit the William Mitchell artwork, underneath Hockley Circus, by a group which campaigns to promote and protect the city’s 20th Century architecture.

Brutiful Birmingham said the climbing wall murals, created in 1968, were largely forgotten and neglected.

UBMC members plan to alert other enthusiasts across the country. Only experienced climbers are advised to scale the artwork.

Statue of West Brom legends to be unveiled

BBC Midlands Today

A statue marking the careers of three of West Bromwich Albion's pioneering black players will be unveiled later today.

The statue
Sandwell Council

Brendon Batson, Laurie Cunningham and Cyrille Regis were stars of the thrilling Albion teams of the late 70s and early 80s.

Their manager at the time, Ron Atkinson, dubbed them The Three Degrees after the famous US singing group.

Former team-mates and family will attend the ceremony to reveal the 10ft (3m) tall statue of the trio in New Square shopping centre, West Bromwich.

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
BBC

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.
Mountaineers climb artwork in Birmingham underpass
The "forgotten" Brutalist murals beneath a flyover could become a magnet for climbers.

Mayor launches 'Beat the Bots' fund

A scheme launched by the Mayor of the West Midlands is seeking to help retrain workers whose jobs are at risk from becoming automated.

Robot
Getty Images

Some 1.5 million people in England are at high risk of losing their jobs to automation, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Mayor Andy Street said £5m worth of funding for his Beat the Bots initiative would be made available for colleges and training providers to deliver innovative digital training.

The fund, which he said was "our way to stay ahead", represented a chance to gain digital skills "which will prepare our workforce for the jobs of the future".

“Artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles and robotics are getting better, and, in reality, it’s only a matter of time before real people will lose out to bots in the fight for jobs," he added.

The funding comes from the government’s National Retraining Scheme, and was announced by Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds in summer 2018, as part of the West Midlands Combined Authority's Skills Deal.

Teens in care 'abandoned to crime gangs'

BBC Newsnight

Thousands of teenagers in care are being "dumped" in unregulated homes and "abandoned to organised crime gangs", the BBC has been told.

The number of looked-after children aged 16 and over living in unregistered accommodation in England has increased 70% in a decade, Newsnight has found.

Young person
Getty

The West Midlands has seen a big increase in the use of unregulated accommodation - up from 280 in 2009 to 610 children in 2018.

Police forces have raised concerns, saying criminals see the premises as an easy target for recruitment.

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

Police cleared over chase that ended in fatal crash

An inquiry has concluded police were not for blame for a crash that killed a young woman in Birmingham last July.

Sarah Giles (pictured below) died and her boyfriend was seriously injured when Branden Daniels lost control of a stolen Audi A3 and crashed into their vehicle.

He had been pursued by West Midlands Police officers, but the Independent Office for Police Conduct said the chase had been "authorised, proportionate and carried out in accordance with local and national policy".

Sarah Giles
West Midlands Police

The IOPC also said: "The police officers drove a safe distance behind the stolen vehicle and ultimately it was the manner in which the Audi was driven which led to such tragic consequences."

Rail delays expected until 15:00 as line blocked

BBC News Travel

An incident between Birmingham Moor Street and Solihull, which is blocking the railway lines, is expected to cause disruption until 15:00.

The incident is affecting Chiltern Raildways, Cross Country and West Midlands Railway services.

Tickets are being accepted on other services and some bus routes.

View more on twitter

Knife offenders 'don't have anything to lose'

The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police says the £7m extra funding his force has been given by the government to tackle knife crime will help, but won't solve the problem.

Knife crime West Midlands
BBC

Figures published by the police showed in the year up to September in the West Midlands force area there were 3,108 offences recorded, a rise of 19% on the year before and almost double the number recorded in 2013.

Dave Thompson said some offenders "didn't have anything to lose" and were "not thinking about the consequences" of their actions.

"There's got to be a dread of detection, a dread of the consequences, but you know I've looked at some of the cases we had, cases where really the likelihood of the offender being caught is obvious and yet, you know, the incident results in a murder.

"Perhaps because they don't think they have anything to lose and don't live a life where they think anymore further than the immediate."

'Children should visit dentist when first milk teeth appear'

Just 3% of children visit the dentist before their first birthday which shows a "lack of understanding" about oral health, a new study has found.

The figures rise to 12% by the age of two, University of Birmingham researchers said.

Dental check-up
PA

Most children miss out on dental appointments in the first few years of their lives, the report in the Community Dental Health journal reports.

It's recommended parents take their children to the dentist when their first milk teeth appear, with regular check-ups to follow.

Dr John Morris from the university said: "Poor oral health can cause pain and infection, which can affect eating, sleeping, socialising and learning, yet worryingly our research suggests that there is a widespread lack of understanding of the importance of taking children to the dentist before their first birthday."

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

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

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.

Government invests further £28m in Coventry electric car tech

The Government has given a further £28m to an electric car battery development centre in Coventry.

Electric vehicle
BBC

Business Secretary Greg Clark is set to announce the funding for the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, which is on top of an £80m initial investment.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said the centre was a "major coup" for the city and the wider West Midlands.

The cash is part of the Local Industrial Strategy to boost the region's economy.

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.

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.

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

New council leader appointed

Local Democracy Reporting Service

George Makin

Councillors have chosen a new leader of Sandwell Council in a tightly-fought contest where the margin of victory was just two votes.

Cllr Yvonne Davies
Sandwell Council
Yvonne Davies

Councillor Yvonne Davies beat Ann Shackleton by 35 to 33 at the Annual General Meeting of the Labour group on Monday.

She said her first step would be to take stock, talk to people and take advice, adding: “I hope that everyone recognises that we have spent past years on the wrong side of doing the right thing and actually we need to move forward with integrity, honesty, transparency and openness, and political infighting benefits no-one.”

A second meeting of the Labour group will take place before Ms Davies is formally selected as the political leader of the authority at the next full council meeting on 21 May.

Man arrested in human trafficking investigation

A man has been arrested in connection with a major investigation into human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

He was detained at an address in the West Midlands and is being questioned by officers from the National Crime Agency.

A number of other properties are being searched in the West Midlands, west London and Northamptonshire areas.

The operations are being conducted with the support of Immigration Enforcement, West Midlands Police, Metropolitan Police and Northamptonshire Police.

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.

Ambulance
BBC

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.