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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.

Paddleboard challenge on River Severn to support Worcester centre
The father of an autistic boy is travelling 100 miles down the River Severn on a paddleboard for charity.

4x4 owners given anti-social behaviour warnings

The owners of 4x4 vehicles seen driving along a south Shropshire river-bed last week have been issued with anti-social behaviour warnings by the police

The Environment Agency said they were likely to crush habitats, which would have a knock-on effect for all sort of animals.

4x4 wheel
Getty Images

West Mercia Police has warned that if they're caught again they could end up in court and have their vehicles confiscated.

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

Shopping centre to get £5m for redevelopment

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Six projects in Shropshire and Herefordshire have been awarded grants totaling £14m by the government.

They've benefited from the same Getting Building Fund as eight projects in Birmingham and Coventry and include £5m for Shropshire Council to spend on redeveloping the Pride Hill shopping centre.

Pride Hill
BBC

The other five grants are:

  • £1m for a project to create new wetlands along the River Lugg
  • £3m to improve Hereford city centre
  • £1m to develop campus facilities for NMITE at Skylon Park
  • £2.38m for a project to create new healthcare and residential units in Wellington
  • £1m for a Wrekin Housing Group project retrofitting homes with zero carbon technology to tackle fuel poverty

Flower show preparing to take fireworks online

The Shrewsbury Flower Show firework display is going online this year, because of the coronavirus.

Thousands of people buy tickets to watch it in the Quarry every year, and many more watch it from their homes around the town, but instead this month, footage of the 2019 display will be shown online.

Shrewsbury Flower Show firework display
Getty Images

This year's flower show would have been the 133rd, but online viewers are being promised some "really interesting videos" around 14 and 15 August to replace the garden tours, cooking displays and live music.

Cost of rural crime in county rises 15%

Rural crime cost Shropshire £1.4m last year, a rise of 15% on the previous year, the insurer NFU Mutual has said.

The cost to the wider West Midlands, it added, was more than £10m, and said that rural crime in the UK was at its highest level for eight years.

Cow
BBC

NFU Mutual said the rise is being driven by organised criminal gangs targeting high-value tractors, quad bikes and large numbers of livestock.

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.

4x4 drivers 'crushing' river habitats

The drivers of 4x4 vehicles who have been taking them up and down a south Shropshire river are being warned they are "crushing" important habitats.

The Environment Agency says while it is not illegal, drivers could face trespassing fines if they don't get permission from landowners.

4x4 wheel
Getty Images

Chris Bainger from the Environment Agency said: "They are crushing the gravels and all the ecology that lives in there. That is the life support system of the river."

He said the vehicles have been "doing a lot of damage" and that it would affect other creatures up the food chain, including fish, river mammals and birds.

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.

Severn Valley Railway tests trains ahead of reopening

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Today

Test trains are being run by Severn Valley Railway as the heritage railway prepares to reopen after months of closure due to Covid-19.

One of the trains behind volunteers
BBC

Volunteers are being used this week ahead of a reopening of passenger services on Saturday.

The railway, which runs between Shropshire and Worcestershire, says it is introducing new cleaning regimes and people will have to pre-book tickets as part of their measures to cope with coronavirus.

Officials add they are only expecting to get close to breaking even in the first month, but hope to build up the money coming in over future months and hope to be "somewhere near normal" by the end of the year.

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.

'We do need help' - medical boss at struggling NHS trust

BBC Shropshire

A struggling hospital trust at the centre of the largest ever review of maternity care in the NHS needs to get back to the "fundamentals of care", its medical director has said.

Princess Royal Hospital sign
BBC

Earlier this week, an investigation into maternity care at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SATH) revealed it was now examining nearly 1,900 cases.

While a few days before, the chief inspector of hospitals said the organisation was "normalising poor care" across departments.

SATH said it was working with NHS partners over improvements and medical director Arne Rose told BBC Shropshire it needed the extra support.

"We do need help and we are welcoming to the help that arrives for us, organised by NHS England and by other people."

He added mangers needed to recognise issues before external inspections did, and one example was getting matrons back on the ward so "we can recognise and tackle any issues with basic care as we find them".

Probe into racism towards footballer continues

BBC Sport

An investigation into racist abuse on social media targeted at teenage footballer Jude Bellingham is now being handled by West Mercia Police.

Jude Bellingham
PA Media

The 17-year-old played his final game for Birmingham City on Wednesday as he is moving to German giants Borussia Dortmund.

Bellingham described the post on Twitter as "disgusting" and added: "Times have to change. More has to be done."

The comments were first reported to West Midlands Police but passed to West Mercia Police as it said the teenager was from north Worcestershire.

New probe launched by MPs into English maternity care

BBC Shropshire

A new inquiry into the safety of maternity services in England has been launched today by a group of MPs.

A pregnant woman
Getty Images

The Health and Social Care Committee said it would build on investigations into concerns at NHS trusts including the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust.

Earlier this week, it was revealed the probe into the Shropshire trust was examining nearly 1,900 cases, the vast majority since the year 2000.

In the new inquiry, which will be accepting evidence until 4 September, MPs will consider what actions need to be taken to improve maternity safety at all hospitals.

It'll also look at the extent to which a “blame culture” affects decision-making and whether litigation and clinical negligence processes need to change.

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

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.

Call for government to take action over maternity care

BBC Shropshire

The leader of Telford and Wrekin Council has urged the government to take "immediate action" over the maternity scandal at Shropshire's hospitals.

An independent review into maternity care at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is now looking into nearly 1,900 cases, with the vast majority in the last 20 years.

Shaun Davies
BBC

Councillor Shaun Davies said the latest developments go "to the heart of the toxic culture at the highest levels of the organisation".

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

Move to ban cars at school drop-off and pick up times

Local Democracy Reporting Service

These stories have been covered by the Local Democracy Reporting Service in Shropshire in the past few days:

  • Cars could be stopped from driving past schools at drop-off and pick up times in parts of Shropshire from September under plans to get more families walking and cycling to school. Shropshire Council is going to consider the move after councillors backed a motion asking for the scheme to be adopted.
Exhaust of a car
Reuters
  • A council's pledged to cut its reliance on B&Bs for homeless people and instead spend £1.5m on on houses to be used as temporary accommodation. The scheme will see Shropshire Council take out long-term leases with private landlords and could be expanded in the future if it proves successful.
  • Shropshire's flagship pension fund will be asked by Shropshire Council to move away from investing in fossil fuels within three years. Councillors backed a motion from the local authority's only Green Party councillor, Julian Dean, with only one councillor abstaining and none voting against the idea.

£1.5m property plan set to tackle homelessness

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Keri Trigg

Shropshire Council has pledged to reduce its reliance on B&B placements for homeless people by spending £1.5m on houses to use as temporary accommodation.

Homeless person
PA Media

The scheme, which involves the council taking out long-term leases with private landlords, was signed off by councillors at a meeting on Thursday.

It is hoped the move will also cut the number of households the council is forced to put up in guest houses, currently around 70, due to a lack of alternative housing options.

There are ambitions for the initiative to be expanded in the future if proven successful.

Drive-through coronavirus assessment centre to close

BBC Shropshire

The drive-through coronavirus assessment centre at Shrewsbury Town Football Club is set to close on Friday due to a fall in cases.

Coronavirus test centre
BBC

The county's other centre in Telford shut at the end of May but the home visiting service is still operating.

Health commissioners are now discussing contingency plans, with partners, about a replacement site should there be a second wave later in the year.

Latest figures show the number of new cases in Telford and Wrekin has risen to 6.7 in every 100 thousand people.

In the Shropshire Council area - the figure has continued to fall to 3.7.

Coronavirus: How many cases are there in your area?

The number of people testing positive for coronavirus across the West Midlands is rising in a few areas, but dropping on the whole, new figures show.

The data from Public Health England shows the number of positive tests (in hospitals and the wider community) for every 100,000 population in the week up to 12 July.

Herefordshire's figures are up from 2.1 to 37.0, with 71 new cases recorded in the week linked to an outbreak on a farm near Worcester.

Covid-19 test
Reuters

The local authority figures in alphabetical order are:

  • Birmingham 6.5 up from 6.1
  • Bromsgrove remains the same at 4.1
  • Cheshire East down to 3.2 from 6.0
  • Coventry 2.7 down from 4.1
  • Dudley 1.9 down from 3.1
  • East Staffordshire up to 28.7 from 7.6
  • Herefordshire up to 37.0 from 2.1
  • Lichfield remains the same at 3.8
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme down to 6.2 from 11.6
  • North Warwickshire is down to 0.0 from 3.1
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth up to 12.4 from 8.5
  • Redditch down to 0.0 from 3.5
  • Rugby up to 11.2 from 8.4
  • Sandwell up to 7.9 from 4.3
  • Shropshire down to 3.7 from 7.2
  • Solihull up to 4.7 from 3.7
  • South Staffordshire up to 2.7 from 0.0
  • Staffordshire Moorlands up to 6.1 from 5.1
  • Stoke-on-Trent down to 10.9 from 12.1
  • Stratford-on-Avon up to 4.7 from 3.9
  • Tamworth down to 5.2 from 6.5
  • Telford and Wrekin up to 6.7 from 3.4
  • Walsall up to 8.8 from 4.2
  • Warwick remains the same at 0.7
  • Wolverhampton down to 3.4 from 5.3
  • Worcester down to 2.9 from 4.9
  • Wychavon up to 5.5 from 1.6

By comparison in Leicester, the rate has dropped from 127.2 in the seven days to July 5 to 104.4.

It was 143.6 in the seven days to June 28.

What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

It will be a largely fine and dry day with lots of cloud around but also some hazy sunshine breaking through. Highs of 22°C (72°F).

Wolverhampton
BBC Weather Watchers/Les at Large

Weather: Getting warmer on Thursday

BBC Weather

It should be mainly cloudy and dry tonight as well as feeling milder than in recent days, with a low of 13C (55F).

Burton-upon-Trent this afternoon
Poetic Verse
Burton-upon-Trent on Wednesday afternoon

Then it will get warmer on Thursday with some sunny spells and a high of 21C (70F).

Keep up-to-date with the forecast where you live by going to the BBC Weather website.

Weather: Early rain set to clear away

BBC Weather

A soggy start to Wednesday but the rain should soon clear away to leave us with a mainly dry day with some sunshine around this afternoon. High: 17C (63F).

Church Stretton, Shropshire
BBC Weather Watcher Peter Steggles
Church Stretton, Shropshire

Staying mainly cloudy and dry tonight with a low of 13C (55F).

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