Lichfield

England, United Kingdom

Latest Stories

In pictures: Smiles and tears on GCSE results day

Allen Cook

BBC News

We're starting to see a flood of messages from schools across the West Midlands understandably celebrating their students' GCSE results.

So, to share the joy, here are some of the photos from around the region of happy pupils:

Pupils at Lichfield Cathedral School
Lichfield Cathedral School
Pupils at Lichfield Cathedral School
Celebrations at The Grove School, Market Drayton
The Grove School
Celebrations at The Grove School, Market Drayton
Happy faces at The Chase School, Malvern
The Chase School
Happy faces at The Chase School, Malvern

Praise as ambulance service rated 'outstanding'

Allen Cook

BBC News

West Midlands Ambulance Service has been praised for bringing in new treatments and its training of staff as it was rated "outstanding" by the Care Quality Commission watchdog for the second year running.

It is the only ambulance service in the country to get the highest rating, following the inspections in April and June.

A row of ambulances
West Midlands Ambulance Service

The trust looks after 5.6 million people in the region and the CQC praised it for its innovations, patient transport services and its work with universities to train paramedics.

It also commended the ambulance service for training staff to deal with childbirth emergencies

The trust was however told to make improvements in 15 areas including the temperature at which medicines are stored at and making sure vehicles are consistently kept clean.

Why you might want to take an umbrella today

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

We could be in for a spot of rain this morning with a cloudy start, here's the full forecast:

Rich Davis

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

Weather: Some fine bank holiday weather on the way

Alexandra Hamilton

BBC weather presenter

We've got some warm weather on the way for the bank holiday weekend and the next few days are looking cloudy, but dry.

Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Thousands take one small step on cathedral's lunar surface

Lichfield Cathedral says thousands of visitors have already come to see the lunar landscape being projecting on to the floor of the nave.

It's the work of artist-in-residence Peter Walker and opened on 20 July, to mark the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

It's going to remain there until 25 September and the cathedral said it "allows us to contemplate and observe one of the most significant journeys that humanity has taken and allows us to imagine possibilities for humankind".

View more on twitter

Struggling hospital NHS trust 'on course to break even'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Kerry Ashdown

A hospital trust which was more than £63m in the red last year is on course to break even next year.

Royal Stoke University Hospital Main Building
BBC

The University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) NHS Trust was placed in financial special measures in 2017 after struggling to meet savings targets.

But the NHS has given it a deficit target of £32m to work towards this year and, if it meets that, it'll receive the same amount back in funding, meaning it would break even in its accounts.

At its latest board meeting, the trust revealed it was currently £3.4m ahead of schedule based on the first three months of the year.

Your weather forecast for the next 24 hours

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

A dry night ahead for the West Midlands with some clear spells, here's the full forecast including for the start of Wednesday:

Alex Hamilton

You can keep up-to-date on the weather in your area at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Trains unable to stop at Lichfield Trent Valley

BBC News Travel

Trains aren't stopping at Lichfield Trent Valley this afternoon due to a points failure.

National Rail Enquiries said services can't call at the station and they expect the issue to last until at least 15:00.

There's also a speed restriction in place, forcing trains to travel at slower speeds through the Lichfield Trent Valley.

Ambulance service to take over non-emergency 111 calls

From November, the non-emergency 111 medical helpline is going to be run across the West Midlands by the region's ambulance service, with the exception of Staffordshire.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it plans to integrate the service with its 999 call-handling and that this would mean "patients can be better directed to the most appropriate care".

WMAS call centre
WMAS

WMAS also said that when it takes over from Care UK, there would be fewer 111 patients being sent an ambulance and fewer being sent to accident and emergency departments.

It added it would look to transfer across staff already working for Care UK.

Will you need a brolly later?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

We're set for a mainly fine, dry day with sunny spells, here's the full forecast.

Alex Hamilton

You can get the latest forecast for your area at any other time from the BBC Weather website.

Turning dry and clear tonight

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

The showers we've seen today in the West Midlands should fade as we head into tonight which is expected to be mainly dry and clear:

Alex Hamilton

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

Fairer funding demand from rural councils

BBC Midlands Today

Boris Johnson is being urged by the leaders of dozens of councils to give them a fairer funding deal.

Shropshire Council's HQ
BBC

They include those in charge of five local authorities in the West Midlands: Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

The demand's made in an open letter to the prime minister in the Telegraph and claims counties get £240 per resident compared with £449 in urban areas.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says councils have been given £46.4bn this year and it'll work to get councils their financial settlement for next year as soon as possible.

Will you need your umbrella again?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

A mix of sunny spells with some heavy showers - here's the full weather forecast.

Alex Hamilton

Stay up to date with the latest weather for you area by heading to the BBC Weather website at any other time.

Wet day turning to dry night

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

After all the rain we should be in for a largely dry night - here's the full forecast, including for the start of your weekend:

Rebecca Wood

Keep up-to-date with the weather where you are at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Barbel and chub stocks 'falling'

BBC Midlands Today

Fish stocks in two rivers in Staffordshire could be dwindling, the Environment Agency's said.

Two barbels spawning
Environment Agency

Anglers have reported falling numbers of barbel and chub in the Dove and Upper Trent in recent years, the agency added.

It's now asking them to send in scales from any of those breeds of fish they catch so the agency can test for health problems.

Flooding warning with heavy rain forecast

Allen Cook

BBC News

Drivers and homeowners are being warned of potential flooding today from heavy rain in parts of the West Midlands.

Area covered by the warning
Met Office

A yellow weather warning's been issued by the Met Office, from 08:00 until 22:00.

The alert covers parts of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire and states there could be spray and flooding on roads and homes and businesses could also be affected.

Wet day ahead

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It's going to be a wet one today with rain due to spread across the West Midlands throughout the day - here's the full forecast:

Alex Hamilton

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

Weather set to change from tonight

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Dry and clear to start tonight but it's then going to soon turn cloudy - here's the full forecast for the West Midlands.

Alex Hamilton

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

Hundreds man the phones to help students through clearing

Hundreds of university staff and students are manning phones today, to help young people who didn't get the grades they wanted.

They're also helping students find accommodation for September.

And they've been sharing inspirational stories from past students who came to them through clearing and ended up having a really positive experience.

View more on twitter

Big differences in A-level maths results

Maths proved the most popular subject at A-levels this year.

Across the country, 41.4% of 18-year-olds got A or A* grades, but there was a big variation across the country and across exam boards.

Documents first reported by the Daily Telegraph revealed that students taking papers set by both Pearson/Edexcel and OCR needed just 55% and 54% respectively to get an A grade.

Graphic
BBC

The results cover ceremonial counties, so Stoke-on-Trent figures are included with Staffordshire and Telford ones as part of Shropshire.

The number of students taking the subject in each county also differs significantly with just 255 in Herefordshire and 3,410 in the West Midlands.

Shropshire and Worcestershire students set bar at A-levels

Shropshire A-level students had the highest percentage of As and A*s in Economics in the country, figures from Ofqual have revealed.

And Worcestershire students came out top in Physical Education, with 23.3% getting a grade of A or A*.

A-level results
Getty Images

Out of the 195 students taking economics in Shropshire, 46.7% got a grade of A or A* - well above the national average of 30.1%.

The figures also show that Staffordshire students got the lowest percentage of A or A*s in maths - 28%.

Water company to pay for 1.3 million trees

Severn Trent Water says it will pay for 1.3 million trees to be planted in the Midlands over the next five years.

The water company is supplying them to the Woodland Trust, which is working with farmers and landowners to find suitable locations.

Tree planting
Severn Trent

The firm has paid for 700,000 of them since 2015, mostly in Derbyshire, but now wants to widen the scheme out to cover Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

It said the trees, which will all be native species, can improve drainage, reduce the amount of chemicals leaking into rivers, and improve air quality.

'World's only hole punch collection' set to be sold

Allen Cook

BBC News

Stamps, coins and comic books - many people across the world collect them, but who would collect a key part of an office's stationary cupboard - the hole punch?

Peter Duffell with some of his collection
Richard Winterton Auctioneers

Well, one man would and he's Peter Duffell, from Lichfield, who has amassed more than 200 punches over 40 years and is now auctioning them off.

Richard Winterton Auctioneers says he started in 1978 by buying one for 50p at Lichfield Market and, since then, has bought them from places including Japan, the USA and Germany.

The unusual collection, described as possibly "the only hole punch collection in the world" by the auctioneers, is being sold on 4 September.

Some of the collection
Richard Winterton Auctioneers

Some showers to start the day

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Some scattered showers around this morning in the West Midlands, here's the full forecast for the region:

Alex Hamilton

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

What's the weather got in store?

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

Well it's going to be a very wet day today so make sure you pack an umbrella.

There's also a weather warning in place for possible heavy thundery showers across the region.

West Midlands weather 14 August 2019

Tonight and tomorrow's weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

There's just the chance of the odd shower this evening but it should then be mainly dry overnight.

Here's the full weather forecast, including for tomorrow:

Alex Hamilton

You can get a latest forecast at any other time from the BBC Weather website.

Public promised say on closing leisure centre

Allen Cook

BBC News

People are being promised a say on the future of a leisure centre which is slated to close next year.

The pool inside the building
Lichfield District Council

Last month, Lichfield District Council said Friary Grange would shut because it would cost at least £2m to bring up to current standards.

The move sparked opposition and an online petition drew thousands of signatures.

The council now says there'll be a cabinet meeting at the Lichfield Garrick on 7 October to consider the centre's future and people can have their say in the first part of the meeting.

Thunderstorms warning for Wednesday

Allen Cook

BBC News

Thunderstorms could cause flooding and disrupt transport in parts of the West Midlands tomorrow, the Met Office has said.

Area covered by warning
Met Office

A yellow weather warning's been issued covering most of the region from 14:00 until 22:00.

Fine, sunny day ahead for Tuesday

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Today looks like being a generally fine day for most of the West Midlands, here's the full weather forecast:

Alex Hamilton

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

Chance of showers tonight

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

After a mostly dry day, there's a chance of some scattered showers overnight.

Here's the full weather forecast for the West Midlands, including for tomorrow:

Alex Hamilton with Monday night's West Midlands weather

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

PD Cooper, a Staffie with Staffordshire Police, on tv tonight

A rescued Staffordshire bull terrier who went on to become a police dog with Staffordshire Police is featured on Channel 4's Animal Rescue tonight.

View more on twitter

PD Cooper is the force's first Staffordshire bull terrier recruit.

The show, hosted by Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick, airs every night at 20:00 BST for five days and encourages people to adopt rescue animals.

Dry start to Monday's weather

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

The week's set to start mainly dry and pretty cloudy across the West Midlands, here's the forecast for the whole of Monday:

Alex Hamilton

You can keep up-to-date with the weather where you are at any other time by going to the BBC Weather website.

Warning of heavy rain and high winds

The Met Office is warning of heavy rain for the rest of the day and has issued a yellow warning, meaning there is a warning of thunderstorms and flooding across the West Midlands.

And it has issued another yellow warning for tomorrow, saying it's expecting high winds.

Worcester
WorcsPaul

Power cut hits thousands in West Midlands

Allen Cook

BBC News

Power cuts are affecting thousands of homes and firms across the West Midlands this evening.

Western Power Distribution's tweeted that it is experiencing a "major incident on the national electricity infrastructure".

On its power cuts map, it says power cuts are affecting areas including:

  • 1,774 properties in Shrewsbury and surrounding area
  • 25,186 in Ludlow and surrounding area
  • 13,460 in Royal Leamington Spa
  • 105, 218 across north Staffordshire and Telford

BreakingPower cut hits thousands of homes and businesses

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses have lost power in Staffordshire this evening.

Western Power Distribution's website says about 80,000 properties are without electricity.

The firm adds it could take until at least 19:30 to get them all back on.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a showery day with some heavy rain expected later and highs of 23C (73F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Tax hike to fund new heritage centre

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A few of the stories being covered by our Local Democracy Reporting Service reporters in Staffordshire:

  • People in Staffordshire will have to report potholes online in the future as the county council's decided to phase out its telephone reporting service.
  • Stone Town Council's decided to finally use £100,000 raised from a tax hike a decade ago to turn a former fire station (pictured) into a heritage centre.
  • Residents continue to object to housing plans in Madeley, Staffordshire, despite the development being redesigned.
Former Stone Fire Station
Google

Rain weather warning updated

Heavy rain could cause travel disruption from 15:00 tomorrow, the Met Office is warning.

A band of heavy rain, with the possibility of heavy bursts will move northwards during Friday afternoon.

A yellow warning for strong winds has been issued for Saturday, with further disruption expected.

View more on twitter

Oatcake Day marked in Staffordshire

Allen Cook

BBC News

If you're not from or live in Staffordshire, you might not be aware of the "mystical food of the gods" - the Staffordshire oatcake!

BBC Radio Stoke's John Acres tucking in today
BBC
BBC Radio Stoke's John Acres tucking in

To mark this delicacy, today is the ninth annual Oatcake Day and people across the county - and beyond - are sharing their love of them on social media.

The event was set up in 2010 by DJ Terry Bossons from Biddulph and, over the years, has been endorsed by celebrities such as Ricky Gervais, Robbie Williams and Slash.

As for toppings, it's bacon and cheese all the way for us.

Bacon and cheese
BBC

Young offenders 'set up to fail' on their release from custody

Young offender institutions in England and Wales fail to provide necessary support for children to succeed in life after custody, a report has found.

Prisoner
Getty Images

The inspectors assessed the country's five sites, including Staffordshire, between October and March, looking at the cases of 50 offenders.

In many cases, secure accommodation is not lined up, while mental health support, education and employment are often not arranged, the prison and probation inspectorates said.

Penal reformers said children were being "set up to fail".

The government said it was reviewing resettlement services at YOIs.