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Dozens of arrests in county lines crackdown

Allen Cook

BBC News

Dozens of arrests have been made by Staffordshire Police and West Mercia Police as part of a national campaign in the past week targeting so-called county lines drugs gangs.

The practice sees gangs moving out of their usual urban territory and into rural areas, often coercing children and vulnerable adults to help.

Join police officers as they raid an address in Hastings

Nationally, police forces led by the National County Lines Coordination Centre made a total of 586 arrests, and seized cocaine worth £176,780, plus £312,649 in cash and 46 weapons.

Both Staffordshire Police and West Mercia Police said in addition to their arrests, they visited several "cuckoo" addresses, where drug runners commandeer homes to use as a base.

They said that 13 people in need of support were helped after their visits.

Cannabis
BBC

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.

School with 20 pupils to close this summer

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Kerry Ashdown

A 150-year-old school's going to close this summer after a council said it was financially unsustainable.

Henry Prince First School
Google

The Henry Prince First School, in Mayfield, Staffordshire, near Ashbourne, has space for 75 pupils, but currently has just 20.

Staffordshire County Council's approved proposals from the school's governing body to shut it, with its financial deficit forecast to rise above £400,00 by 2021-22.

Members of the local parish council called the decision premature, but the county council said there was no alternative but to close it from the end of August.

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

Your photos: Brightness after grey skies

BBC Weather Watchers

Well, after the grey skies of this morning from our local BBC Weather Watchers in the West MIdlands, there's been some brighter weather and even a hint of blue in places.

These three are from users Littleacorns in Southam, Warwickshire, Chris in Arley, Warwickshire and Videoman in Leek, Staffordshire:

Southam
Littleacorns
Arley
Chris
Leek
Videoman

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.

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.

Fresh bid for lottery cash for history project

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A fresh bid for £3.9m of lottery funding for a new history centre is being launched.

Staffordshire Record Office entrance
Staffordshire County Council

In October, an attempt to get the cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Staffordshire History Centre scheme was rejected.

But the county council wants to put in a revised application at the end of this month for the cash.

If successful, it'll be used with fundraising of £1.8m for a new extension and remodelling of Staffordshire Records Office and the William Salt Library in Stafford.

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

Your photos: Sunny landscapes

BBC Weather Watchers

The sunny weather's continued in the West Midlands and we thought we'd showcase some of the region's landscape, as photographed by our local BBC Weather Watchers today.

These three are from users Fraser in Harbury, Warwickshire; Videoman in Leek, Staffordshire; and Snapper Simon in Church Stretton, Shropshire.

Harbury
Fraser
Leek
Videoman
Church Stretton
Snapper Simon

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.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a dry fine day with sunshine and highs of 19C (66F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a dry night with largely clear skies and lows of 2C (36F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

After a chilly start it will be a dry and fine day with warm sunshine and highs of 18C (43F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

A wet start to the weekend

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Showers should ease overnight leaving some clear spells and lows of 5C (41F).

Some rain is likely to return tomorrow, but Sunday should be warmer, with temperatures up to 16C (61F) in parts of the West Midlands.

Forecast picture
BBC

Scheme to help people who fall at home

A scheme to reduce the number of ambulances called to deal with falls at home is being trialled.

Cases in north Staffordshire judged to be 'less-serious' will be referred to a team from the Royal Stoke Hospital who will then go out and carry out an assessment.

Walking frame
Getty Images

The team can then refer the patient on if necessary and administer treatment if it's needed, leaving ambulances to deal with high-risk calls instead.

Residents have concerns about police using fire station

Local Democracy Reporting Service

People living close to the fire station in Hanley say they're worried about an increase in noise, if Staffordshire police officers move into the building too.

The county's Commissioner for Police, Fire and Crime, Matthew Ellis, has suggested making the building an "emergency services hub", to save money and because some of the existing police buildings are "outdated".

Hanley fire station
Google

But some residents say they're worried about the extra noise from police vehicles and sirens.

And Staffordshire’s Police Federation chairman, Keith Jervis, said officers "don’t think Hanley Fire Station as it currently stands is fit for purpose”.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a mostly cloudy day with some patchy rain and highs of 14C (57F).

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 showers but turning drier with lows of 5C (41F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy day with showers and top temperatures of 13C (55F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Showers tonight in your weather forecast

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

Cloudy at times tonight and a scattering of showers forecast, Here's the full weather forecast for the West Midlands:

Shefali Oza

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

Police sergeant banned from driving

Allen Cook

BBC News

A police officer's been banned from driving for more than two years after admitting a drink-drive offence.

Staffordshire Police badge outside door
Staffordshire Police

Sgt Karl Breen, 38, based in Stoke-on-Trent, had previously pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of breath, following a road traffic collision in March.

At Derby Magistrates' Court, he was disqualified from driving for 29 months and fined £85 in costs.

Staffordshire Police said Sgt Breen remains suspended from duty and they have started an internal misconduct investigation.

Wet start to Wednesday's weather

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

Cloudy this morning with spells of rain - here's the rest of today's weather forecast for the West Midlands:

Sara Blizzard

If you want to get a forecast for your area at any other time, head to the BBC Weather website.

Deadline looms for European election registration

The deadline to register to vote in the European elections is midnight tonight.

Theresa May said the UK would not have to take part if MPs agreed a Brexit plan first, but the government has said "regrettably" it is "not going to be possible to finish that process" before the date the UK legally has to take part.

If you are not already registered to vote, you can do so via the government website

View more on twitter

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a wet and rainy night with brisk winds and lows of 6C (43F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Woman 'seen with pram and beer' arrested for drink-driving

Allen Cook

BBC News

A woman's been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after a couple were spotted walking to a car with a pram while holding cans of beer.

They were seen by an off-duty police officer in Stafford who took a photo of the pair standing next to the vehicle.

Staffordshire Police said they then stopped the car yesterday and the female driver failed a breathalyser test.

BreakingTories lose Staffordshire Moorlands to no overall control

A 10-seat loss by the Conservatives means Staffordshire Moorlands is now under no overall control.

Labour picked up six seats, with losses for the Liberal Democrats and UKIP.

The Tories are the biggest party with 25 seats, with Labour holding 13.

There were also gains for independent councillors who hold 17 seats on the council.

Graphic
BBC

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

It will be a largely dry night with the odd shower and lows of 5C (41F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands