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Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire southbound severe disruption, from J4A for M42 to J5 for A38 Droitwich.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 southbound from J4a M42 to J5, A38 (Droitwich), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, from J6 for A4538 Pershore Lane to J5 for A38 Droitwich.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 northbound from J6, A4538 (Worcester) to J5, A38 (Droitwich), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Weather: Rain forecast this weekend

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

If you were planning a barbeque this weekend, you might want to wait until Sunday, because we're forecast rain tomorrow.

It's looking a lot better next week though.

Weather forecast for the West Midlands

New provider found for special school bus service

A new provider has been found to run minibuses to special schools in Birmingham.

The city council says it has awarded the contract to West Midlands Accessible Transport Ltd, a subsidiary of National Express, and the service will start in September.

Special needs bus
BBC

A new provider has been needed since the previous main provider, ATG, went into administration in March.

Candidate told it's too late to take name off ballot paper

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A man who announced yesterday that he was withdrawing as a candidate in a town council by-election, has been told he can't take his name off the ballot paper, because he missed the deadline to pull out.

Andrew Griffin was one of five people to put their name forward for election to Newport Town Council, but later decided he wanted to back the Lib Dem candidate, Nick Garvey instead.

Andrew Griffin
Andrew Griffin

He says he won't go out to canvas votes, after Telford and Wrekin Council told him the deadline for withdrawing from next month's by-election was 5 July.

The vote is being held after the Conservative candidate who was elected in May declined to take up the seat.

The other candidates are:

  • Independent - Wendy Hesbrook
  • Labour’s Sarah Branton
  • Conservative Sarah Pearson

West Coast Main Line rail passengers face disruption

Rail passengers using the West Coast Main Line through the West Midlands can expect major disruption, because of engineering work which is due to start tomorrow.

For the next 16 days Network Rail is upgrading track, cabling, overhead lines and signalling at the Acton Grange junction between Crewe and Preston.

Railway track
Network Rail

Trains will be diverted during the £27m project, with replacement buses also running.

A full list of services affected is available on the Network Rail website, alongside details of replacement buses.

Police pay rise 'could cost 37 officers'

Thirty seven police officers could be lost from the West Midlands force unless the government funds the pay rise it's set to announce, says the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Police officer
West Midlands Police

The armed forces will get a 2.9% rise, teachers and school staff 2.75%, police officers, dentists and consultants 2.5%, senior civil servants 2%, the Times said.

It is thought the rise will come from existing budgets.

PCC David Jamieson said the estimated pay rise could leave the force needing to spend a further £1.8m from its current budget.

Since I’ve been commissioner I’ve had to watch as the number of police officers plummet and crime rises. Whilst I welcome any plans to pay our hard working officers a salary which they all fully deserve, I am very concerned that there are no plans to fund the pay rise."

David JamiesonWest Midlands Police and Crime Commi

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, between J10 for A454 Wolverhampton Road Wolverhampton and J10A for M54.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J10, A454 (Wolverhampton) and J10a M54, because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

NHS pensions row 'could cost equivalent of 60 consultants'

The chief executive of an NHS trust in the West Midlands says that he expects to lose the work equivalent to that done by 60 consultants, as doctors reduce the amount of overtime they do.

Surgery
PA Media

Consultants have begun refusing to work beyond their planned hours after receiving unexpected tax bills, following new pension rules in 2016.

The government has indicated it will come up with new proposals in an attempt to resolve the dispute, which has led to increased waiting times for routine surgery.

Currently we've probably lost in the region of, the equivalent of, ten consultants. But the way things are going we could easily lose the equivalent of sixty consultants in terms of overtime lost, and that's a lot of patients whose care will be delayed.

Dr David RossirChief Executive, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, between J6 for A38 and J5 for A452.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed on M6 southbound between J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway Spaghetti Junction and J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

'Important announcements' due for shopping centres

Local Democracy Reporting Service

"Important announcements" about Shrewsbury's main shopping centres could be made later this year, according to Shropshire Council's deputy leader.

Councillor Steve Charmley was responding to questions from other councilors about the future of the Pride Hill, Riverside and Charles Darwin centres, which were bought by the authority for £51m last year.

Pride Hill
BBC

Councillor David Vasmer asked if he could confirm some retailers had been offered reduced rental deals, to trade there, but Mr Charmley said he couldn't do that, for commercial reasons.

But he did say: "Upon lease renewals we balance our commercial imperatives with our vision for an active, vibrant retail centre that we can all be proud of."

Thousands expected at 'Europe's largest' Mela

Thousands of people are expected at the Sandwell & Birmingham Mela this weekend for what claims to be the biggest Asian music festival in Europe.

The annual event, now in it's ninth year, takes place at Victoria Park, Smethwick on Saturday and Sunday.

Mela
Sandwell Council

The event showcases some of the best in pop, folk, and classical music from across the globe as well as dance acts and arts activities.

The event showcases the West Midlands "at its diverse, lively and open best", said Sandwell Council's leader Yvonne Davies.

There will be road closures in the area for the duration of the festival, with drivers being warned to allow extra time for journeys.

View more on twitter

Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe accident, between J12 for A5 and J13 for A449.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and queues on M6 northbound between J12, A5 (Gailey) and J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of an accident.

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

Plans for flood plain homes to be decided

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Here are three more of the stories written by the Local Democracy Reporters today:

  • A bid to reopen a pub called the Moonshine Inn in Birmingham has been rejected by councillors over concerns about noise, nuisance. One neighbour also objected to its name, because Moonshine is the term used for a high-strength illegally distilled alcohol.
  • A plan to build 62 affordable homes near a floodplain near Worcester, which were rejected once over flooding fears, will go before council planners again next week.
  • Concerns have been raised about the lack of sprinklers included in the plans to refurbish Wolverhampton's Civic Halls.

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, between J6 for A4538 Pershore Lane and J5 for A38 Droitwich.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and it's slow on M5 northbound between J6, A4538 (Worcester) and J5, A38 (Droitwich), because of a break down.

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

Severe disruption: M42 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, at J5 for A41 Solihull By-Pass Solihull.

M42 West Midlands - Two lanes closed on M42 southbound at J5, A41 (Solihull), because of a break down.

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

Stormtroopers and classic toys at Star Wars exhibition

Star Wars toys and memorabilia are going on display this weekend, and you won't have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to see them.

The May the Toys Be With You exhibition opens at the Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum tomorrow morning and these Stormtroopers will be there, to welcome the first visitors.

Stormtroopers
Museums Worcestershire

Visitors are being encouraged to dress up in their own Star Wars costumes for the opening and children can dress up as Jedi and play with lightsabers.

It's the first time this touring exhibition, which features a number of vintage toys, has been to the West Midlands.

Stormtroopers and toy
Museums Worcestershire

Severe disruption: A453 West Midlands both ways

BBC News Travel

A453 West Midlands both ways severe disruption, between Perry Common Road and The Ridgeway.

A453 West Midlands - A453 College Road in Kingstanding closed and it's slow in both directions between the Perry Common Road junction and The Ridgeway junction, because of a police investigation.

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

BreakingBoy in hospital after stabbing

A boy, believed to be 17, has been stabbed in the Kingstanding area of Birmingham this afternoon.

West Midlands Police said officers were called at around 15:00 and have sealed off an area around College Road.

The boy has been taken to hospital with "serious injuries".

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, from J12 for A5 to J13 for A449.

M6 Staffordshire - Two lanes closed and queues on M6 northbound from J12, A5 (Gailey) to J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of a lorry that's broken down.

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

School-run dad picks up sons in restored Scorpion tank
Ben Kaye and the boys' grandfather surprised children at a Shropshire primary school.

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, from J14 for A34 to J13 for A449.

M6 Staffordshire - It's slow on M6 southbound from J14, A34 (Stafford North) to J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of earlier animals in the road. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

City looks to immortalise famous figures

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Some of Worcester's most famous faces could be immortalised on traffic roundabouts around the city.

The city council is offering to pay an artist £10,000 to create a number of sculptures, remembering figures such as the cricketer Basil D'Oliveira, music hall performer Vesta Tilley (pictured below) and aviator Sheila Scott.

Vesta Tilley
Getty Images

Other suggestions for historic figures who deserve some recognition include King John, who is buried at Worcester Cathedral, and the Grand National winning racehorse Pineau de Re.

The council has a £100,000 fund to create works of art around the city and has also considered creating a large piece of public art, as a focal point for visitors.

BreakingHuman bones found in septic tank are 'adult female'

Human bones found in a septic tank are that of an adult female, a post-mortem examination has concluded.

Kempsey
BBC

West Mercia Police are probing the disappearance of a woman from Kempsey in 1982.

The bones, found on Friday 12 July, will now be forensically tested to try to obtain DNA for identification, police said.

Det Ch Insp Carl Moore said although the find was "concerning for the community" and there was "speculation surrounding the remains", further tests could be a "lengthy process".

Trespassers delaying rail services

BBC News Travel

Trespassers on the line between Wolverhampton and Coseley are delaying rail services through these stations.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M40 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, from J15 for A46 Warwick By Pass Warwick to J16 for A3400 Stratford Road.

M40 Warwickshire - Two lanes closed and queues on M40 northbound from J15, A46 (Warwick) to J16, A3400 (Henley In Arden), because of a vehicle on fire.

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

Seventeen-year-old arrested after 'serious' crash

A man is being questioned by police following a serious crash in Solihull last night, police say.

A 65-year-old man was taken to hospital with serious injuries after the crash involving two vehicles at the junction with Marshall Lake Road and Straford Road in Shirley at about 23:30.

The man remains in a critical but stable condition.

The 17-year-old was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Doctor Who actors among stars appearing at Comic Con

David Tennant. Matt Smith, Catherine Tate, James Marsters and Chris Judge are among the sci-fi stars listed to appear at the Wales Comic Con event being held in Telford later this year.

The Doctor Who, Buffy and Stargate stars are appearing at the Telford International Centre on 7 and 8 December, after the organisers decided they needed a bigger venue for their winter event.

Matt Smith and David Tennant
Getty Images

Michael Rooker from Guardians of the Galaxy, the actor who played Jar Jar Binks and a number of WWE wrestlers are also on the guest list.

Council scraps plans for community lottery

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Plans for a community lottery have been scrapped by Shropshire Council over concerns it wouldn't bring in enough income.

The authority voted to set one up in 2017, but after taking advice, it concluded the a lottery might do well initially, but that interest was likely to drop off after the first year.

Shropshire Council
BBC

Concerns were also raised about the effect it might have on other charity fundraising in the county and that it might encourage gambling.

A community lottery set up by the neighbouring Telford and Wrekin Council in July last year has raised more than £32,000 for good causes in the area so far this year.

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J14 for A34 and J13 for A449.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and it's slow on M6 southbound between J14, A34 (Stafford North) and J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of a car that's broken down. In the roadworks area.

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

Severe accident: M42 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire northbound severe accident, between M42 J8 and J9 for A4097 Kingsbury Road Curdworth.

M42 Warwickshire - One lane closed and it's slow on M42 northbound between M42 J8 and J9, A4097 (Curdworth), because of an accident.

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

Students paddleboard across the channel

A group of 10 teenagers from Malvern College have paddle-boarded across the English Channel.

Accompanied by a member of staff and escorted by two powerboats for safety, they made the crossing in seven hours and 42 minutes.

Paddle boarders
Malvern College

It was part of a three-week journey from Malvern to Paris for the seven boys and three girls, who have also been hiking, canoeing and cycling.

They said they did it to "push themselves to the limit and to build resilience".

Paddle boarders
Malvern College

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 - It's slow on M5 northbound between J2, A4123 (Oldbury) and J1, A41 (West Bromwich), because of a break down earlier. Congestion to J3 (Halesowen / Birmingham). In the roadworks area. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, from J4A for M42 J8 to J5 for A452.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed and it's slow on M6 northbound in Warwickshire from J4a M42 J8 to J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich), because of a break down.

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

Mum 'scarred physically and mentally by carjacking'

Officers investigating a carjacking that saw a four-week-old baby taken are issuing a fresh appeal, a year on from the incident.

Clare O'Neill was run over as she battled to stop the men driving off with baby Eliza, outsider outside her home in Acocks Green, Birmingham, on 19 July 2018.

Baby Eliza
West Midlands Police

Mother and daughter were reunited 45 minutes later, but Mrs O'Neill was left with injuries that she is still living with.

“Eliza will be 13 months old on Saturday, she said.

"She’s a beautiful, happy, engaging and active baby. She’s taking her first steps, chatting away and eating us out of house and home! We count our blessings every day that she was returned safely to us."

Clare said she still lives with anxiety as well as physical injuries.

"My achilles, back and hip hurt on a daily basis. My teeth are still numb and I only have 50% sensation in my elbow. I also still can’t fully bend one of my fingers."

No arrests have been made, said West Midlands Police.

In October Clare told the BBC what happened