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Sheep, cow and alpaca's prepare for royal show.
Livestock owners reveal pamper techniques ahead of the Royal Three Counties Show in Malvern.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Can we expect the rain to dry up over the next few days?

Here's the weekend forecast.

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Flood alerts updated

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Rain will gradually ease and clear with some sunny spells later and highs of 17C (63F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

More rain on the way

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

There's some respite on the way from the rain in the latest weather forecast for the West Midlands.

But the wet weather is due to return tomorrow morning:

Alex Hamilton

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

Soil pollution monitored as fields flood

Satellite technology's being used in Herefordshire to help stop soil being washed off fields in the heavy rain and on to roads.

Mud washed on to a road
Herefordshire Council

The county council said there were several cases last week of mud washing on to routes as well as soil running off into rivers and polluting them.

Drones and images from satellites will be used by the local authority and the Environment Agency to find places where soil's likely to be washed off and warn whoever owns the land.

Muddy water washing off a field
Herefordshire Council

'Weed screens' cleared with river levels rising

With the river levels rising across the West Midlands, the Environment Agency said it was working to clear its "'weed screens" on waterways of any debris.

It's tweeted that it has teams working in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire today:

Screens being cleaned
Environment Agency

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy day with outbreaks of rain, with some of it heavy, and highs of 15C (59F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Mixed employment figures for West Midlands

BBC Business News

The unemployment rate in the West Midlands in the three months to April fell to 5.0%, according to new data.

Job centre sign
PA

The Office for National Statistics said 145,000 were out of work in the region, down 4,000 on the previous quarter.

But its figures also showed 11,000 fewer people were employed over the period, compared to the previous three months.

Overall, the UK’s unemployment rate remained at 3.8%, and has not been lower since the October to December 1974 period.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be wet with spells of heavy rain tonight with lows of 9C (12C ).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Cider orchards damaged by joy-riders

A cider-making couple say their business has been left devastated after vandals returned to their orchards for a second time.

Tractor
BBC

Joy-riders drove tractors around Crumpton Hill farm in Storridge on Saturday night, destroying a number of old apple trees and seriously damaging vehicles.

They returned for a second time on Sunday evening leaving behind yet more damage.

Tractor
BBC

Keith Knight, who runs Knights Cider from the farm with his wife, says it's left them fearing they will come back again.

They could come at any time and we won't know, you can't just sit in an orchard waiting for these sort of people to turn up. It's all been reported but there doesn't seem to be anything done to them."

Keith KnightKnights Cider

Fox killers avoid jail

Tom Symonds

Home Affairs Correspondent

Two people convicted of animal cruelty after foxes were thrown to hounds at a hunting kennels have avoided jail..

Birmingham District Judge Joanna Dickens decided not to jail Paul Oliver, 40, master of hounds at the South Herefordshire Hunt, and kennel maid Hannah Rose, partly because both have suffered an "unjustified and outrageous hate campaign" on social media during a case that took three years to resolve.

Oliver, of Sutton Crosses, near Spalding, Lincolnshire, was convicted of four counts of animal cruelty, and given a 16-week suspended sentence.

Rose, his partner, 30, found guilty of three counts of the same charge was given a 12-week suspended sentence.

Two other defendants who pleaded guilty to lesser offences were given conditional discharges.

Severe weather warnings issued

Heavy rain could cause travel disruption to parts of the West Midlands later.

Some areas could see a month's worth of rainfall in a single day, with wet weather to last well into the week.

View more on twitter

The first of four severe weather warnings is set to affect parts of Warwickshire and Staffordshire, with heavy rain also expected to sweep through Birmingham and the Black Country, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire through Monday.

Areas most affected could see local flooding and disruption to transport.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy and wet day with heavy rain spreading through the area and highs of 13C (55F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

There will be some heavy and potentially thundery showers into the evening with high winds and lows of 9C (48F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Misbehaving councillors to be named and shamed

BBC Hereford and Worcester

Herefordshire Council has been ordered to release the details of cases involving former councillors who misbehaved while in office.

The Information Commissioner made the ruling after the council refused to release details of nine complaints upheld since 2012, requested under the information under the Freedom of Information act.

She said she made the ruling in the interests of accountability and transparency.

Heavy rain starts to flood roads

This is the scene in part of Herefordshire, courtesy of the Environment Agency manager Dave Throup.

He said so far 10mm of rain had fallen in the county, with plenty more to come.

View more on twitter

Heavy rain and thunderstorms likely to disrupt travel

Parts of the West Midlands are already seeing heavy rain showers, but it's set to get worse.

A Met Office is warning is in place for most of the West Midlands until 23:00, with Warwickshire and Worcestershire expected to face the worse of the weather.

Some flooding of homes and businesses is likely, the Met Office said, with spray and flooding on roads likely to disrupt travel.

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Election weakens coalition grip on power

BBC Hereford and Worcester

The coalition running Herefordshire council is relying on other councillors for support.

That's because of the result overnight in Ross North Ward has seen the opposition Lib Dem group gain a seat.

Herefordshire Council
Google

The election was due to have taken place back in May, but was postponed because of the death of the UKIP candidate.

Weather warning extended

A weather warning for heavy rain and thunderstorms has been extended across much of the the West Midlands.

Weather warning picture
Met Office

Some flooding is likely with wet roads set to affect travel, said the Met Office.

The yellow warning is in place from 14:00 to 23:00.

Flash floods warning

Heavy rain could cause travel disruption this afternoon, with a yellow weather warning issued for parts of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

Drivers are being warned of difficult conditions, with some surface water flooding also expected.

View more on twitter

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

After a cloudy start, rain will move in from the south - some of it heavy at times - with top temperatures of 15C (59F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It should be a mainly dry night with clear spells before rain moves in with lows of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

After the Lara show at Edgbaston

Durham 556-8 dec, Warwickshire 810-4 dec (Lara 501*)

Apart from the privilege of being there 25 years ago today to see Brian Lara make his record 501, BBC Sport's Pat Murphy also remembers well all the post-match palaver.

"Two things stand out in the post-match frenzy," said Murphy, "A chaotic press conference, led off by yours truly, with hundreds of fans pressing their noses and ears against the dining-room window pane.

"And the sheer fatigue on Lara's face. Somehow, he allowed the club's marketing department to drag him over to the other side of the ground to have endless photographs taken alongside the scoreboard.

Brian Lara's record-breaking boundary
Rex Features

"And then he still had the good manners to sign many scorecards specially printed, with the final score, before leaving Edgbaston.

"Then he had to travel down to South London, to prepare for a crucial Benson and Hedges Cup semi-final against Surrey, starting at 10.30 the following morning.

"Lara's 70 that day, against a strong Surrey attack, to book a place in the final, was his greatest innings of a remarkable summer, given the events of 6th June and what they must have taken out of him."

BBC's Pat Murphy on Brian Lara's 501

Durham 556-8 dec, Warwickshire 810-4 dec (Lara 501*)

Long-serving BBC reporter Pat Murphy has been looking after sport in the Midlands for longer than he perhaps cares to remember - as well as covering England's cricket team, initially for Radio 2, before sport was transferred to Radio 5 Live.

He has recently taken a lot of time and trouble to chronicle the events of Warwickshire's Brian Lara-inspired treble-winning campaign of 1994 in a new book.

And, like many cricket fans, he can remember where he was the day Lara got his 501.

At Edgbaston, of course. Although not to start with . . .

Pat Murphy, author of The Greatest Season
BBC Sport

"My cricket reporting day began at Trent Bridge, where England took just 90 minutes to wrap up a comfortable victory over New Zealand. But, after consulting with the Five Live sports desk, digesting the fact that Lara was 285 not out at lunch, I hotfooted it to Edgbaston.

"He was past his triple hundred by then, looking masterful, profiting from a very short boundary on the Members' Bar side. As a cricket nerd, I knew all about Archie MacLaren's 424 (the previous highest score in English cricket) and the only question was 'Would Warwickshire bat on so Lara could surpass that?

"A hurried visit to the Durham dressing-room confirmed that we were on the cusp of history as I consulted two of my best friends in the game.

"David Graveney was sheepishly watching, not bowling, having been injured in the Sunday League game a day earlier (when he had actually taken Lara's wicket).

"The director of cricket, Geoff Cook, confirmed there had been lunchtime discussions about a declaration. But Durham, lacking the injured Graveney and Mark Saxelby, knew they'd lose in a run chase if they set a target, so they were content to see out the day, accepting the draw. 'So you might see some history later', Cook told me.

"I rang my sports desk, told them the likely scenario and settled back to enjoy Lara's untroubled progress.

"By now, he could have batted with a toothpick, such was his command. I never had a doubt he'd pass MacLaren, then Hanif Mohammad's 499. Time was his only enemy."

Tonight's weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

We could see the odd spot of rain tonight in the West Midlands although it should be mainly dry.

Here's the full forecast for the night and tomorrow:

Rich Davis

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

Parnell fit for Pears duty against Lancs

Worcestershire are without a game this week as they lick their wounds following successive County Championship defeats.

But they have been given a boost by the impending return of Wayne Parnell when they get going again following their 10-day break at home to Lancashire at New Road next Monday.

Wayne Parnell
Getty Images

The South African all-rounder scored 63 and took five wickets in Lancashire’s first innings when the Pears narrowly lost at Old Trafford last month in what was then the battle of the Division Two top two.

Parnell suffered a hamstring injury, did not bowl in the second innings and also then missed the home defeat by Middlesex. But he has already been declared fit to return on Monday.

Ambulance fleet makeover in £40m deal

Three hundred new ambulances have been ordered at a cost of £40m by West Midlands Ambulance Service.

The first will arrived in August with the rest being delivered over the next three years.

The service's said they will replace existing vehicles and it means all its fleet will be no older than five years old.

An Ambulance
West Midlands Ambulance Service

They'll come with the latest equipment and WMAS said they will be lighter and produce less CO2 emissions, as well as costing less in fuel.

The trust said the plans would make the fleet the "most technologically advanced in service anywhere in the world".

The service, which recently featured in BBC series Ambulance, is rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and earlier this year it increased its number of vehicles by 25, to 480.

Judicial review of police merger plans

Plans to bring two fire services under the control of the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner will be scrutinised in a two-day judicial review, starting today.

The PCC John Campion (pictured below) is proposing the merger, saying it will save £4m through "significant back office efficiencies", and the move was approved by the home secretary in March 2018.

John Campion
West Mercia PCC

The plans are going to this review at the High Court because the Shropshire Fire Authority and Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority both objected, saying there was a lack of evidence to support the claimed efficiencies.

Dispute over bypass plans

Five councillors have broken away from Herefordshire Council's newly formed ruling group after a dispute over plans for a bypass on the eastern side of Hereford

The Independents Group said it was concerned several members of the new council were opposed to building any new roads aimed at easing congestion.

Herefordshire Council
Google

Independents Group leader Bob Matthews has now formed a splinter group, barely a week after the new council leader was elected.

Wednesday's weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

Mainly dry this morning with more sunshine expected, here's the full weather forecast for the West Midlands:

Rich Davis

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

Plans for ultra-light railway into county to be considered

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Plans for an ultra-light railway will be considered by Herefordshire Council, as a way of reducing congestion.

It's responding to proposals sent to government by the Herefordshire Sustainable Transport Group for a tram-like service in and out of Hereford.

hereford
Google

The authority said it was important to look at ideas like this that could improve the environment, after voting to declare a "climate change emergency" earlier this year.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a dry morning with some outbreaks of rain expected this afternoon with highs of 18C (64F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a dry and cool night with clear periods and lows of 8C (46F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a mostly dry day with sunny spells and highs of 18C (64F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Dry, clear start to Friday night's weather

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

After a sunny end to the day, tonight's set to start clear and dry - here's the full weather forecast for the West Midlands:

Rebecca Wood with Friday night's West Midlands weather

To get the latest forecast at any other time, go to the BBC Weather website.