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Outgoing hospital chief has 'decided not to take up' new job

The man in charge of hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford has "decided not to take up a position" in Nottinghamshire when he leaves the role next month, a hospital trust has confirmed.

Simon Wright announced he was leaving the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SATH) a fortnight ago, saying he was taking up a new role leading health and social care in the East Midlands.

Simon Wright
SATH

Mr Wright's decision to leave came after months of criticism of SaTH, which was put in special measures in November due to concerns about maternity and emergency services.

SaTH's chairman Ben Reid said the trust remains on course to have alternative plans in place for when Mr Wright departs.

We understand that Simon has decided not to take up a position at Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS and will now be taking some time to consider what to do next. I would like to again thank Simon for his contribution to SaTH in his time as chief executive and wish him well in the future. We continue to work to have interim arrangements in place by 22 July."

Ben ReidChairman of SaTH

Schools 'aren't setting out to exclude pupils'

BBC Shropshire

Shropshire Council says there isn't a link between the increase in the number of academy-run secondary schools and the increase in the number of pupil exclusions in the last couple of years.

The majority of those secondary schools are now academy-run, meaning the local authority has less say in how they are run, but the council said it had a "long standing very positive relationship" with the headteachers.

Shropshire Council
BBC

Some parents have suggested Shropshire schools are choosing to expel pupils to maintain their reputation, but Conservative councillor Ed Potter, who is responsible for children's services said he didn't think any schools were "set out to exclude people".

He added: "We are seeing young people with more and more complex needs and a combination of complex needs."

MP's council merger plans suffer blow

BBC Shropshire

The government says they would only consider a merger of Shropshire's two councils if they both submitted a proposal.

The Shrewsbury and Atcham MP, Daniel Kawczynski, had written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, after tweeting to say he was looking for an "iron-clad business case to government for the abolition of Telford Council".

Daniel Kawczynski
BBC

Talk of a merger has been rejected by the leaders of both Shropshire Council and Telford and Wrekin Council, and the two MPs representing Telford, Mark Pritchard and Lucy Allan.

Ambulance delays due to 'annual maintenance'

BBC Radio Stoke

Ambulances carrying 20 patients had to wait more than an hour to be admitted to the Royal Stoke Hospital yesterday because of "annual maintenance" at its accident and emergency department.

Ambulance
BBC

The hospital said "processes for ambulance handover were delayed and had an impact on the number of ambulances waiting at the emergency department for a brief period yesterday".

It said improvements had been made today.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it sent someone to help manage the hold-up yesterday and said it brought 205 patients to the A&E department - lower than the expected number.

Number of excluded pupils rises

BBC Shropshire

The number of children permanently excluded from Shropshire schools has taken a big jump in the last two academic years.

Between 2014-15 and 2016-17 it ranged between 37 and 46 a year, but last year the figure was up to 70 and another 72 have been expelled so far this academic year.

Classroom
Getty Images

The majority of those excluded children were secondary school children, but they also included between nine and 14 primary school children in each year.

It has led to an increase in the number of pupils being taught at home, online.

Thunderstorms may bring torrential rain

Heavy rain and thunder could cause travel disruption across parts of the West Midlands later, the Met Office is warning.

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A yellow severe weather warning is in place from 18:00 today until 21:00 on Wednesday.

Weather warning map
Met Office

Thunderstorms may bring torrential rain, with anything from 15mm to 50mm expected.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

After a largely dry morning cloud will thicken and areas of showery rain will move in with highs of 18C (64F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Call for better social care funding

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski has called on the government to better fund adult social care in rural counties.

The Conservative MP said Shropshire, like many other rural areas had an elderly population "growing at a disproportionate rate to the rest of the country", increasing the local council's social care costs.

Daniel Kawczynski
Parliament TV

In response, James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, said extra funding had recently been provided, while the state of social care in rural areas, would also be looked at as part of the government's wider fairer funding review.

Scam warning over council tax refund texts

People who get texts saying they're due a refund in their council tax are being warned it's a scam.

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Several councils in the West Midlands, including South Staffordshire and Shropshire Council, said they had received reports of the messages.

They said they'd never text about such a refund and would always write instead.

Flooding likely as weather warnings issued

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are likely to cause travel disruption across parts of the West Midlands.

A severe weather warning is in force from 18:00 Tuesday to 21:00 Wednesday.

Five flood warnings and eight flood alerts are still in place.

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Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy day with some showery rain this afternoon and highs of 20C (68F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

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

Historical flooding in Shrewsbury

While we've been covering the impact of the heavy rain this week in Shrewsbury, Shropshire Archives has been taking a look back at the flooding situation in past years.

This was the scene under the railway bridges, Castle Foregate in 1946.

Flood water
Shropshire Archives
Flooding in Shrewsbury in 1946
Shropshire Council

Also pictured in 1946 this is a car driving through flood waters in Bridge Street, with Rowley's House and Hills Lane in the background.

Flood water
Shropshire Archives

This image was taken in 1899 in Abbey Foregate, an area of the town always one of the worst hit, it said.

Flooding shuts car park

Allen Cook

BBC News

A car park in Shrewsbury's been shut because parts of it are under water.

Shropshire Council said drivers need to find alternatives to Frankwell Main.

The car parks next to the River Severn and, as the Environment Agency's Chris Bainger tweets, there's a lot of water flowing down the river after the rain over the last week.

This is the scene at Shrewsbury's (currently submerged) weir:

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Flood alerts updated

Latest update on flood warnings issued

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.

Two flood warnings downgraded

Two flood warnings have been removed in the West Midlands due to falling river levels.

Van on flooded road
Environment Agency

The Environment Agency's downgraded ones for Saredon Brook near Coven, Staffordshire, and Marchington Brook, near Uttoxeter.

There are still six warnings, meaning flooding is expected, in the region, in Shropshire, Warwickshire and near Solihull.

The agency's said the outlook for flooding remains unsettled as, while levels in smaller waterways are falling, larger rivers are rising still.

'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

Shropshire 'received the most rain'

BBC Shropshire

Shropshire has received some of the most rain in England over the last week, the Environment Agency has said.

Dave Throup from the organisation's said between four and six inches fell in some parts of the county this week.

Yesterday, Pennerley was the wettest place in the UK.

Dave Throup of Environment Agency on flooding

Travel disruption expected from more flooding

Drivers are being warned there could be more flooding and disruption this morning.

River Teme, Ludlow on Wednesday
Shropshire Lass

After several days of rain and more overnight, the forecast is for further wet weather through today.

The Environment Agency has flood warnings in place for parts of Shropshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire, as well as flood alerts across the West Midlands.

The Met Office has a yellow weather warning in place until midday which covers Cheshire, including around Crewe and Nantwich.

Yesterday, the bad weather caused disruption to trains as flood water blocked railway lines and several roads were under water.

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

Counties braced for more flooding

Allen Cook

BBC News

The number of flood alerts in Shropshire and Cheshire have increased as the Met Office is warning there could be more flooding over the next 24 hours.

Fast-flowing brook in Shropshire at Longnor
STFC goose

It has a yellow weather warning in place for most of the West Midlands until midnight and then the warning moves to cover a smaller area until midday tomorrow, but does include Cheshire.

The Environment Agency has two flood warnings in place in Shropshire along with five flood alerts in the county.

There are also four flood alerts in Staffordshire and one covering Crewe and Nantwich in Cheshire.

Flooding fears increase with rising river levels

Allen Cook

BBC News

River levels are continuing to rise in parts of the West Midlands as more rain's forecast for the next 24 hours.

Shrewsbury town centre, near the River Severn
Eric Bullock

The Environment Agency still has two flood warnings on the River Vyrnwy near Oswestry, which mean flooding is expected.

There are also nearly a dozen flood alerts - meaning flooding is possible - across the West Midlands, including in Shropshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire.

The agency says it expects some river levels to peak this evening but that could change with more rain on the way.

Meanwhile, Cheshire Police has warned of severe flooding in parts of Crewe and Nantwich:

Flooding in Crewe
Cheshire Police

Flood warnings with more rain forecast

Allen Cook

BBC News

There are two flood warnings covering parts of Shropshire this morning and nearly a dozen flood alerts across the West Midlands.

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The Environment Agency said the warnings covered the River Vyrnwy at Maesbrook and Melverley, near Oswestry.

The flood alerts include five in Shropshire and four in Staffordshire, meaning flooding is possible.

The agency's said rivers levels are continuing to rise with more rain forecast and they are fast-flowing.

A number of roads in the county are also blocked by floods.

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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.

Merger idea dismissed by council leader

BBC Shropshire

There is "absolutely no intention" of Shropshire merging with Telford and Wrekin Council, Shropshire's leader said.

Shropshire Council building
BBC

Peter Nutting said he'd made a statement after Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski said he'd taken legal advice on how to go about abolishing Telford and Wrekin Council.

The suggestion was tweeted by the Conservative MP last week and quickly opposed by his fellow Tory MP, Telford's Lucy Allan.

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Mr Nutting said his council would "resist any attempt" to officially merge with Telford's and there seemed to be 'little logic' in the idea.

The idea the two councils, the only two in Shropshire, should merge has been floated previously, in a bid to cut costs.

Severe weather warnings extended

Severe weather warnings for rain have been extended across most of the West Midlands with flooding and travel disruption expected to continue throughout the week.

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Fallen trees across Warwickshire and Worcestershire have caused disruption with more rain forecast throughout the day.

Officer in Shipston
Warwickshire Police

Fallen trees affected Metro services between Birmingham and Wolverhampton and the A34 at Monks' Heath in Cheshire was partially blocked near the Capesthorne Hall turn

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said the UK was in for "some treacherous weather".

The yellow warnings are in place until 12:00 on Thursday.

Flood alert issued as river levels set to rise

A flood alert has been issued for the Upper Teme in Shropshire, with flooding of roads and farmland possible, says the Environment Agency.

Locations that may be affected include Bishops Castle, Church Stretton, Knighton and Ludlow.

Walkers are advised to avoid using low-lying footpaths near local watercourses.

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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

Nurse bids to swim length of the River Severn

Dan Pallett

BBC Midlands Today Sport

A nurse from Shropshire has set off on a 220-mile swim along the length of the River Severn.

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Melissa Compton's journey started last week, but it's only in the last few days that the river has been deep enough to swim.

The journey to the estuary near Bristol is expected to take three weeks.

She's using the swim to raise money for a charity that helped pay for pioneering stem cell treatment.

You can see more of her story on BBC Midlands Today at 13:30 on BBC One.

Maternity unit shuts due to building problems

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital's midwife-led unit has closed for six months for births and post-natal care due to problems with an ageing building.

Copthorne building
PA

Inpatient services have been stopped after issues were found during a refurbishment, but home birth services will not be affected.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust said the age of the Copthorne building was responsible and some concerns were related to fire regulations.

Women who planned to give birth there can go to the Wrekin midwife-led unit or the consultant-led unit at the Princess Royal Hospital, Telford.

Call for more to be done to tackle empty homes

There's been a call for Shropshire Council to do more to tackle the estimated 1,700 empty homes in its area.

Liberal Democrat councillor Roger Evans said one home in his Longden ward had been vacant for more than 25 years.

He said a council group, set up four years ago to address the issue, had done nothing, and it was "getting beyond a joke".

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.

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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.