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Here's the weather for the start of the bank holiday

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

The sunshine is set to lead to a dry night with long, clear spells - here's the full forecast for the next 24 hours:

Rebecca Wood

You can stay up-to-date on the weather for your area by going to the BBC Weather website.

Sun cream Friday?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

Dry and cloudy this morning, here's the full forecast:

Rich Davis

You can stay up-to-date with the latest forecast for your area by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Weather forecast: Turning dry tonight

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

We're in for a mainly dry night with more clear spells, here's the full forecast for the West Midlands for the next 24 hours:

Rich Davis

You can stay up-to-date with your local weather by heading to the BBC Weather website.

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.

River Severn 'one of dirtiest in England'

BBC News England

The River Severn is one of the dirtiest in England, the Environment Agency's revealed.

The River Severn in Worcester earlier this year
Environment Agency

Just 5% of the Severn area, which runs through Shropshire and Worcestershire, was in good health at the last reported check.

It comes as the World Wide Fund for Nature says rivers in England are "used as open sewers" and warns targets to get 75% of them to be healthy by 2027 are "very unlikely" to be met.

The Environment Agency is planning an autumn consultation on the challenges of cleaning them and said it would review the target based on "what can realistically be achieved".

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

Female farmers moving into the spotlight

A Shropshire dairy farmer has said women shouldn't be put off the industry by the physical labour involved.

Liz Haines studied English at Oxford University and had started a career in publishing before she and her husband decided to take up farming instead.

Liz Haines
David Bagnal/Alamy Stock Photo

Liz said: "I'm a bookworm, so it's been a massive shift for me. I've surprised myself by what I'm able to do."

She has combined milking cows with bringing up two small children and carried them around the farm in a sling when they were small.

She said: "I don't know if I could have done that with an office job."

Weather look ahead: Sunshine and showers

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

There will be plenty of sunshine around this morning but variable amounts of cloud building up over the course of the day, with the odd scattered shower as well.

West Midlands weather 21 August 2019

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.

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.

Car crash couple welcome new baby

A couple on their way to hospital when they were involved in a car crash have welcomed a baby daughter into their family.

Ginny Magrath and Mike Roberts both suffered broken ankles while they were travelling to the Princess Royal Hospital from their home in Oswestry and baby Amber Harriet Roberts was delivered four weeks early by emergency Caesarean.

Ginny Magrath and Mike Roberts
SATH

They'd driven to Telford so the couple's unborn baby could be monitored as Ginny had experienced some "reduced movement".

Ginny, who works at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, said the experience had been "really scary", but praised staff at the hospital and added: "Amber is doing really well. She seems to be doing everything at 100mph. It’s almost like she knows Mike and I need her."

Mike was initially taken to Shrewsbury for treatment, but was taken back to Telford to be reunited with Ginny and their baby.

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.

Drugs gangs 'changed business model' in Shropshire

Drugs gangs have changed their tactics to recruit more local children, the head of safeguarding at Shropshire Council has said.

Sonya Jones said dealers used to send young people from Liverpool to sell their drugs, but that changed in 2016 after a violent clash between two Merseyside gangs in the Meole Brace area of Shrewsbury.

Drugs
Getty Images

Since then, any child with a Liverpool accent would probably be stopped by police, she said.

So criminals started grooming Shropshire children to do their dealing, she added.

She also warned all children are at risk of being recruited by the so-called "county lines" gangs.

Conservatives hold council seat

The Conservatives maintained their sizeable majority on Shropshire Council by holding on to the Meole ward in a by-election yesterday.

It was held following the resignation of the previous Conservative councillor Nic Laurens. Gwen Burgess held on to it with 37.6% of the vote.

But they saw their share of the vote fall by 17.6%, while the Liberal Democrats leapfrogged Labour into second place with a 14.4% increase in their share.

Ballot box
BBC

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.

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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.

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.

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.

Cricket pitch inspected after travellers set up camp

Volunteers are inspecting the pitch at Bridgnorth Cricket Club after travellers set up camp there.

They left the site late last night after they were threatened with court action.

Bridgnorth cricket club
Google

There's a youth game due to be played tomorrow, as well as a league game against Shifnal on Saturday.

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.

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

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

Parents urge end to deadlock over baby ashes memorial

Nick Southall

Journalist, BBC Shropshire

Parents whose babies' ashes were lost at a Shropshire crematorium are calling on a council to end a deadlock over the final design of a memorial to their children.

Baby Memorial
BBC

A BBC investigation found 60 families did not have their children's ashes returned after cremations at Shrewsbury's Emstrey Crematorium between 1996 and 2012.

Shropshire Council said it would pay for a memorial in The Dingle, within Shrewsbury's Quarry park, but its original design was rejected by parents who've now said the process had stalled.

The local authority said it working hard with the families involved and asked that the conversations were allowed to continue, to provide a memorial to everyone’s satisfaction.

This is just going round in circles. After five years of fighting, people start to get a bit tired. You start to suffer mentally from this. It's one of those things I'm really struggling with at the minute. It's a memorial for goodness sake."

Glen PerkinsFounder, Action for Ashes

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.

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