England, United Kingdom

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  1. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M54 Shropshire eastbound

    BBC News Travel

    M54 Shropshire eastbound severe accident, between J5 for A5 Rampart Way and J4 for A464.

    M54 Shropshire - One lane closed on M54 eastbound between J5, A5 (Telford Central) and J4, A464 (Shifnal), because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

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

  2. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M54 Shropshire eastbound

    BBC News Travel

    M54 Shropshire eastbound severe disruption, between J6 for A5223 Lawley Drive and J5 for A5 Rampart Way.

    M54 Shropshire - One lane closed on M54 eastbound between J6, A5223 (Telford West) and J5, A5 (Telford Central), because of a breakdown. Traffic is coping well.

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

  3. Weather: Rain throughout the day

    BBC Weather

    Cloudy and wet with outbreaks of rain. Feeling mild with brisk winds and a high of 16C/61F.

    Image caption: This morning in Birmingham

    More rain is forecast this evening and overnight and it could be heavy at times. The winds will turn stronger. Low: 12C/54F.

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

  4. Covid-19: 'Bringing people together is what we do'

    BBC Radio Shropshire

    The man in charge of a music venue in Telford says it is facing a difficult future with the announcement of stricter Covid restrictions from Saturday.

    Woman in mask

    Telford and Wrekin is one of several areas in the country being moved from tier one to tier two by the government from Saturday.

    Albert's Shed in the town had managed to get live music back on after the lockdown and had received a grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund.

    But managing director David Gregg said if the new restrictions are likely to reduce the number of people coming to the venue, its finances "don't add up any more".

    "As a live music venue but as part of the hospitality sector, it is intrinsic to what we do, bringing people together to socialise so these restrictions meaning only one household per table is going to cause some difficulties to say the at least."

  5. Moving back to tier 1 'would be best Christmas present'

    Getting tier two Covid restrictions reduce back to tier one would be "the best Christmas present we can give each other", a council leader said.

    Woman wearing a face mask

    Residents in Dudley, Staffordshire, Telford and the Wrekin will move into the high tier of restrictions from Saturday, the government has announced.

    Under tier two, households are no longer be able to mix indoors in any setting - in homes or elsewhere.

    The leader of Stafford Borough Council, Patrick Farrington, has written to all households in his area to urge them to get cases down enough to be able to be moved down a tier.

    "We are at a critical point in fighting this pandemic and I am confident with the support of the whole community we can get back to medium alert soon," he said.

    The leader of Telford and Wrekin Council, Shaun Davies, echoed the drive to get infection rates down.

    "If we can get our numbers down, hopefully we can make strong arguments to the government to reduce us into tier one again but if numbers continue to rise then tier three comes on board," he said.

  6. Council's Covid-19 shortfall shrinks to £11.7m

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Alex Moore

    A council is facing a funding shortfall of £11.7m due to Covid-19 but has managed to cut it from £18.6m earlier this year.

    Council HQ

    In a report for Telford and Wrekin Council's cabinet, the finance director said the reduction was down in part to more money from the government.

    The report said unexpected costs due to the pandemic stood at about £26.9m and income from its theatre and leisure centres remains down.

    So far it has received around £15m in extra cash from the government’s emergency response fund.

  7. What Covid tier is my area in?

    Allen Cook

    BBC News

    With all the talk of parts of the West Midlands expecting to move into higher tiers in terms of Covid restrictions, we thought we'd just remind you of how the tier areas stand as of right now.

    Differences between tiers

    At the moment there are no areas in tier three.

    In tier two - also referred to as "high" alert level - on Thursday morning there are:

    • Birmingham
    • Coventry
    • Sandwell
    • Solihull
    • Stoke-on-Trent
    • Walsall
    • Wolverhampton

    While in tier one - or "medium" alert level:

    • Dudley
    • Herefordshire
    • Shropshire
    • Staffordshire
    • Telford and Wrekin
    • Warwickshire
    • Worcestershire

    This is a fast-changing situation though so in future, to find out what the rules are in your area, you can go to this BBC webpage and enter your postcode.

  8. Covid-19 'leaves 500 Scout groups at risk of closure'

    BBC News England

    More than 500 Scout groups could close while others face a "bleak" future with coronavirus hampering fundraising, the Scout Association has said.

    A scout making the scout symbol

    Groups in some of the poorest areas of England were hit when social distancing ended jumble sales, quizzes and car washes, the organisation said.

    It warned groups in places including Wolverhampton and Shropshire were at risk of closure.

    But a new fundraising campaign aims to try to save those affected, with a virtual race around the world.

  9. Increasing costs of Covid create £11.7m shortfall

    Increased costs and a loss of income have created an £11.7m budget gap for Telford and Wrekin Council.

    The local authority said the £15.2m it had received from the government had not plugged the cost of coronavirus, which stands at almost £27m.

    Telford Council offices

    The council said it had had "significantly reduced income for a number of services", including its leisure centres and theatre".

    It is waiting to hear if it will be placed under tier two restrictions, which may come with additional government funding.

  10. BreakingThree areas recommended for tier 2 move

    Elizabeth Glinka

    BBC Politics Midlands

    We're hearing that Telford has been recommended for tier two coronavirus restrictions, alongside Staffordshire and Dudley.

    It would mean no mixing households indoors.

    An official announcement is expected tomorrow.

  11. Coronavirus restrictions: How is the decision made?

    More areas of the West Midlands are waiting to hear if they'll be moved up to tier two coronavirus restrictions, but the decision is based on more than just the infection rate.

    We asked the Department of Health to explain what is taken into account. It indicated that the reasons include:

    • Number and increase of coronavirus cases
    • The positivity rate (or the percentage of tests that come back positive)
    • Pressures on the NHS
    • Which age groups are being infected

    We aren't given all the figures the government uses, but the decision could also be influenced by the control the local authority has and who is being infected.

    For instance, if a high number of infections were within a university campus, but there was little chance of it spreading to the wider community and the risk to those catching it are low, then the risk level might not be raised.

    There's a BBC article explaining what we know about the thinking behind the decisions.

  12. Weather: Some showers and more rain to come

    BBC Weather

    We're forecast more showers but there could be some dry spells too.

    The temperature could reach 14C (57F) and more rain is forecast tomorrow.

    Knowle tree
  13. Weather: A dry night and more rain tomorrow

    BBC Weather

    Most of us are forecast a dry and overcast night, with some light wind.

    And it should stay that way tomorrow morning, with some showers later in the day.

    Temperatures overnight are expected to fall to about 5C (41F).

    Stourton on Severn