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  1. Updates for Friday 6 May 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 Monday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our coverage across the day

That's it for live updates today. It's been a busy 24 hours covering the local and police and crime commissioner elections.

We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday with live news, sport, travel and weather updates for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Have a great weekend.

Weekend preview: 'Biggest drama of the weekend'

Richard Wilford

BBC WM Sport

Aston Villa’s immediate future may lie in the Championship, but they could have a say in who else is relegated along with them. 

The final Premier League match at Villa Park for at least 15 months sees them host Rafa Benitez’s struggling Newcastle.

The live Premier League game at 15:00 on BBC WM will be from the Dorset coast, as Tony Pulis takes his West Brom team to play a Bournemouth side who have long since secured a second season in the top flight.

Kids supporting Walsall
Getty Images
But the question is - will they be cheering on Sunday?

Perhaps the biggest drama of the weekend will come on Sunday lunchtime when Walsall will try to squeeze themselves into the second automatic promotion position in League One. 

The equation is as follows: the Saddlers must win at Port Vale, Burton must lose at Doncaster, and the margin in one of those matches must be at least two goals. BBC WM’s coverage on Sunday starts at midday.

Weekend preview: Blues and Wolves

Richard Wilford


The final day of the Championship season could be a bit of a damp squib for the West Midlands.

At 12:30 on BBC WM 95.6 FM we will have full commentary of Birmingham City’s trip to Cardiff, two teams who had ambitions for a play-off place only a few weeks ago but have missed out altogether.

Blues' ground
Getty Images

At Molineux, the Wolves’ fans will just be desperate to see a goal after four successive goalless draws at home. 

Visitors Sheffield Wednesday will be resting players ahead of their play-off adventure, so there will be few excuses for Kenny Jackett’s side in a match that is live on BBC WM’s DAB service in the Black Country. 

Gravity wave discovery three months on

David Gregory-Kumar

Science correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

What next for Birmingham scientists at the heart of a gravity waves discovery?

An aerial view of the LIGO experiment in Louisiana. You can see both of the laser beam pipes heading off from the main building.

Three months ago scientists announced they had discovered evidence for the existence of gravitational waves. Ripples in the very fabric of our reality that nicely proved something Einstein suggested a century ago and also gave us an entirely new way to study the universe.

Read more on my blog.

PCC ballot: 28,000 spoilt ballot papers

Kathryn Stanczyszyn

Political Reporter, BBC WM

After the first count it was revealed there were more than 28,000 spoiled ballot papers in this year's police and crime commissioner election.

That's quite a staggering amount - particularly when you compare it to 2014. The total amount of spoiled papers was only around 3,500 then, and even though you have to take into account the fact that turnout is around three times better, that's still a huge rise.

Of course, we don't know the details of how these ballots were spoiled, but the speculation here at the ICC is that there's likely to be a deliberate protest element to it. 

There also may have been confusion about first and second preference votes, with people possibly not realising that voting for the same person twice on your ballot paper means neither will count.

West Midlands PCC restates pledge to more than double new recruits

In his speech upon re-election, the returning West Midlands PCC David Jamieson said: "I have pledged in this election that we will increase the number of officers from 450 to 1,000 officers being recruited."

Labour retains West Midlands PCC role

David Jamieson has been re-elected as West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner with a total of 306,578 votes after first and second preference stages.

The Conservative candidate, Les Jones, got a total of 176,922.

David Jamieson
West Mids PCC

BreakingDavid Jamieson remains the West Midlands' PCC

The Labour candidate holds onto his post following two voting rounds.

View more on twitter

PCC ballot: Result imminent

Putting a dampener on warm weekend

Earlier today we were excited by the thought of Birmingham temperatures hotter than Madrid this weekend. But here's the Environment Agency with a reminder we won't get things all our own way.

View more on twitter

Staffordshire Police probe Conservative 2015 election expenses

BBC Politics

Staffordshire Police is among eight police forces to investigate whether Conservative MPs filed election expenses illegally after the 2015 General Election, the BBC understands.

The allegations centre around failing to register the accommodation costs of party activists who were involved in the "battle bus" operation.

The party has blamed an "administrative error".

PCC ballot: Second stage numbers for Wolverhampton

Here are the numbers in Wolverhampton:

View more on twitter

PCC ballot result imminent

The people counting the ballot papers have now been sent home and a final result is expected shortly.

View more on twitter

PCC ballot: Dudley and Solihull

Results from Dudley and Solihull in the West Midlands Police and crime commissioner election second stage ballot:

- Dudley

Jamieson - Lab 4,181

Jones - Con 5,261

- Solihull

Jamieson 2,666

Jones - 4,626

PCC ballot: More second round figures

The second stage results for the West Midlands PCC continue to come in.


- Jamieson, Lab - 10,801

- Jones, Con - 11,139


Jamieson - 3,439

Jones - 3,056


Jamieson: 4,027

Jones: 3,722

PCC ballot: Second stage votes in Birmingham

The second round results are coming in. Here are the numbers from Birmingham, where Les Jones, the Conservative candidate, secured the most votes.

View more on twitter

Local elections results: What happened

If you want to know more about the local elections results last night you can read updates which featured on our dedicated live page.

You can also read these top stories:

The Labour Party narrowly retains power in Cannock Chase

- Labour "disappointed" after losing control of Dudley Council

Ballot boxes

You can hear more on BBC WM's news bulletins on the hour, plus reports on BBC One at 18:30 and 22:30.

Birmingham sunshine

Temperatures are set to reach 20C in Birmingham today. 

The canalside has been quiet but is expected to get busier as the day goes on and people seek a spot to enjoy the warmth.

We'll have more weather updates throughout the afternoon and into the evening. 

Birmingham hots up as temperature rises

Free Radio sold by Midlands media company

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The Midlands radio group which runs Free Radio and GEM has sold its stations, it has been announced today.

Orion Media which replaced Birmingham-based BRMB with Free Radio has sold to Bauer Media which runs a number of radio stations, including Absolute Radio and Key 103 in Manchester.

The company says: "The move will offer value and opportunities to Orion Media's customers and listeners alike as the company builds for the future".

Free Radio website
Free Radio

PCC ballot: Labour and Conservative candidates in second stage count

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

None of the West Midlands police and crime commissioner candidates received 50% of the vote in the first stage.

A second stage count will now take place, with either David Jamieson or Les Jones set to be named the new PCC.

View more on twitter

PCC ballot: Second preference count in Coventry

Coventry Council's chief executive tweets to say they've moved on to second preference counts for the West Midlands police and crime commissioner.  

View more on twitter

Latest headlines: First stage of PCC ballots are being announced; Labour loses control of Dudley Council

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories in the BBC WM newsroom at the moment include:

- The first stage results are coming in now in the West Midlands police and crime commissioner elections

- Labour has lost control of Dudley Council by the narrowest of margins following gains by the Conservatives and UKIP

An NHS trust has raised concerns over how a new hospital with fewer beds in a nearby trust will affect its services

PCC ballot: Wallsal first round

The first stage of West Midlands PCC voting in Walsall:

First stage of Walsall PCC election
Birmingham City Council

M42 delays following an accident

BBC Travel

Three lanes are blocked on the M42 northbound around J7 M6, because of an accident. 

Drivers are warned to expect delays as queues are back to J4, A34 (Shirley).  

PCC ballot: Solihull first stage result

Conservative Les Jones receives more than 20,300 votes in the first stage of the West Midlands PCC election in Solihull.

Labour's David Jamieson received 12,251 votes, followed by UKIP's pete Durnell with 8,587

PCC ballot: Wolverhampton

Labour's David Jamieson has the most votes in the first stage of voting in Wolverhampton.

- David Jamieson, Lab - 25,468

- Les Jones, Con - 11,790

- Pete Durnell, UKIP - 8,347

- Andy Flynn, Indp - 2,914

PCC ballot: Birmingham first stage result

David Jamieson received more than 120,000 first-preference votes in Birmingham.

Results published on the council's website show that Conservative candidate Les Jones received 48,268 votes, with UKIP's Pete Durnall receiving 28,236. Andy Flynn, Independent, had 16,056 votes.

PCC ballot: Counting continues as first stage results come in

Kathryn Stanczyszyn

Political Reporter, BBC WM

We've been telling you about the first stage results in areas voting for the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.

The results from Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Solihull are being collated and announced at the ICC after being counted in their own council areas.

PCC ballots being counted

PCC ballot: Coventry result

The first stage result for Coventry has come in for the West Midlands police and crime commissioner ballot.

Current commissioner David Jamieson, Labour, received, 31,578 votes, with Les Jones, Conservative, receiving 14,151 votes. 

Coventry West Midlands PCC ballot result
Birmingham City Council

Ten-vehicle pileup in town centre

No-one was injured in a 10-vehicle pileup in Sutton Coldfield, according to West Midlands Ambulance Service which has released images of the smash. 

Eight cars and two buses were involved in the crash in Coleshill Street yesterday evening. 

A spokesperson said only three people needed assistance and all were discharged at the scene.

Three vehicles involved in crash in Sutton Coldfield
West Midlands Ambulance Service

Turnout for police and crime commissioner election 30%

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The turnout for the West Midlands police and crime commissioner election is 30%, according to Birmingham City Council.

The result is expected later this afternoon.

View more on twitter

PCC ballot counting under way

The ballot papers are being counted for the West Midlands police and crime commissioners election at the ICC, Birmingham.

The council posted this video earlier:

View more on twitter

Hospital to 'constantly review' bed numbers

Fears have been raised about how hospitals in the West Midlands will be affected when Sandwell's new £350m super hospital opens in 2018. 

Once the new Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick opens, the trust will have 25 fewer beds than it has currently.     

The man charged with running the hospital says bed numbers will be kept under constant review.

Site earmarked for Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick

We have physical space in 2018-19 to open further beds (up to around 100) should we need to do so. In spring 2017 the multi-agency Right Care, Right Here partnership will commission an independent review of the bed numbers across our system to advise the partnership whether these additional 100 beds need to be commissioned by the CCG for 2018-19.

Alan KennyMidland Metropolitan Hospital Director

PCC count: BBC Midlands Today

Elizabeth Glinka

BBC Midlands Today Reporter

I'm at the West Midlands police and crime commissioner election count in Birmingham this morning.  

See more on BBC One at 13:30, 18:30 and 22:30.

Birmingham PCC count