England, United Kingdom

Latest Stories

Peace park to remember victims of bombing raid

A 'park of peace' is going to be created in Worcester, to remember those killed in a German bombing raid in 1940.

Seven died and 50 were injured when bombs fell on the city's Meco works in October that year - the site later became Joy Mining.

German bomber
Getty Images

The nearby Sanctuary Park will now become the home of a public memorial.

Council looks to slash printing budget

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Worcestershire County Council is looking to cut its printing budget after revealing it spent more than £380,000 in the last 12 months - printing out around 12 million pages.

The amount of paper used was the equivalent of 750 trees and the authority says it will urge staff to "think before they print".


The council says it will aim to save around £700,000 over the next five years by restricting access to printers, sharing more information by email, stopping all but essential colour printing and reducing the number of agendas it prints by at least half.

Two charged with drug supply

Two men have been charged with drug supply offences after an investigation into the alleged movement of drugs from Wolverhampton into Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire.

The two, both 26 and from Wolverhampton, have been charged with three counts of conspiring to supply heroin and three counts of conspiring to supply crack cocaine.

They have also been charged with facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, said Warwickshire Police.

They're both due to appear at Warwick Magistrates' Court on 31 July.

Call for gull cull over city 'epidemic'

BBC Hereford and Worcester

Worcester's former mayor is calling for a cull on seagulls in the city - describing the birds as an "epidemic".

Getty Images

Alan Amos says what he calls "vicious flying rats" had been waking people up in the early hours, "bombarding" cars with droppings, attacking pets, and forcing people to keep their windows closed.

Worcester City Council last year doubled the amount it spends on gull control to £30,000, and has agreed to spend up to £144,000 on new gull-proof bins for the city centre.

Last year, eggs were taken from nests and replaced by fake ones in a bid to control the gull population.

Auditors placed in special measures

Local Democracy Reporting Service

An auditing firm which inspects council accounts has been put under special measures for its poor performance last year after it was revealed half of its inspected audits needed 'significant' improvement.

Grant Thornton has inspected the accounts of Worcestershire County Council since 2015 and is set to do so until 2023.

The firm also audits the accounts for the Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority and the chief constable and the police and crime commissioner for West Mercia Police as well as Wyre Forest, Redditch and Bromsgrove district councils,

The Financial Reporting Council has put a new improvement plan in place for the company.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It should be a dry day with sunny periods and highs of 21C (70F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It should be a dry and clear night with lows of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Handcuffed man sprayed with incapacitant spray while on the toilet

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Carmelo Garcia

Two West Mercia Police officers have been given written warnings a handcuffed man was sprayed with an incapacitant spray while he was partially naked and on the toilet.

Police officer

The officers discharged the spray at close range on a man in Baschurch in July last year after responding to a call he was threatening to kill a family member, the hearing heard.

The hearing also hear PC Philips sprayed the man again while he was being walked barefoot to the police van.

PC Sharon Phillips and PC Simon Wilkey were found to have breached the force's professional standards at a public misconduct hearing last week.

Both officers were found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour relating to authority, respect and courtesy, use of force, orders and instructions and discreditable conduct.

Teenager's social service care criticised by judge

A council's social services department has been criticised in the High Court for the way it handled the case of a 14-year-old boy who's spent much of his life in care.

County Hall

Worcestershire County Council's failings were described as "egregious in the extreme".

The boy who's said to have "complex needs", and who can't be identified for legal reasons - left his mother's home nearly nine years ago.

In a written ruling published today, Mr Justice Keehan said 22 social workers had been involved but there had been no "consistent planning" for the boy's care, and neither he nor his foster parents had been given enough support.

The boy's mother died two years ago and the identity of his father isn't known.

The council - which is being sued by lawyers for the boy - has accepted liability and is trying to ensure there's no repeat.

The judge praised his foster parents and said the boy should remain living with them.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a dry and fine day with light winds and highs of 22C (72F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Self-service libraries proposed to save council £800k

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Christian Barnett

Several libraries in Worcestershire could become self-service, with staff numbers cut under plans to save £800,000.

Books on shelves
Getty Images

Worcestershire County Council has pledged that no branches will close but is looking to save money.

Almost £4m has been cut from the library budget since 2011 and the plan is to save another £800,000 by 2021.

The authority's plan would see some of the county's smaller libraries become self-service during certain periods of the day, with visitors letting themselves in and out.

Clear and dry start to the weekend

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Starting off dry with clear spells tonight, here's the rest of the forecast for the West Midlands:

Rebecca Wood with Friday night's West Midlands weather

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

Firefighters' strike threat 'a complete surprise'

Allen Cook

BBC News

"A complete surprise" is how Hereford and Worcester Fire Service has described a threat of strike action from its crews.

Fire engines in Leominster

The Fire Brigade Union (FBU) has said it'll consider the move if firefighters in Herefordshire and Worcestershire aren't put back on their old contracts.

It claim the fire service has forced crews to do work outside their contracts and put new recruits on new contracts without discussions.

But the fire service said it had been trying to make changes since 2017 to make more firefighters available for work such as crewing fire engines.

It's blaming the FBU for failing to reach agreements and is urging them to not strike but refer the issues to the independent arbitration service Acas.

Flooding blamed as horse racing events cancelled

BBC Hereford and Worcester

Two horse race meetings in Worcester have been cancelled because of the affects of the flooding last month.

Worcester Racecourse underwater in June
Worcester Racecourse

Heavy rain saw parts of Worcester Racecourse underwater for eight days.

The British Horseracing Authority says, while there's been racing since then, the track's not recovered as much as it wanted.

It has abandoned the meetings on 18 and 25 July and it's hoped the course will be ready for an event on 30 July.

Frustrations over Rory the Robot NHS campaign

BBC Hereford and Worcester

Campaigners say they feel let down over efforts to bring a surgical robot to the county's hospitals.

Fundraising for Rory the Robot
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

In 2014, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust launched the £1m Rory the Robot appeal to get the equipment, primarily to treat prostate cancer.

But, after five years and with more than £450,000 raised, there's no prospect from NHS managers of the robotic surgery arriving soon.

The trust's admitted it's frustrated at the delays, blaming changes in NHS guidelines, but is still committed to getting it and promises the money is ring-fenced.

It's joe public that have actually put the money in and we've been telling them all along that we're raising money for a surgical robot. At the end of the day, we could be accused of raising money under false pretences because we haven't got what we set out to achieve."

Paul MarkallKidderminster and Worcestershire Prostate Cancer Support Group

Firefighters 'could strike' in contracts row

BBC Hereford and Worcester

Firefighters in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are threatening to strike over their new working conditions.

Worcester fire station

The row centres on the introduction of a new 10-hour-day shift system.

The Fire Brigade Union (FBU) claims Hereford and Worcester Fire Service has forced crews to do duties outside of their contract.

They also say new recruits have been put on new contracts without discussions with the union.

The FBU says it'll consider industrial action unless there's an immediate return to the old contracts, shift systems and employment conditions.

The fire service has been approached for its response.

Widow's water safety campaign

BBC Shropshire

The wife of a man who drowned in the River Severn in 2017 is helping to extend a campaign to try and prevent more river deaths.

Shane Walsh fell in the river in Shrewsbury after a night out drinking.

Widow of river victim highlights water safety awareness

Since then, his widow Kirsty has become an ambassador for West Mercia Search and Rescue team, approaching people in the town to warn them of the dangers of cold water.

We filmed the video above with Ms Walsh last year, approaching drinkers in Shrewsbury.

West Mercia Search and Rescue's Home and Dry campaign will today be extended to cover Worcester.

Both Worcester and Shrewsbury have seen a string of river deaths in recent years.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

There will be some sunny intervals this evening but also some showers which may be heavy.

It should be a dry night with some clear spells with highs of 13C (55F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands
Worcester woman's joy as Ugandan court grants adoption
Emilie Larter has spent three years trying to adopt an orphan she met while working for a charity.

Thunderstorms warning issued

Parts of the West Midlands could be affected by thunderstorms later, with some disruption to travel expected.

View more on twitter

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning which is in place from 13:00 to 21:00.

'Crowdfunded' adoption decision due

A woman should find out today whether she will be able to adopt a Ugandan boy she has looked after since his mother's death..

Emilie Larter
Emilie Larter

Emilie Larter has spent years trying to adopt Adam who she met days after his mum died while volunteering in the country.

Emilie, from Leigh Sinton, Worcestershire, became the baby's sole carer and ran a crowdfunding campaign to help cover the costs of formally adopting the youngster and bring him to the UK.

A judge will make the final decision on whether or not to declare her Adam's legal mother

Wet night ahead for West Midlands

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

After a pretty dry day, we're in for some rain tonight in the West Midlands, here's the full forecast:

Sara Blizzard

Head to the BBC Weather website at any other time for a latest forecast for your area.

PM's tribute to student paramedic in fatal crash

BBC Midlands Today

The prime minister's paid tribute to a student paramedic who died after the ambulance she was in was involved in a crash with a car.

Tammy Minshall
Staffordshire Police/Family handout

Tammy Minshall, 31, was airlifted to hospital and later died after the crash in Needwood, near Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, last week.

Ms Minshall, from Stretton, Burton-upon-Trent, was a first year student at Staffordshire University and was travelling in the back of the ambulance.

The whole house will want to join me in sending our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Tammy Minshall, the student paramedic who was killed in a traffic accident last week while on duty. This is a reminder of the members of all our emergencies services who risk their lives each day on our behalf."

Theresa MayPrime Minister

Opposition grows to plans for McDonald's near school

BBC Hereford and Worcester

More than 1,500 people have signed a petition against plans for a new McDonald's in Worcester and another 350 people have written letters of objection to the city council.

They're unhappy because the drive-through would be built just yards away from the new North Worcester Primary School, which opens in September.

McDonald's arches
Getty Images

McDonald's says the new restaurant would create 65 new jobs and bring new investment to the community.

Worcester City Council is due to make a decision on the plans in the autumn.

Wednesday's weather forecast

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

Any patches of rain this morning should clear away leaving a mostly dry rest of the day.

Here's the full West Midlands weather forecast.

Sara Blizzard

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

Police catch driver speeding at 140mph

A vehicle was clocked travelling at 140mph on the M5 last night, police say.

Eleven people were arrested in a cross-border crackdown on people driving dangerously.

View more on twitter