Solihull

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Warnings issued as temperatures set to break 30C

The health service is warning people to stay hydrated and use sunscreen during the hot weather expected this week.

The south of England will see the hottest temperatures, but in the West Midlands we're still likely to see it reach 30C in the next few days and even higher in some areas.

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The NHS is advising those who are more vulnerable such as the very young and the elderly, to avoid being exposed to the sun for long periods.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

Any cloud should clear leaving a sunny and very warm day with highs of 31C (88F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a dry night turning misty in places with lows of 13C (55F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Work starts on police Commonwealth Games HQ

Work has started on a new control suite, which will be the base for police operations for Birmingham's Commonwealth Games in 2022.

West Midlands Police
BBC

The new centre, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020, will also be a base for the force's firearms operations unit.

Ch Supt Dave Sturman said: “The games will be the largest operation in the force’s history and this new Event Control Suite will provide the world class facilities we need to deliver a safe and successful event for the region."

The new centre is also part of the force's programme to save £5m a year through disposing of underused buildings.

Severe accident: M42 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands southbound severe accident, before J5 for A41 Solihull By-Pass Solihull.

M42 West Midlands - Two lane closed and it's slow on M42 southbound before J5, A41 (Solihull), because of an accident.

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

Drone footage of fire at derelict factory in Winson Green
Smoke could be seen across Birmingham on Saturday after a fire broke out at a derelict factory.

Weather: Rain forecast this weekend

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

If you were planning a barbeque this weekend, you might want to wait until Sunday, because we're forecast rain tomorrow.

It's looking a lot better next week though.

Weather forecast for the West Midlands

West Coast Main Line rail passengers face disruption

Rail passengers using the West Coast Main Line through the West Midlands can expect major disruption, because of engineering work which is due to start tomorrow.

For the next 16 days Network Rail is upgrading track, cabling, overhead lines and signalling at the Acton Grange junction between Crewe and Preston.

Railway track
Network Rail

Trains will be diverted during the £27m project, with replacement buses also running.

A full list of services affected is available on the Network Rail website, alongside details of replacement buses.

Severe disruption: M42 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, at J5 for A41 Solihull By-Pass Solihull.

M42 West Midlands - Two lanes closed on M42 southbound at J5, A41 (Solihull), because of a break down.

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

Severe disruption: M42 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, at J5 for A41 Solihull By-Pass Solihull.

M42 West Midlands - M42 lane closed on exit slip road northbound at J5, A41 (Solihull), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M42 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, at J5 for A41 Solihull By-Pass Solihull.

M42 West Midlands - M42 lane closed on exit slip road southbound at J5, A41 (Solihull), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It should be a dry night with clear periods and lows of 10C (50F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands
The moment police swoop on armed men in Birmingham
Footage from officers' body-worn cameras shows the operation after a sawn-off shotgun changes hands.

West Midlands house prices to see biggest rise in England

The West Midlands is predicted to see the biggest increase in house prices in England over the next two years, according to analysts from PwC.

Only Wales is expected to see faster growth in the UK.

Homes
PA Media

PwC said it expected the price of the average house in the West Midlands to rise from £194,000 to £223,000 by 2022 and warns that this will make it hard for people move to find new jobs and will also have an impact on rental prices.

More than 70 animals shot in the West Midlands

More than 70 animals were shot using air guns in the West Midlands last year, new figures show.

Cat
RSPCA

The RSPCA is calling for the licensing of air guns as figures reveal the charity received 767 reports of animals being shot across England and Wales, with 72 reports coming from the region.

Cats bore the brunt of the shootings with 258 of them and 73 dogs deliberately killed or maimed last year.

A large number of wild mammals and birds, including foxes, squirrels, swans and pigeons were targeted as well, it said.

Slug and Lettuce owner in £3bn pub deal

BBC Business News

Stonegate Pub, which owns the Slug and Lettuce pub chain, is buying Ei Group - once known as Enterprise Inns - for £1.3bn.

Ei, based in Solihull, is the largest owner of pubs in the UK with over 4,000 properties across England and Wales.

Slug and Lettuce restaurant
Google

Robert Walker, chairman of Ei, said: "The commercial benefits of combining the companies are compelling. Stonegate is committed to continuing to invest in the business for the future benefit of the combined business, tenants and employees".

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Any early rain should clear leaving a bright day with highs of 23C (973F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Latest weather: Another warm and overcast day

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It's forecast to be another warm and overcast day tomorrow and there's a chance of a bit of rain overnight.

Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Force gets extra £5m for crime-predicting technology trial

The Home Office has given another £5m to a police force testing software that predicts whether someone will commit a crime.

Lloyd House, West Midlands Police HQ
BBC

West Midlands Police is trialling the system to analyse data on knife and gun offences, as well as modern slavery.

The National Data Analytics Solution is used to help predict whether someone will commit a crime or become a victim.

Supt Nick Dale, from the force, said: "This technology has the potential to help us understand modern slavery networks, the hidden crime within our communities, so much better, as well as the problems that lead to serious violence that blights communities and affects the lives of victims and perpetrators.

"We are still at an early stage in identifying how best machine learning technology can be used, but it is really important that our work is scrutinised independently from an ethical point of view, and that technology will never replace professional judgment or affect the police's accountability for our actions."

West Midlands Police received £4.5m of Home Office funding for the scheme last year.

Town centre task force 'open minded' about regeneration

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A taskforce set up to regenerate five town centres in the West Midlands, says it will listen to business people there, before drawing up a plan.

The West Midlands Combined Authority appointed Jon Bramwell (below, centre) to lead the group and it has £20m to spend on the improvements.

Business leaders in Bilston
BBC

Mr Bramwell said his taskforce was "very open minded" and that it was very difficult to say how the five high streets might change "given the fact that the way people go about shopping these days is changing."

The five town centres are Bilston, the St Thomas Quarter in Dudley, Bordesley Green in Birmingham, the St Matthews Quarter in Walsall and West Bromwich East.

Speed limit petition after deer is injured

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Hundreds of Solihull residents have backed a call to slow down traffic on a number of borough roads, amid fears for the safety of local wildlife.

The deer injured on Solihull's Damson Parkway last week
Tina Clarke

Almost 700 have signed an online petition, after a Muntjac deer was struck by a car.

Tina Clarke, 32, who launched the petition, said she had heard “an almighty bang” on Damson Parkway last week and discovered the injured animal, which had suffered bad bruising to its face. The deer was taken to the vets and released later that day.

Ms Clarke said there was mounting concern locally that cut-throughs were being used as "racetracks" and hopes Solihull Council will consider traffic-calming measures such as speed bumps or warning signs.

Her petition is set to be submitted to the authority and once it has been received it will be passed to the highways team for consideration.

Riding club releases name of killed rider

A rider who died as a result of falling from her horse during a competition in Solihull was 31-year-old Clare Bedford from Rugby.

The British Riding Clubs said she came off her horse during the cross country phase of the event at the Solihull Riding Club on 13 July.

Riding club
Google

The BRC is carrying out an investigation into her death.

Policeman charged with custody block assault

A police custody sergeant has been charged with assaulting a man who was detained by officers last December.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said Sgt Nathan Legend will appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Thursday charged with two counts of assault by beating.

The 31-year-old was charged by the CPS following an IOPC investigation which looked at the officer's use of force against a man detained at Birmingham's Perry Barr custody unit.

Psychologist says we can all learn from Djokovic

BBC Sport

Visualisation techniques which helped Novak Djokovic win Wimbledon can be used by "almost every human being", a psychologist has said.

Djokovic said after lifting the title "I always try to imagine myself as a winner" and Dr Jennifer Cumming from the University of Birmingham said there has been "tons of research" on the power of imagery in normal life.

novak djokovic
Getty Images

The technique of "imagery" involves creating or recreating an successful experience in your mind, to encourage positive thinking and improve performance.

"Generally we can all capitalise on this and the more we use it, the more we can improve it," Dr Cumming said.

She said we probably already use the technique without realising, for instance re-tracing your steps when you lose your keys, and that it can help in situations like job interviews or exams to imagine, in detail, how they will happen.

HS2 driverless people mover plans go on show

It will take six minutes to shuttle travellers between the new HS2 interchange station in Solihull and Birmingham Airport, HS2 Ltd has said.

Driverless vehicles will travel along a 2.3km (1.4 miles) raised viaduct and will also stop at the NEC and Birmingham International.

The viaduct will stand 12m (39ft) above the ground at its highest point.

Planned carrier
HS2 Ltd
Planned carrier
HS2 Ltd

There will be services every three minutes, with the capacity to carry 2,100 passengers an hour in each direction.

The first images of what the automated transport link could look like were released on Tuesday.

Plans
HS2 Ltd

Plans will be available at public drop-in sessions this week, ahead of a formal planning application being submitted to Solihull Council in the autumn.

University staff strike over pay and conditions

Support staff at the University of Birmingham are taking strike action in a row over pay and conditions.

Striking staff
Unison

Caterers, cleaners, security guards and other staff who are members of Unison are taking two days of industrial action.

The union says senior managers have refused to negotiate over fair pay and have and imposed a below-inflation pay rise of 2%.

Striking staff
Unison

The University of Birmingham said a "very small number" of staff were involved in the industrial action and it remains "business as usual on campus."

“The University has met a number of times with Unison and the other support staff unions over the last week in order to try to bring an end to the action and made an extensive offer around pay and the voluntary Living Wage," it added.

Wildflower meadow blooms near bus station

Local Democracy Reporting Service

David Irwin

A grass bank outside Solihull station has been transformed into a wildflower meadow.

Meadow
BBC
Meadow
BBC

Similar strips have been sown in other parts of the borough, which the council hopes will provide a valuable habitat for butterflies and bees.

There's been a long-running campaign encouraging councils to let neatly-mown grass verges become mini meadows where wildflowers and wildlife can flourish appears to be building up a head of steam.

Seeds for the council's Wildlife Ways project were provided by Pictorial Meadows, which was previously involved in displays at the Olympic Park during London 2012.

Unemployment down slightly in West Midlands

Unemployment across the UK was 3.8% between March and May 2019. The rate is at its lowest since late 1974.

Unemployment rates
BBC

In the West Midlands figures fell slightly to 4.8%, according to the Office for National Statistics. Unemployment is highest in the North East at 5.6%.

Figures also showed wage growth in the UK was 3.6% in the year to May 2019, the highest growth rate since 2008.

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

Sir Vince Cable in Brexit studies role

Sir Vince Cable will teach at a Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University, it has been announced.

Sir Vince, who leaves his role as the Liberal Democrat party leader next week, has joined the centre as a visiting professor.

Sir Vince Cable
EPA

“The former business secretary has been appointed to the think tank to offer insight and analysis, and brings with him decades of experience working in frontline politics.” the university said.

He will focus on “looking at the economics and scenarios” related to Britain’s exit from the EU.

Severe disruption: M42 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, between J6 for A45 Coventry Road Birmingham Airport and J5 for A41 Solihull By-Pass Solihull.

M42 West Midlands - One lane closed on M42 southbound between J6, A45 (Birmingham Airport) and J5, A41 (Solihull), because of a car that's broken down.

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