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Video: Your 30-second weather forecast

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

Early patches of fog will clear to leave a cloudy day with some bright spells and highs of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

After a cold start it will be a dry day with sunny spells and highs of 6C (43F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Closing ambulance base would 'put lives at risk'

BBC Radio Stoke

Lives will be lost if a town's community ambulance hub is shut, a former paramedic's told the BBC.

West Midlands Ambulance Service wants to remove the response base in Cheadle, Staffordshire, by the end of March.

Ambulance base in Cheadle
Google

Instead, it wants to convert the rapid response vehicle there into an ambulance as it says the current vehicle only attends 2.2% of calls in the area.

But former paramedic Carole Winning told BBC Radio Stoke she believes lives are at stake: "They're saying they'll have an ambulance here but they won't because they're so busy, they'll never get here."

Cheadle Town Councillor Dave Sargeant said it would take longer for ambulances to respond: "You've got areas like Whiston, Ipstones, Foxt. These are difficult places to get to and, if you think of somebody coming from Newcastle to Cheadle, a minimum time to get here, it's going to be 25 minutes."

The ambulance service said it believed the move would save money and would not change the level of ambulance cover in the area, "if anything, this will increase over the coming months".

Your weather: Much colder and clearer than of late

BBC Weather

It will be a cold night with clear periods and lows of -1C (30F).

A mostly dry and fine day can be expected tomorrow with lengthy periods of sunshine.

Napton-on-the-Hill
BBC Weather Watchers/Steve Blackman

You can find a detailed weather forecast for your area on the BBC Weather site.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It will be a windy day with some heavy rain at times with highs of 8C (46F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Dry weather tonight but will change tomorrow

BBC Weather

The dry weather's set to continue tonight which will also see long, clear spells and a light breeze. Low: 3C (37F).

Dawley, Shropshire
Liam Ball

Tomorrow will start dry and bright but it'll then turn cloudy and windy through the morning with some rain later in the day. High: 11C (52F).

You can keep up-to-date on the latest weather for your area on the BBC Weather website.

No need for a brolly today

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It's set to be a dry day with sunny spells and, while breezy, not as windy as yesterday. High: 9C/48F.

Sara Blizzard

The dry weather's set to continue tonight with a lot of clear sky. Low: 3C/37F.

Get the latest forecast for your area at any time from the BBC Weather website.

Storm Brendan: Flash flooding 'inevitable'

Flash flooding is "inevitable" with heavy rain and winds forecast across the West Midlands later, the Environment Agency has said.

A yellow warning for wind is in place from 12:00 until midnight.

View more on twitter

Warning of strong winds issued

Strong winds could cause travel problems and there's the possibility of power loss in some areas, the Met Office is warning.

View more on twitter

The yellow warning, affecting the whole of the West Midlands, is in place from 12:00 until midnight.

Storm Brendan is set to be followed by icy patches, wintry showers and more gales in other parts of the country which could lead to further travel disruption.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It's going to get windy today with rain from late morning and highs of 10C (50F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

PCCs to bid for Taser funding

Police and Crime Commissioners can bid for a share of Home Office funding to enable an extra 10,000 officers to carry Tasers from today.

Officer holding Taser
PA Media

Forces could find out their share of the £10m cash as soon as next month.

“This is great news for the police service and for individual police officers,” said Jon Nott, chair of West Midlands Police Federation.

“We welcome the fact that the government, having announced this extra investment in a roll-out of Tasers before the general election, has now acted quickly to give forces access to these funds.

"All officers who want to be trained and equipped with a Taser should be able to do so since it not only enables them to protect themselves but also their communities.”

Weather warning for wind issued

Strong winds on Tuesday could cause disruption to transport and loss of power across the West Midlands, the Met Office is warning.

Weather warning
Met Office

A yellow warning for wind has been issued from 12:00 to midnight.

The storm was named Brendan on Saturday by Irish weather service, Met Éireann.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

After a dry and windy morning a band of heavy rain will spread eastwards across the region with highs of 9C (48F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Your weather: A cloudy night with strong winds

It will be a cloudy night with strengthening winds and lows of 3C (37F).

Tomorrow will be cloudy for much of the day with occasional showers and strong winds.

Lower Broadheath
BBC Weather Watchers/Mike Snapper

You can find a detailed forecast for your area on the BBC Weather site.

Labour to announce mayoral candidate next month

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Labour says it will announce its candidate for the West Midlands Mayor elections on 6 February.

The party put the selection process back when the general election was called last year, but now plans to open its ballot to members on 15 January.

Birmingham
Timbo

The party members will have a choice between MP Liam Byrne, former Dudley mayor Pete Lowe and Salma Yaqoob, the former leader of the Respect Party.

The post is currently held by Conservative Andy Street, who was again confirmed as the party's candidate in September.

Plan could see ban on all petrol and diesel cars

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A new climate change plan for the West Midlands is suggesting a complete ban on petrol and diesel cars by the year 2041.

The plan, drawn up for the West Midlands Combined Authority, also suggests the creation of a national park and one tree for each of the three million people living in the area.

Car exhaust
Getty Images

Proposals set out a series of aims for the next five, 10, 15 and 20 years and also suggest the expansion of clean air zones, increasing the number of electric taxis and extra drainage for urban areas to help them cope with increased rainfall.

In the final five years of the plan, it says there should be a ban on the sale of new petrol and a ban on diesel cars and fossil fuel-powered vehicles on West Midlands roads.

Police claim treating violence 'as disease' cuts killings

BBC Midlands Today

Treating violent crime in the West Midlands "as a disease" is helping cut the number of people killed in the region, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) said.

Forensic officers at a fatal stbabing in Solihull in November
BBC

BBC research has revealed the number of homicides across the UK fell in 2019 for the first time in five years.

In the West Midlands, the force said there were 51 people killed in 2018 compared to 39 last year.

Last month, the Home Office announced extra cash for so-called violence reduction units to 18 police forces including £3.3m for West Midlands Police.

We've put in place a health-related approach to this, actually treating violence if you like as a disease and something that's contagious - which clearly it is - and looking at some of the causes, working with schools and young people, particularly young boys, to actually avoid them getting into this type of violence."

David JamiesonWest Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

More rain and showers in next 24 hours

BBC Weather

There's going to be more rain to start tonight but it should clear from about midnight. Low: 6C/43F.

Southam, Warwickshire
Littleacorns

Tomorrow's then set to start breezy and cloudy with some blustery showers through the day. High: 10C/50F.

Get a latest forecast at any other time from the BBC Weather website.

Why is my train often late?

If you've used a train at rush hour in recent months in the West Midlands and been jammed in without space to sit, been delayed or not even had a train turn up, you may have wondered "why can't they just put more trains on?"

A West Midlands Trains service
West Midlands Rail

Well, the BBC's transport correspondent Tom Burridge's been analysing the challenges facing the people running our railways and has found it's not that easy.

His focus on the area follows cases such as West Midlands Trains, which has seen months of delays, cancellations and strike action and which cut season ticket prices in response.

You can read Tom's analysis, including how the government's rail review could have a major impact, here on the BBC website.

West Coast trains to be overhauled

BBC Business News

Pendolino trains running on the West Coast Main Line are going to be refurbished in a £642m deal.

An Avanti train
Avanti West Coast

Avanti West Coast took over from Virgin Trains as the operator running the route, which connects London Euston and Glasgow through Staffordshire, the West Midlands and Warwickshire.

A seven-year deal has been agreed between the operator and Alstom, which built the fleet.

The work will include new seats, refurbished toilets and more luggage space.

Homicides fall for first time in five years

BBC News UK

The number of people killed in most parts of the West Midlands fell in 2019, BBC research suggests.

Flowers for a stabbing victim in Birmingham in 2019
BBC

It's in line with a trend across the UK as, in total, 650 people were killed in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland last year.

That's down from the 774 homicides in 2018, police figures show.

West Midlands Police said the number fell from 51 in 2018 to 39 last year; while homicides in Greater Manchester were down from 64 to 39.

West Mercia and Cheshire police forces also saw drops in homicides recorded in 2019 compared to the previous 12 months.

Keep an umbrella handy

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It's going to be mainly cloudy today with patches of rain and just the rare sunny spell around. High: 11C/52F.

Alex Hamilton

Keep up-to-date with the latest weather forecast for your area with the BBC Weather website.

Your weather forecast: Clear spells overnight

BBC Weather

There will be a few clear spells overnight with winds gradually easing and lows of 9C (48F).

Tomorrow morning will be mainly dry but rain will spread in from the west by the afternoon.

Robin
BBC Weather Watchers/Angus and me

Ambulance crews handed A&E rule over care homes

West Midlands Ambulance Service has directed its staff not to take patients living in nursing and care homes to A&E without first seeking the approval of the control room - unless the patient's condition is life-threatening.

The service is trying to reduce A&E waits and has a department within the control room dedicated to finding alternatives to emergency transfers.

Ambulance
BBC

In Shropshire, the number of ambulances kept waiting outside an A&E for more than three hours rose from 34 in 2018 to 152 last year.

Your weather forecast: A colder night in store

BBC Weather

It will turn dry tonight with clear periods and winds easing, with lows of 2C (36F).

Tomorrow morning will see bright spells giving way to cloud and patchy rain.

You can find a detailed weather forecast for your area on the BBC Weather site.

Bromsgrove
BBC Weather Watchers / Mrs Baggins

Benefits of HS2 'hugely under-estimated'

The benefits of HS2 have been "hugely under-estimated" and should be built in its "entirety", according to a regional transport boss.

Maria Machancoses from Midland Connect, which works with local authorities and enterprise partnerships on the region's transport strategies, said Birmingham had seen a "huge transformation on the back of the announcement that HS2 is coming to the city".

Proposed Curzon St Station
WSP

But the deputy chairman of a panel reviewing the project said there was "overwhelming evidence" the costs of HS2 were "out of control" .

Lord Berkeley said the high-speed rail line linking London to northern England is likely to cost more than £108bn.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Machancoses described the project as a "national priority".

Dry weather to start weekend

BBC Weather

Dry tonight with some long, clear spells mixed with some patches of cloud. Low: 3C (37F).

Wolverhampton
Les at Large

Then the weekend starts cold and clear before Saturday will be mainly fine with sunny spells and scattered cloud. High: 9C (48F).

Get a latest forecast for your area at any time from the BBC Weather website.

Energy firms to pay £10.5m over August power cut

BBC Business News

Three energy firms are to pay a total of £10.5m following August's power cut that left more than a million people, including thousands in the West Midlands, without electricity.

Passengers delayed at railway station
PA Media

RWE Generation, which runs Little Barford Power Station, and Orstead, which runs Hornsea offshore wind farm, will each pay £4.5m to the UK energy watchdog's redress fund.

Distributor company UK Power Networks has agreed to pay £1.5m.

Ofgem says it will continue to look into the role National Grid played.

The lights went out just before 17:00 on Friday 9 August, causing blackouts across the Midlands, the South East, South West, North West and North East of England, and Wales.

While the power cut lasted for less than an hour, problems on the rail network carried on over the weekend.

Rain expected in next few hours

BBC Weather

Cloudy this evening with the odd bit of drizzle around before more rain's expected to spread in through the night. Low: 7C (45F).

Delph
Laura and Glenn

Then starting damp tomorrow before the cloud and rain clears by the afternoon to leave some sunny spells. High: 8C (46F).

Keep up-to-date with the BBC Weather website.

Ambulance service expecting a busy New Year's Eve

West Midlands Ambulance Service is drafting in extra staff to deal with an expected increase in call-outs tonight.

The main spike is usually seen withing 15 minutes of the New Year - and most incidents are alcohol related.

Ambulance
BBC

Last year, WMAS received 2,140 calls between 19:00 on New Year’s Eve and 06:00 on New Year’s Day.

Weather forecast for tonight and New Year's Eve

BBC Weather

It is set to stay dry to start tonight, with clear spells, although it's expected to start clouding over from the early hours tomorrow. Low: 6C/43F.

Pershore
PeakyBeaky

New Year's Eve's set to be mainly dry and cloudy with the odd bright spell. High 8C/46F.

Get a latest forecast at any time from the BBC Weather website.

Freeview blames weather for TV problems

BBC Technology

Digital TV platform Freeview says if people in the West Midlands are experiencing reception problems it's due to high pressure weather conditions.

Rain
Getty Images

Freeview's free-to-air channels include those from the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and ITV.

The website Downdetector has nearly 5,000 comments from viewers reporting they can't access channels at all, or the picture is distorting.

Freeview says those affected should not re-tune their TV sets or boxes.

A spokeswoman told the BBC it was unclear how many people were likely to be affected, but the high pressure was over parts of the Midlands as well as Wales, south-west England, south-east England, East Anglia and Yorkshire.