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Severe disruption: M5 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, at J2 for A4123 Wolverhampton Road Oldbury.

M5 West Midlands - M5 lane closed on exit slip road northbound at J2, A4123 (Oldbury), because of a break down.

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

Severe accident: M5 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands southbound severe accident, from J3 for A456 Quinton Expressway Halesowen to J4 for A38 Halesowen Road Bromsgrove.

M5 West Midlands - One lane closed and it's heavy on M5 southbound from J3, A456 (Halesowen) to J4, A38 (Bromsgrove), because of an accident.

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

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.

Your pictures: The calm before the storm?

BBC Weather Watchers

Some of the BBC Weather Watchers reported seeing blue skies this morning, ahead of the wind and rain that's expected to move in later on.

These were taken in Sutton Coldfield by SuttonWalker; Wednesbury by Dontellimpike; and Warwick by OnTheCut.

Sutton Coldfiels
Sutton Walker
Wednesbury
Dontellimpike
Warwick
OnTheCut

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.”

Severe accident: M5 West Midlands both ways

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands both ways severe accident, from J2 for A4123 Wolverhampton Road Oldbury to J1 for A41 Birmingham Road West Bromwich.

M5 West Midlands - One lane closed on M5 from J2, A4123 (Oldbury) to J1, A41 (West Bromwich), because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

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

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

Severe disruption: M5 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, between J3 for A456 Quinton Expressway Halesowen and J4 for A38 Halesowen Road Bromsgrove.

M5 West Midlands - One lane closed on M5 southbound between J3, A456 (Halesowen) and J4, A38 (Bromsgrove), because of a break down.

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

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.

Bin collectors call off industrial action

Bin collectors in Sandwell have called off their planned industrial action, after agreeing a last-ditch deal with the local council.

Members of the GMB union employed by contractors Serco were unhappy over being asked to do extra work when two bin-rounds were scrapped and had voted to work to rule.

bins
BBC

The union now says it will be working with the company to address the concerns.

Severe accident: A461 West Midlands westbound

BBC News Travel

A461 West Midlands westbound severe accident, from A4123 New Birmingham Road to A4037 Tipton Road.

A461 West Midlands - A461 Birmingham Road closed and queues westbound from Burnt Tree Traffic Lights to Castle Gate Island, because of a serious accident. Congestion to Back towards Birchley Island on the New Birmingham Road, through Rowley Regis, Tipton and routes through Dudley including Tipton Road, Priory Road and Duncan Edwards Way back towards Flood Street Island.

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

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.

Industrial action over bin dispute suspended

Industrial action by refuse workers in Sandwell has been put on hold.

Sandwell bin workers
BBC

The GMB union said its members were unhappy about being asked to do extra work and it was threatening to "work to rule", meaning some bins might have gone uncollected.

But an agreement between the unions and Sandwell council's contractor, Serco, has been reached.

Annette Joyce for Serco said “Given the concerns raised by our employees and the unions this week about the changes to the collection rounds we have agreed to suspend the round changes made in November 2019.

"We have also agreed to the unions request to revisit work allocations which we will do over the next three months.”

Stuart Richards from GMB described the move as a "positive step forward" adding "we hope that we are able to work constructively to address concerns of our members.”

Industrial action over bin dispute could be avoided

Industrial action by bin collectors in Sandwell might be called off, after further talks with the local council.

The GMB union said its members were unhappy about being asked to do extra work and it was threatening to "work to rule", meaning some bins might have gone uncollected.

But Stuart Richards from the union has reported there are now some "really productive talks going on" and added, "it looks as though we're really close".

Council electricians plan strike action over pay dispute

Council electricians in Sandwell will be going on strike and say council tenants "face sitting in the dark" as a result.

The Unite union members claim their latest pay evaluation was unfair and didn't take into account some of the work they do.

Wiring a plug
Getty Images

The union says its members should be earning an extra £1,000 a year and that they will be joining electricians from other unions, with similar disputes.

There are more than 20 electricians carrying out repairs for the local authority, which said the pay evaluation had been carried out correctly, taking all their work into account and their pay was at "the average level for similar posts across the West Midlands".

The council said it remained willing to continue talks, if the union had new evidence to present.

Bin collectors to take industrial action over work loads

Bin collectors in Sandwell are preparing to take industrial action in a row over increased work loads.

The GMB union said its members were concerned that contractors Serco had cut two rounds and handed the extra work to other crews, and said it meant they were having to cut corners to get the work finished.

Bins
BBC

The union also accused Serco and Sandwell Council of "bickering amongst each other" instead of trying to resolve the argument.

GMB members voted for action short of strike action, which will mean working to rule.