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Revamp finished at 'England's finest' fortified manor

BBC Shropshire

A £600,000 project to smarten up Stokesay Castle in Shropshire is complete.

English Heritage has spent three years building a new tea room there and creating an Edwardian-style cottage garden with 1,000 new plants in the grounds.

Stokesay Castle

It has also created a walking trail around the moat.

English Heritage says Stokesay Castle is the "best-preserved fortified medieval manor house in England".

Severe disruption: A5 Shropshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A5 Shropshire both ways severe disruption, from A495 to A483.

A5 Shropshire - A5 in Oswestry blocked and it's heavy in both directions from Whittington Roundabout to Mile End Roundabout, because of a police investigation.

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

Three more schools set to join academy trust

Three more schools are to join one of Shropshire's largest academy trusts.

The Marches in Oswestry already runs five schools in the county and it's now looking to take over the Shrewsbury Academy, the Grange Primary School, and Longland school in Market Drayton.

Grange School

Parents can find out more about the plans at a series meetings on 24 June.

Severe disruption: A5 Shropshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A5 Shropshire both ways severe disruption, from A483 to A495.

A5 Shropshire - A5 in Oswestry closed in both directions from Mile End Roundabout to Whittington Roundabout, because of a police investigation.

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

Parish council tax bills rise

Rob England

BBC News Online

Dozens of parishes in England have doubled their council tax bills, while some are taking on services they say larger authorities cannot afford, BBC research has found.

Parish council tax graph

Melverley in Shropshire is one parish with the largest rises in council tax for 2019-20.

BBC analysis found 45 parishes more than doubled their levy on the Band D council tax for 2019-20.

The government said councils were responsible for their own decisions about how much to charge.

Roads still under water as flood warnings remain

Johnty O'Donnell

Producer, BBC Shropshire

The flood levels are apparently dropping in Edgerley in Shropshire, but that doesn't mean things are getting back to normal just yet for local residents and businesses in the area.

This is what roads look like in the area, with fields also covered in water.

Travelling through floods in Edgerley

I took a trip with John Bewley, landlord of the Royal Hill pub, who said local firms were used to flooding, but not at this time of year, when a lot of people rely on tourism.

He said a number of businesses, including campsites, fishing and canoe firms had been hit "pretty hard".

Crash closes A4111

BBC News Travel

A crash has closed part of the the A4111 in Kington, Herefordshire, close to the A44.

Drivers are being advised to avoid the area.

View more on twitter

Pumping out after floods

The area around Crewgreen in Shropshire, where the rivers Severn and Vyrnwy converge, has been one of the worst affected by flooding.

This is the scene in nearby Edgerley this morning as fields resemble lakes and pubs pump out the flood water.

Pumping out
Flooded field
Flood sign

Your photos: Flooded rivers

BBC Weather Watchers

Park benches under water and rivers bursting or near to bursting their banks - our local BBC Weather Watchers are busy sending us their photos this morning.

These three are from users Z70 and Jeff in Stafford and Ken M in Lydbury North, Shropshire:

Lydbury North
Ken M
River Sow, Stafford

Severe disruption: A470 Powys both ways

BBC News Travel

A470 Powys both ways severe disruption, between Talerddig Bakery and B4518.

A470 Powys - A470 in Talerddig closed and queues in both directions between the Talerddig Bakery junction and the B4518 junction, because of lorry hitting a wall.

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

Travel disruption expected from more flooding

Drivers are being warned there could be more flooding and disruption this morning.

River Teme, Ludlow on Wednesday
Shropshire Lass

After several days of rain and more overnight, the forecast is for further wet weather through today.

The Environment Agency has flood warnings in place for parts of Shropshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire, as well as flood alerts across the West Midlands.

The Met Office has a yellow weather warning in place until midday which covers Cheshire, including around Crewe and Nantwich.

Yesterday, the bad weather caused disruption to trains as flood water blocked railway lines and several roads were under water.

Your photos: Wet weather

BBC Weather Watchers

Rising river levels, flooded roads and fallen trees - we've had them all from our local BBC Weather Watchers today.

Here are three, from users Henry in Leintwardine, Herefordshire, Z70 in Stafford and Chris n Ginny in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire:

Chris n Ginny

Archie Spriggs: Date set for murdered boy's inquest

An inquest into the death of a seven-year-old boy who was murdered by his mother has been set for 11 November.

Archie Spriggs
Family handout

Archie Spriggs was smothered with a cushion and strangled with a scarf at his home in Wall-under-Heywood, near Church Stretton, by Lesley Speed who was jailed for 18 years for his murder.

A serious case review said agencies had missed opportunities to intervene and at today's pre-inquest hearing at Shrewsbury's Shirehall a representative for Archie's family said questions must be asked about whether more could have been done to prevent his death.

Roads flooded after heavy rainfall
Rivers rise sharply and roads are overrun with floodwater after heavy rain in parts of Wales.

Your photos: Soggy weather

BBC Weather Watchers

Wet and soggy is pretty much how to sum up many of the photos we've had so far today from our local BBC Weather Watchers.

Here are three, from users Peter Steggles in Longnor, Shropshire, Ken M in Lydbury North, Shropshire and H W S Heanor in Trentham, Staffordshire:

Peter Steggles
Lydbury North
Ken M
H W S Heanor

Man rescued from car trapped in floods

Allen Cook

BBC News

A man has been rescued from a car after it got stuck in flood water this morning.

Vehicle stuck in floodwater
Cheshire Fire Service

Cheshire Fire Service said he was suffering from shock and hypothermia and was treated by paramedics.

Meanwhile, in Shropshire, where there are several flood alerts and flood warnings this morning, Shrewsbury Police said the road through Westbury was flooded (pictured below).

Travel service Inrix says the A49 at Woofferton, south Shropshire, Hanwood Road towards Edgebold Roundabout and the Mount outside Shrewsbury are all affected by flooding.

Road flooded in Westbury
West Mercia Police

Flood warnings with more rain forecast

Allen Cook

BBC News

There are two flood warnings covering parts of Shropshire this morning and nearly a dozen flood alerts across the West Midlands.

View more on twitter

The Environment Agency said the warnings covered the River Vyrnwy at Maesbrook and Melverley, near Oswestry.

The flood alerts include five in Shropshire and four in Staffordshire, meaning flooding is possible.

The agency's said rivers levels are continuing to rise with more rain forecast and they are fast-flowing.

A number of roads in the county are also blocked by floods.

View more on twitter

Your photos: Wet wildlife

BBC Weather Watchers

Plenty of photos from our BBC Weather Watchers of soggy areas in the West Midlands but we've also had these of animals braving the rain.

These three are from users Tragie's town in Brierley Hill, Dudley, Littleacorns in Southam, Warwickshire and STFC Goose in Longnor, Shropshire:

Brierley Hill
Tragie's town
STFC Goose

More flood alerts as river levels rise

Allen Cook

BBC News

There are now five flood alerts across the West Midlands as the rain continued to fall today.

River Teme at Ludlow, Shropshire
Shropshire Lass

By 16:20, the Environment had issued them for:

In several of these cases, the agency's said river levels are continuing to rise and low-lying roads and farmland could flood.

Yellow warnings of rain remain in place across the West Midlands until Thursday.

Flood alert issued as river levels set to rise

A flood alert has been issued for the Upper Teme in Shropshire, with flooding of roads and farmland possible, says the Environment Agency.

Locations that may be affected include Bishops Castle, Church Stretton, Knighton and Ludlow.

Walkers are advised to avoid using low-lying footpaths near local watercourses.

View more on twitter

Call for more to be done to tackle empty homes

There's been a call for Shropshire Council to do more to tackle the estimated 1,700 empty homes in its area.

Liberal Democrat councillor Roger Evans said one home in his Longden ward had been vacant for more than 25 years.

He said a council group, set up four years ago to address the issue, had done nothing, and it was "getting beyond a joke".

Severe accident: B4355 Powys both ways

BBC News Travel

B4355 Powys both ways severe accident, between turn off for Knucklas and Conjuror's Drive.

B4355 Powys - B4355 Knucklas Road in Knucklas closed in both directions between the turn off for Knucklas junction and the Conjuror's Drive junction, because of an accident.

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

Your photos: Blue skies over the West Midlands

BBC Weather Watchers

It's hard to believe we're forecast heavy rain tomorrow, with blue skies all over the West Midlands.

These photos were taken by BBC Weather Watchers in Gnosall, Alsager and Oswestry.


BT offices in the firing line

Earlier BT revealed plans to cut its number of offices in the UK from 300 to just 30 by 2023.

About 52,000 staff are believed to work in those offices, although the firm said no jobs would be lost.

While its base in Birmingham is secure, dozens more sites, including contact centres in West Bromwich and Stoke-on-Trent, as well as the firm's National Network Management Centre in Oswestry could be affected.

According to figures for 2017-18, released by BT Group, it directly employs 5,260 employees in the West Midlands - although not all based in offices.


Severe accident: A483 Powys both ways

BBC News Travel

A483 Powys both ways severe accident, between A458 Buttington Cross and Wern turn off.

A483 Powys - A483 in Pool Quay closed and queuing traffic in both directions between Buttington Roundabout and the Wern turn off junction, because of an accident.

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