Archbishop brings visit to two counties to a close
The Archbishop of Canterbury is bringing to a close his three-day visit to the Herefordshire Diocese.
He's been to Hereford Sixth Form College, visited a messy play session at All Saints Church in Hereford, held a question and answer session and chatted with farmers over a bacon sarnie at a farm near Much Wenlock.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby also went on a prayer walk up the Clee Hill, shared a drink at Ludlow Brewery, went to morning prayers at Hereford Cathedral and paid a visit to Hereford livestock market.
The itinerary was designed to enable the Archbishop to see some of the the work led by the Rt Revd Richard Frith, the Bishop of Hereford, who retires later this year.
Dry night ahead but chance of a shower
Staying mainly dry tonight, although there's the chance of the odd shower around in the West Midlands:
Keep up-to-date with the latest forecast for your area by heading to the BBC Weather website at any other time.
Seven councils in the West Midlands are among a group of 42 across the country campaigning for fairer funding in schools.
The F40 group includes some of the lowest funded local authorities in England and says it wants "fairness and equal opportunities in education for all children, regardless of where they live".
The F40 group includes:
Cheshire East Council
Solhull Metropolitan Borough Council
Staffordshire County Council
Warwickshire County Council
Worcestershire County Council
Responding to today's news, Shropshire Council said it was "generally pleased with the settlement" and acknowledged it came at a time when schools "have been experiencing
challenges in balancing their budgets".
schools have not been well funded and so we would hope this is a fairer
settlement in relative funding terms with those schools in other areas, who
have historically attracted higher levels of funding per pupil," Ed Potter, cabinet member for children’s
The F40 group has previously said while it recognised that those schools with pupils with higher additional needs should receive more funding, "the way this is applied across the country is inconsistent and unfair".
West Midlands to get an extra £175m for schools
Schools in the West Midlands will receive an extra £175m over the next three years, but it is the second-lowest increase in funding per-pupil in the country.
The figures are laid out in the government's provisional spending plans and the West Midlands will see an average increase of 3.6% per pupil by 2020-21.
Only London is expected to see a lower per-pupil increase with 3.2%.
The spending plans will increase the total budget for the region to £3.97bn by 2020-21.
The prime minister has promised to boost spending in UK schools by £14bn over the coming three financial years.
People living with Parkinson's disease are being let down in Shropshire, according to a charity.
Since June 2018, just one specialist nurse has employed by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust to help care for more than 1,100 patients with the condition.
"People living with Parkinson's have been left without support for far, far too long," Parkinson's UK campaign manager Jack Grant said.
"All what we're asking now is for the trust to do the bare minimum."
The charity funded the service for an initial two years, and said the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust made a commitment to continue paying for the second post when that ended.
Parkinson's UK says specialist nurses are "crucial" to supporting patients and their families, including monitoring and altering medication, and providing advice.
Shropshire's neurology service has been closed to new referrals since 2017, in part because a national shortage of neurologists.
In response, the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust says it's working closely with commissioners on a new service model and there's a meeting this month with a potential provider for Parkinson's services.
Shropshire's clinical commissioning groups says it pays for the neurology services and it's up to the hospital trust to provide the necessary staff to deliver it.
People who cannot talk to a nurse will have to go and talk to a consultant or if they reach crisis point they will have to go into hospital. And both those things cost far, far more money than hiring a Parkinson's nurse."
Charity rugby match for Oscar Saxelby-Lee
West Mercia Police beat Warwickshire Police by 45-5 in last night's charity rugby match at Sixways.
The five-year-old from Worcester, who's battling an aggressive form of leukemia, is currently having more tests to see whether he's well enough to travel to Singapore for potentially life-saving treatment
The increase in the number of visitors to Shropshire's libraries comes as Shropshire Council is considering making further changes to the way they're run.
Two years ago, the local authority announced a five-year plan, which grouped library services into three tiers, based on their size, but it now says a "refreshed strategy" is needed, "following a period of significant change".
Liberal Democrat councillor Andy Boddington has previously said he feared it could spell the end of the mobile library service.
The council said the increase in visitor numbers, up by 15,000 when comparing the first quarter of this year with the first quarter of last year, are partly explained by the launch of new e-book services.
LDRS: Bronze Age site to be protected as homes planned
Here are three of the stories covered by the Local Democracy Reporting Service in Shropshire today:
There are plans for 150 homes next to the Meole Brace retail park in Shrewsbury, which will preserve a late Neolithic to early Bronze Age double ring ditch, found there by archaeologists.
An extra 12,000 people visited Shrewsbury's Theatre Severn in the first quarter of this year and there were 15,000 more visits to Shropshire's libraries.
Shropshire Council has 1,000 fewer full-time employees compared with six years ago.
MP wants hospital funding withheld until A&E promises made
The MP for Telford has said the government shouldn't hand over the money to reorganise hospital care in the county unless there's a commitment for a full accident and emergency department at the Princess Royal Hospital.
And she said it must be open 24 hours a day and staffed by consultants.
Under plans approved by the health secretary last week, the hospital would see its A&E replaced by what's being called an A&E local - but it hasn't yet been said what that means, how it will be staffed and how many hours it will be open.
The Future Fit plans already pledge a 24-hour urgent care centre for Telford, but not staffed by consultants.
The plans, involve making Shrewsbury the main centre for emergency medicine and moving specialist women and children's services there, from their current base in Telford.
Police force hopes to get more recruitment funding
West Mercia Police is expecting the Home Office will announce funding for more officers, on top of the extra 93 the force has been allocated today.
Last month, West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said he hoped to eventually get between 300 and 360 as a result of a pledge by the chancellor of £750m to fund 20,000 police officers across the UK.
Sajid Javid's promise included £45m to hire 2,000 police by March next year and the West Mercia PCC's office said these extra 93 officers were seen as part of that first tranche of spending.
It hopes further announcements will bring it closer to that aim of 300-360 extra officers.
Last autumn, West Mercia Police announced it was recruiting an extra 100 officers and in February it confirmed it would hire another 115 on top of that.
All 215 of those recruits should have started work by December this year.
Fire services could form alliance
Plans for two fire services to enter a formal alliance are going to be discussed later.
Shropshire's fire brigade has had a loose partnership with their neighbours in Herefordshire and Worcestershire since autumn last year.
It's so far focused on IT resource-sharing as well as risk management planning.
Barrie Sheldon was deputy police and crime commissioner for West Mercia for four years from 2012.
There's going to be hundreds of thousands of pounds, if not millions, spent on legal fees and the potential of millions of pounds being paid out to put Warwickshire Police back into a state where they can get back to becoming a viable force."
Video: What's the weather got in store?
After a cloudy start rain will spread from the west leading to a wet and windy afternoon with highs of 15C (59F).
Police forces split: Warwickshire 'saddened' over Home Office request
Warwickshire Police said it was "saddened" to request the Home Office step in to help agree its break-up plans with the West Mercia force.
The two forces have been in talks since the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion and Chief Constable Anthony Bangham announced they wanted to end their strategic alliance by 8 October.
West Mercia said negotiations have now ended without an agreement.
The Warwickshire force has now written to the government and asked it to require West Mercia to continue to collaborate with them "across joint business areas" past the split deadline.
A joint statement
from Chief Constable Martin Jelley and Police and Crime Commissioner Philip
Seccombe said: "We are saddened that
it should have ever been necessary to make this request to the Home Secretary.
"Throughout the last 12 months of negotiations with West
Mercia, we have remained focused on achieving an orderly separation which
protects the interests of our communities and our workforce.
"We have made multiple offers to this effect,
which have been refused on each occasion by West Mercia."
The Home Office has been approached for a comment.
Flooding 'could worsen over the weekend'
The Environment Agency says flooding across the West Midlands could worsen this weekend, with more heavy ran expected.
It still has two flood warnings in Shropshire and a number of flood alerts across Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Staffordshire.
The agency said river levels have been slowly falling since the rain earlier this week, but they remain high.