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Weather: Mainly dry and sunny today

BBC Weather

Monday will be mainly dry with sunny spells although there could be some more cloud around this afternoon with a few light showers. High: 19C/66F.

Leek this morning
Tammys Pics
This morning near Leek, Staffordshire

Then although there'll be some patchy cloud with the odd shower tonight, it will generally turn dry with clear spells through the night. Low: 8C/46F.

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

How hot is it going to get today?

BBC Weather

It will be a dry and hot day for most of the West Midlands with plenty of sunshine.

Later in the afternoon, some patchy cloud will build up, with the small chance of catching a sharp shower but temperatures could reach 32°C (90°F).

This was the scene in Eckington, Worcestershire, this morning and taken by BBC Weather Watcher Jo.

BBC Weather Watchers/Jo
Paramedic on struggle to recover mentally from stabbing
Deena Evans and her colleague Michael Hipgrave were stabbed while attending a patient in Wolverhampton.

Warning against anti-social behaviour issued ahed of Eid

Muslims across the West Midlands will be celebrating the festival of Eid al-Adha on Friday.

Worshipers are being asked celebrate virtually due to social-distancing measures brought in during the coronavirus pandemic, and not gather in large family groups.

West Midlands Police is also asking people not to gather this evening causing anti-social behaviour including "revving engines and blowing horns into the early hours."

"Police ANPR operations and officers [will be] on duty until the early hours of the morning to deal with this problem should it arise," the force said.

Robots used to clean airport in coronavirus fight

Robots that can clean door handles and seats are being trialed at a Yorkshire airport to see if they can help in the fight against the coronavirus.

Robot cleaner

The University of Leeds has been using the machines at Leeds Bradford Airport and in Leeds city centre where they spray objects with a mist of diluted alcohol.

The robots use artificial intelligence to identify objects that need regular cleaning, like seats, bike stands or doors.

They then work together to avoid crashing into things or people.

The project, which involves the universities of Leeds and Birmingham, and University College London, was set up in May to look at how robots can help slow the spread of the virus.

Dr Mohammed Shaqura, from the University of Leeds, said: “The aim is to have robots that can regularly disinfect those spaces, doing away with the need for people to clean them and the risks they would face in becoming contaminated themselves.

“We are using machine learning techniques to have the robots fully autonomous, so they "know" which objects need cleaning – and will only require high-level supervision from operators.”

Weather: Sunshine and showers

BBC Weather

A mix of sunny spells and showers today. Cool and breezy with a high of 17C/63F.

Knowle, Solihull this morning
BBC Weather Watchers/Dammo
Knowle, Solihull this morning

Then any remaining showers will die out through tonight with clear spells appearing later on. Low: 11C/52F.

Get an up-to-date forecast for your area at any time by going to the BBC Weather website.

Weather: Showers all day

BBC Weather

There'll be outbreaks of showers today, with gusty winds, and the rain could be heavy at times with a small chance of thunder and lightning. High: 21C/70F.

Rain in Bromyard, Herefordshire, this morning
Mrs Baggins
Rain in Bromyard, Herefordshire, this morning

Windy this evening with a few showers before turning largely dry and clear overnight. Low: 11C/52F.

You can keep up-to-date on the forecast for your area by going to the BBC Weather website.

Coronavirus: NHS staff given freedom of borough

NHS, social care and other front-line workers have been granted the freedom of Dudley for their efforts during the coronavirus crisis, the borough council has announced.

Dudley council

The honour has been granted to NHS staff, public health, adult social care, children’s services, bereavement services and voluntary sector workers.

The decision was made at a full council meeting on Thursday.

The leader of the council Patrick Harley, said: "Whilst the fight against the pandemic is not yet over, we believe it’s important to recognise the continuing efforts of all those people who are helping us all."

Your photos: Under blue skies

BBC Weather Watchers

Plenty of sunshine around today and our local BBC Weather Watchers have been making the most of it.

Here are three of their photos from users OgySnaps in Warwick, Caraman On Tour in Dudley and Snow Crystals in Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire:

Caraman On Tour
Newcastle under Lyme
Snow Crystals

Coronavirus: How many cases are there in your area?

The number of people testing positive for coronavirus in Sandwell has risen again, according to new figures.

The data from Public Health England shows there were 86 new cases in the week up to 20 July. Figures for the seven days to 19 July showed 76 cases.

That means 26.3 people tested positive for every for every 100,000 population (up to 20 July), up from 12.2 a week earlier.

Dr Lisa McNally, the Director of Public Health for Sandwell, said on Monday it hadn't yet reached the stage where a local lockdown was needed, but she was monitoring the rise.

Infection rate slide

Here are the rate of infections (per 100,000 people) for all local authorities in the West Midlands - for the seven days up to 20 July, compared with the previous week.

  • Birmingham up to 12.9 from from 7.0
  • Bromsgrove up to 5.1 from 4.1
  • Cheshire East down to 3.9 from 4.2
  • Coventry up to 7.4 from 2.5
  • Dudley down to 0.9 from 2.2
  • East Staffordshire down to 15.2 from 29.5
  • Herefordshire down to 16.1 from 43.7
  • Lichfield up to 4.8 from 3.8
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme down to 2.3 from 5.4
  • North Warwickshire is up to 9.3 from 1.5
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth up to 10.9 from 10.1
  • Redditch up to 3.5 from 0.0
  • Rugby down to 3.7 from 10.3
  • Sandwell up to 26.3 from 12.1
  • Shropshire down to 0.9 from 3.4
  • Solihull down to 5.1 from 7.9
  • South Staffordshire stays the same at 2.7
  • Staffordshire Moorlands down to 0.0 from 4.1
  • Stoke-on-Trent down to 2.7 from 9.0
  • Stratford-on-Avon down to 0.0 from 5.5
  • Tamworth down to 2.6 from 3.9
  • Telford and Wrekin stays the same at 7.3
  • Walsall down to 8.8 from 11.3
  • Warwick up to 2.1 from 1.4
  • Wolverhampton up to 5.7 from 4.2
  • Worcester up to 4.9 from 2.9
  • Wychavon down from 1.6 from 4.7

What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

It will be a largely dry day with areas of cloud and the chance of some showers with highs of 23°C (73°F).

This was the view in Bromyard, Herefordshire, earlier taken by BBC Weather Watcher Mrs Baggins.

BBC Weather Watchers/Mrs Baggins

CCTV urged for beauty spot after fly-tipping

Covert CCTV cameras should be installed at a beauty spot to catch fly-tippers, a mayor's said.

In the past few months, building and garden waste, toys and 120 tyres have been found dumped around Cotwall End Nature Reserve in Lower Gornal, Dudley.

Dumped tyres
Dudley Borough Council

The borough's mayor, councillor David Stanley, lives nearby and said it had been "very disheartening" to see the amount of rubbish dumped.

"I have asked officers to consider installing covert CCTV cameras around the hot spot areas," he added.

The council said it would investigate every single case of fly-tipping reported and anyone caught "will feel the full force of the law".

Dumped rubbish
Dudley Borough Council

University reveals £5m expansion plan

Hundreds more students could be trained at Birmingham City University under a £5m expansion plan.

Birmingham City University

The university said it had bought a property for £2.2m on Harborne Road, near its City South Campus, which it's going to spend £2.8m transforming.

Once the makeover is carried out, officials said it would provide additional teaching and training space for more than 1,000 health and education students.

Weather: Sunny spells giving way to rain

BBC Weather

Some sunny spells this morning but it will soon turn pretty cloudy with some patchy, light rain forecast for this afternoon. A breezy day with a high of 19C/66F.

Barnt Green, Worcestershire this morning
Barnt Green, Worcestershire this morning

Any lingering rain will fizzle out through this evening, leaving a dry, fairly cloudy night with just a few clear spells. Low: 13C/55F.

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

Online harassement cases 'spiralling' during lockdown

The number of online harassment incidents has been "spiralling" during lockdown, West Midlands Police has said.

The number of cases has risen by 40% in recent weeks, with 2,500 reported in the last month.

Mobile phone
Getty Images

The force said the increase had come as "people spend even more time on social platforms" and that one victim had received 104 offensive or abusive messages in just one day.

Family and relationship disputes are listed as being the cause for about a third of incidents, but there have also been disputes between neighbours and workplace fall-outs.

The force has launched a social media campaign to warn offenders they could face jail and to highlight the impact online abuse can have on victims.

Zero Covid-19 deaths recorded for fifth day

BBC Midlands Today

There have been no coronavirus-related deaths recorded in the West Midlands for a fifth day in a row, figures show.

A test being carried out

The data from NHS England has the total number of Covid-19 deaths recorded since the pandemic began at 3,852.

This evening from 18:30, BBC Midlands Today will be examining if this marks the start of the end of the pandemic or if we are just moving into a new phase of living with coronavirus.

Force 'can't afford pay rises'

West Midlands Police might have to lose 36 officers to pay for the government's proposed pay increases, its Police and Crime Commissioner has warned.

David Jamieson said that the 2.5% increase couldn't be afforded from the existing budget for his force.

David Jamieson

Almost 900,000 public sector workers are to get an above-inflation pay rise, including doctors and teachers.

But the Treasury said the money for the pay increases of up to 3.1% would come from existing departmental budgets.

No social distancing required on school buses

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Mark Cardwell

Children going back to schools across the West Midlands in September will not have to observe social distancing on school buses, a meeting has heard.

Transport for West Midlands signs
Transport for West Midlands

Documents from Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) show school bus operators may be asked to increase capacity while space on public transport remains limited due to Covid-19 rules.

Pupils in all year groups are being told to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term, and schools are instructed to maintain social distancing “wherever possible” within buildings.

Government advice states pupils will not be required to keep two metres or “one metre plus apart” on dedicated school transport – used by more than 32,000 five to 18-year-olds in the West Midlands.

Can we expect more sunshine today?

BBC Weather

After a dry and sunny start some cloud will build later with top temperatures of 20C (68F).

It was a lovely start to the morning in Upton upon Severn as captured here by BBC Weather Watcher Dee.

Upton upon Severn
BBC Weather Watchers/Dee

Coronavirus cases continue to fall in West Midlands

Allen Cook

BBC News

Cases of coronavirus infections in the West Midlands are continuing to decline and the region's infection rate remains low, according to health officials.

However, spikes in Herefordshire, almost entirely connected with an outbreak on a farm, and in East Staffordshire saw those areas picked out as areas of interest.

Sign to Covid-19 test centre
AFP/Getty Images

The latest figures show there were two deaths reported in local hospitals today and the University Hospitals Birmingham said it now had 73 coronavirus patients compared with 180 four weeks ago.

At the latest West Midlands weekly briefing, the Covid-19 regional covenor, Clive Wright, said the local reproduction or R number was 0.7-0.9, lower than the national figure.

He added there was currently a low level of infections across the region and Stoke-on-Trent had the highest rate regionally, but is still about 10% of the rate in Leicester, which remains under a strict lockdown.

Two areas in the West Midlands have seen a rise in new cases in the past week compared to the previous seven days.

Herefordshire's cases per 100,000 rose from 3.1 in the week to 6 July to 43.2 for the following week during which 93 workers tested positive at a farm in the county.

There was also a big rise in the East Staffordshire area, from 7.6 cases per 100,000 to 28.7. By comparison, Leicester's cases fell from 127.0 per 100,000 to 101.1

Huge drop in rail and bus use post-lockdown

Allen Cook

BBC News

The number of passengers using rail services in the West Midlands since lockdown was eased is a fifth of what it was before Covid-19, a transport boss has said.

Face masks being handed out by West Midlands Trains staff

Face masks became compulsory on public transport more than a month ago and Laura Shoaf, Managing Director of Transport for West Midlands, told a weekly briefing staff had seen more than 90% of people complying with the rule.

At the briefing, West Midlands mayor Andy Street said it was positive for the prime minister to encourage more workers to use public transport but it was up to each business to decide whether staff can safely return.

Councillor shown the door for six months no-show

Local Democracy Reporting Service

George Makin

A Dudley councillor who did not attend any meetings in six months has lost his seat on the council.

Dudley council

Mike Attwood has been officially removed after breaching local government rules.

His Norton seat will now remain vacant until local elections in May next year.

The Labour councillor was originally voted on to the council in 2004 when he stood as a Conservative.

Poultry firm sees 100 Covid-19 cases drop

BBC Hereford and Worcester

One hundred members of staff at a large poultry producer have tested positive for coronavirus over the last four months, the firm's confirmed.

Avara Foods operates nine sites in England with four in the West Midlands - two in Hereford as well Brierley Hill and Telford - and said the cases were spread around different sites and out of a total of 2,500 employees.

Entrance to one of Avara Foods' sites in Hereford

It added there had been just one positive test in the past month and they had seen a steady decline in Covid-19-related absences.

The company, which supplies supermarkets and fast food chains with chicken and turkey, said it had made more changes to keep staff safe and was operating its own track and trace system.

Workers in a meat processing plant
Getty Images

Several meat processing plants and abattoirs have seen hundreds of workers test positive for coronavirus in the past few months and BBC News looked into why.

The reasons range from cold, damp factories being "perfect environments" for the virus to linger and spread to staff having to talk more loudly due to noisy machinery which could aid the spread of infected droplets.

Coronavirus: How many cases are there in your area?

The number of people testing positive for coronavirus across the West Midlands is rising in a few areas, but dropping on the whole, new figures show.

The data from Public Health England shows the number of positive tests (in hospitals and the wider community) for every 100,000 population in the week up to 12 July.

Herefordshire's figures are up from 2.1 to 37.0, with 71 new cases recorded in the week linked to an outbreak on a farm near Worcester.

Covid-19 test

The local authority figures in alphabetical order are:

  • Birmingham 6.5 up from 6.1
  • Bromsgrove remains the same at 4.1
  • Cheshire East down to 3.2 from 6.0
  • Coventry 2.7 down from 4.1
  • Dudley 1.9 down from 3.1
  • East Staffordshire up to 28.7 from 7.6
  • Herefordshire up to 37.0 from 2.1
  • Lichfield remains the same at 3.8
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme down to 6.2 from 11.6
  • North Warwickshire is down to 0.0 from 3.1
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth up to 12.4 from 8.5
  • Redditch down to 0.0 from 3.5
  • Rugby up to 11.2 from 8.4
  • Sandwell up to 7.9 from 4.3
  • Shropshire down to 3.7 from 7.2
  • Solihull up to 4.7 from 3.7
  • South Staffordshire up to 2.7 from 0.0
  • Staffordshire Moorlands up to 6.1 from 5.1
  • Stoke-on-Trent down to 10.9 from 12.1
  • Stratford-on-Avon up to 4.7 from 3.9
  • Tamworth down to 5.2 from 6.5
  • Telford and Wrekin up to 6.7 from 3.4
  • Walsall up to 8.8 from 4.2
  • Warwick remains the same at 0.7
  • Wolverhampton down to 3.4 from 5.3
  • Worcester down to 2.9 from 4.9
  • Wychavon up to 5.5 from 1.6

By comparison in Leicester, the rate has dropped from 127.2 in the seven days to July 5 to 104.4.

It was 143.6 in the seven days to June 28.

What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

It will be a largely fine and dry day with lots of cloud around but also some hazy sunshine breaking through. Highs of 22°C (72°F).

BBC Weather Watchers/Les at Large

Weather: Getting warmer on Thursday

BBC Weather

It should be mainly cloudy and dry tonight as well as feeling milder than in recent days, with a low of 13C (55F).

Burton-upon-Trent this afternoon
Poetic Verse
Burton-upon-Trent on Wednesday afternoon

Then it will get warmer on Thursday with some sunny spells and a high of 21C (70F).

Keep up-to-date with the forecast where you live by going to the BBC Weather website.

Staff 'devastated' at loss of breeding orangutan

Staff at Dudley Zoo say they're devastated at the death of a Bornean orangutan called Jorong.

The 25-year-old arrived at the zoo in 2008 and was part of a breeding programme for the critically endangered species.

Dudley Zoo

His partner Jazz gave birth to a daughter named Sprout in 2011 and the zoo said he had died while undergoing treatment for a long-term illness.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out to find out the cause of death.

Weather: Early rain set to clear away

BBC Weather

A soggy start to Wednesday but the rain should soon clear away to leave us with a mainly dry day with some sunshine around this afternoon. High: 17C (63F).

Church Stretton, Shropshire
BBC Weather Watcher Peter Steggles
Church Stretton, Shropshire

Staying mainly cloudy and dry tonight with a low of 13C (55F).

You can get a latest forecast for your area at any time by going to the BBC Weather website.

Footballer demands answers as he's handcuffed by police
The girlfriend of Bradford City player Ben Richards-Everton films him being handcuffed by police.

Students to be taught ethical hacking

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Tom Dare

Students will be taught how to hack computers and defend against cyber-attacks.


The students will be given the chance to learn a range of new skills as part of an ethical hacking, computer network and security challenge centre set up by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

Across the UK small firms are hacked on average every 19 seconds.

Tthe basics of cyber offense and defence; hands on practice and an insider perspective on cyber security and the most common cyber attacks will be on the curriculum.

Six million pints of beer down the drain

Local Democracy Reporting Service

David Irwin

More than six million pints of stale beer have been thrown down the drain across the region as a result of the lengthy closure of pubs.

Bottles of beer

Severn Trent confirmed this week that it had given approval to tip out a vast volume of alcohol, which had gone off during the lockdown.

The water authority said it was important that the drink was properly disposed of, with the risk that such a large amount sloshing into the sewage works could cause problems.

The fear is that the bacteria which is used to break down waste could be “impaired” if too much booze enters the system at any one time.