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What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

After a dry start rain will gradually move in, becoming heavy at times, with highs of 17C (63F).

It was a lovely start to the day in Crewe, where BBC Weather Watcher AlexG595 captured this image of sunrise.

Crewe
BBC Weather Watchers/AlexG595

What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

It will be a windy day with sunny spells but also scattered showers with highs of 19C (66F).

This was the scene in Warwick earlier taken by BBC Weather Watcher Ryan Lewis.

Warwick
BBC Weather Watchers/Ryan Lewis

'Don't drink three months worth of alcohol'

A paramedic for West Midlands Ambulance Service has warned people as the pubs reopen, not to "drink three months' worth of alcohol in one night".

He told his Twitter followers: "You don't want to end up in an ambulance like this one".

View more on twitter

Dates revealed for reopening of council play areas

Allen Cook

BBC News

Families will be able to use some council-run outdoor play areas and gym equipment across the West Midlands from tomorrow but not every place is working to the same deadline.

Play equipment
Lichfield District Council

Several local authorities have said on their websites or social media their play areas will be available from Saturday and they include:

But some councils have said their outdoor play areas will only start to be available from next week:

While Cannock Chase District Council said its play areas and outdoor gym equipment would remain out of use until all risk assessments have been carried out and signs put up.

Both Bromsgrove District Council and Redditch Borough Council said their play areas would stay shut over the weekend while work continues to make them safe but didn't reveal a reopening date.

We'll update for other local authorities as and when we get the information.

Play area
Warwick District Council

What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy day with a few outbreaks of rain and turning windy with highs of 18C (64F).

This lovely picture was taken by BBC Weather Watcher Z70 in Ranton, Staffordshire.

Ranton
BBC Weather Watchers/Z70

Positive Covid-19 test results fall across West Midlands

The number of people testing positive for coronavirus across the West Midlands is falling in every council area, according to new figures.

The data from Public Health England shows the number of positive tests for every 100,000 population tested in hospitals and the wider community in the week up to 28 June.

Test centre
PA Media

For the West Midlands, the figures in alphabetical order of council are:

  • Birmingham 6.5
  • Coventry 1.4
  • Dudley 2.2
  • Herefordshire 1.6
  • Sandwell 5.5
  • Shropshire 7.2
  • Solihull 6.5
  • Staffordshire 7.9
  • Stoke-on-Trent 14.1
  • Telford and Wrekin 5.1
  • Walsall 3.2
  • Warwickshire 5.6
  • Wolverhampton 7.6
  • Worcestershire 3.6

By comparison, the figure for Leicester in the week is 141.3 testing positive out of 100,000 people.

What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy day with some bright spells but also some showers, with highs of 19C (66F).

BBC Weather Watcher Dammo took this snap in sunny Knowle.

Knowle
BBC Weather Watchers/Dammo

Virus data released for West Midlands

Allen Cook

BBC News

Figures have been released showing the number of people testing positive for coronavirus in each council area.

It comes after Leicester became the first city to have a local lockdown imposed following a rise in cases.

A woman being tested for coronavirus in Leicester
AFP/Getty Images

The data from Public Health England shows the number of positive tests for every 100,000 population tested in hospitals and the wider community in the week up to 21 June.

For the West Midlands, the figures in alphabetical order of council are:

  • Birmingham 9.6
  • Coventry 5.7
  • Dudley 3.7
  • Herefordshire 2.1
  • Sandwell 7.3
  • Shropshire 13.7
  • Solihull 4.7
  • Staffordshire 9.4
  • Stoke-on-Trent 18.0
  • Telford and Wrekin 8.4
  • Walsall 4.6
  • Warwickshire 10.3
  • Wolverhampton 9.9
  • Worcestershire 5.7

By comparison, the figure for Leicester in the week is 140.2 testing positive out of 100,000 people.

'Amazon' fraudsters steal £70,000 in 24 hours

In the last 24 hours people living in Shropshire and Worcestershire have been conned out of £70,000 by fraudsters pretending to work for Amazon.

West Mercia Police said the culprits had been phoning people to tell them they were eligible for a refund, asking for bank details which they used to clear out accounts.

cash
Getty Images

Det Insp Emma Wright reminded people that "no legitimate company, organisation, government body or police force will ever ask for your bank details, ask you to transfer money, or offer to transfer money into your account".

BreakingCricketer loses appeal over rape conviction

Former Worcestershire cricketer Alex Hepburn, jailed for raping a sleeping woman in his team-mate's bedroom, has lost his Court of Appeal bid to have his conviction overturned.

Alex Hepburn
PA Media

Flash-flooding possible as thunderstorms arrive

Thunderstorms could cause flooding and travel disruption across the West Midlands later, the Met Office is warning.

Weather map
Met Office

The yellow warning is in place from 12:00 until 09:00 on Saturday.

Lightning and hail are also expected, it added.

More than £300m coronavirus grants for region's councils

BBC Shared Data Unit

Councils in the West Midlands have received just over £300m in grants from the government to help them cope with coronavirus, a BBC investigation has uncovered.

The biggest recipient has been Birmingham City Council, which has been given £70.31m and the figure is likely to be higher because one council, Shropshire, didn't say how much it has received.

Simon Clarke
Getty Images

Councils in the region are forecasting a shortfall of more than £377m as a result of coronavirus.

The minister for local government, Simon Clarke (pictured above), said his department was "working on a comprehensive plan to ensure councils’ financial sustainability over the financial year ahead".

He said that would involve working with the councils and that £3.2bn of non-ring-fenced emergency funding had been given to local authorities around the UK already.

Thunderstorm warning extended

A weather warning for thunderstorms, affecting the West Midlands, has been extended.

There is a risk of flooding and travel disruption during the yellow warning which is now valid from 12:00 on Friday until 09:00 Saturday.

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Parts of Herefordshire and Shropshire could be affected by storms later today and overnight, the Met Office is also warning.

Councils facing coronavirus shortfall of more than £300m

BBC Shared Data Unit

Councils in the West Midlands could face a shortfall of about £377m as a result of coronavirus.

They have faced increased costs from supporting vulnerable people, while their income from fees and rates is falling.

Cash
Getty Images

A BBC investigation asked councils for their estimated shortfall, the money they have received from the government so far and whether they planned to use a section 114 notice to effectively declare themselves bankrupt.

None of the councils in the West Midlands said they intended to take that route, but 10 of the 14 councils said they forecasted a shortfall as a result of coronavirus.

Four councils, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Solihull and Worcestershire didn't give any shortfall estimates and a fifth, Warwickshire said it expected a shortfall, but couldn't say how much.

What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

We told you earlier to get set for another warm one. Here's some more detail:

It will be dry, hot and humid with highs of - wait for it - 32C (90F).

Enjoy it while you can, though. Thunderstorms are set to affect travel across parts of the West Midlands, with a yellow warning issued from tomorrow until 06:00 on Saturday.

Kenilworth
Weather Watchers/Fraser

If you thought Wednesday was warm...

Allen Cook

BBC News

We've got another day of warm weather ahead and temperatures could be higher than yesterday.

Dog in the shade in Southam
Littleacorns

Wednesday was officially the hottest day of the year in the UK and temperatures peaked at 30C in Shrewsbury, according to the Met Office.

The forecast is more sunshine today and for temperatures to climb to 31C in the West Midlands.

We'd love to see your photos of you safely enjoying the hot weather.

Email us your pictures and we might feature you later today.

Hairdressers 'could take months to see all customers'

BBC Hereford and Worcester

A hairdresser says it could be September before she's fully caught up with all the customers needing an appointment post-lockdown.

Generic photo of hair being cut post-lockdown
Reuters

The appropriately named The Hairdressers salon in Droitwich will be reopening shortly after 4 July following the government announcing the easing of restrictions yesterday.

Having worked her way through the 45 pages of measures, owner Jo Evans says they'll all have full face shields and would be disinfecting equipment after every use.

"We've been preparing all through lockdown as to what possible measures we have to put in place. We're ready to rock 'n' roll."

Thunderstorms to follow hot spell

BBC Weather

You've got one more day of this mini-heatwave before the thunderstorms return tomorrow evening.

They're forecast to start in the western parts of the region and last all through Friday and Saturday too.

Hopefully you weren't planning a barbeque.

View more on twitter

Plans for joint fire control centre to be discussed

Plans to create a single fire control centre to serve Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire will be discussed today.

If approved by their fire authorities, it would form part of the current alliance between the two fire services, which has seen them sharing some key services since 2018.

Fire service HQ
BBC

So far four options have been identified and a report going before the Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority said a joint control centre would result in cost savings.

The fire authorities said £186,000 has also been saved through the joint purchase of three new incident command units.

Oscar Saxelby-Lee returning home after cancer treatment

Sophie Madden

BBC News

A Worcestershire boy is preparing to return home after undergoing successful treatment for a rare aggressive form of leukaemia, after hundreds of thousands of pounds were raised for him to undergo the treatment.

Six-year-old Oscar Saxelby-Lee has now been cancer free for six months - after travelling to Singapore last year for Car-T therapy to treat his acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Oscar in hospital
FAMILY HANDOUT/GRACE KELLY CHILDHOOD CANCER TRUST

The treatment is specifically developed for individual patients and involves reprogramming their immune system cells, which are used to target the cancer.

And it looks like Oscar can't wait to get back!

His family have shared a video of him cheering at the news that their flights have been booked.

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Fire crews for three counties could get one control centre

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The Local Democracy Reporting Service in Shropshire's been covering these stories in the past few days:

  • One single fire control centre could be created to serve three counties after the fire and rescue services agreed to an alliance. The move was signed off by the governing bodies of Shropshire and Hereford and Worcester fire services in October and this week Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority will hear four options have been worked out for how they run their control centres.
Firefighter tackling a fire
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • A report into the mental health assessment of a man the day before he murdered his partner is still waiting to be signed off by the government, more than two years after the killing. Lynn McNally, 46, was stabbed to death in Telford in February 2018 and a draft report into the murder is with the Home Office, according to an update for the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's board.
  • The number of holes at a golf club could be halved to nine under plans to allow a 120-pitch static caravan park to be built on half the site. The proposals would see the complex built at Henlle Park Golf Club, Gobowen, and will be decided at a future date by Shropshire Council.

What's the weather got in store?

BBC Weather

It will be a mostly cloudy day with outbreaks of rain, which could be sharp at times.

As the afternoon progresses, the rain will ease to leave it largely dry with sunny spells and highs of 18C (64F).

Hednesford
Weather Watchers/Angus and me

Met Office warning lifted for parts of West Midlands

The Met Office warning for thunderstorms has lifted for large parts of the West Midlands, but parts of Worcestershire are still covered by the warning, which is in place until midnight.

Weather map
Met Office

West Midlands Roads says although the warning has lifted, there is still plenty of standing water and to take care.

'Homes and businesses could be flooded'

The localised picture is becoming a little clearer as the region braces for more bad weather.

Parts of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Warwickshire are forecast thunder storms today and the Met Office has warned "there is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly".

It is also warning that roads could become flooded and communities could become cut off.

And it said there is a "slight chance" the storms could cause power cuts.

Southam rain
Little Acorns

The rest of the West Midlands is forecast to miss the thunderstorms, but will still see heavy rain today.

And that is likely to bring some flooding, the Met Office says.

Thunderstorms and heavy rain set to continue

Allen Cook

BBC News

Parts of the West Midlands are being warned to be prepared for more heavy rain and thunderstorms over the next day or so.

Lightning over Barlaston last night
Gadjet

A yellow weather warning for thunderstorms is already in place across the whole region until midnight tonight.

There is then a yellow alert for heavy rain from 03:00 on Thursday until midday.

It's then followed by one for thunderstorms from midday until 21:00 on Thursday but this time covers parts of Herefordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Steam railway looks to return in August

BBC Hereford and Worcester

The Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway is planning to resume some services in August.

The heritage railway, which also runs through Worcestershire, said a limited number of round trips from Toddington, stopping at Broadway and Cheltenham Racecourse will be available.

Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway
PA Media

Passengers will travel in old-fashioned compartment coaches with a side corridor, to reduce interaction with other travellers.

The Severn Valley Railway has already said it's working towards resuming services in August.

Weather: Showers set to continue

BBC Weather

A cloudy start with more showers, which could be heavy and thundery, forecast.

These could be mixed with some sunny spells later. High: 21C/70F.

Lydbury North
Hoffy44
Lydbury North, Shropshire, this morning

The showers should ease through the night although there may be the odd one still around. Low: 13C/55F.

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

Thunderstorms expected to bring disruption

Thunderstorms could cause flash flooding, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds across the West Midlands the Met Office is warning.

Stoke-on-Trent
BBC Weather Watchers/Stokie Gaz

A yellow weather warning has been issued from 13:30 until 06:00 on Wednesday for the whole of the region.

Further storms are expected to cause disruption from 12:00 to 21:00 on Wednesday, it said.

Weather: Thunderstorms ahead

BBC Weather

The rain that has been around today should clear through the first half of tonight leaving the rest mainly dry and cloudy. Low: 13C (55F).

Claverley, Shropshire today
Gillyflower
Claverley, Shropshire today

Tomorrow's expected to start sunny but then turn cloudy with heavy showers and thunderstorms forecast. High: 23C (73F).

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

Charity biker festival pushed back to 2021

An annual charity ride and festival raising money for the Midlands Air Ambulance has been postponed until 2021.

Midlands Air Ambulance helicopter
BBC

Organisers of the Bike4Life event had already postponed it from April due to the pandemic, but now say they haven't been able to find a replacement date this year.

They also say the current state of the economy means they couldn't be sure firms would be able to attend so they're now looking to agree a new date for 2021.

The event sees bikers ride to RAF Cosford, Shropshire, where the air ambulance has a base, for the festival.

Weather: Cloudy start with more showers expected

BBC Weather

A cloudy morning with the odd shower mixed with brighter spells which will then be followed with showery rain through this afternoon and evening. High: 19C (66F).

Coleshill, Warwickshire, this morning
Rons View
Coleshill, Warwickshire, this morning

The rain should slowly clear away during the first part of the night leaving it mainly dry with some clear spells. Low: 13C (55F).

The BBC Weather website can keep you updated at any other time on the latest forecast.

Weather: Mix of showers and dry spells

BBC Weather

Any remaining showers today should fade away through tonight leaving it mainly dry and cloudy. Low: 11C (52F).

Totmonslow, Staffordshire, on Thursday afternoon
Farmers Wife
Totmonslow, Staffordshire, on Thursday afternoon

Mainly cloudy tomorrow to start with alongside the odd shower mixed in with some brighter spells. More showers are expected through the afternoon. High:19C (62F).

Keep up-to-date on your area's weather by going to the BBC Weather website.

Weather: Showers expected all day

BBC Weather

We'll have some scattered showers around today and they could be heavy or thundery in places this afternoon. Turning breezy with a high of 17C/63F.

Pembridge
CountryMouse
Pembridge, Herefordshire, this morning

Any heavy rain should fade away through the night to leave it mainly dry, cloudy and with just the chance of the odd shower later on. Low: 12C/54F.

Get the latest forecast for your area at any time by going to the BBC Weather website.