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Tribute to mayor who 'did not suffer fools'

The mayor of Bridgnorth, Jean Onions, has died, the town council has announced.

Her deputy, Ron Whittle described her as a "true entrepreneur".

"She could be fierce and, I am pleased to say, did not suffer fools. But on the other hand she had a soft heart and would defend friends and those in need with great tenacity," he said.

Jean Onions
Bridgnorth Council

Mrs Onions took up the role earlier this year but passed away on Monday, after a "lengthy illness" the authority said.

LGBT protests 'vast and in danger of spreading'

Misinformation over LGBT teaching in schools is "vast and in danger of spreading," a Commons debate has heard.

Demonstration
BBC

It follows an investigation by the BBC's Panorama programme into demonstrations outside Parkfield School and others in Birmingham over the teaching of same-sex relationships.

It's feared demonstrations could spread across the country - with some calling for Government help for schools to overcome parental opposition.

The Education Minister, Nick Gibb, told the Commons the government is trying to achieve a consensus with parents - but the schools need to take charge.

"Ultimately it is a matter for the school itself to decide on the curriculum - and when the school has decided on what it wants to teach and when it will have the full support and back of the Department for Education."

But Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner, said the issue was "not about consultation".

"It's about LGBT and the misinformation that's being given out and the bigotry that's being displayed by some minorities on our streets," she told the debate.

Reward offered for return of sacred silverware

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A £10,000 reward is being offered for the return of silverware stolen from the University of Sussex, in Brighton.

The objects, which include two chalices by the sculptor Hans Coper, were taken from the University's sacristy, and are worth £100,000.

Stolen silverware
University of Sussex

The objects were taken after locked doors and containers were forced open at the sacristy in Falmer, sometime between 13:50 and 14:20 GMT on 7 December.

Stolen silverware
University of Sussex

Detectives believe the thief may have connections with Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Wiltshire.

A CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to has been released.

Silverware theft suspect
Sussex Police
Detectives would like to speak to this man about the theft

Westminster car crash: Jury out in driver trial

Jurors have retired to consider a verdict in the trial of a driver accused of targeting cyclists and police outside the Houses of Parliament.

Salih Khater, 30, is accused of aiming his car at members of the public before swerving towards police officers in Parliament Square, in a deliberate attack.

Police in Westminster
Reuters

The Old Bailey trial heard him claim to have travelled from his Birmingham home to the capital to visit the Sudanese embassy but got lost.

He denies two charges of attempted murder and alternative counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm.

Cemetery to open gates earlier

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A cemetery closed at night because of concerns about drug-dealing and underage drinking is going to open earlier.

The Red Lake Garden of Rest had been closed from 20:00 until 10:00 after concerns were raised with the police, but it will now open at 08:00, with the gates left half-open to let in pedestrians, but not vehicles.

Red Lake Garden of Rest
Google

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J13 for A449 and J14 for A34.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J13, A449 (Stafford South) and J14, A34 (Stafford North), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well. In the roadworks area.

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

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, from J6 for A38 to J7 for A34 Birmingham Road.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed on M6 northbound from J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway Spaghetti Junction to J7, A34 (Great Barr), because of a lorry that's broken down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Family of drowned soldier settle claim for £500,000

The family of a soldier who drowned during a training exercise has settled a claim against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for £500,000.

Jamie Lee Sawyer
PA Media

Jamie Lee Sawyer from Birmingham died during a British Army-led kayak training exercise off the coast of Cyprus on 12 March, 2015.

His vessel was swamped by waves up to 2.5 metres (8ft) high.

The failure to take account of a weather forecast warning of high winds and thunder storms contributed to the drowning, a coroner ruled in 2017.

His mother, Tracey, 47, brought the legal action against the MoD.

At a hearing in London, the court heard the MoD had agreed to settle her claim in the sum of £535,000, with the MoD admitting liability for her son's death.

HS2 driverless people mover plans go on show

It will take six minutes to shuttle travellers between the new HS2 interchange station in Solihull and Birmingham Airport, HS2 Ltd has said.

Driverless vehicles will travel along a 2.3km (1.4 miles) raised viaduct and will also stop at the NEC and Birmingham International.

The viaduct will stand 12m (39ft) above the ground at its highest point.

Planned carrier
HS2 Ltd
Planned carrier
HS2 Ltd

There will be services every three minutes, with the capacity to carry 2,100 passengers an hour in each direction.

The first images of what the automated transport link could look like were released on Tuesday.

Plans
HS2 Ltd

Plans will be available at public drop-in sessions this week, ahead of a formal planning application being submitted to Solihull Council in the autumn.

Investigation into police involvement in motorbike crash

A motorbike crash in Hagley on Sunday, which left a teenager in hospital, has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

West Mercia Police referred itself because it had been called out to reports of speeding cars on the A456 at 21:50.

The crash happened a short time later.

West Mercia Police car
BBC

The crash involved a motorbike which had been part of a gathering and the passenger, an 18-year-old woman, was seriously injured when it collided with a traffic island.

West Mercia Police said it wasn't pursuing the motorbike and wasn't directly involved in the crash.

University staff strike over pay and conditions

Support staff at the University of Birmingham are taking strike action in a row over pay and conditions.

Striking staff
Unison

Caterers, cleaners, security guards and other staff who are members of Unison are taking two days of industrial action.

The union says senior managers have refused to negotiate over fair pay and have and imposed a below-inflation pay rise of 2%.

Striking staff
Unison

The University of Birmingham said a "very small number" of staff were involved in the industrial action and it remains "business as usual on campus."

“The University has met a number of times with Unison and the other support staff unions over the last week in order to try to bring an end to the action and made an extensive offer around pay and the voluntary Living Wage," it added.

'Keep away from escaped boa constrictor' RSPCA say

BBC Radio Stoke

A boa constrictor has gone missing from its home and the RSPCA is advising people to keep a safe distance if they see it.

The 6ft snake was last seen at its home in Melrose Avenue, Stafford, on Sunday.

Boa constrictor
Getty Images
Boa constrictor
Boa constrictor
Getty Images
Boa constrictor

Anyone who spots the snake is being asked to call the RSPCA so they can safely recover it.

Snake owners are reminded they are "extremely good escape artists" that will "take the opportunity of a gap in an enclosure, or loose-fitting lid."

Severe accident: A4540 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

A4540 West Midlands southbound severe accident, from Carver Street to Camden Street.

A4540 West Midlands - A4540 Icknield Street in Hockley blocked and it's slow southbound from the Carver Street junction to the Camden Street junction, because of an accident involving one car.

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

Five arrests after three stabbed during 'appalling' violence

Five people have been arrested after three people were stabbed in "appalling" scenes of violence across a town centre.

Fights broke out in Queens Road, Mount Street, Coton Road and Pool Bank recreation ground in Nuneaton during Monday evening.

Mount Street
Google

A 16-year-old boy from Nottingham , a 17-year-old boy from Nuneaton and a 19-year-old from Nuneaton were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder before being taken to hospital to be treated for stab wounds. The 19-year-old has been released from hospital and is currently in police custody.

A 15-year-old boy from Cannock and 16-year-old boy from Nuneaton were also arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and are currently in police custody.

It's thought those involved were known to each other and wider members of the public were not targeted, said Warwickshire Police.

Second stage of new high speed rail line approved

MPs have approved the second stage of the multi-billion pound high speed rail project which will see the route extended from Birmingham to Crewe.

The government says HS2 is vital to the economy - but critics say the cost to the public purse and the environment could be too high.

Crewe stationb
bb

HS2 is due to arrive in Crewe by 2027 and the station will become a hub when the line later extends to Manchester.

Cheshire East Council has said Crewe station needs a new main entrance, a new road bridge and extra parking to accommodate thousands of extra HS2 passengers.

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, from J10 for A454 Wolverhampton Road Wolverhampton to J10A for M54.

M6 West Midlands - Lane closed on M6 northbound from J10, A454 (Wolverhampton) to J10a M54, because of a break down.

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

Electric car loan guarantee agreed for JLR

BBC Business News

Jaguar Land Rover has secured a £500m loan guarantee from the UK government to encourage the carmaker to build electric cars in the country.

Jaguar XJ
Getty Images

The deal was been signed off by Prime minister Theresa May, in one of her last big interventions before leaving Downing Street.

The deal will provide a big boost to the UK car industry, which has seen heavy job losses over the past year.

The move comes just over a week after the company announced a new range of electric cars will be made at it's Castle Bromwich plant.

Road reopens after petrol station shop fire

Barnes Hill in Bartley Green has fully reopened after an overnight fire at a petrol station supermarket.

Crews remain at the scene after fire broke out in a storeroom, said the fire service.

Investigations into the cause are still ongoing.

View more on twitter

Fire in petrol station shop investigated

A fire broke out in a shop on a petrol station forecourt overnight.

Fire scene
West Midlands Ambulance Service

More than 40 firefighters were called to the scene at Barnes Hill, Bartley Green in Birmingham after the fire broke out just after 01:00.

View more on twitter

Barnes Hill was closed for a time between Overfield Road and Davina Drive with residents being advised to keep doors and windows closed.

One lane remains closed.

Severe disruption: M5 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, from J1 for A41 Birmingham Road West Bromwich to M6 interchange.

M5 West Midlands - One lane closed and it's slow on M5 northbound from J1, A41 (West Bromwich) to M6 interchange, because of debris on the road.

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

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It should be a dry day with sunny periods and highs of 21C (70F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, from J14 for A34 to J15 for A500 D Road.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound from J14, A34 (Stafford North) to J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent), because of debris on the road. Traffic is coping well.

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

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It should be a dry and clear night with lows of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Investigation after woman critically injured

A man has been arrested after a 45-year-old woman was found with serious head injuries in a rural part of Stafford.

The woman was found at about 20:00 on Saturday a short time after she was believed to have left the Bell Inn pub, Haughton, on an electric bike, police said.

The woman, who remains in hospital in a critical condition, was found injured on the Isabel Trail, off Station Road.

"Detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances of what happened and have arrested a 50-year-old man from Stafford on suspicion of assault GBH with intent," a Staffordshire Police spokesman said.

Station Road, Haughton, Stafford
Google
The woman was found injured near Station Road, Stafford

Anyone with information was urged to contact the force on 101.

Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe accident, between J13 for A449 and J12 for A5.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound between J13, A449 (Stafford South) and J12, A5 (Gailey), because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

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

Sir Vince Cable in Brexit studies role

Sir Vince Cable will teach at a Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University, it has been announced.

Sir Vince, who leaves his role as the Liberal Democrat party leader next week, has joined the centre as a visiting professor.

Sir Vince Cable
EPA

“The former business secretary has been appointed to the think tank to offer insight and analysis, and brings with him decades of experience working in frontline politics.” the university said.

He will focus on “looking at the economics and scenarios” related to Britain’s exit from the EU.

MP backs protest against flyover demolition

Kathryn Stanczyszyn

Political Reporter, BBC WM

The Labour MP for Perry Barr has threatened legal action against Labour-run Birmingham City Council over its decision to demolish the A34 flyover.

Khalid Mahmood joined protesters who say traffic in the area will be made worse and residents are not being properly consulted.

Campaigners at the scene
BBc

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition to keep the flyover.

The council says it will be replaced with a better integrated junction system including cycle lanes and more pedestrianisation and the solution is based on detailed research.

The work is due to be completed in time for the Commonwealth Games - which some protesters claim is the main reason for the change which they call short-sighted.

But BCC says it will support its clean air strategy, improve bus reliability and leave Perry Barr with a better transport network in the future.

I will be looking into the issue on this week's Sunday Politics Midlands on BBC One at 1100.

Amazon site set for Prime Day protests

Workers at Amazon's depot in Rugeley, Staffordshire, are expected to join protests around the world over pay and conditions at the online retailer.

In the UK, unions say week-long protests are planned to coincide with Amazon's sale where it offers discounts to its Prime service members.

Amazon in Rugeley
BBC

Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said Amazon workers want the firm's founder Jeff Bezos to know they are "people not robots".

"It's prime time for Amazon to get round the table with GMB and discuss ways to make the workplaces safer and to give their workers and independence voice," he said.

Amazon employs 29,500 people in the UK and a spokesperson said it offered industry-leading pay starting at £9.50 per hour and was the "employer of choice for thousands of people across the UK".

Playground repaired after 'mineshaft' damage

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Joe Sweeney

A playground in a Wolverhampton park has been closed after damage caused by a suspected mineshaft.

Work is being carried out to make the area in the north of Ashmore Park, Wednesfield, safe after the Coal Authority contacted the city council.

The play area in Ashmore Park, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton,
Wolverhampton City Council

Phil Bateman, Labour councillor for Wednesfield North, said the work was expected to take two weeks but it could be longer.

“At the moment the full works area is fully fenced off, which also includes the skate park, and this will all be fully reinstated upon completion of the works," he said.

The council added the work was being paid for and managed by the Coal Authority and it wanted the area made safe and restored "as soon as possible".

Severe disruption: M5 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, between J1 for A41 Birmingham Road West Bromwich and J2 for A4123 Wolverhampton Road Oldbury.

M5 West Midlands - One lane closed and queues on M5 southbound between J1, A41 (West Bromwich) and J2, A4123 (Oldbury), because of a car that's broken down. In the roadworks area.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J12 for A5 and J13 for A449.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J12, A5 (Gailey) and J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Moeen Ali: World Cup has 'changed cricket in our country'

Worcestershire all-rounder Moeen Ali, who featured in England's World Cup triumph, says he believes the victory will bring a new audience to the sport.

"This has changed cricket in our country," he said.

Moeen Ali
Getty Images

Speaking to BBC Hereford and Worcester his father, Manir Ali, echoed the sentiment, saying school children "will all be talking about cricket today."

Mr Ali, who watched the game at Lords, said the atmosphere at the ground was "electric".

"Everyone was in tears and were jumping in the air," he said.

"It was absolutely amazing.

"The nails on my fingers have gone".

Campaign over railway sleeper plant

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Campaigners say they will step up their campaign against a new factory in Wednesbury.

NetworkRail said it would apply for planning permission this month to build a plant on Bescot sidings to produce about 600,000 concrete railway sleepers a year.

Artist's impression of Bescot  concrete sleeper factory
Network Rail

But the 'People of Wednesbury Say No to Network Rail' group says it will lead to noise, air pollution and traffic congestion.

Carol White, of the group, says 21 schools within a one-mile radius of the proposed site could be affected by silica used in the manufacture of cement.

But Network Rail has said the factory would not produce cement which will instead be brought into the plant in sealed lorries and unloaded in an airtight area within the building so it can’t escape into the atmosphere.

It has also estimated the number of HGV vehicles coming onto the site would average 30 a day, or some 7,500 a year.

Three-vehicle crash affecting M6 southbound

BBC News Travel

A crash involving a lorry and two cars has closed two lanes of the M6 southbound.

Traffic is affected between Stafford Services and J14 for Stafford North.

View more on twitter

Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe accident, between Stafford Services and J14 for A34.

M6 Staffordshire - Two lanes closed on M6 southbound between Stafford Services and J14, A34 (Stafford North), because of an accident involving a lorry and two cars.

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

Brooklyn Beckham directs Birmingham band's video

Brooklyn Beckham has made his debut as a music video director with an indie band from Birmingham.

The 20-year-old son of David and Victoria is behind the visuals for Jaws' latest single End Of The World.

Brooklyn Beckham
Getty Images

Beckham, who is on an internship with photographer Rankin, approached the rock band after seeing them perform live.

He and his friend Louis Valentine Berry made the film in Coseley, West Midlands, over two days.

Partly filmed at the Roaring Tiger Karate Club, Coseley, the video is a tribute to drummer Eddy Geach's late father, who practised the martial art.

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J14 for A34 and Stafford Services.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and it's slow on M6 northbound between J14, A34 (Stafford North) and Stafford Services, because of a break down. In the roadworks area.

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

Woman arrested after jewellery stolen

Jewellery with an estimated value of over £15,000 has been taken from an address in Essington, Wolverhampton.

Stolen Jewellery
Staffordshire Police

It's believed the items were taken from an address on Hough Way on 16 June.

A 31-year-old woman, arrested on suspicion of theft, has been released under investigation.