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Buzz Bingo reveals closure plans for bingo halls

A bingo firm's going to permanently shut 26 of its halls putting 537 jobs at risk.

Buzz Bingo in Stockland Green
Google

The move by Buzz Bingo will see six sites in the West Midlands close as part of a restructuring deal.

The six are:

  • Hereford
  • Stockland Green, Birmingham
  • Tamworth
  • Wednesbury
  • Wolverhampton
  • Worcester

Buzz Bingo said 91 of its clubs would keep trading under plans to start reopening them from 6 August.

The plan still has to be approved by creditors at a meeting on 3 August.

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.

Student
BBC

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
BBC

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.

Jobs created at Commonwealth Games broadcasting company

BBC Midlands Today

More than 150 jobs are to be created in the Midlands after TV company Sunset and Vine was awarded the contract for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Commonwealth Games stadium
Birmingham City Council

The company has a long history of covering major sports events for broadcasters around the world including the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and 2014.

As part of the deal it will launch a training scheme for 200 young people with 150 of them employed during the games, it said.

Apartment plans set for approval

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Mark Cardwell

A block of 131 apartments is set for approval in Digbeth, Birmingham.

Apartment plans
Yeme Architects

The site at the corner of Moseley Street and Alcester Street currently contains commercial buildings which are home to businesses including an electrical distributors.

A planning application recommended for approval by officers suggests demolishing the existing buildings and putting in place an apartment development reaching six and seven storeys in height.

The plans will be considered by councillors at a Birmingham City Council planning committee online meeting on 16 July.

Boy, 15, suffers 'slash' to the head

A 15-year-old boy has suffered a slash wound to the head in Birmingham.

Anglesey Street
Google

West Midlands Police said the boy was found injured in Anglesey Street, Lozells just before 19:00 on Friday.

He was taken to hospital, the force said, but his injuries are not believed to be life-changing or life-threatening.

West Midlands Police said inquiries continue and asked anyone with information to come forward.

Community leader calls for 'more local' government cash

A Birmingham community leader running a food bank in Lozells says government money would be better spent on local communities, not on "ten pounds off at Nando’s."

Diners will get a 50% discount off their restaurant bill during August under government plans to bolster the embattled hospitality sector.

Desmond Jadoo at foodbank (pictured centre)
BBC

Bishop Desmond Jaddoo (pictured centre), who set up Food Parcel Mondays at the Assemblies of the First Born Church on Lozells Road six weeks ago, says the wake-up call from coronavirus "is not being heard" by some of the most vulnerable in society.

He has called on the government to make it easier for people to access support, claiming that they "too often leave themselves apart from the normal man".

Every Monday, he and a group of volunteers hand out food packages to members of the public, with about 180 given out this week.

Officer 'deliberately struck' by reversing car

A police officer has received hospital treatment after being deliberately struck by a car in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton.

The police officer on Beechwood Avenue
West Midlands Police

He sustained minor injuries after approaching a grey Mercedes C-Class, which then reversed into him at about 14:00 on Beechwood Avenue.

The car then drove off while the West Midlands Police officer was sent to hospital where his injuries were described as minor.

The force said it was investigating and urged any witnesses to get in touch.

Labour calls for more support for retail sector

Labour's shadow chancellor, Anneliese Dodds, says the government needs to do more for Birmingham and regional high streets, following the decision by John Lewis to pull out of the city.

Anneliese Dodds
BBC

She has been in Northfield this morning to see how small businesses are coping after the easing of lockdown.

"Clearly many firms around it [John Lewis] will also clearly be worried," she said.

"The chancellor needs to recognise that this is a crisis which is very sectoral, it's having a much stronger impact on certain parts of the economy than others."

Speaking yesterday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the government was "throwing everything" at stemming job losses with a £30bn stimulus package.

Mosques reopen for Friday prayers

Mosques across the West Midlands have reopened for Friday prayers for the first time since March.

Mosque
Getty Images

Worshippers will have to have temperatures taken on the door, bring their own mats, and sit at least one metre apart.

Under 12s and Over 70s are also being asked to stay at home, along with women.

Some mosques, including Green Lane in Birmingham, are asking worshippers to book ahead.

'Government needs to step up'

The government needs to "step up and continue doing more", the chief executive of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce has said.

Paul Faulkner was reacting to the news that Birmingham's John Lewis department store is going to close and he said that while the government's latest funding announcement yesterday was welcome, it hadn't gone far enough.

That is despite a letter from the head of HM Revenue and Customs questioning whether the chancellor's multibillion-pound measures were value for money for taxpayers.

Paul Faulkner
BBC

Mr Faulkner said John Lewis's decision felt "like a massive blow and a shock" and reflected the "challenging times we're in right now".

Shopping centre 'disappointed' at John Lewis decision

The decision to close the John Lewis store in Birmingham's Grand Central shopping centre, one of the retailer's flagship stores, has "disappointed" the centre management.

The store was opened in 2015 and was a key part of the regeneration of the new Street Station complex and attracts more than 20 million visitors a year, the centre said.

Grand Central
Google

Bullring and Grand Central owner Hammerson said it would continue to have discussions with John Lewis "as there remains a significant period left on the lease".

But it said the site was in a busy part of the city centre and "lends itself to future alternative uses, which we will explore”.

Closure of John Lewis 'huge blow for city'

The closure of Birmingham's John Lewis store will be a "huge blow to the city", the Confederation of British Industry has said.

Its regional director, Richard Butler, said it showed the "depth and breadth of the economic challenge facing Birmingham and the wider West Midlands".

Grand Central
Google

Mr Butler described John Lewis as an "iconic brand" and that, "we need these businesses to survive and thrive to support our region in months ahead”.

Suspect identified after taxi driver attacked in fare row

Detectives investigating an assault on a taxi driver in a row over a fare have appealed for the public's help to trace the main suspect, Adam Clancy.

Adam Clancy
West Midlands Police

The 52-year-old taxi driver needed hospital treatment after he was repeatedly punched in the face by a passenger in Druids Heath, Birmingham, on 30 June.

West Midlands Police said Mr Clancy, 39, was quickly identified as the prime suspect after footage of the attack was shared widely online.

The force said it had tried to arrest Mr Clancy at more than seven different properties but so far had been unable to track him down.

It said "as a last resort" it had now released his image as part of "an appeal to locate and arrest him".

Det Sgt Patrick Simpson urged members of the public not to approach Mr Clancy and instead contact police.

Closing stores already 'financially challenged'

John Lewis has said its stores in Birmingham and Tamworth were already "financially challenged" before the coronavirus outbreak.

It said the pandemic had accelerate the shift in shopping from stores to shopping online

Before the virus struck the internet accounted for around 40% of sales, but that is estimated to rise to between 60% and 70% over this year and next.

John Lewis
Google

John Lewis said it would continue to "invest heavily" in internet sales to meet the changing demand and has doubled the online capacity of its Waitrose stores.

About 1,300 John Lewis staff across the eight shops will be affected and the company has said some may be transferred to its online operation or to Waitrose stores.

BreakingBirmingham's John Lewis store to close

The John Lewis store in Birmingham's Grand Central shopping centre is going to close.

It is one of eight stores that won't be reopening, following coronavirus lockdown, as part of a "major business strategy review".

John Lewis
Google

The John Lewis At Home store in Tamworth will also close and the company said "if redundancies are confirmed, every effort would be made to find new roles where possible for Partners who wish to remain within the Partnership."