England, United Kingdom

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  1. No plans for West Midlands to move to tier three

    There are currently no plans for the West Midlands to move into tier three of the coronavirus restrictions, the West Midlands mayor says.

    People in Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull and Wolverhampton are currently under tier two restrictions, which prevents mixed households of six gathering anywhere except outdoors or in private gardens.

    In a post on Twitter, Andy Street said the region must "maintain" this position for as long as possible "to help protect people's lives and livelihoods".

    "However our case number are rising," he said.

    "And if they continue to rise in the coming weeks then naturally we will have to begin the dialogue with the government about whether a move into the very high level of restrictions is appropriate".

    Andy Street

    While the region remains in tier two, Mr Street added, he will continue to lobby the government for extra support for businesses.

  2. Weather: Cloudy and wet

    BBC Weather

    Mainly cloudy with rain spreading in from the south this morning before turning more showery this afternoon. Windy as the day goes on with a high of 15C/59F.

    Image caption: This morning in Congleton, Cheshire

    Then cloudy this evening with a few showers before they ease overnight with clear spells developing. Low: 9C/48F.

    Keep up-to-date on your local forecast by going to the BBC Weather website.

  3. Your comments: Much love for the Mini Metro


    We have had hundreds of comments from you about your Mini Metros as we mark the car's 40th anniversary.

    The first model was designed in just over six weeks and they rolled off the production line at Longbridge, Birmingham.

    Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher behind the wheel of a Metro at the NEC Motor Show in 1980

    Among the comments today on Facebook:

    Nigel Bee said: "I had an F-reg MG Metro in British racing green, red seatbelts and 'bucket' front seats. Loved the car. Oh, the days you could fill the tank from empty for less than £15! I went miles in it."

    Sue Thomas added: "I was working for British Leyland at that time and the employees were able to cast a vote on the name from a choice of three - Match, Maestro and Metro. Obviously Metro won the poll at that time although the Maestro name did subsequently reappear for a different model range."

    Barbara Carpenter posted as well: "My first car was also a Mini Metro - I decided to upgrade when the gear stick fell through the floor!"

    Angie Kilmister typed: "I had a white Metro MG turbo - it was like driving a tank, no power steering but it went well. My gran had to pay £750 because she wanted a black one. She had one of the first Metros, I think it was a W-reg - I thought she was so posh."

  4. Rain likely to cause travel disruption

    Heavy rain is likely to lead to travel disruption in parts of the West Midlands on Wednesday, the Met Office is warning.

    Weather warning map

    A yellow warning for rain has been issued starting at 03:00 BST and lasting until 14:00.

    About 10-15 mm of rain is expected to fall, with as much as 30 to 50 mm in a few locations.

    It is set to affect parts of the West Midlands conurbation along with Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

  5. Around the web: Redundancy programme launched by JLR

    Birmingham Live

    The Birmingham Live website's headlines today include:

  6. 'When rather than if' Birmingham 'moves to tier 3'

    BBC Radio WM

    Birmingham's director of public health says it's a case of "when rather than if" the city moves to tier three - very high alert coronavirus restrictions.

    Dr Justin Varney

    Birmingham, which is in tier two - high alert - had 185 cases per 100,000 people in the latest figures for the seven days up to 17 October, Dr Justin Varney said.

    He stated he was seeing a "steady climb", but thought restrictions in the city on household mixing for a few weeks "do look like they have slowed the speed of climb".

    About a week ago the figure was running at about 145, Dr Varney said.

    Asked if he thought it was time for a circuit-breaker - a short limited lockdown - or another full lockdown in England now, he said "all it does is delay" and "you really probably need three weeks plus for it to be effective".

    He said: "We've also got to keep in mind that what we're seeing in hospitals now reflects what happened in the community at least three to four weeks ago. So we're going to see those numbers continue to rise in hospital as [they have] in the community."

    Different households across parts of the West Midlands cannot mix indoors, as Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton are in the tier two - high alert category.

    Quote Message: I think it's when rather than if. It does seem the only way is up at the moment, but we are going much more slowly. I mean it's kind of like Birmingham's taking its own sweet time to climb the stairs and areas like Manchester and Blackpool just rushed on up straight past from Dr Justin Varney Birmingham's director of public health
    Dr Justin VarneyBirmingham's director of public health
  7. Paediatric cases diverted two days a week

    Michele Paduano

    Health correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

    Children who need emergency treatment are being diverted from Heartlands Hospital two days a week.

    Instead, ambulances are transporting them to Birmingham Children's Hospital.

    University Hospital Birmingham says the move is to protect Heartlands' A&E department which is under intense pressure.

    Heartlands Hospital A&E department

    A spokesman for the trust said: "Monday and Tuesday are peak times in the emergency department at Heartlands, support from Birmingham Children's Hospital takes off some of that pressure."

    West Midlands Ambulance Service said the divert would be in place from 15.00 to 22.00 BST both days.

  8. Prison inmates' letters laced with drugs

    More than 300 pages of "solicitors letters" were laced with drugs and sent to inmates during a prison's Covid-19 lockdown.

    HMP Birmingham

    The letters, marked as being from inmates' legal teams, were intercepted at HMP Birmingham in June.

    Staff's efforts emerged in a report on standards since an inspector called the prison the worst he had ever seen.

    Now a watchdog hopes improvements during the virus will help reshape the prison's future.

  9. 'Mocked' Mini Metro turns 40 and finds new fans

    John Bray

    BBC News

    There are about 300 cars at the British Motor Museum in Warwickshire - but only one is adorned with 1,000 signatures.

    The final Rover 100 at the British Motor Museum

    The significance of that vehicle, tucked away alongside some of the greatest cars ever produced in Britain, is revealed by its number plate.

    R100 END was the last Metro built at the Longbridge factory in Birmingham, and the signatures on its paintwork are from the men and women that helped to produce it.

    This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Metro launch, and an online exhibition has been created by the British Motor Museum to celebrate a car that divided opinion.

    Read more about the Metro and the growing affection from younger fans here on the BBC website.

  10. Some young offenders 'not in education'

    Sophie Madden

    BBC News

    A service dealing with young offenders has been told to improve "at pace" after 11% of its under-16s were found not to be in education.

    Person in hoody

    More than half of the children known to the Birmingham Youth Offending Service (YOS) were not in mainstream education, an inspection by HM Inspectorate of Probation found.

    The service was rated as "requires improvement".

    Birmingham Children's Trust, which runs the YOS, said improvements had begun.

  11. Weather: Showers to start

    BBC Weather

    Showers this morning before it turns mainly dry with sunny spells but still with the odd chance of a shower. High: 17C/63F.

    Today's weather forecast

    Clear spells this evening before turning cloudy with rain moving in from the south. Low: 12C/54F.

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