England, United Kingdom

Latest Stories

Weather: Rain forecast this weekend

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

If you were planning a barbeque this weekend, you might want to wait until Sunday, because we're forecast rain tomorrow.

It's looking a lot better next week though.

Weather forecast for the West Midlands

New provider found for special school bus service

A new provider has been found to run minibuses to special schools in Birmingham.

The city council says it has awarded the contract to West Midlands Accessible Transport Ltd, a subsidiary of National Express, and the service will start in September.

Special needs bus

A new provider has been needed since the previous main provider, ATG, went into administration in March.

West Coast Main Line rail passengers face disruption

Rail passengers using the West Coast Main Line through the West Midlands can expect major disruption, because of engineering work which is due to start tomorrow.

For the next 16 days Network Rail is upgrading track, cabling, overhead lines and signalling at the Acton Grange junction between Crewe and Preston.

Railway track
Network Rail

Trains will be diverted during the £27m project, with replacement buses also running.

A full list of services affected is available on the Network Rail website, alongside details of replacement buses.

Police pay rise 'could cost 37 officers'

Thirty seven police officers could be lost from the West Midlands force unless the government funds the pay rise it's set to announce, says the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Police officer
West Midlands Police

The armed forces will get a 2.9% rise, teachers and school staff 2.75%, police officers, dentists and consultants 2.5%, senior civil servants 2%, the Times said.

It is thought the rise will come from existing budgets.

PCC David Jamieson said the estimated pay rise could leave the force needing to spend a further £1.8m from its current budget.

Since I’ve been commissioner I’ve had to watch as the number of police officers plummet and crime rises. Whilst I welcome any plans to pay our hard working officers a salary which they all fully deserve, I am very concerned that there are no plans to fund the pay rise."

David JamiesonWest Midlands Police and Crime Commi

NHS pensions row 'could cost equivalent of 60 consultants'

The chief executive of an NHS trust in the West Midlands says that he expects to lose the work equivalent to that done by 60 consultants, as doctors reduce the amount of overtime they do.

PA Media

Consultants have begun refusing to work beyond their planned hours after receiving unexpected tax bills, following new pension rules in 2016.

The government has indicated it will come up with new proposals in an attempt to resolve the dispute, which has led to increased waiting times for routine surgery.

Currently we've probably lost in the region of, the equivalent of, ten consultants. But the way things are going we could easily lose the equivalent of sixty consultants in terms of overtime lost, and that's a lot of patients whose care will be delayed.

Dr David RossirChief Executive, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Plans for flood plain homes to be decided

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Here are three more of the stories written by the Local Democracy Reporters today:

  • A bid to reopen a pub called the Moonshine Inn in Birmingham has been rejected by councillors over concerns about noise, nuisance. One neighbour also objected to its name, because Moonshine is the term used for a high-strength illegally distilled alcohol.
  • A plan to build 62 affordable homes near a floodplain near Worcester, which were rejected once over flooding fears, will go before council planners again next week.
  • Concerns have been raised about the lack of sprinklers included in the plans to refurbish Wolverhampton's Civic Halls.

JLR trials plastic recycling process for car parts

Plastic household waste, destined for landfill or incinerators could be used in the car manufacturing process, says carmaker Jaguar Land Rover.

Jaguar Land Rover

The company is trialing a recycling process aimed at converting plastic waste into new premium-grade material which it says could be used for car parts and interiors.

The carmaker is working with chemical company BASF on a pilot project called ChemCycling, using plastics to replace fossil resources.

Pilot phase material is being used in a Jaguar I-Pace prototype to verify it meets the stringent safety requirements of the original part, said JLR.

Man due in court charged over shooting

A man is due in court today charged with conspiracy to murder a man who was shot dead in Birmingham.

Dante Mullings
West Midlands Police

Dante Mullings, 23, was one of three men in a car parked in Ladywood when a vehicle pulled up alongside and fired shots, West Midlands Police said.

He died at the scene, in Vincent Road West, and the other two men were injured.

Dior Jackson, 20, from Wadington Avenue in Great Barr, is set to appear before Birmingham Magistrates' Court later.

Ihsaan Bernard, 20, from Anerley Road in Kingstanding, and 23-year-old Omami Bernard-Sewell, of no fixed address, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court and were remanded in custody.

Your memories of the Moon landing

On the 20 July 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin - both American - landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on the Moon.

A few hours later, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon.

Neil Armstrong

About 650 million people watched the moment on television, and with others listening to coverage on the radio including Bill and June Kerney.

"My now-husband must have been Moon-struck on that night to do what he did," Mrs Kerney told PA.

"We were going from Birmingham New Street station to south Birmingham where I was living and we were listening on the radio to everything that was going on and then when we got to my bedsitter, a certain romantic person got down on one knee and proposed."

The couple have been married for 48 years and went on to rename their boat Apollo 11 in memory of the big occasion.

World premiere of Peaky Blinders' new series held in Birmingham
The world premiere of the fifth series of Peaky Blinders was held in Birmingham ahead of its return to BBC One later this year.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It should be a dry night with clear periods and lows of 10C (50F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Three charged over 'drive-by' shooting

Three men have been charged with conspiring to kill a man shot dead in a drive-by shooting in Birmingham, police say.

Dante Mullings
West Midlands Police

Dante Mullings, 23, was found fatally injured in Ladywood, Birmingham on May 7, and pronounced dead at the scene.

He was one of three men in a car parked in St Vincent Road West when a vehicle pulled up alongside and shots fired, said West Midlands Police.

Ihsaan Bernard, aged 20 from Anerley Road in Kingstanding, and 23-year-old Omami Bernard-Sewell, of no fixed address, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court this morning and were remanded into custody.

Dior Jackson, aged 20 from Wadington Avenue in Great Barr, is set to appear before Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Friday.

The moment police swoop on armed men in Birmingham
Footage from officers' body-worn cameras shows the operation after a sawn-off shotgun changes hands.

Hundreds expected at Peaky Blinders premiere

Birmingham Town Hall is getting ready for an invasion of Peaky Blinders fans, ready to watch the first episode of series five at a premiere tonight.

Peaky Blinders

More than 76,000 people applied to be in the ballot for tickets to the event.

Birmingham's notorious Shelby family return to our TV screens later this year, with the show being moved from BBC Two to BBC One.

If you weren't lucky enough to get a ticket, you can follow all the news from the red carpet on our special live feed starting at 17:00.

Judge backs moving sex offender to 'community' unit

A man convicted of sexually assaulting his mother and who has "intrusive thoughts about attacking women" is set to leave a psychiatric hospital and live in a "community setting".

Birmingham City Council House
PA Media

The man, who has learning difficulties and is under the welfare of Birmingham City Council, also told a psychiatrist he remained "certain that he will attack women unless closely supervised".

A judge has approved plans to move him to a residential unit after he has been deemed "fit for discharge".

In a written ruling after a hearing at the Court of Protection the judge said the man had engaged in a number of "programmes and therapeutic interventions" and deemed by his "multi-disciplinary team as being fit for discharge".

She said she accepted professionals' assessment of the man and had no doubt that it was in his best interests for him to be cared for in the planned community setting.

Laura Mvula to receive honorary doctorate

The singer and composer Laura Mvula is going to be awarded an honorary doctorate by Birmingham City University later this month, for her "outstanding contribution to music".

The 32-year-old, who comes from the city, has won Ivor Novello and Mobo awards and also been nominated for awards at the Brits and for the Mercury Prize.

Laura Mvula
Birmingham City University/Laura Mvula

She will receive the honour from Sir Lenny Henry at a ceremony at Birmingham's Symphony Hall on 23 July.

"I'm humbled and delighted to be receiving such an immense honour," she said.

West Midlands house prices to see biggest rise in England

The West Midlands is predicted to see the biggest increase in house prices in England over the next two years, according to analysts from PwC.

Only Wales is expected to see faster growth in the UK.

PA Media

PwC said it expected the price of the average house in the West Midlands to rise from £194,000 to £223,000 by 2022 and warns that this will make it hard for people move to find new jobs and will also have an impact on rental prices.

Two arrested after Sparkhill stabbing

Two men have been arrested after a man was fatally stabbed in Birmingham last week, police say.

Malik Hussain
West Midlands Police

Malik Hussain, 35, was found dead in Baker Street, Sparkhill, at about 23:20 on Friday.

A post-mortem examination revealed he died from two stab wounds.

A 25-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder and a 36-year-old man arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender remain in police custody.

More than 70 animals shot in the West Midlands

More than 70 animals were shot using air guns in the West Midlands last year, new figures show.


The RSPCA is calling for the licensing of air guns as figures reveal the charity received 767 reports of animals being shot across England and Wales, with 72 reports coming from the region.

Cats bore the brunt of the shootings with 258 of them and 73 dogs deliberately killed or maimed last year.

A large number of wild mammals and birds, including foxes, squirrels, swans and pigeons were targeted as well, it said.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Any early rain should clear leaving a bright day with highs of 23C (973F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Latest weather: Another warm and overcast day

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It's forecast to be another warm and overcast day tomorrow and there's a chance of a bit of rain overnight.

Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Force gets extra £5m for crime-predicting technology trial

The Home Office has given another £5m to a police force testing software that predicts whether someone will commit a crime.

Lloyd House, West Midlands Police HQ

West Midlands Police is trialling the system to analyse data on knife and gun offences, as well as modern slavery.

The National Data Analytics Solution is used to help predict whether someone will commit a crime or become a victim.

Supt Nick Dale, from the force, said: "This technology has the potential to help us understand modern slavery networks, the hidden crime within our communities, so much better, as well as the problems that lead to serious violence that blights communities and affects the lives of victims and perpetrators.

"We are still at an early stage in identifying how best machine learning technology can be used, but it is really important that our work is scrutinised independently from an ethical point of view, and that technology will never replace professional judgment or affect the police's accountability for our actions."

West Midlands Police received £4.5m of Home Office funding for the scheme last year.

Town centre task force 'open minded' about regeneration

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A taskforce set up to regenerate five town centres in the West Midlands, says it will listen to business people there, before drawing up a plan.

The West Midlands Combined Authority appointed Jon Bramwell (below, centre) to lead the group and it has £20m to spend on the improvements.

Business leaders in Bilston

Mr Bramwell said his taskforce was "very open minded" and that it was very difficult to say how the five high streets might change "given the fact that the way people go about shopping these days is changing."

The five town centres are Bilston, the St Thomas Quarter in Dudley, Bordesley Green in Birmingham, the St Matthews Quarter in Walsall and West Bromwich East.

Rush hour rail disruption

BBC News Travel

A trespasser on the railway in the Stone area is resulting in disruption to trains running between Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford, the National Rail website reports.

CrossCountry, London Northwestern and Virgin Trains may be delayed by up to 40 minutes, cancelled or revised. Disruption is expected until 17:30.

And a broken down train in the Nuneaton area has led to trains being cancelled or delayed by up to 60 minutes. The line between Nuneaton and Birmingham New Street has reopened but disruption is expected until 18:00.

Smethwick Rolfe Street station is also closed due to a nearby fire.

Four arrested over fatal shooting

Four men have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Dante Mullings in Birmingham in May.

West Midlands Police said the four were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder and remain in custody.

West Midlands Police

The force said the arrests were "a significant step forward as we try to establish exactly what happened to Dante."