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  1. Lee Comley

Internet sensation premature baby celebrates birthday

The parents of a girl from the Black Country who was born three and a half months prematurely have been celebrating their daughter's first birthday.

Daisy-Mae Little faced a range of health problems as she fought for her life during her first few weeks - but now, a year on, her parents will be celebrating their first proper Christmas at home. Lee Comley reports.

  1. Chris Halpin

Black Country business reacts to Autumn Statement

One business in the Black Country says the help being offered by the Chancellor in the Autumn statement is all well and good, but in previous schemes they haven't seen the money come through.

Alpha Engineering in Willenhall is as old as the Coalition Government; it was formed in 2010 and now employs nine people.

Bosses say business is brisk, but the firm can't grow fast enough because it's hard to access finance to buy new machinery, or to find the right staff with the appropriate skills.

Managing Director Anthony Chisholm had high hopes for today's announcement from Westminster. Chris Halpin was there to gauge his reaction when George Osborne made his pledges for small businesses.

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'Drunk' lorry driver caught driving wrong way down dual carriageway

West Midlands Police say they've arrested a lorry driver going the wrong way down a dual carriageway, who then tested more than twice over the drink drive limit.

The driver is said to be a foreign national, and was stopped driving the wrong way down the Black Country Route by Traffic Police overnight.

Couple suffer serious injuries in bus collision in Tipton

The scene of the crash in Toll End Road Credit: John Kennett

Five people have been taken to hospital, two with serious injuries, following a collision involving a car and a bus in the Black Country.

An air ambulance and five ambulance crews and were sent to Toll End Road, Tipton shortly after 1.20pm today

A man and woman were cut free from the car before the woman was flown to Queen Elizabeth Hospital with head, back and chest injuries.

The male driver was taken by ambulance to the same hospital with head injuries.

Three bus passengers were taken to hospital with back and neck pain.

Midlands Air Ambulance airlifted a woman to hospital Credit: John Kennett
Damage to the bus in Toll End Road Credit: John Kennett

Next year will see 'deepest cuts' to Walsall budget

The leader of Walsall Council has warned that next year's budget cuts of £29.2 million will be the harshest over the coming few years.

A further £57m will then have to be slashed from future budgets as part of a four-year savings plan ending in 2019.

Walsall Council leader Sean Coughlan has warned next year will see the 'deepest' cuts Credit: Walsall Labour party

Council leader, Councillor Sean Coughlan, said:

As I've said before, next year will see the deepest of cuts over our four year budget plan.

Faced with £47 million funding reductions from central government and the limitation on council tax increases, our hands are tied and it hasn't been easy.

But our priority has been to protect the most vulnerable people and to do what we can to continue making Walsall a good place to live.

– Councillor Sean Coughlan, Walsall Council leader

What's under threat at Walsall Council?

As council chiefs in Walsall prepare to make more than £86 million of cuts over the next five years, a draft budget has been drawn up.

They include proposals to make savings in the following areas, among others:

  • 487 council jobs to be axed
  • Eight libraries to close
  • 12 Children's Centres to be shut
  • Walsall Museum to close
  • Bin collections to go from weekly to fortnightly
  • Charges introduced for green waste collections
  • £2 million to be saved from the youth services budget

The council also plans to review the council tax reduction scheme and the discounts on offer to residents, in the hope of saving an extra £3m.

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Consultation over £86m of council cuts begins in Walsall

A public consultation over £86 million of budget cuts at Walsall Council will begin today.

Walsall Museum is under threat as part of the plans Credit: Google Maps

The cuts, of which £29m will have to be slashed next year, includes hundreds of job losses and the closure of Walsall Museum.

The consultation will give people the chance to have their say on where the axe should fall in the next five years.

Man dies after crashing with police car

A man has died in a crash with a police car in Dudley.

The accident happened at the junction of Central Drive, Bridge Street and Martin Close in Coseley, at around 11am yesterday.

The man, believed to be a van driver, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash happened at at the junction of Central Drive, Bridge Street and Martin Close in Coseley Credit: ITV News Central

West Midlands Police said the officer had been driving a marked car and had been carrying out routine enquiries. He was not responding to an emergency at the time.

Central Drive was closed between Eachus Road and Sangwin Road for around five hours while emergency services attended the scene.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to the crash to come forward.

Crackdown on 'illegal and dangerous' car cruising

Council leaders in the Black Country say 'car cruising' has been a "bone of contention" for people and businesses in the area for several years.

It comes as bosses team up with police in a groundbreaking bid to ban boy racers from the region's roads.

Bosses say car cruising is 'illegal and dangerous' Credit: West Midlands Police

Wolverhampton City Council's leisure chief Councillor Elias Mattu said they were "determined" to put a stop to the problem.

The activities are not only wholly anti-social, but also illegal and dangerous, putting the safety of participants and spectators at risk - indeed, it's only a matter of time until more people are seriously injured or even killed.

Black Country councils and the police have received numerous complaints about car cruising - from dangerous driving to noise, verbal abuse and intimidation, and we are determined to do all we can to put a stop to this menace.

Our application doesn't just seek to prevent acts of dangerous driving, it also looks to tackle some of the wider problems caused by car cruising, from criminal behaviour such as drug taking and littering and the burden on police resources and the emergency services in the event of accidents, to personal costs to residents and businesses like sleep deprivation, obstruction, fear, harassment and intimidation.

– Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council

Boy racers could face prison if injunction approved

Boy racers could face up to two years in prison if a legal injunction to ban car cruising events is approved, police have warned.

So-called car cruising events have sparked dozens of complaints from businesses and residents, with dangerous driving and excessive noise from revving engines or stereos top of the list.

The Birmingham New Road between Wolverhampton and Dudley is a well-known car cruising hotspot Credit: Google Maps

Other reports revolve around littering, verbal abuse, swearing and intimidation as hundreds of people flock to watch illegal road races and compare cars.

Councils in the Black Country have now teamed up with West Midlands Police and hope to secure an injunction against "persons unknown" at the High Court in Birmingham, to stop car cruising from taking place.

Anyone suspected of breaching the injunction would be considered to be in contempt of court, which carries a potential prison sentence.

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