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Travel disruption towards Midlands after M1 and M40 accidents

Police at the scene of the collision on the M1 northbound Credit: ITV Anglia

Drivers heading to the Midlands have been warned to use different routes following crashes on the M1 and M40.

The Highways Agency is warning drivers expecting to use either motorway to use the M11 and A14.

Bedfordshire Police say three men were killed in a traffic collision on the northbound carriageway of the M1 this morning.

Meanwhile, a 40-car pile-up on the M40 in Oxfordshire left one person dead and dozens injured.

More on this can be found here.

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Aldi recalls chocolate sold in Midlands after salmonella found

Aldi has recalled one of its staple chocolates from stores in the Midlands due to salmonella being detected.

Customers are advised to return all 200g packs of Choceur Treasures with a 'best before' date of September 1, 2015, due to the bacteria being found in one batch which is on sale at stores across the region.

The shop says the batch is sold in the Midlands only.

Aldi has recalled Choceur Treasures on sale in the Midlands Credit: Aldi

The Choceur Treasures are whole hazelnuts wrapped in waffle and milk chocolate. The Food Standards Agency has now issued a formal Product Recall Information Notice.

No other Choceur or Aldi products are known to be affected.

The full list of stores where the chocolate is sold can be found here.

Severn Trent reassure customers over cold period

Severn Trent say they're on standby Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Coventry-based Severn Trent Water says it wants to reassure customers that it is ready to deal with the cold and snow.

August's rain and storms led to four times as many calls to the company. December's weather is much colder, with snow, rain and wind combining for a chilly few days ahead.

"When cold weather arrives and the temperatures drop we often see more leaks and burst water pipes. We’re a twenty-four-seven business and we work all day and all night.

Many of our customers may not realise that Severn Trent Water is only responsible for the water mains and service pipes in the public highway. Anything inside the property boundary is the responsibility of the homeowner.

“Colder weather can wreak havoc on household water pipes. When water freezes it expands, putting more pressure on pipes and joints, often causing pipes to split or joints to pull apart. Taking steps now to make sure the pipework leading to your home and within your property is protected can help avoid problems with frozen pipes once the temperatures drop.

– Natallie Welch, Customer Service centre manager

Met Office: More snow warnings for the Midlands

The Met Office have issued Yellow Warning alerts regarding more snow for the region overnight.

East Midlands : Derby, Derbyshire, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire & Rutland, valid from 2025 Fri 26 Dec to 0600 Sat 27 Dec

West Midlands : Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford and Wrekin, Warwickshire, West Midlands area & Worcestershire, valid from 2025 Fri 26 Dec to 0600 Sat 27 Dec

Snow forces airport closure - wider travel warnings

Departures at East Midlands Airport Credit: PA

East Midlands Airport was temporarily closed while snow was cleared from the runway. Knock-on disruption is expected for flights to and from the site at Castle Donington in Leicestershire. The site has now reopened.

Other organisations and emergency services are tweeting travel warnings about the snow and are asking people to only leave their house if they really need to.

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Midlands firefighters preparing to strike again over pensions

Strikes will take place today over a 24-hour period Credit: PA Wire

Firefighters across the Midlands will continue their campaign of strike action today over pensions.

Staff will walk-out from 9am for 24 hours as part of its dispute with the government.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is among a number of services warning people to take extra care on the roads as temperatures continue to drop.

Our resources will be limited during the 24 hours that members of the union are taking industrial action...

People should also be extra vigilant when travelling on our roads, which, of course, is important at any time of the year, but particularly so now that the clocks have gone back and more people may be travelling to and from work in the dark.

– Chief Fire Officer John Buckley, Nottinghamshire Fire Service

One in four Midlands workers earn less than living wage

Nearly 900,000 people in the Midlands earn less than the living wage Credit: PA Wire

One in four workers in the Midlands earn less than the living wage, according to new report.

The annual living wage report by KPMG, published today, estimates that nearly 900,000 workers in the region earn less than the living wage.

The living wage is the amount an individual needs to cover the basic costs of living. It is currently set at £7.65 outside London.

People deserve a fair day’s pay for an honest day’s work. But low pay is blighting the lives of hundreds of thousands of families in the West Midlands...

The fact is there are employers out there in the Midlands who can afford to pay living wages, but aren’t.

It is now time for all responsible employers to commit to adopting this standard, which enables workers to earn just enough to be able to live a decent life.

– Lee Barron, TUC Regional Secretary for the Midlands

Train contract boost for Midlands firms

Seven Midlands firms have been chosen to supply parts for a major new rail contract.

An artist's impression of the interior of one of the new carriages Credit: Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd

They have been selected to help build trains for the first phase of the government's multibillion pound Intercity Express Programme.

The companies chosen are:

  • - Balfour Beatty Rail (unmanned geometry measurement systems – UGMS), Derby
  • - Dellner (Train gangways and couplers), Derby
  • - Eminox (exhaust systems), Gainsborough
  • - Harting (jumper cable systems), Northampton
  • - Trent Instruments (cab equipment), Nottingham
  • - Arrowvale Electronics (driver safety devices), Worcester
  • - DCA Design International (interior train design), Warwick

Business Secretary Vince Cable has described the announcement as a major boost for Midlands firms:

“The Government is committed to helping companies attract inward investment to develop strong, coordinated and competitive supply chains here in the UK.

"We have created a new Rail Supply Chain Forum to help British businesses win work both here and abroad and I am greatly encouraged to see that world leading companies such as Hitachi are placing their confidence in UK suppliers.”

– Business Secretary Vince Cable

Rural crime cost Midlands £10.6m last year

Edale in Derbyshire in the East Midlands. The cost of rural thefts has increased by 38% across the region, one of the biggest rises in the country. Credit: Edward Smith/EMPICS Entertainment

A new report has found the Midlands is among the hardest-hit areas in the country by thieves targeting equipment, livestock and even fuel.

Last year rural crime cost the region £10.6m, according to figures from NFU Mutual.

In the West Midlands the total was £4.5m, a rise of 9%, while in the East Midlands it was more than £6m, an increase of 38%.

The insurance firm say the rise is down to three main factors:

  • High-value tractors being stolen and then sold abroad
  • A 'substantial' rise in sheep rustling
  • Thieves targeting garden tools and ornaments
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