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New UKIP councillor suspended over alleged racist and homophobic comments

Dave Small, a UKIP councillor in Redditch, has been "suspended with immediate effect pending a disciplinary hearing to determine the final outcome" according to a UKIP spokesperson.

It comes after he referred to Romanians as 'scroungers' and gay people as 'perverts'.

In the comments posted on Facebook last year Mr Small also attacked the broadcaster Clare Balding and the singer Elton John.

He was elected to Redditch Borough Council last Friday.

Pixie Lott to do a small gig at a school in Redditch

Pixie Lott will be singing to pupils at a school in Reditch Credit: Lexie Appleby/PA Images

The 23 year-old is going to sing to Year 13 students on their last day of school at St Augustine’s Catholic High School, in Redditch.

As well as performing her hits she is planning to speak with the students about Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

Pixie, who recently confirmed that she will be performing at V Festival at Weston Park in Staffordshire in August, became a patron for the charity in 2010 following the sudden death of her friend Adam Donnelly.

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Five charged over £15,000 boiler thefts

Five men have been charged with stealing almost £15,000 worth of boilers in a ram raid at a Redditch plumbing merchant’s earlier this week.

A van rammed the doors of Graham the Plumbers’ Merchant in Washford Drive, on the Park Farm Industrial Estate at around 7.35pm on Tuesday, and men were seen loading property into it.

Nine boilers were stolen, worth almost £15,000 Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

Shortly afterwards, a member of the public reported a van which they thought was suspicious, and officers stopped a vehicle nearby.

Five men, all from Wolverhampton, were arrested at the scene and nine boilers - worth a total of £14,447 - were seized.

Three of them, all in their 20s, were released on police bail to appear at Worcester Magistrates Court on June 2.

The other two, Jonathan Matthews, aged 44, of Westcroft Avenue, and Robert Goodwin, 49, of Orslow Walk, New Park Village, appeared before Kidderminster magistrates today and were remanded in custody to appear at Worcester Crown Court on August 11.

Serial flasher on the loose in Redditch

A serial flasher has struck again in a Redditch park, exposing himself to a female runner.

The woman had gone for a run near Arrow Valley Country Park in Redditch - and, just as she reached the underpass near Proctors Barn Lane next to the River Arrow, she saw the man stood on the opposing bank, exposing himself.

It happened between 8.50am and 9.10am yesterday.

The visitor's centre at Arrow Valley Country Park. Credit: Arrow Valley Country Park.

The man was white, around 5ft 11ins tall, with short black hair and wearing a black fleece top.

PC Laura Wright said it was not the first time a man matching that description had flashed, with other incidents reported at the end of last year.

The woman looked away and carried on running but she was quite shocked and upset and didn’t see where the man went.

It may be that other people in that area yesterday morning saw this man and can help us with a more detailed description or tell us who he is or where he comes from.

We need to find out who he is as soon as possible.

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Vicious one-punch attack fractures victim's skull

A man was left seriously injured with a fractured skull and damaged hearing after being punched in a violent attack in a Redditch street.

The 21-year-old was knocked unconscious for several minutes outside the Palace Theatre by a man who accused him and a friend of talking to his girlfriend, before punching him in the face.

The attack happened in Grove Street, outside the Palace Theatre in Redditch Credit: Google Maps

The thug then ran off towards Ipsley Street, along with another man who was with him. The victim had to be taken to hospital for treatment.

The attacker was black, around 5ft 8ins tall and stocky, with short dark hair. He was wearing a light purple, V-necked T-shirt with a water-effect pattern, and jeans, and is believed to be from the Birmingham area.

Witnesses or anyone who recognises the description of the attacker is urged to call police on 101.

Police warn people not to swim in rivers and ponds after teenager drowns

Richard Fellows, 15, was with two friends on Sunday when he got into difficulty in a pool on the River Arrow. Credit: BPM

Police are warning people not to cool off in rivers and ponds after a boy drowned while swimming near a weir in Redditch.

Richard Fellows, 15, was with two friends on Sunday when he got into difficulty in a pool on the River Arrow.

He was taken to Redditch's Alexandra Hospital but was confirmed dead.

View of the visitor centre at the Arrow Valley Country Park near Redditch Credit: Arrow Valley Country Park

Inspector Ian Joseph, of West Mercia Police, said:

"This was a dreadful tragedy and our thoughts are with Richard's family and friends.

"While the investigation is at a very early stage, it was a beautiful spring day and it appears the boys went into part of the river which forms a pool by the weir for a swim.

"Unfortunately the water there is deep and cold, and Richard did not resurface.

"I cannot reiterate strongly enough that swimming in a warm indoor pool is very different to swimming in open water, and even the strongest of swimmers can get into difficulty in rivers, canals, ponds, and quarries."

Tributes to Redditch teenager who drowned in lake

West Mercia Police has tonight identified the teenager who is believed to have drowned in a Redditch lake.

The force has confirmed 15-year-old Richard Fellows from Brockhill, Worcestershire, was swimming in the River Arrow near the lake at Arrow Valley Country Park at the time of the incident.

Superintendent Kevin Purcell, the North Worcestershire Police Commander, said: “Our thoughts are with Richard’s family after this tragic incident and we pass on their request to respect the family’s privacy at this time.”

A report is now being prepared for the Worcestershire coroner.

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