Council leaders in the Midlands have written to the Local Government Secretary to complain about the effects of budget cuts.
They say deprived areas of Nottingham and Birmingham are suffering the most, and Eric Pickles' plans for more spending reductions will lead to a financial crisis where front-line services can't be protected.
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A man has died after an 'explosion' at a factory in the early hours of this morning.
Hazardous conditions across the Midlands have forced thousands of schools to close for a second day.
Paramedics were called out to reports of a woman freezing to death on a park bench - who turned out to be a statue.