News Council tax set to rise by as much as five per cent

The amount paid by households towards the cost of policing looks set to rise by up to five per cent this year as the Government faces a potential show down with its flagship Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) who are demanding above inflation increases in council tax to combat swingeing budget cuts.

Bomb disposal team is called to mosque in Walsall after suspicious item discovered

Residents say an explosion was heard on Friday evening before the item was discovered on Saturday

TUC 'austerity bus' visits struggling West Midlands towns as it tours country to highlight the impact of Coalition cuts on UK workers and families

Paul Mason has worked in the same factory in Cannock, Staffordshire, for 29 years. When he joined the business, which makes plastic parts for the automobile industry, it was the third biggest factory in town, employing around 500 people. Nearly three decades on, the number of staff has dropped to just 120.

Ex-footballer's son James Francis denies burglary

The son of former England footballer Trevor Francis has denied stealing ladies' shoes and souvenir football shirts from a cottage belonging to ex-Aston Villa player Lee Hendrie.

Missing boy Romeo Mayhead found after police search in Walsall

An eight-year-old boy who was reported missing by his family has been found after a police search operation.

Washwood Heath Muslim Centre in Birmingham where three men and a police officer were stabbed

'Hero' police officer stabbed at mosque is discharged from hospital

The police officer heralded a hero after being stabbed in the chest and stomach while he disarmed a knife-wielding attacker at a mosque is to be discharged from hospital.

Australia captain Michael Clarke is yet to feature in this year's Champions Trophy

Champions Trophy: Australian captain Michael Clarke could return to action for crucial clash with Sri Lanka

Clarke has missed both of their Champions Trophy games due to a back injury but is hopeful of playing some part in tomorrow's Group A decider

County cricket round-up

Bowler of the day

Adil Rashid has made more headlines for his batting this season, with three centuries in the championship. Today, he proved he can still be a match-winning leg-spinner, taking 5 for 78 to set up Yorkshire for a 10-wicket win over Middlesex just before lunch on the final day at Lord’s, taking them to the top of the First Division.

Man calls 999 to complain prostitute is too ugly

A man has been warned by police after he dialled 999 to complain about a prostitute's looks after meeting her outside a hotel.

Okore played for FC Nordsjaelland before agreeing terms with the Midlands club today

Transfer confirmation: Aston Villa sign Denmark international Jores Okore

Former Villa captain Martin Laursen scouted the 20-year-old defender on Tuesday

George Bailey, Australia’s stand-in captain, made 55 before being bowled out

Champions Trophy: George Bailey needs quick change of fortune as problems mount

Australia 243-8 New Zealand 51-2: Bad weather leaves Australia relying on others if they are to advance to semi-finals

The elderly with experience fear joblessness more than the young

UK unemployment: Over-65 workers hit record 1m with modest growth in jobs market

But unemployment rate remains well above pre-crisis levels and pay growth is still weak

Man held after police officer hit by car in Birmingham

Officer suffered suspected fractured pelvis attempting to stop vehicle

Baroness Knight: 'Homosexuals are lovely,
Enoch Powell was right – and abortion is too easy'

After nearly half a century in Parliament, the Tory peer, 90, is not going to let fear stop her expressing her views, she tells Andy McSmith

A lovely summer scene unless you suffer from hayfever: rapeseed blooms in a field near the village of Brewood in South Staffordshire

Summery weekend is nothing to sneeze at... unless you suffer from hayfever

Temperatures could hit 25C over the weekend

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