Colors: Blue Color

The UK's elections watchdog has revealed it has been the victim of a "complex cyber-attack" potentially affecting millions of voters. The Electoral Commission said unspecified "hostile actors" had managed to gain access to copies of the electoral registers, from August 2021.

Hackers also broke into its emails and "control systems" but the attack was not discovered until October last year. The watchdog has warned people to watch out for unauthorised use of their data.

A crackdown on dangerous and reckless driving got underway in Birmingham following a spate of serious incidents on the region’s roads. Operations have been launched as part of a coordinated response by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), West Midlands Police (WMP), Birmingham City Council, and the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner to recent incidents that have resulted in deaths and serious injuries.

Birmingham Airport (BHX)’s journey to become a net zero carbon operation by 2033 remains on track, according to a report just published. The Midlands travel hub reduced carbon emissions within its direct control by 27% in 2021/22 against its 2019/20 reporting baseline, its Sustainability Update for 2021 to 2023 confirms.

The Holiday Inn London Sutton has unveiled a £750,000 refurbishment to transform its public spaces and showcase a brand new Open Lobby concept on the ground floor.

The stylish Open Lobby, designed to provide guests with one multi-faceted public space to eat, meet, relax, socialise and work as they choose, will revolutionise the way guests live and interact at the Sutton hotel. The traditionally separate zones of a reception, lobby, bar, lounge, restaurant and business centre have been merged into one cohesive ‘Open Lobby’ space where guests can operate in a more instinctive, flexible and homely way.

An Indian man tied the knot with a Pakistani woman. But what was notable is that the wedding took place online. Arbaaz, who is from Jodhpur in Rajasthan, married Pakistani national Ameena online after she failed to obtain an Indian visa for the wedding.

The video was held via a video call and was completed with all the rituals. Officials from both India and Pakistan conducted the wedding while family members and relatives from both sides participated in the event.

The books of condolence which were opened in memory of Councillor Ian Brookfield have now closed. The messages left in the books at the Civic Centre, Low Hill Community Hub and online will be collated and presented to Councillor Brookfield's family in due course.

Councillor Brookfield, who was the Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, passed away on Sunday 2 July after a brave battle with cancer. He was 57.

Following record-breaking temperatures in June, which were the highest on record for the month of June since 1850, Brits continue to maintain the same winter heating behaviours we had in December. Even with expert advice to turn off our heating come spring; our stoicism means we follow the same routines and just enjoy being quintessentially cosy.  

A youth hub being created to transform young people’s lives in Fleetwood, in Lancashire, is celebrating being awarded a £1m Youth Investment Fund grant.

Fleetwood Trust has been awarded the grant to create The Youth Hub, Fleetwood to help young people gain confidence and skills to enjoy a brighter future. The money will be used to renovate the former Fleetwood Hospital building on Pharos Street and transform part of The Hub Fleetwood community space into a thriving and vibrant hub for young people.

Birmingham New Street has seen 52% more visitors since Ozzy the bull’s official homecoming to the station concourse last week. The much-loved icon of last year’s Commonwealth Games* was unveiled to large crowds in his permanent home under the station's atrium roof on Wednesday 26 July.

A public vote saw the bull named Ozzy, after Birmingham born and bred Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne. His TV celebrity wife Sharon and older sister Jean were guests of honour at the big reveal live on TV.

Theatre director Michael Boyd has died from cancer. His career took him from training in Moscow to artistic directorships at the Tron Theatre Glasgow (1985-96) and the Royal Shakespeare Company, after joining as an Associate Director in 1996.

As an RSC Associate, he firmly established himself as an outstanding director. A stunning debut in 1994 of John Ford’s The Broken Heart was followed by an unforgettable A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as the first iteration of the Histories in 2000 – 2001, all in partnership with his long-term artistic collaborator, Tom Piper.

The UK and Scottish Governments have reached an agreement on an updated Fiscal Framework. Holyrood’s capital borrowing powers will rise in line with inflation, enabling the Scottish Government to invest further in schools, hospitals, roads and other key infrastructure that will help to create better paid jobs and opportunity in Scotland.  

The new deal maintains the Barnett formula, through which the Scottish Government receives over £8 billion more funding each year than if it received the levels of UK Government spending per person elsewhere in the UK. It also updates funding arrangements in relation to court revenues and the Crown Estate.  

Major improvements along the busy A4123 commuter route linking Wolverhampton city centre to Hagley Road via Dudley and Sandwell are to be delivered through at £30 million partnership of Black Country local authorities. 

Plans for the 17 km highway include a proposed segregated cycleway and upgraded footpaths, which will improve safety, provide greater priority at junctions, and encourage more people to swap cars for bikes, particularly on shorter journeys. Bus priority measures will also be installed along the route, allowing for quicker and more reliable bus services and to make them more attractive to commuters. 

Starwood Capital Group have announced that The Grand Hotel, in one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings, will once again open its doors to the public, following a restoration that will return the city centre landmark to its former glory.

The luxury hotel, a Grade II* listed building, will be home to 185 spacious rooms and suites, retaining the building’s mix of French Renaissance, Victorian and Art Deco features and paying homage to its illustrious history. Original character features throughout the property have been painstakingly restored, including the stone façade, historic ceilings, mosaic tiled floors and grand staircase.

Authorities have been made aware of dangerous synthetic opiates circulating in the West Midlands. There is an increased risk of overdose and death because these synthetic opiates are stronger than usual, or because these drugs are contaminated with more dangerous substances.

A co-ordinated response is underway, spearheaded by the West Midlands Local Resilience Forum Strategic Coordinating Group. This partnership involves West Midlands Police, the Local Authorities, West Midlands Ambulance, HM Coroner, the NHS and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID).

Holiday activities provided through the Yo! Wolves summer programme are now in full flow, with thousands of children and young people signing up to take part. Among the many providers delivering holiday events is New Park Village Activities Network, which is offering sports and games, arts and crafts and team building events to children aged between five and 15 at Holy Trinity Church Hall.

The co-writer of BBC hit comedy The Vicar Of Dibley is bringing his show about living with Parkinson’s to Worcester on 17 August as part of the Worcester Festival.

Paul Mayhew-Archer’s comedy show, Incurable Optimist, will be at St Martin's Church at 7:30pm, along with special guest Colin Sell, the brilliant pianist from Radio 4 favourite I’m sorry I Haven’t a Clue. In 2011 Paul was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which is a progressive neurological condition with over 40 symptoms and there is currently no cure.