Colors: Blue Color

With a network of water pipes that would stretch around the world it’s no wonder Severn Trent Water customers often spot water leaks before Severn Trent itself. That’s why the water company is asking its customers to help tackle leaks and bursts in the cold weather. Malcolm Whittaker has been finding and fixing leaks across the region for over 30 years.  He explained: “The weather has turned cold and we’ll see more ice and frost towards the weekend. 

New rules allowing EU citizens with subscriptions for online music, games, films and TV shows to access this content while traveling to another EU country have been welcomed by local MEP Daniel Dalton. Mr Dalton was one of the first MEPs to demand this issue be investigated and refreshed, “I always found it bizarre that consumers buying an online sports or entertainment package in the UK found themselves geo-blocked when they went on holiday."

Everyone loves trees, and The National Forest offers the perfect Valentine's Day gift this year: give a National Forest Plant a Tree package and you'll be supporting a whole forest! Plant a Tree gives you the chance to plant a tiny tree in the Forest yourselves. First, add your personal message to a certificate available online on The National Forest website to present to your loved one on Valentine's Day.

The RSPCA is reminding cat owners of the importance of having their pets microchipped after a Coventry family were reunited with the beloved puss two and a half years after he went missing. The animal welfare charity was contacted on 29 January after a member of the public spotted what they believed to be a stray cat with an injured leg in Common Way, Coventry.

Forget the retirement dream of moving to the countryside or heading to the coast – more than half (52 per cent) of the residents of the UK’s biggest cities want to stay exactly where they are when they stop work, according to new research by Prudential. The findings – which are taken from Prudential’s exclusive research comparing attitudes to finance and the preparations workers are making for retirement in the UK’s biggest cities – show that most people are happy to retire in the city in which they currently live.

Nationwide efforts to reduce child traffic casualty rates have been boosted in Birmingham with the launch of a new road safety early learning book. ‘The Conies: Walking to School Safely Journal’ features an inspirational family of traffic-cone-shaped cartoon characters - The Conies – whose creators hope will become national or even international heroes of road safety for children.

Research from Royal Mail has revealed the UK’s most popular hiding spots for Valentine’s gifts in the home. At the top of the list is the “wardrobe” (21 per cent) with “under the bed” (13 per cent) coming a close second. Wardrobes were the favourite secret hiding place for adults in the north east. Over a quarter of respondents from the north east (28 per cent) confessed to finding their Valentine’s gifts hidden in the wardrobe.

The Yorkshire market town of Otley has teamed up with Children's Heart Surgery Fund to raise money for the charity by offering 'Personalised Poems for a Pound' in the run up to Valentine's Day, 2017. Otley is thought to be the only town in the country with its own official poet – and local bard Matthew Hedley-Stoppard will pen the personalised poems in return for a minimum £1 donation to the charity. People wishing to use the service simply upload the name of a loved one when a donation is made and Matthew will craft a bespoke poem in their honour.

A three-tiered service for Birmingham’s Community Library have been drawn up following feedback from citizens during a recent public consultation. Initial plans (with opening hours and staff support reduced in tiers 2 and 3) were put forward as part of the council’s effort to respond to reduced funding from central government and would have seen the libraries at Aston and Sutton closed – reducing annual expenditure by £1.9million by 2018/19.

Mental health came under the spotlight at a unique Sandwell event aimed at improving care and support in the community. More than 50 people took part in the Ideas Festival held at West Bromwich Town Hall and hosted by the borough’s Mental Health People’s Parliament and rights-based organisation Changing Our Lives. The event focused on ‘community places of safety’, where people can go for support.

A mid-life crisis will cost people living in the West Midlands an average of £7,767.38 and is likely to start at the age of 43, according to new research commissioned by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians). The cost of £7,767.38 in the West Midlands is just higher than the UK average of £7712.39, and the start of 43 years old is the same as the UK average of 43.

The long haired cat - who has been named Millie - was found in a bus shelter near Kingstanding Road Police Station. The bus stop is located outside Lydons Vets. She was dumped with a cat carrier and a note reading ‘I am a one year old stray, I need a loving home thank you’. RSPCA inspector Elizabeth Boyd said: “Millie is a lovely, friendly cat, she is now being cared for at an RSPCA animal centre and is doing really well.

Football matches on Sandwell pitches will be cancelled this weekend (Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 February) due to bad weather. Following inspection visits Sandwell Council confirms the pitches are already waterlogged. With more rain expected over the coming days the condition of the pitches is likely to worsen.  The decision has been taken to prevent the pitches from becoming churned up and unusable for future matches this season.

Brighton, London or Ludlow: in 2017 it could be a list of places to visit or a reception class register. Yet it’s not just babies who get named after some of the world’s beautiful places - teddy bears are also more popular if their moniker can be found on a map. Merrythought, Britain’s last remaining luxury teddy bear manufacturer, today revealed their biggest sellers were bears named after towns and cities, with the medieval town of Shrewsbury proving more popular than the country’s capital, London.

New play activities for children are coming to Sandwell. A £330,000 grant will deliver free play and leisure sessions after school and during the holidays for six to 12-year-olds and children with special needs up to the age of 16. The council has recently awarded the cash to four voluntary groups who will run the free activities across Sandwell’s six towns. Murray Hall Community Trust will run sessions in Rowley Regis, The Albion Foundation in Smethwick, West Bromwich activities will be run by Creative Academies and Groundwork West Midlands will run sessions in Tipton, Oldbury and Wednesbury.

Yardley Residents Action Group, which represents residents in the Birmingham district of Yardley and the wider community, is hoping to save two football pitches from being built on by appealing to professional clubs to buy the land. The Barrows Lane playing fields and social club in Yardley, where Midland football stars Craig Gardner and Darren Carter first played the game, are facing a resubmitted planning application by their owner the Co-op for new homes.