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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Our live coverage across the day

That's all for regular updates here from the BBC Beds, Bucks and Herts team until 08:00 on Monday, unless a major story breaks.

Today, we covered a new play to celebrate the history of Bedford and the flame is being lit in Buckinghamshire ahead of next week's Paralympic Games in Rio with events being held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium to recognise its role at the birthplace of the movement for sport for people with disabilities.

Have a good weekend.

Our live coverage across the day

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Our regular live updates for Northamptonshire have now finished until Monday.

You can follow Northampton Saints against Bath tomorrow on BBC Radio Northampton and via the BBC Sport website, where you will so find coverage of the Italian Grand Prix.

You can read more on what financial auditors have said to Northampton Borough Council about the £10.15m loan to the Cobblers on our website.

Meanwhile, have a good weekend and let's hope the sun makes an appearance through the cloud.


Our live coverage across the day

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Thanks for joining us for today's Cambridgeshire Live. We'll be back at 08:00 on Monday with the latest news, sport, weather and travel.

Today we covered the merger of Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough City hospitals - staff at the former have told us they are anxious and uncertain about the future.

We've also brought you news that the first homes have been approved for Northstowe, and covered the story of Camsar's newest (and cutest!) recruit

Scroll below to take a read. 

Have a great weekend.

Northampton Aerodrome set to get busy this weekend

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

Sywell Aerodrome will be as busy as Luton and Stansted today as owners arrive in their planes for a light aircraft show at the weekend.

It's attracted planes from all over the world, including this one from Manuel Queiroz who flew it all the way around the world, ten years ago.


This is a microlight dressed up to look like a stealth fighter from Greece:


And this is the Sling 4, an aircraft from South Africa. A team from South Africa and volunteers from the Light Aircraft Association are trying to build the kit, from scratch, in seven days and hope to fly it at Sywell this weekend:


Watch: Campaign to get women and girls active is launched

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

The sports partnership for Cambridgeshire, Living Sport, is launching its Let's Go Girls campaign tomorrow at Milton Country Park.

The campaign aims to encourage women to try new sports and activities to break down barriers which might be stopping them currently taking part. 

New runner Sarah explains why she was motivated to get moving:

A campaign to get women and girls active in Cambridgeshire has launched

Lewis Hamilton fastest in Italian Grand Prix practice

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer at Monza

Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton set the pace ahead of Brackley-based Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg with an impressive performance in second practice at the Italian Grand Prix.

The world champion was 0.193 seconds quicker than Rosberg around Monza as the two head into the final stages of their title battle.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton is nine points clear of Rosberg with eight races remaining.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third but nearly half a second down on a track where margins are always tight.

Bedford's secret BBC Orchestra

Nic Rigby

BBC News

We've been following the story of the play Somewhere in England (The Bedford Play) to celebrate Bedford's history at the Quarry Theatre (pictured below).

Quarry Theatre, Bedford

Mark Burgess, writer and director, said: "The title reflects the fact that the BBC Orchestra was based in Bedford during World War Two, broadcasting from Bedford venues (including the Corn Exchange and Bedford School's Great Hall).

"The [location of broadcasts] had to remain a secret to avoid [Bedford] being bombed by Hitler's Luftwaffe and so the broadcasts were always announced as being live from somewhere in England." 

Play celebrates Bedford's history

Nic Rigby

BBC News

A play has been written to celebrate Bedford - a place probably named after a Saxon chief called Beda who settled near a fordable part of the River Great Ouse. That was 13 centuries ago and a lot has happened since then...

Did you know, for example, that the BBC Orchestra was stationed in Bedford during the World War Two, but the location was kept secret?

Swan Hotel

The play Somewhere in England (The Bedford Play), at the Quarry Theatre in the town was commissioned by The Harpur Trust as part of its 450th anniversary celebrations. 

It uncovers the lives of key Bedfordians, famous people connected to the town (such as Glen Miller and Nelson Mandela) and the stories behind some of the town's landmarks, including the Cardington Hangers, The Bedford Swan Hotel (pictured above) and Bedford's iconic bridges.

Football action this weekend: Posh v Swindon Town

"Focus on the positives" is the message from Peterborough United boss Grant McCann to his players ahead of tomorrow's home clash with Swindon.

Posh lost 6-1 to Norwich under 23s in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday, but McCann wants his men to think back to last Saturday's league victory at MK Dons

He could hand debuts to new signings George Moncur (pictured), Nathan Oduwa and Luke McGee for tomorrow's home clash with Swindon.

Midfielder George Moncur
Peterborough United FC

Posh will make a late decision on Hayden White who has a groin injury, Lee Angol and Brad Inman remain sidelined while Michael Smith is on international duty.  

It's an early kick-off at 12:15.

Also this weekend, St Neots take on Stamford in first round qualifying for the FA Cup, and Cambridge City are at home against Flackwell Heath.

Spinners Keogh and White's 20 wickets an 'unbelievable effort'

Northamptonshire captain Alex Wakely captures spinners Rob Keogh (left) and Graeme White (right) having a well-deserved beer after Northants' win over Glamorgan.

Keogh and White claimed all twenty wickets in the match, the county's second victory over the Welsh side in the County Championship.

View more on twitter

Trust in charge of Bedfordshire's mental health service rated ‘outstanding’ by watchdog CQC

Bedfordshire on Sunday

The trust which provides mental health services in Bedfordshire has been rated outstanding by the healthcare watchdog.

McGurk waits on injury as Mansfield visit Cambridge Utd

Nick Fairbairn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sport

Cambridge United striker Adam McGurk (pictured) has returned to full training following knee ligament damage. He'll face a fitness test ahead of tomorrow's match against Mansfield.

Shaun Derry, manager, said: "I'd be delighted if he was available this weekend, but only if he's 100%."

George Maris is also back in training after a groin strain, but is likely to miss out against Mansfield. Harrison Dunk remains sidelined.

Cambridge United's Adam McGurk
Getty Images

Cambridge United v Mansfield Town will be live on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on FM, MW and digital radion, but not online.

Northants spin their way to a three-day victory against Glamorgan

Alex Winter

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Northamptonshire wrapped up a seasonal County Championship double over Glamorgan by mid-afternoon as Graeme White (pictured) claimed a career-best haul of 6-44.

With the ball turning sharply, Glamorgan never looked likely to prolong the game into the final day with White and Rob Keogh bowling unchanged.

The home side won by 318 runs.

Graeme White
Getty Images

Keogh finished with 13 wickets to White's seven and the victory follows a Northants win by 251 runs in last month's match in Swansea.

Northamptonshire's unusual graves: The unique memorial to Rev May

Craig Lewis

BBC News

One of the quirkier gravestones in Northamptonshire can be found at St Peter's Church in Oundle:

The graveyard at St Peter's in Oundle
St Peter's in Oundle

It belongs to Reverend John May, and the inscription reads: "Rev John May, d. aged 45, May 24, 1813, also Anne May, wife, d. May 1794."

It is rumoured the grave rests under a May tree.

Watch: Me and my Shadow - the county's latest search-and-rescue recruit

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

This is very cute Shadow - the latest recruit for Camsar, the county's search and rescue team.

Meet Camsar's new canine search and rescue recruit

Camsar will be tweeting updates about Shadow's progress through training, in the months to come.

He'll also be the star attraction as the team attempt to set a world record for the biggest game of hide-and-seek at Milton Country Park near Cambridge this weekend.

Motorcyclist injured in Royston crash

Nic Rigby

BBC News

A motorcyclist is in a critical condition in hospital after being involved in a crash on the A505 in Royston last night.

Baldock Road, Royston

His bike was in collision with a brown Honda CR-V on Baldock Road just before the derelict Horse & Groom pub at 10:15.

He suffered serious leg injuries and was airlifted to hospital.

Northamptonshire's unusual graves: Frederick Wright

Craig Lewis

BBC News

Frederick Wright, the Titanic's squash coach commemorated on a family gravestone in Great Billing, was paid the princely sum of £1 per week.

Wright not only took on all-comers, but also cleaned the court, ran the booking system and supplied passengers with squash racquets and balls.

Memorial of Frederick Wright on family gravestone in Great Billing
Frederick Wright

Countdown to this weekend's football..

BBC Sport

Top flight matches are on hold for the international fixtures this weekend, but not down in Leagues One and Two...

Peterborough United are at home to Swindon on Saturday with a 12:15 kick-off in the third flight.

In League Two, Cambridge United are at Mansfield Town with a 15:00 kick-off.

Surveying equipment near bypass stolen

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Police are appealing for witnesses after surveying equipment worth thousands of pounds was stolen in Luton at about 12:45 on Wednesday.

Bedfordshire Police

The Total Station, with ID number HTO150 is worth £15,000, and was taken by a man in Sundon Road near where the new bypass is being built.

He left in a white Citroen Berlingo van.

Bedfordshire Police wants to hear from anyone who witnessed the theft or has had the equipment offered to them.

Northamptonshire's unusual graves: The Titanic's squash coach

Craig Lewis

BBC News

From the grave of the legendary Coco the Clown to that of Lawrence Washington, the great, great, great grandfather of the first US President, George.

There are plenty of unusual gravestones in Northamptonshire. This week I've been looking at a few of them.

St Andrew’s Church, Great Billing, and, inset, Frederick Wright

One of the saddest stories is that of Frederick Wright, who was the squash coach on the Titantic. He's now commemorated on a family memorial in St Andrew’s Church, Great Billing (pictured above).

As the doomed ship began to sink in August 1912, Wright met his next opponent, a chap called Colonel Archibald Gracie, who announced: “Perhaps we had better cancel our match for tomorrow morning, Mr Wright."

At the time, the Titanic's squash court was already half under water.

Cherry Hinton high street revamp welcomed by safety researchers

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Improvement works are almost complete in Cherry Hinton's High Street - with a new, lower speed limit of 20mph and special provision for cyclists.

Cherry Hinton high street revamp nears completion

Richard Owen from the research group Road Safety Analysis told us that it'll "almost certainly" be safer and the stretch of road had a very poor collision record, particularly involving cyclists.

He said: "I think what the council is doing here is almost cutting edge - reducing the speed limit, removing the centre white lines and taking out the speed bumps and making more space for cyclists.

"There's good international research to show that if you remove the centre white lines, drivers move more slowly."

Northampton v Bath: Picamoles against Faletau should be a feature

Graham McKechnie

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Picking Harry Mallinder (pictured) at fly-half is the surprise that Jim Mallinder has sprung going into the opening game of the new season.

Mallinder starred for England Under-20s over the summer and made several eye-catching performances last season for Saints - but at centre or full-back rather than at stand-off.

HArry Mallinder
Getty Images

Plus the prospect of Louis Picamoles locking horns with Bath's Taulupe Faletau, with the two number eights making their Premiership debuts, should be the feature of the match.

Hospitals merger meeting due at town hall

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Earlier we brought you the story that staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon were "anxious" about a proposed merger with Peterborough City Hospital.

A public meeting about the changes is taking place at Peterborough Town Hall at 16:00.

If approved, the merger would come into effect in April and managers claim it would help save £9m.

There will be further public meetings at Huntingdon Town Hall on 5 September and at the Priory Centre, St Neots, on 19 September.

Libraries will not close, says Bedford council after review

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Bedford Borough Council has announced it will not be closing any of the town's libraries.

Putnoe Library in Bedfordshire

It follows a period of public consultation in which 4,500 people took part.

One idea to save money was to have fewer libraries, but the council says public opposition means that's no longer an option.

Hartley and Picamoles in Saints pack while Mallinder comes in at fly-half

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

England captain Dylan Hartley is in a strong starting line-up for Northampton Saints for their opening game against Bath tomorrow.

Summer arrival Louis Picamoles also comes into the side, while Harry Mallinder, son of director of rugby Jim, is in at fly-half.

England internationals Paul Hill and Teimana Harrison are only on the bench, alongside Wales wing George North.

View more on twitter

Watch: Kittens crying over spilt milk

Helen Burchell

BBC News

When you're thirsty, you're thirsty... but learning to drink your milk, rather than wear it, is not always that easy.

This little of feral kittens was taken in by volunteers from Fenland Animal Rescue, who found them in Bluntisham earlier this week.

Fenland Animal Rescue needs new home for kittens

Learning how NOT to cover themselves in milk is just one of life's little lessons they'll be taught before they're ready for re-homing in the coming weeks.

"Each and every day they grow, and it makes us incredibly proud to see them turn from unwanted ferals, to beautiful, happy and playful kittens, despite them wearing their milk of course," one of the volunteers said.

The charity is run entirely by volunteers and offers specialist rescue services for Cambridgeshire's wildlife and domestic animals.

Headteacher leaves 'sorting office' school days before it's due to open

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

Monday will see the Northampton International Academy welcome students for the first time, but the EMLC Academy Trust which runs the school has said the executive principal designate Andy Hardy left his position on 31 August.

Barrack Road

The trust say that this is a due to a change in his personal circumstances and say until a full-time principal is in place, Dr Peter Kent from Lawrence Sheriff School in will be an interim executive principal.

The school, which has taken over the former Royal Mail site on Barrack Road, will open as planned on Monday in mobile classrooms, whilst the work to convert the building continues. 

Eventually, it is planned to provide facilities for more than 2,000 pupils, which will make it the largest school in the county.

Paralympics 2016: the athletes depart


Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Our Paralympians are Rio-bound, one week before the games begin.

Paratriathlete Claire Cunningham, from Cambridge, has posted a tweet:

View more on twitter

She'll be competing alongside Lauren Steadman, also from Cambridge, on 11 September.

You can find a full events schedule here.

Weather: Mostly cloudy with some light rain today

BBC Weather Watchers

It's quite cloudy today...


The afternoon will remain mostly cloudy with outbreaks of light rain and drizzle possible with a high of 19C (66F).

There is a more detailed forecast on the BBC Weather website.

Other stories in the news today

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Let's take a look at some other stories around the county:

Wotton Underwood landscape upgraded by Historic England

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

To mark Lancelot "Capability" Brown’s 300th year, Historic England has upgraded some of his landscapes including that at Wotton Underwood in Buckinghamshire.

Wotton Underwood landscape
Historic England

It has been upgraded to Grade I on the the National Heritage List for England to celebrate it as an outstanding example of an 18th Century country house landscape.

Home to the separately listed Grade I house, the grounds are full of man-made picturesque details including a large lake, islands, bridges, a rotunda, pavilion and grotto.  

Historic England said its understanding of this "important" landscape had increased following recent research and analysis by The Gardens Trust.

The landscape was shaped by a number of high-profile designers of the day, including Capability Brown.

Opposition on borough council say auditors Cobblers loan findings are 'devastating'

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

The Labour opposition in Northampton says the findings from KPMG accountants that the £10.25m council loan to Northampton Town Football Club lacked due diligence is "devastating".


Councillor Elizabeth Gowen, Labour's finance spokeswoman at Northampton Borough Council, says the fact the much of the loan, made by the ruling Conservatives, remains unpaid is "still having serious repercussions to this very day" and the council "took a big gamble with taxpayers’ money".

Ms Gowen says this criticism of the council also applies to a loan to Northampton Saints, the University of Northampton and engineering firm Cosworth, but "thankfully these creditors were okay and have repaid or are repaying in full".

Police money and drugs bag tweet hailed 'best ever'

Helen Burchell

BBC News

Earlier we told you how police were hoping the owner of a bag stuffed with money and drugs would come to collect it from their lost property office and have a nice "chat" about it.

The tweet, posted by officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire road policing unit, has been described as the "best ever" by some of their social media followers.

It included a photograph of the dark-coloured bag, full to the brim with £10 and £20 notes and plastic bags of drugs and 

Numerous people have commented, one writing: "Wait, if I come and collect it, you won't arrest me right?" and another saying, "Can you leave it where you found it please. I'll come and collect it later this evening".

Lost bag
BCH Road Policing

Council leader says she 'welcomes the feedback' after auditors say they lacked due diligence over Cobblers loan

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

The leader of Northampton Borough Council, Mary Markham, says she accepts the comments in KPMG's report that they had "an insufficiently systematic, robust, and objective due diligence process" over the £10.25m loan to Northampton Town Football Club and she "welcomes the feedback on the council's processes".

Mary Markham

Ms Markham says they have already put a number of improvements in place to tackle the issues raised in this report and intend to make further changes in how they do things.

KPMG's report, which is not yet published, is just one of three investigations into the loan to the football club's previous owners, which has seen millions of pounds apparently go missing and took the club to the brink of administration last year.

Police seek owner of money and drugs

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Sometimes the direct approach is a good thing - and there's not really a more direct approach than that employed by the Beds, Cambs and Herts Road Police in the early hours of this morning when they found some "lost property".

So, if you've mislaid your stash of money and drugs, do feel free to contact the police as they would "love to chat".

View more on twitter

Council did not have "objective due diligence process" over Cobblers loan say investigators

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

There were "insufficiently systematic, robust" processes in place when Northampton Borough Council lent £10.25m to Northampton Town for the development of the Sixfields stadium.


The council's external auditor KPMG is investigating the processes around the awarding of the loan, most of which apparently went missing, with the vast majority of the work left uncompleted.

Auditors are clear their investigation is not finished, but say there was "an insufficiently systematic, robust, and objective due diligence process" and that they cannot say the council "took properly informed decisions".

They also say the loan did not represent "value for money". 

It's not yet known when the final report will be complete.

Great Fire of London used in safety warning

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue doesn't miss an opportunity to remind people about fire safety  - it's used the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London to warn about dangers in the kitchen.

The fire raged across the city from 2 to 5 September 1666, destroying more than 13,000 houses and 87 churches.

Real flames were used for cooking in those days and it's thought it started in a shop belonging to the king's baker, Thomas Farynor, in Pudding Lane, early in the morning.

Hobs are a lot safer these days, but the fire service says it's still not safe to leave cooking unattended.

View more on twitter

Northampton Saints: Ice cream making with the team

James Burridge

BBC Look East

I've been ice cream sundae making with Northampton Saints players Tom Wood, Alex Waller and Mike Haywood ahead of the start of the new Premiership season.

As well as showing off their creativity with desserts, the trio and director of rugby Jim Mallinder also discuss Saints' hopes for 2016-17:

Ice cream making with Northampton Saints

Parachutists' near-miss at Chatteris deemed 'most serious' by UKAB

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

An investigation into a near-miss above Chatteris aerodrome has concluded that it was "providence that had prevented a collision". 

A Cessna 152 came within 300ft (91m) of eight parachutists after the pilot failed to spot them and flew the plane between their canopies. The incident took place on 15 May and was investigated by the UK Airprox Board (UKAB).

UKAB said the pilot of the two-seater Cessna acknowledged he had "misappreciated his position" and deemed the degree of risk to be in the most serious category

Parachutists in flight
Getty Images

The pilot told investigators "the execution of this flight was not perfect".