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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

That's all from Local Live

That's all from the team for today until Monday next week - unless a major story breaks overnight in which case this live feed will be updated.

We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday, but if you want to get in touch in the meantime then hit the Get Involved button at the top of this page.

Have a good evening and a great weekend.

Our live coverage across the day

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

That's it for another week from the Essex Live news team on Friday so goodbye and have a great weekend.

We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday, bringing you the news, sport, travel and weather updates as they happen.

Scroll down to see the news and sport we have covered today as well as the warnings about weather to come overnight.

If you have any photographs from around the county that you'd like to share, or if there's anything happening that you'd like us to know about, you can contact us by clicking on the "Getting involved" button at the top of the page.

Fatal crash driver on M11 jailed for three years

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A lorry driver who fell asleep at the wheel has been jailed for three years.

He was found guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving in a crash on the M11 in April.

Roger Sharratt, 52, of Bagots Oak in Staffordshire, had denied the charges at a court appearance in May 2014.

Roger Sharratt
Essex Police

Geoffrey Mills, 53, and Eleanor Joy Mills, 45, were killed in the collision, which happened near Harlow.

Police said Sharratt was driving a lorry northbound along the M11 when he went into the back of a black Jaguar XF car.

The Jaguar then collided with a silver Toyota Auris, pushing it under the back of a horsebox containing five horses.

The Toyota, carrying Geoffrey Mills and Eleanor Joy Mills, burst into flames and further collided with a white Vauxhall.

Police said Sharratt was driving at 55mph using cruise control and failed to react to the slowing traffic as he was likely to have been asleep.

Council puts key agencies 'on alert' for flash flooding

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

After a yellow warning for heavy rain was issued by by the Met Office for many parts of eastern England, Southend Borough Council has put key agencies and emergency services on standby.

The weather has already deteriorated in the west of the county as our Weather Watchers picture from Hatfield Heath shows.

But places further east have been advised to expect heavy showers and thunderstorms before fresher and drier weather follows overnight.

Hatfield Heath

Andy Lewis, acting chief executive, said: "Residents and businesses in Southend are very aware of the disruption that flash flooding can bring.

"We hope local residents and businesses will be reassured that we are working closely together and poised to respond if necessary."

A spokeswoman from Anglian Water said: "To ensure our Southend pumping stations are in full working order Anglian Water teams are on the ground checking pumping station equipment and removing debris from the screens on the Prittle Brook.

"We have teams on standby in anticipation of lightning strikes and power outages that may affect our pumps."

Art exhibition doing its bit to beat cancer

Katy Prickett

BBC News

Art for Cure was founded in 2014 by Belinda Gray after she completed her treatment for breast cancer, with her fellow art-lover Sally Ball.

Later that year Sally was also diagnosed with cancer - and both women are now well. Over £100,000 was raised in 2014 and a further £175,000 in 2016.

This weekend's pop-up exhibition hopes to add to the funds.

Art for Cure deckchair (left) and Sarah Baddon Price, Blissed Out (right)
Art for Cure

It includes a deckchair design from Sarah Baddon Price (Blissed Out above right).

Breast Cancer Now says nearly 12,000 women and about 80 men die from the disease every year and with 50,000 people diagnosed a year, it is the most common cancer in the UK.

Art for Cure hopes funds raised will help pay for research to beat the disease as well as support patients living with it.

Speedway: Mildenhall swoop to replace Woods

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Mildenhall Fen Tigers have drafted in Lewis Whitmore (pictured) to cover for the injured Sam Woods.

Lewis Whitmore

The 16-year-old will make his debut in Sunday's home clash with Plymouth Devils.

The Fen Tigers will be without Jordan Jenkins who is doing his exams and will use rider replacement for him.

Sport: Southend United denies report stadium talks had 'stalled'

BBC Sport

Southend United FC has denied a local press report that talks over plans for a new stadium have stalled.

The report in the Echo claimed the club and its financial backer had failed to reach a "satisfactory agreement".

Southend United had lodged a planning application with the borough council for the stadium at Fossetts Farm last month.

Southend United

The Blues issued a statement in response that it would not make a detailed comment at this time.

But they did say "the Echo article is wholly misleading, the content is incorrect in innumerable ways and that the stadium plans are in no way affected and remain entirely on track as planned.

"The club will be commenting further, and specifically in regard to the Echo reporting, next week."

Aldeburgh art cancer fundraiser: Over 20 artists taking part

Katy Prickett

BBC News

These deckchairs are designed by Sarah Muir Poland (Contemplating a Swim), below left, and Maggi Hambling (Amanda in Boots and Fishnets), below right.

They're for sale for £175 each...

Sarah Muir Poland, Contemplating a swim (left) and Maggi Hambling, Amanda in Boots and Fishnets (right)
Art for Cure

A percentage of the sales from the deckchairs, paintings, prints and ceramics offered by more than 20 artists will go to organiser Art for Cure, which in 2016 raised £175,000 for cancer charities.

It donated £100,000 to charity Breast Cancer Now and a further £74,000 to Suffolk-based projects supporting breast cancer patients - including a new wig service, beauty workshops, counselling services and support for nutrition, diet and exercise.

King's Lynn charity gets Queen's Award

Jill Bennett

BBC Radio Norfolk

A charity started four and a half years ago in King's Lynn has been given a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Reach for a Star helps seriously ill children.

Reach for a Star charity workers

It's won the award for offering both equipment and support not available on the NHS.

Trustees and organisers for the charity celebrated today (pictured above) with nine-year-old William.

William's experience of hospital when he suffered from a brain tumour five years ago inspired his father James Lewis to help set up the charity with other local people.

New revamped seafront playground opens in Cromer

Andrew Turner

BBC Radio Norfolk

Cromer's new revamped seafront playground has been officially opened (see below).

Official opening (L-R) Corporate Director Steve Blatch, Vice Chairman of NNDC Roy Reynolds, Cllr Judy Oliver Cabinet Member for Assets, and Cromer ward member Hilary Cox.
North Norfolk District Council

The pirate-ship themed children's play area (pictured below) is part of North Norfolk District Council's £1m Cromer West Prom investment.

The playground equipment, the catering kiosk and toilets can all be lifted off the prom when the tide is high.

The pirate ship
North Norfolk District Council

It was officially opened this afternoon.

Cricket: Suffolk are a work in progress - Northcote

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Suffolk cricket coach Andy Northcote says his side is a long way from where they ought to be, but are moving in the right direction.

Andy Northcote
Getty Images

The 34-year-old's been speaking ahead of Sunday's opening Minor Counties Championship game against Buckinghamshire in Bury St Edmunds.

“We are at a stage where we try to pick the best local side we can with a very youthful feel to it.

“As I have always maintained, the first few years of my tenure is about building for the future, the rest will follow in time. Our player base is shallow and we can only really progress as a county once that deepens.”

Stringer signs three for next season at Clarets

BBC Sport

Former Southampton and Southend United striker Lee Barnard has joined Chelmsford City FC.

The frontman has been at Essex neighbours Braintree most recently but says he can't wait to get started for the Clarets.

"I'm delighted. It's a big club, a local club for me, and I'm really excited to get started now," he said.

Lee Barnard
Getty Images

"I've spoken to Rod Stringer before, I know about the Club, it's ambition, and it's something that I want to be a part of.

"I'm 32 now, even at my age I want to win things and do well. The whole thing about Chelmsford is going in the right direction and I'm pleased to be a part of it."

He's one of three new signings made in the past 24 hours by manager Rod Stringer.

Defender Paul Rodgers, 27, who came through the youth system at Arsenal, joins from Bishop's Stortford and Michael West, a 26-year-old midfielder, joins the Clarets from Crewe.

Fears for the future of Great Yarmouth arts festival

Andrew Turner

BBC Radio Norfolk

Great Yarmouth's arts festival opens tonight, but its chairman says it could be the last one.

Cuts in funding and low ticket sales means the week-long programme stands to make a loss.

Hugh Sturzaker

Hugh Sturzaker (pictured above), the festival's chairman, said he is frustrated by the lack of interest.

"We started off five years. It has gradually been building up in the variety of events," he said.

"But we are dependent on ticket sales so unless local people and local businesses buy tickets I think we are going to have trouble continuing in future years.

"It seems to me pointless putting on something if people are not going to support it. An enormous amount of work goes into it and it costs a great deal of money."

Felixstowe golf club blaze under control

Stuart Howells

BBC Radio Suffolk

I'm at the scene of the fire which broke out at the professional shop of Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club at about 11:30 this morning.

Five crews remain on site, removing tiles and debris from the shop - which is 50 yards from the main golf club house.

The fire is under control but the air is still heavy with the smell of smoke and burnt timber.

Golfers are continuing to play their rounds, but Ferry Road in Felixstowe remains closed.

Gill Smith

Felixstowe golf club blaze: Seven fire engines called

Stuart Howells

BBC Radio Suffolk

A fire broke out at a golf club on Ferry Road in Felixstowe at about 11:30 this morning.

Seven fire vehicles are in attendance.

The fire also spread to two nearby flats.

View more on twitter

No charges for man arrested over Ipswich fatal house fire

Steve Blower

BBC Radio Suffolk

Suffolk Police have confirmed a man arrested after a fatal house fire on Fuschia Lane in Ipswich will not face further action.

John Allen, 86, died in hospital after the fire at Fuschia lane in Ipswich in March 2016.

A 69-year-old man from Ipswich had been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Prime minister 'weather cock and not a signpost', Farage claims

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Relaxing with his trademark British pint of beer in his hand during a campaigning visit to Clacton, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage accused the prime minister of being a "weather cock and not a signpost".

His confidence in Theresa May's ability to deliver on Brexit is falling by the day, he said.

Nigel Farage with pint
Victoria Jones/PA Wire

He had joined the party's candidate for Clacton Paul Oakley for a morning of campaigning just as the news broke that Tory candidate Craig Mackinlay, who beat him to the South Thanet seat two years ago, had been charged over allegations relating to his 2015 election expenses.

Mr Farage described Margaret Thatcher as a signpost who knew the direction to take, but likened the current Prime Minister to someone who "blows around in the wind".

Deckchair art raises money for cancer charities

Katy Prickett

BBC News

These aren't your run-of-the mill stripey deck chairs.

They are a range of limited-edition designs, created by artists to raise money for cancer charities...

Henrietta Dubrey, She (left) and Anna Hymas, Painted Lady I (right)
Art for Cure

Over 20 artists, sculptors and ceramicists are taking part, including Henrietta Daubrey - whose work She you see above left - and Anna Hymas - whose work Painted Lady I is above right.

The exhibition - also called She - is organised by Art for Cure and is on this weekend at the Garage Gallery, below the Peter Pears Gallery in Aldeburgh.

Weather: Heavy rain after bright morning

BBC Weather Watchers

In a matter of a few hours early morning skies full of fine weather promise have disappeared and parts of the county were plunged into rainy gloom by lunchtime as out BBC Weather Watchers' pictures reveal.

Great Chesterford

Expected heavy downpours could lead to surface water flooding and difficult driving conditions in places.

The heavy showers will ease overnight though lighter rain is likely at times.

Maximum Temperature: 24C (75F)

More details from BBC Weather.

Drones plan for Norfolk Police

Norfolk police is to be one of the first forces in the country to use aerial drones.

Generic drone
Getty Images

The county's Police and Crime Commissioner said the force's spies in the skies could be watching us within weeks.

His announcement came as he launched the first wave of body cameras.

Around 2,000 of them are being deployed with officers in Norfolk and Suffolk.

New player for Norwich City

BBC Sport

BBC Radio Norfolk have interviewed new Norwich City player Marley Watkins.

View more on twitter

Sport: Striker Sammie looks forward to injury-free season at Colchester

BBC Sport

Colchester United striker Sammie Szmodics wants an injury-free season after breaking his leg playing at Crewe earlier this year.

He says he's now looking forward to returning to training after being given the 'all clear' by doctors.

Sammie Szmodics
Getty Images

Immediately after leaving hospital on Thursday morning, he told the club's website: "I'm buzzing. I've had four or five x-rays now and thankfully, we now know the fibula has completely healed.

"I can crack on with my running and the summer work and then look forward to pre-season again," the 21-year-old said.

"I've had two really bad injuries in the past year but I'm raring to go again.

"One of my main goals this coming season is to be completely injury-free and have a first ever professional season without getting injured all the way through."

Private hospital's building faults highlighted

Nic Rigby

BBC News

A private hospital in King's Lynn says it is putting right building faults criticised as unsafe by government inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said some clinical areas at the BMI Sandringham Hospital in King's Lynn had not been refurbished and did not fulfil current health building guidance.

BMI Sandringham Hospital

Due to the building concerns the CQC says the service safety at the hospital "requires improvement", but it was rated "good" on the four other key measures effectiveness, caring, responsiveness and leadership.

The 24-bed hospital, next to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, said it was working on sorting the problems and flagged up that overall its CQC rating was good.

Joanne Donovan, executive director of BMI The Sandringham Hospital at the time of the inspection, said: "This report is a great reflection on the quality of health and care at the hospital.

"I am pleased that the inspectors saw our strong culture of caring, saw that services could be accessed quickly, and that all staff worked together effectively to meet the needs of the patients."

Cricket: Wagner to leave this month but date not set

BBC Sport

Essex's overseas player Neil Wagner is to leave the club this month but has said he's loved every minute of his spell at the County Ground in Chelmsford.

Neil Wagner
Nick Wood/Getty Images

The New Zealand Test left-armer has been signed for just the first half of the season.

He is leaving this month to accommodate the arrival of Mohammad Amir, fresh from Pakistan duty in the Champions Trophy.

Wagner's exact departure date depends on the club's progress in the Royal London Cup.

Good morning Norfolk

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Welcome back to our regular updates, starting a little later than usual due to our live coverage of the general election debate.

You can read about the debate here.

But on this page it's business as usual until 18:00, and next up we will be bringing you the weather.

Civil liberties group calls for regular reports on body cam use

Cleah Hetherington

BBC Radio Suffolk

Suffolk Police should publish regular reports on how and when body camera footage is used by police officers to properly assess their effectiveness - according to Big Brother Watch.

But Daniel Nesibtt, who is the privacy and civil liberties campaign group's research director, said it does not oppose their use.

Suffolk Police is rolling out the use of body cams for all its officers this year, in a joint £2.8m investment with Norfolk Police.

Police officer wearing body camera

Mr Nesbitt said: "I think that as an extra piece of evidence [the footage] will be very important.

"But I think it's also important that when the video is recorded the member of the public is told really clearly how they can actually get hold of a copy of it for their own record - and to make sure that the recording is how they remember it."

Coot shot with arrow treated at animal hospital

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A coot that was shot with an arrow through its skin under one wing is being treated for a badly infected wound at South Essex Wildlife Hospital and may need surgery.

Injured coot

The bird was spotted by a member of the public walking his dog by a lake next to Mollands Lane, in South Ockendon on Monday, who called the RSPCA.

The charity has asked anyone with information about what happened to contact them.

RSPCA inspector Clare Dew and South Essex Wildlife Hospital vet Tom Linsel paddled out to the middle of the lake to catch the injured bird.

Animal collection officer Joe White said: "This is a horrifying incident that highlights the cruelty of some people.

"We suspect that this poor bird was shot some days ago and has been suffering ever since," he said.

The penalties faced if caught deliberately injuring a wild animal can be up to six months in prison and a £5,000 fine if found guilty under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, the RSPCA said.

Bikers ride out for Leiston man's funeral

Kelly McCormack

BBC Radio Suffolk

Dozens of motorbikes are expected to join the funeral process for Rob Stewart, who died in a collision between his Yamaha and a car.

The 26-year-old's family appealed for bikers - especially those who've lost family in similar circumstances - to join in.

Mr Stewart, who was due to be a father shortly, died on 26 April in a crash on Henley Road in Akenham.

He grew up in Leiston and was a reserve for Leiston Football Club.

The funeral is this lunchtime at Seven Hills Crematorium in Ipswich.

Farage to support Thanet fight

Simon Dedman

BBC Essex political reporter

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, campaigning in Clacton for the party's candidate Paul Oakley, took time out to discuss Conservative candidate Craig Mackinlay, who has been charged with allegedly breaking election spending rules.

Mr Mackinlay is seeking to retain his seat in Thanet South, which he won by beating Nigel Farage in 2015. Mr Farage said it would be unlikely that many residents in Thanet South would vote for him and it would then be a straight fight between Labour and UKIP, so he said he would be heading there to offer his support.

View more on twitter

Here's what the local papers are reporting this morning...

The East Anglian Daily Times reports an early morning collision in Felixstowe, which left three cars damaged.

An application to turn the site of the former Sudbury tax office into a block of flats is opposed by the town council, according to the Suffolk Free Press.

And the Ipswich Star reports that bikers are hoping to ride out today to mark the funeral of a 26-year-old man who died in a crash with a car while riding his blue Yamaha bike.

In the News: Shame of church clerk who stole £10k

East Anglian Daily Times

Here is the front page of today's Essex edition of the East Anglian Daily Times.

East Anglian Daily Times front page

Speedway: Ipswich Witches in seventh heaven

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Witches extended their winning run at home to seven meetings last night as they beat Newcastle Diamonds 53-39 at Foxhall.

Danny King

Captain Danny King (pictured) top scored with 11 points as the Suffolk side climbed up to second place in the Championship.

“It was a good win," team manager Ritchie Hawkins told the club website. "It took us a little while to get into our stride with the enforced hold up at the start and then a few early stoppages.

"When we got going in the last third of the meeting we were really good and it was a good victory over a strong side.”

Ambulance crews 'feel vulnerable" to assault over drugs

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

After an East of England Ambulance Service paramedic was attacked and threatened with a knife while on duty in Jaywick earlier this week by a man demanding drugs, another staff member said the situation was always at the back of the minds of crew members.


Dil Patel believes most crews can feel vulnerable because ambulances carry drugs which are needed to help patients.

"You do have training on how to face threats, the risks involved and what to do in the case of attack.

"The drugs we have are locked away and are accessible when we need them but we no longer carry them on our person.

"There is always a risk of attack or assault by people wanting these drugs," he said.

School's trust head's 'life of service'

Kelly McCormack

BBC Radio Suffolk

The head of an academies trust has described a Suffolk headteacher who died from a fall while on holiday in France as an absolutely inspirational headteacher.

Amanda Phillips was the executive principal at the London-based Paradigm Trust and headteacher at Murrayfield Primary in Ipswich.

Amanda Phillips
Paradigm Trust

She was also a founder member of the Inspiration Trust, which is led by Rachel De Souza.

Dame De Souza said Ms Phillips' work "impacted on so many young people".

She said: "I think what's important is to remember her for what she was, which is an absolute force of nature, someone who was absolutely committed to her children and has made a huge difference.

"What a life of service."

Call for action on ambulance attacks

Violence against medical staff should be made a specific criminal offence, according to The Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

An East of England Ambulance paramedic had a knife held to his neck in Jaywick by someone demanding drugs.

RCN spokesman Tony Durkin told BBC Essex that protection of crews was not all about punitive action.

NHS logo

"The vast majority of physical assaults on staff are by people who are victims of drug addiction.

"Even though we work extraordinarily well with other emergency services it is really difficult to get a prosecution if the person is physically unwell because of their addiction," he said.

Police body cams: 'Doesn't change the way I police'

Cleah Hetherington

BBC Radio Suffolk

Criminal solicitor Rob Barley, from Norton Peskett in Lowestoft, has welcomed the roll-out of body-worn cameras by Suffollk Police.

"Overall I think they're a good idea," he said.

"We are often confronted with an occasion where a client is telling us an incident happened and there is no independent corroborative evidence to support what they ware suggesting, so I think it's not only going to be of assistance to the police, but also it's going to be a tool for the defence."

Suffolk Police HQ, Martlesham

When PC Cobbold turns on his body camera, he has to warn people they're being recorded - and reckons it "calms their actions" as well as making the police "more transparent as all can be viewed - our actions as well as the offender's actions".

He said: "It doesn't change the way I police."

Farage accuses Carswell of damaging party

Former UK Independence Party leader and founder member Nigel Farage has told BBC Essex that ex-Clacton MP Douglas Carswell damaged the party by "not really believing" in UKIP.

View more on twitter

Suffolk Show clear-up begins

Luke Deal

BBC Radio Suffolk

The mammoth task of cleaning up Trinity Park is now underway after a successful Suffolk Show.

The fine weather bought thousands of punters to Ipswich on Wednesday and Thursday.

Trinity Park, Ipswich
Trinity Park, Ipswich
Trinity Park, Ispwich

Crossrail project disruption 'forcing businesses to close'

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

The Crossrail project has had a huge impact on the town of Shenfield which will be a major terminus on the £15bn project to east transport across the south of England.

But the project has not been a positive experience for all.

Shenfield shopping

One shop owner has told BBC Essex the disruption caused by the work has forced some businesses in Shenfield to close.

Up to 900 people a day have been working on the new train line, which will eventually link the town to Heathrow via central London.

Kay Thurgood runs a gift shop and says shoppers aren't coming.

"We've lost an enormous number of car parking spaces and if you don't have places for people to park you do not have customers.

"Over the past two-and-a-half years we've lost 20% of our footfall and this has forced many businesses to close," she said.

Crossrail, TFL and Network Rail said no-one was available to comment but work in Shenfield's due to finish by the end of the summer.

Police body cams: 'Not in constant use'

Cleah Hetherington

BBC Radio Suffolk

I've been on patrol with PC John Cobbold, who's one of the first Suffolk officers to receive a body-worn camera.

He said: "They're lightweight, they point where I'm facing and can be worn on body armour or on our hats or helmets as well, for when we deal with firearms incidents."

But he also explained they are not in constant use - "that would infringe people's human rights".

Police body camera