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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK


Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it for another day on the Local Live news feed for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

We'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday.

I've been given a lie in tomorrow as I'll be back in the early hours of Friday morning bringing you all your local election results, fuelled by a lot of sugar!


But don't worry, our team will be back with your regular news, sport, weather and travel again from 08:00 tomorrow.

See you again soon!

Our live coverage for the day

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

That's it for our live coverage for today. Thanks for your company.

Scroll back through today's page for anything you may have missed.

It's a double-whammy of updates tomorrow, as we'll bring you the usual coverage between 08:00 and 18:00, plus our election coverage which begins at 22:00.

Will see you again soon!

Our election coverage

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

For the rest of this week our news coverage is going to look a little different.

While the polls are open for the general election we will be unable to report on any political issues, but as soon as voting ends at 22:00 on Thursday we'll be live with results, analysis and reaction all through the night.

Declarations for all 24 constituencies across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire are expected at various points, with the first result anticipated in Hemel Hempstead at 01:00 on Friday.

Ballot box

But don't fret - we'll be keeping tabs on everything at this end and we'll bring you all the news as soon as it happens, so pop the kettle on and join us!

Our election coverage

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Once the election polls close at 22:00 tomorrow, the countdown to find a winner is on, with ballots being counted all over the county.

Ballot box

Declarations from the seven Cambridgeshire constituencies are expected at various points on Friday morning, with Peterborough due to announce its results first between 02:00 and 02:30 - although this can all change.

We'll be live from the moment the polls close and will update you all through the night with results, analysis and reaction as it happens, so put the kettle on and join us!

Local paper round-up

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Here's a look at what the local papers are reporting on today...

  • The Wisbech Standard has the latest on a new £170,000 indoor sports centre that's set for the former Sunset Rooms in Wisbech St Mary
  • The Peterborough Telegraph has the story of a fisherman from the city who caught a 14-stone, 7ft shark after an hour-long battle - and there's pictures to prove it
  • The Cambridge News also has an animal story and it's about six ducklings that were rescued from a drain

Roads re-open in Royston

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

All cordons have now been lifted in Royston after two unexploded WW2 shells were found in a garden on Kneesworth Street this afternoon.

Police say they have taken the shells away and they will be detonated in open ground in the north of the county.

They've warned there might be some "noise disturbance".

Kalvin Horabin

Election campaigning almost over

Hannah Olsson

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire political reporter

The campaigning period for the 2017 general election is drawing to a close.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough went into the election period straight off the back of the hard fought mayoral and local elections, so it's fair to say there has been an element of voter fatigue in the run-up to the general election.

Nevertheless, it's been an interesting campaign - very different to 2015.

Firstly there's been an emphasis on national rather than local issues, with candidates asking voters who they want to be prime minister, not just their local MP.

In previous years we've had big political hitters visiting the county, delivering soundbites on local issues. The few big names that have come this time have instead drilled home their national messages - on Brexit, the NHS and leadership.

The battle between Labour and Lib Dems in Cambridge has been fiercer than ever before, with a seemingly endless stream of leaflets coming through letterboxes and boards going up in front gardens.

However, the campaign has felt slightly different to 2015, because the students have been occupied with their exams and party activists have been dominating local hustings and making their voice heard on social media.

Elsewhere in the county it'll be interesting to see what happens to the UKIP vote.

Two years ago we were waiting to see what impact the UKIP candidates would have. This time around we're wondering what will be the impact of the party not standing in some seats.

UKIP came third in Peterborough in 2015, but this time they're lending their support to the Conservatives. We'll have to wait and see if the votes follow suit.

'Don't be hurt' by Theresa May's absence, says retiring MP

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

"She can't be everywhere. She's taking the fight into areas that don't have a Conservative in."

Those are the words of the former Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, Peter Lilley, talking about Theresa May, after the Conserative leader failed to canvas in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire during the election campaign.

He said she's leaving the job to the local candidates, so "don't be hurt by her absence".

He said one of the main areas the party has been campaigning for is a strong "leadership", and she's the person to "negotiate" us out of the European Union.

Peter Lilley
Conservative Party

The other two main party leaders have been in our patch today, with the leader of the Liberal Democrats coming to St Albans and tonight Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, is in Watford.

Friends in tears as they describe their 'joker' friend who was fatally stabbed in Watford

Matt Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

Friends of Koy Bentley have been laying flowers at the block of flats on Water Lane, Watford, where he was fatally stabbed on Monday.

One girl told me the 15-year-old was their "joker" who "didn't like seeing anyone upset".

Emotions were very raw, with others telling me they couldn't understand why "anyone would want him gone".

A vigil is being planned to honour him on Saturday.


Bomb disposal team arrives in Royston

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The bomb disposal unit has now arrived in Royston to assess the two suspected WW2 shells that were found this afternoon.

Police say they were called just before 13:00 to a garden on Kneesworth Street.

Bomb disposal van
Kalvin Horabin

Kalvin Horabin, who's close to the cordon, says "nobody is panicking - everyone calm".

He states that the only "traffic chaos" is from "people trying to access the street as it's a main road".

Parts of Royston evacuated after suspected WW2 shell found

A number of roads in Royston have been cordoned off and homes and businesses evacuated after two suspected unexploded WW2 shells were found by workmen in a garden on Kneesworth Street.

Specialist police officers are at the scene and the Explosives Ordnance Disposal team is expected to arrive shortly to identify and safely remove the objects.

A police cordon is in place and road closures are on Kneesworth Street at the junctions with Melbourne Road and Mill Road.

Kalvin Horabin took this photo of the scene a short while ago.

Royston cordon

World Para-Athletics: Jonnie Peacock in GB squad

BBC Sport

Cambridgeshire's Paralympic champion, Jonnie Peacock, is in the Great Britain squad for next month's World Para-Athletics Championships in London.

Jonnie Peacock
Getty Images

Two-time Paralympic champion Peacock, 24, missed out on the 2015 World Championships through injury and will look to recapture the 100m title he claimed in 2013.

The 49-strong team for the event, which will be at London Stadium in Stratford from 14 to 23 July, contains 10 athletes who won gold at Rio 2016.

A14 oil spill cleared

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Highways England has confirmed that the earlier oil spillage on the A14 eastbound, close to the Spittals Interchange, has now been cleared.

View more on twitter

There are some delays in the area as traffic starts to return to normal.

UKIP 'putting country ahead of party'

As we near closer to tomorrow's general election, we've been looking at the political parties' campaigns in the area and what they have been doing to get your vote.

Now it's time for UKIP, who are only fielding a candidate in three of the seven constituency seats.

Pete Reeve, who is a former UKIP county councillor, says the decision not to have a candidate in every seat was made due to this being a "very specific, unique election".

Peter Reeve

"The prime minister has based it entirely on Brexit so it's a difficult one for us," he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

"We want the Brexit negotiations to go well, but at the same time we know the PM after the election is very likely to backtrack and say it was nothing to do with Brexit at all.

"For us in UKIP it's difficult. For example, in Peterborough we want [Conservative] Stewart Jackson to win that seat, in other parts of the country where we've got good euro-sceptic Labour MPs, we're saying vote for those.

"We would say it's putting country ahead of our party, it's putting the interests of the future of our nation and its residents ahead of our own self interests."

Teacher banned for running unauthorised wrestling lessons

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

A teacher from Luton has been banned from the profession after running unauthorised wrestling lessons for Muslim boys.

The ruling by a professional conduct panel heard that in 2015 Azam Zia, a maths teacher at Icknield High School, ran the classes on Saturdays at the Tokko Youth Centre in Luton.

They found that although they were supposed to be maths classes, he used them to give practical instruction in wrestling without the school's knowledge, failed to obtain consent from parents and was uninsured and not qualified to teach it.

The sessions, which were only attended by Muslim boys, were used to settle conflicts between pupils.

Tokko Youth Centre

The panel heard he charged for the sessions, which he organised using WhatsApp, and transported the children home in his car.

After admitting unacceptable professional conduct he was banned from teaching. He can appeal in two years' time.

Watford teenager died from stab wound to the chest

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

It's just been confirmed a murder investigation has been launched after a 15-year-old boy was found with a fatal stab wound in a flat in Watford on Monday afternoon.

Police say Koy Bentley, from the Hertfordshire town, was stabbed following an incident inside a flat on Water Lane.

Koy Bentley
Hertfordshire Police

They've confirmed "despite the efforts of paramedics, Koy died at the scene".

Extensive enquiries are continuing to find out the exact circumstances surrounding his death.

Oil spillage closes lanes on A14

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

An oil spillage is affecting traffic on the A14 eastbound as it approaches the Spittals Interchange near to Brampton.

View more on twitter

Police say Highways England officers are on their way.

Investigation launched after father found dead in Luton hole

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

The Health and Safety Executive has confirmed it is investigating after the death of a Luton man who was found in a hole in the street.

Matt Wilmot, 40, was found in the excavation, dug by Affinity Water, near his home on 30 May.

An inquest is due to open today.

Matt Wilmot
Tania Banks

The company released a statement saying: "HSE are investigating however we are unable to provide any further information at this time."

Woman dies in fire

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A woman has died after a fire at a bungalow in March.


The incident happened in Breton Avenue at about 09:50 yesterday.

The fire is being treated as non-suspicious, say police.

Arson rehabilitation programme to expand

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

A rehabilitation programme for people who've been convicted with an arson offence, first used at Peterborough Prison, is to expand to the rest of the Cambridgeshire.

The Icarus Programme was devised specifically for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue after working with forensic psychologist Dr Jennifer Marshall.

It's the first programme of its kind in the UK and aims to stop people re-offending.

Arson is said to cost the economy in England and Wales about £2.2bn a year.

Fire engine

Wendy Coleman, head of safeguarding at fire service, says arson is a crime "that needs to be looked at".

"This programme looks at the offender's fire-setting behaviour and how they can adjust that," she told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

"It all come from triggers. Things happen in their lives and they don't know how to cope with it so they set fire to things. Unless we interrupt that cycle, their behaviour will continue.

"The programme offers one-to-one sessions with the offender and a member of the fire service and takes about 20 weeks to complete.

"The results have been really good. We've got a man in his 50s who had 34 previous convictions since the 1970s and he's been out of prison for around eight months now, which is really good."

Ms Coleman added that the programme was "not a replacement for imprisonment, it's a programme that helps them once they've been released".

Henry Huggins: New trial begins over Luton head-stamp death

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A new trial has begun over the death of a man who, after being attacked outside his home in Luton, spent 22 months in a coma before he died.

Henry Huggins
South Beds News Agency

Henry Huggins, 48, was injured near his flat in Luton on 8 August 2013 and died in June 2015.

Stuart Docherty, 42, who was jailed in November 2014 after admitting causing grievous bodily harm in connection with the attack now faces a charge of murder.

James Early, 43, who was convicted of causing actual bodily harm in November 2014, is now charged with manslaughter.

Investigation into stabbed teen death continues

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Police in Watford are continuing to investigate the death of a 15-year-old boy in the town on Monday afternoon, although no arrests have been made.

Water Lane flats

He was found fatally wounded in a block of flats on Water Lane.

Hertfordshire Police says the teenager's death is being treated as suspicious, but the cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

Welcome back

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome back to live updates for Cambridgeshire, on what is the final day of campaigning for political parties in the region. This time tomorrow, polls will be open and voting will be under way.

We'll be here until 18:00 to keep you up-to-date with all the latest news as it happens.


On the weather front, it's certainly started out much sunnier today than yesterday. Let's hope that it stays that way! A full forecast for the day is on the way shortly.

You can get in touch with the team by email, Twitter and Facebook.

Welcome to today's live updates for Beds, Herts & Bucks

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome to live updates about all that's happening in the three counties on this, the last day of campaigning before the General Election.

We'll be here from now until 18:00 bringing you the very latest news, sport, weather and travel.

After yesterday's rather wet and wild weather, today is due to be warmer and brighter although more rain is on the way this evening - a full regional forecast is coming up soon.

Great Brickhill

Meanwhile, you can contact us at any time via email, Facebook or Twitter.

What would you do about the Croxley Rail Link?

Craig Lewis

BBC News

Labour's Chris Ostrowski said he had spoken to London mayor Sadiq Khan about the rail link. He said Mr Khan told him money for the scheme from his budget was ring-fenced and had "not been reduced or held back".

However, he said the cost had increased and that an extra £50m needed to come from central government.

"It is the job of the Watford MP to bang on the secretary of state's door and make sure this happens," he said.

Labour candidate

But Richard Harrington, for the Conservatives, said this was an issue he had been dealing with for seven years and that Mr Ostrowski had "no idea about this at all".

He said any uplift in prices was contractually agreed to come from Mr Khan's budget.

Conservative candidate

UKIP's Gary Ling said the issue had become a "bun fight", adding that in his view central government would ultimately have to stump up the money to make the rail link work.

UKIP candidate

And Ian Stotesbury, the Liberal Democrat candidate, was also critical of the political arguments around the rail link, blaming Labour and the Conservatives for playing politics.

"How dare they play politics," he said. "It is an outrage to put it on pause."

Lib Dem candidate

The Green Party candidate, Alex Murray, preferred to concentrate on the benefits of the scheme, saying he would campaign for it to happen: "We need to do this and get cars off the road."

Green candidate

What will you deliver post-Brexit for Watford?

Brexit remains a huge issue nationally, but what would Watford's candidates make sure it delivered for the town?

Ian Stotesbury (Liberal Democrats) said Watford had one of the closest counts in the country at the referendum and as such it was "ludicrous to say any MP wouldn't want to listen to everyone on the issue".

He said he would advocate for the single market and properly control migration within that system.

Conservative Richard Harrington said it would be important that businesses in Watford could export and import as they do now, as easily to Berlin as they do to Birmingham.

He said businesses would need to be able to bring in foreign labour when there were not enough people in the UK market to fill positions, but added that Britain couldn't be part of the single market.

Alex Murray, from the Green Party, said the most important thing would be that Britain doesn't lose the rights it has now – such as freedom of movement for workers and environmental protections.

But UKIP's Gary Ling told people not to vote Green "having listened to that".

He said "one of the things we need to understand is that Brexit is a process" and once controls are returned from Europe then regulations restricting business can be removed and new trade agreements made.

Labour’s Chris Ostrowski said having a close relationship with the "key industries" in Watford would be vital so that if they flag up anything in the Brexit process which could damage Watford then he, as MP, could raise it.

Our live coverage for the day

That's it for our live coverage for today.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with special live coverage of the Woman's Tour cycling event through Northamptonshire.

Until then, this page will bring you any breaking news from across the night.

Have a great evening.

Auditor: 'Not clear' how council will achieve savings

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

An auditor has said it is "not clear" how a re-organisation of Northamptonshire County Council will achieve millions of pounds in planned savings.

The authority is moving its staff into new organisations as part of a new structure called the "Next Generation Model".

This means many employees will instead be employed by outside agencies, if you like, and not the council, with the authority hoping it can save money and allow staff to have more relevant terms and conditions for their work.

But a report by accountants at KPMG say they were "unable to find a clear line of sight between the design of the Next Generation Council and the saving(s)".

County Hall
The "Next Generation Model" will see the number of directly employed staff go from about 4,000 to a few hundred

Auditors also said the tax arrangements for the new organisations have not yet been finalised and there was no dedicated person or team in place to oversee planning and risks.

The Conservative-controlled county council sees the new model as an important step to dealing with a world where there is a falling income but rising demand for services. But opposition parties and unions have questioned whether it will work.

In a statement, the county council says it is "leading the way in creating a new model" to "meet the needs of Northamptonshire and deliver the required savings".

Our live coverage for the day

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

That's it for our live coverage for today.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00.

Until then, this page will bring you any breaking news from across the night.

Have a great evening.

Officer assaulted after stop

Emma Maclean

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A police traffic officer was assaulted last night after he pulled over a driver on the A14 near St Ives.

The officer was taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon where he remains in a stable condition.

The driver, a 49-year-old man from Bedford, was arrested at the scene and is currently in custody at Parkside Police Station in Cambridge.

Women's Tour: Our coverage of the Northamptonshire stage

As we've been mentioning, the Women's Tour cycling event rolls into Northamptonshire for a fourth year tomorrow.

And we can now tell you that tomorrow we'll be able to bring you live updates on this page throughout the day; with pictures, video and news of the race.

If you can't be with us all day, then you'll be able to hear regular updates from the route with BBC Radio Northampton.

Tomorrow's stage is the first of the five-day race, and as this picture from Kettering Library - which is near the finish line - shows, the anticipation and excitement is already proving un-bear-able for some...

View more on instagram

Women's Tour: The Northamptonshire stage

The Women's Tour returns to Northamptonshire for a fourth time tomorrow, with the first stage of the 2017 race.

The 147.5km (91.7-mile) route takes the riders from Daventry - which will host the start for the first time - to Kettering, where the Northamptonshire stage will conclude for a third consecutive year.

The tour will leave the High Street in Daventry at 11:00 but the race will properly start on Bridge Road in Long Buckby.

The riders will then take in towns and villages including West Haddon, Desborough, Rothwell, Cottingham, Rockingham, Corby, Oundle, Thrapston and Finedon, before ending on Sheep Street in Kettering from about 15:00.

Women's Tour Stage One

If you're thinking of heading out to see the peloton for yourself, then here are the times it's estimated the riders will pass through various parts of the county:

11:00: Daventry, High Street (tour start)

11:15: Long Buckby (race officially starts)

11:36: Haselbech (hill)

12:27: Desborough (sprint)

12:55: Rockingham (hill)

13:32: Oundle (sprint)

14:44: Kettering, Sheep Street (finish)

You can find a full list of estimated timings for the Northamptonshire route here.

Moving to election debate coverage

I'm afraid that's about it for our regular news for Beds, Herts and Bucks today.

We're now heading to Watford, where we'll hear from the constituency candidates vying for your votes in Thursday's general election.

Stay posted for the latest debate in our election series coming shortly...

'Conservative way is best', says mayor

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

In the run-up to the general election, we've been looking at what the parties have had to say as they vie for your vote.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been in Peterborough, while Tim Farron, leader of the Lib Dems, has been in Cambridge. But some may ask... where is Theresa May?

James Palmer, the new mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, was pressed on this issue on Chris Mann's Drivetime on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

James Palmer

Mr Palmer was asked if the Conservatives were taking a win in the county for granted.

"I don't think we [Cambridgeshire] are being taken for granted," said Mr Palmer.

"I've been out with Lucy Frazer and Stewart Jackson on the doorsteps, and I know that our local MPs are working very hard."

On the upcoming election, Mr Palmer said the "Conservative way is the best way to invest back into our economy".

"It would have been easy for them to put out a right wing manifesto and ignore some of the issues that are around us," he said.

"We cant ignore adult social care. We cant ignore that 45,000 homes under the last Labour government were sold to pay for adult social care.

"The Conservative party want to protect the people. Raising the [cost of care] threshold from £23,000 to £100,000 does that."

The new mayor was also pressed on fox hunting, which Theresa May said she would give MPs a free vote on repealing the ban if her party won the election.

"I think we would look for a better policy than the one we currently have," he said.

Inquest into Luton killing under way

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

An inquest is under way into the death of a man who was killed by his neighbour in Luton in 2013.

Leonard Flower was stabbed at his garage in Carnegie Gardens by Sameer Babar (pictured), who has paranoid schizophrenia.

Babar admitted killing the 67-year-old on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Sameer Babar
South Beds News Agency

Although the judge said there was no warning that the 35-year-old would be violent, an official report has identified serious failings by the authorities.

Babar was known to police and had been referred to a crisis mental health team.

A Serious Case Review said earlier action may have prevented Mr Flower's death.

At Ampthill Coroner's Court today, Det Con Daniel Hurley, a prevent engagement officer, said Babar came to his attention in July 2013.

"He was claiming to be a direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed and Jesus and he was getting himself into bother in Luton and there was concern for him," he said.

In August, Mr Hurley visited Babar again and said "it became obvious he was mentally ill".

However, he added there was "never any suggestion of harm to anyone else" and there was "not a concern about radicalisation".

The day before Babar killed Mr Flower, Mr Hurley contacted a mental health team after becoming concerned about the tone of a conversation they had.

He was told a psychiatrist would see Babar before the end of the day.

The inquest is due to last five days.

Boy's death 'not a terrorism incident'

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

Hertfordshire Police will not confirm how a 15-year-old boy was killed until a post-mortem examination has been carried out.

Water Lane, Watford

The boy was found in a block of flats on Water Lane, Watford, on Monday afternoon.

Although other media has reported the incident as a "stabbing", a spokeswoman for the force said she could not comment on the nature of the boy's injuries or whether police had opened a murder inquiry.

The force said: "The incident is currently being treated as suspicious and investigations continue to establish the circumstances around what happened."

Police also issued a statement saying there was no suggestion the teenager's death - which happened on the fifth floor - was "terrorism related". Firearms officers were not dispatched, the force said.

The East of England Ambulance Service said it sent two ambulances, but despite the efforts of medics "the patient went into cardiac arrest" and "was pronounced dead at the scene".

"Our thoughts are with all of those involved at this time," a spokesman for the service said.

Increase in armed officers in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

The number of trained firearms officers in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire has increased by 50%.

Last year the Beds, Cambs and Herts Joint Protective Services (BCH JPS) decided to train more officers to protect the public and "respond quickly to serious threats".

The joint force says the increase is not related to any specific intelligence regarding a terror attack nor a result of recent attacks.

Armed officer

The newly-trained firearms officers were selected from those already working within the joint unit.

Although the officers will not be routinely armed, they will be ready to be called upon if needed to respond to urgent threats.

Assistant chief constable for the BCH JPS, Paul Fullwood, said: "The tragic incidents in Manchester and London show us how important it is that we have the appropriate number of firearms trained officers.

"Last year we carried out a review of the tri-force armed policing unit and found that the number of firearms officers across the three forces were sufficient to meet our day-to-day demand, but we felt it would be beneficial to increase the number of officers who are firearms trained, in order to provide the best possible levels of protection and security across the three counties."

Two car crash on A14

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Luckily no-one was injured when these two cars crashed on the A14 just after the junction for Catworth.

View more on twitter
A14 crash
BCH Road Policing
A14 crash
BCH Road Policing

Lane two is currently closed, which is causing slow traffic.

Afternoon weather: Cool and cloudy

The earlier rain seems to have cleared... for now.

This afternoon it's looking a bit brighter, but heavy rain showers remain possible, and it'll be windy too.

The expected high is 14C (57F).


For the forecast where you are, go to BBC Weather.

Great British Rain Off

BBC Weather Watchers

Yes, that's right. It's June and it's raining - a typical British summer.

But the wet weather hasn't stopped our BBC Weather Watchers from getting snappy.