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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Goodbye

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

That's the end of our live updates for Herts, Beds and Bucks.

Any breaking stories will appear on this page overnight and don't forget you can scroll back to see the stories we've been covering today, including:

  • Boy still in serious condition after "hit and run" in Luton
  • Thameslink service criticised in an official report
  • Luton Airport closes for runway runners
  • Male hospital staff in Watford could be told to start wearing dresses

Have a good weekend.

Goodbye

That's the end of our live updates for Cambridgeshire.

We'll be back at 08:00 on Monday.

Have a good weekend.

Goodbye

That's the end of our live updates for Northamptonshire.

We'll be back at 08:00 on Monday.

Have a good weekend.

Evening forecast: Overcast night

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

It'll be a rather cloudy night with an odd spot of rain and moderate west to south westerly winds. It’ll be mild with temperatures falling to around 15C (59F).

Weather forecast
BBC

Saturday will remain rather cloudy, with some very patchy light rain in the morning. A few bright or sunny spells should eventually develop and there may be a few afternoon showers too.

There’ll be a mainly moderate south-westerly wind and highs around 23C (73F).

Go-ahead given for Eleanor Cross repairs to begin

Helen Burchell

BBC News

Work could soon start to repair one of Northamptonshire's most well-known landmarks, after Historic England gave the go-ahead for the borough council to get things under way.

The Eleanor Cross is one of only three remaining crosses built by King Edward I and has been a feature of Northampton's skyline since the 13th Century.

Eleanor Cross
BBC

However, the monument is in urgent need of repair and although ownership of the sculpture is shrouded in mystery, Northampton Borough Council agreed to take responsibility.

In May it applied to Historic England for permission to work on the scheduled monument on the edge of Delapre Abbey, near Northampton, and that has now been granted.

"Scheduled Monument Consent has been granted for works to the monument and we are in ongoing discussions with Historic England about the best way to now progress the repairs," a council spokesman told the BBC.

Edward's wife, Queen Eleanor, died near Lincoln in 1290, and the king constructed 12 crosses to mark each of the places he stopped at on his way back to London for her funeral.

Mayor salary to be more than MP

It's been recommended that the salary for the new mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is set at £75,000.

An MP's base salary is just under that, at £74,900.

The amount needs to be approved by the combined authority next week.

Conservative James Palmer says he appreciates it's a lot of money, but will "prove he is worth it over the next four years".

Dog day afternoon

Helen Burchell

BBC News

It's national Bring Your Dog to Work Day and police dog handlers across the UK have been showing off - because they get to do that every day!

Here's another happy handler and police pooch celebrating with a sloppy kiss.

View more on twitter

If PC Thorpe from Northamptonshire Police goes to work, he's always got faithful partner PD Nesi with him.

They don't need the excuse of a gimmicky "day" to encourage them.

Former police station bought by Whittlesey council

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

A deal to allow Whittlesey Town Council to buy a former police station in the town has been approved.

The building was vacated by the police in August 2016 as part of a restructure, with officers relocated to March.

Former Whittlesey police station
Google

In a sale supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Jason Ablewhite, the redundant building will be retained as a town and community asset.

The decision to approve the sale of the freehold interest to the council was approved yesterday at the commissioner’s strategic board.

Mr Ablewhite said it was "important that the building was retained... following the decision that it was not required as part of the operational police estate.

"Therefore it seemed only natural to progress conversations with Whittlesey Town Council."

Ralph Butcher, Mayor of Whittlesey, added: "As soon as the Whittlesey Town Council knew the police station was going to be closed we discussed the possibility of purchasing the property.

"This giving Whittlesey Town Council an asset, right in the centre of the town, easily accessible to residents and in the long run will be more financially beneficial to our ratepayers."

Ee-awkward moment for jaywalking donkeys

Helen Burchell

BBC News

Here are two cops bucking the trend and showing it's not all donkey work in the police force.

Officers from Thames Valley Police rescued these two donkeys after they went for an afternoon stroll on the A418 in Buckinghamshire.

As you can see, they've been safely returned to their stables. Ee-awww, aren't they cute?

View more on twitter

Money raised to help restore fire-damaged MG

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Friends of a Cambridgeshire man have raised nearly £800 towards the restoration of his late father's classic car after it was almost totally destroyed in an arson attack last week.

Burnt out MG
Elizabeth McRae

Thieves tried to steal Charles Thomson's 1964 MG from a garage in Cambridge, but they couldn't start the engine, so set fire to it instead, police said.

The car also has additional sentimental value, as Mr Thomson and his wife used it as their wedding car.

Punter's £1m bet falls at the final hurdle

A horse-racing punter who placed a seven race accumulator bet at Royal Ascot has lost out on a £1m payout after his final prediction proved wrong.

The £40 bet was placed earlier this week at Ladbrokes in Dunstable.

The first six predictions all came in, leaving the £1m payout resting on an 8/1-shot in the Commonwealth Cup this afternoon.

But the punter's hopeful Bound for Nowhere came fourth, with Caravaggio winning the race.

Memorial to be built for tiger attack victim Rosa King

An appeal to build a memorial at Hamerton Zoo Park for keeper Rosa King has reached its target.

The 33-year-old died last month when she was attacked by one of the tigers.

Rosa King
BBC

An online appeal has reached its £1,800 target. Any surplus donations will go to the Cheetah Conservation Foundation, organisers say.

Details of the memorial have not been announced.

The zoo reopened last week following a safety inspection.

Afternoon weather: Cloudy and breezy

BBC Weather

We have a rather cloudy and breezy afternoon in store.

Though mainly dry, there will be a few outbreaks of rain possible from time to time.

Highs of 18C (64F)

Weather in Dunstable.
BBC

BBC Weather has more details.

Hotpoint fridge freezer notice after Grenfell fire

Peterborough-based Hotpoint has issued a "product notice" about some of its fridge freezers after police confirmed the fire which destroyed Grenfell Tower in London started in one of its models.

Product notice from Hotpoint
Hotpoint

Seventy-nine people are feared dead after the blaze destroyed 151 homes in the Kensington tower block on 14 June.

The government has ordered immediate testing of the Hotpoint fridge freezer that was involved.

Grenfell Tower
PA

Hotpoint, which has its headquarters in Peterborough, is urging anyone who has a white Hotpoint fridge freezer model number FF175BP or graphite fridge freezer model number FF175BG to register their appliance with the manufacturer to receive any updates.

"We have been made aware of a possible incident involving a Hotpoint branded fridge freezer, manufactured between March 2006 and July 2009, model numbers FF175BP (white) and FF175BG (graphite)," the company says on its website.

If you've got one, you can get further details by clicking here.

Afternoon weather: Cloudy and breezy

We have a rather cloudy and breezy afternoon in store.

Though mainly dry, there will be a few outbreaks of rain possible from time to time.

Highs of 18C (64F)

Graphic
BBC

BBC Weather has more details.

In the papers

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Here's a look at some other stories making the headlines today:

Muslim school 'mismanaged' by trustees

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

The trustees of a Muslim school in Luton have been held responsible for its mismanagement and misconduct of staff.

The Rabia School was reported to the Charity Commission after it was discovered men and women teachers were sitting with a screen between them during staff meetings.

The school, in Bury Park, had already come to the attention of Ofsted when inspectors found boys were being taught core subjects such as English and Science, while girls were being taught to knit and sew.

Rabia School in Luton.
Google

A report by the Charity Commission has now concluded that the trustees repeatedly failed to submit the charity's accounts and didn't comply with the action plan issued in September 2015.

It says the school is still failing to meet the required educational standards of an independent school, but the trustees have taken appropriate steps to address the shortfalls initially identified.

Women accosted on guided busway path

Two women were accosted by a man who jumped out of bushes as they walked along the guided busway path near Cambridge.

Police said the women, in their 20s and 30s, were walking along the stretch between King's Hedges and Impington at about 22:35 last night.

The man attempted to grab hold of them both before making threats to harm them. They managed to break free and run home.

The man is described as black, aged 30-40 and approximately 5ft 10in (1.8m) tall. He had a short beard and was wearing dark trousers and a dark hoodie.

Police have asked anyone with information, or who saw the incident, to contact them on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Your pictures: Curious clouds

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

We're no strangers to cloud in the UK but it does seem to have been particularly picturesque this morning, as captured by our BBC Weather Watchers:

Cloudy formation over a field in Standon.
BBC
Cloud formation in Hitchin.
BBC
Cloud formation over Luton.
BBC
Wispy clouds in Stevenage.
BBC
Light cloud in otherwise blue skies in Stevenage.
BBC

Your pictures: Grey skies in the county

BBC Weather Watchers

Well we're certainly not seeing the same summer weather we've been experiencing over the past few days.

However, that doesn't stop our BBC Weather Watchers from getting out and about, capturing the sights from around the county...

Thriplow
BBC
Ramsey
BBC
Babraham
BBC

Nursing home places fall

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

The number of nursing home places in Northamptonshire has fallen by more than 200 in the past three years.

It comes at a time when the number of people aged 85 or over is growing.

The figure comes from an analysis of Care Quality Commission statistics for BBC Sunday Politics East.

Elderly person
Thinkstock
The number of nursing home beds in the county fell by 7% from 2014 to 2017.

John Rayner, chair of the Northamptonshire Association of Registered Care Homes, said: "We all know that nursing homes are struggling because they are competing against NHS hospitals for staff. International recruitment is a permanent problem."

Councillor Bill Parker, who is responsible for adult social care at Northamptonshire County Council, said: "There is only one care home that has closed so far this year.

"There has not been a tremendous amount of care homes that have closed, certainly in the last six months, because of financial pressures."

You can see more on this on Sunday Politics East on BBC One this Sunday at 11:00.

Punter poised to win £1m with 'incredible' Ascot bet

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

It's going to be an anxious few hours for someone in Bedfordshire, who could become a millionaire this afternoon.

At the start of the week they placed a £40 accumulator bet on seven horses winning their races at Ascot.

The first six selections all came in and now the £1m payout rests on 8/1-shot Bound For Nowhere in today's 15:40 race.

Horses at Ascot
Reuters

The punter, at Ladbrokes in Dunstable, has already beaten these odds:

  • Lady Aurelia 7/2
  • Barney Roy 5/2
  • Qemah 5/2
  • Highland Reel 11/4
  • Coronet 7/1
  • Big Orange 8/1

Nicola McGeady, from Ladbrokes, said: "This punter has made incredible predictions already and today his hopes of becoming a millionaire all comes down to one horse, Bound To Nowhere.

"After making such amazing predictions so far, we can only wish him the best of luck."

Boy still in serious condition after 'hit and run'

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A boy who was airlifted to hospital after a "hit and run" in Luton yesterday remains in a serious but stable condition.

Emergency services were called to reports of a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian on Hibbert Street at about 14:50.

Bedfordshire Police said a dark-coloured Vauxhall failed to stop at the scene.

Hibbert Street in Luton.
Google

Azerbaijan GP practice: Verstappen goes fastest in Baku

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer in Baku

Dutchman Max Verstappen led a Red Bull one-two in a disjointed and unrepresentative first practice session at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku.

Title contenders Sebastian Vettel, for Ferrari, and Lewis Hamilton, racing for Brackley-based Mercedes, were third and fifth, not setting times on the quickest tyre.

Meanwhile, there was drama as Sergio Perez, of Silverstone-based Force India, had a sizeable accident after misjudging the tight section in the old town of Baku.

'Corpse flower' named by online poll

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

The Twitter poll to name the titan arum at the botanic garden in Cambridge has ended.

The flower is set to bloom some time in the next seven days.

View more on twitter

And the winner is... Titus!

The plant is one of two based at the garden and only flowers every few years.

It's said to produce the "stench of rotting flesh" when it blooms.

The second plant flowered back in 2015, attracting thousands of visitors.

Video: Delapre Abbey restoration spend to exceed £8m

Earlier this week we told you how Northampton Borough Council had been told an extra £490,000 was needed to complete the restoration of Delapre Abbey.

The sum is on top of an extra £930,000 the authority approved last year and another £650,000 approved earlier this year.

On Wednesday the council decided to allocate the extra money. BBC Northampton has been along to Delapre to speak with the borough's leader, Jonathan Nunn...

View more on facebook

Video: Luton Airport runway run

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

As we reported earlier, Luton Airport's runway was closed this morning to host a race for the first time.

About 50 fundraisers took part in the event, and I went along to meet some of them:

Work to repair sinkhole still ongoing

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

There's still a lane closure in place on Newmarket Road in Cambridge, as Anglia Water continues to fix a sinkhole that appeared earlier in the week.

Sinkhole
BBC

We're expecting an update on the progress of the repair soon.

Traffic is diverting on to the bus lane as a result of the closure.

Thameslink service criticised in report

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

A government report into the way train company Govia runs troubled Southern Rail has also highlighted problems with the company's Thameslink service.

It says some off-peak services through Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire should be scrapped and that the depot at Bedford can't cope with 12-carriage trains.

A Thameslink train.
PA

The report follows a long series of strikes by Southern Rail staff and refers to problems that Govia has had since taking over the Thameslink franchise.

Not all of the recommendations for the Thameslink line have been published - the Department for Transport says they're commercially sensitive.

However, the report does say that by cancelling underused trains between 12:00 and 14:00, it would provide more trains for the rush hour and would allow timetables to recover if there were problems earlier in the day.

The report also highlights problems with the depot at Bedford because the longer trains block the depot's entrance.

Parents of disabled children to challenge care centre closure

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Parents affected by the closure of a care centre for severely disabled children in Watford are due to meet health bosses today.

Nascot Lawn Respite Centre is due to be closed in October.

David Joseph, whose son Dominic uses the centre, said: "Dom has about 100 to 150 epileptic seizures every month - pretty much every night of his life.

"He also has a very profound learning disability so, although he's now 18-years-old, he functions as if he's just a few months old.

"The centre has always been well led and when we take our sons and daughters there we can actually relax for a period of time."

Nascot Lawn Respite Centre
NHS

Mayor Dorothy Thornhill said: "Respite care centres like this are invaluable to families with disabled children.

"I've written to the CCG demanding assurances that all possible options have been looked at, and I have also asked for details of the alternative provision that will be provided."

Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group said the closure of the centre was necessary because of its "serious financial situation", and that the focus must be on spending on services it has a legal duty to provide.

Grenfell Tower fire: People in Mawsley organise donations for victims

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

A woman from Mawsley has paid tribute to the generosity of her community, after people who live there donated in their droves to a charity effort for the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Joanna Murphy put an appeal on the village's Facebook page and was inundated with donations of clothes, toys and money.

Mawsley
BBC

"From the day that the fire happened, the response has been massive," Mrs Murphy told me.

"We have decided that we are going to be in direct contact with the families via social media. It will be an ongoing process so if clothes are too small for a child, and we have more, they will be going over.

"We have arranged transport for that to be done."

Any remaining donations will be sold, with all the proceeds going directly to the Grenfell Tower appeal, she said.

Mawsley
BBC

Mrs Murphy's eight-year-old son Ross (pictured above) said he had contributed "Lego, trains and other stuff".

Asked why he thought it was important to get involved, he added. "It makes me feel a bit sad that people don't have anything else after the fire."

Funding deal expected for new university

Funding of £6.5m is expected to be agreed next week to accelerate plans for a new University of Peterborough.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough's new metro mayor James Palmer has allocated the funding as a priority, since being elected last month.

The project aims to transform the University Centre Peterborough, which is currently under the umbrella of Anglia Ruskin University, into a fully-fledged University of Peterborough.

The funding will be used over the next three years to increase student numbers from 800 to 3,000, and expanding the curriculum on offer.

Mr Palmer said the university was "about opportunity".

James Palmer
BBC

"If there's people living in Peterborough and in the surrounding area that want to go university and they're not getting the chance at the moment, I know it's doing a good job," he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

"We know that where a city has a university, it brings up the economy of the city. It's more than just education, it's what the university brings to a city.

"We've been given £600m from the government so we can raise money from that, as well as from elsewhere.

"I'm committed to this university. I think it's very important."

Luton Airport closes for runway runners

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Jogging down the runway of an international airport is not something you get to do every day.

But about 50 fundraisers were given the chance to do just that, at London Luton Airport this morning.

Fortunately for them the runway was closed to flights between 04:00 and 05:00.

Runner running down London Luton Airport runway.
London Luton Airport

They were raising money for the Keech Hospice, which supports adults and children with life-limited illnesses across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

The runway makes for a decent running track. It's flat, smooth and long, at 1.3 miles (2.2km).

The runners ran the full length of the runway and back.

Runner running down London Luton Airport runway.
London Luton Airport

Male hospital staff could be told to 'start wearing dresses'

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A porter at Watford General Hospital has been suspended for rolling up his trousers on Wednesday, the hottest day of the year so far.

Michael Wood (pictured) says permission to wear three-quarter-length trousers was denied by his employer, Medirest, a private contractor at the hospital.

Michael Wood
PA

Now a union leader has threatened to tell staff to start wearing dresses and skirts.

Mick Dooley, from the GMB union, said: "We're hoping to get round the table to get Michael back to work.

"Failing that, the chief exec of Watford General Hospital is going to see her porters wearing dresses because we're going to tell them to start wearing dresses and skirts."

Trousers
PA

A spokesperson for Medirest, a private contractor at the hospital, said: "The health and safety of our colleagues is always our number one priority.

"It would be inappropriate for us to comment on an individual case where an investigation is ongoing.

"We maintain an open dialogue with our people on such issues, however, due to the nature of their job and health and safety requirements, it is important that porters wear appropriate uniform at all times."

MP raises Peterborough gridlock in Commons

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

The woes of Peterborough drivers earlier this week were raised in Parliament yesterday by the MP for North West Cambridgeshire.

Roadworks which shut the entry slip road on to the A1 at junction 17 caused gridlock around the city, with drivers using other routes as diversions - causing further delays.

Shailesh Vara told the Commons that it was "down to a decision by Highways England".

Shailesh Vara
BBC

"That decision was taken by Highways England without any consultation to local stakeholders, with inadequate notice to motorists and with ill regard for a diverted route," he said.

Mr Vara called on the transport secretary to ensure the agency acted "in the best interests of the community rather than unilaterally".

Premier Inn 'concerned' about potential hotel fire risk

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Bedfordshire-based Premier Inn says it is "extremely concerned" about cladding on three of its hotels.

Cladding is thought to have contributed to the rapid spread of fire at Grenfell Tower, in which at least 79 people are believed to have died.

Until now, safety fears over cladding have centred on council high-rises.

Premier Inn logo on a sign.
PA

Premier Inn's owner, Whitbread, which has bases in Dunstable and Luton, has told BBC Newsnight that cladding on its hotels in Maidenhead, Brentford and Tottenham did not appear to comply with government guidance for tall buildings.

However, it said it did appear to be a less flammable type than that used at Grenfell Tower.

The hotel chain said an independent expert has assured them that the hotels were safe to stay open given their "robust" safety measures, including fire detectors and smoke alarms in every room.

The hotels do not operate a "stay put" policy and have multiple means of escape, it said.

Good morning

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Welcome back to live updates for Cambridgeshire on Friday, 23 June.

We'll be here until 18:00 with the latest news, sport, weather and travel from around the county.

First up, a full weather forecast for the day.

Whittlesey
BBC

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

Good morning

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Hello and welcome to Friday's live updates for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

We made it through the heatwave and now the weekend is just around the corner!

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

First up, we'll have a full weather forecast shortly.

Sunrise in Standon
BBC

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

Good morning

Kris Holland

BBC Radio Northampton

Welcome to live updates for Northamptonshire on Friday, 23 June.

We'll be here until 18:00 keeping you up-to-date with the latest news, sport, weather and travel as it happens.

It's been a fairly cloudy and breezy start, although that didn't stop Coleole, one of our Weather Watchers, taking this beauty...

Irthlingborough
BBC

We'll take a look at the regional forecast shortly.

As ever, don't forget that you can get in touch with the team by email, Twitter and Facebook.

Goodbye

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it from all of us here on the local live news feed for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

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

You can read all the stories we've covered by scrolling through the page.

Have a great evening everyone.