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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Herts County Council offers EastEnders storyline support

Staff and foster carers from Hertfordshire County Council were invited to Albert Square recently to advise the EastEnders story writers as they were first developing a current multi-racial fostering story line.

In the BBC One soap, Masood Ahmed's Auntie Mariam and Uncle Arshad arrive in the square with a new foster child, Daisy who goes missing. She later turns up but the incident leaves the couple’s fostering plans in jeopardy.

Hertfordshire County Council at EastEnders
Hertfordshire County Council

The authority and county foster carers advised on the likely impact of a foster child going missing.

Hertfordshire County Council at EastEnders
Hertfordshire County Council

Foster carer Zobaida Alam said: "As a Muslim foster carer it was a good opportunity to set right some of the wrong perceptions of multi-faith fostering that had been topical in the press last year.

"It was exciting to go to the studios and see what goes on behind the scenes of a popular show like Eastenders.

"It was a learning experience for me while also having the chance to share my own with the scriptwriters."

Linslade house devastated by fire

Leighton Buzzard Observer

A huge blaze ripped through a Linslade house yesterday morning, leaving the property with serious fire and smoke damage.

Milton Keynes man jailed for 32 years for sex offences

A man from Milton Keynes been sentenced to 32 years in prison for sex offences against three young girls in Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

Ricky O'Grady, 28, of Snowberry Close, Stacey Bushes, pleaded guilty In November to multiple rapes and indecent assaults which took place between 1999 and 2017.

He was sentenced today at Aylesbury Crown Court.

In November, Det Sgt Tracy Wescombe of the Aylesbury Child Abuse Investigation Unit said: "This was a harrowing case where O’Grady abused very young girls.

"I have to thank the victims for their bravery in coming forward and reliving the abuse and I am pleased for them that he admitted his guilt at court."

Welwyn Garden City fatal stabbing: Pictures from the scene

Police are at the scene of a fatal stabbing in Welwyn Garden City.

The victim was found in Ludwick Way on Thursday evening, where he was pronounced dead.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Ludwick Way, Welwyn Garden City
South Beds News Agency
Ludwick Way, Welwyn Garden City
South Beds News Agency
Ludwick Way, Welwyn Garden City
South Beds News Agency
Ludwick Way, Welwyn Garden City
South Beds News Agency

Stanstead Abbotts Co-op agrees to stop selling newspapers

Hertfordshire Mercury

The Co-op has agreed to stop selling newspapers in its Stanstead Abbotts store after a campaign by local residents.

New role to 'raise awareness' of homeless in Bedford

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A new role has been created to help homeless people in Bedford.

For three years, the Harpur Trust charity are funding the position of Homeless Inter-Agency Officer.

Sam Price who's taken on the job, says she will be working together with charities in the town that already offer help, so they don't "duplicate" what they do.

Tent being used by homeless person
Sam Price

She says she'll also be raising awareness of the issues and working on sharing best practice with other groups and organisations.

Road closed after crash

Barford Road has been closed between Great Barford and Wilden following a "one-vehicle" crash.

Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit tweeted that there were "serious injuries".

An investigation into the collision is being carried out.

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Teenager stabbed in Luton

A teenager is recovering after he was stabbed in Luton on Thursday night.

Bedfordshire Police says officers are investigating after the incident in North Street and Kingston Road in the town at about 18:30.

His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Scene of Luton stabbing
Google

Man suffers life-threatening injuries when hit by a car

A pedestrian has suffered life-threatening injuries when he was hit by a car in Stevenage.

Six Hills Way, Stevenage
Google

The 54-year-old man was hit by a blue Renault Twingo in Six Hills Way at about 02:20 on Wednesday.

He was taken to the Royal London Hospital. The driver of the Renault was uninjured.

Travel: Delays between Northampton and Watford Junction

BBC News Travel

There are delays affecting London Northwestern trains between Northampton and Watford Junction this morning, due to a fault with the signalling system.

Disruption is expected until 10:00.

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Disruption at Stoke Mandeville A&E due to burst water main

The Accident and Emergency Department at Stoke Mandeville Hospital is operating as usual following disruption caused by a burst water main.

This afternoon Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said all patients had been temporarily moved out of the affected are due to "safety reasons".

The trust had asked for patients to only visit the A&E department in an emergency.

Stoke Mandeville Hospital
PA

Depression can make 'small things overwhelming'

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Prof Ed Bullimore, who works with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and is head of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, is leading a new study into whether depression could have a physical cause and if anti-inflammatory drugs could help sufferers.

Laura Cox, pictured, who has had depression for more than a decade, said she wondered what it would be like to be "normal".

Laura has depression
BBC

"It can make small things that most people take in their stride seem overwhelming," she said.

"On the really low days, getting up, getting dressed, getting to work can become a struggle."

The study will look at whether the immune system, in defending against physical injury or conditions, could cause psychological harm.

Thousands of homes still without power

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

About 2,100 homes are still without power in Cambridgeshire this afternoon, according to UK Power Networks.

Engineers have restored power to more than 130,000 properties in the East of England after the overnight and early morning storms caused major damage.

There are still 11,000 homes in neighbouring Suffolk, 8,800 in Norfolk and 2,700 in Essex without electricity.

'Amazing' stroke club volunteer retires aged 97

Bucks Free Press

An "amazing" volunteer who dedicated 35 years to an organisation that provided invaluable support when her husband suffered a stroke has stepped down from her role after an emotional send-off.

Train disruption continues due to fallen trees

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Fallen trees are continuing to cause disruption on Greater Anglia trains this afternoon, with services between Peterborough and Ipswich badly affected.

View more on twitter

Cambridge magistrates' court listed in closures plan

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Cambridge Magistrates' Court has been named among eight across England earmarked for closure.

The government has made the announcement as part of wider reforms to the courts and tribunals estate.

Cambridge Mags Court
BBC

Lucy Frazer, Justice Minister and Conservative MP for South East Cambridgeshire, said: "A key consideration in management of the estate is that we only operate buildings that we need, eliminating duplication and overlapping service provision, with the savings recycled back into the reform programme."

There will be a total of five consultations covering the affected courts.

Depression can make 'small things overwhelming'

Prof Ed Bullimore, who works with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and is head of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, is leading a new study into whether depression could have a physical cause and if anti-inflammatory drugs could help sufferers.

Laura Cox, pictured, who has had depression for more than a decade, said she wondered what it would be like to be "normal".

Laura has depression
BBC

"It can make small things that most people take in their stride seem overwhelming," she said.

"On the really low days, getting up, getting dressed, getting to work can become a struggle."

The study will look at whether the immune system, in defending against physical injury or conditions, could cause psychological harm.

Volunteers sought for major depression study in Cambridge

Scientists in Cambridge are looking for volunteers to take part in a new medical trial that could change the way we treat depression, which affects one in every four people at some point in their lives.

Until now it's been considered a psychological problem, but researchers believe there could be a physical reason.

Traditional treatments - such as anti-depressants and counselling - only work for a third of sufferers, research has shown.

brain and depression
BBC

Prof Ed Bullmore, head of the Department of Psychiatry at Cambridge University, believes anti-inflammatory drugs could be the answer.

"There hasn't been a major advance in the treatment of depression for about 20 years, yet it is extremely common and a lot of people don't respond completely to the existing treatments, so we do need to make progress," he said.

Homeless in Hemel given 24 hours to move on

A letter has been sent to homeless people in Hemel Hempstead giving them 24 hours to move on, or face legal action.

The letter, sent by Dacorum Borough Council, and left in people's tents, says if they don't go, their belongings will be removed.

Campaigner Wayne Cole said: "It's not just a case of telling them they can't stay there, it's telling them they can't be on any land owned by Dacorum Borough Council, so it doesn't really give them a lot of choice to stay anywhere."

Council leader, Conservative Andrew Williams, said the authority offered support to homeless people, and that the letters had only been given to three people because “they were in specific locations where they were causing a particular problem”.

One was camped in the middle of a football pitch and the other two were in the car park at the water gardens, which the council considers a “dangerous place” for people to sleep.

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Power line damage closes road

A power line that came down in high winds has closed two roads in the Littleport and Ely area, so if they're on your planned route... you'll need to find a way around that incident until it's cleared up.

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Three injured in nine-vehicle crash on A14

Three people were injured when nine vehicles crashed on the A14 earlier.

The accident happened on the westbound carriageway at about 08:45 at Stow cum Quy.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

East of England Ambulance Service has not given details of the extent of the injuries sustained in the crash, but they are not believed to be serious.

The road is now open and delays have cleared.

Engineers working to restore power to homes

overhead power cables
Getty Images

Engineers have restored power to 100,200 homes across the East today after winds of more than 80mph (128km/h) battered the region overnight.

The storm damaged trees and overhead power lines.

UK Power Networks say 6,450 customers are still without power in Cambridgeshire - with almost double that number cut off in neighbouring Suffolk.

It says there are currently 47,000 properties without power across the region - and additional engineers are working to restore supplies as quickly and safely as possible.

Damage to churches in Tring and Aldbury linked

Offensive graffiti written on a tomb and other damage to artefacts in churches in Tring and Aldbury are being linked, police have said.

St John the Baptist Church in Aldbury
Google

The graffiti was written on a tomb and in a visitors book in St John the Baptist Church in Aldbury (pictured) between 09:00 on 10 January and 14:00 on 13 January. A figure was also stolen from a Nativity scene.

It follows a similar incident at the church on 7 December when bibles, pictures and books were also damaged.

In Tring, between midday and 17:00 on 17 December, a cross inside the parish hall was damaged.

PC Donna Horwood said: "We take incidents of this nature extremely seriously and inquiries are continuing to trace those responsible for causing the damage."

Two separate incidents close A6

Part of the A6 in Bedfordshire were closed this morning after a two-vehicle crash between Barton and Silsoe, so recovery work could be carried out.

Police say the collision happened at about 05:15 but there were no serious injuries.

Lorry on road
Central Beds CPT

In a separate incident at about 08:20, the A6 was closed at Silsoe because of a fallen tree and a lorry in a ditch.

Police say the road by the Barton Road junction has now re-opened.

Suspension of doctor at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital is revoked

The Comet

The suspension of a doctor at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital pending an investigation by the General Medical Council has been revoked.

Storm damage in Cambridge

A tree has come down in the orchard of Jesus College in Cambridge in high winds.

This picture was taken by Christopher Burlinson.

Tree down at Jesus College
Christopher Burlinson

And here is the same tree ...

Fallen tree
Steve Smith

... photographed from a different angle by Steve Smith.

Fallen tree
Steve Smith

Cyclist injured in Cambridge hit-and-run

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

A cyclist had to be treated in hospital after a collision with a car in Cambridge on Tuesday evening.

It happened in Perne Road at about 17:30.

Police say the car driver failed to stop and are appealing for anyone who saw what happened to come forward.

The cyclist - a woman in her 40s - was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital with minor injuries.

PC Erica O’Hagan said: "We would also appeal directly to the driver of the vehicle to come forward."

LAMMA show cancelled today

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

The organisers of the LAMMA agricultural show in Cambridgeshire have decided not to go ahead with the second and final day today because of the overnight and early morning storm damage:

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Police advise drivers to find alternative routes

Sgt Ian Manley from Cambridgeshire Police says officers are dealing with an "unprecedented" number of calls, mainly involving fallen trees.

He's warning drivers that a number of roads are closed across Cambridgshire and debris could take some time to clear, so commuters should try to find alternative routes if possible.

Officers are working with councils and highways officials to clear roads as quickly as they can, he says.

Maids Moreton murders: One man released under investigation

Police investigating the suspected murder of two neighbours in Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire, have released a 22-year-old man under investigation.

He was being questioned on suspicion of fraud.

Houses in Maids Moreton
PA

Two other men - a 27-year-old from Towcester, Northamptonshire, and a 31-year-old from Redruth, Cornwall - are still in custody after Thames Valley Police was given more time to question them on suspicion of murder.

Peter Farquhar, 69, died on 26 October 2015 and Ann Moore-Martin, 83 died on 12 May 2017.

A murder inquiry into Mr Farquhar's death began in March 2017, 18 months after he died death but just two months before Mrs Moore-Martin was killed.

Trees down on Huntingdon Road, Cambridge

Traffic is very slow on the Huntingdon Road into and out of Cambridge during rush hour after trees came down.

Emergency services are at the scene controlling traffic.

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Power being restored in Beds and Herts

Power is being restored to homes in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire after storms this morning cut services.

UK Power Networks says about 1,000 homes in Bedfordshire and about 500 in Hertfordshire have already had their power turned back on

The main places affected are Bedford, Sandy, Stevenage and Letchworth Garden City.

We are not aware of many major power cuts in Buckinghamshire, but about 45 homes are without power in Great Missenden.

Power cuts map
UK Power Networks

East of England Arena closed due to 'severe damage'

The East of England Arena and Event Centre in Peterborough is currently closed due to the severe winds.

The LAMMA show (the farm machinery, equipment and services show) is currently taking place on the site and the organisers said they were "assessing the damage on site which is quite severe in places."

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Train services set to return to normal

The railway line between Cambridge and Norwich is set to re-open after a tree blocked the line between Thetford and Eccles Road earlier.

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Fallen tree closes Newmarket Road in Norwich

Newmarket Road in Norwich is closed between the Colman Road roundabout and Lime Tree Road after a tree blew over,

It’s causing traffic disruption and police are on site.

Newmarket Road, Norwich
BBC
Newmarket Road, Norwich
BBC

'Poor weather' affecting trains

This morning's high winds are causing traffic problems this morning as several trees have fallen onto roads and railway lines.

Several train services are affected and travellers are advised to check their journeys before setting off.

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