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Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday, 28 April 2016
  2. The Muslim Association of Britain has defended a Muslim school in Luton which actively segregates male and female staff
  3. Watford say they will discuss the future of manager Quique Sanchez Flores at the end of the season
  4. Karl Robinson's future as MK Dons boss is uncertain after the club were relegated from the Championship
  5. Updates resume at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

That's all from us today, but we'll be back again from 08:00 tomorrow with the latest news, sport, weather and travel for the three counties.

If you missed anything, why not take a scroll through the page to catch up?

Weather: Heavy rain tonight

BBC Weather

Tonight will be cloudy at first with outbreaks of heavy rain before becoming dry later in the night with clear spells.

Minimum temperature: 0C (32F).

Weather graphic shows rain tonight
BBC

Tinkers Bridge meeting on alternative regeneration

Residents of Tinkers Bridge in Milton Keynes launch their own, alternative regeneration plan for the area this evening.

Tinkers Bridge
Google

Earlier this year it was announced thousands of homes on seven Milton Keynes estates could be demolished and rebuilt.

Man found dead in van at Luton supermarket

A man was found dead in a Sainsbury's car park in Luton yesterday, police say.

Sainsbury's in Quantock Rise, Luton
Google

Emergency services were called to the supermarket in Quantock Rise at 16:00 to concerns for the welfare of a man in a green Vauxhall Vivaro.

Police named the man as Peter McCann, 47, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Officers are not treating his death as suspicious, but would like to speak to anyone who saw him or his van yesterday.

Increase in crimes could be down to 'recording practices'

Carol Abercrombie

BBC Three Counties Radio

There's been an increase in the number of crimes in the Thames Valley area, which includes Buckinghamshire, for the first time in 10 years.

Police jacket
BBC

Overall reported crime was up by 7.2% but the pattern varies across the force. In Aylesbury there was an increase of more than 16% and in Milton Keynes just over 3%.

Dep Ch Con John Campbell said the increase doesn't mean the level of crime is up: "We have changed the way we're recording crimes [and] the Office of National Statistics have noted the fact that changes in recording practices may have led to this increase."

Latest headlines: Thames Valley crime increase... Man found dead in car park

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

The top stories this afternoon:

  • There's been an increase in the number of crimes in the Thames Valley area, which includes Buckinghamshire, for the first time in 10 years
  • An appeal has been launched after a man was found dead in a car park in Luton
  • A man is in a serious condition in hospital after being attacked as he walked to the train station in Biggleswade

Breakdown of reported crime in Thames Valley

Here is a breakdown of some of the crimes reported in the Thames Valley area and how they've increased since last year.

Thames Valley Police reported crime rises by 7.2%
PA

Crime in the Thames Valley region 'rises for first time in 10 years'

BBC News England

Reported crime in the Thames Valley, which includes Buckinghamshire, has risen by 7.2% since last year - the region's first rise in crime for 10 years.

Police tape
Getty Images

Thames Valley Police said the rise, between April 2015 and March 2016, was largely due to changes in recording practices.

It also said there had been increases in reporting domestic abuse and sexual offences. Dep Chief Constable John Campbell said violent crime figures remained low.

#LoveMK: Arts and culture map 'really exciting'

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Back in June last year, I showed you a bright, colourful illustrated map marking all things arts and culture in Milton Keynes.

On #LoveMK day, I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate what the town has to offer...

Cartoon map of Milton Keynes
Sheree Willis

The illustrator, Sheree Willis, grew up in Bletchley before moving to work in theatre and fashion in Manchester for 14 years. She's since moved back and set up her own business after drawing a general map of Milton Keynes, printing it on tea-towels and selling them at a craft fair. 

From there, MK Council got in touch and the Art and Culture map was born: "I love it, it's really exciting", she said.

Man crawled to train station after 'nasty attack'

A man is in a serious condition in hospital after he was attacked in Biggleswade, but managed to crawl to the train station for help.

Biggleswade train station
Google

The attack happened at 22:25 yesterday when the man was walking to the train station.

Police say "despite suffering serious injuries, he was able to crawl to the station" to call for help.

Hammer attack woman 'thought neighbours stole her dog'

A woman from Cheshunt who attacked her neighbours believed they had stolen her dog, a court has heard.

Limes Road, Cheshunt
Google

St Albans Crown Court heard Luigi and Anna Guido were hit and swung at with a hammer and knife outside their home in Limes Road, by Emma Tudor Worrall, 42.

Police had to taser Ms Tudor Worrall when they arrived as she ran at them with a large kitchen knife. She was found not guilty of attempted murder by way of insanity.

'I dance for him', says Jonathan Ollivier's girlfriend

Nick Coffer

BBC Three Counties Radio

The girlfriend of dancer Jonathan Ollivier, who died in a motorbike crash last August, has said she "dances for him".

Cordelia Braithwaite and scene from Sleeping Beauty
Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty

"He's given me all the tools for me to carry on being a principle dancer, it was just the start and now I have to carry on," Cordelia Braithwaite, from Leighton Buzzard, told me. "I dance for him all the time."

Ms Braithwaite is playing the lead role of Aurora in Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty, which premiers at the Wycombe Swan next month.

Bletchley driving test delays

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

People are having to wait too long to get driving tests at the Bletchley testing centre, according to the area's MP.

Bletchley driving test centre
Google

The Conservative member for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart, raised his concerns in the Commons this morning.

He said: "I've received a number of concerns from driving instructors and pupils... The DVSA have said they're investing more resources, but it remains an issue."

MK Dons chairman outlines mistakes which caused relegation

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

The man in charge of Milton Keynes Dons has been outlining the mistakes he says caused the football club to be relegated from the Championship.

Pete Winkleman
Getty Images

Chairman Pete Winkleman says there were a catalogue of errors and if Karl Robinson is to keep his job, he needs to face up to that. 

"He needs to want to do it, he needs to recognise some of the mistakes that we've made, he needs to want to do something about putting them right, he needs to show me that he's got the ambition and drive and passion to get off the floor and go again," Winkleman said.

Contractors' bid to reopen Vicarage Road before Saturday

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Contractors are working at a hole which opened up in Vicarage Road in Watford on Wednesday morning in a bid to get the carriageway reopened before Saturday's football.

Hertfordshire County Council said the road - which is closed between the ring road and Wiggenhall Road - was "unlikely" to open today and as far as Saturday was concerned it would be a "balance of inconvenience versus public safety".

Mayor Dorothy Thornhill has tweeted to say contractors were "trying to get road reopened before football on Sat" but there are "no guarantees".

View more on twitter
Karl Robinson

MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman is unsure whether Karl Robinson will continue as manager after Championship relegation.

Read more

Aylesbury man jailed for child sex offence

An Aylesbury man has been jailed for sexual offences against a child last year.

Ian Waterworth, 35, of Lister Green, was convicted at Aylesbury Crown Court of intentionally sexually touching a girl under the age of 13 last January.

He was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Cheshunt woman found not guilty of trying to kill neighbours

A woman accused of trying to kill her neighbours with a hammer and knife has been found not guilty of attempted murder by way of insanity.

Limes Road, Cheshunt
Google

Emma Tudor Worrall, 42, attacked Luigi and Anna Guido outside their home in Limes Road, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire on Sunday, 19 April last year.

The jury at St Albans Crown Court was urged to find her not guilty if they agreed with psychiatrists she was "insane at the time". Her future will be decided on Friday.

Travel: Congestion after crash on M25

BBC Travel

There are three lanes closed and queuing traffic on the M25 clockwise between J19 and J20 due to a multi-vehicle collision. Congestion to J18.

Hertford train death victim's family could lose home

Hertfordshire Mercury

A happy family that had everything are facing homelessness after being torn apart by a decade of inconceivable tragedy.

Watford's main target 'to stay in Premier League'

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores was very keen to point out what his objective was for the term and just how difficult that was to achieve amid talk it perhaps won’t be good enough for him to keep his job.

Watford
Getty Images

“When I came here, the message of the club is very clear – how important it is to establish the team in the Premier League. This is the first step but the most difficult. Step by step, we put the first step for the future of Watford.”

Likely Flores will leave Watford this summer

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

It’s appearing more and more likely Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores will be leaving the club in the summer.

Quique Sanchez Flores
Getty Images

At Thursday's news conference, the Spaniard admitted there is a break clause in his two-year deal which either he or the the club can activate in June. What he said did little to suggest he will still be at Vicarage Road next season.

“The main objective is done [staying in the Premier League]. I’m not going to justify the season. I have the impression Watford fans enjoy. The players enjoy. We enjoy," he said.

Prince Michael of Kent visits Bletchley Park

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

HRH Prince Michael of Kent has visited Bletchley Park, the site of World War Two codebreaking.

Prince Michael of Kent at Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park

Prince Michael spent two hours this morning touring the huts and blocks where the Government Code and Cypher School broke enemy codes and ciphers throughout the conflict.

Chairman of the Bletchley Park Trust, Sir John Scarlett, said “His Royal Highness felt strongly the significance of what happened here during World War Two. It inspires the entire site.”

Weather Watchers: Blue skies in Kensworth

BBC Weather Watchers

It's looking like a lovely Spring day out there - thanks to our Weather Watchers for keeping us up to speed.

This photograph of a field of oilseed rape in Kensworth looks fantastic with a bright blue sky, thank you to user "David" for sharing this with us.

Kensworth field
BBC/David

Child genius from Milton Keynes is brainier than Einstein

Milton Keynes Citizen

An 11-year-old child genius who is brainier than Einstein is “just like any other girl,” insist her parents.

Lunchtime headlines: 'Segregated' school claims it has been 'harassed'... Royal visit in Bucks

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

The top stories this lunchtime:

  • A Muslim school in Luton, criticised for segregating male and female staff, says it is being unfairly targeted and harassed 
  • The Duchess of Cornwall is visiting RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire this lunchtime

Missing Helen Bailey: Sausage dog Boris on poster

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Children's author Helen Bailey's miniature daschund, Boris, has become the focus of one poster on a missing page set up for the pair.

Missing poster
SBNA

Police say Mrs Bailey, 51, was last seen walking Boris near her home in Royston, Hertfordshire, on 11 April, and that her disappearance is "a mystery". A Facebook page has been made by Mrs Bailey's friends who say she "is much loved and missed".

Royal visit to RAF Halton

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

The Duchess of Cornwall is visiting RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire this lunchtime.

RAF Halton
Geograph/Jarvis Docherty

Camilla, who's an Honorary Air Commodore, will be seeing how its community centre supports military families .

Missing Helen Bailey: Friends set up missing page online

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

The friends of missing Hertfordshire woman Helen Bailey have set up a Facebook page to share information about the children's author and help find her.

Helen Bailey
SBNA

Mrs Bailey, who wrote the Electra Brown series for teenagers, was last seen walking her dog, Boris, near her home in Royston on 11 April.

The group description states: "Her disappearance is completely out of character, our question 'Where is Helen Bailey?'"

Police say they "don't believe there has been any foul play" in her disappearance.

Weather: Cloud and rain this afternoon

BBC Weather

Although the afternoon will start dry, it will quickly cloud over and there will be frequent outbreaks of rain, and perhaps hail at times.

Maximum Temperature: 11C (52F).

Weather graphic shows showers
BBC

#LoveMK day: Celebrating Milton Keynes' green spaces

It's been trending for five hours now on Twitter to celebrate all things Milton Keynes - we're, of course, talking about #LoveMK day.

There's a bit of a green theme with these tweets below, and what better on a sunny Spring day...

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Luton man still held over terrorism offences

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

A man from Luton is still being held by police on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorism.

The 21-year-old was arrested at about 13:00 on Wednesday and taken to a police station in London.

Police say the offences included planning to travel to Syria to support a banned organisation.

Biggleswade bridge repair delays due to 'extreme weather'

Tony Fisher

BBC Three Counties Radio

A pub manager in Biggleswade has said his business is losing £4,000 a month due to over-running repair works on Stratton Bridge, which runs across the High Street.

Bridge repairs in Biggleswade
BBC

Alex Shipston, who runs the Red Lion, said the pub has probably lost £1,000 to £1,500 per week in profit since December, adding it "should've been checked every year, as opposed to waiting six years down the line and now they've got to do serious work." 

Central Bedfordshire Council said in a statement earlier this month that "extreme weather" had caused delays.

Biggleswade businesses losing money over bridge repairs

Matthew Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

Businesses in Biggleswade say they're losing thousands of pounds each month because a bridge over the High Street hasn't re-opened.

Tattoo shop near bridge in Biggleswade
BBC

Stratton Bridge was closed for three months in December, but now won't open until the summer.

Duke Tyler, who owns a tattoo parlour near the bridge, said they've lost a minimum of £2,000 a month: "We did have an artist here who left because of lack of trade, and he was bringing in £800-1,500 a week."

Muslim school says Ofsted inspectors didn't mention problem with segregating screen

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The Rabia Boys and Girls School has been accused by Ofsted of segregating male and female staff and governors.

But in a letter to secretary of state for education, Nicky Morgan, the school said all six inspectors over the last 15 months had witnessed a screen being used "but failed to mention" it went against fundamental British values.

The letter said: "We feel extremely disheartened and insecure about the fact that the goalposts are not clear and keep changing."

'Segregated staff' school says it's been 'harrassed' by Ofsted

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A Muslim school in Luton accused of segregating male and female staff and governors with a screen has said it has been "unfairly targeted and harassed" by Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw.

Rabia Girls' School, Luton
Google

Sir Michael wrote to education secretary Nicky Morgan about the independent Rabia Boys and Girls School continuing to "actively undermine" British values

In its own letter to Ms Morgan the school's trust details "factual inaccuracies" in the chief inspector's letter.

Off-road biker teen's friends working with police

Bedfordshire Police say they have been working with friends of a teenage motorcyclist who was killed riding an off-road bike on Luton's Marsh Farm estate.

Scene of where Brandon Arnold died in Luton
BBC

Brandon "Ajay" Arnold, 15, died last month after his bike hit a lamp post. 

"[Off-road bikes are] a danger to the public but they're a danger to the riders, and this has illustrated that," Supt Sharn Basra said.

Hitchin Town lose play-off semi-final

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

Hitchin Town lost their Southern League Premier Division play-off semi-final last night - despite taking a 2-0 lead.

Second half goals from Brett Donnelly and Robbie Burns put the Canaries in charge against Hungerford at Top Field, but the visitors hit back to win 3-2.

Top Field, Hitchin
Google

Latest headlines: Off-road biker teen's friends work with police... Pedestrian killed in crash

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

The latest headlines: