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  1. Updates for Thursday, 19 May 2016
  2. A Luton medical centre has been evacuated with local residents advised to stay indoors, police say
  3. Hackney Carriage drivers in Luton say jobs will be lost because they will no longer be allowed to ply for trade at Luton airport
  4. A Buckinghamshire Conservative MP accuses Downing Street of "viciously briefing" against Tories in favour of leaving the EU
  5. Detectives investigating the discovery of a human head have so far failed to find any more remains at a construction site in Sharnbrook
  6. Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes voted the club's Player of the Season by fans and fellow players
  7. Updates resume at 08:00 on Friday

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Our live coverage across the day

That's all from the live team today, but we'll be back with the latest news, sport, weather and travel tomorrow from 08:00.

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

Weather: Cloudier with some rain

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Tonight will be turning cloudier as a band of patchy rain and drizzle moves in from the west. Lows of 9C (48F).

Weather graphic

Tomorrow will have a dry and bright start to the day with some sunshine. Turning cloudy later with the risk of isolated showers. Highs of 19C (66F).

Throwback Thursday: School choir sings for Rugby World Cup

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

On this day last year, I told you about a Milton Keynes primary school that had been chosen to take part in welcoming ceremonies for teams competing in the Rugby World Cup 2015.

Well, the choir from Chestnuts Primary School did indeed do their part in welcoming the Samoan team to Brighton in September, which they said was a "fantastic and memorable day".

Chestnuts Primary School in Brighton
Chestnuts Primary School

Since then, the school choir have gone on to perform at the opening of the Fanzone in Milton Keynes for the RWC and, more recently, at the Milton Keynes celebration for Her Majesty The Queen's 90th birthday.

Evening headlines: Luton security alert... M25 maintenance

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

The latest headlines:

  • Police have been stood down in Luton following a security concern at Conway Medical Centre
  • Thieves have stolen an entire safe from a house in Harpenden, carrying it off in the owners' car 

Man seriously injured after 'unknown substance' thrown in face

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

A man has been seriously injured, after an unknown substance was thrown in his face on a street in Luton. 

Leagrave Road in Luton

The ambulance service was called to Leagrave Road in Bury Park, shortly before 11:00 this morning. 

The area was cordoned off for police to carry out an investigation.   

Luton medical centre 'security concern': Emergency services 'stood down'

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

We've just been told by police that emergency services have been "stood down" following a security concern at a medical centre.

Conway Medical Centre

Conway Medical Centre was evacuated as a precaution, but officers say no suspicious items were found during a search and "there is no further cause for concern".

Vauxhall Zafira B cars recalled again over fire risk

Luton-based Vauxhall has recalled more than 234,000 Zafiras for a second time because of an engine problem that has caused some cars to burst into flames.

Vauxhall Zafira on fire

Vauxhall said it was taking "preventative action" after originally recalling the model in December, blaming improper repairs to the car's blower motor resistor for the fires.

The manufacturer advised drivers who had not yet taken their car to be repaired after the first recall to do so.

Residents 'advised to stay inside' and medical centre evacuated

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

A medical centre in Luton has been evacuated and residents of the street are being advised by police to stay indoors.

Conway Road Medical Centre in Luton

Police say they are "dealing with a security concern" at Conway Medical Centre on Westbourne Road. They were called at about 14:55.

Conway Road and Westbourne Road have been closed. Investigations are under way.

BreakingLuton medical centre evacuated

Conway Medical Centre in Luton has been evacuated and police are advising resident of Westbourne Road to stay indoors.

We'll have more on this shortly...

Hertsmere's new mayor given chains

Hertsmere Borough Council has seen its new mayor passed his chains for the next year.

Mayor of Hertsmere Peter Rutledge and Deputy Mayor Charles Goldstein
Hertsmere Borough Council

Councillor Peter Rutledge (pictured left) was inaugurated at the annual council meeting last night, along with deputy mayor councillor Charles Goldstein (pictured right).

The departing mayor, councillor Martin Worster said he was "proud" to have helped work "to make Hertsmere a first class area" and hopes that it will "continue to flourish".

Knickers Model’s Own: Frugal fashionista launches book

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Caroline Jones, the Harpenden woman who wore charity clothes every day for a year to raise money for Cancer Research, started her Knickers Model’s Own campaign in memory of her mother Mary who died of breast cancer in October 2014.   

Knickers Model's Own
Knickers Model's Own

We followed her story closely as she scoured Cancer Research shops for bargains, raising more than £57,000 in the process. 

Now there's set to be another cash injection for the charity as it will receive 100% of the profits from her book - Knickers Model's Own - A Year of Frugal Fashion - which is being launched later.

She told me: "This is a fantastic full stop to my year… My mum would be very proud of me, I’ll be raising a glass to her tonight."

Goats on the loose in Welwyn Garden City

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

To the lighter side of today's news - and two goats are still on the loose in Welwyn Garden City, police have told us.

They aren't the goats pictured - police have been too busy trying to catch them to take a photo - but we couldn't resist adding an animal picture.


Both goats are wearing blue collars and were last seen just after midday today in a wooded area behind Monks Walk School in Knightsfield.

England rugby forward wins player of the year

Staying with sport and England forward Billy Vunipola, who is studying at the University of Hertfordshire, has won an award for player of the year.

Billy Vunipola
University of Hertfordshire

Vunipola won the Old Mutual Wealth England Player of the Year at this year’s RPA Players’ Awards which, in association with England Rugby, has been one of the most important features of the sport in the country.

Aside from playing rugby, and lots of it, Vunipola is also in his first year studying Business and Sport Management.

Alastair Cook made to wait for 10,000-run milestone

BBC Sport

England captain Alastair Cook, whose career began in Bedford, is dismissed for 16 on the first morning of the opening Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley, leaving him 20 runs short of becoming the first Englishman to 10,000 in Test cricket.

FOLLOW LIVE: England v Sri Lanka - First Test, day one

Chapters of Flamstead 'Dog Poo Tales'

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Earlier we mentioned the "e-book" that has been sent to residents by Flamstead parish council in Hertfordshire to tackle dog owners failing to pick up after their pets.

Dog sits with shredded toilet paper

We were a little curious as to the content of "The Dog Poo Tales" - so here are the chapters:

Chapter 1: Sticker City

Chapter 2: Dog Poo Bin Comes to Trowley Bottom

Chapter 3: Fail to Pick Up at your Peril

Chapter 4: Don't wreck the rec

Chapter 5: Dog Whistle Blowers

Chapter 6: "Paws" for thought

Thankfully, the story wasn't illustrated!

Knickers Model's Own: Rankin photo shoot was 'pinnacle' of campaign

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Do you remember Caroline Jones, the Harpenden woman who wore charity clothes every day for a year to raise money for Cancer Research?

Knickers Model's own shoot

I've been talking to her ahead of her book launch - Knickers Model’s Own - A Year of Frugal Fashion - which is being launched later today. She said she saw being photographed by Rankin for the cover as the "pinnacle" of her campaign.  

She said the renowned fashion photographer had "heard about my campaign and wanted to support it, it was very generous of him.

"Being photographed by him was ace, it was wonderful," she said.

Human head death: Investigations continue in Beds and Cambs

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Police cordons remain in place at a quarry in Mepal, three days after the discovery of a human head. Investigations are also continuing at a construction site in Bedfordshire. 

The remains were found by construction workers at Mepal, Cambridgeshire, on Monday

The severed head was found on Monday by a quarry worker, but a post-mortem examination yesterday was inconclusive. Police say no further updates are expected today.

Man-in-plastic may have been killed with stone frog, inquest hears

A man found wrapped in plastic in the garden of his former home in South Wales may have been killed with a stone frog, an inquest has heard.

John Sabine and Leigh Ann Sabine
Family photo

John Henry Sabine, who had been missing for 18 years and would have been 85, was found at the rear of flats at Trem-y-Cwm, Beddau, on 24 November.

Mr Sabine's late wife Leigh Anne is the main suspect. The pair met in Luton in the 1950s when they embarked on an affair while John was married to his first wife, his son Christopher told the Daily Mail in 2015.

University student 'given chance' after helping clone credit card

A Bedfordshire University student working at a computer store has been given a chance by a judge after letting friends clone a credit card to buy more than £7,000 of gift cards.

Dominic Pemberton, 22, of Cardington Road, Bedford, was told by the judge: "This is your last chance", as he passed an eight month sentence suspended for two years.  

Luton Crown Court

Pemberton, who was studying sports psychology, had worked at PC World in Bedford for less than three months when two people came into the shop using the cloned card to purchase vouchers and computer products.

He must follow a six month curfew and pay £1,200 in costs.

Weather: Sunshine and cloud this afternoon

BBC Weather

Cloud will continue to break up to reveal a good deal of sunshine this afternoon. Apart from the odd light shower, most places will stay dry. 

Maximum temperature: 18C (64F)

Weather graphic shows highs of 18C

Man punched outside student nightclub required surgery

A man has had surgery to his left eye after being punched outside a student nightclub in Hatfield.

The Forum in Hatfield

The 22-year-old lost consciousness after being hit outside the front entrance of The Forum, in College Lane, last Thursday just after 03:00.

Police say the man suffered two fractures to his left eye socket, which required surgery and are "confident" people "will have seen exactly what happened", so ask them to come forward.

Lunchtime headlines: Herts 'giant' woodpile fire man escapes from prison... Zafira cars recalled due to engine problems

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

The top stories this lunchtime:

  • A man from Hertfordshire who admitted responsibility for a fire in Essex that burned for two months has escaped prison 
  • Luton-based Vauxhall recalls more than 234,000 Zafiras for a second time because of an engine problem that has caused some cars to burst into flames

Alastair Cook: The redemption of the England captain

BBC Sport

BBC Sport takes a look back at some of the key milestones on the road to redemption for England captain Alastair Cook, from the 5-0 Ashes whitewash Down Under in 2014 to becoming England's highest-scoring Test batsman and beyond.

Cook, who started his career in Bedfordshire, needs just 36 runs against Sri Lanka at Headingley to beat Sachin Tendulkar's record as the youngest batsman to reach 10,000 Test runs.

Woman robbed in Harpenden home

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A young woman has been robbed in her Harpenden home by three men in balaclavas wielding a baseball bat.

The Common, Harpenden

The victim was in the house on the Common on Saturday evening after her parents had gone out when the men forced their way in at about 22:00.

They stole a heavy safe loading it into the woman's brown Honda 4x4 vehicle which they then made off in.

Det Sgt Karen Lewis said: "We believe the offenders arrived at the location in another vehicle and parked some distance away from the address, so I would also like to speak to anyone who saw three white men acting suspiciously in the area."

#TBT of Bedford town

Bedford Borough Council have been celebrating Throwback Thursday on Twitter today, where people share memories and photographs of days gone by.

This sepia photograph of the town was taken 77 years ago.

View more on twitter

Local artist paints Stowe gardens every single day

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

How lovely is this story from the Advertiser Review, about a Buckinghamshire artist who painted Stowe Gardens every day...

Stowe Bridge in Stowe Gardens
Buckinghamshire County Council

The paper writes: Stowe-based artist Debs Last spent 2015 recording the changing seasons and the play of light on the National Trust gardens at Stowe, creating a new painting every single day.

Read more here.

Herts man responsible for two month fire in Essex escapes jail

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A man from Hertfordshire who admitted responsibility for a fire in Essex that burned for two months has escaped prison.

Mountnessing fire
Essex Fire and Rescue

The 5,000-tonne woodpile fire on Thoby Lane in Mountnessing in 2014 cost the fire service nearly £500,000 to put out. Crews remained at the site for the equivalent of 62 days between 18 August and 16 October.

Joshua John O'Malley, 26, of Vale Court, Wheathampstead, the director of the waste site at the time, pleaded guilty to negligence in connection with the blaze at Chelmsford Crown Court, and sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years.

He admitted charges of operating a waste storage and treatment facility without being authorised by an environmental permit, and one of treating waste "in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health".

Dog poo tales bid to give offenders 'paws' for thought

Jessica Cooper

BBC Three Counties Radio

If there's one thing on which everybody has an opinion it's a dog poo story, so here's another one:

Stencil on the pavement

Flamstead parish council in Hertfordshire has come up with a creative way to tackle people who fail to pick up after their dog - they've sent The Dog Poo Tales in an email to residents which it hopes will give serial offenders "paws" for thought.

The six short chapters include information about how enforcement officers from Dacorum Borough Council will monitor key areas - while for those who are worried about naming and shaming regular offenders there's a phone number and email to anonymously report them.

Dons could face Wimbledon next season

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

Fans of local football teams may have considered their season to be over and are just counting the days until August, but MK Dons supporters will probably want to keep an eye on the League Two play-offs.

Lyle Taylor, AFC Wimbledon
Getty Images

AFC Wimbledon are just one game away from facing them in League One next season which would be their first League meeting since the old Wimbledon moved to Milton Keynes.

Wimbledon drew 2-2 after extra-time at Accrington Stanley last night, to go through 3-2 on aggregate to face Plymouth at Wembley on 30 May for a place in League One.

Luton Airport says Hackney Carriage drivers 'will be encouraged' to join new company

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

London Luton Airport say Hackney Carriage drivers from the town will be encouraged to apply to join the company awarded the contract to ply for trade there.

Luton drivers say jobs will be lost after London-based Addison Lee was awarded the airport contract which starts next month.

Commercial director Rupert Lawrie told the BBC Addison Lee had written to all the drivers inviting them to open days as they were "really keen" to transfer as many as possible over. 

The taxi firm has also said they would organise leasing of the new cars so drivers won't have to pay an upfront cost. 

Luton Hackney Carriage drivers say 'driver jobs will be lost'

Tony Fisher

BBC Three Counties Radio

Hackney Carriage drivers in Luton say jobs will be lost because they will no longer be allowed to ply for trade at Luton Airport.

London Luton Airport

For more than a decade the drivers have been able to sit at the rank outside the main terminal waiting for customers. At the end of June that will change after rival taxi firm Addison Lee was awarded the airport contract.  

London Luton Airport say the taxi drivers have been kept informed all the way about the possible changes and the tender was awarded in line with European legislation. 

The Hackney Carriage drivers will still be allowed to pick up and drop off on pre-arranged bookings.

Severed head search: No further remains found so far

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Detectives investigating the discovery of a human head have so far failed to find any more remains at a construction site in Sharnbrook.

Police search at Sharnbrook
South Beds News Agency

A post-mortem examination yesterday came back "inconclusive". It failed to identify the gender, but revealed the victim probably died before 2015.

The head, thought to have come from the Sharnbrook site, was discovered at a quarry in Cambridgeshire on Monday.

Watford keeper Gomes voted player of the season

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

The Hornets may be without a manager at the moment, but last night they were celebrating a successful campaign where for the first time they stayed in the Premier League after one season.

Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was voted the club's Player of the Season by both supporters and fellow players.

Gomes finished ahead of Troy Deeney and Craig Cathcart in the public vote, and collected his trophy last night at the club's awards presentation at Wembley Stadium.

View more on twitter

High Wycombe MP accuses EU Remain campaign of 'petty smears'


A Buckinghamshire Conservative MP and a leading EU exit campaigner has criticised "petty tabloid smears" by the Remain campaign and suggested Downing Street is behind "vicious briefings" against his side.

Steve Baker

Steve Baker has called for an end to "personal nastiness" warning "deep divisions" in the party were emerging.

In an article for the Conservative Home website, Mr Baker, the co-chairman of Conservatives for Britain, said he had found the recent debate "breathtakingly disheartening".  

Downing Street has refused to comment on Mr Baker's remarks.

Today's weather: Fine and mostly dry

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Today looks like it's going to be a little bit warmer that recently. Early mist will clear quickly to leave a fine day with spells of sunshine and apart from the odd light afternoon shower, most places will stay dry. 

Maximum temperature: 18C (64F). 

Elizabeth Rizzini

Get the detailed forecast for where you live at BBC Weather.  

Latest headlines: High Wycombe MP in Brexit row... No remains found so far in Sharnbrook severed head search

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

Here are the top stories we're looking at this morning:

  • A Buckinghamshire Conservative MP has accused Downing Street of "viciously briefing" against Tories in favour of leaving the EU
  • Detectives investigating the discovery of a human head have so far failed to find any more remains at a construction site in Sharnbrook
  • Hackney Carriage drivers in Luton say jobs will be lost because they will no longer be allowed to ply for trade at Luton Airport

Welcome to Local Live in Beds, Herts and Bucks

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome to today's live page.

The big story over the past couple of days has been the news police have been searching a construction site in Sharnbrook in Bedfordshire after a severed head was found at a Cambridgeshire quarry. Yesterday we heard tests had revealed the victim probably died before 2015.

Sharnbrook search
South Beds News Agency

We'll be bringing you all the latest news on this story throughout the day, plus all the other news, sport, weather and travel from across the rest of the three counties.