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  1. Unite leader to visit Luton Vauxhall plant
  2. Hygiene concerns lead to school pupils ditching red nose
  3. Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton dominates Australian Grand Prix practice
  4. Luton girls choir reunited after 40 years
  5. Updates on Friday, 24 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

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Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it from all of us here at Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

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

We'll leave you with some blooming marvellous pictures from the BBC Weather Watchers ...

Hyacinths in Milton Keynes
Daisies in Hitchin
Daffodil in Stevenage

Have a great weekend everyone. 

Weather: Chance of frost tonight, but sunshine tomorrow

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

It will be a dry night with mainly clear skies and possibly a few fog patches. 

There could be a touch of frost in sheltered spots, with a low of 2C (36F).


After a chilly start, Saturday should be fine and dry with long spells of sunshine. 

There'll be a light to moderate north-easterly wind and inland temperatures could reach about 14C (57F).

There's more at BBC Weather .

'Places you'd never expect to see a film'

Gareth Lloyd

BBC Three Counties Radio

A pop-up cinema is celebrating local attractions with film screenings across Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

The Chilterns Vintage Cinema, created by Darren and Deborah Henderson, launched on 16 March.

The cinema started with a showing of Four Weddings and a Funeral at Kings Chapel in Old Amersham, where some of the film's scenes were filmed.

Venues on the tour include Hellfire Caves in High Wycombe, the Natural History Museum at Tring and the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in Quainton.

Dead puppies found dumped in bag

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

An investigation has been launched after the bodies for four newborn puppies were discovered in a carrier bag near the Nickey Line footpath in Hemel Hempstead. 

The grim discovery was made by a woman yesterday, on National Puppy Day, who called the local dog warden.

Dogs in a bag

The RSPCA was then alerted and the charity said the dogs, thought to be Staffordshire bull terriers, may have come from an unplanned litter and the mother could be at risk. 

"The reality is that unscrupulous breeders and sellers looking to make money out of the puppy trade means awful things are happening to puppies on a regular basis, and the RSPCA is having to pick up the pieces," a spokesman said.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the  RSPCA or Dacorum Borough Council

Rugby union: Walsham challenged to win last four games

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

North Walsham 's Head of Rugby James Brooks is challenging his players to win all of their last four matches of the season. 

The Vikings are fourth in London One North and go to Letchworth this weekend. 

James Brooks

Brooks, a former Northampton player, joined the club in the summer and said: "The guys seem to be enjoying their rugby, they're certainly playing well as the moment so to come away with the last four games as wins would be fantastic."

Severe accident: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe accident, between J5 for A4 and J6 for A355 Slough.

M4 Berkshire - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M4 westbound between J5, A4 (Langley) and J6, A355 (Slough), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Colchester United check Garvan's fitness

BBC Sport

Colchester United will check on the fitness of Owen Garvan (pictured) before confirming their squad for tomorrow's League Two match at home to Luton .

Owen Garvan
Getty Images

The midfielder's been carrying a knee injury. 

Defender Richard Brindley's pushing for a start after returning to action during the 2-0 defeat at Crewe last weekend.  

Travel: Train lines around Milton Keynes re-open

BBC News Travel

After emergency services dealt with an incident by Kings Langley, lines have now reopened. 

All services by London Midland and Virgin Trains are getting back to normal, but delays and cancellations are expected throughout the afternoon. 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Severe accident: M1 Buckinghamshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Buckinghamshire southbound severe accident, between J14 for A509 and J13 for A421.

M1 Buckinghamshire - Two lanes blocked and queuing traffic on M1 southbound between J14, A509 (Milton Keynes) and J13, A421 (Bedford), because of an accident involving a lorry and a car.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Not feeling so chipper now, are you?

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Now this is taking "Chip Friday" to the extreme...

This van, stopped in Hemel Hempstead, had gained a few pounds after its owners force-fed it with French fries - coming up on the scales a whopping 2.5 tonnes (2,268kg) over the legal limit.

View more on twitter

It was subsequently put on a crash diet by the police.  

Vauxhall meeting taking place to make sure 'there's a future' in Luton

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

A meeting is taking place between the general secretary of the Unite union, Len McClucksy, and shop stewards at the Luton Vauxhall plant. 

Ahead of those talks I managed to talk to him. He told me he was here to "understand what some of the ongoing issues are", to find out what the "mood is like" and to "make sure our members feel comfortable, and have a future here".

He added he wanted to "make certain that this plant is here for a long time to come". 

Vauxhall Luton plant
Getty Images
Leigh Morris

Hundreds of "horrendous" images were found on his computers and mobile phone.

Read more

Commuters late for work after Thameslink delays

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Commuters have been feeling the impact of train disruptions on the Thameslink line through Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

Following a broken down train this morning, services have been cancelled or delayed by up to 35 minutes and disruption is expected until 16:00.

Laura-Jane Silverman sent us this photo, explaining there were big queues at St Albans station this morning.

It took her two hours to get into West Hampstead, causing her to miss a big meeting. 

She's hoping for an easier return journey.

St Albans railway station
The Train Suffererjettes

Thameslink has been tweeting the latest information and updating its website

National League

Luton Town goalkeeper Liam Gooch joins Biggleswade Town on loan after a similar deal with Kettering was terminated.

Read more

Travel: Train lines blocked

BBC News Travel

Due to the ongoing incident at Kings Langley, coaches will be running between Northampton and Watford Junction on all London Midland services.

Alternative transport will also run between Northampton and Wellingborough.

View more on twitter

Virgin Trains  has also cancelled services between Milton Keynes Central and Watford Junction.

Tickets are now being accepted via other routes.

Travel: Delays on London Midland and Virgin trains

BBC News Travel

There are more train problems in and out of London...

Due to emergency services dealing with an incident close to Kings Langley, all lines are currently blocked.

It's affecting services on London Midland and Virgin trains through Beds, Bucks, Herts and Northants. 

Delays of up to 30 minutes are expected until 14:00 and services may be cancelled.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

No red noses 'a little over the top', says microbiologist

Jonathan Vernon-Smith

BBC Three Counties Radio

Following on from the news that a Bedfordshire school has rejected wearing red noses today over hygiene fears, we've spoken to a medical expert about what they think.

Dr Andrew Nealt is a microbiologist at the Hertfordshire-based Rothamsted Research Institute. 

He told me  it all seemed "a little bit over the top", as children are always spreading germs and are not the best at personnel hygiene as they don't always wash their hands. 

Red Nose
Comic Relief

Headteacher Melanie Mercer said there were many cold and sickness bugs going around the school and there were fears the germs could spread if pupils shared noses.

She said it was the school council that brought up the issue in assembly and the children voted against wearing them.

She added that pupils were celebrating Red Nose Day in lots of other ways.

Thameslink trains to be delayed for the rest of the day

BBC News Travel

Commuters on Thameslink trains travelling through Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire into London are due to face disruption into the afternoon.

An earlier broken down train means some services are being cancelled or delayed by up to 35 minutes. Disruption is expected until 16:00. 

All lines have re-opened, but the company says it's running "a very limited service" and is asking for your patience. 

No red noses to stop germs being spread, says headteacher

Jonathan Vernon-Smith

BBC Three Counties Radio

As we reported earlier, pupils at one school in Bedfordshire have voted against wearing  Comic Relief red noses  because of hygiene concerns. 

Melanie Mercer, headteacher of Aspley Guise Lower School, told my show  it had been hit by a spate of colds and sickness, and didn't want germs to be spread. 

However, she said the school would be spending the day fundraising in lots of other ways. 

Red Nose

We asked Comic Relief to comment, and the charity said: "Wearing Red Noses is just one of hundreds of ways schools all over the country are getting involved in Red Nose Day. 

"We are incredibly grateful to each and every school for their support, however they show it."

Tell us what you're getting up to for Red Nose Day and send your pictures and videos to us via FacebookTwitter  or email .

Girls choir reunited after 40 years

Nicola Haseler

BBC Three Counties

A girls choir has reunited after 40 years to coincide with the reopening of a museum in the town.

The choir folded in 1977 after the founder Arthur Davies died.

Mr Davies started the choir in 1936 in a baptist church in Luton, before opening up membership to the rest of the town, at the request of the mayor.

Former members have reunited to sing at the reopening of the Wardown Park Museum in April.

The museum has been closed since March 2016 to undergo £3.5m of redevelopment.

Luton Girls Choir reunited after folding when the founder died in 1977

Severe disruption: M25 Essex anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J26 for A121 and J25 for A10.

M25 Essex - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Hygiene concerns lead to school pupils ditching red nose

Jonathan Vernon-Smith

BBC Three Counties Radio

Today is Red Nose Day , but children at a Bedfordshire school aren't wearing the brightly-coloured noses because of hygiene concerns.

Aspley Guise Lower School

There are fears that if pupils at  Aspley Guise Lower School  drop them and put another child's red nose on they could spread germs.

Headteacher Melanie Mercer told my show  it was the children who voted in an assembly not to wear the noses.

We've contacted Comic Relief for comment.

Unite leader to visit Luton Vauxhall plant

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

The leader of the Unite union is due to visit members at the Vauxhall plant in Luton today, following the decision by General Motors to sell its European operations to French company PSA .

Vauxhall production line

The union said general secretary Len McClusky will be updating shop stewards on the current situation.

Mr McCluskey said he's confident it can convince PSA the plant is an asset with a long-term future beyond the current production run of the Vivaro van.

He said the plant sustains as many as 35,000 jobs in the supply chain and local service sector.

PSA, which owns Peugeot and Citroen, has already pledged to keep Vauxhall's British plants open for the time being.

Lewis Hamilton dominates Australian Grand Prix practice

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer in Melbourne

Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton put in a scintillating performance to set the pace in second practice at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

He was 0.547secs clear of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in second, who was just 0.009secs quicker than Hamilton's Brackley-based Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton's margin over Bottas will raise questions over whether it is car or driver that has the advantage.

Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two in first practice earlier.

London attack: Masood's ex-neighbour 'sickened'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

As it emerged the man responsible for the London terror attack had lived in Luton, two neighbours remember a man answering his description living in Dunraven Avenue.

Denzel and Katie Garriques
South Beds News Agency
Denzel and Katie Garriques, who lived opposite London attacker Khalid Masood

School teacher Katie Garriques, 48, (pictured right) who lives opposite the house linked to Khalid Masood, said she was "sickened".

"He said 'hello' to me and that's all I knew about him I'm afraid," she said.

"I've lived here since 2001 and I also live in a community which I believe look after each other, [so] I'm very saddened.

"As far as I know he had two children at the time he was here - I would say he was a house husband.

"I'm proud to work in Luton, I'm proud to work in a diverse culture, and I'm sorry that I didn't know more about him whereby I could at least inform the community and do my public duty."

London attack: Killer Khalid Masood linked to Luton

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

It's emerged that the man responsible for the London terror attack had previously lived in Luton .

Khalid Masood

The BBC understands that Khalid Masood - the 52-year-old man who drove a car into pedestrians before fatally stabbing a policeman - lived at two addresses in the town about six years ago, in Dunraven Avenue and The Meads.

Born in Kent in December 1964, Masood most recently lived in the West Midlands. The BBC believes he also lived at an address in east London in recent years.

The Metropolitan Police says he was also known by a number of aliases.

Weather: Cloudy at first, breezy with sunshine later

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

This morning will be cloudy and breezy, but dry. The cloud will gradually break up during the afternoon, so it will become sunny and mild later with a high of 12C (54F).

There are more details on the BBC Weather website .

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

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome to another day of live updates from Beds, Herts and Bucks. We'll be here from now until 18:00 bringing you the very latest news, sport, weather and travel.

This morning we'll bring you more on the emerging news that the man responsible for the London terror attack had previously lived in Luton.

Also today, a Hertfordshire MP has used an adjournment debate in Parliament to say a waste company behind a proposed incinerator near Hoddesdon colluded with two public bodies so it could get approval. 

On a much lighter note, it's Red Nose Day , which means fancy dress, bake sales, silly challenges and of course red noses, all to raise money for projects in the UK and Africa.   

Lenny Henry

Let us know what you're doing today by  emailFacebook  or  Twitter .  

Severe accident: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe accident, between J12 for A5120 and J13 for A421.

M1 Bedfordshire - Two lanes closed on M1 northbound between J12, A5120 (Flitwick) and J13, A421 (Bedford), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe accident, between J24 for A111 and J25 for A10.

M25 Hertfordshire - Two lanes closed and very slow traffic on M25 clockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of an accident involving two cars.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe accident, between J22 for A1081 and J23 for A1.

M25 Hertfordshire - Very slow traffic and one lane closed on M25 clockwise between J22, A1081 (St Albans) and J23 A1(M), because of an accident involving two cars.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe accident, between J21 for M1 and J20 for A41 affecting J21A for A405.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J21 M1 and J20, A41 (Kings Langley), because of an accident involving two cars and one van. Congestion to J21a, A405 (St Albans).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

That's all for today

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

Thanks for your company.

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow with your latest news, weather, travel and sport updates - but any breaking news will be posted here overnight.

Have a good evening - we'll be spending our time in the kitchen preparing for the Comic Relief Bake Off tomorrow - we'll try and save you a slice.

Tempsford garden

Severe disruption: M25 Surrey anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Surrey anti-clockwise severe disruption, at J12 for M3 affecting J14 for A3113 Airport Way.

M25 Surrey - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise at J12 M3, because of a broken down car. Congestion to J14, A3113 (Heathrow Terminal 4).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Overnight weather: Turning cloudy from the east

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

A chilly but bright end to the day with sunny spells across the BBC East region.  

It will turn a little cloudy from the east during the evening and overnight, but the breeze will keep temperatures a little higher, with lows in the west dropping to 3 or 4C (37-40F).

Friday afternoon's weather map

On Friday, any early cloud will clear to give brighter weather with sunny spells.  

Feeling warmer than today in many places, but still cooler on the coast in the north-easterly wind. 

Top temperature 12C (54F).

Wherever you live, you can get a full forecast from BBC Weather .

From the archives: Where did you get that hat?

          Some of the 100 dozen straw boaters made daily by Messrs Olney's of Luton, Bedfordshire being carried to the packing rooms 1933
Getty Images

This photo was taken 84 years ago this month and shows some of the straw boaters made by Messrs Olney's of Luton.

It was founded in 1914 and is still operating from Luton.

Traffic police still catching drivers using their mobile phone

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Take a look at this.

Despite new laws coming into force on 1 March, doubling the fine for drivers caught on the phone, the Beds, Cambs and Herts Roads Policing Unit is still catching HGV drivers in the act.  

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Anyone caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel will now receive a fine of £200, and six points on their licence.