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  1. Updates on Friday, 21 April 2017
  2. Millions to be spent on new missile systems
  3. 'Complex' investigation continues into Cheshunt care home fire
  4. Pupils march in protest against rubbish
  5. Charge to see Hertfordshire bluebells returns
  6. Goalkeeper David Martin to leave MK Dons

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

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Skipping world record attempt hailed a success

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Earlier we brought you a story that Peter Thompson, from Bedfordshire, was aiming to skip his way into the record books by carrying out the most crossovers in one minute. 

Well we've just been told he managed 112, which is 13 more than the current world record.

It now just needs to be verified by the Guinness World Records.

Peter Thompson skipping
Limelight TV
Peter Thompson skipping
Limelight TV
Sam Clucas

Jamie Strickland

BBC Sport

Hull City play for an hour with 10 men but claim a gutsy victory against Watford to stay outside the relegation zone.

Read more

Goodbye for now

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

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

Have a good weekend.

Teacher completes 28-mile walk to school

A head teacher has completed her 28-mile walk from her home in Rugby to Brackley Junior School.

Promoting the Healthy Schools Project, Ros Peet set off at 04:30 and made it to school at about 15:00.

Ros Peet said: "My children were waiting at the gate with a lovely reception singing One More Step Along the World I Go.

"When I got to Helmdom, which is about four miles from school, my feet started hurting and I did wonder if I'd get there."

She's raised about £800 the School Fund.

Teenager denies brother's murder

Helen Burchell

BBC News

A teenager has denied murdering his brother.

Brandon Lavender, 18, of Brompton Close, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, is accused of stabbing Daniel Lavender, 26, on 16 January. 

He was taken to hospital but died later.

The accused appeared at Reading Crown Court earlier, and denied murder. He is expected to face a trial at the same court on 12 June.

Weather: Cloudy with bright spells and much cooler

BBC Weather

A largely cloudy night with some patchy light rain pushing down from the north. The winds becoming light and variable and lowest temperatures around 6C (43F). 

Weather graphic
BBC weather

Once the last of any overnight rain has cleared, Saturday will be relatively cloudy with odd showers feeding southwards. There should be some bright or sunny spells and a top temperature of 13C (55F).

A cold start to Sunday with a touch of frost in places, it’ll then be largely dry with some brightness and sunshine at times and the small chance of a shower. Temperatures again reaching around 13C (55F) at best.

BBC Weather has more local forecasts.

Millions coming to A&E hospitals

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

The government has allocated about £3.5m to hospitals in Beds, Bucks and Herts to help them deal with winter pressures in accident and emergency departments. 

The announcement was made in the Budget, but where the money is being sent has only just been released. 

Here's a breakdown of who's getting what: 

  • Bedford Hospital NHS Trust, £850,000. 
  • Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, £995,000
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, £1m
  • East And North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, £596,976
Milton Keynes Hospital
Geograph/Mr Biz

BreakingThatched cottage on fire

Fire crews are dealing with a "significant" blaze at a thatched cottage in Easton Maudit, between Wellingborough and Olney.

More details to follow...

Warburtons factory could close in Milton Keynes

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

The bakery giant Warburtons has announced it's planning to close its factory in Milton Keynes, putting 218 jobs at risk. 

The firm, based at the Giles Bakery on the Blakelands Industrial Site, has been run by Warburtons since a take-over in 2013, and makes a range of products including garlic bread.

Giles Bakery

In a statement, Warburtons said: "After much consideration we have made the extremely difficult decision to enter into a period of consultation.

"This proposal is a result of significant ongoing challenges facing the business and is despite considerable time and financial investment."  

School children help clean up MK rubbish

Stuart Ratcliffe

BBC Look East

Pupils from schools in Milton Keynes have already started to do their bit to improve their community, by carrying out litter picks.

View more on twitter

Man killed in van crash

A man has died after a white van he was in crashed near Brackley.

Northamptonshire Police said a Renault Trafic lost control "for reasons unknown" at the Duck End junction in Hinton-in-the-Hedges, at about 12:30, and rolled on to its side.

Three people were in the van, which was the only vehicle involved in the crash.

Police said they were still informing next-of-kin.

Pupils march in protest against rubbish

Stuart Ratcliffe

BBC Look East

Hundreds of children from six schools in Milton Keynes have marched to the council's offices this afternoon, calling for improvements to be made to the town's Redways.

The pupils have come together to show that they are unhappy about the amount of rubbish that's being dumped on the cycleways and footpaths, and want to help clear it up. 

Milton Keynes school children

They're asking Milton Keynes Council to support new litter patrols, improve lighting and cut back hedges.

We've asked the council to comment.

Have you ever wondered how you can become a candidate in the election?

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

If Theresa May's recent announcement of a snap election in June has made you yearn to be an MP, here are a few guidelines for you to consider.

You can't stand if you're:

  • Under 18
  • A member of the police forces
  • A member of the armed forces
  • A civil servant, a judge or a peer
  • You're subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order or a debt relief restrictions order
House of Commons

If none of those conditions preclude you, and you're either a British citizen, a citizen of the  Republic of Ireland or a commonwealth country (with certain provisos) then you're over the first hurdle, and will need to consider these regulations:

  • You need a completed set of nomination forms and a deposit of £500 
  • You also need an election agent
  • You probably want to plan and run a campaign

There - it's almost as simple as that. So what's stopping you? I'm off now to see how much money is in my piggy bank.

Severe accident: A1 Cambridgeshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A1 Cambridgeshire northbound severe accident, between B1041 Great North Road and Bell Lane.

A1 Cambridgeshire - A1 Great North Road in Little Paxton closed and queuing traffic northbound between Little Paxton Turn Off and Southoe Turn Off, because of an accident.

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

Anti-speeding device 'stolen from village'

Thieves have stolen a speed monitoring device which was placed in a village to remind motorists of the 30mph limit, police say.

It was installed by Highways England on Deanshanger Road in Wicken, near Milton Keynes.

When officials went to check it last week, only the mounting bracket was left on the post, Northamptonshire Police said.

It is thought to have been taken some time between 9 and 11 March.

Deanshanger Road, Wicken with "Please Drive Slowly" sign

Arrests made in Hackney club acid attack

Carol Abercrombie

BBC Three Counties Radio

Police investigating the acid attack in a nightclub in Hackney have arrested a man in north London. 

Arthur Collins (pictured), 25, from Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, is still being sought by police. 

A 33-year-old woman from Hertfordshire arrested on suspicion of firearms offences yesterday has been released on bail.

Officers have also searched addresses in Milton Keynes.

Arthur Collins
Met Police

Dunstable theatre celebrates 10th birthday

The Grove Theatre in Dunstable is celebrating its 10th birthday... 

View more on twitter

Teen's software 'behind more than one million cyber attacks'

Angus Crawford

BBC News correspondent

The Old Bailey has today heard how a Hertfordshire teenager created the software behind more than 1.7 million cyber attacks on websites around the world. 

Adam Mudd, who's now 19, from Kings Langley, has already pleaded guilty to three charges of creating the malware and selling it to other people.

The hearing was told he built the "Titanium Stresser" tool on a computer in his bedroom, when he was just 15.

Today, the prosecution described how the software was used to attack the servers of Cambridge University, Sony PlayStation and XBox.

One company, Runescape, had to spend £6m protecting itself against such attacks and lost more than £180,000 in revenue, the court heard.

Mudd is said to have made £386,000 from the software. He is due to be sentenced on Tuesday.

'Complex' investigation continues into Cheshunt care home fire

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

Investigations could continue for "some time" to find out the cause of a fire that ripped through a Cheshunt care home, killing two women. 

Ivy Spriggs, aged 91, and 88-year-old Daphne Holloway died in the fire at Newgrange Care Home on 8 April. 

Darryl Keen, chief fire officer of Hertfordshire Fire Service, said: "The extent of the damage and the fierceness of the fire mean this is a complex investigation and it may be some time before we can confirm how and why it started."

Cheshunt care home fire
Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue

He confirmed they're currently working with the police, Health and Safety Executive and Care Quality Commission "to examine how the fire started and spread, and what lessons, if any, can be learned to prevent similar tragedies in future".

Charge to see Hertfordshire bluebells returns

Tony Fisher

BBC Three Counties Radio

For the first time last year, the National Trust charged people to visit the bluebells at the popular Ashridge Estate in Hertfordshire. Well, the fees are returning this year.

On 29, 30 April and 1, 6 and 7 May, adults will have to pay £3 and children £1 to see the flowers in Dockey Wood.

Lawrence Trowbridge, the lead ranger at Ashridge Estate, said the charges were introduced to keep visitor numbers down and the £8,000 raised last year has been spent on "conservation work".

Bluebells in a wood
South Beds News Agency

He added that some people were "disappointed" with the fees, but "it's an effective means of calming the pressure down" when so many people descend on the area at peak times. 

Severe accident: M25 Greater London anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London anti-clockwise severe accident, between J25 for A10 and J24 for A111.

M25 Greater London - One lane blocked and heavy traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) and J24, A111 (Potters Bar), because of an accident involving lorry and a car.

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

Christian Walton

Southend United goalkeeper Christian Walton is hoping for the unusual accolade of promotion with three clubs in the same season.

Read more

50 MPs urge government support for Crossrail 2

More than 50 MPs have signed a letter to the chancellor and transport secretary urging them to support Crossrail 2. 

The proposed train line would serve stations across London, linking Surrey in the south with Hertfordshire in the north via an underground tunnel. 

Crossrail 2 map
Transport for London

The MPs say it would have a huge positive impact on the economy, jobs and homes.

Transport for London said it would like to see all political parties include Crossrail 2 in their manifestos. 

The Department for Transport says that the next government will need to consider the business case carefully, after the general election.

Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

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

M25 Hertfordshire - Stationary traffic on M25 clockwise between J22, A1081 (St Albans) and J23 A1(M), because of an accident involving three cars and a lorry and a rolling road-block.

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

Severe disruption: M25 Greater London clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London clockwise severe disruption, between J25 for A10 and J26 for A121.

M25 Greater London - Stationary traffic on M25 clockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) and J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey), because of a broken down car and a rolling road-block.

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

Man stabbed and robbed in Bedford

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A man had his face slashed as he was attacked by a group of men in a block of flats on Muswell Road in Bedford, police have said.

Bedfordshire Police has only just released the information about the incident, which happened between 16:20 and 16:40 on 12 April. It says three or four men stabbed him in the face and stole money from him. 

The men are described as black and were wearing balaclavas. 

Muswell Road

Would £539m missile money be better spent on health care?

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

Today I met the Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, after he announced more than £500m would be spent on "vital" missile systems at MBDA, which is based in Stevenage. 

I asked him if the money would have been better invested in the NHS or social care?

He said: "The first duty of any government is to keep our people safe, that means we have to invest in defence, invest in our armed forces and invest in the Royal Navy.

Sir Michael Fallon

"These contracts today are an investment in the latest missiles and missiles systems that will keep our ships, our frigates, destroyers and aircraft carriers safe, just as they keep the people of this country safe."

Weather prospects for Sunday's marathon

Severe disruption: M1 Hertfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Hertfordshire southbound severe disruption, between J9 for A5 and J7 for .

M1 Hertfordshire - One lane closed on M1 London-bound between J9, A5 (Redbourn) and J7, / (Junction 8 Hemel Hempstead), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Jump to it!

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

When I was young (sadly too long ago) no playground was complete without a large number of girls skipping in the break times.

I think I could do just a few jumps, but one Bedfordshire man can do many more!

Peter Thompson will today attempt to break the World Record for the most number of crossovers performed with a skipping rope in 60 seconds.

Peter Thompson

He's due to attempt the record at 12:00 at the Empire nightclub in Bedford, on, of course... National Skipping Day.

Missile investment will 'secure hundreds of high-skilled jobs'

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

The £539m announced today by the government will be spent on three new missile contracts at MBDA Stevenage.

The government says the deal will "ensure our Armed Forces have the best equipment available to protect the new Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers and the extended fleet from current and future threats".

Sir Michael Fallon in Stevenage

Dave Armstrong, managing director of MBDA UK, said he was "delighted" with the news. 

He added that it would provide the armed forces with "new cutting-edge capabilities and ensuring their current systems remain relevant for the future.

"They will also help to secure hundreds of high-skilled people at MBDA UK and in the UK supply chain."

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe disruption, between J4B for M25 and J5 for A4.

M4 Berkshire - One lane blocked on M4 westbound in Richings Park between J4b M25 and J5, A4 (Langley), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Missile investment is a 'testament to your skills'

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

This is the moment that Sir Michael Fallon made the multi-million pound announcement at MBDA in Stevenage.

View more on twitter

Millions to be spent on new missile systems

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

The government has announced a £539m investment in new missile systems that should protect jobs at sites in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

The Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon made the announcement at MBDA in Stevenage this morning.

Sir Michael Fallon at MBDA

The money should sustain 130 jobs at the company's four sites in the UK, including Stevenage, and Henlow in Bedfordshire.

Teacher taking 30 mile trek in to school to encourage benefits of a healthy lifestyle

Were you thinking of walking in to work today, but decided you didn't have the energy?

Well, it's time to hang your head in shame and pay tribute to Brackley head teacher Rosalyne Peet.

She's currently taking a very long walk in to school today - more than 30 miles. The idea is to encourage her pupils to adopt a more healthy lifestyle.

Let's hope she makes it in time for registration... 

Goalkeeper David Martin to leave MK Dons

BBC Sport

MK Dons have announced goalkeeper David Martin will leave the club at the end of the season.

David Martin

The 31-year-old has made more than 330 appearances in two spells, but says it's time to pursue a new challenge.

He said: "We have our last home game of the season on Saturday and it will be my chance to say farewell to our amazing fans." 


Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

With three games to go, 10 League Two teams are still in with a realistic shot at the play-offs.

Read more