Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Updates on Friday, 30 June 2017
  2. Arsonists destroy outdoor classroom
  3. MP want Tesco staff to know about job loses ASAP
  4. Porters to wear dresses at protest of suspension
  5. Two cottages severely damaged in 'deliberate' fire

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

So another week has come and gone, so that means Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks has also finished for this week.

Don't worry, we'll be back at 08:00 on Monday with yet more news, sport, travel and weather.

I hope you have a great weekend. I'm off to AmpRocks with 6,500 other people.

Here's a special preview of the DJ decks from the main stage. It's gonna get loud!

AmpRocks DJ decks
BBC

See you again soon.

Water way to have fun!

A bit of a splash will be made in Watford tomorrow when the brand new £2.8m Cassiobury Park hub and paddling pools officially open to the public.

The park with 30 state-of-the-art splash pads, water jets and fountains, is next to two new paddling pools.

Children in water park
Watford Borough Council

It looks like it's already been tried out and is proving popular...

Children in water park
Watford Borough Council

There are raised "push buttons" for children to control the water flow and flat surfaces for children with disabilities to enjoy a paddle.

Children in water park
Watford Borough Council

The work is part of a £6.6m regeneration of Cassiobury Park, funded by Watford Borough Council and a National Lottery grant of about £5m.

It's due to open at 11:00.

Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe accident, between J18 for A404 and J17 for A412 affecting J21 for M1.

M25 Hertfordshire - Delays and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J18, A404 (Chorleywood) and J17, A412 (Maple Cross), because of an accident involving a lorry and four cars earlier on. On the hard shoulder. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J21 M1.

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

Appeal to rebuild fire-damaged outdoor classroom and donkey stable

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A fundraising page has already been set up to raise funds to rebuild a special school classroom and donkey stable damaged by fire last night.

An appeal has started to try and collect £37,000 to replace the razed outdoor classroom and build a new shelter that housed donkeys Edwards and Issac.

Edward and Issac
Matthew Colley

Matthew Colley, the animal care manager at the school who set up the campaign, says the donkeys "are loved by the children at St Luke's, some of whom have complex needs".

"The outdoor classroom was purpose built to be accessible to the children in wheelchairs who benefit greatly from learning outside the classroom."

Weather: Cloudy with some showers expected

Dan Holley

BBC Look East weather

Cloudy with outbreaks of showery rain but becoming drier later with a few clear intervals.

Weather chart
BBC

Temperatures will only fall to 12C (54F) in a strengthening northwesterly wind but Saturday may start cloudy.

Any patchy rain will soon clear to leave a mostly dry day with sunny spells and areas of cloud but just the small chance of an isolated light shower.

Maximum Temperature 23C (73F).

More details from BBC Weather.

Mayor 'doesn't know' where missing chain is

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

The mayor of St Albans and his wife are "retracing our footsteps" to try and find a missing mayoral chain.

The piece of official regalia, worn by the mayor's consort, hasn't been seen for several days.

Iqbal Zia says: "We don’t know exactly when this chain went missing, nor the circumstances of its disappearance. Indeed, we are still hoping that it will turn up.

"We don't know if it has been taken, or whether it has been misplaced.

"We had an incident at our house on Wednesday when our alarm was triggered and the police were called to the property.

"At the time, it didn't look like anything was out of place, but we can't help wondering now whether the chain was taken then. We simply don't know."

Mayoral chain
St Albans City and District Council

The piece dates from 1907 and consists of an 18-carat gold shield-shaped body, mounted with the enamelled Arms of the City.

An inscription on the back reads "presented to the corporation of St Albans for the use of the mayoress by Mrs W. S. Green, 1936".

'Devious and manipulative' wrestling promoter jailed for grooming young fan

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A Northampton man who used to run wrestling events in Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard and Milton Keynes, has been jailed after grooming a 12-year-old fan.

Steven Biggs, 40, of Northumbria Gardens, Northampton, used to run Total Action Wrestling.

He was told by a judge at Luton Crown Court he had been "manipulative and devious" towards the girl, who was infatuated with him and two other wrestlers.

Biggs pleaded not guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming and engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

He was found guilty by a jury on Thursday and jailed for 18 months today. He was also given a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, stating he can't have unsupervised contact with girls aged under 16.

The mother of the girl, who's now 14, said in a statement her daughter's childhood had been stolen and irreparable damage had been done to her.

Lack of space at burial ground causing upset for residents

David Lumb

BBC News Online

Residents of Haddenham in Buckinghamshire are being forced to find alternative places to bury their loved ones after a local graveyard ran out of room.

The churchyard at St Mary's closed in February.

A new housing estate is being built with a new burial site, but that might take several years to complete.

St Mary's graveyard
BBC

Freda Dorrell, a resident in the village, said the current situation was "unacceptable".

She said people were "not happy" as alternatives plots had to be found further away, and she knew of one person who was cremated instead of being buried as they originally wished.

She said the new site was there but not yet ready, adding: "Somebody needs to get their act together and get things moving."

Reverend Margot Hodson St
BBC

Margot Hodson (pictured), the vicar of St Mary's, told us: "I was personally devastated that we couldn't keep open until we found another option."

The company behind the new development, Dandara, said it bought the land with planning permission for housing, public open space and a burial ground, and had been working with the parish council on the proposed cemetery "for some time".

"We are aware of the acute need for burial facilities in Haddenham and whilst we are not legally obligated to deliver the burial ground until the end of the development, we will look at opportunities to bring this forward," a spokesman said.

Severe accident: A41 Buckinghamshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A41 Buckinghamshire both ways severe accident, between Kingswood Lane and B4011.

A41 Buckinghamshire - A41 blocked and very slow traffic in both directions between the Kingswood Lane junction in Kingswood and Thame Turn Off in Blackthorn, because of an accident involving two vehicles.

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

Severe accident: M1 Bedfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire southbound severe accident, between J13 for A421 and J12 for A5120 affecting Newport Pagnell Services.

M1 Bedfordshire - One lane closed, queuing traffic and long delays on M1 southbound between J13, A421 (Bedford) and J12, A5120 (Flitwick), because of a multi-vehicle accident. Congestion to Newport Pagnell Services.

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

Arsonists destroy outdoor classroom

This is all that's left of a recently built outdoor classroom at a special school in Redbourn, after arsonists set fire to it.

The barn structure in the grounds of St Luke's School on Crouch Hall Lane was burned down overnight.

Burnt outdoor classroom
Hertfordshire Police

Two donkeys that were stabled close by were found unharmed this morning by police wandering on Redbourn Lane, between the Redbourn roundabout and Harpenden Golf Club.

Burnt outdoor classroom
Hertfordshire Police

PC Richard Donbavand, from Hertfordshire Police, said: "This incident has deprived the school of their outdoor classroom, which will cost a significant amount of money to replace."

Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe accident, between J22 for A1081 and J23 for A1 affecting J21A for A405.

M25 Hertfordshire - Stationary traffic on M25 clockwise between J22, A1081 (St Albans) and J23 A1(M), because of a rolling road-block and an accident involving a car and a lorry. Congestion to J21a, A405 (St Albans).

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

Severe accident: M25 Greater London clockwise

BBC News Travel

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

M25 Greater London - One lane blocked and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) and J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey), because of an accident involving three cars.

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

Severe disruption: M25 Surrey anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Surrey anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J13 for A30 and J12 for M3 affecting J15 for M4.

M25 Surrey - Queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J13, A30 (Staines) and J12 M3, because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J15 M4.

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

Severe disruption: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

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

M1 Bedfordshire - Queuing traffic and one lane closed on M1 northbound between J12, A5120 (Flitwick) and J13, A421 (Bedford), because of a car fire.

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

Severe disruption: M40 Buckinghamshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Buckinghamshire southbound severe disruption, at J4 for A404.

M40 Buckinghamshire - M40 lane closed on exit slip road and slow traffic London-bound at J4, A404 (High Wycombe Handy Cross Roundabout), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

'Ampthill, are you ready!'

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

This scene is going to look rather different from about 17:30 tonight.

About 6,500 festival goers will descend on Ampthill for AmpRocks to see Human League, Busted and Cast perform.

Amprocks stage
BBC

The first round of tickets sold-out in 38 minutes and here are some interesting facts about the annual event.

  • The Friday night rock festival is eight years old, but Ampthill festival has been going for 37 years.
  • Three events are held over three days, AmpRocks tonight, Ampthill Park Proms on Saturday and the Gala Day on Sunday.
  • More than 60 volunteers help out at the not-for-profit event, with some helping since the start.
  • Festival workers can clock between 30,000 and 40,000 steps on busy days.
  • A team of cubs, scouts and volunteers clear the festival arena in about 90 minutes after the Friday evening. Across the weekend, the festival fills five skips of rubbish.
  • A staggering 1.5 tons (1500kg) of water bottles are consumed over the weekend.

Severe accident: M1 Hertfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Hertfordshire northbound severe accident, between J9 for A5 and J10 for M1 affecting J7 for .

M1 Hertfordshire - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M1 northbound between J9, A5 (Redbourn) and J10, M1 (Luton Airport Spur Road), because of an accident. Congestion to J7, / (Junction 8 Hemel Hempstead).

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

Severe accident: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe accident, at J5 for A4 affecting J4B for M25.

M4 Berkshire - Stationary traffic on M4 westbound at J5, A4 (Langley), because of an accident and a rolling road-block. Congestion to J4b M25.

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

Mother goes missing with two children

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A woman has gone missing with her two children after taking them from their legal guardian without permission.

Cheryl Wilkins, 31, is with Dylan Wilkins-Barnes, four, and Leo Wilkins, two, probably travelling on public transport, police said.

Cheryl Wilkins
Essex Police

Cheryl is white, 5ft 2ins tall, of slim build, with short brown hair and is believed to be wearing a long brown coat, light-coloured jeans and white trainers.

Dylan is white, 2ft 6ins tall, of slim build with brown collar-length hair. It is believed he may be wearing a grey coat and dark-coloured jogging bottoms.

Leo is white, 2ft 3ins tall, of slim build with brown shoulder length hair and is believed to be wearing a blue coat and dark-coloured jogging bottoms.

Dylan Wilkins-Barnes and Leo Wilkins
Essex Police

They were last seen on Canvey Island but Cheryl has links to St Albans, Hertfordshire, and South Ockendon.

"I need the public's help to find Cheryl, Dylan and Leo as soon as possible," Chief Insp Scott Cannon said.

"There is no indication that any harm has come to them but I am concerned for their welfare and I want to help them."

Tell staff about Tesco job losses ASAP, says MP

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The MP for Welwyn Hatfield is calling on Hertfordshire-based Tesco to tell workers as soon as possible who is losing their job.

About 1,200 losses were announced this week, which amounts to a quarter of its workforce in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield.

Conservative MP Grant Shapps believes it will be "later August" before people know about their future, and he wants the company to "keep people posted, up to speed" and have those meetings "quickly".

Tesco
Getty Images

Tesco says the job losses are "a significant next step to continue the turnaround of the business".

"We have made good progress so far in our turnaround but we have more to do," a spokesman said.

"We will work with colleagues to support them as we go through this important transition."

Porters to wear dresses at protest of suspension

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A group of male porters will wear dresses the next time temperatures soar, in protest against the suspension of a porter at Watford General Hospital.

Michael Wood rolled up his trousers during hot weather last week but was suspended by his employer Medirest.

Michael Wood
PA

Fifteen of his fellow porters met with the GMB union on Wednesday night to make the protest plans.

Mick Dooley, a regional officer from GMB, said the decision to take the action was "unanimous", adding "we have got to do what we have got to do".

The company released a statement, saying: "The health and safety of our colleagues is always our number one priority.

"We maintain an open dialogue with our people on such issues and due to the nature of their job and health and safety requirements, it is important that porters wear appropriate uniform at all times."

Power Court dispute: 'Two schemes are better than none'

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Luton Borough Council defended plans by the owners of The Mall shopping centre at an event yesterday after it faced criticism for opposing the move of the town's football stadium to Power Court.

As we reported earlier this week, Capital and Regional wants to use the site to build a mixed development (pictured below) of retail, catering, homes and offices, all set around a central public park.

Its proposals would see the new football stadium built in Stockwood Park, which goes against a separate plan backed by Luton Town Football Club and 2020 Developments.

Capital and Regional's plans for Power Court.
Capital and Regional

Some councillors are among those urging Capital and Regional to drop their opposition to the football ground at Power Court.

But speaking after a meeting of the town's business leaders on Thursday, council chief executive Trevor Holden said two schemes were better than none for a site that had been mothballed for a long time.

"The football club and Capital and Regional were both at the event. They were both talking about what their aspiration to grow the town would be and it was a cordial event," said Mr Holden.

"There's a process to go through and I'm really hopeful we'll get through that process in the autumn of this year, then, whatever the result, we'll move on and grow."

Two cottages severely damaged in 'deliberate' fire

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Two derelict cottages near Stockwood Park in Luton have been severely damaged by fire.

It started at about 18:30 last night at the semi-detached properties on Newlands Road.

A thick plume of smoke could be seen from the nearby M1.

Fire near the M1 in Luton..
Graham Custance

Bedfordshire Fire Service said it had a number of calls from the public about "youths in the area" and that the cause of the fire was deliberate.

A spokesman said: "Firefighters used extension ladders and thermal imaging cameras to assist their search of the property to ensure there were no casualties and none were found."

The fire had been put out by 19:30.

Friday's weather: Brighter spells and showers

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Plenty of cloud around today but there will be some brighter spells.

There will be some sunshine here and there but also some showers developing through the afternoon.

The vast majority of us will stay dry until the evening.

Winds are light and it's a touch warmer than yesterday.

Top temperatures between 18C (64F) and 21C (70C).

Good morning

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Hello and welcome to Friday's live updates for Herts, Beds and Bucks.

We'll be here from now until 18:00 with the latest news, sport, weather and travel.

I've heard a rumour that it should feel less like November and more like summer this weekend. Fingers crossed. We'll get a full weather forecast shortly.

Sunrise in Dunstable.
BBC

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, at J24 for A111 affecting J25 for A10.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise at J24, A111 (Potters Bar), because of a broken down lorry. Congestion to J25, A10 (Enfield).

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

Severe disruption: M1 Hertfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Hertfordshire southbound severe disruption, between J9 for A5 and Junction 8 Hemel Hempstead.

M1 Hertfordshire - Queuing traffic on M1 London-bound between J9, A5 (Redbourn) and Junction 8 Hemel Hempstead, because of an earlier broken down vehicle.

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

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, between J23 for A1 and J24 for A111.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane closed on M25 clockwise between J23 A1(M) and J24, A111 (Potters Bar), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe accident: A6 Bedfordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A6 Bedfordshire both ways severe accident, at Souldrop Services.

A6 Bedfordshire - A6 in Souldrop closed at the Souldrop Services junction, because of an accident involving a car and motorcycle.

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

Goodbye

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it from all of us here on the Local Live news feed for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

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

If you missed anything throughout the day, you can scroll through the page to see what we've covered.

Norman gets Mor-gan he bargained for

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

Today I've been on the search for Morgan Freeman. Well not quite, but 'Norman Dorsett from Luton'.

It was after a report appeared in the Daily Mail saying that when he went on recent a stag do to Magaluf he was mistaken for the famous actor and got plenty of free drinks.

When I eventually tracked him down, he told me it wasn't the first time it's happened and he was more than happy to poise for photos.

"It was a good laugh," he said. "It was all good fun."

Norman from Luton
BBC
View more on twitter

'No issues' reported at Hemel tower block

Tony Fisher

BBC Three Counties Radio

Earlier we reported that letters had been sent to the residents of the KD Tower (known as the Kodak building) in Hemel Hempstead, reassuring them over any fire safety concerns in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The company which manages the building, SHW Ltd, has confirmed two letters have been sent and the latest one was issued yesterday.

The former owner of the building, Dandara, says it was redeveloped in 2010 and used a "construction system completely different to that used at Grenfell Tower".

It says the external insulation "comprises non-combustible mineral fibre products, which are made from rock minerals and recognised for exceptional fire performance characteristics."

KD Tower
Robin Webster/Geograph

It added: "The lower floors are insulated with a product called Kingspan which is zero-rated for fire and, on the upper residential floors, the insulation used is called Rocksilk which has a Euroclass A1 classification - the highest European safety standard."

It also said "two separate watches from Herts Fire and Rescue have inspected the KD Tower since the tragic events at Grenfell and reported no issues".

Dunne fails to qualify for Wimbledon's singles

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Hemel Hempstead's Katy Dunne has missed out on the chance to qualify for the Wimbledon main draw, after being beaten in three sets by Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium.

The 22-year-old lost 7-5 3-6 6-2 at the Bank of England Sports Centre in Roehampton.

Dunne will still play in the Women's Doubles at SW19.

Katy Dunne
Getty Images

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

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

M4 Berkshire - One lane blocked and slow traffic on M4 London-bound between J5, A4 (Langley) and J4b M25, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

MPs don't need to wear ties, says Speaker

Wellingborough MP Peter Bone was involved in a bit of Westminster history earlier.

A long standing sartorial convention means that male members of the House of Commons must wear both a jacket and tie.

But when Mr Bone asked Commons Speaker and Buckingham MP John Bercow why Liberal Democrat Tom Brake was allowed to speak despite lacking the appropriate neckwear, the answer came as something of a surprise.

In response, Mr Bercow said: "Am I minded not to call a member simply because that member is not wearing a tie? No."

So there you have it - no more need for your MP to wear a tie in the Commons.

...they'll be going to work in shorts on hot days next.

Bercow: MPs don't need to wear ties