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  1. Updates on Friday, 25 August 2017
  2. Watford fined £4.3m after EFL inquiry
  3. Smoke rises through Bedford tower block
  4. Repairs to be carried out after tractor caught train barrier
  5. Laura Kenny has baby boy

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

Get involved

M1 closure: Report of 'suspicious object' under bridge

BBC News Travel

Police are urging motorists to avoid the M1 after a report of a "suspicious object" underneath a motorway bridge.

The object was found between junctions 15 and 14 at about 07:30. The M1 is closed in both directions between these junctions.

Highways England say there is about five miles of queuing traffic.

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue are assisting Thames Valley Police at the scene.

View more on twitter

M1 closure: Police investigating 'unknown chemical substance'

BBC News Travel

Police and fire crews are investigating an "unknown chemical substance" on the M1.

Both carriageways are closed between junctions 15 and 14.

All traffic is currently being held.

Delays are expected until 10:00.

Travel: M1 closed due to 'police incident'

BBC News Travel

The M1 is closed southbound between junctions 15 and 14 due to a "police incident".

Thames Valley Roads Policing Unit is on the scene.

We'll bring you more information as soon as we have it.

View more on twitter

Big increase on costs of hiring private ambulances

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) spent more than £14m on hiring private ambulance firms last year up from £6.6m in the year before, according to figures obtained by the Press Association through Freedom of Information requests.


Alan Lofthouse from the union Unison said: "The public shouldn't be concerned about the people attending them, because if they're paramedics, they're registered along with every other paramedic.

"The public purse is going to paying the profits for a company that's providing ambulance services rather than being invested back in better training and better working conditions for staff."

Kevin Brown, director of service delivery at the EEAST, said there are a number of reasons for the increase: "Over the last two years we've recruited 650 additional staff into the trust.

"Clearly many of our new staff needed to be trained, it takes three years to train a paramedic and there are times where those people need to be undertaking that training and that leaves us with capacity gaps.

"This is why last year our spend significantly increased."

'Tree from hell' making residents lives a misery

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

Residents of a retirement home in Dunstable are complaining about a "tree from hell" near their car park.

The tree hangs over parking spaces in Queens Court and residents say they're "fed up" of pigeon poo landing on their cars.

Peter Flock, who represents the residents, told me the tree is making peoples' lives a misery.

"I'm very angry about it, it's been going on for nine years," he said.

"The pigeons keep pooing over our cars, they poo over you, they poo over everything."

View more on twitter

Mr Flock said residents avoid the car park "like the plague".

"If you leave your car under there for more than an hour, you can hardly see it for pigeon poo," he said.

"I have been pooed on myself. It's unbelievable, especially when the pigeons have been eating blackberries."

Mr Flock said residents would like the tree to be cut down or trimmed.

A spokesperson from Weston Homes said: "This tree is home to bats and nesting birds and as such is protected by law.

"An ecologist is scheduled to visit the site shortly and we will progress with tree works following their recommendations."

Severe accident: M1 Hertfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Hertfordshire southbound severe accident, at J9 for A5183.

M1 Hertfordshire - M1 entry slip road partially blocked and heavy traffic London-bound at J9, A5183 (Redbourn), because of an accident involving two cars.

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

Tuesday's weather: Sunny spells once early mist clears

Kate Kinsella

BBC Weather

The rain overnight has left a legacy in some spots of a little bit of mist and one or two fog patches as well, but we should see plenty of sunny spells and it'll be mostly dry.

We've still got one or two showers, particularly out towards parts of Norfolk, but they should clear pretty quickly.

Elsewhere we have decent sunny spells.

There'll be a bit of fair weather cloud bubbling up this afternoon and temperatures will reach about 16C (61F).

Get a full forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

Afternoon weather map

Welcome back

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome back to Local Live across Beds, Herts and Bucks.

We'll be here until 18:00 with the latest news, sport, weather and travel for your local area.

The full weather forecast will be with you shortly, but it's a rather cold and grey start to the day.

As always, if you want to get in touch you can by email, Facebook or Twitter.


Our local coverage for today

That's all for our live updates today - scroll back to catch up with what's been happening in the county.

The team will be back from 08:00 tomorrow, but any breaking stories will be published here overnight.

Have a good evening.

Cranfield aims to be more 'resilient' to future funding changes

Cranfield University, one of the top five research universities in the country, has launched a consultation process to work out where it needs to make redundancies that were announced on Friday.

Seemal Asid with her PhD project a robotic arm for aircraft assembly

Perhaps best known for its school of aerospace, the university is shedding 113 jobs, 7% of its 1,622 strong workforce, to save money.

Vice chancellor Sir Peter Gregson says it is operating at a deficit with costs higher than income.

He adds despite student fees, with only 12% of its funding coming from government funding, partnerships with businesses are essential.

Sir Peter says it's with "regret" that he had to announce the job cuts, but a re-think was necessary in order to make sure the college "was resilient for the future" and able to to compete internationally.

Showers this evening, possibly heavy and thundery

BBC Weather

Expect more showers this evening with some maybe heavy but most places should be dry by morning.

Weather graphic

Overnight temperatures will vary significantly and depend on how much cloud cover there is, 7C to 10C (45F-50F) is expected under cloudy skies but where we get any breaks we could see something as low as 3C (37F).

Mist and fog patches are also likely.

Tuesday will see any overnight mist and fog eventually clearing to leave a largely dry day with highs of around 18C (64F).

Visit BBC Weather for the detailed forecast where you live.

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, after J23 for A1.

M25 Hertfordshire - Very slow traffic on M25 clockwise after J23 A1(M), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J21a, A405 (St Albans).

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

Police appeal for wanted footballer

Police are appealing for help to locate a footballer wanted in connection with an incident in Sawbridgeworth in March.

Aiden Chaves
Herts Police

Aidan Chaves - who plays for the town - has pleaded guilty to having an offensive weapon in a public place, but denies threatening opposition fans with a cork screw.

The 26-year-old from London Colney failed to appear before Stevenage magistrates last week.

Knifeman who attacked four jailed for 15 years

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

A man from Bedford who attacked four people with a knife has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Nisar Ahmed
Bedfordshire Police

Nisar Ahmed, 33, from Hurst Grove, used the knife during a fight last December.

Luton Crown Court was told the he left four people with life changing injuries after he slashed them across the face, hands and bodies.

Despite denying the attack, a jury found him guilty of wounding with intent, unlawful wounding and possession of a bladed article.

The judge branded Ahmed a dangerous offender and ruled that on his release he will spend an additional four years on licence.

Comedian wins Emmy awards

Mariam Issimdar

BBC News

Comedian John Oliver has won two Emmy Awards at a ceremony in Los Angeles.

John Oliver
Getty Images

Oliver, who went to Mark Rutherford school in Bedford, beat off competition from James Corden to win Best Variety Talk Series for "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver".

He also won the award for Best Writing.

Earlier this year Oliver took a satirical look at the town where he spent his formative years.

He left school to go onto Christ College, Cambridge, becoming a member of Cambridge Footlights, the university's amateur theatrical group.

Judiciary procession to 'celebrate' crown court

Mariam Issimdar

BBC News

Luton Crown Court marked its 25th anniversary over the weekend by staging a "well dressed" procession through the town's streets.


Judges in their ceremonial wigs, stockings and gowns were joined by members of the judiciary and civic dignitaries as they walked from the crown court to St Mary's Church for a special service to mark the day.

Luton Crown Court, which cost £12.8m to build, was officially opened in 1992.

Gareth Ainsworth

Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth has no regrets about a late change of tactics after a 2-1 defeat by Luton.

Read more

Co-op defends decision to open funeral parlour

Residents living in flats above a Co-op supermarket say they are "distressed" by the decision to open a funeral facility on the site.

They're unhappy the Co-op has converted part of the Grange Farm branch in Milton Keynes into a funeral parlour with cold storage facilities for bodies.

One woman who lives above the parlour says the air vents from the cold storage area are directly below her balcony.

"I'm not very happy about this. It's distressing," she said, adding she is now "definitely thinking of moving".


Matthew Jackson, head of operations at the funeral parlour, says it's important for them to work with the community.

"It is quite unusual for us to have concerns raised by people, but we want to address those and I'm very happy to meet with residents who want to come and have a look at our facility and to understand what we do."

Engine failure caused micro-light crash

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

Accident investigators say engine failure caused a micro-light to crash in Bedfordshire.

The aircraft hit a power line and caught fire shortly after the pilot took off from College Farm Airstrip at Oakley on the 31 May.

The pilot tried to make an emergency landing and after avoiding one set of power lines, couldn't avoid another which was higher. The aircraft immediately caught fire and crashed to the ground upside down.

The 65-year-old pilot managed to escape with a minor head injury and ran to get a fire extinguisher, but by the time he returned the micro-light was destroyed.

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

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

M4 Berkshire - One lane closed on M4 westbound between J5, A4 (Langley) and J6, A355 (Slough), because of a lorry having a tyre changed. Traffic is coping well.

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

Co-op shop opens funeral parlour at supermarket

A branch of the Co-op supermarket chain is being criticised for opening up a funeral parlour at one of its stores in Milton Keynes.

Co-op store

The company has converted an area of its Grange Farm branch, which is under some flats, in to a cold storage and viewing area.

Sue, who lives next door, says it's in the wrong place.

"They will trundle them [the deceased] along the pathway, under people's balconies. There's a lot of young children live in those flats and a children's nursery on the other side of some bushes."

She added: "How are you going to explain what is on the trolley?"

Local councillor, Zoe Nolan says she spoke to planning at Milton Keynes Borough Council after being notified by residents and was told "You can convert a shop into a funeral parlour without any permission".

Ms Nolan, who is sympathetic to the residents, said the Co-op are not breaking any rules.

Severe accident: A413 Buckinghamshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A413 Buckinghamshire both ways severe accident, between B4544 Marroway and B4009 Wendover Road.

A413 Buckinghamshire - A413 Wendover Road in Stoke Mandeville closed and slow traffic in both directions between the B4544 Marroway junction and the B4009 Wendover Road junction, because of an accident involving bike and van.

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

Severe disruption: M1 Bedfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire southbound severe disruption, between J12 for A5120 and J11 for A505 Dunstable Road.

M1 Bedfordshire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M1 southbound between J12, A5120 (Flitwick) and J11, A505 (Dunstable South), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Monday's weather: Sunny spells and scattered heavy showers

Kate Kinsella

BBC Weather

It's a grey start for many of us this morning, there are also one or two mist and fog patches out there as well.

Showers will continue through the day with one or two brighter spells between them.

Temperatures will struggle, it's going to feel quite chilly, with a maximum of 15C (59F).

Get the full forecast where you live, from BBC Weather.

Weather map

Good morning Beds, Bucks and Herts

Mariam Issimdar

BBC News

Hello and welcome to our live coverage on Monday.

Among the stories we will be looking at this morning:

  • The Co-op is being criticised for opening up a funeral parlour at one of its stores in Milton Keynes
  • Bedford comedian John Oliver is one of the winners at this years Emmy Awards in Los Angeles

The weather for our three counties will be dry and chilly at first with showers developing later this morning; Katie Kinsella will be along shortly with a full forecast.

Severe accident: M25 Berkshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Berkshire anti-clockwise severe accident, between J15 for M4 and J14 for A3113 Airport Way.

M25 Berkshire - One lane closed on M25 anticlockwise between J15 M4 and J14, A3113 (Heathrow Terminal 4), because of an accident.

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 - One lane closed on M1 northbound between J12, A5120 (Flitwick) and J13, A421 (Bedford), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe accident: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe accident, at J11 for A505 Dunstable Road.

M1 Bedfordshire - Two lanes closed on M1 northbound at J11, A505 (Dunstable South), because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe accident, between J10 for A1081 Airport Way and J11 for A505 Dunstable Road.

M1 Bedfordshire - M1 partially blocked and queuing traffic northbound between J10, A1081 (Luton Airport Spur Road) and J11, A505 (Dunstable South), because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J23 for A1 and J22 for A1081 affecting J24 for A111.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J23 A1(M) and J22, A1081 (St Albans), because of a vehicle fire. Congestion to J24, A111 (Potters Bar).

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

Severe disruption: M25 Greater London anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

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

M25 Greater London - One lane closed on M25 anticlockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) and J24, A111 (Potters Bar), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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


Ryan Seager's late winner secures a triumph for MK Dons in a five-goal thriller against Rochdale.

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Scott Cuthbert and James Collins strike in the closing seconds to snatch Luton an unlikely win at Wycombe.

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Two goals from Luke Norris inspires Swindon Town to victory over Stevenage at the County Ground.

Read more
Watford 0-6 Man City: Silva believes 'offsides' changed game for Watford
Watford manager Marco Silva says it would have been a different game if two offside decisions were given in his side's favour during their 6-0 loss to Manchester City.
Watford 0-6 Man City: Guardiola surprised by huge scoreline
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he did not expect his team "to win in this way" after a 6-0 drubbing of Watford at Vicarage Road.
Sergio Aguero

Caroline Chapman

BBC Sport

Sergio Aguero scores a hat-trick as Manchester City show their class to move top of the table and inflict a first league defeat of the season on Watford.

Read more