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  1. Updates on Wednesday, 18 May 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Mark Williamson

All times stated are UK

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Our coverage through the day

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with news, travel and weather for the county, and coverage of a live BBC debate about East Anglian devolution.

Until then you can get in touch with your pictures, stories or comments via emailFacebook or Twitter.   

Weather: Rain arriving tonight

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

A few heavy showers will continue to drift slowly southeastwards through this evening, before dying out around midnight. Minimum temperature: 9C (48F).  

Weather map

Early mist patches and low cloud will soon lift  tomorrow to leave a mostly dry, bright day with some hazy spells of sunshine. Maximum temperature: 18C (64F).

Riders urged to go ‘as bare as you dare’ for the return of Cambridge World Naked Bike Ride

Cambridge News

People taking part in this year's World Naked Bike Ride in Cambridge are being advised to go as 'bare as they dare' when the event comes to the city in a month's time.

Police investigating discovery of severed head extend search to aqueduct at Sharnbrook

As part of their investigation into the discovery of a severed head at a quarry in Mepal, Cambridgeshire, police say they have been carrying out a search at aqueduct in Mill Road, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire.

This is next to a construction site which has been a focus of their investigations.

Mepal severed head: Person died before 1 January 2015

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

Post-mortem tests on a severed head found at Mepal indicate that death occurred before 1 January 2015, according to Cambridgeshire Police. 

However, forensic specialists were unable to identify whether the head belonged to a man or a woman, 

A police spokesman said: "Detectives from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit (MCU) will continue to work with specialists in order to establish the gender and identity of the deceased."

Headlines: Post-mortem examination of severed head 'inconclusive'... Two men admit to Cambridge killing

Emma Maclean

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Here are the headlines for Cambridgeshire this evening:

  • Police say a post-mortem examination of a severed human head found at Mepal, near Ely, was inconclusive but show that the death occured before 1 January 2015.
  • Two men have admitted killing 39-year-old Jeff Henry in an attack in Cambridge last year   
  • Huntingdon MP criticises recommendation to merge Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals

BreakingPost-mortem examination on human head 'inconclusive'

Mousumi Bakshi

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A post-mortem examination of a human head found in a quarry in Mepal on Monday has come back "inconclusive", say police.

Travel: Serious collision in Warboys

BBC Travel

The B1040 Ramsey Road, Warboys is closed following a "serious" crash involving two vehicles, say police.

View more on twitter

Concerns for 'core services' over hospital merger recommendation

Mousumi Bakshi

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

The MP for Huntingdon says he is concerned "core services" including accident and emergency could move from Hinchingbrooke Hospital if a proposed merger with Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals goes ahead.

Jonathan Djanogly

The trusts running the hospitals have published a joint outline business plan recommending merging in April next year.

But Conservative Jonathan Djanogly told the BBC: I'm not against more joint working... the key thing is we don't want core services moved from Hinchingbrooke, and we don't want a merger."

Travel: Long delays on the A421 at Black Cat roundabout

BBC Travel

As we head to the evening rush hour there are long delays on the A421 at the Black Cat roundabout following an earlier crash.

Satellite-tagging of offenders pilot unveiled in Queen's Speech

Mousumi Bakshi

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Offenders in Cambridgeshire are to be satellite-tagged as part of pilot scheme, which could allow prisoners out from behind bars on weekdays.

It featured as part the government's planned prison reforms, unveiled in the Queen's speech.    

The Queen
Getty Images

Satellite-tracking tags, which monitor the movements of offenders using GPS technology, will be piloted in eight police areas from September, including Cambridgeshire.

If successful it could pave the way for some prisoners to become weekend inmates and spend the rest of the week at home, allowing them to hold down jobs.

East Anglian devolution: Potential breakthrough in talks

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

East Anglian devolution appears to be a step closer after the government told councils in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk that it's prepared to accept a revision to the original plans, proposed by Cambridgeshire councillors.

East Anglian Flag

Under the so-called "brother and sister" deal there would be two devolved authorities and two directly-elected mayors: one for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and one for Norfolk and Suffolk.

Both authorities would agree to work closely together on strategic matters.

I understand the Local Government Secretary Greg Clark met Chancellor George Osborne last night and persuaded him to accept the new proposal.

More firearms officers in response to 'current threat levels'

Sally Chidzoy

BBC Look East home affairs correspondent

The number of trained firearms officers covering Cambridgeshire is to be increased by about 50%, "in light of current threat levels".

Armed officer

A joint firearms unit covers Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

Yesterday the Police Federation described officers in rural areas as "sitting ducks" in the event of a terrorist gun attack.

Bedfordshire Assistant Chief Constable Dan Vajzovic said: "In light of current threat levels. Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire have taken the decision to increase armed capability across the three forces by around 50%."

Men admit killing of Jeff Henry

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

Two men have admitting killing Cambridge man Jeff Henry in June last year.

Martin Saunders, 35, of Beaton Crescent, Huntingdon, and Anthony Kenny, 37, of Burgess Walk, St Ives, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at the Old Bailey today. 

Jeff Henry
Cambridgeshire Police

Mr Henry (pictured), 39, was assaulted in Campkin Road on June 7. He was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where he remained in a critical condition with a fractured skull and traumatic brain injuries until June 12, when the decision was taken to turn off his life-support machine.  

Sentencing will take place in July.  

Headlines: Police searches continue after severed head discovery... Hospitals merger recommended

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

If you are just joining us, here are the top stories making the news in Cambridgeshire this afternoon:

  • Police are continuing a search of a quarry in Mepal following the discovery of a severed human head
  • Trusts recommend merger of Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals
  • The number of firearms officers covering Cambridgeshire is to be increased by 50%, police say  

Cambridge professor Mary Beard hits out at 'vandalism' of historic lampposts

Cambridge News

Cambridge historian Mary Beard has hit out at plans to remove "extremely handsome" Victorian-era lampposts from a city walkway.

Weather: Showers, some heavy, this afternoon

BBC Weather

It will be a rather cloudy start to the afternoon with outbreaks of rain gradually clearing eastwards. Some brighter spells may well then develop, but also some slow-moving heavy showers with the risk of thunder

Cloudy sky near Yaxley
BBW Weather Watchers / Dave'sPatch

Maximum temperature: 14C (57F).     

BBC Weather Watcher 'Dave'spatch' took this picture near Yaxley this morning. 

Mepal quarry human head 'not linked to missing women'

Laura Devlin

BBC News

Cambridgeshire police say they are not currently connecting the discovery of a human head at Mepal to missing women Natalie Hemming and children's author Helen Bailey.

Police are not linking the discovery with (l-r) Natalie Hemming, Mary Bailey and Ramute Butkiene
Thames Valley Police / Cambs Police

The force also said the find had not been linked to the murder of Ramute Butkiene, in Peterborough, whose torso was found inside a suitcase.

Hospitals merger proposal: 'Not what Hunts people want to hear,' says MP

Mousumi Bakshi

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

"Not what Hunts people want to hear" is how Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly has responded to a proposal to merge Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals.

View more on twitter

The Conservative MP has been a vocal opponent of merging the hospitals, and organised a protest march through Huntingdon in April.

Mepal severed head: Business as usual at quarry

Johnny Dee

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

It's very much business as usual in Block Fen Drove.

Lorries have been arriving at the quarry where police are conducting a search, following the discovery of a human head.

Lorries arriving at Block Fen Drove

The site, operated by the company Mick George, is used for supplying aggregates for the construction industry, and landfill.

Trusts recommend 2017 hospitals merger

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

A joint business case has just been published, recommending merging Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals from April 2017.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Managers have been exploring the clinical benefits of "closer working" since January 2016, and now propose both trusts would benefit "from working as one organisation". 

The proposals will be discussed by each trust’s board of directors in separate meetings to be held in public next week

In April more than 400 people marched through Huntingdon to protest against the possible merger of two hospitals.  

Six held by police following Peterborough stabbing

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Police have told us six men arrested following a stabbing on Lincoln Road, in Peterborough, last night, remain at Thorpe Wood Police Station.

A man in his 20s is being treated at Peterborough City Hospital for serious, but not life-threatening, injuries

The men being detained were arrested on suspicion of assault.

"I didn't want to leave": Josh Coulson on new contract with Cambridge United

"I didn't want to leave" says defender Josh Coulson, after signing a new deal with Cambridge United, which will keep him at the club until July 2017.

Josh Coulson
Getty Images

The 27-year-old has spent his entire professional career at the U's

"I've always wanted to be here, and this will take me into my testimonial year, which I'm proud of," he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Six men arrested after stabbing in Peterborough

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Six men have been arrested after a man in his 20s suffered serious, but not life-threatening, injuries in Peterborough last night.

Police say they were called of reports of a stabbing on Lincoln Road, at about 00:15.

Severed head post-mortem examination to take place this morning

Police have confirmed that a post-mortem examination on a human head found at a quarry in Mepal, is due to be carried out later this morning.

Police car at Block Fen Drove

Anyone with information is asked to call the Major Crime Unit on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Severed head find: What we know so far

With a post-mortem examination of the severed head found at Mepal due later today, here's what we know about case so far:

  • A human head was found at 15:00 on Monday by a worker at a Mick George quarry, off Block Fen Drove
  • Officers are also searching a construction site in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire
  • It's hoped tests today will establish whether the head belonged to a man or a woman

All quiet at Block Fen Drove this morning

Johnny Dee

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

There's not much activity here at Block Fen Drove, near Mepal, this morning, following the discovery of a human head.

Police remained at the quarry overnight, as investigations continue. 

Post-mortem examination of severed head due to take place later

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

A post-mortem examination is set to take place today on the severed human head discovered in a Fenland quarry, police say.

Police arriving at the quarry

The head was found by a quarry worker at Mepal, between Chatteris and Ely, on Monday afternoon. It is not yet known whether the head was male or female.

Officers are also searching a construction site at Sharnbrook, in Bedfordshire, which they believe is connected to the discovery of the head.

Weather: Showery rain, becoming heavy this afternoon

Aisling Creevey

BBC Look East weather

It will be a rather cloudy start to the day, with some outbreaks of showery rain. The rain will continue into this afternoon, with some locally heavy showers developing.

Maximum temperature: 14C (57F).  For more on what's in store for where you live, go to BBC Weather.

Headlines: Post-mortem examination on severed head to take place

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Here are the main stories in Cambridgeshire so far this morning:

  • A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out today on a severed human head found at a quarry in Mepal
  • The number of firearms officers covering Cambridgeshire is to be increased by 50%, police say
  • Doctors at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in drive to get more people to take part in clinical research trials 

Welcome to Cambridgeshire Live

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

Thanks for joining us. We're here until 18:00 with the latest on the discovery of a severed head at Mepal, and all the other news, sport, travel and weather for the county.

You can get in touch with your pictures, stories or comments via emailFacebook or Twitter