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Live Reporting

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Our live coverage across the day

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Thanks for joining us for today's Cambridgeshire Live. We'll be back at 08:00 on Monday with the latest news, sport, weather and travel.

Today we covered the merger of Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough City hospitals - staff at the former have told us they are anxious and uncertain about the future.

We've also brought you news that the first homes have been approved for Northstowe, and covered the story of Camsar's newest (and cutest!) recruit

Scroll below to take a read. 

Have a great weekend.

Overnight weather: Cloudy and mainly dry

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

This evening and overnight it'll be rather cloudy, but mainly dry, although there's a chance of occasional showers.

Lows of 12C (54F).

Saturday's weather map

Saturday will start bright and dry, but it'll turn cloudy later, with heavier rain in the evening and overnight. Top temperature: 20C (68F).

BBC Weather has the full forecast where you live.

Watch: Campaign to get women and girls active is launched

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

The sports partnership for Cambridgeshire, Living Sport, is launching its Let's Go Girls campaign tomorrow at Milton Country Park.

The campaign aims to encourage women to try new sports and activities to break down barriers which might be stopping them currently taking part. 

New runner Sarah explains why she was motivated to get moving:

A campaign to get women and girls active in Cambridgeshire has launched

Football action this weekend: Posh v Swindon Town

"Focus on the positives" is the message from Peterborough United boss Grant McCann to his players ahead of tomorrow's home clash with Swindon.

Posh lost 6-1 to Norwich under 23s in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday, but McCann wants his men to think back to last Saturday's league victory at MK Dons

He could hand debuts to new signings George Moncur (pictured), Nathan Oduwa and Luke McGee for tomorrow's home clash with Swindon.

Midfielder George Moncur
Peterborough United FC

Posh will make a late decision on Hayden White who has a groin injury, Lee Angol and Brad Inman remain sidelined while Michael Smith is on international duty.  

It's an early kick-off at 12:15.

Also this weekend, St Neots take on Stamford in first round qualifying for the FA Cup, and Cambridge City are at home against Flackwell Heath.

McGurk waits on injury as Mansfield visit Cambridge Utd

Nick Fairbairn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sport

Cambridge United striker Adam McGurk (pictured) has returned to full training following knee ligament damage. He'll face a fitness test ahead of tomorrow's match against Mansfield.

Shaun Derry, manager, said: "I'd be delighted if he was available this weekend, but only if he's 100%."

George Maris is also back in training after a groin strain, but is likely to miss out against Mansfield. Harrison Dunk remains sidelined.

Cambridge United's Adam McGurk
Getty Images

Cambridge United v Mansfield Town will be live on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on FM, MW and digital radion, but not online.

Graduating students

Judith Burns

Education reporter

Oxford and Cambridge, academically elite, oversubscribed but criticised as socially exclusive - do these degrees really live up to their reputation?

Read more

Watch: Me and my Shadow - the county's latest search-and-rescue recruit

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

This is very cute Shadow - the latest recruit for Camsar, the county's search and rescue team.

Meet Camsar's new canine search and rescue recruit

Camsar will be tweeting updates about Shadow's progress through training, in the months to come.

He'll also be the star attraction as the team attempt to set a world record for the biggest game of hide-and-seek at Milton Country Park near Cambridge this weekend.

Simon Dobbin

Eight men deny violent disorder in relation to an attack that left a football fan with brain damage.

Read more

Countdown to this weekend's football..

BBC Sport

Top flight matches are on hold for the international fixtures this weekend, but not down in Leagues One and Two...

Peterborough United are at home to Swindon on Saturday with a 12:15 kick-off in the third flight.

In League Two, Cambridge United are at Mansfield Town with a 15:00 kick-off.

Cherry Hinton high street revamp welcomed by safety researchers

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Improvement works are almost complete in Cherry Hinton's High Street - with a new, lower speed limit of 20mph and special provision for cyclists.

Cherry Hinton high street revamp nears completion

Richard Owen from the research group Road Safety Analysis told us that it'll "almost certainly" be safer and the stretch of road had a very poor collision record, particularly involving cyclists.

He said: "I think what the council is doing here is almost cutting edge - reducing the speed limit, removing the centre white lines and taking out the speed bumps and making more space for cyclists.

"There's good international research to show that if you remove the centre white lines, drivers move more slowly."

Hospitals merger meeting due at town hall

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Earlier we brought you the story that staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon were "anxious" about a proposed merger with Peterborough City Hospital.

A public meeting about the changes is taking place at Peterborough Town Hall at 16:00.

If approved, the merger would come into effect in April and managers claim it would help save £9m.

There will be further public meetings at Huntingdon Town Hall on 5 September and at the Priory Centre, St Neots, on 19 September.

Watch: Kittens crying over spilt milk

Helen Burchell

BBC News

When you're thirsty, you're thirsty... but learning to drink your milk, rather than wear it, is not always that easy.

This little of feral kittens was taken in by volunteers from Fenland Animal Rescue, who found them in Bluntisham earlier this week.

Fenland Animal Rescue needs new home for kittens

Learning how NOT to cover themselves in milk is just one of life's little lessons they'll be taught before they're ready for re-homing in the coming weeks.

"Each and every day they grow, and it makes us incredibly proud to see them turn from unwanted ferals, to beautiful, happy and playful kittens, despite them wearing their milk of course," one of the volunteers said.

The charity is run entirely by volunteers and offers specialist rescue services for Cambridgeshire's wildlife and domestic animals.

Paralympics 2016: the athletes depart


Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Our Paralympians are Rio-bound, one week before the games begin.

Paratriathlete Claire Cunningham, from Cambridge, has posted a tweet:

View more on twitter

She'll be competing alongside Lauren Steadman, also from Cambridge, on 11 September.

You can find a full events schedule here.

Simon Dobbin case: 12 men in court

Earlier today 12 men appeared at Southend Magistrates' Court charged with violent disorder after an attack on Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin last year. 

Those who pleaded not guilty to the charge were: 

  • Ryan Carter, 22, from Southend
  • Jamie Chambers, 23, from Southend 
  • Lewis Courtnell, 33, from Southend 
  • Philip McGill, 31, of Westcliff 
  • Michael Shawyer, 31, of Belgrave Road, Leigh-on-Sea
  • Greg Allen, 28, of Artillery Avenue, Shoeburyness
  • Matthew Petchey, 25, from Rochford    
Philip McGill, Lewis Courtnell and Jamie Chambers
  •   Scott Nicholls, 40, from Langdon Hill, (pictured below), also denied the charge. 
Scott Nicholls

Four others did not enter a plea. They were:

  • Thomas Randall, 21, from Southend 
  • Alexander Woods, 20, of Westcliff 
  • James Woods, 20, of Westcliff 
  • Rhys Pullen, 20, of Wickford

Other stories in the news today

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Let's take a look at some other stories around the county:


Town and gown provide the inspiration, as Simon Preston creates a new dish for Cambridge.
Can town and gown be united through food? That's the challenge for food innovator Simon Preston and chef Alex Rushmer as they try to create a dish which will appeal to both the townsfolk and the 'gownsfolk', members of university, in Cambridge - a small city with a huge reputation. University chaplain, Malcolm Guite, shares inspiring stories of the great and the good including a walk with CS Lewis, local historian Caroline Biggs talks of Cambridge's surprising past as an inland port, while tour guide and ex-road sweeper, Allan Brigham, shares his unique perspective on this beautiful city.

Twelve appear in court over football fan attack

Alex Dunlop

BBC Look East

Twelve men have appeared in court charged in connection with an attack that left a football fan with brain damage. 

Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin from Mildenhall in Suffolk, suffered life-changing injuries in an attack in Southend on 21 March last year. 

Southend Magistrates Court

The twelve, all from from south Essex are aged between 20 and 40. All have been charged in connection with the attack - eight pleaded not guilty and four entered no plea. 

All but one were given unconditional bail. 

The case of a 13th man, who's charged with assisting an offender and possession of a weapon has been adjourned. 

The men will next appear at Basildon Crown Court at the end of the month.

Parachutists' near-miss at Chatteris deemed 'most serious' by UKAB

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

An investigation into a near-miss above Chatteris aerodrome has concluded that it was "providence that had prevented a collision". 

A Cessna 152 came within 300ft (91m) of eight parachutists after the pilot failed to spot them and flew the plane between their canopies. The incident took place on 15 May and was investigated by the UK Airprox Board (UKAB).

UKAB said the pilot of the two-seater Cessna acknowledged he had "misappreciated his position" and deemed the degree of risk to be in the most serious category

Parachutists in flight
Getty Images

The pilot told investigators "the execution of this flight was not perfect".

Wee green beasties!

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Unusual shiny green bugs have been spotted in large numbers in Cambourne - and have been causing something of a stir owing to their odd iridescence.

Leaf beetle sermylassa halensis
Brian Eversham

They've been spotted in houses around the village, but Brian Eversham, chief executive of the Wildlife Trust for Cambridgeshire, assures us they are perfectly harmless.

Leaf beetle sermylassa halensis
Brian Eversham

He added they are a less common beetle species - sermylassa halensis - and they normally make their home in flower meadows.

"They are small, less than a centimetre long, brown at the back, and iridescent green. They are perfectly harmless, active from early summer to November and lay their eggs late in the summer.

"They are probably hunting for food - mainly goose grass."

First homes at Northstowe given approval

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Detailed plans for the first 92 properties at Northstowe have been approved by South Cambridgeshire District Council, following a public consultation.

The approval means that homes could begin to be built within weeks on land near the existing Longstanton guided busway park and ride site.

Artist impression of Northstowe homes

The plans detailed the homes' spacing and layout as well as landscaping and childrens' play areas. The application also covered the layout and location of roads, paths and cycleways.

Tim Wotherspoon, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning, said: " We want Northstowe to be of the highest quality and a fantastic place to live, work and go to school."

Train delays between Ipswich and Cambridge

Men due in court over football fan attack

Thirteen men are due to appear at Southend Magistrates' Court today after being charged over an attack on a Cambridge United football fan in Southend in 2015. 

Simon Dobbin, 44, from Mildenhall, in Suffolk, (pictured below) was left with life-changing injuries, and is still undergoing treatment. 

The thirteen men are accused of various offences; the majority with affray.  

Simon Dobbin at a match
Family photo

Huntingdon-Peterborough hospital merger: 'Almost all' roles unaffected says chief exec

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

We've been reporting this morning that staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital say they are anxious, and experiencing low morale over a perceived lack of information about the merger with Peterborough City Hospital (pictured). 

Lance McCarthy, chief executive of Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust told us in a statement that he's been listening to staff over the past four months and it's no surprise many are worried about the impact of a possible merger on their jobs and services. 

Peterborough City Hospital

"While I can't promise that no roles will change at Hinchingbrooke, almost all individuals and roles will be unaffected by a merger if that happens," he said.

"Maintaining services means there's a necessity to maintain the high quality clinical staff they have in place to run them, which also means most people won't need to work at another site."

Hospital merger: Next phase due at the end of the month

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Earlier, we reported that a nurse at Hinchingbrooke claimed there is high anxiety among staff due to a perceived lack of information about plans to merge the Huntingdon hospital with Peterborough City Hospital.

Stephen Graves, chief executive of Peterborough & Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which runs the Peterborough site, told us the timetable for the next phase is to "provide that great level of information at the end of September".

He said: "We have regular staff briefings, we have open email systems where people can ask any questions at any time. There are an increasing number of public and stakeholder events."

On concerns that some services at Hinchingbrooke might be closed, he said: "The big decisions [about whether there will be] A&E provision, 24-hour paediatric and obstetrics services are made by our commissioners and they have been public about their decision to keep those services across all three sites."

Hinchingbrooke Hospital merger: 'There's a lot of anxiety' says nurse

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

A nurse at Hinchingbrooke Hospital claims anxiety among staff is at an all-time high, due to a perceived lack of information about plans to merge the hospital in Huntingdon (pictured) with Peterborough City Hospital in April.

Hinchingebooke Hospital

Natasha Emery told us that morale is "really low" at the moment. 

She said: "We don't know if some of our services are going to be sacrificed to Peterborough.

"There's a lot of anxiety. We're getting mixed messages a lot of the time. 

"We were told there would be no job losses, then you read in the paper that there will be 70 job losses. 

"There's no real information".


A light aircraft came within 300ft (91m) of eight parachutists after the pilot failed to spot them and flew the plane between their canopies, investigators find.

Read more

Today's weather: Mostly cloudy

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

After yesterday's sunshine, today is due to be mostly cloudy with outbreaks of rain and a maximum temperature of 19C (66F).

Get the regional forecast from BBC Weather.

Good morning

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Welcome to our Local Live page for Cambridgeshire, with news, sport, weather and travel updates for the county between now and 18:00.   

In the news today... staff at Hinchingbrooke Hopsital say they are lacking information about plans to merge the hospital with Peterborough City Hospitals in April; the makeover of Cherry Hinton High Street nears its conclusion and the story of why shiny green beasties are causing a stir in Cambourne!

Feel free to contact us with your pictures, stories or comments today. Get in touch via emailFacebook or Twitter.

That's it for today

Our live updates have now finished for today.

We'll be back tomorrow with all the news, weather, sport and travel you need.

In the meantime, any breaking news will appear on this page.

We'll see you from 08:00.

Hospital chief steps down

Jane Ramsey, the chairwoman of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is stepping down from the job after four years.

Ms Ramsey will leave the trust, which is in charge of Addenbrooke's and The Rosie Hospital, at the end of October.

"It has been a privilege to lead Cambridge University Hospitals over the last four years," she said. "CUH provides outstanding care with fantastic staff and excellent patient outcomes."

Lord Derby 'taking stock' of decision to reject planning application for Hatchfield Farm

A spokesperson for Lord Derby has responded to today's announcement that the government has thrown out plans for 400 homes on land he owns at Hatchfield Farm, Newmarket.

The statement reads: "We are currently taking stock of the decision and will comment in more detail following further consideration."

Hatchfield Farm

Weather: Sunshine this evening but rain by tomorrow

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

It will turn cloudier later, with some showery rain across the north of the region and a low of 12C (53F).


Tomorrow it'll be rather cloudy with the chance of some showery rain, possibly turning heavy at times.

There will be a high temperature of 21C (70F).

More details on the BBC Weather website.

Hockey team only had 'two nights out' during the whole Olympics

Dotty McLeod

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Hannah MacLeod has been giving an insight into the dedication that led Team GB women's hockey team to gold in Rio.

The 32-year old said: "We only had two nights out in Rio in the three and a half weeks. We played eight games in 14 days, and were one of very few sports which complete the whole duration of the Olympic Games."

Hannah McLeod
Getty Images

The former St Ives player, who also won bronze at the London games in 2012, added: "We would see athletes who had competed and finished and enjoying all that Rio has to offer, and we were saying 'no we're still going through heats'.

"We had one day in Rio after we won and it was a really special moment to share it with friends and family after our gold medal win."

Hockey gold medallist Hannah MacLeod says winning was 'an absolute joy'

Dotty McLeod

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

She grew up in Buckden, she played for St Ives Hockey Club, and last month Cambridgeshire's very own Hannah MacLeod (left with Crista Cullen and Alex Danson) became an Olympic gold medallist.

Hannah MacLeod left with Crista Cullen, centre and Alex Danson, right

She was part of the Team GB team that defeated the Netherlands in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

Speaking on her return to the county, she recalled how she managed to zone out all the noise in the stadium... until team-mate Helen Richardson-Walsh stepped up for her decisive strike.

"As I was aware it was me and my team mates - until then end of the match when it was absolute joy," she said.

"There were so many boos and whistles, because the Dutch crowd were there en masse.

"I'm so grateful Helen was taking it because she's a cool character. I thought, 'there's no way she's going to miss as she has that'll show you attitude."

Team GB hockey team
Getty Images

Tom Youngs: A timeline of his football career

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

We've told you the story of Tom Youngs, who's written a book about his time as a footballer and his more recent diagnosis of multiple scelerosis. 

Here's a look at the timeline of his playing career:

  • 1988: Mildenhall Town under-nines
  • 1989-92: Played for both Cambridge United and Mildenhall Town
  • 1997: Signed for Cambridge Utd professionally
  • 2003: Moved to Northampton Town
  • 2005: Went to Leyton Orient
  • 2005-07: Moved on to Bury
  • 2007: Played semi-professionally for a range of clubs until 2010, including Stafford Rangers, Cambridge City and Mildenhall.

'Undoubtedly disappointing': Peterborough primary school Sat tests worst in country

Tom Horn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

The leader of Peterborough City Council says he'll work closely with the city's primary schools, after they finished bottom of the national league table for Sats.

Figures from the Department for Education show 39% of Peterborough's children reached the expected level of reading, writing and maths by the end of primary school - the national average is 52%.

Peterborough Town Hall
Steve Daniels/Geograph

John Holditch said the results were "undoubtedly disappointing", but the authority would ensure schools were "taking steps to raise attainment and embed the new curriculum". 

The council also wanted to stress the results were provisional - the final confirmed figure will remove pupils in the school system for two years or less.

Council thought that 400 homes was 'manageable'

The deputy leader of Forest Heath council says that while the government has recognised the importance of the horseracing industry in Newmarket, which is why plans for 400 homes at nearby Hatchfield Farm have been thrown out, it creates a pressure for residents and those who want to live there.

Hatchfield Farm

Robin Millar said: "We felt that 400 homes.. was manageable [and] would not be unreasonable. 

"The Secretary of State took a careful look at it and has made a different judgement and that judgement then has consequences not just for residents, not just for people who would like to come to Newmarket, but also in terms for what the government now has to do for Newmarket."

He told the government to "put your hand in your pocket" and provide money for infrastructure improvements.

Rio medallists head to Burghley Horse Trials

Peter Swan

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sport

Seventy-two horse and rider combinations have made the start list for this year's Burghley Horse Trials.

They include six French riders, following their nation's 2016 Rio Eventing gold medal success, and US individual medallist Philip Dutton.

Visitors at Burghley Horse Trials 2015
Getty Images

And as if that wasn't enough, Olympic champion show jumper Nick Skelton, who brought home Britain’s first individual show jumping medal since 1972, plans to make an appearance on Sunday.

Nick Skelton Rio 2016

Newmarket horsemen's group backs refusal of 400 homes plan

The chairman of the Newmarket Horsemen's Group has backed the government's decision to refuse planning permission for 400 homes at Hatchfield Farm on the edge of the town.

Hatchfield Farm

William Gittus said: "We’re not anti-development but we are anti-development which we feel will be detrimental to the long-term health of an industry which supports in one way or another over 8,500 jobs in the district and provides a contribution of over £200m a year to the local economy."

He added that he hopes the decision will enable "all local stakeholders to move forward together and work constructively for the benefit of all that live and work in the town".

Tom Youngs: Book prompted after realisation how MS sufferers feel

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

It was the combination of giving up playing football and being diagnosed with multiple scelerosis (MS) that prompted former Mildenhall assistant manager and player Tom Youngs to start writing his book.

He said: "Obviously I didn't reach any great heights in my career, so I wasn't really thinking there'd be much of a market for it, to be honest, so it kind of went on the back burner.

Tom Youngs and his family
Tom Youngs

"And then after my diagnosis I read up more about MS and found that lots of people who get diagnosed don't really necessarily know where to turn, and don't feel comfortable sharing their experiences. 

"And I thought that if I just brought the two things together, even from my slightly elevated profile, it could help to bring it a bit more into the spotlight, then that might be a good thing to do."