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  1. Updates on Friday, 17 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Adam Jinkerson

All times stated are UK

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Chile earthquake veterans honoured in Cambridge 80 years on
The two Navy veterans helped in the aid effort following an earthquake in Chile almost 80 years ago.

Earthquake veterans honoured 80 years on

Two Navy veterans who helped in the aid effort following an earthquake in Chile 78 years ago have been honoured. 

Thousands of people were killed and many more made homeless in the city of Concepción in 1939. Frank Burton and Basil Trott, who are 98 and 97, were presented with medals for the bravery they showed in the aftermath helping to clear the area. 

The Chilean ambassador to the UK, Rolando Drago Rodriguez, made the presentation in Cambridge. 

Chile earthquake veterans honoured in Cambridge 80 years on

"It is an honour for me to present the medals," he told the BBC. 

"When we have problems in Chile, it's important to have solidarity from friends. 

"Solidarity was demonstrated in 1939 by the British people."  


Thanks for joining us for another week of Cambridgeshire Live.

That's it for now, but don't fret - we'll be back again on Monday from 08:00 with all the news, sport, weather and travel for the county.

Keep an eye on the BBC Cambridgeshire website for any news over the weekend - and have a good one!

A mix of weather for the region tomorrow

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

A mostly cloudy night, with some outbreaks of patchy rain and drizzle across the BBC East region.

Temperatures falling to 7C (45F).

Weather graphic for Saturday morning

It's a mixed bag of weather for the region tomorrow.

Some parts will remain cloudy with further outbreak of patchy rain - and other areas could have a mainly dry day with sunny intervals.

Winds will ease, with temperatures reaching 14C (57F).

BBC Weather has more details for where you live.

Shedding light on the darkness

Dan Holley

BBC Look East weather

The Spring Equinox marks the start of astronomical Spring - and that's on Monday.

But today's the Spring Equilux.

Confused? This tweet explains:

View more on twitter

What's happening in the football this weekend?

Peterborough United boss Grant McCann is confident his side are heading in the right direction.

They host Oldham in League One tomorrow and McCann (below) has asked for Posh fans to get behind his team.

It's been a miserable March so far, with the club having failed to win in four matches.

Grant McCann
Getty Images

Meanwhile, Cambridge United manager Shaun Derry (below) says form counts for nothing at this stage of the season.

The U's have 10 games left to play and go to third bottom Cheltenham in League Two, who haven't scored in three matches.

They're currently 12th in the table - eight points of the play-offs.

Shaun Derry
Getty Images

Chilean ambassador speaks about work of Cambridge veterans

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Today we've been talking about Frank and Basil - two navy veterans honoured today for their help following the Chilean earthquake disaster nearly eight decades ago.

Here's the man who awarded the Cambridge pair medals today - the Chilean ambassador to the UK, Rolando Drago Rodriguez.

View more on twitter

How much?

Jozef Hall

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Earlier this week, you may remember we mentioned that you, humble taxpayers, are still paying for the regional fire control centre that never was .

The Waterbeach headquarters would have answered all emergency fire calls from Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire and north Essex.

However, the project was  abandoned in 2010  after the coalition government determined the "requirements of the project cannot be delivered to an acceptable timeframe".

Mothballed fire control centre in Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) initially refused to comment on why it had failed to let the building.

However, we've now finally got a breakdown of exactly how our money is being used to support this ongoing venture.

The total costs in 2015-16 were:

  • Rent (net): £1,384,903.36
  • Rates: £49,296.33
  • Service charge: £17,268.76
  • Water: £246.78
  • Electricity: £25,605.73
  • Fixed Maintenance: £200,227.33
  • Reactive Maintenance: £1,166.57

Total: £1,678,714.86 = £4,599 a day

Yep, going on for £2m a year.

Man snapping pencil

We asked the DCLG to comment on the figures. We especially wanted to know why £26,000 of electricity was being used each year when no-one was there, but they wouldn't. 

With another 14 years left on the lease, the final spend will dwarf the millions spent so far on a service which has never been used. 

White elephant? You decide...

Weather: Cloudy day in Cambridgeshire

BBC Weather Watchers

Sadly the bright skies of Wednesday are a dim and distant memory as it's gone rather cloudy in Cambridgeshire, as this picture by BBC Weather Watcher Secretsunbather shows. 


For the rest of today it'll gradually turn cloudier and breezier through the day and there'll be some outbreaks of rain in a few places by the evening. 

Maximum Temperature: 10C (50F). 

'Thank you' to Cambridge veterans

Mike Cartwright

BBC Look East

I witnessed a rather special moment this morning. 

It was when the Chilean ambassador to the UK, Rolando Drago Rodriguez, personally thanked two Royal Navy veterans from Cambridge, nearly 80 years after they helped when an earthquake hit Chile in 1939. 

Rolando Drago Rodriguez, Frank Burton and Basil Trott

Frank Burton, 98, and Basil Trott, 97, were presented with medals for their bravery when thousands of people were killed and many more made homeless in the Concepción region.

Frank Burton Rolando Drago Rodriguez and Basil Trott

Twenty-four hours in the life of our roads police

There's never a dull day as a traffic officer.

This rider in Wisbech had a lucky escape...

View more on twitter

Someone's takeaway has gone cold in Ramsey...

View more on twitter

And officers are now out on the A1, directing traffic near Little Paxton...

View more on twitter

Cambridge veterans to be honoured by Chilean ambassador

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Two Royal Navy veterans from Cambridge will be honoured in the city later, 78 years after an earthquake in south America.

Thousands of people were killed and many more made homeless in the city of Concepción in 1939.

Frank Burton and Basil Trott, who are now 98 and 97, will be presented with medals for the bravery they showed in the aftermath, helping to clear the area.

Rolando Drago Rodriguez and the Queen
Getty Images

The Chilean ambassador to the UK, Rolando Drago Rodriguez (pictured), will be making the presentation to Frank and Basil later.

"It is an honour for me to present the medals," Mr Drago told the BBC.

"When we have problems in Chile, it's important to have solidarity from friends.

"Solidarity was demonstrated in 1939 by the British people."

Weather: A cool and cloudy day

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

A cool end to the working week, with the best of any sunshine this morning.

Turning cloudy, but staying dry, with freshening winds.

Temperatures reaching a high of 11C (52F).

BBC Weather has more details for where you live.

Elizabeth Rizzini has the forecast for the east of England

Good morning and welcome back

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

We started the week with some Monday-related song lyrics, so it seems apt to finish the week in the same way.

So in the words of British rock band The Cure and their 90s hit single...

The Cure

Friday I'm In Love.

And what's not to love as we gear up for another day of live news, sport, weather and travel updates for Cambridgeshire.

We'll be here until 18:00 keeping you up-to-date.

First up, as always, a full weather forecast for the day.

You can get in touch by email , Twitter or Facebook .

Severe disruption: A14 Cambridgeshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

A14 Cambridgeshire eastbound severe disruption, between J21 A1 and J22 B1514 Thrapston Road.

A14 Cambridgeshire - A14 closed eastbound between J21, A1 (Brampton Hut) and J22, B1514 (Brampton), because of an oil spillage.

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

Weather: Chilly overnight and some sunshine tomorrow

BBC Weather

This evening will turn increasingly cloudy from the west of the BBC East region.

BBC East weather graphic
BBC Weather

Staying mostly dry, but with some showers developing later and moving through overnight. 

A chilly start to Friday but with some sunshine and highs of 11C (52F).

BBC Weather  has more details for where you are.


Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it from the Local Live team here in Cambridgeshire for today. 

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

See you then.

Devolution deal 'groundbreaking' for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Hannah Olsson

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire political reporter

"Why should it be that people like me, sitting in Westminster with all my officials, should make decisions that are affecting local people?" 

Those were the words of Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, who's been in Wisbech today to sign the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution deal. 

During his visit to the Boathouse Business Centre, he described the deal to create a combined authority "groundbreaking", adding that "some decisions over things like transport and skills are better made locally". 

View more on twitter

The new level of local government will be led by an elected mayor and elections for this post take place on 4 May. 

More long-term funding needed for cathedrals, says MP

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Calls are being made for the government to secure long-term funding for cathedrals. 

The Conservative MP for Cambridgeshire South East, Lucy Frazer, told the Commons that Ely Cathedral had been helped by a recent cash injection, but wanted to know "what future long-term funding is there for cathedrals going forward?"

The Heritage Minister, Tracey Crouch, responded by saying the government recognised its importance and "we will continue to support the Heritage Lottery Fund to ensure they continue to invest in cathedrals and other buildings of great importance".

Ely Cathedral
Peter Trimming/Geograph

School Report: Cambridgeshire's crack news teams

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Across the whole of Cambridgeshire, pupils were busy making their own news today as part of the 11th annual BBC School Report day

Thirty four news hounds at the Neale-Wade Academy in March (below) interviewed pupils and teachers, finding out what stories matter to them...

Pupils from Neale-Wade Academy

Meanwhile at Cromwell Community College in Chatteris (below), the news team (pictured) reported on the Year 11 campaign to raise funds for the charity Marie Curie, which is close to some pupils' hearts. 

Pupils from Cromwell Community College

Have we got a shoe fetishist on the loose?

Helen Burchell

BBC News

I like shoes. 

But not as much as these people...

Shoe on foot

Police are looking for not one - but two - footware-fancying felons who've been on shoe-theft sprees recently.

Eleven pairs went walkabout on 9 March from a shed on Colne High Street. They were valued at £400, the Hunts Post reported .

A few days later, on 14 March, someone hot-footed it away with four more pairs of shoes that had been left in an open porchway on Colne Road, Bluntisham.

Perhaps bizarrely, when we asked police if they were linking the thefts, they said "no".

But they're "keeping an open mind".

It's not a load of cobblers, that's what they told us.

If you've recently been offered 15 pairs of shoes, you can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Travel: Delays expected on A1 and A14 after oil spillage

BBC News Travel

Delays are expected this afternoon and into the evening after an "extensive" oil spillage on the A14 eastbound between junctions 21 and 22. 

There are now queues on the A14 and the A1 at Brampton Hut. 

View more on twitter
Oil spillage
BCH Road Policing

Severe disruption: A1 Cambridgeshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A1 Cambridgeshire northbound severe disruption, at A14 J21.

A1 Cambridgeshire - A1 in Brampton entry slip road closed and queuing traffic northbound at Brampton Hut.

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

On your bike!

Sue Dougan

BBC Local Live

Yesterday we brought you the news that a new foot and cycleway had been opened to connect villages in south Cambridgeshire to Cambridge. 

Children from Melbourn Primary School joined the inaugural trip and you can see how they got on by watching the video below. 

The first cycleway funded by the Cambridge City Deal opens at Melbourn

Travel: Oil spillage closes one lane on A14

BBC News Travel

Specialists are on their way to clean up an oil spillage on the A14 eastbound by Brampton Hut. 

Oil spillage
BCH Road Policing

One lane is currently closed and police are asking drivers to pass with care, as the roundabout is "very slippery".

Oil spillage
Highways England

Delays are expected. 

Oil on road
BCH Road Policing

Puppy pair stolen from home

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

If this doesn't bring a tear to your eye, I don't know what will...

Stolen puppies
Cambridgeshire Police

These two beautiful eight-week-old puppies have been stolen from Croydon in south Cambridgeshire. 

Police say the male and female Cockapoo pups were taken from a home on the High Street on Tuesday, between 11:00 and 13:00. 

The thieves also ransacked the house and took jewellery and sentimental items. 

Police are appealing for anyone who may have been in the area at the time and saw anything suspicious to get in touch.

Alconbury development: What is it?

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

Alconbury Weald is located on the former Alconbury Airfield, just off the A14 near Huntingdon.

It's a 1,420 acre (5.7 sq km) predominantly brownfield site. 

In total 5,000 homes will be built and there will be space for businesses and parks. 

Alconbury Weald

Some homes have already been built on the site. More are currently being built and the first primary school opened in September 2016. 

However, the £45m loan from the government to the developer means the rate the homes will be built will be sped up.

Government loan to speed up Alconbury homes

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

The government is to loan £45m to a developer to accelerate the building of a new housing development in Cambridgeshire. 

Ministers say the loan to the company Urban&Civic will speed up the delivery of 4,500 homes at the 1,420 acre (5.7 sq km) former airfield at Alconbury Weald. 

The money is from the government's new home building fund.

Alconbury Weald

Housing minister Gavin Barwell said: "Having visited the development last year, this will provide much-needed homes, but also space for new businesses as well as schools and community facilities." 

Building work has already started on the site.

Hundreds needed for Cambridge Alzheimer's study

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A search has started to find hundreds of people aged between 40 and 59 to take part in an Alzheimer's study in Cambridge. 

The  Prevent study,  funded by the Alzheimer's Society, aims to understand the early stages of the disease and monitor how people might develop it.

Then it hopes to understand the changes that might take place. 


The main criteria for anyone wishing to sign up - you must not be showing any signs or symptoms of dementia.   

Placements for vulnerable teenagers suspended

Nikki Fox

BBC Look East

New placements with a company that supports vulnerable 16 to 18 year olds who have left care have been suspended by Cambridgeshire County Council.

At present, 23 young people are housed and supported by a firm called Sixteen Plus. 

However, the council says there will be no new referrals and no new placements, following concerns about conditions the care leavers were living in, in Norfolk.

The authority said it had raised a number of issues with the company and had given it until 17 March to address them.

We've contacted Sixteen Plus for comment.

Squalid room

It follows  a BBC investigation  that found a vulnerable teenager living alone in squalid conditions (above). 

The property had cat faeces on the floor, damaged electrical sockets and no bed linen.

Sixteen Plus said it had ended support for the young person at the time of the visit. It added it was a well-run, reputable organisation.  

Weather: Cloudy day ahead

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Early mist or fog patches will clear, then it will be dry for much of the day, if rather cloudy. There will be some brighter spells, most likely in eastern areas. 

A little light rain may arrive from late afternoon. 

Maximum temperature: 12C (54F). 

Welcome back

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome back to the Local Live news feed for Cambridgeshire. 

We'll be bringing you all your news, sport, travel and in a moment a full weather report with Elizabeth Rizzini, until 18:00 tonight. 

Yesterday was a glorious day, and we're set for another lovely one, but it won't be quite as warm as yesterday. 

To quote suny lilly our BBC Weather Watcher "spring is here". 

Driver jailed for crash that left passenger paralysed
A man has been jailed for 18 months after a car crash in Cambridgeshire that left his passenger paralysed.


That's it from all of us here at Local Live for Cambridgeshire.

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

If anything breaks overnight it will still appear here. 

Whatever you're doing tonight, we hope it's a good one. 

Elsewhere in the county

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Here's a quick look at some of the stories making the front pages across the county today:

  • The Cambridge News reports on the strain of more free childcare announced by the chancellor in last week's Budget on existing providers in the city. It says a recent meeting heard the county council would need to find an additional 700 places across the county.
  • Plans to stop IVF treatment in Peterborough have been heavily criticised, with health chiefs told "you can't put a cost on a life", says the Telegraph . The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group is set to stop specialist fertility services other than for patients undergoing cancer treatment and men with a chronic viral infection - saving £700,000 a year - according to the paper.
  • And the Wisbech Standard reports the government is to be asked for £2m for the next stage of Fenland District Council's bid for "garden town" status - and up to 12,000 homes over 40 years. 
local papers

A dry night followed by a brighter morning

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Staying fine and dry this evening, but turning misty and foggy in many parts of the eastern region.

Temperatures dipping to 6C (42F).

Any mist will clear to bring brighter weather and sunny spells tomorrow - but it'll turn cloudy later.

Patchy rain will follow, with temperatures reaching 12C (53F).

BBC Weather has more details for where you live.

Weather chart for 16:00 on Thursday

What could you do with an empty fire control centre?

Helen Burchell

BBC News

Today we've been talking about Cambridgeshire's "white elephant" fire control centre  that's still sitting empty in Waterbeach eight years after completion, and up for grabs if you'd like it for yourself.

You could lease this massive building, which cost £23m to construct back in 2009, but as Loyd Grossman might say, "who'd work in a place like this?"

Well, if you've got 74 employees and they all need to drive to work, it's ideal as it's got 74 of those much sought-after parking spaces.

Regional fire control centre

Off the A10, it's just four miles from Milton's Tesco superstore, so it's sort of convenient to pop out for a sarnie in your lunch hour, and as it's fully covered by CCTV cameras, you can check your employees are getting back on time from their breaks.

Then again, with canteen and kitchen areas, complete with comprehensive air conditioning, no-one will ever need to leave.

And finally, at a whopping 30,488 sq ft (2,832 sq m), it's big enough to hold your company's Christmas party, which will solve a lot of planning headaches later in the year.

It could be just what you're looking for...

'I'm still young', says Posh's Mackail-Smith

Nick Fairbairn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sport

I've been talking to Craig Mackail-Smith, who rejoined Peterborough on loan from Luton in January.

Posh drew 3-3 at Chesterfield last night, with the 33-year-old scoring twice. 

He's recently recovered from a broken leg which kept him sidelined for several months, but he says his age is not slowing him down...

View more on twitter

Disruption on the cards with major works planned for roads and rail

The Highways Agency is giving advance warning of 11 major improvement schemes planned for spring/summer 2017, so if you regularly use the M11 and A120 it might be worth paying attention.

The schemes include installing digital messaging signs, resurfacing, drainage and embankment repairs.

It will affect:

  • The M11 between the M25 and Cambridge
  • The A120 near Stansted Airport
  • The A11 at the junction with the A1307

Meanwhile, rail passengers travelling between Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and London this Easter are advised to check before they travel, as a huge package of improvement work is carried out.

Network Rail will be working from Friday 14 to Monday 17 April to carry out Crossrail construction work and to continue to replace the overhead wires at Seven Kings.

Overhead wire installation
Network Rail

East Cambs moving to in-house rubbish collections

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

One of our district councils is to sort rubbish collection itself from next year to save money.

East Cambridgeshire says its trading arm will run the service more cheaply once the contract with private firm Veolia runs out in April 2018. 

It comes just two months after Peterborough City Council also ended its contract with a private firm, saving £100,000 a year.

Not tendering the contract out alone will also save an estimated £250,000, East Cambs claims.

Councillors say householders won't notice the difference.

bin collections