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Summary

  1. UKIP leader Nigel Farage has told an audience in Thurrock the European Union has allowed the free movement of terrorists
  2. A 15-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of murdering a father of two in Harlow has been released on bail
  3. Southend United gave their fading League One play-off hopes a boost with a home victory over Sheffield United
  4. More news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

That's it from us at Essex Live today - thanks for joining us. 

We'll be back in the morning from 08:00 with the latest news, sport, weather and travel for the county.

Have a great evening.

Essex and Herts Air Ambulance buys new £6m helicopter

A milestone has been reached for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance as for the first time it has raised enough money to buy its very own helicopter.

Agusta Westland AW169
Essex and Herts Air Ambulance

The £6m Agusta Westland will be operational from July 2017 when the lease for its current aircraft runs out. 

Rob Forsyth, chair of the trust, called the purchase "magnificent" and thanked members of the public for their continued donations. 

Van artist thinks Essex 'Van' Gogh artwork 'looks cool'

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Remember the 'Van' Gogh story we told you about earlier? We've had no luck tracing the artist who drew the picture using the dirt of a vehicle - but we have spoke to a man who has done something similar.

More van art work
Ruddy Muddy

Ruddy Muddy from Norfolk is a "van artist" and is responsible for the picture above. He says he loves making the artwork because "it's so much nicer than seeing a rude comment". 

When asked what he thought about the Essex 'Van' Gogh's work, he said it: "Looks cool".

Weather: Dry and clear overnight with frost

BBC Weather

Any isolated showers will soon die out this evening to leave a dry and clear night across all parts. These clear skies, coupled with light winds, will allow a fairly widespread frost to develop. 

Minimum temperature: 0C (32F).

Weather map for Essex
BBC

After a chilly start tomorrow, a fine, albeit increasingly breezy day will follow with light winds and plenty of sunshine.

Headlines: Weeley crash woman remains 'critical'... Southend play-off ambitions 'realistic'

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories from Essex this afternoon:

  • A 65-year-old woman remains in a critical condition in hospital after a fatal crash in Weeley that killed two men on Monday
  • Bosses at Stansted Airport are defending their decision to increase the terminal's drop-off charges to £3 for 10 minutes as of tomorrow 
  • Southend United manager Phil Brown insists the Shrimpers' play-off ambitions are realistic with seven league games remaining  

Essex Police counters closing to the public tomorrow

South Ockendon, Brentwood, Loughton, Epping, Rayleigh and Canvey police stations are closing their doors to the public tomorrow.

A police station
BBC

In total, 15 of the county's front desks are shutting in a bid to reduce the money spent on Essex Police buildings that aren't well-used by residents.

Stations in Grays, Basildon, Harlow, Chelmsford, Braintree, Colchester, Clacton and Maldon are due to remain open to the public.

Phil Brown: Southend play-off chances 'simple mathematics'

BBC Sport

Southend United manager Phil Brown insists the Shrimpers' play-off ambitions are realistic with seven league games remaining.

Phil Brown
Getty Images

After last night's win over Sheffield United, Brown's side are just six points outside the top six.

"If we carry on like this, with seven games to go we might get enough points to get into the play-offs," the 56-year-old told BBC Essex. "It's not rocket science," he continued. "It's simple mathematics."

Southend Hospital only had enough staff and beds for 155 days last year

Southend Echo

Southend Hospital did not have enough staff, beds or capacity for new patients for more than half of last year.

Your pictures: Clouds loom 'ominously' over Clacton Pier

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Thanks to Alan Conran who emailed this picture a short while ago. 

He said: "View towards Clacton pier this afternoon as dark cloud looms over ominously..."

View towards Clacton pier this afternoon as dark cloud looms over ominously
Alan Conran

Travel: A12 closed Chelmsford-bound between J14 and J15

BBC Travel

The A12 is closed Chelmsford-bound between J14 and J15 for Ingatestone due to an accident. 

Essex Police officer Colin Shead says emergency services are on the scene.

Tributes to tragic Benefits By The Sea star Gaz Barnes after he loses battle against booze

Daily Gazette

Tributes have been paid to an alcoholic whose battle against the booze was charted on TV reality show Jaywick: Benefits By The Sea.  

Video showing a taxi driver being fined in Essex goes viral online

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Have you seen this video? 

It shows a taxi driver being given a parking ticket for dropping off an elderly passenger on double yellow lines in Chelmsford... and it's sparked much debate as to whether he was doing a good thing or blatantly breaking the law.

The footage, which sees the passenger give the traffic warden a ticking-off, has been viewed more than 100,000 times online since the incident happened on Tuesday. 

Chelmsford City Council said the warden had "no choice" but to issue a ticket as that was "the requirement of his job". 

But Dan Robinson, owner of The Chauffeur Company whose driver was caught, told BBC Essex he was "furious" at the fine.    

Your pictures: Sunny start in Clacton this morning

BBC Weather Watchers

It was a glorious start in Essex this morning, as captured by BBC Weather Watcher "royboy" who sent us this photo from Clacton-on-Sea.

Clacton-on-Sea sunrise
BBC Weather Watchers/royboy

We love seeing your photos from around Essex. If you'd like to share them, you can send us an email, a tweet or visit us on Facebook.

Weather: Sunny spells and light winds, some showers possible later

BBC Weather

It will be a mainly dry and fine afternoon with light winds and some good sunny spells. However, one or two showers may well develop, and they could be heavy with thunder.

Maximum temperature: 12C (54F).

Weather chart
BBC

Get the latest weather updates for Essex here.

Headlines: Second man dies in Weeley crash... Stansted Airport increases drop-off price to £3 for 10 minutes

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories in Essex this lunchtime: 

  • A second man has died following a crash on the A133 in Weeley on Monday, police say
  • Bosses at Stansted Airport are defending their decision to increase the terminal's drop-off charges to £3 for 10 minutes as of tomorrow 
  • An Essex taxi boss says he's furious one of his cars was given a ticket for dropping off an elderly passenger on double yellow lines

Stansted Airport drop-off price increase 'disheartening'

BBC Essex

Bosses at Stansted Airport are defending their decision to increase the terminal's drop-off charges to £3 for 10 minutes as of tomorrow. 

We've been hearing from many listeners who aren't happy.

Drop-off parking
Stansted Airport

It's really disheartening that they've taken this approach to maximum their revenues"

AndyLocal taxi driver

If you're a regular user of Stansted Airport - we'd love to hear what you think about this story. You can email us, tweet us, or visit our Facebook page.

Lord Sugar one of many paying tribute to Ronnie Corbett

You may have heard the sad news announced a short while ago that Ronnie Corbett has died aged 85.

Many famous faces have taken to social media to pay their respects to the entertainer, including Essex entrepreneur Lord Sugar, who tweeted: "Sad news about Ronnie Corbett, very funny man R.I.P".

Ronnie Corbett
BBC

A special live page has been set up with reaction to the star's death. You can view that here.

The 'Van' Gogh of Essex strikes again?

It seems this isn't the first time the 'Van' Gogh of Essex (as we're now calling the artist) has struck in Essex... 

Dan Gleeballs tweeted this photo he took on the A12 last week.

Another dirty van
Twitter/@Dan_b_80

Do you know who's doing the artwork? Drop us an email, a tweet or visit our Facebook page.  

Second man dies in Weeley road crash

A second man has died following a crash on the A133 in Weeley on Monday, police say.

A133
Google

A 74-year-old from Brandon in Suffolk died at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge yesterday. He was the driver of a Kia Sedona which crashed with a red Ford Focus. 

Another man, 70, from Clacton, was pronounced dead at the scene. A 65-year-old woman remains in a critical, but stable condition in hospital in Colchester. 

Stansted Airport puts up drop-off price to £3 for 10 minutes

From tomorrow there will be an increase in the amount you pay to use the drop-off zone at Stansted Airport.

Stansted Airport
PA

The north Essex terminal is increasing the charge for a 10 minute stay from £2.50 to £3. A £50 fine is also being introduced for anybody who exceeds their time.

Bosses say the drop-off is a "premium service" which people do not have to use, and the airport is trying to reduce congestion there.  

'Van' Gogh? Dirty vehicle artwork spotted in Chelmsford

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

You wouldn't be washing this off in a hurry, would you? 

This dirty artwork was spotted on a van in Essex Yeomanry Way in Chelmsford this morning. 

James, a passenger in a nearby vehicle, tweeted: "Some people see dirt, others see art!". 

Dirty vehicle
Twitter/@blueskyprinting

Do you know who this van belongs to? Get in touch via email or Twitter

Victory gives Southend United's play-off hopes a boost

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex Sport

Southend United gave their fading League One play-off hopes a boost with a home victory over Sheffield United last night.

David Worrall
Getty Images

Tyrone Barnett, David Worrall (pictured) and Jack Payne all scored to secure the Blues a 3-1 win. They're now eighth in the table, six points adrift of the play-off places. 

Worrall told BBC Essex: "We've still got a chance but we need to be realistic". 

Nigel Farage: The European Union has allowed the 'free movement of terrorists'

Simon Dedman

BBC Essex

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has told an audience of about 500 people in Thurrock the European Union has allowed the "free movement of terrorists".

Nigel Farage
BBC

He was at a rally at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet for Grassroots Out - a campaign group for Britain to leave the EU. 

There were cheers for Mr Farage as he described staying in the union as the "dangerous choice". Meanwhile, Britain Stronger In Europe argues that the UK is safer being part of the EU. 

Boy, 15, bailed in Harlow murder probe

A 15-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of murdering a man in Harlow has been released on police bail.

Hassan Abdi Mohamed
Essex Police

Hassan Abdi Mohamed (pictured), 48, was found collapsed on a path close to Holly Field on 5 March. He later died of his injuries.  

A teenager was detained on Tuesday in London and has been bailed until May. An 18-year-old man has previously been arrested and bailed in connection with the investigation.

Headlines: Nigel Farage says the EU has 'allowed free movement of terrorists'... Boy, 15, bailed in Harlow murder probe

Sonia Watson

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories from the Essex newsroom this morning: 

  • UKIP leader Nigel Farage has told an audience in Thurrock that the European Union has allowed the free movement of terrorists
  • A 15-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of murdering a father of two in Harlow has been released on bail
  • Southend United gave their fading League One play-off hopes a boost with a home victory over Sheffield United

Weather: Sunny spells and light winds, some showers possible later

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

A chilly start will be followed by a mainly dry day with light winds and some good sunny spells. One or two light showers may develop in the afternoon. 

Maximum temperature: 12C (54F).

Stay up-to-date with the latest weather for wherever you're heading today here

Welcome to Thursday's Essex Live page

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Good morning. Join us until 18:00 to get the latest news, sport, travel and weather for the county as it happens.

It's a nice bright start here in Essex - a full weather forecast is coming shortly. 

If you'd like to say hello or send us any stories or pictures, you can email us, tweet us, or visit our Facebook page