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Summary

  1. New football season fixtures released
  2. Politicians out in force on final day of EU referendum campaigning
  3. Police given more time to question Great Baddow murder suspect
  4. Pedestrian killed after being hit by car in Harlow
  5. Two men stabbed in face and head in Harlow
  6. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume on Thursday at 08:00

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all from us

Thanks for joining our live coverage across Essex today.

You can now scroll down and read the stories we've covered.

We'll be back tomorrow morning from 08:00 - have a great evening. 

Essex electorate for tomorrow's EU referendum stands at more than 1.2m

Simon Dedman

BBC Essex political reporter

It's being billed as the most important vote of our lifetime, and tomorrow we will decided whether or not we want to remain part of the European Union. 

Ballot box
BBC

The Essex electorate for the referendum currently stands at 1,219,848. How many of those will go to one of the 967 voting stations in the county is unknown - but turnout is expected to be high.

Weather: Warm and humid, with heavy, thundery downpours overnight

It'll still be warm and humid this evening with some hazy sunshine.

Some heavy, thundery showers are likely to affect some parts overnight, with torrential downpours possible.

Minimum temperature: 16C (61F).

Weather
BBC

Heavy showers or thunderstorms remain a risk during rush-hour tomorrow morning, but these will clear to give a cloudy, warm and humid day for most of us, with some brighter spells. Highs of 23C (73F).

You can find the forecast for your area at BBC Weather

What we've covered today on Essex Live...

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Here are the top stories we've covered on Essex Live today: 

  • A nest of baby starlings, just a couple of days old, were "left for dead" in a bag in Pitsea
  • Fixtures for the next Football League season have been unveiled today. Southend kick-off at home to Gillingham, while Colchester travel to Hartlepool 
  • Senior politicians including Boris Johnson and Eric Pickles have been out in Essex today for a final day of campaigning before the EU referendum tomorrow  

Braintree sign Welling midfielder Lee

BBC Sport

Braintree Town has signed midfielder Harry Lee on a free transfer from National League South side Welling.

Harry Lee
Getty Images

The 21-year-old ex-Leyton Orient trainee joined the Wings full-time in January after two loan spells, but could not save them from relegation.

The Iron has also agreed a deal with a defender, but is waiting for the end of his contract at a League Two club.

Man who ignored 14 speeding tickets is fined £10k and banned for six months

A 22-year-old man who ignored 14 speeding tickets and failed to tell police who was driving the cars involved has been fined £10,500 and disqualified for six months. 

Speeding
PA

Chelmsford Magistrates' Court heard Ricky Holloway, of Forty Acre Lane, Canning Town, London, was caught speeding on the M25, A127, A13 and A12 multiple times last year. 

Essex Police sent notices to Holloway's home address but he ignored them all, the court heard.

Basildon fatal crash passenger named as 25-year-old Taylor Reid

Yesterday we told you about a car that crashed on a roundabout in Basildon, killing a man. 

Essex Police has now named the victim as 25-year-old Taylor Reid from the town.

Mr Reid was a passenger in a red BMW 3 series. It struck the roundabout on the Broadmayne junction before hitting a tree. 

Roundabout
Google

Nest of baby starlings 'left for dead' in a bag for life

A nest of baby starlings, just a couple of days old, were "left for dead" in a bag for life in Pitsea, the RSPCA says. 

Chicks
RSPCA

The trio of birds was found by a member of the public who was putting their rubbish in the bin chute at a block of flats yesterday. 

Sadly, one of the birds has since died, but the remaining two have been taken to a local wildlife centre where it's hoped they'll be returned to the wild.

The charity is calling for people with information to come forward.

Woman suffers serious leg injury in bizarre car mishap

Here's a story that caught our eye in today's Echo... 

A woman suffered a serious leg injury after she got stuck under a car as her husband tried to pick her up, the newspaper reports.

You can read the full story here

Marine Parade
Google

What can Southend and Colchester expect in the first few games?

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex sport

Southend fans will be looking at the first three home games and expecting some wins. 

The Gillingham game is the nearest thing they've got to a derby match this season, but the matches against Bristol Rovers and Fleetwood look winnable.

On the road they go to Port Vale and Sheffield United in August - both tough games, and both will be without manager Phil Brown in the dug-out as he serves a four-match touchline ban.

Roots
BBC

Meanwhile, Colchester United have a tricky run of matches to begin with. 

Hartlepool is a long haul, then former boss Joe Dunne comes to the Community Stadium as Cambridge's assistant manager. 

Grimsby will have momentum after last season's promotion, Portsmouth are among the favourites to go up and Wycombe sees a renewal of the rivalry between the two clubs, which stretch back to their non-league days.

Lunchtime weather: Warm and humid this afternoon

BBC Weather

This afternoon will be dry with some sunny spells. It'll turn warm and increasingly humid. 

Maximum temperature: 23C (73F).

Weather for Essex
BBC

You can find the latest forecast for wherever you are here

EFL Cup ties drawn

David Keller

BBC News

The draw for the first round of the EFL Cup has taken place.

It's a case of deja vu as Southend play Gillingham again at home - their first opponents of the new season.

Meanwhile, Colchester head to the south coast to play Championship side Brighton.

Matches will be played in the week commencing 8 August.

See the full list of matches on Twitter.

If you're just joining us...

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Here are the top stories in Essex this lunchtime: 

  • Senior politicians including Boris Johnson and Eric Pickles have been out in Essex today for a final day of campaigning before the EU referendum tomorrow  
  • Police investigating the death of a pensioner in Essex have been granted more time to question a man arrested on suspicion of murder 
  • Two men have been stabbed in the face and head in a "targeted" attack in Harlow

Colchester forward Bonne signs new deal

BBC Sport

There's further movement in the Colchester United transfer department. 

U's forward Macauley Bonne has signed a new two-year contract with the League Two club.

Macauley Bonne
Getty Images

The 20-year-old has scored 13 goals in 62 appearances, 22 of which were starts, since coming through Colchester's youth system.

Bonne has agreed a new deal a day after fellow forward Sammie Szmodics signed a new contract and defender Luke Prosser joined after his Southend release.

Two men stabbed in face and head in Harlow 'targeted' attack

Two men have been stabbed, one in the face and another in head, in a "targeted" attack in Harlow last night.

Underpass between the A1169 and Little Pynchons
Google

The men, both aged 19, were attacked in an underpass between the A1169 and Little Pynchons at about 00:30, police say.

Their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening. Police say they're treating the stabbing as an "isolated incident". 

Sir Eric: It would be madness to leave

Earlier we told you Boris Johnson was in Maldon in a final push to gather support for Britain to leave the European Union. 

On the flip side, former minister and Conservative MP Sir Eric Pickles has been speaking about why we should remain part of the EU. 

Sir Eric Pickles
PA

It would be madness to leave. We'd lose jobs, we'd lose influence, we'd lose security - it'd be a massive mistake... There is no economic alternative from the EU."

Sir Eric PicklesConservative: Remain

Police given extra time to question man in Great Baddow murder investigation

We've been sent an update on Essex Police's investigation into the death of an Essex pensioner in Great Baddow on Saturday. 

Brian Hurry was found dead in his home in Bramwoods Road at about 17:00. 

Bramwoods Road
BBC

Detectives have now been granted an extension to question a 24-year-old man from Chelmsford who was arrested on suspicion of murder. 

Another man, 43, from Chelmsford, who was also arrested on suspicion of murder, has now been released without charge and faces no further action. 

Meanwhile, a 20-year-old woman from Chelmsford was arrested yesterday on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. She has been released on bail until 23 August.

How many polling stations are there in Essex for the EU referendum?

If you were wondering the total number of polling stations open in the county for tomorrow's EU referendum, don't worry - we've done the counting for you. 

Polling Station
BBC

In total, there will be 967 places for people to cast their vote in Essex. Doors open at 07:00 and close at 22:00. 

Full Southend and Colchester fixture lists

You can find a full list of Southend United's League One fixtures on the Blues website here.

Meanwhile, Colchester United has posted its fixture list here

Roots Hall
BBC

Where are the U's and Blues playing over Christmas?

If you're planning to burn off the Christmas turkey by cheering on your local team, here's the Boxing Day fixtures: 

  • Luton Town v Colchester United (Kick-off 15:00)
  • Southend United v AFC Wimbledon (Kick-off 15:00) 

Meanwhile, if you're organising your New Years Eve party: 

  • Stevenage v Colchester United (Kick-off 15:00) 
  • Southend United v Charlton Athletic (Kick-off 15:00) 
Southend / Colchester
Getty Images

Colchester United's first three fixtures

...and it's a 260-mile (418km) trip to Hartlepool for the first game for Colchester. 

Colchester fixtures
BBC

Southend United's first three fixtures

Two home games and one trip up to Port Vale for the Shrimpers...

Southend first three fixtures
BBC

BreakingFootball League fixtures released - who are Southend and Colchester playing first?

Get your rattles and clappers ready and hit play on the Match of the Day theme tune - the Football League fixtures for next season have just been released.

It's an Essex-Kent derby to kick-off things in League One, as Southend United welcome Gillingham from across the Thames.

Meanwhile, recently relegated Colchester travel to fellow League Two side Hartlepool. 

Both games will be played on 6 August and kick-off is at 15:00. 

We'll bring you more shortly.

EU referendum: The battle for Essex reaches its climax

Happy European Referendum Eve everyone... 

By now you're either very excited about tomorrow or have coined the phrase "neverendum".

Today the heavy guns from both sides of the argument are in Essex to pitch why we should leave or remain in the EU.

Boris Johnson, who's probably feeling a bit tired after last night's BBC Great Debate, is currently making his way around Maldon.

Boris Johnson
BBC

This our chance to believe in ourselves and if we take back control of our taxes, democracy, immigration and huge sums of money we'll be speaking up for hundreds of millions of people around Europe."

Boris JohnsonConservative: Vote Leave

Meanwhile, former minister and the Conservative MP for Brentwood and Ongar, Sir Eric Pickles, is campaigning in the county to drum up some Remain support. We'll hear from him later.

Weather: Warm and humid with heavy, thundery downpours later

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

It will be dry for much of the day, with sunny spells developing. 

It'll turn warm and increasingly humid, with heavy showers and thunderstorms possible later in the afternoon. 

Maximum temperature: 23C (73F).

Get the latest throughout today at BBC Weather

Man, 28, dies after being hit by a car in Harlow

A 28-year-old man died after he was hit by a Vauxhall Corsa in Katherine's Way, Harlow, at about 23:00 yesterday. 

Katherine's Way
Google

Police and paramedics attended but the pedestrian, who was from the town, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The road was closed until about 06:00 this morning. Enquiries are ongoing.

Welcome to Essex Live

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Good morning.

We start with the news that a pedestrian has died after he was hit by a car in Harlow late last night.

More on that shortly.