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  1. Updates for Norfolk

Live Reporting

By Caroline Kingdon

All times stated are UK

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Motorists driving too close to cyclists targeted in police campaign
Norfolk and Suffolk Police sent plain clothes cyclists out in Norwich and Ipswich.
Shop's Christmas Wonderland revealed after seven-month project
Christmas came early this year for shop staff who have spent seven months making decorations.

Promoters apologise for problems accessing Gary Barlow tickets

"Unprecedented" demand for tickets to see Gary Barlow in his Forest Live gig at Thetford Forest next year is being blamed for big problems being reported on social media.

Here are some of the comments on the BBC Suffolk Facebook page:

  • Helen Robinson writes: "I was in the queue at 10am...number 950....i waited an hour and 38 minutes and was directed to the website only to be told due to high usage i could'nt acess the site"
  • Ronan Devlin said: "Website crippled. Unable to sign in or re register. Phone either engaged or hangs up after option 1"
  • Jacqueline Taylor posts: "No access to website, as too many people trying to access it. Telephone calls get through and get told no one to answer call. So frustrated"

In a statement, the Forestry Commission has said: "Tickets went on sale this morning for Forest Live dates next Summer by Gary Barlow and Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott.

"Unfortunately due to a technical issue with an external ticketing software platform the system stalled.

"Additionally due to an unprecedented demand for tickets phone lines were also down for a while.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Gary Barlow

Project connecting NDR to A47 gets go-ahead

Work is to begin on finding ways to connect the new Norwich Northern Distributor Road to the A 47 West of Norwich.

There are fears the project, which is being called the Norwich Western link, could damage the sensitive wildlife in the Wensum Valley

Martin Wilby, chair of the county council's transport committee, which has backed the project, said: "We all love our local environment, all of our animals, wildlife, and we need to make sure we don't interfere with them too much, or there must be a solution to the problem.

"Whether it's a bridge or whatever, we need to get on with it."

Woman in lake identified

A woman who was rescued from a lake at the University of East Anglia in Norwich has been identified.

She remains at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in a critical condition, police say.

No personal belongings, other than a key attached to a red Cath Kidston key ring, were found at the scene when the woman was discovered on Wednesday afternoon.

David McGoldrick and Wes Hoolahan

Preview followed by live coverage of Sunday's Championship game between Ipswich Town and Norwich City.

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Football: Argyle sign Norwich keeper Matthews

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Plymouth Argyle have signed Norwich City goalkeeper Remi Matthews on an emergency loan.

The 23-year-old is set to be the fifth goalkeeper to play for Argyle this season and comes in after Kyle Letheren hurt his thigh on Tuesday at Blackburn.

Teenager Michael Cooper made his debut as a substitute, with Luke McCormick and Robbert te Loeke also both injured.

Remy Matthews
Getty Images

Clubs can sign a keeper on loan outside the transfer window if all their professional keepers are unavailable.

Matthews is yet to make a first team appearance for Norwich, but has had two spells on loan in League One - in 2015-16 with Burton Albion and Doncaster.

He also played 27 times for Scottish Premiership side Hamilton Academicals on a season-long loan last season.

New primary school for Great Yarmouth moves a step closer

Norfolk County Council has decided to move ahead with proposals to extend the age range at North Denes School and close the Alderman Swindell Primary School, pictured, in Great Yarmouth.

The decision, which follows a consultation period on the plans, means a new 420-place school will be built for primary-aged children in the north Yarmouth area.

Alderman Swindell Primary School

Matt Dunkley, interim director of Children's Services, said: "I have considered the representations made during the consultation and I am very aware of the passion and support for keeping Alderman Swindell.

"However, I have to look at this purely from an educational perspective, to do what is best for children both now and in the long term."

Norfolk County Council says it will now work closely with both schools during the transition to the new school building, to ensure that the changes are well planned for current pupils.

All existing children will be offered a place at North Denes Primary from September 2018, when the changes take place.

The new building will be separate from the current North Denes buildings, meaning that children can continue to be taught in the current classrooms while the building project goes ahead.

Remy Matthews

League One side Plymouth Argyle sign Norwich City goalkeeper Remi Matthews on an emergency loan.

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Woman hit by car in Norwich

A woman in her 60s has suffered leg and head injuries after being hit by a car in Ber Street in Norwich this morning.

It happened near the junction with Finkelgate at about 07:15.

Scene of Ber Street crash

It happened near the junction with Finkelgate at about 07:15.

Police say Ber Street could be closed for some time.

No entry sign

Forest Live tickets go on sale

Tickets to see Gary Barlow and former Beautiful South stars Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott perform at Thetford Forest, near Brandon, go on sale this morning.

The concerts, on 8 & 9 June 2018, are part of the Forestry Commission's Forest Live season.

Gary Barlow
Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

Home Office: funding not responsible for PCSO decision

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

The Home Office has rejected claims by the Labour Party that the decision to axe all of Norfolk's police and community support officers (PCSOs) is the fault of government spending cuts.

In a statement issued late last night it said: "The government has protected overall police spending in real terms since 2015"

"Norfolk police received £3.4 millions more in 2016/17 compared with 2015/16 and in March it had £25.3 millions in reserves"

Ministers and government MPs accept that public money is tight but they believe the police can be more efficient.

Several of Norfolk's MPs have told me that losing all PCSOs but creating more full police officers will, ultimately, provide a better service.

The Home Office statement also says that it is "sensitive to the pressures the police are under" and it's begun "a programme of engagement to better understand their needs and how they can best be managed"

MP says people will be 'gutted' over PCSO proposals

The Labour MP for Norwich South says many people across the city, and across the county, will be "gutted" there will be fewer police officers visible, following the announcement on Thursday by Chief Constable Simon Bailey, that he is looking to axe his entire force of Police Community Support Officers.

Clive Lewis

Clive Lewis said: "I understand why the chief constable has done this, and I understand that there is a changing face of policing, a changing face of crime, but the reality is, part of the decision has been forced on him because of cuts to police budgets."

A 45-day formal consultation with staff on the proposals has just begun.

Harold the dove sees off strangers in Long Stratton street
Don't mess with Harold the dove...

Knudsen's derby day heroics recognised in Denmark

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

After scoring in his first two East Anglian derbies, Ipswich Town defender Jonas Knudsen (right) says he is more widely recognised now both in Suffolk and overseas.

Jonas Knudsen (right) celebrates with Kevin Bru (left)
Getty Images

The Danish international is looking forward to Sunday's clash with Norwich City at Portman Road, and has been telling us that he now has a much greater knowledge about what this particular fixture means to both sets of supporters.

"I didn't realise when I first came over here how big it was," he said.

"But there are a lot of fans around the world interested in this game and I've seen that now for myself.

"There was one time when I was back home in Denmark and someone came up to me and said 'Two goals against Norwich! Are you gonna do it next year?'

"I get lots of funny moments like that.

"My first derby last year was a fantastic feeling and I loved it.

"It's going to be a big game again and I think with a match like this everybody gives that bit extra and is more fired up."

Fly-tipping costs taxpayers £58m in clean-up costs

A drone-camera filmed the extent of rubbish dumped in Purfleet in south Essex in 2014

More than one million incidents of fly-tipping were dealt with by councils in England in 2016-17, costing taxpayers £58m to clear up.

It was the fourth year in a row that incidents increased.

About 56,000 fixed penalty notices were handed out by councils to people caught illegally dumping.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said two-thirds of fly-tipping was household waste.

There were about 1,002,000 cases of fly-tipping handled by councils in England between April 2016 and March 2017, equivalent to 114 every hour.

This was 66,000 (7%) more than the year before.

Chart showing areas with the most incidents of fly-tipping by population

New roundabout for accident blackspot

A busy staggered crossroads on the A140 to the south of Norwich is to be replaced with a roundabout.

The Department of Transport has given £3.05m of funding to Norfolk County Council for the roundabout at Hempnall.

There have been eight accidents at the junction in the last five years, with 11 casualties. These were linked to traffic turning on to the road from minor roads.

Aerial view of the junction, looking north
Norfolk County Council

Councillor Alison Thomas says she's been campaigning for improvements for the 22 years she's lived in the area.

"We need a roundabout at Hempnall, because there is a dangerous, risky junction," she said.

"This work will improve safety along the A140, its feeder roads and the entire Norwich to Ipswich corridor."

The total cost of the construction is estimated to be £4.36m, with the remainder of the money to come from developer funding.

Work is planned to begin in autumn 2019, subject to planning permission, with an opening expected in early summer 2020.

A Police Community Support Officer

Norfolk Police said the "radical plans" were an attempt to improve efforts to tackle violent crime.

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Norwich striker 'hasn't read the history books' according to Ipswich captain

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers has responded to Norwich forward Nelson Oliveira's claim that he'll be playing for the "better club" in Sunday's East Anglian derby.

Nelson Oliveira
Getty Images

The Portuguese (pictured) made the comments to the Eastern Daily Press earlier this week.

"Obviously he's new to playing over here and hasn't read the history books," Chambers told me.

"In the short term they've been in the Premier League, but you only have to look above the badge on our shirt to see where we're at [three stars representing the Blues' league title, FA Cup and UEFA Cup wins].

"Someone like him is not going to have any effect on what we're thinking towards the game.

"I've played against him a few times and he's got a lot to say for himself, so we'll see where we're at come 2 o'clock on Sunday."

Kick-off is at 12:00, with full match commentary on BBC Radio Suffolk (FM and DAB only - the BBC does not have rights to stream commentary on the internet).

Thieves target building sites in Norwich and Loddon area

Thieves have been targeting building sites in Norwich and south Norfolk.

In the past two weeks, there have been five incidents at sites in Norwich, Spooner Row, Loddon and Stoke Holy Cross.

Supt Dave Marshall says police investigations are on-going, and they urge building companies to keep sites locked and secure - and also to take crime prevention measures such as marking tools and property.

A house under construction on a building site

Residents are urged to be vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour.

A jet washer, generator, power tools, cabling and batteries are among the items taken.

Man charged in connection with Norwich assaults

A man in his 20s has been charged with three counts of grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to a number of incidents in Norwich.

At around 18:40 on Monday, 25 September a 15-year-old boy suffered a knife wound to the chest on Balfour Street in the Ketts Cave area. He suffered serious injuries, but has since been released from hospital.

In the second incident, a man in his 30s was assaulted and stabbed with a sharp implement in Heathgate, at approximately 14:00 on Thursday, 12 October.

Officers were called at 22:35 on Tuesday, 17 October to reports that an 18-year-old man had been assaulted on Magdalen Road and suffered a cut to the face.

The suspect has been remanded in custody.

CCTV issued in bid to identify woman rescued from UEA lake

Norfolk Police have released this CCTV footage of a woman they want to identify after she was rescued from a lake at the UEA in Norwich yesterday.

She remains in a critical condition in hospital.

View more on twitter

Images have also been released of clothing worn by the woman, who's believed to be in her 40s or 50s.

The white/cream faux fur coat
Norfolk police
The woman was wearing a white/cream faux fur front button coat
The brown lace-up ankle boots
Norfolk police
Brown laced ankle boots worn by the unidentified woman
The grey top with sequin pattern
Norfolk police
Her grey long-sleeved top has a sequin pattern
The ripped jeans and the belt
Norfolk police
She also worn dark blue jeans with a brown leather belt patterned with metal studs

King's Lynn hospital bed occupancy changes 'minute-by-minute'

More on our story about high bed-occupancy at Norfolk's emergency hospitals...

Occupancy rates at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital through the summer were consistently close to 100%.

In September, they exceeded capacity at the King's Lynn NHS hospital.

Chief executive Jon Green says they calculate occupancy levels based on the number of acute medical and emergency beds they have available.

Sign for the A & E department at the QEH

The target we drive towards is 92% occupancy and we've been doing a lot better... we've been running at 92% for some of the days of the month, and we've certainly been running at under 100%, but it changes on a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour basis, but we're far closer to that 92% that I would like to sustainably deliver."

Jon GreenQueen Elizabeth Hospital

Patient safety 'not compromised' by high demand

More now on our story of the two Norfolk hospitals which had to bring in extra beds because of high demand.

A BBC investigation has shown that the Queen Elizabeth in King's Lynn and the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) in Gorleston had 100% of their beds occupied in the past three months.

Graham Wilde, chief executive of the JPUH, says patient safety hasn't been compromised.

Graham Wilde seated at desk, with computer

I think we have a dedicated team of doctors, nurses and other support staff who work hard to ensure that patient safety is our paramount concern. I can reassure people that, on the whole, we'd rather breach targets than jeopardise patient safety."

Graham WildeJames Paget University Hospital

Flying Scotsman repairs continue

The Flying Scotsman remains in Peterborough this morning so repair works can continue.

The locomotive developed a fault yesterday during a "Cathedrals Express" trip between Ely and Norwich.

Flying Scotsman

The company behind the tour, Steam Dreams Rail, say it was due to a fault in the "hot axle box".

"It's not currently clear if the fault will be fixed in time for the trips on Saturday," they added.

Flying Scotsman being repaired

The train is due to travel from Norwich to Ipswich and back on Saturday morning, then from Norwich to London King's Cross in the afternoon.

Whatever happens the trips will take place, but with "an alternative steam locomotive" if the Flying Scotsman can't be fixed in time, they company explained.

Appeal as unidentified woman is rescued from UEA lake

Police are appealing for help in identifying a woman who was rescued from a lake at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich.

Officers were called to the campus shortly after 14:30 yesterday, following concerns for the safety of the woman.

She was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where she remains in a critical condition.

Looking across the lake at the university
N Chadwick/Geograph

She is said to be in her 40s or 50s, of medium build with short dark greying hair, wearing dark blue jeans and a grey long sleever top with a sequin pattern on the front.

Efforts to identify her have been unsuccessful, and no personal belongings where found other than a key attached to a red Cath Kidston key ring.

Hospitals under pressure

Two of Norfolk's hospitals have had to bring in extra beds because of high demand.

Between June and September, the Queen Elizabeth in King's Lynn and the James Paget in Gorleston, were continuously operating close to 100% bed capacity.

Both had to open extra emergency beds.

James Paget University Hospital

The Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital says it was never operating at more than 95% bed occupancy over the summer months.

They say they're prepared for peaks in demand throughout the year.

Harold the dove takes up residence in Long Stratton street
The bird has been known to pursue postal workers delivering to houses in Long Stratton, Norfolk.
Flying Scotsman broken down at Peterborough

Thousands of people were expected to try to see the famous locomotive at it steamed towards Norwich.

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Flying Scotsman fault 'very unusual'

Flying Scotsman at Peterborough

The travel company behind Flying Scotsman's unsuccessful 'Cathedrals Express' trip from Ely to Norwich today says the locomotive "developed a fault" earlier and had to stop at Peterborough.

In a statement, the Steam Dreams Rail co. said: "Flying Scotsman developed a fault with its hot axel box on the right hand driving wheel, which was discovered at Peterborough.

"Unfortunately this means the locomotive is a failure, and the Cathedrals Express will be hauled instead by a vintage diesel locomotive this evening.

"Steam locomotives need 24 hours preparation so a failure like this during the day leaves us no choice but to run with diesel as the extent of the hotbox cannot be assessed until the locomotive has returned to a depot.

"This is a very unusual occurrence in the middle of a journey and only the second time the Flying Scotsman has had any problems since its return in January 2016.

"We are extremely sorry for the disappointment that this will cause to both our passengers and onlookers."

Flying Scotsman at Peterborough

Flying Scotsman halted at Peterborough 'due to failure'

Flying Scotsman, which was due to travel to Norwich this evening, has broken down, the British Transport Police (BTP) said.

Thousands of people were expected to try to see the famous locomotive as it travelled from Ely at 17:30 to Norwich, due to arrive at 19:00.

It left Lincolnshire this morning.

However, BTP said it would travel no further than Peterborough "due to a failure".

View more on twitter

There had been fears there would be trespassers getting on to the tracks after serious incidents last year, but the BTP said there had been no issues.

'Rare' sighting of shark a mile off the Norfolk coast
Basking sharks prefer Britain's western waters and are not usually found off the east coast.