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  1. Updates for Friday, 8 December 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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NHS graphic

Use our tracker to check whether your local services are meeting strict waiting-time targets for cancer, routine operations and A&E.

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James Maddison

Tom Garry

BBC Sport

Norwich City score three second-half goals to end their winless run and keep Sheffield Wednesday in the bottom half.

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Weather: Snow expected

There's a warning that snow could fall in the Eastern region this weekend.

In Northamptonshire, it's expected tonight.

The Met Office says snow may fall in Norfolk and Northants on Saturday, as "one or two snow showers are possible in the west."

On Sunday snow is predicted for the rest of the East.

Severe accident: A47 Norfolk westbound

BBC News Travel

A47 Norfolk westbound severe accident, between A149 Queen Elizabeth Way and A17.

A47 Norfolk - A47 Constitution Hill in King's Lynn closed and queuing traffic westbound between Hardwick Roundabout and Pullover Roundabout, because of an accident.

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

Anorexic student Averil Hart 'let down' by NHS
University student Averil Hart's family said she starved herself to death in 10 weeks.

Passengers leave stricken train at Helpston

Here are the latest images of relieved passengers finally leaving a train that was stuck near Peterborough after hitting an object on the track at about 10:30.

Train passengers

The Hull Trains service from London King's Cross came to a halt at Helpston after sustaining what the company described as "catastrophic engine failure".

Engineers checking train at Helpston

Passengers were stuck on board for more than four hours, many complaining of no water or working toilets, while the fuel leak was cleared and a rescue train organised.

They have now been moved from the stricken train, but passengers using services between London and the north east are still being warned about delays.

Train at Helpston

Bobby the Elf latest Norfolk Police recruit

Norfolk Police have a new recruit - Bobby the Elf.

He'll be spreading safe Christmas messages on social media on behalf of the force from next week.

Ch Insp Craig Miller said Bobby would "help deliver some very important messages around safety in a fun way".

Bobby the Elf
Norfolk Police

Tips include:

  • Do not accept lifts from strangers
  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Don't let thieves steal your Christmas - keep vehicles and homes secure
Dr Hugh O'Neill

Hugh Blaise O'Neill was investigated after some police recruits said he assaulted them in medical examinations.

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Union 'quite hopeful' for crew stranded in Great Yarmouth

A court ruling in Mumbai means four crew members stranded in Great Yarmouth may finally be allowed home, a union official has said.

Malaviya Twenty

The India-owned Malaviya Twenty has been detained at the port since June 2016. The original crew of 12 went home in February, but four seamen flown in to man the ship at that point were also left without food, fuel, water or wages - and the port authority has been supporting them.

Paul Keenan, from the International Transport Workers' Federation, said the High Court in Mumbai has instructed the shipping company's liquidators to pay for four new crew members to fly over.

Once that is done, Navigators Insurance, which provides seamen with abandonment insurance, will fly the men home and cover some of their wages.

He said: "I'm quite hopeful this will get these guys back home and the immediate pressure is off."

Rail disruption expected until early evening

Rail passengers using services between London and the north east are being told they could face disruption to their journeys until this evening.

Some lines have reopened after a train hit an obstruction on the track near Peterborough this morning and sprung a fuel leak - however, National Rail says the knock-on effect of that could last several more hours.

A number of trains have been cancelled and others are running up to an hour late.

View more on twitter

Services affected are:

  • East Midlands Trains between Liverpool Lime Street and Norwich
  • Grand Central between London Kings Cross and Bradford Interchange / Sunderland
  • Hull Trains between London Kings Cross and Hull
  • Virgin Trains East Coast between London Kings Cross and Leeds / York / Newcastle / Glasgow Central / Edinburgh

Norwich trains back to normal after operating incident

Train services near Norwich returned to normal at about 13:00 after an operating incident involving a freight train led to delays and cancellations.

Greater Anglia said the incident took place at about 10:00 and caused problems to its services until about 11:30.

A company spokeswoman said: "Anyone affected by the delays may be able to claim delay repay compensation."

Rail disruption as fuel leak halts train

Rail passengers travelling between London and the north-east are facing long delays and cancellations after a train hit an obstruction on the track near Peterborough.

The Hull Trains service from London King's Cross came to a halt at Helpston at about 10:30.

Early reports of a fire on board the train have been dismissed by Network Rail which said the driver thought she saw smoke, but it was later confirmed there was none.

However, the train sustained damage and a fuel leak is currently being dealt with.

Train information
Network rail

A Network Rail spokeswoman said passengers remained on board and the train would be towed to a station to enable them to leave.

No-one was injured, but passengers using East Midlands, Grand Central, Hull Trains and Virgin Trains services have been told to expect long delays or cancellations.

Norwich City

Norwich City warns fans sections of its ground may be closed if they continue to stand during matches.

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Norwich Redwell brewery jobs 'saved' by new investors

A Norwich brewery, which was placed into administration on 4 December, has has been bought by new owners.

Redwell, which is based in Trowse, was founded in 2013 by Amy Hancock and Patrick Fisher to make craft beers, but, despite orders from Aldi and Tesco, the company got into financial difficulties in 2016.

A team of local investors led by John Hughes and Warren Thorp made a successful bid to take over the brewery, securing the future of four members of staff, according to a tweet from the company.

Ms Hancock said: "It became clear that the only way to continue brewing, save jobs and fulfill customer orders was to place the company into administration.

"I've put everything into Redwell and will walk away with nothing... I'm still massively proud of the brand and felt the most important thing was to protect the jobs of our incredibly loyal staff.

Co-founder Patrick Fisher at Redwell brewery
Co-founder Patrick Fisher at Redwell brewery

Snow prospects for Sunday across BBC East region

Dan Holley

BBC Look East weather

Christmas dinner gets deep-fried makeover by fish and chip shop
The traditional Christmas dinner has just been battered.
Drone flies through Norwich's Christmas tunnel of light
Thousands of festive LED lights create a magical city Christmas lights experience.

Inquest re-opens into offshore gas worker's death

Cath Saunt

BBC Radio Norfolk

An offshore gas worker was fatally injured after an electrical panel toppled on to him, an inquest has heard.

Tyron Jones, 43, from Lowestoft, died on 5 December 2016 at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, after being flown from the Indefatigable 23A North Sea gas platform operated by Anglo-French company Perenco.

The Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich heard from Perenco team leader Martin Francis, who described Mr Jones as "extremely through and experienced".

Mr Francis told the jury the company had a complex system of risk assessment, but a piece of heavy electrical equipment was not screwed into its crate and the authorised order of tasks was not followed prior to Mr Jones' death.

The inquest continues.

PM supports campaign to keep open CITB

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

The Prime Minister has given her support to the campaign to keep open the construction and industry training board in Norfolk.

Its owners are considering closing the site at Bircham Newton which would lead to the loss of 600 jobs.

In the House of Commons local MP Sir Henry Bellingham told Theresa May that with Brexit approaching, the country should be training more people to become builders.

"Now is not the time for the Construction and Industry training board to be proposing to close its site in West Norfolk putting at risk 600 jobs in a rural area" he told Mps.

The Prime Minister replied "I am very happy to support his campaign, I wish him well and I'm very happy to meet with him"

Shelter opens in King's Lynn after 'sharp rise in homelessness'

Jill Bennett

BBC Radio Norfolk

The majority of visitors using King's Lynn's new homeless winter shelter for the first time had "been rough sleeping for some time and were quite desperate", according to the shelter co-ordinator.

It's being piloted on Friday and Saturday nights by the Purfleet Trust (see below) and the church-led Imagine Norfolk Together.

Andrew Frere-Smith, from Imagine Norfolk Together, said it was set up after a sharp rise in homelessness.

"Most years it was four or five people sleeping rough in King's Lynn, but it was 42 last year and we don't want that to happen again," he said.

The winter shelter opened last weekend and its co-ordinator Joanne Dowen said it received nine visitors on Friday night and eight on Saturday who "expressed surprise and curiosity about why we were wanting to help them".

Purfleet Trust, King's Lynn

Severe accident: A140 Norfolk northbound

BBC News Travel

A140 Norfolk northbound severe accident, near Parker's Lane.

A140 Norfolk - A140 Ipswich Road in Long Stratton closed and queuing traffic northbound near the Parker's Lane junction, because of an accident.

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

Felixstowe detectorist to get £30k from find valued at £145k

A Felixstowe man who discovered Anglo-Saxon jewellery and other items valued at £145,000 while he was a student in 2014, is due to receive more than £30,000.

Tom Lucking, who is now an archaeologist, made the discovery at Winfarthing, near Diss.

Pendant found at Winfarthing
British Museum

As well as jewellery, coins and a copper bowl were among the haul found in a woman's grave, thought to date from 630-650AD.

Mr Lucking said Norwich Castle Museum is trying to raise the money to acquire the pendant: "That will be split - the landowner will get 50% of that and then myself and my detecting partner will split the other 50% between us."

Stolen vehicles used in attempted ram raid

A Mitsubishi L200 pick-up truck, which was left at the scene of an attempted ram raid in Rickinghall in the early hours of this morning, had been stolen earlier from an address in nearby Hopton, police have told us.

They were called just before 02:00 to reports a retail premises in The Street had been broken into.

The Mitsubishi had been reversed through the main entrance of the building, and an unsuccessful attempt was made to remove the cash machine from inside.

Three male suspects made off in the direction of the A140 in a silver BMW X5.

Detectives are investigating whether it was the same BMW which was stolen following a burglary at a property in Acton near Sudbury, between Thursday, 16 November, and Saturday, 2 December.

Rare parrot crossbills attract flock of ornithologists to Suffolk forest

Ipswich Star

Dozens of bird spotters converged on the Suffolk-Norfolk border to see rare visitors who had flown in for an East Anglian feast.

FA Cup draw around the region

The draw was made for the third round of the FA Cup last night.

Here are the ties featuring teams from the BBC East region, in the order they were drawn:

  • Ipswich Town v Sheffield United
  • Watford v Bristol City
  • Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough United
  • QPR v MK Dons
  • Stevenage v Reading
  • Newcastle United v Luton Town
  • Wycombe Wanderers v Preston North End
  • Norwich City v Chelsea

Full draw here at BBC Sport. The ties take place over the weekend of 6-7 January.

'Shocking' drink and drug driving statistics

Severe disruption: A11 Norfolk southbound

BBC News Travel

A11 Norfolk southbound severe disruption, at B1172 London Road affecting B1135 Stanfield Road.

A11 Norfolk - Delays, queuing traffic and the main road is closed, with traffic being routed around the junction and back on again, on A11 southbound in Spooner Row at the B1172 London Road junction, because of roadworks. Congestion to the B1135 Stanfield Road junction.

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

Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The six-month-old girl was alone with her father when she became unwell, a court hears.

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Co-op to sell food beyond 'best before' dates to tackle waste
Stories in the East of England will sell some products for 10p to try to reduce waste.
An artist's impression of the new pool

North Norfolk District Council looks to spend £10m on a new leisure and fitness centre with a pool.

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Residents fear 'devastating consequences' if Vanguard windfarm is built

Residents of three villages in north Norfolk have told district councillors that plans for an offshore windfarm will have devastating consequences.

Norfolk Vanguard could be built 30 miles (48 km) off the coast.

Vattenfall, the company behind the scheme, is proposing two substations onshore at East Ruston and Ridlington connected to the turbines by cables running through Happisburgh.

Wind turbine

Beverley Wigg, from No 2 Relay Stations, talking on behalf of residents in East Ruston and Ridlngton, said: "The footprint, the size, the height, the noise - we are now in absolutely no doubt that this is going to be catastrophic.

"The operational side is going to be awful, the traffic is going to be horrendous, but the long-term result is that this part of the region is going to be industrialised and it is a rural area.

"It's very, very dependent on tourism and farming.

"The planning blight has started and it will continue, and it will be a shadow hanging over us for years to come."

Vattenfall, which has a consultation running until 11 December, didn't attend the meeting.

Resignation of Norfolk peer raised in Parliament

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

The resignation of Baroness Gillian Shephard from the government's Social Mobility Commission has been raised in Parliament this afternoon.

Baroness Shephard of Northwold, who was Conservative MP for South West Norfolk 1987-2005, was one of four members of the commission who resigned over the weekend.

The former chairman Alan Milburn said the whole board was standing down because the government was not doing enough to tackle poor social mobility.

In Parliament, the leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Vince Cable said the resignation of a "highly respected" person showed how serious the concerns of the board must have been.

Labour's education spokesman Angela Rayner said: "When a former Tory education minister resigns from a commission set up by a Tory government this goes beyond politics."

The education minister Robert Goodwill said the government is still committed to improving social mobility.

Baroness Shephard hasn't said why she decided to resign.

In a statement Baroness Shephard said she was "sad to leave the commission but believe that this... is the right time for me to do so", but she did not elaborate on the reasons for her decision.

Norfolk gritting announcement made in verse

Norfolk County Council has revealed a budding poet in its midst, by making an announcement about gritting lorries in verse, on its Facebook page.

Gritter at depot

If the rhyming words are anything to go by though, I don't think Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has too much to worry about.

Here's the opus magnum in its entirety:

I met a woodlouse on the stairI cannot say what it did thereBut, beckoning me closer with spindly leg, it whispered in my ear...

The gritters will go out at six,But not everywhere, just in the sticksAnd I use 'the sticks' advisedly and largely because it rhymes.

Let me elaborate; along the east coastTemperatures will drop the mostAnd inland north and inland south, it should reach freezing here.

So the gritters will rouse their weary bonesAnd go out in these gritting zonesHoping to have finished their routes before nine o' clock chimes.

The woodlouse sighed as if relievedTo impart the knowledge I had receivedAnd off it scuttled, who knows where, but I doubt not to spread some cheer.