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  1. Children's services in Northamptonshire have been rated "requires improvement" having previously been judged "inadequate" in 2013
  2. Northampton Borough Council is seeking an interim injunction to prevent the sale of Christina Cardoza's house
  3. Victims of crime in Northamptonshire are being "let down" by delays affecting our courts, according to groups that support victims in the county
  4. Updates for Wednesday, 27 April 2016
  5. News, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Thanks for joining us today. We'll be back tomorrow at 08:00 with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather for the county.

In the meantime, why not scroll through this page to catch up with today's big stories.

'Another two years' to complete improvements to children's services

Annabel Amos

BBC Radio Northampton

County councillor Heather Smith says it will be easier to recruit good social workers in Northamptonshire after Ofsted's latest inspection found the authority's children's services were no longer inadequate.

But she told me the authority would take "another two years" of work before meeting the standards of a "good" department.

Nearly 1,000 children are in the care of Northamptonshire County Council and agency staff cost twice as much as a council-employed social worker.

Children's services Ofsted rating: 'Any inadequate rating has a devastating effect on the whole service'

Annabel Amos

BBC Radio Northampton

Children's services don't come cheap, but keeping vulnerable young people safe is one of the most important things a local authority does.

Ofsted says Northamptonshire is no longer inadequate - and that will be a big relief to all at County Hall. 

Heather Smith, the county councillor responsible for children's services, previously said she'd resign if it hadn't improved.

"Any other judgement from Ofsted I wouldn't have accepted," she said. "I know how much improvement has been made over the past 12 months. For the social workers to get the recognition that we're not running an inadequate service anymore makes a huge difference."

Council seeks interim injunction over sale of Cardoza house... Children's services in Northamptonshire no longer inadequate

Sarah Foster

BBC Radio Northampton

Good afternoon, here are the latest headlines:

  • Northampton Borough Council is to seek an interim injunction blocking the sale of a property belonging to Christina Cardoza
  • Ofsted has found children's services in Northamptonshire have improved and are no longer rated inadequate
  • Police are asking for your help to identify a mystery man, found collapsed in Well Street in Finedon on Monday afternoon. He died a short time later

Ripley says 'a couple of nicks early on' could have changed Essex match

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

Northamptonshire's head coach David Ripley has conceded that their innings and change defeat at the hands of Essex was brutal, but insists it's not all doom and gloom.

David Ripley

"The margin of defeat is crushing on the surface," he said. "But there's a bit more to the game than the stark statistics. We bowled a lot better I think on the first day than the scoreboard suggests."  

Employment park plans for motor speedway near Corby given the go-ahead

Northamptonshire Telegraph

Outline plans to build an employment park on land at Rockingham Motor Speedway have been approved.

Dogs wanted for Royal and Derngate's Oliver!

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

"Please, sir; I want some more."

The classic lines and songs of Oliver! will be taking to the stage at the Royal and Derngate in July - and the theatre is auditioning for a very special role; Bullseye.

Getty Images

Director Christopher Elmer-Gorry says "ideal breeds would include Bull Terrier, British Bulldog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier or any terrier cross. It would be perfect if they could bark on instruction - but this is not vital."

Auditions are being held on Sunday, 21 May.

Plea to help identify man who died in Northamptonshire street

Northampton Chronicle & Echo

Police are appealing for the public’s help to identify a man who died after collapsing in Northamptonshire earlier this week.

Borough council injunction against Christina Cardoza 'part of pursuit of £10.25m loan'

Northampton Borough Council is seeking an interim injunction to prevent the sale of Christina Cardoza's house - she is the wife of former Northampton Town director, David.

David Cardoza

In a statement, the council said: "We have taken this action against the Cardozas as part of our pursuit of the £10.25m loan made by Northampton Borough Council to Northampton Town Football Club, of which David and Anthony Cardoza were directors.

"The borough council took on the right to pursue the debt from the football club under the memorandum of understanding signed with the club’s new owners and we have made it clear we do intend to take the action needed both to find out what happened and to recover the public money that has not been repaid."

BreakingCouncil seeks injunction to prevent sale of home belonging to wife of David Cardoza

Northampton Borough Council will seek an interim injunction to prevent the sale of Christina Cardoza's house.

Christina, Anthony and David Cardoza have been named in proceedings for the hearing,scheduled to take place at 10:30 tomorrow in Birmingham.

BBC Any Questions is in Corby on Friday - and you can be there

Private home in rural Northamptonshire nominated for architecture award

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

A home in rural Northamptonshire is on a shortlist of 12 for the Royal Institute of British Architects annual award for the east midlands, due to be announced later in Nottingham.

Private home
Alex Franklin/RIBA

The house is described as standing "alone, remote from the nearest village, on a ridge of higher ground overlooking the rolling landscape of a nearby farm".

There's a full shortlist here

'He looked a little bit manic': The challenge of sculpting John Clare

Annabel Amos

BBC Radio Northampton

You may not know much about John Clare, but the Northamptonshire poet and sometime resident of Northampton lunatic asylum - now St Andrew's Hospital - has been commemorated in a new statue in Northampton.


Clare was known as Northamptonshire's Peasant Poet and his work was inspired by the county's countryside. He was born in Helpston, then part of Northamptonshire, in 1973.

Richard Austin, the sculptor, said: "A lot of the images we have of John Clare, he looked a little bit manic, so we used a little bit of artistic licence to make him look a little more peaceful".

Children's services nationally in a poor state

Carroll Weston

BBC Radio Northampton

Today's news that children's services in Northamptonshire are no longer rated as inadequate will be welcomed, but the fact remains the authority still requires improvement.


It's not alone in this - three quarters of all children's services departments in England currently have inadequate or requires improvement ratings.

So while today's report is a step in the right direction, it's also a symptom of wider, national challenges in caring for the most vulnerable young people.

Get out your garland!

Youngest revenge porn victim in Northants was 12-years-old

Peter Sherlock

Data unit

There have been 88 cases of revenge porn reported to Northamptonshire Police in the first year since a new law made it an offence to share private sexual photographs or films without consent.

Revenge porn victims by age

The youngest case involved a 12-year-old victim - with images posted on Instagram - while there were also three cases involving 13-year-olds. The oldest victim was 47.

The BBC analysed Freedom of Information requests to find there have been more than 1,000 alleged victims in England and Wales.

Northampton-based insurance firm set to create 120 new jobs

Northampton Chronicle & Echo

An insurance and travel firm in Northampton is creating 120 new jobs across its business.

We need to get better at recruitment, says children's services boss

Craig Lewis

BBC News

Northamptonshire County Council's Cabinet member for children's service has admitted the authority needs "to get better at recruiting and retaining permanent staff" to make sure children get  consistent support from social workers.

Child on swing

Councillor Heather Smith was talking after the council was rated as "requires improvement" by Ofsted earlier today.

She praised the work of "our fantastic Social Work Academy," which was singled out by inspectors as an example of how the authority has improved.

Essex beat Northamptonshire by an innings and 92 runs

Alex Winter

BBC Radio Northampton sport

A pretty poor all-round performance from Northamptonshire here. They bowled waywardly on the first day and have been chasing the game since.


The batting was marginally better in the second innings but nowhere near good enough to get back in the game.

Rustiness may be an excuse having only played two days’ cricket before this game. They will hope for far better on Sunday against Derbyshire.

Council worked 'incredibly hard' to improve children's services, says deputy leader

Craig Lewis

BBC News

The deputy leader of Northamptonshire County Council, Councillor Heather Smith, says the authority has worked "incredibly hard" to improve its children's services.

Heather Smith
Northamptonshire County Council

An Ofsted inspection revealed earlier today showed the department has improved from "inadequate" to a "requires improvement" rating.

Cllr Smith, who is also the Cabinet member for children's services, said: "We know there is still work to do to... but I am pleased Ofsted has recognised our progress."

Kettering's Wilson ready for a rest, but 'will be back working very, very hard'

BBC Sport

Kettering's Kyren Wilson has vowed he'll be back soon after he went out of snooker's world championship to Mark Selby earlier today.

Keyren Wilson

"I will have a bit of a rest and will be back working very, very hard to make sure next season is even better than this one," he said.

"Inevitably the 6-0 lead he had finished me off. I let him in too early. I didn't put him under pressure soon enough and he is too good a player to let him get on top of you."

Northants fighting, but remain on the brink of defeat in Essex

Alex Winter

BBC Radio Northampton sport

It's lunch in the cricket, where Northamptonshire are staring down the barrel of an innings defeat against Essex.

Rory Kleinveldt
Getty Images

Despite stubborn resistance from Richard Gleeson (13 not out) and Rory Kleinveldt (23 not out) for the ninth wicket in their second innings, the county still remain 104 runs behind their hosts at Chelmsford.

Having carried on through the early part of lunch in search of a result, the players were forced off following a downpour - but the afternoon forecast still doesn't suggest the weather can save the visitors.

Snooker's Kyren Wilson has 'no doubt' he'll be a future champion

BBC Sport

Defeat in the quarter-final of the world snooker championship doesn't seem to have knocked Kyren Wilson's confidence.

Kyren Wilson at the Shanghai Masters
Getty Images

The 24-year-old from Kettering is convinced he will be successful at snooker's showpiece event at some point.

The reigning Shanghai Masters champion said: "I completely believe in myself and this hasn't dampened my confidence."

Wilson takes solace in 'nice consolation prize' of highest Crucible break

BBC Sport

Kettering's Kyren Wilson may have bowed out of the snooker world championships earlier today, losing 13-8 to world number one Mark Selby.

Kyren Wilson

But the world number 19 who beat top-10 seeds Joe Perry and Mark Allen to reach the last eight for the first time, did at least have the consolation of beating Barry Hawkins' break of 141 before Selby closed out the match.

"It was a nice break," said Wilson. "At 12-6 down I am out of the match and it was a nice consolation prize so hopefully it will stand."

How Kettering's Kyren Wilson sent fans snooker loopy with Crucible highest break

BBC Sport

Surprise package Kyren Wilson set the highest break at the Crucible this year in his quarter-final match against Mark Selby, making an impressive 143 to beat his own personal highest break.

The Kettering youngster, 24, eventually went out to the world number one, losing by 13 frames to eight, but had already passed expectations having entered the tournament as a qualifier.

World Snooker 2016: Wilson scores maximum break in quarter-final

Northamptonshire children's services: The improvements that still need to be made

Carroll Weston

BBC Radio Northampton

Children's services look after some of the county's most vulnerable people, but at the last full inspection in 2013 the service in Northamptonshire was branded inadequate, with serious and widespread weaknesses found across all areas.

County Hall

Since then, the authority has spent an extra £62m on improving the service, investing in cross-agency working and a specialist team which focuses on young people who go missing or who are at risk of child sexual exploitation.

But inspectors say more work needs to be done to reduce the level of temporary and agency staff, who make up 43 per cent of the workforce.

Weather: Sunshine and showers

BBC Weather

April may be drawing to a close, but there's no sign of an end to the chilly and unsettled weather.

This afternoon will see a familiar mix of sunshine and wintry showers, with the chance of hail and thunder too. Top temperature 9C (46F).

Blue Shoes 42/BBC

"Blue Shoes 42" sent us this picture earlier today. If you'd like to tell us about the weather where you are, you can become a BBC Weather Watcher.

Cobblers victory parade: Details released

Joe Townsend

BBC Radio Northampton sport

It's been a bonkers season at Sixfields, but the open top bus tour to celebrate the League 2 title will be a fantastic celebration of the team's triumph.


It'll leave Sixfields at 16:00 on Sunday, 8 May, travelling down Weedon Road on its way to the town centre, before a civic reception at the Guildhall.

The full route is on the club's website.

Headlines: Children's services no longer inadequate... Rider injured after being thrown from horse

Sarah Foster

BBC Radio Northampton

Here are the lunchtime headlines:

  • Children's services in Northamptonshire have "improved across all areas" and are no longer rated "inadequate", according to the latest Ofsted inspection
  • A rider has been injured after being thrown from her horse between Weston and Helmdon on Saturday evening when a motorist sounded his horn as he drove past
  • Kettering's Kyren Wilson is out of the snooker world championship, after losing his quarter-final against world number one Mark Selby

Multi-million pound children's services investment yields improvement, but agency staff cuts still needed

Carroll Weston

BBC Radio Northampton

The county council needs to reduce its use of temporary and agency staff if its children's services team is to give young people the consistency of care they need.

That's one of the main findings in the latest Ofsted inspection of the authority. The council did manage to improve its overall rating from "inadequate" to "requires improvement".

County Hall

An extra £62m has been put into Northamptonshire children's services over the last three years, in an effort to turn around the department.

Northamptonshire look to turn the page after yesterday's horror show

Alex Winter

BBC Radio Northampton sport

I'm back at Chelmsford for the final day of Northamptonshire's county championship match against Essex.

Northants will be trying to put yesterday behind them, when they were bowled out for 119 and made to follow on.

Essex vs Northants

It's a bright day and Essex will be looking to wrap things up here and bag their second win of the season. Northants are 163-5 and you can hear my live coverage here.

Wilson bows out at The Crucible

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

Kettering's Kyren Wilson has lost his quarter-final at the snooker world championship, going down 13-8 to world number one, Mark Selby.

Kyren Wilson
Getty Images

It's still been a fantastic tournament for Wilson though, who won his first tournament in Shanghai last year and will make another big leap up the rankings with his performance in Sheffield.

Warmington 'weekend retreat' shortlisted for architecture award

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

A property in Warmington, near to the Bedfordshire border, is one of three in Northamptonshire shortlisted for the Royal Institute of British Architects award for the east midlands.

Justin Paget/RIBA

A garage, garden store and the remains of an old piggery have been demolished to make way for a new building that includes a kitchen and bathroom.

The winner will be announced in Nottingham later.

Oundle School pavilion shortlisted for prestigious architecture award

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

The new pavilion at Oundle School is one of 12 buildings shortlisted for the prize for the east midlands from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Oundle School Pavilion
Toby Knipping/RIBA

The new building replaced an old pavilion on the same site, making 160 years of sporting history there. 

The winner of the RIBA award will be announced in Nottingham later today.

BreakingCentury break for Wilson - could the fightback be on?

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

It's early days, but a break of 143 from Kettering's Kyren Wilson has reduced the deficit to 12-8 in his world championship quarter final against Mark Selby.

Could an historic comeback be on for the qualifier?

Surge in crown court cases led to backlog, says court service

Elinor Cross

BBC Radio Northampton

Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service has responded following news support groups in the county say delays in the court system are affecting the well-being of crime victims.

Northampton Crown Court

The service said there was a surge in the number of cases listed for trial at Northampton Crown Court, but the case-load has been decreasing over the year as a result of additional sitting days. 

But we know a senior Northampton judge has met with Northampton's Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds to discuss ways of addressing the issue.

Wilson fights on in world snooker battle

Graham McKechnie

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Kyren Wilson, from Kettering, is battling to stay in his world championship quarter-final, against world number one Mark Selby.

Wilson, who came through the qualifiers, won the 19th frame to keep in the match 12-7, but remains just one frame from defeat.

Kyren Wilson/Mark Selby
Getty Images

Wilson has been touted by BBC pundits as a future world champion in the making. You can follow live coverage here.

Revenge pornography victims as young as 11, investigation finds

Peter Sherlock

Data unit

Children as young as 11 are among more than 1,000 alleged victims of revenge porn who reported offences in the first year of the new law coming into effect, it has been revealed.


In April 2015, it became an offence to share private sexual photographs or films without the subject's consent.

The BBC analysed Freedom of Information requests from 31 forces in England and Wales between April and December.

Kyren Wilson on the edge of defeat in world snooker quarter-final

Kettering snooker star Kyren Wilson is on the verge of elimination in the snooker world championship quarter-final.

Wilson is currently 12-6 down against Mark Selby, the world number one.

Children's services in Northamptonshire 'improved': The full report

Stuart Ratcliffe

BBC Look East

That crucial report on children's services at Northamptonshire County Council has been published by the inspector, Ofsted.

It shows the service has improved from "inadequate" in 2013, but still "requires improvement".

You can read the full report here and BBC Radio Northampton's Annabel Amos will have all the details and reaction from 16:00.

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