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Live Reporting

By Pete Cooper

All times stated are UK

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Northampton v Worcester

Northampton moved back into the top six of the Premiership with victory over Worcester at Franklin's Gardens.

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That's all from us

Live updates have now finished for Northamptonshire.

If you want to follow Northampton Saints players in action in the Six Nations head to the BBC Sport website . The Saints themselves take on Worcester in the Premiership, and you can find commentary on BBC Radio Northampton .

Meanwhile, if you're following the Cobblers' away trip to Fleetwood in League One, then head over to our Twitter feed .

And we'll be back on Monday from 08:00.

See you then.

Northampton comedian wins over-55s comedy award

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Pete Teckman from Northampton has won the Silver Stand Up - Leicester Comedy Festival's annual competition for up-and-coming comedians aged 55 or over.

Pete Teckman
Leicester Comedy Festival

Twenty comedians aged between 55 and 81 were shortlisted to perform and eight comedians took to the stage to compete for the coveted title.

However, the 55-year-old stand-up picked up the award.

The annual event is supported by Jasper Carrot, Pam Ayres, Arthur Smith and Sir Bruce Forsyth.

Pete told the Leicester Comedy Festival website : "It's just really nice that there's something there for older acts to have a go at."

Overnight weather: Dry at first with patchy rain later

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

A dry start to the night across the BBC East region with clear spells, but patchy rain will eventually spread in from the north-west. 

The winds will pick up to a moderate-to-fresh south-westerly, and temperatures will drop to 3C (37F).

Overnight weather map

Saturday will be blustery with a fresh, occasionally strong, south-westerly wind. 

Early rain will clear eastwards and it should then become drier and brighter, before more rain spreads in from the north-west. 

Highs of 10C (50F).

Get the full forecast where you are from BBC Weather .

PC Declan Gabriel: Alleged victim not a 'sincere and consistent witness', say defence

Stuart Ratcliffe

BBC Look East

A woman who claims a Northamptonshire Police officer raped and sexually assaulted her has been accused of being "extraordinarily inconsistent" with her evidence.

This afternoon the defence team representing PC Declan Gabriel told Northampton Crown Court her evidence contained several demonstrable lies.

Declan Gabriel

In 2015 Mr Gabriel was called to an incident where the woman, then aged 17, had been thrown out of her home by her mother, the court heard.

After that, the court was told Mr Gabriel took her in his car to try and find her somewhere to stay. It's alleged he then stopped in two lay-bys where he sexually assaulted and raped her.

But today, the officer's defence barrister, Steven Evans, told the jury the woman changed her accounts of what the alleged sexual activities were.

Mr Evans said the defendant had been a "sincere and consistent witness", whereas the woman had not, telling the court "consistency is the hallmark of truth".

He also said PC Gabriel had co-operated fully with the police investigation, while the woman had not.

Mr Gabriel, 28, denies rape, two counts of sexual assault and misconduct in public office.  

The case continues on Monday.

Severe accident: A6003 Northamptonshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A6003 Northamptonshire both ways severe accident, between A6014 Oakley Road and A43.

A6003 Northamptonshire - A6003 Uppingham Road in Great Oakley closed in both directions between the A6014 Oakley Road junction and the A43 junction, because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

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

Local paper round-up: Storm Doris thanks, Rushden Lakes progress and Daventry dog fouling

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Elsewhere in Northamptonshire:

MP praises minister's stance on Towcester bypass

Martin Heath

BBC Radio Northampton

The MP for South Northamptonshire, Andrea Leadsom, said getting a commitment from the transport minister to help build the Towcester bypass "makes a real difference".

John Hayes told a public meeting in the town he would help Persimmon Homes borrow the money to build the A5 relief road.

Andrea Leadsom

Mrs Leadsom told me a project like this can "drag on", so the minister's "pledge to get it started" was welcome.

Towcester bypass 'vital' for the town

Martin Heath

BBC Radio Northampton

Transport Minister John Hayes has told a public meeting in Towcester that he'll try to bring forward the construction of the town's A5 relief road.

It's due to be provided by house-builder Persimmon Homes as part of the town's southern extension, but only after hundreds of houses have been sold.

Mr Hayes said he'd help the builder borrow the money so work could start earlier, because the road will bring the town benefits.

John Hayes

This is vital for the interest of Towcester. It'll ease congestion, improve air quality and boost the local economy."

John HayesTransport Minister

HS2: 'Can't come soon enough', says Chambers of Commerce

"Overall everyone will benefit". 

Those were the views of Jane Gratton, from the British Chambers of Commerce, after approval for the first phase of HS2 between London and Birmingham got the go-ahead.

She said it's welcome news for the economy. 

"The simple message is we need it, we've needed it for a long time and it can't come soon enough for providing the capacity we need and increasing connectivity," she said.

Anti HS2 sign.

Many people are against it, however. Critics argue the track, which will run through Buckinghamshire and south Northamptonshire, is a waste of billions of pounds and will damage the environment.   

Liam Hunt murder probe: Items recovered from lake

A police diving team has spent the past two days searching a Northampton lake as part of the investigation into the death of teenager Liam Hunt.

The 17-year-old was attacked on St George's Street on 14 February. A number of people have been charged with murder.

Northamptonshire Police said a team from Nottinghamshire recovered items from the lake at Delapre Abbey (pictured), which will undergo forensic tests.

Detectives are continuing to appeal for anyone with any information about the stabbing to come forward.

Delapre Abbey
Geograph / Dave Dunford

Grand Prix at Silverstone the 'greatest weekend in sport' - Lewis Hamilton

BBC Sport

Stevenage F1 driver Lewis Hamilton says fan engagement is the key to the sport's survival, after testing the Brackley-built car he hopes will make him world champion for the fourth time in 2017.

At the launch of Mercedes' 2017 F1 car at Silverstone he said others could learn from the British Grand Prix...

Lewis Hamilton: Fan engagement key to F1 success

Foden continues on the wing for the Saints and captains the side to face Worcester

Northampton Saints make just one change from the side that lost to Newcastle for the visit of Worcester tomorrow, with Michael Paterson coming in the second row.

Ben Foden once again captains the side and is on the wing, with England forward Teimana Harrison at number eight.

View more on twitter

Lib Dems take seat on Kettering Borough Council

Andrew Radd

BBC Radio Northampton

While much of the focus has been on the Copeland by-election win for the Conservatives or Labour holding Stoke , there was a by-election here last night.

The Barton Ward was up for grabs on Kettering Borough Council.

The seat was won by Lib Dem Andrew Dutton, polling 644 votes for a majority of 307 over the Conservatives, who'd held the seat previously.

Kettering borough council

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of councillor Steve Bellamy, who described working with the borough council, ruled by the Conservatives, as like "swimming in treacle" .

It is the Lib Dems' only seat on Kettering Borough Council.

Six Nations: Hartley and Lawes start for England, Wood on the bench

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Meanwhile, Northampton Saints' hooker Dylan Hartley will once again captain England as they face Italy at Twickenham on Sunday  in the Six Nations.

They'll be looking to carry on their winning run, which is currently 16 matches.

Alongside Hartley will be his Saints' team-mate Courtney Lawes.

Dylan Hartley
Getty Images

Saints' captain, flanker Tom Wood, once again finds himself on the bench.

England head coach Eddie Jones said Wood "has been great for us at seven", but picked Wasps' James Haskell because his "explosive actions will help us in the first part of the game".

Eleven Saints players sign new contracts

Graham McKechnie

BBC Radio Northampton sport

You may have spotted this news on BBC Sport in the past hour...

Northampton Saints have announced new deals with 11 members of the current squad.

Three of their most experienced players - forward Christian Day, centre Luther Burrell (pictured) and back Ken Pisi - have signed new contracts.

New deals are in place for hookers Charlie Clare and Reece Marshall, lock Jordan Onojaife and centres Rory Hutchinson and Tom Stephenson.

luther burrell
Getty Images

Argentina centre Juan Pablo Estelles, back rower Ben Nutley and scrum-half Tom Kessell have also put pen to paper.

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe disruption, between J16 for A45 and J15A for A43.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane blocked on M1 southbound between J16, A45 (Daventry) and J15a, A43 (Northampton Services). Traffic is coping well.

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

Luther Burrell

Christian Day and Luther Burrell are among 11 Northampton Saints players to have extended their contracts.

Read more

A47 closed after crash

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

The A47 at Wansford is currently closed eastbound due to a crash involving two lorries and a car.

It happened at about 08:00 between the Sutton roundabout and Love's Hill.

View more on twitter

Police say there don't appear to be any injuries.

HS2: What happens now?

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

After three years of debate in parliament, royal assent has been approved for the first phase of the £55.7bn HS2 high speed rail link between London and Birmingham.

HS2 train

But what happens now?

  • Phase one of the project is scheduled to open in December 2026, with a second Y-shaped phase launching in two stages
  • Construction work on phase one is set to begin in the spring
  • Phase 2a, from the West Midlands to Crewe, will open in 2027 if approved
  • Phase 2b, from Crewe to Manchester and from the West Midlands to Leeds, South Yorkshire and the East Midlands, will begin operating in 2033 - again, if approved

Wildlife campaigners' HS2 concern

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Yesterday the go-ahead was formally given for the first phase of the HS2 high speed rail link between London and Birmingham.

Finemere Wood

After three years of debate in parliament, royal assent has been approved, opening the way for construction work to begin.

Supporters say the multibillion-pound project, which will run through Buckinghamshire and south Northamptonshire, will boost the economy, while critics argue it is a waste of money and will damage the environment.  

Wildlife campaigners in Buckinghamshire say HS2 will have considerable impact on two nature reserves -  Calvert Jubilee  and  Finemere Wood .

HS2 programme director Mike Lyons, said: "We'll be undertaking a number of surveys, we'll be doing ground investigation and we'll be relocating local wildlife to make sure they are safe ahead of the construction programme." 

Storm Doris: Northamptonshire returning to normal

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Yesterday Storm Doris hit the county, bringing down trees, blocking roads and disrupting train travel.

However, it seems the worst has past. On the A508 between Boughton and Pitsford there are temporary traffic lights because of a fallen tree and power cable, and some minor roads are still partially blocked.

Also the trains have returned to normal, but last night London Midland had to clear items such as a trampoline and a garden shed from the railway.

Weather: A cold, but often sunny day with much lighter winds

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It will be a cold start, with sunny spells and any very isolated wintry showers will soon fade away. Most will then have a fine and cold day with much lighter winds and some spells of sunshine and a high of 8C (46F).

Here's my full forecast...

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Welcome back

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

We are back with live updates for Northamptonshire.


We've got more from Mercedes F1 car launch yesterday .

We'll look ahead to the Six Nations this weekend

And last night there was a by-election (not that one , or the other one ) on Kettering Borough Council and we'll bring you that result.

But first up today's less stormy weather.

Severe disruption: M45 Northamptonshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M45 Northamptonshire westbound severe disruption, between M1 J17 Dunchurch and A45 Daventry Road.

M45 Northamptonshire - One lane closed on M45 westbound between M1 J17, Dunchurch and A45 Daventry Road, because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

PC Declan Gabriel, pictured right, at Kettering Magistrates' Court for a previous hearing

The officer tells the jury at his trial he was "too scared and embarrassed" to report the assault.

Read more
Thousands left without power as Storm Doris hits the East of England
Several drivers had lucky escapes and fallen power lines caused rail delays.

Overnight weather: Staying windy in places, with some showery rain

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

The region will continue to experience gale force winds, with an amber warning for wind in force until 20:00.  

It’s going to stay windy on the north Norfolk coast, but elsewhere winds will ease down this evening and overnight.  

Rather cloudy at first with some showery rain, which will become more isolated.

There's a risk of a touch of frost and some icy patches as temperatures drop close to freezing - lows of 2C (36F).

Friday's weather map

There'll be a chilly start to Friday, but we'll have much calmer conditions.

It'll be mainly dry with bright or sunny spells, turning cloudier later.

Get the full forecast where you live, from BBC Weather .

That's it from us today

Live updates for Northamptonshire have now finished.

Any breaking news will appear here this evening and through the night.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00, but in the meantime you can read more about some of today's stories:

We'll see you tomorrow.

Severe disruption: A508 Northamptonshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A508 Northamptonshire both ways severe disruption, near Brampton Lane.

A508 Northamptonshire - A508 Harborough Road North in Boughton closed, delays and queuing traffic in both directions near the Brampton Lane junction, because of a fallen tree and fallen power cables.

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

Storm Doris: DJ's son 'defies gravity' on fallen down tree

View more on instagram

No this photo isn't sideways. It's Northamptonshire radio presenter Jo Whiley taking a snap of her son on a tree knocked down by Storm Doris.

She said on Instagram he was "defying gravity".

Police destroy dangerously out of control dog in Duston

Sarah Foster

BBC Radio Northampton

Police have destroyed a dog in Duston in Northampton after they deemed it to be out of control and a threat to the public.

Officers were called to Ingleborough Way at midday, when a member of the public reported two "Staffordshire-type pit-bull terriers" on the loose.

Four people were bitten by the dogs, with one person taken to Northampton General Hospital. None of the injuries are believed to be serious.

One dog was killed. The other animal was injured and is currently having its welfare managed by a vet.

An investigation is under way to find the owners of the dogs and how they came to be out of control.

Storm Doris: Double rainbow over Northampton

BBC Weather Watchers

With the damage from Storm Doris seemingly done, a double rainbow has appeared over Northampton - as captured by one of our BBC Weather Watchers.


Lewis Hamilton debuts new car at Silverstone

Storm Doris: Police ask for help to clear trees

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Northamptonshire Police is urging motorists to avoid the county's minor roads because of the adverse weather conditions.

Fallen trees have resulted in a number of road closures across the county.

It's also appealing for members of the public who have tree-felling equipment, chainsaws or agricultural tree-moving equipment to help with the road-clearing effort.

London Midland, meanwhile, has said that apart from lines going from London back to Northamptonshire, almost all other services are cancelled due to Storm Doris.

It also says anyone travelling tomorrow needs to check before they travel because lines may still be blocked while trees are being cleared.

Your photos: Tree falls in Market Harborough

Calum McKenzie

BBC Local Live

Nowhere across our region appears to have escaped the impact of Storm Doris - this tree has come down in Market Harborough. 

Thanks to Hannah Eva Marie Newlyn for getting in touch via Facebook with it.    

Fallen tree
Hannah Eva Marie Newlyn

How many people does it take to launch an F1 car?

This many (and most probably a whole lot more in Brackley and Brixworth)...

View more on twitter

Council should 'make investments' to earn money, says Labour opposition

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

Labour's shadow finance spokesman Mick Scrimshaw told me he believes "there are more imaginative ways for the council to respond to the cuts from central government", after Northamptonshire County Council approved £58m worth of cuts.

Councillor Mick Scrimshaw said: "There are ways of bringing in extra cash and ways of saving money without directly affecting public services."

Mr Scrimshaw admitted that the authority was in financial difficulty, but said it should be looking at investments similar to the investment Manchester councils made in buying London Stansted .

He said there were "lots of investments available to the council".

London Stansted

County council budget is about 'reform' not cuts, says leader

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

Northamptonshire County Council has approved its budget which will bring in £58m worth of cuts.

The cuts will affect children's centres, the fire service and adult social care contracts and there will also be a council tax rise of 4.99%.

Heather Smith, the leader of the Conservative authority, said there were "not a lot of cuts to front-line services" and rather the council was looking at "reforming the way we do a lot of our stuff".  

Heather Smith

She said that they had done "an enormous amount to ensure [people needing adult social care] are protected".