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  1. Updates on Friday, 5 May 2017
  2. Conservatives increase their majority at Northamptonshire County Council
  3. Labour gain a seat while Lib Dems and UKIP lose support
  4. Northamptonshire turnout up on 2013, at 33.7%

Live Reporting

By Kris Holland

All times stated are UK

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George North (far left_

Harlequins pip Northampton to sixth place thanks to a losing bonus point in a tense Franklin's Gardens finale.

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Stuart Bailey

BBC News

That's the end of this week's live updates for Northamptonshire. Thank you for joining us.

It's been a busy afternoon and you can scroll back to see reaction from the local election, where the Tories increased their majority at Northamptonshire County Council.

And you can visit here to catch up with the local election results from across the UK.

We'll be back with regular news, sport, weather and travel updates for the county from 08:00 on Monday.

In the meantime, have a great weekend.

Northamptonshire's share of Conservative vote higher than national average

In Northamptonshire, the Conservative party gained 8,832 votes in yesterday's local elections - 45.54% of the vote.

It's higher than the national projected vote share for the Tories, which stands at 38%.

The projected national share figures are what the share of the vote would be if all parts of Britain had local elections and had voted in the same way as Thursday's English county council elections.  

BreakingCounty council election: It's all over

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

All 57 seats on Northamptonshire County Council have now been declared. Here's the final result...

The Conservatives have extended their control with 43 seats, up from 36.

Labour have one extra councillor, taking their tally to 12.

It's been a disappointing day for the Liberal Democrats, who've seen their number of seats fall from six in the 2013 election to two. Their local leader, Brendan Glynane, lost his Delapre seat to Labour. 

And there'll be no UKIP representatives on the council. Their three seats were Tory gains. 

County council election: Labour group leader to stand down

Craig Lewis

BBC News

John McGhee has announced he is to stand down as Labour group leader on Northamptonshire County Council.

Mr McGhee won his Kingswood ward and Labour look set to win more than the 11 seats they had before today.

John McGhee

He said: "It's been extremely difficult watching the destruction of public services in Northamptonshire [by the Conservatives].

"I decided [to stand down] well before this election. I've been doing it so long. It has nothing to do with today's results.

"I think it is time for fresh blood." 

He added he would continue to hold the Conservatives on the council to account.  

County council election: Tory leader 'very pleased'

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

It's been a good day for the Conservatives in Northamptonshire.

They've extended their control of the county council from the 36 seats they won in 2013 to 40 so far, with five left to declare.

Heather Smith, Conservative leader on the council, said: "I'm very pleased. We've exceeded our number from four years ago and our target for 40 seats.

Heather Smith

"We expected turnout to be low because of the general election.

"I expected the Liberal Democrats to do better.

"I can't foresee a bigger majority will make a difference [to how we govern]. We have to work within a certain budget."

Tories' vote share in East trumps national average

Deborah McGurran

BBC East political editor

These elections have seen UKIP wiped off the county council political map. Most surprisingly, they lost every single seat in Essex, an area that fostered their growth and of course, until recently boasted their only MP. In all they lost 48 seats across the east and now have no representation across its six counties.

The Conservatives appear to be the beneficiary. They have regained control of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk and strengthened their grip on Essex, Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire.

Labour held on in some of its heartland seats but suffered elsewhere, particularly in Stevenage and Harlow, where the Conservatives made gains.

Conservative candidate Dick Madden celebrates

It was a mixed picture for the Liberal Democrats who lost seats on Essex, Suffolk and Northamptonshire but they made some gains from the Conservatives in Norfolk.

The Green Party lost their stronghold in Norwich but made a gain in Suffolk where they now hold three county council  seats.

The vote share from yesterday's local elections confirms that across the east the Conservatives are once again the dominant party.

With all the votes counted, the Tories share of the vote ranged from 43% in Suffolk and Essex to a staggering 51% in Northamptonshire. The national average appears to be about 38%.

Labour saw a small surge in support in its traditional heartlands and its average share across the region was 13.7%. But that's way below the national average of 27% and shows how little support the party has in our region.

County council election: Labour 'strengthened'

Craig Lewis

BBC News

Labour's Danielle Stone has told me she thinks the Labour group has been "strengthened in this election".

She said she believes in strong opposition and Labour can provide that.

She added: "I only won last time by 50 votes and now I have a huge majority".

Mrs Stone retained her seat in Abington and Phippsville.

County council election: UKIP wiped out

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

All three UKIP councillors on Northamptonshire County Council have lost their seats, mirroring big losses for the party all over the country in these local elections.

Brackley, Daventry West and Kingsthorpe North were all Conservative gains.

We're entering the closing stages of the count now. With six seats left to declare, the Tories are on 40 seats and Labour have 11.

Weather: Mild tonight, cloudy and cooler tomorrow

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

This evening it will be staying mostly fine with some areas of cloud at times. One or two spots of drizzle possible overnight, but staying mild.

Winds will be moderate, with lows of 7C (45F).

Weather map

It will be a rather cloudy start to the day tomorrow. Generally cloudier than today with some brighter spells, but feeling cooler.

Winds light to moderate and highs of 10C (50F) on the coast and 14C (57F) inland.

There's more at BBC Weather.

County council election: Tories extend control

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

The Conservatives have increased their control of Northamptonshire County Council.

They've reached 37 seats, one more than their total in 2013, with nine left to declare.

Labour have 11 councillors so far, matching their tally from last time.

The Lib Dems have lost three of their six seats - two to Labour and the other to the Tories. Their other three seats have yet to declare.

UKIP have so far lost two of their three councillors.

County council election: UKIP 'getting a bit of a kicking'

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Keith Hudson

UKIP have suffered big losses in local elections across the country. On Northamptonshire County Council they've lost two of their three seats so far - Brackley and Daventry West - to the Tories.

Keith Hudson is the UKIP candidate for Oakley - currently a Labour seat - and admitted he wasn't feeling confident about his chances. 

He said: "UKIP is getting a bit of a kicking. 

"We can just live in hope, can't we. Keep looking upwards until you go down." 

County council election: Lib Dem leader warns of Tory cuts

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

As we reported earlier, the Liberal Democrats suffered a major blow with their local leader, Brendan Glynane, losing his Delapre seat to Labour.

Asked about the possible increase in the Tory majority at County Hall, Mr Glynane said: "I think they will be emboldened by this.

"The finances are not sorted, there is nothing left in the bank.

"I think you will see some severe cuts." 

Labour's Julie Davenport has taken the Delapre & Rushmere seat. Mr Glynane said he suffered due to the three-way split in the ward.  

County council election: Tories retain control

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

So, the Conservatives have reached that magic number of seats - 29 - just over half of the 57 seats on Northamptonshire County Council, meaning they retain overall control.

In fact, as things stand, they now have 32 councillors with 15 seats to be declared. They won 36 in 2013.

Labour are into double figures. A second gain from the Liberal Democrats - the St George's seat - takes their total to 10.

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire northbound severe disruption, at J15 for A45.

M1 Northamptonshire - Queuing traffic on entry slip road on M1 northbound at J15, A45 (Northampton), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

BreakingConservatives retain control of the county council

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

The Tories have reached 29 seats meaning they retain control of Northamptonshire County Council.

County council election: Halfway stage

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Just over half of the 57 seats up for grabs on Northamptonshire County Council have now been declared.

With 29 results in, here's the situation so far:

The Conservatives have won 22 seats including three gains - from Labour, UKIP and an independent councillor - and no losses. They won 36 seats in the 2013 election.

Labour's tally stands at seven - including one gain from the Lib Dem group leader, Brendan Glynane, who loses his Delapre seat. They previously had 11 councillors. Mick Scrimshaw has held on to the Northall seat. He's also the party's general election candidate for Kettering. 

UKIP have lost one of their three seats on the council so far, with Brackley going to the Tories.

No wins for the Liberal Democrats yet. They won six seats last time.

And a reminder that the winning post is 29. Any party that reaches this number of seats will have overall control of Northamptonshire County Council.

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire northbound severe disruption, at J15 for A45 affecting High Street.

M1 Northamptonshire - M1 entry slip road closed and queuing traffic northbound at J15, A45 (Northampton), because of a broken down vehicle. Congestion on A508 London Road to the High Street junction.

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

Rooting out the next generation


Kids playing All Stars Cricket

Know any young children who might be interested in having a go at cricket?

Now's the time to get them involved with the England & Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) grassroots programme for five- to eight-year-olds called All Stars Cricket.

All Stars Cricket is an eight-week course that is being introduced in May through local cricket clubs and centres, offering youngsters a first experience of the sport.  

Sign up here and children will receive a backpack of cricket gear. 

County council electon: Northamptonshire results show

BBC Radio Northampton's Carson Wishart is presenting his Drive show from Kettering Conference Centre, where votes in the county council election are being counted.

You can listen live here.

View more on twitter

County council election: First Northamptonshire results

The first results are coming in at the Kettering Conference Centre.

If you feel so inclined, there's a live stream of the results available on the county council's website that you can watch here.

View more on twitter
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County council election: Count under way in Kettering

Counting is under way at the Kettering Conference Centre following Thursday's county council election.

All 57 of the council's seats are being contested, with a result anticipated at 17:00.

View more on twitter

Cobblers bag MK Dons winger Powell

Northampton Town have announced the signing of MK Dons midfielder Daniel Powell on a two-year deal.

Powell, 26, made more than 250 appearances for the Dons - scoring 46 goals - and will officially join the Cobblers after his deal with MK expires on 30 June.

"I am delighted to welcome Daniel as our first signing this summer," said manager Justin Edinburgh.

Daniel Powell
Getty Images

"Despite only being in his mid-20s he has a wealth of experience in League One and the Championship and he provides qualities I feel we need more of in the squad."

"He offers pace and width," Edinburgh added. "He is direct and he is a threat to defenders. He is unpredictable, he is the sort of player who keeps supporters on the edge of their seats and I think he is a very good signing for us.

"We identified Daniel as one of our early targets and we are delighted to have secured this deal so early on."

County council election: Northamptonshire count set to start

Rugby business becoming 'like soccer'

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

The finances in rugby union mean the sport is becoming like football, according to outgoing Northampton Saints chairman Tony Hewitt.

Saints are trying to fend off interest in Louis Picamoles from Montpellier, owned by billionaire Mohed Altrad.

"Rugby is dominated by some really wealthy billionaire owners in France and the UK. It's becoming a bit like soccer," Hewitt told BBC Radio Northampton.

"This year we've noticed a real hike in the player salary inflation that's gone into our figures and made our trading slightly more difficult - but that's the way of the world.

Louis Picamoles
Getty Images
French international Louis Picamoles has been linked with a return to Montpellier, where he started his career

"We've just got to adjust to it. We're appointing a new chief executive, it's the right time for me to hand over the chairmanship to John White, who is very experienced, so I think we're well positioned moving forward."

France number eight Picamoles joined Saints from Top 14 side Toulouse last summer and has been hugely influential for a side currently seventh in the Premiership.  

The 31-year-old's performances have led to him being nominated for the Rugby Players' Association player of the year award.

But reports suggest Montpellier, Picamoles' first club, are interested in giving him a central contract with the French Rugby Federation (FFR).

Saints v Harlequins: Lee Dickson playing last match

Graham McKechnie

BBC Radio Northampton sport

As we've been mentioning, Northampton Saints' season comes down to 80 minutes against Harlequins at Franklin's Gardens tomorrow afternoon.

Saints - who are seventh in the Premiership - need to win convincingly against Quins to overtake them in the table if they are to qualify for next season's European Champions Cup.

It is set to be an emotional day at the Gardens, with former England international and Saints captain Lee Dickson playing his last game for the club.

Lee Dickson
Getty Images
Saturday's home fixture against Harlequins will be Dickson's 254th and final Saints match

The 32-year-old scrum-half will join Championship side Bedford as a player-coach from next season.

It's also the end of an era off the pitch, with CEO Allan Robson and chairman Tony Hewitt leaving their respective posts at the end of the season.

Final day permutations for Saints

Gary Smee

BBC Sport

It looks simple on paper - the winner at Franklin's Gardens between Northampton Saints and Harlequins will finish sixth in the Premiership and qualify for the European Champions Cup in 2017-18.

But this is where it gets complicated. 

The team that finishes seventh enters a play-off with the seventh-placed Top 14 club in France, and eighth and ninth-placed sides in the Pro12, with the winner earning a Champions Cup spot.

The play-offs and final take place over the last two weekends in May.  

Franklin's Gardens
Getty Images

After Saturday's results, Gloucester, Saints or Quins could all finish seventh.

However, if Gloucester finish eighth in the Premiership - which is likely - and win their Challenge Cup final against Stade Francais on 12 May, they will enter the play-offs for the Champions Cup instead of the seventh-placed side.

Make sense? Hopefully it will all become clearer by the end of Saturday.

Murder of Leicestershire woman to feature in ITV documentary

Calum McKenzie

BBC Local Live

The murder of a Leicestershire woman will feature in a documentary aimed at raising awareness of stalking. 

Alice Ruggles
Family handout

Alice Ruggles from near Market Harborough, was killed by her ex-boyfriend Trimaan Dhillon at her home last October.

"I think it [Alice's story] should be told because, although it is an awful story that is horrible, it is not unique," friend Christina Campbell said. 

Alice's Story is hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald and will be broadcast on ITV in the autumn.  

County council election: Northamptonshire turnout up on 2013

The results of who will run Northamptonshire County Council will be known this afternoon, but it already appears that voter turnout is up on the last vote four years ago.

The council's Democratic Services team have tweeted to say that provisional turnout across the county was 33.7%. That's a rise of about 2% on 2013.

The highest turnout was in South Northamptonshire, with 37.32% of registered voters casting their ballot. Corby (30.92%) saw the lowest turnout.

From 14:00, votes will be counted at Kettering Conference Centre and a result is anticipated some time after 17:00.

Northants back in One-Day action

Alex Winter

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Northamptonshire's cricketers travel to Liverpool today to take on Lancashire in the One-Day Cup - and the Steelbacks could do with a win.

They lost their opening two matches in the 50-over competition and Wednesday's game with Worcestershire ended in a tie.

Bottom of the table Lancashire, who normally play their home games at Old Trafford, have moved today's match to the Liverpool suburb of Aigburth.

Play is set to get under way at 11:00 and you will be able to hear our live commentary here.

Aigburth cricket ground in Liverpool

The last Northamptonshire County Council election?

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

It seems an odd thing to say - could Thursday's Northamptonshire County Council election be the last ever? 

But I say it because of an ongoing row about local government here.

At the moment the county council runs some services - like social care - while borough and district councils run others, like bin collections. 

Many in local government believe eight councils is just too many for Northamptonshire, as they all have their own management teams and offices. 

Angel Square
Northamptonshire County Council is in the process of moving into the new Angel Square complex in Northampton

The Conservative administration at the county council, which is expected to retain control today, says one big unitary authority to run all services in the county would save millions of pounds. 

The boroughs and districts have never liked that idea and I've now seen a plan supported by some of those councils that would see a new organisation set up to run social care and children's services. All other services would then be run by several new councils, possibly two or three, replacing all the existing ones. 

So we have rival ideas for the future and some want no change at all. There may be a lot of talk about a local government shake-up here among politicians, but we are a long way from any deal. 

Saracens Premiership Champions

Gary Smee

BBC Sport

BBC Sport takes a look at how the final day of the English Premiership season is shaping up, with plenty still to be decided.

Read more

County council election: What to expect

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

Counting will start at 14:00 BST today for the Northamptonshire County Council elections.  

Given the polls closed hours ago, it will feel like a long wait for the political parties.

The Conservatives are feeling very confident about retaining control of the authority, that they have had since 2005. 


Given the results from elsewhere in the country so far, and what people from all parties have told me about their experience on the doorstep, you can see why. 

Labour are the official opposition and the party will be hoping losses seen elsewhere are not repeated. 

UKIP currently hold three of the 57 seats at the authority, but secured a 22% share of the vote at the last election, so what happens to the party's vote will be watched closely.  

Local Liberal Democrats were hoping for an improvement on their six seats, but they will have to wait for an answer like the rest of us. 

Weather: A dry and sunny day

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

We're set for a lovely day, with lots of sunshine around at the moment.

Cloud will develop later, and we do still have an easterly breeze taking the edge off the temperature.

But it'll still be warmer than the last few days, with highs of 15C (59F).

Friday's forecast graphic

Find out more about the weather where you live on the BBC Weather website.