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Summary

  1. Updates on Friday, 7 July 2017
  2. £4m for new children's services trust in the county
  3. Daventry's 'canal to nowhere' approved
  4. Northants to begin T20 title defence
  5. Man stabbed in Northampton park

Live Reporting

By Stuart Bailey

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

That's it for another week of live updates for Northamptonshire. Thanks for joining us.

You can scroll back here for anything you might have missed, including:

  • £4m for new children's services trust in the county
  • Daventry's 'canal to nowhere' approved
  • Man stabbed in Northampton park

Don't forget, Northamptonshire's cricketers begin the defence of their T20 title in half an hour's time against Derbyshire. There's commentary from Wantage Road on BBC Radio Northampton.

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

Have a great weekend.

Man U youngster on his way to the Cobblers

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

Northampton Town have signed young Manchester United defender Regan Poole on a season-long loan.

Regan Poole
Getty Images

Poole, 19, moved to Old Trafford in 2015 from Newport County, where he played under current Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh.

But his only United appearance to date was as a late sub in the Europa League under Louis van Gaal in February 2016.

The Wales Under-21 man comes in as competition for Cobblers centre-backs Ash Taylor and Leon Barnett.

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe disruption, between J18 for A5 and J16 for A45.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M1 southbound between J18, A5 (Rugby) and J16, A45 (Daventry), because of a broken down car.

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

Weather: Cloudy with possibility of sharp showers

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Cloud will develop from the north west bringing a small chance of isolated sharp showers across the BBC East region tonight.

But it will remain dry for many areas with clear spells later.

Weather chart
BBC

Light rain or drizzle is possible across western counties later as the temperature falls to 12C (54F) in places.

Saturday will be another dry day with sunny spells and some cloud and it will be cooler on the coast.

Maximum temperature: 23C (76F)

More details from BBC Weather:

A look at the papers

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Elsewhere in Northamptonshire:

David Miller murder trial: Homeless Ian Cuthbertson had gone to victim's house 'for a bath'

Craig Lewis

BBC News

A homeless man accused of killing a man in his own home was "petrified" while the attack was carried out, a court has heard.

The body of David Miller, 56, was found at his flat on Patterdale Walk in Boothville, Northampton, on 14 June 2016.

Patterdale Walk
BBC

Mr Miller had been stabbed multiple times and crude attempts had been made to destroy his body.

Ian Cuthbertson, 49; Michael Hallett, 37; Joseph Catlin, 30, and Zena Kane, 35, of no fixed address, all deny murder.

Northampton Crown Court was told Mr Cuthbertson had simply gone to the house for "a bath, a change of clothing and to watch TV" but had been caught up in a "truly horrific" crime.

The case continues.

Severe disruption: M40 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, between J12 for B4451 and J11 for A361.

M40 Warwickshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M40 southbound between J12, B4451 (Gaydon) and J11, A361 (Banbury), because of vehicle tyre change.

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

Killers of vulnerable man acted like 'pack of wolves', court told

Craig Lewis

BBC News

Four homeless people acted like "a pack of wolves" when they killed a vulnerable man in his own home, a court has heard.

The partially-dismembered body of David Miller, 56, was found at his flat in Patterdale Walk, Boothville, Northampton, on 14 June 2016.

He had been stabbed multiple times and "crude attempts" were made to destroy his body, Northampton Crown Court was told.

Boothville
BBC

Ian Cuthbertson, 49; Michael Hallett, 37; Joseph Catlin, 30, and Zena Kane, 35, of no fixed address, deny murder.

Summing up, prosecutor Peter Joyce QC said the only possible verdicts were guilty of "murder, murder, murder, murder".

He told the jury: "It is not argued that what happened to David Miller wasn't murder.

"The question is whether one or all of these four defendants took part."

He called the killing of Mr Miller "a team job", saying that was why none of the accused had given evidence during the trial.

Mr Joyce dismissed a statement to police by Mr Cuthbertson - in which he denied he had been at the scene - as "lie, after pathetic lie, after pathetic lie".

He also accused Ms Zane of "crocodile tears and humbug and hypocrisy".

The case continues.

Severe accident: Northamptonshire both ways

BBC News Travel

Northamptonshire both ways severe accident, at Westgate Road affecting Duston Mill Lane.

Northamptonshire - Tollgate Way in Northampton blocked and queuing traffic at the Westgate Road junction, because of an accident involving car and motorbike. Congestion on A5076 Upton Way to the Duston Mill Lane junction and on A4500 Weedon Road to the Ross Road junction.

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

Austrian GP practice: Lewis Hamilton top again

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton kept up the pace and finished fastest at the end of the second free practice at the Austrian Grand Prix, with a 1:05.483.

The Stevenage racer was 0.147secs ahead of title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

Then it's the second Brackley-built Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas (+0.216), followed by the Milton Keynes-based Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in sixth.

Your pictures: Blue skies

BBC Weather Watchers

Lots of sunshine again today in Northamptonshire.

And it's been beautifully captured, as ever, by our BBC Weather Watchers...

Sunshine in Irthlingborough.
BBC
Sunshine and a dog in Pattishall.
BBC
A bird in Burton Latimer,
BBC
Blue skies in Roade.
BBC

Afternoon weather: Turning cloudier

BBC Weather

A few clouds will pass over Northamptonshire this afternoon, but there will be plenty more sunny spells too.

It will stay dry and warm, though not quite as warm as yesterday afternoon.

A top temperature of 24C (75F).

Forecast for Northampton.
BBC

BBC Weather has more.

Man stabbed in Northampton park

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A man has been repeatedly stabbed as he walked home through Dallington Park.

He was approached by a man who demanded his phone and wallet.

As he tried to fight him off, he was approached by another man and stabbed in the neck, stomach and chest, with what the police described as a "small unknown pointed object".

His injuries are said to be "minor". It happened between 03:30 and 04:00 on Monday.

One of the offenders was black, about 5ft 5in tall and was wearing dark clothing. He was believed to have had a tattoo of a face or an animal on his left hand.

Dallington Park, Northampton.
Google

New children's services trust 'a step towards privatisation' - union

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

As we've just mentioned, the government has given Northamptonshire County Council £4m to set up a new company to manage the day-to-day running of children's services.

The authority says it will allow the department to be run in a more efficient way than if it continued to be managed directly by the council.

But Penny Smith from the union, Unison, said: "Our children's services previously haven't been up to standard and I worry that this will alter the level of care to young people in Northamptonshire.

"I am very concerned that eventually it'll become a private company and I've always felt that public services should be run by the public, for the public and delivered in the public interest."

Lesley Hagger, director of children's services at Northamptonshire County Council, said: "This new company will be a public service company and wholly owned by the local authority.

"Local government, by the nature of how it's organised, is quite bureaucratic, and this will enable us to spend more time working with children and families.

"It gives us more freedom and flexibility to change the way we do things."

£4m for new children's services trust in the county

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Northamptonshire County Council has been given £4m from the government to help set up a new trust to run its children's services - the first of its kind in the country.

It means it will be run day-to-day by a separate company rather than directly by the council.

However, this company will be set-up by and wholly owned by the authority, which will monitor and remain responsible for its performance.

Northamptonshire's children's services is a department under extreme pressure - having to help more and more children - and has had a troubled history.

A child in the classroom.
BBC

Inspectors from the watchdog, Ofsted, previously said it was "inadequate", but last year they moved it up a category to "requires improvement".

The council believes this new trust will mean children's services can be run more efficiently, but the union, Unison, is concerned it's just a step towards privatisation.

It's likely to be up and running by April 2018.

We'll look at their arguments in more detail shortly.

Saints fixtures announced

Graham McKechnie

BBC Radio Northampton sport

The fixtures have been announced for the forthcoming Premiership rugby season.

It starts for Northampton Saints at Twickenham on 2 September - they're Saracens' opponents in the London Double Header.

Then, on the back of that, they're at home to Leicester on Saturday, 9 September.

The other East Midlands derby is at Welford Road in April.

Saints' ground.
Getty Images

The tough start to the season continues with a Friday evening game at home to Bath.

Other matches that stand out are another trip to Twickenham to play Harlequins around New Year - they're at home to Exeter just before Christmas.

And the regular season ends for Saints at Franklin's Gardens on 5 May against Worcester.

Austrian GP practice: Lewis Hamilton top

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set a scintillating pace in first practice at the Austrian Grand Prix as he left title rival Sebastian Vettel trailing.

The Stevenage racer was 0.449secs quicker than Ferrari's Vettel, despite using the slowest soft tyre and Vettel the faster super-soft.

The German was fourth fastest, behind Milton Keynes-based Red Bull's Max Verstappen and the second Brackley-built Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

Lewis Hamilton racing
Getty Images

Vettel is 14 points ahead of Hamilton as F1 resumes two weeks after their controversial collision in Baku.

Posh and U's to meet in first competitive fixture for years

Peter Swan

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sport

Peterborough United, Cambridge United and Northampton Town will all be placed in the same group in next season's EFL Trophy.

EFL Trophy group
BBC

It'll be the first time county rivals Posh and U's will meet in a competitive fixture since December 2001.

The fourth side - an invited academy team - will be announced next week.

The dates for the ties are yet to be announced.

Daventry's 'canal to nowhere' approved

Martin Heath

BBC Radio Northampton

The first phase of Daventry's new canal extension was approved by senior councillors last night.

As we reported yesterday, the eventual aim is to extend the Grand Union Canal to a marina near the town centre.

But the initial plan is to spend £8m on creating a 0.75 mile (1.2km) length of canal that doesn't connect to the Grand Union at one end and doesn't go close to the town centre at the other.

Plans for Daventry canal extension.
Daventry Borough Council

People against the plans have described it as a "canal to nowhere" and - with the slogan "Ditch the ditch" - a small group of protesters greeted councillors as they arrived for their meeting.

They believe it's a waste of money, for what one man described as "a long, thin swimming pool".

But councillors believed this first phase would create a popular attraction and would reassure housing developers the full canal really is coming.

They're confident that funding will eventually be found to connect this waterway to the Grand Union.

The plan now has to be considered by the Full Council.

Northants to begin T20 title defence

Graham McKechnie

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Northamptonshire's cricketers begin the defence of their T20 title tonight.

The Steelbacks entertain Derbyshire at Wantage Road.

Wantage Road.
BBC

They've won the tournament twice in the last four seasons - and were runners-up once - so head coach David Ripley admits they can't really be called underdogs any more.

"Even the bookies have got us, I think, fourth-favourites, so we're recognised as a good team," he said.

"We are a good team - we've always known that - but it's been nice to come under the radar a little bit.

"Certainly, Derbyshire will be absolutely sprinting down the M1 to take us on on Friday night, and show that they can beat the champions.

"We've got that through all our group games, so we'll have to be up for that challenge and play our best cricket."

There'll be full coverage on BBC Radio Northampton from 18:30.

Jason Roy

Gary Smee

BBC Sport

International superstars, mid-summer matches and a certain Kevin Pietersen are all part of the T20 Blast, which starts on Friday.

Read more

Weather: Dry and very warm but cloudy later

Lucy Martin

BBC Weather

Bright or sunny spells will dominate and it will become very warm in a light breeze although cloud cover will increase in places.

Some rain showers are expected during a very muggy night.

Maximum Temperature: 27C (81F)

More details from BBC Weather:

Good morning

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

We made it to Friday!

Welcome back to our live updates for Northamptonshire.

We'll be here until 18:00 with the latest news, sport, weather and travel for the county.

There's a full weather forecast coming up and it looks promising out there at the moment.

A dog in a sunny field in Pattishall.
BBC

You can get in touch by email, Twitter and Facebook.

Severe disruption: M40 Oxfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Oxfordshire northbound severe disruption, between J10 for A43 Brackley and J11 for A361.

M40 Oxfordshire - One lane closed on M40 northbound between J10, A43 (Brackley) and J11, A361 (Banbury), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe accident: M40 Oxfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Oxfordshire northbound severe accident, between J10 for A43 Brackley and J11 for A361.

M40 Oxfordshire - Two lanes closed on M40 northbound between J10, A43 (Brackley) and J11, A361 (Banbury), because of an accident.

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

Former Catesby railway tunnel to be used to test racing cars
The trains are long gone, now the tunnel will test car performance and aerodynamics.

Goodbye

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Thursday's live updates for Northamptonshire have now come to an end.

You can scroll down to catch up with any stories you might have missed, including:

  • Man stabbed in Northampton park
  • Special schools struggling to cope with demand
  • Daventry's canal to nowhere could be approved tonight
  • Fairline to hire more staff

We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel for the county at 08:00 tomorrow.

Have a good evening.

Joe Denly

Kent's batsmen continue to find runs easy to come by as the hosts draw with Northamptonshire at Beckenham.

Read more

Severe accident: M1 Northamptonshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire northbound severe accident, between J16 for A45 and J17 for M45 Dunchurch.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M1 northbound between J16, A45 (Daventry) and J17, M45 (Dunchurch), because of an accident involving lorry and car.

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

Jessie's days as a hospital dog are numbered

Jessie the pet therapy dog has been visiting patients at Northampton General Hospital for the past three years.

Nurses there have described her as "the best medicine" and "better than any prescription".

But her time on the wards is coming to an end due to the introduction of parking fees, which the hospital says are to help with the costs of a new building.

Hospital dog Jessie's days are numbered

Severe disruption: A45 Northamptonshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

A45 Northamptonshire eastbound severe disruption, between A428 Bedford Road and A43 Lumbertubs Way affecting A508.

A45 Northamptonshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on A45 Nene Valley Way eastbound in Northampton between Barnes Meadow Interchange and Riverside, because of a broken down vehicle. Congestion to Queen Eleanor Roundabout.

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

Your pictures: Lots of sunshine

BBC Weather Watchers

It's been another warm and sunny day so far in Northamptonshire.

Check out these pictures from our BBC Weather Watchers:

Blue skies over a field in Pattishall.
BBC
A butterfly in Radstone.
BBC
Blue skies in Oundle.
BBC
Blue skies over Roade.
BBC

Man stabbed in Northampton park

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A man required hospital treatment after being stabbed at the Racecourse in Northampton.

Police said he was attacked "with an unknown weapon" near the basketball courts at about 13:00 yesterday, and are appealing for witnesses.

He's recovering from a stomach wound which needed stitches.

The offender is described as a white Latvian man, around 30 years old with short balding hair and was wearing a black jacket and light coloured trainers.

Racecourse in Northampton.
BBC

Afternoon weather: Possible thunder

BBC Weather

Staying hot and humid this afternoon with plenty of sunshine but the risk of some thunder.

Many areas will stay dry but there will be some isolated, heavy downpours.

A top temperature of 26C (79F).

Weather forecast for Northampton.
BBC

A look at the papers

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Elsewhere in Northamptonshire:

Fairline to hire more staff

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Oundle-based luxury boat-builder Fairline Yachts is looking to recruit 50 new members of staff.

The company went into administration at the end of 2015 with the loss of 400 jobs.

Last year it was bought by Russian investors, who closed its other factory, in Corby.

Fairline factory.
BBC

Miles Moorhouse, from Fairline, said: "The demand for our products around the world has taken us somewhat by surprise so we're keen to up our levels of staffing.

"We have just under 300 people as of today and we need another 50 or so skilled tradespeople to come on board as soon as possible."

'A result is still possible'

Kent 701-7d v Northants 568

Alex Winter

BBC Radio Northampton sport

We have finally reached the half-way stage in this game - it's taken until the fourth morning after a total run-glut at Beckenham. After Kent's record total against Northamptonshire, the away side have responded with their record total against Kent.

It's seen them get past the follow-on mark, which has put a big dent in Kent's hopes of forcing victory. But the home side have still managed to take a 133-run lead and with 81 overs left in the match, a result is still just about possible.

Runs have been very easy to come by in this game, so if Kent batted for 30 overs and pushed the lead to say 320, sending Northants back in for 50 overs with the chance of a valuable victory dangling in front of them we could yet see a thrilling finish here.

Beckenham
BBC Sport