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Summary

  1. Updates on Friday, 28 July 2017
  2. Ex-Northamptonshire PCC Adam Simmonds will not face retrial
  3. First Rushden Lakes stores open to the public
  4. The development off the A45 at Rushden will feature 43 units ranging from shops to cafes
  5. Multi-million pound Daventry canal plan approved by council
  6. Statue of Northampton rugby and war hero Edgar Mobbs to be Grade II listed
  7. Mermaids gather in Northampton to compete for UK title
  8. Northampton Town sign Burnley striker Chris Long on loan
  9. Northampton Saints reveal 2017-18 away kit

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All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the week

That's it for another week on Local Live.

We'll be back at 08:00 on Monday.

Scroll down to see what you've missed this week....

Have a good weekend.

Silverstone Classic weekend to get under way

If you want to buy a Ferrari once owned by Sir Elton John, see Nigel Mansell's championship-winning Formula 1 Williams or look around some of the rarest cars on the planet, then the Silverstone Classic is the place to be this weekend.

More than 100,000 people are expected at the event - one of the biggest classic car meetings in the world.

And it's not hard to see why, with barely a scrap of land in the grounds not occupied by a rare or classic car.

Other highlights include the Celebrity Challenge Trophy, where stars including Take That's Howard Donald, cyclist Jason Kenny and boxer Carl Froch will all be armed with equally-matched Austin A30s and A35s.

The Classic started this morning, and finishes on Sunday.

Take That star Howard Donald set for Silverstone Classic

Ex-police and crime commissioner on leaks and three years of 'anxiety'

Northamptonshire's former police and crime commissioner Adam Simmonds has released a statement after being formally cleared of sharing confidential information about a criminal investigation.

Last week, his trial ended when the jury at Southwark Crown Court failed to reach a verdict.

In a hearing at the same court today, the judge said there would be no retrial and he directed there should be a not guilty verdict.

The case followed allegations that he had shared information about an investigation into Wellingborough MP Peter Bone - an investigation which was later dropped.

Mr Simmonds said the not guilty verdict brought to an end "nearly three years of considerable anxiety for me and those I love".

He said: "I have no need to express any more emotion about this trial and its content or indeed cast of characters beyond saying this - I never at any point set out to hurt or to harm anyone.

"I hope that in particular Peter Bone MP accepts my fulsome apology for any hurt that I unintentionally inflicted or was responsible for.

"In February of 2014, Peter suffered intense media interest in his life.

"This interest was sparked by leaks. Peter is aware who is responsible for this invasion into his life and it is for him to take that forward. I am sure that he will.

"For me the matters pertaining to me in this case, are now at an end."

Northamptonshire go to Derbyshire in T20 Blast

Less than 24 hours after a seven-wicket victory over Worcestershire, Northamptonshire Steelbacks go to Derbyshire in the T20 Blast this evening.

The Steelbacks are second in the North Group, but could go top if they win and other results go their way.

However, the weather forecast is ominous for the 18:30 start...

Derbyshire weather graphic
BBC

If play does go ahead, BBC Radio will have ball-by-ball commentary available here.

Edgar Mobbs: Former Saints captain looks at life of his predecessor and war hero

In 2014, as part of the BBC's commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One, the former Northampton Saints captain Tim Rodber looked into the history of club legend Edgar Mobbs.

His statue in Northampton has achieved grade II listed status today.

He died while charging a German machine gun during the battle of Passchendale on 31 July 1917

The life and death of a Northampton legend

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe disruption, at J18 for A5.

M1 Northamptonshire - M1 exit slip road blocked and queuing traffic southbound at J18, A5 (Rugby).

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

Severe accident: A6003 Northamptonshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A6003 Northamptonshire both ways severe accident, between A427 Cottingham Road and A6116 Rockingham Road.

A6003 Northamptonshire - A6003 Uppingham Road in Corby closed and queuing traffic in both directions between Fourways and Rockingham Castle roundabout, because of an accident involving a lorry and two cars.

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

BreakingEx-Northamptonshire PCC will not face retrial

The former Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, Adam Simmonds, will not face a retrial after being accused of sharing confidential information about a criminal investigation.

Last week, at Southwark Crown Court, a jury was discharged after failing to reach a verdict in the trial of Mr Simmonds, who was alleged to have discussed a fraud investigation into the Wellingborough MP, Peter Bone, with other Tory politicians, including local MPs.

The case concerning Mr Bone was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Adam Simmonds
PA

Today at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, the judge said the CPS had considered the position very carefully and, for a number of reasons, determined it is not in the public interest to proceed to a retrial.

He added that he was happy to order and direct a not guilty verdict in the circumstances of this case.

Afternoon weather: Heavy rain possible

The skies will start to cloud over Northamptonshire and outbreaks of rain will then arrive through the rest of the afternoon.

Some of these wil be heavy with strengthening winds.

The high is 19C (66F)

graphic
BBC

Take a look at BBC Weather for a more detailed forecast for where you are.

Statue of Northampton rugby and war hero Edgar Mobbs to be Grade II listed

It has been announced that the Edgar Mobbs memorial in Northampton town centre is to be Grade II listed.

The statue was erected in 1921 in the Market Square, but was later moved to its position on Abington Square.

Edgar Mobbs
BBC

Before World War One, Mobbs was one of the town’s most recognisable figures, as captain of Northampton Saints RUFC from 1907 to 1913. He also captained England.

During WW1, Mobbs rose through the ranks to command the 7th Northamptonshire Regiment (known as “The Mobbs Own”).

He was wounded three times during the war, was twice mentioned in dispatches and received the distinguished service order (DSO) in January 1917.

Edgar Mobbs
BBC
Edgar Mobbs
BBC

He was killed on the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele in July 1917 while leading a charge on a machine gun position.

The listing means the statue will receive special protection from English Heritage.

Cobblers sign Burnley striker Long on loan

BBC Sport

League One club Northampton Town have signed Burnley striker Chris Long on a season-long loan deal.

The 22-year-old, who was a former England youth international, started his career at Everton before joining Burnley in 2015.

Chris Long
Getty Images

Long had loan spells at both Fleetwood Town and Bolton Wanderers in League One last season.

"He is a quality striker and possesses real pace which frightens defenders," said Town manager Justin Edinburgh.

Cobblers tease new signing

Northampton Town are set to sign their 12th new player of the summer transfer window.

They'll release details of who it is at 15:00, and we'll bring you the news as soon as we are able to...

View more on twitter

Daventry canal arm: 'Business plan' to evaluate costs before work begins

Conservative politicians in Daventry say they won't support the plan for a canal into the town if an evaluation into the project concludes that it's not financially viable.

They voted last night to set aside £8.7m for the first phase of the project - a 1,200 metre section which would require outside investment if it is to connect to the main waterway network on the Grand Union Canal.

Investors will then be sought to complete the scheme.

Canal
BBC

Discussing the business plan which will evaluate the costs of the project, Colin Poole, who holds the regeneration portfolio on Daventry District Council, said: "It will cover the economics, the benefits as a facility and a tourist attraction.

"If the business plan comes out that it is not viable, then I will not vote for it and I will walk away."

Full planning permission for the canal was granted in January this year - and the permission is valid for three years - however a timescale for the business plan, which the council say they will spend up to £300,000 on, has not been disclosed.

Cobblers to conclude pre-season schedule

Northampton Town wrap up their pre-season programme tomorrow.

The Cobblers entertain Newport County at Sixfields, with kick-off at 15:00.

League Two Newport were managed by current Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh between 2011 and 2015.

Justin Edinburgh
Getty Images

Town start their new League One campaign in just over a week, with a trip to Shrewsbury Town on 5 August.

Multi-million pound Daventry canal plan approved by council

Martin Heath

BBC Radio Northampton

A plan to build a 1,200 metre long mini-canal in Daventry has been approved, although there's going to be a full evaluation of the whole canal project.

The Conservative-controlled district council agreed that nearly £9m should be set aside to fund the scheme.

It was a long and, at times, acrimonious meeting last night with Conservative councillors accusing Labour members of wanting nothing to happen in Daventry, and Labour asking how £2m has already been spent on a project that hasn't really started yet.

Daventry canal map
BBC
The proposed 1.2km stretch would cover roughly half the distance from the iCon roundabout (bottom right) to the Grand Union Canal (top left), leaving around a mile of canal needing to be built to link the two waterways

The proposed "canal arm" would run from the iCon roundabout to the southern edge of Daventry Country Park.

The long-term aim is to extend it all the way to the Grand Union Canal (roughly another mile), while there are also further, and yet to be approved, plans for a marina on the Eastern Way playing fields on the other side of the iCon roundabout.

As the main debate got under way, the ruling Tories proposed an amendment to the original motion calling for a full evaluation of the plan for an extension of the Grand Union Canal into Daventry.

The motion still included agreeing a budget of £8.7m for the 1,200 metre stretch.

That amended proposal was passed - with the three Labour councillors voting against and Conservative politicians saying the project wouldn't go ahead if the evaluation was negative.

Rushden Lakes shopping complex linked to nature reserve
Rushden Lakes in Northamptonshire has been six years in the planning and cost £140m.

Rushden Lakes: Timeline of East Northamptonshire retail development

4 November 2011: Developer LXB Retail properties put their plans for a new out-of-town retail park in Rushden on public display in the town

25 May 2012: Kettering Borough Council claim the planned retail park would cause "irreparable harm to other town centres"

2 October 2012: Plans for Rushden Lakes are recommended for approval by planning officials at East Northamptonshire District Council, despite objections from other local councils

Rushden Lakes before building work
BBC

25 June 2013: A two-week public inquiry into the Rushden Lakes development begins

12 July 2013: Legal & General, the owner of the Grosvenor Centre shopping complex in Northampton town centre, claim that the Rushden Lakes project will damage jobs in the county town

11 February 2014: A government decision on the Rushden Lakes plans is delayed, with then Communities Secretary Eric Pickles still considering the application

Rushden Lakes under construction
BBC

27 April 2014: A councillor warns that continuing delays over a decision on the Rushden Lakes development could allow in "speculative housing plans"

12 June 2014: Rushden Lakes retail park gets government approval

2 September 2015: The developer behind plans for the £140m shopping and leisure complex puts forward plans to increase retail space at the site, which are then approved

Rushden Lakes
LXB

21 April 2016: A cinema and bowling alley are to be added to plans for Rushden Lakes, despite further objections by local councils

28 July 2017: The first shops at the development open to the public, ahead of an official opening planned for September.

Rush to Rushden Lakes part two...well, kind of...

It looks as though the opening of Rushden Lakes has caught the attention of shoppers, with all routes towards the site off the A45 now very busy according to Google's traffic flow map:

Google Map
Google

T20 Blast: Northamptonshire Steelbacks ease past Worcestershire

BBC Sport

Northamptonshire Steelbacks easily passed Worcestershire's 158 all out to earn a seven-wicket win at Wantage Road in the T20 Blast last night.

Brett D'Oliveira (52) was the mainstay of a below-par Rapids total, in which seven players failed to reach double figures, with Richard Gleeson (3-12) and Rory Kleinveldt (3-25) doing damage with the ball for the hosts.

Northamptonshire
Getty Images

Reigning T20 champions Northants scored 160-3 to earn a third win in four matches and go second in the North Group.

Openers Richard Levi (47) and Adam Rossington (42) ensured a blistering start and Alex Wakely's unbeaten 46 got the Steelbacks over the line with 14 balls left.

Mermaids gather in Northampton to compete for UK title

The UK's top mermaids are gathering this weekend in Northampton to battle it out for the national Miss Mermaid crown.

But just what is it that motivates someone to don a tail and morph into a creature that is half-woman, half-fish?

We've been to meet some of the finalists...

UK's top mermaids battle it out for the national Miss Mermaid crown

The Miss Mermaid UK final takes place at Billing Aquadrome in Northampton on Saturday; the winner will head to the Miss Mermaid International final in Egypt in November.

Rushden Lakes by numbers

43 - Total number of retail outlets earmarked to open at the site, plus 18 restaurants, a cinema and a boathouse visitor centre

1,250 - Car parking spaces created in phase one, with more then 1,850 available when all work is complete

1,500 - The estimated number of jobs created

230,000 - Square feet of retail outlets built in phase one

10m - Visitors expected within a year of opening

£140m - Estimated total value of the Rushden Lakes development.

The rush to Rushden Lakes...

Martin Borley

BBC Radio Northampton

This is what you call commitment.

The first stores at Rushden Lakes open their doors at 09:00, but by 08:00 at least 30 people were already waiting to see what the new shopping development has to offer.

The earliest, arrived at 04:30!

People queuing at Rushden Lakes
BBC

First Rushden Lakes stores prepare to open to the public

Martin Borley

BBC Radio Northampton

After more than six years of planning, the giant retail and leisure development - Rushden Lakes - opens its doors to the public today.

The huge £140m park has attracted big high street names such as Marks & Spencer, Primark and House of Fraser.

Some 22 retail outlets will be welcoming customers this morning, with the remaining 21 units opening over the next few weeks.

Rushden Lakes shopping centre
@RushdenLakesSC / Twitter

But it hasn't all been plain sailing...

Retailers and councils in Kettering, Corby and Northampton opposed Rushden Lakes, fearing it'll take trade from their town centres.

However, it was approved after a public inquiry and local people are convinced it'll transform East Northamptonshire's economy and bring jobs to the area.

Saints 'tooled up' for 2017-18 season

Northampton Saints have unveiled their new away shirt for the 2017-18 season - and if nothing else, it's brightly coloured.

The fluorescent lime shirt also features the club's traditional gold and black.

View more on twitter

The club last sported a lime green kit in the 2013-14 season, memorably beating Saracens in the last minute of extra time in the Premiership final at Twickenham.

And Saints' first away game of the 2017-18 season? Saracens at Twickenham on 2 September!

Friday's weather: Mainly dry, becoming more cloudy later

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

A few changes in the forecast for today.

It's looking mostly dry until we get to this evening, maybe a few stray showers at times and it'll still be quite breezy as well.

The best of the sunshine is likely to be this morning, before the cloud thickens from the west as we head into the afternoon.

Top temperature across the BBC East region: 20C (68F).

Watch my full regional forecast here:

Good morning

Kris Holland

BBC Radio Northampton

Welcome to live updates for Northamptonshire on Friday, 28 July.

We'll be here until 18:00 keeping you up-to-date with the latest news, sport, weather and travel as it happens.

Pattishall
BBC

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

Severe accident: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC News Travel

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

M1 Northamptonshire - Slow traffic and one lane blocked on M1 southbound between J17, M45 (Dunchurch) and J16, A45 (Daventry), because of a broken down vehicle and an accident.

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

Grace Page

Linda Serck

BBC News, Berkshire

The BBC takes a look at the world of the competitive mermaid, as the UK's national competition is staged.

Read more

Our live coverage across the day

Kris Holland

BBC Radio Northampton

That's the end of our live updates for Northamptonshire - scroll down through the feed to look back at today's stories.

We'll be back at 08:00 on Friday and keeping an eye on the east of the county as the first shops at Rushden Lakes open to the public.

Enjoy your evening.

Planners in Daventry will decide whether to spend more than £8m on a new stretch of canal.
Opponents have urged councillors to scrap the idea of a "slimline swimming pool".

Northamptonshire's newspapers: Charity superstore opens, Green Flag Award, Daventry canal

Here's what else is making headlines around the county today:

  • The Northampton Chronicle and Echo report that hundreds of people turned out to see a new charity superstore open in Northampton town centre on Thursday
  • Meanwhile the Northamptonshire Telegraph carries news that Kettering’s Rockingham Road Pleasure Park has been named among the UK’s best after being awarded a Green Flag
  • And the Daventry Express look ahead to tonight's district council meeting, where a decision over an £8m spend on a new canal in the town will be made

Steelbacks face Worcestershire in T20 Blast

Northamptonshire Steelbacks host Worcestershire Rapids in the T20 Blast competition later.

The Steelbacks are sixth in the North Group, but a win tonight would move them up to second in the table.

The top four teams progress to the quarter-final stage.

BBC Radio Northampton has full build-up available from 18:00, and ball-by-ball commentary from 18:30.

You can also follow the game with BBC Sport's live text page here.

View more on twitter

Afternoon weather: Feeling breezy

BBC Weather

We're in for a breezy day across Northamptonshire, with scattered, blustery showers - some of which could be heavy.

But the rain will become more isolated as the day goes on with some good sunny spells.

The high is 18C (64F).

Graphic
BBC

Take a look at BBC Weather for a more detailed forecast for where you are.

Man mugged in the middle of the day at Northampton park

Police say a man was hit in the back of the head before being robbed in broad daylight in a Northampton park last weekend.

They say that at about 15:00 on Saturday, the victim was walking in Becket's Park, near the entrance at the Bedford Road, when he was hit on the back of the head.

Becket's Park
Google

The victim fell to the floor and was hit again, sustaining bruising and swelling, before the offender - for who a description has not been given - took the man's wallet and phone charger and ran off in the direction of the Morrisons supermarket on Victoria Promenade.

Officers believe people were sheltering from the rain in the park at the time and would like to speak with anyone with information.

Video: New Rushden Lakes boathouse opens

The Canoe2 boathouse at the new Rushden Lakes leisure development has opened.

Canoes and kayaks are available on the lake, which sits alongside 22 new shops, including Primark and M&S, which are due to open on Friday, 28 July.

In all, the development off the A45 at Rushden will feature 43 units ranging from shops to cafes.

The Canoe2 boathouse at the new Rushden Lakes leisure opens

Severe accident: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe accident, at J17 for M45 Dunchurch affecting J19 for M6.

M1 Northamptonshire - Two lanes closed and queuing traffic on M1 southbound at J17, M45 (Dunchurch), because of an accident involving Lorry and a car. Congestion to J19, M6 (Catthorpe Interchange).

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

Daventry's proposed £8m canal 'arm' will bring money to town, says supporter

One of the leading supporters of Daventry's canal plan says it will bring money into the town - eventually.

Tonight, Daventry District Council will vote on whether to spend more than £8m on creating a 0.75 mile (1.2km) section of waterway which would not connect to the Grand Union Canal, or stretch to the town centre, at this stage.

Grand Union Canal
BBC

"If you look at all the canal systems around the country, they are all doing it in sections," said Dean Hawkey, a supporter of the plans from Daventry Canal Association.

"Canals are long-term programmes, they last for centuries.

"If you look at the canal system, it's 200-300 years old and that's what will happen with Daventry.

"The investment, the return, would be over 100-200 years. It's going to benefit the town over the long-term."

Politicians hope investors would be found to fund the rest of the project to link one end to the Grand Union Canal and taking it into the town centre at the other end.

Protestors against canal
BBC

However, the town's mayor says she would like to see money focused on the town centre.

"Everything is focused on the canal arm bringing in investment and tourism," said Mayor Lynne Taylor.

"We'd like to see investment in the town. The town is suffering because they [Daventry District Council] are focused on the canal."

Other 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 a meeting about the plans earlier this month.

Ahead of tonight's meeting, another rally will be held outside the council offices.

Northampton Saints tease new away shirt

Northampton Saints will unveil their away shirt for the 2017-18 season later today.

The club shared this teaser on their social media platforms a short time ago, with the kit to be released at 17:00...

View more on instagram

Saints, who finished 7th in the Premiership last season, start the new campaign against Saracens at Twickenham on 2 September.