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  1. Updates for Thursday, 4 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Philippa Taylor

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Forest players celebrate against Ipswich

Owen Phillips

BBC Sport

Britt Assombalonga scores twice as Nottingham Forest cruise past Ipswich to avoid relegation on goal difference.

Read more

That's it for the day - and the week

The team here is about to shut up shop and head home, but before we go, we'd like to thank you for your company during the week.

It's been a great day for the Conservatives, who've increased the number of county councillors at Endeavour House, but disappointing for UKIP, who will no longer be represented there.

Scroll down to get more details on the elections, and other stories that have been making the news during the day.

Have a great weekend, and we'll see you from 08:00 on Monday.

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.

Suffolk's share of Conservative vote higher than national average

In Suffolk, the Conservative party gained 112,778 votes in yesterday's local elections - 45.65% 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.  

Mick McCarthy speaks out ahead of final game of the season

The Ipswich Town manager talks about Luke Chambers signing a new deal, and says he's confident he'll still be at Portman Road at the start of next season:

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.

Ed Sheeran on the power of songwriting.
Ed Sheeran can write four or five songs a day when in the mood, the singer told Kirsty Young.

Beccles has the highest turnout in county council election

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

Figures from Suffolk County Council show there was a turnout of 44.19% (247,073) for this year's elections.

Beccles achieved the highest figures, with a massive 80.63% (9,455) turn-out, followed by St Margaret's & Westgate at 77.85% (11,852), and Felixstowe Coastal at 74.18% (11,432).

Residents of Newmarket and Red Lodge were the most reluctant to get involved, with 25.65% of eligible voters (2,384) marking a cross in the box.

High demand for county council website causes sporadic problems

Suffolk County Council has apologised after its local elections website crashed, due to unprecedented demand.

Notice about high demand affecting access to website
Suffolk County Council

It may be due to the turnout, which was higher than expected at just over 44%. 

We'll bring you more details on that shortly.

Corrie Mckeague: Waste may have shifted from original search area

The areas being searched at the landfill site for missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie Mckeague are to be expanded, it has been announced.

Officers say they've found material that indicates they are searching in the right area. 

But towards the edges of the area they noticed the waste may have shifted.

Search for Corrie Mckeague
Terry Harris

When work gets under way again next week at the site at Milton in Cambridgeshire, the area being searched will take into account the possibility of the waste having moved.

Police say the work has been reviewed while the search has been taking place.

Inquiries have also continued away from the site, gathering further information about Corrie's lifestyle and background.

Corrie Mckeague

Police searching for Corrie Mckeague at a landfill site said the hunt had so far cost more than £1m.

Read more

BreakingCorrie Mckeague: Search being expanded

Police say they have completed work on searching the area at the landfill site at Milton for missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie Mckeague and are now expanding the search parameters.

We'll bring you more details shortly.

Balance of power at Suffolk County Council

Kate Arkell

BBC Radio Suffolk

It's been a good day for the Conservatives, and a poor day for UKIP.

The Green Party has lost the seat of its leader, Mark Ereira Guyer, but has won a couple of previously Conservative seats.

The 50 seats won by the Conservatives are well over the 37 they needed to have control of the council.

Labour's group has decreased from 15 to 9.

There are five Liberal Democrat councillors, three Green and three Independent.

Labour and Co-operative have two seats, as do Conservative and Unionist.

West Suffolk Independents have one.

Map of county showing balance of political parties
Suffolk County Council

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. 

Big increase in Conservative vote in council elections

The Conservatives have seen the number of seats they hold at Suffolk County Council increase from 37 to 50, now that all the votes have been counted.

Labour have dropped from 15 to nine, and UKIP now have no councillors at all.

We'll bring you a map showing you the areas controlled by the different parties next.

Number of councillors for each party
Suffolk County Council

5 Things We've Learned This Week

Ed Sheeran and portrait

1) Ed Sheeran looks incredibly lifelike

The painting on the right, we mean left, wait... what?...Kidding aside, Ed's first ever portrait - painted by Belfast-based artist Colin Davidson - was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery.

Ed sat for the artist for three hours in 2015, during which Davidson made twenty drawings and took reference photographs.

Colin said: ‘When painting a portrait I am looking for the moment when the person is almost unaware of me being there and I feel I got it with Ed. 

"I deliberately didn’t want Ed to perform and that was odd for him." 

We're sure we've seen his painting before?

Read more.

Vincent Van Gogh self-portrait
Liam Payne and Cheryl
Getty Images

2) Liam and Cheryl's baby is called....


Bear Payne.

After an unconfirmed report at the start of the week, the One Direction star appeared to confirm the name of their firstborn after he was publicly congratulated by the child's namesake..

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

People on social media were extremely disappointed the couple didn't plump for Chronic / Back / Shoulder / Stomach / Extreme * etc etc

*delete as appropriate.

Read more.


3) Radiohead revealed their plans for OK Computer's 20th anniversary

The band spent a couple of weeks teasing fans, first with billboards and then with cryptic video messages.

On Wednesday, the band announced the release of OKNOTOK, a re-issue of their seminal 1997 album - to mark it's 20 birthday.

The remastered version of the album will come complete with b-sides and three un-released tracks from that era, titled I Promise, Man of War and the 'missing' track Lift 

Ed O'Brien spoke to 6 Music to talk about why Lift is only just seeing the light of day.

Read more.

Lost Radiohead track 'Lift' is finally getting a release as Ed O'Brien tells Matt Everitt
Alanis Morissette
Getty Images

4) Crime doesn't pay... if you're Alanis Morissette's ex-manager

Jonathan Schwatz, who pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $5m (£3.9m) from Alanis Morissette, is to be jailed for six years, a judge in the US ruled.

The former business manager pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and filing a false tax return in January.

Alanis - who appeared at a hearing in California - told the court her ability to trust "has been shaken to the core" because of Schwartz.

She added he "not only stole $5m in cash from me, he stole a dream".  

Last month, her disgraced ex-manager apologised and told The Hollywood Reporter that his behaviour was driven by a gambling addiction.

Read more.

And finally... 


5) Adele *really* is a Stormzy fan

The biggest female star in the country... and the wealthiest... tweeted her support when fellow Tottenham, north London lad Stormzy released his debut album earlier this year...

View more on twitter

Now, it could just have been a magnanimous gesture from a bigger star but it seems that Adele is a genuine fan of the grime artist and showed it by, not only showing up for his three-night residency at Brixton Academy in London, but rapping along too.

View more on twitter

And, we were pleased to find out, the love is reciprocated. 

View more on twitter

Do we smell a collab in the future? We hope so... 

Read more.

Tom Lawrence to miss Ipswich Town's visit to Nottingham Forest

Ipswich legend wants McCarthy's future sorted out

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Former Ipswich Town captain Mick Mills believes the club needs to clarify manager Mick McCarthy's position as soon as possible. 

Mick Mills

After having several chats over the past few weeks, McCarthy and club owner Marcus Evans are set to have a more formal get-together soon after the season ends on Sunday. 

"The statement has got to be made as quickly as possible," Mills told BBC Suffolk. 

"If there is to be a change of manager you've got to get a new man in as quickly as possible because the whole playing squad is in need of a revamp.

"Even if there's no change at management level, I think Mick McCarthy will decide that he's got to freshen this squad up. He must feel this squad of players has gone as far as it can."

A young boy gets a scholarship to a ballet school
Andreas Cross began ballet dancing because his mother thought it might calm his hyperactivity.

Man arrested in connection with dangerous driving

A man has been arrested in connection with a dangerous driving incident in Stowmarket on Tuesday, in which a police pursuit of a white Renault Clio ended when the car mounted a pavement and entered a walkway, leading to a pedestrian having to take evasive action.

The 20-year-old from the town was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and released pending further inquiries.

Not a good day for UKIP in west Suffolk

Labour correct to predict Tory win in Aldeburgh and Leiston

As Freda Casagrande predicted, the Conservatives have won the Aldeburgh and Leiston seat. 

Russell Ranger received 1,288 votes - with Ms Casagrande coming second for Labour with 607 votes.

Leiston 'needs a Labour government'

Richard Haugh

BBC News

Labour's Freda Casagrande says it looks like she will finish runner up to the Conservatives in the Aldeburgh and Leiston division, which is due to be announced shortly. 

"We've given them a run for their money," she said. "It's a shame that our area is split with Thorpeness and Aldringham, which are staunch Conservative. 

"Leiston is a working class town and needs a Labour government."

Freda Casagrande

Conservative candidate expresses doubt over Sizewell C development

Richard Haugh

BBC News

Speaking to me here at Martlesham police hq, Richard Smith, current cabinet member for finance and Conservative candidate for Blything, said he hoped Suffolk would "follow the trend" of the favourable overnight results for his party. 

"I don't think one should ever be over confident but things are looking reasonably good," he said. 

While campaigning, the "usual problems" of bad parking and speeding came up regularly - but Sizewell C is perhaps the most pressing issue for the area.

He said: "I'm not convinced the Sizewell C development should go ahead. 

"I'm happy with nuclear power but EDF are playing hardball. 

"We need a lot of community guarantees and we're not getting them at the moment." 

The Green candidate for Woodbridge Eamonn O'Nolan had also spoken of Sizewell C, saying it would be a key talking point ahead of the general election and that the development could cause "catastrophic devastation" for the area.

Richard Smith

Turnout of just under 40% in Suffolk Coastal district

Richard Haugh

BBC News

The turnout for voters in the Suffolk Coastal district has just been announced, and the general view seems to be it's better than was expected. 

But don't get too excited! Of the 97,817 people eligible to vote, 38,145 did so. 

That's a turnout of 39%

UKIP 'suffering' from switch to Conservatives after Brexit

Vikki Irwin

BBC Radio Suffolk political reporter

Here in Bury St Edmunds, the Haverhill UKIP candidate Julian Flood says they are suffering from a nationwide turn to the Conservatives over Brexit.  

Julian Flood

Counting about to get under way at Martlesham

Richard Haugh

BBC News

The count is now about to start here at police headquarters, with Aldeburgh and Leiston the first up:

Votes about to be counted
Counting about to start

Liberal Democrat candidate says turnout was 'apathetic and spineless'

Richard Haugh

BBC News

Caroline Page, one of the eight Liberal Democrat county councillors going into this election, has told me she's represented Woodbridge for the past nine years.

"I'm moderately confident," she said. "I never like to count chickens." 

Caroline Page

She said Brexit was the focus of a lot of the conversations she had with her constituents in the build-up to the vote, but this came second to roads and parking. 

She added: "I would like to say loudly, I think the turnout was low and if all the people who made a fuss about the roads came out and voted they'd get something done about it. 

"I am quite shocked - it's apathetic and spineless."  

Another Labour hold in Ipswich

Andrea Davidson

BBC Radio Suffolk

Green Party seeing 'very encouraging early indications'

Richard Haugh

BBC News

Woodbridge's Green candidate Eamonn O'Nolan says the most exciting thing for his party today is the fact it's the first time it's had a candidate running in every division. 

"What we're interested in is what is the level of our vote, and this is the only way of calibrating ourselves," he said.

"But we're seeing some very encouraging early indications from the verification process."

Catherine Walsh, Eamonn O'Nolan, Victoria Hambley

Labour group leader on county council holds his seat

Andrea Davidson

BBC Radio Suffolk

Conservative success in first result for Suffolk County Council

Guy Campbell

BBC Radio Suffolk

The Bungay division has been declared here at Waterlane Leisure Centre in Lowestoft, with a win for the Conservatives, who also won here last time:

David Ritchie (C) - 1,534

Sue Collins (L) - 758

Pauline Midwinter (G) -  280

Dave O'Neill (LD) - 173

Andrew Bols (UKIP) - 144

Verification process takes place

Richard Haugh

BBC News

Here at Police HQ at Martlesham on the edge of Ipswich, the verification process is coming under close scrutiny by some of the candidates, including the Liberal Democrats' only serving county councillor in the Suffolk Coastal area - Caroline Page (wearing the pink gilet):

Verification process

Luke Chambers at Portman Road for another two years

UKIP candidate predicts Conservative whitewash

Richard Haugh

BBC News

UKIP's candidate for Wilford, Garry Debenham, says it's been a "very disappointing" night for his party and he's not expecting its fortunes to change in Suffolk today. 

"I think it's going to be a bit of a Conservative whitewash," he said. "But we've got to hang on in there. If Mrs May doesn't walk the walk like she's talking the talk then who are people going to go to - it's going to be UKIP."

Garry Debenham

About 140 boxes to be counted at Martlesham

Richard Haugh

BBC News

There are 116 polling stations in the Suffolk Coastal area, and from these about 140 boxes are being counted today. 

One box contains postal votes. The count has yet to begin, but they're hoping that all will be finished by about 15:00.

Ballot boxes

Local elections: Counting under way at Bury St Edmunds

Vikki Irwin

BBC Radio Suffolk political reporter

I'm at the Bury St Edmunds leisure centre, where candidates and agents are overseeing counting for the Suffolk County Council elections.

Perhaps I should have brought my torch?

Count at Bury St Edmunds leisure centre

Ed describes his prolific song-writing

Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran has told Kirsty Young he writes four or five songs a day.

Ed Sheeran

Speaking to the presenter of BBC Radio Four's Desert Island Discs, Ed said: "I think it's a form of therapy to be honest.

"I think any time I've ever got down, or ever felt low, the one thing that picks me up from that is writing a song about it.

"At least you've got a positive experience out of a bad experience, or something really happy, you can write a really happy song and that's an even better thing."

You can hear Ed's choice of music, as well as his luxury item and book, from 11:00 on Sunday.