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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Weather: Dry night ahead

Chris Bell

BBC Look East weather

The weather for this evening and tonight will be mainly dry at first across the BBC East region, but cloud thickening from the west will bring the chance of some patchy light rain.

There will be light to moderate southwesterly winds, which will turn more westerly later.

The temperature will dip to 13-15C (upper 50sF).

Weather map

Tomorrow it will mainly dry with a mixture of sunny spells and patchy cloud, but thicker cloud could bring one or two isolated showers, mainly across Norfolk.

Highs around 20-22C (near 70F).

Combined authority wages bill to be reviewed

Waseem Mirza

BBC Look East

The wage bill paid to staff of the new Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority could be reassessed.

Five councillors on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee want the £1.8m annual wage bill to be reviewed and want to provide residents with the "best value for money".

Their signatures were sufficient to "call-in" the controversial decision, as they are worried the wage bill is nearly 25% higher than what was originally budgeted for.

James Palmer, the Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, says they are "committed to being a lean authority and will still be in comparison to other combined authorities".

He claims for every £1 the authority costs, the county will give £30 back in investment.

World leaders at Scarecrow Festival

It seems like the Flamstead Scarecrow Festival has gone a little bit political.

There's Lord Buckethead.....

Lord Buckethead
South Beds News Agency

President Macron, or should that be "Macrow"...

President Macrow
South Beds News Agency

...and latest but not least, Putin and Trump.

Putin scarecrow
South Beds News Agency

Man charged with pulling gun on police in Stanstead Abbotts

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Yesterday we reported that a police officer had been hurt after a man produced what they suspected to be a gun, before driving away in Stanstead Abbotts near Hertford on Wednesday.

Police have just confirmed a 36-year-old man from Hertford has been charged with using an imitation firearm to resist arrest, escaping from lawful custody and assaulting a police officer.

Thousands to be spent in improving diabetes care

Some £473,244 has been secured to invest in diabetes care in Bedfordshire.

The county's NHS clinical commissioning group says the money will be used to try and keep people well and reduce the cost the disease has on the health service.

They hope they'll be able to educate people to help them manage the condition, reduce the number of amputations by improving referrals to specialist teams and increase the number of specialists to improve early diagnosis rates and access to specialist care.

Checking blood sugar levels

University Challenge star turns down romantic proposals

Emma Maclean

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A University Challenge contestant from a Cambridge college has revealed how he received a "flood" of romantic proposals following the BBC TV show.

Bobby Seagull shot to fame earlier this year after taking Emmanuel College to the semi-finals.

He says after the show "a lot of people tried to message me through Facebook and Twitter and it was very flattering... they said I was really positive and they loved my personality.

"But I am always juggling lots of different things at the same time, so I think I would be a terrible boyfriend.

"For now I am a bit too busy to be a good dater, but maybe when everything dies down I will have time to date again."

Bobby Seagull

Seagull, and his University Challenge rival Eric Monkman have their own BBC Radio 4 programme coming up...

Monkman And Seagull's Polymathic Adventure will be broadcast 20:30-21:00 on Monday, 21 August.

Scarecrow festival in Flamstead

Toby Friedner

BBC Three Counties Radio

Rather strange sights have been spotted at sites around Flamstead near Harpenden.

You can expect to see Paddington Bear.....

Paddington scarecrow

A very scared crow..

A scared crow

Jeremy Crowbin...

Jeremy Crowbin

and Shrek....

They're dotted all around the village for the annual Scarecrow Festival, which runs until Sunday.


The event's been going since 2002, to raise funds for the upkeep of the village church and the Herts Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre.

Thousands of people are expected.

Video: The moment Grabarz jumped to success

BBC Sport

This is the moment that St Neots' Robbie Grabarz made it into the men's high jump final at the World Athletics Championships.

GB's Grabarz clears 2.31m to make final

He admitted he got a bit carried away with the support of the home crowd at the London Stadium.

"Dealing with that crowd - it's going to be bigger, it's going to be more exciting in the final and I was too excited and ran too fast at the beginning, didn't control it enough and nearly made a total mess of it," he said.

"To come out there in front of a crowd just screaming my name is so exciting, and it really doesn't happen that often.

"I've just got to keep calm and jump higher in the final."

Follow the championships with BBC Sport.

Giant Lego animal invasion alert!

Helen Burchell

BBC News

Enormous birds and animals have invaded a nature reserve on the Cambridgeshire and Norfolk border.

Lego frog
WWT Welney

But don't panic... they're made of Lego and are currently touring all Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust reserves in the UK.

At the moment they're at Welney in The Fens and they're staying there until 3 September.

As well as this massive 1.5m (5ft) frog, there's a Bewick's swan, an emperor dragonfly, a kingfisher, an otter and more.

Lego otter
WWT Welney

Watch this timelapse video below to see how they were made or pop along to Welney and see them in the flesh, so to speak.

View more on twitter

Essex estate agent's 'poor taste' joke highlights Brixworth

Jodie Halford

BBC News

An estate agent's bid to highlight the best spots for property "outside a nuclear impact zone" has been lambasted as being in poor taste - but what it has done is show up Brixworth near Daventry as a place of safety should the worst happen!

Map showing nuclear impact zones

Emoov's press release included a map of blast impact radiation radiuses around the UK in the event of a nuclear war and in doing so showed where the best places to buy property might be.

It was labelled as "the worst press release ever", by a Times journalist.

Russell Quirk, from Essex-based online agent eMoov, apologised for any offence, but said it was "completely tongue in cheek".

The agent's press release referred to tensions between North Korea and the US, commenting that people might be worried about "World War Three kicking off".

"Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are a pair of clowns, frankly, and they're acting like jokers," Mr Quirk, of the Brentwood-based agency, said.

"And on that basis, we thought we'd put out something tongue-in-cheek to show our satirical, humorous side."

An assistant editor at The Times, David Byers, tweeted screenshots of the release and commented: "Genuinely in shock! Who could have imagined this press release was a good idea??"

Rev Richard Coles: Kept Strictly secret for months

Richard Smith

BBC News

I've had the great pleasure of talking to the Reverend Richard Coles to find out more about his love of all things sequined and fake tanned!

The Finedon vicar revealed this morning he's to appear in the latest series of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing and it took him just three seconds to agree.

He said that "with great difficutly" he'd kept it a secret since March.

He was asked by the shows bosses if he was prepared for an intense degree of interest in him, and had to undergo a medical which was "hilarious".

He added that "most sensible people would have improved their fitness, but I'm now fatter and more knackered".

Rev Richard Coles

Mervyn Hemmington from Northamptonshire has come up with the best Strictly pun so far, by saying he's "looking forward to seeing his pastor doble".

While Sally Denny says: "I can see that for the first time ever, we will be watching this religiously!!!"

Robbie Grabarz jumps into World Athletics final

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

There's good news for St Neots athlete Robbie Grabarz.

He's cleared 2.31m to get through men's high jump qualifying at the World Athletics Championships in London, on his third attempt.

The 29-year-old will now take part in the final on Sunday from 19:00.

Robbie Grabarz
Getty Images

Under threat village church bid to raise £1m

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A Hertfordshire church which has rare medieval paintings on its walls will have to be closed within two years unless £1m is raised, according to the priest.

St Leonard's Church, Flamstead
Geograph/Chris Reynolds

The money is needed to fix the roof and walls of St Leonard's in Flamstead, near Harpenden, which have been damaged by water.

Vicar Tom Sander said it's becoming harder to raise the money.

"The Heritage Lottery Fund had a specific fund for places of worship like churches which make up about 40% of the listed buildings in the entire country," he said.

"That fund has now been closed and merged into the wider Heritage Lottery Fund and while we're still eligible to apply, the likelihood of us being successful has got a lot smaller."

Man temporarily blinded by mystery white powder in Northampton knife attack

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A man in his 20s was temporarily blinded after being threatened with a knife and covered in a white powder in Northampton last Friday at about 22:15.

It happened when he was walking along the path of Billing Brook, Thorplands.

He was approached by a group of six young men who accosted hime, searched him and then ran away empty-handed.

Police said it was unclear what the powder was, but the victim did not require hospital treatment and made recovered his sight.

Pitch perfect start to the season

Peter Swan

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sport

Final preparations are being made for Cambridge United's first home game of the season.

They've got two away games under their belt and Carlisle United are the first visitors to the Cambs Glass Stadium tomorrow for a 15:00 kick-off.

Shaun Derry’s men will be looking to pick up their first three points of the season.

View more on twitter

Whipsnade hippo named after Game of Thrones character

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The HBO TV show Game of Thrones has inspired the naming of a new hippopotamus at Whipsnade Zoo near Dunstable.

The male calf, who was born on 21 July is called Hodor.

His weight at birth was 30kg (66lbs) - the same as an adult Labrador dog.

The zoo told me they were "keen to choose a name that was a blend between the calf's parents Hoover and Lola", but some staff were also massive fans of the show.

"As the hippo will grow to a huge 1,500kg, they felt loveable giant Hodor was a very apt namesake," a zoo spokesman said.

Hodor from Game of Thrones
Hodor, played by Kristian Nairn in the HBO series
Hodor the hippo
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Zookeeper Angela Robinson says: "Hodor seems to be a very confident and playful young hippo and, like any youngster, he has taken a liking to winding up his mum by chasing and play-biting at her tail".

Hodor and Lola the hippos
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

He's pictured with his mother, Lola, as you can see they have the same pink skin markings, a natural variation in pigmentation, giving the appearance of wearing socks.

Hodor and Lola the hippos
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

The new calf is part of the European Endangered Species Programme, which helps ensure the survival of endangered species in zoos across Europe.

Common hippos are classified as "vulnerable" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, but their populations are in decline due to threats including hunting and habitat loss.

Robbie Grabarz prepares to jump for glory

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

The London 2012 bronze medallist - Robbie Grabarz of St Neots - is about to start his campaign for a medal at the World Athletics Championships this morning.

Qualifying for the high jump starts about now.

He's hoping for a medal, but Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim is the man to watch having won four Diamond League competitions this year.

Robbie Grabarz
Getty Images

Rev Richard Coles: Mum's 'realistic' response to Strictly moves

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Although we might be in a bit of a spin that Finedon's famous vicar, Reverend Richard Coles, will be foxtrotting his way onto Strictly this season, his mum has taken a more realistic approach to the news!

View more on twitter

The Christian festival of Michaelmas is on 29 September.

But the news has gone down well with Finedon resident, Mark Wallace, who told me "Supercolesydoingstrictleyhisfoxtrotisprecocious".

How long could your summer holiday flight be delayed?

BBC Business News

Flight data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) analysed by the BBC shows that passengers using Luton-based Easyjet had the longest delays of the 10 busiest airlines during the last two summers.

EasyJet plane
Getty Images

All flyers using EasyJet had an average delay of 24 minutes.

The average delays at airports were worst for passengers flying from Gatwick - with Luton a close second.

Passengers leaving Gatwick waited 27 minutes, while for those at Luton it was 24.

The analysis, by the BBC's data journalism team, is based on the last two years of CAA data for all flights from or to UK airports during June to August.

An EasyJet spokeswoman said: "EasyJet operates the largest number of flights of any UK airline, flying over 78 million passengers per year.

"In 2017, EasyJet will operate 33% more flights than in 2011, with less than 0.8% delayed by more than three hours.

"In fact, despite a number of adverse external factors like increasingly congested airspace, particularly in the London area, and record numbers of air traffic control strikes, over the last year EasyJet has actually reduced the proportion of flights delayed by more than three hours.

"We work hard to minimise disruption and fully comply with all relevant regulations."

Weather brings forward illegal hare coursing 'season'

Josef Hall

BBC Look East

Illegal hare coursing has already begun in the county and and it's all down to the weather according to Cambridgeshire Police.

Hare in a field of harvested field of rapeseed
Getty Images

Hare coursing involves hares being chased by dogs and bets are also placed on the outcome. It was banned in 2004.

Cropped fields are often the land of choice for the coursers because crops stop the dogs from running.

This year's early harvest has seen the coursing "season" increase from the usual six months (October to March) to 10 months, with a July start.

The coursers themselves are employing more desperate tactics than ever, the force has said.

Ch Insp James Sutherland said: "The coursers are becoming more and more determined with their methods - more violent.

"Just yesterday one of our Rural Crime Team vehicles was rammed whilst out."

Video weather forecast: Mainly dry, but cloudy

Lucy Martin

BBC Weather

Sunshine this morning will give way to cloud and rain this evening across the BBC East region.

The weekend will be cloudy, but dry with temperatures peaking at 20C (68F).

Rev Richard Coles: 'In it to win it'

The former Communards keyboard player said: "Cometh the hour, cometh the overweight vicar with arthritis in his knees" after it was announced on BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans Breakfast Show that he will be joining the hit show, Strictly Come Dancing.

"A major dance talent was waiting to be discovered. I just wonder what took them so long. I'm in it to win it, as they say," he added.

The Finedon vicar must be feeling "mighty real" about lifting that glitter ball trophy then!

Rev Richard Coles

Richard is a co-presenter of Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4 - so I dare say he'll be talking about his selection tomorrow morning:

The cook, musician and businessman Levi Roots joins Aasmah Mir and the Rev Richard Coles.

A1 glass clear-up: All lanes re-opened

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Yesterday we told you about a clean-up operation on the southbound carriageway of the A1 at Water Newton near Peterborough after a car transporter left glass on the road.

The good news is that all lanes re-opened at about 20:30 on Thursday.

View more on twitter

Praise be - Rev Richard Coles joins Strictly Come Dancing

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

It's that time of year again when we start to think about getting our glitter out and brushing up on our cha cha chas.

Yes, the contestants for this year's Strictly Come Dancing are starting to be announced and we've just found out that Northamptonshire-based priest Richard Coles is set to be waltzing around his parish of Finedon and samba-ing up the aisle at St Mary's Church.

The cleric, broadcaster and former Communards keyboard player, is the fifth celebrity to be announced and the first man of the cloth in Strictly history.

He is also the only vicar in Britain to have had a number one hit single with The Communards - 1986's biggest-selling UK single with their cover of Don’t Leave Me This Way.

What's the betting the programme's conductor Dave Arch has already worked out an arrangement for that?!

Richard joins Mollie King, Davood Ghadami, Ruth Langsford and yesterday's announcement, Gemma Atkinson in the 2017 line-up.

View more on twitter

Elderly man attacked in Luton home

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

An elderly man has been attacked by two masked men who broke into his Luton home.

Ashburnham Road, Luton

The men left empty-handed after the break-in at about 05:00 in Ashburnham Road.

Bedfordshire Police say the victim has been left extremely shaken and fearful to be in his own home.

Rail user group 'concerned' over change of operator

A group representing train passengers in Northampton and Long Buckby has said it's "concerned" about the change of operator announced by the government.

West Midlands Trains Ltd - a joint venture between the Dutch firm Abellio and Japanese partners - will take over the routes currently operated in Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and the capital by London Midland from December.

The new operator is promising extra capacity with new, longer, trains, but Paul Minton from the Northampton Rail Users Group says he fears it's more about saving money.

He said: "We're particularly concerned that Abellio may well put in a cost-cutting paper bid versus London Midland which may have some service ramifications later - recognising that the Department for Transport were probably going to go for what was the lowest cost to run the franchise.

"We've not spotted anything which will give us a lot of faith otherwise at this stage."

West Midlands Trains promise 'improvements from day one'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The new operators of commuter trains from Milton Keynes and Northampton into London are promising improvements.

A West Midlands Rail train
West Midlands Rail

West Midlands Trains Ltd will takeover the service from London Midland in December.

The franchise also includes the Bedford to Bletchley, and St Albans Abbey to Watford lines.

Dominic Booth, from West Midlands Trains, said: "From day one we'll start to work on daily punctuality and reliability improvements... [and] compensation when we do get things wrong.

"We're changing that mechanism so that passengers are recompensed automatically for anything longer than a 15-minute delay, so passengers will start to see benefits and our investments coming in very early in the franchise."

Today's weather: Dry and bright

BBC Weather

It's due to be dry and sunny for most of the day, but there's a chance of it becoming cloudier later this afternoon with some patchy rain coming in from the west.

Maximum temperature: 22C (72F).

For a full forecast where you are, visit BBC Weather.

Sunrise at Felixtstowe
Wesley Stankiewicz

Welcome back to live updates

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Welcome back to Local Live - we'll be here until 18:00 with the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates for your area.

Today is due to be mostly dry and sunny for most of the day but a regional weather forecast will be with you shortly.

Get in touch with us at any time using the Get Involved button at the top of the page.

Video: Sweeping operation on the A1 near Peterborough

The police have now posted footage of the team trying to clear glass off the A1 on the southbound carriageway at Water Newton near Peterborough:

View more on twitter

Weather: Dry overnight

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Staying dry this evening - any cloud in the BBC East region will thin and break to bring clear spells and some chilly temperatures overnight as it dips to 8C (46F) in light westerly or south westerly winds.

There will be a chilly start to Friday, with sunny spells and highs of 22C (72F).

BBC East weather map

It will gradually turn cloudier during the afternoon with patchy rain by the evening, spreading across the region overnight in light to moderate south westerly winds.

For a more detailed forecast of where you are, visit BBC Weather.

Heron catches fish: Watch the birdie!

Earlier we bought you a photo of the moment a heron speared a fish on the River Flit in Bedfordshire... and now you can watch the perfect catch of the day!

View more on instagram

Golf: Poulter under way at the PGA

Woburn's Ian Poulter is off to a poor start at the US PGA championship in North Carolina.

He made a double bogey on his first hole, the 10th, and was +3 after the 11th hole.

Ian Poulter
Getty Images

Follow live text coverage on the BBC Sport website.

TV coverage begins on the BBC Red Button at 18:00.

Heron's catch of the day

A Conservation Officer with the Beds, Camb and Northants Wildlife Trust has caught the perfect photo on the River Flit in Bedfordshire.

It was taken at the Flitwick Moor Nature Reserve.

View more on twitter

Watch 'phenomenal' Edwards run out Luff

BBC Sport

Watch Southern Vipers captain and Pidley's very own Charlotte Edwards' superb run-out of Western Storm's Sophie Luff during their victory in the opening T20 Women's Super League match at Southampton.

Glass closes lanes on A1

There are heavy delays on the A1 near Peterborough this afternoon.

One lane of the road between the A47 and A605 (Oundle Road) remains closed after a car transporter left glass on the road.

There are delays of an hour and a half.

The BCH Road Policing team has been clearing it up and commented on Twitter that they "just need a better road sweeper than us!!!"

BCH Road Policing

Contract agreed for A605 King's Dyke crossing

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The construction contract to build a new crossing on the A605 at King's Dyke between Whittlesey and Peterborough has been agreed today.

Cambridgeshire County Council won't divulge which company has been given the work, but says "we will be letting residents know further details when we have reached a point of signing contracts and are able to comment publicly".

Map of new work
Cambridgeshire County Council

The new road will be 1.1km (0.68miles)-long, over the railway line via a 32m (105ft)-long bridge with a separate cycle and footpath.

The current A605 carries over 12,000 vehicles a day, and is closed at the level crossing between eight and 25 minutes every hour due to trains.

Dogs' International Agility Festival: 'Scratch' the way to do it!

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

Not every dog is feeling it at the International Agility Festival at Rockingham Castle today.

Some just think it's too much trouble and prefer a good old scratch instead!

View more on twitter

Police believe man pulled gun on them in Stanstead Abbotts

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A police officer has been injured after an incident in Stanstead Abbotts near Hertford yesterday afternoon.

Police were called at 16:27 to New River Avenue, when they tried to detain a man, but he produced what they suspect was a gun, before driving away.

Then at about 17:45 they stopped a Vauxhall Astra on Cheshunt High Street.

A 36-year-old man from Hertford, the only person in the car, has been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and is in custody.

In total, 20 officers were involved and one of them suffered a minor injury.

Peterborough dinosaur named after Motorhead's Lemmy

A ferocious, sea-going crocodile, discovered fossilised in Peterborough in 1909, has been named after the late lead singer of Motorhead.

Like the hell-raising rock star Lemmy, the 19ft (5.8m)-long beast, now called Lemmysuchus (meaning Lemmy's crocodile), was no shrinking violet.

The species, believed to be present around Britain about 145 million years ago, needed to be renamed after University of Edinburgh scientists realised it had been wrongly classified.


The Motorhead frontman, who first found fame as bassist/singer with Hawkwind, died at the end of 2015.

Lorna Steel, Natural History Museum curator, said: "As a long-standing Motorhead fan I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to immortalise the rock star in this way.

"Although Lemmy passed away at the end of 2015, we'd like to think that he would have raised a glass to Lemmysuchus, one of the nastiest sea creatures to have ever inhabited the Earth."

He did, after all, write a song called Love Me Like A Reptile....