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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Our live coverage across the day

That's all for our live updates today but any breaking news and updates will be published here overnight.

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

Have a great bank holiday weekend - just for once it looks as if we're in for some good weather.

Higher than average number of nurse vacancies in Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire is below the national average when it comes to the number of registered nurses working in hospitals.

The UK vacancy rate for nurses is at 10%.

Addenbrooke's has a 14.8% vacancy rate, Peterborough City Hospital and Hinchingbrooke are at 11% and Papworth has the highest at 17%.

Tom Sandford, the director of the Royal College of Nursing, says he's "concerned" with the news, and says "we really need to address the number of nurses we have in the system at the moment and train enough nurses for the future".

Science Photo Library

The Department of Health says: "We are making sure we have the nurses we need to continue delivering world-class patient care - that's why there are almost 13,100 more on our wards since May 2010 and 52,000 in training".

Giraffe sculpture: A tall story

Helen Burchell

BBC News

When the Sawston tree was confirmed as dead, Phil Boswell and Carol Mutimer decided to do something creative rather than leave an ugly stump.

Stowmarket tree surgeon Mr Hayford turned it into a giraffe over the course of five days using a petrol carving saw and creating the print on its "skin" using a blow torch "that people usually use for creme brulee", he said.

Ben Hayford carving giraffe
Ben Hayford

Although he has been a tree surgeon for 10 years, he has only been carving animals for about three months. "Before that I did the occasional mushroom and chair," Mr Hayford said.

The giraffe is his fifth animal.

Carved giraffe

Others include a wolf at Colchester Zoo, a heron and salmon.

"This was the largest carving tackled by myself and I'm over the moon with it," he said.

'Awesome' giraffe appears on Sawston street

Helen Burchell

BBC News

A giraffe "loose" in a Cambridgeshire village has taken people by surprise when it appeared this week.

The animal is the creation of specialist tree surgeon Ben Hayford who carved it from a dead tree in Sawston.

Carved giraffe

Instead of chopping down the horse chestnut and leaving a stump, the landowners asked Mr Hayford to make a feature of it. Villagers described it as "awesome" and a "unique piece of art".

Ben Hayford carving giraffe
Ben Hayford

The 15ft (4.5m) animal - not native to the south of the county - is on land owned by the village baker and hardware store owner on High Street.

A naming competition will take place later.

Passengers get ready to take off

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The great get away is expected from today as holiday makers make good use of the long bank holiday weekend.

Luton airport say they're expecting it to be one of their busiest days as 60,000 passengers are set to take off and land.

Passengers boarding plane
London Luton Airport

Throughout the whole of the weekend, 225,000 are due through the airport, which is a 12.5% increase from last year.

Top routes are Amsterdam, Budapest, Bucharest, Warsaw, Barcelona, Corfu and Larnca.

The times they are a changing....

Alex Harris

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Between them they have written some of the most famous and iconic songs of all time, so students at The University of Cambridge's Institute of Continuing Education, will be undertaking a two-day course to study the songs of Bob Dylan and Leondard Cohen.

Writer Jem Poster and musicologist Stephen Ferron will examine "lyrics and music" during the course in September.

"Forever Young" students will study Dylan in sessions called Folk And Protest, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde.

Bob Dylan
Getty Images

Cohen's sessions are called Poet And Singer, Songs Of Leonard Cohen, Songs From A Room and Songs Of Love And Hate.

Leonard Cohen
Getty Images


Lewis Hamilton tops Belgian Grand Prix second practice

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer at Spa-Francorchamps

Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton started his Belgian Grand Prix weekend in perfect fashion as he sets the pace in the second Friday practice session.

Hamilton was 0.262 seconds quicker than Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in second, with Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas third.

Hamilton's title rival Sebastian Vettel - 14 points ahead in the title race - was fifth quickest, 0.482secs down.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen pipped Vettel by just 0.01secs to separate the German from the rest of the front-runners.

Lewis Hamilton in the pits at Belgium Grand Prix
Getty Images

Business rate refund on cards for Cambridgeshire

Hannah Olsson

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire political reporter

Some Cambridgeshire businesses, affected by the change in business rates, could qualify for a relief fund.

The government changed the way rates were calculated back in April, with some companies paying thousands more a month.

The most amount of money has gone to South Cambridgeshire District Council - awarded about £900,000.

Peterborough City Council has been awarded about £500,000 and Fenland District Council £250,000.

The government has now stepped in to try to speed up business rate relief to thousands of small firms.

Getty Images

Mattress destroyed by knocked over lamp

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The picture below shows what damage a knocked over bedside lamp can cause to a bed.

Burnt mattress
Bucks and MK fire

Firefighters were called to the house on Highfield Close, Amersham, after a touch activated lamp fell on a foam mattress.

The 60 watt bulb, caused the mattress to begin smouldering.

There was some smoke damage to the house, but the woman in the property at the time got out safely.

Wheelie good way to celebrate

On practice day at the MotoGP at Silverstone, it seems like there's only one way to celebrate.

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Stevenage fans fund new standium build

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Fans of Stevenage Football Club have raised £500,000 to build a new stand at the Lamex stadium.

A mini-bond crowdfunding scheme was set up and managed to hit its target a month early.

More than 200 fans pledged between £500 and £25,000, in return for 4% interest in cash, or 8% to spend at the club.

Lamex stadium
Stevenage FC

The money will be combined with a Football Foundation Grant of £450,000, so building work can start.

One of the backers, was best-selling author, Ken Follett.

For crying out loud...

John Devine

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Oyez, Oyez, Oyez... a shout has gone out to find the next St Neots town crier.

Members of the public are being invited to audition for the job, with the Live Town Crier Trials taking place on 30 September.

I spoke to Pearl Capewell, Peterborough's Town Crier.

She told me some of the attributes that are needed are a "good, loud, clear voice" and to be "fit and healthy".

Pearl Capwell, town Cryer

Bank holiday weekend of rail disruption ahead

Rail passengers travelling into Euston station this weekend are being reminded to expect disruption.

The station is being closed to allow work to begin on HS2, the high speed link between London and Birmingham via Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire.

On Saturday trains will only run as far as Hemel Hempstead, and on Sunday, Milton Keynes.

Ross Easton from Network Rail says the work is "essential, to development better service for passengers in the future".

Train at Euston station
Getty Images

Paul Minton, a rail campaigner says he's been left "surprised" by the disruption.

He believed the work would start next year, but he understands it needs to start as "long term we should get better services, in the short term we are having to put up with some disruption to get there".

Belgian Grand Prix: Kimi Raikkonen tops practice

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer at Spa-Francorchamps

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen headed title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in first practice at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Finn pipped Stevenage's Hamilton by just 0.053 seconds, with the Mercedes driver 0.092secs ahead of Vettel, who leads the championship by 14 points.

The three were 0.7secs clear of the field, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in fourth and fifth.

Lewis Hamilton
Getty Images

Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas was sixth after an off-track moment.

The headline lap times appeared to understate what looked like a significant advantage for Hamilton over the Ferraris.

The Briton set his fastest lap on the hardest tyre option available this weekend, the 'soft', while Raikkonen and Vettel used the softest, the so-called 'ultra-soft'.

Statue for Turner takes shape

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

In exactly a weeks time, this empty plinth will look a little different.

Statue plinth

Next Friday a life-sized, bronze statue of Cambridgeshire football legend Chris Turner will be unveiled at Peterborough United.

Chris Turner
Peterborough United

Turner, who managed and played for The Posh and Cambridge United, died two years ago aged 64 after a battle with dementia.

Statue plinth

More than £100,000 was raised to create and build the artwork.

Statue plinth

It's being created by sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn.

On your bike!


Jonathan Park

BBC Look East sport

With three days of MotoGP at Silverstone this weekend, things are really starting to rev up here.

The car park has already been taken over by two wheels, and more are expected tomorrow and on Sunday.

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Cricket: Cook's out!

BBC Sport

Not such a great Test match so far for Bedfordshire's Alastair Cook.

In the day night game at Edgbaston, the Essex batsman scored 243 as England won the test by an innings and 209 runs.

On day one of the second fixture at Headlingley though, he’s been dismissed for just 11.

England won the toss and chose to bat and are currently 26-2.

MotorGP roars into Silverstone

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

More than 155,000 people will descend on Silverstone this weekend for MotoGP.

The main race takes place on Sunday, but practice has started today with qualifying tomorrow.

The event is currently being held in Northamptonshire, making it the fourth time it's been held at the track.

MotoGP 2016
Getty Images

There's some uncertainty where it will be held in the future after Circuit of Wales lost the rights to hold the event in Wales.

Simon Patterson from Motorcycle News said: "There's a real, real strong desire [for the race] to stay at Silverstone.

"It's a fairly unique circuit in our calendar, there's not many places you can take a MotoGP bike up to 220mph in sixth gear."

Bedford tower fire: In pictures

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue have released more pictures about the fire that caused smoke to rise up a Bedford tower block last night.

Flat fire
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue

They say they were called at 20:10, and it was all finished by 21:39.

Flat fire
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue
Flat fire
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue

Bedford tower fire: One person injured

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

We've been given more information about the fire in a 12 storey building in Bedford last night.

Fire in flats
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue say four fire engines from Bedford, Kempston and Sandy attended the incident at Beckett Court, on Roise Street, which has 68 flats.

Fire in flats
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue

They say firefighters found the fire in the ground floor bin room and the fire was put out at 21:08.

Fire in flats
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue

Smoke rose through the building and mainly affected floors six to 11.

A woman taken to hospital with smoke inhalation was on the top floor.

Fire in flats
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue

Andy Draper, from Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue, said: "This incident shows the importance of our 'stay put' message. Residential apartments are the safest place to be if the fire is not directly on the residents’ floor.

"Leaving your flat puts you at risk from smoke and fumes that we wear breathing apparatus to protect ourselves from. In addition it also allows the emergency service a clear access route around the building."

Man dies after A45 crash

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A man has died following an accident on the A45 at Wellingborough on Monday.

The 37-year-old man was in a red Citroen C8 travelling along the eastbound section of the road at about 22:30, police said.

For "reasons unknown" the vehicle struck a nearside road barrier before crossing the ramp of the slip road from Wellingborough. It then entered the attached layby where the car collided with a tree.

Repairs to be carried out after tractor caught train barrier

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Great Northern train services between St Neots and Sandy are now running as normal, after a tractor caught a barrier at the Tempsford crossing this morning.

British Transport Police and Network Rail were called at about 07:30 this morning.

Engineers are on their way to the site to carry out repairs to the barrier.

No one was injured.

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Driver injured after A141 accident

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

This is the scene of the accident between two lorries on the A141 by Chatteris this morning where the road remains closed.

Road accident
Fenland Police

Emergency services are on site including the East of England Ambulance Service and Magpas.

Road accident
Fenland Police

A man in his 40s has been taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital with minor injuries.

Road accident
Fenland Police
Scene of accident
Fenland Police

Tractor stuck on train line

BBC News Travel

A tractor stuck on a level crossing in St Neots is causing train delays this morning.

Greater Northern railways say trains between St Neots and Sandy are now running at a reduced speed.

Smoke rises through Bedford tower block

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Firefighters were called to a 12 storey tower block in Bedford last night when a fire broke out in a bin store.

Crews arrived to Beckett Court at about 20:30 to find smoke coming from the top floor.

The fire was actually on the ground floor but the smoke had risen through rubbish chutes.

Beckett Court

Residents were asked to stay in their flats.

One woman taken to hospital suffering from the effects of breathing in smoke.

Travel: A141 by Chatteris closed

BBC News Travel

Fenland Police

The A141 is closed by Chatteris after an accident involving two lorries causing Fenland Way to be blocked by the Huntingdon Road roundabout.

Emergency services are at the scene.

Suspect package closes city centre

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Police cordoned off an area in the centre of Cambridge late last night after reports of a suspicious package.

St Andrews Street, near the Grand Arcade, was closed at about 23:00 for two hours.

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Welcome back

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome back to the Local Live news feed.

This means we'll be here till 18:00, bringing you all your news, sport, travel and in a moment a full weather report with Elizabeth Rizzini.

Happy Friday everyone.

Bedford business's to help pay for policing in town

Tony Fisher

BBC Three Counties Radio

A plan to allow businesses in Bedford to help pay for policing in the town has been approved.

The arrangement has been made between Bedfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway and businesses which already pay a levy under the BedfordBID scheme.

The business, will pay £25,000 to fund two Police Community Support Officers and £5,000 to pay for 12 parking spaces at council-owned car parks for officers' personal use.

Bedford High Street

Ms Holloway says BedfordBID is "proposing the idea to help improve the district in which their businesses operate and make it even better and safer place for people to come to the town".

"This is a really common sense initiative," she added.

Some busineses told me they couldn't understand why they were paying for the police's parking.

A statement from the directors of BedfordBID said: "Whilst we are mindful of the issue of setting a precedent, and are also aware that businesses, council staff, volunteer charity workers etc., currently pay parking tariffs where required, the Directors of BedfordBID believe this arrangement at Lurke Street has overarching benefits in terms of public safety, as well as benefit to businesses.

"We know there are issues at Lurke Street car park. It is frequented by undesirables including skateboarders, there are rough sleepers and evidence of drug taking as well as graffiti.

"Teenagers do free-running on the roof of NatWest, as well as skateboarding on the top of Lurke Street car park most late afternoon / evenings.

"Separately, knives and bikes have been reported thrown over businesses’ walls within the vicinity.

"It was not a decision taken lightly, but we feel it was the right decision for the BID to take at this time."

Kittens dumped in bin bag in Cambridge, preparing for new home

Helen Burchell

BBC News

Meet Jon, Rickon, Robb and Bran.

They're four brothers who've been rescued and brought back to health by the Blue Cross Charity in Cambridge after being found tied up in black bin covered in fleas and their own urine in Chesterton last month.

Blue Cross

This is how two of them looked when they were found, but they were given "baths, food and love" from the staff and are now preparing to go off to new homes.

The Blue Cross

Sarah Bates, from the Blue Cross, says: "We’ve no idea how long they had been tied up in the bag before they were found, but they were very underweight and they may not have survived much longer had they not been discovered.

"We’re so happy to see them all back to full health.

"They should be heading to their new homes shortly where we’re sure they’ll make their new families some great little companions.”

Non-travellers leaving Cottenham travellers site

Jozef Hall

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

South Cambridgeshire District Council says the majority of tenants ordered to leave the Smithy Fen Traveller Site in Cottenham last month have done so.

In total, 56 non-travellers were issued enforcement notices from the Cottenham site, after it was revealed they were renting there illegally.

The planning conditions for the site meant that it was only for people with a traveller background, while many of those renting were simply homeless non-travellers.

So far, 34 have made their own arrangements, while the council says it is helping many of the remainder to find new homes.

Smith Fen

'Groundhog' electricity letter sent to Wimblington family

John Devine

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Members of a Cambridgeshire family have been left scratching their heads after receiving seven copies of exactly the same letter from an energy company..

Brenda and Phillip Smith from Wimblington near March say they're in disbelief at EON's letters.

Mrs Smith told me "if it was a red reminder, you'd expect two or three, but seven is a bit of a joke".


EON said in a statement: "We identified an IT issue that caused us to send out duplicate copies of the same letter to a small number of our customers during August.

"We have now resolved the issue and no further duplicates will be sent."

Watford player to play for England

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Watford FC have sent their congratulations to Nathaniel Chalobah, who's been handed his first call-up to the senior England football squad.

The Hornets say the 22-year-old becomes the first permanent Watford player to be selected for a Three Lions squad since John Barnes in 1987.

Nathaniel Chalobah
Watford FC

They have five other international players as Sebastian Prödl and Daniel Bachmann are both in Austria’s squad.

Craig Cathcart is playing for Northern Irelend and Costel Pantilimon will represent Romania.

Meanwhile, Nordin Amrabat has been selected by Morocco.

Free garden service for veterans

A charity is offering free garden clearances for war veterans in Peterborough.

The project, being offered by the charity Groundwork, is funded by £43,000 grant from the Royal British Legion.

The service is available to vulnerable or disabled ex-services personnel or their families, who are aged over 65.

Garden tools

Colourful bike business gets a boost

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A splash of two-wheeled colour is expanding in Cambridge with the development of the city's yellow bike sharing scheme.

Asian company Ofo launched a trial in April. The scheme works by people hiring bikes through a mobile app, without the need for docking stations to drop them off when finished.

Ofo bike

Following a free trial, the number of bikes has been trebled from 50 to 150.

There have been concerns about bikes being dumped across the city, but the company says it tracks them.

What a load of rubbish as skips abandoned in Watford

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

A rubbish situation has occured in Watford after a local resident has been left with a skip outside their house, after the company they hired it from apparently "went bust".

Raymond Hutchinson has failed to get it removed so Watford Mayor Dorothy Thornhill is trying to resolve the situation.

Raymond Hutchinson and Mayor Dorothy Thornhill
Watford Borough Council

She says: "I’ve written to the chief executive of Herts County Council asking for the county to use all powers at their disposal to remove these skips from public highways".

It's believed up to 15 skips could be outside other homes in the town.

Students celebrate GCSE results

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

GCSE passes have dropped slightly across the range of subjects with some dramatic changes in new, tougher exams sat for the first time in England.

Overall in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, passes (grades C/4 and above) dropped 0.6 percentage points to 66.3%.

In England, the English literature pass-rate fell 2.5 percentage points to 72%, but in maths it rose from 61.5% to 68.9%. Both are the new, tougher exams.

It's been a good day, for Level 2 HSC student Sinead at North Herts College, she says she's had ''the best year of her life'' after passing her English GCSE and has now secured a job as a care assistant.

Sinead GCSE student
North Herts College

Rushden Lakes: Shoppers await opening of flagship store

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Long queues formed at the new Rushden Lakes shopping centre earlier as House of Fraser prepared to open its doors for the first time at the new retail complex.

The site has been six years in the planning and cost £140m.

Queue's at Rushden Lakes
Rushden Lakes

The first stores opened in phase one of the project at the end of July.

This was the scene as shoppers where allowed into House of Fraser’s first store at an out-of-town retail and leisure complex.

Opening of House of Fraser
Rushden Lakes

Strictly Come Dancing: What a lot of bottle

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

It seems like you need quite a few things when you're training for Strictly Come Dancing.

Good dance shoes, a spray tan, a love of glitter and your very own water bottle!

This is the latest update from Finedon's foot-tapping finest - the Reverend Richard Coles. The cleric, musician and broadcaster is competing in the forthcoming series of the hit BBC One show.

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Investigation launched into derailed freight train

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

It's been confirmed this morning that an investigation will be carried out into how a freight train derailed at Ely West Junction on the afternoon of 14 August.

The train was travelling from the Port of Felixstowe to a terminal at Doncaster and was hauling 30 container-carrying wagons.

The rear 12 wagons became derailed as the train traversed a set of points which formed part of the junction.

Derailed train
Rail Investigation Branch

The Rail Investigation Branch said it will: "Identify the sequence of events that led to the accident and how the wagons derailed".

Train derailment

The line re-opened in the early hours of Monday, after the containers had to be removed and the track repaired. No one was injured.

The report will be made public at a later date.