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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Tilbury gas leak: Rest centre set up for 30 families

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

Thirty families have been evacuated from their homes in East Tilbury because of a gas leak.

The leak in Princess Margaret Road was caused by a vehicle striking a gas main, Essex Fire and Rescue said.

Repair works are under way.

A rest centre for the families has been set up at the nearby Gateway Academy.

The emergency services have asked people to avoid Princess Margaret Road.

Britvic closure 'body-blow' for city

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, said news of the Britvic site closure was a "body-blow" for the city.

"My thoughts are with the 242 members of staff who've had that uncertainty hanging over them, who've now been told that they'll be out of a job. Merry Christmas to them. I'm gutted for them", he said.

"I know the staff and unions fought tooth and nail to try to hold onto their jobs."

The MP also attacked the consultation process, saying many staff felt it had been a "...paper exercise only; they didn't feel the company went into it with an open mind".

Mr Lewis said he hoped it would still be possible to persuade Unilever to keep open the Colman's factory. He said if that was to close as well the city could lose a total of between 800 and 1,000 jobs .

MP: Britvic closure 'depressing'

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

The Norwich North MP Chloe Smith says the confirmed closure of the Britvic factory is depressing news coming so close to Christmas.

"I have been talking to the government about this and there is a package of support in place for those who lose their jobs which will now kick in," she said

"The big thing we must do now is to try to persuade Unilever to keep open their part of the site."

Ms Smith has held several meetings with business secretary Greg Clark since the company first announced its plans to close back in September

Homes evacuated in Tilbury after gas leak

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

Homes in an area of East Tilbury have been evacuated following the discovery of a gas leak.

Essex Fire and Rescue is currently in Princess Margaret Road and says the evacuation was a "precaution".

A fire service spokesman said gas engineers had been notified and were on their way.

Ipswich boss calls on Bishop to step up

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Defender Tommy Smith and striker David McGoldrick could both be in the Ipswich Town squad for tomorrow's match with Reading, having returned to full training this week.

Teddy Bishop
BBC

Goalkeeper Dean Gerken will again be absent along with midfielders Tristan Nydam, Tom Adeyemi and Emyr Huws.

Huws, who only recently returned to action after a long term injury, has been ruled out for the season with a knee problem.

Asked today if he had his eye on a replacement for the Welshman, manager Mick McCarthy said: "Yes, Teddy Bishop. I'd like Teddy to be as fit as he can be, and why would I look anywhere else if I can get him?

"I don't think he is ready to play 90 minutes at the moment, but he is at least ready to play, and when he's been coming on in games he has looked far better. He's also training well."

South Ockendon murder: Victim was man in his 50s

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

Detectives investigating the murder of a man in a South Ockendon park believe the attack might have been captured on a dash camera in a car.

Dilkes Park
Google

Although police are yet to formally identify the man killed in Dilkes Park shortly before 15:00 on Thursday, they have said he was in his 50s. A post-mortem examination will take place on Friday.

Det Ch Insp Martin Pasmore said: “We are keen to trace two men leaving the area in a silver or light-coloured vehicle.

“There were a number of vehicles that passed the scene at the time and I’d urge anyone who may have dash cam footage to come forward too.”

Second stretch of NDR to open

Western section of Norwich Northern Distributor Road
BBC

A section of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR) could be open to traffic within the week, thanks to milder weather, the county council has said.

The four-and-a-half mile (7.5km) stretch between the A140 Cromer Road and A1151 Wroxham Road will be the next phase to be completed.

Heavy sleet, hail and an overnight freeze left the newly-laid surface covered in thick ice on Tuesday, making some work "impossible", a spokesman said.

"With better weather forecast, it should be possible to recover from the setbacks."

Three crewmen stranded in Great Yarmouth to return to India

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Three crew men stranded in Great Yarmouth since February due to a long-running shipping wrangle are set to return home to India tomorrow.

Malaviya Twenty
BBC

The India-owned Malaviya Twenty has been detained in Great Yarmouth docks since it arrived in June 2016.

It originally had a crew of 12 but these were relieved in February and now there are seven aboard, including a captain.

Port chaplain and welfare officer, the Revd Peter Paine, of the Great Yarmouth Seafarers' Centre, said: "One of of the three going home is desperate to get home as his father is dangerously ill with cancer."

Malaviya Twenty
BBC

He said he was collecting for Christmas presents for the four remaining crew members.

Rugby Union: Another stiff test for Bury

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Bury St Edmunds will be aiming to avoid a third successive defeat tomorrow afternoon, although that will be easier said than done.

Ollie Smith
BBC

The Wolfpack - who lost to table-topping Chinnor last weekend - are away to second-placed Cinderford in National League Two South.

The hosts have won 13 of their 14 games so far, scoring 556 points in the process.

"In the past they've been pretty forward-orientated," head coach Ollie Smith told me. "They've had a successful season so far, beating a good Taunton side recently.

"Any team in this league wants to have a strong home record and Cinderford are no different. We'll go down there expecting a physical battle, from a team that's pretty well-drilled, and it's a challenge for us."

Speedway: Mildenhall make a 'big signing'

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Mildenhall Fen Tigers are a step closer to confirming their team for 2018 after snapping up Josh Bailey as their new number one.

Josh Bailey
Eastbourne Eagles

The 20-year-old, who rode for Eastbourne this year, will join Danny Ayres, Sam Bebee, Jordan Jenkins, Drew Kemp and Matt Marson at West Row.

"Josh is another big signing for Mildenhall, Like Danny Ayres, he's an out-and-out number one in the National League," said promoter Kevin Jolly.

"I am sure they will work well together and also challenge each other at the top of the team. This top-end strength had been missing on away tracks last season and we want to be a threat whereever we ride next season."

Mildenhall hope to finalise their line-up over the weekend.

Injured Ipswich Town star thanks fans

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

After being ruled out of action for the rest of the season, Ipswich Town midfielder Emyr Huws has expressed his gratitude for the support he has had since the news broke.

The 24-year-old has undergone knee surgery this week after hobbling off at Middlesbrough last Saturday.

It was only his third start of the campaign after overcoming an achilles problem.

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Beaton is first winner at PDC World Darts

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

North Walsham's Steve Beaton became the first man through to the second round of the PDC World Darts.

He beat Willie O'Connor 3-1 on the opening night of the tournament at Alexandra Palace.

Steve Beaton
Getty Images

Beaton won the BDO title in 1996 and insists he can't be ruled out of the running this year.

"I turned it on in the fourth set and I thought 'You're not going to beat me' and if I can combine all that in one game, it's mine to give away, really."

Norfolk Police officers chase stolen Range Rover

Two emergency vehicles were damaged and a stinger was deployed as police officers chased a stolen Range Rover across the Norfolk Broads.

The car was stolen from the petrol station in Stalham after its driver, a man aged in his 20s who was meeting a friend there, was threatened early this morning.

It was driven about 18 miles from the Broads village to Gapton Hall roundabout near Great Yarmouth, before the stinger was used and the vehicle came to a stop.

Four people have been arrested, a Norfolk Police spokesman said.

River Island to move out of Great Yarmouth town centre

Andrew Turner

BBC Radio Norfolk

Another major retailer in Great Yarmouth has confirmed it intends to relocate out of the town centre.

River Island said it plans to move from its King Street store to Gapton Hall Retail Park.

It follows in the footsteps of Marks & Spencer which moved out almost three years ago.

A River Island spokeswoman said the planned relocation will happen in March, although the agreement is yet to be signed by the firm's property team.

She added: "I presume all staff will relocate to the new unit when complete and won't have an effect on redundancies."

River Island, Great Yarmouth
BBC

Rugby union: New faces expected at Bury

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

The Bury St Edmunds head coach has told me he plans to shuffle his pack in the new year, with departures likely from The Haberden.

Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club
BBC

"We have a couple of players moving on for various reasons, just after Christmas," Ollie Smith said. "That'll get announced by the club at some point, and they go with our best wishes.

"We'll be looking to bring a couple of guys in, but not heaps and heaps.

"It's about giving the guys that we've got opportunities through the second half of the season. Although it would be nice to have a fresh voice in the group."

Bury are currently sixth in National League Two South.

Suffolk Police in 24-hour Twitterthon

Suffolk Police is giving people the chance to see what they deal with on a daily basis through social media.

The force has taken to Twitter to show the type and volume of calls it gets over 24 hours.

It started at 07:00 and calls so far include reports of a stolen vehicle, an injured deer, harassment, "neighbour issues" and thefts of wallets and purses.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Video: Ipswich Cornhill revamp

Stuart Howells

BBC Radio Suffolk

Go-ahead for Ipswich's Cornhill revamp

People on BBC Suffolk's Facebook page have been commenting for and against the project to spend up to £3.6m giving Ipswich's Cornhill a makeover.

Jennifer Hill calls it a "dreadful waste of money", but Tammy Chambers says "something needs [to be done] to make it look better than it does now".

Armed robbery at Ipswich convenience store

Armed robbers struck at a convenience store, threatening staff with a handgun before making off with cash from the till.

Two men went into McColl's in Maidenhall Green, Ipswich, at about 20:00 on Wednesday.

McColl's in Ipswich
Google

One suspect is described as wearing black tracksuit trousers, a blue zipped hooded top with another black hooded top underneath this, and a pair of black leather gloves.

The second wore a black hooded coat, black tracksuit trousers and white trainers.

Both men were about 5ft 7in (1.7m) to 5ft 9in (1.75m) in height and both were wearing scarves.

Rugby union: Bury take heart from Chinnor loss

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

The head coach of Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club says last weekend's narrow defeat to table-topping Chinnor shows that, on their day, his side can compete with anyone in National League Two South.

Ollie Smith
BBC

Ollie Smith threw caution to the wind for the 37-34 loss - asking his team to play a higher intensity, more attack-minded game, and he was really pleased with how well they adapted.

"I was basically saying the shackles are off," he told me. "In general I prefer to be quite methodical and conservative in the way we play, to a point.

"I prefer to edge on the side of caution but we didn't feel that was the right way to approach the game, so we went all out attack and we do take lots of confidence from it."

Second person rescued from Buttsbury Wash in two days

Firefighters have had to rescue a second driver from flood water in Buttsbury Wash, a day after having to rescue someone else.

A crew from Billericay was sent at 09:15 to help the man, who was stuck in 4ft (1.2m) of water on the road near Mountnessing.

They used an inflatable sledge to bring him to safety.

Buttsbury Wash
BBC

The fire service said drivers who head into flood water "not only risk the lives of themselves and their passengers, they also tie up fire crews and rescue teams who could be needed elsewhere".

Cornhill plans approved - but some details still to be finalised

Plans to redevelop Ipswich's Cornhill have been given the green light.

However, a decision by the borough council to invest an additional £200,000, as we reported yesterday, depends on it being match-funded.

A spokesman for the council said: "A contractor will soon be appointed, but some details of the £3.6m scheme have yet to be finalised because of costs."

Work is set to start early next year with completion before Christmas.

Artist's impression of Cornhill area
Ipswich Borough Council
Artist's impression of Cornhill in front of Town Hall
Ipswich Borough Council
Artist's impression of Cornhill
Ipswich Borough Council

Rape suspect 'gave lifts to other people' before attack

Officers investigating a rape in Lowestoft at the weekend say they have heard from witnesses who were given a lift by a man in the town shortly before he raped a woman in her 30s.

Rape suspect
Suffolk Police
E-fit of rape suspect in Lowestoft

The victim was offered a lift by a man at about 04:00 on Saturday, while walking along Oulton Road. She accepted, but he then stopped the car on Kimberley Road and attacked her.

The driver told the victim he had just given a lift to two other people.

Det Insp Eamonn Bridger said police want to hear from anyone who has information about the attack, "especially if you believe you recognise the man pictured in the E-fit".

Flat's front door fire 'started deliberately'

A fire which trapped a woman, child and dog in a flat in Harlow was started deliberately, Essex fire service says.

Three crews found the front door alight at a first floor flat on Broadfield at about 15:20 yesterday.

Broadfield, Harlow
Google

The family and their pet were safely led out of the property by firefighters, who then worked to put the blaze out.

The door was left damaged by the fire and smoke.

Complaints against police at highest level for 10 years

Kelly McCormack

BBC Radio Suffolk

The number of complaints being made to Suffolk police has reached its highest level for a decade.

Figures released ahead of a meeting of the police and crime commissioner on Friday show an increase of 26%, from 152 complaints recorded in Q1-Q2 in 2016-17 to 191 in the same period this year.

Gareth Wilson
BBC

Chief constable Gareth Wilson said: "The numbers are still relatively low, so we're not talking about huge numbers.

"The deputy, as part of his role, constantly analyses it. We've got a system where if there's a particular team, or if there's a particular member of staff, we make sure we deal with it effectively as well.

"Yes there has been a quarterly increase, but it's not a trend now that I'm overly concerned about, but I will give people absolute assurance that we deal with it really seriously."

Approval given for conversion of former hospital

A campaign which began about 18 months ago to purchase the former Southwold Hospital for community use has been successful.

Waveney councillors approved the project last night, which includes nine dwellings and an opportunity for a library, creche and business centre.

Southwold Hospital
BBC

Laurence Vulliamy, chairman of SouthGen - a "community benefit society" set up by Save Our Southwoldto buy and run the site - said it was "very happy" at the unanimous decision.

The group's plans involve restoring the facade and sides of the 1903 building and extending it.

Ipswich midfielder in regular contact with Premier League leaders

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

On-loan winger Bersant Celina has told BBC Suffolk Sport his exploits with Ipswich Town this season aren't going unnoticed at his parent club Manchester City.

Bersant Celina
Getty Images

The 21-year-old's been in impressive form for the Blues, scoring seven goals in 19 appearances so far.

Although Celina hasn't had any direct contact with City boss Pep Guardiola, he knows the runaway Premier League leaders are monitoring him.

"He [Guardiola] has to think about his players that he's got there, but I'm in contact with his team. I know they're supporting me and watching me and want me to do well.

"I think I've done the right thing, to go out and play games. You look at the team there and it's just amazing. Obviously it's hard to get in it, but that's for the future I think."

Shops question timing of works to restore fire-ravaged building in Sudbury

Suffolk Free Press

Work to reinstate a former 19th Century building, which was left a blackened ruin two years ago after a fierce blaze in Sudbury, has begun.

Site of fire
Suffolk Free Press

Immigrant discovered under Chelmondiston school bus

A male who was discovered under a school bus in Chelmondiston, which had just returned from the continent, has been passed into the care of social services, after he told police he was from Sudan, and under the age of 18.

Chelmondiston Primary School
Google

John Howard, spokesman for the Diocesan Multi Academy Trust which runs Chelmondiston Primary school, said: "The bus had brought pupils safely back from a residential school trip to France.

"We are glad the children are all safe and well, and the school is co-operating with the police."

Police told us earlier they were called at 10:50 following reports the man had been found, as the East Anglian Daily Times has reported.

A spokesman for the Home Office said his case will be progressed in line with immigration rules.

Advice on how to spot a fake Fingerling

National furniture company founded in Mellis to axe 112 jobs in ‘wind down’

Diss Express

A national furniture company, originating in Mellis nearly 40 years ago, has announced it will lose more than 112 jobs as part of an "orderly wind down" after going into administration.

Suspected illegal immigrant found underneath coach

East Anglian Daily Times

A suspected illegal immigrant was found under a school bus outside a Suffolk primary school this morning, police have said.

‘It was absolute carnage’ – Headteacher speaks out after Birchwood Primary School targeted by vandals

Ipswich Star

The headteacher of a Suffolk primary school has slammed vandals who left a trail of destruction after smashing up the grounds overnight.

Police called to 48 crashes across Norfolk as temperatures plummet

Eastern Daily Press

Police have seen a spike in crashes on Norfolk’s roads after freezing temperatures hit the county, reports the EDP.

Hawk saved from TV aerial tangle in Laindon

This is Marmite, a hawk who had a lucky escape in Laindon.

He had to be rescued by firefighters after he got caught in a TV aerial on top of a house.

"Thankfully we were able to get him down and reunited with his owner," said Essex Fire and Rescue Service on Twitter.

Marmite the hawk
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Train lines reopen after lorry hits bridge

Blocked railways lines have been reopened after a lorry hit a bridge earlier today.

Network Rail engineers have now repaired the track between Attleborough and Thetford after the lorry struck the railway bridge near Eccles Road station at about 05:30.

View more on twitter

Debris was strewn on to the line, causing major disruption for Greater Anglia and East Midlands Trains passengers on services between Norwich and Cambridge.

Cancellations and delays are expected until 15:00, according to National Rail Enquiries - which has updates to affected trains here.

Call to illuminate Essex streets with LED lights

Labour members are calling for Essex County Council to replace the current street lamps with LED ones and keep the lights on all night.

For the last few years, streetlights across the county have been switched off between midnight and 05:00, which was then shortened to 01:00 to 05:00.

In Southend and Thurrock, the unitary authorities switched to LED lighting which they say will save them millions over the coming years.

Councillors are debating the proposal at a meeting today.

Southwold Hospital redevelopment decision due tonight

Planning permission to convert the former Southwold Hospital for community use, with nine dwellings, is being recommended for approval this evening.

Southwold Hospital
BBC

Southgen, a community benefit society set up by Save Our Southwold, is hoping to exchange contracts with the NHS before Christmas.

It will then issue community shares to help develop the site.

The society wants to redevelop the site to include a library, creche and business centre alongside the residential units.

Waveney District Council's planning committee meets at 18:00 in Lowestoft.

Norfolk MP's relief after being cleared of 'groping'

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

The Labour MP for Norwich South, Clive Lewis, has been cleared by his party of claims he sexually harassed a woman at the party conference in Brighton.

Clive Lewis
BBC

The sense of relief in Mr Lewis's voice when he rang me was palpable.

"It's been a nightmare," he said. "I now want to just get on with my life and put all this behind me."

The MP for Norwich South will not forget this year's party conference in a hurry. It began with him criticising the party leadership and quitting the front bench for not holding a proper debate on Brexit.

Then he was filmed at a fringe event using derogatory term about women, for which he later apologised, and then, six weeks later, a party supporter claimed she had been groped by him at the same event.

With other allegations swirling around concerning the behaviour of other MPs, the Labour Party immediately placed Mr Lewis under investigation, but it did not suspend him.

"This is so unlike Clive," one senior party official told me at the time.

His local party stood firmly behind him and he is still a popular character at Westminster.

This incident won't have damaged his long term prospects. Jeremy Corbyn still talks about him returning to the front bench at some stage.

For Mr Lewis the priority now will be to keep his head down, avoid making any controversial comments and focus on his constituency work.

And he might think twice about going to the next party conference.

BreakingBody found during search for missing man around North Walsham

Norfolk Police say the body of a man, believed to be missing 20-year-old Ian Tang, has been found near North Walsham.

Friends search for missing man who vanished after night out

Friends and family of a man who vanished after leaving a nightclub have been searching for him again this morning.

Ian Tang
Norfolk Police

Ian Tang, 20, was last seen leaving club KA in North Walsham in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Volunteers went looking for him in the freezing temperatures overnight and resumed their search of the town this morning.

On Monday, police said they were "increasingly concerned for his welfare".

He is described as 5ft 8in (1.52m) tall, with short brown hair and has a tattoo of a woman's face on his left arm.