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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Council sets up £3m fund for property and land development

    Cash is to be taken from a council's growth and efficiency fund to set up a pot for property and land development in Mid Suffolk.

    The district council had been criticised for setting up a joint venture with Babergh which borrowed £50m for investments in places like Essex and Peterborough.

    Now it proposes to set up a £3m fund to secure key properties or land that can be regenerated or revamped for the community.

    Endeavour House
    Image caption: Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils are based at Suffolk County Council's Endeavour House

    But council bosses have stressed the new fund will be for opportunities in the county, not elsewhere. The council's cabinet will meet on Monday when it is recommended it approves transferring £3m from the growth and efficiency fund to a new investment pot.

    The opposition Green Party said any spare money should be used to build affordable homes.

    Nick Gowrley, Conservative leader of the council said:"The fund will enable the council to react and secure, when required, strategic property and land, as an investment opportunity, and to assist future house-building and economic growth within the district."

  2. Milton Keynes council to suspend rent after flooding

    Milton Keynes Council will suspend rent for two months for council tenants who have been "severely affected" by flooding.

    On Monday, about two months of rain fell in a matter of hours and many properties in Milton Keynes were damaged.

    The leader of the council, Labour's Peter Marland, has called on private landlords in the area to "consider helping their impacted tenants if possible".

    The council has also said there will be a £100,000 hardship fund, which will be open to all residents "severely impacted" by flooding.

    Speaking about the "flood emergency hardship scheme", Mr Marland said "no-one should have to go to a pay-day lender or loan shark to cover emergency costs".

  3. Police warning about 'bad batch of drugs' in Daventry

    A potentially dangerous batch of ecstasy pills may be on sale in Daventry, Northamptonshire Police has warned.

    A spokeswoman said: "We have received intelligence that a bad batch of drugs is currently circulating in the Daventry area.

    "The pills in question are Green Heineken ecstasy tablets - drugs that are similar in appearance to those that could have caused the tragic deaths of two young people at a music festival in Portsmouth last weekend".

    Georgia Jones, 18, and Tommy Cowan, 20, died after attending Portsmouth's Mutiny Festival on Saturday.

  4. Police dealing with suspected illegal immigrants at Duxford

    Six suspected illegal immigrants have been taken into custody after reportedly being spotted getting out of a lorry at Duxford.

    Cambridgshire Police said they were seen on the A131 near the A11 at about 14:50.

    Four are under the age of 18 and two are adults, officers said.

    All were being taken to police stations in the county.

    View more on twitter
  5. Van driver stuck under bridge in a 'd'oh' moment

    A van has become wedged under a railway bridge in the Cambridgeshire Fens.

    It happened at about 13:30 on the B1098 at Stonea.

    Van stuck under bridge

    The van driver was unharmed and handily, Network Rail engineers were able to cone off the road relatively quickly - they were already in the area mending a bridge further along the line which had developed a fault.

    The line between Peterborough and Ely is currently closed to all passenger trains because of the repairs to the faulty bridge near Manea.

    Van stuck under bridge
    Image caption: Engineers were already in the area so road closure cones were close to hand
  6. Council merger plan set to be signed off by cabinet members

    The West Suffolk Shadow Authority is due to sign off the merger of two district councils next week.

    Cabinet members from St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council will present a report of how their authorities will come together. Their task was to plan the creation of West Suffolk Council after the government approved a merger of the two authorities on 24 May.

    Council merger

    The report will outline which remaining areas need to be brought together by April. These include taxi licensing, parking fine appeals, play area inspections, street trading and treasury management.

    The report will also reveal merger work since 2013 had already saved £4m and offers a prediction the new authority will deliver annual savings of about £850,000.

    An independent poll found 70% of residents backed the merger.

  7. More bridge woes for drivers in Northamptonshire

    Repairs to a damaged bridge on the Welford Road - between Northampton and Spratton - won't be finished until November.

    Temporary traffic lights have already been in place since March and the road had to be closed for three months for repairs only last year.

    North Bridge, Oundle.

    On Wednesday, we heard the road between Great Doddington and Wollaston had been closed after a bridge at Hardwater Crossing was damaged by a lorry, but the county council said repairs wouldn't begin until February because of the "complex nature" of the work..

    Meanwhile last month, the local authority said it didn't have enough money to repair the busy North Bridge in Oundle (pictured) so would have to impose a weight limit there.

  8. Arsonists set light to shipping container

    A large shipping container was deliberately set alight in Cambridgeshire in the early hours of this morning.

    Crews were called to the 40ft (12m)-long container on Factory Bank, Ramsey, at about 00:10.

    It was allowed to burn out under supervision while firefighters used a hose to cool the surrounding area.

    The fire was started deliberately and Cambridgeshire Police is appealing for information.

    Shipping container fire
  9. Diving boat rescued off Suffolk coast in heavy fog

    A lifeboat crew overcame heavy fog and fading light to come to the aid of a boat which had broken down off the Suffolk coast.

    RNLI Harwich Lifeboat Station was called at about 20:00 last night when a dive support vessel needed assistance.

    Harwich life boat in heavy fog

    It said due to the visibility and fading light, the all-weather lifeboat had to sail at a slightly reduced speed, but the other boat was soon located and a tow established.

    Shortly after 22:30, the vessel was moored safely at Shotley Marina.

    Heavy fog
  10. Analysis: New council leader opts for consensus

    Jo Thewlis

    BBC Norfolk political correspondent

    Politics at Norfolk County Council has probably become a little boring, but a lot more professional with the appointment of its new Conservative leader Andrew Proctor.

    We are unlikely to see outbursts in the chamber against colleagues and opponents or attacks on the county's MPs which became a hallmark of his Tory predecessor Cliff Jordan.

    Norfolk's nine MPs
    Image caption: Norfolk's nine MPs - seven Conservatives, one Labour and one Liberal Democrat

    Mr Jordan was, by his own admission, a blunt-talking Norfolk boy. Andrew Proctor is anything but.

    A successful district council leader for eight years, he knows the importance of networking and quietly pressing his case. He believes in consensus and, according to colleagues, is receptive to any argument.

    It's notable that in his first interview as leader he talked about improving Norfolk's image at Westminster and building bridges with MPs.

    But his election today was not unanimous and some of his colleagues left today's meeting with dark faces.

    Cliff Jordan was very good at keeping his party in order and publicly united.

    Andrew Proctor faces just as great a challenge.

  11. Harwich lifeboat comes to aid of boat taking on water

    A lifeboat crew came to the aid of a boat which was taking on water off the coast of Harwich and Felixstowe.

    The Harwich RNLI Lifeboat Station said the all-weather lifeboat was launched at about 14:25 yesterday.

    It said the vessel in distress was outside Harwich Harbour, reported to be a mile south of the Pitching Ground.

    The vessel was making progress under its own power when the lifeboat arrived on scene and the decision was taken to closely escort it to safety.

    At about 16:00, the vessel was alongside Shotley Marina and the lifeboat returned to its station.

    Harwich lifeboat
  12. New council leader pledges to build bridges by collaboration

    The new Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor has pledged to build bridges with county's MPs, who were criticised by his predecessor.

    Mr Proctor, Conservative, who has led Broadland District Council for the past eight years, takes over the county council from Cliff Jordan, who has stood down for health reasons.

    Mr Jordan's leadership was dominated by a number of disputes with colleagues and MPs.

    Andrew Proctor

    Mr Proctor said it was time to improve the county's image: "I know we've got to build some bridges and build some trust with MPs and change how we're seen in government.

    "Let's try and take any stigma away from Norfolk. The approach I take is by collaboration, talking to other leaders and I hope they will see the door is open and there's a more transparent policy here.

    "In the past each leader has seen things in their own way."

    Previous leader Mr Jordan launched into a tirade of criticism against Norfolk MPs in a radio interview. He said they needed to "up their game" and he was "hacked-off" with some MPs "talking the county down".

    The county has seven Conservative MPs, one Labour and one Liberal Democrat.

  13. HMS Ganges mast restoration 'will be done'

    Concerns have been raised about plans to restore the HMS Ganges mast at Shotley Gate near Ipswich.

    A year ago, developers Galliad Homes was granted permission to build 285 homes on the former naval training base, which was vacated by the navy in 1976 and last used as a police training base until 2001.

    A condition of the planning consent was to restore the ship's mast, which is embedded in the parade ground, once the first 113 homes were built.

    Barry Scott Webb, from the HMS Ganges Association, said there was frustration and disappointment the Grade II-listed structure is continuing to deteriorate and fall apart.

    The HMS Ganges site

    Babergh District Council said restoration was still a condition of the permission and "it will be done" because a legal requirement has been signed.

    It said the developers suffered a setback due to Babergh missing out on an £8.2m community infrastructure grant and therefore will have to wait until the first batch of houses is complete.

    Galliard Homes has been approached by the BBC for comment.

    In 1967, the television presenter John Noakes made his ascent of the 142ft (43m) mast for the BBC's Blue Peter programme in an attempt to emulate the Royal Navy "button boys" who would climb to the very top of the mast and stand hands-free with only a supporting bar between their legs.

    A photograph of the base taken sometime in the 1950s (left), with recruits on the mast in 1937
    Image caption: A photograph of the base taken sometime in the 1950s (left), with recruits on the mast in 1937
    HMS Ganges mast ceremony, BBC Blue Peter
  14. Govia Thameslink petition tops 10,000 sigantures

    A petition started by a commuter, asking for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to "have its contract immediately removed" has reached the 10,000 signatures it needed to get a response for the government.

    St Albans City station

    Simon Lee's petition says the Secretary of State for Transport should "intervene immediately" over GTR's "failure to implement its new timetable leaving commuters stranded and mass cancellations of services despite having a year to plan for the changes".

    He said on Twitter he launched a Parliamentary petition because he was "just a commuter who has had enough".

    On Friday morning it had been signed by more than 11,500 people.

    On Thursday, in a joint statement Network Rail and Govia Thameslink blamed the sheer number of changes and the late running of some engineering works for the disruption and said they were "extremely sorry".

  15. Man in 50s dies after A47 crash near Great Yamouth

    A driver has died after his car crashed in to a concrete support on a slip road on the A47 near Great Yarmouth this morning.

    The crash happened at about 01:15 when a white Honda Accord was travelling along Beccles Road towards Gorleston town centre.

    A47 Beccles Road slip roads

    Emergency services attended but the man in his 50s was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The road was closed while initial investigations were carried out and it reopened at about 07:30.

    Norfolk Police have appealed for witnessed or information regarding the manner in which the vehicle was being driven before the crash.

  16. Lionel Richie starts UK tour in Northampton

    Music legend Lionel Richie will be saying Hello to Northampton this evening when he starts his UK tour at the home of Northampton Saints.

    Lionel Richie

    About 17,000 people are expected at Franklin's Gardens, the day after Richie, 68, collected a Special International Award for leaving an "indelible mark on British music" during the Ivor Novello Songwriting Awards in London yesterday.

    Tour promoter, Craig Stanley, who has worked with the singer for more than 20 years, said: "Lionel really believes in taking his shows out to cities [and towns] which don't have arenas, but do have an arena capacity venue.

    "Lionel is a legend because he really does connect with his audience and everybody is going to have a great time."

    Fans will be Dancing on the Ceiling, All Night Long no doubt - but will he Truly have an Endless Love for the town. Too much?

  17. Norwich buskers through to BGT final

    Father and son singing duo Jack and Tim were voted through to the final of Britain's Got Talent by the judges as dance group DVJ won the ITV show's fourth live semi-final.

    Jack and Tim

    The Norwich buskers, who played an original song called Big Wide World, had earned their place in the semi-final by virtue of head judge Simon Cowell pressing his golden buzzer during their audition.

    The pair were selected for the final by judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon while David Walliams used his vote to support Welsh comedian Noel James.

    Twelve-year-old Jack cried when the deciding vote was cast and his father Tim Goodacre, 43, paid tribute to the rest of the acts that had performed at London's Hammersmith Apollo.

    "To be a part of this, that's gold," he said.

    He also said he had "no idea" what they would be singing in the final.