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  1. Updates for Tuesday, 15 March 2016
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates resume at 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Dani Bailey

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's it from the team today.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with your local news, sport, travel and weather. 

Keep us posted with what's going on where you live via email, Twitter or Facebook. 

Roadblock after two teenage girls found walking on M1

Police had to put in roadblocks after two teenage girls were spotted walking along the hard shoulder of the M1 near Watford. 

Once the road was made safe, officers found the girls and escorted them off.

Weather: Cloudy and misty

BBC Weather

It will be cloudy and misty this evening and much of the night, with some light rain or drizzle spreading.

Temperatures falling to around 5C (41F).

BBC Weather has more details. 

Weather graph
BBC Weather

Statue tribute to David Bowie gets council support

Aylesbury Town Council has backed a petition of more than 2,000 signatures for a statue of Davie Bowie.

David Bowie

Sculptor Andrew Sinclair and Friars Aylesbury promoter David Stopps delivered a 30-minute presentation which focused on the special connection between Bowie and Aylesbury, and the economic benefit a statue would bring to the town. 

Other connections include Bowie's reference to Aylesbury Market Square in Five Years, the first track on the Ziggy Stardust album, and the Bowie fan club was based in the town during the 1970s.

Faulty washing machine catches fire

A washing machine which caught fire in Milton Keynes this morning has turned out to be a model which was recalled on safety grounds two years ago. 

Faulty appliance caught fire

Firefighters were called to a ground floor flat in Columbia Place at 08:15 and used a dry powder extinguisher to put out the fire. 

A safety notice was issued about the type of Bush washing machine in May 2014, warning the control panel could overheat and cause a risk of fire.

Eisenhower letter about Bletchley Park 'unusual'

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

A letter from the former US President Dwight D Eisenhower will go on display at Bletchley Park today. He wrote to express his sincere thanks for the code breaking carried out at the site.

Getty Images

Dr David Kenyon, the research historian at Bletchley, said: "He didn't write these kind of letters every day. It really indicates the significance of the work done out of the site and it's out-stations."

Up until now the letter has been on the wall of the head of MI6.

Two women injured in Bedford pub clash

Two women were left with injuries to the head and eye after a glass was thrown at them in a Bedford pub.

The incident happened in the early hours of Sunday, between 12:30 and 01:05 when a woman threw the glass at the pair following an altercation.

One woman was treated in hospital for an injury to her eye. A 22-year-old woman from Rushden was arrested and bailed in connection with the incident.

Bedford to 'radically change' services due to £21m shortfall

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Bedford Borough Council says it will have to "radically change" services due to a shortfall of £21m after government cuts.

Bedford Borough Hall

The council has released a new three-year forecast, which outlines cuts of 80% from the main government grant from 2015/16 to 2019/20.

Councillor Michael Headley said: "Unfortunately, efficiency savings alone won’t get us anywhere near meeting the gap. It is going to be hard, and in some areas services will have to radically change."

Cup stacking world championships for Aylesbury boy

Gail Sanderson

BBC Three Counties Radio

A 12-year-old boy from Aylesbury is so good at the game of cup stacking that he is representing Great Britain at the world championships.

Jamie Franceschini began practising two years ago after seeing sports stacking on a television programme.

"I asked mum to buy me a set of cups and it just progressed from there," he said.

Afternoon headlines: Mystery parcel from Leighton Buzzard... Eisenhower letter at Bletchley Park

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

The top stories:

Travel: Trains delayed through Hertfordshire

BBC Travel

Abellio Greater Anglia trains are delayed by up to 20 minutes through Hertfordshire, due to a fault at a level crossing between Ipswich and Needham Market.

Woman raises £11k for homeless man who helped her home

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

A woman who was helped by a homeless man when she couldn't get home on a night out has raised more than £11,000 to say thank you.

Screenshot of Mark and Nicole on crowdfunding page

Nicole Sedgebeer, 22, from Milton Keynes, was shown to a 24-hour cafe by Mark when she missed the last train at Euston nearly two weeks ago. She had no battery on her phone and nowhere to go. Her new friend then showed her to the station the next day.

Ms Sedgebeer said she "probably would have avoided eye contact" with Mark had he asked her for spare change but he "completely changed such a negative event". Her fundraising page has had over 800 donations so far.

"Mark you are one special man."

Nicole Sedgebeer

Geese fail to stop for Hertfordshire Police

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

There seems to be a bit of foul play with police Hertfordshire at the moment. We've already heard about a swan in custody, now we're seeing geese on-the-run.

Let's hope they don't end up going up before the beak and having to do bird.

View more on twitter

Swan taken into custody in Hertfordshire

A jay-walking swan was taken into custody by four police officers after trying to use the A1(M) in Hertfordshire as a runway.

Swan in police car
BCH Road Policing

Vehicles swerved to avoid the swan, who was spotted trying to take off by running along the northbound carriageway last week.

Officers were called to rescue the bird, which was eventually persuaded to move to a petrol station forecourt before being driven to a nearby lake.

Luton deputy leader backs M1 J10a development

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

The deputy leader of Luton Borough Council says she would back development of land at junction 10a of the M1, which would fund a new stadium for Luton Town Football Club at Power Court.

Aerial view of Power Court

It has been claimed that the development would impact on town centre retail, but when I asked councillor Sian Timoney if she would support it, she said: "Yes I do."

"The council as a whole cannot be seen to predetermine a planning application, so it's really important that we make it clear that there are individual views," Ms Timoney said.

Eisenhower letter praising Bletchley Park code breakers to go on display

A secret letter from the Supreme Allied Commander in World War Two praising the work of code breakers at Bletchley Park is to go on public display.

Eisenhower's letter
Bletchley Park

The personal thank you letter from General Dwight D Eisenhower was written to Sir Stewart Menzies, wartime chief of the Secret Intelligence Service.

In the letter, Eisenhower said intelligence gathered saved thousands of British and American lives. 

Watch: Woodhill Prison report findings

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

We've been discussing HMIP's latest inspection of Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes today. 

This short video covers some of the key points.

Luton to receive £1m arts funding

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

The Arts Council has announced £1.1m of funding for Luton. 

It will include a cultural festival for the town, a new large-scale work described as a "beacon", and a training programme for artists at the University of Bedfordshire.

Stockwood Discovery Centre
Luton Culture

We are absolutely delighted by the Arts Council's announcements."

Councillor Jacqui BurnettLuton Borough Council

Weather: Cloudy and feeling chilly

BBC Weather

It'll be turning a little cloudier this afternoon, but there should still be some bright and sunny spells.

Maximum temperature: 12C (54F).

Weather graphic shows high of 9C

Herts MP to raise laser pen problem in Commons

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

A Hertfordshire MP is raising the issue of laser pens in the Commons today, as a mother is calling on a total ban on them after her son was almost blinded by one.


Angela Marshall says her eight-year-old son's retina was burnt by a Laser Star pen he'd bought at a school fair for £6.

Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden says the two problems with this is that the pens are "marketed at children" and often "massively exceed the one milliwatt limit". He has raised the topic with business minister Anna Soubry, who has "pledged to take this very seriously".

Herts waste treatment site plans accepted

Plans for a new waste treatment site in Hertfordshire have been accepted in principle by county councillors. 

The site would be at Rye House near Hoddesdon, and follows the rejection of the New Barnfield site in Hatfield after a long campaign by protesters. 

Veolia, the company behind the energy from waste facility, will now begin work on a planning application. 

St Albans' hot cross bun in new Mary Berry show

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Mary Berry's new BBC programme airs tonight, and a famous bun from Hertfordshire is to take a starring role.

An Easter favourite, the hot cross bun is said to have originated in St Albans when a recipe was concocted by a 14th Century monk. Mary Berry will pay St Albans Cathedral a visit in her Easter Feast programme, which is on BBC Two at 20:00.

View more on twitter

GP surgeries in MK 'could cope with more patients'

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

Existing GP surgeries in Milton Keynes have the capacity to cope with thousands of new homes to be built on the western side of the new city, it has been claimed.

NHS Milton Keynes CCG building

Dr Nicola Smith, chairwoman of NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group, says existing surgeries can cope with demand before a new one is ready in 2019.

"We're not going to get 6,000 [patients] in the next 12 months, it's going to happen gradually," Dr Smith said. "We've committed to work really closely with our local surgeries and GPs."

Latest headlines: Woodhill suicides 'unacceptable'... MK GP surgeries 'can cope with more patients'

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

The latest headlines:

  • Prison inspectors say the number of suicides at Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes is unacceptable 
  • Existing GP surgeries in Milton Keynes have the capacity to cope with thousands of new homes to be built on the western side of the new city, the chairwoman of an NHS group says
  • The Crossrail 2 rail project running north-south from Hertfordshire across London is set to get the backing of the Chancellor George Osborne in his budget

Historian puzzled by anonymous parcel of photographs

A historian is appealing for help to solve the mystery of a 100-year-old collection of postcards and photographs sent to him anonymously.

Collection of postcards and photographs

Courtney Finn, chairman of Grantham Civic Society in Lincolnshire, said they featured an unrelated family from Grantham with the same surname.

He said it may be that whoever sent them believed he was related. The parcel was postmarked Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

Pet raccoon 'helps with illness'

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

A woman from Stevenage who suffers from a chronic illnesses says a pet raccoon is helping her cope.

View more on instagram

Kasey Valentine, from Hertfordshire, told Mashable that her illnesses made her feel "isolated and anxious" and she rarely left the house. But since adopting Cody she goes out "every single day".

"He is a lot more outgoing than me, which is great because it helps me learn to be more confident about life and meeting new people," Ms Valentine said.

Luton council 'supports hopes for football club to move to new stadium'

Tony Fisher

BBC Three Counties Radio

Luton Borough Council has dismissed suggestions it's blocking Luton Town Football Club's plans to move to Power Court, and says it supports hopes to move to a new stadium.

Overhead view of plans at Power Court in Luton

In a statement, the council said it wanted to see a successful football club but that it hadn't received any detailed site proposals that could justify any delay to the publication of its Local Plan. The council has not included the plans in its draft Local Plan, says the Luton News.

The council also stresses that agreement of the plan in its current format would not prevent any subsequent planning application.

Crossrail 2 set to get backing

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

A major rail project connecting Hertfordshire and Surrey is set to get the backing of the Chancellor George Osborne in his budget.

Crossrail worker

The Crossrail 2 project running north-south from Hertfordshire across London will be discussed in the Commons tomorrow.

Mother says laser pen nearly blinded her son

Nicola Haseler

BBC Three Counties

A mother is calling for a total ban on laser pens after her eight-year-old son had his retina burnt by one of them. 

Angela Marshall, from Hertfordshire, says her son Jonathan could have been blinded if he hadn't been wearing glasses.   

A laser

He bought the Laser Star pen from a "toy stall" at a school fair, but his mother wants to know why the item is so readily available. The Surrey-based importer of the pen has since issued an urgent recall notice and Hertfordshire Trading Standards is investigating.

FA Cup: Watford to play Crystal Palace

BBC Sport

Watford will play Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley next month. 

Last night's draw paired the Hornets with Alan Pardew's side, whilst Everton will face Manchester United or West Ham. The ties will be played over the weekend of 23-24 April.

Luton council dismiss suggestions LTFC move has hit wall

Tony Fisher

BBC Three Counties Radio

Suggestions that Luton Town Football Club's desire to move to the town centre won't get the go-ahead are being dismissed by Luton Borough Council. 

Proposed Power Court stadium in Luton

The council was reacting to an article in the Luton News, which said it hadn't altered the draft Local Plan to include the club's plans to relocate.  

The club wants to move to Power Court, which would be funded by developing land at junction 10a of the M1.

Woodhill suicides 'unacceptable', say inspectors

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

Prison inspectors say the number of suicides at Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes is unacceptable. There have been nine since 2012. 

HMP Woodhill

Inspectors have also raised concerns about violence at the prison. However, they said there had been some notable improvements - to work, training and education - combined with a good rehabilitation service. 

This latest report follows an unannounced inspection.

Travel: Delays on M25 anti-clockwise in Herts

BBC Travel

There are delays on the M25 anti-clockwise from J21 to J20 due to a broken down lorry.

Weather: Sunny start but cloudy later

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

There will be sunny spells to start the day, but a cloudier afternoon. It'll feel rather chilly with a maximum temperature of 11C (52F).

Morning headlines: Mum calls for laser pen ban... Woodhill suicides 'unacceptable'

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

This morning's headlines: 

  • A mother is calling for a total ban on laser pens after her eight-year-old son had his retina burnt by one 
  • Prison inspectors say the number of suicides at Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes is unacceptable 
  • Luton Borough Council dismiss suggestions that Luton Town Football Club's desire to move to the town centre won't get the go-ahead

Welcome to Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome to today's live page for the three counties, where we'll bring you all the latest news, sport, weather and travel until 18:00.

If you'd like to get in touch, you can tweet us or email us here.