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Live Reporting

Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

  1. Tuesday's updates as they happened

    Thanks for joining us to find out how the East of England is reacting to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

    Live updates have now finished for the day

    Join us again on Wednesday when a live page will resume at 08:00.

    Find it via your BBC News county index.

  2. Jobs saved at Herts-based Everest

    More than 400 jobs have been saved at Hertfordshire-based double-glazing giant Everest.

    It follows a rescue deal to secure future in the face of "incredibly challenging" trading amid the coronavirus crisis.

    However 188 jobs were also axed at the windows and doors specialist as part of the so-called pre-pack administration deal that saw the firm call in administrators and then agree a sale immediately to private equity firm Better Capital.

  3. Money awarded to help groups through difficult times

    More than £19,000 has been awarded to 22 community groups in Cambridgeshire to help them through the pandemic.

    Grants of between £250 and £1,000 from Huntingdonshire District Council's Community Chest is helping to pay for things like staff cover, replenishing stocks of personal protective equipment, food parcels, providing hot meals for vulnerable people and purchasing supermarket vouchers for those in need.


    Sarah Conboy, from Pinpoint, which was given £1,000 and helps parents who have children with additional needs and disabilities, said: "We’ve all found the challenge of a pandemic difficult, but for our parent carers, it’s been a really difficult and worrying time.

    "This financial help means we can focus on our parent carers and make sure they have what they need to get them and their children safely through this pandemic."

  4. Town centres preparing to re-open to shoppers

    BBC Look East

    A broad range of retailers across the region are preparing to reopen next Monday with stringent safety measures in place as lockdown restrictions are eased further.

    Shops which restart face-to-face trading will have to abide by the government's social distancing and health and safety guidance.

    Social distancing sign

    In Hitchin, Hertfordshire, Chris Holmes from HRH Holmes & Son, a gentlemen's outfitters, said: "We have to be flexible and adaptable."

    He said the shop may offer appointments or customers the chance to take something home to try and pay the next day over the phone.

    Bury St Edmunds

    Shop owners will install things like hand sanitiser and perspex screens, while some will give staff personal protective equipment.

    In Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk (pictured), narrow streets such as the Market Thoroughfare will be made one-way and signs have been put up to remind shoppers to social distance.

  5. School strike rally cancelled for the first time in 36-year history

    Pete Cooper

    BBC News

    The Burston Strike School Rally in Norfolk has been cancelled due to coronavirus.

    The event was due to be held on 6 September and marks the longest industrial strike in British history.

    It is the first time since the rally started in 1984 at the village near Diss that the event has not been held.

    Inscribed stones on the Burston Strike School
    Image caption: Inscribed stones on the Burston Strike School which is now a museum

    Miles Hubbard, one of the organisers from the union Unite, said: "It would be unwise to go ahead."

    He said the event would return "just as vibrant" next year.

    The Burston Strike School was established as a result of the sacking of two teachers, Tom and Kitty Higdon, in 1914.

    Children and parents then refused to attend the local Church of England school and instead an alternative school was set up on the village green, which remained open until 1939.

    Past speakers at the rally have included Jeremy Corbyn, Tony Benn and Diane Abbott.

  6. Posh chairman criticises decision to end League One season early

    Pete Cooper

    BBC News

    Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony has hit out at the decision of his fellow League One clubs to end the season early.

    He posted on Twitter: "The state of my timeline full of fans loving the fact that 18 'football clubs' voted to not play football & the ramifications of it. Bravo to the 4 Football clubs who did vote to play on."

    He then used an expletive to suggest the Football League had been chaotic in its handling of the situation due to coronavirus.

    He signed off with: "Enjoy your summer football fans."

    Darragh MacAnthony

    Peterborough had been sitting in sixth in the final play-off place, but Wycombe leapfrogged them in the final points-per-game table

    This was due Wycombe having played a game less, but having the same points at Peterborough.

    View more on twitter

    Peterborough was one of six clubs that said last month they wanted to complete the season, but it is not known how all the clubs voted earlier today.

    Ipswich Town, who will finish mid-table, but wanted the season to continue have tweeted their reaction:

    View more on twitter

    Southend United have been relegated to League Two.

    Both Northampton Town and Colchester United will contest the League Two play-offs.

  7. Battle of Britain airshow to take to the skies

    Planes in sky

    An air show due to take to the skies in September looks likely to still go ahead.

    The Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambrigeshire, is aiming to proceed with the three-day event, despite the pandemic.

    It will commemorate 80 years since the Battle of Britain in World War Two - but the attendance will be capped.

    It is working to keep everyone safe, it said.

  8. Honouring the NHS with Freedom of Borough

    BBC Northampton

    The possibility of awarding the Freedom of The Borough to the NHS is being considered.

    Northampton Borough Council will bring forward a motion with cross-party support, to a virtual meeting of the council next week.

    The honour has previously been awarded to Diana, Princess of Wales, the composer Sir Malcolm Arnold, and organisations like the police, the military and the fire and rescue service.

    Northampton General Hospital
  9. Safari park 'confused' as why it cannot reopen

    Alex Pope

    BBC News Online


    A safari park has said it is "sad and confused by the government guidance", that means it has to stay closed.

    Woburn Safari Park, in Bedfordshire, said it does not understand how car showrooms and drive-through fast food outlets have reopened, but its park, where you can be socially distanced in cars, cannot welcome back visitors.

    "Central Bedfordshire Council, our licencing authority, has visited for an inspection and has confirmed that the drive-through has passed all Covid-19 requirements," a statement said.

    "And there are so many new arrivals at the park that we cannot wait for you to meet," it added.

  10. Put rubbish in the bin or take home, says council

    Alex Pope

    BBC News Online

    Volunteers clearing up rubbish

    A big thank you has been given to a number of volunteers who have taken part in a litter pick.

    Watford Borough Council praised the hard work of the Friends Of Cassiobury Park group but said: "Please don't rely on good, willing volunteers or hard-working park rangers!

    "When visiting Watford's parks put your rubbish in the bins provided or take your rubbish home."

    Rubbish bags
  11. Unused riot shields to be turned into hospital screens

    Alex Pope

    BBC News Online

    Police riot shields that have been gathering dust in a police cupboard unused for nearly 20 years have been given to the NHS so they can be turned into plastic screens.

    Police with old police shields

    Northamptonshire Police said it bought 30 Armadillo shields in 2002, to provide police support if requested by HM Prison Service.

    They were never used and have just been discovered after a recent audit.

    The shields, along with 20 others, will be used to create plastic screens in the reception and clinical areas of Northampton and Kettering hospitals, Corby Urgent Care Centre and other community outpatient clinics.

    Insp Steve Freeman said: "As we do not use full-length static shields for public order training, they were placed in storage.

    "With clear plastic material in such high demand, we didn’t want to just throw them away."

  12. Poems given to parents of lockdown babies

    A poem that talks about the impact coronavirus restrictions have had on parents whose babies were born in lockdown, is being handed out.

    West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds is behind the idea, along with the My Wish Charity.

    View more on twitter
  13. Airport deep cleaned and disinfected

    Flights are still running in and out of London Luton Airport, so to reassure travellers the airport has said it is regularly deep cleaning and disinfecting it.

    It is also making sure passengers stay two metres apart and asks them to use hand sanitiser throughout the terminal.

    View more on twitter
  14. Boat builder turns sewer in lockdown

    BBC Look East

    A former boat builder, who was furloughed from his job, has turned his hand to sewing and is now making face masks.

    Mickey Sykes, from Stalham in Norfolk, has sold more than 2,500 and is employing two other people.

    Mickey Sykes and his sewing machine

    Materials like elastic have doubled in price, and once the cost of postage is factored in too, profit margins are very small, he said.

    "People are losing their jobs and struggling for money. Who wants to pay for an £8 mask when £3.50 is reasonable, affordable and realistic in the situation?"

  15. What the papers say in Suffolk

    • "It’s still litter, you twonk" - anger as dumped PPE rubbish grows, features in the Ipswich Star
    • The East Anglian Daily Times reports that thermal cameras installed at an Ipswich work space have resulted in nearly half of its tenants returning to work
    • While the Suffolk Free Press highlights how BBC children's television character Iggle Piggle brought joy to youngsters in Sudbury during coronavirus lockdown
  16. Scams on the increase in lockdown

    A warning is being issued for people to be careful they do not fall for a new track and trace scam.

    Buckinghamshire trading standards said there has been a 40% increase in scams - and the latest involves scammers posing as NHS test and trace contact workers.

    The real system was launched last month to track those who have been in close contact with people who have tested positive for coronavirus.


    Lee Ormandy, its trading standards deputy manager, said only respond to calls from 0300 013 500, or via the official NHS website or a text from NHS.

    "If you get a message from any other number then be very suspicious. If you receive anything like this, stop, think and then look at it again."

    It is believed the scammers are attempting to gain access to people's data or personal details.

  17. Hospital testing antibody home tests

    Alex Pope

    BBC News Online

    A hospital is carrying out a research study into coronavirus antibody home test kits.

    Participants at Milton Keynes Hospital are having full blood tests to help assess how well Covid-19 antibody tests work.

    It is hoped they will then be made available to the public as soon as possible.

    Patient having blood taken
  18. Work starts to make city safer for social distancing

    Work is under way to create safer spaces in Chelmsford so people can socially distance whilst shopping, working and visiting.

    New routes are being marked out as part of the ‘Safer, Greener, Healthier’ scheme in Essex's county town.

    View more on twitter