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Summary

  1. Updates for Friday, 26 May, 2017
  2. Billericay father of 7/7 victim talks of his loss
  3. Essex County Cricket Club boosting security
  4. Basildon backs committee system

Live Reporting

By Nic Rigby

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day - and the week

    We've just worked out after Monday, we're going to have to wait another 91 days until our next bank holiday so we're heading home to start making the most of the long weekend as soon as we can.

    If you're just joining us, or you've been dipping in and out of our coverage during the day, the best way of finding out exactly what's been happening across the county is to scroll down and bring yourself up-to-date.

    Have an enjoyable weekend, whatever you've got planned, and set yourself a reminder to join us again on Tuesday from 08:00.

  2. Weekend weather: Hot and humid

    Chris Bell

    BBC Look East weather

    It's set to be a beautiful evening across the BBC East region, with fine and dry weather and clear skies, though it could feel muggy overnight. Some sea mist and fog may move in along the Norfolk coast for a few hours.

    Weather map

    Tomorrow is going to be another dry and sunny one, feeling hot and humid. Cloud will increase from the west and bring the risk of a few isolated heavy showers or thunderstorms during the afternoon, although many places will remain completely dry.

    Moderate southeasterly winds, becoming light southwesterly by the end of the day.

    Highs of 28C (82F).

  3. New coalition could 'damage' Basildon Council says former deputy leader

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    The former Conservative deputy leader of Basildon Council has said the new coalition's failure to appoint a leader could damage the authority.

    Last night political leadership of Basildon Council switched from the Conservatives to a loose coalition of Labour, UKIP, Independence from the EU and Wickford independents.

    Basildon Town Square

    The coalition has decided not to have a leader and have a committee system rather than a cabinet system.

    Former deputy leader Kevin Blake told the BBC that the committee system slowed up the process of administering a council and the coalition of left wing and right wingers would lead to "confusion" in the governing of the council.

    He added: "I don't know of any other council without a leader in the whole country. Why have they done this?"

    Kerry Smith

    Councillor Mr Blake said in May next year the Conservatives hoped to regain control of the council.

    Independence from the EU group councillor Kerry Smith (pictured above), a member of the coalition who chairing the housing committee, said the decision to take the key posts from the Conservatives was a rejection of the Tory administration being dominated by Billericay Conservative members.

    He said the Conservatives allowed housing developments anywhere but Billericay.

    "People put their political differences aside to revolt against the Billericay Conservatives," he said.

    Mr Blake rejected the idea that Tories put Blillericay ahead of other parts of the authority area.

    He added: "The only thing this coalition is going to give Billericay is more housing."

  4. Tories lose leadership of Basildon Council

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    The political leadership of Basildon Council has switched from the Conservatives to a loose coalition of Labour, UKIP, Independence from the EU and Wickford independents.

    Basildon

    No one party has overall control at Basildon with 19 Conservatives, nine Labour members, nine UKIP members, two Wickford independents and two from the Independence from the EU group.

    The Conservatives had run the authority as the largest single party, but at a meeting last night the non-Tory councillors banded together to change the cabinet system to committee system and divide up the committee chairmanships between themselves.

    Labour's Gavin Callaghan (pictured) has been elected chairman of the policy and resources committee - traditionally the post held by the leader of the council.

    Gavin Callaghan

    The other key chairmanships include senior members of Independence from the EU, UKIP and the Wickford independents.

    Mr Callaghan said: "All of us need to commit ourselves to listening to what our constituents and our communities are saying and to making sound decisions based on good evidence and careful consideration. We will need to work together and listen to each other too."

    The council had been led by Phil Turner of the Conservative group.

  5. Envelope update

    Severe congestion: M25 Essex clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Essex clockwise severe congestion, between J31 for A1306 Arterial Road West Thurrock and J1A for A282 affecting J29 for A127.

    M25 Essex - Delays on M25 QE2 Bridge clockwise between J31 A1306 Arterial Road West Thurrock and J1a, A282 (Swanscombe). Congestion to J29, A127 (Romford).

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  6. Essex cause chaos

    Surrey 67-5 v Chelmsford (at Lunch)

    Mark Church

    BBC Radio London commentator

    A busy morning at Chelmsford. When Rory Burns won the toss he would have been delighted to say, "we will have a bat thank you".

    An hour later, Surrey found themselves 31-5 and scratching their heads about what had happened. The answer: Matt Quinn and Jamie Porter were outstanding with the new ball and there was far more for the bowlers than conditions indicated.

    Kumar Sangakkara is a very good man for a crisis and he has steadied things a touch. At the other end Sam Curran has illustrated his excellent temperament but Essex will settle down for lunch and be very happy with their morning's work. Infact they might just be pinching themselves.

  7. Essex County Cricket Club takes five wickets

    BBC Sport

    At lunch Surrey cricket club are 67 for five. The wickets were taken by Matt Quinn and Jamie Porter.

    View more on twitter
  8. Brentwood woman chosen to chair major cats' charity

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    A Brentwood GP practice manager and garden designer has been elected as the new chairman of the UK's leading feline welfare charity.

    Linda Upson and cat

    Linda Upson is now in charge at Cats Protection. She'll be leading the charity's nine volunteer trustees. It helps almost 200,000 cats each year.

    Ms Upson said: “It is an honour to be chairman of Cats Protection and I am looking forward to continuing the projects started by my predecessor, Heather McCann.

    "We will be increasing the number of adoption centres, volunteer run branches, and homing and information centres, as well as expanding our education programme to reach as many people as we can."

    Cats Protection has a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 adoption centres.

  9. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M25 Essex clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Essex clockwise severe disruption, at J27 for M11.

    M25 Essex - One lane blocked on M25 clockwise at J27 M11, because of a broken down van. Traffic is coping well.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  10. Red Poll cattle coming to Colchester to control grass growth in country park

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    A herd of Red Poll cattle has taken up residency in Colchester’s High Woods Country Park to help control the growth of grass to benefit flowers, and the insects, birds and mammals that depend on them.

    Red Poll cattle

    As well as being one of Colchester’s beauty spots, the County Park has a combination of marshy areas, hayfields and scrubland, providing the perfect habitat for thousands of different birds, mammals and plant life.

    Colchester Borough Council is working in partnership with Essex County Council, to deliver conservation grazing to benefit the local wildlife and landscape.

    High Woods Country Park

    Simon Walsh, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: "We are delighted to be adding High Woods to our growing list of conservation grazing sites.

    "We hope visitors will enjoy the sight of the cattle."

    For more information on conservation grazing or to enquire about volunteering visit Legacy Grazing's website.

  11. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M25 Greater London clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Greater London clockwise severe disruption, between J25 for A10 and J26 for A121.

    M25 Greater London - Very slow traffic on M25 clockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) and J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey), because of a broken down lorry. On the hard shoulder.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  12. Essex exceptional with the ball

    Surrey 46-5 v Essex

    Mark Church

    BBC Radio London commentator

    I certainly didn't see this coming under blue skies on what looks like the perfect day to bat.

    The ball is nipping about and the Essex bowlers have been exceptional. Matt Quinn has three wickets and Jamie Porter the other two. When Surrey won the toss, Porter and Quinn might have groaned, but they have caused havoc.

    Kumar Sangakkara is still there and Surrey have to believe that batting will get easier. After what we have seen so far, that might not be the case.

    Kumar Sangakkara
  13. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M25 Essex clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Essex clockwise severe disruption, at J27 for M11 affecting J26 for A121.

    M25 Essex - One lane closed and slow traffic on M25 clockwise at J27 M11, because of a broken down lorry. Congestion to J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey).

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  14. Essex take two wickets early on

    BBC Sport

    Surrey are on 13 for two after wickets from Essex's Matt Quinn and a catch by Dan Lawrence.

    Essex vs Surrey
    View more on twitter
  15. Essex play Surrey in Championship

    The BBC is covering live the cricket match between Essex and Surrey. You can also find a full commentary here.

    Surrey won the toss and will bat. But the teams first paused for a minute's silence as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives in Manchester on Monday night.

    Essex County Cricket Club's grounds
  16. Rory Burns captains Surrey

    Essex v Surrey (11:00 BST)

    Mark Church

    BBC Radio London commentator

    Rory Burns captains Surrey with Gareth Batty missing the game with a toe injury. Off-spinner Amar Virdi makes his Surrey debut while James Foster is in the Essex starting XI for the first time this season in the Championship, replacing Adam Wheater behind the stumps.

    Burns did his first job very well. He called correctly at the toss and Surey will bat first under blue skies in Chelmsford.

    View more on twitter

    BBC Sport app users may need to click the link to view this Tweet.

  17. Man airlifted to hospital after A12 collision

    A man from Essex was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital after sustaining multiple breaks to his leg in a two-vehicle collision southbound on the A12 at Washbrook yesterday.

    A woman, also from Essex, who was in the second vehicle, received injuries to her wrists and ankles and was taken to Ipswich Hospital.

    Diversions were put in place, with the northbound carriageway fully re-opening just after 19:00, and the southbound carriageway at about 23:00.

    Police, who are appealing for witnesses, say the collision, which occurred at about 17:35, involved a green VW Golf and a black Ford Kuga.

  18. From the Archives: Dr Fuch's Snowcat arrives in Tilbury 1958

    Fifty nine years ago this month "Haywire", one of the snowcats used by Dr Fuch's and his Commonwealth explorers on their journey across the Antarctic continent, arrived at the port of Tilbury from New Zealand, via Antwerp.

    One of the snowcats used by Dr Fuch's and his Commonwealth explorers on their journey across the Antarctic continent, arrives at the port of Tilbury in 1958