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  1. Our live coverage across the week

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    Our live updates for Essex have now come to an end for another week.

    You can scroll down to catch up with any stories you might have missed, including:

    • Clacton pensioner admits murdering wife
    • Excessive drinking blamed for rise in Stansted flight disruption
    • Large crop fire believed to be arson
    • Man critically injured in A12 crash

    We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel updates at 08:00 on Monday.

    Have a great weekend.

  2. Weather: Dry tonight, but a few showers and hail possible

    Julie Reinger

    BBC Look East weather

    The last of any showers dying away to leave a dry night across the BBC East region with clear spells and mainly light west to north-westerly winds.

    Temperatures for many of us staying in double figures, but some spots could fall to around 9C (48F).

    Apart from a few light showers, Saturday should begin largely fine and dry with some sunshine but eventually heavier showers will move west to east and some of these could produce hail and thunder.

    The winds could become quite blustery for a time with isolated gusts of 40mph. Top temperatures around 21C (70F).

    Sunday should be fine and dry with sunny spells. Cloud is expected to eventually thicken from the west and temperatures again climbing to around 21C (70F).

    BBC East weather graphic

    For a more detailed forecast for where you are, visit BBC Weather.

  3. No more cheerleaders at Billericay football club after all

    BBC Essex

    We’ve been reporting on doubts over the future of Billericay Town Football Club's cheerleading squad

    The club's owner Glenn Tamplin has told the BBC it has now been decided that all the cheerleaders are going because they are causing too much of a distraction and negative publicity.

    "We have a lot more things to talk about than cheerleaders, like winning games," he said.

    Mr Tamplin said one of the girls in the team messaged a player, which was forbidden.

    At first, he said, he wanted to give the cheerleaders one more chance, but national press publicity had proved a distraction.

  4. Tollgate Village development given go-ahead by government

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    A new multi-million pound retail and leisure development in Stanway will go ahead after a government minister overturned the decision of local councillors.

    Colchester Borough Council says the £70m Tollgate Village development threatens the future of town centre traders and puts a strain on local roads.

    The plans had been rejected twice, but an appeal by the developers has now been approved by Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, following an appeal.

    Artist's impression of Tollgate Village.

    A Colchester Borough Council spokeswoman said: "By allowing this major retail proposal outside the town centre he is undermining the whole local plan process and threatening local democracy.

    "Since the appeal we have seen a number of town centre stores close, citing the threat of Tollgate Village as a deciding factor.

    "Our concern now is that this decision will precipitate economic stagnation in the town centre which could see shops and restaurants lose trade, begin to close or move out of the town centre altogether."

    Tollgate Partnership Limited said in a statement: "This is a good day for our town and we want to thank the huge number of people who have supported us; it means the world.

    "We hope the next phase of the planning process will proceed quickly and efficiently in order for us to deliver Tollgate Village."

  5. Billericay FC cheerleaders 'not fired', says club

    Helen Burchell

    BBC News

    If you're a fan of cheerleading, you might have been disappointed to read a number of stories about Billericay Town FC's new squad being fired before they'd even begun cheering.

    Billericay FC cheerleaders in rehearsal

    Club boss Glenn Tamplin tweeted to say he'd had to let "The Ricays" go "as the lads were becoming unfocused", the Sun reported.

    Tweet from Glen Tamplin

    Apparently the footballers were a little distracted by the new all-female cheerleading squad which Tamplin had only employed the previous week.

    Glenn Tamplin

    However, non-league Billericay FC has been in touch to tell us the cheerleading squad's still going strong.

    So, why the tweet?

    "One of the girls in the team messaged a player saying, 'Let's hook up'," spokesman Nicky Hayes told us.

    "The player mentioned it to Glenn and he thought it was more trouble than it was worth so decided to axe them.

    "Then he met with the head cheerleader and told her she would need to fire the girl if The Ricays were to continue."

    The woman was duly fired and the Ricays cheerleading squad remains at the football club, Mr Hayes confirmed.

    They will make their debut appearance in a friendly at home to a West Ham United XI on Tuesday.

    Billericay Town FC cheerleaders in rehearsal
  6. Clacton pensioner admits murdering wife

    A pensioner has admitted the murder of his 81-year-old wife at the home they shared.

    John Chapman, 71, admitted the charge in a video-link appearance at Chelmsford Crown Court.

    Chapman was arrested on 12 June following the death of his wife Jean at their home in Vista Road, Clacton-on-Sea.

    He has been remanded in custody until sentencing on 8 September.

    Chelmsford Crown Court
  7. Your pictures: Some sunshine

    BBC Weather Watchers

    OK, so it's not the warmest of days but our BBC Weather Watchers have captured some sunny shots of Essex:

    Great Chesterford
  8. Hay stack expected to burn until mid-afternoon

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    A haystack near Halstead is expected to burn for several more hours, Essex Fire Service has said.

    Crews were called just before 01:30 to Greenstead Green where about 60 tonnes of hay was on fire.

    It's being kept under control and is expected to burn itself out by about 15:30.

    A large hay stack fire near Halstead.
  9. Excessive drinking blamed for rise in flight disruption

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    Police at Stansted Airport removed 57 drunk or aggressive passengers from planes last year.

    That's up from 42 in 2015 and 22 in 2014, according to figures obtained by the BBC.

    Ch Insp Richard Phillibrown, from Essex Police, said: "Sadly a handful of people are spoiling the enjoyment of the vast majority by drinking excessively at the airport.

    "We work closely with the airport operator, licensees and the businesses here to encourage responsible and appropriate behaviour."

    Stansted Airport

    Former pilot Terry Tozer said passengers who've been drinking can be a serious problem: "They can be extremely disruptive and potentially they're a hazard.

    "The Air Navigation Order is very clear - it is illegal to be drunk on an aircraft."

  10. Large crop fire believed to be arson

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    More than 20 people called 999 to report a large crop fire near Chelmsford last night, Essex Fire Service has said.

    Fire in crop field near Chelmsford.

    About four hectares (40,000 sq m) of corn were alight in a field near West Hanningfield at about 21:00 and flames could be seen from the nearby A130.

    The fire - which is thought to have been started deliberately - was put out by 22:00.

  11. Forecast for the day ahead: Cloudy but dry

    Elizabeth Rizzini

    BBC Look East weather

    It'll be a largely fine day across the BBC East region, with some sunny spells, especially at first.

    However some cloud is expected to bubble up through the day, and whilst this could bring one or two light showers, most places should stay day.

    Here's my full forecast:

    Video content

    Video caption: Weather: weather_east.avi

    Keep up-to-date with the latest weather where you are with BBC Weather.

  12. Man critically injured in A12 crash

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    A 40-year-old man is in a "potentially life-threatening condtion" after a crash on the A12 near Chelmsford last night, police have said.

    The collision - involving a lorry, a van and a car - happened at about 22:00 and closed the northbound stretch between junctions 17 and 19.

    A woman and a man, in their 60s, were treated for minor injuries.

    The road fully reopened just after 07:30 and congestion has been clearing.

    Congestion on A12.
    View more on twitter
  13. Good morning

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    Hello and welcome to Friday’s live updates for Essex.

    The weekend is just around the corner and we’ll be here until 18:00 with the latest news, sport, weather and travel for the county.

    First up, we’ll have a full weather forecast shortly.

    Sunrise over Chelmsford.

    You can contact us at any time via email, Facebook or Twitter.