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Summary

  1. Updates for Friday, 27 October 2017
  2. Norfolk actor Colman to play Queen Elizabeth II
  3. Delay compensation greatest issue with rail travellers
  4. Council seeks feedback about mental health services for young people
  5. Future of Great Yarmouth Marine Leisure Centre in doubt

Live Reporting

By Philippa Taylor

All times stated are UK

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  1. Union condemns changes to patient transport provider

    Unison has condemned the appointment of a private company to run the NHS patient transport service in Suffolk and parts of Norfolk.

    The decision comes just weeks after Essex-based Private Ambulance Service, which operated in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, went bust, leaving patients stranded and staff unpaid.

    Unison regional secretary Chris Jenkinson said it was "beyond belief" that the clinical commissioning groups, which handed out the contract, were prepared to take on a private firm, E-Zec Medical Transport.

    In 2014 there were complaints about the service provided by E-Zec in Dorset. At the time it said it was striving to make improvements.

    Mr Jenkinson said: "The private sector has shown time after time that it is incapable of running NHS services.

    "We cannot continue having our vital public services handed over to the lowest cost bidder in the hope they won't mess it up."

    Wayne Spedding, operations director at E-Zec, said the contract showed "our service quality is being noticed in other parts of the country", adding it was the "largest and most consistent private ambulance service in the UK".

    Meanwhile, a spokesman for Ipswich and East Suffolk, West Suffolk, and Great Yarmouth and Waveney clinical commissioning groups, said the process to appoint a new provider had been "rigorous and in-depth".

  2. Weekend weather forecast

    Julie Reinger

    BBC Look East weather

    Tonight will be fine and dry with long clear spells.

    With temperatures falling as low as 3C (37F), a touch of ground frost is possible in rural areas.

    After a chilly start, Saturday will be fine and dry with some sunny spells.

    Cloud will thicken from the north, with some outbreaks of rain and drizzle during the night.

    The temperature is expected to climb to about 15C (59F).

    Weather graphic for Saturday 05:00

    Sunday will be mostly dry, with an odd shower likely in eastern parts of the region.

    It'll feel colder, with temperatures reaching 13C (55F).

    There's likely to be a widespread frost on Sunday night, with temperatures falling as low as -2C (28F) in some areas.

    BBC Weather has more.

  3. Two men charged over Great Yarmouth stabbings

    Two men have been charged after three people were stabbed in Great Yarmouth on Wednesday.

    Police were called to St Peter's Road shortly after 21:30 to reports of a street fight involving a number of people.

    Police vehicles in St Peter's Road

    Three people were taken to the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston for treatment for knife wounds. All have since been released.

    Two men from the town, aged 20 and 21, were arrested and have now been charged with three counts of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

    They remain in police custody and will appear before magistrates tomorrow.

  4. Chance to cycle new bypass free from traffic

    Cyclists have the chance to explore sections of Norwich's Northern Distributor Road before any motorists do.

    The stretch between the A1067 Fakenham Road and the Drayton Lane roundabout is to open for just one day, on Sunday, as part of the Norfolk Walking and Cycling Festival.

    This part of the road is not due to open to traffic until November.

    John Birchall, public liaison officer for the bypass, said there had been many requests to run or cycle on the main carriageway before it opened to vehicles.

    Runners will get their opportunity when the last sections of the route, north of Postwick, nears completion next Spring.

  5. New provider for patient transport services

    Non-emergency ambulance services in Suffolk and parts of Norfolk are going to be run by a new operator.

    Wheelchair user being wheeled into ambulance

    The service, currently run by the region's NHS ambulance trust, will be taken over by E-zec Medical Transport in April next year.

    Health bosses signed a five-year contract with the firm to transport patients who have a medical condition which means they cannot use any other transport without risking their health.

    Existing staff at the East of England Ambulance Service say they are concerned about their future, but have been told they will be supported by unions during the change.

  6. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A1024 Norfolk southbound

    BBC News Travel

    A1024 Norfolk southbound severe accident, between A1067 Drayton Road and Heigham Street.

    A1024 Norfolk - A1024 Mile Cross Road in Norwich blocked and very slow traffic southbound between the A1067 Drayton Road junction and the Heigham Street junction, because of an accident involving two cars.

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

  7. Warning of road closure linked to Norwich's Northern Distributor Road

    Work to provide traffic calming in Weston Longville, ahead of the opening of the Northern Distributor Road, will see a road in the village closed from Monday for six weeks.

    The Honingham Road, Church Street and Marl Hill Road stretch through the village will be shut, with a marked diversion in place.

    Norfolk County Council says access to properties within the closure will be available on request at the points of closure. School buses will be allowed through to reduce disruption to pupils.

    The traffic calming measures include road narrowings, improved passing bays on Marl Hill Road and a 20mph speed limit throughout the village.

  8. Campaign to save Redgrave's Cross Keys pub reaches milestone as purchase agreed in principle

    Diss Express

    A campaign to save an historic village pub has reached a big milestone after the building's purchase was agreed in principle.

    Campaigners outside pub
  9. Council seeks more feedback about young people's mental health services

    Norfolk's mental health services for children and young people are being redesigned.

    The county council and the local NHS commissioners say the current system doesn't meet the needs and rising demand being placed on it.

    According to their own estimates, only about a third of the under 18s with mental health problems get the help they need.

    County Hall

    A consultation on future changes runs until 12 November.

    Tim Ayres, from Norfolk County Council's children's services department, says it's determined to get it right.

    "We're getting quite a lot of feedback. We want more, and it's really really important that people engage in this consultation and discussion," he said.

    "We have to design services from the end users' point of view otherwise we risk getting it terribly wrong."

  10. Delay compensation greatest cause of dissatisfaction among rail passengers

    We reported earlier there had been an increase in complaints from passengers using Greater Anglia.

    Figures from the Office of Rail and Road show a rise of 17% in complaints in the first quarter of 2017-18, compared to the same period last year, with 58 complaints per 100,000 passenger journeys.

    The highest proportion of the complaints, 25%, was about delay compensation.

    Greater Anglia said where passengers had been let down it needed to "compensate them properly, fairly and appropriately".

    Greater Anglia train
  11. Norfolk actor Colman to play Queen Elizabeth II

    Former Norfolk school girl Olivia Colman is taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the third and fourth seasons of royal period drama The Crown, Netflix has confirmed.

    The Broadchurch star, 43, who went to Gresham's at Holt, will take over the reins from the programme's current leading star Claire Foy, who played the Queen in the first season and is to return in the forthcoming second season.

    Olivia Colman
  12. If you were wondering what was happening in Norwich earlier...

    ...well, we've found out that an attempted break-in is being investigated in the city.

    Police say they were called to Castle Meadow at about 10:00.

    We'll bring you further details as and when we get them.

    Police vehicles at Castle Meadow, Norwich
  13. Future of Great Yarmouth Marina Leisure Centre in doubt

    Great Yarmouth's Marina Leisure Centre could be pulled down, with a new sports centre built on land next door.

    It's one of several options that borough councillors are due to look at next week.

    GY Marina leisure centre

    The multimillion-pound scheme could see several businesses nearby flattened, including a crazy golf course.

    Billy Daniels, who owns the course, thinks the plans are terrible.

    "They're proposing to turn the existing site into a car park," he said.

    "Now why would you build more car parks right in the middle of the seafront when in actual fact you want leisure attractions, not car parks?

    "Car parks don't draw tourists."

  14. Greater Anglia responds to increase in complaints from passengers

    Greater Anglia admits it needs to "keep on" improving performance, as figures from the Office of Rail and Road reveal a rise in passenger complaints.

    On average, people are twice as likely to complain about Abellio-owned Greater Anglia than other operators in England.

    Greater Anglia train

    Spokesman for Greater Anglia, Jonathan Denby, said: "What we need to keep on doing [is] further improving performance, making it better, and in those places where we let people down for whatever reason... then we compensate them properly, fairly and appropriately for the service they've not had."

    We'll take a closer look at the figures and bring you more on those a little later, but in the meantime, if you've got an opinion on the story, share it with us via the "Get involved" link at the top of this page.

  15. Friday's weather: Bright and sunny after a chilly start

    Lucy Martin

    BBC Weather

    After a chilly start, any early mist patches will clear to leave a mostly dry and sunny day, feeling pleasant in light winds.

    However, the odd light shower is still possible along the coast during the morning.

    Top temperature: 14C (57F).

    Afternoon weather chart

    Remaining dry overnight with clear spells and light winds, although it will become chilly, with a grass frost forming in some rural parts and local fog patches.

    Lows of 6C (43F).

    Get a more detailed forecast for wherever you live, from BBC Weather.

  16. Envelope update

    Severe accident: A140 Norfolk both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A140 Norfolk both ways severe accident, between B1527 and Tasburgh Road.

    A140 Norfolk - A140 Norwich Road in Tasburgh closed in both directions between the B1527 junction and the Tasburgh Road junction, because of an accident.

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

  17. Weather: Drizzly tonight, but clearing

    Alex Dolan

    BBC Look East weather

    Cloudy this evening with some patchy drizzle across the BBC East region.

    Clear spells inland bringing temperatures down to 5C (41F), but coastal cloud will hold the temperatures to a low of 11C (52F).

    Friday will see a few light showers in north east Norfolk, and elsewhere will stay fine with bright or sunny spells, but feeling colder with highs of 14C (57F) in moderate to light north and north westerly winds.

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

  18. Video content

    Video caption: Owner of 12ft python found on Broads still to come forward

    A 12ft-long python found on the Norfolk Broads has still not been found.

  19. Mystery pipes delay NDR work

    Work to complete the Northern Distributor Road (NDR) around Norwich has been held up by the discovery of some mysterious pipes.

    They were uncovered at the new junction with Wroxham Road, near Rackheath.

    Green Lane West was due to close this weekend to connect a new junction, but the mystery discovery means this now won't go ahead.

    NDR spokesman John Birchall says they have no idea what the pipes are, and they can't carry on regardless.

    "We have to treat them as 'live'... you have to find out what it's doing, whether it's just something that's been in the ground for years and hasn't been used for years or whether it's actually still a private supply of some sort that we've then got to divert... either way, it's causing a delay and frustration." he said.

    But it's better news for the western end of the new dual carriageway, which will run from Postwick to the A1047.

    A date has been set for the opening from the A1067 Fakenham Road to A140 Cromer Road - Saturday, 11 November.

    Quote Message: It'll be available from 6am on Saturday. People will have the weekend to drive on it and look at it... and on Monday it will have its first real test with people coming in to work, and we think quite a lot of people will choose to use it because it's new." from John Birchall Norfolk County Council
    John BirchallNorfolk County Council