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  1. 'Growing importance' of creative industries in Northampton
  2. Guide dog refused entry to Santa Pod
  3. Disabled baby dies after judge ruling
  4. Updates on Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Pete Cooper

All times stated are UK

Our live coverage across the day

That's all from us today.

Tomorrow we'll bring you the result of the planning committee meeting at Northampton Borough Council, which is looking at the plans for 103 flats at the derelict Hawkins shoe factory in Northampton.

Plus, there will be reaction from the pre-season football from the Cobblers and the Northamptonshire One-Day cup match against Warwickshire.

We'll see you from 08:00.

Weather: Chance of rain tonight and tomorrow

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

It will be cloudy across most parts of the region this evening, but mainly dry with the chance of patchy rain by the end of the night. Lows of 12C (54F).


A cloudy, drizzly start to tomorrow. Gradually clearing, but staying rather cloudy. 

Some brighter spells later with some sunshine breaking through the clouds, but there will be afternoon showers possible. Highs of 23C (73F).

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Tata Steel says Corby plant 'is safe' following £2m payout for two injured workers

A spokesman for Tata said: "The health and safety of our employees and contractors is our most important priority."

It follows a fine of nearly £2m after two workers at its Corby plant suffered serious injuries.

Tata Steel

In statement, the company went on to say: "Tata Steel constantly places a great deal of emphasis on creating a strong and ever-improving safety culture in the organisation - and in improving our processes and procedures. We want to ensure everyone working on our sites is safe."

India Chipchase: Accused said 20-year-old found dead 'became upset' because of her friends

Sally Chidzoy

BBC Look East home affairs correspondent

Edward Tenniswood said he would describe himself as a "tactile person". "I put my arm half around [India Chipchase] in a paternal way" when he saw her crying, he told Birmingham Crown Court.

He said he asked "Are you OK? I was taken aback by way of her tearful outburst, my reaction was to calm her down".

Mr Tenniswood told the court he said to Miss Chipchase he planned to get a taxi home, was going to have a drink at his place and she was welcome to join him. He said she looked up and half smiled at him.

He said they talked for 15 minutes before taking the taxi back to his house. He said there had been a plan to stop off at McDonalds and he bought cigarettes and a lottery ticket at a garage. 

On reaching his house at Stanley Road in Northampton, he said he opened the door. "Call it chauvinism, the lady goes in first, I closed the door. I had a hand on her shoulder and asked, 'Are you OK?' She said 'fine'."

He said he told her he lived upstairs in his house. He said while she went to the toilet he poured them glasses of wine.

The defendant said her demeanour had lifted, she was more alert and no longer upset or crying. But he said she became upset while on her mobile and threw the phone on the floor, cursing her friends. 

He told the court: "My immediate response was to rescue the phone, I'm a technology geek."

Mr Tenniswood, 52, denies raping and murdering India Chipchase and the trial continues tomorrow.

India Chipchase: Defendant says he had 'a sort of bond' with 20-year-old found dead in house

Sally Chidzoy

BBC Look East home affairs correspondent

Edward Tenniswood described when he first saw India Chipchase, the woman he is accused of raping and murdering.

He said he was in a queue trying to get into NBs club in Northampton and they started chatting.

The 52-year-old told Birmingham Crown Court they had both tried to get into the bar but he'd been turned away because of the way he was dressed - in a duffel coat and carrying a backpack.


He said Miss Chipchase was on her mobile intently tapping on it and said to him, "You've been refused too". 

He said she appeared very anxious on the phone and unhappy, saying: "I saw her wipe a tear away from her eyes, she was pretty distressed, she was crying... I said [to her] 'where can we get a drink around here?' She said 'probably not anywhere around here'... she was upset... I had had a crap evening."

He told the court the two of them had "a sort of bond", adding: "We'd both had a crappy evening and were refused entrance to NBs." He said he told Miss Chipchase he would keep her safe, get her home and "look after her".  

More follows...

India Chipchase: Accused admits 'falsely claiming' he was 'trained to kill'

Sally Chidzoy

BBC Look East home affairs correspondent

Edward Tenniswood was also asked about his neighbour's evidence - Douglas Killeya - who had said he had put his hands towards his neck as if to strangle him.

Mr Tenniswood said he was drunk at the time, he was worried about his father's health and was seeking comfort from the neighbour who he knew was a counsellor.

India Chipchase

He said he was distressed. He admitted placing his hands around his neighbour's neck because he was desperate.

He admitted falsely claiming to his neighbour he had been in the Army, that he had been trained to shoot, trained to jump out of planes "and the other unfortunate thing was to say I trained to kill with my bare hands".

He said he thought of himself as his friend Harry, an ex-Gulf War veteran. He told the court he had never been in the Army, but was in the air cadets at school and achieved a high rank.

More follows...   

India Chipchase: Accused denies separate sex attack claim heard from witness

Sally Chidzoy

BBC Look East home affairs correspondent

Edward Tenniswood was asked about an alleged attack which Birmingham Crown Court heard this week.

It involved a teenager who claimed he held her against a wall by her throat and attempted to kiss her.

court artist impression of Edward Tenniswood

He said she had been rude to him and he had pushed her back. 

"Unfortunately I was perhaps a little bit more demonstrative than I wanted to be," he said.

He described what happened to the jury as a minor incident. "I am a polite person, I was sorry I used too much force, I kissed her on the cheek and said 'sorry'." 

The defendant denied putting his hands on the woman's neck.

More follows...

India Chipchase: Defendant says home 'very run down'

Sally Chidzoy

BBC Look East home affairs correspondent

Edward Tenniswood claimed in court today he was on one month's notice to move from his house by the landlord and kept everything in plastic storage containers so he was ready to go.

He told the court he had been in the rented terraced home in the St James area of the town for five years before India Chipchase's death.

Stanley Road
South Beds News Agency

Asked what sort of house he lived in, he replied: "Almost squalid - very run down."

Mr Tenniswood said he "contained" himself to living upstairs and used his downstairs as a storage space, with the exception of his kitchen where he prepared his food in individual boxes so he could "graze" on the contents through the day.

More follows...

India Chipchase: Accused kept computer keyboard and monitor in cling film

Sally Chidzoy

BBC Look East home affairs correspondent

Birmingham Crown Court also heard Edward Tenniswood drank up to three boxes of red wine per day.

Mr Tenniswood, accused of murdering and raping India Chipchase, said he kept most of his belongings covered in dust sheets. He also said he wrapped his computer keyboard and monitor in cling film, because he had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

birmingham crown court

Mr Tenniswood told the jury of six men and six women he was "a terrible hoarder", adding photographs of his home showing newspaper covering every inch of the floor and boxes of his belongings stacked against the walls were to keep things "tidy".

More follows...

India Chipchase: Accused 'kept newspaper clippings of ex-girlfriend look-alikes'

Sally Chidzoy

BBC Look East home affairs correspondent

The man who denies raping and murdering India Chipchase in Northampton kept newspaper clippings of women who looked like his ex-girlfriends in his "squalid" home, Birmingham Crown Court has heard.

Miss Chipchase, 20, was found dead at Edward Tenniswood's home on 31 January this year after she had been reporting missing following a night out.

India Chipchase
Northamptonshire Police

Mr Tenniswood, 52, of Stanley Road, was giving evidence for the first time and was asked about a series of clippings with pictures of women found in his home. 

He said: "I'm always hoarding magazines and newspapers, clippings.

"These individuals are extremely similar to ex-girlfriends of mine. 

"Rather than just have the whole place covered in dusty dust sheets, they're ornaments, memories of ex-girlfriends. Nothing more interesting than that."

More follows...

Green Flag award for Corby Woodland transformed from 'dangerous' to 'really popular'

Martin Borley

BBC Radio Northampton

Corby Woodland has once again been judged as one of the best green spaces in the country, being awarded with the prestigious Green Flag for the fifth consecutive year.

Corby green flag

Rick Allanson (left), from the Friends of Corby Parks and Woodland, said the group had grown "so much" since being formed in 2007 and now has 173 volunteers on its books. 

He told me when he started nine years ago people didn't walk in the woodland because it was too "messy and dangerous", but now it is "really popular".

He said new lighting had increased footfall, with people using the park and paths in the evening.

Tata Steel fined nearly £2m after workers seriously injured at Corby plant

Tata Steel has been ordered to pay more than £2m after two workers suffered serious injuries at its Corby plant.

A 26-year-old lost two-thirds of his left hand while trying to clear a blockage on machinery in September 2014. Then in February 2015 a 52-year-old lost two-thirds of his little finger when his hand was caught in a lathe.

Tata Steel

The two incidents were investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found the guarding on the two machines was inadequate.

Tata Steel had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to two counts of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. 

Judge Rupert Mayo at Northampton Crown Court ordered the company to pay a fine of £1.985m and costs of £22,500, saying the injuries were as the result of "two subsequent and avoidable incidents".

Northampton Borough Council's three female leaders discuss being a woman in politics

Stuart Linnell

BBC Radio Northampton

Nationally we have only just had our second female prime minister, but in Northampton we have three political leaders on the borough council.

They joined me to discuss being a woman in politics.

(L-R) Mary Markham (Con), Danielle Stone (Lab) and Sally Beardsworth (LD) discuss being a woman in politics

Conservative Mary Markham, the council's leader, said the three can have a "sensible and civil conversation". 

Sally Beardsworth, leader of the Lib Dem group, said the three women do manage to "talk about things other than politics" and have debates "without testosterone".    

Meanwhile, Danielle Stone, leader of the Labour opposition, said there was an issue with getting more women into politics, as women still have to "manage their home, look after children and elderly relatives".

Weather: Cloudy and chance of shower

BBC Weather Watchers

There some sunshine and cloud across Northamptonshire. Here's Kettering from BBC Weather Watcher 'Delbuoy'...


That cloud could bring occasional showers, though most places should stay dry this afternoon. A top temperature of 21C (70F).

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Planning for Hawkins factory set for approval, but will work ever begin?

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

The plan to convert the derelict Hawkins shoe factory in Northampton into 103 flats is recommended for approval at tonight's Northampton Borough Council planning meeting.

But it's not the first time it's been given approval for flat conversion, with plans first being submitted in 2000. Various objections, conditions and planning law changes meant the development never happened, and it's remained in a sorry state since. 

However, there is now new hope the building will be returned to its former glory.

Hawkins factory
Hawkins factory
Hawkins factory

Other groups support shoe factory conversion into flats, but raise some concerns

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

Unlike the Victorian Society, three other historical groups have supported the development of the Hawkins shoe factory into flats "in principle".

Hawkins Factory

Both Historic England and The Council for British Archaeology have welcomed plans to bring the building back into use, but have concerns about the potential replacement of the windows and the "removal of various architectural components".

The Association for Industrial Archaeology also supports the conversion, but does "regret the loss of north lights and cast iron columns".

Victorian Society objects to flats plan for 'nationally important' Hawkins factory

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

The proposal to build 103 flats in the derelict Hawkins shoe factory in Northampton is facing opposition from the Victorian Society.

It describes a "nationally important and well-preserved complex of historic buildings that evokes Northampton's rich heritage of boot and shoe manufacture".

Hawkins Factory

The group, which campaigns to maintain historic buildings, says because the factory is "at risk" it welcomes restoration, but the "proposed number of alterations and interventions would be likely to cause varying degrees of harm".

Derelict shoe factory in Northampton could turn into flats

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

Plans to convert a derelict shoe factory in Northampton into flats could move a step closer later.

A decision will be made by Northampton Borough Council on the future of the Grade II-listed Hawkins factory on Overstone Road.

Hawkins Factory

The factory, at the heart of the boot and shoe quarter, has stood empty for years. Developers want to turn it into 103 apartments, with about three quarters having one bedroom.

Officers have recommended to the committee that the plans are approved, with a long list of complicated conditions around traffic, parking and the building's heritage.

But there are objections to the development...

Creative industries 'fastest growing', says theatre boss

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

The report which says Northampton is an important centre for creative industries highlighted the town's university and support from local authorities as the reason why the sector is growing.

The boss of Northampton's Royal & Derngate Theatres agrees it is a growing industry...

It's the fastest growing sector in the local economy. The university and work spaces in the town encourage business - Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive, Royal & Derngate Theatres

'Growing importance' of creative industries in Northampton

Willy Gilder

BBC Radio Northampton

Northampton is fast becoming an important centre for the creative industries, according to a new report.

NESTA, which looks at employment statistics from all over the UK, says more than 1,000 businesses work in the creative sector around the town, employing 4,000 people.

Northampton Cultural Quarter

Creative industries include advertising, web design, film, theatre and video production.

NESTA says traditionally creative industries have clustered in the big cities of London, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff - but it's now identified 47 areas in the rest of the country that are of growing importance.

Bones discovered by Anglian Water in Burton Latimer

Carroll Weston

BBC Radio Northampton

Two skeletons have found by workers preparing to lay a new water main in Burton Latimer.

The bones, which are believed to date back to Roman times, have been carefully excavated, recorded and removed by archaeologists on behalf of Anglian Water.

Burton Latimer bones
Anglian Water

Only the bottom half of each skeleton remains, but they show the pair were buried with their feet pointing towards what is believed to be a temple.

Nearby there is a natural spring and a ditch, which is likely to have channelled the spring water to a settlement.

The skeletons will be analysed by specialists to allow an archaeological report to be completed. 

Baby dies at Northampton hospital after judge rules life-support can be turned off

A severely disabled baby, who had been on a ventilator since he was 18 minutes old, has died after a High Court judge decided that life-support treatment at Northampton General Hospital could be stopped.

Hospital bosses had asked for permission to stop providing life-support treatment to the three-and-a-half-month old boy. The baby's parents had objected.

Mr Justice Hayden ruled in favour of hospital bosses after analysing evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Northampton General Hospital

A lawyer representing Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust said the child died late on Saturday.

The boy suffered from the most severe type of spinal muscular atrophy - a hereditary condition that affects nerve cells connecting muscles to the brain and spinal cord.

Specialists said the condition was degenerative and incurable, and the burden treatment placed on the boy outweighed any benefit.

The boy's mother and father argued that he experienced pleasure and said his life had not yet reached the point where it should end.

Success in search for stem cell donor for toddler

Nic Rigby

BBC News

A woman has found a matching stem cell donor for her son after a two-year search. 

Joey Ziadi
Anthony Nolan Trust/Twitter

Kaitsh Morris' toddler, Joey Ziadi, is one of only 800 people in the world known to have blood disorder Diamond-Blackfan anaemia, meaning his body fails to produce red blood cells properly.

When Joey's case was publicised in 2014, hundreds of people came forward to see if they could provide a match. 

Now the Anthony Nolan Trust has revealed a donor has been found for the Northampton two-year-old.

Former England coach says Duckett 'very talented' and could play for England

Andrew Radd

BBC Radio Northampton

Meanwhile, Northants' 22-year-old star Ben Duckett could play for England within a year, according to former national coach Andy Flower.

Flower and Duckett
Getty Images

His 220 not-out off just 131 balls for England Lions against Sri Lanka A yesterday was the ninth-highest one-day score ever.

Flower, who now coaches the Lions, said he was a "very talented young man", who was "very capable of playing international cricket".

"None of us can foresee the future, but there's no reason why he can't go on and have a very successful international future," he said.

Northants take on Warwickshire in One-Day Cup

Alex Winter

BBC Radio Northampton sport

I'm at Edgbaston this morning where Northants take on Warwickshire in the One-Day Cup.


Northants are in fourth place in the North group, while their opponents are fifth - so it should be a close game.

We'll have to wait and see though if Ben Duckett, who scored an amazing 220 not-out for the England Lions yesterday, is in the Northants team today.

Full commentary is online from 11:00.  

'Guide dogs don't bolt' over loud noises, claims owner

David Smith, a registered blind man who was refused entry to a Santa Pod event on Sunday because he had a guide dog, says he is sympathetic to the venue's health and safety rules aimed at protecting animals.

But he insists guide dogs are different. "Guide dogs don't bolt when they hear strange noises or when they hear loud noises," Mr Smith told the BBC.

"I do understand the comments about it being a noisy arena, so we have, for Darcy, sound ear-muffs to help block the sounds so she doesn't get startled."

Santa Pod

Caroline Holden, commercial manager at Santa Pod, said: "We are very sympathetic to those who need assistance dogs and we work very hard to address all equality and diversity issues.

"However, in relation to noise and fumes, drag racing is a unique motorsport. 

"It would be unforgivable for us to be responsible for hurting an animal which could ultimately lead to the disabled owner being left without the dog that is essential to, in some cases, their survival."

Guide Dogs charity disputes Santa Pod entry refusal

Robert Jinks, an engagement officer with the Guide Dogs charity, has told the BBC it believes it was "illegal" under the Equality Act to refuse a guide dog entry to Sunday's Santa Pod event.

Santa Pod
Chris Plunkett/Geograph

Mr Jinks said it would be happy to work with the raceway to prevent a similar incident in future, adding it worked with Silverstone Circuit in the past to make sure guide dogs could gain access.

But Glenn Ramsden, event manager for UK Events Safety which was responsible for safety at Santa Pod on Sunday, said it had "taken a lot of advice" over its decision, and health and safety laws meant it "had to protect" animals from the noise and fumes.

He added: "Humans can make a choice, animals can't".

Guide dog refused entry to Santa Pod

Nic Rigby

BBC News

A registered blind man has been refused entry to Santa Pod raceway on the Northamptonshire-Bedfordshire border because he had a guide dog. 

David Smith and Darcey
David Smith

David Smith, 49, of Northampton, who is an equality officer with 20 years of experience with disability law, pointed out his concerns of a potential breach of law at the race track at a VW event on Sunday. 

But managers refused to allow him to enter with his dog, Darcy. Santa Pod said it was concerned about the safety of the animal. 

The event on Sunday included drag racing, stunt displays, a funfair and stalls.    

We'll bring you more updates on both sides of the story soon.

Weather: Dry and bright at first, cloudier later

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

This morning will start mainly dry with bright spells, but occasional showers are likely to form in the afternoon as the cloud thickens. 

Most should stay dry, with a high of 21C (70F).

Here is my full forecast...

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Welcome to Tuesday's updates for Northamptonshire

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Good morning. We're here until 18:00 with all the news for Northamptonshire.

We've got details of man and his guide dog being refused entry to Santa Pod raceway.

There's a boost for the creative industries in Northampton, with a new report out today.

The future of an empty Grade II-listed shoe factory could be decided today as well.

But we'll start with the all important weather...