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Former Northamptonshire County Council leader leaves party

The former leader of Northamptonshire County Council has resigned from the Conservative Party.

Announcing her resignation on Twitter, councillor Heather Smith called it a "sad day", but said she could not "cope with continuing unfair quotes from new councillors".

Councillor Heather Smith
BBC

She had been a Conservative councillor for 11 years, representing the Oundle ward, and was leader between May 2016 and March this year.

Councillor Smith has not responded to a BBC request for interview, but in an expletive-laden interview with the Local Government Chronicle said she had become a "scapegoat".

The Conservative group on the council confirmed news that her resignation "had been tendered", but did not comment further.

Northamptonshire Police chief constable retires

Laura Cook

BBC Radio Northampton

The Chief Constable of Northamptonshire, Simon Edens, retires from the police force this weekend.

Mr Edens, who has been chief constable since 2015, has spent a 37 years as a police officer.

Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold (left) pictured with outgoing police chief constable Simon Edens
Office of Northamptonshire Police & Crime Commissioner
Mr Edens (right) has been chief constable at Northamptonshire Police since 2015

He began his career in 1981 serving as a constable and sergeant with the Royal Ulster Constabulary before moving to Cambridgeshire in 1991 where he served for 17 years, rising to the rank of chief superintendent.

In 2008, he became assistant chief constable at West Mercia Police and then deputy chief constable at Leicestershire in 2012.

His successor Nick Adderley joins Northamptonshire Police as Chief Constable on Monday.

Weedon fire leaves house 'totally destroyed'

Daventry Express

An elderly man's home has been "totally destroyed" by a fire in Weedon.

Cobblers to start life in League Two

The new Football League season kicks off on Saturday, with Northampton Town opening their League Two campaign at home to Lincoln City (15:00 KO).

The Cobblers were relegated from League One at the end of the 2017-18 season, but are being tipped for promotion this time around by bookmakers.

Northampton Town footballers celebrate a goal scored against Oldham Athletic on 5 May 2018
Getty Images

During the summer, the club has appointed caretaker manager Dean Austin as their full-time boss, while a sponsorship deal has seen Northampton's Sixfields Stadium renamed as the PTS Academy Stadium.

After opening against fellow promotion hopefuls Lincoln, Town travel to Carlisle United on Saturday, 11 August.

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire northbound severe disruption, from J18 for A428 to A14.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed on M1 northbound from J18, A428 (Rugby) to A14, Catthorpe Interchange, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Imran Tahir

Durham win a fifth T20 Blast match in a row and go top of the North Group as Kent, Notts, Sussex and Birmingham also win.

Read more

Severe disruption: M40 Oxfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Oxfordshire northbound severe disruption, from J11 for A422 to J12 for B4451.

M40 Oxfordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M40 northbound from J11, A422 (Banbury) to J12, B4451 (Gaydon), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe disruption, from J18 for A428 to J16 for A4500.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed on M1 southbound from J18, A428 (Rugby) to J16, A4500 (Daventry), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: M40 Oxfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Oxfordshire northbound severe accident, from J11 for A422 to J12 for B4451.

M40 Oxfordshire - Two lanes closed and heavy traffic on M40 northbound from J11, A422 (Banbury) to J12, B4451 (Gaydon), because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: M1 Northamptonshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire northbound severe accident, between J16 for A4500 and J17 for M45 Dunchurch.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M1 northbound between J16, A4500 (Daventry) and J17, M45 (Dunchurch), because of an accident involving.

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

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe disruption, between J17 for and J16 for .

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed on M1 southbound between J17, M45 interchange and J16, Daventry, because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: A508 Northamptonshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A508 Northamptonshire northbound severe accident, before J15.

A508 Northamptonshire - Lane closed and slow traffic on A508 northbound before J15, Northampton, because of an accident involving two lorries and a car.

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

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe disruption, from J17 for M45 Dunchurch to J16 for A4500.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed on M1 southbound from J17, M45 (Dunchurch) to J16, A4500 (Daventry), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Protesters outside Northamptonshire County Council

Northamptonshire County Council has held an emergency meeting about how to save £70m by next March.

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Severe accident: M1 Leicestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Leicestershire southbound severe accident, from A14 to J18 for A428.

M1 Leicestershire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M1 southbound from A14, Catthorpe Interchange to J18, A428 (Rugby), because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire both ways

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire both ways severe disruption, between J16 for A4500 and J15A for A5123 Towcester.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M1 between J16, A4500 (Daventry) and J15a, A5123 (Towcester), because of a broken down vehicle and a broken down box van.

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

New McDonald's approved despite residents' objections

An application to build a new McDonald's restaurant in the Morrisons car park in Kettering Road, Northampton, has been approved by councillors despite 85 letters of objection from residents.

The two-storey fast food chain was given the green light by members of Northampton Borough Council's planning committee, despite concerns over traffic and the ability of existing highways to cope.

Morrison's, Kettering Road, Northampton
Google

However, the restaurant has been ordered not to open between midnight and 06:00 as part of the planning conditions, thwarting the franchise's plan to open 24-hours a day.

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire northbound severe disruption, from J16 for A4500 to J17 for M45 Dunchurch.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed on M1 northbound from J16, A4500 (Daventry) to J17, M45 (Dunchurch), because of a lorry having a tyre changed. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe accident, from J15 for A508 to J14 for A509.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed on M1 southbound from J15, A508 (Northampton) to J14, A509 (Milton Keynes), because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: A45 Northamptonshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

A45 Northamptonshire eastbound severe accident, after Caswell Road.

A45 Northamptonshire - A45 Nene Valley Way closed, severe delays and queuing traffic eastbound after Brackmills, because of an accident involving four vehicles. Congestion to the A45 at Toby Carvery in East Hunsbury.

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

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe disruption, from J17 for M45 Dunchurch to J16 for A4500.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M1 southbound from J17, M45 (Dunchurch) to J16, A4500 (Daventry), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

£8m investment in vehicle emissions testing rig

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

An engineering company in Northampton has invested £8m in a new testing rig for measuring vehicle emissions.

Mahle in St James Mill Road says the device, which will test vehicles in real world conditions such as heavy acceleration and braking, as well as simulating different altitudes, is the first of its kind in the UK.

Exhaust testing has been in the spotlight since the emissions scandal of 2015, which began with VW admitting it had been cheating the tests, leading to billions of pounds in fines.

Car emissions test
BBC
Emissions test equipment
BBC

Corby says no to single tier authority proposals

Corby Borough Council says 95% of households taking part in a consultation exercise opposed plans for a single-tier local authority for the area.

A government-appointed inspector has recommended replacing the eight existing councils in Northamptonshire with two new unitary ones.

Corby Cube, home of Corby Borough Council
BBC

But of nearly 4,700 Corby households who responded to the consultation, 4,435, were against the proposal. Just 228 supported it.

The result is expected to form part of the council's response to the government.

Council to look again at 'noise' from proposed pig farm

Plans to house 1,800 pigs close to the village of Cranford, near Kettering, go back before councillors tonight.

In May, Kettering Borough Council deferred a decision after fears of noise when councillors were told the animals can be louder than a rock concert and only just quieter than a jet engine at take off.

Pigs
BBC

The council's planning committee decided to postpone a decision on planning permission until they had learnt more about the potential noise.

As a result, council officers visited a shed with a capacity of 2,000 pigs and recorded the sound, with acoustic consultants asked to review the data.

They concluded that nearby residents will not be adversely affected by noise or smells from the proposed development.

Northamptonshire County Council HQ

Government inspectors say a 2015 letter was not taken seriously by Northamptonshire County Council.

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Severe accident: A5001 Northamptonshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A5001 Northamptonshire both ways severe accident, from Masefield Drive to B569 Irchester Road.

A5001 Northamptonshire - A5001 Wellingborough Road in Rushden blocked and delays in both directions from the Masefield Drive junction to the B569 Irchester Road junction, because of an accident involving a car and a pedestrian.

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

Valtteri Bottas

In his latest BBC Sport column, former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer explores how reluctant 'wingman' Valtteri Bottas diced with controversy in Hungary.

Read more

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire northbound severe disruption, from J16 for A4500 to J18 for A428.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed on M1 northbound from J16, A4500 (Daventry) to J18, A428 (Rugby), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

County venues endorse 'Ask for Angela' campaign

A safety campaign where people feeling unsafe on a date can discreetly ask for help using a code word has been adopted by East Northamptonshire Council.

It works by allowing people to ask venue staff for 'Angela' if they feel uncomfortable and workers will call a taxi or help them leave discreetly.

Poster for the Ask for Angela campaign
Twitter / @IIZZZZZI

Venues in Higham Ferrers, Rushden, Stanwick, Raunds, Thrapston, Islip and Oundle have taken up the scheme which also works in partnership with local police and National Pubwatch.

Steven North, council leader, said: "To see so many businesses already take part, it shows that the district is a great place to live, work and have fun. I encourage more pubs and clubs to join us."

The scheme was first introduced by Lincolnshire County Council in 2016, garnering social media support from around the world.

Officers raise more than £5000 for killed colleagues

Police officers who took to their bikes for a charity bicycle ride last weekend have raised more than £5,000.

Eight officers from Northamptonshire and a retired colleague took part in the Police Unity Tour, a 180-mile ride from London to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Some of the riders from Northamptonshire Police
Northamptonshire Police

The funds were raised in support of Care of Police Survivors (COPS) - a UK charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives while on duty.

The team from Northamptonshire were joined by colleagues from across the UK in completing the three-day ride, which included a break at Towcester Police Station on Saturday morning.

Cyclists at Towcester Police Station
Northamptonshire Police

Severe accident: A508 Northamptonshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A508 Northamptonshire both ways severe accident, around The Lamport Swan.

A508 Northamptonshire - A508 Harborough Road in Lamport blocked and queuing traffic in both directions around The Lamport Swan junction, because of an accident involving a car.

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