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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Emergency meeting calls for new look at draft local plan

    Councillors have agreed to look again at plans to build up to 20,000 new homes in Basildon over the next decade.

    The decision was made at an emergency council meeting on Thursday night.

    Local plan

    The draft local plan was agreed in March after a series of angry public exchanges between councillors and residents, but the emergency meeting backed a Conservative call to reconsider several controversial sites.

    Councillors will now look again at proposals for 300 new homes near Billericay and an increased number of traveller pitches on existing sites rather than building new ones.

    A council meeting earlier in May saw 750 residents at Basildon Sporting Village attend a debate in which Conservative councillors accused the Labour/UKIP administration of not listening to local people.

    The Labour, UKIP and Independent groups accused the Conservatives of using delaying tactics to stop the local plan going through.

  2. New A120 option D takes road past quarry and planned incinerator

    The preferred route for the new A120 has been announced by Essex County Council and it's option D.

    This will take the new road from a remodelled Galley Corner roundabout south past the villages of Cressing and Silver End. The route will then pass an existing quarry, and a site earmarked for a new waste incinerator, to join the A12 at junction 23 west of Kelvedon.

    Galley Corner

    Residents feared that options B and C on the route linking Braintree with the A12 would have destroyed local countryside and disrupted nature.

    Kevin Bentley, responsible for highways at Essex County Council, said the new road would bring great economic benefits.

    David Birch, from Essex Chamber of Commerce, said work should start as soon as possible.

    "People have been talking about improving the A120 for years and anyone who uses the road will know how desperate those improvements are needed. I now want to see action sooner rather than later."

  3. Full-size bendy wire Jaguar classic car created

    A London-based artist and a Peterborough engineering firm have joined forced to build a new car - fashioned completely out of bendy wire.

    The full-size model of the Jaguar E-Type is the creation of Benedict Radcliffe and staff at Automated Wire Bending - which usually manufactures bendy wire things like hooks, hangers and paper clips.

    Wire Jaguar
    Part of wire Jaguar

    Radcliffe and the company's founder, Silvio Perna have known each other for years, and collaborated on other artworks, but the latest was commissioned for an exhibition in Sweden and was on show briefly in Peterborough on Thursday before being shipped overseas.

    Wire Jaguar
    Wire Jaguar

    Radcliffe has been creating wire-work pieces of art for years, among other things, and one of his best known pieces is a wire version of a London cab at Heathrow Airport.

  4. Boy, 15, suffers neck injury in assault

    A teenage boy is in hospital with neck injuries after being assaulted in Letchworth.

    Hertfordshire Police said they were called to reports of the 15-year-old being attacked in Jackman's Place at 14:30.

    He is conscious and breathing, police said.

    They are hoping to track down the offender, described as a white male of small build with brown hair.

    Jackman's Place
  5. Suspected arson attack on former Ipswich pub

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    A suspected arson attack on a derelict pub in Ipswich is being investigated by police.

    Former Brewery Tap pub in Ipswich

    Flames broke out at the former Brewery Tap, Cliff Road, at about 19:45 yesterday.

    Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said the fire was on the ground floor and propane cylinders were removed from the building.

    A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said the incident was being as suspected arson. He said no-one was injured in the incident.

  6. Dog rescued from fighting ring 'a teddy bear'

    A dog left with bite marks, sores and scars after being used in dog fighting has a new home.

    Three-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier cross, Kali, was found cowering in a garden close to Buntingford in Hertfordshire, in March last year.

    Kai and her injuries
    Image caption: Kali with her injuries

    She had to stay at the RSPCA Block Fen Animal Centre, in Wimblington, Cambridgeshire, while her former owner was prosecuted for dog fighting and animal welfare offences.

    New owners Georgina Arnold and her boyfriend Owen Gray, from Yaxley, said they "took to her instantly" when they went looking for a pet. They took her home at the start of this month.

    Kali
    Image caption: A very happy Kali now

    Ms Arnold said: "She has scars and is missing teeth so she has been through a lot. But she is so kind, she is like a teddy bear, there’s not a bad bone in her body.

    “I’m just glad that she’s safe now and she’ll never have to know fear or cruelty again."

  7. Woman jailed for causing death of 'popular' PC

    A woman has been jailed for killing an off-duty police officer by crashing her car into his motorbike.

    Thames Valley Policesaid Temenuga Lyubenova, 34, of Watermead, Aylesbury, was driving a black Hyundai estate when she collided with PC Simon Caddy, 29, on the A413 Amersham bypass on 26 May 2017.

    PC Simon Caddy
    Image caption: PC Simon Caddy

    She pleaded guilty to one count of causing death by careless driving and one count of causing death by driving a vehicle while uninsured.

    She was sentenced to 12 months in jail and disqualified from driving for two years on Thursday at Luton Crown Court.

    Chief constable Francis Habgood said: "Simon was a hugely popular young man and police officer who will always be missed by his family, many friends and colleagues."

  8. How World Cup fans in Cambridgeshire can get a free drink

    Cambridge News

    Designated drivers are being offered free soft drinks from some of Cambridgeshire’s pubs as part of the annual summer drink drive campaign during the FIFA World Cup 2018.

  9. Chelmsford area in line for 14,000 new homes

    Piers Meyler, Local Democracy Reporter

    About 14,000 new homes could be built in and around Chelmsford over the next 18 years under plans for the city.

    The city council's development committee announced where 9,000 of these homes could be on Thursday, with the rest to be built as part of smaller schemes.

    Chelmsford City Council

    Chelmsford has been earmarked for 3,400 new homes plus shops, office and business accommodation with two greenfield landscaped residential developments to the east and west of the city.

    North-east Chelmsford and Great Leighs is planned to have new garden communities of 4,500 homes, and South Woodham Ferrers is intended to have more than 1,000 new homes, business premises and shops.

    The announcement was part of the council's local plan document for Chelmsford, which will be used as a guide for developers.

    It will be considered by the council's cabinet and then the full council before being sent to the planning inspector in late June. The final go-ahead is expected in the autumn.

  10. Man cautioned for damaging swan statue 'beyond repair'

    A man has been cautioned after damaging a wooden sculpture of a swan, which police said was "beyond repair".

    The 24-year-old climbed the structure in Croyland Gardens, Wellingborough, on Wednesday and vandalised it.

    Damaged swan statue.

    PC Andy Stephens, from Northamptonshire Police, said: "This incident really upset the community in Wellingborough and rightly so."

    A spokesman for Wellingborough Borough Council said the sculpture will be cut up and removed. He said the remaining tree stump will be made safe.

  11. Anglian Water pledges to cut plastic pollution

    Anglian Water has made a pledge to help tackle all plastic waste which is not reusable, recyclable or compostable in the East of England by 2030.

    Tap

    It said it wanted to create a coalition of businesses, manufacturers and retailers to get rid of single-use plastics and to stop micro-plastics ending up in rivers and seas.

    The scheme was unveiled this morning in Southend, Essex.

    Anglian Water chief executive Peter Simpson said: ”We’ve all seen the huge impact single-use plastics are having on our environment.

    "We know a truckload of plastic is entering our oceans every minute, with rivers and watercourses acting as the highways for plastic waste pollution out to sea."

  12. Revenue officers seize £1.8m in Harlow raid

    Two men have been arrested after more than £1.8m in cash was seized during a raid by revenue and customs officers in Essex.

    An industrial unit and two vehicles in Harlow were searched by 20 HM Revenue and Customs officers on 31 May and bags containing the cash were discovered.

    Cash seized at Harlow

    A man aged 26, of no fixed address, and another aged 31, of Bognor Regis in West Sussex, were arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

    HMRC declined to say if the men were still in custody or had been released on bail. It said the Crown Prosecution Service would decide if the case would be brought to court.

  13. Van hits three police cars, a bus and a post box

    A man and a woman have been arrested after a van crashed, damaging three police cars, a bus and a parked car in Colchester.

    The crashes happened in Lexden Road just after 08:00.

    Lexde Road crash

    The red Ford Transit van went on to hit an electricity box and a post box, police said.

    Essex Police said the man and woman are being questioned on suspicion of failing to stop and driving a motor vehicle when unfit due to drink or drugs.

  14. MK House of Fraser closure 'not a surprise'

    A business leader in Milton Keynes said losing House of Fraser will be a "blow" to Centre MK.

    The store has been earmarked for closure, with hundreds of jobs also set to go at a House of Fraser distribution centre in Milton Keynes.

    Melanie Beck, from the town's Business Improvement District (BID), said the news has not come as a shock.

    The BID's own research suggests visits to Milton Keynes centre are down by five million over five years, which Ms Beck put down to pressures on the household purse, parking charges and online shopping.

    House of Fraser chairman Frank Slevin said the company needed to adapt to "fundamental changes" in the retail industry.

    House of Fraser shop
  15. Govia Thameslink: Train problems 'a dreadful mess'

    An MP has described the problems faced by rail users trying to get into London on the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) route as a "dreadful mess".

    Since a new train timetable was introduced on 20 May, many services have been cancelled or delayed.

    Oliver Dowden, the MP for Hertsmere, said passengers have to leave "at least double the time" to get to work on time, and it is "having a dreadful effect on peoples lives".

    He said he has met with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to see what can be done, as at the moment "you can't rely on the service".

    Crowded trains

    GTR chief executive Charles Horton said: "Like most people who travel on Thameslink and Great Northern there have been occasional delays in the past few weeks.

    "Some trains have run on time and others haven't. I'm sorry about that."

  16. Biker 'seriously hurt' after colliding with car

    A motorcyclist has been seriously hurt after colliding with a blue Audi TT on the A428 by the Bromham turn, yesterday.

    Police said the man in his 70s was left with a leg injury after the incident at about 09:55 on Thursday.

    Officers are appealing for anyone with footage to get in touch.

    Incident on A428
  17. St Albans Cathedral to be filled with poppies

    St Albans Cathedral will be filled with poppies to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One later this year.

    Lichfield Cathedral installation
    Image caption: The installation has also appeared at Lichfield Cathedral

    A projection of the flowers will fill the nave as part of a light and sound installation on 26 and 27 October.

    Poppy Field is part of the St Albans Remembers programme of events taking place in the city to commemorate World War One.

    Created by Peter Walker, artistic director at Lichfield Cathedral, it will feature projections specially tailored to St Albans Cathedral, including names of local soldiers and falling rose petals which will be projected over the Shrine of Alban, Britain’s first saint.

    A sound artwork by David Harper will accompany the installation and it will also include four readings of World War One poems by the actor Eddie Redmayne.

    Mr Walker said: "Art in its many forms allows us to individually and collectively experience and share emotive moments. Poppy Field is an opportunity to become immersed in sound and light and truly reflect and focus our thoughts."

  18. Scheme to improve busy Norwich roundabout

    David Hannant, Local Democracy Reporter

    A £750,000 scheme to improve the safety of a busy Norwich roundabout has moved a step foward with the scheme going out to consultation.

    Five Ways roundabout in Norwich

    The Norwich City Council/Norfolk County Council highways agency committee has committed to move forward with plans to improve the Earlham Fiveways roundabout, which could see a host of changes made to its layout and surrounding roads.

    The scheme, which includes new shared pathways for pedestrians and cyclists, is estimated to cost about £750,000. It is hoped that £685,000 of this amount could be secured from the Department for Transport.

    It would also make the central island of the roundabout larger, narrowing the lanes around it in an attempt to slow traffic.

    People will be consulted over the next few months.