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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. 'Why are you littering?' - Residents' sign in Mersea park

    An anti-littering sign

    While signs aimed at litter louts are common place, this one from a Mersea community group offers up some passive-aggressive reasons for offenders to explain their behaviour.

    The sign at the Glebe, on the Essex island near Colchester, is from the Proud of Mersea group.

  2. 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

    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.

  3. Luton council urged to think again about red routes

    Luton Borough Council is being urged to think again about introducing no stopping zones in the town.

    Councillors met last night to discuss introducing "red routes" with the aim of reducing congestion caused by inconsiderate and illegal parking.

    Red route plan

    Liberal Democrat councillors on the overview and scrutiny committee said the red routes are not an appropriate measure to ease congestion and they would have an adverse effect on businesses in Wellington Street and Bury Park.

    A public consultation revealed 60% of residents backed the plan for the red routes, but half of businesses objected.

    The council's executive will consider the issue again on 28 August.

  4. 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
    Image caption: 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.

  5. Alex Novakovic, 12, passes away after cancer battle

    Bucks Herald

    Aylesbury youngster Alex Novakovic, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2013 has died in hospital.

  6. Calls for new Cambridge conservation zone

    Josh Thomas

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    There are calls for a new conservation area to be set up in Cambridge to protect the "distinct architectural character" of one of the city's "major gateways".

    Cambridge currently has 12 conservation areas which the city council says are notable "because of their buildings, open spaces, trees, or a mixture of these and other features."

    Development is more tightly controlled in these areas than in other parts of Cambridge.

    A section of Hills Road in Cambridge

    Wendy Blythe, chair of the Hills Road Area Residents Association (HRARA) said they will be pressing the council for a new conservation zone to protect buildings in the southern parts of Hills Road which she said were an important part of making the city an "interesting and nice" place to live.

  7. A song for Cambridge...

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    An East of England band is planning to play a song about the Cambridge Folk Festival at the event this year.

    Thursday's Band

    Thursday's Band, pictured, which has members from Bury St Edmunds, St Neots, Royston and Bishop's Stortford, is playing the Club Tent this evening.

    Mark Gamon, of the band, said: "We're really happy to have a feature Club Tent slot at Cambridge this year.

    "This is partly because it's a bloomin' lovely festival (and I don't have to camp because I live just down the road) and partly because we do have a song - Eating Mexican - that's about the festival and the cuisine that can be enjoyed therein, so that's a bucket list moment satisfied."

  8. Earth moves - slightly - in Norfolk

    A minor earthquake measuring 2.7 magnitude was felt in Norfolk yesterday afternoon.

    The British Geological Survey recorded the earthquake at 17:42 in Downham Market.

    It may have been a relatively small shudder, but several people in Downham and neighbouring villages took to social media to report a "rumbly noise" and the earth moving "slightly".

    Minor earthquakes are common, with 12 recorded in Great Britain in July.

    Newdigate in Surrey has experienced three earthquakes of a similar magnitude to Downham Market since the end of June.

    Church in Methwold
    Image caption: Villagers in Methwold reported feeling the shudder of an earthquake
  9. Swamptruck headlines first night of Cambridge Folk Festival

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    Cambridge country and bluegrass band Swamptruck headlined stage two at the Cambridge Folk Festival on on Thursday night - the first night of the event at Cherry Hinton Hall.

    Swamptruck
    Image caption: Swamptruck

    The band, which has been going for about 10 years and is fronted by Alastair Taylor, got the crowd dancing to their infectious songs.

    Texan Americana band Whiskey Shivers opened the festival, which has been going since 1965 and attracts more than 14,000 people.

    Whiskey Shivers
    Image caption: Whiskey Shivers

    Unashamedly political singer-songwriter Grace Petrie told the BBC it was her "dream" to appear at the festival, and it came true on Thursday.

    Grace Petrie
    Image caption: Grace Petrie
  10. Police hunt men who stole Aldi cash machine

    The discovery of cash machine in an abandoned car near Brentwood is being linked to theft of a money dispenser from a supermarket, Essex Police say.

    Officers are linking the find in Navestock with the theft at Aldi in Loughton at about 03:30 on Sunday.

    Three suspects were seen to remove the cash machine using a white Mitsubishi Barbarian truck before leaving in a grey Audi.

    Police are asking anyone with information to contact them.

  11. Combine harvester destroyed by fire in field

    A combine harvester has been destroyed after a fire in a field in a village near Harlow.

    Three Essex Fire crews were called to Harlow Road in Matching Tye at 20:45 and found about 2,500 sq metres of field (0.6 acres) ablaze.

    Combine harvester on fire

    It took them until 22:15 to extinguish the combine harvester, with firefighters remaining on the scene for a further hour to ensure the affected area was sufficiently dampened down.

  12. Bus named after 'loyal' 93-year-old passenger

    A 93-year-old man has had a bus named after him as a thank you for his years of being a loyal passenger.

    Dennis Tapping from Watford uses the number 10 Arriva service every day, which runs from Woodside to the Hollywell Estate via the town centre.

    Dennis Tapping.

    The drivers came up with the idea of honouring Dennis after years of chatting to him about his beloved Watford Football Club, who he has followed for 70 years.

    When he turned up at Watford Junction train station this morning, he was greeted with a cake, a Watford shirt and a bus, which had his name displayed and a plaque guaranteeing him a reserved seat for life.

    Bus named after Dennis Tapping.

    He said: "What a wonderful day for me. I will never forget this day for as long as I live. I've had some happy days with Watford Football Club. I've had a happy life but this is one of my best days ever."

    Plaque on a bus in honour of Dennis Tapping.
  13. Two arrested after police pursuit in Westcliff

    Essex Police arrested two men after a police chase in Westcliff-on-Sea yesterday.

    A car was signalled to stop at 20:10, but it didn't and crashed into another vehicle shortly afterwards.

    Officers and a member of the public detained a 44-year-old man from Shoebury who was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, theft of a car, dangerous driving, failing to stop and driving without a licence or insurance.

    The passenger fled the scene, but was tracked by a police dog and arrested on suspicion of theft of a car.

    Both men remain in custody.

  14. 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

    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.

  15. Herts hospice funding cut

    Funding of more than £150,000 has been cut by Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning group (CCG) for the Peace Hospice in Watford.

    Peace Hospice Watford

    Declan Carroll, the chief executive of the hospice, which costs £5m to run annually, said it means they will have to find funds from other sources.

    He said: "Charities are always at risk from external funding and [we need to ask ourselves] will there be a point that we don't get any funding from the NHS?

    "It would mean we would need to ask the community more to support what we do."

    A spokesman for the CCG "Herts Valleys still provides over £900,000 to Peace Hospice Care for palliative and end of life care services... and we have recently commissioned our local hospices, including Peace Hospice Care, to provide a new service for patients diagnosed with life-limiting conditions who need care at home."

  16. Thousands expected for Luton Mela

    Two days of festivities celebrating Asian music and culture will get under way in Luton this weekend.

    The 18th annual Mela is a free event attended by about 35,000 people at Wardown Park on Saturday and Sunday.

    It will include local, national and international talent which is aimed at showcasing the culturally diverse communities of Luton.

    Luton Mela in 2017
  17. Conservatives regain overall control of Peterborough

    The Conservatives have regained overall control of Peterborough City Council after winning the Orton Longueville by-election.

    Gavin Elsey (back and centre in the photograph) was elected last night after losing his previous Orton Waterville seat to the Greens in May's local elections.

    The by-election was sparked after fellow Tory June Bull stepped down for health reasons six weeks ago, leaving the council briefly under no one party's control.

    View more on twitter

    The Tories have now regained their control, which they had held since May.