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Summary

  1. Updates for Wednesday, 2 March 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye for now from BBC Local Live for Beds, Bucks and Herts

    That's it from the Beds, Herts and Bucks Local Live team on Wednesday - we'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow, bringing you the news, sport, travel and weather updates as they happen. 

    If you have any photographs from around the county that you'd like to share, or if there's anything happening that you'd like us to know about, you can contact us via email or Twitter.

  2. Weather: Chilly night with showers

    Alex Dolan

    BBC Look East weather

    A chilly night with showers moving southwards during the evening, and overnight, with temperatures dropping to 2C (36F). 

    Weather map

    Tomorrow a chilly start with some patchy frost and a mostly dry and bright day to follow, with a high temperature of 6C (43F).  

  3. Hornets 'positive' as they head to Manchester United

    BBC Sport

    As his team head for Old Trafford tonight, Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores has said he knows Louis Van Gaal's Manchester United have improved recently but the Hornets are "positive".

    Quique Flores

    He said: "We have in our mind the opportunity to add these points against Manchester United but, of course, we are expecting a difficult match, very tough... United are on a good run, playing well; a young team, very quick with skill.

    "But we are always in our line, our way, respecting the teams but always we are there to be competitive and add points in the matches."

  4. Manchester United v Watford: Head-to-head match facts

    Katy Lewis

    BBC Local Live

    As Watford head to Old Trafford tonight to face Manchester United in the Premier League, these head-to-head match facts won't make encouraging reading for Hornets fans.

    Odion Ighalo of Watford battles with Chris Smalling of Manchester United

    But don't despair, just look at who's topping the league at the moment to remind you the strangest things can happen in football.

    • Manchester United are on a 10-game winning streak against Watford, including a 2-1 victory in November's reverse fixture
    • This run includes all five previous Premier League matches, in which United have scored a total of 14 goals.
    • Watford have never won an away league match against Manchester United in eight attempts
    • The Hornets' only victory at Old Trafford was a 2-1 League Cup victory in October 1978
  5. Headlines: Burglars force way into Bedford home... Olympic champ Pendleton wins horse race

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Evening headlines for Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire: 

    • Burglars forced their way into a woman's home in Bedford when she refused to let them in when they pretended they were there to check on the water pipes
    • A pre-inquest hearing has taken place into the death of a 19-month-old toddler from Bedfordshire
    • Bedfordshire's double Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton has won her first horse race
  6. Police appeal after fatal crash

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    Police are appealing for information after a fatal crash in which a Jaguar car hit a stationary lorry.

    The driver of the Jaguar died in the crash on the northbound carriageway of the A509 at Newport Pagnell, near Chicheley Hill at about 08:00 today. 

    Investigating officer PC James Lacey of Thames Valley Police, said: "I would appeal to anyone who witnessed the collision, has footage of the collision, or saw either vehicle before the collision to contact police as soon as possible."

  7. Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton wins first horse race

    BBC Sport

    Bedfordshire's double Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton has won her first horse race.

    Victoria Pendleton

    She took the Switching Saddles Hunters Chase at Wincanton on Pacha Du Polder.

    Her trainer said earlier that her performance today would decided whether she will compete at Cheltenham in a fortnight.

  8. Driver killed in accident in Newport Pagnell

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    A car driver has been killed in a crash with a lorry in Newport Pagnell this morning.

    A509

    It happened at about 08:00 on the A509 near Chicheley Hill.

    Thames Valley Police says the lorry was stationary in a lay-by when the crash happened. It closed the road for six hours.

  9. Woman subjected to 'vicious and intolerable' attack during theft

    Bedfordshire Police are appealing for information after a woman was subjected to a "vicious and intolerable" attack when three men forced their way into her house on Monday, stealing cash and jewellery in the process.

    Chestnut Ave, Bedford

    The men, all described as white, called at the house in Chestnut Avenue, Bedford, between 19:30 and 19:50, claiming they were there to check the water pipes. But when the woman refused to let them in, they forced their way in, threatening and assaulting her.

    PC Lucy Craddock, said the victim had been left "shaken and upset" and urged people to contact them if they had witnessed any suspicious activity in the area at the time.

  10. Property investment scammer ordered to pay back more than £100k

    Simon Oxley

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    A woman from Hertfordshire, who stole more than £2.5m in a bogus Spanish property investment scheme, has been ordered to pay back more than £100,000.

    Margarita Clark

    Margarita Clark, 64, from Broxbourne, was jailed for 40 months in November after defrauding six people out of a total of £2,562,000 by persuading them to join the fictitious scheme.

    A Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation and compensation order has been made against her at St Albans Crown Court which says she has three months to pay back the money which will be shared on a percentage loss basis between her victims or face a further 20-month prison sentence.

  11. Luton community centres set to close due to funding cuts

    Simon Oxley

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Several community centres in Luton look set to be closed because of cuts in funding.

    Bushmead Community Centre

    London Luton Airport, which is largely owned by Luton Borough Council, is cutting £1m of funding to community services to help pay for a train link. The money is also needed to help the council run services like libraries and waste collection.

    Katherine Knights, who uses the centre in Bushmead, (pictured) said she would be "absolutely gutted" if it closed because it was her "regular weekly bit of exercise with other members of the community" and she could not see where the service could be picked up elsewhere.

  12. Watford travel to Old Trafford with a fit Capoue

    BBC Sport

    Watford travel to Old Trafford in the Premier league tonight to take on Manchester United.

    Jose Jurado will again miss out for the Hornets with a calf injury. Etienne Capoue is fit despite being substituted because of tiredness in Saturday's draw with Bournemouth.

    Etienne Capoue of Watford and Charlie Daniels of Bournemouth

    MOTD commentator, Steve Wilson, said: "Watford's only win at Old Trafford came back in 1978 with a League Cup brace from Luther Blissett. With United suddenly bouncing with youthful confidence, an end to that sequence looks unlikely."    

  13. This afternoon's weather: Wet and windy but becoming brighter

    BBC Weather

    Brighter conditions will arrive this afternoon, but it will remain windy with scattered showers.

    Maximum temperature: 7C (44F).

    Weather graphic

    Get more on the forecast where you live from BBC Weather.     

  14. Pendleton: Cheltenham decision to be made later

    BBC Sport

    A decision about whether Bedfordshire's double Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton will compete at Cheltenham in a fortnight will be made after she rides in Somerset later today.

    She'll partner the Paul Nicholls-trained Pacha Du Polder in the Betfair Switching Saddles Hunters' Chase at Wincanton this afternoon.

    Victoria Pendleton
  15. Lunchtime headlines: Coroner's court hears of 'inhuman' treatment in weeks before young Tory's death

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    Here are the top stories we're looking at this lunch time:

    • A court has heard claims a political activist from Cambridgeshire suffered "inhuman and degrading treatment" in the weeks leading up to his death on railway tracks near Sandy
    • A woman from Hertfordshire, who stole more than £2.5m in a bogus property investment scheme, has been ordered to pay back more than £100,000
  16. Elliott Johnson hearing: 'Inhuman or degrading treatment should be probed'

    Katy Lewis

    BBC Local Live

    At this morning's pre-inquest hearing into the death of young Tory activist, Elliott Johnson, his family had called for the scope of the full inquest to be widened to include allegations of bullying.

    Their barrister, Heather Williams, said they believed his death was "directly linked to a series of events that occurred in the last few weeks of his life" and that under article three of the Human Rights Act 1998, public authorities were obliged to investigate when there were allegations of inhuman or degrading treatment.

    But George Alliott, representing Conservative Way Forward, where Mr Johnson had worked as political editor, said only selected parts of the suicide note had so far been made public and "if the scope were to be widened, it is going to have to include reference to Elliott's mental health and his sexuality".

  17. Elliott Johnson inquest: Coroner to decide on scope of inquest

    Tom Barton

    BBC Look East political reporter

    Bedfordshire coroner Tom Osborne has said he will make a ruling on the scope of the inquest into the death of young Tory activist Elliott Johnson, who died on railway tracks near Sandy, by 16:00 on Friday.

    Alison and Ray Johnson

    At a pre-inquest hearing at Ampthill Coroner's Court this morning, the barrister for Mr Johnson's parents, Ray and Alison (pictured leaving the court), argued that it should be widened to include bullying allegations.

    The barrister for Conservative Way Forward, which Mr Johnson had joined in June 2015 as political editor, said the inquest would need to examine his mental health history and sexuality.

  18. Elliott Johnson death: Timeline of events

    Charlie Jones

    BBC Local Live

    A pre-inquest hearing into the death of Conservative activist Elliott Johnson has concluded. Here's a timeline of events:

    • June 2015: Elliott Johnson starts working for the campaign group Conservative Way Forward as political editor
    • 12 August: He makes a complaint to the Conservative Party about activist Mark Clarke. Around the same time, he is demoted to part-time social media consultant due to budget cuts
    • 5 September: He withdraws his complaint after meeting with Mr Clarke
    • 15 September: Mr Johnson is found dead on railway tracks near Sandy station, Bedfordshire
    • 16 September: Police find a letter in his room accusing Mr Clarke of bullying. He denies this allegation
    • 18 November: Mr Clarke is expelled from the party
    • 28 November: Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps resigns as a minister amid claims he failed to act on bullying complaints while he was party co-chairman
  19. Elliott Johnson inquest 'should look at mental health history and sexuality'

    Tom Barton

    BBC Look East political reporter

    An inquest into the death of Conservative activist Elliott Johnson would need to examine his mental health history and sexuality if its scope was to be widened, a barrister for campaign group Conservative Way Forward had said.

    Elliott Johnson

    Speaking at a pre-inquest hearing, the barrister told the coroner Mr Johnson's family had not made public part of his suicide note referring to his sexuality.   

    The barrister said the note had mentioned Mr Johnson's failure to give his parents a chance of grandchildren.

    The Johnson family's barrister said the passage about his sexuality was the only passage that did not relate to bullying within the Conservative Party.

  20. Elliott Johnson hearing told of 'terrible train of events'

    Elliott Johnson's family barrister Heather Williams told today's pre-inquest hearing there was a prospect that some of the treatment the 21-year-old Conservative activist received in final weeks of his life was "inhuman or degrading".

    Mr Johnson, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, was found dead on railway tracks near Sandy, Bedfordshire, last September

    Ms Williams said his suicide note indicated that a "terrible train of events" was the direct reason for his death and argued the coroner should extend the scope of the inquest to include bullying allegations.

    She quoted a passage from the note in which Mr Johnson wrote: "These past few weeks have been the most difficult of my life... I've failed in money, failed in life, failed in politics."