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Summary

  1. Updates for Friday, 2 December 2016
  2. Europe presses ahead with Stevenage-built Mars rover
  3. House badly damaged by fire in Hertfordshire
  4. Man stabbed near Luton train station
  5. Woman in critical condition after crash on A10

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Dan Robson

Ged Scott

BBC Sport at Sixways

Injury-hit Wasps score a try in each half to move up to second in the Premiership with a victory at lowly Worcester.

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Jonny Evans celebrates his goal for West Brom against Watford

West Brom move up to sixth in the Premier League by beating Watford at The Hawthorns for a third win in four league games.

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Goodbye for now

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it for this week from all the team here at Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks. 

We'll be back with all your regular updates of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday.

In the meantime, it's going to be a busy weekend for one-year-old Finley Bagshaw. 

Tomorrow he'll officially open Fontmell Close in St Albans, the location of a giant sinkhole that opened up in October last year. 

Gemma and Finley Bagshaw
BBC

The road actually opened on Wednesday, but a special event is happening on Saturday.  

When the hole appeared Harry was in his mother Gemma's tummy. 

The family was set to move into their home today, the first time they've been able to live there since Finley was born. 

Have a great weekend.

Weather: Risk of frost tonight, staying dry tomorrow

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

This evening will be rather cloudy with some showers clearing eastwards. 

Clear spells will develop and bring the risk of a frost in places and the odd fog patch. Lows of -1 to 4C (30 - 39F).

East of England weather
BBC

Saturday will be a little cloudy at times, but staying dry with some bright or sunny spells. 

Chance of an isolated shower in eastern counties, with highs of 7C (45F).

There's more at BBC Weather.

Robbie Neilson hails MK Dons as 'club that's going places'

The club statement continues, with Neilson saying he's "delighted" to take up the vacant job at Stadium MK.

"It's great to be here and I'm looking forward to developing the club, developing the players and moving the club forward. 

"The most important thing for me was picking the right chairman and the right club and this was the right match at the right time - it's a club that's going places. 

Robbie Neilson
Getty Images

"Hopefully the fans are ready for the ride. We want to create excitement but, most importantly, win football matches."

Chairman Pete Winkelman added: "I'm hugely excited. Robbie has been on our list from day one - he's the most exciting young manager in the UK, by a country mile."

The 36-year-old leaves Hearts second in the Scottish Premiership, replacing Karl Robinson at a side currently 19th in England's third tier.

He will be joined at the Dons by Stevie Crawford, who has been Neilson's assistant since he took his first job in management at Tynecastle in 2014.

Neilson will take charge after Sunday's FA Cup game with Charlton.

Severe disruption: M25 Essex clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Essex clockwise severe disruption, before J26 for A121 affecting J25 for A10.

M25 Essex - Very slow traffic and one lane closed on M25 clockwise before J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey), because of a broken down car. Congestion to J25, A10 (Enfield).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

BreakingRobbie Neilson confirmed as new MK Dons boss

Signed, sealed, delivered - a statement has just appeared from MK Dons that reads:

"Milton Keynes Dons Football Club are delighted to confirm the appointment of highly-rated Robbie Neilson as first-team manager. 

"After the club agreed terms with Heart of Midlothian on Thursday evening, Neilson travelled to Stadium MK to finalise his move to become MK Dons' sixth manager."

Five-year-old gets ready to start Santa race in memory of brother

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A very special race will be run by a Bedford family this Sunday. 

Ella Russell, aged five, has been given the honour of starting the Santa Run on the town's Embankment, in memory of her three-year-old brother, Harry, who died last year. 

She'll be running the race with her dad Mark (left) and mother Julie to raise funds for Keech Hospice Care, where Harry spent his last days.

Mark and Ella Russell
BBC

Ella told us: "I love seeing all the Santas having fun as they run and walk around the Embankment. Last year after Harry died, me, mummy and daddy went to watch all the Santas, it was brilliant."  

Men arrested in Luton suspected of people smuggling

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

Four Albanian men suspected to be involved in the smuggling of people into the UK as part of an international organised crime group have been arrested in Luton.

Police raided four properties in Falconers Road, Mallard Gardens, Trent Road and Stockwood Crescent yesterday.  

The four were remanded in custody following an appearance at Westminster Magistrates' Court and face extradition to Belgium for further investigation.

Decision to fund Mars project 'applauded'

Airbus Defence and Space, the company behind the Mars rover that was built in Stevenage, have today "applauded ESA's decisions to further develop Europe in space".

EU ministers today agreed to fund the outstanding €400m euros (£337m) needed to complete the Exo Mars mission.

The company said: "European citizens will benefit greatly from our new innovative solutions", adding that "Europe’s ambitions in space have received another boost".

Ministerial meeting
ESA

Guns stolen from Bedfordshire home

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

Three legal shotguns have been stolen in a burglary in Cranfield.

Bedfordshire Police says they were locked away but taken at about 19:00 on Wednesday, along with some jewellery and a number of Christmas presents.

Two of the guns are described as a Sabel and a woman's shorter barrelled AYA model.

Severe disruption: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe disruption, between M1 J10 and J11 for A505 Dunstable Road.

M1 Bedfordshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M1 northbound between M1 J10, Luton Airport Spur Road and J11 A505 Dunstable Road, because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, before J24 for A111 affecting J25 for A10.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise before J24, A111 (Potters Bar), because of a broken down crane. Congestion to J25, A10 (Enfield).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Dropped your drugs?

Two bags of cannabis have been found by Hertfordshire Police after being dumped by the side of the road in Brent Pelham. 

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Injury concerns for Watford manager

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Watford have serious injury and suspension problems ahead of the Premier League visit to West Brom tomorrow. 

With Valon Behrami and Miguel Britos both banned, the Hornets also have injury concerns over Younes Kaboul, Adrian Mariappa and Ben Watson to add to longer term injury victims Craig Cathcart and Isaac Success. 

Walter Mazzarri
Getty Images

"Since I've been here for sure it's one of the moments I have most doubts," said manager Walter Mazzarri. "Sometimes you need the emergency moments; players who haven't played as much can prove they are important members of the team."  

Watch: Leighton Buzzard battery explained

The "big battery" is the first grid-scale battery storage project in the UK. 

If you want to know what that means, watch this video made two years ago when the testing was just about to start...

'Biggest battery' could cut energy bills

Leighton Buzzard has the power

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

After two years of testing, a giant battery housed in an average looking warehouse in Leighton Buzzard has been declared a success.

UK Power Networks designed the impressive 6MW/10MWh battery to store electricity when demand is low, then release it back into the grid at peak times.

It's the size of three tennis courts and can store enough electricity to power 6,000 homes for one and a half hours. 

Battery
BBC

UK Power Networks says it will continue to operate "the big battery" to "meet the continuing demands for electricity in the Bedfordshire town".

Baby and woman taken to hospital after fire

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Earlier we brought you a report about a woman and a baby who were treated at the scene of a fire in Bletchley this morning. 

South Central Ambulance Service has just confirmed it sent a specialist paramedic and an ambulance crew to the flat on Nevis Grove as they were suffering from smoke inhalation. 

They were then transferred to Milton Keynes Hospital. 

Berkhamsted-by-the-Sea?

BBC Weather Watchers

Stop and look carefully at the picture below.

At first glance you might think it's Berkhamsted-by-the-Sea, but it's actually the mist creating an optical illusion in the Hertfordshire town.

Berkhamsted
BBC

Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher "The Stranger" for the picture.

The cloud is set to stay this afternoon, but the winds will be light.

It will feel a little chilly, with a maximum temperature of 8C (46F). 

Europe presses ahead with Stevenage-built Mars rover

Jonathan Amos

Science correspondent, BBC News

Europe will push ahead with its plan to put a Stevenage-assembled robotic rover on the surface of Mars in 2021.

Research ministers meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland, have agreed to stump up the outstanding €400m euros (£337m) needed to take the project through to completion.

The mission is late and is costing far more than originally envisaged, prompting fears that European Space Agency member states might abandon it.

Artwork ExoMars
ESA

Homeless MK: People already on waiting list for new shelter service

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

Winter Night Shelter is the charity that's helping to give 15 homeless people a place to sleep in Milton Keynes, which will happen until mid-March. 

Homeless people turn up at The Buszy building in the new city every evening and they are taken to a location where they can sleep and get a three-course meal. 

It's a different place every night in church halls and churches across MK and surrounding towns. 

Homeless tent in Milton Keynes
Reuters

Douglas McCall is the coordinator and he told me it's "excellent" so many people were helped on the first night of the service, but as it already has a waiting list it hopes to get some people into "permanent accommodation" so "those waiting to get in can get in".  

Homeless MK: Homeless person robbed and attacked

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

Last night in Milton Keynes 15 homeless people were taken off the streets by the Winter Night Shelter and given a place to sleep at a local church.

Andy sadly wasn't one of them and is still on the streets where he's been homeless for six months now. 

The shocking news is he was robbed and attacked on Wednesday night. You can watch his story below. 

View more on twitter

Homeless MK: Night shelter opens

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

Last week I slept rough for a night on the streets of Milton Keynes to get a feel of what it's like to be homeless. 

It's because so far this year in the new city, three rough sleepers have lost their lives. 

During my reports I've been constantly told there is nowhere for people to go, which the council denies. 

But last night the Winter Night Shelter opened at The Buszy, which is run by volunteers, and I was there. 

View more on twitter

Woman and baby treated after fire

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A woman and a baby boy were given oxygen after a fire in a first-floor bathroom in a Bletchley flat this morning. 

Several crews attended the blaze in Nevis Grove. 

The first floor was 30% damaged by fire and the ground floor was 10% damaged by smoke, the fire service said.

Flat fire in Bletchley
Bucks and MK Fire

Severe disruption: A5183 Hertfordshire both ways

BBC Travel

A5183 Hertfordshire both ways severe disruption, between A414 and Park Street Lane.

A5183 Hertfordshire - A5183 Watling Street in St Albans closed in both directions between Park Street Roundabout and the Park Street Lane junction, because of a police incident. Police directing traffic.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Neilson's move to MK Dons a 'logical' one - Hearts director

Luke Ashmead

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Hearts director of football Craig Levein says the club is looking for a "young and energetic" coach to replace MK Dons-bound Robbie Neilson (pictured), after it accepted a compensation offer for him on Thursday night. 

He believes the move is "logical" as "he's always wanted to manage at the top level down in England", hoping it would lead to "getting a higher level club - he saw that as his pathway".

"I don't want to be disrespectful to MK Dons because they have a bigger stadium than us and they have the potential to be a good team. He goes with my best wishes," Levein added. 

Robbie Neilson
Getty Images

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, after J24 for A111.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane blocked on M25 clockwise after J24, A111 (Potters Bar), because of a broken down lorry.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Herts house fire: Praise for 'farmers' that helped

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A moment ago we mentioned praise had been given to three farmers who helped supply water to tackle a house blaze in Great Horemead.

A whole 100,000 litres (22,000 gallons) was used in fact... 

Nice work all.

View more on twitter

Herts house fire: 'Our thoughts go out to the family'

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

More photos have been released showing the extent of the damage to a house in Great Horemead, close to Buntingford. 

House fire
Sawbridgeworth Fire

Crews from Sawbridgeworth, Wheathampstead, Much Hadham and Hoddesdon attended. 

House fire
Sawbridgeworth Fire

Firefighters from Sawbridgeworth praised the crews involved and said "our thoughts go out to the owners".

House fire
Sawbridgeworth Fire

East Herts Rural Police gave a "massive thanks" to three farmers who helped them with the water supply. 

House fire
Sawbridgeworth Fire

Robbie Neilson expected at Stadium MK

Luke Ashmead

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Milton Keynes Dons says it has agreed terms with Hearts manager Robbie Neilson and his assistant Stevie Crawford to take up the vacant seats at the club.

Neilson and Crawford are expected at Stadium MK today to finalise personal terms. 

We believe caretaker manager Richie Barker will again be in charge of the team for tomorrow's FA Cup trip to Charlton, where Barker will be up against new Charlton and former Dons boss Karl Robinson. 

A further statement is expected later. 

View more on twitter

Nico Rosberg thanks Lewis Hamilton and says world title is 'unbelievable'

Yesterday we brought you this Lewis Hamilton tweet to world champion Nico Rosberg...

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Last night Nico Rosberg replied with this...

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Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes need him, so how do they manage Abu Dhabi fall out?

BBC Sport

The fall out at the end of the Formula 1 World Championship continues, with Brackley-based Mercedes wrestling with what to do about Lewis Hamilton's disobedience at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

From Mercedes' point of view, it all ended well - Stevenage's Hamilton won the race, Rosberg finished second to clinch the title, having navigated his way through what he described as an "intense" 90 minutes or so.  

Here the BBC's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson looks at what Mercedes might do with the Stevenage driver now, and how it affects them going into next season.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton
Getty Images

Woman critically injured after crash on A10

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A woman is in a critical condition in hospital after a crash on the A10 in Hertfordshire last night. 

Her silver BMW left the southbound carriageway and ended up in a field between the Hailey interchange and Hoddesdon just before 17:50.

Southbound stretch of the A10 near Hoddesdon.
Google
The car had been travelling on this southbound stretch of the A10.

The woman was the only person in the car at the time. 

Police are investigating and have appealed for any witnesses to contact them.

Karl Robinson, an FA Cup ball and Eastleigh's gnome

An early reunion and a boss with a second chance feature among BBC Sport's stories to watch in the FA Cup second round.

Read more

Man stabbed near Luton train station

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A man is being treated for stab wounds to the leg after an attack in Luton last night.

Police were called to the town's train station just after 18:30.

The man's injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Google photo of the front of Luton train station
Google

Train fares to rise by average of 2.3%

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

We don't like to start your day with bad news, but if you are off to get a train then I'm afraid fares in Britain will go up by an average of 2.3% from 2 January.

The increase in regulated fares, which includes season tickets, is capped at July's RPI inflation rate of 1.9%.

Train tickets
BBC

Unregulated fares, such as off-peak leisure tickets, can go up by as much as the train companies like.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said the industry was working to simplify fares and improve services.

House badly damaged by fire in Hertfordshire

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Fire crews have finally left the scene of a large house fire in the village of Great Hormead, near Buntingford.

View more on twitter

At its height, 10 pumps were used to tackle the blaze at the thatched property.

The fire started early yesterday afternoon and people were initially told to avoid the area. 

It was under control by 02:30 this morning.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Friday's weather: Gloomy with little in the way of sunshine

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Much milder, but unfortunately we've lost the sunshine, so it'll be gloomy with plenty of low cloud around and very little in the way of brightness.

Temperatures up to 9C (48F).

Winds are light and it should stay dry, although there may be a few spots of rain later in eastern coastal areas.

Watch my full forecast here...

Welcome back

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Good morning and thanks for joining us.

The weekend is nearly upon us and it's feeling tropical out there! 

Well, not quite, but it is milder than it's been so far this week so you shouldn't have to scrape the windscreen this morning. We'll bring you that all-important weather forecast soon.

Plus we'll have the usual news, sport and travel updates for the three counties between now and 18:00 this evening.

As ever, we'd like to hear any stories from you. Drop us a tweet or visit our Facebook page.