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  1. Updates on Friday, 5 May 2017
  2. Conservatives extend their control over Hertfordshire County Council following election
  3. Tories also maintain control of Buckinghamshire County Council
  4. Helicopter crash at Wycombe Air Park
  5. Three men have been hurt - two 'seriously', says ambulance service

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

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Michael Emons

BBC Sport

Leicester City guarantee their Premier League survival with a deserved home victory over struggling Watford.

Read more


Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Well, that's it for this week on BBC Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks. 

Our main stories of the day have been the local election results for Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, in which the Conservatives have added to their majorities. 

We have also reported on a helicopter crash close to High Wycombe that's left three men needing urgent medical treatment. 

You can of course read all the stories by scrolling through the page. 

We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday, so whatever you're doing this weekend we all hope it's a good one. 

Tories' vote share in East trumps national average

Deborah McGurran

BBC East political editor

These elections have seen UKIP wiped off the county council political map. Most surprisingly, they lost every single seat in Essex, an area that fostered their growth and of course, until recently boasted their only MP. In all they lost 48 seats across the east and now have no representation across its six counties.

The Conservatives appear to be the beneficiary. They have regained control of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk and strengthened their grip on Essex, Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire.

Labour held on in some of its heartland seats but suffered elsewhere, particularly in Stevenage and Harlow, where the Conservatives made gains.

Conservative candidate Dick Madden celebrates

It was a mixed picture for the Liberal Democrats who lost seats on Essex, Suffolk and Northamptonshire but they made some gains from the Conservatives in Norfolk.

The Green Party lost their stronghold in Norwich but made a gain in Suffolk where they now hold three county council  seats.

The vote share from yesterday's local elections confirms that across the east the Conservatives are once again the dominant party.

With all the votes counted, the Tories share of the vote ranged from 43% in Suffolk and Essex to a staggering 51% in Northamptonshire. The national average appears to be about 38%.

Labour saw a small surge in support in its traditional heartlands and its average share across the region was 13.7%. But that's way below the national average of 27% and shows how little support the party has in our region.

Wreckage of helicopter

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch is sending a team to the airfield to investigate the crash.

Read more

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J21 for M1 and J20 for A41.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane blocked and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J21 M1 and J20, A41 (Kings Langley), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Hertfordshire's share of Conservative vote higher than national average

In Hertfordshire, the Conservative party gained 133,577 votes in yesterday's local election - 46.05% of the vote.

It's higher than the national projected vote share for the Tories, which stands at 38%.

The projected national share figures are what the share of the vote would be if all parts of Britain had local elections and had voted in the same way as Thursday's English county council elections.  

Weather: Mild tonight, cloudy and cooler tomorrow

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

This evening it will be staying mostly fine with some areas of cloud at times. One or two spots of drizzle possible overnight, but staying mild.

Winds will be moderate, with lows of 7C (45F).

Weather map

It will be a rather cloudy start to the day tomorrow. Generally cloudier than today with some brighter spells, but feeling cooler.

Winds light to moderate and highs of 10C (50F) on the coast and 14C (57F) inland.

There's more at BBC Weather.

Helicopter crash: 'Hero' paramedic praised

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Investigations are now under way at the site of single squirrel helicopter crash at Wycombe Air Park, close to High Wycombe, this morning. 

Helicopter investigations

Three men are currently being treated in hospital and one man has life-threatening injuries.  

Praise has been given to the emergency services who attended, as well as an off-duty paramedic who was on the site at the time and has been called a "hero".

Helicopter crash

Andy Nunnen, a ground services manager at the airfield who praised the paramedic for helping out, described hearing the fire alarm that alerted staff to a crash. 

He said he then saw the helicopter on its side, with smoke coming out of its engine gear box area.

Helicopter crash

He said at first he felt "shock initially, but then the training kicks in and you've got to keep a calm head in that situation, and just make sure these people are OK". 

"The helicopter itself it just a piece of machinery - it's the people that are inside that we were concerned for," he said.

County council election: How the papers reported it

The big story of the day in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire has been the local election results that have been coming in overnight and this morning. 

Here's how the local papers have reported them. 

  • The Hertfordshire Mercury explains there were gains for the Conservaties and the Liberal Democrats at the expense of the Labour Party.
  • UKIP and Labour no longer represented at county council, is the focus for The Bucks Herald
  • While the Watford Observer features a leaflet row between councillors. 

County council elections: Not the time to be 'complacent', says Tory politician

Roberto Perrone

BBC Three Counties Radio

After taking an even larger majority on Buckinghamshire County Council, Conservative councillor Mark Shaw told me he's "delighted" with the Tory gains in the local elections. 

He said he's "grateful" as his majority in Chesham increased by "400%". 

He added that now was not the time to be complacent, as "what's really important as a party is that we don't go home tonight, put our feet up and ignore people over the next month - we have got to be out there campaigning and fighting for every vote [in the general election]".

Local count in Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire County Council

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, between J24 for A111 and J25 for A10.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane blocked and very slow traffic on M25 clockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of two broken down vehicles.

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

Bedford nightclub closed down after 'violent incidents'

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A Bedford nightclub has been closed down after having its licence revoked. 

Police called for a review after a number of violent incidents at Vibe on St Peters Street on 25 March. 

Its license was initially suspended in March, but was taken away at a full review hearing this week at Bedford Borough Hall. 

Vibe nightclub

County council election: Bucks over and out

Vandals damage free library... again!

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The wooden doors of Little Free Library in Bedford have been damaged by vandals.

The structure is housed by the Kiosk At The Park in Russell Park and lets anyone add a book or take one away for free. 

Little Free library damaged
Kiosk At The Park

It's already had the plastic taken out of its doors and some books taken out to start a fire close by.  

Emma Garrett, who runs the Kiosk, said: "It beggars belief, it's a lovely free community service and it's not doing any harm to anyone."

Kiosk At The Park

The good news is the local community has rallied around to help and it's now been taken away to be repaired. 

Children in front of the Little Free Library
Kiosk At The Park

Emma said: "Every cloud has a silver lining. The upside is we've been offered help, more books as well as offers to fix it. 

"We're now trying to come up with a foolproof solution to keep the library and not have to contend with people vandalising it."

County council election: Tories take big majority in Bucks

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

That's it. 

All the results are in for Buckinghamshire County Council. 

The make up of the council is as follows: 

  • 41 Conservatives 
  • 4 Liberal Democrats
  • 2 East Wycombe Independents
  • 1 Labour 
  • 1 Independent  

That means the Conservatives have increased their overall control by four. 

The Liberal Democrats gained two seats in Aylesbury but lost their leader, Avril Davies, in Ivinghoe. 

UKIP now have no seats at all after losing four.

Turnout was 34.8%.  

The Fellowship of the Ring

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The power of social media has come together to help reunite a lost signet ring with its owner.

Thomas Donnelly found the ring with the initials "RM" and "From Doreen 1956" in a taxi on Sunday night in Bedford.

Thomas Donnelly

He then shared a post on the internet, trying to locate Reg and Doreen.

It was seen by a friend of the couple, which resulted in Mr Donnelly being able to return the ring to the couple of 60 years (below).

Doreen and Reg
Thomas Donnelly

He said: "I was more than happy to bring the ring to them, just to see the looks on their faces. 

"They [Reg and Doreen] were both very emotional and touched about the generosity - it really made me feel good to help such a lovely couple. 

"The ring clearly meant a whole lot more than its material value to them."

It was Reg's signet ring and the "only ring he wears", Mr Donnelly told me. 

Cobblers bag MK Dons winger Powell

Northampton Town have announced the signing of MK Dons midfielder Daniel Powell on a two-year deal.

Powell, 26, made more than 250 appearances for the Dons - scoring 46 goals - and will officially join the Cobblers after his deal with MK expires on 30 June.

"I am delighted to welcome Daniel as our first signing this summer," said manager Justin Edinburgh.

Daniel Powell
Getty Images

"Despite only being in his mid-20s he has a wealth of experience in League One and the Championship and he provides qualities I feel we need more of in the squad."

"He offers pace and width," Edinburgh added. "He is direct and he is a threat to defenders. He is unpredictable, he is the sort of player who keeps supporters on the edge of their seats and I think he is a very good signing for us.

"We identified Daniel as one of our early targets and we are delighted to have secured this deal so early on."

BreakingCounty council elections: Tories maintain control of Bucks

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

The counts are still coming in for Buckinghamshire County Council, but it's now confirmed that the Tories have maintained their overall control. 

They currently have 27 seats - they had 36 before. 

They could still get a few more as 18 seats are to be declared. 

View more on twitter

County council elections: UKIP disappear in Bucks

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

So that's the confirmation we were waiting for - UKIP no longer hold any seats on Buckinghamshire County Council. 

We've already reported that three UKIP councillors in the Aylesbury ward lost their seats, but now Alan Stevens representing Great Missenden has gone. 

Peter Martin took the seat for the Conservatives. 

Where's Wycombe Air Park?

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Now for more on this morning's helicopter crash near High Wycombe.

This is where Wycombe Air Park is - in Booker, just to the south west of the town by the M40.


The crash happened at just after 09:00.  

Three men are being treated in hospital after the crash. 

County council elections: Three party leaders lose seats in Buckinghamshire

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

It’s now three party leaders in Buckinghamshire that have lost their seats in the 2017 local election.

We've learned that Lib Dem Leader Avril Davies has been defeated after 16 years in Ivinghoe.

Avril Davis

Labour group leader Robin Stuchbury has also lost in Buckingham West, with both of those seats now with the Tories.

Robin Stuchbury

Earlier, UKIP chief Andy Huxley lost his Aylesbury seat along with his other colleagues in the town.

County council election: Bad time for UKIP

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

In the 2013 elections UKIP and Aylesbury was one of the big stories, as they gained five seats in the town to become the official opposition party in Buckinghamshire.

Four years later, the remaining three UKIP councillors have lost their seats.

Leader Andy Huxley and Chris and Brian Adams have been defeated - plus Phil Gomm who went Independent in 2015 but stood again for UKIP this time.

Paul Irwin, who also crossed the floor from UKIP in 2015, has retained his seat in Stone and Waddesdon for the Conservatives.

BreakingCounty council election: Hertfordshire declared

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

All the results are now in for Hertfordshire County Council and the Conservatives have continued to extend their control.

Of the 78 seats contested, the Conservatives have taken 51, which represents 45.9% of the vote. It's five more than the 46 seats they won in 2013 when 77 seats were contested.

The Liberal Democrats have taken 18 seats, two more than the 16 they won in 2013, and Labour have nine, six fewer than the last vote. The turnout was 34.1%.

As expected, we've not seen a seismic change.

The Lib Dems have made progress gaining an extra two seats in the county, including taking St Albans North from Labour. They still have five seats in St Albans - although they lost St Stephen's ward to the Conservatives.

Labour have lost six seats, including their leader on the county council, Leon Reefe, plus three seats in Stevenage.

Helicopter crash: Photos of the scene

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Two photos of this morning's helicopter crash at Wycombe Air Park have been released by South Central Ambulance Service. 

Three men have been injured - one has life-threatening injuries, one serious injuries and another with back injuries. 

Helicopter crash
South Central Ambulance Service
Helicopter crash
South Central Ambulance Service
Helicopter crash
South Central Ambulance Service

An investigation into what happened has begun.

Helicopter crash: Off-duty paramedic helps at scene

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

An off-duty paramedic has helped at the scene of the helicopter crash at Wycombe Air Park this morning. 

Andy Battye, from South Central Ambulance Service, said: "I would like to thank all our colleagues in the emergency services who supported the response to this helicopter crash. 

"Thames Valley Police, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service and the airport's fire service, as well as an off-duty paramedic who was at the airport waiting for his own flying lesson, and helped provide initial support and treatment to the most seriously injured patient before the SCAS [ambulance] crews arrived.

Wycombe Air Park

"This was an excellent example of how the emergency services work so effectively together and the thoughts of us all are with the patients and their families. We wish them a full and speedy recovery."  

Helicopter crash: AAIB investigating

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has confirmed it is sending a team to investigate this morning's helicopter crash at Wycombe Air Park, which has left three men hurt - two seriously. 

View more on twitter

Helicopter crash: Three hurt, two 'seriously', say ambulance service

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

We've just been told that one man has life-threatening injuries after a helicopter crash at Wycombe Air Park, close to High Wycombe, this morning. 

South Central Ambulance Service was called at 09:39 and sent three ambulances, two rapid response vehicles and the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. 

It said the helicopter came to rest on its side and the occupants of the helicopter, all men, were out. 

Two of the men were taken to John Radcliffe Hospital by ambulance - one with life-threatening injuries. 

The other man sustained serious leg, chest, abdominal, head and shoulder injuries.  

The third patient sustained less serious back injuries and was taken to Wexham Park Hospital.

UKIP group leader loses seat in Bucks

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

The results of the Buckinghamshire County Council election are now coming in. 

The big news to start off with is the leader of the UKIP group on the council, Andy Huxley, has lost his seat in Aylesbury North West to Martin Farrow of the Lib Dems. 

View more on twitter

Helicopter crash: 'Three people on board'

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

Thames Valley Police have just confirmed that three people were on board a helicopter that crashed at Wycombe Air Park at 09:42 this morning.

It said the ambulance service had been called. 

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has also been informed. 

Three fire engines have been sent from Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. 

BreakingEmergency services dealing with 'helicopter incident' in Bucks

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

Emergency services have been called to Wycombe Air Park at Booker in Buckinghamshire following an incident involving a helicopter. 

Police and fire crews were called to the airfield on Clay Lane just after 09:30.

We'll bring you more as soon as we have it. 

Severe disruption: M25 Greater London clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London clockwise severe disruption, at J25 for A10.

M25 Greater London - M25 lane closed on exit slip road and heavy traffic clockwise at J25, A10 (Enfield), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Petition set up to save the Wick

A petition has been set up to stop ancient trees being cut down on a patch of ancient woodland in St Albans, known as the Wick.

It's calling for a halt to "countryside management", which will cut down mature trees to widen some of the paths.

The Wick

In 1929 the land was transferred into the ownership of St Albans City and District Council by Sir Arthur Copson Peake "to keep the land in its wild state, as nature made it". It is designated as a Local Wildlife Site as well as, since 1995, a Local Nature Reserve.

The council has produced a draft Greenspace Action Plan (GAP) that will guide the management of the site over the next five years.

Wendy Brook, who set up the petition, said: "This beautiful, natural woodland has re-generated perfectly well for 400 years without any management.

"This will ruin the Wick forever.

"[It] was left as a legacy 'to the people of St Albans to be left in its natural state'... Let's not betray this legacy."

St Albans City and District Council said the plan was in the "consultation" stage and it would "welcome all comment and take on board all feedback".

The consultation runs until 14 May. 

Leader of Labour group on Hertfordshire County Council loses seat

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

The leader of the Labour group on Hertfordshire County Council, Leon Reefe, has lost his seat to the Conservative Susan Brown. 

He'd held the Borehamwood North division since 2013.  

It has not been a good night nationally for Labour, with the party losing control of two councils. 

Leon Reefe was rather unhappy with the news, and said in a tweet: "Yes, I have been one of the losses."

Lib Dems claim pro-Euro stance helped them keep five St Albans seats

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

As we told you earlier, the Lib Dems still have five local government seats in St Albans, with the party claiming it reflects their pro-European stance in the city which voted against Brexit.

Sandy Walkington, re-elected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for St Albans South, said the party's positive attitude to Europe had been well-received in the city.

"Anne Main [the sitting Conservative MP] should be trembling in St Albans for her parliamentary seat on the back of these results, given it's so close to the General Election," he said.

"If you read the social media in St Albans, that really is showing that people have been touched and interested by the fact that we are the party that is saying, 'hang on, we don't have to go down the road to hard Brexit'."

On her website, Ms Main says she "loves serving the people of St Albans", adding "our country needs a strong and stable leader [Theresa May] and only the Conservatives can provide that".

Counting begins again for Hertfordshire

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

We're currently waiting for the results of 12 seats in the Hertfordshire County Council election.

The good news is counting has now started for the remaining districts of Watford and Three Rivers. 

We'll bring you the results as soon as we have them. 

Lib Dems keep five seats in St Albans

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

In Hertfordshire, as expected, we've not seen a seismic change overnight as the results of the county council election have come in.

Herts is very Tory, and in fact their position has actually been strengthened.

Already the Conservatives have more seats than in 2013, even if you take into account that this time there are 78 councillors up for election - one more than in 2013 - thanks to boundary changes.

Last time they had 46 seats - their running total is 48 - and with Three Rivers being quite strong for them, you'd expect that figure to rise when we get the results from there and in Watford around lunchtime. 

The Lib Dems still have five seats in St Albans - although they lost St Stephens ward to the Conservatives and won St Albans North from Labour, with reports saying that the party has claimed it reflects their pro-European stance in the city which voted against Brexit.

The countdown begins in Bucks

Andy Holmes

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

The counting has now started at Buckinghamshire County Council. 

The ballot boxes are now in place. 

View more on twitter

In all, 49 seats are being contested and we will bring you the results as they come in. 

View more on twitter

Herts County Council: Labour lose seats in Stevenage

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

As the Conservatives extended their control over Herfordshire County Council, one of the places where Labour lost seats was in Stevenage, where they lost three out of the five they held.

The Stevenage count

Labour's Sharon Taylor, who held her county council seat and is standing in the general election there, blamed the former UKIP vote going to the Tories.

"UKIP didn't put candidates up in many of our county seats, they did at the last round," she said.

"And the UKIP vote has clearly gone mostly to the Conservatives so I think that's what's happened to our vote here in Stevenage."

Sitting Conservative MP Stephen McPartland, who will defend his Stevenage seat at the general election, said: "It's a fantastic result, the main thing for us is that we actually took three seats from Labour and we also won a by-election... so we took over half the seats and the Conservative party also took the most number of votes across the town of Stevenage tonight.

"There's been a very, very warm reception from voters on the doorstep and we've been rewarded tonight."

So far across the county, Labour currently have six seats out of the 66. In 2013 they had 15 overall.