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  1. Updates on Thursday, 21 July 2016
  2. Officers hurt and man arrested in police chase crash on A1(M)
  3. Consultants axed over failed multimillion-pound NHS contracts
  4. Newly-released files show MI5 monitored protesters outside RAF Molesworth in 1980s
  5. Homes could be built on part of Ely car park

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

David Keller

BBC News

Thanks for joining us for today's Cambridgeshire Live. We'll be back at 08:00 tomorrow with the county's latest news, sport, weather and travel.

Today we covered the aftermath of a big crash on the A1(M) yesterday, where a police chase caused a pile-up.

We've also brought you news that a team of NHS consultants linked to failed multimillion-pound deals in Cambridgeshire have been axed, and covered the funeral of an inspirational runner who raised thousands of pounds for charity. 

Scroll below to take a read. See you again soon.

Fire service to get new HQ at St John's Wood in Huntingdon

Katy Prickett

BBC News

Cambridgeshire Fire Service will push ahead with plans to build a new HQ at St John's Wood in Huntingdon, despite a last minute offer to build it on land at Cambridgeshire Police's headquarters.

The offer from Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite was made at a Fire Authority meeting.

But the chairman of the committee, Lucy Nethsinga, said the authority was "not presented with sufficient information to make an informed decision about his suggestions".

The authority will sign the contract to purchase the St John's Wood site in September.

Overnight weather: Staying dry with clear spells

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

It will be a mostly fine end to the day, with sunny spells. Turning a little cloudy in places with the small chance of an isolated shower. 

Most places staying dry overnight with clear spells, and lows of 16C (61F).

Friday's weather map

Tomorrow will start dry with sunny spells, with cloud building during the day. Mainly dry, with a top temperature of 24C (75F).

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

Travel: Secret Garden Party causing huge tailbacks

David Keller

BBC News

If you don't need to be on the roads within 15 miles of Huntingdon tonight, stay away...

Secret Garden Party queues are causing long tailbacks on the A14, A1198 and the A428 - made even worse now it's rush hour.

For the latest, head to BBC Travel.

Spurs boss hails 'remarkable spirit and resolution' of Shaun Whiter

Tottenham Hotpsur's manager Mauricio Pochettino wrote to Shaun Whiter to say he was "extremely sorry" to hear about the crash which led to him having his legs amputated.

Shaun Whiter

"Your determination and strength is an inspiration to others," the Spurs boss wrote.

Mr Whiter, a keen all-round sportsman, has expressed his determination to take part in the Paralympics in the future.

He is also due to marry his fiancée Charlotte Way next July and has vowed to "walk down the aisle".

Mr Pochettino continued: "There is no doubt that with your remarkable spirit and resolution, you will be walking down the aisle."

Spurs tribute to amputee footballer

The manager of Tottenham Hotspur has described a 27-year-old footballer who had to have his legs amputated following a car crash as "an inspiration".   

Mauricio Pochettino and Shaun Whiter
Getty Images/David Lee

Shaun Whiter, 27, who was training for Newmarket Town, was helping his friend Joey Abbs, a Soham Town Rangers player, change a flat tyre in Newmarket on 1 July when the crash occurred.

The Spurs fan received a letter from Mauricio Pochettino praising his "incredible courage".

Mr Whiter is still in hospital undergoing further procedures.

Peterborough have 'sell on' clause in Beautyman transfer says Posh owner

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

The owner of Peterborough United, Darragh MacAnthony, has taken to Twitter about the sale of Harry Beautyman to Northampton Town.

The 24-year-old midfielder signed a two-year deal with The Cobblers for an undisclosed fee, but MacAnthony has indicated it is more than they paid Welling for him in 2014 and that, should he be sold on from the Cobblers, Peterborough would get a cut.

View more on twitter

Littleport man's US child sex assaults trial pushed back

Helen Burchell

BBC News

The US trial of a man from Littleport accused of child sex offences has been put back until November.

Palm Springs sign

Paul Charles Wilkins, 70, was caught trying to pay US undercover officers for sex with a boy, but denies a series of sexual assault charges.

He travelled to California in January to "engage in illicit sexual conduct" with boys aged 10 and 12, US officials claim. The trial was due to start on 19 July, but has been pushed back to 15 November. 

Watch: 'Inspirational' Cambridgeshire mother gets the county on their feet

Jonathan Park

BBC Look East sport

After Rebecca Griffiths found out she had cancer, she was determined not to let it get the better of her.

She wanted to spread the message about how fitness can help recovery, so she started her own running club called Team Bex. 

I was lucky enough to meet and interview her last year, and here's her Get Inspired video.

Running together to fight cancer

Funeral takes place of Cambridgeshire mother who raised thousands of pounds for charity

James Burridge

BBC Look East

The funeral has taken place of the inspirational Cambridgeshire mother-of-two who died after battling cancer for nearly two years. 

Rebecca Griffiths, 35, was diagnosed in 2014 with cancer of the bowel and liver and was told she had weeks or months to live. 

She then set up a fundraising group called Team Bex to raise thousands of pounds for the Hunts Community Cancer Network. 

About 500 people attended the service at Cambridge Crematorium today. 

Funeral of Rebecca Griffiths
Funeral of Rebecca Griffiths

Beautyman 'creates things and makes things happen' says Cobblers' boss Page

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

Northampton Town manager Rob Page said new signing Harry Beautyman from Peterborough "is a very good addition".

HArry Beaumont
Getty Images

Page continued: "He is a lively character and a player who has a decent amount of experience in League One. He is also a good age [24], who will get better and better, and I think we are signing him at a good time.

"He is a box-to-box midfielder who creates things, makes things happen and can score a goal or two so he will add to our attacking options."

Harry Beautyman

Northampton Town sign midfielder Harry Beautyman from fellow League One side Peterborough United for an undisclosed fee.

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Shhhh... Secret Garden Party gets under way in Cambridgeshire

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Today is the first day of the Secret Garden Party in Abbots Ripton, with the event officially kicking off tomorrow.

Acts playing over the weekend include Caribou, Air and DJ Shadow.

Thousands of people have already arrived, with some traffic hold-ups being caused along the A1198 and B1090. 

Tonight, Tom Simkins will be on the Living Room stage hosting the BBC Introducing takeover from 18:00.

Setting up at Secret Garden Party
Setting up at Secret Garden Party

Move to merge Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough hospitals edges closer

Mousumi Bakshi

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

The NHS trusts running Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough and Stamford hospitals have signed a memorandum of understanding to work on a "full business case" for a potential merger. 

The boards of both trusts have recommended integration from April 2017. 

The full case will be presented to the boards in September. Public meetings are being held at both hospitals on 28 July. 

City Hospital, Peterborough
Michael Trolove/Geograph

Proposed changes to Virgin trains puts 'customers at heart of all operations'

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

In response to claims jobs could go at Peterborough Railway Station if Virgin Trains East Coast cuts its travel centres, the company has released a statement.

Virgin train
Getty Images

We have big plans for the East Coast franchise with £140m of investment aimed squarely at making the customer experience the best it can be. Proposed changes at our travel centre are part of those plans which put the customer at the heart of all our operations. Where any changes affect our travel centre colleagues, we will be consulting fully with them and the TSSA in due course."

Virgin TrainsSpokesman

Cuts to Virgin Trains East Coast line could lead to Peterborough job losses

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A union claims that cuts by Virgin Trains East Coast could lead to job losses affecting several stations, including Peterborough. 

The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association says the operator plans to cut its travel centre staff by 15%, leading to the loss of 31 travel centre jobs and 15 station staff. 

A Virgin train

The TSSA claims a memo to staff shows travel centres will be replaced by open plan "customer zones", where staff will advise and help passengers buy tickets through machines.   

Strategic Projects Team 'associated with worst attempts at privatisation', says union

Craig Lewis

BBC News

Unison has welcomed NHS England's decision to scrap a team of consultants which was involved in the failed Hinchingbrooke and UnitingCare contracts.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital

The union's head of health, Christina McAnea, said the Strategic Projects Team (STP) "has been associated with many of the worst attempts at privatisation of the NHS in recent years.

"Failures, such as those in Cambridgeshire and at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, were nothing short of disasters, and seriously affected the quality of patient care available."

Earlier, the SPT's managing director, Andrew MacPherson, said the team intends to make sure existing commitments are "fully discharged to completion" and its expertise is properly redistributed.

Plans to build homes on Ely car park 'stink like five-day-old fish'

Plans for new homes to be built on part of the Barton Road car park in Ely have been heavily criticised by a local resident. 

Six houses and five flats are planned for the site, but the proposal has been described as "stinking like five-day-old fish" by Charles Deveraux, who lives close to the site. 

He says the process has been rushed and he's worried that valuable car park spaces will be lost. 

Barton Road car park plans
East Cambridgeshire District Council

Bill Hunt, from East Cambridgeshire District Council, says local people will benefit as it's planning on building affordable homes and the profit from the sale will go back into "the public purse".

Homes could be built on part of Ely car park

Tom Horn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Part of a car park in Ely could soon be built on if plans by East Cambridgeshire District Council get the go-ahead.

It's hoping to build six town houses and five apartments on the land on the edge of Barton Road, which it says will raise £1.75m. 

The authority says only six car park spaces will be lost and the existing coach part on the site will be moved to Lancaster Way Business Park, and, eventually, the new Ely Leisure Complex. 

Artists impression of new development
East Cambridgeshire District Council

Plans are on show at Ely Library today, tomorrow and Saturday. 

Weather: Mainly dry afternoon

BBC Weather

It will be largely dry this afternoon with plenty of warm sunny spells and just an outside chance of a shower later. 

While temperatures won't be as high as the last few days, it will still be warm. 


Maximum temperature: 25C (77F).

Files on nuclear disarmament protest at RAF Molesworth published

David Webster

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Writing in February 1985, senior MI5 officer JL Jones said the camps - known as the Rainbow Fields Village and the People's Peace Camp - were made up of "floating groups of Quakers and peace and ecology campaigners".  

"Although individual members of subversive organisations have from time-to-time been involved with both camps, neither owes its foundation or its continued existence to the support of any subversive group," he wrote. 

Police on duty at RAF Molesworth during CND demonstration April 1985
Getty Images

But despite that reassurance, Mr Jones warned Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament members linked to an organisation known as Action 84 were pressing for the protests at Molesworth to be stepped up.  

Newly-released files show MI5 monitored protesters outside RAF Molesworth

David Webster

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

It's emerged that peace protesters who demonstrated against US nuclear missiles being stationed at RAF Molesworth in the 1980s were kept under close watch by MI5. 

Files just released from the National Archives indicate peace camps set up around the base near Catworth were monitored by the security service for evidence of infiltration by "subversive organisations". 

Aerial view of RAF Molesworth

They include a letter from a senior MI5 officer, JL Jones, to Number 10 after Downing Street raised concerns about the activities of protesters there. 

The Downing Street intervention was prompted by a warning from John Major, then MP for Huntingdon. He said the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was trying to buy a property to use as a base for its activities in the area. 

Mr Jones said MI5 had no knowledge of such a plan but said the protesters had built a "crude structure" at the site which they used as a chapel.

Peterborough MP to step down from Public Accounts Committee

Mousumi Bakshi

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

After four years in the job, Stewart Jackson, the Conservative MP for Peterborough, is stepping down from his role on the Public Accounts Committee. 

As reported yesterday, he'll now concentrate on his new position as Personal Private Secretary to David Davis, who's the new "Brexit" Minister. 

View more on twitter

Traffic builds up as people arrive for Secret Garden Party

The traffic is building up on the B1090 in Abbots Ripton around the Hall Lane junction, because of Secret Garden Party festival which is on today until Sunday.

View more on twitter

Three officers hurt in A1(M) police chase crash

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Cambridgeshire police has told me three officers were hurt in yesterday's police chase crash on the A1(M) near Peterborough, in which a man was arrested.

Julian P Guffogg / Geograph

One female officer is currently being treated at Peterborough City Hospital with "serious, but not life-threatening injuries", according to a spokesman.  

It's also informed the police watchdog (IPCC) and its own Professional Standards Department about the incident. 

The investigation is currently in the hands of its own road policing team. Parts of the motorway were shut for seven hours yesterday evening, but the road is back open today.

Three people taken to hospital after police chase crash on A1(M)

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

We've just been told by the East of England Ambulance Service that three ambulance crews, an ambulance officer and the Magpas air ambulance were sent to yesterday's crash between two police cars and three other vehicles on the A1(M) close to Peterborough Services. 

They says six patients were assessed at the scene and three were taken to Peterborough City Hospital with neck and back pains.

Their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening or serious.

Boss of scrapped NHS consultants says they're 'proud of their work'

A spokesman for NHS England says: "In the light of recent NAO and NHS England investigations we have real concerns about the work of the Strategic Projects Team, which as a result is going to be closed down as an offshoot of the Arden and GEM CSU."

In response, the SPT's managing director Andrew MacPherson says the unit was a "small, passionate, not-for-profit NHS team and proud of our work" and the unit has been "seeking an alternative host" since September.

NHS logo

He says the end of the UnitingCare contract had created "some anxiety", with the SPT "concerned we were becoming the story".

He adds the team intends to make sure existing commitments are "fully discharged to completion" and its expertise is properly redistributed. 

'Good riddance' to NHS consultants, says Labour peer

Tom Barton

BBC Look East political reporter

"Good riddance to them, I'm delighted they're gone."

Those are the words of Lord Phillip Hunt - a Labour peer who's responded to news today that a team of NHS consultants has been axed after being involved in failed health contracts.

He says they were an "unaccountable" team that was responsible for a "lot of the problems" across the country, not just in Cambridgeshire but in places like Nuneaton and Staffordshire.

Lord Phillip Hunt

We'll bring you the consultants' full response next.

What happened to SPT's other major projects?

Tom Barton

BBC Look East political reporter

So what happened with the UnitingCare contract in Cambridgeshire to outsource older people's care? 

What they say: The SPT was one of a number of suppliers supporting the "innovative" project - a tender worth up to £800m over five years. Following the collapse of the scheme, the SPT said it had completed a "successful association" with UnitingCare, adding "while there may inevitably be some learning from a future inquiry... we remain proud of the contribution we made to yet another groundbreaking piece of work".

What happened: The contract collapsed after just eight months after UnitingCare said it was not "financially sustainable".

Hand on a walking stick

And the Pathology Partnership?

What they say: The SPT became involved in the East of England pathology network in 2010 to "prepare the ground for change".

What happened: Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust "intends to withdraw" from the partnership over the next 12 months.

What happened at Hinchingbrooke Hospital?

Tom Barton

BBC Look East political reporter

What happened to one of the Strategic Projects Team's major projects at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon?

What the SPT says: Hinchingbrooke was "the first ever franchise of an NHS Hospital" and the SPT's "dedicated communications team provided in-depth support".

What happened: Circle withdrew from the project three years into a 10 year contract, saying the franchise was "no longer viable". The decision came after the Care Quality Commission placed the hospital in special measures.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital
Andy Parrett/Geograph

Analysis: Strategic Projects Team - what went wrong?

Tom Barton

BBC Look East political reporter

The Strategic Projects Team was at the heart of negotiating a number of flagship NHS contracts. The appointment of private provider Circle Health to run Hinchingbrooke Hospital is the most famous - while the £800m UnitingCare contract to deliver healthcare for older people in Cambridgeshire was the biggest. Both of these fell apart - and a number of other projects collapsed or were abandoned at various stages.

On their website, the SPT says it "supports projects which are often complex, hugely challenging and require a relentless work ethic".

Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon

So have some of the projects have been too complex and challenging - or has the support not been good enough? NHS England are clear that they have "real concerns" about the work done.

The other big question is whether the demise of the SPT suggests the NHS in England is losing enthusiasm for big outsourcing projects like Hinchingbrooke and UnitingCare.

I'm told no ministers were involved in the decision to close the unit - so there hasn't been a change in government policy. But given the involvement of the SPT in so many of the biggest contracts - who inside the NHS now has the experience to carry on their work in the future?

Team of NHS consultants linked to two failed Cambridgeshire outsourcing projects to be scrapped

Tom Barton

BBC Look East political reporter

An "award winning" team of consultants linked to a series of failed multimillion-pound NHS deals, including two in Cambridgeshire, is to be scrapped.

The Strategic Projects Team (SPT), which boasts of delivering "over £6bn of major projects", worked on huge contracts like the Hinchingbrooke Hospital franchise - the first deal of its kind - and the five-year £800m UnitingCare contract for older people's service in Cambridgeshire

Still from Strategic Projects Team video about the Friends and Family Test
Strategic Projects Team/YouTube

NHS England has now raised "real concerns" about its work, saying the unit will be "closed down".

The SPT's managing director, Andrew MacPherson, said the team intends to make sure existing commitments are "fully discharged to completion" and its expertise is properly redistributed.

Arrest as five vehicles crash during police chase on A1(M)

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

No doubt many of you were stuck on the A1(M) near Peterborough yesterday afternoon after a serious crash.

Well, this morning we can tell you a 22-year-old man has been arrested after a police chase ended in a five-vehicle crash near Peterborough Services. 

Cambridgeshire Police say two police cars were chasing a stolen vehicle when the crash happened at about 16:30. 

It meant the road was closed for seven hours northbound and four hours southbound.

Barrier repair work was completed by 04:00 and the road is now completely re-opened. No-one was seriously hurt.

Weather: Less hot, but still sunny

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Today will be another dry day with plenty of warm sunny spells for all places. 

Temperatures should not reach recent highs, but should still comfortably reach the mid-twenties Celsius. 

Maximum temperature: 25C (77F). 

Good morning

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Welcome again to the Local Live news service for Cambridgeshire. 

The main stories we'll be looking at this morning include an update on the A1(M) incident yesterday, where parts of the road were closed for a number of hours near Peterborough Services.

And we'll take a look how a team of NHS consultants, linked to two failed outsourcing projects in Cambridgeshire, is to be scrapped.

But first up, let's check today's weather...