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  1. Updates for Friday, 25 November 2016
  2. Black Friday bonanza sweeps across Cambridgeshire
  3. Ely traders speak out against discount day tradition
  4. Pubs are 'dying trade' says owner of latest to close its doors
  5. Bill to give council more say on bus services

Live Reporting

By Adam Jinkerson

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's it for this week

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Thanks for joining us today and across this week.

We'll be back from 08:00 Monday.

Keep and eye on this page over the weekend for breaking news and post-game analysis of the local football.

If you managed to grab yourself a bargain on Black Friday, well done!

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the journey your Amazon parcel makes to get from Peterborough to your door...

View more on facebook

Have a great weekend.

Paralympic hero returns to former school

Jonathan Park

BBC Look East sport

Rio silver medallist Lauren Steadman returned to her former school in Cambridgeshire to discuss her time at the Paralympics with current pupils. 

Rio silver medallist Lauren Steadman returns to her former school.

Steadman was pipped to PT4 triathlon gold at the summer games after taking a wrong turn in the swimming stage. 

She told me she was impressed with the pupils' enthusiasm at Great Gidding Primary School, near Huntingdon.  

Weather: Becoming cloudy with mist and fog

Chris Bell

BBC Look East weather

A dry evening and night, with long clear spells across the BBC East region.

Becoming increasingly cloudy, with mist and fog patches forming, becoming quite thick in places.

Temperatures falling to 0-2C (32F-35F).

Weather graphic for Saturday 14:00

After a chilly and foggy start, Saturday will be dry with sunny spells, but becoming cloudy later.

Temperatures will reach 10C (50F).

You can find more details on BBC Weather.

New junction is 'unsafe'

Sara Varey

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Earlier this week we brought you news of one junction that was causing confusion. Now residents in Petersfield say the "inappropriate" design of a new road junction near Cambridge railway station is putting people's lives at risk.

The three-way shared-use layout where Tenison Road meets the new Great Northern Road is supposed to slow traffic.

But the residents' association says pedestrians and cyclists are in real danger. 

View more on facebook

Severe accident: A428 Cambridgeshire eastbound

BBC Travel

A428 Cambridgeshire eastbound severe accident, between A1198 Ermine Street South and St Neots Road.

A428 Cambridgeshire - One lane blocked on A428 Cambridge Road eastbound in Caxton Gibbet between the A1198 Ermine Street South junction and Hardwick Junction, because of a multi-vehicle accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Beautiful Cambridgeshire

BBC Weather Watchers

It may be a bit chilly outside, but it's been a glorious day across Cambridgeshire so far.

And what better way to celebrate that fact, with some of the best pictures sent in by BBC Weather Watchers...

St Neots

Bill to give council more say on bus services

Hannah Olsson

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire political reporter

Figures from Cambridgeshire County Council reveal that bus subsidies have been slashed by a third since 2010. That's £750,000 in six years.

Cambridge buses
Keith Edkins/Geograph

The Bus Bill, currently going through parliament, aims to give local councils more of a say in bus services – allowing collaboration with private companies and franchising opportunities.  

However, some of the new powers would only be granted to councils with elected mayors - something that Cambridgeshire is getting next year.

Lianna Etkind from the Campaign for Better Transport, who was against that proviso, says: "Everyone should be able to depend on a regular, frequent and affordable bus service, regardless of having an elected mayor or not."

You can see more on this story on BBC Sunday Politics East, on Sunday at 11:00 on BBC One.

Pubs are 'dying trade' says owner of latest to close its doors

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

The landlady of the Cherry Tree Pub in Peterborough says she was forced to close because it was no longer financially viable.

The venue on Oundle Road, known for its live music, closed its doors last night for the final time.

Landlady Janet Goldswain said "unfortunately, it's an expensive venture".

"People just aren't coming out as much. Whether it's because supermarkets sell alcohol cheaper or people just want to stay in and watch TV, it's a dying trade and it's a shame," Ms Goldswain told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Exterior of the Cherry Tree in Peterborough
Paul Bryan/Geograph

"I tried my hardest and gave it everything I could. But it's not enough to keep it going on hopes and dreams.  

"I love this place. I love the people that come here. I love the live music. I love doing what I've been doing for the past few years. I'm going to miss it."

Punters across the city have flocked to the venue's Facebook page to say their final goodbyes ...

View more on facebook

Lunchtime weather: Sunny but cold

BBC Weather

It's been a pretty nice day out the windows of our Cambridge office this morning. Here's what the afternoon has in store...

Dry with some good spells of sunshine across the region, although tending to become more cloudy by the evening.

Brisk northeast winds, which will be strong at times. Highs of 9C (48F).

Weather forecast

Ely traders speak out against Black Friday

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Two independent traders in Ely say they won't be buying into Black Friday.

The tradition, which stems from the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, sees huge discounts in stores and online.

Andrew Olley (pictured) from independent High Street shop City Cycle Centre says "people don't always get what they expect on Black Friday", adding that customer service is paramount.

Andrew Olley

"Nothing beats handling the goods in person," he said.

Also on the High Street is Topping and Company booksellers. Manager Stuart Hovis says customers "come to us for a very different reason".

"When they think of us, they don't think Black Friday.

"I think being such a small market town, I think the effect might be less than big cities."

Amazon worker safety 'top priority'

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

We've spent the morning at the Amazon distribution centre in Peterborough to look at the rise of the Black Friday trend across the UK.

Last Black Friday, Amazon sold 7.4m items - that's 86 every second.

Amazon has been accused on a number of occasions of overworking its warehouse staff and drivers just to keep up with demand.

Amazon warehouse in Peterborough

However, Paul Firth, head of Digital Music UK at the site, insists worker safety is a top priority.

"We're committed to ensuring that everyone who works for us is fairly compensated, treated with respect, follows all applicable laws and carries out their job safely.

"Whilst the sites are very busy, they're organised."

Mr Firth says Amazon in Peterborough has "added more break-out areas for staff to take time out with free hot drinks. There's also computer games and a pool table for them to use".

'You do have to be fit to work here'

Tom Horn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

I've spent the morning at Amazon's warehouse in Peterborough for Black Friday - the yearly tradition where retailers drop their prices for a day.

But what is it like to be a member of staff who has to pick your items ready to be delivered to your door?

Donna Alexander works in the warehouse. She says you "do have to be fit to work here".

"I dropped two dress sizes when I started working. But it's good for your health."

Donna Alexander

"This Christmas is one of the busiest Christmases there's been and this is one of our busiest days of the year."

General manager, Lee Shepherd, told me there will be 1,000 members of staff on site today until midnight.

Black Friday: Some Amazon statistics

Tom Horn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Just to put the enormity of Black Friday into perspective, here's a few stats from the Amazon distribution centre in Peterborough where I've been spending the morning...

  • There's 2,500 staff working in the warehouse at any one time today.
  • Last Black Friday, Amazon sold 86 items per second.
  • That's a grand total of 7.4m items.
  • Items are randomly placed around to help pickers select the correct one and not mistake with similar products.
  • Peterborough's warehouse is the size of 10 football pitches.
  • About 15 different nationalities work in the warehouse, including people from Poland, Lithuania, France, Russia and Portugal.
  • The scanner below can weigh a package and label it with detailed delivery instructions within a second.
Scanner in Amazon warehouse

What happens to your parcel on Black Friday?

Tom Horn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

It's already been a very busy morning at the Amazon distribution centre in Peterborough, as Black Friday gets under way.

If you fancy seeing what happens to your parcel behind the scenes, here's the manager of the warehouse, Lee Shepherd, with a quick explainer...

View more on facebook

Black Friday fever begins

Tom Horn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

I'm behind the scenes at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Peterborough today as Black Friday, the day where shops across the UK offer products at a discounted rate, gets under way.

About 2,500 staff work at this Peterborough warehouse at any one time - today being one of the busiest days of the year. 

Amazon warehouse

We've just had a shift change before it gets very busy. Last Black Friday they sold 86 items per second!

Amazon warehouse

I'll be here all morning to see how the warehouse operates under the pressure of Black Friday, with an insight into the processes and challenges the business faces.

Black Friday weather: Dry and sunny with a brisk wind

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It's a cooler start to what's going to be a bright and breezy day today. 

There'll be a lot more in the way of sunshine, but we've still got that chilly and quite blustery north-easterly wind.

You'll feel that particularly towards coastal areas, where you'll have to factor in quite a bit of wind chill into today's temperatures, despite the sunshine.

Highs of 9C (48F).

Watch my full regional forecast here:

For a more detailed forecast where you are, visit BBC Weather.

Welcome back to Cambridgeshire Live

Good morning and happy Black Friday to you.

Join us until 18:00 this evening for live coverage of stories happening where you live.

It's a nice start here in Cambridgeshire, full forecast to follow. 


Severe disruption: A1(M) Cambridgeshire northbound

BBC Travel

A1(M) Cambridgeshire northbound severe disruption, between J15 for B1043 Old North Road and J16 for A15 London Road.

A1(M) Cambridgeshire - One lane closed on A1(M) northbound between J15, B1043 (Sawtry) and J16, A15 (Norman Cross), because of a broken down abnormal load vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Our live coverage across the day

That's all from the Cambridgeshire live team for today, thanks for joining us. We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00, please join us then for the latest news, sport, weather and travel.

Here's a quick recap of our top stories:

  • A merger between Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough City hospitals has got a step closer after the Huntingdon hospital's board ratified the proposal
  • A jury failed to reach a verdict in the Kimbolton music teacher sex charge case
  • The Cambridge to Oxford expressway has been branded "elitist" by the shadow Leader of the House of Commons

And keep an eye on this page overnight - any breaking stories will appear here.

Weather: A chilly but dry night

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

A cloudy evening, but staying dry across the BBC East region.

Clear spells will develop later. It'll feel chilly, with a touch of ground frost in sheltered spots as temperatures fall to a minimum 2C (35F).

Weather chart for 15:00 Friday
BBC Weather

A fine day tomorrow with sunny spells, but it'll turn cloudy later with a maximum temperature of 10C (50F).

BBC Weather has more details for where you are.

Kimbolton School: 'Worked closely with the authorities' over sex charge teacher

Emma Maclean

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Kimbolton School has responded to news the case against its former music teacher has been dismissed after they were unable to reach a verdict on five sex charges.

Jonathan Belbin, headmaster of the private school, said: "As a school, we set ourselves the highest standards and we do not tolerate any falling short. 

"We worked closely with the authorities throughout to ensure justice was done."

Kimbolton School
Julian Osley/Geograph

Simon Ball was found guilty yesterday at Peterborough Crown Court of four counts of engaging in sexual activity while in a position of trust at another private school in North Yorkshire. 

He had already admitted five charges regarding offences that took place while a teacher at the Cambridgeshire independent school.    

Hinchingbrooke merger plans: Boss pledges not to cut A&E or other services

Emma Baugh

BBC Look East

The man in charge of Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon has pledged that a proposed merger with Peterborough City Hospital will not result in services being cut.

Earlier, the hospital's board unanimously ratified the proposal.

Lance McCarthy

Chief executive Lance McCarthy told me: "I understand the concerns raised... we will continue to provide 24/7-hour urgent care."

When I pushed him about what that meant for the hospital's A&E department he said: "There's a big big demand for urgent care and A&E locally here... we're planning to continue to provide it in exactly the same way and exactly the same case mix for the same population as we currently do."

Peterborough City Hospital's board will decide whether to approve the proposed merger at a meeting on Tuesday. If agreed it will go ahead in April.

Peterborough Panthers' new signing 'going to give it 100%'

Peter Swan

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sport

Peterborough Panthers have made their second signing ahead of the next speedway season. 

Tom Bacon, 23, is taking the step up from the National League.

He will ride at reserve for the Panthers and joins Dane Kenneth Hansen in the Peterborough line-up for 2017.

Ged Rathbone, Tom Bacon, Trevor Swales
Kevin Gipp

Bacon (above middle), who has a degree in management studies from the University of Leicester, said: "I did some meetings at second-tier level last year and scored in all of them, so I feel it's the right time to make the jump up.

"We know it's going to be a hard step up, but I'm going to give it 100% -  and hopefully I'll progress as a rider."

Simon Ball

A jury is dismissed after failing to reach a verdict on five counts of sex offences allegedly committed by a former boarding school teacher.

Read more

Royal visitors heading to Cambridge next week

Emma Maclean

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are heading our way next week.

Fitzwiiliam Museum
University of Cambridge

The royal couple will head to the Fitzwilliam Museum to mark its bicentenary - and also attend a rehearsal by King's College choir.

Naturally we'll be following the tour throughout the day.

Fire engine delayed in Wisbech because of parked car

Katy Prickett

BBC News

The fire service have tweeted a plea to drivers to think about access when they park up after a crew got delayed in Wisbech earlier...

View more on twitter

Simon Ball preyed on four victims

On 2 March Simon Ball was formally charged. 

Cambridgeshire Police said in total he abused one girl at Kimbolton School and three girls at Giggleswick.

In a statement, Det Con Hayley Kendall said he committed "predatory offences against vulnerable, young people by a person in a position of trust, whose duty was supposed to be to protect and safeguard those in his care". 

Simon Ball
Terry Harris/

He's due to be sentenced on 29 November at Peterborough Crown Court.  

Simon Ball: Yorkshire sex case was re-opened after Kimbolton allegations

Simon Ball was arrested in February 2015 after reports were made to police that he had been having a sexual relationship with a student at Kimbolton School (pictured).

An investigation then launched and it was found there had been another allegation of him having sexual relations with a student, aged 15, while at a school in North Yorkshire in 2004.

Kimbolton School
Julian Osley/Geograph

That year he was arrested by North Yorkshire Police on suspicion of indecent/sexual assault and abuse of position of trust, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) found insufficient evidence to prosecute.

Jury fails to reach verdict on final Kimbolton teacher charges

The jury in the case of a former teacher from Kimbolton School has been dismissed after they were unable to reach a verdict on five sex charges.

Simon Ball, 42, from Greenwich in south-east London, was found guilty yesterday at Peterborough Crown Court of four counts of engaging in sexual activity while in a position of trust at another private school in North Yorkshire.

Today the jury failed to reach a verdict on the remaining five charges related to his time at Giggleswick Senior School. He had already admitted five charges regarding offences that took place while a teacher at the Cambridgeshire independent school.

More to follow.

Simon Ball
Terry Harris/

You're all so very special

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A driving instructor, IT technician and software analyst are just some of the jobs held by the latest special recruits with Cambridgeshire Police. 

In total 13 Cambridgeshire volunteers were sworn in last night at the force's headquarters in Hinchingbrooke. 

Special constables
Cambridgeshire police

Specials are sworn in by a magistrate in the same manner as a regular police officer and work alongside their regular colleagues.

They are based at the same police stations, have the same powers in law, including the power of arrest, and wear the same uniform.  

Weather: Brightening up

BBC Weather Watchers

After a little bit of cloud this morning it's already started to brighten up in Cambridgeshire as these fantastic pictures from our BBC Weather Watchers show.


The rest of the day is set to brighten up but with some breeze, especially over higher ground such as the Gog Magog Downs.   


Maximum temperature: 10C (50F). There's more details on the forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

Labour: Oxford to Cambridge expressway 'elitist'

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

Palace of Westminster

The Shadow leader of the House has told MPs that yesterday's announcement of funding for an expressway between Oxford and Cambridge was elitist because it ignored more successful universities.

During business questions in parliament, Labour's Valerie Vaz said the Autumn Statement had been "a statement of the elite".

"The chancellor said the expressway would become a transformational tech-corridor drawing on the world class research strengths of our two best known universities," she said.

"But the league tables of 2017 put Oxford and Cambridge in 3rd and 4th place. Imperial was first, LSE second. 

"Can we have a statement on what will be available for the other universities which don't have the historic wealth of Oxford and Cambridge?"

The leader of the House David Lidington accused Ms Vaz of "antiquated class war".

He said: "The expressway will benefit places like Milton Keynes and Bedford... it's a sign of the times that the party has given up on such communities for whom the corridor offers opportunities for economic growth."

Structural damage to Peterborough gas pumping station

Tom Horn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

The only damage to a gas pumping station in Peterborough overnight was structural, National Grid have confirmed.

Gas pumping station

They added there was no explosion or damage to the gas equipment as previously reported by the police and an investigation is now under way. 

Bricks were knocked out of the building on Brewerne, Orton Melbourne and repairs will now be made. The road was closed earlier as a precaution.

Woman arrested after man stabbed in Cambridge

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A woman has been arrested after a 28-year-old man who was stabbed in Cambridge on Tuesday night

He's now in a stable condition after the incident which happened in the cut-through between Fair Street and the Grafton Centre west car park.

Police are still trying to find another man who was involved in the "altercation". 

The 26-year-old woman has been released on bail until December.

No plea entered by man charged with Cambridge murder

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A man has appeared at Huntingdon Magistrates' Court this morning charged with the murder of a mother-of-two. 

Muhammed Malik, 36, from Perne Road in Cambridge, did not enter a plea. 

He's set to appear at Cambridge Crown Court tomorrow. 

Asia Tufail, 32, died on Wednesday morning from asphyxia after being taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital on Tuesday. 

Minor explosion at gas pumping station

Tom Horn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A minor explosion at a gas pumping station in Brewerne, in Orton Melborne, Peterborough, last night has closed a road. 

Police have confirmed it happened last night, but were only called at 07:48 this morning. They've closed the road as a precaution and are waiting for National Grid to arrive. 

View more on twitter

Merger announcement expected for two Cambridgeshire hospitals

Emma Baugh

BBC Look East

Hinchingbrooke Hospital
Andy Parrett/Geograph

A meeting is taking place this morning that could see plans to merge Hinchingbrooke Hospital with Peterborough City Hospitals, rubbed stamped. 

The hospital boards are set to discuss the merger at 11:00 - it's hoped the deal will save £9m in back office costs. 

The private medical firm Circle took operational control of Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust in 2012 but it was handed back to the NHS in April 2015.   

Postal woes for Santa

Johnny Dee

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Poor Father Christmas could have fewer letter from residents in Cottenham this year, after their postbox was sealed up.  

It's been out of action for about seven weeks after the key broke. 

Roger Bridge, from the village, says it's really "inconvenient" as it's a half-a-mile walk to the next box and elderly people can't get there easily. 

Post box

Royal Mail has apologised for the "inconvenience caused" and say a new part has been ordered and "plans are in place to fit the new lock and ensure the postbox is open as soon as possible."

Hang in there Santa, we're sure you'll get some festive mail from the village eventually.

Millions coming to air ambulance charity to find a new home

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The news that £1m has been awarded to the Cambridgeshire-based air ambulance service Magpas has been met with "delight".

Darly Brown, the chief executive of the charity, says the money, awarded from Chancellor Phillip Hammond in his Autumn Statement, came from banking fines from the London inter-bank lending rate (LIBOR) scandal

LIBOR is considered to be one of the most important interest rates in finance, upon which trillions of financial contracts rest.

Magpas air ambulance

The windfall will go towards helping the charity to find a new base as they have to leave their current home at RAF Wyton by 2018. 

Mr Brown said that although Magpas have yet to find a new site, they have several preferences and want it to stay in Cambridgeshire.

Travel: Slow traffic on Frank Perkins Parkway

BBC Travel

There's currently slow traffic on the A1139, Frank Perkins Parkway southbound in Peterborough, between Eye roundabout and Boongate, because of an earlier accident. 

The road had been closed, but all lanes have now re-opened. There are still severe delays.