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  1. Updates for Thursday, 17 December 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Live updates for Essex have finished for today, thanks for joining us.

    We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with all your latest news, sport, weather and travel for the county.

    Have a nice evening.

  2. Weather: Rain drying out overnight

    Chris Bell

    BBC Look East weather

    Patchy rain will move eastwards at first this evening, but becoming dry everywhere by 22:00 with clear spells and patchy cloud developing. 

    Minimum temperatures: 9C (48F).

    Weather map for Essex

    Some spells of hazy sunshine to start tomorrow, but staying mainly dry through the day.

  3. Government cuts to solar panels a 'great shame', Essex energy provider says

    Charlotte Rose

    BBC Essex

    An Essex energy provider says it's a "great shame" the government is to cut subsidies for small-scale solar electricity panels on homes.

    Man fitting solar panels

    The subsidies will be cut by 64%, although this is less than the previous proposal of an 87% reduction.

    Tim Purbrick from Hive Energy said: "All the opportunity now for solar is now sadly lying overseas". 

  4. New 'Pay by Phone' scheme reduces amount of parking tickets issued

    Southend Echo

    A scheme which allows motorists to pay for parking tickets using their mobile phones has halved the number of fines handed out in Rochford District car parks since it was introduced.  

  5. Campaigner emigrates to Africa after travellers 'destroyed his life'

    Chris Flynn

    BBC Essex

    A Wickford man who was at the centre of a row over travellers in Basildon says he has been moved to Africa after the ordeal "destroyed his life".

    Len Gridley

    Len Gridley lived next door to Dale Farm which was eventually cleared in 2011 after a decade-long dispute.

    "After the eviction the travellers just parked along down the road next to the site... I've left England for a better life", Mr Gridley told BBC Essex.

  6. Headlines: Hockey death accidental and hospital doctor struck off

    Nick Alliker

    BBC Essex

    Here are your top stories for Essex this afternoon:

  7. Picture of the day: Maldon Smack Race

    Jack Warren

    BBC Local Live

    Thanks to Terry Stone who sent us this picture of the Maldon Smack Race, which features at the top of our live page today.

    Maldon Smack Race

    If you would like to share your photos with us, you can email them or post them on our Facebook page.

  8. Harlow doctor caused victims 'significant and understandable distress'

    Nick Alliker

    BBC Essex

    A Harlow doctor who went on the run after secretly filming up women's skirts caused his victims "significant and understandable distress", a hearing has been told.

    Princess Alexandra

    Biju John, 44, was struck off by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service yesterday. 

    In reaching its decision, the panel said: "Public confidence in the medical profession would be seriously undermined if Dr John was not erased from the medical register".

  9. Council seizes large amounts of hover boards in Thurrock shops

    Your Thurrock

    At the end of November Thurrock Council’s trading standards team warned local people about the dangers of hover boards.  

  10. Flashback: The road chaos of winter 2003

    BBC Look East

    It may be unseasonably warm for December, but in January 2003 it was a completely different picture.

    The main roads in the East became gridlocked in blizzard conditions. Hundreds of drivers were trapped overnight in their cars, without food or drink.

    We've been looking back at our archive footage from the time.

  11. Essex Police could have more money next year

    Ian Puckey

    BBC Essex

    Essex Police could have more money to spend next year, if it is prepared to raise more cash locally.

    The back of a police jacket

    The government has granted the force just under £172m for 2016-17, a reduction of nearly £1m on this year. 

    However, assuming the Police and Crime Commissioner increases council tax by the maximum allowed, the total budget will see a slight increase.

  12. Hockey player death accidental, inquest hears

    Samantha Dalton

    BBC Essex

    An inquest has delivered a verdict of accidental death on a 22-year-old man who died while training at his hockey club in Chigwell last week.

    Tom Lowe and family

    It's believed Tom Wilson, a member of the men's Old Loughtonians first team, suffered a blow to the head at the club on Luxborough Lane on 8 December.

    He was airlifted to hospital but didn't survive.

  13. Wayne Brown decision to step down 'the right thing'

    Glenn Speller

    BBC Essex Sport

    Wayne Brown has told me he has ruled himself out of becoming the next permanent manager of Colchester United. 

    Wayne Brown

    The U's interim boss had been the favourite to replace Tony Humes who left the club last month

    Brown said: "I've hardly slept thinking about this but it's the right thing both for myself and the club."

  14. BreakingWayne Brown rules himself out of Colchester manager position

    Wayne Brown has told BBC Essex he will not be the next manager of Colchester United. 

    More to follow. 

  15. Missing pregnant woman found

    Jack Warren

    BBC Local Live

    We have some good news for you - Essex Police tells us missing pregnant woman, Rebecca Williams from Chelmsford, has now been found safe and well.

  16. Travel: One lane closed on the M25 anticlockwise

    BBC Travel

    One lane is closed on the anticlockwise M25 at J31 for the Dartford Crossing because of an accident.

  17. In pictures: Class A drugs sniffed out by Shifty the dog

    Further pictures have been released following the discovery of class A drugs by Shifty the Essex Police dog.

    Wraps of cocaine and heroin found inside a car door

    The spaniel sniffed out the wraps of heroin and cocaine which were hidden in a car door in Pitsea on Tuesday, the force says.

    A 26-year-old man is due to appear at Basildon Magistrates' Court. Two other teenagers who were arrested have been released on police bail.

  18. Southend keep 'match sharpness' despite lack of fixtures

    Ben Fryer

    BBC Essex sport

    Southend United midfielder David Worrall says the squad have kept their "match sharpness" despite a lack of games recently.

    David Worrall

    The Blues have played just one match this month but return to League One action at home to Bury tomorrow.

  19. Southend MP criticises return of c2c 'misery line'

    Jack Warren

    BBC Local Live

    The MP for Southend West, Sir David Amess, has criticised rail operator c2c after it made changes to its timetable connecting Essex and London. 

    Sir David Amess

    Hundreds of passengers complained of over-crowded trains and a poorer service since the alterations earlier this week.

    Speaking in the Commons, the Conservative MP said: "The timetable changes have transferred what used to be the happy line back into the misery line". 

  20. Teen’s fury as thieves ransack family’s home

    Braintree & Witham Times

    A teenager has been left “disgusted” by thieves who ransacked his Braintree home and stole charity money along with £5,000 in jewellery and cash.