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  1. Updates for Wednesday, 3 February 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Updates for Essex Live have finished for today - thanks for joining us.

    We'll be back in the morning from 08:00 with the latest news for the county.

    Have a great evening.

  2. Your pictures: Golden clouds caught in Colchester sunset

    Jack Warren

    BBC Local Live

    Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher Trevor who posted this picture of the sun going down in Colchester a short while ago.

    Sunset in Colchester

    If you've taken a great picture in Essex that you want to show off, we'd love to see them. 

    You can send us an email or a tweet!

  3. Weather: Clouding over with rain later tonight, clearing Thursday morning

    Alex Dolan

    BBC Look East weather

    Tonight will start largely clear but it's going to be chilly. It will turn milder as cloud and rain spreads from the west through the early hours.

    Minimum temperature: 3C (37F).

    Weather map for the East of England

    Tomorrow's going to be a largely cloudy day with some rain at times, though this will only be light. It'll be milder than today, with limited bright spells.

  4. Headlines: Man, 20, charged with manslaughter after Harlow hotel assault... 'Heartless' thieves steal child cancer collection

    Ian Puckey

    BBC Essex

    Here are the top stories from the Essex newsroom: 

    • A 20-year-old man has been charged with the manslaughter of a man who died after being assaulted at a Harlow hotel
    • Thieves who stole a child cancer collection from a nursery school in Epping are "completely heartless", according to the manager
    • A Shoeburyness family who ordered a funeral flower arrangement in the shape of a dog have asked florists for a refund, claiming the display "resembled a five-legged anteater wearing a toupee" 
  5. Plumbers escape after van catches fire in Southend street

    Southend Echo

    Plumbers had a lucky escape after their van caught fire while they were driving along a busy Southend road this morning. 

  6. Big step forward for Night Tube as union recommends pay deal

    A deal on the Night Tube service, which would run to Loughton, moved a step closer today after the biggest London Underground union recommended a pay and conditions deal is accepted.

    Night Tube

    The agreement of the deal by unions will clear a big hurdle for the service, which was due to begin last September.

    The Rail, Maritime and Transport's 10,000 members will start voting on 11 February.

  7. 'Purrfect' cat tattoo inspired by Asda duvet cover

    Robby West

    BBC Essex

    Sophie Osborne from Shoeburyness loved the design on a duvet she bought from Asda so much she had it tattooed on her leg.

    It features a mix of a cat and a mermaid, and is called a Purrmaid.

    Here's what happened when I went to meet her and husband Adam (who said the design was "purrfect").

    Video content

    Video caption: Cat tattoo inspired by Asda duvet cover picture
  8. Man charged with manslaughter after Harlow hotel assault

    Jack Warren

    BBC Local Live

    A man has been charged with the manslaughter of a man who died after being assaulted at a Harlow hotel.

    Park Inn, Harlow

    William Wareham, 52, was taken to hospital with a head injury sustained at the Park Inn Hotel in Southern Way on 13 December, and died later that afternoon.

    A 20-year-old man will appear before Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on 24 February. 

  9. Ford to cut jobs to save £140m in Europe

    Ian Puckey

    BBC Essex

    Hundreds of jobs in the UK are at risk after the car giant Ford, which has its UK headquarters in Essex, announced plans to save around £140m a year across its European operation.


    The company's main centres are in the UK and Germany - including two sites in Warley and Dunton. 

    Ford employs nearly 14,000 people in the UK and says the staff cuts will be achieved through voluntary redundancy. 

  10. Family ask for refund over floral dog tribute that 'looks like an anteater'

    Jack Warren

    BBC Local Live

    A Shoeburyness family who ordered a funeral flower arrangement in the shape of a Jack Russell have asked florists for a refund, claiming the display "resembled a five-legged anteater wearing a toupee". 

    Dave Seaman says the £60 arrangement drew laughter at the funeral of a family friend, but has not yet been able to reclaim any of his cash.

    "We have asked for our money back minus the cost of flowers", he said. We have approached the florist for comment.

  11. Preschool owner 'devastated' at £150 child cancer collection theft

    Charlotte Rose

    BBC Essex

    The owner of a nursery in Epping has told me she's "devastated" at the theft of a £150 collection for a young girl with cancer.

    Letter for the collection

    Burglars also stole a camera which has photos of children on it from the Coopersale Preschool in Institute Road.

    Catherine Kemp told me she "can't believe thieves would steal from children". Essex Police is investigating.

  12. 'Council held my dog to ransom'

    Daily Gazette

    A woman has accused Colchester Council of holding her beloved terrier to ransom after it escaped through a hole in her fence.  

  13. Travellers close Chelmsford car park

    Robby West

    BBC Essex

    A car park in Chelmsford has been closed after travellers moved onto the site last week.

    Travellers at the car park in Chelmsford

    The city council says seven caravans remain at the Wharf Road long stay car park and has now asked for the assistance of Essex Police to evict them.

    A spokeswoman said: "In the meantime the car park will remain closed to the public. The nearest alternative car parks are Baddow Road CM2 7PJ and Meadows Retail CM2 6LU."

  14. Hour-long queue for Thames crossing proposal event

    Chris Flynn

    BBC Essex

    I'm at a packed Orsett Hall in Thurrock where people have queued an hour to see proposals for a new Thames Crossing, which have gone on display.

    New Thames crossing

    Three Highways England's suggested routes are currently on display here - all of which involve knocking down homes.

    I'll be speaking to some of the people who have attended through out the day. Updates to follow a little later.

  15. Lunchtime headlines: Thieves steal child cancer collection... Ford to cut hundreds of jobs

    Ian Puckey

    BBC Essex

    Here are your top stories this lunchtime: 

    • Police are hunting burglars who broke into a pre-school in Epping and stole money earmarked for a child with cancer
    • Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford says it is on 'black alert' after an increase in the number of patients going to A&E  
    • Car maker Ford, which has its UK Headquarters in Essex, says it's looking to shed hundreds of jobs across Europe
  16. Weather: Staying chilly, but turning sunnier this afternoon

    BBC Weather

    Brightening up by this afternoon with plenty of sunny intervals developing and just the odd shower. Feeling chilly, especially in the breeze.

    Maximum Temperature: 8C (46F).


    Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher, Frinton Belle, who posted this snap from Harwich earlier today. She reported temperatures of 3C (37F).

  17. Hungry thieves raid child cancer collection at Epping pre-school

    Charlotte Rose

    BBC Essex

    Hungry thieves have stolen a child cancer collection and ate snacks during a break-in at a pre-school in Epping, police say.

    Institute Hall

    Burglars forced their way into Institute Hall in Institute Road between 17:00 on Monday and the following morning.

    A three figure cash sum was taken, as well as a camera. Wrappers from the food were also left behind.

  18. Colchester Free Festival cancelled due to 'lack of support'

    Jack Warren

    BBC Local Live

    The Colchester Free Festival will not take place this year after the event failed to attract investment from sponsors, its organisers have announced.

    A man performing at the Colchester Free Festival

    The annual festival, run by unpaid volunteers, was due to take place in the town's Castle Park between 27-28 August.

    Andrew Winmill, the festival director, said the two-day event cost £50,000 to put on last year and had been unable to "attract the level of support we were hoping for going forward".

  19. Broomfield Hospital declares 'black alert'

    Richard Smith

    BBC Essex

    Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford says it is on 'black alert' after an increase in the number of patients going to A&E.

    Broomfield Hospital entrance

    The hospital says since Saturday an extra 50 to 80 people have been attending the emergency department each day, compared with last year.

    Chief nurse Lynne Hinton urged residents to avoid attending the department unless it was urgent.

  20. Clacton gas explosion: Aerial footage shows the damage caused

    Jack Warren

    BBC Local Live

    The second anniversary is approaching of the Clacton gas explosion, which destroyed two houses and injured 10 people. 

    Eyewitnesses described the street, Cloes Lane, "shaking" during the explosion. BBC reporter Robert Hall sent this report from the time.

    Video content

    Video caption: Two badly hurt in Essex gas blast