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  1. Essex Live signing off

    Kate Scotter

    BBC News

    Goodbye from us here for another week, join us again from 08:00 on Monday.

    Before we go, here's a quick look at some of the stories you can scroll down to:

    • A murder inquiry is launched after man dies two days after a brain injury
    • Council says there is a "ticking time bomb" of child obesity in Essex
    • A restaurateur is accused of attacking a woman with a stiletto

    Have a great weekend. Don't forget it's Mother's Day and the clocks go forward.

  2. Weather: Chance of frost tonight, but sunshine tomorrow

    Julie Reinger

    BBC Look East weather

    It will be a dry night with mainly clear skies and possibly a few fog patches. 

    There could be a touch of frost in sheltered spots, with a low of 2C (36F).


    After a chilly start, Saturday should be fine and dry with long spells of sunshine. 

    There'll be a light to moderate north-easterly wind and inland temperatures could reach about 14C (57F).

    There's more at BBC Weather .

  3. Planning inspector quashes 350 homes decision

    A planning inspector has quashed a decision to refuse planning permission for 350 new homes.

          The houses are planned for a greenfield site off Western Road

    Braintree District Council previously rejected Gladman Developments' proposals for land off Western Road in Silver End, near Witham.

    It said the development, which includes a children's play area and open space, would pose an "unjustified intrusion" into the countryside and would be "harmful to the rural setting of the village".

    In his  report , government inspector David Prentis said any "moderate harm" caused to the landscape would be outweighed by the "benefits" of new housing, affordable homes and the play area. 

    Braintree District Council said it was "disappointed" with the decision. 

  4. Future of derelict Victorian village hall looking brighter

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    The future of a derelict 19th Century church hall could be secured by local people after Brentwood Borough Council pledged to try and bring it back to life.

    Leader of the Brentwood council Louise McKinlay

    Herongate Church Hall, which was later used as the village hall for many years, has fallen into a dilapidated state.

    The council is the custodian trustee of the building and is looking at the options for it with the local parish council, including bidding for lottery money.

    Brentwood council leader Louise McKinlay (pictured in front of the hall) said: "We have been approached by an interested party that wishes to see the hall rejuvenated. 

    "This is clearly an opportunity to start to seriously look at what the hall means to residents, and how they would like to see it used in future.

    "The Hall could be a special gem in the heart of Herongate."

    The Charity Commission has already indicated it is happy to appoint the borough council as sole trustee, and council officers will now research and report on the various options.

  5. 'Tired' rail worker nearly hit by train

    Sue Paz

    BBC News

    A "tired" rail worker from Essex, who had been sleeping in his car to avoid a commute, was narrowly missed by a train while working on a track, a report has found.

    Rail near miss

    It happened near Shawford station, Hampshire, last June, when the train was travelling at 85 mph (137 km/h).

    The accident report said the worker became distracted while on the line.

    It said his alertness and decision-making were likely to have affected after sleeping in his car for a week to avoid a daily commute from Essex.

    The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the worker was uninjured but had been left "badly shaken".  

  6. McFly star visits school that's squeezed a year into a day for Comic Relief

    McFly drummer Harry Judd called in to share in a challenge devised by pupils at St Gregory's Primary School in Sudbury for Red Nose Day.

    They decided to cram their favourite bits of the year into one day - so they've been celebrating Easter, sports day and fitted in a Christmas lunch too.

    Harry Judd with pupils from St Gregory's primary school

    Harry, who was a prep school pupil at the private  Old Buckenham Hall  near Lavenham and Dame Bradbury's in Saffron Walden, embraced the festive theme and explained that the  website Pinterest  had a competition for him to come to a school and surprise everyone, and St Gregory's won: "We did a little bit of Let It Snow and I played along on the drums.

    "It's a happy time and I'm happy to be here."

  7. Gaffer's only disappointment is lack of new stadium

    BBC Sport

    The Southend United manager Phil Brown says the only disappointment of his time at the club is they're not yet in a new stadium. 

    The Southend United manager Phil Brown

    Tomorrow's League One match at AFC Wimbledon marks four years in charge for Brown .  

  8. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M25 Essex anti-clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Essex anti-clockwise severe accident, between J30 for A13 Lakeside and J29 for A127.

    M25 Essex - Stationary traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J30, A13 (Lakeside) and J29, A127 (Romford), because of an accident involving lorry and a car and a rolling road-block.

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

  9. To all you mums out there


    With Mother's Day coming up on Sunday, let Ironman athlete Jon Alexander tell you the story of his mum, Sue, and how she has always been his inspiration....

    Video content

    Video caption: Ironman is now his mum's biggest fan

    You can find out how to get into triathlon with our Get Inspired guide.

  10. Donkey celebrates play in Harlow

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    To celebrate Harlow's 70th birthday we'll be posting a number of photographs from the town's past.

    Here's a picture of the town's sculpture Donkey by Willi Soukop, unveiled in Harlow in 1955. It is sited at Pitmans Field, off Monkswick Road. 

    Donkey by Willi Soukop

    The Grade II-listed artwork has been regularly sat on by children through the years and was designed to encourage children to explore art through play.

    A number of events are planned over the weekend and further details are on the council's  website.

  11. Colchester United check Garvan's fitness

    BBC Sport

    Colchester United will check on the fitness of Owen Garvan (pictured) before confirming their squad for tomorrow's League Two match at home to Luton .

    Owen Garvan

    The midfielder's been carrying a knee injury. 

    Defender Richard Brindley's pushing for a start after returning to action during the 2-0 defeat at Crewe last weekend.  

  12. Harlow New Town celebrates 70 years

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    Harlow is celebrating its 70th birthday as a New Town over the weekend, so we'll be publishing a few pictures illustrating the history of the town to celebrate it.

    We'll start with the two photos of the town's main shopping centre in the late 1950s. 

    Main Harlow shopping centre 1958
    Stow shopping centre

    A number of events are planned over the weekend and further details are on the council's  website.

  13. Harlow investment set to create 500 jobs

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    About 500 jobs are due to be created in Harlow after Essex County Council announced it was investing £2.5m in a new medical technology centre.

    Harlow Enterprise Zone

    The money will go toward Anglia Ruskin University ’s £5m new MedTech Innovation Centre within a new science park in the Harlow Enterprise Zone (pictured).

    Kevin Bentley, Conservative deputy leader at the council, said: "If the government wants to deliver on its ambitious industrial strategy then they need look no further than Essex, where the council and its partners are already significantly ahead of the game.

    "Public Health England has already put its faith in the county by pledging to move its facilities to Harlow, along with 2,500 jobs by 2024.

    "Now this historic deal to create a much-needed centre for business innovation cements Essex’s potential to become the UK’s life sciences and healthcare capital, whilst boosting jobs and economic growth."

  14. Restaurateur accused of attacking a woman with stiletto in Basildon club

    A restaurateur accused of attacking a woman with a stiletto shoe in a nightclub has denied inflicting grievous bodily harm.

    Unit 7, Basildon

    Southend Crown Court heard that Natalie Jeffery, 23, allegedly struck Sophie Roberts in the face at Unit 7 (pictured above) in Basildon, Essex.

    Ms Roberts, in her 20s, suffered facial injuries in the incident which happened at about 03:00 on 18 September 2016.

    Ms Jeffery, of Tantelen Road, Canvey Island, pleaded not guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent.

    The defendant spoke only to confirm her name and her not guilty plea during the brief hearing.

    She was bailed to appear for trial at the same court in August.

    Judge Ian Graham told Jeffery the trial was expected to last two to three days.

  15. Nurse suspended over school uniform request to patient

    Laurence Cawley

    BBC News

    A mental health nurse who asked a patient to return to her next appointment wearing her school uniform has been suspended .

    North Essex Partnership Trust

    Gary Snape was working for North Essex Partnership Trust (Chelmsford main office pictured) when he committed a string of patient care failings.

    A Nursing and Midwifery Council  conduct panel  heard Mr Snape had also "inappropriately" asked a patient to tie material around her body.

    The panel suspended Mr Snape from working as a nurse for six months.

  16. The FA People's Cup is back!


    It's the semi-finals stage of the FA People's Cup this weekend and you'll be able to keep up with all the action on our live text pages from 10:00-18:00 on Saturday and Sunday. 

    There'll be loads more cracking goals like these ones, analysed by the Football Focus team after the first round.

    Video content

    Video caption: People's Cup goals analysed by the pros