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  1. Updates for Friday, 30 December 2016
  2. Hospital A&E departments warn non-emergency cases to stay away
  3. Canaries gossip: Sacking Alex Neil 'could cost £2m'
  4. Cold snap brings contrast of dense fog and clear skies across county

Live Reporting

By Caroline Kingdon

All times stated are UK

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Pressure eases on Alex Neil

Jay Lawrence

BBC Radio Norfolk

Norwich City's emphatic 3-0 win against Derby County last night silenced those calling for boss Alex Neil's head.

Norwich City manager Alex Neil
Getty Images

Nelson Oliveira's hat-trick meant City had four points from their last two games, with two clean sheets to boot. 

Prior to Saturday's goalless draw at Brentford, the Canaries had lost eight out of their last 10 league games. However, fans at Carrow Road have only been vocal against Neil in the past couple weeks.

The loss was Derby's heaviest of the season, and came on the back of a string of 10 unbeaten.

Neil has now challenged his Norwich side to perform like that every week.

Now we've got to maintain that level, that can't be a one-off. That's the difference between a top team and an average team.

Alex NeilNorwich City manager

Campaign to stop drivers using mobile phones

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

"Put your phones away when you're behind the wheel"... BBC Radio Norfolk is launching a campaign to get drivers off their mobile phones.

It's called "Hands Off", and has the backing of Norfolk Police. In a crackdown in November, 140 drivers were caught in a week. 

In just 45 minutes, Ch Insp Kris Barnard says about a dozen motorists were caught on the Newmarket Road heading towards Norwich city centre, and he says some of those had children in their vehicles. 

It's a growing problem, with the number of offenders going up - 2,300 motorists in the county were caught in the last financial year compared to just over 800 the previous year.

Close-up of police logo on police vehicle

Ill passenger and engineering works behind back-to-work rail delays

Mariam Issimdar

BBC News

There have been a number of rail delays on the main line from Norwich to London this morning...

It's the first day since Christmas Eve when trains were due to run normally after bus replacement services were used to provide cover while engineering works were taking place.

Rail tunnel and passengers

Greater Anglia says over-running engineering works at Shenfield were to blame for some delays and cancellations into Liverpool Street, but services are now returning to normal. 

C2C is accepting Greater Anglia tickets between Southend and Fenchurch Street. 

A passenger taken ill on the 06:50 train at Stratford resulted in some lines being blocked and the train operator is saying passengers should expect disruption mid-morning.

We will keep you up to date of any further alterations. 

McClaren unhappy with sending off for Derby

Jay Lawrence

BBC Radio Norfolk

A hat-trick from summer signing Nelson Oliveira gave Norwich City a much needed 3-0 win last night against Derby County.

The Portuguese forward (pictured) now has seven goals in the last seven games and has become one of the league's in-form strikers. 

Oliveira scored one in the first half before Derby's former Canary Jacob Butterfield received a red card for a lunge on Wes Hoolahan. 

Norwich City striker Nelson Oliveira
Getty Images

Derby boss Steve McClaren said: "I think the referee got it wrong and we will be looking at an appeal. 

"Butterfield's feet were not off the ground and he got a little bit of the ball. He also caught the player as well and because of that he falls down.

Shortly after, Oliveira struck twice in two minutes to seal the deal for City.

Norwich are now up to ninth in The Championship.

Travel: Train delays and cancellations due to over-running engineering works

Trains have been cancelled this morning and there are issues with some services from Shenfield in Essex due to Christmas engineering works over-running: 

View more on twitter

Drive to arrive

It's cold out there this morning, with icy roads and pavements...

Norfolk Police has issued some advice:

View more on twitter

Weather: Sunny intervals but feeling cold in breeze

Georgina Burnett

BBC Weather

After a frosty start with some icy patches possible, a dry day with more cloud around than yesterday but it will feel cold in brisk breeze.

Some sunny periods are also likely but it'll feel cool - although not as cold as Monday. 

Maximum Temperature: 6C (43F) 

Hello from Norfolk Live

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

A Happy New Year from all of the team at Norfolk Live... and it's got off to a good start for Norwich City. A hat-trick from Nelson Oliveira secured them a 3-0 win against Derby County, lifting them to ninth in The Championship.

We'll have more on this along with our regular news, travel and weather updates throughout the day.

It's a frosty and chilly start to the morning, with a "yellow warning" from the Met Office of icy conditions on roads and pavements until mid-morning. As for the rest of the day, Georgina Burnett's forecast will appear here shortly.

Frosty leaves
Nelson Oliveira

Nelson Oliveira's treble ends Derby's 10-match unbeaten league run and relieves the pressure on Norwich boss Alex Neil.

Read more
Sheringham New Year's Day dip revived after a decade
Swimmers make a splash about the start of 2017 by reviving a seaside dip for the first time in a decade to raise money for the RNLI.
Queen absent as royals attend new year Sandringham service
Members of the Royal Family attend the New Year's Day Sandringham church service without the Queen.
Scoring secrets: Toe-pokes, scoop and Yaya
BBC football analyst Pat Nevin explains how to beat a goalkeeper one-on-one - and how Yaya Toure has created a new way to score.
Timm Klose and Scott Hogan

Gary Smee

BBC Sport

Brentford and 10-man Norwich play out a goalless draw at Griffin Park in the final Championship match of 2016.

Read more
The Queen

The Queen will decide on Sunday whether to attend church as she continues to recover from a heavy cold.

Read more
The fireworks on the beach at Cromer

An annual New Year's Day fireworks display in Norfolk which normally attracts 10,000 people is postponed due to a northerly wind.

Read more

Our live coverage across the day - and the year

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

It's time for us to sign off for 2016 but we'll be back again at 08:00 on 3 January full of resolutions to bring you the best news, weather, sport and travel coverage for the county. 

We have covered very many stories over the past 12 months. A few were truly big and others shocking. 

Do you remember these?

The team at Norfolk Live wishes you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year - and we'll leave you with this image of hope and expectation for the year ahead taken by Tavy, one of our Weather Watchers.

East Winch bird

Overnight weather: Extensive low cloud, mist and fog

Dan Holley

BBC Look East weather

Mostly dry tonight but with extensive low cloud, mist and fog giving poor visibility and tricky driving conditions in places. 

Chance of a patchy frost where any clear skies develop. 

Light southwesterly winds with temperatures locally down to -2C (28F). 

Fog warning

Rather grey for New Year’s Eve with mist and fog slowly lifting into low cloud, perhaps a few bright spells developing into the afternoon. 

A freshening southwesterly breeze should allow temperatures to reach highs of 8C (46F).

Get the full forecast where you live, from BBC Weather.

Pest control growing problem for hospital

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A sharp rise in pest control call-outs at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has been reported. 

Experts visited the hospital 20 times in the 2015/16 financial year to deal with ants, wasps and flies, a Freedom of Information request revealed.


In 2012, the hospital had to call out pest controllers 12 times and in the subsequent years, the number of call-outs dropped to between two and seven. 

So far this financial year, pest controllers have attended 14 times.

In a statement, the hospital says it has a programme of inspections and surveillance to manage pests.

Sport: Confidence needed to resist Brentford backlash

BBC Sport

Norwich City manager Alex Neil fears a backlash by Brentford when his team visits Griffin Park on New Year's Eve after a 5-0 drubbing at Carrow Road a month ago. 

"They will be determined to put things right from the game against us," Neil said. 

Alex Tettey
Norwich City FC

"I want any confidence issues eradicated by winning games. Contrary to what local media say, I don't bury my head in the sand. I just want to win games." 

He refused to speak about a national newspaper story that it would cost £2m to dismiss him. He did say that all contracts changed after relegation for staff and players. 

Chief executive Jez Moxey has said Neil would be given time to turn club fortunes around despite calls for him to go from fans, but there were no guarantees attached. 

At Colney Training Centre on Friday, central midfielder Alex Tettey said: "The fans pay to see us and are allowed to have their opinions. 

"The first 10 games we were winning and the confidence was there. Since then we've played games where confidence has been low and haven't played well. 

"We've made mistakes and not had much luck, so there's been a few things. We are working hard and trying different things to fix it; that's what we're doing now, together."

Another foggy night and morning in store

Look East weather forecaster Dan Holley has tweeted:

View more on twitter

Diss eye up another derby win with visit of Hornets

Diss Express

Here is the back page of today's Diss Express:

Diss Express back sports page
Diss Express
Air ambulance blood trial takes off in Birmingham
A new study has been launched to see whether giving blood rather than clear fluid to air ambulance patients saves more lives.

Rhea rescue hampered by loss of light

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

We had hoped to bring you a happy conclusion, but with darkness falling Lawrence the rhea is still on the loose near Newton in south Cambs, having thwarted efforts by owner Ashley Bullard to recapture the bird.

A short while ago Ashley told me that he and and the vet assisting him were unable to get near enough to the giant bird to tranquillise it.

He says he's exhausted and worried they will lose it in the darkness.

We'll keep our fingers crossed that Lawrence will be caught safe and sound over the weekend.

Ashley Bullard

Two Norwich Airport flights affected by fog

Tim Addicott

BBC Radio Norfolk

Fog has affected only two flights at Norwich International Airport today but staff are watching conditions for any worsening.

Managing director Richard Pace said a flight to Manchester was cancelled and an incoming aircraft from Edinburgh was diverted to Cambridge but fog levels were within accepted limits late this afternoon.

Norwich International Airport

"The majority of services are operating as normal but we advise passengers to check the airport website for updates as the weather forecast only goes up to midnight," he said.

"It's too early to say what the situation will be in the morning."

Heart's in the right plaice

Diss Express

Here is the front page of today's Diss Express:

Diss Express front page
Diss Express

A rhea-ly lovely tale

This is a photo of the pet rhea with Ashley Bullard's friend Max Robinson a few months back.

Lawrence, who was originally thought to be a male but turned out to be female, was hand-reared from an egg by the self-proclaimed pet fanatic and lived in the back garden at Norton Subcourse, near Reedham in Norfolk. 

It's thought the bird escaped through a hole in the fence in August and hasn't been seen since - until this Christmas, 80 miles away in Cambridgeshire.

Lawrence the rhea
Max Robinson

Speaking at the time of Lawrence's disappearance, Mr Bullard said: "He weighs around 20 to 30kg, so quite a big bird... you'd think you'd see him quite easily but he's quite timid, so he will hunker down into a grey heap of feathers so you can easily mistake him for a lump of mud."

Rheas are grey, flightless birds with long necks and long legs. Originating from south America, they can be up to 1.7cm (67in) tall and run at speeds up to 40mph (64km/h).

The RSPCA says the animals are not listed as dangerous but people should not approach them.

Vet being brought in to help recapture rhea

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

We've reported many things on Local Live, but this is the first time we've covered a rhea round-up...

This is the latest picture of the runaway bird, taken near Newton in south Cambridgeshire, where the man who says he's the owner is trying to recapture it.

Rhea in south Cambs
Ashley Bullard

Ashley Bullard has told us he is trying to keep the rhea "calm" while he waits for a vet to arrive to tranquillise it.

We'll let you know later if he's successful.

Rhea rescue under way in south Cambs

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

A man who says he's the owner of a runaway rhea spotted in south Cambridgeshire is currently near the village of Newton trying to recapture it.

View more on twitter

Ashley Bullard, who lives near Gillingham in Norfolk, told us he's certain the ostrich-like bird is his pet Lawrence, who went missing on 16 August - which we reported at the time.

This would mean the giant bird has travelled about 80 miles (128km) to reach its current location.

Despite the name, Lawrence is a female, as explained in this piece by ITV Anglia.

Owner tracks down runaway rhea

Mark Williamson

BBC Local Live

Earlier this week we mentioned that while many of us were tucking into turkey on Christmas Day, Cambridgeshire Police officers were tackling a more exotic bird.

A rhea was spotted near Thriplow in the south of the county and has evaded police and animal officers ever since.

After seeing our coverage, a man from Norfolk got in touch with us to say he's the owner of the ostrich-like bird - and is currently near Newton waiting for a vet to arrive to recapture it. 

More updates shortly.

Cambridgeshire Police

Lines now open but rail passengers warned of residual delays

Trespass incident update

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

I've just telephoned British Transport Police to find out more about the trespass incident on the line between Ipswich and Manningtree which has been affecting rail services in the area.

They told me they were called at 12:59 with reports that a man was on the railway line.

Rail services were suspended while they searched the area, but no-one was found.

It's thought a normal service should resume soon.

Sport: Canaries face 'must-win' game against Brentford

BBC Sport

Under-fire Canaries boss Alex Neil has admitted the squad has underachieved so far this season and tomorrow's away game with Brentwood is a "must-win game". 

The Norwich City manager denied that a statement in his support from chief executive Jez Moxey earlier this week was for his benefit and dismissed a story in the national press that it would cost £2m to sack him.

Alex Neil

"I'm a realist. I won't look for excuses. We're in a situation that revolves around results. Brentford is a game we need to win," he told a press conference on Friday. 

"We've underachieved. I don't bury my head in the sand. I know it's unacceptable and we need to do better. We want to win games." 

Neil said a deal to extend the loan for James Maddison at Aberdeen was "nonsense".  As it stands the 20-year-old midfielder will back at Colney on Monday but Neil has problems in the midfield. 

Graham Dorrans, the 29-year-old Scottish attacking midfielder, has damaged his medial ligament. "He'll be out for a while," Neil said. 

Welsh midfielder Louis Thompson won't make the game either.

On Moxey's interview, Neil said it "wasn't done for my benefit; he obviously felt the need to come and say something. 

"I speak to Jez regularly. I know the situation. Everyone knows where we stand. We're trying to win the next game."

Greater Anglia warns of delays around Ipswich

Salinity tests at bird reserve after tidal surge along river

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Salinity tests are being carried out at the RSPB reserve at Strumpshaw to ensure barriers kept out a surge on the River Yare caused by high tides and gales earlier this week. 

The reserve was partly flooded and sluices are to be opened to allow the excess water to escape back into the river so paths can be reopened.


The RSPB is delighted that marsh harriers are now nesting at Strumpshaw. 

Ben Lewis, one of the wardens, said: "It's been a brilliant year for the birds here. We have 12 marsh harrier pairs and this is extraordinary as there was only one pair in the whole of the UK in the 1990s. 

"We also have 80% of the population of snipe here at Strumpshaw; this is a wading bird with a long beak." 

But today much of the water at the reserve was frozen over which meant some birds went to other open broads locally to feed, he added.

Hospital car park brings in £1.1m

Lynn News

Here is the front page of today's Lynn News:

Lynn News front page
Lynn News

Weather: Wildlife bears brunt of cold and fog

BBC Weather Watchers

Fog may persist into the afternoon in some places and elsewhere it'll be rather cloudy, but a few brighter spells may develop. 

It will feel cold where the fog persists throughout the day.

Hopping Frog

Wildlife is bearing the brunt of the various conditions around the county today as our Weather Watchers pictures show. 

Some animals are relishing the clear skies and others are perched in shelter while drops of heavy moisture hang from spiders' webs. 

Maximum temperature: 5C (41F).

More details from BBC Weather.

Whale post-mortem examinations reveal toxins in sea

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

Post-mortem examinations of stranded whales are revealing the effects of toxic materials dumped in the sea on wildlife, an expert has revealed. 

This test on a killer whale first revealed the toxic effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme scientist Rob Deaville said.


He was in Norfolk in October when a huge fin whale was washed up on Holkham beach

He described how the examination began as it would with a human subject with the taking of photographs, recording any obvious physical signs of injury, trauma or possible disease, and then a series of measurements. 

"Then we open the body up," says Mr Deaville. "We use a large knife called a flensing knife; it is the same type of knife that whalers use. 

"We cut away the blubber and then open up the ribcage." 

The team discovered the Holkham whale had a spinal abnormality that probably prevented her feeding so she died of starvation.

RAF Lakenheath airman dies in Weeting collision

An airman from RAF Lakenheath has died in a collision on the B1112 at Weeting in Norfolk.

The airman, who was part of the USAF 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron but who hasn't yet been named, was killed at about 06:30 on Thursday.

Col Evan Pettus, 48th Fighter Wing commander, said: "The Liberty Wing mourns the passing of one of its own.

"When a tragedy like this strikes, it’s felt throughout our entire community. 

"Our sympathies and prayers are with this airman’s friends, family and fellow wingmen in the 748th AMXS.”