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Summary

  1. Improvements to the Chowns Mill roundabout near Higham Ferrers will happen but not until 2020
  2. Dylan Hartley is preparing to lead England in their crunch Grand Slam clash with France at the weekend
  3. Northamptonshire County Council is set to consult on the closure of eight children's centres
  4. News, sport, weather and travel updates resume at 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

By Pete Cooper

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage through the day

    Local Live is finished for today, but we'll be back on Monday with the latest news, weather, sport and travel for Northamptonshire.

  2. Headlines: Eight children's centres could close... Hartley prepares for Grand Slam decider

    Sarah Foster

    BBC Radio Northampton

    If you're catching up, here are our top stories:

    • Eight Northamptonshire children's centres could close and nine others move to libraries in new county council plans
    • Northampton Saints' Dylan Hartley prepares to lead England for the Grand Slam decider in Paris tomorrow
    • Wellingborough MP Peter Bone says he wasn't fooled by a political blogger who prank called him - pretending to be US presidential candidate Donald Trump
  3. Save Sekhemka group say statue should be loaned back to Britain

    Pete Cooper

    BBC Local Live

    Egyptian statue Sekhemka should be loaned back to a British institution by the buyer who purchased it from Northampton Borough Council.

    Sekemka

    Earlier today we mentioned how the Save Sekhemka Action Group had told Northampton Chronicle & Echo a plan by the Egyptian Ambassador to buy back the statue was "gallant" but "un-ethical".

    Now, Gunilla Loe, from the group, has told BBC Northampton she wants "the UK Government or one of the major British museums to negotiate with the anonymous buyer [of Sekhemka] for a permanent loan to a British institution".

    The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has imposed an export bar which expires on 29 March.

  4. Weather: Drizzle overnight and tomorrow

    Dan Holley

    BBC Look East weather

    There will be a few brief clear intervals, but much of tonight will be cloudy with patchy drizzle and temperatures falling to 2C (36F).

    weather

    Saturday will be rather cloudy and damp with spots of drizzle possible, but some bright or sunny intervals may develop for the afternoon with highs of 9C (48F).

  5. Councillor axed by Kettering Tories in skateboard row 'chose to disagree'

    Sam Read

    BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

    Kettering Conservatives say they are "not prepared to discuss" a decision to kick one of their members out of the party.

    Skateboarding in Kettering

    As reported in the Northamptonshire Telegraph, Councillor Steve Bellamy claims he was voted out at a secret meeting on Monday night by fellow Tories for questioning their decision to ban skateboarding in the town. He must now sit as an Independent.

    Councillor Lloyd Bunday, deputy leader of the ruling conservatives said: "The meeting was a private one. Councillor Bellamy chose to disagree.”

  6. Midfielder Byrom says former team Stevenage are 'always going to be tough'

    Joe Townsend

    BBC Radio Northampton sport

    Northampton Town's Joel Byrom is expecting a difficult test at former side Stevenage tomorrow saying that last season's game was "tough".

    Joel Byrom

    The midfielder spent three years there, winning promotion from the Conference and League Two.

    He told me "Stevenage is always going to be tough, it's a tight pitch and last year they were the better team."

  7. Saints hoping to get 'game right' for tough match against Exeter on Sunday

    Graham McKechnie

    BBC Radio Northampton sport

    Northampton Saints forwards coach Dorian West says they're "fairly confident" of winning at Exeter on Sunday, despite the Chiefs' formidable home form.

    Dorian West

    They've made four changes to the team that beat Sale last weekend with Ace Tuala and JJ Hanrahan starting in the backs, Alex Waller returning at prop and Jon Fisher starting at number 8.

    West said: "We know if we get our game right we can be a match for anybody."

  8. MP Peter Bone 'not fooled' by prank Donald Trump call

    Sam Read

    BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

    Wellingborough MP Peter Bone says he was never fooled by a political blogger who prank called him pretending to be US presidential candidate Donald Trump.

    Peter Bone

    Political blogger Guido Fawkes made the call after the Conservative MP signed a letter telling Barack Obama not to get involved in the EU referendum debate.

    Mr Bone said it was not the first prank call he's received, adding: "The problem is when you do actually get the Prime Minister on the phone and you say 'who's that impersonating him'."

  9. Statue to Saints and First World War hero vandalised

    Graham McKechnie

    BBC Radio Northampton sport

    The statue of former Northampton Saints captain and First World War hero Edgar Mobbs in Abington Square has been vandalised.

    Edgar Mobbs

    Mobbs also captained England once against France, was killed in action on July 31, 1917.

    The memorial commemorates the fact Edgar raised his own "Sportsman's" company of 250 men - also known as Mobbs' Own - for the 7th Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment.

  10. Charity that runs under threat children's centres say they have 'vital role'

    Sam Read

    BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

    A charity which runs six of eight children's centres under threat from Northamptonshire County Council cuts says it will "work closely" with the authority to "meet the needs of as many as possible of the children and families we currently support".

    Children with mother

    Action for Children also looks after a further seven centres which may have to move.

    Its operational director, Laurie Long, said they "understand the [financial] difficulties" faced by the county council, but added they "believe children’s centre services should and can retain a vital role".

  11. Egyptian bid to buy Sekhemka statue back for £15m is ‘unethical’, says action group

    Northampton Chronicle & Echo

    The Egyptian embassy’s bid to buy a 4,500 year-old statue once on display in Northampton and save it being lost forever overseas is “gallant” but “unethical”, according to a Northampton action group.

  12. County council could close eight children's centres to save £3m

    Pete Cooper

    BBC Local Live

    Northamptonshire County Council has launched a consultation on proposals which could see the closure of eight of the county’s 50 children’s centres – Wootton, Headlands and Parklands in Northampton, Ronald Tree and Thornton in Kettering, Croyland and Oakway in Wellingborough, and Bugbrooke.

    Mother and Child

    The closures would save £3m from the authority's 2016/17 budget. Services at a further nine centres will be transferred to local libraries or other community venues.

    The authority says all areas of the county are likely to see a change in the services available. The consultation closes on April 28.

  13. Behind the scenes at Mercedes in Brixworth ahead of the Formula 1 season

    Jonathan Park

    BBC Look East sport

    I've been behind the scenes at Mercedes in Brixworth ahead of the Formula 1 season. This is where the engines are made for the World Champions based in Brackley...

    Video content

    Video caption: We go behind the scenes at Mercedes in Brixworth ahead of the Formula 1 season.
  14. Firemen cut roof of car to rescue dummy victim

    Mike Cartwright

    BBC Look East

    The fire service in Northamptonshire have been showing me how they would cut free someone from a trapped vehicle and - here - how they would take the roof off a car...

    View more on twitter
  15. Fire Service demonstrate hydraulic cutters in mock car crash

    Mike Cartwright

    BBC Look East

    I'm at Mereway Fire Station where the fire service are demonstrating how they would rescue someone from a trapped car in road traffic collision...

    View more on twitter
  16. Playing field land sale needed to fund school improvement, says county council

    Anna Bartlett

    BBC Radio Northampton

    Northamptonshire County Council has said part of playing field land at the old Oundle Middle School site earmarked for new houses is "surplus land".

    oundle playing field

    The MP for the area, Tom Pursglove, has objected to the application, but county council deputy leader and ward councillor for Oundle, Heather Smith, said planned new school buildings - as well as improvements to existing buildings - relied on the sale of "playing fields in Oundle which exceed the schools’ requirement".

  17. MP objects to houses being built on school playing field in Oundle

    Anna Bartlett

    BBC Radio Northampton

    Conservative MP for Corby, Tom Pursglove, has taken to Facebook to say he has submitted an objection to plans to build houses on playing field land in Oundle.

    Tom Pursglove

    Pans to sell the playing field at the old Oundle Middle School site had been withdrawn by the county council last summer, but a small section of the field on the roadside has now been earmarked for development - with the money raised earmarked to fund a three tier transition of Oundle schools, which were two tier.