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  1. Seventy jobs are to go at Avon Cosmetics in Northampton and Corby as part of a restructuring to save money
  2. Rushden Lakes shopping and leisure development plans, which include a cinema and bowling alley, discussed
  3. Free car parking passes used for "council business" could be taken away from councillors in Kettering borough
  4. Developers change proposal for 'zero-carbon' housing at Hanwood Park in Kettering
  5. Updates for Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Thanks for joining us

Martin Borley

BBC Northampton

Local Live for Northamptonshire is closing for the evening - thanks for joining us today.

We'll be back at 08:00 tomorrow for more updates of news, sport, travel and weather for the county.

If you've got a story or photo for us, please contact us by email, twitter or Facebook.

Thank you to Cobblers fans

Tom Percival

BBC Northampton

Northampton Town fans who've been through so many ups and downs this season are celebrating their success.The club were crowned champions of League Two last Saturday.  

Earlier in the season, the club came close to extinction having run into financial problems. This is a thank you to the fans from BBC Radio Northampton.

Decision due on Rushden Lakes cinema

Martin Borley

BBC Northampton

A proposal to build a 12-screen cinema, 10 pin bowling alley and more restaurants at Rushden Lakes is expected to be granted planning permission this evening.

An artist's impression of the completed Rushden Lakes
The Crown Estate

Construction of the £140m shopping and leisure centre has already begun with the first shops expected to open in spring 2017.

The cinema replaces a garden centre which featured in the original plans. There would also be a climbing structure and cycle hire.

East Northamptonshire Council's  Planning Management Committee will consider the changes at a meeting starting at 19:00.

Minister welcomes Tata bid interest

Martin Borley

BBC Northampton

The UK business minister has welcomed the prospect of a management buy-out for Tata Steel's UK businesses.

Tata Jobs in the UK

More than 500 people are employed at Tata's Corby tube works.

UK Business Minister Anna Soubry said keeping the blast furnaces at Port Talbot open was going to be difficult but "that's really what should be at the very heart of any future for Tata Steel in the UK".  

Free parking for councillors is defended

Martin Borley

BBC Northampton

A Northampton councillor has defended the practise of giving elected members free car parking passes.

A car park ticket machine

Conservative councillor Tim Hadland was responding to calls from a Kettering Borough councillor to ban free passes in Kettering. Labour's Clark Mitchell says that some councillors don't realise the true cost of parking.

Mr Hadland said: "The fact that we have free parking means we don't claim travel expenses which we would otherwise do."

Tata 'reaches out' to 190 buyers

Tata says it has "reached out" to 190 potential bidders for its giant Port Talbot steel plant as a management buy-out bid emerges.  

About 150 people are employed at Tata's tube works in Corby.

Port Talbot
Getty Images

Carbon zero change 'a disadvantage'

Martin Borley

BBC Northampton

Plans to reduce the environmental standards of new homes at a big housing development near Kettering have been been criticised as "a disadvantage" to those living there. 

The site of Hanwood Park

Hanwood Park - better known as Kettering East - has outline planning permission for 5,500 homes which was granted six years ago. So far no homes have been built.

The homes were due to be 'zero carbon' but the developer is now proposing a lower standard.

Martin Field, senior researcher at the University of Northampton's Collaborative Centre for the Built Environment, says we're being left behind by other countries: "We should be aspiring to do what other countries, like Germany, are doing by building properties that can maximise all the energy and utility efficiencies we know we can do."

Opposition to cinema at Rushden Lakes

Martin Borley

BBC Northampton

Kettering and Bedford councils are objecting to plans for a cinema and bowling alley at Rushden Lakes.

An artist's impression of Rushden Lakes

There are fears that the £140m retail and leisure complex will be so big it could poach shoppers from towns as far afield as Kettering, Corby, Northampton and Bedford.

But East Northamptonshire Council's planning officers say the addition of a 12-screen cinema, bowling alley, climbing structure and restaurants will create jobs and "increase the self-sufficiency" of the area.

Rehearsals start for Marvin Gaye show

EastEnders and Holby City star Petra Letang is excited about appearing at the Royal & Derngate for a new play.

I feel like a kid. Like when you go back to school after the summer hols. First day of rehearsals for 'Soul' by @royboywilliams #soul

Huge new 'trampoline arena' given go-ahead in Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire Telegraph

Plans for an indoor trampoline park in a disused Northampton parcel warehouse have been given the green light.

Local support for Corby's Tata Steel works

Martin Borley

BBC Northampton

A body representing councils in Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire has agreed to support efforts to secure the future of Corby's steel industry.

Corby tube works

The Joint Delivery Committee for North Northamptonshire met last night in Corby's council chamber.

The leader of Corby Borough Council, Tom Beattie, said: "We should be seen to support our local industries when procuring the material, including steel needed to build our future communities."

Avon expresses 'sadness' over job losses

Martin Borley

BBC Northampton

Avon Cosmetics staff at Northampton and Corby have been told that 70 job losses are due to a global restructuring "to improve effectiveness and reduce cost".

A 30-day consultation period has begun.

A statement sent to employees says: "It's been a challenging period, with much sadness."

Avon confirms job cuts in Northampton and Corby

Sarah Foster

BBC Radio Northampton

Avon Cosmetics, which has its headquarters in Northampton, has confirmed that 70 jobs are to go at its sites in the town and in Corby.

The Avon logo
Avon Cosmetics

The company says the job losses are part of a restructuring to save money.

Avon had recently announced it was moving its global headquarters from the USA to the UK after selling its North American business. This would mean the loss of 2,500 positions worldwide. 

Travel: Severe delays on M1 southbound

BBC Travel

One lane is closed on the M1 southbound between J17 and J16 because of a broken-down lorry.

It's causing severe delays with queuing traffic.

Casualty actress to appear in Marvin Gaye show


Martin Borley

BBC Northampton

Adjoa Andoh, best known as Colette from the BBC's Casualty, is to appear in the Royal & Derngate's world premiere of Soul.

Adjoa Andoh in New Tricks
BBC / Headstrong Pictures

The play, by Roy Williams, is about soul legend Marvin Gaye.

Also in the casting, announced today, is Petra Letang from EastEnders and Holby City. The play will be on the Royal Theatre stage from 20 May.

Councillor explains why he doesn't want free parking


Martin Borley

BBC Northampton

Clark Mitchell, a Kettering borough councillor, says he and other councillors shouldn't have free parking.

St Michael's car park in Northampton

The Labour member has tabled a motion at tonight's full council meeting calling for the passes to be removed.

He says the elected representatives are already given an allowance to pay for things like parking: "We all put ourselves in a position to do this, supposedly to support the community and support the people of Kettering."

Redundancies made at Avon's Corby site

Northamptonshire Telegraph

Cosmetics firm Avon has made 70 redundancies at its sites in Corby and Northampton in a move to save costs.  

'Growing concern' for missing man

Martin Borley

BBC Northampton

Police say they're "growing concerned" for missing man Martin Roberts who's not been seen since leaving Northampton General Hospital this morning.

Martin Roberts
Northamptonshire Police

The 45-year-old was last seen at about 06:00 when he was leaving the hospital, walking in the direction of Cheyne Walk.  He was wearing a white top with a green, sleeveless jacket.

Mr Roberts comes from Daventry and drives a silver VW Polo.

Headlines: Government welcomes proposed management buy-out of part of Tata Steel... A decision is due on a cinema at Rushden Lakes...

Sarah Foster

BBC Radio Northampton

The latest news for Northamptonshire:

  • The government is welcoming a proposed management buy-out of part of Tata Steel's UK operations
  • A proposal to build a 12-screen cinema, bowling alley and restaurants at Rushden Lakes is expected to be granted planning permission tonight
  • A Kettering councillor wants councillors to be stripped of their free parking in the town

Parking charges across Northamptonshire

Martin Borley

BBC Northampton

As a Kettering councillor calls for free car parking to be removed from borough councillors, we've been looking at parking charges around Northamptonshire.

Parking charges in Northamptonshire

Most towns have free parking but Northampton, Kettering and Corby make charges.  In Northampton the charges apply after two hours.

If you're parking for two to three hours, Kettering is the most expensive town.

On Sundays, all our towns have free parking.

Sports headlines: Another win for Northampton Town... Kettering's Kyren Wilson to play at Snooker World Championship

In the world of local sport: 

Councillors should discover 'true cost of parking'

Martin Borley

BBC Northampton

There will be an attempt tonight to remove free car parking passes from Kettering Borough councillors.

Kettering Borough Council's offices

The passes are for use when on council business but Labour councillor Clark Mitchell,  who's proposing the motion, says it means some councillors don't know the true cost of parking in the town.

Councillors would still be able to claim back the parking charges through their expenses.

Travel: Severe delays on M1 northbound

BBC Travel

There are severe delays on the M1 northbound between J18 and J19.

It follows an earlier accident.  All lanes have since reopened but northbound traffic is very slow.

Your pictures: Northampton Marina

The crisp and misty start to the morning was perfect for our Weather Watchers. "Ssscrudddy" captured this shot of Northampton Marina, recording sunny conditions in 3C (34F).

Northampton Marina
Weather Watchers/Ssscrudddy

If you love talking about the weather, then you too can become a Weather Watcher. Sign-up for free on the website.

Developers change proposal for 'zero-carbon' housing

The company behind one of Northamptonshire's biggest new housing developments is trying to reduce the environmental standards of the new properties.

Hanwood Park, better known as Kettering East, is set to have 5,500 homes. They were due to be "zero carbon", but the new proposal is to build them at a lower standard.

We'll have more on this throughout the day.

Balaclava-wearing bikers 'speeding down Northampton bridle path at 70mph'

Northampton Chronicle & Echo

A Northampton man says it is a matter of time before someone is killed on a problem bridle path being used as a rat run for motorbikes and criminals.

Weather: Dry with long sunny spells and light winds

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

A dry day with lengthy sunny spells across Northamptonshire. It'll feel pleasant too, in the light winds. Maximum temperature: 14C (57F).

It will remain dry overnight with some good clear spells and light winds, allowing temperatures to drop, leading to a patchy frost forming in places by dawn. Minimum temperature: 3C (37F).

Get the detailed forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

Headlines: Rushden Lakes development plans set to be approved... Councillors could lose free parking passes

This morning's headlines:

  • The proposal for a controversial shopping and leisure development at Rushden Lakes, which includes a bowling alley and cinema, is expected to be granted planning permission tonight
  • Free car parking passes used for "council business" could be taken away from councillors in Kettering borough. The move will be proposed at a meeting later
  • A senior director at Tata Steel is forming a management buy-out team to start the process of bidding to take over the company's UK operation which employs 15,000 people including 500 in Corby  

Welcome to Wednesday's Local Live

Martin Barber

BBC News

Good morning (even if it's a bit chilly) and welcome to our live page for Northamptonshire.

We'll have the day's latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for you between now and 18:00.

Waterway in Kettering
Weather Watchers/Pickle Jim

Thanks to Weather Watcher "Pickle Jim" for this beautiful shot captured in Kettering about 06:30 this morning. We've a full weather forecast on the way.

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