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Summary

  1. Updates for Friday, 6 January 2017
  2. British Grand Prix: Silverstone race 'under threat because of costs'
  3. Midfielder D'Ath leaves Northampton to join Luton

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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MItch Eadie

Northampton Saints emerge victorious from a terrific Premiership game against a resurgent, bottom-of-the-table Bristol.

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That's all from us

Live updates have now finished for Northamptonshire.

You can follow Northampton Town's trip to Bristol Rovers in League One and Northampton Saints hosting Bristol in rugby's Premiership on the BBC Sport website.

We'll be back on Monday from 08:00.

Until then have a good evening and weekend.

Prof Stephen Hawking 'has made huge difference' to perception of Motor Neurone Disease

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

On Sunday Prof Stephen Hawking celebrates his 75th birthday.

Prof Hawking is Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge, and also patron of the Northampton-based MND Association, which supports people with Motor Neurone Disease.

prof stephen hawking
MND Association
Stephen Hawking with Benedict Cumberbatch at a MND Association event in Buckingham Palace in 2016

Chris James from the MND Association said Prof Hawking had  "made a huge difference to people's perception of Motor Neurone Disease" and that he raised awareness of the disease "which we wouldn't have been able to achieve without him".

Mr James said that Prof Hawking had "achieved so much with his life and not been defined by his condition, but he is very unusual because a third of people die within a year of diagnosis and half within two years".

Overnight weather: Feeling a tad warmer, with outbreaks of mainly patchy rain

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

It will be a cloudy, misty evening and night with outbreaks of generally light, patchy rain.

Less cold air moving in behind the rain, so temperatures not dropping as low overnight.

Minimum temperature: 3C (37F).

Saturday's weather map
BBC

Tomorrow rain will clear eastwards, but it'll remain rather cloudy and rather gloomy.

Top temperature: 8C (46F).

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

Police appeal for witnesses after serious sexual assault in Kettering

Sarah Foster

BBC Radio Northampton

Police in Kettering say a 43-year-old woman was seriously sexually assaulted in a churchyard in the early hours of New Year's Day.

The woman was attacked close to the entrance of St Andrew's Church on the corner of Rockingham Road and Eskdaill Street, some time between 04:30 and 05:00.

Kettering map
BBC

A 25-year-old man from Kettering has been arrested in connection with the offence and is currently in police custody, however, detectives would like to speak to any potential witnesses.

Shortly before the attack, the woman is believed to have approached three men near the car park next to The Swan pub in Montagu Street and told them she was being followed.

Michael Heseltine giving a speech at the Conservative Party conference.

Lord Heseltine is fined £5,000 for knocking a cyclist off his bike while driving his Jaguar in Northamptonshire.

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Lord Heseltine fined £5,000 for knocking cyclist off bike on Northamptonshire road

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

The former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine has been fined £5,000 by magistrates after he admitted knocking a cyclist off his bike.

He appeared at Northampton Magistrates' Court yesterday and entered a guilty plea to a charge of careless driving.

Lord Heseltine
Getty Images

The 83-year-old, driving a green Jaguar, pulled out of a lane and into the path of the cyclist on the B4525 near Thenford on 19 June last year.

The male cyclist was left with multiple injuries from the crash, including a broken arm, which was fractured in four places, and shattered knees which later required plates and pins.

Lord Heseltine was ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge and £85 costs and was given five penalty points.

Watch: 'The Carla we love is no longer there'

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The family of Bedfordshire mother Carla Bramall have spoken about the anguish they go through seeing her in a care home after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's three years ago. 

You can watch their heart-breaking story below. 

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Seeing daughter with Alzheimer's is 'heart-breaking'

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

For Rita Pepper, seeing Carla Bramall every day but realising her daughter no longer recognises her is "heartbreaking". 

Rita, who now lives in Rushden, Northamptonshire, says since her daughter was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the age of 36 she has seen her "deteriorate so quickly".  

Carla Bramall
Bramall family

Carla, now 39, "can no longer lift her head, she can't walk or speak and needs to be fed with soft food" she said.

Carla's children, who now live with their grandmother, no longer visit their mother as it is too upsetting for them.

Carla Bramall and Rita Pepper
Bramall family

She said: "I thought by now there’d be new treatments out there but there just isn’t anything available that can slow down the progression.

"I’m desperate for as much research as possible to go into the disease. It might be too late for Carla but I will spend the rest of my life worrying about my grandkids, and I’m not going to be around forever.”  

Win your way to the FA Cup Final

#PeoplesCup

Gary Lineker invites you to take part in the 2017 FA People's Cup

Sign up to the FA People's Cup and you could win your way on to the hallowed Wembley Stadium turf at half-time during the FA Cup Final.

Entries are now open and you can find out all the details here.

Anguish for family after mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at 36

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The family of a Bedfordshire mother, diagnosed with Alzheimer's in her 30s, are campaigning to raise awareness of the disease. 

Carla Bramall, 39, from Flitwick, no longer recognises her family, including her two children, and is in a care home. 

Carla Bramall
Bramall family

The inherited form of dementia has already claimed the life of her father Barry, her grandfather and her uncle, who were all in their 40s. Her cousin, who is a similar age to her, is also in a care home. 

Her brother Lee Bramall (pictured), from Rushden, Northamptonshire, said: "People need to recognise it happens to people in their 30s."

Carla and Lee Bramall
Bramall family

He believes Carla started getting the disease at about 27. "You think nobody at that age is going to get Alzheimer's," he said.  

Local paper round-up: Toxic smell, Daventry arson, and 'Smart Corridor' U-turn

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Elsewhere in Northamptonshire:

  • Kettering Council says it is investigating reports of a toxic odour which left one Burton Latimer resident’s eyes watering, according to the Northamptonshire Telegraph.
  • The Daventry Express says a building off a country lane just outside Daventry was completely destroyed in a suspected arson attack.
  • And a controversial measure banning a left turn at a busy Northampton junction as part of a so-called Smart Corridor scheme in St James has been scrapped after a public backlash, writes the Northampton Chronicle and Echo.

Midfielder D'Ath leaves Northampton to join Luton

Caroline Densley

BBC Radio Northampton Sport

Northampton Town midfielder Lawson D'Ath has left the club and joined Luton Town for an undisclosed fee.

The 24-year-old joined the Cobblers in 2014 and was part of last year's League Two championship-winning side, scoring four goals.

Lawson D'Ath
Getty Images

Northampton Town manager Rob Page said that D'Ath's opportunities club were "limited" and it "makes sense for Lawson to move on to play regular first-team football".

D'Ath has signed a 18-month contract with the Hatters.

Lawson D'Ath

Luton Town sign midfielder Lawson D'Ath for an undisclosed fee from Northampton Town on an 18-month contract.

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Ivan Toney

Northampton Town say the decision over whether Ivan Toney will return to the club is in the forward's hands.

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Cobblers 'have done what they can' to bring Ivan Toney back

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Northampton Town chairman Kelvin Thomas has said the Cobblers "have done whatever we can to bring Ivan Toney back to the club and the decision is now with him".

The 20-year-old striker had been on loan from Newcastle to League One rivals Shrewsbury for the first half of the season, but returned to his parent club earlier this month.

Ivan toney
Getty Images

Toney, born and brought up in Northampton, was sold to Newcastle United by the Cobblers in 2015, and made two appearances in the Permier League for the club, before going on loan to Barnsley and helping the club achieve promotion to the Championship.

Toney scored six goals for Shewsbury in League One this season, including two against Northampton, in the Cobblers' 4-2 win.

Saints make just one change for visit of Bristol

Northampton Saints take on Bristol at Franklin's Gardens tomorrow in rugby's Premiership and have made just one change with Jamie Elliott coming in for Ken Pisi on the wing.

Wales wing George North once again starts after making his comeback from his head injury in the narrow victory at Gloucester last week.

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Brexit positive but 'not all good' says Oundle boat-builder

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Adam Greenwood of Oundle-based English Harbour Yachts says that the impact from the Brexit vote has been "good but not all good" on the company.

As the firm was preparing to its exhibition at the London Boat Show, he said the fall in the pound's value had meant that parts, including motors, sourced from Europe had become more expensive.

English Harbour Yachts
English Harbour Yachts

However, Mr Greenwood said since the vote "the interest we are getting in Europe has significantly improved".

The fall in the value of the pound has helped exporters, with a £2bn rise in exports in October, according to the Office for National Statistics.

From 'not existing' to the London Boat Show in under a year for Fairline

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

The managing director of Fairline Yachts has said that exhibiting at the London Boat Show from today is a remarkable turnaround for the company.

Russell Currie said that this time last year "...we were not at London Boat Show, we had no staff - we didn't exist".

Fairline
Fairline Yachts

In December 2015 Oundle-based Fairline Boats went into administration with 374 jobs lost. Its Corby factory eventually closed, but just over a month later, the company was taken over by two Russian investors and re-established at Fairline Yachts.

Mr Currie said it now had 227 staff at its Oundle site and "every single one of them" felt like they had a stake in the company's success.

Re-launched Fairline Yachts exhibits at London Boat Show

Martin Borley

BBC Radio Northampton

Northamptonshire companies, including Oundle's Fairline Yachts, are exhibiting at the London Boat Show, which starts today.

Fairline celebrates its 50th birthday this year but it was touch-and-go whether the luxury boat-builder would ever see its half-century.

Following a series of job losses and restructurings, the company went into administration at the end of 2015 with 400 people were made redundant. Some were rehired when the company was bought and reborn as Fairline Yachts.

Fairline
BBC

At the London Boat Show, Fairline is exhibiting its range of yachts. A new model is due to be launched later this month in Germany.

Another Oundle-based company, English Harbour Yachts, is reporting renewed interest from overseas buyers since the fall in the value of the pound after the Brexit vote.

British Grand Prix: An analysis

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

For anyone who has followed Formula 1 for the last decade or two, another story questioning the future of the British Grand Prix is about as surprising as cold weather in winter.

There is no doubt the British Racing Drivers' Club mean it when they say they are considering activating a break clause.

But, equally, there is no doubt that it fundamentally amounts to posturing - Silverstone does not want to lose the British Grand Prix any more than do the 140,000 fans who went there to watch it last year.

The issue is the cost of the 17-year contract - £12m in 2010; a 5% annual escalator means the race will cost nearly £17m this year and more than £26m by 2027.

This is small by comparison with Russia, which pays $50m (£40.3m) a year. It's not that far out of line with the new deal signed by Italy for €68m (£58m) over 2017-19, which averages out at £19.3m a year. But Silverstone - almost alone among grands prix - receives no government funding of any kind.

No other circuit in Britain is even remotely close to being able to replace it - so ignore any suggestions from F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to that end.

The solution lies in new F1 owner Liberty Media, which has made it abundantly clear it wants to retain and nurture the historic European races, home of the sport's core audience, as a bedrock of its new-look F1.

Liberty will complete its takeover deal before the end of the first quarter of this year. So expect some time between then and this year's British Grand Prix on 16 July a compromise deal that revises the terms of the contract and secures the race's future.

British Grand Prix: Sir Jackie Stewart calls on government to support Silverstone

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Sir Jackie Stewart has called on the government to give more financial support to the Silverstone Circuit, saying that if Britain wants success like it has seen at the Olympics, including London 2012, Formula 1 needs similar financial support.

He told BBC Radio Northampton: "Formula 1 and the British Grand Prix has been very little supported, if any, by the government. When you think of the amount of people involved in the British motorsport industry is 140,000 people, we could lose that industry."

sir jackie stewart
BBC

Sir Jackie, a three-time World Champion, said that if Silverstone were to stop hosting the Grand Prix it would be an "enormous loss" and added: "I don't think we should be allowing this to happen."

However, he concluded: "With negotiations and discussion with the time that's left [before 2019 break clause] we should be able to keep the Grand Prix [at Silverstone]."

British Grand Prix: 'Nothing we can do', says Ecclestone

BBC Sport

Silverstone first hosted the British Grand Prix in 1950 and has been the event's permanent home since 1987.

Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone told ITV News: "If they want to activate a break clause, there is nothing we can do.

"Two other tracks have contacted us and we are keen to keep a British Grand Prix; there is no doubt about it, we want to have one."

Lewis Hamilton
Getty Images

Back in 2009 the race was going to move from Silverstone to Donington Park, but after the Leicestershire circuit was unable to secure funding, Silverstone stepped in and then signed the contract to host the race until 2026, with the break clause in 2019.

British Grand Prix: Silverstone race 'under threat because of costs'

BBC Sport

The future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone could be under threat because of the "potentially ruinous risk" of staging the loss-making race.

Circuit owner the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) is considering giving notice to exercise a contract-break clause at the end of 2019.

Lewis Hamilton
PA

A letter written by BRDC chairman John Grant - seen by ITV News - says a decision will be made by "mid-year".

The BRDC's contract with Formula 1 runs until 2026.

Regional weather: Frosty start, rain coming later

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It will be a cold, bright start although there will be patchy fog in some places early on, but it will cloud over later with rain arriving this afternoon in the west and towards the evening in the east.

Maximum temperature: 5C (41F).

For more details, visit BBC Weather.

Welcome back

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Good morning.

It's another cold one. So cold my car wouldn't start and I'm currently on a bus into Northampton.

But that won't stop us bringing you the latest news, weather, sport and travel for Northamptonshire.

We've got news this morning of the future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and we'll look ahead to the weekend's sport. 

First though, the weather forecast.

bus
BBC
Proof I am, in fact, on a bus

That's all from us

Live updates have now finished for Northamptonshire until Friday.

Tomorrow we'll be building up to a busy weekend of sport and looking at the county boat builders at the London Boat Show.

Any breaking news will appear here through the evening and overnight and we'll see you tomorrow from 08:00.

Boats
Getty Images
David Ribbans

Premiership side Northampton Saints sign lock David Ribbans from South African Super Rugby club Western Stormers.

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Weather: Cold and foggy overnight

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

There's a chance of an isolated shower near the coast, but otherwise it'll stay dry but damp in places across the BBC East region.

There will be a widespread frost with mist and freezing fog patches overnight as the temperature dips to a minimum of -2C (28F), but it will be warmer towards the coast.

Weather map for BBC East
BBC

Friday will see freezing fog gradually lifting, although it may linger throughout the morning.  

Some bright spells developing, but turning cloudier through the day with the chance of patchy rain later and high of 4-6C (39-43F).

There are more details for where you are on the BBC Weather website.

Extra officers and advice for vehicle owners after 14 crimes in last two days

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Police in Daventry have said there has been a "surge" in vehicle crime over the last two days with three crimes in the town and 11 in the surrounding villages.

They have issued advice to car owners and also those with commercial vans.

Daventry Police station
Getty Images

The advice includes not leaving items on display including carrier bags, change and charging cables for phones and sat-navs.

They also suggest those with vans should get a movement detection alarm.

Northamptonshire Police say there will also be extra officers patrolling the area.

Players 'won't duck into high tackle' to get players sent off says Day

Graham McKechnie

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Northampton Saints forward and Rugby Players' Association chairman Christian Day said he doesn't think it would be possible for players to "duck into a tackle, looking to get a high tackle".

In a statement Phil Winstanley, rugby director at Premiership Rugby, praised the changes as a "step forward" for the sport, while World Rugby has said the rules "ensure the head is a no-go area" for players.

Premiership Rugby also said the changes will be supported by a "global education programme".

Christian Day
Getty Images

Day said: "You're introducing this ideology to the players, that if you get hit towards the head you might just stay down an extra five seconds and make sure the ref has a think about that.

"That's something that rugby's always prided itself on, that we're not going to do."

Rugby Players' Association chairman criticises tackling laws change

Graham McKechnie

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Rugby Players' Association chairman Christian Day has criticised changes to rules over high tackles.

The new laws, which mean players making contact with the head in "reckless tackles" receive at least a yellow card, came into effect on 3 January.

The rules also mean penalties are given, even when contact is accidental.

Christian Day
Getty Images

"You've seen the issues we've had - players being sent off, games being changed as a result of clumsiness," Northampton lock Day, 33, told our Saints Show.

"These laws are coming in for our own welfare, our own safety, and as a player you've got to look at that with an open point of view and think someone's doing this to try to make the game as safe as possible.

"But to make such massive changes mid-season - with very little explanation, education and everything that should come with it - isn't a good idea."

Diana letter sells for thousands

Sarah Campbell

BBC News/Royal Correspondent

It seems like the sale of Princess Diana's letters are proving very popular as as letter explaining Prince Harry was "constantly in trouble" at school has sold for £2,400. 

Correspondence describing William's reaction to Harry's birth has just sold for £3,200 - that's £2,600 over the estimated price. 

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Christian Day

Rugby Players' Association chairman Christian Day criticises recent changes to rules over high tackles.

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Worldwide interest in Diana letters

Sarah Campbell

BBC News/Royal Correspondent

It seems like the auction of the letters of Diana, Princess of Wales is getting a lot of interest from around the world. 

Ex-Buckingham Palace steward Cyril Dickman's collection is going under the hammer at the Cheffins auction house in Cambridge shortly. 

View more on twitter

Local paper round-up: Armed police could return, tributes to Corby's 'Mr Scotland' and more

Elsewhere in Northamptonshire:

Daventry canal
Daventry District Council

Afternoon weather: Fine and sunny, but staying cold

BBC Weather

Any showers will fade this afternoon, leaving a dry and sunny day for all, but it will remain cold with a high of just 4C (39F).

Fawsley
BBC

Find more detail for where you are at BBC Weather.

How does the Greyhound Derby compare to it's horse racing counterpart

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

From this year the English Greyhound Derby will be at Towcester Racecourse. It has one of the biggest prize funds in the sport, but it lags behind horseracing's Derby.

England Greyhound derby winner gets £150,000 and the total prize fund is £300,000
Getty Images

But how does that compare with horse racing's Epsom Derby...

Epsom Derby winner gets £750,000 and the total prize fund is £1.325m
Getty Images

Racecourse aiming to be 'one of the world's premier greyhound tracks'

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Kevin Ackerman, the chief executive of Towcester Racecourse says that the English Greyhound Derby "really does have a huge weight in the world of greyhound racing".

He said the race, which the track has secured the rights to for the next five years, will "propel [Towcester] to the position of one of the world's premier greyhound tracks".

greyhound
Getty Images

The track has only been open since December 2014, and Mr Ackerman says the progress they've made in that time is "testament to work that's been put in by the staff".

He said that, along with the Derby, they'll be soon launching Saturday morning racing for the Australian TV market, which "puts us into a very strong position".

English Greyhound Derby moving to Towcester

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Towcester Racecourse has signed a deal to stage one of greyhound racing's most prestigious events.

The English Greyhound Derby will be held at the south Northamptonshire track for the next five years.

Greyhounds
Getty Images

The Derby was first staged in 1927 and has one of the biggest prize-funds in the sport.

It was first held at White City Stadium in London, moving to Wimbledon Stadium in 1985 and it will have its first running at Towcester later this year.