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  1. Updates for Friday, 27 January 2017
  2. Tesco agrees to buy Wellingborough based Booker

Live Reporting

By Craig Lewis

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye for now

That's it for live updates for today and indeed this week.

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

Scroll back through today's feed for anything you may have missed, including more on Tesco's multibillion-pound deal to buy Northamptonshire company Booker Group.

Have a great weekend.

Players returning as Cobblers face Coventry

BBC Sport

In more derby day sport, Aaron Phillips (pictured) and Paul Anderson could return to Northampton Town's squad for Saturday's home game against Coventry.

Rod McDonald is also back in training while Brendan Moloney is still about a fortnight away from making a comeback.

"Aaron is back in full training and so is Paul," boss Justin Edinburgh told the Cobblers' website.

"Rod had a bit of a twinge in his back before Milton Keynes but he trained on Thursday and as long as he doesn't suffer a reaction he will be in contention.

"Brendan saw a specialist last week, he had a little bit of swelling on his knee that wasn't moving so he had that drained. That's freed up a bit of movement and he's now stepping up his recovery."

Aaron Phillips
Getty Images

Saints' derby day line-up confirmed

BBC Sport

Northampton Saints' have announced their line-up for Saturday's derby day Anglo-Welsh Cup trip to Leicester.

Captain Christian Day (below) returns for his 200th appearance and David Ribbans makes his club debut after arriving from Western Province earlier this month. 

Elsewhere, Sam Olver comes in for the injured JJ Hanrahan and Sam Dickinson will have his first action since November's win over Worcester.

Christian Day
Getty Images

Weather: Cloudy with patchy light rain

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

Occasional clear spells overnight, but generally cloudy with outbreaks of mainly light and patchy rain in a moderate breeze across the BBC East region.

Weather chart

Less cold tomorrow but expect a cloudy day with some further outbreaks of mainly light and patchy rain. 

There's a chance of sunshine in the west of the region before sundown. 

Maximum Temperature: 8C (46F)

More details from BBC Weather

New Corby Innovation Hub available for start-ups and warehouse space

Craig Lewis

BBC News

A new innovation hub will provide the "perfect" office for start-up businesses, according to Corby Borough Council.

The authority has taken ownership of a 65,000 sq ft (6,039 sq m) building off Bangrave Road in Corby, formerly known as the Pearson Training Academy, with the intention of re-branding it as the Corby Innovation Hub.

The space is also being offered to those seeking industrial or warehouse space.

Deputy leader of the council, Jean Addison, said: "I would urge any businesses looking for office or warehouse space to contact us to arrange a viewing."

It's cold out there...

Not every day the Nene freezes...

View more on twitter

Independents for Desborough want to make town 'more vibrant'

The newly formed Independents for Desborough political party, set to launch tonight, will aim to "make the town more vibrant".

Kevin O'Brien, Independents for Desborough

Founder Kevin O'Brien said the party will be built around what residents really want.

"The ultimate aim is to increase turnout [at the next election] and if we can get a majority, then fantastic."

New Desborough political party set to launch

A group of disgruntled residents who opposed parish council plans to increase tax by 400% have formed their own political party.

Residents at a meeting opposing the council tax increase

Independents for Desborough will launch at The Ritz in the town this evening.

Founder Kevin O'Brien said the party manifesto will be "built around what the residents really want", with ideas including a town radio station and a loyalty scheme for people who use shops in the town centre.

Last year, hundreds of residents called for a vote of no confidence in Desborough Town Council when it increased the annual levy from £19.10 to £96.98.

Councillors argued the money was needed to fund a "truly wonderful future for Desborough".

The vote was passed by a huge majority of the 2,200 residents who took part, but the leader of the town council said he wouldn't be standing down and the tax increase remained in place.

MP Peter Bone welcomes Tesco-Booker merger

A £3.7bn deal which will see Wellingborough-based Booker bought up by Tesco has been heralded as "good news" by the town's MP.

Peter Bone

Peter Bone said he hoped the move would bring more jobs and more growth to the town.

He said the deal shows "how successful Wellingborough has been". 

"We have lots and lots of small, medium sized and large companies and they are all doing exceptionally well," he said.

Booker's HQ is based on Irthlingborough Road in Wellingborough.

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe disruption, between J17 for M45 Dunchurch and J16 for A45.

M1 Northamptonshire - Very slow traffic and two lanes closed on M1 southbound between J17, M45 (Dunchurch) in Crick and J16, A45 (Daventry) in Northamptonshire, because of emergency repairs. In the roadworks area.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Infant school hoping to build mud kitchen to boost learning

Tom Percival

BBC Radio Northampton

Ruskin Infant School in Wellingborough is asking for help to transform how its youngest children learn.

The school is growing fast and its outside learning space, where children get to learn through play, needs a revamp. 

Getting it done could cost £7,000, with plans in place for a sensory herb garden and a new mud garden to replace a small one currently in place.

Chrissie Cundy, from the school, said the space will help develop children's imagination, language and physical wellbeing.

Ruskin Infants' School outside learning space
Ruskin Infants' School outside learning space
Ruskin Infants' School outside learning space

Cake tin removed from child's head by fire crews

The things kids put on their head... thankfully it sounds like this was safely resolved.

Incident 17:54 Cake tin removed from child's head by crews at Corby Fire Station using tools - Phoenix Parkway #Corby

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe disruption, between J17 for M45 Dunchurch and J16 for A45.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M1 southbound between J17, M45 (Dunchurch) and J16, A45 (Daventry).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Haseeb Hameed and Ben Duckett

England pair Haseeb Hameed and Ben Duckett are named in the MCC team for March's Champion County game against Middlesex.

Read more

Tesco-Booker deal 'not about job cuts'

The chief executives of Tesco and Booker both said on a call with reporters they plan to merge the two companies without cutting jobs.

Londis store

They reckon they'll get benefits of £25m and cost savings of £175m from combining the two companies.

But that would not be driven by a reduction in the number of roles, said Dave Lewis, head of Welwyn-based Tesco.

Charles Wilson, head of Booker, which has about 800 workers at its Wellingborough headquarters, said they hoped to "keep the expertise" in both firms.

'Newsagents will see Tesco-Booker as a good deal'

Booker is a major supplier to independent convenience stores across the UK.

Its chief executive, Charles Wilson, was asked on a media call with reporters how shopkeepers might feel about buying their products from Tesco - in many cases a direct rival - if the supermarket chain acquires Booker.

"It'll take a bit of persuasion," he conceded.

Man reading a newspaper
Getty Images

However, corner shops face many other challenges including rising business rates and the living wage being implemented on staff, so they want to get the best out of their suppliers, he said.

"In five years' time I think they'll be saying it's a good deal for them," he added.

Booker's headquarters is on Irthlingborough Road in Wellingborough and employs 800 people.

'I feel like we've won the FA Cup'


FA People's Cup: Watch the best goals from 2016 finals

As we look forward to a weekend of FA Cup action, watch some of the best goals from the FA People's Cup - the UK's biggest free five-a-side tournament - and what it means to those who lifted the trophy.

You can get involved in the 2017 FA People's Cup, in one of 16 categories, now! Find out how to sign up here.

Luke Williams

Northampton Town sign forward Luke Williams on loan from League One rivals Scunthorpe United for the rest of the season.

Read more

Tesco 'confident' on competition concerns

As well as its supplier business, Booker also owns the Londis, Premier, Family Shopper and Budgens convenience store brands, which have thousands of shops.

So, how will Tesco satisfy potential concerns from UK competition regulators?


Tesco boss Dave Lewis said Booker, based on Irthlingborough Road in Wellingborough, doesn't own the stores - they are run as franchises.

He also claimed a Booker-Tesco combination wouldn't have influence over key aspects of how the shops are run, including pricing.

"We're very confident that competition regulators will come to the same view," Mr Lewis said.

What is Booker?

Shopping trolley
Booker Group

Chances are you've bought food from Booker in the UK, even if you weren't aware of it.

It's the UK's largest cash and carry operator, selling everything from baked beans to teabags to 700,000 small businesses. It employs about 800 people at its Wellingborough headquarters.

A whole range of well-known restaurant chains, such as Wagamama, Prezzo and Byron Burger, use food supplied by Booker. 

And on the High Street, it owns the Premier, Budgens and Londis convenience-store brands.

In total, profits for the group were £127.8m in the year ending on 27 March.

Tesco agrees to buy Booker in £3.7bn deal

The UK's biggest supermarket group Tesco, based in Hertfordshire, has agreed to buy Northamptonshire company Booker Group in a £3.7bn deal.

The firms said the deal would create the "UK's leading food business".

Tesco trollies

Booker Group, whose headquarters is in Wellingborough, is the UK's largest cash and carry operator, supplying everything from baked beans to teabags to 700,000 convenience stores, grocers, pubs and restaurants.

Booker also owns the Premier, Budgens and Londis convenience-store brands.

Holocaust Memorial Day: Evacuee's family shop raided

Katherine Ganczakowski

BBC Radio Northampton

A man who escaped Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport says he didn't realise at the time how "momentous" his trip was.

Axel Landmann, now 87, was just nine when he boarded a train for Britain. His journey began after his family's shop north of Berlin was ransacked by Nazi officials.

Axel Landmann's passbook and the teddy bear he brought across from Germany

He arrived here in 1938, initially settling with a Northampton Quaker family, the Rundles.

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day and Mr Landmann told me every child had to have a sponsor in England who would look after them for a year free of cost to the country.

"It is only in retrospect I realise what a wonderful gesture it was," Mr Landmann said.

Axel Landmann

Holocaust Memorial Day: What was the Kindertransport?

Katherine Ganczakowski

BBC Radio Northampton

I've been speaking to Axel Landmann who escaped Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport when he was nine years old.

But what was it?

Children who escaped on the kidertransport

Following a night of organised persecution and massacre across Germany and Austria on 9 and 10 November 1938, known as the "Kristallnacht" - or Night of Broken Glass - the British government agreed to waive certain immigration rules to allow unaccompanied children into the country.

In all, 10,000 children - including Mr Landmann - came to these shores as refugees.

It makes you wonder about how much we object to some of the refugees who come here from war zones like Syria. We balk at 200 people coming and yet at that time 10,000 children were allowed in."

Axel LandmannNorthampton resident who escaped on the Kindertransport

Holocaust Memorial Day: The 'adventure' of escaping the Nazis

Katherine Ganczakowski

BBC Radio Northampton

Nine-and-a-half year-old Axel Landmann thought it was an "adventure" when he boarded a train in Germany, with just a small teddy to keep him company, on the start of his journey to Britain.

The young Jew would never see his parents again as he escaped the Nazis via the "Kindertransport" - an organised rescue effort in the nine months prior to the outbreak of World War Two.

Axel Landmann

On Holocaust Memorial Day, Mr Landmann, now 87 and a Northampton resident, said: "I didn't realise the implications of why I was going.

"I really expected I would be coming back."

Friday's weather: Mainly grey and cloudy, not quite as chilly as yesterday

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

We are starting off this morning with another widespread frost and we've got a few early outbreaks of rain too so some of this rain will refreeze onto the roads and pavements - there's a Met Office warning of ice for the rest of the morning.

Through the afternoon it's going to stay rather grey and cloudy, and with a slight shift of wind direction, temperatures will get up to between 3C and 5C (37F to 41F).

Watch my full regional forecast here:

Welcome back to our live updates for Northamptonshire

Craig Lewis

BBC News

Good morning and welcome back to our live page for Northamptonshire, where we'll be bringing you news, sport, travel and weather until 18:00.

It's Holocaust Memorial Day, so among other things we'll be hearing the incredible story of Axel Landmann.

The county resident escaped Nazi Germany via the kindertransport - the informal name given to a series of rescue efforts which brought thousands of refugee Jewish children to Britain from Germany between 1938 and 1940.

Two-car crash in Cropredy

A man dies after a two-car collision that left a vehicle on its side in a hedgerow in Oxfordshire.

Read more

Severe accident: M40 Oxfordshire northbound

BBC Travel

M40 Oxfordshire northbound severe accident, after J11 for A361.

M40 Oxfordshire - M40 blocked northbound after J11, A361 (Banbury), because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Our live coverage for today

That's our live updates finished for the day. We'll be back with all your news, travel, weather and sport from 08:00 tomorrow. 

But before we go, here's a recap on some of the stories we've covered today:

Have a great evening. 

Weather: Widespread hard frost expected

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Cloud will clear from the north, bringing clear spells and a widespread hard frost. But after more cloud develops later in the night, temperatures should rise. Minimum temperature: -3C (26F).

Weather map

Tomorrow will start cold with some bright spells, but cloud will increase from the north. This could bring sleet or light snow.

Maximum temperature 4-7C.

New company aims to boost tech operations near Silverstone

Craig Lewis

BBC News

A new company has been formed to support high-tech operations within an hour of Silverstone.


It comes after economic research company SQW published a report last year saying there were a number of engineering companies with "limitless" potential in the area - including 4,000 small companies operating in motorsports and automotive.

Brackley businesses TotalSim and KW Special Products are the first members of the newly formed Silverstone Technology Cluster.

The company promises to "help match investors with untapped high-tech engineering firms".

Fire crews tackle blaze at pizzeria

A fire has broken out at a pizzeria in Northampton.

Fire engines at Red Hot Pizzeria

The blaze started at Red Hot Pizzeria on Gold Street just before 15:30.

Three fire engines were sent to the scene and firefighters wore breathing apparatus as they brought the flames under control.

A fire service spokesman said it is believed the fire was in the fryer on the ground floor.

Child N serious case review: Examination could have prevented baby's abuse

Craig Lewis

BBC News

Life-changing injuries suffered by a baby girl abused by her father could have been avoided if Kettering Hospital had carried out a radiology exam, a serious case review has found.

Baby Isabelle, named as Child N in the review published today, was discharged with antibiotics for a chest infection on March 14, 2014 after a chest X-ray failed to pick up two rib fractures.

Keith Makin
Northamptonshire Safeguarding Board chairman

Chairman of the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Board, Keith Makin, called the lack of a proper examination "a very serious failing".

Mr Makin said the board was "very, very concerned" over what it found.

He said there had been a reluctance to look for the possibility of abuse, but added that he believed "this kind of practice wouldn't happen again in Northamptonshire".

N & P closure: No decision on job losses

More on the story we brought you yesterday on the closure of some branches of the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society.

The N&P was taken over by the Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) six years ago, who promised to retain the brand for two years and not close any branches. 

YBS said one of the reasons for the move is that banking market has changed with more customers preferring to do their banking online.

Yorkshire Building Society sign

Across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire, 28 branches will disappear, putting jobs at risk. The remaining 17 branches will be rebranded under the YBS name.

Mike Regnier, chief executive of YBS, says they haven't confirmed anything about the number of jobs to be lost.

The society will enter a consultation process with those who could be affected, and it "could take up to 18 months in some cases".

"That gives us as much time as we can to find roles for as many people as possible and we'll redouble efforts to make sure as many of those colleagues as possible can find roles within the business."

The N&P has its headquarters in Peterborough, and Mr Regnier says the site will remain part of the Yorkshire Building Society.

N&P headquarters

Several hundred people work there and will continue to work there. This is mainly about branch closures. My objective is to find roles for as many people as we can."

Mike RegnierChief executive, Yorkshire Building Society

Child N serious case review: Kettering hospital 'profoundly regret' missed opportunities

Craig Lewis

BBC News

Kettering Hospital's director of nursing and quality says the hospital "profoundly regret" missed opportunities to raise concerns over a baby girl who had been abused by her parents.

Kettering Hospital

A serious case review published today looks into how baby Isabelle visited the hospital six times during a five-week period in 2014.

Leanne Hackshall said the hospital has looked into all the interactions it had with Isabelle and her parents, and has "sought to learn every possible lesson raised by this case".

The hospital says it now has access to specialist services to assist in the diagnosis of injuries in babies and children.

Child N serious case review: Advice line introduced following child abuse case

Craig Lewis

BBC News

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council has admitted life-changing injuries suffered by baby Isabelle could "have been prevented had the appropriate safeguarding referral been made to children’s services".

The spokesman called the case of Child N, the subject of a serious case review today, "deeply disturbing".

He said an advice line was introduced at the county's Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub in spring 2014 following the case. The line aims to enable professionals to more easily access help and advice in cases of concern.

Katherine Prigmore and Rocky Uzzell

Chances to stop parents inflicting 'sickening' injuries on their newborn daughter were missed, a report says.

Read more

Child N serious case review: Dad who beat daughter had reported hearing voices

Craig Lewis

BBC News

A case review into how a baby was continually abused by her father says there was a "considerable amount" of information available about her parents - but it was "not fully sought" out.

The Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board report said both Rocky Uzzell and Katherine Prigmore, from Kettering, had long-standing mental health problems known to doctors.

Rocky Uzzell
Northamptonshire Police

Mr Uzzell, later sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail for beating his daughter Isabelle, was known to have "experienced emotional abuse and neglect in his own childhood".

In 2006, he'd had sex with a 15-year-old who became pregnant and a year later he had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

The report says the 29-year-old, who blamed a ghost-like alter ego for the attacks on Isabelle, had "reported hearing voices from an early age".

Child N serious case review: Parents were 'jovial' with daughter in critical condition

Craig Lewis

BBC News

A serious case review published into how a baby, whose parents were later jailed for abusing her, suffered injuries which mean she will never be able to walk or talk includes a chronology of her visits to Kettering Hospital.

Baby Isabelle, now aged three, visited the hospital on the following occasions in 2014:

  • February 10-11: Admitted to hospital suffering jaundice
  • February 12-14: Re-admitted with jaundice and feeding problems
  • March 6-8: Admitted to paediatric ward after parents reported she had leg pain. Discharged after fracture ruled out
  • March 9-10: Readmitted after parents said she had turned blackish purple in the face and had stopped breathing
  • March 12-15: Back in hospital after her father, Rocky Uzzell, called 999 saying she was unresponsive. Isabelle had chest X-ray and was observed to have brief episodes of her eyes staring to the left
  • March 20: Rushed to hospital "limp" following a 999 call and in a critical condition. Parents' behaviour said to be "inappropriately jovial and lacking concern"