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Summary

  1. Updates on Friday, 3 February 2017
  2. Tresham College merges with Bedford College
  3. 'Very rare' problem closes A6 between Rothwell and Desborough until March

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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That's it from us

Live updates for Northamptonshire have now finished.

If you're a rugby fan then there is full coverage of Northampton Saints against Scarlets in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on BBC Radio Northampton, and BBC TV has full coverage of the Six Nations, featuring six Saints players across three nations.

Have a good weekend. We'll be back on Monday from 08:00.

Kettering
BBC

Local paper round-up: Rushden Lakes plans, second screen for cinema and dog poo paint

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Elsewhere in Northamptonshire:

Pause for Thought: Finedon's Rev Richard Coles recalls his relationship with cricket

BBC Radio 2

This morning on Chris Evans' Breakfast Show, Finedon vicar Richard Coles recalled his cricketing days and how the Northamptonshire village has a fine tradition in the sport...

Richard recounts his longstanding relationship with cricket

College merger creates 'one of the most exciting colleges in UK'

Bedford College will merge with Tresham College this summer, and according to Bedford's principal and chief executive, Ian Pryce, it will create "one of the most exciting colleges in the UK". 

He added once "due diligence and consultation has been completed", all staff, assets and liabilities will transfer to Bedford College Corporation. 

Ian Pryce
Bedford College

The college states that "students and staff at the colleges will continue as usual, and current courses will not be affected".   

Problem engine piece found in Wansford lorry fire

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Five men charged over cannabis factory in Crick

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Yesterday we brought you news of the police arresting five men at an "industrial scale" cannabis factory in Crick.

All 10 rooms were being used to cultivate the drug and today those five men have been charged with drug and fraud offences.

cannabis factory
Northamptonshire Police

The men, aged between 19 and 28, have been remanded in custody and will appear at Northampton Magistrates' Court on 3 March, police say.

Great rolls of fire

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

The sliproad that connects the A1 to the A47 at Wansford is currently closed due to a lorry blaze.

Lorry fire
@FenCops

Police say the lorry caught fire due to a mechanical failure as it came off the A1 at the Wansford junction, and then jack-knifed.

The whole vehicle, including its contents of till roll, went up in flames.

The driver was uninjured.

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 on M1 southbound between J17, M45 (Dunchurch) and J16, A45 (Daventry), because of an earlier broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

All Tresham campuses to remain open and 'no job losses anticipated'

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

The principal at Tresham College says he does not anticipate any job losses following the merger with Bedford College.

He said there will be "no changes at all" to their current campuses in Kettering, Corby and Silverstone.

Ioan Morgan said it is unlikely the students will notice any difference, and once the merger has completed the college will be "looking to expand".

Ioan Morgan
Tresham College

However, Mr Morgan said it would take a "good close look" at what the college would do in Wellingborough.

The campus there is being demolished, with a £12.4m replacement shelved because of financial issues.

Mr Morgan said Wellingborough "needs some provision" of Further Education, but "maybe not as much as previously there". He said it would discuss the situation with Bedford College.

Watch: England's stellar 2016 Grand Slam

BBC Sport

As if to prove John Inverdale's point, here's how England, led by Dylan Hartley, completed the Grand Slam in the 2016 tournament...

Follow the Six Nations across the BBC.

Six Nations: Dylan Hartley is Eddie Jones' 'right-hand man' - Inverdale

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

BBC rugby presenter John Inverdale has described Dylan Hartley as an "exceptional leader of men".

This time last year he told BBC Radio Northampton the Northampton hooker's appointment as England captain was "inspired", and a year on it seems he was proved right - with England unbeaten last year.

Dylan HArtley
PA

Inverdale told BBC Radio Northampton today that England coach Eddie Jones was "desperate" to have Hartley available for the Six Nations, following his ban for striking an opponent with an arm, saying Jones sees the 30-year-old as his "right-hand man".

He will once again be fronting the BBC's TV coverage of the Six Nations, which start tomorrow.

Severe disruption: A1 Cambridgeshire northbound

BBC Travel

A1 Cambridgeshire northbound severe disruption, at A47.

A1 Cambridgeshire - A1 Great North Road in Wansford exit slip road closed and very slow traffic northbound at the A47 junction, because of a lorry fire.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

'Rugby is a great sport for women'

#getinspired

It's not only the men's Six Nations that kicks off this weekend. The women's equivalent gets under way, too, with Scotland hosting Ireland this evening,followed tomorrow by Wales v Italy and - arguably the pick of the ties - England v France at Twickenham

The women's game is really taking off across the UK, so watch England full-back Danielle Waterman explain her love of rugby and the different versions you can play - and if you're inspired to pick up the oval ball yourself, check out our Get Inspired guide.

England Women v France Women kicks off at 19:35 GMT on Saturday, with live coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, plus highlights of all three matches on BBC Two at 22:45 GMT.

Bedford and Tresham college merger for 'financial security'

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Earlier we mentioned two colleges in Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire were joining forces.

Once the merger between Tresham and Bedford College is complete, Tresham will dissolve and its staff, assets and liabilities will transfer to Bedford College.

Bedford College principal and chief executive, Ian Pryce, said: "The combined college will have the size and scale to ensure strong support services and financial security."

It's hoped the larger college will raise standards at Tresham.

tresham corby
Google

Students and staff will continue as normal and current courses won't be affected. The new merged college will have an income of £60m and a total number of 15,000 students.  

The demolition of Tresham college's campus at Wellingborough has begun, but it will no longer be building a replacement due to financial issues, with courses switched to Corby.

Weather: A bright start, but turning wet and windy later

BBC Weather

Rain will begin to push in during the afternoon, with some heavy bursts likely at times. It will become increasingly windy too, especially in exposed areas. Highs of 9C (48F).

brixworth
BBC

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Aidy Boothroyd appointed England U21 boss

BBC Sport

Former Watford and Northampton Town boss Aidy Boothroyd has been confirmed as manager of the England Under-21 team.

The Under-20 boss replaces Gareth Southgate, who vacated the role to become England manager after the departure of Sam Allardyce.

Aidy Boothroyd
Getty Images

Boothroyd, 45, took charge for the U21 side's final two Euro 2017 qualifiers and secured qualification for this summer's finals in Poland.

"I've been at the FA three years; this is the logical next step," he said.

Boothroyd was in charge of Watford for three seasons from 2005, initially saving the club from relegation to the third tier before leading them to the top flight in 2006. The Vicarage Road side finished bottom of the Premier League the following season.

He later took charge of Northampton Town in November 2011 with the side bottom of League Two. Boothroyd guided them to safety, and the play-offs the next season, before being sacked in 2013 with the club once again last in the fourth tier.

After his sacking from the Cobblers he joined the FA's coaching staff.

Background to St Luke's construction

Amy Woodfield

BBC Local Live

Here's a bit of background to the hospital saga...

In 2007 a scheme to replace St Luke's with a new £30m hospital collapsed through a lack of money.

Then in 2012 a hospital extension opened - albeit 18 months behind schedule.

Then in 2014 it was announced the NHS was going to fund a £6.8m redevelopment - this was delayed for well over a year when construction eventually started in November 2015.

...Finally in 2017 the new hospital building is complete.

Phew  

Tresham College merges with Bedford College

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Tresham College, which has campuses at Kettering, Corby and Silverstone in Northamptonshire, is to merge with Bedford College. 

As reported in the Northamptonshire Telegraph, Ofsted inspectors have been critical of standards at Tresham and the Further Education Commissioner has been involved with directing the work of the college.

The colleges aim to complete the merger by September.

We'll bring you more on this story soon.

Tresham
BBC

Decades of delays in hospital improvement

Amy Woodfield

BBC Local Live

If you're from the Market Harborough area you'll know this new hospital building has been a LONG time coming.

New wards on the hospital site have been discussed since the 1980s.

St Luke's Hospital
BBC

NHS services to move to new building

Amy Woodfield

BBC Local Live

Construction of the three-storey St Luke’s Treatment Centre began in November 2015...

St Luke’s Treatment Centre
NHS Property Services Ltd

Services currently provided at Market Harborough District Hospital will be moved to the new building.

If you're wondering where it is, it's next to the old St Luke’s Hospital building on Leicester Road.

St Luke's 'flagship' facility complete

Amy Woodfield

BBC Local Live

Construction of the St Luke’s Treatment Centre in Market Harborough is now complete. Doesn't it look nice?

St Luke’s Treatment Centre
BBC

The NHS is calling the new £7.5m building a "flagship healthcare facility" and say they are preparing to welcome the first patients in March.

Cobblers bring back fitness coach from Wilder regime

Caroline Densley

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Northampton Town boss Justin Edinburgh has appointed Pablo Garcia as the club's new fitness coach.

Garcia was previously at the club under Chris Wilder and was part his backroom staff when the Cobblers won League Two last season.

Pablo Garcia
NTFC

Edinburgh told the club's website: "Pablo has been operating in the role for a couple of weeks and I have been impressed with his work.

"I know he played an important role at the club last season. He has the respect of the players and I am pleased to bring him back to the club."

Edinburgh took over last month after Chris Wilder's successor Rob Page was sacked following a string of defeats.

Road closures 'not about the structure of the highways', says councillor

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Jim Hakewill, a Kettering borough and county councillor, says the fact that two major A-roads are closed for repairs is not a sign the county's highways are in a poor state.

Part of the A6 around Desborough and Rothwell is closed until 28 February, and the A5199 near Spratton is shut until 5 March.

A6
BBC

Conservative Mr Hakewill said the A6 issue was "unusual" and the repairs on the A5199 are due to a car hitting the Spratton Sands bridge.

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 blocked and slow traffic on M1 southbound between J17, M45 (Dunchurch) and J16, A45 (Daventry), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Traffic through Spratton 'pretty constant' because of A5199 closure

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

As well as the closure of the A6, people in Spratton say the closure of the A5199 means drivers are using the village as a cut-through to Brixworth.

The main road is closed been Spratton and Chapel Brampton until 5 March while a bridge is repaired. 

The official diversion is up to the A14 and then back on the A508, but many are using local roads as a shortcut.

spratton map
BBC

At rush hour it's pretty constant. If you're heading out from here you need to add 15 minutes on to your journey."

Tim ForsterSpratton resident

Severe disruption: A43 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC Travel

A43 Northamptonshire southbound severe disruption, between A5 and Brackley Road.

A43 Northamptonshire - Delays, one lane closed and slow traffic on A43 southbound in Towcester between the A5 junction and the Brackley Road junction, because of emergency repairs.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

'Very rare' problem closes A6 between Rothwell and Desborough until March

Willy Gilder

BBC Radio Northampton

The A6 around Rothwell and Desborough will remain closed until March while repair work continues to a bridge over the River Ise.

A routine inspection uncovered "significant voids" under the tarmac on approaches to the bridge.

A6
Northamptonshire Highways

Leon Jolly, from Northamptonshire Highways, said engineers were working "night and day" to fix the problem.

However, he said it was a "very rare event", which he hadn't seen before in his 25 years as a road engineer.

Today's weather: A bright start... but windy

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Today is due to be very blustery - but mostly dry - during daylight hours although some cloud will push in from the west this afternoon bringing light patchy rain and drizzle in some places.

Maximum temperature: 10C (50F).  

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning of wind as gales are expected on Friday and into Saturday morning with inland locations likely to see a relatively short period of 40-50 mph gusts.  

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Welcome back

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

We are here with live updates for Northamptonshire.

Today we'll be takeing a look at the road closures which are affecting the county.

Plus we'll be building up to a busy weekend of sport, with Northampton Town heading to Walsall and Northampton Saints taking on the Scarlets in the Anglo-Welsh Cup plus the start of the Six Nations.

But first up the windy weather forecast.

Irthlingborough
BBC

Severe disruption: A14 Northamptonshire westbound

BBC Travel

A14 Northamptonshire westbound severe disruption, between J2 A508 Harborough Road and M1.

A14 Northamptonshire - A14 closed westbound between J2, A508 (Kelmarsh) and the M1 junction, because of resurfacing work and emergency repairs.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Leicester Crown Court

Trial of couple accused of total of 103 offences, including rape and child sex, to last seven weeks.

Read more

That's all from us

Live updates for Northamptonshire have now finished.

You can read more about the new police jobs announced today on our website.

Meanwhile, if you want find out more about the Saints players gearing up for the Six Nations head to the BBC Sport website.

Any breaking news will appear here through the evening and tonight.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00. See you then.

Weather: Cooler tonight, mixed tomorrow

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Apart from the odd shower it will be a mostly dry night with clear spells developing. A cooler night than last night as winds ease, with lows of 5-7C (41-45F).

weather
BBC

A cooler start tomorrow with some early sunshine. Turning cloudy later, with patchy rain spreading in by the afternoon. 

The rain will be accompanied by freshening winds, with gusts of 40-50mph possible overnight. Highs tomorrow of 10C (50F).

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Cannabis factory in Crick

Five men have been arrested on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis after a raid at a factory.

Read more

Severe accident: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe accident, between J16 for A45 and J15A for A43.

M1 Northamptonshire - Two lanes closed and very slow traffic on M1 southbound between J16, A45 (Daventry) and J15a, A43 (Northampton Services), because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Six Nations: Picamoles in France team to face England

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Northampton Saints' number eight Louis Picamoles will face off against his Saints team-mates as he takes his place in the France side to face England on Saturday.

Louis Picamoles
Getty Images

Picamoles, 30, will be up against Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and his club captain Tom Wood.

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire northbound

BBC Travel

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

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M1 northbound between J16, A45 (Daventry) and J17, M45 (Dunchurch), because of a broken down car.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Trial begins of Northampton couple accused of sexually abusing 11 children

Stuart Ratcliffe

BBC Look East

The trial of a Northampton couple charged with 103 offences, including rape and abuse against children, has begun at Leicester Crown Court.

Nicholas Taylor, 47, and Joan Taylor, 43, from Briar Hill, are accused of abusing 11 children, both male and female, as well as supplying Class A drugs.

Leicester crown court
BBC

The prosecution said the alleged crimes began in 1996 until 2006 and occurred mostly at the Taylor's house on Pitstone Road.

Nicholas Taylor controlled the alleged sexual offending and his behaviour was "bullying", "manipulative" and "dangerous", the court was told.

The jury also heard the children were given crack cocaine before being allegedly abused.

The couple deny the charges and the case is expected to last seven weeks.

'Industrial scale' cannabis factory found in village

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Police have uncovered a massive cannabis factory in the village of Crick.

Officers say all 10 rooms of the house on Church Street were being used to grow the plants "on an industrial scale".

Police are in the process of removing hundreds of mature plants and equipment and have arrested five men.

Cannabis factory
Northamptonshire Police
Cannabis Factory
Northamptonshire Police
Cannabis factory
Northamptonshire Police

Your comments: Quirky and peculiar customs

Amy Woodfield

BBC Local Live

Thanks to Vic Foster for explaining the Hare Pie Scramble to me after seeing this...

Hare Pie Scramble
Homer Sykes