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  1. Updates for Friday, 27 January 2017
  2. Fatal fire 'not thought to be suspicious'
  3. Disruption for rail travellers now expected to last into Friday evening
  4. Holocaust survivor remembers being parted from mother
  5. Council merger plans approved by big majority

Live Reporting

By Philippa Taylor

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good morning from Suffolk Live

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

A big welcome to you from the early morning team of Brenner Woolley, Kelly McCormack, and myself, as we gear up to keep you informed about what's happening across the county.

You can join in too, by sending us an email or posting a message on our Facebook page, if there's something happening where you live or work, that we're not mentioning.

Fines for taking children out of school, and whether people should have their mobile phone confiscated if they're caught using them while driving are a couple of the early stories we're taking a closer look at.

We'll start though with the weather prospects - up next from Kate Kinsella.

Severe accident: A12 Suffolk both ways

BBC Travel

A12 Suffolk both ways severe accident, between Priory Road and Chapel Road.

A12 Suffolk - A12 in Wrentham closed and slow traffic in both directions between the Priory Road junction and the Chapel Road junction, because of an accident. Diversion in operation.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Jordan Hugill

Owen Phillips

BBC Sport

Driving up transfer fees and a pantomime villain are among five stories you may have missed from Saturday's EFL action.

Read more
Jordan Hugill celebrates

Jordan Hugill rescues a point for Preston against Ipswich, a side that has twice attempted to sign him recently.

Read more
Essex bus firm hands over double decker for conversion in to night shelter for Ipswich
A bus company has donated a vehicle to a charity to be converted into accommodation for homeless people.
Danny Rowe

Championship club Ipswich Town sign Macclesfield Town winger Danny Rowe for an undisclosed fee.

Read more

Our live coverage across the week

That's it from the team here - our regular updates are stopping now, but rest assured, we'll be back at 08:00 on Monday morning to do it all again.

To recap on some of the stories we've brought you:

  • A woman has died in a bungalow fire in Ipswich
  • Waveney and Suffolk Coastal councils just need the go-ahead from the government to merge, making the largest district council in the country
  • Holocaust Memorial Day has been marked at a number of locations in the county, including Lowestoft

It's also been a difficult day for rail travellers trying to get to and from the capital - due to damage to overhead wire damage between Witham and Shenfield, followed by similar problems around Ingatestone.

Enjoy the weekend, whatever you're doing, and put a note in your diary to join us again next week.

Video: The offending cabling on the London-Norwich mainline

Here is the cabling that developed faults between Witham and Shenfield in Essex last night, causing massive disruption on Greater Anglia services today:

Mainline commuters were left stranded this morning after overhead line problems

Network Rail advise passengers to 'check before you travel'

Greater Anglia passengers travelling between London and Norwich are being advised to check before they travel, following significant damage to the overhead wires in Essex.

Greater Anglia train

Network Rail say: "We have carried out repairs to the overhead wires so that trains can run through the evening peak and passengers can get home tonight. 

"However, there will be a reduced service and passengers are advised to check before they travel.

“Further repairs will be carried out overnight to get the service back to normal as soon as possible. 

"A full investigation will be carried out to find out exactly what caused the problems.”    

You can check out the BBC Travel website, log on to the Greater Anglia website, follow their Twitterfeed, or take a look at the National Rail website.

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

Diagouraga chose Ipswich over Championship rivals

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Midfielder Toumani Diagouraga says he turned down two other Championship teams to join Ipswich Town on loan from Leeds United.

Toumani Diagouraga

The 29-year-old could make his debut for the Blues at Preston tomorrow and has accepted that his time at Leeds is pretty much over.

"I was very close to a move but Ipswich came in at the last minute and I decided to come here," said the Frenchman. 

"Given the history of the club and the manager I thought this was the best place to be.

"I haven't played for a while and it's been very frustrating to say the least, but hopefully I can get some game time here, starting tomorrow."

Station arches project

Guy Campbell

BBC Radio Suffolk

Artwork designed by Lowestoft pupils which depicts local heritage scenes, has been been officially launched at the town's railway station.

Station arches project

The images feature the fishing and maritime industry, plus wartime and transport heritage.

The Station Arches Project is part of a wider aspiration to improve the area.

National Gin Festival coming to Ipswich – and announces intention for annual event

Ipswich Star

A second gin festival will be coming to Ipswich this year as organisers of the national event will be bringing it to the town for the first time.

'Date stone' laid at new joint police and fire station

A date stone has been laid at Saxmundham's new combined police and fire station.

Matthew Hicks, Therese Coffey, Tim Passmore
Sandra Graffham

Work is being carried out to add a side extension to the existing fire station in Seaman Avenue, and when that's completed, police officers will move there from their current location opposite the town's railway station.

Tim Passmore, police and crime commissioner, (pictured right with Matthew Hicks and Therese Coffey) said: "Working together with the fire service is crucial to us meeting the financial and operational challenges we face. 

"I am very pleased with the existing shared stations across the county.They save money and improve the joint working of two key emergency services in the county, which is excellent news for us all.”

Greater Anglia say all lines now open, but disruption likely until 19:00

Neighbours tried to rescue woman who died in Ipswich fire

Neighbours made a "valiant attempt" to rescue a woman who died in a bungalow fire in Ipswich last night but were "beaten back by the conditions", according to the Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service.

Bungalow damaged by fire

A joint investigation between police and the fire service has been carried out, and police have just told us the fire is not believed to be suspicious.

However they say work will continue to establish the cause of the blaze, and a police cordon will remain in place at the property overnight.

In the news: Snakebite hopes to continue red-hot displays

Diss Express

The back page of today's Diss Express looks at Mendham dart player Peter Wright:

Diss Express back page
Diss Express

In the News: 'Big heart and loved by everyone'

Diss Express

Here is the front page of today's Diss Express:

Diss Express front page
Diss Express

Ryman League: Leiston boss confident his side will bounce back

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Promotion chasing Leiston host Dulwich Hamlet in the Ryman Premier Division tomorrow, keen to put Tuesday's rare defeat at Wingate & Finchley behind them.

Glenn Driver
Leiston FC

"All good things come to an end and if someone had said to me you'd get 15 points out of 18 at the start of the year I'd have taken that," said manager Glenn Driver.

"We've still got games in hand and, with our goal difference, if we win them we go top." 

Three other Suffolk clubs are also at home - Needham Market entertain Kingstonian, AFC Sudbury host Merstham while Bury Town take on Norwich United. Lowestoft Town head to Tonbridge Angels.

Rugby union: Bury looking to end a disappointing January on a high

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Bury St Edmunds rugby players have a home game against Henley Hawks in National League Two South tomorrow.

Sam Sterling
Bury Rugby Club

The Wolf Pack are on a worrying run at the moment, having lost six of their last seven matches, to lie 10th in the table.

The visitors are also struggling though, and have lost eight of their 10 away games this season.

Travel: Collisions cause delays on the A14

BBC Travel

There's been a collision between a van and a car on the A14 westbound between J41 (Risby) and J40 (Higham). 

In a separate incident, one lane is closed on the exit slip road off the A14 eastbound at Bucklesham and there's heavy traffic at J58 (A12 Seven Hills), also because of a collision.

More bad news from Greater Anglia

The problems affecting overheard wires on the line between Norwich and London Liverpool Street are continuing, with news that further damage has been identified.

Disruption now predicted to continue for several more hours  - check out the latest from Greater Anglia: 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Practice for the Big Garden Birdwatch

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

I don't know if you're planning to take part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch tomorrow, but if you are, here's a test to prepare you for the event.

BBC Weather Watcher "VictortheVole" has snapped these wildfowl in Burgh - but what are they?

No prizes I'm afraid, mainly because I don't know the answer myself, but the kudos of being the first one through with the right answer is priceless surely?

Send us an email with your guess.

Ducks flying in Burgh

Ipswich Town: McCarthy has no regrets over Horgan

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has been explaining why he didn't sign Preston's Daryl Horgan, ahead of the two sides meeting tomorrow up north.

Daryl Horgan
Getty Images

McCarthy was interested in the Irish winger before he swapped Dundalk for Deepdale earlier this month.

"I spoke to the agents and we were never going to get close to what they were talking about for somebody coming in," said the manager.

He also said one reason for not signing him was that he was a right-footer playing on the left wing - and they already had Tom Lawrence in that role.

"[Horgan] never was going to get in that position. We've probably got the best in the league.

"So taking him in and having him on a first team wage wasn't do-able for us."

Top council officer welcomes vote in favour of merger

Following the news the both Waveney and Suffolk Coastal district councils have now both agreed to fully merge...

The councils have already been sharing one chief executive officer - Stephen Baker - since 2008 as part of the ongoing cost-cutting process.

East Suffolk images - Felixstowe, Sizewell, Woodbridge, Beccles, Lowestoft, Latitude Festival
BBC/Mike Page

Mr Baker said: "The challenge facing local government throughout the country is the need and desire to deliver the best possible services for local people in an increasingly challenging economic environment.

“At Suffolk Coastal and Waveney we have always sought to innovate and tackle these challenges head on. 

"This is another excellent example of how we have taken a lead and made a progressive decision which we have no doubt will be watched and followed by other councils."

Greater Anglia warn disruption expected to continue a little longer

Having said earlier the disruption on train services on the Norwich-London Liverpool Street line is likely to continue until about 14:00, Greater Anglia have just tweeted that the finish time has been put back by an hour.

The line was closed between Witham and Shenfield earlier, but it reopened and we're waiting for services to catch up with the timetable:

View more on twitter

Wreath-laying ceremony commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day

Guy Campbell

BBC Radio Suffolk

The Mayor of Lowestoft, Nick Webb, has attended a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

Mayor of Lowestoft

Wreaths are laid at the station each year in recognition of the arrival of a "kindertransport" train in December 1938, carrying over 200 Jewish children who had been evacuated from Nazi Europe. 

The children were billeted at a number of places including Pontins in Pakefield and St Felix School in Southwold.

The Mayor said: "Holocaust Memorial Day provides us with an opportunity to remember the millions of people who died during the Holocaust and in genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. 

"It also gives us the chance to learn from the past and educate our young people about the importance of tackling discrimination, racism and hatred to secure a safer future.”

You can also read a feature about the retired Jewish man who lives near Ipswich and makes school visits to tell children his story about losing his parents at the Auschwitz death camp in 1944.

RSPCA frees fox caught in snare

The RSPCA says a fox which had become caught up in a snare would almost certainly have starved to death if he hadn't been spotted by a dog walker.

Fox caught in snare

The fox had been caught in the snare, which was attached to a wire fence in woodland off Barningham Road in Stanton, and had the wire caught around his pelvis. 

RSPCA Insp Chris Nice, who was able to cut the fox free, said: "If the snare had caught him around the leg it would have likely broken the leg. 

"However, had he not been spotted he would have almost certainly starved to death as he wouldn't have been able to wriggle free." 

"People need to be aware that they leave themselves open to prosecution if they are using illegal traps or not setting and checking them correctly.

Investigation continues into fatal fire

An investigation by police and the fire service is being carried out into what's been described as a "very severe" fire at a bungalow in Ipswich last night, in which a woman died.

Police car outside bungalow

Police were alerted by the fire service just after 19:45, to reports of a fire at the property and that one person was believed to be inside.

Emergency services attended, however the woman was found deceased inside the home a short time later.

Area commander for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, Dave Collins, said they "carried out an initial investigation last night" and are working with their colleagues in the police to establish the cause.

The investigation's expected to be completed today.

Man arrested following operation at Highpoint Prison

A man has been arrested and another questioned by police following an operation at Highpoint Prison which was trying to catch visitors bringing illicit items to inmates.

Highpoint Prison

A suspected psychoactive substance and a quantity of cannabis were seized.

A 37-year-old man from Wembley in north west London was arrested on suspicion of conveying prohibited items into prison and bailed until March, and a 22-year-old man from east London reported for consideration of possession of cannabis.

The searches also resulted in two further people being banned from entering the prison in the future.

Travelling by train?

It's estimated disruption on the trains will last until between 12:00 and 14:00 today, so here's where you can find updates:

BBC Travel website keeps a regular check or you can log on to the Greater Anglia webpage, or stay across their Twitterfeed.

All lines are open now, but it will take some time for the Norwich-London Liverpool Street main line to return to normal again, says train operator Greater Anglia.

View more on twitter

'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.

Commuter misery: So what caused the trouble on the track?

This morning's problems on the Norwich-London mainline could have been caused by a number of factors, a spokeswoman for Network Rail has explained.

The cause is still being investigated, but she said: "In the past we've had trees and the like fall on the line, so we had to close it and turn all the power off, and then put the line back up again. 

"Once the work is carried out on the line we have to make sure it's all working and then send a test train down at a low speed. 

"The first few trains after that go down at the low speed, just to make sure that everything is OK and then things will start to get back to normal again."

This morning, she said, the test train was sent down the track at 08:00 and once it was declared safe Greater Anglia would need to work from there to get the service running again.

Council merger will help in the 'struggle to set budgets'

The merger of two of the county's district councils is a step closer to reality, as long as the secretary of state approves the deal.

Map showing council districts

Last night the final local piece of the puzzle was put in place, when members of Suffolk Coastal voted to join with Waveney, to create the largest district council in the country.

Proponents say it will save £1.3m across both existing local authorities.

Colin Law, Conservative leader of Waveney, said: "There's a real danger that we might have to look to cut services because of the finances that would not stack up.

"[At] Waveney district council, we are struggling in actual fact to set budgets."

Despite both councils voting in favour of the merger, the proposal still needs to be approved by the government.

BreakingHang in there, commuters: All lines are open, but disruption will continue

Train company Greater Anglia says all lines are open but spokesman Jonathan Denby has told us that "disruption is expected until midday":

View more on twitter
Holocaust survivor Frank Bright saw mother led to gas chamber
A Holocaust survivor told of the moment he saw his mother led to a gas chamber in Auschwitz.

Council merger plans approved by big majority

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

Members of Suffolk Coastal District Council overwhelmingly backed plans last night to merge completely with neighbouring Waveney District Council and in doing so create the largest district council in the country.

They voted by 33 to 4 in favour of the merger.

Suffolk coastal councillors approve the merger
Councillors voting last night

With Waveney having approved the plans on Wednesday, the way is now clear for the government to give its approval to the merger and the new East Suffolk council should come into being in May 2019.

Ray Herring, Conservative leader of Suffolk Coastal, described the vote as "historic".

"It means that we will be better able to continue to deliver quality services in the future," he said.

"Despite all the financial constraints that local government has, we are going to be in a better place to deliver those services on a value-for-money basis."

The two authorities have shared staff and services for the last ten years so residents shouldn't notice much of a change. 

By merging completely proponents of the change said the new authority will save £1.3m a year.

There could also be as many as 30 fewer councillors on the new authority and opposition parties worry that local people will not feel as well represented.

Both Waveney and Suffolk Coastal are Conservative-run councils.

Commuter anger over lack of replacement buses

There's been anger from commuters this morning over a lack of replacement rail buses - the line is completely closed between Witham and Shenfield due to overhead cabling problems.

View more on twitter

The only buses which might be laid on would run between Witham and Stansted so people "could try to use the West Anglia line instead", said Jonathan Denby from Greater Anglia.

"But for this morning we would encourage people not to travel unless their journey is absolutely essential."