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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Ten schools opting for academy status win government approval

    Ten Suffolk primary schools could become academies after winning approval from the Department for Education.

    Helmingham Community Primary School, Shotley Community Primary School, Stutton Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School and All Saints Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School in Newmarket are converting already.

    All Saints will join the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust in July while Stutton will be run by ASSET Education from June. Trusts for Helmingham and Shotley have not yet been disclosed. August is the proposed date for Shotley to be run as an academy.

    Four Church of England schools - Stradbroke, Fressingfield, All Saints in Laxfield and St Peter and St Paul in Eye, as well as Wortham Primary School on the Suffolk/Norfolk border and Woods Loke Primary School near Lowestoft have all opted for academy status and have begun conversion and are searching for sponsors.

  2. New Starbucks and filling station proposed for A14 near Ipswich

    The Orwell Crossing Lorry Park on the A14 near Ipswich could get a new drive-through Starbucks after plans were lodged by developers – and long term plans aim to establish a petrol station there too.

    The services, located on the eastbound carriageway near Nacton, is the proposed site for the coffee shop in a plan lodged by Orwell Truck Stop Ltd.

    The plans were lodged at the beginning of the month and they are currently in the consultation phase, with a Suffolk Coastal District Council planning decision expected in May or June.

    Chris Roberts from Orwell Truck Stop Ltd said: "We see that Felixstowe is the major port for the UK – particularly post-Brexit – and the roads are going to get busier so these offerings are required more and more.

    “Lots of people particularly like Starbucks. We have a cafe but I think people will like the chilled out area and the outdoor seating."

    The plans signal the latest in a string of development plans in the area, after a section of 26 hectares behind the truck stop had been eyed for development into a new business park.

    The plan proposes to use the existing entrance for the Orwell Crossing cafe to access the park, which Mr Roberts believes will bring in the region of 1,500 jobs on the site, and improvements at junctions 57 and 58.

    That proposal is expected to go before planning committee in May.

  3. Plan aims to safeguard Lowestoft's history

    Lowestoft’s historic buildings will get a new lease of life and a regular market will be restored as part of plans to safeguard the town’s history.

    North Lowestoft and the waterfront

    North Lowestoft was awarded Heritage Action Zone status by Historic England in 2017, which will allow renovation and regeneration work to take place to bring neglected historic buildings back to life and unlock economic and visitor potential.

    A draft action plan has been drawn up and among the measures proposed are the return of a regular market and hosting cultural events for both visitors and locals.

    The action plan focuses on the medieval High Street, the steep cliff paths known as Scores, the historic smokehouse, and the Victorian parks.

    Waveney’s cabinet will decide whether to adopt the plan on Wednesday, which is recommended for approval.

  4. Norwich's Sainsbury Centre turns 40

    Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

    The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts - the first public building designed by architect Norman Foster - is 40 years old on Saturday.

    The gallery was first conceived after Sir Robert Sainsbury, grandson of the supermarket founder, and his wife donated their art collection to the University of East Anglia in Norwich in 1973.

    The gallery said hundreds of thousands of people have visited the centre on the UEA campus in the past four decades and it was marking the milestone with a "fitting" retrospective exhibition on architecture called Superstructures.

  5. Ipswich man bailed in Stowmarket rape case

    A man arrested in connection with a rape in Stowmarket has been released on bail.

    The victim, a 19-year-old woman, reported to officers she was sexually attacked in the area of the recreation ground at about 02:00 on 1 April.

    Suffolk Police said the 45--year-old man from Ipswich has been released on police bail until 1 May.

  6. CCTV images from Eye Town Hall burglary investigation

    CCTV images have been released in connection with a burglary and vandalism at a town hall.

    Vandals attacked and slashed four paintings during the break-in at Eye Town Hall overnight over the Easter weekend.

    CCTV images from outside Eye town hall

    Suffolk Police said officers want to speak to the man captured on CCTV.

    It said the man was wearing baggy trousers and a coat with a florescent logo, he was captured outside the front steps of the town hall on Sunday at about 22:20 and was seen leaving the area at about 22:45.

    The slashed paintings
    Image caption: Before and after photos of one of the damaged paintings
  7. Calls for ban on goldfish as prizes at Pleasure Beach


    A petition is calling for a fairground to stop giving away goldfish as prizes.

    Live fish are among the prizes at the hook-a-duck stall at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach.

    As reported in the Great Yarmouth Mercury, the online petition by Emily Burrows of Norwich claims prize-winners have no idea how to care for the fish, which become "easily stressed and may even die from changes in water temperature or oxygen starvation".

    It has attracted more than 1,200 signatories.

    Albert Jones, managing director of the Pleasure Beach, said the practice was not illegal and it provided small tanks, food and care instructions. Children had to be accompanied by a parent or guardian and fish could be collected before the journey home, [or] on another day, he added.

    "We have taken advice from a local pet shop and it is no different to how they sell their goldfish," he said.

    "This is something we only had good feedback on and have people travel down just to win."

  8. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M25 Essex anti-clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Essex anti-clockwise severe accident, between J26 for A121 and J25 for A10.

    M25 Essex - Slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  9. Rickshaw plans approved for Suffolk towns

    Councillors have approved plans to allow motorised tuk-tuks and cycle rickshaws in all but one town in north east Suffolk.

    Southwold and a rickshaw

    The scheme was supported by Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and Lowestoft, but Southwold said it did not want "any such vehicles to operate within the town".

    Approving the plans, Waveney District Council's licensing committee amended the proposals to allow passengers to travel at the front of pedal-powered rickshaws, as requested by a charity.

    The same proposals will go before Suffolk Coastal District Council's licensing and health committee on 24 April, which covers towns including Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Leiston, Aldeburgh, Saxmundham, Kesgrave and Framlingham.

  10. Fulbourn High Street closed after Co-op ram raid

    A white Land Rover Discovery was driven into the Co-op in Fulbourn near Cambridge in the early hours of this morning.

    Cambridgeshire Police said four people wearing masks and dark clothes left the car and stole the cash box from a cash machine within the shop.

    Co-op in Fulbourn

    Officers were called to the scene at 02:18.

    The High Street was closed and police are appealing for information.

    Police cordon, High Street, Fulbourn
  11. 'Agitated' man placed items on railway at Braintree

    CCTV image of a man police want to speak to

    Police have issued a CCTV image of an "agitated" man they would like to speak to in connection with a trespassing incident at an Essex railway station.

    British Transport Police say that shortly before 07:00 on Sunday, 1 April, the man was in a waiting room at Braintree Freeport station when he started punching windows and walls, before pulling a bin from a wall and throwing it on the floor.

    The red-haired man, who was wearing a dark red long-sleeved top, black trousers and white trainers later walked onto the tracks and in the direction of Cressing station.

    Officers believe he then placed a piece of railway equipment over the tracks, causing extensive delays to trains.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact the British Transport Police or Crimestoppers.

  12. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M11 Essex northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M11 Essex northbound severe accident, at J8 for A120.

    M11 Essex - M11 exit slip road closed and slow traffic northbound at J8, A120 (Bishop Stortford), because of an accident and recovery work.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time