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Driver admits causing fatal crash on A66

A man has admitted his dangerous driving caused the death of a Carlisle grandmother in crash on the A66 near Penrith.

Ann Copley
Family photo

Colin Brown, 78, from Upper Street, Layham, near Ipswich, was driving a van towing a caravan in August 2018, when he crashed head-on into the car being driven by 76-year-old Ann Copley, of Montgomery Court, Carlisle.

Brown was not at the city’s crown court this morning, but pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving by telephone from his Suffolk home.

Brown was seriously injured in the crash, and his barrister, Andrew Nuttall, told the court he was in the “high risk” category due to medical issues, and currently shielding ahead of a major operation.

The hearing was adjourned until 11 September, and a probation report will be prepared in the meantime.

Coronavirus deaths in East rise by two

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

The latest number of new daily coronavirus deaths has been released by the government.

In the East, there was an increase of two deaths in the region's hospitals in the figures issued this afternoon.

The total number now stands at 4,031 and the additional deaths were at the following NHS trusts:

  • East and North Herts NHS Trust: 1
  • Southend Hospital: 1

The total number of Covid-19 deaths across the UK now stands at 44,650.

Spitfire tribute to NHS to be inscribed with hero names

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A Spitfire with "Thank u NHS" emblazoned on its under-wings roared through the skies across East Anglia today as a continuing tribute to the care sector.

The plane flew across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk and Suffolk hospitals in morning and afternoon sorties from its base at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

NHS Spitfire
Aircraft Restoration Company

The fighter plane was piloted by John Romain, founder of the family-run Aircraft Restoration Company.

It has made several flights during the Covid-19 lockdown and now it has a new mission. The company is going to be hand-writing 80,000 names onto the photo-reconnaissance blue Spitfire PL983 ‘L’.

"We need your help though, as the names we would like to add are those of your local heroes," the company website said.

"A kind neighbour, family member on the front line, volunteer PPE producer, or anyone who has helped/inspired you through the Covid-19 pandemic - you can now say thank you to them by nominating their name to go onto the NHS Spitfire."

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What the papers are saying in Suffolk

  • The rate of coronavirus infection in Suffolk has risen slightly, according to new public health data – but remains one of the lowest in England, the East Anglian Daily Times reports
  • A popular independent cinema is back open after three months of no business, reports the Bury Free Press
  • A building occupied by Hope Church is likely to be demolished and replaced by new council homes when worshippers move to the former Odeon cinema next year, the Ipswich Star reports

'Virus healing wood' planned as tree-planting boosted

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A new woodland space is being planned in to remember those who died from Covid-19.

Councillors at a full meeting of Suffolk County Council unanimously gave backing for the project proposed by cabinet member for environment, Richard Rout.


Tree planting will increase across the county and a "healing wood" will be created in honour of those who died during the coronavirus pandemic, councillors agreed.

It will provide a space for people to remember their loved ones.

Officers will now go away and pursue detailed plans.

A14 bridge 'needs more cameras' to stay open in high winds

Jason Noble

Suffolk Local Democracy Reporter

The Orwell Bridge could stay open in high winds as long as a 40mph speed limit can be enforced with more speed cameras, Highways England told Ipswich Borough Council’s scrutiny committee last night.

Simon Amor, Highways England’s head of planning and development, said final wind tunnel testing for validation of the new design is expected to last about four weeks.

Orwell Bridge
Highways England

But Mr Amor confirmed that while the existing average speed cameras for the bridge (used to enforce the general 60mph limit) could be used, more speed cameras were needed.

He said: "The design itself hasn’t been affected by coronavirus so we have managed to progress that.

"We can’t have a lower speed limit if you can’t enforce it, and how we enforce it is quite crucial to that."

Abbeycroft Leisure 'delighted' to be reopening

Sarah Jenkins

BBC News

Abbeycroft Leisure, which runs several leisure facilities across Suffolk (and one in Cambridge), says it is "delighted" by the government announcement that indoor pools and gyms can reopen from 25 July.

The not-for-profit social enterprise says it is "adding the final touches" to its operation and a phased reopening of its centres will take place.

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A statement said: "As you may expect not everything will be open to begin with but this will be under regular review taking account of government guidance, liaison with our stakeholders and customer feedback."

The centres run by Abbeycroft are: Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre and Skyliner: Thurston Sports Education Centre; Mildenhall swimming pool and leisure centre and The Dome; Newmarket Leisure Centre; Sudbury Sports Centre and Kingfisher Leisure Centre; Brandon Leisure Centre; Hadleigh Pool & Leisure and Leisure Centre; East Bergholt Sports Centre; Trumpington Sport, Holbrook Sports Centre and Felixstowe Fitness Studio.

Coronavirus deaths in East rise by four

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

The latest number of new daily coronavirus deaths has been released by the government.

In the East, there was an increase of four deaths in the region's hospitals.

The total number now stands at 4,029.

  • Luton and Dunstable Hospital: 2
  • Northampton General Hospital: 1
  • Southend Hospital: 1

The total number of Covid-19 deaths across the UK now stands at 44,602.

What the papers are saying in Suffolk...

  • The East Anglian Daily Times reports that East Anglia’s largest independent retail chain has given a new boost to food banks across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex as fears grow that the economic downturn will hit more families
  • Community tensions are at risk of "boiling over" after reckless racers returned to the Pinewood area of Ipswich, the Ipswich Star reports
  • The Suffolk Free Press reports that work is under way to help Hadleigh market expand following a number of years of increasing popularity

Coronavirus deaths in East rise by five

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

The latest number of new daily coronavirus deaths has been released by the government.

In the East, there was an increase of five deaths in the region's hospitals.

The total number now stands at 4,025.

·Bedford Hospital: 2

·Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust: 1

·East Suffolk and North Essex (Ipswich and Colchester hospitals): 1

·Northampton General: 1

The total number of Covid-19 associated UK deaths now stands at 44,517.

Ipswich Town patron Philip Hope-Cobbold dies, aged 76

Former Ipswich Town director and patron of the club, Philip Hope-Cobbold, has died.

The 76-year-old, who was part of the Cobbold family that have been synonymous with the club since its formation in 1878, died on Wednesday afternoon.

He attended his first match in 1950, taken by his uncle John Cobbold, then a director of the club and accepted an invitation from chairman John Kerr to join the Club board in January 1995.

The club said he "remained a regular and popular attendee" on matchdays at Portman Road.

"All at Ipswich Town send deepest condolences to Philip’s family and friends. He will be greatly missed by all," a statement said.

Former player Matt Holland is among those who've paid tribute to him saying he was a "fantastic man with a great sense of humour".

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Welcome to Thursday's live updates

Katy Lewis

BBC News Online

We will be bringing you all the latest news from across the East of England - including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic lockdown and other stories.

If you have a story you wish to share - good or bad - please contact BBC News Online (East).

Reach us via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or email us.

You can read Wednesday's live updates page here.

What the papers say in Suffolk

  • The Ipswich Star reports that the future of a metal works employing 85 people is in doubt
  • Bury Free Press writes that firefighters rescued a baby who was trapped in a car this morning
  • The Haverhill Echo reports that the new busway heading out towards Haverhill from Cambridge has moved one step closer as a route was chosen to progress to the next stage of development

Suffolk 'Smart Towns' project expanded

Jason Noble

Suffolk Local Democracy Reporter

High streets in 12 towns are to get a £1.1m boost for a project to provide free wi-fi and footfall tracking.

On Tuesday, Conservative-controlled East Suffolk Council’s cabinet said the successful pilot project held in Framlingham last year could be rolled out to 11 other market towns, which will see major digital upgrades.

The project, titled Smart Towns, will include provision of free wi-fi, online promotions to attract shoppers, footfall tracking data, and new high street apps and town websites.

Tim Marchant / Geograph

"We need to make these towns as attractive and accessible as we possibly can,” said council leader Steve Gallant.

Work to roll out the scheme is to begin later this summer and should be completed within two years.

Around £400,000 has been spent on bringing the project forward to date, with council approving a further £500,000, while the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership has pledged £200,000.

The 12 towns to benefit from the scheme are:

  • Aldeburgh
  • Beccles
  • Bungay
  • Felixstowe
  • Framlingham
  • Halesworth
  • Leiston
  • Lowestoft
  • Saxmundham
  • Southwold
  • Wickham Market
  • Woodbridge

Thousands given to arts groups in East

Wardown House
Culture Trust

Arts groups in the East have been given a share of a £33m fund to help them stay afloat until the end of September, because of the impact of Covid-19.

The money from the Arts Council has been given to National Portfolio Organisations.

It has come from its £160m Emergency Response Package, which was launched in March, with help from the National Lottery and the government.

Hedley Swain, area director for Arts Council England, said: "We know that we are all still facing huge challenges.

"We’ll use our remaining available funds, alongside those announced by government, to support our sector in the coming months.”

The groups that have received help include:

  • Luton Cultural Services Trust - Wardown House: £51,471
  • Milton Keynes Arts Centre: £45,860
  • Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket, Suffolk: £88,950
  • New International Encounter, Cambridge: £28,081
  • Wavendon Allmusic Plan Ltd, Buckinghamshire: £297,090

See also: Theatre boss had 'best night's sleep in 100 days'

Covid-19 deaths hospitals increases by two

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

The number of people who have died in hospital from coronavirus in the East of England has risen by two, according to the latest daily government figures.

The deaths, according to Tuesday's statistics, were at the following NHS trusts:

  • Southend Hospital: 1
  • Milton Keynes: 1

The total number of deaths for the region's hospitals now stands at 4,021.

The latest Department of Health figures show that across the UK the number of deaths stands at 44,236.