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Clacton's first ever 'Sea and Beach Festival' begins

A parade as part of Clacton's first ever 'Sea and Beach Festival' Credit: ITV News Anglia

Clacton's first ever 'Sea and Beach Festival' has got underway this morning with a parade through the town.

The new event has been organised to help boost tourism in Clacton, with a variety of events going on all weekend.

Tendring District Council is aiming to bring the town back to its heyday, when the beaches were always packed with families.

"A great deal of planning has gone into the festival and if successful it could be a regular on the calendar. We hope that it will prove popular with both residents and visitors and attract people to the area over the weekend - which can only be good for businesses too."

– Nick Turner, Cabinet member for Coastal Protection
It's hoped the festival will promote Clacton Credit: ITV News Anglia

The festival runs both today and tomorrow from 11am - 5pm.

Woman and two boys sentenced for 'gang' killing in Southend

A woman and two teenage boys have been jailed for the manslaughter of a man in Southend, Essex.

Anton Levin, 24, from Dagenham, died after he was stabbed at Danielle Russell’s home in St Ann's Road on November 19, 2014.

Russell and two boys, aged 16 and 17, were found guilty of manslaughter following a trial that concluded on June 1.

Anton Levin Credit: Essex Police

Russell was jailed for 11 years and six months for manslaughter.

Danielle Russell Credit: Essex Police

The teenagers, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were sentenced to 10 years and four months for manslaughter, and will then be on a five year extended licence upon release.

"This was another unnecessary death linked to gang activity in Essex.

"These defendants have never shown any remorse for the attack and the needless loss of life.

"I am pleased they have been given lengthy custodial sentences, taking them off the streets of Essex.

"Hopefully Mr Levin’s family can now move on with their lives.”

– DCI Simon Werrett, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

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Police search for missing hospital patient

Police are searching for a man who's gone missing from a hospital in Colchester.

Mark Twyman, 36, was last seen by a nurse at the Cambian Fairview Hospital in Mile End at around 5.15pm on Friday, July 3.

Police say he has a condition that requires him to take medication.

He's described as white, 5ft 9ins tall, has a bald head and few teeth. He was wearing a blue jumper, blue jeans and white trainers.

Officers are searching the local area including the rail station and are using the police helicopter to try and locate him.

Viewer pictures: Thunderstorms in the East of England

Lightning striking over Happisburgh Lighthouse in Norfolk Credit: Russell Waite

So the early hours of Saturday 4 July saw widespread electrical storms across East Anglia.

It seemed some of you took a few shots of the storms.

Credit: Russell Waite
This was taken by 12 year old Abigail from Luton in Bedfordshire Credit: Abigail Lacey
Credit: Philip Thulbourn
Gavin took this from his bedroom window from Bury St Edmunds Credit: Gavin C

Thunderstorms produce a fortnight's worth of rain

Lightning captured in the village of Croydon between Cambridge and Biggleswade. Credit: Bob Burling

With every good heatwave in the British summer there is nearly always a spectacular thunderstorm or two.

The early hours of Saturday 4 July saw widespread electrical storms across East Anglia.

At Hitchin in Hertfordshire there was 35 mm of rain, which is more than normally falls in two weeks in July.

Call for new powers to tackle littering from cars

Councils are calling for new powers to let them tackle the "huge and spiralling" problem of littering from cars.

Piles of litter. Credit: PA Images

Local authorities outside London want to have the power to fine vehicle owners if someone drops litter from their car to help tackle the thousands of sacks of waste that end up on roadsides every year.

They warn they are not able to tackle the problem effectively because they have to positively identify who has thrown the rubbish out of the car.

Councils are calling on the Government to bring in new regulations that bring the rest of the country in line with London, where vehicle owners can be fined, regardless of who dropped the litter.

Almost a quarter of motorists (23%) admit to having thrown litter out of the car, research suggests.

Clearing up the vast quantities of plastic bottles, cigarette butts, food wrappers and other rubbish that gets dumped from cars is difficult, dangerous and expensive to clear up, the Local Government Association (LGA) warns.

On just 18 miles of A-roads in north Hertfordshire, some 80 tonnes of litter from cars were cleared up in an annual clear-up, the equivalent of 3,200 wheelie bins or 10,000 sacks of waste.

LGA environment spokesman Peter Box said:

"Road litter is a huge and spiralling problem which is threatening to overwhelm some of the nation's roads. It is difficult - and dangerous - for councils to clear up.<

"The litter louts who blight our roads and cost council taxpayers millions in clean-up costs are currently getting away scot free thanks to a legal loophole.<

"It's time for the lazy, selfish people who toss rubbish from moving cars learn this behaviour is simply unacceptable.<

"We are calling on the Government to urgently give councils the appropriate powers to tackle this issue head-on."

– LGA environment spokesman Peter Box.

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Police issue safety advice ahead of Ipswich Music Day

Police are urging everyone attending Ipswich Music Day in Christchurch Park this weekend to take 'crime reduction measures'.

Police are advising people to keep their valuables secure. Credit: PA Images

More than 40,000 people are expected to attend the festival which will take place on Sunday 5 July from midday to 8pm.

To reduce the chance of being targeted by thieves police are asking everyone to consider the following:

  • Keep valuables with you at all times
  • Do not bring large sums of cash, or lots of credit/debit cards
  • If you arrive by car don’t leave anything in your vehicle
  • Be mindful of people around you when watching performances
  • Keep mobile phones secure

"We are expecting the day to be a fun festival with many families attending.

"Public safety is paramount, especially when you have large crowds, we want people to have a safe and enjoyable time, taking into consideration the advice we are issuing.”

– Superintendent Jon Dodman, Head of Specialist Operations.
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