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Driverless cars to be trialled in Milton Keynes

Driverless cars will be tested in Milton Keynes. Credit: ITV News Anglia

If you're in Milton Keynes you may soon be seeing driverless cars on the roads.

The pods are to be tested in public areas.

The first official trials are being launched today and transport ministers have called the new technology a "real game changer".

Is this the future of train travel in the East?

A battery powered train being tested Credit: Network Rail

Network Rail will be unveiling what it says is the future of train travel in our region this week.

The company been trialling the use of an electric engine on routes in the Harwich area of Essex.

Rail bosses say a fleet of similar ones could be more efficient, quieter, better for the environment, and help reduce running costs by 20%.


Work due to start on multi-million pound council HQ

An impression of how the new HQ will look Credit: Northants County Council

Work is due to start this week on Northamptonshire County Council's new headquarters.

The £53 million project, known as Project Angel, will see staff move out of 12 buildings in Northampton into one purpose-built office in the town centre.

The council says they'll save money and bring 2000 office workers back into the town centre.

It's expected the building work will be finished by October 2016, with everyone moving in by the end of that year.

"I'm delighted that the project is now underway. This is a very important scheme not only for the county council but for the regeneration of Northampton and for the county as a whole.

Not only will it save millions of pounds of taxpayers' money by moving out of old inefficient buildings but it will also boost Northampton by bringing 2,000 office workers back into the town centre.

We've already seen a number of redevelopment projects in Northampton, creating a county town of which we can all be proud."

– Councillor Jim Harker, County Council leader

A sod cutting ceremony to officially mark the start of the work will take place on Tuesday 10th February.

Govt says more homes now get superfast broadband

Credit: ITV News Anglia

Almost 300,000 homes and businesses in the East of England now have access to superfast broadband according to Government figures.

Ministers say the roll out of fibre broadband - which generates speeds of at least 24 mega bits per second - will lead to tens of thousands of jobs being created nationwide.

The Culture Minister Ed Vaizey will visit Norwich on Monday February 9th to launch the latest phase of the government's broadband scheme which aims to support properties in the hardest-to-reach areas.

"Today there are two million more UK homes and businesses with access to superfast broadband than there were two years ago as a result of this ambitious project.

This is a tremendous result that is already making a huge difference to millions of people.

We want everyone in the UK to be able to enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband, that's why we've begun work on reaching the last five per cent of communities not covered by existing plans."

– Culture Secretary Sajid Javid

Northampton: What will £55million 99p stores sale mean for jobs and shoppers?

It's been confirmed the Northampton company 99p Stores is being taken over by it's larger rival Poundland in a deal worth more than £55million.

The family run budget retailer employs 6,500 people, hundreds of them at its headquarters and distribution centre in the town.

Poundland claims it's good news for customers - but what will it mean for jobs and shoppers in the region?

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey


Poundland to buy Northamptonshire-based 99p stores in £55million deal

99p Stores is set to be bought out by its rival, Poundland. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Northamptonshire-based company 99p Stores is set to be bought out by its rival, Poundland, in a £55million deal.

The family run budget chain, including the brand family bargains, has 251 shops across the country and employs 6,500 people - 200 at its headquarters in Northampton.

The deal, which would include a warehouse and distribution centre, is subject to approval by competition authorities.

Supermarket cancels 'offensive' staff awards

Sainsbury's have cancelled an awards ceremony for staff at one of their stores after complaints that some of the categories were 'offensive'.

The planned Oscar-style event had 17 gongs up for grabs including the titles of Mr/Mrs Chatterbox', 'Pure Banter', 'Hard Grafter' and 'Longest Tea Breaker'.

But four other categories - 'Rear of the Year Male', 'Sexiest Male', 'Rear of the Year Female' and 'Sexiest Female' - caused upset among staff and their families.

The event, organised by the store in Ely, Cambridgeshire, was due to take place at a local venue at the end of this month but has now been scrapped.

Sainsbury's say they have spoken to the store about their events programme. Credit: PA

The fiancee of one employee, who asked not to be named, tweeted a photo of the leaflet promoting the night and said: "Does this leave a bad taste in your mouth too, or have I lost my sense of humour?"

She added: "I found the categories, particularly the ones about which colleague was the sexiest or had the best bottom, extremely offensive.

"Not offensive because my partner works there but offensive from a consumer's point of view.

A Sainsbury's spokeswoman said: "The event was organised locally and was cancelled the moment colleagues realised that offence had been caused.

"We have spoken to the store about their events programme going forward."

Potters Leisure Resort closed due to Norovirus outbreak

Potters Leisure Resort closes due to Norovirus outbreak. Credit: Google Street View

Potters Leisure Resort in Hopton near Great Yarmouth has had to close following an outbreak of winter vomiting bug, Norovirus.

An event celebrating the life of the resort's late chairman Brian Potter due to take place on Wednesday has been cancelled.

The resort has apologised to guests due to check in this week and will be offering them a full refund. They aim to reopen on Friday.

The wellbeing of our guests and staff is paramount and therefore we have made the decision to temporarily close, so that we can conduct a thorough deep cleanse to end the virus. We have advised the relevant public health authorities and they have praised our preventative course of action. Guests due to check in today have been contacted to advise them of the closure and will receive a full refund.

We apologise for the inconvenience that this will have caused our guests, but believe that this unprecedented move is necessary.

– Potters statement

£60 million for region's industry

The government has pledged a total of £60 million for a series of projects across Essex, Norfolk, and Suffolk. The windfall will benefit the aviation industry and create thousands of new jobs, homes, and better roads. But critics claim it's just another political sweetener three months ahead of the General Election. Malcolm Robertson's been looking at one of the schemes designed to benefit.

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