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New drive to get thousands of empty homes on the market

A new initiative to solve the region's housing crisis by selling empty houses and getting more back on the market has been launched.

In Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire there are currently over 10,000 properties that one housing charity say could provide homes.

Now councils including Ipswich and Cambridge have launched a drive to help tackle the problem.

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Crowds flock to Bury St Edmunds for Christmas Fayre

Video report by ITV News Anglia's Chloe Keedy

While most retailers were breathing a sigh of relief at the end of Black Friday yesterday, shop owners in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk were gearing up for their busiest weekend of the year.

120,000 people are expected to descend on the market town this weekend for its annual Christmas Fayre.

Helping homeowners save on their energy bills

Residents can borrow thermal cameras to check their homes Credit: ITV News Anglia

South Cambridgeshire District Council have launched a scheme to help homeowners save on their energy bills by using a thermal camera to find out where the heat is escaping from their home.

Residents can borrow the cameras for free and survey their house to see if they need extra insulation or draught proofing.

Credit: ITV News Anglia

"the camera is really good at showing draughts and missing insulation, the other thing that is very good at showing actually is gaps around pipes, where pipes go through the external walls"

– Siobhan Mellon, South Cambridgeshire District Council

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Festive Christmas market cancelled because of fears over bad weather

The Christmas lights may be on but a festive market has been cancelled Credit: Ipswich

A popular festive market has been cancelled in Suffolk because of fears of high winds and heavy rain which are forecast tomorrow.

The annual St Peter's Street market in Ipswich will not go ahead as planned according to the local borough council.

The Met Office has issued a Yellow weather warning of rain and wind fior the East of England from 5am tomorrow.

Number of broadband users in Northamptonshire rockets

40% of homes and businesses have already signed up to fibre broadband Credit: ITV News Anglia

The number of people signing up for high-speed broadband in Northamptonshire has increased in the last two years.

Figures from BT reveal more than 40% of homes and businesses have now signed up, compared to less than 10% in 2014.

More than 70% of households in Orlingbury near Wellingborough are now using fibre broadband.

Local businesses and residents are seeing the benefits that a super-fast fibre broadband service can bring. This may be helping to boost the bottom line for business through time and money saving applications, or at home, enabling the whole family to go on-line at the same time without frustrating buffering delays.

– Ian Morris, Northamptonshire county council

Almost half of rented homes in the East of England are not up to scratch

Housing charity warns many rented homes are falling short of being Credit: ITV News Anglia

A housing charity says more than 40% of rented homes in the East of England are not 'acceptable' to the people who live in them.

Most of the homes failed Shelter's test because they're too expensive and leave renters unable to save for the future.

Others were found to be poorly built or maintained and had problems such as damp and pests.

At Shelter we know all too well that a home is much more than bricks and mortar - it's a place that should allow us to live and thrive, rather than just get by.

When Shelter was founded fifty years ago, it was with the hope that one day everyone in in the country would have access to a place they can truly call home. But the sad truth is that far too many people in the East of England right now are living in homes that just aren't up to scratch - from the thousands of families forced to cope with poor conditions, to a generation of renters forking out most of their income on housing each month and unable to save for the future.

– Shelter's Chief Executive Campbell Robb

Newspaper which only publishes 'good news' launches in Luton

StandUp Luton will only publish 'good news' Credit: ITV News Anglia

A new newspaper which will only publish good news is being launched in Luton.

It's the idea of Editor Shaz Zaman whose group 'Stand up Luton' are fed up of the negative image of the town.

It is being given out for free and funded entirely by donations.

The Editor of StandUp Luton, Shaz Zaman (right) Credit: ITV News Anglia

"The conception that people have of our town of being a hotbed of extremism, gangs, violence, there's people sitting at home saying yeah, I'm fed up of people really having a go at my town. This is a vehicle for people to be able to come around, to know that there are people who want to do good."

– Shaz Zaman, Editor
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