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Why Milton Keynes and Cambridge are creating more jobs and businesses faster than anywhere else

Milton Keynes has seen the largest growth in new jobs and businesses over the last decade, according to a study by the economic think-tank Centre for Cities.

Cambridge was also in the top three - just behind London.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Sarah Cooper

Click below to hear from Senior Economist, Paul Swinney

Milton Keynes leads the way in economy growth list

The Centre MK shopping centre. Credit: PA

A report out today has found that two of our region's cities have been named in the top three places to see the biggest growth to their economies.

Milton Keynes has come out on top as the best performing city in the UK over the last 10 years, with the highest increase in the number of jobs at 18%.

Cambridge has been placed third. Credit: PA

Cambridge has been placed third behind London with a 16% increase in its job market.

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Martins calls for 16% council tax rise to pay for more police officers

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire is proposing a council tax rise of almost 16% to pay for more police officers in the county.

Olly Martins is consulting the public on the 15.85% increase. A referendum would be required to secure a rise of this scale. It would be held alongside the General Election on 7 May.

Mr Martins says the increase would pay for 100 additional officers until at least 2021, with a focus on more visible policing in the community, managing prolific offenders and protecting vulnerable people.

Click below to watch Olivia Paterson's interview with Olly Martins:

Tesco announces move as sales fall

Tesco is shutting its head office Credit: ITV News Anglia

Britain's biggest supermarket Tesco has unveiled it is moving its head office to Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire.

The restructuring comes as the company announced it will close 43 unprofitable stores as part of a raft of new measures.

Figures released today reveal like-for-like sales have dropped by 2.9% over the past five months.

Union admits factory workers will struggle to find new jobs

A union had admitted it will be difficult to find new jobs for the 200 workers losing their jobs because of a factory closure in Norfolk.

Food manufacturer Heinz has confirmed it will shut its plant at Worstead, near North Walsham, in April.

It follows the loss of a contract to make frozen potato products for the Aunt Bessie's brand.

Malcolm Robertson reports.

Factory closure is 'devastating news' for staff

The closure of the Heinz factory in north Norfolk is "devastating news" for workers, union representatives have said.

Usdaw, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, said the timing of the announcement - just days before Christmas - made it particularly upsetting.

David Gill, Usdaw national officer, said the workers did "not deserve this" but acknowledged the loss of the contract with the owner of the Aunt Bessie's brand had been a big blow to the factory.

"Confirmation of the closure is devastating news for our members, their families and the wider community, particularly just before Christmas.

"Our priority is to work with the company to help find alternative employment for the staff. We will continue in consultation meetings throughout January to agree the procedures for the expected closure of the plant in April.

"There is no doubt that the loyal and committed staff on-site do not deserve this, but the loss of the Aunt Bessie's contract has proved to be a fatal blow."

– David Gill, Usdaw.

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Heinz to close Norfolk factory

The Heinz factory at Westwick, Norfolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Heinz has confirmed it will close its Westwick factory in Norfolk next year.

The food manufacturer first began consulting on plans to shut the site near North Walsham in October following a decision by the William Jackson Food Group - owner of the Aunt Bessie's Brand - not to renew its licence with the company.

Heinz says, without the contract to manufacture its frozen potato products, there is no longer enough work to keep the factory operating.

A spokesman said attempts to find a buyer for the site had failed.

The factory will continue operating until April 2015, when the Aunt Bessie's licence ends.

Heinz will now focus its efforts on helping workers to find other jobs and will carry on discussing closure plans with unions until at least mid-January.

Fresh closures on the A14

Another series of overnight closures begins on the A14 tonight.

From 8pm this evening, to 6am tomorrow the road will be completely closed westbound between junctions 32 and 36. It will also be fully shut eastbound between junctions 31 and 32. Diversions will be in place.

Work is already ongoing on the A14 for the Girton to Histon Pinchpoint programme. A national programme, it involves making improvements to busy points all around the country's road network. The aim is to stimulate growth in the local economy, relieve congestion and improve road safety.

A14 roadworks for the Pinchpoint programme Credit: ITV News Anglia

Pledge to fill empty homes

Labour says the number of empty homes in Norwich has reached crisis point. Credit: ITV

More than 1600 homes in Norwich are currently sitting empty, according to the local Labour Party. Labour's candidates for the city's two seats say reducing fees chargd by letting agencies and capping excessive rent increases would ease the problem.

The government says the number of a empty homes in England has fallen by 160,000 since the end of 2009, reaching a 10-year low.

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Osborne promises 'major new improvements' to road system

George Osborne says he will this week set out "major new improvements" to the UK's roads system.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, the Chancellor said:

It's a major improvement in our country's road system which was, frankly, neglected and we're spending much, much more money than even the previous Labour government when they were spending money like there was no tomorrow...You're going to see major new improvements on key roads, to the south-west of England, through Norfolk, up through Northumbria

– George Osborne
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