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More cash promised for Suffolk bridge projects

Two new bridges in Suffolk could be a step closer after the Chancellor promised more cash for local infrastructure in the Autumn Statement.

A third river crossing for Lowestoft could be a step closer following the Chancellor's Autumn Statement Credit: ITV News Anglia

The government says it will provide £475 million of investment so local areas can bid for funding for projects such as the Lowestoft Third River Crossing and Ipswich Wet Dock Crossing.

Lowestoft has long campaigned for an additional river crossing as the current bascule bridge causes traffic congestion when raised to let shipping into the port.

Chancellor takes up Colchester MP's charity idea for 'tampon tax'

Colchester MP Will Quince tells Chancellor to give 'tampon tax' to charity. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Chancellor George Osborne has taken up an idea from the Colchester MP Will Quince for the £15m a year raised from the so-called 'tampon tax' to be ploughed into supporting women's charities.

During his Autumn Statement, Mr Osborne vowed that he was "committed" to persuading the EU to allow Britain to scrap VAT on sanitary items - but in the meantime, it would be put to "good use".

"There are many great charities that work to support vulnerable women and my Honourable Friend, the new Member for Colchester, has proposed to me a brilliant way to give them more help.

"300,000 people have signed a petition arguing that no VAT should be charged on sanitary products. We already charge the lowest 5% rate allowable under European law and we’re committed to getting the EU rules changed.

"Until that happens, I’m going to use the £15 million a year raised from the Tampon Tax to fund women’s health and support charities."

– George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer


Services under strain as more cuts expected in Spending Review

Public services across the Anglia region are braced for big cuts in the Autumn Statement and Spending Review.

Public services across the Anglia region are braced for big cuts in the Autumn Statement and Spending Review. Credit: ITV News Anglia

All the indications are that it will be a tough settlement for local councils over the next few years with less Government money available for spending as George Osborne attempts to reduce the deficit.

Norfolk seems to be ahead of Essex and Suffolk in analysing where savings have to be made. They've already cut £250 million but are faced with an extra £111 million over the next three years.

In Cambridgeshire, the county council already knows it will have to implement more than £40 million of cuts in the coming year.

ITV News Anglia reporter Matthew Hudson has been taking a look at some of the spending areas which may be under threat and you can watch his report by clicking below


Man sought after pensioner hit in face by house invader

This man was captured on CCTV. Credit: Cambridgeshire Police.

Police have released images of a man they want to speak to after a pensioner was attacked at his Peterborough home late Tuesday night.

The 69-year-old was watching television when a man entered his property on Anchor Court, Paston and attempted to steal his wife’s jewellery box.

When the burglar was challenged he became violent and hit the man in the face with the box, leaving him with cuts and bruising.

Detective Constable Sarah Phillips said:

"The victim in this incident was particularly vulnerable and resides in a vulnerable location. He suffered a nasty assault and has been left shaken. I would urge anyone who knows this individual to contact police."

– Detective Constable Sarah Phillips

Council warns of 'tough choices' ahead of budget announcement

Cambridgeshire County Council has warned it has had to make "tough choices" ahead of announcing its latest budget today.

The authority is due to reveal its spending plans for the next financial year and 2017/18.

Voluntary organisations fear they - and the people they support - could suffer as a result of the "difficult decisions" the council says it has had to make.

Harlow's Street lights to be switched back on overnight

Street lights to be switched back on overnight in Harlow Credit: ITV News Anglia

A controversial decision to switch off street lights in an Essex town has been reversed.

Harlow Council and Essex County Council have reached an agreement to keep the lights switched on overnight seven days a week.

In February Harlow agreed to put its council tax up by 1.5 per cent to fund it and now Essex County Council has accepted the offer. They've both agreed and the lights will be switched back on when the clocks change this weekend.

It will cost Harlow Council around £106,000 a year to fund which will be reviewed annually at the end of October for the next four years.

The agreement between the two Councils will see Harlow Council pay for the additional electricity and arising CO2 emissions with Essex County Council continuing to be responsible for the maintenance of the lights.

Harlow Council will also support Essex County Council on any initiatives to explore trialling the use of more energy efficient lighting to help reduce costs for Council taxpayers.

"Keeping Harlow's street lights on responds to the genuine concerns of the community and businesses, and takes into account Harlow's needs as a urban town. Many shift workers walking to or cycling to and from work want to see where they are going and that is the same for the many people returning home from a night out leading up to or during the weekend. We know this will have a positive impact on businesses and that the fear of crime, particularly at night, will reduce for some of our older residents."

– Cllr Jon Clempner, Leader of Harlow Council

In Harlow, Essex County Council is responsible for 9,005 lights with around 85% per cent being switched off overnight since March 2014 between 12 midnight to 5am under its part-night street lighting policy.

The County Council's policy was amended across the County in March 2015 with lights switching off between 12midnight and 5am one day a week and from 1am to 5am six days a week.

"I have carefully reviewed Harlow's plan to finance the streetlights to remain on at night for at least the next four years. This is a good example of devolution in practice, where the county council is listening to local communities and identifying ways to devolve responsibility to district partners."

– Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council
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