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Labour plan for locals to be given priority in getting new homes

Labour leader Ed Miliband in Milton Keynes to announce a new housing plan. Credit: ITV News Anglia / Russell Hookey

Local people would be given priority in buying new homes in their area under a scheme unveiled by Labour leader Ed Miliband in Milton Keynes.

As part of its commitment to build at least 200,000 homes a year by 2020, Labour would give councils powers to designate Housing Growth Areas for new homes.

And local authorities would be allowed to reserve a proportion of the new homes for first-time buyers from the area, who would have priority access to properties for a period of two months.

"There has been a systematic failure to build the homes our country needs. Too much development land is held as a speculative investment when local people need homes. Too often the trickle of new developments that get completed are snapped up before people from the area can benefit, undermining support for much needed further development. And, for too many young families, the dream of home ownership is fading fast."

– Ed Miliband, Labour leader


Clacton MP re-takes his seat for Ukip

Clacton MP Douglas Carswell taking his seat Credit: HOC

Clacton's new Ukip MP has taken his seat in the House of Commons for the first time later following his historic by-election.

Nigel Farage hailed it an "emotional" moment for Ukip as he watched its first elected MP introduced to Parliament after victory in the Clacton by-election.

The party leader was in the Commons for the first time in more than 30 years to see Douglas Carswell re-take his seat.

Mr Carswell, who triggered the contest after defecting from the Tories, was shepherded into the chamber by former colleagues Zac Goldsmith and Sir Peter Tapsell.

Carswell taking his historic seat in the Commons Credit: HOC

Arriving at Westminster, Mr Farage said he had not been in the Commons since he was 17 - although he has been to the Lords.

Asked if it felt like an emotional moment for the party, he said: "It does. I think it is a moment.

"I am here to represent Ukip and the millions of people who we represent."

As an MEP, Mr Farage does not have automatic access to the parliamentary estate. The House authorities indicated Ukip would have needed to apply for tickets to sit in the public gallery.

New UKIP MP takes up his seat

Douglas Carswell MP arriving at the Commons Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Clacton's new UKIP MP is due to take his seat in the commons for the first time following last week's historic by-election.

Douglas Carswell, who is the party's first elected MP, defected from the Conservatives in August.

He took the seat with a majority of more than 12,000.

He will be sworn in at Parliament this afternoon. (Monday)


Health Secretary says "we can't afford" what strikers want

Midwives on strike in Ipswich Credit: ITV News Anglia

Thousands of health workers across the East have walked out on strike today and some of them for the first time.

Midwives were among health workers who walked out for four hours in protest at the Government's decision not to give all of them a recommended 1% pay rise.

Whilst the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the government would talk to the unions, he said some 14,000 people would be laid off if unions received the one per cent salary increase they were calling for.

  1. London

Public poll shows support for NHS strike

A poll for the union Unite shows the public supports health workers in their campaign for an above-inflation pay rise.

A survey of more than 1,000 people showed that almost two thirds thought a continued below-inflation one per cent pay cap was unfair.

Three out of five of those questioned said they believed industrial action being taken by NHS workers was justified.

According to Frances O'Grady, of the Trades Union Congress, this is the first time there has been a national strike over pay in the NHS since 1982.

  1. National

Hunt: 'We absolutely will talk to unions'

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the government is prepared to talk to the striking NHS unions about the current pay rise dispute.

Jeremy Hunt Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

He said: "We will talk to them if they're prepared to look to reform the system of increments, which is unclear and unfair.

"I recognise frontline staff do a magnificent job in the NHS."

Thousands of NHS staff walk out on strike

Staff on strike outside Northampton General Hospital Credit: ITV News Anglia

Hundreds of thousands of health workers across East Anglia have walked out on strike, many for the first time in their lives, in protest at the Government's decision not to give them a recommended 1% pay rise.

Midwives, nurses, paramedics, ambulance staff, and hospital porters and cleaners mounted picket lines from 7am for four hours.

The four-hour stoppage by members of a number of unions is part of a week-long campaign of industrial action over pay.

Hospitals say they're making contingency plans, but people are asked only to call 999 in a life-threatening situation.

Health workers downed tools for four hours Credit: ITV News Anglia
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