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Waveney MP slams 'wrong decision' to close Lowestoft Magistrates' Court

Lowestoft Magistrates' Court will close this summer. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The MP for Waveney Peter Aldous says that the government have made the "wrong decision" by closing Lowestoft Magistrates' Court.

The court is among several across the East that have been shut as part of government cuts.

“I believe that this is the wrong decision, taking into account the compelling evidence based case made by local court users for the court to remain open.

With the current emphasis on localisation and devolution their views should have been accepted and I am concerned that the closure will compromise access to local justice for the most vulnerable in society."

– Peter Aldous MP


Tories accused of breaking spending rules in Clacton by-election

The Clacton by-election, 2014 Credit: ITV Anglia

The Conservative party is facing questions over allegations it failed to declare tens of thousands of pounds spent on 2014 by-elections, including the election in Clacton.

According to electoral rules, each party is allowed to spend £100,000 on campaigning in a by-election.

But Channel 4 News says it found bills totalling £26,786 in Clacton which would have taken the Tories £10,835 over the limit.

It's claimed the party also broke electoral rules in two other campaigns - Newark and Rochester and Strood.

Channel 4 News says it uncovered £56,866 of undeclared hotel bills in Rochester, which would have taken the party £53,659 over the spending limit.

In Newark it found bills totalling £10,459 in Newark, which would have meant a £6,650 overspend.

The Tories defeated UKIP in Newark, but went on to lose the other two by-elections.

A party spokeswoman said: "All by-election spending has been correctly recorded in accordance with the law."

Ukip's Clacton MP Douglas Carswell told Channel 4 News: "It's shocking ... It's simply intolerable. You have to have a law to make sure you don't have unfair advantage.

"We need to look at whether the Electoral Commission should have the right powers. I will certainly be raising it (with the commission)."

Stallholders on Cambridge market face rent hike

Cambridge market. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Market traders in Cambridge have urged councillors to re-think plans to raise rents for their pitches.

The city council insists it would bring prices into line with other markets and should only effect about a third of the 100 licence holders.

But stallholders are warning it could hit their trade and make every day more of a struggle.


Prime Minister asks Northamptonshire prison for 'secret' to transforming inmates' lives

David Cameron at HMP Onley. Credit: Christopher Furlong/PA Wire

The Prime Minister has visited one of the region's top prisons where he was told ex-convicts needed more support once they had been released.

David Cameron talked to prisoners and staff at HMP Onley on the Northamptonshire border.

He asked for "the secret" of transforming inmates into contributing members of society once they leave jail.

It comes on a day the government unveiled a sweeping programme of prison reforms.

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