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PM announces plans for new discounted homes

David Cameron was visiting Colchester this morning Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Prime Minister has been in Essex to talk about the latest part of the Conservative election pledges.

David Cameron has announced plans to build 200,000 new discounted starter homes. Prices would be capped at £250,000 outside London.

Labour have said the homes will be built far from amenities and close to industrial areas.

"Some of the UK's biggest property developers have signed up - including Barratt and Taylor Wimpey," said Mr Cameron in a speech in Colchester.

"I can announce today that the next Conservative government would build not just 100,000 starter homes, but 200,000 starter homes, giving more young people the security of owning a home, rewarding hard work, making this a country where if you put in, you will get out."

Labour is committed to increasing the number of new homes being built each year to 200,000 by 2020 by threatening to take land from developers who fail to use it, doing more public sector building and building a new generation of garden cities.

A birthday present for Ed Balls - from David Cameron

Ed Balls in the Commons today

Five days to go now until Norwich play Ipswich in the East Anglian derby, and among the celebrity fans bound to be at Carrow Road on Sunday is Shadow Chancellor and Norwich supporter, Ed Balls.

It's Mr Balls' birthday today, and he was given a football related gift from David Cameron at Prime Ministers' Question Time - albeit one he can't unwrap for a little while yet...

Listen to their exchange in the Commons:


Next rail operator will need to cut Norwich-to-London journey times to 90 minutes

The search is on for the next rail operator to run the East Anglia franchise. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

The next rail operator on the Norwich to London line is being asked to reduce journey times by nearly 30 minutes.

The government has launched the search for the company who will take over the East Anglia franchise in October 2016.

Bidders are being asked to look into reducing the journey time to 90 minutes, as well as cut the number of delays and cancellations.

Abellio Greater Anglia currently runs the franchise.

"East Anglia has a thriving economy and I want it to be served by the best train services possible.

"Giving the region train services fit for the 21st century is vital to connecting people with jobs and businesses with customers.

"Good transport is central to our long-term economic plan."

– Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary.

Prime Minister will claim his economic plan 'is working in the East of England" during second visit to region

David Cameron at the Vauxhall factory in Luton on Tuesday. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

The Prime Minister will be back in the region today to set out his long-term economic plan for the East of England.

David Cameron will make a speech to business leaders in Felixstowe during his visit to Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

He will claim the government's plan has worked so far in the East of England - making it the fastest growing economy outside of London.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister met automotive industry workers in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.

"We will keep working through our plan to secure a brighter future for hardworking people across the East of England by making the most of the region’s strengths in science, defence and energy, ensuring we have world-class infrastructure and backing business to create more jobs.”

– David Cameron.

Council rejects plans for woodland cabins

Campaigners fighting plans to build seventy holiday cabins in woodland in Northamptonshire are celebrating tonight - after councillors decided to reject the application.

Forest Holidays wanted to build a new retreat at Fineshade Wood near Corby.

But, following strong local opposition - including from the Wildlife Trust - the plans were this evening turned down on ecological grounds.


NHS is on the agenda at the Prince William School in Oundle

With the General Election drawing ever closer ITV News has teamed up with schools across the region as part of our 'Election 2015 Schools Debate'.

One of the big challenges is getting more young people interested and involved in politics.

Sarah Beecroft has been along to Prince William School in Oundle where the NHS is on the agenda.

Click below to watch the report:

Labour's pink minibus rolls into Stevenage amid criticism

A pink minibus is being used by Labour to attract more women voters.

Critics have labelled it the "Barbie Bus" - but the party denies the choice of colour for its "woman-to-woman" initiative is patronising.

Today it rolled into Stevenage, its first stop on a national tour, along with Deputy Labour Leader Harriet Harman.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Emma Hutchinson

School Debate in Bedford

The countdown to the General Election in May is well underway - but one of the big challenges is getting more young people interested and involved in politics.

School Debate in Bedford Credit: ITV Anglia

To do that our Election 2015 School Debate for years eleven and above is underway.

If your class is doing anything to mark the election - we'd like to see you in action and maybe include you in our programme. You can get more details here

Sarah Cooper has been listening in on a debate organised by St Thomas More Catholic School in Bedford and you can see her report below

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