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Memorial stone to be unveiled in honour of murdered police officer

PC Ian Dibell Credit: Essex Police

A murdered Essex Police officer will be honoured today.

A memorial stone will be unveiled in Clacton for PC Ian Dibell who was killed whilst off duty there in 2012.

He was later posthumously awarded the George Medal for gallantry by the Queen.

PC Dibell's family will be attending the service along with his loved ones, friends and police colleagues.

It is a privilege to attend this service in memory of Police Constable Ian Dibell, who paid the ultimate price in protecting the innocent people of Clacton.

'In not only confronting evil on our streets but in going back in to his house to get his warrant card and putting himself on duty, Ian displayed the heroism and professionalism that characterise the best of our breed.

"There are no words to adequately sum up the enormity of Ian's sacrifice, nor that of any officer who dies in the service of his community. PC Dibell paid the ultimate price for his actions, but he will never be forgotten by his colleagues in Essex Police, or the people of our county."

– Stephen Kavanagh, The Chief Constable of Essex Police


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.

MPs: Planned improvements to A47 will not stop us lobbying for more

The A47 which runs from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk to Leicester. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Archive.

MPs from across the Anglia region will continue to lobby for the A47 to be fully dualled.

The government has already agreed to a £300m investment programme which will see improvements at key pinch-points including the Acle straight.

They will also see the road - which runs from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, through Cambridgeshire to Leicester - become a dual carriageway from Dereham through to Acle.

But following a meeting between a number of Norfolk and Suffolk MPs and with Highways England this week, Elizabeth Truss insisted last year's the announcement would not stop them lobbying for further improvements.

"I am keen to ensure that Highways England is planning for the long term so the A47 is future-proofed for further upgrades. Along with my fellow MPs, we want the A47 fully dualled and I have asked Highways England to present the economic case for this."

– Elizabeth Truss MP, South West Norfolk (Cons).

Announcement expected on Chinese involvement in nuclear power

Sizewell nuclear power station in Suffolk Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Government is expected to announce a multibillion pound deal later which will secure Chinese backing for a nuclear power plant at Sizewell C in Suffolk.

The deal could also allow Chinese state-owned companies to design and build a nuclear reactor using their own technology at Bradwell in Essex.

Those in support say it's a huge boost for the region, but concerns have been raised about national security as well as ecological and environmental concerns.

Professor Steffen Boeh, Director of Essex Sustainability Unit Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It's too much of a gamble to be honest. It' a new Chinese reactor that will be built here, the first one in the western world and there's no track record of the Chinese being able to build safe and to cost reactors."

– Professor Steffen Boehm Director, Essex Sustainability Unit
Bradwell in Essex Credit: ITV News Anglia

Conservative MPs hit out at Chancellor's tax credit cuts

The Chancellor's plans for cuts in working tax credits are under fire from some Conservatives. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Conservative MPs from the Anglia region have criticised plans by the government to cut working tax credits.

South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen, who was elected in May, called the pace of reforms "too hard and too fast."

In the Budget in July, the Chancellor proposed to cut the threshold at which tax credits are withdrawn from £6,420 to £3,850. The government says workers will benefit instead from low tax thresholds, the new minimum wage and extra childcare.

The Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland, also a Conservative, says he is worried the changes could see some families losing £1,200 a year when the changes take effect.


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

PM's school visit to launch anti-extremism message

David Cameron chose a school in Luton to pledge to "aggressively" pursue and disrupt extremists trying to spread the "poisonous ideology" of radical Islamism.

David Cameron was in Luton to launch a new government anti-extremism strategy. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Launching the Government's counter-extremism strategy, the Prime Minister warned it was no time for "kid gloves" when faced with the threat to Britain's values of democracy, equality and tolerance.

Among the measures he announced:

  • A ban on anyone with a conviction for terrorist or extremist activity from working with children and the vulnerable.
  • An extension of powers for passports to be withdrawn from the young at risk of travelling abroad to join groups such as so-called Islamic State.
  • £5 million of funding to help local groups root out extremism in British communities.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey

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