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Miliband holds Q&A in Stevenage

Ed Miliband has been taking part in a Q&A session with an invited audience in Stevenage.

Ed Miliband answering questions in Stevenage Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Labour leader spoke for around 80 minutes this morning, answering questions from the group of pre-selected people at Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre.

Audience at Q&A session Credit: ITV News Anglia

Stevenage is a target seat that Labour wants to win back in the General Election.

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Police Commissioner calls for fairer funding

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire says victims of crime in the county are missing out because of a lack of funding.

Olly Martins has written to the county's MPs calling for a change in the way money from the Ministry of Justice is divided up.

He says the current formula is unfair and victims in Bedfordshire get less support than those in neighbouring counties.

Council calls for Bassingbourn report to be published

Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Councillors in Cambridge have called for a government report into a series of alleged sexual assaults by Libyan soldiers to be made public.

Five cadets who were training at Bassingbourn Barracks were charged in connection with the attacks against men and women in Cambridge in October.

The city council wants an independent inquiry and has called on the Ministry of Defence to publish the findings of its review "immediately after Christmas".

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Essex says cuts challenge will be tough

Essex County Council faces a £49m cut in government funding. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Essex County Council is facing the biggest cut in government funding in the Anglia region with nearly £49 million lopped off its budget.

Early assessments of the Local Government finance settlement, which sets out how much money each local authority will receive from the government in 2015/2016, indicate the Essex could be facing a cut of around 13 per cent on its funding.

“Every successive round of cuts makes the challenge harder. We have already secured so many efficiencies. We will continue to work creatively with our dedicated and innovative officers to find new solutions but make no mistake – it will be tough.”

– Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Finance, Essex County Council

Councils in the Anglia region face 14% cuts in government funding

The government grant to councils in the Anglia region is being cut by 14% Credit: ITV News Anglia

Councils have warned that local authorities across England are being "pushed to breaking point" after the announcement of a new round of Government cuts which will force them to slice an estimated £2.6 billion from their budgets for next year.

The main grant from the government to local councils in the Anglia region is being cut by £323 million next year - a reduction of nearly 14%.

However the government says that the overall reduction in spending power for English councils will be 1.8%, with no council facing a loss of more than 6.4%.

The "spending power" figure includes other income that local councils receive like NHS grants, council tax and business rates and local fees and charges.

The Local Government Association said that the provisional finance settlement for 2015/16 amounted to an 8.8% cut in core central Government funding, bringing to 40% the total reduction in support since the coalition came to power in 2010.

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