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Ambulance service warns of disruption due to strike

Staff on strike in Ipswich in October Credit: ITV News Anglia

The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) says there could be disruption to 999 responses today as health workers go on strike in a continued row over pay.

In October thousands walked out over the Government's decision not to accept a recommended 1 per cent pay rise for all NHS staff. Today midwives, paramedics and hospital porters will be among those taking part in four hours of national action, from 7am to 11am.

The EEAST says it does not know how many staff will take part, but that it has been working with the unions to make sure that those who need an emergency ambulance get the service they need.

"A considerable amount of contingency planning has taken place in preparation for this strike. We have been working closely with our union colleagues to ensure that those who need an emergency ambulance response get one...

"As always we are urging the public to think about using alternative services especially during the hours of strike action. "If you need medical help but it is not an emergency, consider your options, such as calling 111, contacting your GP or visiting your local pharmacist. This will help keep ambulances available to those in the greatest need."

– Steve Wheaton, Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer for Resilience and Specialist Operations
  1. Matthew Hudson

Tory MP claims his town is 'under siege' from travellers

An Conservative MP from Essex says Harlow has been living 'under siege' for over a year because of illegal travellers' sites around the town.

Robert Halfon says the number of travellers parking illegally in Harlow has left the town at crisis point.

It's thought up to 79 unauthorised camps have sprung up in and around Harlow over the past year. Mr Halfon wants the police to start taking direct action to move the travellers.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Matthew Hudson


Peterborough Tory MP says defection to Ukip would be 'insane'

Stewart Jackson, Conservative MP for Peterborough Credit: ITV News

The Eurosceptic Conservative MP for Peterbrough, Stewart Jackson, has tweeted that any Tory MP would be 'completely insane' to defect to Ukip.

It follows the victory by Mark Reckless in the Rochester and Strood by-election after he defected to Ukip.

Stewart Jackson has a majority of just under 5,000 votes in Peterborough and it is one of the constituencies being targeted by Ukip in the East of England.

Landlady urges MPs to save our pubs

The House of Commons is due to debate an amendment to the Small Business Bill Credit: ITV

A Norfolk landlady is urging MPs to back changes which she believes could help stop the growing number of pubs closing.

Dawn Hopkins, landlady at The Rose Inn, said: "Pubs are getting turned into supermarkets, being developed for housing. Licencees are struggling and, if you have a pub company involved, it's even harder to make a living with the rents they charge and charging you double the amount for your beer that you would pay if you went directly to the breweries."

The House of Commons is due to debate an amendment to the Small Business Bill. It could help to secure fair rents and cheaper beer prices for licencees tied to big pub companies.


New woodland to be planted in Peterborough as a tribute to the city's war dead

Around 2,000 trees will be planted in Peterborough today. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Around 2,000 trees will be planted in Peterborough today as a tribute to people from the city who lost their lives in the First World War.

The project was the brainchild of Peterborough City Council cabinet member Nigel North who thought that it would be a good way to mark the First World War centenary.

1,914 native woodland trees are due to be planted in total on the site between Swanspool and Raleigh Way in Ravensthorpe.

Volunteers are now being urged to help plant the trees between 10am and 4pm today.

“The tree planting is a fitting and lasting way for people now and in the future to recognise and remember the sacrifices made by hundreds of men and women from Peterborough.

Peterborough was greatly affected by the war. In 1914 the city had a population of around 30,000 people, of which 1,177 lost their lives. Around one in six of the city’s working age men did not return from the front. That is staggering to contemplate.”

– Cllr Nigel North, Peterborough City Council

If you would like to volunteer, you can contact Simon Belham on 07715 372432.

A promise of millions for the A47, but the Prime Minister is accused of "a pre-election con trick"

One of the region's major trunk roads is included in what the Government has described as the biggest programme of investment for decades.

The Prime Minister says the A47, which runs from Great Yarmouth to the Midlands, will be part of a multi-billion pound scheme to upgrade some of the country's most notorious roads.

But Labour claims today's announcement is a con, and is just the Government repeating plans already revealed in the past.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Malcolm Robertson

The news was greeted positively by Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, who says that investment has been a long time coming.

"For us in East Anglia, and particularly for me in Great Yarmouth, it gives us a real opportunity now to see money being spent on the A47.

Many people across Norfolk will have been campaigning for this for decades, and yet it was actually downgraded by the last Labour government."

– Brandon Lewis MP

Prime Minister promises investment in the A47 as part of road improvement programme

The Prime Minister has promised major investment in the A47. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Prime Minister has promised major investment in the A47 as part of what he has described as the "biggest programme of road-building since the 1970s."

The Thickthorn Interchange near Norwich is one part of the road which is thought to be earmarked for improvement.

In a speech to business leaders, David Cameron said he wanted to speed up journey times.

Labour have described the announcement as "a pre-election con trick" but the Prime Minister says he wants to spend £15billion before the end of the decade.

David Cameron says he wants to speed up journey times. Credit: ITV News

"This would lead to an extra 100 schemes being undertaken on our roads and we're looking specifically at those pinch points, those problem areas that businesses and people have talked to us about.

Looking at the A47 in the East of England, it's a high growth region that needs better transport links."

– David Cameron
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