Education Secretary Michael Gove has given the go-ahead to a number of new free schools in the region.
The family of Lance Corporal James Ashworth, who was killed by a grenade blast in Afghanistan, have accepted a posthumous VC.
Regardless of the result in Thursday's election, Northamptonshire will have fewer county councils because of boundary changes.
The former Labour MP for Harwich Ivan Henderson has made up for the loss of his parliamentary seat by winning the County Council seat of the same name.
Mr Henderson who was the MP from 1997 until 2007 ousted Conservative councillor Ricky Callender.
UKIP have gained their third seat on Essex County Council taking another seat from the Conservatives.
Alan Bayley has a majority of 242 over the Conservatives who came second.
The latest gain is South Benfleet after the party won Westley Heights in Basildon and Rayleigh South.
The Green Party have their first councillor on Essex County Council.
Michael Hoy polled 39% of the vote in Rochford West to take win the previously Conservative-held seat. The Tories had 31% of the vote while UKIP took 21%.
With 25 of the 77 divisions in Hertfordshire declared this is the current share of the vote:
Conservative - 39%
Labour - 26%
UKIP - 13%
Lib Dem - 13%
Green - 6%
Labour have taken the two Pitsea seats from the Conservatives.
The Tories have taken Great Baddow from the Liberal Democrats.
UKIP defector Brain Wood has lost his Canvey Island seat to an Independent
After 11 results in the Essex County Council elections, this is the share of the vote:
Conservative - 31%
UKIP - 27%
Labour - 21%
Liberal Democrats - 15%
Greens - 3%
Labour has gained two Essex County Councils seats in Harlow and narrowly failed to take a third from the Conservatives.
Labour took Harlow North and Harlow West but the Conservatives retained Harlow South East by just 21 votes.
UKIP scored 25-30% of the vote in the three divisions.
Labour has so far gained six county council seats from the Conservatives in Hertfordshire.
After the last election in 2009 the party had only 3 seats.
These are the Labour gains so far:
- Borehamwood North
- Broadwater (Stevenage)
- Hitchin North
- Letchworth North West
- Old Stevenage
- St Nicholas (Stevenage)
UKIP gain from Conservative - Rayleigh South
Conservative hold - South Woodham Ferrers
Conservative hold - Rayleigh North
Conservative hold - Chelmsford Central
Liberal Democrat hold - Chelmsford West