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Arrests in multi-million pound fraud investigation

Three men and a woman have been arrested in connection with a multi-million pound fraud investigation by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

A series of raids took place across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Surrey this morning (Wednesday).

More than 100 officers from Bedfordshire Police, Thames Valley Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, Regional Organised Crime Units and the Business Department were involved in the warrants.

A 32-year-old woman and 26-year-old man were arrested in Bedford, a 66-year-old man was arrested in Huntingdon, and a 46-year-old man was arrested in Milton Keynes.

The investigation is into fraudulently trading companies, tax evasion and money laundering.

It was launched following concerns raised by the Insolvency Service that a number of companies were being set up to fail – defrauding creditors out of large sums of money.

Bill for agency nursing in the east increases by £20 million

Agency nursing bill for the east has risen by £20 million Credit: ITV News Anglia

The bill for agency nurses in the East of England has increased by £20 million in the last year.

Figures obtained by the Royal College of Nursing show that spending on agency nurses has doubled at most hospitals in our region, claiming that problems with recruiting are the cause.

There has been a 69% rise in agency nursing expenditure in the east, along with a 26% growth in the number of nursing vacancies too.

West Herts HNS Trust, Colchester NHS Trust and Basildon and Thurrock NHS Trust spent the most, paying nearly £20 million on agency nurses during 2014.

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Firefighters across the east to strike today in pension dispute

Firefighters to go on strike today in pensions dispute Credit: ITV News Anglia

Firefighters from across the East of England will be striking today over a continuing pensions dispute with the Government.

Thousands of members of the Fire Brigades Union are expected to join a lunchtime rally in London before lobbying MPs to support their campaign against changes to pensions and their retirement age.

Fire services will be putting contingency plans into place as normal services will not be run from 7am - for 24 hours.

"If we find that we have a very big incident in Cambridgeshire we have an agreement with FBU that members could return to work voluntarily, we also have arrangements with other services who could provide back-up."

– Chris Strickland, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service

Thousands of jobs could be under threat due to dramatic reduction in North Sea oil and gas revenue

There is a warning that thousands of jobs are under threat because of a dramatic reduction in North Sea oil and gas revenue.

It is likely to have more of an effect on oil production off Scotland, but firms in our region will not be immune from the economic decline.

They are calling on the Government to provide tax breaks to help make the UK energy industry more competitive.

Click below to watch Malcolm Robertson's report:

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Jobless totals in East Anglia go up

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Unemployment in East Anglia increased by 2,000 in the quarter to December, official figures have revealed.

According to the Office for National Statistics, a total of 156,000 people were unemployed in the region between October and December.

The region's unemployment rate was 5.0% and saw a rise of 1.3% during the period.

Nationwide, unemployment continued to fall, down to a near seven-year low, while a record number of people are in work.

Bad news for Brian - he fails police training

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Bad news for Brian the aspiring police horse who sparked an outcry when there were plans to change his name to something more 'warlike'...He has been failed by examiners after his first week of training.

Thames Valley Police were forced to rethink their equine naming policy after plans to rename Brian sparked a public outcry. The force felt he should be called something a little more imposing.

That made Brian's across the land rather annoyed.

After failing his tests six year old Brian will be returned to his owners, a riding school in Bedfordshire.

"It was decided his fear for the urban environment means it is not safe for him, the riders or the public to continue training.

"It has become very apparent very quickly that he is not settled to the urban environment. He has been brought up in a rural setting and he is nervous when he is out and about.

"You can see the change in him when he walks out the gates of the police station, which endangers him, the officer on board and the public around his feet.

– Thames Valley Police

Becky and Jonathan's pancake recipe of the day

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ITV Anglia viewers have been sending in their favourite recipes for pancakes. Here's the one Becky and Jonathan liked the best, from Lawrence Hain for ice cream pancake:

"Make the pancakes then let them go cold. Put ice cream in and make like a sausage roll. Freeze them and and when frozen drop them into hot deep oil for a few seconds. Just before the ice cream starts to melt put on a plate. Pour on a little golden syrup or lemon juice, cut and eat. Lovely"

– Lawrence Hain
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