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How pensioner Sarah stopped travellers getting on to her favourite nature reserve

Sarah Freeman,who stopped travellers getting on to a nature reserve in Essex

A pensioner whose false teeth were knocked out as she tried to stop travellers breaking into a park in Colchester says she didn't think twice before confronting them.

Sarah Freeman, who is 73, protected the Hillyfields nature reserve by grabbing hold of the gate the group was trying to open.

She says she's a 'potty pensioner,' but eyewitnesses call her a "remarkable, courageous" woman.

Click below to watch a video report by Kate Prout

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Fresh appeal from missing man's family

  • Video report by ITV News Anglia reporter Serena Sandhu

Police say they are no further forward with their investigation two years after a drug dealer from Essex went missing.

Chris May, who's from Kelvedon, disappeared from his home in May 2015. His car was later found abandoned on a country lane near the village of Fairstead.

A murder investigation was launched by police last year. His mother's made a fresh appeal to find her son.

Essex housing scheme could see 40,000 new homes built

Three sites have already been earmarked for the new homes. Credit: ITV News Anglia

More than 40,000 new homes could be built across north Essex as part of a scheme to create more so-called 'Garden Communities'.

The plans are in the very early stages but three possible sites have already been earmarked:

  • West Colchester - 20,000 homes
  • West Braintree - 13,000 homes
  • Tendring/Colchester border - 9,000 homes
Braintree is one of four councils involved in the scheme. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It is the brainchild of four councils across Essex, who are bidding for money from central government to fund the scheme.

We think it's vital that local authorities actually plan the developments and it's not just left to builders and speculators.

We want proper communities built for the future with, most importantly, the infrastructure in the beginning.

– Cllr Graham Butland, Leader, Braintree District Council

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New Labour councillor: 'We can cause Election shock'

Newly elected Labour councillor Lee Scordis says he believes his party can replicate his success in Colchester at the upcoming General Election in five weeks time.

Mr Scordis took the Abbey division seat from the Liberal Democrats by a majority of 155 to secure his seat on the County Council.

These Local Elections are being seen as a barometer for how things could turn out on June 8, and Mr Scordis is confident that Labour could cause a shock by taking the seat from the Conservatives' Will Quince.

"We're making great strides in Colchester and our membership is over 1,000," he told ITV News Anglia.

"There's a real chance that we could become the real opposition to the Conservatives as the Lib Dems continue to slide."

On the whole in Essex, it has been a good night for the Conservatives who have retained overall control of the County Council after reaching the 38 seats required to form a majority.

Six people stuck 20ft in the air on Colchester fairground ride

Six people were trapped at the fairground in Colchester. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Six people had to be rescued from a fairground ride - after it left them stuck 20 feet in the air.

Fire crews were called to Cymberline Way in Colchester just before 6.15pm yesterday. It took around an hour for all six to get back on the ground.

The funfair at Cymberline Meadows arrived last weekend.

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