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Eight homes evacuated after two gas mains ruptured during collision

Credit: PA Images

Eight homes were evacuated in Hockley in Essex last night after an 1,000 metre exclusion zone was set up following a road traffic collision which ruptured two gas mains.

The gas mains were hit just after 8pm in Rectory Road.

One man, who was the driver of the vehicle and in his 20s, was treated at the scene.

Fire crews checked the area and residents were allowed back into their homes at 9.30pm.

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New East Anglian ambulance chief sought

Anthony Marsh is to step down as interim Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Trust Credit: ITV News Anglia

The head of the East of England Ambulance Service is to step down in the coming months as the search for his sucessor begins less than a year after he started the job.

Anthony Marsh became interim Chief Executive of the Trust in January, tasked with improving ambulance response times. Also Chief Executive of the West Midlands Ambulance Service, he faced criticism over his quarter of a million pound salary.

His appointment was meant to last for up to two years, but the trust has already advertised for a replacement. Mr Marsh will stay until a successor is found.

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

Murder investigation launched after teenager stabbed in Essex park

Murder investigation launched in Chelmsford, Essex Credit: ITV News Anglia

Essex police have begun a murder enquiry after a man believed to be in his late teens was stabbed in Oaklands Park in Chelmsford.

It happened at 3.15pm on Moulsham Street. The man who is believed to be from Chelmsford, was taken to Chelmsford's Broomfield Hospital where he later died.

The murder investigation has been launched by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

A police cordon has been put in place at the scene.

The suspect is described as white, 6ft tall, of medium build and wearing a dark coloured top.

Anyone with information should contact Chelmsford CID on 101.

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Teresa's dying wish that others get the chance of life

A woman's dying wish to boost the organ donor register by 10,000 has been fulfilled.

Teresa Sandeman-Charles, from Duddenhoe End near Saffron Walden in Essex, set up a charity called Save 5 to try to boost the number of people signing up to be organ donors.

It came after she was diagnosed with two terminal lung conditions despite never having smoked herself. She died on Friday 12 December before she could have a transplant herself. She was 54.

"You still have this belief that somebody that special deserves to live and you just couldn't admit that she wasn't going to.

"If you could prevent your family or somebody else's family going through such terrible grief by donating your organs, think about it. It's one of the best things you can do in life."

– Roy Sandeman-Charles, Teresa's husband

Click below to watch Claire McGlasson's report

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.

Temperatures are 7C above average on the mildest day of the winter so far

2pm temperatures across the Anglia region. Credit: Met Office

Temperatures throughout the Anglia region have peaked at 14C this afternoon, making it the warmest day of December 2014 so far.

It's a far cry from the same time last week when temperatures struggled to exceed 4C on the coldest day since March 2013.

It will feel colder on Friday as temperatures return to average for the time of year. 7C is the typical daytime high in East Anglia in mid-December.

Click here for the latest forecast for the Anglia region.

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