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Debt charity says more families are struggling to make ends meet

Families are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

More and more families in our region are struggling to make ends meet, according to a national debt charity.

Step Change says more than 10,000 people in the East of England called their helpline last year - up 17% on the year before.

On average, those callers owed more than £12,000 in unsecured debt such as credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts.


Two men arrested after police find cannabis factory

Two men have been arrested after a cannabis factory was uncovered in Welwyn Garden City.

Officers forced entry to a flat in Corners at 11.30am on Wednesday (January 21).

Officers found 20 cannabis plants growing inside. It is estimated that the street value of the plants is in excess of £20,000. They've since been removed from the property and will be destroyed.

Two men, aged 31 and 34, both from Welwyn Garden City were arrested on Thursday (January 22) on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis. They have now been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

This factory was uncovered due to information received by police about suspected drug related activity in the area.

This highlights the importance of residents contacting police with information if they have suspicions about drugs in their community. If you have information, please contact us via the non-emergency number, 101 with details of where it is happening and who is involved, or any other details that may help us tackle drug crime, so we can take appropriate action. Your small piece of information could help make a real difference."

– Safer Neighbourhood Inspector, Jeff Scott

Plans to shake up three police control rooms

Plans to shake up three police control rooms Credit: ITV News Anglia

Three of our police forces could soon be working closer together. Plans are underway for collaboration between control rooms in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

It would mean reducing the number of locations - but chief constables say it could save £5 million pounds a year.

The police commissioners and the chief constables of the three counties have decided there is sufficient evidence to look at how to answer 999 calls, non-emergency calls and crime recording from fewer bases.

The final proposals will be presented in the Spring.


Fears over GP recruitment

Dr Paul Driscoll, Haven Health Credit: ITV Anglia

There are growing concerns over a worrying drop in the number of doctors going into general practice in the East. Not enough new GPs are being recruited and many already doing the job want to leave because of the mounting pressure.

In the first of two special reports, Tanya Mercer's been looking into what's causing the crisis...

In the second of her reports, Tanya Mercer's been finding out why it is more young doctors are choosing not to become GPs and what's being done in the East to try to improve the situation...

Campaigners hoping to win battle against manorial rights

Protestors against manorial laws

Campaigners could win their battle against the ancient law of manorial rights, if proposals by a Parliamentary committee are taken up. The Peasants' Revolt group was set up after the Marquess of Salisbury registered his theoretical right to hunt, fish or even mine for minerals on land once owned by his ancestors in Welwyn Garden City. There are calls for the law to be changed or even abolished.

Unemployment figures released for the East

The unemployment rate in the East of England has remained steady at 4.9%.

The number of those without work rose by 1,000 in the three months to November last year putting the total unemployed at 153,000.

In the East Midlands, which includes Northamptonshire, the jobless rate has fallen to 5.5% with 2,000 more people finding work in the three months to November last year putting the total unemployed at 129,000.

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