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Ambulance crews prepare for 'Black Friday'

Ambulance crews gear up for 'Black Friday' Credit: ITV News Anglia

The number of calls to the East of England Ambulance service are up 11% compared to 2013 and that is before 'Black Friday' gets underway tonight.

Crews call the last Friday before Christmas 'Black Friday' as people make the most of what is for some, their last working day before Christmas.

There were 700 more callouts than average last Saturday and it's expected that figure will be exceeded tonight.

For special safety guidelines issued by the ambulance service. Click here.

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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.

Man dies in flat fire in Norwich

West Pottergate, Norwich Credit: ITV News Anglia

A man has died after a flat fire in Norwich which happened at around 12pm today.

The man was discovered in the flat in West Pottergate in the city.

Emergency services tried to resuscitate him, but he died at the scene.

An investigation has begun into the cause of the fire.

Man dies in flat fire Credit: ITV News Anglia

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

Fugitive arrested after landing in light aircraft at Norfolk airfield

Paul John Scott was arrested in Norfolk after landing in a light aircraft. Credit: National Crime Agency

Police have caught one of the UK's most wanted fugitives trying to fly into East Winch airfield in Norfolk in a light aircraft.

Paul John Scott, 32, from Liverpool was arrested as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into a Merseyside gang which plotted to smuggle up to 40 tonnes of drugs into the country.

Officers from Norfolk Police and Border Force were waiting for the aircraft to touchdown after reports from a member of the public about activity on the airfield ten days earlier.

Scott will appear in Liverpool Crown Court in January charged with conspiracy to import cocaine. The pilot of the aircraft was also arrested.

Paul John Scott was arrested after landing in a light aircraft in a Norfolk airfield. Credit: National Crime Agency

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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.

Kahmal's story: Returning to school after exclusion

ITV News Anglia has produced a series of reports on the education of children and young people after exclusion from school.

18-year-old Kahmal Sealey from Norwich has turned his life around after being permanently excluded from school.

Kahmal went to the Short Stay School for Norfolk two years ago, after his behaviour got him into serious trouble. He and his father feared the worst, but the trauma of being kicked out of school was just the beginning of Kahmal's transformation.

Click below to watch the report by ITV News Anglia Education Correspondent Elodie Harper

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