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Emergency services braced for busiest weekend of the year

Emergency services are braced for what is expected to be the busiest weekend of the year as thousands of office parties take place.

Police and paramedics are putting on extra patrols in case things get out of hand.

A & E units are also drafting in more staff as already busy hospitals come under more pressure.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Sarah Cooper

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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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Letter written in trenches about Christmas Day 'Truce' could fetch £20,000 at auction

The letter about the 'Truce' football match written in the trenches Credit: Northampton Museum
The letter was written by William Henry Loasby Credit: ITV News Anglia

A letter written by a Northamptonshire soldier from the trenches of the First World War could fetch £20,000 at auction.

The note by Lance Corporal Willie Loasby describes how he organised the famous Christmas Day Truce by shouting to German soldiers in nearby trenches.

The letter is being sold by a collector from Northampton.

Kettering war memorial Credit: ITV News Anglia
Peter Robinson, Northampton Museum Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It's a first hand account written to his mother and it gives details of how they contacted the Germans, how they met, how they were quite antagonistic towards each other, but became quite friendly really."

– Peter Robinson, Northampton Museum

Hundreds respond in consultation proposing closure of some children's centres

Consultation into plans to change children's services in Northamptonshire, ends today Credit: ITV News Anglia

Nearly 700 people have commented in a consultation over plans to close some children's centres in Northamptonshire and 124 people have been to 10 public meetings.

The County Council wants to change the way it delivers children's services by using other buildings such as libraries, instead.

Some parents have criticised the plans saying they wont get the help they need.

The consultation closes today and the comments will considered by the council in February, with any changes approved by councillors introduced in April.

There have been 10 public meetings as part of the consultation process 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

Cells left open in police Christmas appeal for criminals to hand themselves in

Custody cells at a police station in Northamptonshire were left open on Thursday to try to encourage criminals to hand themselves in before Christmas.

Officers have already posted special Christmas cards to offenders who're wanted in Wellingborough but they want them to come forward now or face being arrested on the day itself.

Click below for a report from Wellingborough police station by ITV News Anglia's Sarah Cooper

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