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Conservative MPs hit out at Chancellor's tax credit cuts

The Chancellor's plans for cuts in working tax credits are under fire from some Conservatives. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Conservative MPs from the Anglia region have criticised plans by the government to cut working tax credits.

South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen, who was elected in May, called the pace of reforms "too hard and too fast."

In the Budget in July, the Chancellor proposed to cut the threshold at which tax credits are withdrawn from £6,420 to £3,850. The government says workers will benefit instead from low tax thresholds, the new minimum wage and extra childcare.

The Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland, also a Conservative, says he is worried the changes could see some families losing £1,200 a year when the changes take effect.

Video: Stark warning on fire safety of Halloween costumes

There's been a stark warning over the safety of Halloween costumes for children.

Fire authorities and Trading Standards in Stevenage, Hertfordshire have carried a dramatic fire test to demonstrate how easy it is for some fancy dress to catch alight.

Television presenter Claudia Winkleman has described how her eight-year-old daughter "went up like a birthday candle" when the Halloween fancy dress witch costume she was wearing suddenly set alight last year.


Highly-rated Stevenage striker Kennedy pens new deal

Ben Kennedy is staying at Stevenage. Credit: PA

Highly-rated Stevenage striker Ben Kennedy has signed a new three-year contract with the club.

The 18-year-old broke into the Boro team last season, and has reportedly attracted interest from Premier League sides Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Kennedy has just recovered from hip surgery over the summer.

"The fact that Ben is playing Football League games again just 11 or 12 weeks post-op is amazing in itself and testament to how highly he’s regarded by the club.

At 18 he will no doubt have his ups and downs but we think he can learn a lot in the position he plays from Teddy Sheringham and we’re looking forward to seeing him improving along with our other younger players."

– Phil Wallace, Stevenage chairman

Teddy Sheringham goes back to school

Teddy Sheringham at the Lamex Stadium for the match with Nottingham this July Credit: PA

Stevenage manager Teddy Sheringham is going back to school today - to open a new building there.

The Ex-England is due to open the Roebuck Primary School in the town this morning.

The new classrooms will see the school double in size to offer more places to children in the area.

Man hit in face with champagne bottle in Stevenage

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was hit in the face with champagne bottle in Stevenage on Saturday evening.

The victim, a 34 year old man, was approached by four males believed to be aged between 17 and 20.

One of the men attacked him with a champagne bottle, causing him to lose two teeth. The victim ran off and hid until the offenders had left the scene. He then realised his red mountain bike had been taken.

The incident happened between 7.50pm and 8pm in Shephell View.

Appeal for help in tracing missing vulnerable man

James Thorn Credit: Herts Police

Police are appealing for the public's help in tracing a missing vulnerable man from Stevenage.

James Thorn, 24 , was reported missing yesterday afternoon. He is white, 5ft 7in tall and of medium build with dark brown cropped hair.

He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, black jogging bottoms and blue trainers.

Members of the public are being asked to contact the police if they see him, rather than try to approach him.


Pregnant chihuahua dumped on the street

Poppy was found by a member of the public Credit: RSPCA

A chihuahua was dumped on the street in Stevenage in Hertfordshire after an unsuccessful attempt to give birth.

The RSPCA is appealing for more information after he dog was found by a member of the the public in the Symonds Green area of Hertfordshire on Friday in an extremely poorly state, before being taken straight to a vet.

The dog, nicknamed Poppy, had a microchip registered to Lithuania and was found with a stillborn puppy still waiting to be delivered.

It is believed the dead puppy may have been inside her for at least a couple of days.

Poppy was treated by a vet, but died over the weekend. The vet also found she had previously had a caesarian section.

“This was such a heartbreaking story. I can’t believe this dog was just abandoned and left to suffer on her own in this terrible state. We are very grateful to the member of the public for finding and rescuing her, but sadly it was too late for Poppy, she was just too unwell.

“It seems likely that Poppy was one of many dogs brought over from other countries for breeding, and then just dumped when she didn’t fulfil her purpose."

– Paula Wilson, RSPCA’s Hertfordshire East Branch

Campaign to protect Stevenage skatepark

Nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for a skatepark in Stevenage to be given listed status.

Bowes Lyon skate park was built in the 1970s, when the sport was at the peak of its popularity.

Now some are worried it could be built on if plans to regenerate the town centre go ahead.

The council says their fears are unfounded, and that the skate park is not under threat. However, campaigners say they're acting now before any definite plans are set out.

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