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Plans for Stevenage skatepark unveiled

Plans for a new skatepark at Hampson Park have been unveiled by Stevenage Borough Council.

Artists impression of the skatepark Credit: Wheelscape

It is due to be completed in the summer and will sit in the middle of four residential streets: Vardon Road, Webb Rise, Lonsdale Road and Meredith Road.

Local skateboarders picked the design from a choice of three and will meet with the designers again to finalise what will be included.

The skate park design will be available to view in the Stevenage Borough Council offices later this month.

Labour's pink minibus rolls into Stevenage amid criticism

A pink minibus is being used by Labour to attract more women voters.

Critics have labelled it the "Barbie Bus" - but the party denies the choice of colour for its "woman-to-woman" initiative is patronising.

Today it rolled into Stevenage, its first stop on a national tour, along with Deputy Labour Leader Harriet Harman.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Emma Hutchinson

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Beagle 2 scientist 'would have been pleased to defy critics'

Colin Pillinger died in 2014 Credit: PA Wire

The daughter of the space scientist behind the Beagle 2 project has said her late father would have been pleased to "defy the critics who wanted to say that Beagle 2 is a failure".

Professor Colin Pillinger's daughter Shusanah said: "He would have loved that this shows Beagle 2 landed on Mars, it got all the way through the entry and descend and the processes. It unravelled some of its solar panels.

"This shows such an immense success and not forgetting all the other things that went on in the background of Beagle 2, all the promotion of science, all of the inspiration to children.

"He would love that this is in the news again. He would love that this could inspire that next generation to do Beagle 3."

Adding that his death last year had been tough for her family, she said: "We are trying to carry on what dad would have wanted. He was someone who wanted science to be communicated to everybody. We want everybody to be aware of Beagle 2, to be inspired by it.

"But there is a tinge of sadness that he can't be here. You can see that in the room where all his colleagues, all the people he worked with, everybody is gutted he cannot be here."

Professor Colin Pillinger remembered as it's announced Beagle 2 did make it to Mars after all

Professor Colin Pillinger died in 2014. Credit: PA

Many people have been taking to Twitter to express their sadness that Professor Colin Pillinger didn't live to see that the Beagle 2 spacecraft did successfully land on Mars after all.

The mission was led by the Professor, and he died assuming that the craft had been destroyed after it went missing in 2003.

However, the UK Space Agency today confirmed that high resolution pictures taken by Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft showed it actually successfully landed 12 years ago.

Missing Beagle 2 spacecraft DID land on Mars, UK Space Agency confirms

The Beagle 2 spacecraft did successfully land on Mars, it's been confirmed. Credit: Beagle 2

The Beagle 2 spacecraft did successfully land on Mars, the UK Space Agency has confirmed.

The craft went missing on Christmas Day in 2003, and many scientists assumed that it had been destroyed.

David Parker, the chief executive of the UK Space Agency, announced today that Beagle 2 did land on Mars, but "only partially deployed."

Beagle 2 was built in Stevenage, and the mission was led by Professor Colin Pillinger of the Open University in Milton Keynes.

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Miliband says NHS is Labour's big focus

On the day that the Conservative Party unveiled their election manifesto, Labour has used the east to launch its attack, criticising David Cameron's failure to include the NHS at the top of his election pledges.

Ed Miliband was in Stevenage where he made it clear that the NHS is Labour's priority.

The health care system is likely to be a big election issue after a bleak start to 2015 for our health services...

  • Addenbrooke's in Cambridge was named as one of the worst performing for A&E waiting times in our region.

  • Major internal incidents were declared at Addenbrooke's and Peterborough City Hospital, with black and red alerts at others.

  • The private company running Hinchingbrooke in Huntingdon pulled out of its contract for the NHS Hospital.

Today Ed Miliband said Labour would turn around the fortunes of the NHS with more resources.

Click below to watch a report from Matthew Hudson:

Miliband claims UK less safe outside EU

Politicians who recommend leaving the European Union risk making the country more vulnerable to terrorism, Ed Miliband has suggested during a Q&A in Stevenage.

Ed Miliband Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Labour leader, who was in Paris yesterday to show solidarity after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, said cross-border co-operation over security was crucial.

Speaking at an event with voters in Stevenage, Mr Miliband reiterated that he wanted the UK to stay in the EU.

"Think about terrorism and counter-terrorism. We are much better working across borders to do that," he said.

"Think about our economy... I just think we are much, much better working within the EU than not."

Asked afterwards whether Mr Miliband thought the Paris attacks had strengthened the case for staying in the union, a senior Labour source said: "It's certainly his belief that security is one of the issues where working across the EU shows its obvious benefits.

"We all remember from 7/7 that the European arrest warrant (EAW) played a vital role in bringing those suspects back to Britain. The EAW has been a very useful tool in dealing with security issues since it was introduced."

Pressed on whether that meant politicians who wanted Britain to leave the EU were endangering people, the source said: "I wouldn't back away from that interpretation.

"I think security is an important part of what the EU does."

Miliband holds Q&A in Stevenage

Ed Miliband has been taking part in a Q&A session with an invited audience in Stevenage.

Ed Miliband answering questions in Stevenage Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Labour leader spoke for around 80 minutes this morning, answering questions from the group of pre-selected people at Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre.

Audience at Q&A session Credit: ITV News Anglia

Stevenage is a target seat that Labour wants to win back in the General Election.

Network Rail faces hefty fines after train disruption

A quieter scene at Peterborough station yesterday Credit: ITV News Anglia

Network Rail is facing a multi-million pound fine after overrunning engineering works caused thousands of trains to be cancelled on one of the busiest days of the year.

An investigation has been launched after the "unacceptable problems" which caused King's Cross to close. The East Coast mainline runs from King's Cross, through Stevenage and Peterborough to Scotland.

Network Rail's managing director Robin Gisby apologised for the mayhem saying he was "deeply sorry" for the disruption.

He added: "We've had an army of 11,000 engineers out over Christmas Day and Boxing Day at 2,000 locations nationwide.

"Over 90% have been completed and handed back to-time but I realise this is no consolation for the thousands affected today."

He said Network Rail would pay compensation to train operators, but would not say whether affected customers will be in line for pay-outs.

In July this year the firm was fined a record £53.1 million by the rail regulator for "shortfalls in performance".

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