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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.

Suffolk village flood defences almost completed

High flood waters from December 2013 tidal surge Credit: ITV News Anglia

One year on from last December's devastating tidal surge which flooded homes and businesses on the East Anglian coast and residents in Waldringfield in Suffolk are celebrating the near completion of new flood defences.

Campaigners raised £900,000 for concrete walls and defence gates.

The MP Therese Coffey will tour the site later today with local people and councillors.

"We are delighted that the project is nearing completion. Everyone has worked so hard to make this happen and we are grateful for the help and support we have received. We can all look forward to Christmas knowing that we are better protected from any future events".

– Jon Wilkins, Chair of the Waldringfield Flood Defence group

The project to improve flood protection with innovative defences and flood gates is the first community-led project to be delivered from the new Deben estuary plan.

"We are pleased to have supported the Waldringfield Flood Defence Group in both their Coastal Community Funding bid and the development of a local flood defence scheme for the residents and businesses in the village. The community have shown tremendous resilience and organisation to have achieved so much in the twelve months since the tidal surge. I am so impressed by what they have done; to deliver a new flood defence project in one year is unprecedented. It's a great example of what communities can achieve."

– Karen Thomas, The Environment Agency

Suffolk darts player Peter 'Snakebite' Wright goes for World title

Peter 'Snakebite' Wright Credit: ITV News Anglia

Suffolk darts player Peter 'Snakebite' Wright says he's determined to win the World Championships this year, after coming close last time.

Wright from Mendham near Bungay, was beaten in last year's final by Michael van Gerwen. Tonight, he does it all again when he faces Gerwyn Price in the first round and he admits he's hungrier than ever to lift the trophy.

Peter 'Snakebite' Wright is hoping to take the title Credit: ITV News Anglia
Peter 'Snakebite' Wright Credit: ITV News Anglia

"I know what to expect and so I believe I can win it. if I get to the final, it doesn't matter who my opponent is, this time I know I've got a better chance of winning it."

– Peter 'Snakebite' Wright

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Plans for 130m wind turbine in Suffolk rejected

Plans for a wind turbine near Ipswich have been rejected by planners. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Plans for a 130 metre tall wind turbine near Ipswich have been turned down by councillors.

The group, Partnership for Renewables, wanted to build on farmland at Wherstead, but residents in neighbouring villages, said it would dominate their lives.

Babergh District Council's planning committee voted unanimously against the plans.

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.

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

Horse bones could be famous thoroughbred from history

A skeleton of a horse has been uncovered in Newmarket that could be one of Britain's most successful thoroughbreds. The bones were discovered during excavations of the former royal stables in the town.

Historians hope they're those of Dr Syntax, the most famous racehorse of the 19th century. Archaeologists are assessing the remains to try and find out more.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Tanya Mercer

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