Road tolls: Paying more to use our A roads

  • 22 April 2015
  • From the section England
David Cameron standing by the A47 in Norfolk
David Cameron by the A47, one of the roads where it is claimed charges were being considered

The denials were swift and explicit. "Complete fantasy", said Secretary of State Patrick McCloughlin. "Nonsense", said his colleague Robert Goodwill.

But might there just be some truth in the Liberal Democrat's claim that two years ago the Conservatives considered charging motorists for using some of the region's A roads?

For purposes of context and balance we should point out that the allegation came in the middle of the election campaign from a party which is trying to paint itself as having been the calming influence upon the Conservatives' more radical ideas in government.

And it's noteworthy the man making the claim was Norman Baker, who when in government was a constant thorn in the side of the Tories but nevertheless, a well regarded transport minister.

His claim is that back in 2013 the chancellor, George Osborne, came up with the idea of charging drivers £10 a month to use certain key A roads and the money would be used to pay for road improvements.

Read full article Road tolls: Paying more to use our A roads

Manifesto promises for the East of England

  • 17 April 2015
  • From the section England
Sizewell
All the parties, except the Greens, support nuclear power and a new power station at Sizewell in Suffolk

If the manifestos have told us anything this week, it is that the main political parties have different views on some of the big issues affecting the eastern region.

While their views on how best to tackle the deficit will influence how many people vote, their stance on things like transport, energy, the environment and immigration could sway a number of undecided voters.

Read full article Manifesto promises for the East of England

Liberal Democrats cry foul in election race

  • 10 April 2015
  • From the section England
Polling station sign

You know an election is in full swing when the parties start accusing each other of using dirty tricks. The first people to scream foul this year are the Liberal Democrats.

The veteran campaigner Baroness Shirley Williams has accused the Conservatives of targeting safe Liberal Democrat seats with the aim of "taking out" some of its senior figures.

Read full article Liberal Democrats cry foul in election race

Election 2015 in the east gets under way

  • 30 March 2015
  • From the section England
Houses of Parliament at sunset, London

We can learn a lot about the forthcoming election campaign here in the east by looking at what happened in Lowestoft last week.

At exactly the same time, both Transport Secretary, Patrick McCloughlin and the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves, turned up for a spot of campaigning.

Read full article Election 2015 in the east gets under way

The budget for the East

  • 22 March 2015
  • From the section England
Offshore platform
Tax has been cut for the oil and gas industry putting more money in people's pockets

The oil industry in the East and Cambridgeshire's councils are the region's main beneficiaries from the coalition's last budget.

The budget's headlines were changes to personal tax allowances and the freeze in fuel duty, which should mean more money in our pockets, but there was an assortment of measures affecting the East.

Read full article The budget for the East

Lowestoft Lake Lothing: No third crossing blights town

  • 12 March 2015
  • From the section England
Aerial view of Bascule Bridge, Lowestoft
The challenge of building the third crossing has been considered many times over the years

For nearly 80 years the case has been made for a third crossing over Lake Lothing in Lowestoft, but requests to governments of all persuasions have fallen on deaf ears.

The proposed improvements to the A47 should finally trigger that development, according to the town's MP.

Read full article Lowestoft Lake Lothing: No third crossing blights town

Neil Kinnock in Norwich gives as good as he gets

  • 6 March 2015
  • From the section England
Neil Kinnock
"The substance of policy will make a terrific difference," said Lord Kinnock during his visit to Norwich

For just a moment or two it looked as if things might turn nasty: "He's not inclined to vote?" asked the former Labour leader with incredulity.

He then turned back towards the door which had just been slammed in his face and shouted: "People died to give you the vote mate," before storming off.

Read full article Neil Kinnock in Norwich gives as good as he gets

War images stop MPs in their tracks

  • 27 February 2015
  • From the section England
Photograph from the exhibition by soldiers based at the Colchester garrison
The exhibition features a range of photographs and drawings from soldiers based at the Colchester garrison

Normally MPs hurry along the Westminster corridor where select committee meetings are held, but this week they've been stopped in their tracks by an exhibition created by veterans based at the Colchester garrison.

Hanging on walls, resembling a military dugout, are pencil drawings of soldiers fighting or lying injured.

Read full article War images stop MPs in their tracks

NHS England turn down MPs road trip offer

  • 6 February 2015
  • From the section England
Lister Hospital
MPs call for radiotherapy services at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage

In contemporary films and literature the offer of a road trip is never to be passed up, but it seems officials at NHS England have no wish to go on this voyage of discovery - much to the frustration of the MP for North East Hertfordshire.

Sir Oliver Heald has revealed that he has offered to drive NHS officials between Stevenage and the Mount Vernon hospital in north London on seven different occasions during the day to prove the journey cannot be done in 45 minutes. So far, they've failed to take him up on the offer.

Read full article NHS England turn down MPs road trip offer

General election 2015: 100 days to go

  • 27 January 2015
  • From the section England
General election 2015 graphic featuring Westminster
There are 14 target seats in the east

The grids have been drawn up, the campaign is already under way. With the forthcoming election too close to call, for the next 100 days the parties will be throwing everything at trying to win.

This will be a carefully targeted battle; in many parts of the eastern region, there will be hardly any campaigning at all.

Read full article General election 2015: 100 days to go