29/01/2014 Look East - West


Latest news for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Milton Keynes and Northants.

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Good evening. The development of Northstowe, a new


town to the north of Cambridge is one step closer tonight after local


councils agreed a ?30 million deal for the first phase of homes. The


project was first unveiled ten years ago. Our reporter Ben Bland has the


story. It's something that's been talked


about for more than ten years. Today's deal between the county and


district councils and the main developer is a big step towards


turning the plans into an actual town. Here's where it will go:


10,000 new homes between Cambridge and Huntingdon. The first phase


1500, will be built near the village of Longstanton. Initially, the


councils were hoping to secure 65 million from the developer to pay


full amenities in Northstowe. Last year that was cut to ?40 million.


They've now settled for a contribution of ?30 million, less


than half what they originally wanted. Some councillors are unhappy


about it. There will be less facilities for


the community to enjoy. There will be more cost put back to local


authorities who are already hard pushed and facing financial crisis.


There will be more mental health problems and anti`social behaviour


and all of that becomes a problem for the local authority. So it is a


false economy. The money they have secured will go


towards a primary and secondary school, sports pitches and cycle


routes. Some will also go to a guided bus, already in place. But


under the deal there will be fewer affordable homes in the first phase.


Instead of two in five, it'll be just one in five. For that, the


developer makes no apology. I have to make the point that 4 %


affordable housing was always subject to viability. And the 2 % in


the first phase after all is 30 affordable housing units, which will


be available for local people. I think that is a substantial


provision. This development will be one of the


largest in the UK. A whole new town. Today's deal means that shovels


should hit the ground this summer, the first home ready by the middle


of 2015. Next tonight: inspectors say the


East of England Ambulance Service is still failing to get to 999 calls


quickly enough, but in some areas ` like Luton and Cambridgeshire ` it


does seem to be making progress Stuart Ratcliffe is outside the


ambulance service headquarters now. The last months have been turbulent


for the Easter then and underlines service and the root of the problem


is response times. Put simply, the ambulance service is not getting to


emergencies quickly enough. There are signs that that might be


changing. The un`announced inspection last


month found significant improvements in a number of areas. After


interviewing patients, there is praise for the care received from


ambulance crews and call handlers. But the trust is found wanting in


two key areas: ambulance response times to 999 calls, and staffing.


Ambulance trusts must aim to respond to at least 75% of life`threatening


calls within eight minutes. And at least 95% of calls where a solo


paramedic is first on the scene within 19 minutes. Latest figures


show that the trust has met neither target. There are big regional


variations: in Luton and Cambridge, the trust is exceeding these


targets. But in some areas of Norfolk and Essex it consistently


fails. But the service has welcomed today's news.


The report clearly identifies that the service is getting safer, but


there are still areas where the response times are not where we


would expect them to be. To meet that gap, we need to fill vacancies,


which is what we are pushing hard to do now. We need to have more staff


and to have the same type of service across the East of England.


The report says a recent review found that in order for the trust to


meet national targets, it would need over 500 additional paramedics by


2016. The East of England Showground


service has already recruited more paramedics and wants to recruit a


further 400. To meet that target, it is unlikely to meet its response


time targets. Every child will have a place at one


of our primary schools. That's the guarantee I Peterborough, which has


faced unprecedented demand for places. 1000 children came forward


in just one year and tens of millions of pounds is being spent to


create spaces. I would like you to discuss whether


you think we should ban playtime or not.


Small school, high expectations That's the motto of this primary


school, but it will soon double in size, so great has been the demand


for places. The pressure is certainly on the


younger age groups. There has been a higher birth rate, and more children


in the area want to come to the school. In Year One, if we had the


space we could actually have an extra class of children. We are not


able to offer a place to between 25 and 30 children who want to come


here. In the last seven years, 5000 extra


places have been created, but still more are needed. This year there are


going to be six school expansion projects, creating 1500 extra places


at the cost of more than ?25 million. Last year the city had to


find 1000 new places due to more people moving to the city and one of


the highest birth rates in the country. But the council says this


expansion will create spare capacity.


We can guarantee that every pupil who wants to come to school will


have a place but not necessarily where they would want to go or where


they live. Work is going on across the whole


city to expand schools or build new ones. They'll be ready to take


pupils this September. Good evening. It is going to stay


cloudy with some outbreaks of rain. A lot of cloud around. We start


tomorrow with a cloudy picture. Further outbreaks of rain through


the morning. The rain will become lighter and patchy into the


afternoon. Gradually the rain will clear away and become drier by the


afternoon and into the evening. Into Friday, much of the day looks drier.


The wind will start afresh and later and that weather front will bring us


some heavy rain. From all of us on the late team in


Cambridge, good night. Hello. The next dose of wet and


windy weather is due to arrive on Friday from the Atlantic. Today we


have had an easterly wind bringing the chill as the threat of icy


patches comes to the north where the cloud breaks. More cloud further


south. Maybe some sleet and snow in parts of East Wales as we engage the


cold air. Temperatures in the south-east are not changing much


because the rain keeps going. It will be colder further north,


though. Icy patches are possible. More wintry showers in the


north-east. Quite a few flood warnings in Tayside. Write to the


west of the Pennines. -- brighter. Figure clad -- thicker cloud further


south. We see some dampness in parts of the West Country, possibly into


East Wales. In the north-west of Wales is the


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