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Deborah McGurran, Political editor, East of England

Deborah McGurran Political editor, East of England

This is where you can come for my take on politics with an eastern twist - from Lowestoft to Luton

Cash boost to build east region science base

George Freeman MP
Newly appointed Minister for Life Sciences, George Freeman, welcomes investment at the Norwich Research Park

Science is what the east region wants to be known for these days and that transformation has been given a boost by two major new projects.

The government is investing a total of £26m in Norwich Research Park, while in nearby Downham Market in Norfolk, there are ambitious plans for a £170m science park.

If that's not enough, the John Innes Centre has announced that it is to open a new plant research centre.

Norfolk MP, George Freeman, has just been appointed Life Sciences Minister, the newly created role a sign of the growing importance which the government attaches to this field of technology.

"I couldn't be more honoured to be here in Norfolk in my first role as the new Minister for Life Sciences," he said.

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Elizabeth Truss joins the cabinet table in reshuffle

Elizabeth Truss MP
Elizabeth Truss MP, answers her first set of questions in parliament as Environment Secretary

Imagine the scene. It's late at night at the Conservative Party Conference and the then transport secretary, Phillip Hammond, is just about to call it a night, when rounding the corner, he finds his path barred by Elizabeth Truss.

"Give me a break," he pleads: "I know you want the A11 dualled."

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Millions of pounds of new funding for the East

Northampton College
A new campus for Northampton College is to be funded by local growth money

Hundreds of millions of pounds of government funding has been announced for our region and more than half of it will be spent within the next year.

This is a big award, which business leaders say will make a big difference, making it easier for local businesses to grow and the local workforce to be trained.

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Norfolk's burning incinerator issue: How much did councillors know?

Artist's impression of waste incinerator
The incinerator scheme near King's Lynn faced widespread opposition

The fallout from the failed waste incinerator project in west Norfolk continues - with questions now being asked over how much councillors were told about government concerns with the project.

Last week we reported that Bronwyn Hill, the permanent secretary of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), told MPs that her department had written to Norfolk County Council before the contract had been signed expressing fears the authority may not be able to meet the necessary deadlines.

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Outrage at incinerator plan "trainwreck"

King's Lynn incinerator plans
The plans for a new incinerator at King's Lynn scrapped by Norfolk County Council

"Ludicrous...daft...a train wreck". Just three of the terms used by members of the Public Accounts Committee to describe the failed waste incinerator project for Kings Lynn.

With Norfolk County Council facing a compensation bill of more than thirty million pounds, there is a blame game underway.

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Rushden Lakes development: MPs fall out over plans

Artist's impression of Rushden Lakes development
Rushden Lakes development includes a hotel, leisure centre, shops and restaurants

Adjournment debates in the House of Commons are normally fairly straightforward affairs. Some might even suggest that they can be quite dull: twenty minutes at the end of the day for an MP to draw a minister's attention (and that of the one or two other people still in the chamber) to an issue close to his or her heart.

The debate to thank the minister for approving the Rushden Lakes development in Northamptonshire (it's going to become a retail and leisure park) looked as if would be one of those which would be quickly forgotten.

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New A14 junction 'needed to unlock development'

Traffic on the A14
The A14 carries traffic from the port of Felixstowe to the Midlands

It already has a name, it has already has an exact location on a map, and several hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent assessing its benefits but as yet, no one knows when Junction 10A on the infamous A14 will actually be built.

The plans for a new access road to the east of Kettering have been talked about seriously for the last five years but without any government funding it can't be built. And the lack of a new junction puts the plans to build 5,500 new homes and a new energy park at risk.

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UKIP tops Euro vote in the East

UKIP celebrations
UKIP celebrates winning three MEPs in the east

It was no great surprise that UKIP topped the poll in the European elections but it confirms that the party is now a major player on the region's political scene.

Their share of the vote here rose to 34.5%, an increase of 14.9%, which delivered them a coveted third seat, in addition to the two they successfully defended.

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Lord Hanningfield: Disgraced Essex peer barred from Lords

Lord Hanningfield
Lord Hanningfield will not be able to sit in Parliament until May 2015

His office has been locked, he isn't even allowed to visit the House of Lords tea room. Lord Hanningfield is banned from the parliamentary estate for the next year.

"Suspension until the end of this Parliament is the maximum sanction available to the House," the Chairman of the Privileges and Conduct Committee, Lord Sewell, told peers.

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Nadine Dorries MP calls to end cyberstalking menace

Male hands typing at keyboard
The Home Office is "committed to tackling cyber-stalking"

At the University of Bedfordshire there is a small department investigating a very modern and insidious phenomenon.

The National Centre for Cyberstalking Research is trying to find out more about this very modern crime - its prevalence, the motivation of those who perpetrate it and how best to tackle it. These are all areas where there is currently very little research.

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    Political analysis from the south east of England


  • Peter Henley, Political editor, South of England Peter Henley Political editor, South of England

    Analysis and thoughts on politics in the south of England


  • Andrew Neil, Presenter, The Daily Politics and Sunday Politics Andrew Neil Daily and Sunday Politics

    People and policies that make Westminster tick


About Deborah

Deborah McGurran is BBC East's political editor, based in Norwich.

She has worked in regional TV since 1990 when she began as a regional journalist for North West Tonight.

She has been editor for a decade and was nominated for an RTS for the expenses scandal story on Margaret Moran.

She moved to Essex with her family and started working in the east 15 years ago.

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