Migration to East bringing skills but pressure on public services

  • 28 August 2015
  • From the section England
Migrants at work
Image caption Farmers in the region rely heavily on migrant labour

Migration was said to be one of the big issues at the general election.

Now we know that net migration to the UK is at an all time high and in the East of England it's growing faster than almost anywhere else in the country.

Although the numbers aren't huge, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics, net migration to the east of England has increased by 70% in the past year.

Its figures for long term international migration between the middle of 2013 and the middle of 2014 record that 46,900 people came to the BBC East region from abroad and just 21,200 left.

That's a net migration figure of 25,700, up from 15,000 the year before and after the South East (which is up by 34,000), it's the highest figure for an English region outside London.

Read full article Migration to East bringing skills but pressure on public services

Should Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre close?

  • 13 August 2015
  • From the section England
Yarl's Wood protest
Image caption Protestors at Yarl's Wood immigration centre in Bedfordshire

Yarl's Wood has caused controversy since it was opened in 2001. The immigration removal centre has been criticised for its treatment of female detainees before, but it is now a "place of national concern" according to the prisons' watchdog.

HM inspector of prisons found worse health care than that recorded in the last inspection, too many male staff and pregnant women being held there - which is against Home Office guidelines.

Read full article Should Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre close?

Norwich roads boss in 'emotional' welcome for city's 20mph limit

  • 24 July 2015
  • From the section England
20mph zone Image copyright Google
Image caption The 20mph (32kph) zones in Norwich are to become imposed across the city centre

What does Norwich have in common with Edinburgh, Bristol, The City of London, Paris and Barcelona? The answer is that by next spring they will all have a blanket speed limit of 20mph (32kph) in their city centres.

Norwich is the first place in the region to slow down the traffic on every road in the centre and there was a sense of history being made as the vote was taken by the city council's highways committee.

Read full article Norwich roads boss in 'emotional' welcome for city's 20mph limit

Suffolk MP tells BT superfast broadband must go faster

  • 14 July 2015
  • From the section England
Broadband tunnel
Image caption Superfast Broadband is must in today's economy and Suffolk is badly served according to MPs

Was Dr Dan Poulter MP speaking for many businesses and households in the region when he called on BT to "go further and faster and more quickly" when there is capacity?

"That should be something which is enabled and encouraged, not slowed down by BT," he told the House of Commons on Tuesday evening.

Read full article Suffolk MP tells BT superfast broadband must go faster

The Broads: Who should run them?

  • 10 July 2015
  • From the section England
Boating on the broads
Image caption The Broads Authority is responsible for boating on 125 miles of waterways in Norfolk and Suffolk

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads are one of the most important tourist attractions in the East.

With 125 miles of navigable waterways, 190 miles of footpaths, 8m visitors a year, it's worth more than half a billion pounds to the local economy,

Read full article The Broads: Who should run them?

Stansted Airport to increase passenger numbers but no new runway

  • 2 July 2015
  • From the section England
Stansted Image copyright PA
Image caption A decision not to build a second runway at Stansted Airport was welcomed by local people

The man charged with finding a solution to the problem of airport capacity in the South East says he expects "significant expansion" at Stansted over the next 10 years but he says there's no demand to build another runway there.

Announcing Heathrow as his preferred choice for a new runway, Sir Howard Davies said: "At the moment Stansted is only carrying 20m passengers where it could take 35m, so the market is telling you that's not currently a preferred solution."

Read full article Stansted Airport to increase passenger numbers but no new runway

'Pause' hits rail plan for East

  • 26 June 2015
  • From the section England
East Midlands train at Kettering
Image caption Development of the Midland Mainline has been paused by the government

Over the past few years we've written many blogs about first, the campaigns and then, the commitments to improve rail services in East Anglia but should we now be starting to ask how realistic those promises are?

This week Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin was forced to announce that some of his much vaunted £38bn rail improvement plan will have to be "paused".

Read full article 'Pause' hits rail plan for East

'Think big' Lib Dem members told

  • 22 June 2015
  • From the section England
Norman Lamb
Image caption Norman Lamb is touring the country in his bid to win the leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party

Norman Lamb has got his opening patter down to a fine art. "I can confidently predict that this is an election which will be won by a Liberal Democrat", he tells his audience in the lecture hall of a Cambridge college.

The East's one remaining Liberal Democrat MP is making his pitch for leader before party members in the region. The day before he'd been in Southampton not getting home until after midnight. In one week the itinerary also included London, Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester. Then it's off to Scotland.

Read full article 'Think big' Lib Dem members told

Labour leadership contest comes East

  • 11 June 2015
  • From the section England
Andy Burnham MP
Image caption Andy Burnham meets students in Basildon on his leadership campaign trail

They needed to win Ipswich, Bedford and Waveney if they were to have had any chance of forming a government but they didn't. Now the Labour Party is selecting a new leader.

Whoever wins will have their work cut out to bring the Labour Party back in this region.

Read full article Labour leadership contest comes East

Government early green light for promised road and rail projects

  • 3 June 2015
  • From the section England
Train leaving Norwich
Image caption The government was quick off the mark to announce the shortlist of firms for the Greater Anglia franchise

The new government isn't wasting time. Less than a month after winning the election, it's keen to show that it's sticking to its manifesto promises.

In the course of just a couple of hours this week, it made two important infrastructure announcements for the region. It published the shortlist for running the Greater Anglia Rail Franchise and it gave the a long-awaited go ahead for a controversial new road around Norwich.

Read full article Government early green light for promised road and rail projects