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Police are appealing for witnesses following an armed robbery in Colchester.

The scene of the armed robbery outside the Halifax branch in The Newlands shopping centre in Witham. Pic: Nigel Brown.

Two serial armed robbers who raided banks in Witham and Great Dunmow received a warning today they could face life sentences.

Old Alderman Blaxhill School. Now The Stanway Federation Learning Centre.

Outline plans for a new 900 pupil secondary school in Colchester have been given the green light by Essex County Council.

The fight broke out in Head Street in Colchester

Two men involved in a brawl in Colchester which left a man in hospital with a bleed on the brain have been sentenced to 54 months in a young offenders’ institution.

Shrub End Post Office

A 32-year-old has been warned he is likely to face a substantial prison term after he admitted attempting to rob a Colchester post office brandishing a gun and an axe.

Essex Police has released images of jewellery believed to have been stolen in burglaries in Essex before November 2015. Pic: Essex Police.

Photographs of jewellery believed to have been stolen in burglaries in Essex over a year ago have been released by police.

John Hayes, roads minister, presented with a petition from businesses calling for improvements to the A120 by George Kieffer, chairman of the Haven Gateway. Photo: James Fletcher Photography

The minister for roads has pledged to be a “champion” for improvements to the A120.

Before and after shots of the Balkerne Bridge in Colchester

An iconic bridge in Colchester has been removed temporarily while Essex County Council work to widen it.

Residents say no to Anglian Water development at Ardleigh Reservoir. Photo: Steve Argent

Campaigners are objecting to a utility company’s plans for a new office building in a north Essex village.

Visit Essex has published a series of images from the air. Cressing

A series of stunning aerial photographs showing diversity in Essex have been released by the county’s tourism organisation.

2 PARA soldiers as they disembark a Chinook helicopter. Photo: Georgina Coupe RLC

Paratroopers teamed up with RAF helicopter crews in a training mission which taught a new generation of pilots and enhanced their abilities working together.

A120 at Marks Farm junction in Braintree. Photo: Pagepix Ltd

Five potential routes for a new dualled A120 between Braintree and Marks Tey are being revealed today.

Stock image of the Dominican Republic.

A Clacton couple who fell ill during a special break to celebrate their Ruby Wedding anniversary are to receive compensation after a ruling in the Court of Appeal.

Cllr John Spence

Households in Essex are due to pay an average of £35 extra next financial year in council tax under plans unveiled by County Hall and fire chiefs.

017 NB Jaywick residence at the Evacation Centre on Friday.

People’s community spirit has been praised by council chiefs after Tendring residents helped those affected by the severe flood warnings in Mistley and Jaywick last week.

E-fit issued after attempted burglary in Willingale Road, Braintree. Image: Essex Police

Police have issued an e-fit following an attempted burglary.

Emergency services and residence at Jaywick prepar for possible flooding.

Police are urging those in Jaywick, Mistley and West Mersea to evacuate to rest centres as severe flood warnings remain in place ahead of high tide just after midnight tonight.

Colchester United

John McGreal

Colchester United boss John McGreal was disappointed but not too disheartened after his side’s nine-game unbeaten run came to an end at Exeter City on Saturday afternoon.

Brennan Dickenson

Colchester United’s nine-game unbeaten run came to an end at in-form Exeter City on Saturday afternoon, the U’s losing 3-0 at St James Park.

U's boss John McGreal

Only Exeter City sit above Colchester United in the League Two form table – the two teams set to meet in Devon this afternoon.

Tommy O'Sullivan

New Colchester United signings, Eli Phipps and Tommy O’Sullivan are delighted to have signed on at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Kurtis Guthrie of Colchester United looks to get past Scot Bennett of Newport County - Newport County vs. Colchester United - Sky Bet League Two - Rodney Parade, Newport - 14/01/2017 - Photo by: Richard Blaxall / Pagepix Ltd

Kurtis Guthrie has been hailed by Colchester United manager John McGreal, having firmly established himself in the U’s starting 11.

Dean Brill

Colchester United boss John McGreal has taken a look at Motherwell goalkeeper Dean Brill this week, as he contemplates adding to his team before the January transfer window closes.

Colchester United U-23s 2 Manchester City U-23s 1

Matt Briggs, set to play for Colchester United Under-23s against Manchester City tonight

Colchester United might not have another home game for nearly three weeks, but their under-23s development side have a big game at the Weston Homes Community Stadium this evening (7pm kick-off).

Martin Newell

Brian Matthew - BBC Radio 2 broadcaster

At time of writing, Brian Matthew, presenter of BBC Radio’s Sounds of The Sixties is reported to be ‘under the weather’, writes Martin Newell.

Baby boomers should get on the walking bus says nanny-in-chief

Professor Dame Sally Davies was her usual forthright self when interviewed on Radio Concerned the other morning, about a certain sector of this nation and the state of its physical health, writes Martin Newell.

Frosty December in Rattlesden - photo by Pamela Bidwell

I thought it was about time someone paid tribute to the month of December, writes Martin Newell.

Facebook is not a hit with Martin Newell

About four months ago, in order to help a record label with a spot of promotion, I signed up for Facebook, writes Martin Newell.

New homes are desperately needed

The Government has just announced that it will build 100,000 prefabs or ‘new modular homes’ in order to ease the housing crisis, writes Martin Newell.

Martin Newell has been turning apples into cider

As I recounted last week, of all the home-brew I’ve ever fooled around with, cider has been the biggest challenge, writes Martin Newell.

How do you make your beer?

In the mid-1970s, one languid autumn afternoon, as gentle breezes winnowed two ancient apple trees, I sat gazing across a windfall-strewn lawn with a single question in my idle young head, writes Martin Newell.

Cows in the mist at Hoo near Wickham Market

September, a gloriously overblown rose of a month, finally sashays out, writes Martin Newell.

Will Lodge

Will Lodge

Essex correspondent

Email | 07785 616283

Essex reporter Will Lodge is here to bring you all the latest news from Colchester, Manningtree, Harwich, Clacton, Braintree and Witham.

Covering health issues, crime, local government and court, he is here to keep you up to date with what is happening in your area.

If you have a story for Will you can email or call him on 07785 616283. You can also follow Will on Twitter for the breaking news and updates @essexwill

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