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  1. Updates on Wednesday 4 February 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

That's all from BBC Local Live today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Thursday. Carol Grey captured Middleton-in-Teesdale covered in snow with a wall that has weathered the storm.

Carol Grey

You can send your pictures by email to or tweet
@BBCNewsNE and we may feature them on BBC Local Live tomorrow.

Sleet and snow showers

Paul Mooney

BBC Weather presenter

Dry in the west with widespread and locally sharp frost, especially in rural areas. A few mostly light sleet and snow showers lingering further east which could lead to some ice on untreated roads and pavements.

Weather forecast

Minimum temperature: -4C (25F).

Check the forecast near you.

Hall has 'got fights left'

The former IBF World Bantamweight Champion Stuart Hall says he's not considering retirement from the sport.

Hall, from Darlington, has suffered back-to-back losses, losing his world title to Paul Butler last year before defeat in Monaco against the highly rated America Randy Caballero.

Stuart Hall v Martin Ward

He told BBC Tees: "There's definitely some more good fights left in me. I can't retire on a performance like that."

Tidal surge, one year on

Peter Harris

Look North

It was a weather event only likely to happen once every 60 years - but the damage cost millions to put right. Now though the nightmare has finally ended for families and businesses flooded out by the tidal surge that hit the east coast in 2013.

Peter Harris

One couple, from North Shields, saw their dream house ruined by the rising waters while some seaside attractions lost an entire year of trade. I'll have more on this story on

BBC Look North at 18:30 on BBC One.

Snow in Weardale

Gerry Jackson

BBC Look North

I have been dispatched to get a snapshot of snow across the North East for BBC Look North, so here's a picture of a snowy landscape from Wearhead in Weardale.

Snow in Weardale

You can send your pictures by email to or tweet

Crash on A167

BBC Tees

This is the scene at the A167 near Darlington where a man's been airlifted to hospital with serious head and chest injuries.

Air ambulance on a167

Boxer Marshall unveils sculpture

Hartlepool boxing champion Savannah Marshall has unveiled a life-size sculpture of herself this afternoon at the town's Art Gallery.

She made history by becoming the first female world boxing champion in 2012, and took gold last year at the Commonwealth Games.

Statue being unveiled

The sculpture's been commissioned by Hartlepool Council.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 17:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: A local animal charity has told BBC Tees they're worried more dogs will end up being destroyed after a Guisborough Kennel announced it is to close.
  • BBC Newcastle: Jon Harle and Martin Emmerson have a round-up of the day's news.

Teesdale Mercury gets colourful

Ian Reeve

BBC North East Business Correspondent

A Durham dales newspaper is

being printed in full colour for the first time in its 161-year history. Watch my report here.

The Teesdale Mercury, a weekly newspaper based in Barnard Castle, is also being printed in a smaller tabloid format.

The new look Mercury

Editor Trevor Brookes said the colour would do better justice to news and views from Teesdale.

Pools' takeover 'ongoing'

A spokesman for Hartlepool United has told BBC Tees Sport the proposed takeover of the club is "ongoing". A group called

TMH 2014 announced in December they were Pools' new owners on the same day Ronnie Moore was appointed as manager.

Victoria Park

But since then there's been no further news on their involvement. The firm, Increased Oil Recovery, who've owned Pools since 1997, are still in charge at Victoria Park. The Football League is unavailable for comment so far.

Your photos: Alnwick Sunrise

Kevin Temple sent us this photo of the sun rising in Alnwick, Northumberland this morning.

Tree in Alnwick
Kevin Temple

You can send your pictures by email to or tweet

A1 30mph limit here to stay

Rebecca O'Neill

BBC Newcastle

It's been confirmed a 30mph speed limit on the A1 on Tyneside will stay in place for more than a year.

Drivers had been contacting us saying there was confusion over the new limit in the roadworks area.

Project manager Lynn Biddles said: "The change is from Coal House to Lobley Hill, that stretch is now 30mph, the remainder of the roadworks is 40mph. The 30mph will be in place until spring 2016."

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

'Not about driving out Mike Ashley'

Rangers shareholder Dave King

has been talking about Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley's influence at the Scottish club, as he tries to overthrow the existing board.

King told BBC Sport: "It is not about driving out Mike Ashley. I don't get any sense he's going to sell his shares.

"I think he can be (an asset for Rangers). He's obviously a very wealthy guy and has shown a capacity to put money into the football club. He has a business which is closely aligned to the activities of the football club.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley
Getty Images

"If there was a way to work with him to create value and that value was appropriately shared between the football club and Sports Direct then I wouldn't see any difficulty with that."

Sunderland 'were better side'

Sunderland came from behind to beat Championship side Fulham and avoid an FA Cup fourth-round replay upset - and

boss Gus Poyet said his team was the better side.

He said: "I was just thinking how unfair football is because we were the better team by far, we were creating and controlling the ball. We didn't allow Fulham to play the game they like to play but we conceded a very strange goal.

Gus Poyet
Getty Images

"The equaliser was probably the turning point of the game, but overall we deserved to win. It was a game where we needed to get back to playing a certain way of football. Overall, I'm pleased. I really enjoyed it. I didn't say this once this year, but I really enjoyed watching the team."

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

Shop to become 'most eco-friendly'

Marks and Spencer in Northumberland Street in Newcastle is going to become one of the most eco-friendly shops in the North East.

It's getting a revamp with a 167 sq m (1,797 sq ft) green wall made up from nearly 16,000 plants.

It's hoped as well as being pretty, it'll also attract wildlife by providing a habitat for birds and insects.

Share your views

We've introduced BBC Local Live, which is written by reporters across the North East, to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

Tell us what you think.

Fire could 'burn for years'

Gerry Jackson

BBC Look North

An underground fire beneath a popular riverside footpath on Tyneside

could keep burning for years, firefighters believe. Watch my report here.

The Keelman's Way, close to Ryton Golf Club, has been closed off after what is thought to be coal waste from an old colliery caught fire. Council officials fear some sections of the path could collapse.

Fire in Ryton

Tyne and Wear Fire Brigade believe the blaze may have started in November and could continue burning for several months, or even years.

Staying cold

Lisa Gallagher

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Staying cold this afternoon with a chilly breeze and scattered wintry showers. The showers mainly affecting coastal towns with drier and brighter conditions in the west.

Weather forecast

Maximum temperature: 5C (41F).

Check the forecast near you.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

Trust asks minister to 'step aside'

The trust which runs a free school in Durham,

set to close after a damning Ofsted report, has asked the Education Secretary to "step aside".

In a letter to Nicky Morgan MP, the trust claims to have "no confidence" in the final decision of withdrawing funding and has asked her to "step aside from any further involvement".

Durham Free School

North West Durham Labour MP Pat Glass told a debate she had repeatedly raised concerns about Durham Free School.

Light dusting over Teesdale

Press Association photographer Owen Humphreys took this shot of fresh snow covering Teesdale in County Durham this morning.

Fresh snow covers Teesdale in County Durham

If you'd like us to feature your pictures, send them to us by

email, tweet us
@BBCNewsNE or join our
Facebook page.

Arrests and dozens of vehicles checked

Sharuna Sagar

BBC Look North

An overnight operation targeting travelling criminals and involving six police forces has resulted in 189 vehicles being stopped and checked, three people arrested and two vehicles seized.

Police with BBC Look North's Sharuna Sagar

Almost 90 police officers were assisted by nearly 100 farmers and volunteers. Using automatic number plate recognition technology, the idea is to gather and share intelligence about offenders who cross borders to carry out crimes, particularly in rural areas. I'll have more on this story on

BBC Look North at 13:30 on BBC One.

Lib Dems call for leader to quit

David Rhodes

Politics Reporter, BBC North East and Cumbria

Redcar Liberal Democrats have tabled a motion calling for council leader George Dunning and his fellow independent cabinet members to resign.

'Disappointing but unsurprising'

After 10 Labour councillors in Redcar quit the party, a Labour Party spokesman said: "The decision by this group of councillors, the vast majority of whom were not selected as Labour candidates for the forthcoming local elections, is disappointing but unsurprising.

"The selection process in Redcar and Cleveland has been fair, robust and competitive. The Labour Party expects the highest standards from our councillors and council candidates. These expectations include that a candidate demonstrates a willingness to campaign in their community all year round.

"The Labour Group on Redcar and Cleveland Council will now make arrangements to elect a new Leadership team committed to an inclusive way of working, listening to local people and fighting for Redcar and Cleveland."

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

Families 'could face death threats'

Colin Briggs

BBC Look North

Families on Teesside due to appear on the controversial television programme Benefits Street have been warned they could face death threats, bullying and horrendous abuse.

Some who featured on the first series - filmed in Birmingham - have told BBC Look North they were shocked by the level of abuse they received.

Deirdre Kelly

The second series has been filmed in Stockton and those taking part have been told they will be pilloried. I'll have more on this story on

BBC Look North at 13:30 on BBC One.

Councillors resign from Labour

David Rhodes

Politics Reporter, BBC North East and Cumbria

Here's the 10 Redcar and Cleveland councillors resigning en masse from the party. There's more on Look North and BBC Tees throughout the day.

Redcar councillors quitting party

'Astonished and disappointed'

Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg says he's "astonished" that an IPCC report over allegations he accepted employee benefits he was not entitled to has been handed to the CPS.

A statement said: "When serving as Deputy Chief Constable with Cleveland Police I received three benefits. These were awarded by the Cleveland Police Authority in recognition of outstanding performance. The benefits were made in accordance with the national performance bonus scheme in place at the time, and I believe that in one instance the decision was made following independent legal advice.

"As an employee, I played no part in making any of these decisions, and thus, I am both astonished and disappointed at the decision to refer this matter to the CPS."

Durham PCC investigation

The former Deputy Chief Constable of Cleveland Police is being investigated over allegations he accepted employee benefits he was not entitled to during his time at the force.

The watchdog the IPCC had been looking at whether benefits Ron Hogg received before his departure from Cleveland Police were properly in line with rules in place at the time.

Ron Hogg

It has now submitted a file to the CPS. Mr Hogg retired from the police service in 2008 but was elected as the first Durham police and crime commissioner in 2012.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

Car, van and lorry in accident

The A1 in East Ord in Northumberland is closed and there's slow traffic southbound between the A698 junction and the A1167 junction because of an accident involving a car, a van and a lorry and recovery work.

There's a diversion in operation via Rotary Way, on the A698 towards Berwick-Upon-Tweed and the A1167 towards Scremerston.

And one lane is closed eastbound and there's very slow traffic on the A171 Middlesbrough Road in Nunthorpe between the Flatts Lane junction and Windlebridge Roundabout because of an accident involving two vehicles. More on BBC Travel News for

Teesside and
Tyne and Wear.

Full statement on PCC Ron Hogg

A statement from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said: "The IPCC has completed its investigation into the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Durham, Ron Hogg, and passed its report to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

"The CPS will determine whether there is evidence to warrant criminal charges."

Boxer to unveil sculpture

Hartlepool boxing champion Savannah Marshall will unveil a life-size sculpture of herself this afternoon at the town's Art Gallery.

She made history by becoming the first female world boxing champion in 2012, and took gold last year at the Commonwealth Games.

We'll bring you a photo of it when it's unveiled.

Savannah Marshall (red)
Getty Images

Reaction from Redcar

Eston councillor Olwyn Peters said: "It's absolutely disgraceful. These are good, grass-rooted community councillors and the Labour Party don't understand what the community needs."

Longbeck councillor Vic Jefferies said: "I got deselected on Sunday, I know it's come from my branch, I half expected it, but after being treated like this after nearly 30 years, it's disgusting.

"I've come here with a heavy heart, but I couldn't go back, I've been told I'm illiterate, and not up to being a councillor, and that really hurts."

Labour North says the decision was taken by local party members, they're putting together a new group, and they're looking forward to working with their new councillors.