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  1. Updates on Monday 16 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 Tuesday. Carolyn Farthing sent us this photo of the sandy beach at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland.

Bamburgh Castle
Carolyn Farthing

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

Millican and Ramsay collect awards

Alfie Joey

BBC Newcastle

North East comedians Sarah Millican, Chris Ramsay and Jason Cooke have become the first inductees into the Customs House Academy, recognising their contribution to the arts in South Tyneside.

Sarah Millican and Chris Ramsay

Between charity shows to save the South Shields theatre, they were presented with the special awards that were sculpted from coal.

Picnic ban 'puzzles' HSE

The Health and Safety Executive has now released a statement with regard to

Newcastle racecourse's decision to ban picnics.

HSE chair Judith Hackitt said: "I was interested to hear about Newcastle Racecourse's decision to ban picnics but was puzzled about which health and safety regulations applied.

"The answer is none, so it is unfair to lay the blame for the ban at health and safety's door. If the real reason is one of crowd control, ease of movement during meetings as well as litter, why not say so? The 'elf and safety' excuse looks tired."

League is out objective now - Karanka

Trophy-holder Arsenal's two goals in two minutes

dumped Middlesbrough out of the FA Cup yesterday and boss Aitor Karanka said: "It is difficult to play against Arsenal and if you concede goals at set pieces, and if you make mistakes, it is more difficult.

Aitor Karanka

"The way I like to play is to fight but in the first half we did not play in the way I like. We did not fight in the same way as we did against Manchester City and Liverpool. Now we have to think about Birmingham. The league is our objective now."

On the programme tonight

BBC Look North

Campaigners in Sunderland are celebrating after securing an unexpected reprieve for the city's main fire station.

Two other stations on Tyneside will also stay open after the fire authority made a sudden U-turn on plans to save money. It follows months of protests and petitions

And have you ever tickled a polar bear? Well tomorrow could be your chance, as the Great North Museum Hancock welcomes a very special visitor - Bjorn, an animatronic bear. Watch BBC One at 18:30

or catch up here.

Clear night with frost

Paul Mooney

BBC Weather presenter

Isolated showers around the coast should quickly clear during the evening, and cloud breaking up as a westerly breeze develops, leading to a clear and cold night with a widespread frost and some icy patches on untreated surfaces.

Weather forecast

Minimum temperature: -2C (28F).

Check the forecast near you.

A1 death woman named

A woman who was

killed in a collision on the A1 in Northumberland has been named as 82-year-old Joan Hine.

Paramedics treated her at the scene of the crash which took place at about 12:15 on Sunday, but she died before she could be taken to hospital.

The northbound A1 at the Newton on the Moor and Longframlington junction was closed for four hours.

Great North Air Ambulance

Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses of the crash which involved a Mitsubishi Outlander 4x4 and a Nissan Micra car, to come forward.

Health and safety excuse 'non-runner'


decision to ban picnics at Newcastle racecourse for "health and safety reasons" has been criticised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).


branded the reason a "non-runner" on Twitter using the hashtag #bustedmyth and
added "don't saddle us with the lame old h&s excuse!".

The racecourse management team said its first priority was the safety and enjoyment of guests and picnickers' furniture created a "potential trip hazard".

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 17:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: A Hartlepool care home boss has been sentenced to eight months in prison after being found guilty of safety failings which led to an elderly resident falling to her death.
  • BBC Newcastle: Jon Harle and Helen Richardson have a round-up of the day's news.

Saved station news 'shock'

Simon Armstrong

BBC News

The Tyne and Wear branch of the Fire Brigades Union has welcomed the "shock" news that three North East fire stations will remain open.

Russ King, the brigade's secretary, said: "It came as a total shock. I want to pay tribute to the support we've had from local communities. People have really backed us."

He said a petition handed in at the meeting had 34,000 names protesting against the proposed closure of Sunderland Central station.

He added: "We are delighted by the decision. However, cuts are still being made across the fire service on Tyne and Wear - 131 jobs will still be going and six firefighting appliances will be taken away by 2016-17."

Body identified as missing man

The body of a man found in the River Wear in January is that of Colin Pine, who went missing after December's Tyne-Wear derby, Northumbria Police says.

Mr Pine's body was found on the banks of the Wear in St Luke's Road in Sunderland on 17 January.

Colin Pine
Nothumbria Police

The 55-year-old, from Ennerdale, in Albany, Washington, was reported missing on 22 December after failing to return home after going out to watch the match the day before.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: A Hartlepool care home boss has been sentenced to eight months in prison after being found guilty of safety failings which led to an elderly resident falling to her death.
  • BBC Newcastle: Some train journeys between Carlisle and Newcastle are being affected by over-running engineering works.

Give us your feedback

What do you think of BBC Local Live? It's written by reporters across the North East and brings you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

We'd like your feedback about this service.

Poyet brushes-off criticism

Gus Poyet has

brushed-off criticism from Sunderland supporters after his side were
knocked out of the FA Cup by League One Bradford City.

The Black Cats became City's second Premier League scalp of the competition as they lost 2-0 at Valley Parade.

Gus Poyet
Getty Images

Many of the 4,000 Sunderland fans voiced their frustrations at the end. Black Cats boss Poyet said: "I have no issue with the fans. I never hide and I am the one who'll pay the price because the only one who can get sacked is me."

Equipment failure causes disruption

An "equipment failure" during overnight works has caused disruption on rail services near Hexham, Northumberland.

Network Rail has apologised to passengers who have been disrupted by overrunning engineering works at Bardon Mill.

It is providing replacement road transport for customers between Haltwhistle and Hexham. Normal services are expected to resume about 1600.

Job down-grade sparks row

Hartlepool Mail

A row has erupted between an MP and a hospital trust over the

down-grading of cancer nurses' jobs.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright
Hartlepool Mail

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: Fire stations in Sunderland, Wallsend and Gosforth will now not be closed.
  • BBC Tees: Thornaby residents are being asked whether they want to leave Stockton Borough Council in a referendum.

'Who do they think they are?'

Picnics are to be

banned at Newcastle Racecourse for health and safety reasons.

Regular racegoer Sue Nicholson, from Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, was horrified when she heard about the policy change.

She said: "I particularly like getting dressed up, wearing silly shoes and a silly hat and going to Ladies Day... but after we found out about the picnic ban, we are not going.

Women at the races
Getty Images

"You can take a picnic to Glyndebourne, you can take one to Ascot but you can't take a picnic to Newcastle Racecourse? Who do they think they are?"

Middlesbrough 'hardest hit'

Government cuts have

hit areas with the worst levels of health deprivation hardest, including Manchester, Liverpool and Middlesbrough, Labour has claimed.

It said figures suggested reductions in local authority budgets had been 12 times greater in the 10 most deprived areas compared with the least.

The data was compiled by the House of Commons Library and Newcastle City Council's finance department and taken from 325 local authorities.

Middlesbrough Town Hall

Shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn MP called it "deeply irresponsible". The Conservative Party said the coalition government's spending policies had been fair to all areas.

Hancock to celebrate three million visitors

A museum is

preparing to welcome its three millionth visitor since re-opening nearly six years ago.

The Great North Museum Hancock in Newcastle will reach the landmark this week during the school half-term holidays.

Great North Museum Hancock
Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums

The museum, managed by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums on behalf of Newcastle University, opened in 2009 after a £26m overhaul. The three millionth visitor will be given a goody bag.

Accident closes lane

There's also slow traffic and one lane closed eastbound on A184 Felling Bypass in Pelaw between the B1288 Leam Lane junction and the A194 Leam Lane junction because of an accident.

There's very slow traffic on A1 Western Bypass southbound between Blaydon and Dunston Interchange in the roadworks area. More on BBC Travel News for

Teesside and
Tyne and Wear.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

Gutierrez heads back to NUFC

Midfielder Jonas Gutierrez is heading back to Newcastle after the collapse of a move to his former club Velez Sarsfield.

Gutierrez, who has overcome testicular cancer, held talks with Sarsfield about a contract prior to the closure of their transfer window yesterday.

Jonas Gutierrez

But the 31-year-old failed to agree terms and

tweeted a picture of himself on a flight back to Tyneside.

Woman raped in Jarrow

A woman has been raped in a lane in Jarrow, police say.

The 28-year-old was attacked in Station Street at about 20:30 on Saturday. A 53-year-old man has been arrested and bailed.

Bright spells may develop

Lisa Gallagher

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Any lingering rain will soon clear away eastwards, leaving a mostly dry afternoon. A few brighter spells may develop, though one or two showers are also possible, mainly over the Pennines.

Weather forecast

Maximum temperature: 8C (46F).

Check the forecast near you.

Referendum to cost £12,000

Andrea Macmillan

BBC Tees

A referendum on whether Thornaby residents want to leave the control of Stockton Council has been branded a waste of taxpayers' money.

Thornaby Town Council's called the vote because it says residents have been neglected by Stockton Council.

The result isn't legally binding and will cost taxpayers upwards of £12,000.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

Vigil held for schoolboy

Colin Briggs

BBC Look North

A memorial vigil for a

schoolboy killed by a bus in Newcastle was held in the West End of the city last night.

People with Chinese lanterns

Friends and family of 11 year old Nathan McStay released lanterns and balloons into the sky in memory of him. Nathan was knocked down last Wednesday, shortly after leaving the Excelsior Academy in Scotswood. I'll have more on this story on

BBC Look North at 13:30 on BBC One.

Police save choking boy

Two police officers saved the life of a young child who was choking in Middlesbrough town centre.

Acting Sergeant Gareth Chalmers and PC Ian Clyburn were making their way through Marks & Spencer in the Hill Street Centre on Friday when a woman thrust her 18-month-old child into the arms of A/Sgt Chalmers.

The child was limp and grey and clearly choking so A/Sgt Chalmers slapped him on the back to clear his airway. The youngster was then taken to James Cook University Hospital and later allowed home.

A/Sgt Chalmers said: "The incident happened so fast and a large crowd of people gathered around us very quickly as we tried to deal with the situation. The first aid training that we receive as officers meant that we were prepared for such an incident; however, it was something that we had never dealt with before in real-life. What happened didn't really sink in until the following day but I'm just pleased that the boy is back to full health."

Picnic ban decision not 'made lightly'

The decision to ban picnics at Newcastle racecourse was not taken lightly, the executive director says.

David Williamson says: "At Ladies Day and Plate Day, which regularly attract in excess of 20,000 guests, a number of health and safety issues were highlighted to the racecourse executive, so to ensure the enjoyment of all those attending these popular fixtures and for ease of movement around the racecourse, we have taken the decision not to allow picnics in any enclosure.

Ladies at Northumberland Plate

"This is not a decision that has been made lightly. In line with the change in policy, more seated areas and additional food outlets will be available in both enclosures for guests to use should they wish, and for those who wish to have a picnic before coming into the racecourse we will have a designated area within the estate where picnics can be had."

Lucky escape in Sedgefield

Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit

tweets: A lucky escape on Sedgefield back road this morning. No injuries.

Car on field with police car
Durham RPU

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: Three North East fire stations have been saved from closure after Tyne and Wear Fire Authority voted to revise cost-cutting plans.
  • BBC Tees: A Durham University student has made it on to the shortlist of people who could be part of a one way trip to Mars.

Blanket ban on picnics

Picnics have been banned inside Newcastle racecourse for all of its meetings this year, including Ladies Day and Plate Day, for health and safety reasons, its management confirms.

Stopping people from spreading out rugs and eating in chairs will "ease movement around the racecourse and increase visitors' enjoyment", executive director David Williamson says.

Newcastle race course

Racegoers will instead be provided with a picnic site outside the racecourse but in the wider estate. Mr Williamson added: "More seated areas and additional food outlets will be available in both enclosures."

Trains off in Northumberland

Northern Rail

tweets: Buses replace trains between #Hexham and Haltwhistle until approximately 18:00.

Fire stations saved

More than

200 people took part in protests in February over the planned closures of fire stations in Sunderland, Gosforth and Wallsend.

The Fire Brigades Union condemned the plans, claiming lives would have been put at risk. The stations were not due to close until 2017.