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  1. Updates on Friday 6 March 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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That's all from Local Live for today - thank you for joining us. We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday with news, sport, weather and travel from across the North East.

We'll leave you with this photo sent into us by Carolyn Farthing which shows Sele park in Hexham.

Sele Park, Hexham
Carolyn Farthing

On tonight's Look North

Jeff Brown

BBC Look North

Two senior politicians visit the North as the pre-election campaign begins to build.

Labour leader Ed Miliband promises better funding for North East councils and more than 1,300 nurses for the region and for the Conservatives London Mayor Boris Johnson says the whole of the A1 in Northumberland should be upgraded to dual carriageway.

Also tonight, celebrations as doctors say they're hopeful a fund raising teenager has won her fight against cancer.

Join me for these an all our other stories on BBC One at 18:30.

Boro match facts

In the reverse fixture against Nottingham Forest at the Riverside on Boxing Day,

Middlesbrough ran out 3-0 winners.

A George Friend goal put the home side ahead and further strikes followed from Jelle Vossen and Grant Leadbitter.

In recent seasons Boro have done well against Forest - they are unbeaten against them in their last six meetings.

Forest have been in improved form of late, though, after Dougie Freedman took over the reigns from Stuart Pearce. They sit ninth in the Championship table.

Windy and cloudy overnight

Staying windy and cloudy overnight although some clear spells are possible in the east. Dry for most but some light rain or drizzle may continue to affect the Pennines and Cheviots.

weather graphic

Minimum Temperature: 5C (41F)

Roadworks planned for busy route

Roadworks on one of the main routes in and out of Hartlepool mean drivers could face delays this weekend.

The council says "essential resurfacing work" will be carried out at the A689/Hucklehoven Way junction.

Tomorrow, the northbound (Middleton Grange Shopping Centre side) of the junction will be closed from 19:00. It will reopen on Sunday afternoon. A diversion will be in operation along York Road with no vehicle access to Park Road from the junction.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 17:00 are:

  • BBC Tees: The Labour leader Ed Miliband has told BBC Tees there will be no investigation into the deselection of a number of Labour councillors in Redcar.
  • BBC Newcastle: Jon Harle and Anne Leuchars will have a round up of the day's headlines

Ed Miliband reveals nurse plan

Labour leader Ed Miliband

popped into the BBC Tees studio today to talk to Neil Green.

Ed Miliband interviewed by Neil Green

He said his party will create 1,300 new nursing jobs for the North East should Labour win the General Election.

Mr Miliband was also quizzed about the

Redcar Labour troubles in the interview.

Girls in court on murder charge

Two girls, aged 13 and 14, wept as they appeared in court charged with murdering a 39-year-old woman.

Angela Wrightson, 39, (pictured) was discovered by police at her home in Stephen Street, Hartlepool, in December, having died of blood loss after sustaining substantial injuries.

Angela Wrightson
Cleveland Police

The girls, appeared at Teesside Crown Court before Recorder of Middlesbrough Simon Bourne-Arton.

He instructed all the barristers to take off their wigs for the hearing and the girls were not made to sit in the dock but were seated on the back row of the courtroom.

The case was adjourned for a plea hearing on 20 May 20, ahead of a trial date set for 24 June.

Boro bidding to retain top spot

Championship table-toppers Middlesbrough face Nottingham Forest at the City Ground tomorrow afternoon as they look to extend their narrow lead over the chasing pack.

Middlesbrough's Jelle Vossen (left) and Patrick Bamford
Getty Images

Boro midfielder Mustapha Carayol is gradually building up his fitness after 11 months on the sidelines following a cruciate ligament injury, BBC Sport reports.

You can watch highlights on The Football League Show or listen to score updates on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Tees. In addition, there will be text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Man in court over stab attack

A man has been charged following a stabbing in Sunderland.

Police were called to an address at Claremont Terrace yesterday. The victim, a 29-year-old man, is in a stable condition at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

A 33-year-old, of Claremont Terrace, was due to appear at Sunderland Magistrates' Court today accused on wounding with intent to commit GBH.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 are:

  • BBC Tees: Two senior politicians from opposite ends of the political spectrum are in the region today.
  • BBC Newcastle: Jon Harle and Anne Leuchars will have a round up of the day's headlines

Old coal site bikers 'could be prosecuted'

Off-road bikers using an old coal site in South Tyneside are being warned they face prosecution.

Northumbria Police said they have received an increased number of reports of people riding their machines in the Follingsby Lane and the Follonsby Terrace area.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Sean McGuigan said: "It is illegal to ride off-road bikes on public land - including roads and in parks. They can only ever be ridden on private land with the landowner's permission.

"The old coal site is private land and the owners have not given any permission for it to be used, so anyone found on the land could be prosecuted."

Protesters greet Ed Miliband

David Rhodes

Politics Reporter, BBC North East and Cumbria

A group of former Redcar Labour councillors staged a protest as Ed Miliband visited the constituency today.

protesters' banner
George Dunning

Eleven councillors resigned from the party a last month over the way candidates were selected for this May's local elections.

Ed Miliband spoke at Redcar and Cleveland College before answering questions from the audience.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 15:00 are:

  • BBC Tees: A former care home manager on Teesside says change is needed to end the neglect in some homes.
  • BBC Newcastle: A man from the North East is among 50 suspects arrested in a nationwide operation to tackle hacking and computer crime.

Transporter Bridge to be back in action

Teesside's Transporter Bridge gondola is set to reopen on Monday following completion of the latest phase of the structure's refurbishment, Middlesbrough Council has announced.

Transporter Bridge

The gondola has been renovated and the local authority says crossings for drivers and foot passengers will be free for the first four weeks.

Work will continue on the bridge's new lift, visitor centre improvements and heritage trail.

The £4m project has been beset by delays since the structure closed in August 2013.

Tell us 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.

Boris Johnson supports A1 dualling

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson says the whole of the A1 in Northumberland should be upgraded to dual carriageway.

In December, the Prime Minister David Cameron said a 13-mile stretch of the A1 north of Newcastle to Ellingham would become a dual carriageway. But campaigners have long called for the road to become dual carriageway all the way to Scotland.

During a visit to the North East when he was asked about dualling it, Mr Johnson's response was "do it, do it."

Boris Johnson

He went on to say: "As you can imagine it's not a road I use every day, but what I can certainly tell you from my experience in London is that investment in transport infrastructure is the thing that pays off in the long term.

"And you can now find very creative ways of financing this."

What have the Romanians ever done for us?

Find out what it's like to be an EU immigrant tonight when the BBC's Inside Out meets Bogdan.

Inside Out

He's a Romanian who has taken up a job in healthcare.

It comes as analysis by the University of Oxford estimates the migrant population of England has risen by 565,000 since 2011, with two-thirds coming from the EU.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 14:00 are:

  • BBC Tees: Protests are set to continue at the new waste-to-energy plant at Wilton amid claims SITA UK is favouring overseas workers.
  • BBC Newcastle: A North East man has been arrested by police as part of a national week-long crackdown on cyber crime.

'Difficult financial position'

Following the announcement that the finances at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust are to be investigated by health regulator Monitor, the trust's chief executive Ken Bremner described its current financial position and challenges facing it as "difficult".

He said: "We will co-operate fully with the team from Monitor during their investigation.

"After a recent positive CQC inspection the Trust's priority continues to be the care of our patients and we will work towards improving our financial position without compromising quality and patient safety."

Sunny spells but some drizzle

Cloudy but bright with sunny spells this afternoon, the best of these in the east. Staying mostly dry but some drizzle is possible over the cheviots and Pennines. Turing increasingly windy with gusts reaching gale force over and to the east of hills.

weather graphic

Maximum Temperature: 10C (50F)

On Look North at lunchtime

Colin Briggs

BBC Look North

Two senior politicians are in our region this afternoon - from opposite ends of the political spectrum.

The Labour leader Ed Miliband is on Teesside where he has been taking part in a People's Question Time event at Redcar and Cleveland College with members of the public this lunchtime.

Meanwhile, the Conservative mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is also in the region. Mr Johnson has been visiting Conyers School in Yarm.

Find out what they had to say on our lunchtime bulletin on BBC One at 13:30.

Taxi driver robbed at knifepoint

A taxi driver has been robbed at knifepoint in Newcastle.

Two men, both wearing hoodies and thought to be in their 20s, threatened the driver in a lane off Canterbury Street, in Byker, just after midnight.

He managed to get out of his car, a Skoda Octavia, before the attackers drove the vehicle away in the direction of Welbeck Road.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 are:

  • BBC Tees: There are set to be further protests at the Wilton site over the coming weeks.
  • BBC Newcastle: A North East man has been arrested by police as part of a national week-long crackdown on cyber crime.

Boris Johnson in the North East

Mark Denten

Political Correspondent, BBC North East & Cumbria

On a visit to the North East Mayor of London Boris Johnson tells students in Yarm that "technology is driving not just London's economy but the whole of the UK's economy."

He described the link between the North East and London as a "dense umbilical connection" and said Stockton produces all sorts of things which are indispensable for London - listing matches, railways and Big Ben...


David Rhodes

Politics Reporter, BBC North East and Cumbria

Stockton North UKIP candidate Mandy Boylett has been singing her own version of Abba's Chiquita - taking a shot at David Cameron and his stance over the EU.

Mandy Boylett

You can

watch the video on YouTube by clicking here.

Newcastle teenager reported missing

Police are appealing for help finding a missing teenager.

Vera Chirwa
Northumbria Police

Vera Chirwa, 17, was reported missing yesterday after not returning to her home in the East End of Newcastle. It is thought she may have travelled to London.

She is 5ft 3ins, of slim build with brown hair and wears glasses. It is thought she was also wearing a purple fluffy jacket, black trousers and black shoes.

Hospitals 'under increasing strain'

Responding to the news Monitor is to investigate its financial situation, Ian Renwick, chief executive at the QE Gateshead, said: "Like many other NHS organisations across the country, Gateshead is facing an increasingly challenging financial landscape.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead

"The local healthcare system is coming under increasing strain and at the QE we have seen unprecedented demand for our services this winter. Despite this, we continue to provide the highest levels of care for our patients and have been consistently recognised as one of the best performing hospitals in the country.

"Several similar trusts are facing the same financial issues and we're working very hard to develop a range of plans that will improve the financial position."

A Monitor probe is automatically triggered if the money spent by a health trust varies from the plan set out at the start of the financial year.

Health trusts' finances probed

Health regulator Monitor has launched an investigation into finances at two North East health trusts.

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust will be put under the spotlight.

Paul Chandler, Monitor's regional director, said: "We have launched these investigations to find out more about the financial situation at each trust and to establish what can be done to improve things."

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 12:00 are:

  • BBC Tees: Protests are set to continue at Teesside's new waste-to-energy plant over claims local workers are being ignored in favour of overseas ones.
  • BBC Newcastle: A man from the North East is one of more than 50 people arrested in a nationwide operation against computer and internet crime.

Man arrested in hacking probe

A North East man has been arrested by police as part of a

national week-long crackdown on cyber crime.

Officers from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) arrested the 51-year-old in Houghton-le-Spring yesterday.

He was arrested on suspicion of gaining unauthorised access to computer material. It followed an allegation a company website was hacked in January.

He has been bailed pending further enquiries.

Drivers get 10-minute parking leeway

There's good news for

drivers today as the government has announced they will get 10 minutes' grace before being fined if they stay too long in council-owned car parks in England.

Parking warden
Getty Images

The new leeway, expected to take effect later this month, will apply to free and paid-for parking spaces both on streets and in off-street car parks.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said he wanted to end the "war on drivers".

Road accident near Angel of the North

The Highways Agency

tweets: #A1 (N) J65 - J66 near #AngeloftheNorth #A167 #Tyneside. - emergency services heading to accident - 2 lanes blocked! - expect delays!

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 11:00 are:

  • BBC Tees: Hundreds of people demonstrated over claims of low pay at the SITA waste-to-energy plant on Teesside and allegations the company is favouring overseas workers.
  • BBC Newcastle: A man from the North East is one of more than 50 people arrested in a nationwide operation against computer and internet crime.