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  1. Updates on Tuesday 5 May 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday.

Live Reporting

By Duncan Leatherdale

All times stated are UK

Get involved


That's all from Local Live for today - thank you for joining us. We'll be back from 08:00 on Wednesday.

Carolyn-Farthing Dunn sent us this photo she took yesterday at the Blyth Kite Festival.

Blyth Kite Festival
Carolyn Farthing-Dunn

Have you been out and about round the region taking photos? If you'd like us to feature your comments or pictures, send them to us by

email or tweet us

Clear spells and scattered showers

Some clear spells are likely overnight, especially further east. However, scattered showers will continue to blow in from the southwest, especially across the Cheviots and the North Pennines.

weather graphic

Minimum Temperature: 6C (43F)

Ronnie Moore's Hartlepool United survival 'miracle'

Matt Newsum

BBC Sport

Ronnie Moore's feats at Hartlepool United this season would put even the saccharine-tinged plots of Hollywood to shame.

Ronnie Moore
Getty Images

The former Rotherham and Tranmere boss, out of work for eight months after breaking Football Association betting rules, took on a seemingly impossible challenge when appointed Pools boss in mid-December.

Six points adrift with just three wins in 20 games, Pools looked doomed but five months later the club are safe, preparing for a new, brighter era under Moore's management.

A690 closed after accident

BBC Travel

BBC Travel reports the A690 in Brancepeth, County Durham, is closed and queuing traffic in both directions between the Stockley Lane junction and the B6300 Browney Lane junction, because of an accident involving two cars and recovery work. Police directing traffic.

Lost Voice Guy switches to full-time comedy

Tyneside comedian Lee Ridley, who is known as Lost Voice Guy, has decided to give up his day job to concentrate on stand-up full time.

Lee, who has Cerebral Palsy, won the BBC New Comedy Award 2014 in December.

BBC Comedy Award 2014 finalists

In this blog he explains how we made the difficult decision, describing it as a "massive risk". But says: "If I don't try to follow my dreams and do what I love doing now, I feel like I'll regret it forever."

Coach passengers involved in M-way collision

Passengers from the north-east of England were on board a coach involved in a multi-vehicle collision on the M1 in Derbyshire..

The collision happened at about 12.25 between junctions 29A at Bolsover and 29 at Doe Lea on the southbound carriageway. It involved a number of vehicles, including a coach and an articulated lorry.

Derbyshire Police said several coach passengers and motorists were treated at the scene by paramedics, and a number were taken to hospital for a check-up. It is believed none of them was seriously injured.

There were 32 passengers on the National Holidays coach from various parts of the North East, and they were on their way for a short break in Nottingham. It's believed that no-one has been seriously injured.

Attack man guilty of manslaughter

A man has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a man who died after being attacked on a night out in Hartlepool.

Mark Dixon
Cleveland Police

Father-of-one Mark Dixon, 32, from Peterlee, (pictured) died a week after suffering head injuries in an attack in Victoria Road on 5 October.

Paul Sutton, 29, of Raby Gardens, was found guilty of manslaughter following a trial at Teesside Crown Court.

Sutton was remanded in custody to be sentenced at a later date.

Body of woman recovered from river identified

The body of a woman found in the River Wear last week has been identified, police said.

Rose King, 22, from Newcastle, who was a first year medical student at Sunderland University, was found on the morning of 30 April.

Rose King
Northumbria Police

She was reported missing by her family on Sunday after they were concerned they had not heard from her for a while. She had last been heard from on 29 April when she sent an email. Police are trying to find out how she came to be in the river.

Det Sgt Angus Grassie, of Northumbria Police, said: "This is a very sad time for Rose's family and friends and our sympathies are very much with them now. "

Windfarm plans rejected

Proposals for a £16m wind farm on the edge of a County Durham forest have been rejected by councillors.

Fields at Windy Bank, County Durham

Banks Renewables put forward proposals for a five-turbine development at Hamsterley Forest six years ago.

The scheme, at Windy Bank Farm, north of Woodland village, was reduced to four turbines up to 125m (410ft) high.

Durham County Council's planning committee rejected the development as it would have "significant effects" on the character of the local landscape.

Listen again to election debates

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

There were two political debates in the region today with candidates taking each other to task ahead of Thursday's election.

At the debate

If you missed them or want to listen again,

the Stockton South debate can be
found on the BBC Tees website and a
video on the station's Facebook page.

The discussion held in

Sunderland is available
through BBC Newcastle.

Community matrons hailed a success

Catherine Lee

BBC News

Community matrons have helped ease the pressure on hospitals and GPs,

health bosses on Teesside have said.

The claim comes three years after South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust introduced a service using nurses to assess patients in their own homes.

South Tees NHS Trust

In January, this was expanded to include matrons, who offer more advanced clinical skills and develop management plans for patients' care.

It has led to an estimated 3.9% drop in emergency admissions, bosses said.

Three arrested over teenager's death

Three people have been arrested by police investigating the death of an 18-year-old man.

The man was found in Charlotte Street, Skelton, on Monday afternoon. Cleveland Police said his death was not being treated as suspicious.

The three, two females aged 15 and 18 and a 23-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs. They have been released on bail.

Election 2015: View from the distillery

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

I don't know if you have heard but there is an election coming.

Jess Tomlinson measures gin
Durham Distillery

The BBC has been visiting work places around the country to see how people are feeling ahead of the big vote on Thursday.

I went to the Durham Distillery in Langley Park to see which issues they cared about.

Man exposes himself to girls

BBC Newcastle

A man exposed himself to two 14-year-old girls in a Bedlington cemetery over the bank holiday weekend,

Northumbria Police have said.

The incident happened shortly before 16:00 on Saturday at West Lea cemetery in Netherton Lane.

The man was white, in his 50s, with white hair and may have been wearing a baseball cap. He was wearing a grey or green jacket and dark combat trousers.

Sunderland debate: The end

Charlie Charlton

BBC Newcastle

It's been another thrilling debate here in Sunderland, the political fires have been well fuelled ahead of Thursday's election.


candidates now have a few seconds to sum up their arguments.

Julie Elliott (Labour): "Sunderland is well represented by Labour, I certainly speak up loudly and clearly and positively for the city I live in and love."

Jeffrey Townsend (Conservative): "Sunderland's got a great future, the economic growth is there for the taking but we need an infrastructure revolution."

Stephen O'Brien (Liberal Democrat): "We need an infrastructure revolution, also we need to look after people and have an effective opposition against Labour."

Richard Elvin (UK Independence Party): "Sunderland is a great city, it has been neglected, it will take time to put right, we need an effective opposition to Labour so that we can get the investment, people need to shout loud for Sunderland."

Rachel Featherstone (Green): "The best thing for Sunderland is to end austerity, look at social justice and sustainable environment for the common good, not just for a few people at the top of society."

Sunderland debate: Boosting the nightlife

Charlie Charlton

BBC Newcastle

Another question from the audience, this time Khalid Shroufi asked: "

Sunderland city centre is dead after 18:00, how will you attract ambitious young people from other cities?"

restaurants in Sunderland

Rachel Featherstone (Green): "We would cut VAT on hospitality so we would hope to see more events on in the city centre. We also need to improve transport in and out of the city. Like to see trains and buses running later."

Julie Elliott (Labour): "We are not the same kind of city as Manchester and London and we shouldn't try to be. We have the seafront, it's very busy at night. In terms of the city centre the grass roots are happening, the college is there, when you get more footfall in the city you get better shops and businesses. The biggest hold up in this city in the last 12 years was Tesco sitting on the Vaux site and not letting anybody do anything with it. Tesco eventually sold the land and things are happening there now. We have a fantastic future in this city but we have been held to ransom."

Jeffrey Townsend (Conservative): "We need an infrastructure revolution in this city, extend the Metro to Ryhope and other areas. We need a higher capacity train station. We need motorway access. The port is an absolute diamond, we need to promote that and make sure it is one of our gold stars. The city centre is all about footfall, you need to make it as easy as you can to get people in."

Richard Elvin (UK Independence Party): "The North East is bottom of the league table in infrastructure investment from central Government, £230 per person compared to London's £5,460 per person. We need to upgrade Grand Central line from Sunderland. Sunderland has been the largest city in the area population wise and the investment has been woefully inadequate, a train station without toilets."

A19 southbound reopening

Officers from Durham Police' road policing unit have

tweeted that the A19 Southbound will be reopening soon.

They are warning motorists to expect slow traffic at the Peterlee roundabout where there will be a short diversion.

Sunderland debate: Minimising austerity

Charlie Charlton

BBC Newcastle

Emma Frew, chief executive of the Shiney Advice and Resource Project, asked the candidates: "

What would you do to minimise the effects of austerity in Sunderland?"

Sunderland City Centre

Julie Elliott (Labour): "Sanctions have been implemented wholly unfairly. That's what needs to stop. We would scrap the bedroom tax (spare room subsidy) which in this region is killing people, it's the most vicious tax I have ever seen. We would also look at universal credit which is taking too long to come in. For the disabled people who have no option but to live on benefits we will set up bodies for the people themselves to review the system."

Jeffrey Townsend (Conservative): "The best way to keep people out of poverty is to provide jobs. The welfare state needs to protect people who struggle and can't get those jobs but we need to make sure everyone can pay for that. Help people but also make sure we can afford it across the country. We will be capping benefits at £23,000, there is nothing I can do about that."

Richard Elvin (UK Independence Party): "UKIP is fully committed to keeping a strong and secure safety net for those who have fallen on tough times but we are not a soft touch. We would increase carers' allowances. We don't want to see cuts in the welfare system for those that need it. We can do this by making savings where we are giving money away in areas which we think are ridiculous, for example HS2, foreign aid budget cut to £4b, 0.2% rather than 0.7%."

Rachel Featherstone (Green): "The Government has refused to review deaths caused by sanctions. We don't remove access to food, heat and light from murderers and criminals but we do from people who miss an appointment or are late."

Stephen O'Brien (Liberal Democrat): "We want to keep the welfare cap in line with average earnings which is around £26,000. It is a difficult quandry but we cannot have people just sitting on benefits as a lifestyle, we need to get people back into work."

Man found with stab wounds

A man is in hospital after he was stabbed in South Shields, police said.

The 60-year-old's injuries are not thought to be life-threatening following the incident on River Drive shortly after 18:00 on Sunday.

A 31-year-old man was arrested. Northumbria Police said it is believed the two men knew each other. Extra patrols are being carried out in the area.

Sunderland debate: Nissan aid

Charlie Charlton

BBC Newcastle

Given Nissan's recent statement that a vote to leave the EU would hamper investment in the UK, I asked the candidates: "

What would you do to help Nissan?"

Nissan worker
Getty Images

Richard Elvin (UK Independence Party): "They said the same thing about joining the Euro but now the opposite is true. Being a member of the EU is no guarantee of job security. We will keep manufacturing in this country because we have the investment, skills and the plant already here. Nissan Sunderland is the most productive car plant in Europe, trade trumps politics."

Stephen O'Brien (Liberal Democrat): "We want to stay in the EU, the EU is beneficial, it gives us jobs, it helps us with our economy. It is key we stay in the EU and do not close ourselves off to the biggest market place in the world."

Jeffrey Townsend (Conservative): "More than 160,000 jobs in the North East are directly linked to the EU and our access to the EU. Take away the EU we lose the North East economy."

Julie Elliott (Labour): "28,000 jobs depend directly on that Nissan plant being in Sunderland and I am very proud of the track record the company has in 29 years being here. If people don't take the threat seriously they're being deluded. The uncertainty of a referendum hanging over us is stopping decisions from being made. A lot of things in this city were helped by EU money. Europe does need reform but that doesn't mean we put this burden on our economy of the threat of leaving the EU."

Rachel Featherstone (Green): "We want to stay in a reformed EU with more power coming back to regional areas. Nissan are very effective at producing electric cars which is why we want to support them."

Joseph Young (Independent): "I'm in favour of complete independence and having full control of the English borders."

Sunderland debate: IT support

Charlie Charlton

BBC Newcastle

Question two from Alec Berry was: "

What will the candidates do to support the skills shortage in IT, software and big data?"

Man looks at multiple computer screens
Getty Images

Julie Elliott (Labour): "Sunderland has a worldwide reputation for software, we have the universities in Sunderland and Teesside offering very good qualifications to feed into that industry. There is a lot going on, but getting maths taught to 18 is a key."

Richard Elvin (UK Independence Party): "We would waive tuition fees on science subjects, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine because we have neglected them. The problem lies in the lack of investment in previous years. It takes time, mistakes were made 15 years ago when we forgot all about our manufacturing."

Stephen O'Brien (Liberal Democrat): "We won't cut education. The new system of tuition fees will help universities get investment and they have agreed cutting it to £6,000 would leave a gap."

Jeffrey Townsend (Conservative): "We need to tackle geographical boundaries by strengthening internet and ability to get online. Sunderland's got great coverage but we need to do more."

Coming up on Look North at lunchtime

Colin Briggs

BBC Look North

Investigations are continuing this afternoon into the the death of a woman who died after falling from the Coast to Coast path in Cumbria at the weekend.

Sage Gateshead is in the hands of a new general director today, having said farewell to the man who has been at the helm since before it was built.

A photograph of a street party - taken on Teesside at the end of World War Two - has inspired a new celebration to mark the 70 the anniversary of VE Day.

Join me to find out more on BBC One at 13:40.

A19 northbound reopened after collisions

Durham Constabulary

tweets: A19 northbound now open after collisions earlier today

Sunderland debate: Employment skills

Charlie Charlton

BBC Newcastle

The first question from Paul Butler, chief executive of the North East Automotive Alliance candidates was: "

What would you do to address the lack of suitably skilled people in the manufacturing workforce?"

Candidates at the election

Julie Elliott (Labour): "Children will study maths and English until 18 and Labour will offer more apprenticeships for children who qualify."

Jeffrey Townsend (Conservative): "Apprenticeships are absolutely key, we also want to increase the number of people studying science engineering technology and mathematics at university."

Richard Elvin (UK Independence Party): "We have to put more emphasis on skills and on students being able to go into vocational courses as opposed to pushing them to university courses. There has been a preponderance of art degrees when the economy needs more people based in engineering, science, skills and medicine, this is the area we should be promoting."

Rachel Featherstone (Green): "There has been a problem of apprenticeships particularly in skilled trades. We want more for people aged 18 to 25, they need to be good quality, too many have been offered that are short and low standard. Also scrap tuition fees altogether. And more investment in early years education. Funded in part by new taxes on high wealth and incorporations."

Stephen O'Brien (Liberal Democrat): "We have to open up apprenticeships for many industries, including construction and manufacturing."

Sunderland debate catch up

Charlie Charlton

BBC Newcastle

Let's catch up now on the election debate held by BBC Newcastle in Sunderland earlier today.


The debate was hosted by the University of Sunderland in their David Puttnam Media Centre.

Taking part were

Labour's Julie Elliott, UK Independence Party's Richard Elvin who stood in for candidate Bryan Foster, Rachel Featherstone from the Green party, Stephen O'Brien who is representing Liberal Democrat candidate Adrian Page, Conservative Jeffrey Townsend and independent Joseph Young.

Church burgled

BBC Newcastle

Burglars broke into a church and stole money from a piggy bank,

Northumbria Police have said.

St John's Methodist Church in Station Avenue in Fence Houses was targeted sometime between 20:00 on 29 April and 10:30 on 3 May.

Officers are carrying out enquiries and appealing for any information.

Becoming drier this afternoon

Becoming drier and brighter from the southwest through the afternoon, with just a few showers following. Winds becoming quite strong and gusty later.

Maximum Temperature: 14C (57F).

Get more weather information here.

Newcastle made McClaren move

Ben Smith

BBC Sport

Steve McClaren was offered the chance to take over as Newcastle United manager for the final three matches of the season following Saturday's 3-0 defeat by Leicester City.

Derby County's former England manager turned the opportunity down and Newcastle have now resolved to stand by caretaker boss John Carver come what may.

Steve McLaren
Getty Images

Senior players have held talks with Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley in the past 24 hours and accepted they must come together to lift the club away from relegation.

It is understood that Carver did not offer to resign over the weekend, nor was he asked to.

A19 closed both ways

Durham Constabulary

tweets: A19 now closed north & south bound between Peterlee & Castle Eden due to 4 collisons. Please avoid this area.

A19 closure causes bus delays

Go North East

tweets: Services #X7, #X9 & #X10 are delayed, as the A19 has been closed southbound.

Fog causing A19 problems

BBC Travel

BBC Travel news says there are hazardous driving conditions on the A19 between the A182 Hall Walks junction in Easington and the A181 junction in Castle Eden, because of fog. Approach with care.