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  1. Updates on Thursday 7 May 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

That's all from BBC Local Live for now. We'll be back from 22:00 after the polls close to bring you all of the results of the North East Parliamentary elections and local council elections.

We'll also have reaction and analysis on how your vote affected the national picture.

We'll be looking for your thoughts and reaction to the results by email at or tweet
@BBCNewsNE and we may feature them on BBC Local Live.

Ready for the count

Redcar and Cleveland council

tweets: Everything is almost ready for the count tonight! Make sure your vote gets counted here by going down and vote now!

Tables and chairs
Redcar and Cleveland

Blatter comments 'disappointing'

BBC Sport

Sunderland-born midfielder Jill Scott describes Fifa president Sepp Blatter's comments that women's football is "limping behind" the men's game as "disappointing."

Blatter, 79, says he sees himself as a "bit of a godfather" to the women's game but concedes it is hard to find sponsors because of the prominence of men's football.

Jill Scott
Getty Images

Scott tells

BBC Radio 5 Live's Sports Panel: "I think the men are always are going to be faster and stronger but I think people who have watched women's football can see that technically and tactically we can compete with them.

"We try to get away from the direct comparison so it doesn't help when we're always being compared to the men's because we are never going to come out on top."

Latest headlines

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

The top stories on Local Live today:

'Vote of confidence'

Helen Richardson

BBC Newcastle

One of the world's leading cruise companies is to base its flagship vessel at the Port of Tyne.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines will base its 1,350-guest Balmoral on Tyneside from May to August in 2016, sailing from North Shields to 11 destinations around Europe.

Fred Olsen has been running passenger services from the Tyne for more than 100 years and has been operating regular cruises from Newcastle since 2006.

Tardis design for police HQ lifts

Lift doors designed to look like the Tardis from Doctor Who have been

installed at new police headquarters in Durham.

Durham police

tweeted a picture of the new doors, apologising that "time travel was not an optional extra".

Tardis themed lift doors
Durham Constabulary

A spokesman said customising the lifts showed the force could be "professional and still have a sense of humour". Staff moved into the new £14m building next to its old base at Aykley Heads in Durham City last Autumn.

Two-vehicle accident

BBC Travel

The A67 is closed and there's queuing traffic in both directions between the A66 junction in Bowes and the B6277 Lartington Lane junction in Barnard Castle because of an accident involving two vehicles.

More on BBC Travel News for

Teesside and
Tyne and Wear.

Steven Taylor: Bus hero

BBC Sport

Newcastle's Steven Taylor has done his good deed for the day.

The defender has paid for North Shields to use the Magpies' team bus for their FA Vase final with Glossop North End on Saturday.

Steven Taylor
Getty Images

Manager Graham Fenton told BBC Newcastle: "It's a fantastic gesture by Steven. I initially got in touch with him to see if it was something the club could do but he said he would sort it out. He's generous, he supports us really well and we're incredibly grateful."

Viewing guide and what to stay up for

It is set to be the most exciting general election night in years -

here is a full guide to what you can expect after the polls close on Thursday and how to follow all the results and reaction on the BBC.

Rehearsals for Election programme

What does first past the post mean? And what is a vote-by-vote deal?

Take a look at our jargon buster.

'Best coach in the Premier League'

John Carver says he is the "best coach in the Premier League", despite leading relegation-threatened Newcastle to only nine points from 48.

The 50-year-old was asked to take over as manager from Alan Pardew at the end of 2014, but the team have only won two games under his stewardship.

Newcastle United boss John Carver

"I still feel I am the best coach in the Premier League," he said.

Watch the video here.

Latest headlines

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

The top stories on Local Live today:

Missing woman found safe

Cleveland Police

tweets: Sonia Barcan has now been found safe and well. Thank you to the public and the media for assistance in this matter.

Boat race on the Tyne

The boat race of the North is returning to the Tyne on Saturday after a five year break.

The competition sees rowers from Durham University go head-to-head with those from Newcastle University.

Millennium Bridge
Paul Rogers

The race starts under Redheugh Bridge and should finish just beyond the Millennium Bridge. Races begin from 18:00 with medals being handed out at 19:30 on the Millennium Bridge.

The Geordie Symphony School

Chris Jackson


If you missed The Geordie Symphony School,

it will be repeated on BBC Four tomorrow.

The BBC documentary followed the journey of children from Hawthorn Primary School in Newcastle.

The Geordie Symphony School

Two years ago, none of the school children had ever picked up an orchestral instrument. Now they are rehearsing to play a special concert with leading orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia, at The Sage music centre.

See a clip of the show here.

Branson responds to drugs smuggler

Sir Richard Branson has

responded to an appeal by a Redcar drugs smuggler on death row in Indonesia.

Lindsay Sandiford, 58, who is facing death by firing squad, wrote to Sir Richard after he spoke out against recent executions. She asked him to "help promote the fundraising effort my supporters have begun to pay for a final appeal against the death penalty".

Lindsay Sandiford

He said: "I strongly believe that the death penalty is a cruel and inhumane punishment, and every execution is one execution too many. We are following Lindsay Sandiford's and other cases closely and fully support efforts that are currently under way to aid her appeal."

Tipu Sultan investigation

Tipu Sultan, 32, was found with a single gunshot wound

at the back of the Herbs n Spice Kitchen, where he worked in South Shields.

Detectives have seized more than 2,000 hours of CCTV footage from the area where the shooting happened.

Tipu Sultan
Northumbria Police

More than 1,000 homes have been visited by officers carrying out house-to-house inquiries and 225 statements have been taken.

The incident room has received in excess of 100 phone calls, emails, web submissions and letters from members of the public passing on information.

Traffic light failure

BBC Travel

There's queuing traffic on A184 Askew Road in Gateshead at the A167 Tyne Bridge junction because of a traffic light failure. Approach with care. More on BBC Travel News for

Teesside and
Tyne and Wear.

John Carver news conference

Newcastle injury news from manager John Carver as he previews West Brom at home.

Siem de Jong and Paul Dummett are awaiting scan results. Rolando Aarons could be involved after playing for the U21s. Papiss Cisse is back in training.

Voting continues 'as normal'

The name of a Parliamentary candidate standing in Darlington has been missed off some ballot papers, the council has confirmed.

In a statement Darlington Borough Council says approximately 89 ballot papers (0.1% of the total number of papers printed) were affected and as soon as the error was identified, corrected ballot papers were issued to the polling station concerned.

They say voting in the town will continue as normal.

BreakingCandidate 'missed off ballot paper'

A candidate has been missed off some of the ballot papers at one polling station, Darlington Borough Council says.

Your photos: Marsden Rock

Richard Cresswell sent us this photo of Marsden Rock and beach taken from Souter Lighthouse area.

Marsden Rock
Richard Cresswell

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

Latest headlines

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

The top stories on Local Live today:

  • Four cases of E. coli are being investigated in children who go to the same nursery in County Durham
  • A man has been charged with attempted murder after a 60-year-old man was stabbed in South Shields
  • Voting is under way at
    polling stations across the North East

Bernard hopes NUFC have 'enough points'

Former Newcastle United defender Olivier Bernard believes a "complete failure" by the club has led to the side's relegation predicament - but says the fans must

back the team to help them stay in the Premier League.

Olivier Bernard
Getty Images

He told BBC Newcastle: "My belief is that they have enough points - I don't see where they can get another point. My hope is that we've got enough points and gamble on other teams to fail which will help us."

Mosque holds open day

Hartlepool Mail

A Hartlepool mosque will open its doors to the county this weekend

as part of efforts to give an insight into Islam.

Man at mosque
Hartlepool Mail

On the lunchtime BBC Look North

Sharon Barbour

BBC Look North

This week marks 30 years since the first heart transplant operation at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle.

Since then more than 2,000 heart and lung operations have been performed.

Heart surgery operation

I'll have more on this story on

BBC Look North at 13:40 on BBC One.

Man charged with attempted murder

A man has been charged with attempted murder.

A 60-year-old man was found with stab wounds in South Shields on Monday. He was taken hospital for treatment. He has since been discharged.

A 31-year-old from South Shields has been charged with attempted murder.

School defends pupil ranking

The Chronicle


A head teacher has defended his

decision to rank pupils by intelligence.

School sign
The Chronicle

Pardew 'third best' manager

BBC Sport

Former Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has come

third in a BBC Sport poll asking you for your Premier League manager of the season.

Pardew was

appointed manager of Crystal Palace in January. His side sit in 12th place in the Premier League and have seven points more than the Magpies.

Poll results

Southampton's Ronald Koeman (28.9%) pipped Chelsea's Jose Mourinho (26.2%) to the number one spot.

Fine and dry

Kay Crewdson

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Any early showers will ease after midday, and with winds becoming lighter it should be a fine and dry end to the day.

Weather forecast

Maximum temperature: 12C (54F).

Check the forecast near you.

Sunderland Ladies are 'surprise package'

Sunderland Ladies manager Carlton Fairweather says his side have

surprised people with their impressive start to the season.

The Black Cats are enjoying their first campaign in Women's Super League One and are currently fifth in the table, with six points from their opening five matches.

Carlton Fairweather
The FA

Fairweather says: "You can understand why people have looked at us as a surprise package. The first part of the season has gone well but we've still got to keep our feet firmly on the ground."

What is E. coli?

Here are some

facts about E. coli

  • Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a type of bacteria common in human and animal intestines, and forms part of the normal gut flora (the bacteria that exist in the bowel). The majority of types are harmless, but some can cause serious food poisoning and serious infection.
  • Some types of E. coli can cause gastrointestinal infections. A common mode of infection is by eating food that is contaminated with the bacteria.
  • Some E. coli strains produce toxins that can cause severe illness. One common strain called E. coli O157 produces such toxins and is usually responsible for the outbreaks that are covered by the news.

Infection source 'not yet known'

Experts from Public Health England and Durham County Council are investigating the four cases of

E. coli O157 infection in County Durham.

Dr Deb Wilson, a consultant at PHE's North East Centre, said: "The source of the infection in these children is not yet known and the investigation is continuing. As a precaution, (Kirklands Day Nursery) has temporarily closed while all the necessary public health measures are put in place to prevent any further spread of infection.

"As part of these control measures, all children who attend the nursery and the staff are being asked to submit two stool samples (taken at least 24 hours apart) for testing for E. coli O157. Staff and children will be able to return to the nursery when they have each had two negative test results."

BreakingFour children infected with E. coli

Four children have been infected with the E. coli O157 bacteria in Barnard Castle, County Durham.

Two are in hospital and two are being looked after at home. There is also a fifth child with symptoms who is awaiting test results.

All the children attend the Kirklands Day Nursery, which has been temporarily closed. They became unwell during 25 - 27 April.

More information on E. coli is available here.

Appeal for missing teenager

Police are appealing to trace missing teenager 17-year-old Leon Ghani from the Arthurs Hill area of Newcastle.

He was last seen at his home on Saturday at about 12:00.

Leon Ghani
Northumbria Police

He is 6ft (1.83m), slim, with short brown hair and was last seen wearing a black and white check hoodie, blue check top, black jeans and grey trainers. He also has a bandage on his lower right arm.

Man attacked by youths

A man has been

robbed by a group of youths in South Tyneside.

The 54-year-old was attacked at 22:40 on Tuesday in Hautmont Road in Hebburn. He was taken to hospital as a precaution but his injuries are not thought to be serious. Extra officers are in the area.

SAFC season 'could go to the wire'

Dick Advocaat has told

BBC Newcastle Sunderland had to beat Southampton at the weekend.

The win sees the Black Cats a point from safety and still in the Premier League's bottom three, but crucially the Sunderland head coach says he believes the season could go to the wire.

Dick Advocaat
Getty Images

He said: "We have everything in our own hands, Newcastle is becoming a little bit closer now, they have to win their other games as well. It will be exciting until the last game."

Behind-the-scenes tour

Join Emily Maitlis for an interactive,

behind-the-scenes tour of the BBC's Election 2015 TV studio at Elstree as the team prepares for a marathon live broadcast which kicks off as the polls close tonight.

BBC Election 2015 Studio during rehearsal

Emily introduces her 6m (20ft) graphics screen, which will show every result from across the country.

Unseen footage of VE celebrations

BBC Tees

This is a VE Day celebration in Middlesbrough.

This footage has never been broadcast before.

This party was held at the junction of Cumberland Road and York Road in the town.

People celebrating
Mark Gatenby

Do you recognise anyone in it? let us know by sending an email to or tweet

Your photos: Prudhoe Castle

Mike Ackroyd visited Prudhoe Castle in Northumberland and sent us this photo of it nestled between some trees.

Prudhoe Castle
Mike Ackroyd

You can send your pictures by email to or tweet

North Shields armed siege man in court

The Chronicle


A tense

five-hour armed siege in a Tyneside town centre was sparked by a yob holding a fishing rod.

Police at the scene
The Chronicle