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  1. Updates on Tuesday 21 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Ana Guerra-Moore

All times stated are UK

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Our coverage across the day

Thank you for joining us today. We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel updates at 08:00 tomorrow.

Why not get in touch before then? If you'd like to then feel free to send us a message on TwitterFacebook, or via email at

Weather: A fairly warm night

BBC Weather

It will remain dry overnight, with light winds. Any cloud will be well broken, leading to plenty of prolonged clearer spells, and perhaps the odd pocket of mist developing.  

Weather graph

On tonight's Look North

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

Tonight on Look North we'll bring the latest information on Sunderland city council's  former chief executive's £185,000 pay-off, as well as the history behind local archaeologist Getrude Bell.

We'll also tell you all about the final EU campaigns that have taken place in our region today.

That, and much more, at 18:30 on BBC One.  

Your photos: Weather Watchers snap the sun

It's been a fairly sunny day, which always helps lift the mood and make your day that little bit easier.

Well, it looks like our Weather Watchers have made the most of the sun.

Here's a gorgeous picture of Redcar beach, taken today by Margaret G:

Redcar seafront
Margaret G

You too can become a Weather Watcher - click here to find out how.

Jo Cox tribute St Nicholas Cathedral on 42nd birthday

MPJo Cox, who died after she was shot and stabbed on Thursday, will be remembered at St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle tomorrow - on what would have been her 42nd birthday.

A service and vigil to celebrate her life will be held at 18:30.

The Dean of the Cathedral and and a number of local MPs will take part in the service.

Jo Cox

Redcar Paralympian selected for Rio 2016

Redcar's very own Terry Bywater will lead Great Britain's wheelchair basketball team this summer in Rio.

Terry thanked fans on Twitter for their good luck messages, and said that he will return the support "in the form of some bling".

Terry Bywater (centre)
Getty Images

Freedom of Middlesbrough parade

Earlier today the second battalion, Yorkshire regiment, marched through Middlesbrough on their Freedom Parade.

They were first awarded freedom of the town when they were known as The Green Howards.

Hundreds lined the streets - our reporter Steph Zielke was there:

View more on twitter

Kittens dumped in scrap freezer in Sunderland

Three kittens, which are too young to be away from their mother, were found inside a scrap freezer in Sunderland, the RSPCA said.

A member of the public was walking up the back lane behind the houses in Lyndhurt Terrace on 13 June when he heard meowing and went to check out the noise.

They were found without any food, water or bedding.

But there's a happy ending - Smokey, Fleck and Squeak are being looked after by the RSPCA in Chester le Street, and are said to be doing really well.

The kittens

Former Sunderland City Council chief executive received £185,470 pay-off

Fergus Hewison

BBC Newcastle political reporter

It's emerged that the former Sunderland City Council chief executive Dave Smith received a pay-off of £185,470 for "loss of office" after leaving last year.

Mr Smith left Sunderland after a highly critical Ofsted report into its children's services - but it's not clear if this was the reason for his departure.

Sunderland's Conservative opposition group says Mr Smith's pay-off will "deeply concern" many people in the city.  

Sunderland Council says the £185,470 for loss of office was in line with compensation for senior officers who have now left the council  

MP Jo Cox remembered in Darlington

Steph Zielke

BBC Tees

This afternoon, people gathered in Darlington town centre to pay tribute to Jo Cox, the MP who was killed last week.

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman and a nimber of other people laid flowers in memory of the MP for Batley and Spen.

Ms Chapman told me that she'll continue to be inspired by the memory of her "fearless" colleague.

Jenny Chapman and residents pay tribute
Locals lay flowers

Children’s Services Company to take over the running of children’s social services in Sunderland

Sunderland Echo


Tyneside runner on a mission

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

The Tyneside fundraiser Mark Allison, who is known as Run Geordie Run, has reached the half way mark of his latest challenge.

What is it that he's doing? He's raising cash for the Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children's Foundation by running across Europe. 

He's already jogged from John O'Groats to Lands End and across the USA and Australia - I'm exhausted just typing this. 

He is currently in the beautiful Italian city of Turin and, unsurprisingly, he says it's tough going.

Mark Allison

West Cornforth death: Woman named

Durham Police have named a woman found dead in a West Cornforth house on Saturday as Sandra Gill.

The body of the 50 year old was found in the living room of a property in Palm Road, Ferryhil. She had an injury to her head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ronnie Wood's ex auctions dolls on Teesside

The ex-wife of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood is auctioning a huge collection of dolls today left to her by her late doll maker mother. 

The model and dancer Jo Wood and her sister are parting with the collection  today when about 400 lots will go to auction at Vectis Auctions in Thornaby.

Doll Collection

Gender neutral uniforms introduced

Eighteen schools in the North East have introduced gender neutral uniform policies.

It means that if a boy wants to wear a skirt he can - and if a girl wants to wear trousers, that's fine as well. 

Across the UK more than 80 state schools have adopted the policy - the 18 schools in our region are all in County Durham. 

Video: Parents documented daughter's short life

Here's a story which is capturing people's interest online - Tilly was born 17 weeks early, weighing only 13 ounces.

Doctors said her chance of survival for the first few days was only about 1%, but she survived for four weeks.

Her loving parents Craig and Jodi Scott, from Houghton-le-Spring, near Sunderland, documented her short life - you can watch their video below.

Cricket: Yorkshire lead Durham by 65 runs at lunchtime

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

Lunch and Yorkshire lead Durham by 65 runs at 237-8. Four wickets in the session and 107 runs too. Five wickets for Chris Rushworth.  

You can see the scorecard here.

In Look North at lunchtime: Police officer nominated for bravery award

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

A Northumberland Police officer has been nominated for a bravery award after preventing a passenger opening an aircraft door in mid-flight.

And 18 schools in the North East have introduced a gender neutral uniform policy.

Join us for these and all our other stories on BBC One at 13:30.

Weather: Afternoon staying warm with bright spells

This afternoon will remain warm and dry with bright or sunny spells. 

The wind will be light, but onshore breezes will keep coastal areas cooler than inland. 

weather graphic

Maximum Temperature: 20C (68F).  

Project records the sounds of Newcastle's Town Moor

Over the last year BBC Newcastle has been working with award-winning second recordist Chris Watson on a project celebrating Newcastle's Town Moor.

Chris has worked with David Attenborough and is one of the world's most highly regarded sound recordists.

His recordings capture the sounds of the Town Moor, including the birds and cows, and the events which are held there like The Hoppings, Park Run and the roar of the crowd from St James' Park.

The Town Moor - Portrait of Sound installation is now on at the Tyneside Cirnema and will run until 24 July.

To give you a flavour of what it's all about we have created a page bringing together some of the recordings and photographs taken for the project - take a look here.

View more on twitter

Man arrested after County Durham woman found dead

A 54-year-old man has been arrested after a woman's body was found in a house in County Durham.

The 50-year-old woman was found in the living room of the property in Palm Road, West Cornforth, Ferryhil, (pictured) late on Saturday night. She had an injury to her head and was confirmed dead at the scene.

Police are describing the death as "an isolated incident" and they believe there is no wider risk to the public.

The 54-year-old man was arrested and bailed pending further inquiries.

Palm Road

National Cycling Championships come to Stockton

On Thursday, The British Cycling National Road Championships are taking place as part of the popular Stockton Cycling Festival.

Some of the world’s premier cyclists will descend on the town.

If you're thinking of going along, you'll see the likes of former British and World Champion Mark Cavendish and defending National Road Champion Lizzie Armitstead, among many others.

Cyclist rides bike with his fist in the air
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Beyonce tour: All you need to know

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Exactly one week today, Beyonce will bring her Formation Tour to the Stadium of Light in Sunderland - I genuinely can't wait.

But, if like me, you still haven't sorted how you're getting to and from the concert, Sunderland council have sent us some useful information:

  • There will be increased Metro and bus services, with a traffic management system in place throughout the afternoon and evening, to avoid over congestion on public transport or on the roads.
  • If driving, remember that you can’t park or pick up at the stadium, as the surrounding roads will be closed for the event.
  • Tyne and Wear Metro services are geared up to meet demand - details are here.
  •  After the concert, long queues are expected for Metro trains, but there will be extra services 

So once you get your travel sorted, you can start getting in formation for what will be an amazing night.

Who else is super excited for Queen B? 

Beyonce's on stage at her Formation tour
Getty Images

Morpeth man builds robot in his back garden for TV programme

BBC Newcastle

Who said Real Steel was only science fiction?

Well, a blacksmith from Morpeth has proven that building a robot in your backyard is totally possible.

Stewart Dives was challenged to create something spectacular in only 10 weeks, and with a budget of£2,500. 

'Why?' you may ask - Because Stewart is appearing on the BBC2 programme Britain's Most Spectacular Back Yard Builds, tonight at 20:00.

Stewart inside his robot

Multiplex cinema creates jobs in Dalton Park

Hartlepool Mail


Dalton Park's new multiplex cinema begins recruitment drive for 35 posts.

Dalton Park's new cinema
Hartlepool Mail

EU Referendum: Where does my MP stand on the vote?

Only two days to go until we go to the polls and vote for whether we want to leave or remain in the European Union.

However, a lot of people are still uncertain of where they're going to place that important cross.

Here's a way of searching how your local MPs feel about the in-or-out debate.

The map underneath outlines MPs' thoughts across the country.

Map of England outlining MPs thoughts

Cricket: Day two of Durham v Yorkshire

BBC Sport

Day two of Durham against Yorkshire starts at 11:00 at The Riverside Ground. 

Yorkshire will restart on 129 for 4 in their first innings after bowling Durham out for 172. Read the report on yesterday's action here.

Man arrested after 12-hour stand-off

A man was arrested following a 12-hour stand-off in Gateshead.

Armed police were sent to Carnation Terrace in Whickham on Monday morning after concerns were expressed for a man who had locked himself into a house.

Northumbria Police said the man came out safely at 19:30 and is now in custody.

Weather: It's starting to feel like summer

BBC Weather

Dry, with any early mist and patchy fog soon clearing, leaving warm bright or sunny spells. The wind will be light, but onshore breezes will keep the coast cooler than inland.

Find out what the weather's like where you are.

Weather graph

Travel: Minor delays on Metro trains from Pelaw to airport

Travel: Traffic light failure at Testo's roundabout and accident near Tyne Bridge

BBC Travel

The traffic lights have failed on the A19 in Boldon at Testo's Roundabout. Approach with care.  

One lane is blocked and there is queuing traffic on the A167 Tyne Bridge southbound in Newcastle at the A167(M) junction, because of an accident.  

More traffic information on the BBC Travel website for Tyne & Wear and Teesside.

Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Morning.Welcome to our live coverage. We'll be with you throughout the day with the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates.

If you'd like to get in touch, feel free to do so via FacebookTwitter, or email us at