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  1. Updates on Tuesday 6 September 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Our live updates here have now finished for the day - thank you for joining us. 

There will be further updates this evening online, on BBC Tees and on BBC Newcastle and on Look North.

We'll be back here with more news, sport, weather and travel from across the North East from 08:00 tomorrow and hope you can join us then.

If you'd like to get in touch with us, you can tweet us @BBCNewsNEemail us, or contact us through our Facebook page.      

No elected mayor but hopes for a 'stronger regional economy'

After four of seven North East councils voted against going ahead with an elected mayor, it seems the plans are on hold.

Paul Watson, chair of the North East Combined authority, said: "Following the outcome of the EU referendum and the subsequent changes within government, council leaders have been equally clear that to move forward, the new Government must provide assurances regarding the terms of the region's devolution deal. 

"Extensive discussions and negotiations have taken place with government and within the region over recent months but unfortunately, despite our best efforts, it has not been possible to reach an agreement which all of the seven local authorities feel able to support. 

"Although this is disappointing we will continue to work together with government to achieve our ambition of a stronger regional economy with improved opportunities for residents and businesses."   

Watch cathedral video in 360-degree glory

BBC Newcastle

Here's something a bit different - over on our Facebook page you can watch a 360-degree video of the Lego Durham Cathedral turning into the real thing.

Click on over this way...

Rochdale v Sunderland preview

It's Rochdale v Sunderland Under-23s in the Checkatrade Trophy tonight.

Full commentary on BBC Newcastle from 19:45.


And here's top commentator Nick Barnes' notes for the evening:


UKIP sets out proposals for the North East

The UK Independence Party has set out its proposals for the North East.

"A Vision For The North East" is the Party's response to what it says are "false claims that UKIP is no longer relevant".

It includes proposals such as primary schools offering before and after-school care from 08:00 - 18:00 during term time, raising the income tax threshold and guaranteeing to match EU funding after Britain leaves the EU.

UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott said, "For far too long the North East has been abandoned and ignored by our governments. 

"It's time for us to fight for a fair deal in terms of funding, but also for our national government to understand the needs of local business and manufacturers."

Police use stinger to stop car

Police used a stinger to stop this car after the driver failed to pull over in County Durham.

Police deployed the device on the A689 in Fishburn this afternoon and then used a police car to push it off course.

One person has been arrested.

Cleveland & Durham RPU

Fun day to mark Jarrow Crusade 80 years on

The Shields Gazette

The memory of 200 men who marched from Jarrow to London in a protest over jobs will be marked 80 years on.

March in Jarrow
The Shields Gazette

Five cars stolen from auction house

Five cars have been stolen from a auction house in Washington.

The thefts happened between 01:50 and 04:30 on 1 September at Manheim Car Auctions in Pattison Road, police say.

It's believed three men went into the compound by scaling the perimeter fence.

Elected mayor for North East postponed

Luke Walton

BBC Look North

Plans for a powerful elected mayor covering seven North East councils have been put on hold after local authorities complained it wouldn't deliver enough funding.

The vote at a meeting in Sunderland this afternoon means mayoral elections in the area scheduled for May 2017 are unlikely to go ahead.

Sunderland, South Tyneside, Gateshead and Durham all decided against proceeding with consultation on the scheme with Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside in favour.

Ministers had earlier promised £30m a year to a North East mayor for new investment, along with extra powers over transport, skills and job-creation.

Woman's amazing reaction after being reunited with mother's dying letter

More on us reuniting a woman with a letter written to her by her dying mother which was found in a second-hand book.

Bethany Gash's mum Lisa penned the letter before she passed away, but various house moves meant she lost it 15 years ago.

The 21-year-old from Ferryhill in County Durham said: "It's absolutely amazing that you've found it, it really is.

"I had a feeling that they were missing but I never actually acted upon that. Something so small to be lost in quite several house moves, I never thought it would be seen again to be honest.

Bethany Gash and mum Lisa
Bethany Gash

"It's absolutely overwhelming considering something so small can mean so much to someone, and especially the fact that these two gentlemen have actually taken the time to get it back to us. 

"A lot of people would just disregard it as something stupid, just a little old letter. But obviously to me it means absolutely the world." 

Weather: Bright spells to develop

Keeley Donovan

BBC Look North

It will be a dry afternoon. Some bright or sunny spells are expected to develop, especially later in the day. Feeling rather warm and humid, particularly in the sunshine. 

Maximum temperature: 23C (73F). Check out the forecast near you.

Weather forecast

BreakingDaughter written to by dying mum traced

We've managed to track down the daughter whose mum wrote her a heartbreaking letter before she died.

The letter was discovered in a pile of second-hand books.

Here is Bethany Gash from Ferryhill in County Durham being reunited with it:

Bethany Gash

BreakingNorth East mayor plans under threat after vote

Luke Walton

BBC Look North

North East councils have voted four to three not to consult on plans for an elected mayor amid funding concerns.

The scheme now seems unlikely to go ahead by May.

Sports venues 'could do more' for disabled fans

Russ Ward

BBC Newcastle

A lack of facilities at sports venues is putting off North East disabled sports fans from attending games, according to charity Muscular Dystrophy UK.

A survey for the charity found more than half of disabled fans have had to sit away from family and friends or sometimes with opposing fans.

Alan Pockley from South Shields is a Sunderland fan.

He says the Stadium of Light gets most things right - but not everything.

A supporter liaison officer for Sunderland FC told BBC Newcastle they are looking at ways to improve match day experiences and are launching new services soon.

Alan Pockley

In a power cut? Call 105 from now on

Behind the scenes: Filming for Inside Out

Chris Jackson

BBC Inside Out

I'm filming in Middlesbrough today - you'll be able to see why on next Monday's Inside Out.

If you missed the first episode of the new series last night, you can watch our Brexit special again here.

Fountains in Middlesbrough

Pigeon fancier 'devastated' after birds killed in suspected arson attack

Russ Ward

BBC Newcastle

KLM renews Durham Tees Valley deal

Airline KLM is to continue flying between Durham Tees Valley airport and Amsterdam.

The company said it has seen a 5% growth in passengers in the 12 months to June this year.

Warner Rootliep from the firm said: “We have had a long-standing successful relationship with Durham Tees Valley Airport which is reflected in the very positive growth we have seen recently.

“We have seen strong performance on our traffic to Amsterdam, as well as connecting across our worldwide network."

Watch the moment meningitis survivor Richard Hunter gets his new legs

The Chronicle

Grinning from ear to ear, brave Richard Hunter has taken his first steps on brand new legs.  

Meningitis survivor Richard Hunter has new legs fitted at the Freeman Hospital
The Chronicle

Tanni Grey-Thompson arrives in Rio

Former Paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson, who live on Teesside, has arrived in Rio ahead of the Paralympics opening ceremony which takes place tomorrow night at 21:30.

View more on twitter

Children's services staff 'under pressure' says report

Experts were brought in to look at what was going on with the Sunderland Safeguarding Children Board between 2013 and 2015, after a number of serious case reviews involving five babies and children. 

An independent report out today found the authorities failed to listen to children, and that workers were under considerable pressure with insufficient leadership and support. 

It also found issues around assessing risk and recording procedures. 

The chair of the board, Jane Held, admitted the babies and their families were "not always served well by the professionals responsible for supporting them". 

Last year Ofsted said the council had serious and widespread failings in children's services. 

A Commissioner for Childen's Services in the city was then appointed and an independent company set up to deliver children's services. An inspection last week found services in Sunderland for care leavers were improving.

Childrens' services apology over baby death failings

BBC Newcastle

Children's services experts in Sunderland have apologised over the death of a four month old baby and three other children who were "let down".

The baby - identified as Baby E in a serious case review - died in September 2013. 

A subsequent inquest ruled the death as unascertained. The parents, who were later jailed for child abuse, had a history of drug taking and domestic violence.

Reviews into the baby's death and injuries to three other children, found issues around assessing risk, communication and leadership.

Ant and Dec scoop TV Choice award

Geordie duo Ant and Dec were among the winners at the TV Choice Awards.

The ceremony was held in London last night and recognised some of the biggest names in television.

Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway won the best entertainment show.

Ant and Dec

Sports Direct to review zero-hours contracts

Mike Ashley's Sports Direct has said that it will offer casual retail staff guaranteed hours instead of zero-hours contracts and ensure all warehouse staff are paid above the National Minimum Wage following a review into working practices at the retailer.

It follows concern by a group of influential investors who urged the firm to overhaul the way it is run.

Sports Direct

The Investor Forum, which has £14.5 trillion of investments, says the company should conduct a thorough independent review.

Investors said they were uncomfortable about the company's illegal underpayment of staff and strict working practices.

Tributes paid to Darren Stephenson-Bennett

The family of Darren Stephenson-Bennett, who was found dead in his car in undergrowth on Saturday morning, said he was a much-loved father, son and brother.

The 28 year old from Newton Aycliffe was last seen at a party in Darlington on 27 August. His car was found in bushes on the roundabout at junction 58 of the A1(M) on Saturday morning. 

His family said: “Darren was a popular person who would do anything for anybody. He was well-liked by all who knew him, extremely laid back and easy going, and no-one had a bad word to say about him.”


Death crash driver was missing man

Police have confirmed the driver found dead in a crashed car was Darren Stephenson-Bennett, who had been missing for a week.

Mr Stephenson-Bennett, 28, from Newton Aycliffe, was last seen at a house party in Darlington on 27 August. His body was found in his car, which had crashed and ended up in bushes on a roundabout, on Saturday morning.

Durham Police said they are not sure when the crash happened but believe it could have been several days ago.

He was reported missing on Tuesday after not being seen since the party.

Darren Stephenson-Bennett
Stephenson-Bennett family

Travel: Fifteen minute gap on Metro services

Cricket: Yorkshire v Durham

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

Yorkshire are playing Durham in the County Championship and Durham have chosen to field.

The team news is Yorkshire are unchanged for the third game in a row. Durham recall Ryan Pringle and give a start to Graham Clark. No Arshad.  

You can listen to the commentary here.

Yorkshire v Durham

Dying mum's letter found in book in second-hand bookshop

BBC Tees

A letter from a dying woman to her daughter has been discovered in a pile of second-hand books.

Gordon Draper, owner of Bondgate Books in Bishop Auckland, hopes to return the note and an accompanying photograph to its rightful owner.

The letter

The letter is addressed to "Bethany" and the writer, whose "chest was very poorly", says "don't forget me because I'll always be your mum".

Mr Draper said: "I just thought I have to do something with it."

Picture of girl and woman

Football gossip: Denayer set for Sunderland start

BBC Sport

Manchester City loanee Jason Denayer, 21, is in line for his first start for Sunderland in Tuesday's Checkatrade Trophy game against Rochdale, while midfielder Jan Kirchoff, 25, is set to return from injury in the game.(Sunderland Echo)

'Bionic woman' to tackle Great North Run

A paralysed woman who completed the London Marathon in a "bionic" suit has set her sights on completing the Great North Run.

Claire Lomas, from Leicestershire, will be the first person to take on the Great North Run using a robotic suit.

Claire Lomas

She will begin the event on Wednesday, five days before the run starts, and complete the final mile on Sunday.

Mrs Lomas, a former event rider, was paralysed from the chest down in a riding accident in 2007.

Man due in court over supermarket stabbing

A man is due in court after a shopper was stabbed while trying to help a supermarket worker detain a suspected shoplifter.

The man, 49, required hospital treatment after the incident in Asda in Darlington on Sunday.

Asda Darlington

Durham Police said the man was injured while attempting to help a female shop worker who was dealing with a suspected thief.

A 29-year-old man from Humberside is due in court later charged with grievous bodily harm.

He has also been charged with shoplifting, assault by beating and possession of a bladed article in public.

Weather: Damp start, but warm and muggy later

Sara Thornton

BBC Weather

It'll be rather cloudy with rain, drizzle and hill fog possible at first in more western parts.

Brighter or sunny spells are expected to develop elsewhere, especially across the south and eastern parts of the region.

Weather graphic

It will feeling warm and humid, with maximum temperatures reaching about 23C.

This evening we're likely to see it remain cloudy and muggy and it could be an uncomfortable night for some.

Sports Direct review found 'serious shortcomings'

BBC Business News

Sports Direct has admitted 'serious shortcomings' in working practices at its Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire.

In a report commissioned by the firm, it apologised for conditions at the warehouse, which have been likened to those of a Victorian workhouse.

It also pledged to offer casual retail staff guaranteed hours, instead of zero-hour contracts.

The firm said it had already commissioned a second review of working practices to monitor progress.

Mike Ashley

Earlier this year owner Mike Ashley (pictured), who also owns Newcastle United, admitted the company may have become "too big" for him to run effectively.

BA check-in delays at Newcastle Airport

Trevor Todd has Tweeted this photo of queues at Newcastle Airport after British Airways' worldwide check-in system failed.

The airline has apologised to customers, saying its IT teams are "working to resolve this issue". 

Newcastle Airport flight information is here.

View more on twitter