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Summary

  1. Voting under way across the region
  2. Rain puts paid to Newcastle speedway fixture
  3. Funeral of Manchester attack victim to take place
  4. Updates on Thursday 8 June 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Our updates are now finished for the day, thank you for joining us.

Remember that polling stations are open until 22:00, and you can follow the election results throughout the night on BBC Tees, BBC Newcastle, Look North, and here online.

Until then, keep sharing your #dogsatpollingstations snaps with us:

Man and dog at polling station
GEMMA CAMPBELL

Gemma Campbell sent us this picture of her husband and doggy Mully in Walker, Newcastle.

You can get in touch via @BBCNewsNE, email us, or contact us via our Facebook page.

European Challenge Cup: Newcastle Falcons games announced

Newcastle Falcons have been drawn against Bordeaux, Newport Gwent Dragons and Enisei in the European Challenge Cup group stages.

Teams will play each other twice in the pool stage, with the winners and three best-placed runners-up qualifying for the quarter-finals.

European Rugby
Getty Images

Police pup at polling station

Earlier we shared with you Northumbria Police's picture of their four-legged recruit at a polling station.

Well, PD Kruger isn't the only one taking part in the #dogsatpollingstations craze.

Quattro the dog is mingling with polling officers at his local polling station.

View more on twitter

Weather: The rain isn't over yet

BBC Weather

Any remaining low cloud and rain will clear through the evening but further showers will start to push in from the west during the second half of the night.

Winds easing slightly.

Weather graph
BBC

Check the weather where you are.

Gateshead police reassure the public on polling day

Police in Gateshead are visiting polling stations to reassure voters:

View more on twitter

Antisocial behaviour in Teesdale 'blighting' neighbours' lives

BBC Tees

www.bbc.co.uk/BBCTees

Neighbours of a County Durham village are calling for action to tackle anti-social behaviour.

A number of Evenwood residents say that youths are "blighting their lives".

There have been talks between residents, parish councillors and the police to address the problems, which include vandalism, verbal abuse, loitering and missile-throwing from youngsters.

However, Bishop Auckland's neighbourhood police team say the problems are "very low key".

Call for drug safety testing at summer music festivals

All music festivals should provide drug testing facilities, where people can go and find out if substances are safe, says the Royal Society for Public Health.

This will reduce the risk of serious harm from recreational drug use, after a sharp increase in drug deaths in England and Wales, it says.

Fiona Measham, professor of criminology, from Durham University, who was behind the drug safety testing pilots last year - called The Loop - said: "We believe that prioritising public health over criminal justice for drug users at a time of growing concern about drug-related deaths at festivals and nightclubs can help to reduce drug-related harm both on and off site."

People at a festival
Getty Images

Police dogs get 'pawlitical'

Northumbria Police have got involved with today's favourite hashtag: #dogsatpollingstations.

Their Firearms Support companion PD Kruger has visited his local polling station:

View more on twitter

Your photos: 'Time to decide'

Thanks to Ian Paterson who sent us this photo aptly called "time to decide".

It features the Union Jack next to the Sun Dial at Cobalt Business Park in North Tyneside.

You can send in your photos via @BBCNewsNE, email us, or send them via our Facebook page.

Umbrella in North Tyneside
Ian Paterson
Police tape

Liam Carr, 19, and Gareth Bainbridge, 38, have been charged in connection with Gary Wood's death.

Read more

'Islam is a religion of peace', says South Shields mosque leader

Leaders of a South Shields mosque say they have a duty to inform people that - as they put it - the "vile and disgusting" attacks in Manchester and London are nothing to do with Islam.

Members of the Al Azhar Mosque have been contacted by leaders of youth groups in the town who want to gain a better understanding of the religion - something they say they're keen to tell them about.

Mikhail Layla from the mosque says they are often contacted by schools or scouts and girl guides who want to visit the mosque.

"People see the mosques as belonging to Muslims and that's a fallacy it's a community building and we want people to come into the mosques, saying: "We reject this ideology - Islam is a religion of peace."

Eight people were killed after the attack in London and 22 people died in the Manchester bombing attack.

Mosque in South Shields
Google
Tom Kohler-Cadmore

A week after saying he wanted to leave Worcestershire, batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore completes a move to Yorkshire.

Read more

Eight fire engines deal with Middlesbrough fire

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Emergency services are currently dealing with a fire in Bedford Street, Middlesbrough.

Fire crew could be seen entering the Kebabish Bar and Grill restaurant, where some smoke is still visible.

The roads surrounding the building have been cordoned off and eight fire engines are on site.

The cause and damage of the fire are yet to be determined.

View more on twitter

Berwick-upon-Tweed sprinter on his road to success

Cameron Tindle says he was "never the fastest", but after working hard he is now one of the fastest men in Scotland.

View more on facebook

BreakingFire in Middlesbrough centre closes roads

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

A fire has broken out on Bedford Street, Middlesbrough.

Emergency road closures mean Linthorpe Road is shut and diversions are in place, however the cause of the fire and its damage are not yet known.

More as we get it.

How the BBC reports polling day

The BBC, like other broadcasters, isn't allowed to report details of campaigning while the polls are open.

The BBC is required by electoral law to adopt a code of practice, ensuring fairness between candidates and that is particularly important on polling day.

BBC Newsroom
BBC

The code of practice is contained in more detailed election guidelines which are written and published for each election - and they include guidance on polling day, here.

Today, the BBC won't report on any of the election campaigns until polls close at 22:00 on TV, radio or bbc.co.uk or on social media and other channels.

Emergency department to open its doors

Sunderland City Hospital will open the doors to its new emergency department today and the public have been thanked for their patience and co-operation during the building.

The hospital says the new facility will replace the old accident and emergency department, meaning that urgent cases will be prioritised.

Those with less serious complaints will be directed to one of the urgent care centres that have been created across the city.

Sunderland City Hospital
BBC

Police hunt for man who threatened shop worker

Police are trying to find a man who demanded cash from a shop in Hartlepool.

He threatened and pushed a member of staff at the Cascade Premier Store on Andrews Street last Thursday night before chasing them out of the store with a bottle, police have revealed.

After failing to find the till key the man left the shop handing the bottle to a member of the public outside who was standing with staff.

Ruff weather won't keep voters with dogs away

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

It may be a bit miserable outside but this dog can't wait to get to his polling station in Carlin How, near Skinningrove on Teesside.

Are your four-legged friends just as eager? Send us your pictures of #dogsatpollingstations.

You can get in touch via @BBCNewsNE, email us, or on our Facebook page.

Dog and owner head towards the polling station
Getty Images

Hate crime reports increase in Middlesbrough

There's been an increase of almost 60% in the number of homophobic hate crimes, police say.

In 2015 Cleveland Police reported 47 incidents in the Middlesbrough area, in 2016 this grew to 74.

David Smith volunteers at local LGBT charity Hart Gables and has been a victim himself.

He said: "The relationship between the LGBT+ community and the police has never been better.

"If you are a victim, don't be afraid to speak up there are plenty of people out there who are willing to support you."

A Cleveland Police spokesperson said they are happy that more people have been able to come forward to report hate crimes.

Dogs are once again visiting polling stations

Jo Lonsdale

BBC Newcastle

During the recent local elections #dogsatpollingstations trended on social media.

I wonder if that could happen again today?

Dog tied to gate
BBC

Rain puts paid to speedway

Andy Giddings

Sports Editor, BBC Sheffield

Were you planning on being at Owlerton tonight for the Sheffield Tigers v Newcastle in speedway?

Well, sadly it's been postponed due to the inclement weather over the last few days.

Sheffield Tigers speedway badge
Sheffield Tigers

It's not yet been announced when the fixture has been re-scheduled for.

Funeral of Manchester attack victim to take place on Friday

The funeral of a Gateshead teenager who was killed in the Manchester Arena bombing will take place on Friday, her family has announced.

Courtney Boyle, 19, was at the Arena with her stepfather Philip Tron, 32, to pick up her sister after the Ariana Grande concert when the bomb was detonated.

The service will be held at Saltwell Crematorium on Friday at noon.

Hundreds of people attended a balloon release at the Angel of the North in memory of Courtney and Philip last month.

Courtney Boyle
Family handout

Durham University remains in 'top 100 in the world'

Colin Briggs

Look North

Durham University has kept its place in the top 100 in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2018, published today.

However, it fell four places to 78th.

Newcastle University also featured in the top 200 but rose from 168 to 161.

Cambridge was named as the top UK university - coming in at 5th in the world with Oxford snapping at its heels.

Durham University library
Google

Kynren volunteer 'nervous and excited'

Sharuna Sagar

BBC Look North

It's three weeks to go for the opening night of Kynren 2017 - the County Durham-based open air extravaganza which aims to pack a canter through our entire history and heritage in just one evening.

The live action arena show in Bishop Auckland is totally dependent on the 1,500 volunteers who have signed up to be part of it.

Among them, three generations of the Ward family.

Jake, who plays Young Arthur said he was "a bit nervous but mostly excited".

Jake Ward
BBC

North East artists to perform at Glastonbury

Singer-songwriter Lulu James, was born in Tanzania and grew up in South Shields.

And now she'll be performing at Glastonbury on Saturday 24 June.

Lulu James
BBC

And The Pale White, a Newcastle-based three piece, will play the festival on the Sunday.

As ever there will be huge coverage across the BBC on TV, radio and online.

The Pale White
BBC

Weather: Cloudy with outbreaks of rain

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Starting rather cloudy with outbreaks of rain which will become heavier and more persistent through the morning.

Some bright or sunny spells will break through later this afternoon though as the rain clears to the north.

It will become increasingly breezy through the day.

Weather forecast
BBC

Maximum temperature: 18C (64F). Check the forecast near you.

General election 2017: Voting under way across the North East

Polling stations have opened across England for voting in the general election.

There are more than 2,700 candidates vying for 533 seats in England out of the UK's total of 650.

Registered voters are able to cast their ballots to choose their Members of Parliament until 22:00.

Counting will then take place overnight, with the winners declared in the early hours of Friday.

We will have results here as soon as they come in throughout the night.

Dog at polling station
Alan Patrickson

Good morning

Hello and welcome to BBC Local Live.

We'll be with you throughout the day to bring you the latest news, weather, sport and travel.

You can get in touch via @BBCNewsNE, email us, or contact us via our Facebook page.