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Summary

  1. Cleveland Police facing £4.5m budget cut
  2. Seven North East councils to cut £400m collectively by 2018
  3. Newcastle want emergency keeper for Sunderland
  4. Barbour staff take strike action
  5. Updates on Thursday 18 December 2014

Live Reporting

By Lloyd Watson

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

That's all from BBC Local Live today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Friday. Stephen Tait

tweeted this picture to us of the still River Tyne reflecting an iconic Tyneside image.

Tyneside
Stephen Tait

You can send your pictures by email:

northeast.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet
@BBCNewsNE and we may feature them on BBC Local Live tomorrow.

On tonight's BBC Look North

Lee Johnson

BBC Tees

In August, Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station was temporarily shut down over safety concerns.

After months of checks,

the plant is back online - but despite warnings from the National Grid over low electricity supplies this winter, the man in charge of the site says it won't rush to increase capacity.

Inside nuclera power plant
BBC

I'll have more on this story on

BBC Look North at 18:30 on BBC One.

Widespread frost developing

Paul Mooney

BBC Weather presenter

Drier and clearer conditions developing across the area, with a few blustery showers expected, these mainly over the North Pennines. Widespread frost developing, fairly early in sheltered areas. Winds increasing again, locally strong over high ground, after midnight.

Weather forecast
BBC

Minimum temperature: -1C (30F).

Check the forecast near you.

'Get behind the lad' Harper

Former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper has offered his support to young St James' Park custodian Jak Alnwick after he

conceded four goals at Tottenham on Wednesday.

Jak Alnwick
Getty Images

"Rather than criticism, Jak Alnwick needs a proper Geordie reception when he runs out on Sunday lunchtime to give him a lift before the game," Harper

tweeted. "Get behind the young lad by singing his name to pick him up & watch him grow in response to it #toonarmy."

Speed limit introduced outside schools

Plans to introduce a 20mph speed limit outside dozens of schools in County Durham

have been given the go-ahead.

Part-time limits will be put in place outside 33 schools where the highest number of accidents involving children have occurred. The schools include seven in Bishop Auckland, six in Chester-le-Street, five in Seaham and four in Consett.

Sign
PA

Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg said the move would help keep young people safe.

Your pictures: Clouds in Blyth

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

Jim Jones sent us this picture of the sun trying to break through the clouds in the sky at Blyth, Northumberland.

Clouds in Blyth
Jim Jones

You can send your pictures by email:

northeast.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet
@BBCNewsNE.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 17:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: A three-year-old boy from Blackhall who was diagnosed with cancer at the start of last year has been given the all clear.
  • BBC Newcastle: Jon Harle and Anne Leuchars have a round-up of the day's news.

Sting to visit South Shields

Former MP for South Shields, David Miliband, has announced the 2015 South Shields Lecture will be delivered by Tyneside musician and former frontman of The Police, Sting.

The event at Harton Technology College in South Shields will take place on Saturday 28 February.

Sting
BBC

Sting said: "I am delighted to accept the invitation to next year's South Shields Lecture. I'm looking forward to visiting Harton Technology College and meeting the staff and students, and being back on Tyneside."

Teenager denies manslaughter

A 16-year-old boy has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of a North Tyneside man.

Lee Devlin, 40, (pictured) from Whitley Bay, died in hospital after being found with head injuries next to a walkway near the town's Metro station on 12 September. The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter at Newcastle Crown Court.

Lee Devlin
Northumbria Police

He was bailed to appear before Newcastle Crown Court for trial on 2 March.

Boy, three, given all clear

Lisa McCormick

BBC Tees

A three-year old boy from Blackhall who was diagnosed with cancer at the start of last year has been given the all clear.

Bradley Lowery has undergone countless rounds of high dose chemotherapy and had surgery to remove his tumours. His mum, Gemma, told BBC Tees that this week's results showing he is cancer free is the best possible Christmas present.

Bradley giving the thumbs up
Gemma Lowery

She said: "When I told him there were no more nasties in your tummy and he had the most amazing smile on his face and he was jumping about saying 'I did it, I did it!' and me and my dad were in tears. I never thought we'd get to this day hearing that news."

You can see the video of that moment here.

Police hunt absconded burglar

A police hunt is under way for a Teesside burglar who absconded from a jail in Derbyshire.

Gary Anthony Burgess, 50, left open prison HMP Sudbury in the early hours of Thursday. He was jailed for 10 years for burglary offences at Teesside Crown Court in 2011.

Gary Anthony Burgess
Derbyshire Police

Burgess, who has links to the Middlesbrough area, is described as white, 5ft 8in (1.73m) tall, with brown hair, blue eyes and heavily tattooed.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: A three-year-old boy from Blackhall who was diagnosed with cancer at the start of last year, has been given the all clear.
  • BBC Newcastle: Jon Harle and Anne Leuchars have a round-up of the day's news.

'I'm the head coach'

Matt Newsum

BBC Sport

Trouble at Sunderland? Black Cats boss Gus Poyet has suggested he isn't the manager when it comes to the club's recruitment policy.

"I want more quality. Do I think I'll get it? I don't know," he told several national newspapers. "I am a head coach. I am not going to be a head coach when it suits people and a manager when it doesn't. That side of it is down to recruitment.

Gus Poyet
Getty Images

"So, if you ever get the chance to speak to anyone on the recruitment side and ask them about it, you are lucky. If you don't, don't ask me."

Your pictures: Sage 10th birthday

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

If you've seen the Sage Gateshead changing colour this week it's because staff are celebrating its 10th birthday.

Stephen Tait

tweeted us this great picture of the party atmosphere inside. A spokesperson said: "Since opening its doors on 17 December 2014, the work of Sage Gateshead has made a total economic contribution to the region of £283m."

Sage Gateshead
Stephen Tait

You can send your pictures by email:

northeast.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet
@BBCNewsNE.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

Civilian police strike cancelled

A planned 24-hour strike by civilian police workers across the North East has been called off, the Unison union says.

Its members, including police community support officers in England and Wales, are unhappy with a 1% pay increase offer. They are calling for a 3% wage increase.

Police support officers
BBC

The strike has been called off pending further negotiations between the union and employers. Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said its members deserved a salary reflecting their "crucial role".

Share your views

We've introduced BBC Local Live, which is written by reporters across the North East, to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

Tell us what you think.

Sweeney to sit with Sunderland commentators

Barry Sweeney, the father of one of two Newcastle fans killed in the MH17 plane disaster, will be sitting with BBC Newcastle's Sunderland commentator Nick Barnes and Gary Bennett on Sunday and is hoping for a peaceful

Tyne Wear derby.

He told BBC Newcastle: "Quite happy to be a black and white rose in between two red and white thorns. Hopefully it's going to be a good day. Overall, if we end up 1-1 and it's a good day, I'll be happy.

"The British and the Germans had a game of football and they made up for one day, that should be like that on Sunday I hope."

John Alder and Liam Sweeney
BBC

Barry does however predict a 3-1 win for the Toon.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: A County Durham head teacher has appeared in court charged with indecently assaulting a boy 25 years ago.
  • BBC Tees: Police are searching for a Middlesbrough man who escaped from a prison near Derby in the early hours of this morning.

Threatened Quaylink bus service secured

The Quaylink electric bus service in Newcastle and Gateshead has been secured.

Bus company Go North East said its plan will mean the service which links the Baltic, Sage, Gateshead College and St Peter's Basin with Newcastle city centre and Gateshead Interchange will be continued.

It comes after funding was withdrawn by Newcastle and Gateshead Councils as part of budget cuts.

On the lunchtime BBC Look North

Richard Thomas

BBC News

The mother of an 18-year-old from County Durham who died after a single punch says she'll continue her fight for justice.

K2 Night Club
BBC

Kristian Thompson was left in a coma after being attacked outside a nightclub in Consett. He died 10 months later. Maxine Thompson's backing a Durham Police campaign to stop people being killed by a drink-fuelled punch. She wants further charges brought against her son's attacker who was jailed after admitting causing grievous bodily harm.

I'll have more on this story on

BBC Look North at 13:30 on BBC One.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: BBC Newcastle's found 1,300 children under 18 are admitted to hospitals in the North East and Cumbria every year because they've been poisoned
  • BBC Tees: A former County Durham head teacher has appeared in court charged with indecently assaulting a boy 25 years ago.

Cloudy with outbreaks of rain

Kay Crewdson

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Cloudy and mild, with outbreaks of rain throughout the day, locally persistent over the North Pennines. More sheltered eastern areas staying mainly dry throughout, with some brightness at times. Windy with gales in places, although winds easing after dark.

Weather forecast
BBC

Maximum temperature: 12C (54F).

Check the forecast near you.

Head teacher in court on boy abuse charges

A head teacher has appeared in court accused of indecently assaulting a boy more than 20 years ago.

Anne Lakey is charged with seven counts of indecent assault on a boy under 16. The abuse is alleged to have happened between July 1989 and May 1990 and does not relate to one of her pupils.

The 55-year-old teacher, from Stanley, County Durham, entered no plea at Consett Magistrates' Court. She was bailed to appear at Newcastle Crown Court in the new year.

Clothing firm workers strike

Simon Armstrong

BBC News

Warehouse staff at North East-based clothing firm Barbour have gone on strike over proposed changes to working hours.

More than 130 people at the firm's operation in Wardley, Gateshead, began industrial action at midnight over plans to introduce shifts which would mean working until 22:30.

Barbour jacket
Barbour

Staff argue it would have an impact on child care and travel arrangements. The firm said it was offering a "substantial pay increase".

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: A County Durham head teacher has appeared in court charged with indecently assaulting a boy 25 years ago.
  • BBC Tees: BBC Tees has been told an increasing number of children are turning up at A & E in our region because they've been poisoned by an e-cigarette refill.

Removal van proposal couple wed

Sunderland Echo

A romantic boyfriend who proposed to his bride-to-be on the side of his dad's removal van has

married his sweetheart in a Christmas wedding in Las Vegas.

Couple in front of van
Sunderland Echo

Lost Voice Guy wins BBC award

North East comedian Lee Ridley, also known as Lost Voice Guy, has won the BBC New Comedy Award 2014.

Winning with a public vote, he received a £1,000 cash prize, as well as a development deal with the BBC to produce his own radio pilot.

Having a speech already prepared on his tablet, Lee said: "For the first time in my life I'm speechless in every sense of the word. Thanks to everyone who voted, you've made a disabled man very happy so Santa should be good to you all."

Lee Ridley accepting BBC Comedy award
BBC

Watch the moment he won here.

Risk of children drinking e-cig refills

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

More than 1,000 children are admitted to hospital in the North East and Cumbria every year - because they've been poisoned.

Dr Mark Anderson is a consultant paediatrician at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and said they were seeing an increase in young children poisoned by drinking e-cigarette refills.

He said: "It's a new thing. They may have significant benefits in terms of weaning people off cigarettes but they are now in the presence of small children - parents and older siblings are using these products - and of course with that comes the risk of small children getting their hands on them."

He said if a toddler ingested the nicotine in a refill in significant enough quantities it could cause heart and breathing problems.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 11:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: A County Durham head teacher has appeared in court charged with indecently assaulting a boy 25 years ago.
  • BBC Tees: North Yorkshire Police has admitted it failed to properly investigate sex abuse claims against Jimmy Savile and former Scarborough Mayor Peter Jaconelli.

Rise in poisonings

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

More than 1,000 children are admitted to hospital in the North East and Cumbria every year - because they've been poisoned, we have discovered.

It might be because they've swallowed an adult's medication or got their hands on cleaning products and things like liquitabs. Doctors at the RVI in Newcastle also say they've seen an increase in cases of children being poisoned after drinking e-cigarette refills.

The National Poisons Information Service report for 2014 also shows an increase in cases of e-cigarette refill poisoning. It says its four units in the UK received 204 calls on the issue between 2013 and 2014, which is more calls than it received on the subject between 2007 and 2013.

Hundreds recruited to help demand

Anthony Day

BBC Newcastle

I've been at the Royal Mail sorting office in Gateshead as they sift and sort through 2.2m letters on what is their busiest day of the year.

Plant manager David Dunn said: "About 600,000 parcels will come through our plant today. We recruit an additional 400 people for this plant alone and nationally we take on 19,000."

Royal Mail sorting office
BBC

Today is the last day for second class post and Saturday is the last day for first class post if you want your mail to arrive before Christmas.

Newcastle want 'emergency keeper'

Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew will speak to the Premier League about the possibility of signing a goalkeeper on emergency loan ahead of Sunday's derby against Sunderland.

Third-choice keeper Jak Alnwick, 21, injured his shoulder at Tottenham as Freddie Woodman, 17, sat on the bench.

Jak Alnwick
Getty Images

Regular number one Tim Krul and his deputy Rob Elliot are already injured. "There is no way that a 17-year-old should be allowed to go in goal at Premier League level," said Pardew.