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  1. Updates on Wednesday 29 June 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage throughout the day

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

That's all for today, thank you for joining us. 

BBC Local Live will be back from 08.00 tomorrow. 

As always, we'll bring you the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates to make your day a little easier.

If you'd like to get in touch then go right ahead - we're on Twitter, Facebook and our email is

Weather: It should finally stop raining

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Most of the rain will clear away east during the evening with winds easing. Although the odd shower over the Pennines can't be ruled out, much of the region should be dry overnight with some clear spells. 

Click here to check the weather where you are.

weather graph

Highway flood damage repair programme well under way in Northumberland

Northumberland County Council is currently undertaking a £15m repair of the vast amount of damage inflicted on the county’s highway network by record-breaking wet weather and floods during the winter.

The programme is being funded by the Department for Transport, which allocated £14.6m towards repair costs in the region after the council submitted a bid for £24.3m. 

Northumberland suffered significant damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure following the violent weather which hit the region in December and January – leaving a repair bill in excess of £24m.    

Travel: Queuing traffic on A690

BBC Travel

There's queuing traffic on the A690 Leazes Road inbound in Durham between the Gilesgate Roundabout and The Gates Roundabout in the roadworks area. 

Congestion is back to the Sherburn Road junction and on A177 to Hallgarth Street.

For more travel updates check the Tyne and Wear and Teesside BBC travel pages.

MP posts resignation letter to Jeremy Corbyn

Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck has now posted her resignation letter again on Twitter:

View more on twitter

MP tweets and deletes resignation letter to Jeremy Corbyn

South Shields Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck has tweeted and then deleted a letter she says she sent to leader Jeremy Corbyn outlining why she is quitting her role as shadow communities and local government minister:

Emma Lewell-Buck

In it she says she's worried about the future of the party she "loves".

Hartlepool United sign new striker

Hartlepool United have signed striker Lewis Alessandra after he was released by Rochdale.

The 27-year-old Manchester-born star becomes the eighth new player to arrive at Victoria Park since the end of last season and he will join his Pools team-mates in training on Thursday.

Lewis Alessandra
Getty Images

Torpedo to be blown up in Sunderland tomorrow

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Looks like Beyonce isn't the only one making a bang in Sunderland this week...

That's because a controlled explosion will take place tomorrow to render safe a World War One torpedo that has been discovered after spending 99 years on the seabed off Sunderland.

The wreck of the German submarine UC 32, which sunk in 1917, has been inspected over the intervening decades for signs that her deadly cargo could pose a threat to shipping and fishermen.

HMS Blyth discovered that since the last inspection by Royal Navy divers in 1996, the wreck has degraded to the extent that a loaded torpedo tube now lies exposed. 

The controlled demolition of the torpedo's warhead will take place tomorrow, 29 June at 09.00.

Burglars strike in Heaton and Jesmond

There have been 10 burglaries to homes across Heaton and Jesmond in Newcastle in the last week, police say.

Eight of these homes had been left unlocked, meaning the burglars were easily able to get inside.

Insp Gary Kay said: "Burglars are currently active in the Heaton and Jesmond areas of Newcastle and are specifically looking for houses that have doors or windows left unlocked and open. 

"An open door is like an invite for a burglar and allows them to be in and out of a home in minutes."

Meeting to announce further budget cuts in Darlington

A meeting is expected to cut a further £10m from Darlington Council's budget. 

The authority has already reduced spending by £40m since 2010. 

The council say the cuts come after an extensive public consultation process. 

Many services are expected to be hit including social services, health, and libraries.

View more on twitter

Great North Run without sponsor ahead of 2016 event

The Great North Run, which attracts more than 50,000 runners, is without a sponsor less than three months before the 2016 event takes place.

Bupa sponsored it for 22 years before pulling out in 2014. Supermarket Morrisons stepped in last year.

Chief executive at The Great Run Company, Mark Hollinshead, said he was confident of finding a sponsor and was in talks with some "ambitious" brands.

The annual half marathon will take place on 11 September.

Crowds at the Great North Run
Getty Images

Man jailed for Northumbria Police officer bridge assault

A man who assaulted a police officer on a bridge over the A1 on Tyneside has been jailed for five years.

Michael Walker grabbed the PC in a bear hug, leaned against the railings and said "we're both going over", Newcastle Crown Court was told.

The 28-year-old, of Cornhill, West Denton, had previously admitted grievous bodily harm with intent over the November incident.

He was initially charged with attempted murder, but this was later dropped.

Picture of Michael Walker, and a picture of the bridge

Eight County Durham schools introduce 20mph speed limits

Part-time 20mph speed limits have been introduced outside eight schools at County Durham.

Two of these schools are in Stanley - East Stanley Primary and North Durham Academy.

The limits have also been rolled out at six schools in Seaham, namely Seaview Primary, Seaham School of Technology, New Seaham Academy, Westlea Primary, St Cuthberts RCVA Primary, and Seaham Trinity Primary.

20mph sign

Man assaulted in Newcastle

A man was found with a head injury last night in Byker, Newcastle, after being assaulted.

The incident took place at 22:25 in Kendal Street after reports of a fight.

Paramedics were called and the 18-year-old man was taken to hospital for treatment. He is currently in a stable condition.  

Two men, both aged 20, were arrested on suspicion of wounding and are currently in custody.

Radio 4 coming to South Shields

Durham batsman to retire

Durham batsman Gordon Muchall has announce that he will retire from cricket at the end of the current season to pursue a career in teaching. 

The 33-year-old is in his 15th season at Chester-le-Street and has so far made 7,917 first-class runs at an average of 30.10. 

Muchall, a former England Under-19 international, was part of the Durham sides which won the County Championship in 2009 and 2014 Royal London One-Day Cup.

Gordon Muchall
Getty Images

Travel: Vehicle hits Metro bridge in North Shields

BBC Travel

A vehicle struck a bridge earlier today, causing some slow traffic on the A19 southbound in Percy Main, Newcastle, between Howdon Roundabout and Tyne Tunnel.

The disruptions have now been cleared and trains are running as normal.

Check the latest travel updates for Tyne and Wear and Teesside.

Teenager jailed after threatening Shane Tunney witness

A teenager who threatened a witness in the Shane Tunney murder case was jailed today.

Nineteen-year-old Dwayne Davis, from Norton where Mr Tunney (pictured) was beaten to death in June last year, sent a threatening message to the woman who was under police protection at a secret address.

Shane Tunney

Prosecutor Paul Rooney said that the woman was terrified when Davis told her younger sister that she and her partner were going to get what was coming to them because they were grasses.

However the woman gave evidence at Teesside Crown Court last month.

Davis was sentenced to 10 months in youth custody today after he pleaded guilty to intimidation on 17 March.

Watch: Triple-decker roundabout plans

Here's a video of what North Tyneside's future triple-decker roundabout will look like:

View more on youtube

The main construction work starts in August. 

Narrow lanes and a 30mph speed limit will be in place along the A19 and the slip roads during the work and the speed limit on the A1058 Coast Road will also be reduced to 30mph for the duration of the work.

Hartlepool v Carlisle match brought forward

Hartlepool United's home match against Carlisle United scheduled for Saturday 15 April has been brought forward by 24 hours and will now be played on Good Friday, with a 15:00 kick-off.    

Newcastle United 'set to sign Dwight Gayle'

More potential Newcastle United transfer news after they signed Gent goalkeeper Matz Sels this morning.

Shields Gazette reporter Miles Starforth says Crystal Palace striker Dwight Gayle is on the move:

View more on twitter

Floral tributes to missing Sunderland ‘superfan’ David Dowell

Sunderland Echo


Tributes to missing Sunderland ‘superfan’ David Dowell have been left close to his beloved Stadium of Light.

He has been missing since he left his home in St Christopher’s Road last week.

Sunderland Echo

Triple decker roundabout coming to A19 in North Tyneside

Plans to upgrade the A19/A1058 Coast Road junction into a triple decker roundabout in North Tyneside have been announced.

Contractors for Highways England will be lowering the A19 beneath the existing Coast Road and roundabout, which it says will reduce congestion.

The £75m scheme is on the main route to and from the Tyne Tunnel and will mean that people travelling along the A19 will no longer have to queue at the roundabout to go straight on.

Computer generated image of the future roundabout
Highways England

Pat Glass resigns as Labour education shadow secretary

The Labour MP for North West Durham Pat Glass has announced her resignation as Shadow Secretary of State for Education, two days after being appointed by Jeremy Corbyn.

She wrote on Twitter: "It is with a heavy heart that I have today resigned as Shadow SoS Education. My dream job but the situation is untenable"

Earlier this morning she also confirmed that she will not be Labour's candidate in the next General Election.

View more on twitter

Concern over rise in violence at Durham's Frankland prison

Violence between inmates at the country's largest high security prison has increased, an inspection has found.

Bosses at Durham's high security Frankland prison have been urged to take "prompt action" to tackle a rise in assaults. 

The report noted a recent increase in levels of violence involving prisoners. 

But inspectors concluded the prison offered a "safe and decent" environment for inmates, many of whom are classed as vulnerable. 

The jail holds more than 800 men, many of them Category A inmates.

Frankland Prison, Durham

Hartlepool council tackles youth food poverty

Hartlepool Council is urging local organisations to apply for grants of up to £3,000 to help ensure that local children do not go short of food during the summer school holidays.

Some £38,000 was recently set aside from the council’s child and family poverty reserve to fund a scheme to tackle food poverty during the six-week school holiday break.

The criteria for the scheme are as follows:

  • Organisations supporting children and young people through the provision of healthy meals and snacks during the school summer holiday period. 
  • Organisations providing family-based activities over the school holiday period, where healthy eating and/or cooking skills could be incorporated.
  • Organisations providing crafts or physical activity programmes which would benefit from the provision of healthy meals or snacks as part of the activity.
  • Organisations working with vulnerable families or young people in areas of high socio-economic deprivation where food poverty rates may be higher.

Beyonce on tour: More photos

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Still thinking about Beyonce? Me too.

To help you get through them post-concert blues, or in case you didn't get the chance to see Queen Bey, here are some more photos of last night's concert at Sunderland's Stadium of Light:

Beyonce at the Stadium of Light
Associated Press

North of England now has lowest house prices in UK, says Nationwide

The North of England now has the lowest house prices in the UK, according to the Nationwide Building Society - the average house price being £123,914.

While prices have been rising in Northern Ireland and Scotland, the North of England saw prices fall by 1% over the last year.

Prices in the UK overall rose by 5.1% in the year to June, up from 4.7% last month. The figures do not yet reflect the result of the EU referendum.

Previously Northern Ireland had the cheapest homes in the country.  

House prices graph

Whether you are house-hunting or just daydreaming, you can use our calculator to see where in the country you could afford to live - and would it be cheaper to rent or buy?  

Former Boro player reacts to Southgate England rumours

Former Egypt international Mido, who played under Gareth Southgate at Middlesbrough in 2007, made his views about the England Under-21 boss known on Twitter:

View more on twitter

It is believed the FA may appoint Southgate as interim England manager, following the disastrous defeat to Iceland on Monday.

BreakingGascoigne pleads not guilty to racially aggravated abuse

Paul Gascoigne pleads not guilty at Dudley Magistrates' Court to racially aggravated abuse.  

The case was adjourned until 19 September. 

He was granted unconditional bail.

Newcastle sign goalkeeper Sels

Newcastle United have signed goalkeeper Matz Sels from Belgian side Gent.

The 24-year-old, who has played for Belgium up to Under-21 level, helped Gent to the 2014-15 Belgian league title and played in the Champions League last season.

Manager Rafa Benitez said: "I am really pleased to welcome Matz to the club. He's a fantastic goalkeeper and many top clubs have been interested in signing him."

Matz Sels
Getty Images

BreakingPaul Gascoigne arrives at court over racism charge

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has arrived at court where he faces a charge of racially abusing a security guard

The 49-year-old former Newcastle and Middlesbrough star allegedly used abusive or insulting words, causing racially aggravated harassment and alarm, during An Evening With Gazza show in Wolverhampton last year. 

He is appearing at Dudley Magistrates' Court in the West Midlands.

Gascoigne arriving at court
Press Association

Newcastle Central MP speaks out about Jeremy Corbyn

Newcastle Central Labour MP Chi Onwurah has released a statement explaining why she voted 'No' in yesterday's motion on Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

She says a number of constituents have emailed her this week asking her to back the Labour leader - something she has admitted she cannot do.

She explained: "Whilst Jeremy has some important qualities – honesty and integrity – I could not in good conscience say I had confidence in him as our leader."

Ms Onwurah originally nominated Corbyn as leader of the Labour party "to widen the leadership debate", but she now says that she cannot serve her constituents without effective leadership.

Weather: Rainy and cool

Starting dry and bright, but thickening cloud will bring outbreaks of rain across much of the region by late morning. Rain heavy at times, especially on the hills, but should become lighter and more patchy by evening. Feeling cool.

Check out the weather where you are.

Weather graph

Beyonce at the Stadium of Light

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Did you go to see Beyonce's Formation tour in Sunderland last night?

Surely I'm not the only one who woke up this morning wishing she was Queen Bey after that amazing concert.

Two hours of non-stop perfect singing and dancing - and what a setlist: My highlight was definitely that Hold Up/ Countdown mashup.

Beyonce concert

The crowd also delivered - Beyonce even had to tell us to stop singing during her a capella version of Love on Top, but Sunderland definitely wanted to keep going.

Standing in the rain for eight hours was absolutely worth it.

Family, friends and colleagues say final goodbyes to much-loved young cancer victim

The Gazette


Here's today's front page - and a link to the top story.

Front page
The Gazette

Jermain Defoe: Allardyce good enough to manage England

Here's another take on the England manager story.

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe says his manager Sam Allardyce has the ability to become the next boss.

Allardyce, who was interviewed for the role in 2006, guided Sunderland to Premier League safety last season, in part thanks to Defoe's 15 goals.

When asked what skills his manager could bring to the role, 33-year-old Defoe said: "Last season he said to us, 'do you know what? I don't care how we play, as long as we win... Obviously I hope he stays at Sunderland. Maybe he could do both (jobs)?"

Gareth Southgate: FA considers England interim manager role

The Football Association is prepared to make former Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate interim England manager for the start of their World Cup qualifying campaign as it begins a global search for Roy Hodgson's successor.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn was asked if England Under-21 boss Southgate could take charge for the opening qualifier against Slovakia in September.

He said: "We'll see... We'd like to get one for the first World Cup qualifier, but if we don't we have an interim plan in mind... We are not talking about names but it would be a pretty obvious one to pick."

FA will seek 'best man' for England job

A1 Sinkhole repaired

A sinkhole which opened up on the A1 on Tyneside and brought delays to tens of thousands of motorists has been repaired, highways officials have said.

Tyne Tunnel tolls on the nearby A19, which were suspended during the repair process, are now back in force.

The 5m (16ft) wide, 3m (10ft) deep crater appeared on Saturday night under the northbound carriageway near the Gateshead MetroCentre. 

The sinkhole

Travel: Two car accident in Middlesbrough

BBC Travel

One lane is blocked and there's very slow traffic on the A66 westbound in Middlesbrough between the Cargo Fleet Interchange and the Middlehaven Interchange because of an accident involving two cars.

Check the latest travel information for Tyne and Wear and Teesside.