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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. CCTV cameras installed to prevent firefighter attacks

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    CCTV cameras are helping to prevent attacks on firefighters.

    The plans will give fire staff access to live security camera footage across Newcastle, so they can spot potentially dangerous situations.

    Fire crews have been pelted with bricks, bottles and cans and children as young as 10 had set fire to wheelie bins in West Denton last year.

    Lynsey McVay, from the Tyne and Wear Rescue Service, said: "Access to the cameras allow us better establish the size and location of the fires, as well as giving us sight of any potential anti-social behaviour issues that crews may face upon attendance at incidents."

    Home Office data shows there were 148 attacks on firefighters attending 999 calls in the North East in 2017-18 - the highest number since modern records began.

    Tyne and Wear Rescue Service Engine
  2. Skilled jobs could be created as industrial plans recommended for approval

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    More jobs could be created after plans for a Gateshead industrial development have been recommended for approval.

    Legal and General Property Fund asked the council for permission to build on a vacant plot in Follingsby Park on Follingsby Way.

    A spokesperson said: "The proposals are likely to lead a number of skilled jobs being created or safeguarded, and it is likely that a wide variety of roles will be provided, offering the potential for training and job progression."

    The application will be voted on by members of the council's planning committee on Thursday.

    Outside of Gateshead Civic Centre
  3. Care centres at risk of closure

    Urgent care centres are at risk of closure as an overhaul of services are signed off this week.

    Bosses at the Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are meeting to make a final decision on changes, which could see walk-in centres in Bunny Hill, Houghton and Washington close.

    The CCG said they plan to create an extra 42,000 GP appointments to compensate for the closures.

    Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) campaigners have criticised the plans.

    Branch secretary, Laura Murrell, said: "These services being removed from three of the most deprived areas of Sunderland will have a great effect.

    "When we talk to the people in those areas they say how useful they are and how they were almost part of the communities."

    Outside of the Houghton Leisure and Primary Care Centre
  4. Energy consultancy Utilitywise puts itself up for sale amid £10m shortfall

    Shares in North Tyneside-based Utilitywise tumbled after the company said it has put itself up for sale and needs to raise £10m in equity.

    The energy consultancy, which is headquartered at Cobalt Business Park, said it is reviewing its options, including selling certain parts or all of the group.

    Utilitywise

    The firm said that in the past two years it has experienced a number of "significant and unexpected challenges" that had hit its financial performance.

    These included the repayment of commission to an energy supplier due to poor operational controls and the introduction of lower caps from energy suppliers on the amount of commission it can charge customers.

    The company said it was in talks with its bank to provide further financial support.

    Given the shortfall in investor appetite for the proposed fundraising, Utilitywise said its shares would cease to trade on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market on 1 February.

  5. Pensioner warns others to be wary of doorstep scams

    A partially-sighted pensioner who was targeted by doorstep scammers has urged other people to be wary of similar scams.

    Robert Welsh, 85, from Sunderland was asked to pay £20 on three separate occasions when a man claimed he owed money for window cleaning and gardening work.

    He said: "I didn't know what to do, so I handed over the money. Then I had knocks on the door from somebody who claimed he'd done some gardening work around the front.

    "I told him I hadn't asked for any work to be done, but I began to feel like I was being pressured."

    Robert Welsh sitting next to his son Chris

    His family fitted a camera above the front door, allowing them to see anyone that called.

    His son, Chris, said: "Thirty years ago, my dad would have sent the man away with a flea in his ear - he's a strong character. But as you get older, your resistance to somebody who is hassling you in such a way diminishes."

    After his family alerted police, a 28-year-old man was charged and convicted of fraud offences and sentenced to four months in prison.

  6. Video content

    Video caption: Father to run in daughter's place after her suicide

    Andy Airey is to run a half marathon in the place of his daughter after she took her own life.

  7. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: A19 North Yorkshire both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A19 North Yorkshire both ways severe disruption, from A66 to A1046 Haverton Hill Road.

    A19 North Yorkshire - A19 in Middlesbrough closed in both directions from the A66 junction to Portrack Interchange, because of a police incident.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  8. Cycling investment 'could save thousands of lives'

    Thousands of people would avoid life-threatening conditions if the increase in cycling in London was matched in Newcastle, according to new research.

    Walking and cycling charity Sustrans warned that these "substantial health benefits" are only possible with long-term political commitment and investment in cycling.

    London has seen daily cycle journeys more than doubled since 2000 but levels have remained fairly static elsewhere, the report says.

    Cycling

    An estimated 34,000 incidences of serious conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, stroke and breast cancer would be prevented in eight UK cities if the number of cycling trips doubled every eight years between 2017 and 2040, researchers found.

    Sustrans calculated that this would equate to 242 million hours of additional physical activity, preventing 628 early deaths and generate £21bn of savings to the economy.

    Newcastle, along with Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Greater Manchester, were cities included in the research.

    Xavier Brice, chief executive of Sustrans, said: "Our report provides 34,000 reasons why governments across the UK should prioritise investment in cycling.

    "Every part of the country is facing a physical inactivity and obesity crisis, which is why decision-makers need to get on the front foot and tackle these problems head on."

  9. Acting chief constable takes over at Cleveland Police

    BBC Tees

    Cleveland's acting Chief Constable is to take charge of the force today.

    Lee Freeman has transferred from Humberside for three months, after Mike Veale resigned from the post.

    Mr Veale (pictured) is facing an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following "serious" allegations about his behaviour.

    Mike Veale

    Mr Veale moved to Cleveland from Wiltshire Police, where he oversaw the inquiry into alleged abuse by former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.

    In September, Mr Veale was found by the IOPC to have lied about how his mobile phone became damaged - but there was no evidence it was damaged on purpose or with a motive to conceal evidence.

    The IOPC said it had received a separate referral from the force's police and crime commissioner about Mr Veale's conduct and was considering what further action to take.