By Matthew Howarth
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James Cain, Local Democracy Reporting Service
There will be no delay in confirming secondary school places in Redcar and Cleveland following an IT attack on the council, it has been confirmed.
Redcar and Cleveland Council has confirmed there will be no delay in allocating secondary school places following the ransomware cyber-attack which targeted the council’s IT servers on Saturday, February 8.
The council had previously warned parents that there may be a short delay to the allocation, but in a statement, the local authority said: “IT and education staff have worked around the clock to run the allocation process as normal and parents and carers will now receive their allocations on time.”
Council leader, Cllr Mary Lanigan said: “Our staff have gone above and beyond to be able to allocate the places by the National Offer Day on March 2 and we are delighted to announce that the offer letters will be issued on time.
“I would like to reassure parents and carers that the process this year has been robust and the allocation they receive hasn’t been affected by the cyber-attack.
“We do not expect any disruption to the primary admissions round and anticipate we will be making offers on primary National Offer Day (April 16).”
The council says it is continuing to make significant progress in returning to full functionality and is doing all it can to minimise any disruption or delays to the public.
On Thursday the council refused to comment on whether it has paid ransom money to the criminals who hacked its IT systems.
Cracks have been reported on a main highway through Durham city that skirts a large building site.
Councillors Richard Ormerod and David Freeman asked the full council meeting if the Milburngate development was to blame.
The large development is bringing shops, leisure, offices and apartments to the heart of the city.
Mr Ormerod said there were cracks to Framwellgate Peth and to nearby walls.
But Milburngate Developments told BBC Newcastle that cracks in the walls were logged in a survey before the site works started and that they had not been made worse.
They admitted that the cracks in the road were down to the building site but added that the cracks were within tolerance limits and would be repaired at the right time.
Durham County Council 's highway services manager, Mark Readman, said: “We are aware of movement in the road and footpath on Framwellgate Peth and of reports of issues at adjacent private properties.
“We have been investigating the cause of the movement and in discussions with the developer of an adjacent site following which it has agreed to carry out some work to the road.
“However it is important to stress it remains very much safe to use.
“In addition to the developer’s work, we will be carrying out some patching to the road and drainage work.
“The road will remain open at all times, with traffic management in place, and the work will be carried out outside of peak times to minimise disruption for the travelling public.”Copyright: BBC
Local Democracy Reporter
Self catering holiday lodges are set to be built on a North East golf course after councillors approved the plans.
William Walker was given outline planning permission by Gateshead Council’s planning committee to build the lodges at the Beamish Park Hotel, on Beamish Burn Road.
The full details of the layout, design or number of proposed lodges have not been provided at this stage but submitted documents said the units would be of “contemporary, high quality design”.
Gateshead Council’s planning department recommended approval saying the lodges would be close to the region’s key tourist attractions and would fill a gap in the market.
Local Democracy Reporter
Councillors have thrown cold water on plans to bring back a once-thriving Newcastle city centre pub.
A new version of Bar Fleet Street in Pudding Chare was refused a licence.
Council licensing bosses feared that a rebuilt version of the pub would be far bigger than the original, with the addition of a third floor and a roof terrace.
And Northumbria Police warned it could lead to “additional alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and crime and disorder where patrons may loiter in the streets and cause a disturbance”.
Before it closed in 2015, Bar Fleet Street was a favourite haunt of journalists and print workers based at the former offices of the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal.
Plans to demolish the now vacant Thomson House offices and build a new hotel complex in its place also include designs for a rebuilt stand-alone pub to replace Bar Fleet Street, which would be run by Heineken’s pub business Star Pubs & Bars.
However, it is understood that city authorities were reluctant to grant an alcohol licence for the new site because Star Pubs & Bars could not confirm its operating style or who their tenant would be if it opens as planned in 2023.
Star Pubs & Bars was contacted for a comment.Copyright: NCJ Media
A jury has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of seven men charged with murdering a man from Hartlepool.
Michael Phillips, 39, died at his home on Rydal Street in June last year.Copyright: Family photo
During the six-week trial, Teesside Crown Court has heard how he sustained more than 50 injuries after being punched, kicked and stamped on.
One of the defendants, Neil Elliot, is the director of the waste firm Niramax. It’s alleged he orchestrated the attack after accusing Mr Phillips of burgling his daughter's house. All seven defendants have denied murder.
A1(M) County Durham southbound severe disruption, at J58 for A68.
A1(M) County Durham - One lane closed on A1(M) southbound at J58, A68 (Burtree), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.
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Newcastle have failed to score in four of their last five games in all competitions with record signing Joelinton enduring a particularly tough time - managing just three goals this term across all comps.
So does that mean Steve Bruce is going to adjust how his team play?
“We haven’t created enough and done enough," Bruce said.
"When we were a threat on the counter attack, I think that’s waned over the last few weeks so we have to maybe try something different and see if we can create more chances and score more goals.”
Bruce added:“We lost a couple of games over Christmas and the other was back at the start of the season so the home form has quietly stacked up.
"We’ve got six to play at home so it’s still all to play for. It’s a big week coming up.”Copyright: Reuters