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Julia Mulligan criticised over anti-bullying measures

Local Democracy Reporting Service

North Yorkshire's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has been hit with fresh criticism with claims she failed to implement measures to prevent bullying in her office.

Julia Mulligan

Julia Mulligan had been given a series of recommendations to follow after a panel ruled she had displayed "bullying behaviour" towards members of staff.

But seven months on, members of North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Panel say they are disappointed she by her response to their “recovery plan”.

A meeting at County Hall in Northallerton heard that in November, she had agreed with the panel to follow-up on its six recommendations.

She was supposed to respond within 21 days to the recommendations, which included surveying staff over bullying in the workplace, undertaking a management course and appointing a mentor.

The commissioner received reminders in January and April but did not reply and it was only last week, just hours before the meeting, that the panel received brief responses.

Deputy chairman, Cllr Peter Wilkinson told her: "I have to express disappointment on behalf of the sub-panel that we issued this report in October and the first time we have had a meaningful response to the recommendations was yesterday evening."

After being asked about the delay, the commissioner replied that with senior officers now in place in her office, there were now suitable staff to progress the recommendations.

County drugs battle a 'major concern' - Commissioner

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The battle against drugs in a county which boasts the lowest crime rate in England and Wales has been laid bare, just days after the death of a schoolgirl who police believe had taken ecstasy.


North Yorkshire's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said there had been an alarming rise in drug-related concerns ahead of the death of 15-year-old Leah Heyes in Northallerton at the weekend.

A meeting of the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel heard that girls as young as 13 were being drawn into drugs and over the past few years there had been a significant rise in dealing “in places you wouldn’t think”, such as in villages.

Mrs Mulligan made her concerns known to the panel after Northallerton councillor Peter Wilkinson asked her if she believed North Yorkshire Police were being successful in tackling drug dealing in the county and whether drug dealing was a major issue.

Mrs Mulligan said: “I am, and the chief constable is extremely concerned about drugs in the county at the moment.

“We have seen a whole range of nasty tactics being used around things called cuckooing, exploiting young people to be mules for drugs.

"We’ve seen violence on the streets because we’ve got external gangs coming in fighting with local drug dealers. It's an area of major concern.”

Will Naylor, the deputy commissioner, added: “We think the scale is probably bigger than is understood currently by the police.”

Queen to take up permanent residence at York Minster?

New plans could see a statue of the Queen installed at York Minster as well as the creation of the city's first public square to be built in centuries.

York Minster

The proposals are included in York Minster's Neighbourhood Plan, which is aimed at improving the precinct area around the historic cathedral.

Queen Elizabeth Square is part of a scheme to improve Duncombe Place at the landmark’s west front, by creating a new civic space for York and a ceremonial space for the county.

A life-sized statue of the Queen would also be installed on one of the empty niches at the front of the Minster.

Watch: Friday's weather forecast

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

A largely dry morning and the risk of some patchy rain this afternoon.

Watch my full forecast here:

Man arrested over serious sexual assault in York

A man's been arrested in York in connection with a serious sexual assault earlier this month.

Nunnery Lane police activity

A woman was attacked by a man on Nunnery Lane at about 23:45 on on 7 May.

Det Sgt Mark Jackson, said: "I'd like to reassure the community that we have arrested a man, who does not live in the York area and that extensive inquiries are ongoing."

The arrested man has been released on bail while the investigation continues.

Friday's Yorkshire weather forecast

BBC Weather

This morning will be largely dry, but there is the risk of some patchy rain this afternoon.

Rain will move in from the North Sea through the course of this evening and overnight.

Wx graphic

'Better plan' for York Balloon Fiesta after 2018 'gridlock'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Organisers of a balloon festival which brought York "to a standstill” last year and caused “gridlock” in the city centre say an improved plan will be in place for the festival's return later this year.


York Balloon Fiesta, which attracted 40,000 visitors, was thrown into doubt as a result of the chaos, a council meeting heard in December.

At the meeting, former council leader Ian Gillies said it was a big success but the local authority had to take some responsibility for the transport problems.

It's now been confirmed the festival will return to Knavesmire between 27-29 September, with organisers saying a “better plan” for traffic during the weekend will be rolled out.

A spokesman said: “An event like York Balloon Fiesta takes a huge amount of planning and work is going on behind the scenes to create an event of which York can be proud and, of course, this involves better traffic management.”

The council says it is also looking at “lessons learned” from last year's festival.

Friend holds on to man rescued from York river

A man was rescued from a York river in the early hours of the morning.

river Foss

Fire crews from York and Acomb rescued the young male from the river Foss, near Carmelite Street in the city centre, shortly before 04:00 using a triple-extension ladder.

It's believed he fell in and was initially held on to by a friend and then by a police officer.

The man was checked over by paramedics at the scene and was then taken to hospital as a precaution.

Today's rescue follows the deaths of five people in York's rivers last month.

More than 10,000 York children in 'poverty' - Report

Local Democracy Reporting Service

More than 10,000 children are living in poverty in York, according to a national campaign.

Child with empty plate
Getty Images

Research by the End Child Poverty Coalition says the number of children trapped in poverty in York has risen by 3% since 2017, with rates highest in the Hull Road, Guildhall and Westfield wards.

Green councillor for Guildhall, Denise Craghill, said the news was a “huge concern”.

“They reflect low wages, high housing costs and the impact of government cuts to services and benefits. Many children in poverty in York are in working households.”

The use of food banks in York rose by more than 25% last year, a report revealed in February.

Hull Road Labour councillor Michael Pavlovic said: “These children need help now. This is incredibly disappointing to see, though not hugely surprising unfortunately."

He added that he hopes the new Lib Dem/Green council leadership will focus on the issue.

Lib Dem councillor for Westfield, Andrew Waller, said child poverty is an important issue and added community centre hubs have been an “integral part of the response”.

Watch: Thursday's weather forecast

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

A dry day with sunny spells, but there will be areas of cloud and it'll be cooler than yesterday.

Watch my full forecast here:

Yorkshire's Thursday weather forecast

BBC Weather

A fine sunny start this morning.

This afternoon it will remain dry and sunny, but some cloud will build.

The cloud is expected to become more extensive through tonight and will thicken enough to give some light showers:

weather graphic

HS2 will 'short-change' the North, say peers

The planned HS2 high-speed rail link running from Leeds to London will not offer value for money and risks "short-changing" the north of England, a group of peers has warned.

HS2 train

A report from the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee also said it was "far from convinced" the new high-speed railway will be built within the £55.7bn budget.

It said the route, which will run through South Yorkshire to Leeds and which will also reach into North Yorkshire, should not go ahead without a new assessment of its costs and benefits.

The government said it "fundamentally disagreed" with the report.

The committee's report said the scheme had put too much emphasis on cutting journey times and not enough on the economic impact on regions.

And it said the second phase, which it's claimed would improve journey times between Leeds and Sheffield, risked never going ahead because of spending overruns.

Villagers say government broke promise over 'super prison'

Villagers fighting plans for a so-called " super prison" at Full Sutton in East Yorkshire have accused the government of breaking a promise made almost 40 years ago.

Full Sutton
PA/John Giles

Campaigners say they've obtained documents showing that in 1979 the government promised to hold a public inquiry should there ever be a scheme to build a new prison on the site.

The government wants to build a Category C jail at Full Sutton, next to an existing maximum security prison, near Pocklington.

The Ministry of Justice says the new prison will provide well-paid jobs and it will be happy to work will villagers concerned about traffic issues.

York to blossom under £70,000 floral scheme

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A scheme to add floral colour to York city centre will see £70,000 spent on bedding plants, it's been revealed.


City of York Council says it's looking for a company to plant spring and summer flowers, including pansies, wallflowers and geraniums.

The contract is for four years and a council spokesman said no new or additional flowerbeds will be created under the plans.

York Minster's 600-year-old windows to get a little TLC

Plans for the next stage of York Minster's multi-million pound renovation work have been revealed.

Stained glass window
Geograph/Julian P Guffogg

Work on two of the cathedral's 600-year-old stained glass windows is set to begin next week.

Staff at the Minster, which hold the largest collection of medieval stained glass in the country, say the windows, which are 70ft from the ground, currently have no protection from the elements.

Six centuries of exposure have caused the glass to crack and buckle in places, allowing in water.

Sarah Brown, director of York Glaziers Trust, said: “The conservation work includes removing all 72 panels from both windows over the next nine months for gentle cleaning and repair."

Whitby is the only Yorkshire beach to get Blue Flag status

Whitby is the only beach on the Yorkshire coast to be given a top award for cleanliness.

Geograph/David Dixon

It was among 71 beaches around the country to meet the high environmental and safety standards needed to receive the international Blue Flag.

Whitby, which is managed by Scarborough Borough Council, was also among the 137 beaches around the country which have been presented with a Seaside Award.

A number of beaches which the authority manages were also given Seaside Awards, they are Filey, Runswick Bay, Cayton Bay, Sandsend, Robin Hoods Bay and Scarborough North Bay.

Geograph/Gordon Hatton

The following East Riding of Yorkshire Council beaches also got Seaside Awards: Bridlington North and South, Wilsthorpe, Fraisthorpe, Hornsea, Withernsea and Flamborough's Danes Dyke and South Landing.

Keep Britain Tidy announced the awards, which they say "means beach-goers can feel more relaxed in a setting that is environmentally considerate".

Unit identifies scores of paedophile suspects in one year

A total of 71 suspected paedophiles were arrested last year by a new specialist Regional Organised Crime Unit working in Yorkshire, police have revealed.


The job of the unit, created a year ago and based in Yorkshire, is to "identify those who use the internet to contact children for sexual purposes and to safeguard victims and potential victims", according to police.

Members of the team use social media channels, instant messaging apps and other online platforms where it's known children can be groomed.

Det Insp Jonathan Best said: “Our ability to identify those posing the greatest risk to children in the region has been significantly advanced by this unit.

“The overwhelming evidence gathered has meant so far every single person arrested and who has subsequently gone through the court process has been convicted.

"Last year the unit’s officers identified and protected 74 vulnerable children."

Watch: Wednesday's weather forecast

Lisa Gallagher

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

A dry, fine and warm day ahead with lots of sunshine.

Watch my full forecast here:

First passengers for new East Coast high-speed trains

A brand new type of train for the East Coast Main Line will carry its first paying passengers later.

Azuma train

It's claimed the Azumas, built by Hitachi, the same firm which made Japan's Bullet Train, will speed up journeys between Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and London.

They replace others trains that are more than 30-years-old.

Rail company LNER says it will offer extra services to Harrogate, Hull, Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield as a result of the introduction of the 65 new trains.

The new trains are set to begin operating on the East Coast Main Line five months later than planned.

Plans to introduce the trains in December were abandoned after the electric-diesel locomotives were found to interfere with trackside signalling equipment.

Yorkshire's warm Wednesday weather forecast

BBC Weather

Today will be dry and fine with lots of sunshine.

This evening it will remain fine with plenty of late sunshine.

Through tonight it will remain dry with long clear spells, but there could be some patches of mist and fog forming too:

Weather graphic

Check your Yorkshire train journey

BBC News Travel

If you're making a journey on the rails in Yorkshire this Wednesday morning, most services appear to be running to time so far.

However, the 07:18 Sheffield to Leeds via Barnsley service has been cancelled.

For all the latest live updates from the county's main railway stations, click on the links below:

Five arrests in Stockton following disturbance outside of pub

Five men have been arrested in relation to an incident in Stockton which is reportedly linked to the funeral of a member of the Travelling community.

Tom Harker, 68, was killed in a five-vehicle crash on the A66 near Sadberge last month.

Tom Harker
Family Photo

Officers attended a disturbance outside the Queen Victoria Public House at around 13:15 this afternoon, with some outlets reporting that a car was attacked by men with machetes before the arrival of the cortege.

Police could not confirm what the men had been arrested on suspicion of.

Lib Dems and Greens form coalition to run York Council

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The Liberal Democrats and Green Party have announced plans to form a coalition to take control of City of York Council.


Talks have been taking place since the local elections almost two weeks ago when the Liberal Democrats won 21 seats, short of the 24 councillors needed for a majority.

The Green Party held their four seats and have now agreed to team up with the Lib Dems to form a coalition, with both parties saying they want to address climate change.

The Lib Dems previously led the council in partnership with the Conservatives before the local elections, which took place on May 3.

Five men arrested after disturbance in Stockton

Five men have been arrested in connection with an incident on Yarm Road, Stockton.

Queen Victoria

Police say a disturbance took place outside the Queen Victoria Public House at 13:15.

Officers remain in the area.

We are asking Cleveland Police what the men have been held on suspicion of.

New fall in Yorkshire jobless figures

Unemployment in Yorkshire has fallen again, according to the latest official statistics.

Job centre

Figures show there was a drop of 12,000 people without jobs in the region between January and March, to 130,000.

The Office for National Statistics report shows the number of people out of work nationally now stands at 1.3 million people.

That's 119,000 fewer than a year earlier and 914,000 fewer than five years previously.

On track: Final tests for new East Coast high-speed trains

A fleet of high speed trains for the East Coast Main Line will be put through their final tests today before carrying their first passengers later this week.

Azuma train

It's claimed the Azumas, built by Hitachi, the same firm which made Japan's Bullet Train, will speed up journeys to London.

Rail company LNER says it will offer extra services to Harrogate, Hull, Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield as a result of the introduction of the 65 new trains.

The new trains are set to begin operating on the East Coast Main Line five months later than planned.

Plans to introduce the trains in December were abandoned after the electric-diesel locomotives were found to interfere with trackside signalling equipment.

York swimming pool closed after break-in

A public swimming pool near York city centre is closed this morning due to an "incident".

Yearsley pool

Yearsley Pool, on Haxby Road, has been closed "for a temporary period" and police are currently on site following what's being described as a break-in.

A statement on the pool's website says: "We apologise for the inconvenience, we hope to reopen later in the day."

Watch: Tuesday's weather forecast

Lisa Gallagher

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

A dry and fine day with plenty of sunshine and warm with a light breeze.

Watch my full forecast here:

Yorkshire's sunny Tuesday weather forecast

BBC Weather

Any early mist patches will soon lift to leave a dry and fine day with plenty of sunshine.

It'll be fine this evening with late sunshine, then dry overnight with mainly clear skies:

Weather graphic

Vandalised York primary school set to reopen

A primary school in York is expected to reopen later after vandals caused "considerable damage" during a break-in over the weekend.

Break-in damage
Dringhouses Primary School

Year 6 pupils had to take their Sats tests at York High School yesterday due to the damage caused at Dringhouses Primary.

A safe and electrical equipment were stolen from the premises during the burglary, North Yorkshire Police said.

Gill Williams, headteacher of Dringhouses Primary, said the last few days had been difficult for everyone in the school community

However, she added that she wanted to thank parents and carers for their understanding and support.

She also thanked York High for stepping in to allow children to sit their Sats exams at the school on Monday.

Call for 900 new Yorkshire foster families

The UK's leading foster charity says it needs 900 new foster families across Yorkshire.

Hand holding
Getty Images

The Fostering Network says it wants to attract families that can foster sibling groups to keep children together.

The organisation says: "Without extra foster families in Yorkshire being found during 2019, some children will find themselves living a long way from their family, school and friends, being split up from brothers and sisters."

Paul and Michael Atwal-Brice, foster carers from Rotherham, said: "The best thing about fostering is seeing the children trusted in your care develop and grow; to see them become more confident.

"We are currently fostering teenagers long term and, although this can be tricky at times, it is great to teach them the skills they need to live a successful and happy life as adults."

Tuk tuk world land speed record holder 'over the moon'

A man who has set a new tuk tuk land speed record in North Yorkshire says he is "over the moon" at the achievement.

Matt Everard persuaded his cousin Russell Shearman to act as his passenger
Danny Lawson/PA

Matt Everard, 46, from Billericay, Essex, set a speed of 74.306mph (119.583kmh) at Elvington Airfield near York.

He had been set a target of 68.35mph (110kmh) by Guinness World Records.

Mr Everard bought the three-wheeled 1971 Bangkok taxi on eBay from a seller in Bolton in 2017, as a "fun vehicle to ride around town".

The record for fastest autorickshaw/tuk tuk (prototype) is a new one for Guinness World Records.

It required Mr Everard to have a passenger in the back, so his cousin Russell Shearman, 49, volunteered for the job.

'Increasing concern' for missing Wakefield teenager

Police say they are becoming "increasingly concerned" for a missing Wakefield teenager.

Nicole Harris
West Yorkshire Police

Nicole Harris, 16, was last seen at about 22:05 on Friday in the Quebec Street area of Wakefield.

She is described as 5ft 3ins tall, with long brown hair and a burn scar on the side of her nose.

She was last seen wearing black jeans and a green/grey coat with a fur hood (pictured above).

Nicole Harris
West Yorkshire Police

Officers say Nicole is known to have links to the South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Humberside areas.

Det Insp Phil Davis of Wakefield CID, said: “We urge anyone who sees her to get in contact straight away.”

Hundreds of drivers caught by cops' stealth lorry

More than 200 drivers in Yorkshire have been caught breaking the law after being spotted by police officers using an unmarked HGV.

A lorry with blue light

The stealth lorry has been driving on motorways in the region for the past 12 months.

Most drivers were caught for not wearing a seatbelt, with more than 60 people seen driving while using their mobile phone.

The driver of the white lorry can pull up alongside drivers, see an offence be committed, then alert awaiting police officers who can stop the suspected law-breaker.

Sats test moved after vandals target York primary school

Children have had to sit a test at an alternative venue this morning after a burglary caused "considerable damage" at a York primary school.

School break in
Dringhouses Primary School

Dringhouses Primary School, in the south of York, has been forced to stay closed today following the burglary at the weekend.

Year 6 pupils had to take their Sats tests at York High School due to the damage caused at Dringhouses.

A safe and electrical equipment were stolen from the premises during the burglary, North Yorkshire Police said.

Watch: Tuk-tuk and away - revving up for rickshaw record

Two men hoping to set a new world record for the fastest tuk-tuk have been getting in a few practice runs ahead of their attempt later this afternoon.

Matt Everard and his cousin Russell Shearman are attempting the challenge at Elvington airfield, near York.

The current record for the three-wheeled vehicle stands at 68mph and Mr Everard says he got his tuk-tuk up to 60mph last month.

Mr Everard has spent five months and thousands of pounds restoring the decades-old vehicle ahead of today's attempt.