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Severe disruption: A1 Tyne And Wear northbound

BBC News Travel

A1 Tyne And Wear northbound severe disruption, at J77 A167 Ponteland Road.

A1 Tyne And Wear - A1 Western Bypass in Tyne and Wear lane blocked on exit slip road and it's slow northbound at J77, A167 (Kenton Bar Roundabout), because of a break down.

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

North East has seen 'political earthquake'

Richard Moss

Political Editor, BBC Look North

The North East has seen the equivalent of a political earthquake - the region has not seen as many seats change hands in one election in living memory.

Margaret Thatcher never had as many MPs in this region as Boris Johnson will have. And some now represent constituencies we were told would never vote Conservative.

Communities built on the steel industry, like Consett and Redcar, and former mining areas like Blyth Valley and Bishop Auckland have placed their trust in the Tories.

The Labour party chairman Ian Lavery, a former miner, survived by the skin of his teeth in Wansbeck. Laura Pidcock, a Corbynite who could have been in the running to be the next Labour leader, saw North West Durham's voters reject her.

So what happened? Get Brexit Done certainly resonated. The gains were all in leave-voting seats which seem to have blamed Labour for the parliamentary deadlock.

But Labour candidates will tell you that Jeremy Corbyn was a bigger issue on the doorstep. Not many of their voters wanted him anywhere near Number 10.

But there are dangers. Every economic study suggests it's the North East that will suffer the most harm from leaving the European Union. And just talking about the idea of a Northern Powerhouse will no longer be enough.

Constituents of these new Conservative MPs will expect them and their party to deliver Brexit, but also more investment in the North.

Severe disruption: A1(M) Tyne And Wear northbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) Tyne And Wear northbound severe disruption, before J64 for A195 Western Highway.

A1(M) Tyne And Wear - One lane blocked and queues on A1(M) northbound in Tyne and Wear before J64, A195 (Washington), because of a break down.

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

BreakingConservatives take Redcar from Labour

Adam Clarkson

BBC Tees

Redcar has a Conservative MP for the first time in history.

Jewellery and children's savings stolen in burglary

Hundreds of pounds, jewellery and clothing were stolen from a family home in Guisborough, on Tuesday.

It happened between 12:45 and 14:40 on Mossdale Grove and the property was left ransacked.

Jewellery, cash, including children’s savings, a child’s North Face jacket and grey children’s McKenzie T-shirt and shorts, were stolen from the house.

Cleveland Police is appealing for information.

Decision to be made on Hartlepool homes

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Nic Marko

The next step for plans for 220 new homes in Hartlepool is to be decided next week.

The residential development off Elwick Road, which would have 29 two-bedroom properties, 93 three-bedroom sites and 98 four-bedroom sites, got outline planning permission at the end of last year.

But council officers are recommending the plans are refused, as they do not meet minimum separation distances between properties or have well-designed off-street parking.

There have been 33 objections from residents as well, raising concerns about access, over-development of the site and strains on local services.

A statement from WYG Consultants on behalf of the applicant said the development "is entirely appropriate in terms of appearance, scale, layout and landscaping".

A decision will be made on 18 December.

Land to the south of Worset Lane where the propsed 220 home development will take place in Hartlepool

Sam Fender 'absolutely gutted' to cancel tour

Sam Fender has said he is "absolutely gutted" to cancel the rest of his 2019 tour because of laryngitis.

The North Shields singer was due to play at the O2 Academy Brixton on Wednesday night, but posted on Instagram that he won't be able to continue.

Sam said: "Absolute nightmare. Got laryngitis and have been instructed by the doctor to stop singing for two weeks, if I carry on I could haemorrhage my cords which would mean being out for months."

He added he is working on rescheduling the shows.

Sam Fender
Getty Images

Hartlepool box park plans could be scrapped

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Nic Marko

Plans for an "innovative box park" at a retail park in Hartlepool could be under threat if proposals to move Aldi go ahead.

The park would use shipping containers for retail purposes and could bring up to 40 jobs to the area.

But bosses behind the development now say the project is in jeopardy after proposals from Aldi to move its store from Tees Bay Retail Park to Brenda Road.

According to an objection letter, submitted to the council, Aldi's move could prevent investment in the retail park and harm a retail centre:

Aldi have said the current store is "outdated and too small" and there is "more than sufficient" retail capacity to support the new store and the existing Tees Bay Retail Park.

Artist impression of the Tees Bay Box Park proposal

Snowy scenes in Northumberland

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Northumberland - here is snow lying near Carrshield, southwest Hexham, this morning.

Snow lies in Carrshield, southwest Hexham, this morning
Snow lies in Carrshield, southwest Hexham, this morning

Beach cleans produce thousands of bags of rubbish

BBC Tees

Hundreds of volunteers collected five tonnes of rubbish from Durham’s Heritage Coast this year.

Schools, universities, businesses, community groups and members of the public took part in 90 beach cleans, recovering 2,000 bags of rubbish from the stretch between Seaham and Crimdon.

The final official Durham Heritage Coast beach clean of 2019 is on Sunday from 11:00 until 13:00 at Red Acre beach in Seaham.

#DogsAtPollingStations: Pooches at the polls

Whenever voters go to the polls it's their dogs which take centre stage as they accompany their owners to polling stations across the country.

In an election tradition, the hashtag #dogsatpollingstations has been trending as social media users share pictures of their 'pawlitical' companions.

As the general election is being held in December for the first time since 1923, we are being treated to photos of our furry four-legged friends in festive spirit.

Here's Spencer the labradoodle in Newcastle.


Durham Wildlife Trust: Bellamy's 'unwavering support' will be missed

David Bellamy
Getty Images

Durham Wildlife Trust has paid tribute to naturalist David Bellamy, who died yesterday, aged 86.

Mr Bellamy was its president and more recently held the position of patron.

In a statement, the trust said: "We will miss his unwavering support and commitment and will continue to do everything we can to conserve wildlife and encourage the next generation to appreciate and respect our flora and fauna."

London-born Bellamy, who lived in County Durham, presented programmes such as Don't Ask Me, Bellamy On Botany, Bellamy's Britain, Bellamy's Europe and Bellamy's Backyard Safari.

Trust director Jim Cokill said: "David Bellamy was one of the main reasons why I do the job I do today.

"His TV programmes gave me a love of wildlife and the natural world from a young age and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to meet him in later life.

"He made a lasting contribution to nature conservation in the North East, the country as a whole and across the world."

Students face disruption from construction work on accommodation

BBC Newcastle

Noise from construction workers, rubbish bags being left in corridors and windows blocked by scaffolding.

These are just some of the issues facing Newcastle students living at St James' Point - a privately owned high rise block near St James Park in Newcastle.

Students say they weren't warned about the disruption when they signed contracts at the start of the academic year.

Student Roost which owns the building says it will discount the worst affected students and says it told residents as soon as possible after the work was confirmed.

It costs students between £5,600 and £10,000 a year in rent to live in the block.

Vicky Hepstead, an editor of the student news site The Tab in Newcastle, says "it just builds up unnecessary stress".

"If you pile this on top of exams and essays it really isn't going to help," she says.

St James' Point, Newcastle

Hit-and-run driver to be sentenced

BBC Newcastle

A man's due to be sentenced today after killing a 10-year-old girl in a hit and run in Newcastle.

Melissa Tate was hit by Connor Marsden's car in Kenton in September.

The 23-year-old from Ambridge Way pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and is due to be sentenced later.

General election 2019 night: What, where, when? Key times to watch out for
What results to look out for, and when, on election night with BBC Electioncast's Adam Fleming.
Sam Fender surprises super fan at Newcastle gig
A 10-year-old boy was surprised by his hero singer Sam Fender after receiving gig tickets for his birthday.

North East school donations below the national average

BBC News Education

By Tom Barton, BBC Victoria Derbyshire

Pupils in some of the poorest regions of England are losing out because parents cannot afford to fill a funding shortfall with donations, BBC News has found.

The BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme's analysis of Department for Education data shows the average school in England generated £59 per pupil from donations in 2017-18 - 1.07% of its overall budget.

The money is often raised through events, such as fun runs and school fairs.

Westmoor Primary School

In the North East, school donations are below the national average.

At Westmoor Primary School - just outside Newcastle - fewer than 6% of pupils are eligible for free school meals.

There, a recent muddy fun run raised £4,500 for pupils. While such events last year brought in £16,000 - or £45 per child.

Some schools, like Hawthorn Primary, fare much worse.

Based in Newcastle's city centre, nearly 50% of its pupils have free school meals.

Last year its donations brought in just £1,200 - less than £5.50 per pupil.

BreakingMan guilty of murdering Connor Brown in Sunderland

A man has been found guilty of the murder of 18-year-old Connor Brown, who was stabbed outside a pub in Sunderland in February.

Leighton Barrass, 20, of Hartside Square, Sunderland, killed Connor in an argument by the Borough pub.

Another man, Ally Gordon, 19, of Pulmuir Road, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter at Newcastle Crown Court.

The court previously heard Barrass had bought a flick knife from a shop in Sunderland for £15 on the day of Connor's death.

He was seen demonstrating to friends how the knife worked in CCTV images shown to the court.

Sentencing has been adjourned until 10:00 tomorrow.

Connor Brown
Family photo

Further arrests following Horden shooting

BBC Tees

A 40-year-old man remains in hospital with serious injuries following a shooting in Horden.

A man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder and a woman has also been detained on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Durham Constabulary are examining a number of locations across Peterlee and Horden as part of the investigation into the incident, which happened in Moutter Close in Horden, at about 01.45 on Sunday.

Horden Household Waste Recycling Centre has also been closed to the public while inquiries continue.

Three other people arrested in connection with the shooting have been released.


Middlesbrough man charged with Rachel Wilson's murder to appear in court

A man is due in court charged with the 2002 murder of a woman.

Rachel Wilson, 19, and from Middlesbrough, was last seen alive in May 2002. Her remains were found on the outskirts of the town a decade later.

Keith Hall is charged with murder, living off the earnings of prostitution and perverting the course of justice.

The 61-year-old, from Grove Hill, Middlesbrough, entered no plea when he appeared at court on Monday and was remanded by magistrates.

Rachel Wilson
Cleveland Police

Severe accident: A186 Tyne And Wear both ways

BBC News Travel

A186 Tyne And Wear both ways severe accident, at Pease Avenue.

A186 Tyne And Wear - A186 West Road in Newcastle blocked and it's slow at the Pease Avenue junction, because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: A66 County Durham westbound

BBC News Travel

A66 County Durham westbound severe accident, from Mill Lane to A1150 Darlington Road.

A66 County Durham - A66 in Durham closed westbound from the Mill Lane junction to Great Burdon roundabout, because of a serious accident involving car. In the roadworks area. Diversion in operation - Hollow Diamond - Mill Lane - A67 to rejoin the A66.

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

Severe disruption: A66 North Yorkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

A66 North Yorkshire westbound severe disruption, from A1 to A686 Carleton Avenue.

A66 North Yorkshire - A66 closed to high sided vehicles westbound from the A1(M) J53 Scotch Corner junction in Scotch Corner to Kemplay Bank Roundabout in Penrith.

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

Man feared dead in NZ explosion found safe and well

A Darlington man who it was feared was caught up in the volcanic eruption in New Zealand has been located this evening.

Karl Rakos's mum, from Ferryhill, has confirmed that he is safe and on a cruise ship heading for Australia.

He's due to arrive there tomorrow.

Earlier today, Mr Rakos's son had said he was increasingly worried about his father and stepmother as he hadn't heard from them since Sunday.

Six people are now known to have died and 30 have been injured following the eruption on White Island.

Severe accident: A167(M) Tyne And Wear northbound

BBC News Travel

A167(M) Tyne And Wear northbound severe accident, at A193 Newbridge Street.

A167(M) Tyne And Wear - A167(M) in Civic Quarter partially blocked and queues northbound at A193 Newbridge Street, because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: A189 Tyne And Wear southbound

BBC News Travel

A189 Tyne And Wear southbound severe accident, from B1311 Gallowgate to Bath Lane.

A189 Tyne And Wear - A189 St James Boulevard in Chinatown partially blocked and queues southbound from the B1311 Gallowgate junction to the Bath Lane junction, because of an accident involving three vehicles.

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

Severe accident: A691 County Durham both ways

BBC News Travel

A691 County Durham both ways severe accident, at A167.

A691 County Durham - A691 in Durham partially blocked and queues at Sniperley roundabout, because of an accident involving vehicle and pedestrian.

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

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 to high sided vehicles in both directions from the A66 junction to Portrack Interchange. Traffic is coping well.

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

County Durham NHS bosses travel to Italy to recruit nurses

NHS chiefs in County Durham and Darlington have admitted they are "constantly" trying to fill vacant posts in their A&E departments - even travelling to Italy to recruit nurses.

They also revealed that they face a "real challenge" keeping waiting times down, especially with the impact of added winter pressures.

There have been calls to ease this by reopening emergency care at Bishop Auckland Hospital.

However, it is believed this option is not viable due to the other services that would also need to be restarted to ensure patient safety.

The Trust says it is actively working on a recruitment programme.

Image of nurses
Science Photo Library