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Millions paid out to help East Yorkshire businesses

Almost £19.5m has been paid out to small businesses in the East Riding on the first day coronavirus grants were made available.

Cash
PA Media

In total, 1,942 firms got a share of the funds through East Riding of Yorkshire Council, with more than 7,000 applications expected to be processed over the next few days.

Grants of £10,000 and £25,000 were made available to help small businesses from central government, that will then be distributed by the Yorkshire council.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak it's been announced that all retail, leisure and tourism businesses will pay no business rates in the next financial year.

Council leader Richard Burton said: "Our finance and businesses rates teams are working flat out to make sure businesses and residents get the financial support they need during this very difficult period.

"So we are asking businesses to please bear with us, we are working hard to make payments as soon as humanly possible. You will get them soon."

Coronavirus: Queen to address country over outbreak

The Queen will speak to the nation on Sunday about the coronavirus outbreak - only her fourth special address at a time of crisis during her 68-year reign.

HM The Queen
PA Media

Buckingham Palace said the message, recorded at Windsor Castle, will be broadcast on TV and radio at 20:00 BST.

The Queen records annual Christmas messages but other addresses are rare.

It comes as the number of people who died with coronavirus in the UK rose by 684 in 24 hours, latest figures show.

The Department of Health said that as of 17:00 BST on 2 April, the total number of deaths is now 3,605, up from 2,921. There are 38,168 confirmed cases.

Police chief urges people not to become 'complacent'

The Chief Constable of Humberside Police is asking people not to become complacent and to stick to the strict rules put in place amid the coronavirus crisis:

Two police officers
Getty Images

Lee Freeman said the majority of people have been "fantastic" and thanked them for "doing the right thing".

But, with warmer weather forecast for this weekend, he asked people not to "become complacent".

He said: "These rules are in place to save lives and protect the NHS and we must all ensure that we continue to play our part in this.

"My officers and staff have been out, as always, in communities across the whole force area and I’m pleased to say that overall, people have responded really well and we have seen a huge difference in people’s actions since the regulations came into force."

He added that officers used enforcement once after a person "persistently flouted the regulations or refused to co-operate with requests to comply".

MPs back newspaper editor's call for help

More than 20 of Yorkshire's MPs have signed a letter to the chancellor supporting calls for a business rate holiday for news publishers.

The Yorkshire Post file image
BBC

Earlier this week, Yorkshire Post editor James Mitchinson wrote to MPs across Yorkshire asking for their help in securing tax relief to help cover a drop in revenue linked to the coronavirus outbreak.

He says that advertising income has dropped by 80% with staff being asked to take a pay cut to keep the newspaper running because of the virus.

JPI Media, that runs newspapers such as the Yorkshire Post and the Sheffield Star, has furloughed a "significant number " of staff, he wrote in the letter.

Now, 23 MPs have responded by co-signing a letter to Rishi Sunak MP asking for business rate holidays for news publishers as well using the newspapers to run a public information campaign.

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Thursday's forecast for Yorkshire

We're in for a mix of cloud and sunny spells this morning but that cloud will tend to develop through the course of the day leading to a mainly cloudy afternoon with the chance of the odd shower in places.

Tonight it'll stay cloudy with a possibility of showers but things should clear as the night progresses.

We should see top temperatures of about 9C today:

weather graphic
BBC

CCTV released in hunt for 'girlfriend trek' teen

CCTV images of a missing teenager who disappeared from his home a week ago have been released.

CCTV images of Owen Harding
Sussex Police

Owen Harding, 16, left his family home in Saltdean, East Sussex, on Thursday 26 March.

His mother has said he was upset and it is thought he may have set off on a 280-mile walk to see his girlfriend in Pocklington, East Yorkshire.

Pictures published by Sussex Police show Owen walking away from his home on the day he disappeared.

Education, businesses and hobbyists combine efforts to make equipment for the NHS
Universities and schools are using their skills and equipment to make personal protective equipment.

Hull manufacturer to build ventilators

Pritti Mistry

BBC News

A major medical products manufacturer could start making ventilators for hospitals to help treat patients with coronavirus.

Person holding ventilator equipment
Getty Images

Smith and Nephew said the "large scale production" would begin at its facility in Hull as soon as the government deal was approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

The machines have been designed by the company along with experts from the University of Oxford and King’s College London.

“We are proud to be able to support this vital effort and help meet the UK Government’s ventilator challenge to ensure the NHS is equipped for treating patients with COVID-19. I want to thank all our employees who are working long hours to make this happen, while also ensuring continued production of the important medical products already manufactured at our Hull site to support other patients.

Roland DiggelmannChief Executive Officer of Smith+Nephew

Hull heart doctor call for mass coronavirus testing

A Hull cardiologist says the UK has been slow in getting NHS workers tested for coronavirus which is putting pressure on the health service.

Coronavirus testing
Getty Images

Dr Sanjaay Gupta, who is currently off work with suspected coronavirus symptoms, says mass testing would mean staff can go back to work.

He says: "I think we were very slow off the blocks, that's been the problem.

"There were some countries which understood the significance and potential severity of this and got off the mark more quickly - I think they were a lot more efficient."

Dr Gupta says he wants to be tested to see if he has covid-19 and says the NHS is being "let down" by the lack of testing.

Boris Johnson has promised to increase the number of tests being carried out to diagnose coronavirus, using a video message to stress that this was the key to defeating the pandemic.

Hundreds of cannabis plants seized in Hull raid

Two men have been arrested in Hull on suspicion of cannabis cultivation after hundreds of cannabis plants were found during a raid on three properties on the same street.

Cannabis plants found in raid
Humberside Police

The plants and and an amount of growing equipment were discovered yesterday at the properties on Philip Larkin Close, according to Humberside Police.

The men are being held in custody while investigations continue, say police.

Police disperse groups congregating in Hull

Police in East Yorkshire say they've been called out to break up a number of gatherings in and around Hull.

Officers took to social media to remind people to stay at home after dispersing a group playing football in a city park, dealing with a group congregating on Grafton Street and a number of young people skateboarding on West Park.

Strict new curbs on life in the UK to tackle the spread of coronavirus were announced last week, including a ban on public gatherings of more than two people not from the same household.

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Newspaper editor asks MPs to help titles survive

The editor of the Yorkshire Post has written to MPs to ask the government to help them "survive" as the coronavirus outbreak has seen income drop.

The Yorkshire Post and the Star file picture
BBC

James Mitchinson wrote the letter to MPs across Yorkshire asking for a business rate holiday for news publishers.

He says that advertising income has dropped by 80% with staff being asked to take a pay cut to keep the newspaper running because of the virus.

JPI Media, that runs newspapers such as the Yorkshire Post and the Sheffield Star, has furloughed a "significant number " of staff, he wrote in the letter.

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Mr Mitchinson asked MPs to urge the government to commit to investing in a significant local media public information campaign, as well as a business rates break.

He said: "I believe local newspapers are so much more to communities than just a newspaper.

"I hope you can help us survive".

A Hull woman is offering to make them for those struggling to buy during the outbreak.
A Hull woman is offering to make pads for those struggling to buy during the coronavirus outbreak.

Staff penalised for halt in work due to virus, say union

Union leaders claim staff at a wind turbine factory in Hull are being asked to "pick up the tab" after production was halted for a week amid the coronavirus outbreak.

A Siemens Gamesa logo
WPA Pool via Getty Images

Unite, which represents about 380 production staff at the Siemens Gamesa site in Hull, say workers have been asked to either take holiday, work the hours back, or go unpaid to cover the break.

It has also called into question whether work at the factory is "essential".

Work was paused at the factory to allow the company to review how it would work during the coronavirus outbreak.

Workers returned to the site today after the firm introduced measures to keep staff safe, including using thermal imaging equipment to check workers' body temperature and providing extra personal protection equipment.

Other measures include new communal areas to space people out and changing aspects of the work to ensure people remain at least 2m (6ft 6in) apart.

Unite regional coordinating officer Simon Coop said: “At this time of national emergency we want to work constructively with management, but we are not prepared to see our members pick up the tab for the week’s pause in production.

“We are urging the management to rescind that edict about the week’s pause and pay our members in full."

The BBC has contacted Siemens Gamesa for a comment

Bus firm launches free service to take NHS staff home

A new shuttle bus service dedicated to taking NHS staff home after shifts at Hull Royal Infirmary has been launched.

Stagecoach bus
Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images

The free service, operated by Stagecoach, is designed to support health workers commuting during the coronavirus outbreak and consists of two buses - one travelling to east Hull, the other to the west.

The company says the buses for nurses, doctors, and ancillary workers, such as porters and cleaners, will leave the hospital at the main shift change times and will not be open to the public.

The routes will operate flexibly, taking staff to a place on a main road "that's in quick and easy walking distance from their home."

Staff need to produce an ID Card to indicate to the driver that they work at the hospital.

Wednesday's weather forecast for Yorkshire

It'll be mostly cloudy today with a scattering of showers, though we may see a few bright spells

Tonight will remain cloudy tonight with further showers pushing in at times on a moderate westerly breeze.

weather
BBC

Grants to help vulnerable people in East Yorkshire

A number of organisations across Hull and East Yorkshire will get a share of £14,000 to help support vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.

An older person cooking
Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Two Ridings Community Foundation has allocated the grants to groups that do work such as meals on wheels and supporting victims of domestic abuse.

The list includes the Moorlands Community Charity in Goole, The Hinge Centre in Bridlington, Beverley Cherry Tree charity, The Hull, Phoenix project and the Hull Youth Support Trust.

Woman and three teenagers charged with assaulting officers

Three police officers have been assaulted by a woman and three teenagers during a disturbance in East Yorkshire.

Holyrood Avenue
Google

It happened at about 23:00 last Friday at a property in Bridlington, according to Humberside Police.

The force says three officers were assaulted as the disturbance spilled onto the street.

A 38-year-old woman, from Bridlington, a 14-year-old girl and a 15-year old boy have all been charged with assaulting an emergency worker and a public order offence.

A 16-year-old girl has been charged with assaulting an emergency worker and two public order offences.

All four have been released on bail and are due to appear at court next month.

Coronavirus: Lockdown may lead to aggressive seagulls

People living on the coast are being warned that seagulls may be more aggressive than usual due to a drop in food sources amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Seagulls
Getty Images

With people told to stay at home during the virus outbreak the number of visitors to the seaside has dropped dramatically.

As a result, East Riding of Yorkshire Council is warning that gulls may be behaving more aggressively than usual.

In a statement it said: "Coastal residents are being advised that, due to a lack of food sources, seagulls may be more hungry than normal and may behave aggressively.

"Residents are asked not to eat on the seafront areas, to encourage the birds to fend for themselves away from towns."

The council has also said that while its nature reserves remain open government advice is that people should take their permitted daily exercise near their homes, and should avoid non-essential car journeys.

Hull in 'audacious' EuroPride bid to bring smiles back

Pride in Hull says it wants to bring Europe's biggest LGBTI celebration, EuroPride, to the city in 2023.

Hull Pride
Tom Arran

Matt Walton, chair of Pride in Hull, said: “EuroPride is such a huge event, bringing thousands of people to its host cities, and we believe that Hull is ready to shine as the hosts of EuroPride.

“We’ve faced huge changes as a city and a nation – from Brexit to the current situation with the coronavirus lockdown – but the Pride in Hull committee absolutely believe in the city’s passion to build bridges and reconnect people."

Hull Pride
Tom Arran

Matt added: “We were devastated to have to cancel this year’s Pride in Hull event due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but it was for the right reasons.

"Hopefully, us revealing this great big and frankly audacious bid will help raise some smiles during a difficult time for everyone.”

EuroPride 2020 had been due to take place in Thessaloniki in June but has been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Tuesday's forecast for Yorkshire

It'll be mostly cloudy today with perhaps the occasional spot of rain and a few brighter interludes at times.

Tonight we will see plenty more cloud with patchy light rain in places.

Weather graphic
BBC

Air Ambulance staff to return to frontline NHS roles

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) is scaling back its service to allow its crew members to return to their jobs and help in the fight against coronavirus.

Air Ambulance
Yorkshire Air Ambulance

In a statement the YAA said it was re-deploying staff to ensure Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) and the NHS could provide as much frontline care as possible.

As a result it said one of its two helicopters would be temporarily grounded.

Peter Sunderland, YAA Chairman said: “In the midst of this unprecedented crisis, the YAA wants to do everything it can to support the NHS and YAS in their fight against COVID-19. It is important that everyone does their part, including us.

“As the cases of COVID-19 rise, it also increases the pressure on the NHS. We know that YAS anticipates a significant increase in 999 calls across the region and by redeploying our Doctors and a small number of our Critical Care Paramedics back to their respective hospitals or ambulance operations, we can do our bit to support the frontline effort.”

He said the outbreak had also resulted in a "huge downturn in fundraising incomes", saying that as a result of cancelled events the service would lose an estimated £400,000.

New timetable for East Yorkshire bus company

One of the region's biggest bus operators, East Yorkshire Buses, has introduced a new, scaled-back timetable as it continues to run services during the coronavirus outbreak.

An East Yorkshire bus
BBC

Although there will still be four buses an hour linking the Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital, the rest of the company's routes have been reduced to one bus an hour.

In the case of longer routes like the X46 to York, a bus will run every two hours.

It follows a 90% fall in passenger numbers after the government advised people to avoid public transport if possible.

Key workers who rely on public transport to get to work will have their routes "prioritised", the company said.

Toll booths close on Humber Bridge

Toll booths on the Humber Bridge have been closed to protect staff and the public during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Humber Bridge
PA Media

Motorists who use the bridge, which links Barton-upon-Humber with Hessle, will be told to drive through the Open Road Tolling lanes.

Drivers will have to pay to use the road by going to the Humber TAG website and inputting their car's registration number.

Cameras will record their crossing which then have to be paid for within 14 days.

The cashless system is being run to reduce contact between customers and staff on the bridge.

Hull Trains axes all services amid outbreak

Hull Trains has axed all its services because of the "unprecedented circumstances" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Train at platform
Hull Trains

The firm said passenger numbers had "dropped significantly" since the government lockdown came into force.

Managing director Louise Cheeseman, said it was a difficult decision, but one which was necessary to safeguard the future of the business.

There will no service from Monday until the pandemic restrictions are lifted.

Hull Trains, thought to be Britain's smallest train company and employs about 130 staff, says it has not been offered additional financial support from the government, which franchised rail operators have.

Union bosses have told the firm they expect the firm's workers' wages to be guaranteed "at 100%".

Police appalled by 'disgusting' spitting incident

Humberside Police said it was appalled by the "disgusting behaviour" of a member of the public who spat on a patrol car which was responding to an incident on Saturday.

The car had to be taken out of service for a deep clean, officers said.

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Two women appear in court over 'fake carers' theft

Two women have appeared in court charged with burglary after it is alleged they posed as carers to steal an elderly woman's money.

York Crown Court
Google

The women, aged 51 and 36, are said to have taken £330 from an 86-year-old woman's bank account after stealing a purse from her home in York on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old woman appeared before York magistrates yesterday and has been in remanded in custody to appear at York Crown Court (pictured above) on April 27.

The 51-year-old appeared at Hull Magistrates' Court yesterday and has been released on bail to appear at Hull Crown Court on April 24.

Woman 'fined' in fake police stop checks

Humberside Police has said it isn't operating vehicle stop checks after a woman was pulled over and 'fined' by two men appearing to be officials.

A police officer
PA Media

The woman was flagged down by two men, who were both dressed in black zip up hoodies, carrying walkie talkies and wearing ear pieces.

They asked the woman where she was going and if the journey was essential before demanding she paid a £60 'fine'.

The woman refused and two men got back into their car and drove away.

It happened on the Leven bypass near Brandesburton, East Yorkshire at about 09:25 this morning.

Police say they're not routinely stopping any vehicles and that we do not have any stop check areas in place.

Five more people die with coronavirus in Yorkshire

A further five people have died at hospitals in Yorkshire after testing positive for coronavirus, according to the latest NHS figures.

A NHS sign
BBC

In total 759 people diagnosed with the virus have now died across the UK, with 14,579 people testing positive for the disease.

The deaths happened in hospitals in Doncaster and Bassetlaw, Sheffield, York and at a Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust.

Kirsten Major, from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said since 17 March ten people have died at hospitals in the city.

"The families of these patients have been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this very difficult time."

Watch: Mum writes storybook to explain coronavirus

A mother has written a story to explain to her autistic daughter why they have to stay apart during the coronavirus outbreak.

Claire from East Yorkshire is self isolating after displaying symptoms of the Covid-19 virus. Her nine-year-old daughter Skye is staying with her grandmother.

Her mother said her daughter was struggling to understand why they had to be separated during the pandemic:

East Yorkshire buses ask passengers to ditch cash

East Yorkshire Buses are appealing to passengers to use contactless payments whenever possible, to reduce the risk of the virus being passed on through handling cash.

An East Yorkshire bus
BBC

The hope is that by reducing the contact between passengers, notes and coins and the driver, the virus is less likely to spread.

In addition to the new measures, passengers will be asked not to occupy the seats near the driver.

A new, reduced timetable will come into force from first thing Monday morning, but the frequency of service on key routes will be maintained, it said.

Buses will concentrate on getting key workers to essential employment, the company wrote on Twitter.

Driffield Show cancelled due to coronavirus

This year's Driffield Show has become the latest event to be cancelled as part of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Driffield Show
BBC

In an announcement on their website, the show's chief executive said the July event will not go ahead to ensure the safety and wellbeing of visitors.

It added: "If you have purchased tickets for the Driffield Show a full refund will be sent to you in the next few weeks by our ticket provider."

Network Rail asks former signallers to return to railways

Retired rail workers are being asked to consider coming back to work to help keep the railways running during the coronavirus crisis.

Trains
Getty Images

Network Rail is appealing to former signallers to help man signal boxes and control centres and it looks to provide crucial cover for members of the workforce who may need to self-isolate.

Chris Gee, Head of Operations (Eastern Region) for Network Rail, said: “We are working hard to keep vital services, which get key workers to their jobs and food and medical supplies across the country, moving.

“We are appealing for signallers who’ve retired, moved on to other careers at Network Rail or left the railway to come back and help us keep signal boxes and control centres open.

“Signallers are crucial to keep the railway open and we need more former workers to help us provide back-up if some of our staff can’t come to work. Full re-training will be given.”

Any former professional signallers interested in helping to keep trains moving should email: RetiredSignallersEasternRegion@networkrail.co.uk

'Give blood' plea as donations drop

People are being urged to give blood after a drop off in donations because of the coronavirus outbreak.

A person with bags of blood
Getty Images

The NHS says going to give blood is essential and people should, where possible, keep going to appointments.

"We need people to keep donating as normal", an appeal said.

"We have extra safety measures in place and travel to donate blood is essential for the NHS.

"Our blood donor sessions and donor centres are open and our staff are taking special measures to provide a clean and safe space for you to donate."