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Store worker thanked for saving ill man

Staff at Asda in Boldon on South Tyneside saved a man's life when his heart and breathing stopped.

Tom Tweddle, 65, was in the store's car park when security team leader Helen Richardson was alerted that he was unwell.

At first staff thought he could be suffering a stroke so they helped him from the car and into the first aid room.

But when his heart and breathing stopped, Helen started working on him, including giving CPR, until ambulance crews arrived.

Helen learnt life-saving as a child and has kept up her training out of work and for her job as security section leader at the store.

The incident happened in July and Tom is now recovering after surgery for what turned out to be a benign brain tumour.

He has also been back to the store to thank Helen and her colleagues.

Helen Richardson

'Brexit Party should withdraw from Bishop Auckland'

Paula Kempin, who owns The 68 Cafe high above the Durham dales, has plenty of regulars from Bishop Auckland.

She said: "I'm not voting just for Brexit, which is why at the moment I'm still really torn."

Nigel Farage's Brexit Party think they can take crucial votes in the constituency.

But Paula said: "That's the wrong decision, if that's his tactics it's the wrong decision, because he should withdraw."

Paula Kempin
BBC Radio 5 Live spoke to people in Bishop Auckland ahead of the general election.
BBC Radio 5 Live asked people in the town what they care about ahead of the general election on 12 December.

Election 'important opportunity to tackle different issues'

Volunteer conservation trainee Alison Laing joined the Newsbeat camper van in Bishop Auckland to talk about what she wants to see during the election campaign.

Alison Laing

She said: "It's not just about Brexit, it's such an important opportunity to tackle a few different issues at the same time, you can't just think about Brexit, you need to think about the environment, education, all that sort of thing."

Newsbeat camper van

On the campaign trail in Bishop Auckland

Adrian Goldberg

Presenter, BBC Local Radio

John Monaghan only bought the Castlegate Tearooms in Bishop Auckland six months ago.

He plans to vote Conservative because he wants "to get Brexit done and over with" and he doesn't want another referendum - although he voted remain in 2016.

"People have already voted so lets get it done," he says.

He hopes a Conservative government would bring "stability".

"There's a lot of investment going on in Bishop Auckland, especially with the Auckland Project, there's millions and millions of pounds being invested into Bishop Auckland."

But, round the corner in Newgate Street, "it's like a completely different town", he says.

"There's a lot of To Let and For Sale signs up. That part of the town isn't getting invested."

You can listen live here from 19:00 or replay below after.

This content only works in the UK.

Adrian Goldberg with your chance to have your say ahead of this year's general election.

'I'm going to stick with Boris'

We met two first-time voters at the 17th Century Three Horseshoes Pub in neighbouring Barnard Castle.

Bar worker Kim Moore said: "If somebody came in and explained what they wanted then it would be an easier choice to make, but at the moment I don't understand what anyone is doing."

Famr labourer Dean Bainbridge added: "I'm going to stick with Boris and see if he can get the job done."

Kim Moore and  Dean Bainbridge

'I don't think we'll suffer with Brexit'

BBC Radio 5 Live

John Elliott doesn't set much store by economic forecasts of what would happen after Brexit.

The Bishop Auckland-born chairman and founder of all-British washing machine manufacturer Ebac voted to leave the EU.

"Most economists haven't a good record on forecasting the economy," he says.

"I don't think we'll suffer with Brexit."

But he thinks we need change because we "can be much better than we are".

“If the UK was a company it would be bankrupt - we spend more than we earn, we consume more than we produce," he says.

“The country has been badly run for 30 years."

John Elliott

'There's no-one I've got confidence in to take us forward'

At the Fifteas Vintage Tearoom at Auckland Castle, we met Steve Goodwin and Rebecca Nye.

We asked them how a North East seat could have become a target for the Conservative Party after being a Labour heartland for so many years.

Steve said: "I just don't feel there's anyone I can trust at the moment, in terms of the people available to us, Labour, Conservatives, the other parties, there's no-one I've got confidence in to take us forward."

Steve Goodwin

Brexit isn't the only thing on people's minds

BBC Radio 5 Live

Believe it or not, there are people for whom the question of leaving or not leaving the European Union isn't the most pressing issue.

They have their preference and they voted one way or the other - but they really wouldn't mind if the opposite happened, if only things were better where they lived.

Bishop Auckland antiques dealer Suzanne Thomas voted to remain in the EU but says she wouldn’t “lose a minute’s sleep” if we left because there are more important issues facing the region.

Of more importance is "what goes on for us all every single day", she says.

"It’s what goes on in our hospitals, in our schools, in our towns, in our high street – these are the things that affect me and mine."

Severe disruption: A1 Tyne And Wear northbound

BBC News Travel

A1 Tyne And Wear northbound severe disruption, from J65 A1 to J66 A167 Durham Road Bowes Incline.

A1 Tyne And Wear - One lane closed on A1 Western Bypass northbound in Tyne and Wear from J65 A1(M) J65 Birtley to J66, A167 (Bowes Incline), because of Abandoned Vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

North East 'feels the world isn't listening to them'

Mark Easton, the BBC's Home Editor, says issues other than Brexit may come to the fore over the next month.

"This is an election that is unscheduled. It's been called because the Prime Minister can't get Brexit sorted with the numbers in the House of Commons at the moment.

"But of course, as we saw in 2017 in an election that was also about breaking the Brexit deadlock, campaigns have their own character and things bubble up. During the last election you might remember social care became a huge talking point.

"Although this election will be driven by the huge issue of Brexit, other issues may become really important.

"In the North East I think there's a real sense that the world isn't listening to them, that their voice isn't loud enough, they want to be heard more.

"They don't think there's been enough investment and think power is too centralised in London or Brussels."

The BBC's Louise Minchin and Mark Easton discuss the election at Auckland Castle

The High Street where even Poundworld has gone

Christian Fraser

BBC Journalist

Bishop Auckland really is a tale of two towns.

I've been struck by what people have been telling me over the last few days about some of the new investment which is coming in here.

Behind me you have the ancient part of the town, down there is Auckland Castle which gave the town its name.

Bishop Auckland

You can see there's lots of scaffolding down there and new investment, the City financier Jonathan Ruffer has come in here and saved the castle and the precious artwork inside.

Lots of people coming back to the town to have a look, it was newly reopened just the other week.

But when you come around here to the main drag in Bishop Auckland, you get a very different feel about the town.

At the top end here you can see some of the businesses have shuttered, even Poundworld has gone. Local businesses are really struggling to survive.

Bishop Auckland

The 250-mile definition gap

BBC Radio 5 Live

For people in Bishop Auckland, the floods in South Yorkshire are close enough to home to be a worry.

But local farmer Yvonne Scales thinks the distance between here and Westminster makes a big difference in perception.

“If the floods were in London I think it would be a national disaster," she says.

"But because it’s Doncaster it’s not such a national disaster.”

Fishlake, South Yorkshire

Police in Bishop Auckland 'up against it'

Lucy Moody


Out on the streets of Bishop Auckland, one woman has told me law and order should be a big issue for politicians.

Joyce Dowson, 88, a retired lady from the town, thinks politicians should be doing more for the police.

She said “We haven’t got enough police in Bishop Auckland. I feel sorry for them because they’re up against it.

Mrs Dowson said she saw some young boys throwing things at a bus and since there was only one police officer she waited to make sure he was ok.

Joyce Dowson

Manufacturing and agriculture rule the employment roost

The Bishop Auckland constituency includes the towns of Bishop Auckland, Barnard Castle, Shildon, Spennymoor, and Middleton-on-Teesdale.

Some of the smaller towns were built in the era of coal mining, but now manufacturing - including food processing and packaging - public sector, and retail are the main sources of employment.

The rolling landscape, some of which forms part of the Pennines, also supports agriculture, particularly hill farming.

Farmer in Middleton-in-Teesdale

Call to bring big brands to Bishop Auckland

Lucy Moody


An issue with the number of shops in Bishop Auckland seems to be forefront in people's minds when we ask them what politicians could do to improve the town.

Anne Robson, 79 and her husband Neville Robson, 82, from Bishop Auckland said they’d seen a number of shops closing.

Anne said: “They need to open more shops and spend more money in the town because it’s going down hill.

“I was born here, it’s horrible to see, it used to be a lovely town."

Neville agreed and said “one or two large shops might help”.

“I suppose you could some of the big retail brands here,” he added.

Anne Robson, 79 and her husband Neville Robson

'Boris Johnson is the epitome of disingenuous'

John Emmerson, a hill farmer from Bishop Auckland with 400 acres of sheep and cattle, said: "I'm going to vote Labour, and the reason for that is, Boris Johnson is the epitome of disingenuous, and people such as Ress-Moog don't in any way represent myself.

"The Conservatives are coming up here, they're putting a candidate, and the only reason for that is they have no interest whatsoever in the local area, is to see if they can get another seat in Parliament, which will make the position of the people of the North East worse not better.

"At the moment [Brexit] is not really affecting [my farm] but the possibility is disastrous, you're going to lose your major training partner, which is Europe for sheep, 40% of all sheep go to Europe, if we haven't got that trade, you'll find that the sheep will collapse, and that's noted by the Conservatives as they have put forward certain measure to protect sheep farmers."

John Emmerson

'My vote is swaying towards the Conservatives'

Pauline Smith, a hairdresser in Bishop Auckland, said: "I usually vote Labour, I don't claim to be an expert in politics, however my vote is swaying towards Conservative.

"I feel they've given a lot more to small businesses, understanding what they do for taxation, corporation tax. I'm not hearing anything from Labour, that's the reason I'm going that way."

Pauline Smith
The woman inspiring visually impaired children
Laura Tambin helps youngsters achieve their potential through the charity which supported her.

Before and after - getting the vote after the referendum

BBC Radio 5 Live

Bishop Auckland is not alone in having a contingent of young people who have joined the Brexit debate half way through.

Not old enough to vote in the referendum but faced with a general election, they're now having to decide what they want and which party is likely to provide it.

Alex Robertson, who runs an eco-friendly gift shop in the town, is finding it "difficult trying to catch up on everything now that I am old enough to vote".

She's "mainly green" but, as they haven't done well in her nearby constituency, is considering tactical voting.

“I’m mainly Green but tempted on Labour just as a tactical vote to get the Tories out," she says.

"I feel like my vote could more of an impact if I voted Labour than if I voted Green."

'The cafes are struggling because there aren’t any people'

Latest from BBC election special in Bishop Auckland, County Durham...

Lucy Moody


Investing in more shops seems to be a popular answer in Bishop Auckland to the question: "What could politicians do to improve your town?"

Stacey Spindley, 41, from Howden-Le-Wear, said more stores need open in the town to encourage people to visit.

The charity volunteer said it was “dying for trade at the moment".

“In the 13 years I’ve lived here there have been hundreds of shops closed, there’s just cafes now and the cafes are struggling because there aren’t any people. It’s not fair on them."

Stacey Spindley

Call for politicians to focus on repairing local roads

Lucy Moody


Daniel Thomson, 24, from the town, told me he thinks more should be done to improve the roads around Bishop Auckland.

He said: "Some of the roads are pretty bad, especially where I live. There’s cracks and holes."

Daniel Thomson

Services 'stretched so thin' in Bishop Auckland

BBC Radio 5 Live

Carl Howe used to be a bus driver but now runs an axe-throwing centre and describes himself as "Bishop born and bred".

He's worried about cuts.

"Bishop Hospital cost £66m in 2002 and, since then, it’s been department closed after department closed after department closed," he says.

"My sister’s a police officer. She’s stretched thin - a 28-year-old female out on her own.

"Sometimes the nearest back-up is six minutes away by blue light. It’s worrying every time she goes to work for her family.

"Services are being stretched so thin in this area.”

Bishop Auckland winner 'basically a coin toss'

David Rhodes

BBC political reporter

There is a good chance of a Tory victory here, this seat is basically a coin toss, that's how close this constituency is.

Five hundred and two votes made the difference last time, and it's vital for both Labour and the Conservatives - for Labour they need to hold on to seats like this, if they want to be the party of government.

And as for the Conservatives, if they can win here, maybe Boris Johnson can start looking towards having a majority in the House of Commons.

It is a vital seat and we will see a lot of campaign activity here in the coming weeks.

David Rhodes

Talk Talk customers hit by major outage

Talk Talk customers on Tyneside are currently without broadband, TV or landline services.

The firm said the problem was with a central exchange in Newcastle.

In a statement, the firm said: "We're aware that some customers in the North East of England are currently experiencing a loss of phone, broadband and TV service.

"We'd like to apologise for any inconvenience caused during this time and assure you that our engineers are working to restore service as a priority."

Talk Talk
Getty Images

Bishop Auckland 'needs more shops'

Lucy Moody


I'm out and about asking shoppers in Bishop Auckland what one thing they think politicians could do to improve life in the town.

Steven, 32, from nearby Ferryhill, said that the town needs more shops.

He added: “If we were to open more shops it would get more regular visitors from other places."


Barnard Castle students have their say on transport in the area

David MacMillan

BBC Tees

I asked students at Teesdale School in Barnard Castle what they would like politicians to do to improve the lives of younger people in the area.

Transport was a very popular issue they felt needs sorting.

Kal, 17, is hoping to go to university to study English. He called for improvements to public transport.

"I live in a small village and public transport doesn't happen very often, there's around three buses to Barnard Castle a day," he said.

"I was on the phone to the council recently because I have to travel four miles to get here (Teesdale School) and post-16 you have to pay to the bus."

Teesdale School

Katie, 15, also said transport is a big issue and said her sister, who studies at a sixth form centre in Darlington, works three jobs to be able to pay for her transport and continue her education.

"It's all money really that holds us back from being able to do things that we do," she said.

"I'm not going to the same sixth form as my sister but if I had the money I think I would go.

"It's making me think that in the future how am I going to get to university and how will I be able to travel places that I want to go if we don't have the money for it?"

Call for politicians to improve local hospital

Lucy Moody


I asked shoppers in Bishop Auckland what one thing they think MPs could do to improve life in the town.

Antony Gabriel, 65, from Bishop Auckland, used to be an ice-cream man in the area. He thinks the hospital should be a high priority on the politicians' list.

The hospital needs improving. I don’t think people should have to travel from the dales to Durham when they’re passing Bishop Auckland hospital.

They’ve spent millions in the hospital and then started closing the wards down. I think money should be put back into it."

Antony Gabriel

Elmers to be auctioned

The Elmer the Elephants which have been seen on streets around the North East over the last few weeks are being auctioned off today.

Fifty big and 114 little sculptures were designed by artists and schools and are of the popular children's character.

The auction of the 50 big ones will raise money for St Oswald's Hospice.

Here is a video we made in August.

Elmer's Great North Parade takes over the North East

Bishop Auckland 'home to UK's last TV manufacturer'

The constituency of Bishop Auckland is a mixture of post-industrial towns and agricultural communities.

Towns such as Bishop Auckland and Shildon were places once synonymous with coal mines and the railway industry.

Heavy industry, which once employed thousands of local people, has disappeared. However, the UK's last TV manufacturer, Cello, can still be found in Bishop Auckland.

Unemployment in these areas is high by national standards and their high streets are littered with empty shops.

View more on twitter

Brexit 'was when the trouble started'

Reporter Jayne McCubbin has been out and about in Bishop Auckland with the BBC's Coffee Cart, speaking to people in the town centre over a cuppa.

Billy thinks Brexit has left people feeling betrayed by all the parties.

"They thought 'give the monkeys a vote, they'll vote to stay in' and that's when the trouble started.

"They don't want to honour what the people said and keep the working classes down."

Billy and BBC reporter Jayne McCubbin
General Election 2019: Young Bishop Auckland business owners' hopes
The views of young business owners in a town set to be hotly contested in the general election.

D-Day veteran from Middlesbrough to receive Légion d’honneur

The nation fell silent to honour those who died in wars this morning.

It is now 100 years since the first two-minute silence was observed on Armistice Day, 11 November 11 1919.

Today a 98-year old-woman from Middlesbrough was given France's Highest Honour, the Légion d’honneur.

Jean Neal listed the German army Enigma signals and worked on coded messages around the time of the Normandy Landings. She was invited to meet the French Ambassador in London.

France has so far given more than 6,000 D-Day veterans the distinction for services to the country during the World War Two.

Nigel Farage reveals Brexit party's election strategy in Hartlepool

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage was in Hartlepool earlier where he announced that it will not stand candidates in the 317 seats won by the Conservatives at the 2017 general election.

He said standing candidates across the country could increase the chances of another EU referendum taking place.

But he said the party would stand against all other parties - and focus on taking seats off Labour.

Conservative party chairman James Cleverly said: "I welcome the recognition that The Brexit Party do risk actually preventing a stable majority government and I welcome the fact that that's been taken on board."

Labour party chairman Ian Lavery said: "This is a Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson alliance with Donald Trump to sell out our country and send £500m per week from our NHS to US drugs companies. We urge voters to reject this Thatcherite 1980s tribute act, which would lead to more savage Tory attacks on working class communities. Our NHS is not for sale."

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson reacted to Nigel Farage's announcement by saying there is now no difference between The Brexit Party and the Conservatives.

There is more reaction on the BBC Politics election live page.

View more on twitter

Region to pay respects to war dead

Events around the region will mark Armistice Day this morning.

In Morpeth, striking life-size wire art sculptures depicting World War One soldiers will be "standing guard" at County Hall.

Sunderland celebrated its biggest Remembrance Day Parade to date yesterday as hundreds of forces personnel joined the families of those who had fallen to pay their respects.

Soldiers parade before the start of Sunderland"s Remembrance Service at the Sunderland War Memorial
PA Media

Chris Ramsey through to Strictly Blackpool week

South Shields comedian Chris Ramsey is through to the sought after Blackpool week after being voted through on last night's Strictly Come Dancing show.

He performed a tango with partner Karen Hauer on Saturday's programme but they had a nervous wait to find out if they were through as they were one of two couples in danger of being in a dance-off spot.

BBC Breakfast presenter Mike Bushell end up in the dance off though and was voted out.

View more on twitter

Steel jobs to be saved by rescue deal

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

There's good news for hundreds of steel workers on Teesside as British Steel is set to announce a £70m rescue deal with China's Jingye Group.

About 700 people are employed at its Skinningrove and Lackenby plants.

It is understood that the government will help in the form of loan guarantees and other financial support. British Steel has been kept running by the government since May when the company went into liquidation.

You can read more by clicking here.

A steelworker
Steve Morgan/British Steel

Traffic: A66 closed both ways after crash at Stainmore

BBC News Travel

The A66 has been closed in both directions from Brough to the A67 junction at Bowes since a car and a lorry collided at about 05:40 this morning.

Police say they expect it to be shut for come time and there is heavy traffic in the area.

Severe accident: A66 Cumbria eastbound

BBC News Travel

A66 Cumbria eastbound severe accident, from A685 to A67.

A66 Cumbria - A66 closed and it's heavy eastbound from the A685 junction in Brough to the A67 junction in Bowes, because of an accident.

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