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  1. Updates on Monday 16 May 2016

Live Reporting

By Duncan Leatherdale

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Updates for the North East have now finished here for the day - thank you for joining us. There will be further updates online, on our radio stations - BBC Tees and BBC Newcastle - and on BBC Look North in the meantime.

    We'll be back from 08:00 on Tuesday with more news, sport, weather and travel updates and hope you can join us then.

    If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet usemail us, or contact us via our Facebook page.   

  2. Weather: Staying dry with some grass frost developing

    It will stay dry across the region overnight with variable cloud amounts and light winds. Some clear spells may allow a touch of grass frost to develop by dawn. 

    weather graphic

     Minimum Temperature: 7C (45F).

  3. Sam Allardyce: I don't want relegation scrap

    BBC Sport

    Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce says he is determined to make sure the club is not involved in another Premier League relegation fight next season.

    Allardyce took charge of the Black Cats in October when they were winless in their opening eight matches, but guided them to 17th and safety.

    "I don't want to go through that again," he told BBC Newcastle.

    Allardyce added that he plans to discuss transfer targets with owner Ellis Short in the next few days.

    Sam Allardyce
  4. Household waste recycling plant plans to go on display

    Plans for a new household waste recycling centre in Teesdale are being put on display for the public to have their say on.

    Durham County Council is proposing to build a new centre at Stainton Grove Industrial Estate, on the site currently occupied by the council’s depot.

    If the plans go ahead, the new facilities would replace the existing household waste recycling centre at Stainton Grove.

    The plans propose a larger site that would be open seven days a week and offer a wider range of recycling facilities along with a furniture reuse building for sale of reusable items and opportunities for small businesses to recycle items such as green waste, building materials and wood.

    An information event for local residents to view the plans and find out more is taking place on 25 May between 15:00 and 19:00 at the Community Hall in Stainton Grove.

  5. Travel: Delays on A1 and A66

    BBC Travel

    The A1 in Newcastle is partially blocked and there is queuing traffic northbound between Kenton Bar Roundabout and Kingston Park, because of a multi-vehicle accident.  

    On the A66 in Middlesbrough a lane blocked on exit slip road and slow traffic eastbound at the A19 junction, because of an accident.  

    More traffic information on the BBC Travel website for Tyne & Wear and Teesside.

  6. Model miner unveiled in Sunderland

    A model of a miner created by more than 200 people has been unveiled in Sunderland.

    The sculpture was made as part of the Birds in a Cage project run by Sunderland City Council, the Sunderland Empire and potter Mark Burns Cassell.

    It was inspired by the area's mining heritage and will tour centres in the Coalfields area.

    Hundreds of members of the public made ceramic pit tokens and Davy lamps at workshops for the statue.

    The miner statue
  7. Wetsuits stolen from Newcastle van

    Nineteen wetsuits and diving equipment worth £1,200 have been stolen from a van in Newcastle.

    Thieves broke into a van parked in Mowbray Street between 20:00 on Sunday and 07:30 this morning.

    Three wetsuits

    A box containing 20 pairs of surf booties and a bucket of gloves were also stolen.

    Northumbria Police are appealing for information.

  8. Temporary bridge to be installed above closed bridge

    A temporary bridge is to be installed above a bridge in County Durham which closed after inspectors identified "issues with its structural integrity". 

    Traffic and pedestrians were banned from Deerness Bridge, between Ushaw Moor and New Brancepeth, on 13 April. 

    Durham County Council is to install a replacement Bailey bridge so people can cross the river while a permanent solution is developed. 

    The council said the "vital route" is expected to open by the end of May. 

    Deereness Bridge
  9. Good Samaritan who helped lost children sought

    A good Samaritan helped two lost children get home safely in Newcastle. The girl, 12, and boy, four, became separated from their mother in the crowds near St James' Park at about 18:00 on Sunday.The pair walked to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary where an unknown member of the public gave them money and arranged for a taxi to take them to their relative's home where they were reunited with their mother.

    A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Police would like to identify this person from the RVI so they can be thanked for their kind actions and assistance." 

  10. Hodgson: I chose Townsend over Walcott

    BBC Sport

    England manager Roy Hodgson has explained his decision to include Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend in his provisional Euro 2016 squad ahead of Arsenal's Theo Walcott.

    He said: "Walcott and Andros Townsend are not similar players. Townsend was unlucky to lose his place in the squad but since he has gone to Newcastle he has done very well. Walcott has not had regular games."  

    Roy Hodgson

    He also said Manchester United's Michael Carrick, who was born in Newcastle, was left out as he has been "unlucky with injuries".

  11. Man critical with head injuries after night out

    A man has been left with serious head injuries after a night out in Newcastle. At about 04:30 on Sunday, police responded to a report of a man causing problems at the entrance to the Powerhouse club (pictured) in Westmorland Street.

    Powerhouse night club

    Officers found the 22-year-old man injured. He was taken to hospital, where he remains in a critical condition. Police are investigating how the man came about his injuries and are appealing for witnesses.   

  12. Council fears 'real risk' of pay disputes

    Don McLure, corporate director of resources for Durham County Council, said there is a "real risk" that under the present contracts other council employees could make claims for equal pay with the teaching assistants.

    He told BBC Tees: "I fully understand the position (teaching assistants) are in but they are very valued, they do a great job and support the education of our children, but we are doing this to bring them in line with the rest of our workforce."

    He said two consultations with assistants and the unions have failed to find agreement but he hopes further discussions will resolve the matter without strike action being taken.

  13. Unison calls teaching assistant contract changes 'devastating'

    Following Durham County Council's decision to change the contracts of teaching assistants, Unison regional officer, Helen Metcalf, said members were "bitterly disappointed".

    She said: "Our members have already indicated, in a consultative ballot, that they overwhelmingly reject these proposals, when 95% voted against the proposed changes. 

    "This is a devastating blow for the 2,700 teaching assistants in the county, who now face being driven into poverty and relying on food banks through losing £200 to £400 per month of their salary.

    "Now that the authority has taken this decision we are left with no option but to lodge a formal dispute and ballot our members for industrial action.”

  14. Union to consider strike action over council's teaching assistant contract changes

    The union Unison is to ballot members about potential industrial action after Durham County Council agreed to change the contracts of teaching assistants.

    At a full council meeting this morning, the authority agreed plans to pay the classroom helpers for 39 weeks a year rather than the current 52.

    The council said this was to bring them inline with the council's other 17,000 workers and reduce the risk of other staff making claims for equal pay against the authority.

    Unison said it would mean the county's 2,700 teaching assistants being paid between £200 and £400 a month less. 

  15. Viz founder's rail sale on track

    One of the founders of the comic Viz has sold his collection of railway memorabilia for more than £9,000 at auction.

    Chris Donald had 56 lots for sale including models, station clocks and metal signs.

    His collection sold for £9,330 at Railton's auctioneers.

    The most expensive item proved to be an oak-cased clock from Ilderton Station which fetched £850, more than double its £400 estimate.

    Chris Donald
  16. 'Stricken dog' was buoy

    Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade were called out to help a dog in the water only to find it was a tethered buoy on Saturday afternoon.

    The brigade were heading towards a helicopter training exercise in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea when they got a call from Humber Coastguard at about 13:20 claiming a dog was in difficulty about 1,300ft (400m) offshore from King Edward's Bay in Tynemouth.

    A brigade spokesman said: "The Brigade returned to Tynemouth and found that the dog was actually a buoy or other float tethered in the surf. 

    "The informants were thanked for their vigilance and the incident was marked down as a false alarm with good intent. With there being no animals in distress, the Brigade restarted its journey north."

  17. Garage owner died driving customer's car

    A garage owner from Esh Winning has died after the car he was driving crashed on Saturday.

    The blue Ford Fiesta being driven by Stewart Young, 54, left the road and hit trees near Burnhope at 09:30.

    Stewart Young

    Mr Young, who police believe was on his way to collect a spare for the Fiesta which he was servicing for a customer, was confirmed dead at the scene.

    He leaves a widow, Carol, and three daughters – Lynsey, 27, Gemma, 24 and Samantha,10, and a stepdaughter Emma, 32.

    In a statement, the family said: “He was an amazing husband, dad and grandad, and we are shattered to think he has suddenly been taken from us. While all of the family will miss him terribly, we take some small comfort from knowing he will be forever in our hearts.”

    Site of the crash