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  1. Updates on Thursday 30 June 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage throughout the day

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

That's it for today - thank you for joining us.

We'll be back at 08.00 tomorrow with more news, weather, sport and travel updates.

In the meantime, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, or you can email

Weather: The rain is back

BBC Weather

Outbreaks of rain are expected to spread east during the evening, turning persistent and locally heavy in places, mainly across the Pennines. Breezy with rain clearing most places by dawn. 

Check the forecast where you are here.

Weather graph

Travel: Extra lanes open on A1 near Gateshead

Driving to the MetroCentre is finally starting to get a little bit easier:

Drivers can now use extra lanes on the A1 in Gateshead after roadworks along a four-mile section of the road started to be lifted.

The extra lane will be fully opened in each direction over the weekend along the entire stretch from junction 67 (Coal House) to the MetroCentre at junction 71.

The temporary speed limit of 40mph will also be removed over the weekend, returning to 50mph.

The £61m project to increase the number of lanes from two to three and create two new local link roads will tackle congestion and increase capacity.

Child protection services 'did not recognise violence children were exposed to'

A serious case review into the injuries and neglect suffered by a two-year-old has reached a number of conclusions.

It found child protection agencies involved in the case had a poor understanding of the violence that the young girl and her sister, from the Redcar and Cleveland area, were exposed to.

The elder child, named as Sarah in the report, is said to have developed aggressive behaviour, which may have been a possible reaction to the atmosphere of violence she experienced in the home.

The report also claims that there were issues with the level of communication between teams. 

It states that there was no communication between GPs and the child protection core group when the mother suffered a head injury in 2013.

Poor, and lack of, recording was also identified as a key issue during the care and supervision proceedings.

Power cuts causing blackouts across the North East

There's a number of power cuts across the North East, Northern Powergrid says.

The electricity is off for some homes in Nunthorpe on Teesside after someone damaged one of the underground cables. It's not due back on until 20:00.

There's also outages in Blyth, Gateshead and Seaham.

Check the list here.

Power cuts map
Northern Powergrid

Former Middlesbrough midfielder 'considered returning to the club'

BBC Tees

BBC Tees Sport

Former Middlesbrough midfielder James Morrison says he had talks over a possible return to Teesside before deciding to stay with West Brom.

The 30-year-old, who joined the Baggies from the Boro back in 2007, has signed a new two-year contract at the Hawthorns.

James Morrison

Review of young girl's injuries says Baby P guidelines were not followed

More on a story we brought you earlier:

Child protection chiefs failed to follow guidance from the Baby P case when they did not assess a violent man left in charge of a young girl who suffered serious injuries, a report says.

Emma (not her real name), who was from the Redcar and Cleveland area, suffered burns to her left hand, thigh and unexplained bruising in October 2013.

Her mother's partner, named in the serious case review as Tom, had been arrested for domestic violence and was also arrested over the injuries suffered to Emma.

But he previously had never been adequately risk assessed and lied to a social worker that he did not have a police record, effectively becoming "invisible" to the agencies, the report shows.

The importance of including partners in child protection was outlined in the Baby P case. Peter Connelly was 17 months old when he died in Tottenham, north London, in 2007.

Peter Connelly
Family photo

He had been seen by health and social services professionals 60 times before he was found dead with more than 50 injuries.

His mother Tracey and her partner Steven Barker are serving minimum jail terms of five and 12 years over his death.

Easington school holds a parade

Easington Colliery Primary School have been holding their own carnival through the streets today.

Some 500 children have taken part over the last three days in numerous arts-based activities, including music, dance and drama.

It all culminated in a procession today to celebrate cultural diversity.

People taking part in the parade

Anti-Corbyn MPs 'not welcome' at Durham Miners' Gala

Labour MPs who have resigned from the shadow cabinet and voted against Jeremy Corbyn have been told they are not welcome on the platform at the Durham Miners' Gala.

Durham Miners' Association general secretary Dave Hopper accused them of treachery towards their party leader.

Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods, who resigned from Labour's front bench on Monday, rents an office in the association's headquarters.

She has been approached for comment.

Durham Miners' Gala
Getty Images

Labour MPs voted 172-40 to pass a motion of no confidence in Mr Corbyn amid calls on him to quit, but Mr Hopper said the association would not "fete" people who, in his opinion, were "undermining the whole credibility of the Labour Party".

Second Teesside rower going to Rio

A Teesside rower has been selected for the Paralympic Games in Rio

Laurence Whiteley from Stockton has been selected to row for Team GB in the Trunks and Arms Mixed Double Sculls (TA.Mix.2x) event. 

His crewmate Lauren Rowles moved to rowing from athletics where she was a successful wheelchair racer.

The news comes after Tees Rowing Club rower Kat Copeland was also named in Team GB's squad for the Olympics.   

Two-year-old suffered burns and serious injuries, report finds

A young girl suffered serious injuries and burns while in the care of her mother and her partner, a serious case review has found.

The two-year-old and her older sister, from the Redcar and Cleveland area, were neglected by their mother who threw parties which caused disturbances in the street and took drugs, the report says.

It details a litany of missed social worker and healthcare appointments for the children, as well as failures to share information between various different agencies. 

The youngest child, called Emma although that is not her real name, suffered "non-accidental" injuries in October 2013. 

She'd earlier suffered bruising to her shoulder, and neck. Her mother claimed she "fell off a trampoline".

The children were also taken off their child protection plans in May 2013 and five months later Emma suffered her serious injuries.

The mother was jailed for neglect last year. Both children are now in the care of a member of the extended family.

Gateshead man missing from home

A man from Gateshead has been missing since Sunday.

Alan Bruce, 58, was last seen leaving his home in the Leam Lane area that morning.

He told family he was going to meet a friend but never showed up.

Alan is 5ft 6in, of stocky build and has a shaved bald head. 

He left in his white Ford Transit van registration L18AKE.

Falcons sign Cooper from Sharks

BBC Sport

Newcastle Falcons have signed South African hooker Kyle Cooper from Super Rugby side the Sharks.

The 27-year-old former South Africa Under-20 international is the 11th new signing the Falcons have made ahead of the upcoming Premiership season.

Cooper is expected to join up with the squad in August for pre-season.

"We are delighted to have tied up a deal for Kyle, who has vast experience at a high level," said director of rugby Dean Richards.

Kyle Cooper
Getty Images

North East boxers chosen for Rio Olympics

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Two boxers from our region have been chosen to take part in the Rio Olympics next month.

World Championship bronze medallist and Commonwealth Champion Savannah Marshall, from Hartlepool, will compete at middleweight.

Sunderland's Josh Kelly will fight at welterweight.

Good luck to them both.

Savannah Marshall
Getty Images

North East universities set to strike

Members of the University and College Union at the universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham will be on strike this week as part of a wave of nationwide strikes in a row over pay and conditions.

Northumbria and Newcastle strikes will take place tomorrow, and on Saturday staff at Durham will be picketing entrances to the university's science site on South Road and Stockton Road.

The dispute started after a pay offer of 1.1% from the universities' employers, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association. 

UCU said universities can afford to pay more and the offer did little to address the real-terms pay cut of 14.5% that members have suffered since 2009. 

UCU members protesting

More burglaries in Newcastle

Two homes have been burgled in Newcastle.

On Tuesday burglars got into a house in Clovelly Avenue through an unlocked rear door. They stole a bag before making off.

Then between 14:30 and 17:30 yesterday burglars got into a house in Ladykirk Road, again through an unlocked rear door, and stole cash from inside.

Newcastle Insp Alan Davison said: "Burglars are looking to break-in to homes that have unlocked doors and windows. 

"They are targeting homes in the West End of Newcastle, both day and night, and looking for these easy opportunities to strike." 

New flights from Newcastle announced

Two new routes from Newcastle International Airport to Berlin and Las Palmas have been announced.

The new flights will start on 1 November and they are expected to carry more than 36,000 passengers in the first year of operation alone. 

EasyJet will be running the only direct flights from the airport to Berlin Schoenefeld, opening up the destination to the North East population.

Flights from Newcastle to Las Palmas will take-off every Tuesday over the winter season.

Easy Jet plane
Getty Images

BreakingConservative MP who backed Boris Johnson says he had plans for North East

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton has told BBC Tees he had "private reassurances" from Boris Johnson about plans for the North East if he became leader of the Tory party.

Only yesterday Mr Wharton declared his support for Mr Johnson to become the next Prime Minister.

However today the former London mayor pulled out of the race.

Mr Wharton, who is also the Northern Powerhouse minister, says he will have to "look at what other candidates propose" before deciding which of them to endorse.

Redcar and Cleveland council introduces dog mess fines

Dog owners in Redcar and Cleveland Council who don't pick up after their pets could find themselves with a bigger fine. 

Going out without a poop bag could also cost you £100.

Fines come into force from tomorrow across the borough, but free bags will be available near dog bins and from enforcement officers.

Hartlepool United players return to training

The Hartlepool United lads have returned to the pitch this morning to start their pre-season training.

The club posted a live video of them in action:

View more on twitter

BreakingBoris Johnson rules out running for PM

South Shields man who fled after being confronted by Dark Justice arrested

The Shields Gazette

A South Shields man who fled the scene after he was confronted by online group Dark Justice has been arrested in Essex.

Northumbria Police says a 54-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of meeting a child following sexual grooming and is currently in custody.

Cleveland Police report no rise in hate crimes

The temporary Chief Constable for Cleveland Police, Iain Spittal, has announced on Twitter that they have not seen a rise in reported hate crime over the past week.

He said: "Anyone who experiences hate crime can be confident to contact us... Do not suffer in silence, we are here to support you."

This comes after a rise in reported incidents of hate crime since the British referendum to leave the EU.

View more on twitter

Olympian long jumper to retire before he 'fizzles out'

For the past 20 years Teesside long jumper Chris Tomlinson has put his body through the rigours of elite athletic competition, harnessing every ligament, muscle and sinew in the quest for success.

Three consecutive Olympic Games appearances, a World Indoor silver medal, European Championship bronze and British records are the rewards - the achievements that justify the physical sacrifice.

Chris Tomlinson
Rex Features

But what happens when the success begins to dry up? The distances tumble, the crowds and venues decrease, while the body deteriorates and recreating the buzz becomes harder.

Read more here.

Northern Powerhouse minister praises report

The so-called Northern Powerhouse will deliver a multibillion-pound boost to the economy in our region, the minister in charge of the project says.

Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton praised the scheme after a report said it would boost the North of England’s economy, adding £97bn and 850,000 jobs by 2050.

He said: “We are committed to bringing together the great cities and towns of the North to become a powerhouse for our economy. 

"This review shows how this could create hundreds of thousands of jobs and deliver a multibillion-pound boost to the economy right across the Northern Powerhouse.”  

Mortar shell blown up in Northumberland

A suspected mortar shell was found on the riverbank on the River Coquet near Guyance Bridge in Northumberland.

Bomb disposal officers cordoned off the area and then blew it up in a controlled explosion at 16:35 yesterday.

Road closures announced in South Shields for parade

A number of temporary road closures have been announced in South Shields town centre this Saturday, as the South Tyneside Festival Summer Parade takes to the streets.

To enable the parade to take place, Claypath Lane and Percy Street will be closed between 11:00 and 14:00.

Part of Westoe Road, Fowler Street, Ocean Road and part of Sea Road will be closed between 12.30 and 14:30.

The parade will set off from South Shields Town Hall, in Westoe Road, at about 13:00, travelling along Fowler Street, Ocean Road and Sea Road to its final destination at Bents Park.

The festival will feature live music and will celebrate South Tyneside’s maritime history. Pirates, Poseidon, giant octopuses and sea serpents will feature in the parade, and more than 2,000 people are expected to attend.

children taking part in the parade
South Tyneside Council

'Northern Powerhouse' report hails digital tech potential

Energy, advanced manufacturing, digital technologies and health innovation are the four areas that could add more than a quarter of a million extra jobs to the North of England by 2050, according to an economic review published today which covers the so-called Northern Powerhouse

It was commissioned by Transport for the North - the body expected to take control of long term transport planning for the region next year. 

Chairman John Cridland said: "Central to powering the North’s future economy will be an efficient high capacity transport network capable of fully mobilising the workforce between the North's key economic heartlands. 

"The review clearly identifies that such a network must be tailored and shaped to recognise emerging and sustainable strengths whilst acknowledging that many Northern jobs are in other service sector businesses on every Northern high street."

Tyneside cat Nutmeg turns 31

BBC Newcastle

Could this be the oldest living cat in the world?

Well, at the grand old age of 31 - which is 141 in cat years - Ian and Liz Finlay think their tabby Nutmeg could soon be crowned the oldest cat on the planet. 

Although there's no paperwork to verify his age, they reckon he was five years old when they found him living rough under a wheelbarrow in their garden in 1990.

Nutmeg popped into the studio this morning:

View more on twitter

Shane Tunney's girlfriend confirms family will appeal against some of his killers' sentences

The Gazette


Here's a look at today's front page and a link to the top story.

Front Page
The Gazette

Woman assaulted in Gosforth

A woman has been attacked while walking near Warkworth Woods in Gosforth, Newcastle.

She was approached from behind and assaulted by a man at 23:15 on Monday.

He punched her in the face and tried to steal her bag before making off with a small amount of cash. 

He is in his mid to late teens, about 5ft 8in and of medium build. 

Warkworth Woods estate

Darlington cuts approved with library set to move

BBC Tees

Last night Darlington Council approved a series of cuts in order to save its target of £10m.

Darlington's Crown Street library is one of the casualties of the budget cuts being made in the town.

The library will now be relocated to the Dolphin Centre, despite a protest that was held last night outside the town hall to stop this decision.


 Severe cuts to street cleaning have also been confirmed.  

Sunderland on Brexit: 'I'm not worried about what's coming'

Jon Kelly

BBC News Magazine

In Sunderland, voters were warned Brexit risked higher unemployment - but the city went heavily for Leave anyway. How did people's jobs shape the way they voted? 

European Way was blocked. Cones and fences blocked my path. I'd have to go the long way round to reach nearby Brussels Road.

If the EU has a metaphor quota, I thought, Sunderland has definitely exceeded it.

I'd come here because the city was the first win for Leave on referendum night, despite Sunderland's voters being told by supporters of EU membership that quitting would mean a dire threat to jobs at the local Nissan plant. Why had the warnings backfired?

You can read the rest of this feature here.

Diversion sign
Will Walker/North News

Weather: Dry morning, but a cloudy afternoon

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

A dry start for most, with sunny spells throughout the day. 

Although mostly places will stay dry, cloud will gradually build, with the odd shower possible, these most likely during the afternoon.

You can click here to check the weather where you are.

Weather: weather_northeast.avi

Gareth Southgate 'does not want England manager's job'

England Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate has no interest in succeeding Roy Hodgson as boss of the senior national team.

The 45-year-old former Middlesbrough player and manager, has not been offered the role or spoken to the Football Association since the weekend.

Hodgson resigned after four years in charge following the shock Euro 2016 last-16 defeat by Iceland on Monday.

The FA was considering Southgate in an interim role as it searches for Hodgson's successor.

Gareth Southgate
Getty Images

Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Morning. Welcome to BBC Local Live. We'll be with you until 18:00 today to bring you the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates.

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