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  1. Updates on Tuesday 3 January 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Thanks for joining us for live coverage of today's news.

We're finished for the day. You can find the latest news online, on BBC Tees, on BBC Newcastle and on Look North.

We'll be back tomorrow morning with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00.

If you would like to get in touch then use TwitterFacebook, or email

Weather: Cloud set to thicken

BBC Weather

Cloud will thicken during the evening as outbreaks of rain move south.

It will have cleared by the early hours, with colder and clearer skies following, and a risk of frost.

A brisk northerly breeze is also possible along the coast.  

Weather forecast, 18:00 Tuesday 3 January to 05:00 Wednesday 4 January, 2016

Travel: Accident closes one lane of A1 sliproad in Chester-le-Street

On the  A1(M) in Chester-le-Street a lane is closed on exit slip road and there is slow traffic southbound at J63, A167 (Chester-le-Street), because of an accident.  

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

Middlesbrough domestic violence service sees numbers rise

BBC Tees

The number of men who have referred themselves to a domestic violence service in Middlesbrough increased over the festive period.

The BBC Tees area has some of the highest rates of domestic violence in the country.

Route 2 is a relatively new service which helps men wanting to stop their violent behaviour.

David Hartley is a case manager and says the number of referrals since October have gone up by more than a third.

Les Hebdon

The family of a father-of-three who died when he was struck by a taxi on New Year's Eve say he was much loved and will never be forgotten.

Read more

Kids devour too much 'breakfast sugar'

BBC Tees

As we told you earlier, health warnings have been issued over the amount of sugar office workers are consuming in treats such as cakes and biscuits.

But it's not just adults at risk from poor diets - schoolchildren are eating more than half of their recommended daily allowance of sugar at breakfast time alone.

Public Health England say the daily maximum is no more than five cubes of sugar for four to six-year-olds and no more than six cubes for seven to 10-year-olds per day.

But it says children are having way more than that, with sugary cereals, fruit juice and some spreads to blame. 

A Public Health England poster featuring a warning on how many sugar cubes children eat each year
Public Health England

B6532 closed in both directions in Durham

Dentists call to end 'workplace cake culture'

We're pretty guilty of this in our office but dentists have criticised "workplace cake culture", saying the sharing of sweet treats in the office is contributing to health problems.

The Faculty of Dental Surgery said eating cake and biscuits at work was fuelling obesity and poor oral health.

Tips to cut back on sugar included keeping it as a lunchtime treat and hiding snacks out of view.

But 2016 Great British Bake Off runner-up Jane Beedle said cake could "bring joy to the office".

Biscuits at desk

Middlesbrough and Northumberland in first-time buyer discount scheme

Thousands of homes for first-time buyers will be built this year, according to the government.

Thirty areas across England are to receive funding from the £1.2bn "Starter Homes Land Fund" for the new developments on brownfield sites. They include Middlesbrough and Northumberland.

Buyers must be aged between 23 and 40 and will receive a discount of at least 20% below market value.

However, one housing expert told the BBC that the timescale for the programme was too ambitious.

Getty Images

Cable company claimed to be oldest in the world

AEI Cables - where manufacturing is coming to an end - has been in operation for 175 years and claimed to be the oldest in the world.

The firm has made cables for many uses including for the Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier Programme, Manchester Airport and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Managers had been hoping to sell the factory or operate it as a sales and distribution centre.

Its parent company Ducab group said last year the site was making significant losses.

AEI Cables had been 'losing money for some time'

Today's announcement that AEI Cables will be stopping manufacturing at its Birtley plant comes after a redundancy consultation which started in September.

A spokesman said: "The company has been losing money for some time and, following careful consideration of other options to avoid or reduce the number of potential redundancies, it was necessary to either find a buyer or to cease production.

"Despite significant investment in the plant over the last two-and-a-half years, profitable production levels have not been achieved. With unviable output levels and without a buyer, we deeply regret that manufacturing operations will have to cease. 

"We will be providing all the advice and guidance we can to those being made redundant."

AEI Cables

BreakingAEI Cables confirms end to manufacturing

Almost 200 people are to lose their jobs when manufacturing stops at a Gateshead cable firm, it has been confirmed.

AEI Cables in Birtley said it had "regrettably reached the decision" that it is unable to continue manufacturing and that it will continue as a sales-only business.

It said the majority of the company's 198 employees will leave on or before Friday.

As part of a phased closure, approximately 40 people will continue working until the beginning of March. 

Thirteen sales and administration staff will stay on working for the company after September at a location to be decided, it said.

The FA People's Cup is back - sign up now!


Looking for a new project for the start of 2017? How about getting fit/fitter with a chance to win free tickets to the FA Cup final?

BBC Get Inspired has again teamed up with the Football Association to launch the 2017 FA People's Cup, a free knockout competition that will give the people of England the chance to play in their version of the FA Cup. 

From Sunday League regulars to folk who have only kicked a ball in their back yard everyone can take part.

Find out more and sign up here.

You could be at the FA Cup final on Saturday, 27 May

Traffic disrupted by emergency repairs after gas leak in Middlesbrough

Emergency repairs are being carried out to repair a gas leak in Middlesbrough.

The work is being carried out at the junction of A172 Marton Road and B1380 Ladgate Lane. Lane closures are affecting southbound - out of town - traffic.

Middlesbrough Council says the works are due to be completed tomorrow.

Weather: Cloudy with some sunny intervals this afternoon

Most places will be dry with broken cloud. Some sunny intervals are likely, especially in the east.

Occasional drizzle is possible on western hills. Feeling cool in brisk westerly winds. 

Maximum Temperature: 7C (45F).

weather graphic

Manufacturing at Gateshead cable firm understood to be ending

BBC Newcastle

BBC Newcastle understands a Gateshead cable factory will cease manufacturing after a buyer couldn't be found for the firm. 

Managers at AEI Cables in Birtley had been hoping to sell the factory or operate it as a sales and distribution centre but the company had said previously it could close completely. Its parent company Ducab group said last year the site was making significant losses. 

Now BBC Newcastle understands workers were told this morning that some will be kept on to complete orders but the majority of the 240 employed there will lose their jobs. 

Formal redundancy talks started in September when the company held talks with GMB union representatives and all employees to inform them that the company was entering into a period of consultation to discuss possible redundancies. 

BBC Newcastle has contacted AEI Cables, which is expected to confirm its position later this afternoon. 

AEI Cables

Travel: Still delays on Sunderland Metro stretch

Ant and Dec nominated as best TV presenters...again

Ant and Dec have been shortlisted again in the TV presenter category of the National Television Awards.

The Geordie pair have won the title 15 years in a row.

Also nominated in their category are Gary Lineker, James Corden, Mel and Sue and  Rylan Clark-Neal.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at London's 02 Arena on 25 January. Here's a full list of all the nominations.

Ant and Dec

Woman sexually assaulted in Haltwhistle

A woman was dragged into an alleyway in Haltwhistle and sexually assaulted on New Year's Day, police said.

The woman was standing outside the Comrades Club, near Main Street, at about 23:30 on Sunday when she was approached by a man. She also suffered injuries to her face.

The suspect is described as white, in his 30s, about 5ft 6ins, stocky build, with short, dark hair which was shaved on the sides and long on top and a Cumbrian accent. He was wearing a dark T-shirt and jeans.

Neighbourhood Insp Pam Bridges said: "This was a busy evening in the town with it being a Bank Holiday, and people were coming and going to the club. We'd appeal to people to think if they may have seen or heard anything which could help with our enquiries."

Benitez says it was 'incredible' Newcastle didn't win

BBC Newcastle

Manager Rafa Benitez says it was "incredible" Newcastle United didn't come away from Blackburn with a victory.

The Magpies are down to second after a 1-0 defeat at Ewood Park yesterday.

He said: "We lost, maybe, for five minutes, control of the game and conceded the goal.

"They put a lot of bodies in the box and it's not easy to find space, but it's difficult to explain. How can you not even draw, and lose this game? It's incredible.

"The only thing we didn't do is to score when we had a lot of chances, especially in the first half.

"If we continue playing like this, we will win games."

Blackburn v Newcastle

Marchioness denies dangerous driving charge

Stuart Whincup

BBC Look North

A marchioness has appeared in court accused of dangerous driving after a crash involving four vehicles.  

Lady Susan Zetland, 76, of the Zetland estate, north of Richmond, was charged after a collision involving two heavy goods vehicles and another car on 4 July at the Melsonby crossroads on the A66 in North Yorkshire. 

At a brief hearing at Teesside Crown Court this morning, Lady Zetland entered a plea of not guilty to the charge of dangerous driving. 

Her trial is expected to take place after 9 May.

View more on twitter

Premature baby continues health battle

Sunderland Echo


Tiny fighter Theo Dawes is continuing to battle with his health after being born ten weeks prematurely weighing just 2lb.

Theo Dawes
Sunderland Echo

Demolition of Newcastle Odeon starts

BBC Newcastle

It's the final curtain for the former Odeon Cinema in Newcastle city centre (pictured below in 1987). 

Demolition of the 1930s building on Pilgrim Street begins today, despite a campaign to save it. 

It's been standing empty for 14 years. 

Reuben Hiles, from the Save Odeon Cinema campaign group says he's concerned about what will be put in its place.

Odeon Newcastle in 1987
Sunderland 2-2 Liverpool: David Moyes delighted with 'deserved' draw
Sunderland boss David Moyes is "really pleased" after this struggling side twice came from behind to draw with Liverpool.

Plans for new hospital emergency department considered

BBC Tees

Plans for a new emergency department at the University Hospital of North Durham are expected to be approved by councillors later. 

The current A&E was built to take 30,000 patients a year but now handles about double that. 

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation trust says it's prepared to make a 'significant capital investment' to cope with the 'unprecedented demand' and plans to build a new emergency care department along with more than 200 new car parking bays

University Hospital of North Durham

Council chiefs issue three fines under new fly-tipping powers

The Shields Gazette

Council chiefs have issued new on-the-spot dumping fines to three fly-tippers since new rules came into force.

Middlesbrough 0-0 Leicester: Aitor Karanka says Boro were better team
Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka believes his side were the better team during their 0-0 draw with Leciester City at the Riverside Stadium.

Travel: Delays on Sunderland Metro extension

Travel: More delays on Metro after track circuit fault

Some more problems on the Metro this morning after the failed train earlier.

View more on twitter

Prison urges more businesses to employ prisoners

BBC Tees

A Teesside prison is encouraging more local businesses to consider employing prisoners. 

Holme House Prison in Stockton is part of a Government scheme which gives governors sole control of their prison and budgets, and is currently in the process of moving from a Category B prison to a Category C training prison. 

That means a push to get all 1,200 prisoners into work or education.

Weather: Dry with some sunny spells but cool winds

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

Early ground frost will clear. Most places will be dry with broken cloud. Some sunny intervals are likely, especially in the east. 

Occasional drizzle is possible on western hills. Feeling cool in brisk westerly winds. 

Maximum temperature: 7C (45F).

weather graphic

Watch: Bradley Lowery wins goal of the month

Seriously ill Bradley Lowery who took to the pitch for his beloved Sunderland has won Match of the Day's Goal of the Month award.

The five-year-old, who has neuroblastoma, took part in the warm-up against Chelsea on 14 December, scoring a goal.

A campaign saw fans call for the strike to be given the accolade.

The youngster, of Blackhall, County Durham, was named joint-winner alongside Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Seriously ill Bradley wins goal of the month on Match of the Day

Metro: Failed train causing long delays

Delays of up to 25 mins Jesmond to/from South Hylton, and up to 25 mins Jesmond to/from South Shields due to a failed train.

Welcome to our live coverage

Good morning and welcome to the first North East Local Live of 2017. Hope you've had a lovely Christmas and new year.

We'll be with you throughout the day to bring you the latest news, weather, sport and travel updates.

Have you got any photos you'd like to share with us? In that case you can tweet them to @BBCNewsNEemail them, or contact us via our Facebook page.