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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Our live updates here have finished for the week.

    You can stay on to date online, on BBC Newcastle, BBC Tees and Look North.

    We'll be back with more updates from 08:00 on Monday, and we hope you can join us then.

    If you want to get in touch with any news or send us photos you can tweet us, contact us via our Facebook page or email us.

  2. Green campaigners slam Newcastle's climate change efforts

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Green campaigners say it is "a crime" that Newcastle is not doing more to tackle climate change.

    Taymar Pitman, of the Newcastle Green Party, criticised the city council over its record on cutting carbon dioxide emissions.

    At this week's full council meeting, she asked which of the 18 pledges made by the authority in 2010, which were intended to reduce the city's carbon emissions by 34% by 2020, have been achieved.

    Coun Nick Kemp, cabinet member for environment, replied that CO2 emissions in the city have "reduced significantly", down 29% from 2005 to 2015.

    However, he accepted that the council's climate change strategy needs updating this year and declined to provides updates on the 18 pledges because of the "significant time" it would take local authority officers to assess their progress.

  3. Special measures for 'inadequate' care home

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A Wearside care home has been placed into special measures after being labelled "inadequate" by care watchdogs.

    Rowlandson House, which provides care for up to 27 people, was found to be poorly led after inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited between September and October last year.

    During the inspection, concerns were raised about the storage of medicines, with missing tablets which couldn't be accounted for.

    People were at risk of "maladministration of medicines", inspectors said, with laundry also found in a "dirty state" creating issues around cross-infection.

    Rowlandson House
    Image caption: Rowlandson House

    Other concerns flagged issues around limited equipment which made "the movement and handling of people challenging."

    At the time of the inspection, 21 people used the service with most having dementia.

    The report added: "The caring nature of the staff was undermined by the lack of provision to meet people's needs such as fire evacuation. We found people's wellbeing was compromised by the standards and practices in the home."

    As the home has been placed in special measures, it will be kept under review and could be inspected again within the next six months.

  4. Killingworth Road won't reopen before May

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Daniel Holland

    Motorists will have to endure several more months of closures in the heavily-delayed upgrade of a key Newcastle commuter route.

    Killingworth Road has been shut since July 2017 for a £13.5m project to widen the road and install a new Metro bridge, but is almost a year behind schedule.

    A series of severe complications with gasworks on the site have delayed the reopening, and it's now been revealed that no traffic will be allowed back on the road until May at the very earliest.

    However, this target assumes no freak weather events like the Beast from the East will happen again, and there are no other unforeseen disasters.

    While the road should be fully reopened in July, workers will be o -site until early 2020 to continue with the final stages of the project.

    Killingworth Road works
  5. Rafa confirms lineup for Chelsea v NUFC

    Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has been talking about this Saturday's teatime game at Stamford Bridge.

    Speaking to BBC Newcastle, he confirmed Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett will not be ready, saying “we were working with another specialist - our doctor has the contact. It was just be sure we were doing things as quickly as possible but, still, we have to wait. They will not be available for this game”.

    He added: "We have Darlow, who is getting better, but is still not ready. The good news is that Fernandez and Clark are both available.”

    Rafa Benitez

    The Magpies are looking for their first points of 2019, but Benitez knows this will not be an easy fixture.

    He said: “It’s important to get something in every game and this is the next opportunity we have against a top side.

    "This season is more difficult because the top sides are stronger than last year - that’s why, when you see the stats in games, there’s a massive difference.”

    "We want to compete and try to show we are ready.”

  6. Councillors get parental leave

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Following a landmark vote, councillors in Newcastle will now be guaranteed maternity and paternity leave.

    Newcastle City Council representatives previously had no rights to parental leave, which critics complained was a serious barrier to getting many people - particularly women - involved in local politics.

    But the authority agreed to back new rights for councillors who become parents at Wednesday night's full council meeting.

    Newcastle Civic Centre

    New mothers will be entitled to up to six months of maternity leave, with the option to extend up to 52 weeks if needed. Fathers will get a minimum of two weeks.

    Any councillor who adopts a child will also be entitled to up to a year's leave, and the policy ensures that all members will continue to receive the full allowance paid to them by the council.

    The motion was approved with 48 votes in favour, two against, and 11 abstentions. As of summer 2017, only 4% of councils in England and Wales had parental leave policies, according to research by the Fawcett Society.

  7. Cladding safety fears on student flats

    Over a year and a half since the Grenfell disaster, the BBC can reveal that cladding which failed fire safety tests still hasn't been removed from student flats in Newcastle.

    St James' Point is an 11-storey building in the city centre that houses at least 400 students.

    St James' Point
    Image caption: St James' Point

    The owner of the building, Student Roost, said last summer that work to remove the cladding would begin before the end of 2018.

    Now work will not begin until July this year, and is expected to be complete by August 2020.

    Student Roost says the building does includes sprinkler systems, firefighting lifts and state-of-the-art alarm systems.

    St James' Point
  8. A1 closed after chemical spill south of Grantham

    Planning on heading south for the weekend? Well sulphuric acid has closed the A1 in Lincolnshire after a lorry overturned spilling its load.

    The lorry crashed in the early hours south of Grantham, between the junction for Colsterworth Services and the B668 junction in Stretton.

    Lincolnshire Police said the A1 would be closed in both directions until further notice.

    The A1 runs between London and Edinburgh and a diversion is in place via the A606 and A607.

    The overturned lorry