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Teenager suffers head injury after being hit by car

A 15-year-old boy suffered a suspected serious head injury after being hit by car in Stockton.

The teenager was walking from Durham Road when he was hit by a white Seat Leon in Hardwick Road, at around 16:05 on Wednesday.

The driver of the car stopped at the scene and no-one has been arrested.

The teenager was taken to North Tees General Hospital.

Anyone who witnessed what happened should contact police.

Girl, 13, attacked in park

A 13-year-old girl was injured when she was assaulted in a Stockton park, police said.

It happened on Monday night when a large group of youths gathered in a cut next to the Rosedale Centre, in Bishopsgarth Park.

The girl was pushed to the ground, causing grazing to her knees, and was punched or kicked in the back, Cleveland Police said.

PC Hannah Parkin said: "We are aware that there have been videos circulating on social media, apparently taken by youths who were gathered at Bishopsgarth Park at the time of the incident."We want to make clear that assaults like this one will not be tolerated and anyone who may be able to help the investigation is strongly urged to come forward and speak with police."

River valley housing development is branded a bomb site

Alex Metcalfe

Local Democracy Reporter

Earthworks for new housing along a river valley have been branded “a disaster zone” by councillors.

But the developer has urged “common sense” during the covid pandemic.

Four homes are being built on the banks of the River Leven, near Ingleby Barwick.

Crown Park Homes is building a residential park at Leven View and the firm already has permission for four extra properties on land between Ingleby Barwick and Yarm.

Councillors were discussing whether to allow building work to start before a stretch of nearby public open space was completed.

But they heard that the work had already begun and Councillor Andrew Sherris labelled the earthworks a “blot on the landscape”.

Earth works near the Leven View Residential Park.
Andrew Sherris

Planning agent Louise Wood, said that the applicant was working with residents to ensure that site was completed to a satisfactory standard.

But councillor Paul Kirton said the site looked like a bomb had hit it.

The amended condition was eventually approved by eight votes to five.

Cresswell Welch, from Crown Park Homes, said after the meeting: “The world has been in lockdown for five or six months."

He urged the council to show a bit more common sense given the global effects of lockdown.

“The council needs to look at the end product not the beginning,” he added.

Weapons and drugs uncovered during raid

A haul of drugs, weapons and substantial amount of cash were uncovered during a raid on a property in Stockton.

Officers made the discovery at an address in Durham Road on Thursday morning.

A 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and was released under investigation.

Weapons, money and drugs
Cleveland Police

Jobs could be created at Ineos' hand gel business

More jobs are expected to be created by the chemicals giant Ineos as it launches a new global healthcare business producing hand sanitisers for the public.

It had already set up the specialist manufacturing plant at its site in Newton Aycliffe at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, producing millions of bottles for the NHS.

The company has announced that Ineos Hygienics will produce hospital-grade products such as hand sanister, sprays and wipes, which will go on general sale.

As well as its site in County Durham, it will operate plants in Germany, France and the US, where five million bottles of hand sanister are being produced every month. It will have its headquarters in the UK.

hand sanitiser
Getty Images

George Ratcliffe, son of Ineos boss Sir Jim Ratcliffe, will be chief operating officer.

Around 40 new jobs have been created in the UK by the new business and Mr Ratcliffe said he hopes that number will increase in the coming months.

He said: "The market is definitely growing. It was a global pandemic, and there was a global shortage."

Ineos is Europe's largest producer of ultra-high purity ethanol and isopropyl alcohol (IPA), which are the two main ingredients used in sanitiser products.

People will treat hygiene differently from now on, whether it's in schools, offices or in the home."

George RatcliffeIneos chief operating officer

Birds and Bollibroke win Weardale picture competition

A picture of the moors of Weardale and a frenetic photograph of feeding goldfinches have won a photography competition aimed at promoting and protecting the uplands of County Durham.

More than 50 entries were submitted to the Views of Weardale competition run by Living Uplands.

Ian Turner's image of Bollibroke was named the best landscape image, while Hamish Paterson's frenetic picture of goldfinches at Thornley won the wildlife category.

Stream, tree and moors
Ian Turner
A flurry of finches
Hamish Paterson

Tracey Laing's picture of pregnant ewes was runner up in the landscape category while Gwynneth Heeley's image of a black-headed gull at Low Barns Nature Reserve was second in wildlife.

Pregnant ewes by road
Tracey Laing
Gull swoops down into water
Gwynneth Heeley

'Hazardous' cannabis farm uncovered

A "dangerous" cannabis farm in Stockton could have put other houses in the street at risk, police have said..

Following a tip-off, officers attended an address on Bowesfield Lane on Wednesday and found more than 870 plans, with an estimated value of up to £750,000.

A 33-year-old man was on suspicion of production of class B drugs.

Stockton cannabis farm
Cleveland Police

Sgt Jon Sproson described it as a dangerous set up, where the hazardous wiring and electricity could have put others at risk.

"It is really concerning", he said.

"The last thing we want is for something like this to set alight and potentially cause serious harm to people.

"We would advise anyone who suspects they know the location of a cannabis farm to contact us as soon as possible.”

Olympian Amy Tinkler encourages gymnasts to speak out

County Durham gymnast Amy Tinkler, who made a formal complaint to British Gymanstics about her "experiences as a club and elite gymnast", is encouraging other athletes in the sport to speak out.

The 20-year-old, who won floor bronze at Rio 2016, says she is "no closer to having any feedback or outcome".

Amy Tinkler with bronze medal at Rio Olympics
PA Media

In a statement published on Twitter (below), Tinkler thanked people for their support and confirmed she made the complaint in December 2019, relating to her experience at South Durham Gymnastics Club and against part of the British Gymnastics coaching team.

Accusations of abuse have previously been made against the internationally-renowned South Durham Gymnastics Club.

South Durham Gymnastics categorically denies any allegations of abuse and mistreatment of any of its gymnasts.

In a statement the club said: "We can confirm that we were first informed of a complaint in April 2020 and have been in regular contact with British Gymnastics and we have fully cooperated with their lengthy investigation. The investigation is at an advanced stage and we do not wish to comment further until this matter is concluded".

Former gymnasts at the Spennymoor club say children as young as seven were bullied, fat-shamed and put in fear of their coaches.

Tinkler says she's been contacted by girls who've told her of similar stories and others who are scared to talk about it.

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In a statement British Gymnastics says the investigation phase is now complete and it has moved to the next stage of procedures.

It says every complaint is looked at by its Integrity Unit to assess immediate risk to gymnasts and it's encouraging any gymnast who feels they have been mistreated to report it either to its Integrity Unit, or by calling the BAC/NSPCC Helpline on 0800 056 0566.

Flu jabs 'crucial' to taking pressure off NHS

The former Stockton South MP, Dr Paul Williams, says flu vaccinations should be made a top priority to relieve pressure on the NHS this winter.

Hospitals are likely to face a large backlog due to treatments and referrals that have been delayed by coronavirus.

Dr Williams, who's been working at a clinic in Stockton, says urgent action needs to be taken to prevent a surge in flu cases.

"Flu vaccines are crucial. We must vaccinate everyone over the ago of 50 and it must be free and easily available."

Dr Williams, who represented Labour, lost his seat in December's general election.

Dr Paul Williams
UK Parliament

Seven attacks in 14 days on North East ambulance crews

There have now been seven attacks in 14 days of violence against ambulance crews, the service says.

The North East Ambulance Service says that for the third weekend in a row, ambulance crews have been assaulted and vehicles damaged.

The latest incident was in the early hours of Saturday morning on the A19 near Peterlee.

A crew passed a man walking up the dual carriageway in the opposite direction.

The crew stopped and offered to take him to safety but once inside he became aggressive, damaging the vehicle and assaulting the crew, punching one of them in the head .

Police arrived on scene shortly after and arrested him.

Deputy chief executive Paul Liversidge said: “We can repair and replace our ambulances, but the physical and psychological harm caused to my crews is far more serious and has a longer-lasting impact.

"Alcohol and drug misuse play a huge part in these intolerable incidents and there needs to be more done to address this appalling behaviour.”

CCTV picture of the ambulance damage
North East Ambulance Service

Police seek Stockton man over offences

Cleveland Police has issued an appeal to find Ian Ord, 44, from Stockton, who is wanted in connection with a "number of offences".

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'Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get a free test'

The North East Ambulance Service has issued a reminder that anyone with symptoms of coronavirus can get a free test.

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Witnesses sought after hit and run

A pedestrian was left with soft tissue damage to his wrist after being hit by a van which then drove off, Cleveland Police have said.

The collision happened at about 19:10 BST on Tuesday on Hardwick Road, Stockton, next to the Sheraton Public House.

A small blue van struck the 38-year-old man and made off towards the A177 Durham Road, a spokeswoman said.

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision or anyone who may have dash cam footage is asked to contact PC Paul Dixon from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit on the non-emergency number 101, quoting event number 118245.

Vehicle seized after no insurance reported

Police have seized a vehicle in Stockton after the driver was reported for having no insurance.

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Coroner issues family appeal

The Teesside Coroner is appealing to trace the relatives of 77-year-old Trevor Gibson who was found dead at a property in Long Newton near Stockton on 13 July.

Cleveland Police said there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and are asking relatives to contact the Coroner’s Office on 01642 729350.

Man arrested after drugs seized

A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of drugs offences in Stockton.

It follows the stop and search of a moped rider on Prince Regent Street in Stockton on Monday afternoon, when an amount of class A drugs were recovered.

This led to a search of a property in Thornaby where a further amount of drugs were seized.

The action was part of Cleveland Police’s Operation Phoenix; a summer long operation to improve public service, prioritise vulnerability, tackle serious violence and prevent crime.

Seized drugs
Cleveland Police

Our officers are acting on the main concerns raised to us by our communities and we will continue to crack down on drugs activity and bring people to justice for their suspected crimes."

Insp Jon WilloughbyCleveland Police

Neighbourhood officers seize class A drugs

Stockton officers seized class A drugs from a moped driver and from a property in Thornaby today.

The officers stopped and searched the rider of a blue moped on Prince Regent Street this afternoon, recovering substantial amount of drugs.

The team then searched the property in Thornaby, where a further amount of class A drugs was recovered.

The man, aged 25, was arrested on suspicion of drugs offences and remains in custody.

Lives ruined as damage viewed as 'women's problems'

A County Durham woman said she wasn't believed when she told GPs and surgeons about the pain she has suffered since having a vaginal mesh procedure.

Many lives have been ruined because officials failed to hear the concerns of women given drugs and procedures that caused them or their babies considerable harm, a review has found.

More than 700 women and their families shared "harrowing" details about vaginal mesh, Primodos and an epilepsy drug called sodium valproate.

June Wray (pictured), 73, from County Durham, experienced chronic pain after having a procedure in 2009.

"Sometimes the pain is so severe, I feel like I will pass out," she said.

"But when I told GPs and surgeons, they didn't believe me. They just looked at me like I was mad."

June Wray

The chairwoman of the highly critical review, Baroness Julia Cumberlege, said the families affected deserved a fulsome apology from the government.

Portrack roundabout remains closed as well as one lane A19 southbound

Police have closed a lane on the southbound A19 flyover as well as the Portrack roundabout after a HGV struck part of the flyover.

Drivers are asked to avoid the area as traffic could be delayed.

Cleveland Police warns it's likely the roundabout will be closed for up to five hours while emergency services deal with the incident.

Engineers will need to check the structure.

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Delays warning as roundabout closed

Drivers are warned of potential delays in the Middlesbrough and Stockton area after the closure of the roundabout under the Tees Flyover at Portrack Lane.

Police said it was due to a HGV striking part of the flyover, and urged people to avoid the area.

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Nine arrests after drugs and weapons recovered in raids

Nine people have been arrested and machetes, firearms and drugs seized in raids on properties on Teesside.

Cleveland Police said the raids in Stockton and Middlesbrough yesterday were part of an operation targeting organised crime.

Properties searched included in Limetrees Close in Middlesbrough, a house on Durham Road in Stockton, and a property in Hemlington.

Seized items included cannabis, three firearms, machetes and two swords, police said.

Three women aged 29, 46, and 59 and six men ranging in age between 22 and 37 were arrested on suspicion of a number of offences and are in custody.

Police generic
Police generic

Plans for Stockton town revamp an 'inspiration'

Plans to transform Stockton's town centre have received national praise.

Under the new plans, the Castlegate shopping centre and Swallow Hotel will be demolished to make way for green spaces with art installations.

Bill Grimsey is the ex-CEO of shops like Wickes and Iceland - and behind the Build Back Better report looking at how high streets can adapt post-covid.

He told BBC Radio Tees that other authorities should use Stockton for "inspiration".

Stockton Borough Council said Castlegate will be demolished in 2022.

In its place a five-acre park with trees, art installations and a land-bridge to the River Tees will be built.

New council headquarters will also be built on the site.

The project is due for completion in March 2024, the council said.

Artist's impression of Stockton
Stockton Council
Artist's impression of Stockton town centre

Durham Brass festival goes online

Durham Brass festival moves online next month because of coronavirus.

The usual July festival fell victim to coronavirus safety measures but Brass Online 2020, is taking place from Monday 13 to Saturday 18 July, via the website.

It will feature workshops hosted by the likes of Spanish amigos Artistas Del Gremio, Mouv ‘n’ Brass from France and the UK’s Backchat Brass.

There will also be special lockdown performances and fans will be able to take a look back at some of the best Brass moments from over the years.

The festival ends on Saturday 18 July when five street bands will perform together online, with a backdrop of footage from previous years.

Back Chat Brass
Durham County Council

Applause as doctor leaves critical care

Colleagues of a senior doctor applauded her as she left critical care following her treatment for Covid-19.

Maria Szubert, a consultant haematologist, was admitted to the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton at the end of May and was moved into the critical care unit just days after.After having non-invasive ventilation for two weeks, she has made a steady recovery and was discharged from the unit on Tuesday.She's urging everyone to respect social distancing.

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Six hurt in care home fire

Six people have been taken to hospital following a fire at a Sunderland care home.

The blaze broke out at Croft Residential Care Home on Ettrick Grove, at about 10:30, and fire crews remain at the scene.

The North East Ambulance Service said three people were taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital and three patients to South Tyneside District Hospital.

None of them had life-threatening injuries.

It also said some patients were treated and discharged on scene.

Scene of fire

Beamish announces reopening date

Beamish has announced it will reopen next month after the government gave the go-ahead for museums to welcome back members of the public amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The popular County Durham attraction will be open from 23 July having been closed since March.

The open-air museum will have additional safety and hygiene measures in place, bosses say, and people must book time slots for their visits.

Further details about the reopening and booking process will be announced early next month.

A steam-powered vehicle on display at Beamish