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New playpark will make 'massive difference'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Ben O'Connell

A new play park will make a "massive difference" to children in a Northumberland town, councillors have been told.

West Bedlington Town Council has been given the green light to build the facility on land known as 20 Acre Field, off Church Lane.

A meeting of the Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council was told it would provide a small football pitch along with a number of items of play equipment of varying height, all enclosed by a 1.2-metre, round-top metal fence.

The plan was in response to a number of requests from families in the Millfield estate, as the two other play areas in the parish were on the west side of town.

Councillor Mark Swinburn said it was "essential to provide these facilities", but "a shame" it fell to local councils rather than being provided by housing developers.

Site of play area

Fire crew rescues ditch-stranded horse

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service pulled of an "amazing rescue", after a horse fell down a ditch.

Its rider used the What3Words app to give an exact location, and if you've not heard about it before, here's an explanation.

View more on twitter

North East areas added to 'at risk register'

Mark Denten

BBC Look North

Two Northumberland sites have been placed on Historic England's "at risk" register, which is out today.

Conservation areas in Hexham and Blyth are among the 247 new sites considered to be at risk by the organisation. You can see the Heritage at Risk map here.

Meanwhile, 310 sites - including St Andrew's Church in Sunderland - have been removed from the register as they are regarded as saved.

Northumbria Healthcare Trust rated outstanding

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

The services provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have been rated as outstanding for a second time by the Care Quality Commission

Inspectors assessed urgent and emergency services, medical care and maternity at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, medical care at North Tyneside General Hospital and maternity at both Alnwick Infirmary and Berwick Infirmary.

The trust also maintained its previous ratings of outstanding for being effective, caring and responsive and good for being safe.

In the emergency department, there had been no patients who had waited longer than 12 hours without being admitted. The department also met the national four-hour target for eight months between March 2018 to February 2019.

We found many of our previous concerns had been addressed well and the trust was working hard to advance its services overall. Our findings have been made clear to the trust and where we have found concerns we will follow these up through our ongoing engagement with them. We will continue to monitor the trust and return to reinspect when appropriate.”

Sarah DronsfieldHead of Hospital Inspection
Northumberland man saved by pet dog after collapse
Ilah the labradoodle comes to the rescue after her owner collapses during the night.

Woman and children rescued after being cut off by tide

BBC Newcastle

A woman and three small children were rescued after being cut off on a sand bank by the tide, according to Seahouses RNLI.

The family were at Budle Bay, Northumberland, at 13:00 on Saturday when they were caught out by the tide which came in quickly.

Lifeboat operations manager Ian Clayton said: "We urge the public to be aware of the speed tides can come in, cutting off the unwary. On this occasion we had a good outcome, but it could've been different."

Meanwhile, the coastguard at Holy Island was called out when a car was cut off by the tide on the causeway yesterday afternoon.

Northumberland zoo in bid to save rare wildcats
A Northumberland zoo is taking part in a scheme to breed rare Scottish Wildcats in captivity.

Ambulance crews sent to South Bank incident

The North East Ambulance Service said it had sent six resources including a specialist hazard team to the former SSI plant in South Bank.

Fire crews are also on the scene.

An ambulance spokeswoman said there were no details about any casualties.

We will bring you more details when we have them.

Man completes Newcastle to Kielder River Tyne swim challenge
Fenwick Mark Ridley was granted special permission to complete his challenge at Kielder Water.

Have your say on the A69 upgrade

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

People interested in finding out more about a major upgrade of the A69 will be able to see the plans at an information session in Northumberland today.

Work is due to start on the multimillion-pound project at Bridge End roundabout in October.

Temporary changes to the road layout will be put in place while the new section is created under the roundabout.

Anyone wanting to ask questions about the scheme can chat to Highways England at Hexham Community Centre between 12:00 and 17:00.

Northumberland school exclusions fall

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Ben O'Connell

The number of school exclusions in Northumberland has dropped from a spike last year as work continues to tackle the issue.

Last November, we reported that pupils were permanently kicked out of schools in the county at an average rate of one a day during the first half-term of that academic year.

Over the previous three years, permanent exclusions had increased by 203% and fixed-term exclusions by 209%, but the trend has reversed since then.

The issue was discussed again at Tuesday’s meeting of the county council’s cabinet where members agreed to proceed with a tender exercise to create a framework to support the provision of alternative education for permanently excluded children.

Exclusions have been of concern to the family and children's services committee for some time and a task and finish group has been looking at the issue, while the council has also spoken to headteachers in an effort to share good practice.

Since this has been taking place, the number of permanent exclusions in Northumberland has reduced by 28% and the number of fixed-term exclusions by 26%.

Berwick leisure centre given go-ahead by planners

Berwick's new leisure centre is a step closer after planning permission was granted by Northumberland County Council.

The £20m facility, which is being funded by the local authority, will replace the Swan Centre in Tweedmouth. It will be run by Active Northumberland, the charitable trust that manages leisure services across the county.

Work is due to start in November with phase one, which includes a new swimming pool and fitness suite, set to open in April 2021. The full building is expected to be open in summer 2022.

Artist's impression of the new leisure centre at Berwick
Northumberland County Council

Lucy Bronze among Best Fifa Football Awards finalists

Northumberland-born England and Lyon defender Lucy Bronze has been named as a finalist in the Best Fifa Football Awards.

She is one of three in the women's player category along with the USA's Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.

The winners will be announced in a ceremony in Milan on 23 September.

Bronze (pictured below in the World Cup third place play-off against Sweden) was last week named Uefa's female player of the year.

Lucy Bronze in action against Sweden

Inpatient beds to return to Northumbria hospital

Mark Denten

BBC Look North

Inpatient beds are to return to Rothbury Community Hospital after nearly three years.

Local health managers initially said the beds were underused, and they were closed in September 2016. But the decision was referred to the-then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and an independent reconfiguration panel.

Today at an extraordinary meeting of the Northumberland CCG governing body it was announced inpatient beds will return to Rothbury Hospital under a flexible system where the number of beds will depend on clinical need.

Managers say it’s never been tried before in the NHS.

Cyclist killed in crash with farming machinery

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

A cyclist was killed in a crash with a combine harvester shortly before 13:00 yesterday.

The 77-year-old cyclist had been travelling through the village of Ogle, Northumberland, when he was involved in a collision with the machine.

Emergency services attended the scene but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is devastating for the family of the cyclist and we have specially-trained family liaison officers supporting them. We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who was driving near Ogle at the time of the collision to review any dashcam footage they may have.”

Sgt Ray LoweryNorthumbria Police’s Motor Patrols Department

Five people, including children, injured in tractor crash

Two adults and three children were seriously injured when a car collided with a tractor and a hay bale trailer in Northumberland.

The crash happened on the A1 southbound carriageway at Shilbottle, near Alnwick, on Monday.

Five occupants of the car, aged 64, 57, eight, nine and two, were taken to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

A stretch of the road was closed for about six hours, causing long traffic tailbacks.

Northumbria Police has appealed for witnesses to the collision at about 14:50 BST.

Traffic tailbacks on A1

A1 crash causes Bank Holiday traffic disruption

A stretch of the A1 in Northumberland was closed on Monday afternoon following a multi-vehicle crash.

The collision, reported to involve four vehicles and a tractor, happened south of Alnwick at about 14:45 BST.

For a time, it was closed in both directions between the A1068 and A697 junctions.

The road did not fully reopen until 21:00 BST.

Queueing traffic on A1
Queueing traffic on A1

Severe accident: A1 Northumberland both ways

BBC News Travel

A1 Northumberland both ways severe accident, from Fulbeck to Fulbeck.

A1 Northumberland - A1 closed and queues in both directions from the Fulbeck junction in Alnwick to the Fulbeck junction, because of a serious accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: A1 Northumberland both ways

BBC News Travel

A1 Northumberland both ways severe accident, from A1068 to A697.

A1 Northumberland - A1 closed and it's slow in both directions from Alnwick South Junction in Alnwick to Longhorsley Turn Off in Northumberland, because of a serious accident involving a car and a tractor.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Man charged over A69 fatal collision

A 31-year-old man has been charged after a woman died and another was seriously injured in a two-car crash on the A69 near Haydon Bridge on Tuesday.

Viorel Grancea, of Darnley Street, Glasgow, has been charged with death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and causing death while unlicenced, disqualified or uninsured.

Plan to build £16m underground reservoir

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Herbert Soden

Plans for a £16m underground reservoir that would supply water to 50,000 people have been revealed.

Northumbrian Water has applied for planning permission for a new covered service reservoir, capable of storing more than 62 million litres of water, near Springwell Village.

The water company’s planning consultants Lichfields submitted applications for the scheme to Sunderland and Gateshead councils earlier this month.

Michael Baker, Northumbrian Water’s tactical planning manager, said: "The area which will be fed by this new service reservoir includes Springwell, as well as the wider Wearside and South Tyneside areas.

"The service reservoir, which will consist of two reinforced concrete compartments would be covered with grass to fit in with the local environment, will help to ensure a resilient water supply for the area, strengthening the existing network in the area. “

County Durham has the most top grades in A-Level Media Studies

Students receive their A-level results
Getty Images

Students in County Durham have scored the highest pass rate of A and A* in Media Studies in England, with 17.5 % of pupils achieving the top grades, Ofgual figures show.

In Maths, which was the most popular subject this year, County Durham students gained most A and A* regionally, as 43.8% of students reached the highest grade.

This is slightly ahead of Northumberland (43.6%) and Tyne and Wear (39.2%).

Dalek not least not for now

Mark Denten

BBC Look North

Northumberland councillors have overruled planning officers to approve a Dalek enclosure outside a sci-fi museum in Northumberland.

The wooden shed outside the Museum Of Modern Science Fiction In Allendale houses a full size Dalek.

Planning officers had recommended refusing the application because of the “harm” the Dalek caused in a conservation area.

But Northumberland County Council's Tynedale local area planning committee voted to allow the Dalek enclosure on a temporary basis for a year.

Museum owner Neil Cole says he’s pleased at the decision but still plans to appeal to the national planning inspectorate.

He believes a year does not give him enough time to replace the Dalek’s shed with a permanent stone structure

Dalek outside the museum in Allendale
PA Media

Planning rule extermination fears over sci-fi museum

A family-run sci-fi museum in a Northumberland town will discover its future later today.

The owners of Allendale's Museum of Classic Sci-Fi have been ordered to remove a shed from the front which houses a replica Dalek.

Northumberland County Council said it did not fit in with the character of the Grade II-listed property, and broke planning laws.

However owners Neil and Lisa Cole say the Dalek cannot be stored in their cellar alongside the other exhibits which include further Doctor Who items and props and costumes from the Marvel movie universe.

If it had to be got rid of then the fate of the museum would be "unknown" they said, so they have applied for retrospective planning permission.

Dalek outside museum
PA Media