Newcastle City Council

Labour's Jamie Driscoll was elected mayor of the new North of Tyne combined authority. More on that election

Election results for 2019

    Elected in 2019
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    17
    54
    -2
    Elected in 2019
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    8
    20
    +1
    Elected in 2019
    Total
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    2
    4
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Most Recent

What it's like to have a coronavirus test

Newcastle City Council has put together this video to try and demystify the Covid-19 testing process for young people.

Elysia Balsdon, member of the Youth Council, shows what it is like to be tested for coronavirus.

Click here for more information from the NHS.

View more on youtube

Virus sees Newcastle school closed for two weeks

A primary school in Newcastle has shut for 14 days after seven members of staff and some pupils tested positive for Covid-19.

The city council said the decision to close North Fawdon Primary School from yesterday came after an increasing number of asymptomatic cases among pupils.

The Smart Multi-Academy Trust, which manages the school, said it was unable to maintain safe staffing levels but aimed to reopen on Monday 5 October.

Entrance to North Fawdon Primary School
BBC

Follow rules to slow virus spread, council leader pleads

People across the North East are being urged to follow restrictions introduced on Friday in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Bars and restaurants must now close at 22:00 and people in the Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Northumberland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and the County Durham council areas have been told not to socialise with anyone outside their household.

It's hoped the new measures will prevent a full lockdown and Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes says people must comply with the rules.

"Let's not think the virus will be beaten through laws and regulations. It will be beaten by people complying with social distancing, hand washing, and covering our faces in public. It will not be beaten by the government, it will be us - the people."

A shopper wears a face covering on Newcastle's Northumbria Street
Reuters

North East coronavirus restrictions

People across seven council areas in the North East are now subject to stricter coronavirus restrictions after a spike in cases.

Here's a reminder of some of the key points:

  • The rules affect Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Northumberland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and County Durham council areas
  • There is a ban on households mixing both inside and in gardens, but outside in a park could be alright if people social distance, a health boss said
  • The measures mean restaurants and bars will only be able to offer table service and will have to shut between 22:00 BST and 05:00
  • Holidays are permitted but only with members of your household or support bubble
  • People should not spectate at any grassroots sport or play sport in the restricted areas

There is some confusion over whether to exclude grandparents helping with childcare from the restrictions, with discussions between Newcastle CIty Council and the government taking place yesterday.

What to do if you see someone breaking the rules

Among the many questions Newcastle City Council has endeavoured to answer today is what to do if people see others breaking the rules.

"Where people are breaking the rules, we will seek to engage, explain and encourage them to adhere to the restrictions," the council said, adding: "However, enforcement action will be taken where appropriate."

It suggests people should report breaches to the police, while concerns about businesses can be sent to the seven councils in the affected areas.

"Once the legislation is in place, the police or the local authority will be able to take action against those who break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices starting at £100 for those who participate in illegal gatherings," a council spokesman said.

People aged 18 or over could be fined £100 for the first offence, lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days, and £200 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £3,200.

Councils waiting for Covid-19 'final regulations'

Eugene Milne, the director of public health in Newcastle, said the seven local authorities are awaiting the final regulations from the government.

He said: "That requires the Department of Health lawyers to comb over them and make sure there is a clear line about which parts are under law and which are advice. I'm hoping we will have those this afternoon.

"This is a very fast moving situation and we would like to get that clarity out to everybody."

He said the government had "in the main" granted what the councils had asked for and it was about "treading a line" between maintaining enough of the economy that can run within guidance [which] at the same time addresses the problems we have seen".

"It is the balance of keeping things going as much as we can while controlling the virus, we don't want to flip-flop between lockdown and rapid viral spread on the other hand."