North Tyneside Council
Labour's Jamie Driscoll was elected mayor of the new North of Tyne combined authority. More on that election
Election results for 2019
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North Tyneside Council has urged people who can't work from home to take part in its rapid community testing programme to tackle the spread of the Covid-19.
It's designed to provide results within an hour and is for workers who could have the virus - without showing symptoms, to stop them passing it onto others.
The council said residents such as taxi drivers, tradespeople, social workers and nursery staff are eligible to free tests at Riverside Children’s Centre, North Shields from Monday 18 January.
It's also available to people who are a close contact of someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable to the virus.Copyright: Reuters
Wendy Burke, North Tyneside's public health director said: "Up to a third of people with Covid-19 may not display symptoms but are still infectious and can spread the virus.
"We need to break the chains of transmission, so we can reduce infection rates, look after our loved ones and protect the NHS,"
The council said the testing site will be opened seven days a week and appointments can be booked online.
Local Democracy Reporting Service
Covid marshals in North Tyneside have spoken to more than 2,000 people since they started work two months ago.
The team was set up to help and provide advice to people during the pandemic about social-distancing, masks and guidelines but they have also been involved with a wide range of other queries.
They do not have enforcement powers and their role is to “engage, encourage and explain” the latest rules and public health advice to residents, businesses and visitors and work closely with police and other partners.
With a new lockdown under way they are providing advice on the latest restrictions and patrolling areas where there may be heavier footfall.
North Tyneside mayor Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “Our marshals have been carrying out a really important role over the past couple of months out and about around the borough where the need has been greatest.
“With another national lockdown now in place their presence continues to be vital in ensuring people stay home to help limit the spread of this terrible virus and protect lives.”Copyright: North Tyneside
The leaders of seven North East councils are urging people to stay at home to bring soaring infection rates down.
A statement has been issued by the leaders of Durham county, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland councils along with the North of Tyne mayor and Northumbria's police and crime commissioner.
They say: “The prime minister has rightly imposed a national lockdown in England, meaning we must all now stay at home except for essential reasons.
“We know this will come as a disappointment to our communities who have already given so much during the pandemic, but it was a step the Government simply had to take."
They say staying home is key to saving lives, protecting the NHS and preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed.Copyright: PA MediaQuote Message: The regulations are clear. Stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.Quote Message: This is key if we are to prevent countless more deaths while the vaccination programme continues in earnest." from North East Combined Authority leaders
Council bosses in the North East have responded to the announcement that the region is to remain under the highest level of restrictions.
In a joint statement with the North of Tyne Mayor and Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, the leaders of Northumberland, Durham, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and North and South Tyneside councils said they accepted the decision "on health grounds".
However, they said they still needed a greater understanding of how moving out of tier three will be determined in the New Year.
The statement read: "We will continue to press government for fair decisions and the right level of economic support - especially for the hospitality sector which has been so heavily impacted by the restrictions.
"We will also work with ministers on how best to deploy targeted community testing to open up our economy, while seeking localisation of the national test and trace programme."Copyright: PA Media
It added that leaders were "incredibly proud of and grateful for people's efforts in following the rules, laws and guidance", which had seen infection rates come down.
However, they warned that the virus continued to be a "potent threat", and urged people to continue to act responsibly, especially over Christmas and the New Year.
The North East is to remain in tier three, the highest level of coronavirus restrictions, the government has announced.
It will come as a blow to thousand of pubs, bars and restaurants which have already been closed for six weeks and were hoping they could reopen for Christmas.
South Tyneside currently has the highest rate in the region, with 316.6 cases per 100,000 people in the week to 12 December.
Gateshead has the lowest, with 100.5 cases per 100,000 people.Copyright: BBC
North East council leaders have urged people to work together to try to move out of the very high alert status "as quickly and safely as possible".
The whole region will face the toughest Covid-19 restrictions - tier three - when the national lockdown ends next week
A joint letter signed by the local authority leaders, North of Tyne Mayor and Northumbria police and crime commisisoner, said: "We must continue to work together and by doing so we will put ourselves in a position to move to a tier which offers more of the freedoms we so dearly miss.
"Let’s keep going so we can once again meet up and socialise with our families and friends, help more of our local businesses reopen their doors to customers or so that we can cheer on our beloved sports teams."
The latest tier three - very high alert restrictions will mean
- You can't mix with other households indoors, or in private gardens and pub gardens
- You can meet in a group of up to six in other outdoor spaces, such as parks, beaches or countryside
- Hospitality venues, such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants must close, except for delivery and takeaway services
- Spectator sports cannot resume
- Indoor entertainment venues - such as bowling alleys and cinemas - must close
- People are advised not to travel to and from tier three areas
Parts of the North East will face the toughest local Covid restrictions after the end of the national lockdown, it has been confirmed.
Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, Newcastle, Gateshead, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland, County Durham and Darlington will all be placed under tier three rules, when lockdown ends on Wednesday.Copyright: BBC
The news, while not unexpected, will come as a devastating blow to the hospitality industry – with pubs, bars, and restaurants having to stay shut.
And, unlike some other parts of the country, spectators will not be allowed back into football stadiums or to other large events.
Residents will still be banned from socialising indoors with anyone outside their household or social bubble, though people will be allowed to meet in groups of up to six in outdoor public spaces and non-essential shops will reopen.
The system will be regularly reviewed and an area's tier level may change before Christmas - the first review is scheduled for 16 December.Copyright: BBC
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I know for those of you faced with tier 3 restrictions this will be a particularly difficult time but I want to reassure you that we’ll be supporting your areas with mass community testing and extra funding.
“By following the rules together we can get out of these tough measures.”
North Tyneside council has employed nine marshals to reassure residents, businesses and visitors about public health.
They don't have have enforcement powers, instead their role is to engage, encourage and explain the latest rules.
Armed with leaflets on public health advice and support available from the council, partners and community, they'll travel around the borough on public transport reassuring the public on the latest advice.Quote Message: Our job is to engage with the public around the borough, just to have a friendly chat with people so they can understand what the regulations are.Quote Message: It’s important we can help the public because I think there is still some confusion around the new regulations and things changing all the time, so we can keep up-to-date and keep the residents up-to-date." from Nicola Whynham Marshal
Local Democracy Reporter
People should begin registering for postal ballots to ensure they can take part in next year’s elections, North East council leaders have said.
Local authorities were due to head to the polls in May, but saw planned contests cancelled due to the first national coronavirus lockdown.
Despite hopes a vaccine may be ready in time for rescheduled elections next year, the prospect of living with some form of restrictions have prompted regional chiefs to urge households to start planning now.
Speaking via videolink at a meeting of the combined authority's leadership board, of which he is also chairman, Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: "We should be encouraging as many residents as possible to register for a postal vote.
"That will help reduce the risk of transmission and the risk of people being disenfranchised as a result of the pandemic.”Copyright: BBC
As well as rescheduled local authority elections in Sunderland and South Tyneside, a planned poll for Durham County Council is due to go ahead, as well as contests for the Police and Crime Commissioners for Durham and Northumbria and a new Tees Valley Mayor.
Applications for postal votes can be downloaded from the Electoral Commission website and returned to the relevant local authority.
The heads of seven local authorities said while the area's case numbers were plateauing, it was clear the situation remained "concerning".
The North East is subject to tier two restrictions with leaders in Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead and County Durham council areas saying they would resist tier three measures.Copyright: Getty Images
In a statement issued following their latest meeting, the councils covering County Durham to Northumberland said action taken over the past six weeks had helped the area remain in tier two but infection levels were "still too high".
The leaders said there were "serious concerns" the situation could deteriorate over the winter months and called for residents to "redouble" their efforts to reduce social contact.
They said they would continue to push the government for more business support, local test and trace control and greater enforcement powers.