Polling stations across the North East are open once again today, as voters elect a new police and crime commissioner (PCC). For many voters living in the Northumbria Police force area - which covers Northumberland and Tyne and Wear - it is the third time they have been asked to go to the polls in less than three months, following local and European Parliament elections in May. There are four candidates in the running to replace Dame Vera Baird in the top job, after she resigned in June to take up a national post as the new Victims’ Commissioner. If you haven’t been following the campaign, here is a quick guide to the PCC by-election on polling day. How can I vote? Anyone who is registered to vote in the Northumbria Police area - Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland - can cast a ballot. Polling stations will be open until 10pm tonight. What will my ballot paper look like? The voting system used at Police and Crime Commissioner … [Read more...] about Polls open in Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner election
North East News
When a new Prime Minister enters 10 Downing Street on July 24, one of the items in their inbox will be the Northern Powerhouse. The Government has been promising to “refresh” the Northern Powerhouse policy by publishing a new strategy for it - but like many other issues, this has been delayed by the failure to deliver Brexit. Now, academics from Newcastle University have urged the next Prime Minister to take a new approach by ditching the spin and giving the North real funding and autonomy. Researchers from the university’s prestigious Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies told MPs: “We understand that the government is planning to ‘refresh’ the current Northern Powerhouse Strategy. It would be timely to build more substance into the programme over the long-term and prioritise action and investment in key regional priorities like transport and skills over the emphasis on brand and marketing.” Academics made the comments in a … [Read more...] about Next Prime Minister told to end the Northern Powerhouse spin
A 12-year-old was barred from a leavers assembly due to his "extreme" haircut. Ponteland Community Middle School pupil Arun Purba had hoped his new haircut would help him look sharp for his school prom but following a mix-up with the barber he was left with a shorter crop than expected - which landed him in hot water. As a result he was told he could not attend a special leavers assembly - which his dad Jasper says left him feeling victimised. Mr Purba said: "He usually gets a 1.5 on the sides, but we had to get a mobile barber in for his prom who was Turkish - he didn't speak great English and ended up giving him a 0.5. "It was an accident and I tried explaining it to the school but they weren't having it. "He's an A* pupil, he's a good lad with 100% attendance and he's never even been late. "His only detention was for forgetting his homework. So I find this so petty." Mr Purba decided to pull his son out of school in response and said he feels like Arun has effectively been … [Read more...] about Schoolboy barred from leavers assembly over ‘extreme haircut’
Campaigners in Gosforth are dreading the day when a busy bridge finally reopens, after enjoying two pollution-free years. Residents of the Garden Village are urging council bosses to keep Salters Bridge closed for good, after seeing a dramatic improvement in their health and quality of life since it shut. The route was closed to traffic to stop it becoming a rat run for thousands of cars during the long-delayed works on nearby Killingworth Road. But with Killingworth Road soon to reopen to two-way traffic for the first time since July 2017, restrictions on the bridge - which links Hollywood Avenue in Gosforth and Salters Lane in Longbenton - are also set to be lifted. That is a major worry for members of the Garden Village Action group, who say that the absence of toxic fumes emitted from cars has been hugely beneficial to residents with long-standing health conditions - including persistent coughs, pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Shaun Curry said: … [Read more...] about Can this busy bridge stay shut after 2 pollution-free years?
A group of community radio stations have launched a bid to bring back beloved late-night show Night Owls. Listeners across the North East were distraught to learn last night that regional radio hero Alan Robson would be making his last appearance on Metro Radio after more than 40 years on the air. With tributes from the likes of Ant and Dec, Alan Shearer, and thousands of ordinary fans, Alan said ahead of an emotional final show that the weeks since the end was announced had been "worse than you could ever imagine". The veteran presenter will be back on Greatest Hits Radio from August for a show every Sunday, but now, a team of local radio lovers are hoping to bring back Night Owls in the format that became so popular over four decades. Led by Ashington-based community station Koast Radio, a group of channels including Sunderland's Spark FM and Newcastle's Nova Radio have launched a fundraising bid which could see them host Night Owls across their networks. The stations, which are … [Read more...] about Bid launched to bring ‘Night Owls’ back on the air full time