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Found 191 results

  1. A new sports pitch at a special school in Cramlington has been given the go-ahead. A bid for the construction of a multi-use games area (MUGA) at Hillcrest Day Special School, on East View Avenue, was unanimously approved by the Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council on Wednesday (April 17). The application had sparked no objections and the planning officer described the facility as 'something that the Government and local authority seek to encourage', but it had to be decided by the committee as it involves a county council development on council-owned land. The proposed MUGA would measure around 30 by 16.5 metres with recessed goal ends and a synthetic-turf pitch in green. It would be surrounded by a one-metre-high perimeter fence, constructed with timber rails and steel posts in green, which would be raised to three metres behind the goals. The pitch, which would be located in the south-east corner of the school playing field with Northumbrian Road to the east and Church Street to the south, would be linked to the main school by a new concrete footpath.
  2. A teenager called police to report a man was brandishing a knife in public - but it turned out to be him carrying the blade. Jack Barrass, 19, has been sent to prison for nine months after being caught by police in possession of the knife on March 24. The teenager had called police to claim that he had witnessed a man waving a knife above his head on St James' Crescent in Benwell. When police arrived they spotted a man who matched the description of the person given by the caller. Officers approached him and carried out a stop and search, at which point the man admitted he had a knife tucked into his trousers. Bodycam footage of the search has been shared by the force, showing Barrass admitting he has a knife seconds after being approached by an officer.
  3. If you have an eye for a bargain these properties are going under the hammer for under £20,000. On the Auction House North East website these rundown dwellings are valued with that in mind. And if you are prepared to roll your sleeves up - you might be in for a tidy profit. These properties range from one bedroom flats to a three bedroom house. They are spread across our region in Washington, Blyth, Peterlee, Bedlington, Easington Colliery, Sunderland and Hartlepool. They go up for auction at Ramside Hall Hotel at Carrville, Durham, on Wednesday, 24 April, at 7pm.
  4. Why Newcastle United stars of the 1950s swapped their strips for smart suits to pose for studio portraits has puzzled club historian Paul Joannou. The 12in by 9in studies are of Jackie Milburn (signed), Bobby Mitchell (signed), Tommy Walker, Ronnie Simpson, Norman Smith (signed), Bobby Cowell, Bill Foulkes, George Robledo, Alf McMichael (signed) and Ted Robledo (signed). They will be sold by Newcastle auctioneers Anderson and Garland on Tuesday, with an estimate of £150-£200. “They are lovely studio portraits and are very different from the usual pictures of Newcastle players in their black and white strips,” said Paul. “These are cinema-style portraits and are probably a one-off set. “If player pictures are taken for general sale you expect some to come on to the market, but I have never seen this type of format before. Maybe they were done for the players themselves.” Several of the pictures are signed “to Bill.”
  5. Just 19 days after having his licence taken off him in court, dangerous driver Dean Bell was back on the road. Now, after being caught, he's back behind bars. The 33-year-old has been locked up for 26 weeks after he flouted the law by driving while disqualified. When caught, he tried claiming he was only testing the car for faulty brakes. Brazen Bell had been banned from the roads and was handed a community order by a judge in January. During the hearing, a court was also told how Bell had previously been jailed for dangerous driving in 2015. A court heard how he was arrested by police on January 30 after they saw him driving his partner's Vauxhall Insignia in Wallsend. He had a young child as a passenger so police did not engage the vehicle in a pursuit and instead arrested him later that day. At court Bell, of The Crescent, Barlow, Gateshead, claimed that he was just testing the brakes because he had suspicions they were faulty.
  6. Blyth has been revealed as the location of a new special school, following Northumberland County Council's successful bid to the Government. The local authority submitted a bid last October for an 80-place secondary school for young people who have autism and social, emotional and mental health needs, as part of the Department for Education's Special Free School initiative. A free school is a non-profit-making, independent, state-funded school which is free to attend, but not wholly controlled by the local authority. The council would still commission and fund the places required for young people from the county. It was recently revealed that Northumberland had been successful in its bid and, at its meeting on Tuesday (April 9), the cabinet agreed to begin a formal competition for a trust which would run the school. Coun Wayne Daley, the cabinet member for children's services, highlighted that Northumberland has seen a 50 per cent increase in the number of pre-school children with complex needs since 2013 and the number of pupils in special schools has risen by 32 per cent in this period. "I'm delighted and I would like to recognise the work of the staff to get us to this stage," he said. "Next is getting that partner with a really successful track record that we can work with."
  7. Councillors have agreed to launch an informal consultation on proposals for two Bedlington first schools to convert to primaries. At its meeting on Tuesday, Northumberland County Council's cabinet agreed to a request from the governing bodies of Whitley Memorial CE First School and Bedlington West End First School to carry out a consultation on extending their age ranges from September 2020. If the changes were to go forward, it would require a statutory proposal to be published, followed by a formal consultation. The Bedlington Partnership is currently a mix, with the majority having switched to a two-tier system of primaries and secondaries, while these two first schools and Meadowdale [Middle] Academy remain as a three-tier set-up. Since changing from high schools to secondary schools, Bedlington Academy and St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy have retained two annual intakes each September - at age 11 and age 13 - to reflect the mixed economy within the partnership. However, from September 2020, both secondary academies will only accept pupils at 11 (Year 7).
  8. Towns across Northumberland are to share in more than £55,000 of additional community clean-up funding. This award for the county council comes from the Government's £10million High Streets Community Clean-Up Fund and will be used to help existing groups to carry out community-led street and town-centre cleans. Around £12,000 of the funding will be used for graffiti-removal kits that will be offered free to community groups; litter-picking equipment for the existing loan scheme or permanently for litter champions; Love Northumberland-branded tabards; and prizes for winners at the Love Northumberland awards. The remaining funds will be distributed through the towns of Morpeth, Alnwick, Berwick, Hexham, Blyth, Ashington, Cramlington, Ponteland, West Bedlington, Haltwhistle, Prudhoe and Amble to organise clean-up events. Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment and local services, said: "I am grateful to the Government for this useful award of funding. "We're so proud of our high streets and want to do all we can to keep them looking clean and tidy.
  9. Indie rockers Pigeon Detective and former Ocean Colour Scene member Andy Bennett have been announced as the headline acts for this summer's Northumberland Live festival. The line-up is set to draw crowds to the beach in Blyth on June 22 where the free event will play out for the sixth year. Organisers announced the return of the music festival to the town h just days after it was revealed the Bedlington leg of the two-part event has been renamed . Also on its programme will be teenage singer-songwriter Chloe Rose who will be playing both festivals and Space who are best known for the hit Female Of The Species. Fans no doubt will be glad of a chance to catch up with The Pigeon Detectives, who released their fifth studio album Broken Glances in 2017 and played Leeds Festival the same year, and rock favourite Bennet, who left Ocean Colour Scene in 2015 to embark upon a successful solo career.
  10. Murder accused Paul Johnson told a court the boss he is alleged to have choked to death was "very bad tempered" but "I loved him to bits". Johnson is alleged to have strangled building firm owner Steve Coulson after turning up at his flat in the early hours - before raiding his safe as he lay dead or dying on his bedroom floor. The 34-year-old denies murder and assault with intent to rob and is standing trial at Newcastle Crown Court. Johnson went into the witness box to begin giving evidence in the case and said Mr Coulson was a good friend but claimed he had a short fuse. He admitted he was taking crack cocaine last year, which he had begun using to try to cope with the fact his mum was suffering from cancer. She died around six months before Mr Coulson, he said. John Elvidge QC, for Johnson, asked him: “How did you regard Mr Coulson?”
  11. Fans of The Beautiful South can catch up with former members of the much-loved band when they headline at the newly-named Gallagher Park Live Music Festival in Bedlington this summer. The South - featuring Alison Wheeler and Gaz Birtles - will be heading north to get the party going at the free family-friendly festival - formerly part of Northumberland Live - on Saturday, July 27. Besides having a new title - named after its town location - the festival will have a new look too, while the Blyth leg of Northumberland Live is set to continue as usual. Also on its line-up for the day will be rising teen star Chloe Rose - a singer-songwriter who has performed at the likes of Old Trafford for Wayne Rooney’s testimonial and - one bound to delight young ones - CBeebies presenter Sid Sloane. Older music lovers will no doubt welcome a chance to hear favourite songs played live, courtesy of Wheeler and Birtle who front The South, which grew from the ashes of The Beautiful South - following its split-up in 2007 - and is now celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Sax player Birtles now joins Wheeler in singing duties since Dave Hemingway left at the end of 2016 and the nine-piece band continue to keep alive all those original hits such as Song For Whoever - now a remarkable 30 years old - plus the likes of Perfect 10; Rotterdam and number one hit A Little Time.
  12. A Newcastle illustrator has been left in disbelief after one of his designs was used to mock Piers Morgan. The outspoken TV presenter has not been shy in sharing his disdain for Greggs' popular vegan sausage roll. So one viewer settled on the perfect wind-up for the Good Morning host - sending him a vegan-inspired birthday card. The early birthday card reads "I love Greggs vegan sausage rolls more than you", and even includes a fake coupon for a free vegan treat. Newcastle illustrator James Dixon - known under the business name Lines Behind - designed the card as part of his "I love you more than" card range to feature at Greggs festive bake exhibition last year. The 30-year-old, from Bedlington , was woken by friends tagging him in the Instagram post.
  13. The Northumberland Labour leader has responded to the recent airing of concerns about council-owned Arch , again describing it as a "witch-hunt". Coun Grant Davey, who will be standing down as the group's leader in May , also said that he has answered questions on these matters and "the ratepayers have already covered the huge costs of having me interviewed on three occasions". It followed Friday's two-hour meeting of Northumberland County Council's audit committee to discuss a 98-page report into arrangements at the wholly council-owned development company under the previous Labour administration. Arch has since been replaced by Advance Northumberland. This report was commissioned after the Conservatives took over at County Hall in May 2017 and completed in October that year, but has not been released until now at the request of Northumbria Police . The force has since confirmed to the council that it would not object to the report's disclosure and have now said "no criminal offences have been identified". However, having discussed a number of the issues in the report, which raised concerns around nepotism, collusion and a "culture of entitlement", as jobs and perks were handed out to "the chaps", the committee members still had questions.
  14. Cemetery-walking dog owners who allow their animals to foul graves and headstones are to be targeted by enforcement officers. Northumberland County Council is stepping up patrols to combat an increase in reported incidents of dog fouling and owners failing to keep dogs on leads in cemeteries. Enforcement Officers will be on patrol in cemeteries where dog owners have been sighted allowing their dogs to roam around cemetery grounds. Council cemeteries are subject to dog control orders which require dogs to be kept on a short lead, not more than 1.5 metres in length, at all times and must be under control. An extendable lead is not permitted. As in all other public places, it is an offence to allow a dog to foul and not clean up. Signs at all the entrances to the cemetery instruct dog owners to keep their dogs on leads. The council has received an increasing number of complaints of dogs fouling in cemeteries, especially in the Bedlington and Blyth area and say this is particularly distressing for those visiting the graves of loved ones.
  15. It's been almost a year since Miss Newcastle took us on a magic carpet ride for its Arabian Nights themed final and now we know the identities of the first nine girls in the running for this year's title. Over 300 girls from across the region applied to be Miss Newcastle 2019 , which is a record for the competition, and now the first nine finalists have been announced for the annual event which will once again raise money for The Chronicle's Sunshine Fund. The theme for this year's glittering final, hosted by the Gainford Group at The County Hotel, is Aphrodite and the goddesses already in the running for the Miss Newcastle crown are: Amy Conway, 21, Wallsend Charlotte Moore, 23, Newcastle Chelsea Simpkin, 19, Cramlington
  16. Angry and disappointed residents remain unconvinced about the future of Bedlington town centre, after its redevelopment stalled earlier this year. The latest time-scale for the regeneration project focused around the town's former Tesco site, which is being led by the county council-owned company Advance Northumberland, is aiming for the 12-month construction of the new shops to start in the autumn. But this would still mean the scheme would not be completed until the back end of 2020 at the earliest. And, as Advance's managing director Ken Dunbar told a lively Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council meeting last night (Wednesday, March 20), this all hinges on getting the anchor tenant - a major supermarket - to sign on the dotted line. This key store was lined up, but chose to review its options around the time the enabling works to prepare the site got under way, meaning the project stalled when these preparations were completed in January. Mr Dunbar said that nine other retailers - eight of which would be new to the town - are 'very interested' in taking on some of the other units, but that they needed the anchor store in place to guarantee the footfall.
  17. A prolific thief has been banned from all Sunderland's main shopping outlets. Samuel Metcalf, 35, is forbidden from setting foot in The Bridges Shopping Centre, Hylton Riverside Retail Park, Roker Retail Park and Pallion Retail Park for the next two years. The restrictions are set out in a Criminal Behaviour Order which came into effect last month (February) as a result of theft offences he has committed across the city. Metcalf, of Norfolk Street, Sunderland , has had four shoplifting convictions since August 2018 and was also convicted of a public order offence after becoming aggressive and threatening a shop worker when confronted about his behaviour. He is now no longer permitted to enter any of the city’s prime shopping outlets until 2021, and faces prison if he fails to comply or ignores any of the order’s strict conditions. Metcalf must also leave any other shop or commercial premises if asked by staff.
  18. A new home at Cambois has been given the go-ahead after councillors rejected the planners' view that the site was in the open countryside. Plans for the construction of a two-storey house and detached garage, between Berristock and Debdon House, were recommended for refusal at Wednesday night's (March 13) Ashington and Blyth Local Area Council. But members unanimously backed the scheme, as they did not consider it was in the open countryside, that it was on previously developed brownfield land and that a refusal - saying development was unsuitable in this area - would essentially split Cambois in two. The ward councillor, Jeff Gobin, and East Bedlington Parish Council had both supported the application as well. Coun Brian Gallacher said: "If this applicant didn't build his house there, what else is going to go there? You are going to end up with a patch of wasteland." Coun Grant Davey added: "I would like to see Cambois rebuilt as a very lively village."
  19. A teenager is due to appear in court charged with arson and explosive offences following an incident in Northumberland. The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will appear before magistrates sitting at Newcastle Crown Court on Saturday following the incident in Glanton. Shortly before 9pm on Tuesday, the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service called police to a blaze at an address on South View. Officers attended and say a number of potentially hazardous substances were found inside the property. A cordon was put in place and four nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution. A 17-year-old male was arrested and an investigation was launched.
  20. A shocking video has emerged of a sickening street fight between a teenage gang and two adults in Northumberland. The video - which has been shared widely on social media - shows the conflict spill out from a bus into the road on Ravensworth Street, Bedlington, on Friday night. The start of the clip shows an heated argument between a man stood outside the parked Arriva bus and the youths inside the vehicle at about 11pm. After a brief period of time, the man puts down a bag and steps on to the bus when the violence ensues. The fight quickly moves back to the pavement, and the footage shows five teenagers kicking the man several times as he lies on the ground. The violence then moves into the street itself, where a woman has joined the fight and the man is thrown to the tarmac twice.
  21. Two men have made their first appearance in court charged with attempted murder after a gun was allegedly fired at a van. Mark Exley and Christopher Embleton were arrested following an incident in Kingston Park. At about 7.45am on February 22, police received a report that a gun had been shot at a white van as it waited at traffic lights on Windsor Way. Nobody was injured and the driver of the van was able to flee the scene before later contacting police. Officers launched an investigation and a number of people were arrested in connection with the incident. On Tuesday, Exley and Embleton were brought into the dock at South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court in Bedlington, both charged with attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
  22. Two men have been charged with attempted murder after a gun was allegedly fired in Newcastle. At about 7.45am on Friday, February 22, police received a report that a gun had shot at a white van as it waited at traffic lights on Windsor Way in Kingston Park. Nobody was injured and the driver of the van was able to run off before later contacting police. The alleged shooter was also seen by witnesses getting into the passenger side of a blue Rover 75 Saloon and being driven away. This vehicle was quickly abandoned and burnt out on South Benwell Road. A police investigation was launched immediately and extensive inquiries have taken place to identify those responsible.
  23. Forced to lie in its own fifth, a starved puppy was rescued from a "putrid" fly-infested dump after being neglected by her owners. The 10-month-old husky, named Missy, was found in Ruth Lane and Lee Kiernan's North Shields family home. Old food was piled up on the floor and it was so high, RSPCA officer's struggled to open the door to rescue Missy. When they did, the puppy was so hungry she "rushed " from her cage to eat some of the leftovers. Both Missy and a white tabby cat named Cuddles were neglected so badly their former owners have been warned they could be jailed - despite their solicitor claiming they are "unsuitable" for prison. Friday's sentencing heard how Kiernan told one RSCPA officer to "f*** off" before calling them a "cocky s****" for trying to check on the pet's welfare.
  24. Assurances have been given that the proposed phased approach to a new passenger rail line in south-east Northumberland will not leave any towns out. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling recently visited the county to take a ride along part of the route and hear more about the £190million plans for what's now being called the Northumberland line, linking Ashington to Newcastle Central via Bedlington and Blyth. It came as county councillors signed off on approximately £3.46m of spending to develop the next steps, with the aim of submitting an outline business case and proposal for the detailed design by the end of the year, and services planned to start in 2022. During Mr Grayling's visit, council leader Peter Jackson said that while the total cost of the project is estimated to be £190m, it can be broken down into phases with a £90m first phase being 'perfectly achievable' given the 'billions being spent on HS2 and other projects in the south of England'. This sparked questions from Labour councillors, who were concerned that the line will only be part-opened, but the Conservative leadership has now offered assurances that the phasing would simply hold back some of the infrastructure work and trains would still run all the way to Ashington. Coun Deirdre Campbell, the Labour member for the Newsham ward through which the line will run, had described it as 'extremely concerning news', suggesting that perhaps the reason behind the dropping of the long-established Ashington, Blyth & Tyne name was 'because the supposed phasing the council leader refers to means it will not reach Blyth, never mind Bedlington or Ashington'.
  25. Labour has continued its attack on cuts to council-tax support in Northumberland, as figures show how the reductions will disproportionately impact wards it represents. From April, all households in the county will have to pay a minimum of eight per cent of their council-tax bill, following approval for changes to save £1million a year. At Northumberland County Council's full meeting in January, members agreed a reduction in the level of council-tax support for working-age claimants from 100 to 92 per cent. The change attracted some fervent criticism, but was passed by 31 votes to 26, with six abstentions, while an amendment to drop the cut as part of last week's budget debate was not put to the vote as it had already been passed the previous month. Now, Labour has released information obtained under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, in which, they say, 'the unfair nature of balancing the county's books is laid bare'. A breakdown of the number of people to be affected in each of the 66 council wards shows that there is a large discrepancy between different areas, much of it along party-political lines.
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