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Four vehicle crash on the A19 Northbound

Four vehicles have crashed on the A19 Northbound. It happened around 5:30pm near the Thornaby/Acklam sliproad.

Cleveland Fire Brigade have confirmed they helped remove one casualty from a car, who was given first aid at the scene.

Cleveland Police are yet to confirm how many people were hurt.

The crash caused lengthy tailbacks earlier this evening.

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Senior colleague 'burst into tears' over cuts, says Newcastle Council boss

The Leader of Newcastle City Council has insisted that he and his colleagues do not want to make cuts to public services in the region.

Nick Forbes recalled an occasion when he saw a senior colleague "bursting into tears" at the thought of potential cuts to the adult social care budget.

Newcastle City Council today revealed how it will make £40m savings in 2015.

Sure Start Centres, which provide early educational and play facilities for pre-school children from the poorest backgrounds, face a cut of £4.6m.

Other people affected by the latest cuts will be Blue Badge holders, who have disabilities affecting their mobility, and elderly people who rely on Meals on Wheels.

The Council also intends to increase council tax charges by 2%.

Armed robbery at Blaydon supermarket

Police are appealing for witnesses after an armed robbery at a Gateshead supermarket.

It happened at around 8.15 this morning (Wednesday 17 December) at the Morrisons supermarket in The Precinct in Blaydon. It is thought that two men stole a cash box from a security guard driver outside an ATM machine. One of the men was armed with a handgun, the other with a cosh.

One of the men was wearing high visibility trousers and a woollen hat. The second was wearing a dark-coloured balaclava and a light-coloured top.

No one was injured during the robbery but staff were shocked.

Police are asking for members of the public to contact them with relevant information. Witnesses can contact Northumbria Police by calling 101.

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Sure Start cuts and council tax rises for Newcastle

Newcastle Civic Centre Credit: Newcastle City Council

Newcastle City Council has revealed how it will make £40m savings in 2015, with many disadvantaged people bearing the brunt.

Sure Start Centres, which provide early educational and play facilities for pre-school children from the poorest backgrounds, face a cut of £4.6m.

Other people affected by the latest cuts will be Blue Badge holders, who have disabilities affecting their mobility - and elderly people who rely on Meals on Wheels.

The cuts could also spell the end of the Quaylink bus services which connect the city centre with the Quayside.

The funding cuts will also mean many more job losses among Newcastle City Council staff.

260 jobs will be cut next year.

This will bring the total number of job lesses at the council to 2,300 between the years 2010 and 2018.

Newcastle City Council also intends to increase council tax charges by 2% - which would add £17.68 to annual bills for Band A properties.

The council says this is a response to government cuts, which means the authority faces some 'unpalatable choices'.

In October the council revealed it has to make cuts of £90m in total over the next three years.

These are the measures due to be taken in 2015:

  • Reorganising Sure Start Centres to save £4.7m
  • Charging disabled blue badge holders to park their cars in council owned car parks – but not off-street
  • Less funding for school crossing patrols while looking for alternative provision with schools
  • Withdrawing funding for the Quaylink bus service from the city centre to the Quayside
  • Increasing charges for meals at home from £3 to £4

What we are faced with now is exactly what we predicted two years ago ?the dismantling of public services. When politicians in Westminster cheer at the prospect of more austerity, this is what it means on the ground for people in cites like Newcastle. We have looked at every line of expenditure for savings in a bid to protect services for those who ned them most. We have cut our numbers of managers, we have rationalised our support services and we have discontinued some services altogether such as play and youth and even sold the Lord Mayor’s coach. Already we have taken 50% out of our adminstration and support services and are now left with impossible choices in order to set a balanced budget which we must do by law.”

–  Clr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council
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A1 closed in both directions after cattle trailer overturns

The A1 is currently closed in both directions near Scotch Corner after a Land Rover towing a cattle trailer overturned on the northbound carriageway at around 1pm.

The driver of the Land Rover was uninjured in the incident.

Vehicle recovery services are at the scene of the incident to remove the Land Rover and the trailer from the carriageway.

A vet is also at the scene to check if any cattle which were travelling in the trailer have been injured.

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