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Units 'too small to be safe' at Northallerton hospital

The Friarage hospital in Northallerton Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Controversial changes at a North Yorkshire hospital come into place today.

There will no longer be an overnight children's ward at the Friarage hospital in Northallerton with families having to travel to Middlesbrough, Darlington or Harrogate for emergency care instead.

Campaigners had fought to stop the changes, but it was decided the units were too small to be safe.

Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group have said the following:

Changes needed to be made to children’s and maternity services at the Friarage Hospital as both the CCG and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (which runs the hospital) had serious concerns about the future safety of the services. They were worried that doctors working there would not be able to retain their clinical skills and develop new ones because there were not enough mums-to-be and children using the services.The new model for children’s and maternity services, developed by all GPs in the area, will ensure services for local mothers, families and children are safer, better quality and sustainable for the future.

– Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group

New law in force after campaign by Claudia Lawrence's family

Missing: Claudia Lawrence has not been seen since 18 March 2009 Credit: North Yorkshire Police

A law is coming into force today after a long campaign by the family of the missing York woman Claudia Lawrence.

It will give the relatives of missing people the right to organise their finances and legal affairs. Until now, they couldn't take over until seven years had passed.

Claudia Lawrence was last seen on 18 March 2009. She was 35 years old when she disappeared and working as a chef at the University of York.

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Weather: Today

Credit: Emily Murdoch

Starting generally cloudy with occasional light rain, this mainly across the Pennines.

Eastern locations are likely to be predominantly dry, with some limited brightness.

Dry and clear conditions spreading south later.

Maximum Temperature 16C.

£11.2m visitor centre for Hadrian's Wall given go ahead

South east view showing main visitor entrance Credit: Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Ltd

Northumberland National Park Authority, YHA (England and Wales) and partners, are celebrating after plans for The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre were officially given the green light.

Plans for the £11.2m centre, which is to replace the existing 1960s Once Brewed facilities with a flagship visitor attraction, training and educational centre, were referred by a third party to be determined by the Secretary of State.

Northumberland National Park Authority Chairman Cllr John Riddle, said: “The long term gains of the project include economic growth and job creation which will offer a step-change benefit for the whole of the North East and then there are the benefits you just cannot put a price on – including the impact the project will have on young people from a training and educational perspective.

The first floor cafe will feature panoramic views Credit: Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Ltd

Consultation has played a huge part in a participative design process, with over 1,700 members of the public sharing their ideas and feedback.

Stuart Evans, Sill Project Director at Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “As part of the next stage of development, we want to continue this process and invite anyone who would like to contribute to come forward and help us realise the project’s full potential. Working together, we have such a wonderful opportunity through The Sill to compliment and support the excellent tourism offer in our region and open up the landscape to a whole new audience.”

The team now looks to push on to achieve £3m match funding needed as well as submitting its bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the remaining £6.9m, with an outcome expected early 2015.

Aerial view of The Sill Credit: Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Ltd

Local produce celebrated at 'Taste Durham' festival

Stuart McFarlane, left, and Davey Babooram with a dish from Café Bowes outside The Bowes Museum Credit: Visit County Durham

Local produce is on the menu at The Bowes Museum for the launch of this year’s Taste Durham Month.

The festival, which runs throughout October, includes 30 eateries across the county who will each create a unique Durham-inspired dish to tempt diners’ taste buds.

All the Taste Durham Month dishes include ingredients from local producers such as lamb reared in Teesdale in the Durham Dales, handmade cheeses from Cotherstone Cheese, Durham Cow Cheese and Parlour Made, artisan bread, locally farmed pork and beef, and home-grown fruit and vegetables.

Davey Babooram, head chef at The Bowes Museum’s Café Bowes, said: “We were delighted to be involved with Taste Durham Month again. At The Bowes Museum, we take huge pride in the history and heritage of the Durham Dales and food plays a huge part in that. So it makes perfect sense that, whenever possible, we serve our visitors food grown or reared in the local area. That’s why this year our Taste Durham Month dish is inspired by local lamb from the Durham Dales.”

Those establishments taking part in Taste Durham Month will display the Taste Durham Month sign in their windows and all the available dishes can be browsed in an interactive Taste Durham Month menu which is available here: Click Here

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North Shields stand-off at an end

A man has been arrested following the end of an incident involving armed police in North Shields.

Officers were called to Howard Street on Tuesday afternoon (30th September), following concerns for a man inside a property.

A cordon was put up and part of the road closed off in what police describe as a 'precaution'.

The area was cordoned off as a precautionary measure and we had specialist officers, including negotiators, at the scene to bring the incident to a safe conclusion.

"Residents are thanked for their patience and co-operation throughout.

"Officers will be patrolling in the area and I'd urge anyone with concerns to speak to them."

– Superintendent Tim Walker, Northumbria Police

A 21 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of threats to kill.

Calls to save financial advice centre for cancer sufferers

A campaign is underway to try and save a financial advice service for people with cancer in Darlington.

Every year, a Welfare Rights Officer helps hundreds of people with access to health benefits and advice on budgeting.

Those who use the service say it's invaluable as often, money is tight because they have been forced to stop working and must pay for regular hospital visits.

Jonny Blair reports:

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