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Council Tax rise for South Tyneside

South Tyneside councillors have agreed a budget or 2015/16 which will see council tax bills rise by 1.95%.

In South Tyneisde 65% of the population live in Band A properties, and those households will pay an extra 32p per week.

Further savings of £22m will still need to be found by the authority.

The Government is continuing with their unfair policy of targeting grant dependent areas like South Tyneside for the highest level of cuts. Whilst South Tyneside has to find savings of £22 million in 2015/16, some areas like Wokingham and Windsor are actually seeing increases in their spending power - this cannot be fair or just by any measure. However, as always we have worked hard to balance the budget in 2015/16 whilst focusing on protecting the most vulnerable in our borough."

– Cllr Ed Malcolm, South Tyneside Council

So what is the Tory economic plan for the North East?

As the Chancellor George Osborne tours the North East, he's being monitored by Paul Brand, ITV Tyne Tees' Political Corrspondent Here are his latest tweets:

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Businesses in Thirsk and Easingwold offered free crime reduction advice

Businesses in Thirsk and Easingwold are being offered free, expert crime reduction advice.

According to a 2010 survey by the Federation of Small Businesses, 20% of all crime nationally is against businesses, with the average annual cost of crime against Yorkshire and Humberside businesses reaching more than £25,000.

Police in Thirsk and Easingwold are now offering security advice to the area’s small to medium sized businesses.

Specially trained Police Community Support Officers will conduct a business security survey and provide a vulnerability report - with recommendations as to how threats can be reduced.

Police are offering businesses free advice

“North Yorkshire is a very safe place to live and work, but crime can have a serious effect on businesses in our area. Not only does it have a significant financial impact, it is a major quality of life issue – it threatens jobs, puts employee personal safety at risk and reduces business confidence.

“Implementing sound crime prevention and reduction measures makes good business sense, and we can help SMEs in the fight against business crime.”

– PCSO Lucy Walker, of Thirsk and Easingwold Police

Pedestrian injured after Hartlepool collision

Police are appealing for witnesses after a pedestrian was hit by a car in Hartlepool.

A 75-year-old man suffered facial fractures, fractured ribs and possible internal injuries on February 23, on Wiltshire Way. He was taken to the University Hospital of North Tees for treatment.

Any witnesses are asked to contact Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit on 101.

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Man dies after HGV runs into ditch

A 52-year-old HGV driver has died after his vehicle left the road and ran into a ditch.

It happened on February 26, on Seal Sands road (A1185) opposite the ecology park, Teesside.

Police believe the driver suffered a 'medical episode' at the wheel. They're asking anyone with information to call Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit on 101.

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Nick Clegg announces new fleet of trains for the North

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin will announce improvements to trains in the North today, promising "more seats, more services and a brand new fleet of trains"

Nick Clegg will announce changes to train services in the North today Credit: Press Association

Improving rail links in the region has been much anticipated. These old trains have been rattling across rails in the North for over 30 years; a constant source of complaint which have held the region back.

Modernising rail in the North will encourage business, boost tourism and give commuters the journey they deserve; one that is fit for a 21st century metropolis.

– Nick Clegg MP, Deputy PM

The government has said it will make the following changes to trains in the North.

  • replace outdated Pacer trains and introduce a brand new fleet of modern trains
  • tackle crowding
  • invest in stations
  • accommodate over 19,000 more commuters in Manchester during the morning peak
  • add over 200 new train services every day across both franchises
  • provide over one-third more capacity across both franchises
  • introduce free Wi-Fi

Unlike the last Northern franchise in 2004, which included limited plans to invest in services or meet demand, this deal will maintain investment and grow to fit the needs of passengers for years to come.

Together with the £1 billion investment we are making to improve the region’s railways and our plans to link east and west through HS3, our railways are making the region an economic powerhouse.

– Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary
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