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TRAVEL: Lines reopened but disruption expected until end of service

Virgin Trains East Coast says all lines affected by signalling problems at Darlington have reopened but disruption is expected until the end of service.

The disruption has been caused by a signalling problem at Darlington. Network Rail says the signalling problem is due to vandalism.

Trains have not been running between York and Newcastle via Darlignton. Some trains have been diverted via Sunderland.

Tickets dated today will be accepted on services tomorrow. Passengers will be allowed to travel with any rail company through the affected area.


County council watchdog hits out at hospital ward closure

Credit: PA

North Yorkshire County Council’s health watchdog has expressed grave concerns at NHS plans to close a 14-bed ward at the Lambert Memorial Hospital in Thirsk.

The authority’s Scrutiny of Health Committee, which met today, has called on the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Thirsk hospital, to give a target date for the ward to be re-opened as a matter of urgency.

The Lambert hospital ward provides general re-habilitation, diagnostics and assessment of patients’ present and future care needs as well as pain control and palliative care. It is currently open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and health committee members regard the ward closure as a particularly troubling development.

“We are extremely concerned by this development”, said County Councillor Jim Clark, the committee’s chair:

“Especially with winter approaching and the additional pressures this brings on the health service. We are especially unhappy that the South Tees Trust is not reviewing their decision until next January 2016 and that much-needed beds will be closed all that time.”

– Cllr Jim Clark

Professor Tricia Hart, Chief Executive of the South Tees Hospitals Trust, attended today’s Scrutiny of Health committee meeting to explain that a combination of long-term staff sickness, absence and vacancies had put considerable pressure on the ward and risked compromising patient safety. Temporary closure of the ward had therefore become necessary

But health scrutiny members are unhappy that they were made aware of these latest developments only a week ago. Cllr Clark continued:

“This situation must have been anticipated and yet the Trust has only let us know very late in the day.”

North Yorkshire’s Scrutiny of Health Committee will be meeting again in November and has called on the Trust to come back with a joint report, showing how the NHS and social care, will work together to mitigate the impact of the ward closure with the approach of the winter period.


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Bucket of cannabis found in car boot

Police have seized a bucket of cannabis from a couple in North Yorkshire. Officers from North Yorkshire Police stopped a silver Audi at Gate Helmsley and found the cannabis in a bucket in the boot.

The two occupants of the car, a 20-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman, both from East Yorkshire, were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.

Both have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

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Wind farm maintenance centre to create 400 jobs in Whitby

Artist's impression of Endeavour Wharf Credit: Group Ginger architects

Up to 400 jobs could be created in Whitby port with the development of a wind farm service centre. Dalby Offshore Services is working with Scarborough Borough Council to develop Endeavour Wharf in the town to become a key operations and maintenance centre for the offshore wind industry.

The roles will include marine and maritime skills, vessel repairs and maintenance, engineering and electrical contracting, component supply, port services. The development is also expected to provide a boost for local accommodation services.

Members of the public will be able to discuss the design at a consultation event tomorrow at The Coliseum.

Plans for Endeavour Wharf Credit: Group Ginger architects
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