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Stockton-on-Tees ranks 6th 'best place to live'

In a report, Stockton-on-Tees has been named the 6th best place to live in England and Wales. According to The Telegraph, Stockton-on-Tees is overall better than Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire.

The list is based on average weekly incomes, crime rates, health, home ownership, and economic activity.

Nowhere in London made the top 10, due to low levels of home ownership and high crime. However, in the North East Northumberland came 4th and Stockton-on-Tees ranked 6th.

NORTHUMBERLAND breakdown:

  • 4th - Overall rank
  • 109th - Income rank
  • 478th - Economic activity rank
  • 2nd - Home ownership rank
  • 38th - Crime rank
  • 303rd - Health rank

STOCKTON-ON-TEES breakdown:

  • 6th - Overall rank
  • 168th - Income rank
  • 20th - Economic activity rank
  • 295th Home ownership rank
  • 698th - Crime rank
  • 29th - Health rank

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'Good things should be rewarded' says man who donated new bike to leukaemia patient

Anthony McAllister, owner of TJ Taxis in Byker, has spoken of his reasons as to why he decided to donate a new bike to leukaemia patient Declan Munro:

My nephew went through leukaemia so I know what the family is going through. My daughter went to school with Gemma (Declan's mother) so I told her to go round and tell them we'd buy him a new bike.

After we gave him the bike, Declan came round to my house to shake my hand. He's been raising money for charity himself so I knew he was doing good things and I think that should be rewarded.

– Anthony McAllister

Kind stranger donates new bike to leukaemia patient

Declan and his new bike Credit: Gemma Munro

On Friday 15th August, ITV Tyne Tees reported a bike belonging to a leukaemia patient had been stolen in Newcastle (Read more: click here).

Declan Munro's bike was stolen on Wednesday 6th August between 8.30pm and 9.30pm when he went into a shop at Allendale Road in Byker.

The 14-year-old, who has spent the last two years fighting leukaemia and is currently undergoing chemotherapy, was said to be devastated. The bike was donated by charity and worth hundreds of pounds.

As Declan's family shared the police appeal via social media, the story came to the attention of Anthony McAllister who owns a taxi service in Byker and lives nearby.

He decided to dig deep to help the schoolboy and bought him a new Cube bike at the cost of £550.

Declan's new bike, kindly donated by Anthony McAllister, a local taxi service owner Credit: Gemma Munro

Despite his old bike still not being found, Declan is said to be ecstatic with his new bike.

Declan's bike used to get him around so he could go out and play with his friends. It helped him feel normal so when it was stolen he was stuck in the house again.

Now he's got this new bike, he was straight back out with his friends again. It's so brilliant. I can't thank Anthony enough, it is so nice that somebody has done this for him.

– Gemma Munro, Declan's mother

Who would you nominate for a star on 'Walk of Fame'?

Organisers of a "Walk of Fame" on the Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside are asking local people to nominate who should be recognised next.

The first 21 bronze stars were installed on both sides of the River Tyne in 2013, honouring stars with a strong link to Tyneside, from the former Newcastle United and England manager Sir Bobby Robson and footballer Alan Shearer to the presenters Ant and Dec and the singer Sting.

In 2014, up to another six names will be added, based on public nominations. The people chosen will be individuals either from or with strong links to the area who have made a 'significant contribution' to NewcastleGateshead over the past 60 years.

  • Nomination cards available at libraries and customer contact centres across Newcastle and Gateshead
  • Online: www.NewcastleGateshead.com/localheroes
  • Twitter & Instagram: #NGlocalheroes
  • By post: Gateshead Council, Council News FREEPOST NEA3381, Gateshead, NE8 1BR.
  • Closing date: 30th September 2014.

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'I hope it does some good' says Robin Williams fan

Melanie Plews-Smith, from Catterick Village, North Yorkshire, has paid tribute to Robin Williams by having a giant tattoo of his face inked on her thigh.

The mother of five had her tattoo done by Stuart "Biffa" Sutherland and spoke of her reasons for wanting to honour the actor:

I grew up watching Robin Williams films and now my children are growing up watching them too. His death has highlighted the problem of depression, and that even people who seem happy on the outside can be struggling inside.

Having the tattoo is my way of raising awareness. It is not just celebrities who suffer - thousands of people are going through the same thing. I hope it does some good.

He was fantastic as a person and this is my tribute to him. If I was to choose anyone to have on my leg, it would be him.

– Melanie Plews-Smith

North Yorkshire mum pays tribute to Robin Williams

Melanie Plews-Smith had Robin Williams' face tattooed on her thigh in tribute Credit: Stuart "Biffa" Sutherland

A lifelong fan has paid tribute to Robin Williams by having a giant tattoo of his face inked on her thigh.

Melanie Plews-Smith, from Catterick Village, North Yorkshire, already has six tattoos but wanted to honour Robin Williams with this latest addition.

The mother of five had her tattoo done by Stuart "Biffa" Sutherland, who has been working as a tattoo artist for one-and-a-half years.

Robin Williams died on Tuesday 12th August, aged 63.

Bike belonging to leukaemia patient stolen in Newcastle

A bike belonging to a 14-year-old leukaemia patient has been stolen in Newcastle.

Declan Munro's blue and black Trek mountain bike was stolen on Wednesday 6th August between 8.30pm and 9.30pm. The bike was donated by charity and is worth hundreds of pounds.

Declan went into a shop at Allendale Road in Byker and when he returned his bike had been stolen.

Anyone with information should contact Northumbria Police.

NHS staff trained as beekeepers to produce honey

NHS staff been trained as beekeepers and installed a beehive at an office in Newcastle as part of a commitment to making the most of their land.

The biodiversity project plans to open more rooftop hives in Newcastle city centre to produce honey.

Staff are training as beekeepers to fulfil their commitment to make the most of the land
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