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Newcastle United fans win bid to protect St James' Park

Newcastle United's ground St James' Park will be formally listed as an Asset of Community Value, after a successful application by a fan group.

The new status means fans have the right to bid for the ground if it were ever put up for sale Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA

The title is seen as an opportunity for football fans to protect their grounds and make sure it remains a focal point of the community.

It also means the Newcastle United Supporters' Trust has the right to bid for the ground if it were ever put up for sale.

It follows high profile applications to protect grounds including Anfield and Old Trafford.

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NHS staff say strike action is 'last resort'

NHS workers at Leeds General Infirmary who have taken part in today's four hour strike have said industrial action is a last resort.

Edward Barr from Unite, Matthew Barker who is a porter, Fiona Powell, an NHS worker and midwives Liz Furness and Anita Marshall, have been speaking to ITV Yorkshire about why they chose to strike.

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Second day of NHS strike action

Today is the second day of action for NHS staff in our region - including midwives, who walked out on strike for the first time ever yesterday in a row over pay.

Today, union members from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire will follow yesterday's four-hour walk-out with four days of "work to rule".

Tony Pearson, from Unison Yorkshire and Humberside, explains that it is to demonstrate NHS workers often work through their breaks.

Trade unions want a 1% pay rise for all NHS staff, but the government says that will cost too much.

'Enough is enough. We need to make a stand'

Nurses and hospital workers across the North East NHS have been striking this morning in a dispute over pay. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Cat Rowney, an NHS midwife at Newcastle's RVI hospital, has spoken of the anger she and fellow hospital workers across the North East feel.

It has got very bad in the last few years, we're in a decade long baby boom at the moment so there's more and more babies being born with less and less staff.

People aren't encouraged to come into midwifery anymore because of all the issues that are going on. We work very long hours, we often work unpaid overtime, we don't get breaks, we don't get to have anything to eat, we don't get to go to the toilet.

It's got to the point where enough's enough and we need to make a stand and let everyone hear our voice.

– Cat Rowney

Eighty people on RVI picket line

Turnout at the entrance to the Royal Victoria Infirmary is about 80 people.

80 people protest at the RVI Credit: ITV

"I'm really impressed with the turnout. The atmosphere is absolutely fantastic and everyone is pulling together to make it clear to the Government that we deserve this pay rise."

– Rebecca Banks, who has been a midwife for 18 years

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Hunt: 'We absolutely will talk to unions'

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the government is prepared to talk to the striking NHS unions about the current pay rise dispute.

Jeremy Hunt Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

He said: "We will talk to them if they're prepared to look to reform the system of increments, which is unclear and unfair.

"I recognise frontline staff do a magnificent job in the NHS."

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Army to drive ambulances during public sector strikes

Members of the armed forces will drive ambulances in London and the north-west when public sector workers go on strike on Monday, the Ministry of Defence has said.

Ambulances in the north west and London will be driven by army personnel. Credit: Eamonn and James Clarke/EMPICS Entertainment

An MoD spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the Ministry of Defence is providing support to the Department of Health during the 13 October industrial action by some trade unions.

"This assistance involves the provision of military drivers to support the London and the North West Ambulance Services.”

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