Contract workers at Teesside's SSI plant are meeting management this lunchtime to discuss their future at the site
Steel production has been paused after it emerged last week that the Teesside steelworks was in financial difficulties.
Staff arrived this morning unsure what work they could carry out following the shutdown of the plant's blast furnace on Friday night.
The Redcar base employs 2,000 people whose futures are uncertain. It also uses an additional 1,000 contract workers.
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House prices across the UK's largest cities jumped by the highest quarterly level in 11 years as demand for housing continues to outstrip supply.
Property analyst Hometrack said Newcastle showed 2.5% growth year-on-year.
Its report said a combination of low mortgage rates, economic growth and rising earnings continue to stimulate demand and put upward pressure on house prices.
But it adds that in all of the 20 cities it surveys, except Aberdeen, house price growth is greater than the current 2.4% increase in average earnings.
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The cabinet of Newcastle City Council has approved plans to borrow £45 million to be spent on the refurbishment of the Civic Centre.
The council says improving the Grade II* listed Newcastle landmark would enhance it for future generations as well as creating a more efficient workplace for council staff.
It also claims energy savings, reduced maintenance bills and additional income will more than cover the costs of borrowing the money – including all interest charges on the loan.
The council says failing to invest in the building would cost taxpayers £35.3 million for basic repairs and maintenance to deal with the effects of wear and tear on the ageing structure.
Independent City Councillor Marc Donnelly, of Westerhope, said: "I am shocked and appalled at these proposals" and suggested the true cost would be near £90 million.
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A group of campaigners from across Teesside who are opposed to the government's austerity measures are travelling to London today to join a national rally. The Teesside Peoples' Assembly against Austerity are calling for an end to austerity cuts. Coaches travelled from pick up points in Hartlepool and Middlesbrough at dawn this morning to head to the capital for this afternoon's demonstration.
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