North Yorkshire Police u-turn on new HQ

North Yorkshire Police say that a u-turn on proposals to build new headquarters near Thirsk will save the tax-payer millions of pounds.

£60k donation to Newcastle food bank

West End Food Bank has been given a £60,000 to buy a van and secure services for 2015. The donation was made by Springfield House Trust.

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Picketers dress in Victorian costume in Sunderland

Picketers in Sunderland Credit: ITV
Unison say the Government is 'hanging public sector workers out to dry' Credit: ITV

Picketers at Sunderland Civic Centre are dressed in Victorian costume. They say their members are having to take on several jobs and still need help from food banks. The costume represents a return to the era of the work house.

The picket line Credit: ITV

A washing line with photos of public sector workers pegged to it was strung across the civic centre court yard to represent workers being 'hung out to dry' by the Government.

Picketers at Sunderland Civic Centre dressed in Victorian costume Credit: ITV

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Archbishop of York says Living Wage is a moral issue

Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, has called for the government to pay all its employees, including care workers, the so-called living wage. He called for the number of low-paid workers to be cut by one million by 2020.

The living wage is currently calculated a £7.65 per hour, outside London. Dr Sentamu said it would be morally justified and could make financial sense for the country.

Think-tank dismisses high-speed rail "vanity project"

The Institute of Economic Affairs *(IEA) *has dismissed George Osborne's idea of a new high-speed rail network for the North, calling it a "costly vanity project".

“The relatively short distances between northern cities mean high-speed rail is an expensive and inefficient way of linking them. Because northern conurbations are spread out geographically and include numerous different towns, high-speed trains between the largest city centres would make little difference to door-to-door journey times for a high proportion of travellers.

“The Chancellor should focus on smaller-scale schemes that deliver high returns for the taxpayer or, better still, that can be financed privately, rather than concocting a headline-grabbing vanity project to attract votes.

“Not content with wasting tens of billions on the loss-making HS2 scheme, George Osborne is now threatening to compound the error by forcing taxpayers to fund HS3.”

– Dr Richard Wellings, Deputy Editorial Director

Read full story: Osborne says new Manchester-Leeds rail link would 'boost' the North

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Employment rises nationally - but not in the North East

Nationally, employment rose by a record 345,000 in the three months to April. But that does not reflect the North East's situation. Unemployment rose in the region.

Government reaction:

"Britain is bouncing back."

– Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander

"As we build a stronger economy, businesses up and down the country are feeling increasingly confident."

– Employment minister Esther McVey

North East unemployment up by 6,000

Unemployment in the North East has increased by 6,000 in the quarter to April. According to the Office for National Statistics, 131,000 people were unemployed in the region between February and April. The unemployment rate was 9.8% and saw a rise of 4.8% during the period.

Nationally, employment rose by a record 345,000 in the three months to April.

The number of people in work stood at 30.54 million, after a rise which was the highest since records began in 1971.

Cramlington firm among minimum wage dodgers

A construction company in Northumberland has been 'named and shamed' in a list of companies not paying minimum wage to employees.

A2ZEE Construction Ltd in Cramlington neglected to pay £3,375.51 to 14 workers.

It's one of 25 firms, the largest number publicly named since the government launched the crackdown last year.

MORE: List of 25 employers 'named and shamed' for dodging minimum wage

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