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Corbyn: "Nissan investment must be continued"

The Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has told ITV News Tyne Tees that Nissan's investment in the North East must be continued.

Speaking on a visit to the region to mark 80 years since the Jarrow March, he said he wanted to speak to the company to find out exactly what it wants to maintain its investment in the area after Britain leaves the European Union.

"The key has to be this huge investment that's gone in here must be continued. Nissan are saying at the moment they are pausing that. I want investment to continue so I would rather talk to Nissan about it, even in opposition we’ll talk to Nissan about it, and find out exactly what they want."

– Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour Leader

Nissan is concerned that tariffs could be placed on British goods, making them more expensive for buyers overseas.

Watch @krisjepson's report here:

The Japanese car manufacture which builds 500,000 cars a year on Wearside wants the UK to pledge compensation for any tax barriers that may be raised as a result of leaving the European Union.

"If I need to make an investment in the next few months and I can’t wait until the end of Brexit, then I have to make a deal with the UK Government. If there are tax barriers being established on cars, you have to have a commitment for carmakers who export to Europe that there is some kind of compensation.”

– Carlos Ghosn, CEO, Nissan

Mr. Corbyn stopped short of promising financial aid but said he did want to make sure Britain negotiates a good working relationship with Europe.

Local Councillor, John McCabe, said Mr Corbyn's approach is wise. He said, "we don't know exactly what's going to happen with tariffs so it's a bit premature for him to give a sensible comment on that decision, because we don't know what the facts are and we don't know what the exit deal is at the moment".

The grandson of the Jarrow March organiser, Peter Tarrack, said Mr Corbyn should not have to negotiate with Nissan over jobs if he becomes Prime Minister.

"He's got to watch what he's saying, but I haven't got to watch what I'm saying. As far as I'm concerned I think I would call their bluff, because if the profit margins are still there they will still make cars. If the profit margin is not there like they proved in Jarrow in the 1930s, they will shut down the factory. If Nissan want more money, they are just trying their hand as far as I'm concerned, like all multinationals do."

– Peter Tarrack, Grandson of Jarrow Marcher

New analysis shows scale of last winter's floods

Last winter's floods across the region Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

More than a thousand homes and businesses across the North East and North Yorkshire flooded in last year's devastating storms, new analysis shows.

In Northumberland 197 homes and 90 businesses were affected, in North Yorkshire it was 404 homes and 96 firms and in York 350 homes and 157 businesses.

The study, by the Local Government Association, says councils are still helping flood-hit homes to recover from the disruption caused by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank.

Ahead of this winter, town halls are encouraging people to be prepared for future flooding, by taking steps such as checking if they are at risk, signing up to free warnings and identifying what to take with them if they need to evacuate their premises.

Councils say they have been working through the year to help people get back on their feet, collecting ruined household items such as carpets and furniture for disposal and advising on flood protection grants and affordable insurance.

Council leaders are calling for future flood defence to be devolved by the Government to local areas so that councils can work with communities and businesses to ensure money goes to projects that best suit local needs.

Martin Tett, a LGA environment spokesman, said: "Councils are doing everything they can to protect households and businesses from the possibility of further devastating flooding this winter.

"Such was the severity of last year's storms, some councils, who have experienced significant reductions to their core funding, are still helping residents to recover even now."

He said devolving funding to local areas would support projects that reflected needs such as protecting key roads and bridges to keep residents and businesses moving."

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Middlesbrough 'worst place to be a girl' says report

Middlesbrough town centre Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A new report suggests that Middlesbrough is the worst place in England and Wales to be a girl.

Compiled by the charity Plan International UK, the report looked at factors such as child poverty, educational attainment and teenage pregnancy rates. It's the first of its kind to assess the experiences of girls across every local authority in the two countries.

Waverley in Surrey came out top.

The report appears to show a stark geographical divide for girls' prospects, with inner city areas performing worst and the south-east performing the best.

But the authors behind the report stressed that girls across the UK are being "failed" and urged the Government to take "urgent action".

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