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.

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York Council "will refund" £1.8m fines raised by Lendal Bridge

York Council are to refund more than £1.8m in fines in a dramatic u-turn over the long-running Lendal Bridge saga.

In August, the bridge was closed to traffic - and has earned the Council more than £1.8m in fines from cars which breached the ban - which only allowed buses and taxis to cross.

Lendal Bridge in York

But the Labour leadership have said today they will refund all the fines levied against motorists.

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Bid to reconsider school transport charges defeated

Parents protested outside County Hall in Morpeth Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Dozens of parents protested outside County Hall in Morpeth, over plans to charge over-16s for school transport in Northumberland.

From September, most students between 16 and 18 years old will be charged £600 to use school buses, and will fund their own public transport costs.

The demonstration took place before an extraordinary meeting of the council. It debated a motion put forward by the Conservative group leader, Cllr Peter Jackson.

It called for the change to be suspended and for more consultations with parents.

The motion was narrowly defeated by 34 votes to 30.

Feelings ran high outside County Hall Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The Labour controlled authority says the council must reduce a £3.3m bill for post-16 transport.

Council leader, Cllr Grant Davey said:

"In difficult times, we need to be focusing our resources on those who are in greatest need.

We've listened carefully to what the public have had to say, not just today but throughout the consultation period, but the bottom line is we have to balance our budget."

The Labour group said the cost of arranging today's extraordinary meeting came to £80,000; a figure disputed by others.

The Conservative group leader, Cllr Peter Jackson said:

"I think people had to have their say. People have got a democratic right and right across Northumberland, families and young people are struggling with this new six hundred pound, effectively, tax to go to school.

They had to be heard and their concerns had to be heard and addressed and I think it was the right thing to do."

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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