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Future of Berwick's suspension bridge uncertain

There are doubts over the future of Europe's oldest surviving iron-chain suspension bridge, the Union Chain Bridge.

The bridge, which spans almost 130 metres over the River Tweed is in need of repair, and both the Scottish Borders and Northumberland Councils are considering shutting the bridge for good, if funding cannot be found.

An estimated £4.7million is needed to repair the damage to the bridge, which was built in 1820, with the intention of strengthening ties between Scotland and England.

"Northumberland County Council is the lead authority for the Union Chain Bridge. However we have a joint responsibility, and are working together to develop options to allow the refurbishment of the bridge to take place.

"The bridge will require a new chain suspension hanger system to be developed and fitted; substantial deck replacement; upgrading of the existing parapets; and totally repainted. The estimated cost of the repairs is £4.7million.

"If the councils were unable to raise the required funding it is likely that a phased closure would be implemented."

– Spokesperson, Scottish Borders Council

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Future of Berwick's maternity services up for discussion

A meeting to discuss the future of Berwick Hospital's maternity services has been held today.

The hospital's maternity services were suspended in August of last year due to a lack of people using the service and concerns over safety.

The trust has since put forward two options for the future of Berwick's maternity services - either to re-open the unit as it is but with more midwives so they can rotate and get more experience, or to have a 24 hour on-call service so they can give birth at home or in a special birthing room

Full Report: Nick Clegg visits Berwick

The Deputy Prime Minister says that he is 'acutely aware' of the strength of feeling for improvements to the A1 in Northumberland.

Nick Clegg was questioned on the issue during a visit to Berwick today.

Mr Clegg says that he cannot promise that the road will be made a dual carriageway throughout the county.

However, he has said the government is looking at the options.

See the full report from Helen Ford below.

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"The Department of Transport will be looking at what the options are to improve the A1"

The Deputy Prime Minister says that he is acutely aware of the strength of feeling over the need for improvements to the A1 in Northumberland.

Nick Clegg was speaking about the A1 during a visit to Berwick.

He said that he could not promise that the road will be made entirely dual carriageway through

the county, but that the government is looking at the options.

CCTV released after showers stolen in Berwick

One of the men that police are keen to speak to
One of the men that police are keen to speak to Credit: Northumbria Police

Northumbria Police have released CCTV of two men that they would like to speak to after four showers were stolen from a Homebase branch in Berwick.

At around midday on Saturday October 27th, two men went into Homebase on Northumberland Road in Berwick and picked up four showers worth over seven hundred pounds and then left through a fire exit without paying.

One of the men that police are keen to speak to
Police are keen to speak to these two men Credit: Northumbria Police

Officers are also keen to trace a white Transit van that was seen in the area.

Staff members dismissed over errors at Berwick cemeteries

Two members of staff were dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct following the investigation into two cemeteries in Berwick.

Northumberland County Council say they suspected problems at Berwick North Road and Tweedmouth Cemeteries in 2009.

They took over management of both cemeteries from Berwick Borough Council.

When officers identified irregularities at the cemetery two members of staff were suspended and a full internal investigation carried out. They were later dismissed.

Northumberland County Council say they have addressed staffing issues and identified a range of issues that are still being corrected.

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