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Comedian gives cash to Berwick family

Comedian Jason Manford has donated the takings of 5 shows in Berwick to a local couple, whose son Roman has an incurable, terminal disease.

The Bolton comedian turned up at the Berwick home of Stuart Greenlees and Rachael Laidlaw before one of his shows at The Maltings.

He met their 10 month old son Roman, who has recently been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Alpers disease.

The couple want to make Roman's life as comfortable as possible, and are raising money to buy him specialist sensory equipment.

His parents have set up a website in his name to collect donations.

Since the comedian posted a link to it on his Facebook page, more than £6000 has been donated.

Donations can be given here.

Decision reached on maternity services in Berwick

Decision reached on maternity services in Berwick Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The future of maternity services in Berwick has just been decided.

The NHS has opted for an office hours service in the unit, with 24-hour on-call midwifery support.

It will mean fewer services based at the unit.

Managers say it is the safest model and will avoid nurses' time being wasted, but the Berwick-upon-Tweed MP Sir Alan Beith says it is a poorer deal for the town.

He said: "Although we will still have facilities in Berwick for births and enhanced training for midwives, if you give birth outside office hours, it's an on-call basis to get the midwives in and the ward open.

That's a lesser standard of service than would be provided in other units in Northumberland that are not as far away from the main hospitals as Berwick is."

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Full Report: Berwick teens take on negative stereotypes through Fixers campaign

Teenagers from Berwick are taking on what they see as negative stereotypes of young people in their community and the media.

With the help of Fixers - the campaign that gives young people a voice - they are creating cartoon characters.

These will be used in a video which the youngsters hope to launch at the town's film festival in September.

Watch the full report below.

Full Report: Berwick's Union Chain Bridge could close

Time has taken its toll on the Union Chain Bridge - which stretches over the River Tweed.

Repairs to the historic bridge which links England and Scotland could cost almost five million pounds.

The councils responsible for the structure must now decide whether to pay to have it fixed, or to close it for good.

Watch the full report from Phil Roscoe below.

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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