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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.

"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.

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CCTV released after showers stolen in Berwick

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.

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.

Council "sorry for distress caused" over errors at Berwick cemeteries

Councillor Roger Styring, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council says he is sorry for distress caused to affected families:

“We understand that this could be extremely upsetting for people affected by this and we’re sorry for the distress caused. We are making a commitment to all of the families involved that we will deal with these issues in an extremely sensitive manner.

We are putting support in place to ensure that anyone affected has full knowledge and any support and guidance that they need during the work.

We understand that this may cause upset and uncertainty for people with friends or relatives buried there and we are deeply sympathetic towards them during this difficult time.

We would like to reassure people that we are working with the greatest of care, respect and sensitivity, and our sympathies are with anyone who is involved.

The council is also reviewing all systems and procedures at the cemetery – and will be taking further actions which ensure that these types of inaccuracy do not occur in the future.

We anticipate that only a small number of people will be affected but a dedicated helpline has been set up for families who have any concerns.

– Councillor Roger Styring, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council
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