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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 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


Bodies could have been buried in wrong graves in Berwick

An investigation has found bodies could have been buried in the wrong graves at two cemeteries in Berwick.

The independent investigation found that records for a number of burials had been incorrectly completed at Berwick North Road and Tweedmouth cemeteries, and around 30 families may be affected.

It has been discovered that over a number of years prior to 2009, records have not always been well kept, and there had been little supervision of procedures at the cemeteries.

Some important information is missing from the records for the cemeteries and some have not been kept correctly.

The errors could also mean that that the wrong memorial is on the grave, that the deeds have been issued incorrectly or that an unregistered burial has taken place.

A dedicated helpline has been set up for families who have any concerns on 08444 632330 (or 0203 4170270 for anyone outside the UK).

Berwick's maternity services still uncertain

Hundreds protested when services were initially suspended Credit: ITV

The future of Berwick's Maternity unit is still uncertain following a three month safety review.

Hundreds of people protested against the temporary suspension of births at the unit in August following a large fall in the number of mothers using it.

The nearest hospital is at least forty miles away.

Birth and post natal services will remain closed while Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust considers two recommendations - either to continue the regular operation with extra mid-wives, or to operate a model used in other rural areas.

This model relies more heavily on home births and a community mid wife system.

Report released after suspension of Berwick services

Berwick Maternity Unit Credit: ITV News

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have released the findings of its safety review and put forward two options for the future of maternity services at Berwick.

Some of the services at Berwick Maternity Unit were suspended in August after two serious incidents highlighted concerns over safe practice, as a result of the low number of births taking place in the unit - only thirteen from 2011 - 2012 - the lowest number in England of any comparable unit.

The suspension of services caused protest in the local community.

The Trust have put forward two options for the future of the unit - that either additional midwives should be employed despite the low birth rates, or that an on-call system should be put in place similar to that of other rural areas.

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