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AEI Cables closure: 'Blow to whole of Birtley'

AEI Cables, Birtley, Gateshead Credit: ITV News

Birtley-based AEI Cables announced on Tuesday that it is unable to continue manufacturing and will continue as a sales-only business.

The company, which has been making cables for 170 years, said it will be serving a notice of redundancy on a number of employees.

The majority of the 198 employees will leave on or before Friday 6th January.

Responding to the potential closure, Martin Gannon, the Leader of Gateshead Council, said:

Today’s announcement of the potential closure of AEI Cables is a real blow to the whole of Birtley.

My thoughts are with everyone affected by the announcement which has come at such short notice and at a time when we should all be looking ahead to what the new year can bring.

We will do everything we can as a council to support the workers affected to find alternative employment, ideally using the extensive skills and experience they already have.

Where they need additional skills and training to find new employment in a different field, we will work closely with our partners to make sure they get the support they need at this difficult time.

– Martin Gannon, Gateshead Council

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Warning of job losses at Gateshead factory

AEI cables in Gateshead Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

North East cable manufacturer AEI Cables based in Birtley has announced they are discussing possible job losses.

Bosses have met with GMB union representatives and all employees to inform them that the company is entering into a period of consultation on possible redundancies.

The company employs 240 people.

Formal consultation is going to start next Wednesday (September 14) for a minimum of 45 days.

In the meantime, AEI Cables is reassuring its customers that business will continue as normal and that all orders will be fulfilled for now and the foreseeable future.

“The company has been making significant financial losses for a long period of time and only continues to function with the financial support and guarantees of its parent company.

“The company believes that profitability is possible only with a fundamental restructuring and a marked improvement in productivity.”

– A spokesman for AEI Cables

Transport police name boy struck by train

Kieran Ash

British Transport Police can now confirm that just after 7am this morning, a 15-year-old boy, Kieran Ash from Chester-le-Street, died after being struck by a train in the vicinity of Birtley Junction, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Kieran was a loving son and brother to the whole family. We are devastated by the news and Kieran will be dearly missed by all who knew him.”

– Family tribute

There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and a file will be prepared for the local coroner.

Kieran’s family has asked that they are now given time to come to terms with their loss.

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Fireworks stolen from van

A large number of potentially dangerous fireworks have been stolen from a van in the north bound car park at Birtley Services.

The fireworks were going to be used at a display tonight.

The stolen fireworks are known as "onion bombs" because of their long fuse. Police and pyrotechnic experts say they are deceptive as, once lit, they could explode in seconds.

They were stolen sometime between 7.30pm on Thursday October 31 and 7.30am November 1.

"These fireworks are east to recognise as they are not in the usual wrapped boxes that fireworks come in. They are in plan brown boxes and in spite of having long fuses they take a fraction of a second to explode.

"We'd like to reassure residents we are investigating this theft. Anyone who has any information in relation to the theft or whereabouts of the fire works should contact Northumbria Police on extension 101 extension 69191.

"If anyone is offered these fireworks they should call police. They should not be handled"

– Phil Davison, Northumbria Police

Date set for Moat victim inquest

A date has been set for the inquest into the death of a man who was killed by gunman Raoul Moat.

Chris Brown, 29, was shot and killed in Gateshead after starting a relationship with Moat's ex-girlfriend, Samantha Stobbart, two days after he was released from jail in July 2010.

A two-week inquest will be held into the circumstances of Chris Brown's murder in Birtley, with the hearing starting at Newcastle Crown Court on 2nd December.

Full Report: Wrong body cremated

It has emerged that staff working for Co-Op Funeral care at Birtley in Gateshead mixed up bodies, and took the wrong one to a cremation service.

The mistake wasn't picked up until it was too late, and one family subsequently had to have a funeral without the body of their relative.

Two people have since been dismissed and a full investigation into the incident, which happened last month, is now underway.

Watch the full report from Kenny Toal below.

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