Live updates

Celebrating new schools

Esh Winning (l to r) Durham County Council Chairman Cllr John Robinson, Macy Cowell, Chair of Governors Eileen Grimes Baillie Watson, Joe Summerson, Headteacher Diane Kime, Aidan Kirkup, Cllr Ossie Johnson Credit: Durham County Council

Celebrations have been held to mark the end of building work on two new primary schools forCounty Durham.

The new builds have seen Brandon and Esh Winning replaced by modern constructions with state-of-the-art facilities.

Both schools have been open since April 2012 with Brandon costing £ 7.2m and Esh Winning £6.4m.

Brandon (l to r) Durham County Council Chairman Cllr John Robinson, Cllr Ossie Johnson, former Chair of Governors Meshiel Brown, Cllr John Turnbull, Headteacher Judith Hodgson with pupils Oliver Sherratt, Elisha Dawson and Ryan Turnbull Credit: Durham County Council

“This demonstrates Durham County Council’s commitment to investing in the future of our young people by delivering a world class 21st century education for generations to come.”

– Cllr Ossie Johnson, Cabinet member for children and young people’s services

Full Report: Man dies in Brandon house explosion

An explosion at a house in Brandon has ripped apart a family home and left one man dead and his brother badly injured in hospital.

Investigators say they now believe a leak from a small gas heater caused the blast.

The explosion destroyed both floors of the semi-detached home, along with most of the roof.

watch the full report from Gregg Easteal below.


Fire and Rescue Service: "Our thoughts are with the family and friends at this tragic time"

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the gentleman at this tragic time.

"As a Service we aim to protect and educate the members of our communities about the dangers of fire.

"At a time like this we are reminded of the dangers of fire and urge all residents to take up our offer of free Home Fire Safety Advice and to fit smoke alarms in their properties.

"If you already have a smoke alarm, remember to test it once a week”.

– Stuart Errington, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service