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Would a longer walk to school benefit children?: Your views

We asked you to get in contact with ITV News with your views on a story we featured about proposed plans for children to walk further to school.

The idea is in relation to the growing number of obese children and would stop parents from parking or dropping children off close to the school gates.

This is what you thought:

"The idea of children being dropped 300 to 400 metres away could seem to be a good idea - although as a parent I feel it would have to be supervised by a teacher.

"Also, I think rather than something like this that has risks, couldn't we try cutting five minutes from other lessons and adding an activity of some sort into the school day?"

– Charlotte Gibson from Chopwell

"Parents need to be re-educated to not do everything by car.

"Children can easily walk a mile to school and the more that walk, the safer the streets will be to walk in."

– Rob Kerss from Wallsend

"I agree, but I think more needs to be done. Children should be taught about food nutrition and the effects of lack of exercise etc.

"If they had a good understanding of food nutrition, and the added benefit of exercise at an early age, they would be making the right choices on their own."

– Stephen McGee

What do you think? Email us at and let us know.


Guide to help carers of runaways to be launched across Tyne and Wear

Parents and carers of children at risk of running away can get help from a new guide to be launched in the region.

The Children's Society has created the guide which offers advice such as what questions will be asked by the police, to what to do when their child returns and why people run away.

The pamphlet includes contributions from the parents of children who have run away from home.

It will be trialled in three of the charity's retail stores - including in Tyne and Wear.

One child runs away from home in the UK every five minutes and two-thirds of cases are not reported to the police, according to research by The Children's Society.

It also reveals that a quarter of young runaways are forced to leave home, due to violence, abuse and chaos.

"The guide will be invaluable to all parents and carers. By having regular contact with the public and through raising awareness of the issue our shops can play a pivotal role in giving people the support they need in an emergency."

– Tina Fellstrom, retail operations manager at The Children's Society
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Campaigners win High Court battle over children's heart unit

Campaigners from Leeds have won a High Court challenge over proposed changes to children's heart surgery services in England.

Save Our Surgery (SOS), which is trying to stop the closure of the heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary, argued the consultation process leading up to the changes was "unfair and procedurally flawed".

ITV News reporter Michael Billington reports:

Hartlepool Council lends helping hand to local parents

Parents-to-be and parents of young children are being offered support at an event in Hartlepool.

The free event at the town's Mill House Leisure Centre is being organised by Hartlepool Council's Family Support Service.

A range of help and information will be available, including breastfeeding advice.

Hair and beauty treatments will also be on offer, courtesy of Hartlepool College of Further Education.

Children are welcome to come with their parents and there will be arts and crafts to keep them entertained.

The event will be held on February 28, between 1pm and 3pm

"There is lots of advice, help and support available in the town for parents and the event is designed to showcase some of the services on offer.

"Everyone is welcome whether parents have just one child, twins or multiple children. We are also setting up a notice board which will enable parents to buy and sell second-hand baby goods."

– Jo-Ann Bage, family support worker with Hartlepool council


Eight arrested over indecent images

Eight people have been arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

The men were detained after police raided properties across the North East and North Yorkshire over the last two days. Homes in Gateshead, Washington, Scarborough, Harrogate, Stokesley and Whitby were targeted.

Those arrested are believed to be involved in making, possessing or distributing indecent images of children. A number of computers and mobile phones were also seized.

Spokesmen for both Northumbria Police and North Yorkshire Police said:

"Safeguarding children is a major element in helping us reduce harm to the most vulnerable of our communities.

"Today's activity shows the effective arrangements in place to identify and take action against those we suspect are using the internet for illegal activity and the abuse of children."

– Detective Superintendent Steve Wade, Northumbria Police

"This high-profile national operation shines a light on the daily work of our intelligence teams who support detectives and uniformed officers to bring offenders involved in the possession and distribution of indecent images of children to justice."

– Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Costello, North Yorkshire Police

A 40-year-old man from Scarborough has been charged on three offences, including engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, and possessing and distributing an indecent photograph. He is appearing at Scarborough Magistrates' Court today.

  1. ITV Report

Secondhand smoking

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