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Morpeth flood defences could go £5m over budget

Clearing up in Morpeth after the floods in 2008. Credit: PA wire

New defences to protect Morpeth from future flooding are expected to be completed by Christmas.

But the scheme, which is jointly funded by the council and environment agency, is expected to go over budget by around £5m.

The project involves building flood walls in areas of the town affected by flooding and also creating the huge dam which will hold back up 1.4m cubic metres of water - the equivalent of 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

It means the town will have the capacity to deal with the sort of water levels experienced in 2008.

The total cost of the flood defences is around £25m.

MORE: PREPARATIONS START ON MORPETH FLOOD DEFENCES

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Flood management plan in Redcar and Cleveland

The clean-up after last September's floods Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A strategy to reduce the threat of flooding will be discussed this week by Redcar and Cleveland council.

Last September, homes in the borough were hit by flash floods. Some areas saw more rainfall in six hours than they would usually see in the entire month.

A report to councillors says drainage systems were unable to cope with the sudden deluge.

Now the council is looking to develop a 'surface water management plan'; holding water in above ground to prevent it overloading drains.

This could include deliberately flooding private land alongside watercourses.

The report will be discussed tomorrow (Tuesday 28th January)

The flooding debate: defending ourselves from the weather

On this month's political programme, Around The House, Helen Ford was joined by a panel of MPs to discuss the impact of the recent storms and high tides.

They discussed how we protect ourselves against flooding, particularly at a time of spending cuts.

Watch the full debate here with the Labour MP for North Durham, Kevan Jones, the Skipton and Ripon Conservative Julian Smith and the Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron.

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Tackling the rising cost of fuel

The cost of heating and lighting our homes is rising. The regulator, Ofgem, says the average dual fuel bill for gas and electricity is almost fourteen hundred pounds a year.

According to one campaign group, cold homes are responsible for thousands of winter deaths.

Now it is calling on the Government to spend more on making our homes more energy efficient.

Derek Proud reports for our political programme Around The House:

What is the middle class?

The economy and living standards came under the spotlight in January's edition of Around The House.

MPs debated the Labour leader Ed Miliband's promise this week to 'rebuild our middle class'.

They also considered the effect of the Chancellor's warning that billions of pounds of extra spending cuts will be needed after the next general election.

Watch the full debate between the Labour MP for Durham North, Kevan Jones, the Liberal Democrat member for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron and the Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon, Julian Smith:

Around The House: 11:35pm tonight

Topical discussion with the region's MPs Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The impact of rising energy bills comes under the spotlight on tonight's edition of Around The House. North East MPs Guy Opperman and Ian Lavery discuss the possible solutions.

We will stay on a wintry theme, asking how we can protect ourselves and our property from flooding, storms and rising tides. MPs Kevan Jones, Julian Smith and Tim Farron offer their perspectives.

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