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PM listens to northern concerns about devolution

PM listens to northern concerns about devolution

- Paul Brand, ITV Political Correspondent

I've just spoken to one of the MPs among the dozen or so backbenchers who met the Prime Minister to discuss concerns about the impact that devolving powers to Scotland would have on England.

James Wharton tells me that three northern MPs - himself, John Stevenson and Rory Stewart, all raised concerns with David Cameron that the north would need to compete with a more powerful Scotland.

They didn't discuss what kind of devolution was needed, but they all agreed that the north required greater powers in order to hold its own. Solutions that James Wharton floated include a regional minister for the north of England, or greater power for Local Enterprise Partnerships.

He tells me that the Prime Minister listened to the concerns and referred back to them when summing up the meeting, with MPs leaving confident about the chance of progress.

Gateshead offering 'professional fee' for foster parents

Gateshead Council is holding an information event this week to encourage more people in the North East to consider becoming foster parents.

The drop in event will be held on Thursday, 25th September at Gateshead Civic Centre foyer from 9:30am until 4:30pm. Anyone who comes along will have the opportunity to talk to fostering team staff and current foster carers who will share their experiences of being a foster carer.

Gateshead Council is holding the drop-in event to show how it now "pays to care". All carers now receive a professional fee depending on their skills, knowledge, experience and the type of placement offered. In addition there is also a weekly allowance paid for each child in placement.

Gateshead Council cabinet member for Children and Young people, Councillor Angela Douglas, says there has "never been a better time to apply".

Gateshead Council is actively recruiting foster carers for older children and teenagers in addition to sibling groups. If you think you could put your skills and experience to good use, and help to change a child’s life for the better, there has never been a better time to apply.

– Councillor Angela Douglas
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Spiders set to invade region's homes

50% of us are said to be scared of spiders Credit: Press Association

The mild summer weather means there will be an increase of spiders this autumn.

The eight-legged critters have had plenty of insects to eat - and now, they're heading indoors to mate.

Most are harmless house spiders, males on the hunt for females. The mating season starts now and carries on until December. Experts, though, say they are good to have in the house as they keep your insects down.


Police appeal after cow shot dead in Gateshead

Police are appealing for information after a cow was shot dead in Gateshead.

It happened at High Park Farm in Sunniside, a farmer found the cow dead in a field on the farm in the morning last Wednesday (17 September). A post-mortem was carried out by a vet who concluded that the cow had been shot.

Police want anyone who was in the area between midnight on Tuesday and the morning of Wednesday to get in touch.

Witnesses can contact Northumbria Police by calling 101.

It may be the cow was shot by accident or it could have been a deliberate act, either way it's important we know what happened so that appropriate action can be taken if necessary."

– Cheryl Warcup, Neighbourhood Inspector, Northumbria Police
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