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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.



Bride to be "heartbroken"

A bride-to-be says she's heartbroken after being told that her wedding venue has closed with just a week to go.

Samantha Lewins from Gosforth is now busy trying to make alternative plans. She was due to get married at Longhirst Hall at Morpeth next weekend.

It's understood that liquidators have been called in, although the spa and golf course are unaffected. Nobody from the Hotel was available to comment today. Samantha says she and her partner stand to lose a lot of money.


Council to sell off headquarters

Northumberland Councillor David Parker, a Morpeth resident, says selling off County Hall would be "devastating".

It comes after Northumberland County Council has confirmed plans to sell of its headquarters in Morpeth.

The council needs to save £130million and it's hoped by moving staff out of the building it can save other services.

Council will sell county hall to save money

Northumberland County Council has confirmed its headquarters will be sold. The Labour run council will sell off County Hall in Morpeth in a bid to save £130 million.

They want to move workers to smaller, cheaper buildings in places like Ashington, Berwick and Hexham.

The council says it's selling the land to a housing developer, so it can save leisure centres and libraries, livelihoods and jobs.

Manslaughter charge after pub death

Police investigating the death of a Northumberland man outside a pub in Chester have charged a man with manslaughter.

Ronald Hayes, who was 63 and from Morpeth, died after an incident in November.

Kevin Gardner, 26, of Westminster Road, Ellesmere Port, has been charged with the manslaughter of Ronald Hayes. He has been bailed to appear at Chester Magistrates Court on 7 January 2014.

Spate of car thefts in Morpeth

Police are urging motorists in the Morpeth area to be vigilant following a number of thefts from cars.

There have been several thefts reported in the villages of Pegswood and Longhirst over the last week.

These include an incident in Bamburgh Drive in Pegswood, two on Micklewood Close in Longhirst and one in Longhirst Hall car park.

"I urge people to be extra vigilant in these areas and do not leave yourself vulnerable to opportunist thieves.

"I have had additional officers on patrol in the area for extra reassurance. They found a number of vehicles have been left insecure and belongings on display.

"Please don't allow these thieves to cause an inconvenience to you and make sure you take a few extra seconds to check your vehicle - make sure it is locked and make sure no valuables are left visible.

– Karen Murray, Neighbourhood Inspector

Anyone with any information can contact the police on 101 ext 69191 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

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