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Council's campaign to support staff suffering domestic abuse

Newcastle City Council launches campaign to help staff who are suffering domestic abuse. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Newcastle City Council has launched a strategy to support staff who are suffering domestic abuse.

The council wants its managers to recognise the problem among colleagues and offer help. It is estimated that one in 10 working people suffers abuse.

The aim is to make the workplace a safe haven from violence suffered at home.

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City Council blocks access to payday loans companies

Newcastle City Council has become one of the first in the country to block access to the websites of payday loans companies via its own computer system. The council is also planning to try to stop the lenders advertising on some billboards in the city.

However, not everyone is against the loans companies - a survey by uSwitch found half of people who had taken out a payday loan found it a positive experience.

Gregg Easteal reports.

Council blocks payday loans company websites

Newcastle City Council has blocked access to the websites of payday loans companies across its entire computer network, including offices, libraries and council-owned community centres. It is also looking at how to prevent them advertising on some billboards in the city.

The companies promise very quick, short-term loans, but come with high interest rates and penalty charges Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

However, a survey published by uSwitch found 50% of people who had taken out a payday loan found it a positive experience. Almost a third would take out another loan.

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Full Report: Councils club together to become LA7

Councils in the North East have voted to form a new Combined Authority, that would gain more powers and funding from central government.

The seven local authorities, from Northumberland to Durham, will establish the new Authority, to make decisions jointly in areas from public transport to training for young people.

Watch the full report from Lucy Taylor below.

Newcastle a 'City of Sanctuary'

Asylum seekers receive help and support at the West End Refugee Service Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Newcastle is set to be named a City of Sanctuary this week. City of Sanctuary is a movement which aims to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in the UK. The goal is to create a network of towns and cities throughout the country which are proud to be places of safety.

Sheffield became the first City of Sanctuary in 2007, Swansea followed in 2010, now Newcastle is set to become the third City to officially adopt the title. Community groups and support services approached Newcastle City Council last year about becoming a City of Sanctuary.

Deputy Council Leader, Joyce McCarthy, will ask the council's cabinet to approve City of Sanctuary status on Wednesday. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

After a year of hard work community groups and support services feel the level of service offered to asylum seekers in Newcastle is of a standard expected of a City of Sanctuary. The council's cabinet will be asked to approve the status on Wednesday.

By approving the status the council will be promising to support and help community and voluntary organisations and recognising the positive contribution migrants make to life in Newcastle.

Musa Hassan Ali is now a support worker for refugees and asylum seekers in Newcastle Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Musa Hassan Ali came to Newcastle as an asylum seeker from Rwanda 11 years ago. He intended to move on but found the welcome in Newcastle so supportive he made the city his home. He says it is the only place he's truly felt safe in his life.

Council leader: "I'm proud of who I am and really proud of the city I lead"

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes has been talking to ITV News about how the council is marking International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.

The councillor said he was proud of the steps forward that the region had made in tackling discrimination.

Phillipa Scrafton also spoke to us about how important it was to educate people about the issues surrounding discrimination.

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