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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.

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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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Full Report: Newcastle City Council cracks down on late-night drinking

We have all seen pictures of people who drink too much on nights out and end up causing problems.

Cities like Newcastle are famous for their nightlife, but the council is concerned about the high levels of drinking.

Newcastle City Council is asking bars and clubs to stop selling very cheap drinks and giving away alcohol on very cheap promotions.

It has also announced that it will not be letting new nightclubs stay open later than 2am.

Our reporter Lucy Taylor joined Pam and Ian in the studio to explain more.

Council release statement after spice market food poisoning

Newcastle City Council have released a statement after over sixty cases of food poisoning were reported following the Street Spice festival.

The Street Spice festival took place at Newcastle's Times Square last week where sixteen businesses attended the event.

Stephen Savage, the Director of Regulatory Services and Public Protection at Newcastle City Council, said:

“The City Council’s environmental health officers, in partnership with colleagues in the Health Protection Agency, are carrying out an investigation following reports of diarrhoea and vomiting illness in some people who attended the Street Spice festival which took place in Times Square last week.

"We have been working closely with neighbouring authorities to collect samples from those affected and we hope to have preliminary results by the end of this week. We are also working closely with the 16 businesses which attended the event to identify the foods which were on sale.”

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