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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.

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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.”

Hundreds expected to attend final council cuts meeting

Hundreds previously turned out to protest proposed cuts by Newcastle City Council Credit: ITV News

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the final council budget talks taking place at Newcastle Council today.

Proposals to save 100 million pounds over the next three years will be discussed by the full council.

Newcastle City Council is set to make savings of 100 million pounds Credit: ITV News

Sunderland Council, who also need to save 37 million pounds over the next year, will also meet today.

Both councils are proposing a freeze on council tax but have had to make savings elsewhere.

Sunderland City Council must also make savings of millions of pounds Credit: ITV News

Newcastle City Council makes arts funding u-turn

Newcastle has announced plans to earmark £600,000-a-year for cultural projects.

Newcastle City Council was criticised by stars such as Sting, Mark Knopfler and Bryan Ferry when it announced last year budgetary pressures meant it had no cash for the arts.

The budget, which is being debated on Wednesday, has found £600,000-a-year for arts subsidies.

Leader of the Labour Council Nick Forbes said the money for the Newcastle Culture Fund came from a range of sources including public health funding and income from a loan to Newcastle Airport.

"I'm tremendously excited by the progress made on the Newcastle Culture Fund. It's an example of what can be achieved when organisations like ourselves, the Arts Council and cultural venues come together and think differently.

"We are on the final straight, and if full council agrees the plan later this week, we should be able to get the fund running within two months.

"The value of arts and culture to Newcastle has never been in doubt; what has been in doubt is the funding to support them. This new approach not only provides that security, but means those who wish can also make a contribution."

– Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council

The council will also pursue a partnership with Newcastle University where savings generated from shared services between the university and the council will be reinvested in the cultural life of the city.

The turn-around has been backed by the Arts Council England.

"The Arts Council is grateful for the way in which the City Council has worked closely with us to broker this new funding package for key cultural venues. But, of course, a 50% cut to the culture budget still means serious economic and social impact for Newcastle and beyond."

– Peter Bazalgette, Arts Council England chairman

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Newcastle City Council agrees new budget plans

The cabinet of Newcastle City Council has today agreed proposals to make cuts and savings of one hundred million pounds.

Budget cuts, including the proposed closures of libraries across the city, have faced increasing opposition and protest from the public in recent months.

The council has since announced that it has modified its proposals, including:

  • Saving some libraries from closure
  • Safeguarding the future of the City Hall
  • Keeping Castle Dene and Cheviot View respite centres open
  • Continuing free parking in council multi-storey car parks after 5pm

The council has said that it has to make the 100 million pounds worth of savings to make up for a 48 million pound cut in Government grant and 52 million pounds of cost pressures the council must meet.

Newcastle City Council set to make budget announcement

The council is expected to make its announcement today Credit: ITV News

Newcastle City Council is expected to release details later today of how it will save one hundred million pounds over the next three years.

The Budget Report will list which services which will having funding cut in order to meet the funding gap.

The council had originally thought that it would have to make savings of ninety million pounds, but increased this by a further ten million pounds at the end of last year.

North East Sat-Nav trial set to reduce stress

The stress of commuting through rush-hour traffic could soon be reduced through a trial in the North East that seeks to streamline city-centre congestion.

New sat-nav technology being tested could help drivers adjust their speed so they can pass through a series of lights on green.

The project, headed by Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council, is being developed to reduce traffic jams and pollution associated with stop-start driving.

Two other benefits of the system will be a forward collision warning and a red light violation warning, which tells drivers when someone has jumped a red light.

The pilot is part of a £8.6 million project called Compass4D involving seven European cities.

"Traffic management systems are already in place across the city to improve traffic flow but what's unique about this trial is that we will be giving information directly to the driver.

For example, the system might advise a driver that if they travel at 24 miles an hour they will hit the next four sets of traffic lights on green.

In more congested areas or particularly busy times of the day, then key roads might be given priority in order to keep the traffic flowing."

– Phil Blythe, professor of intelligent transport systems at Newcastle University

"Newcastle is already leading the way in intelligent transport systems and this work will allow us to build on the infrastructure that is already in place to provide personalised information to drivers.

By creating a joined-up information system for all road users we can give other users such as the emergency services and bus drivers information which can help them get to their destination quickly and safely."

– Dr Yvonne Huebner, UK project leader

Full Report: Fund launched for Newcastle arts

There has been a surprise £600,000 U-turn on arts funding on Tyneside.

Just months after Newcastle City Council proposed cutting all of its support for the city's venues, it is now launching a fund worth more than a half a million pounds.

The council leader says that he hasn't changed his mind, but that they have found the money elsewhere.

And, if it gets approval, theatres could get council funding again by 2016.

Watch the full report from Dan Ashby below.

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