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20 North East historic sites added to 'at risk' register

Twenty historic sites across the North East have been added to an 'at risk' register due to their condition.

English Heritage publishes an annual report which identifies listed buildings and historic sites most at risk of loss or decay.

Since last year, 27 sites have been removed from the list after investments of £768,000 in the region.

In the North East:

  • 8 buildings or structures have been taken off the Register and 5 have been added.
  • 4 churches and places of worship have been taken off the Register and 9 have been added.
  • 14 archaeological sites have been removed from the Register and 3 have been added.
  • 1 conservation area, Spittal in Berwick upon Tweed, has been removed from the Register this year, 3 conservation areas including Alnwick, Northumberland and Chester-le-Street, County Durham have been added.
St James Church, Benwell Credit: English Heritage
  • The 13th century Church of St Andrew Winston on the banks of the River Tees has been added to the list this year. There are several structural issues in the building and the roof needs repairing. The congregation has agreed a repair project. The work is underway with financial help from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and is due to be completed by 2015.
Hamsterley Hall,Hamsterley Mill,Rowlands Gill,County Durham. Credit: English Heritage
  • Hamsterley Hall has suffered from decades of decline leaving the property with an estimated repair bill of £4m. The hall was already on the Heritage At Risk register but is now classified at the highest level of risk.
Coquet Island, Northumberland Credit: English Heritage
  • Coquet Island is one of a number of remote islands off the Northumberland coast. The remains of a monastic cell and a medieval tower have been removed from the Heritage at Risk register this year after a repair project and grant of £93,000 from English Heritage.

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Around The House

Around The House at 11.40pm on ITV Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

On this month's programme from Westminster, Paul Brand and guests consider the Chancellor's vision of a 'Northern Powerhouse', ten years after the North East rejected the chance of its own regional Assembly.

Joining the debate are the former Lib Dem leader of Newcastle City Council, Lord Shipley; Sunderland Labour MP Julie Elliott, and North Yorkshire Conservative MP Anne McIntosh.

Also in the programme, UKIP's North East MEP Jonathan Arnott joins the panel to consider the toughest General Election to predict for decades.

Around The House is at 11.40pm, tonight on ITV.

Abuse charges against social worker dropped

The trial of a senior social worker accused of sex attacks on vulnerable boys has been thrown out of court.

Brian Tansey was accused of five counts of abuse at Washington Hall residential school on Wearside and targeting another count during a trip with a different school.

The case against the 69-year-old was dropped at Newcastle Crown Court on its second day due to inconsistencies in the first alleged victim's account of what happened in the witness box.

Judge Brian Forster entered a not guilty verdict against all six charges Mr Tansey had faced and denied.

Judge Forster said the "right decision" had been made in the light of the difficulties.

The judge commended those concerned in Operation Viola, which the case was part of, which saw two social workers jailed for a total of almost 40 years for attacks on boys in similar circumstances.

John Duncan, 61, was sentenced to 24 years for abuse at schools, including Feversham, and Kevin Brown, 58, was jailed for 14 years for sex attacks at

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Dog unable to work with police needs a home

Barnie needs a home

Northumbria Police hope someone will be able to give this dog a home. Barnie is a 16 month old male Dutch Herder. He is very friendly but has developed a medical condition in one of his hind legs, his kneecap is dislocates. This means he is unable to be a police dog but would make a good pet.

To find out more about Barnie and other dogs click here.

"We are looking for a home with experience of owning large energetic dogs with no young children. Barnie is free of charge."

– Northumbria Police

MPs to investigate controversial three-parent IVF technique

The controversial IVF technique was developed by scientists at Newcastle University. Credit: PA
Experts say the treatment could help parents not to pass genetic diseases to their children. Credit: PA

A committee of MPs will today look at whether the UK should become the first country in the world to legalise babies with three biological parents.

The controversial IVF technique was developed by experts at Newcastle University, who say the treatment could help parents not to pass genetic diseases to their children.

However, religious groups have expressed concerns that the process would be unethical.

The Science and Technology Committee are due to begin their hearing shortly after 9am today (Wednesday 22 October). Professor Doug Turnbull, from Newcastle University, will give evidence to the influential group of MPs.

Councils back plans for London-style bus shake-up

The plans will see local councils in Tyne and Wear run bus services. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A shake-up of buses in the Tyne and Wear region has been approved by councillors. The decision was taken at a meeting in Newcastle this afternoon (Tuesday 21 October).

Seven local councils could take control of the running of all services.

If the plans are put in place transport in the area will be run in the same way as Transport for London and a universal travel card would be introduced similar to the capital's Oyster card.

Councillors say the changes will result in simpler and cheaper fares.

Bus operators are opposed to the plan and may challenge any decision to go ahead.

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