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Watch: Newcastle reverend becomes Bishop of Hull

The new Bishop of Hull has been consecrated in a ceremony at York Minster led by Archbishop John Sentamu.

Reverend Alison White has been the priest of Riding Mill in the Diocese of Newcastle.

She becomes only the second female bishop in the Church of England.

She will have responsibility for Hull plus the coastline and the countryside of the East Riding.

She and her husband - Bishop Frank White - become the first husband and wife pair of bishops

Tunisian dead remembered by Whickham children

Schoolchildren in Whickham, Tyneside, have taken part in a minute's silence to honour the victims of the Tunisia beach massacre.

Pupils of St Mary's R C Primary School, Whickham, at midday. Credit: ITV News

A minute's silence was held across the country at midday today, one week on from the gun attack in Sousse which left thirty Britons dead.

The event had particular significance for Whickham. One of the victims was grandmother Lisa Burbridge, who was from Whickham.

Lisa Burbridge from Whickham. Credit: Family photograph

Northern Rail 'disappointed' by strike vote

Following the RMT union's successful strike vote, Northern Rail has issued this statement:

"We are disappointed that RMT Northern members have voted in favour of strike action and industrial action short of a strike, but note that only 38% of members who were asked to vote, voted yes to this. That means 62% of people who were asked to vote either voted no or did not vote.

“The RMT Executive Committee has said it is now considering the result. As soon as we have any further information, we will update our customers.

“Some of the RMT’s issues within this strike ballot are about the requirements for the next Northern franchise, which starts in April 2016. We have explained to the RMT that this means the issues they are concerned about are not part of Northern Rail’s current franchise and are not within our control to change. They would need to be discussed with the new operator of the franchise from April 2016. The DfT is expected to announce the winner of the next Northern franchise later this year.”

– Adrian Thompson, HR Director for Northern Rail


Northern Rail staff to strike over jobs and safety

Northern Rail train at Newcastle Central Station. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Workers on Northern Rail have voted to go on strike in a row over jobs and safety.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union backed walkouts by 80% and other forms of industrial action by 90%.

The union said it is in dispute over a series of issues, including the removal of permanent posts and the creation of zero-hour jobs via a contract with a security company, cuts to booking offices and attacks on the role and responsibility of train guards.

The union said Northern Rail had also given no commitment that there will be no compulsory redundancies beyond the end of its current franchise in February 2016.

"RMT has made every effort to win assurances from Northern Rail over jobs, services and safety. However, the company continues to ride roughshod over our efforts. We therefore had no option but to ballot all staff for action to force the company to take these issues seriously and the members have now voted decisively for action. That mandate will now be considered by the union. The union is committed to ending the two-tier workforce that the security contract creates and calls for all workers to be brought in-house on decent pay and conditions.We are also committed to keeping ticket offices opening and defending guards' jobs, which are safety-critical. The RMT remains available for talks and we expect the company to now take this dispute, and the issues at the heart of it, seriously."

– Mick Cash, RMT general secretary

Northern Rail is owned by a 50:50 joint venture between Serco Group and Abellio, a subsidiary of NS Dutch Railways.

The company employs 4,900 workers and runs 2,500 services every week day.

The RMT said 1,500 of its members are involved in the dispute.

Newcastle priest to become second woman Bishop

The Reverend Alison White. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The Reverend Alison White will today (July 3) become the Church of England's second female bishop.

She will be appointed the Bishop of Hull.

Reverend White has been the priest of Riding Mill in the Diocese of Newcastle.

The service will be held at York Minister.

Her husband is already a Bishop and they become the first husband and wife to hold the roles.

Power back on for most after lightning storms

Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for running the power network across the North East and North Yorkshire has successfully restored power to more than 57,370 customers who were affected after last night's devastating storms across North Yorkshire, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, Teesside and Northumberland.

Restoration work is continuing to restore power to the remaining 130 customers who are still affected as a result of the recent storms.

Northern Powergrid’s local 24-hour contact centre have drafted in additional customer advisors who are offering customers support and advice.

The company’s website also has an easy-to-use power cut reporting service which is regularly updated as well as Twitter (@northpowergrid) and Facebook pages providing regular updates and advice to customers and local communities.

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