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Sting returns to the North East to perform at the Sage

Sting
Credit: Yui Mok/PA

To celebrate the Sage Gateshead's 10th birthday, Sting will return to the North East to perform songs from 'The Last Ship', his latest album and new Broadway musical of the same name.

Inspired by and set in Sting’s hometown of Wallsend, 'The Last Ship' the musical tells of experiences working in shipyards along the Wear, Clyde, Mersey or any Northern port. The play was originally work-shopped with local musicians and actors at Newcastle’s Live Theatre – ahead of its upcoming Broadway debut - but for Sting, it was never in doubt that the songs of 'The Last Ship' should be performed for a North East audience:

The demise of industry - not only in shipyards like Tyneside and Gdansk, but also great manufacturing centres like Detroit - has been well documented and the effect of that demise on the identity and future of local communities particularly resonates with me. I’m very much looking forward to bringing these songs and stories home.

– Sting

Sting will be joined onstage at the Sage in April 2015 by many of the region’s best loved musicians including fiddle and Northumbrian pipe player Kathryn Tickell and The Wilson Family from Billingham,Co. Durham.

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Weather: Today

The Cheviots
The Cheviots Credit: Alan Beattie

Dry with sunshine and variable cloud.

Rather cool near coasts, but pleasantly warm inland.

Light southeasterly winds will freshen later.

Patchy rain is expected later in the night. Maximum temperature 18 °C.

Students left 'stranded' by new school transport plans

Plans to make students in Northumberland over the age of 16 pay for their travel to school has led to claims that some will be "stranded", unable to make the journey.

If there is a public bus service which can get them to school they'll be expected to use it. But some parents say the timetables don't fit the academic day and their children will always be late.

If there is no public transport they can pay £600 a year to use the school bus but passes might not be ready until four weeks after term starts.

Keith Akehurst reports:

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Post 16 school transport charges in Northumberland

Earlier this summer, dozens of parents protested outside County Hall in Morpeth over plans to charge over-16s for school transport in Northumberland. (Read More: Protest over scrapping of free student transport)

Under the plans, pupils were placed into one of two categories by the council:

1) If there is public bus services which can get the student to school they should use that, not school buses.

2) If there is no public transport they can use school buses, but must pay £600 per year.

Now, parents have received a letter from Northumberland County Council explaining that there is a delay in processing passes for those entitled to use school buses and many will have to wait until the end of September before they receive them. Therefore parents are being advised to make alternative transport arrangements for the first month of the school year.

Northumberland County Council have assured parents that they are doing all they can to ensure that no eligible post 16 student who has applied for transport in good time is left without travel arrangements at the start of term:

For many years the council has operated a concessionary scheme for students of any age who are not entitled to home to school travel. They can request spare seats on school buses at a charge. This scheme is completely separate to the post 16 transport arrangements.

Every year priority is given to providing places on school buses for children who are eligible and therefore spare seats under the concessionary scheme cannot be confirmed until late September. Where possible we will confirm at an earlier date. Parents who purchase a seat under the concessionary scheme do so in the full understanding that the availability of that seat cannot be guaranteed. We always advise these parents to have contingency plans in place until they receive confirmation.

Under the new post 16 scheme for those families who do not qualify for any financial assistance and there is no suitable public transport, students will have to pay £600 for a place on a school bus. The Council will now provide more time for parents to pay the initial instalment of £200 and return their completed direct debit mandate to secure their child’s place on a school bus.

– Northumberland County Council

A1 closures and road works: when and where

A1M junction 59 to 60, Newton Aycliffe to Bradbury, County Durham: Bridge repair - Lane 1 and 2 will be closed in both directions every night between 8pm and 6am until 1 September.

A1M junction 61, Bowburn, Durham, County Durham: Improvement work - Phases of closures will be in place on the interchange between 8pm and 6am from 4 August to 10 September between Mondays and Fridays.

A1M junction 63 Interchange, Chester-le-Street, County Durham: Improvement work - Lane closures will be in place on the southbound exit slip road and circulatory nightly between 8pm and 6am until late November.

A1 Junction 56 to Junction 51, North Yorkshire: Motorway upgrade work - Various lane closures will be in place between Junction 51 and 56 north and southbound from 8pm to 6am until 31 August.

A1 Allerdene Bridge, Team Valley, Newcastle/Gateshead Western Bypass: Bridge work - Lane 1 will be closed each Saturday night between 11pm and 9am until 28 September.

A1 Coal House Interchange, Newcastle/Gateshead Western Bypass: Improvement works - Lane closures on the interchange and slip roads will be in place north and southbound between 8pm and 6am in ongoing phases until end of November 2014.

A1 Coal House to Swalwell Interchanges, Newcastle/Gateshead Western Bypass: Major upgrading work - There will be north and southbound carriageway closures in place between 8pm and 6am from 26 August for 9 nights.

A1 Clifton to Shotton, Morpeth, Northumberland: Horticultural work - Lane 2 will be closed north and southbound between 8pm and 6am overnight 28 and 29 August.

A1 Dunston to Metro Centre Interchange, Newcastle/Gateshead Western Bypass: Overhead message sign repair work - Lane 1 and the dedicated lane will be closed northbound between 6am and 9am Saturday 30 August.

A1 Scremerston to Denwick, Alnwick, Northumberland: Lining work - Night time convoy working will be in place between 8pm and 6am with a 40mph and 10mph speed restriction.

A1 Newton on the Moor, Alnwick, Northumberland: Kerb replacement work - Lane 1 southbound will be closed daily between 8am and 6pm until 12 September.

A1 Seaton Burn Interchange, Cramlington, Northumberland: Junction improvement work - Works to improve the interchange will be ongoing until December. Phases of night time lane closures and some slip road closures will be in place between 8pm and 6am.

A1 Warreners House, Morpeth, Northumberland: Resurfacing and road marking work - Convoy working will be in place overnight 8pm to 6am 26 August to 2 September. The entry slip lane will be closed with diversion in place, 40mph and 10mph speed restrictions apply.

For further details of diversions, visit the Highways Agency website: Click here

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