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Man missing from Redcar

Anthony Smith

Police are appealing for information about a missing man from Redcar.

Anthony Smith, 56, was last seen at his home on Trent Road, Redcar, at around 8.30am on February 16. There was a sighting of him on Milton Street, in Saltburn, at around 5.30pm on February 17.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101.

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Redcar and Cleveland Council leader resigns

George Dunning has resigned from his position as the leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. Credit: Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council

The Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, George Dunning, has announced his resignation.

The councillor handed over a resignation letter at the start of a meeting in which a vote of no-confidence in him was scheduled. It comes after his deselection, and resignation, from the Labour Party last week.

A new council leader will be voted in shortly.

Couple to create Middle Earth campsite in Cleveland

Carol Hopkinson and Karl Wragg with (left) Rosalie, Holly and baby Poppy, three of their five children who inspired their business Credit: Redcar and Cleveland Council

A couple from Cleveland are turning their campsite into the fabled Middle Earth, complete with hobbit homes.

Carol Hopkinson and Karl Wragg received £10,000 from Redcar & Cleveland Council’s Coastal Communities Fund for the first of seven underground hobbit houses at their Liverton campsite.

Based on the Hobbit Shire, in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels, the couple will provide unique accommodation on Golden Hill Farm, the former Bunny Land site, creating four jobs.

Carol said: “When we opened the campsite we wanted to create a place where families and particularly children could enjoy nature instead of being glued to the telly. We aim to create an environment for wildlife to thrive and the new project is an extension of that ethos. The North York Moors National Park Authority recognises this and has given the go ahead, which is a fantastic endorsement.”

North Shire will cost £200,000 to build and will operate alongside the couple’s existing family campsite which features two traditional gypsy caravans.

Each wheelchair accessible subterranean hobbit house will have two bedrooms, a lounge, cooking facilities and a wood burning stove.

Grants of up to £10,000 in match-funding are available to support tourism and leisure businesses, like in the borough through the Coastal Communities Fund.

Carol Hopkinson and Karl Wragg with three of their five children who inspired their business Credit: Redcar and Cleveland Council
  1. Rachel Bullock

Full Report: North East UKIP in Stephen Lawrence row

The secretary of the Redcar UKIP branch faces being expelled from the party after she posted derogatory remarks about the media coverage of the racist murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Pamela Preedy wrote in a UKIP online forum last year that the image of the murdered teenager has been "promoted to sainthood".

The party's North East chairman has launched a full investigation into the comments which he says entirely contradict UKIP's policies.

Rachel Bullock reports.

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Regional UKIP chairman condemns Stephen Lawrence remarks

Richard Elvin, the regional chairman of the UK Independence Party says a branch secretary may be stripped of her party membership after she made derogatory remarks about the murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Pamela Preedy is secretary of UKIP's Redcar and Cleveland branch. Last year on an online UKIP forum she said: "the image of Stephen Lawrence has been promoted to sainthood " She also accused David Cameron of "worshipping at the shrine of Saint Stephen".

Mr Elvin told ITV Ms Preedy's views absolutely contradict UKIP's policies, he condemns them and has apologised to the Lawrence family.

Redcar UKIP Secretary in Stephen Lawrence row

Stephen Lawrence who was murdered in 1993 Credit: PA

Redcar and Cleveland's UKIP secretary Pamela Preedy is caught up in a racism row over remarks about Stephen Lawrence. Mr Lawrence was murdered in 1993 and his family have fought for justice ever since.

A conversation on a UK Independence Party internal forum around the 20th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence's murder last year, which Pamela Preedy took part in, has been uncovered.

PAMELA PREEDY SAID:

"It is absolutely true that the image of Stephen Lawrence has been promoted to sainthood."

"In Monday's news, there was Cameron and other high politicos worshipping at the shrine of Saint Stephen as they stood before his picture for a minute's silence."

"His death is supposed to have changed Britain, revealing how we are all institutionally racist etc. Please give it a rest! I'm sure that Stephen was an ordinary boy with all the typical virtues and flaws of any teenage human being, not a saint in the making."

"I'm sure that his mother still grieves for him, but it's time she did it privately without setting him up as some kind of media icon. She risks losing any sympathy for her cause (getting the other three killers in jail presumably) and boring us all to tears."

"Poor Stephen; he didn't deserve his awful death and he doesn't deserve his name being endlessly touted around like this either."

Council tech boss defrauded Vodafone

A Redcar and Cleveland Council IT boss who defrauded Vodafone out of £724,000 and used the money to buy a hot tub and a caravan has been jailed for three years.

Steven Topham, 36, manipulated the company's credit system to order 1,700 handsets - most of which were then sold on.

Topham, from Coronation Green, Park End, Middlesbrough, could not tell police how many phones he had sold or how much he had made.

He told police he had bought a hot tub, sauna, holiday caravan, electrical goods and paid off his substantial debts.

Judge Howard Crowson said Topham, who pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position and converting criminal property at an earlier hearing, was guilty of a breach of trust.

"You set out on what was clearly a professional fraud," he said.

A proceeds of crime hearing will take place next year.

Lindsay Sandiford 'incredibly grateful' for donations funding final appeal

The charity Reprieve have tweeted that a Redcar grandmother, whose final appeal will be paid for using donations from the public, is "incredibly grateful."

Lindsay Sandiford is facing death by firing squad for taking £1.6 million of cocaine into Bali.

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