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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 & Cleveland Council leader dropped by Labour

Council leader George Dunning and his deputy Sheelagh Clarke have been deselected Credit: Redcar & Cleveland Council

The leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council has admitted his political career is coming to an end, after he was dropped by Labour for the next local election.

Party members decided over the weekend that Cllr George Dunning would not stand for Labour in the Teesville seat he has represented for the last twenty years.

He told ITV News Tyne Tees the news was "devastating" but he had expected it and decided not to fight it. He is now considering retirement.

Dunning's deputy, Cllr Sheelagh Clarke and two other councillors were also deselected for their wards.

In 2013, George Dunning survived a vote of no confidence brought by the Liberal Democrat members of the council.

This time, he said he has no plans to stand independently for the council, or for any other party. He said he felt "totally let down" by Labour.

"We've been put through the mill a few times, but we've always come through. But on this occasion, we didn't come through," he said.

He said he was particularly disappointed with the regional Labour party for not standing up to support him.

The regional party released a joint statement from figures including the Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop and the Chair of the Regional Campaign Forum, John McCormick, saying it was time for a change.

‘It is time for change. Today local Labour Party members have begun choosing a fresh, exciting and committed new team seeking to serve the people of Redcar and Cleveland.

Council Leader George Dunning and Deputy Leader Sheelagh Clarke have served the public for many years with great dedication and have much to be proud of. However, local Labour Party members have today voted to replace them with other candidates for the ward of Teesville.

We have a wealth of talent in the Labour Party and the bar has been set very high this year. The people of Redcar and Cleveland deserve the very best representation that the Labour party has to offer in the local community, and members have chosen some fantastic new local candidates.

We would like to thank all of those councillors who have served but now look forward to working with this excellent new group of Labour candidates who are passionate about their local communities and determined to put right the disastrous consequences of a Tory and Liberal Government on Redcar and Cleveland.’

– Joint statement, Labour Party

Foreign Office: UK strongly opposes the death penalty

The Foreign Office says it's recently made representations to the Indonesian Government about the death penalty. It is offering consular assistance to Lindsay Sandiford who is sentenced to death by firing squad in Bali.

“We continue to offer consular assistance to Lindsay Sandiford and her family at this difficult time. The UK strongly opposes the death penalty in all circumstances without exception. We have recently made representations about the death penalty to the Indonesian government, and we will continue to do so.”

– Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Drugs smuggler 'weeks from death by firing squad'

A British woman convicted of smuggling drugs onto the Indonesian island of Bali may only be weeks away from facing the firing squad, according to reports.

Lindsay Sandiford, 58, was convicted in December 2012 Credit: PA

Lindsay Sandiford, who is originally from Redcar, was given a death sentence after she was found smuggling cocaine worth £1.6m from Thailand.

A Sunday newspaper quotes her sister, Hilary Parsons, who said Sandiford is due to sign an official warrant formally confirming her death sentence tomorrow (Monday, 26th January). It could mean her death is imminent.

Indonesia's new President, Joko Widodo, is known to have a firm stance on foreign drug smugglers. In the last week, five other foreigners and an Indonesian national have been executed by firing squad.

Boris Johnson meets the Indonesian President Joko Widodo in November 2014 Credit: PA

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Kitten 'covered in anti-freeze' fighting for its life

A four-month-old kitten is fighting for its life after being covered in a substance, believed to be anti-freeze, outside its owner's home in Redcar.

The owner let the kitten out of the house last Tuesday evening (October 14) and said it was 'very obviously unwell' when it came back indoors.

The kitten is still receiving treatment for life-threatening poisoning.

It's the second time in five weeks one of the owner's cats has been poisoned.

Another of his cats was apparently caught in a snare and had an acid-like substance poured over its back. The cat has now recovered but is scarred for life.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101.

Work begins to repair 'rusty' Redcar Beacon

Workers are abseiling down Redcar's 'vertical pier' to remove its exterior panels, because the £1.6m structure has started to rust after just 18 months.

The Redcar Beacon was built as part of the refurbishment of the Redcar seafront

The Redcar Beacon opened in spring 2013 on the town's seafront, housing shops and a café. The panels have recently started to rust after mixing with metal particles in the sea air.

Maintenance work is due to take five weeks.

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