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Tom Blenkinsop: North East not growing faster than the South

Commenting on todays Comprehensive Spending Review, Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, said that The Chancellor's claim that the North is growing faster than the South is "completely devolved" and that they lack a "comprehensive strategy for the steel industry after the closure of SSI.

“George Osborne’s fanciful claim that the North is growing faster than the South is completely devolved from the realities of the job losses Teesside and East Cleveland has suffered in the last couple of months. I’m certain that my constituents will have serious questions for the Chancellor and the Tory Government that has stood by whilst we’ve lost our steel industry and one of the biggest employers in East Cleveland cut 700 jobs. “Furthermore, the government still lacks a comprehensive strategy for the steel industry and the industry is still waiting on compensation for the carbon price floor tax introduced four years ago. Meanwhile, the majority of the 5 point plan presented by the steel industry at the summit in October seems to have been ignored."

– Tom Ble

Nick Forbes: spending review is bad news for our region

The Government's spending review today announced that local councils can increase council tax by up to 2% to allow them to raise £2 billion for social care.

The move has been criticised by Newcastle City Council Leader Nick said public services would "all but disappear" within this Parliament and added that "shifting the burden of national social care onto local councils" would mean very difficult decisions in the future.

Councils have also been given 12 billion pounds to fund a local growth fund and extend enterprise zones and have been given the power to cut business rates to boost growth.


Police appeal to find missing Newcastle man

Police are appealing for help to locate a missing man from Newcastle.

31-year-old Michael Richard Whinham from Oakfield Gardens was reported missing to police on November 23, however he has not been seen since the beginning of November.

Michael is around 5ft 11ins tall, of thin build and it is not known what clothes he was wearing when he went missing.

Police are urging him to contact officer and let them know he is ok.

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Think Tank: Families will be hit when universal credit introduced

The Treasury's decision to scrap cuts to tax credits means that families will be affected when the planned changeover to universal credits happens, a think tank has warned.

Cross-party think tank Demos "welcomed" the announcement to scrap the unpopular cuts to tax credits but said large portions of the promised savings to the welfare budget now depend on future universal credit figures.

In a statement, Demos said:

The Chancellor’s welcome decision to shelve plans to cut tax credits will protect working families now, at the expense of the Treasury; but over time, the plan is to move from tax credits (and other benefits) to Universal Credit – entitlements we know, from the Summer Budget, will be subject to cuts.

So it is when families make the transition from one system to another that the real savings will be made.

– Demos
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Police chiefs 'delighted' budgets won't be cut

The National Police Chiefs' Council, which represents the UK's chief police officers, says it is 'delighted' following the Chancellor's announcement ruling out any cuts in police budgets in England and Wales.


North East wakes up to stunning sunrise

It's been a beautiful morning across the region. Our Good Morning Britain presenter Rachel Sweeney captured this sunrise this morning. We'd like to see your snaps. Can you beat this Gateshead photograph? Tweet @ITVTyneTees or email

Spending review protest: Hundreds march against expected government cuts

Hundreds turned out for the protest last night in Newcastle Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

More than 200 people joined The North East People’s Assembly, Northern Public Services Alliance and other groups at a rally last night against further public service cuts ahead of the Chancellor’s spending review today.

The protesters called for alternatives to the cuts, as they expect the North East to “pay the price for the cuts”.

Neil Foster from the Northern Trade Union Congress (TUC), who helped organise the march, said it was to highlight that the government “cannot cut your way to recovery” and added that cuts would affect the North East drastically.

The government are to announce their spending review later today.

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