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St Mary's Lighthouse up for rent

North Tyneside Council is offering a lease to those prepared to invest in the landmark - and the more creative the idea, the better.

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Video shows future of Mars

A new video installation on Tyneside shows what Mars may look like in 200 years time when it has become a junkyard of abandoned spacecraft.

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Victory for street gardeners in council row

Rockcliffe Avenue, Whitley Bay
Rockcliffe Avenue, Whitley Bay Credit: ITV news

Gardeners in Whitley Bay are celebrating after being told they can keep the pots and plants that brighten their street.

Last month they were told the flowers had to go - because they were a health and safety risk.

Since then, two thousand people signed a petition to keep Rockcliffe Avenue blooming.

Today, Michael Kelley, who led the campaign, met with North Tyneside mayor Norma Redfearn.

They agreed the plants can stay.

The residents of Rockcliffe Avenue have filled their street with flowers.
The residents of Rockcliffe Avenue have filled their street with flowers. Credit: ITV news

Mike said: "It's a victory for Rockcliffe Avenue, it's a victory for Whitley Bay, and for everyone who signed the petition."

In a statement, the council said an "amicable agreement" had been reached.

A spokesman said: "The council will be working with Mr Kelley and residents to put in place a revised scheme which will allow the planters to remain, but each resident in the street will be able to opt in or opt out of the scheme.

“Letters will be sent to residents soon."

The street gardeners say the blooms have brought the community together.
The street gardeners say the blooms have brought the community together. Credit: ITV news

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Gardeners asked to remove champion blooms

North Tyneside gardeners who won awards for sprucing up their street have said they have been asked to remove hundreds of pots because of health and safety concerns.

For the last six years people living in Rockcliffe Avenue, Whitley Bay, have nurtured hundreds of plants in front of their homes.

Last year they won first place in the North Tyneside in Bloom contest in the community category for their planters.

However, following a complaint, the council investigated and said the planters are causing an obstruction of the highway.

It said the individual pots should be replaced with standard containers which "comply with the safety requirements."

Michael Kelley has looked after most of the plants on the street and has vowed to fight the council's decision. A petition against the changes already has 400 signatures.

"The council said we need new planters, but what difference will that make to the apparent obstruction?

"North Tyneside Council is saying it is a health and safety matter, but the street cleaner can get down here, and there's a man who uses a wheelchair in the street and he has no problems."

– Michael Kelley

"North Tyneside Council appreciates the efforts of residents of Rockcliffe Avenue over the years.

"However, the number of planters has increased to an extent where they obstruct the pavement, particularly for those with accessibility needs. Not all residents agree to the scale of this community effort and have concerns about impact on the pathways.

"Under highways legislation we have an obligation to protect the rights of the public at large to use the highway safely and we are working with the residents to try and achieve this.

"If residents agree the council will encourage them to apply for grant funding to ensure that any planters that are used meet the required standards and comply with the safety requirements."

– A spokesperson for North Tyneside Council

Appeal after man assaulted in Whitley Bay

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was assaulted in North Tyneside and had to be taken to hospital for treatment for facial injuries.

Today, a man aged in his mid 30s reported to police that he had been assaulted in VI bar, and again later in South Parade in Whitley Bay, between 10pm and 10.30pm on Saturday 20 April.

Officers are keen to speak to anyone who was in VI bar or in South Parade and who saw what happened to contact them. It is believed that the assault was an unprovoked attack.

Any witnesses are being asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Game will "hopefully give the fans a bit of entertainment"

The manager for Whitley Bay FC has speculated that someone from the region's bigger teams might be at this weekend's match to see the teams play - ahead of Newcastle United's upcoming game against the Ukrainian side.

Ian Chandler said that his team would be treating it as a game to enjoy and hopefully something that would keep their fans entertained.

Who are FC Metalist Kharkiv?

FC Metalist Kharkiv was founded in 1925 Credit: FC Metalist Kharkiv

FC Metalist Kharkiv is a Ukrainian professional football club based in Kharkiv. During the Soviet Union its name was spelled the Russian way as Metallist.

It competes in the Ukrainian Premier League, the top football league in the country.

Metalist's home is the 40,003 capacity multi-use Metallist Stadium which was reconstructed to host Euro 2012 football matches.

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