Natalie Joyce from County Durham is like many people caught up in the economic climate. Her company is in administration, her wages are not being paid on time, and she's found herself unable to pay council tax and other bills.
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Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has added a new aerial ladder platform (ALP) vehicle to its fleet to improve safety.
A number of projects across the region have received a grant totalling over £1.5m.
Higher food and petrol prices are expected to send inflation to its highest level in 28 months when official figures are released later.