He made his name through his writing, as the creator of Billy Elliot, but Lee Hall indicated he is ready to move from words to actions to save ten Newcastle libraries earmarked for closure.
The playwright had people on their feet at a campaign meeting when he called for protesters to occupy libraries.
However, the council says it simply cannot afford to keep the libraries going, because of budget cuts.
Meanwhile in Middlesbrough, councillors discussed whether they can afford to freeze council tax. The mayor Ray Mallon opposes the proposal, saying it would leave a black hole in the council's finances.
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A Stockton man who threatened to kill Muslim people in an online rant after the London Bridge terror attacks has been jailed for 20 months.
South Shields-born Sir Ridley Scott paid tribute to his former teachers at Hartlepool College of Art in his acceptance speech.