1. Tyne Tees

Protests over council cuts

The latest on protests against cuts to libraries, respite care centres and other services in Newcastle - and council budget plans around the North East.

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  1. Lucy Taylor

Lee Hall calls for "direct action" to save Newcastle libraries

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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