Votes have been counted after polling in three of our local council areas.
Sunderland was held by Labour, where UKIP failed to make the electoral breakthrough they were looking for, despite a strong showing in some wards.
Labour also held South Tyneside and Hartlepool.
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A teacher has been banned from the classroom for life after an affair with a 16-year-old girl who he told he wanted to run away with.
Durham County Council is warning people will be investigated and face prosecution if they are caught fly-tipping during Christmas.
Burglars broke into a newly married couple's home while they were on honeymoon and stole both wedding and Christmas presents.