The latest news, sport and weather for the North East and Cumbria.
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Teachers at a troubled school in west Cumbria have
again been out on strike, in protest at the actions of its
Staff at the Whitehaven Academy say the Trust has led the school
into special measures and is failing the pupils there.
But Bright Tribe insists it is improving standards.
This is the second day of strike action this week
involving three trade unions, teachers here fulfilling a threat
first made before Christmas to use industrial action to force changes.
I think it's a massive decision, particularly for ATL,
this is the first strike we've ever had locally, we've only had two
We've had local ones in other areas but this is the first in Cumbria.
Staff say the Bright Tribe Trust has broken its promises
to improve the school, has left buildings to decay
and allowed it to drift into special measures.
The teachers here don't want to go on strike.
We recognise that it can be inconvenient for some people,
but we do need to see progress here, because actually, one day,
if we see substantial improvement in the school,
The Bright Tribe Trust told us they didn't have anyone available
for interview but did provide a statement.
It said Bright Tribe is fully committed to working with all staff
and trade unions in order to improve standards and provide a good level
of education for students at the Whitehaven Academy.
Some parents too have joined in, trying to increase
We've collected over 1,000 signatures from the community
showing support for the teachers and what they're doing,
the action they have taken, cos a lot of the parents feel very
strongly about what's been happening the school
and we want to show our support for the teachers.
It's created 500 jobs and invested ?35 million in Morpeth.
But the property company which developed the Sanderson Arcade
shopping centre could sell up and leave the town.
It objects to a planned new retail park on the site
of the old County Hall, claiming it'll take shoppers away
Our Business Correspondent, Ian Reeve, reports.
Morpeth's Sanderson Arcade, a shopping centre that is created
500 jobs since opening in 2006, but its property company
owner could be on the verge of selling up,
dismayed by plans for a retail park on the edge of town, and Hannah,
running a baking business in the arcade, doesn't
If it does go ahead, it's going to ruin some
of the hustle and bustle of Morpeth, it's got quite a nice
reputation as a market town, it would be a shame to see it go.
The retail park would be here on the current site
of Northumberland County Council's County Hall after it sells the land.
A new school would be built as well as 200 homes.
Joan and Ken have many concerns over the scheme,
but claim the county council won't discuss them.
They have refused repeatedly to come and talk to us.
We have a forum where we're supposed to be talking to the county council
We have specifically invited them again just before Christmas
The town has got a fantastic functioning town centre
and for the last 30 years, up and down the country,
towns have been really hit hard by out-of-town retailing and we just
feel that this is a wrong proposal for Morpeth.
Monday is the last day for people to have their say on the scheme
and the county council said it can't say anything at the planning
A spokesman did however add that in the interests of impartiality,
I should say that Monday is the last day for public
consultation, rather than the last day for objections.
In case people want to make supportive comments.
Well, currently, 1,065 people have objected.
A Northumbria Police officer has been given a suspended prison
sentence for offences involving indecent images of children.
PC Paul Sharp appeared before North Tyneside magistrates
and admitted two charges of making indecent images of children
and one of possession of extreme pornography.
He was sentenced to a total of 36 weeks in jail,
suspended for 12 months, and ordered to attend
The 34-year-old from North Tyneside was suspended from duty at the start
of the investigation and now faces a police misconduct hearing.
A blue plaque has been unveiled in Sunderland to mark
It's in honour of two Wearside sisters who helped scores of Jewish
Ida and Louise Cook used their love of opera to travel to Germany
and smuggle goods out in the 1930s, raising funds for Jews hoping
The plaque was unveiled at their childhood home in Croft Avenue.
Their nephew said his aunts were simply doing the right thing.
Their motives, and I'm often asked and my cousins are often asked,
They saw people who they perceived as being in trouble and they did
That they were Jews didn't enter into it.
Just two days after the National Television Awards named them Best TV
Presenters for the 16th year running, Ant and Dec
were at Buckingham Palace this morning to collect
For once they appeared separately - with Dec going first -
to receive their OBEs from the Prince of Wales.
The Newcastle pair, who met as young actors on the children's
TV show "Byker Grove", were each given the honour
for "services to entertainment and broadcasting."
Time for the weather now with Jennifer Bartram.
It felt really cold today Jen, please don't say it s going to get
It will not be getting any worse but it will still be a cold weekend, not
quite as cold as we have had in the last couple of days. There will be
some rain overnight tonight, which will be with us first thing tomorrow
morning, a murky start, wet for some time, but as we head into tomorrow
afternoon, it will begin to break up and become more drive. We will see
bright and sunny spells. Tomorrow, at seven Celsius. Less cold than it
was today. Into Sunday, we begin with a few showers around. Some
lovely crisp winter sunshine through Sunday morning, and gradually, as we
head into the afternoon, that clouds roll in from the West and outbreaks
of rain as well. Temperatures of about 7 degrees again. At the start
of next week, we continue with a mild trend, and we will see a lot of
cloud, outbreaks of rain and highs of about 11