9:35am Wednesday 18th January 2017
AN independent investigation into the culture of British Cycling has finished but the publication of its report is still a month away.
9:09am Tuesday 17th January 2017
NEXT to Lady Bracknell’s anxious exclamation – “A handbag!” – it may become history’s most celebrated reference to that indispensable accessory.
8:19am Monday 16th January 2017
THE campaign, launched on this page last week to persuade Canada to finally recognise the heroism of Pilot Officer William Stuart McMullen, appears to be taking flight.
3:20pm Monday 16th January 2017
The Headline Challenge is played out every week day morning between The Northern Echo and BBC Tees on 95fm. You can play along by listening to the breakfast show or by following Peter Barron on Twitter and Facebook
12:14pm Friday 13th January 2017
STOP blaming the old. Start blaming the drunks. The NHS is in crisis and we’re desperate for someone to blame. Just about everyone’s had their turn in the stocks – from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt down to junior doctors and women GPs who are more likely to work part-time. How dare they?
5:39pm Thursday 12th January 2017
I APPEAR before you this morning a little down in the mouth. Quite literally – I’m a tooth down.
11:16am Thursday 12th January 2017
IN just a few years from now, you may not be able to read independent reports of crime in your area, or a summary of what was said in a council meeting.
12:46pm Thursday 12th January 2017
THANKS to the fact I struggle with the fast-moving digital world of the 21st Century, I have become used to my sons treating me as if I am an idiot.
10:18am Wednesday 11th January 2017
IT led the national BBC news. It prompted press articles and discussions on numerous radio and TV programmes. At its centre was a woman whose courage and fortitude had earned her universal respect and admiration.
9:35am Tuesday 10th January 2017
AFTER a family visit to Raby Castle, near Staindrop – “Christmas trees, hot chocolate, mince pies” – Shaun Whitehead forwards some attractive images.
9:03am Monday 9th January 2017
AT 8.49pm on Friday, January 13, there will be a small gathering on a street corner in Darlington as a truly momentous act of heroism is remembered.
10:28am Friday 6th January 2017
TRY harder. Walk more. Eat less. Be kind. There – I’ve just saved you a small fortune. It’s the time of year for self-improvement.
7:10pm Thursday 5th January 2017
FOUR years ago, a police force used its special powers under surveillance laws to monitor my personal mobile phone.
5:12pm Thursday 5th January 2017
THE Chief Constable of Cleveland police has today rightly apologised for the way the force unlawfully monitored telephones, including those of reporters working for The Northern Echo during my time as the paper’s editor. Iain Spittal was not the Chief Constable of the force when it illegally used legislation designed to tackle terrorism and serious crime. He joined the force in 2013 and the scurrilous Big Brother tactics were deployed in 2012. The aim wasn’t to catch terrorists or gangsters but to find out who was leaking potentially embarrassing internal information to journalists. Even The Northern Echo’s main switchboard was monitored. As I said at the time, it was sinister and shameful. I appreciate Mr Spittal’s frank apology, delivered with Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commission Barry Coppinger by his side. That said, the Chief Constable could hardly do anything else, given that judges sitting in the High Court in December had made it clear that they would be finding Cleveland Police guilty of illegal conduct. The official roasting is yet to be delivered but it is on its way. Mr Spittal has now announced an overhaul of the way the force handles complaints. The disgraced “Professional Standards Department” is to be dismantled. Indeed, a department with such unprofessional standards could hardly have had a more inappropriate title. The bigger question is this: How many more chances is Cleveland Police going to be given? Taxpayers have endured the marathon and hugely expensive corruption inquiries of Operation Lancet and Operation Sacristy, which outran The Mousetrap. They have seen the public shaming of former Chief Constable Sean Price and the jailing of police authority chairman Dave McLuckie for perverting the course of justice. New Chief Constables have had to sweep up the mess left by predecessors with controversy following controversy. Now we discover that Cleveland Police – a force expected to hold others to account for breaking the law – couldn’t even be trusted for upholding the law itself. Indeed, it was out of control in the way it flagrantly abused the law. Honourable rank and file officers have been embarrassed and let down time and time again by their bosses and there could hardly be a greater contrast with neighbouring Durham Police, which is rated as Britain’s best police force. Today’s apology is welcome but Cleveland Police has run out of chances – and run out of trust. See the Chief Constable's apology here
5:40pm Thursday 5th January 2017
THIS would be the last Christmas we’d be doing stockings. That’s what my wife said. Definitely. She was adamant.
1:18pm Thursday 5th January 2017
I WAS accidentally flicking through a copy of a Durham newspaper from exactly 150 years ago this week when my eye was caught by a story that told in a guffawing tone about a couple of brothers who were so far behind the times that they didn’t recognise a valuable banknote.
10:35am Thursday 5th January 2017
AS we all know, when you’ve had a bit of a nightmare week, ice-cream’s a solid source of comfort food. Unless you think it’s a bit gay, in which case you are almost definitely TV star Richard Hammond, seemingly the only person alive to have conflated the world’s best food-stuff with sexuality.
5:05pm Tuesday 3rd January 2017
FROM whence, and by whom, came the drone? It emerged, of course, as a military weapon in the Middle East and Afghanistan. But who invented it?
12:33pm Tuesday 3rd January 2017
CYCLE Sisters is a Stockton-based group for women looking to get back into cycling.
9:40am Tuesday 3rd January 2017
Heart and soul, Vin Garbutt has been entertaining North-East audiences for more than 50 years.