• Council looks at options

    A SERIES of public meetings has been organised so that people can air their views on how their council should make decisions. Stockton Borough Council wants a system that allows speedy, efficient and responsive decision-making, which local people understand

  • 'Meningitis nearly killed our child'

    A COUPLE who nearly lost their daughter to meningitis are alerting other parents, as campaigners warned deaths from the virus have hit a 50-year high. Rachel Harman's parents were told eight years ago that their four-year-old daughter was unlikely to

  • Twin passions, football and God

    AMAZING how many Roman Catholic priests are football fans - a sign of their faithfulness, no doubt, that when in Darlington on Tuesday night so many forewent the Quakers against Bradford City to attend the launch of the diocese's 150th anniversary history

  • Fridge idea given warm reception

    CITY fathers have decided that it is time some of its assets were well and truly frozen - so they have splashed out and bought a fridge. For years, civic events held at Ripon Town Hall had to be given that chilled feel by importing cool bags and ice packs

  • Call for businesses to debate town centre's future growth

    UP to 400 Darlington businesses could be represented at a conference to discuss the town's future next month. Last year's Darlington Town Centre Conference attracted more than 120 representatives from the council, transport and businesses. Hosted by the

  • Credit card criminals targeted

    A SURGE in credit and debit card fraud has prompted a police force to launch a campaign to halt the criminals. Detectives in County Durham have put the increase down to the boom in the number of people holding plastic cards and the growth in so-called

  • Lawyer suspended at fresh hearing

    A SOLICITOR suspended indefinitely over conveyancing complaints received an identical penalty last night in a re-hearing in his presence. Timothy Husbands, 37, of Petch's Cottages, Liverton, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Cleveland, failed to respond to letters

  • Clergyman's work is cause for celebration

    A PRIEST from Bishop Auckland, was one of a dozen churchmen chosen from 450 around the UK to attend the first Clergy Appreciation Week celebration lunch, organised by the national charity Care for the Family. The Reverend Vince Fenton, from Woodhouse

  • Swimmer's attack is making waves

    The appearance of Newcastle City Hall baths belies its age - it was built in 1928. Clean and well-used, all its customers sing the praises of the staff. But there is just one small problem with the pool - it is 25 metres too short. The pool found itself

  • Newcastle Brown on draught at last

    THERE ARE few images more synonymous with the Tyne Bridge and Geordieland than the ubiquitous Newcastle Brown Ale bottle. For the past 12 years, in draught form, its fame has spread even further, with more than 23m pints sold a year in the United States

  • Nissan concept car

    THIS dramatic-looking saloon could be the shape of things to come at Nissan's award-winning factory in Sunderland. The Nissan Fusion concept car gives some clues as the what the new Primera family car will look like in a few years time. Company bosses

  • Bid to restore church tower in line for boost

    A BID to restore a distinctive church tower to its former glory will be given a boost by antiques collectors at the weekend. The appeal fund to repair St Cuthbert's Church tower, in North Road, Durham, has reached £80,000 towards a target of £250,000.

  • Initiative to help youngest residents

    A programme to provide improved education and health for some of the youngest residents of Gateshead has been given the go-ahead. The Government's Sure Start scheme will improve the quality and extent of education, health and care services for children

  • Workers play safe

    SAFETY first is a golden rule on an industrial base on Teesside. A group of companies operating on the Wilton International site, near Redcar, have proved that with a gold award for an accident-free year. Four firms - Tolent, Hortech, Ferguson and Hertel

  • A posthumous prize for Tish the fish

    REMEMBER Tish the fish, the fairground prize which lived to be 43 before turning turtle last September? Solemnly interred in a yogurt pot, Tish lies at Carlton Minniot, near Thirsk and features in the new Guinness World Records, out last weekend. Also

  • Pints flowing again after village's dry spell

    A COUNTY Durham pub is selling beer again. The Fighting Cocks, in Middleton St George, near Darlington, closed while the owner, the Swallow Group sold it to the Enterprise Brewery. But when new tenant Pat Chaplin was brought in at the end of last week

  • £4m funding is secured

    A NORTH County Durham college has revealed plans for an £8m move to the site of a former steelworks. Derwentside College is on the threshold of securing funding for the proposed move from its Consett site to a location in Project Genesis - where the town's

  • Nissan concept car coming to Wearside

    THIS dramatic-looking saloon could be the shape of things to come at Nissan's award-winning factory in Sunderland. The Nissan Fusion concept car gives some clues as the what the new Primera family car will look like in a few years time. Company bosses

  • Campaigners back asylum seekers

    DEMONSTRATIONS are planned in a North-East town against what campaigners say is unfair treatment of asylum seekers. Darlington Anti-Racist Group, which was formed eight years ago, held a meeting last night. Chairman Richard Heaven said: "The meeting was

  • Spending ideas wanted for £200,000 grant

    PEOPLE in Teesdale are being urged to attend a public meeting to discuss ideas for spending a £200,000 Government grant. Community leaders in Evenwood and Ramshaw, near Bishop Auckland, have organised the meeting to give people their say on how the seven-year

  • Dismay at Quakers' sports hall closure

    FOOTBALL fans have reacted with dismay to news that Darlington Football Club is to close the sports centre at its Feethams ground. Just 15 months ago, club chairman George Reynolds announced plans to invest £100,000 in the Quaker Sports Centre indoor

  • Inspectors praise school's teaching

    SCHOOL inspectors found good teaching and strong leadership at a small independent school which has enjoyed record GCSE successes. The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) report said the 173 pupils at St Anne's High School, Wolsingham, were confident

  • Driving ourselves to extinction

    At the height of the fuel crisis, a gathering of eminent scientists assembled in London. Attending that showcase of the best in contemporary scientific research and discovery, the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science

  • Mayor's butterfly scheme takes flight

    THE Mayor of Durham, Councillor George Wharton, is inviting people to Chase the Butterfly in aid of local conservation and environmental projects. Coun Wharton hopes to raise £30,000 through the appeal, to provide funding for green schemes. At yesterday's

  • Rail line challenge issued to cyclists

    CYCLISTS are being urged to get on-line - but the call has nothing to do with computers. The first official mass ride along the old Scarborough to Whitby railway line will be on October 21 and organisers hope hundreds of riders will turn up. The path

  • National park delegates gather

    NATIONAL parks will be looking at playing a greater role in the rural economy in their annual conference today(wed). The Yorkshire Dales National Park is hosting the gathering of park authorities across the country, given the theme of the 'enterprising

  • College courses are a bargain at a tenner

    STUDENTS are cashing in on a series of bargain basement courses as part of a national initiative. Northallerton College is offering the chance to take courses tailored to each individual's needs for a nominal £10 fee, ranging from 30 minutes to 30 hours

  • Life's a gas in the petrol crisis

    WHILE the rest of the country queued for the last drops of petrol, one North-East man was rubbing his hands with glee. Gary Bowden has just set up one of the North-East's few businesses converting cars from petrol to liquid petroleum gas (LPG) - a fuel

  • University is on the ball

    ACADEMICS have devised a tailor-made course for football fanatics in a bid to attract more men back into the classroom. In response to a gender shift in favour of female students at Teesside University, boffins have put on their thinking caps to come

  • A victory to help ease the suffering

    BILL Cook can finally look forward to the compensation he deserves after 42 years working in North-East pits. The desperately ill 86-year-old is barely able to walk after the coal dust he inhaled left him crippled with emphysema. Simply getting out of

  • School's out for Nicola's big day

    PUPILS and staff at a North Yorkshire school were on the edge of their seats when Olympic hopeful Nicola Jackson took to the water. Lessons were suspended and nails bitten to the quick at the 16-year-old's school in Richmond yesterday for the young swimming

  • Denise calls time at

    IT SHOULDN'T really have come as a surprise that North-East actress Denise Welch has decided to quit Coronation Street later this year. Four years is a long time in one programme, especially given the turbulent life of her character, Rovers Return landlady

  • Tennebo breaks leg in reserve clash

    HARTLEPOOL United midfielder Thomas Tennebo is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a double fracture of the leg in yesterday's reserve game at Halifax. The Norwegian broke both the tibia and fibia in a strong challenge in the early

  • Mobile phone masts -a threat to house values'

    SAFETY fears over mobile phone masts could slash the value of nearby homes in the North-East, it is feared. The concern have been sparked by a couple in Bolton, Lancashire, who had to call off a move after the value of their house was slashed by almost

  • Reid hopes academy will

    SUNDERLAND boss Peter Reid is hoping to build a Sunderland side full of Wearsiders which will challenge for the title within a decade. That is Reid's dream as the club unveiled their innovative new project, Academy 2000, which aims to develop the club's

  • Circus acts that leave you feeling queasy

    BIG top acts which even stopped trendy television presenters in their tracks took to a North-East stage this week. The Circus of Horrors, with its stunning array of bizarre performers, opened at Sunderland Empire, where it will run until Saturday. The

  • Rail group welcomes new report

    GREAT North Eastern Railway (GNER), which is battling for the prestigious East Coast mainline franchise with Virgin Stagecoach, has welcomed a report highlighting the importance of both train operator's track records in the decision-making process. According

  • Q vehicles targeted in police crackdown

    A CRACKDOWN on cars with questionable pasts is being launched throughout the North. Following the start of Operation Outlaw earlier this week, aimed at combating vehicle crime, the region's police forces have singled out those with Q registrations for

  • From safe locks to dreadlocks

    DARLINGTON FC chairman George Reynolds proved he was game for a laugh when he took part in a radio show. The Quakers owner and former safe cracker was teased about his "comb over" hairstyle when he was interviewed on Paul Gough's Century FM radio show

  • Beck to the good old days

    BY all accounts, it was a grand do. In their hundreds they came - and not just from the farms and villages of Teesdale, but from "over the tops" in Weardale and what was then Cumberland and Westmorland. But that was nearly 100 years ago, and, like the

  • Deaths lead to fresh road safety appeal

    THE deaths of a grandmother and her daughter at an accident blackspot have prompted a renewed call for safety measures to be put in place. The two women died when their car was involved in a head-on collision with another car on the A64, in North Yorkshire

  • Sergeant's accident payout rejected

    A POLICE sergeant who had to quit the force after falling on a slippery police station floor had his hopes of compensation dashed by judges yesterday. William Gulliver, 56, slipped when rushing to get help for a sick and potentially suicidal prisoner

  • Nicola

    TEENAGER Nicola Jackson takes the biggest plunge of her life this morning - going for gold at the Sydney Olympics. The 16-year-old from Richmond will be carrying the hopes of her country when she dives into the pool as part of Britain's world-record-breaking

  • When winning

    HEROES come in all shapes and sizes, colours and creeds, some more successful than others. As Eric Moussambani splashed his way down the Olympic pool in Sydney he took his place in sporting history. He proved the Olympics is the place for spectacular

  • Cycling ace is the toast of Teesside

    CYCLIST Chris Newton was celebrating last night after becoming Teesside's first Olympic medallist for 52 years. The 26-year-old from Stockton won a superb bronze in the 400m Team Pursuit. Newton and British teammates Paul Manning, Bradley Wiggins and

  • Is there life beyond petroleum?

    IT'S hard to imagine the future of cars being tied up with electricity. Think electric car and you immediately picture Noddy's little two-seater, Sir Clive Sinclair's abortive C5 three-wheeler or a milk float. Yet major car manufacturers all over the

  • Bone marrow donor for six-year-old girl

    THE parents of a six-year-old girl once given eight weeks to live by doctors have learned that a fully-matched bone marrow donor has been found. Molly-Ann Barnett suffers from a rare form of leukaemia, so her family launched a world-wide search for a

  • Housing boom is boost for Barratt

    HOUSEBUILDER Barratt, whose foundations are firmly in the North-East, has once again unveiled record results. Profits before tax for the year half were up 28 per cent to £143.9m, against £112m the previous year. The year's performance extends its track

  • Salmonella poisoning cases still on the rise

    HEALTH experts investigating a serious outbreak of salmonella across the region have revealed that the number of reported cases is continuing to grow. So far, a total of 68 cases of salmonella poisoning have been reported in the North-East since August

  • Quakers lifeline for drugs shame player

    DARLINGTON chairman George Reynolds is offering a possible lifeline to a young footballer who was kicked out of the game for drug abuse. The Quakers supremo plans to give a second chance to disgraced 18-year-old Anthony Parry. Parry, who was signed by

  • Newcastle Brown on draught at last

    THERE ARE few images more synonymous with the Tyne Bridge and Geordieland than the ubiquitous Newcastle Brown Ale bottle. For the past 12 years, in draught form, its fame has spread even further, with more than 23m pints sold a year in the United States

  • Police hunt time raiders

    POLICE in Derwentside are appealing for help in tracing an antique Grandfather clock stolen from a house in Consett. The 6ft 5in tall Victorian time-piece, thought to be worth several thousand pounds, was stolen from a house in Hamsterley Mill Road last

  • Breakfree to the countryside

    A PROJECT aimed at opening up parts of the region for people with disabilities has produced a new information pack to help. Breakfree is a regional project aiming to bring access details to countryside lovers. Gateshead Borough Council's new guide gives

  • Volunteers reap benefits of partnership

    AN innovative partnership between Tyne and Wear Fire Service and Prince's Trust volunteers is bringing huge benefits to communities across Wearside. The trust is helping young unemployed and employed 16 to 25-year-olds to develop confidence, motivation

  • Champion chosen to enter fray on behalf of elderly

    A PIONEERING approach has been adopted by a council to ensure that the needs of a town's older people are being met. Councillor Elizabeth Young, of Hartlepool Borough Council, has been appointed as its first older people's champion. Working at cabinet

  • Bone marrow donor for six-year-old girl

    THE parents of a six-year-old girl once given eight weeks to live by doctors have learned that a fully-matched bone marrow donor has been found. Molly-Ann Barnett suffers from a rare form of leukaemia, so her family launched a world-wide search for a

  • Classical notes to sound for almshouses

    A series of classical concerts starts at one of Redcar's landmarks next week. The chapel at Sir William Turner's Hospital, Kirkleath-am, is the venue for the concerts, which start on Thursday, September 28, with international pianist Richard Orm-erod.

  • Survey on crematoria

    BEREAVED families on Teesside have given their local crematoria the thumbs up. Middlesbrough Council commissioned a survey to discover how people perceived the services offered by its crematoria. Out of the 200 bereaved families that responded to questionnaires

  • Cutbacks that will benefit residents

    HIGH bushes which offer cover to youths misbehaving in Hartlepool are to be removed. Members of Hartlepool Borough Council's north neighbourhood forum have agreed to spend £2,500 cutting back overgrowth between St David's Walk and Hart Lane. The same

  • Snapshot in time helps school to mark the new millennium

    SCHOOL pupils and staff at a County Durham school marked a unique year by gathering for a special snapshot, courtesy of The Northern Echo. More than a hundred pupils were joined by staff at St Joseph's Roman Catholic Primary School, in Coundon, near Bishop

  • County may join ranks of open cabinets list

    DURHAM County Council is considering opening its secret cabinet meetings to the public. The authority, which provides major services, such as education and social services, to all areas of County Durham apart from Darlington, will look at the move in

  • Service battles 'racist' leaflets

    leaflets criticising asylum seekers, which were sent to Teesside homes in the summer, have reappeared. Staff at the North of England Refugee Service, in Middlesbrough, were dismayed when the British National Party (BNP) first began distributing the leaflets

  • Battling miners win

    THE Government last night finally moved to end the scandal of thousands of North-East miners still left waiting for compensation for disease contracted in the region's pits. Energy Minister Helen Liddell announced a package of measures aimed at speeding

  • Request sparks concern for park

    A LEGAL battle is looming over the future of a park, amid fears that some of the land could be lost in a redevelopment scheme. Hambleton District Council is to look at possible uses for Northallerton's auction mart site, if proposals to relocate the mart

  • 24-hour

    A ROUND-THE-CLOCK guard is in place to protect the secret site of one of the world's rarest flowers, growing wild in the region for the first time in decades. The only example of the Lady's Slipper Orchid in Britain has flowered for the first time this

  • Drivers threaten

    THE North-East faces the prospect of more travel misery a week after the fuel blockade nearly brought the region to a standstill. Bus drivers and depot engineers are voting today on whether to accept an improved pay offer at Go North-East. The 600 employees

  • Decision on key air route disappointing for Gill

    THE North-East's only commercial airline has expressed its "disappointment" after it failed to land key UK route. It was announced yesterday that the important business link between Newcastle and Birmingham had gone to BA franchisee, British Regional

  • Park to host study into racial attitudes

    ASIAN families are to be taken on a day trip into one of England's most scenic landscapes to see what sort of welcome they get. The initiative is part of a three-year research project to discover why so few people from ethnic minorities venture into national

  • Refugees targeted by BNP leaflets

    leaflets criticising asylum seekers that were sent to homes in the summer have reappeared. Workers at the North of England Refugee Service, based in Middlesbrough, were dismayed when the British National Party began distributing the leaflets in Stockton

  • Quakers bid to seal two-year deal for star stopper Liddle

    Darlington have opened contract talks with star defender Craig Liddle - and are optimistic aabout the outcome. Manager Gary Bennett, who is hoping to tie the defender to the club for two more years, said: "Craig is on contract with us until the end of

  • Full Monty sequel has the barest of plots

    The Real Monty Comes Again, Darlington Civic Theatre THERE were more men taking their clothes off, more women screaming, but fewer jokes this time. The first Real Monty was a huge hit, being the funniest and best produced in the play-comedy-stripshow

  • Faulds proves golden shot

    Britain's Richard Faulds struck gold in a thrilling men's double trap shoot-out in Sydney yesterday. The 23-year-old, from Longparish in Hampshire, beat Australia's Russell Mark to win Britain's second gold. Faulds, who was lying fourth going into the

  • Rolph so close to final glory

    NEWCASTLE's Sue Rolph was left shattered after agonisingly missing out on a place in an Olympic Games final in Sydney yesterday. The 22-year-old failed to qualify for today's 100 metres freestyle medal decider by just 0.07 seconds and team-mate Karen

  • Academic to give talk on issues surrounding alcohol

    A LEADING Durham academic is to give a lecture on drinking and its effect on people's behaviour and the city's economy. Durham University sociology professor Dick Hobbs, an expert on crime and criminals, will give the talk to the City of Durham Trust.

  • Phillips brightens the gloom for Sunderland

    ENGLAND international Kevin Phillips sealed an unconvincing Worthington Cup second round first leg victory for Sunderland with his third goal of the season at a rain-swept Stadium of Light last night. The Wearsiders, showing eight changes from the team

  • tom is the very best of british in aerobatics world

    HIGH-FLIER Tom Cassells has his head in the clouds after a soaraway success in the world aerobatics championships. The 46-year-old was the highest placed British flier in the competition, repeating his achievement in last year's European championships

  • Hearing the miners at last

    AT long, long last the Government has listened. Yesterday Energy Minister Helen Liddell announced that procedures would be speeded up so that miners with lung diseases will receive their compensation more quickly. Mrs Liddell admitted that her patience

  • Businesses hit by fires

    FIREFIGHTERS in Guisborough dealt with two fires at food outlets in the town yesterday. (Tues) A woman was taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke following a fire at Priory Fisheries, Church Street. One appliance from Guisborough and one

  • The true spirit of the Olympics

    JUST when the Olympics seemed to have turned into a multi million pound showbiz extravaganza, with sport just as the sideline, along comes Jason Queally. Jason, you may remember, won a gold medal on the first day, taking everyone by surprise, not least

  • True politicians needed now

    DON'T panic! There are no blockades and there are no threats of blockades. Petrol is flowing freely. But it is becoming increasingly hard not to panic because of the Government's attitude which is akin to waving a red rag at a bull. Chancellor Gordon

  • Residents voice traffic concerns

    RESIDENTS in Guisborough have told the local council that they are not happy with traffic management in the town. Traders and residents complained about parking and congestion, at a meeting with officers from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's technical

  • Crackdown call

    Residents in the Quayside area of Newcastle have urged the city council to get tough on drunken hooligans who make people's lives a misery after visiting its popular bars and nightclubs. The plea was made at a meeting to discuss the joint bid by Newcastle

  • Kitchen firm millionaire to get freeman honour

    A MILLIONAIRE businessman who never forgot his roots will soon be honoured by the community where he grew up. Knaresborough, in North Yorkshire, has decided to make George Moore a freeman. He made his fortune through a kitchen furniture manufacturing

  • Student sues over sex case arrest

    AN assertiveness course student is suing Cleveland Police after being arrested for an indecent assault which he says took place while he was at a lecture. Gerard Heinz Kowald was arrested a month after the indecent assault in September 1994 and, when

  • Chief's -obscene'

    NEWS that a council chief executive has had his salary bumped up to £110,000 has been met with anger and outrage. It means that George Garlick, the chief executive of Stockton Borough Council, earns about £2,000-a-week since the council decided to increase