Campaigners fighting to save a North-East airport were rejoicing after a “historic” decision to bring it into public ownership was agreed, in January 2019.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said it was a “truly great moment” as the leaders of Darlington, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Redcar and Cleveland councils formally backed his plans to give a much-needed lifeline to loss-making Durham Tees Valley Airport.

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More than 100 members of the public packed into The Jurys Inn hotel, in Middlesbrough, on Thursday, January 24, 2019, to call on the cabinet of the Tees Valley Combined Authority to back the plan, which they did unanimously – a decision which resulted in wild cheers and applause.

Mr Houchen said the decision marked “the dawn of a new era” for the region and would “determine the future of Teesside for decades to come.”

The elected chief of Cleveland Police brushed off calls to resign despite yet another scandal hitting the force, in January 2019.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said those calling for his resignation did not have “the benefit or knowledge of what has happened”.

He told The Northern Echo: “We received complaints about the Chief Constable’s behaviour while at Cleveland which we have referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which is the appropriate route.

“We have had a period of time to look at the allegations and he was aware of the allegations, but we haven’t discussed them in any detail.”

He said he was “bound by whistleblowing law” and was unable to discuss the nature of the allegations, but revealed it was something to do with Mr Veale’s behaviour while Chief Constable of Cleveland.

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The complaints against Mr Veale were brought to his attention through a third party immediately before Christmas, he said.

Mr Coppinger added: “I am proud of the progress that we have made in the force so that, if people come forward with concerns, they are listened to and we will respond and that is a significant step forward.”

In a statement released yesterday, he said: “I am proud to oversee a police force where such allegations are always taken seriously.

“It is important that the appropriate processes are allowed to take effect and as a result, I am unable to comment further on this matter.” He said the current Cleveland Police leadership structure remained unchanged.

A revamped theatre launched a campaign to make it “a place for everyone”.

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Darlington Hippodrome was looking to raise about £7,000 in early 2019 to help children in care or at the risk of being taken into care, low-income families, older residents at risk of isolation, and people facing social, physical and mental health challenges experience the theatre.

The aim of the A Place For Everyone project was to remove the barriers to participation for individuals and families within Darlington who may not have the financial means or support networks to visit the Hippodrome and see a show.

The venue’s charitable fund, which was originally set up to support the refurbishment of the theatre, would be used in the form of a crowd funding page to fund about 500 tickets.