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North East’s Students Boycotting Nightclubs in Fight Back Against Spiking

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Students in Newcastle and Durham have organised the boycotts on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.

 

Students in Newcastle and Durham have spoken of their concerns following reports of the increase in number of spiking incidents across the country. Various social media posts have raised awareness in regards to the worrying rise of spiking incidents that are occurring on a night out. Further concern is being raised over the reports of spiking by injection.

 

Thousands of students are expected to take part in the boycotts: Durham on Tuesday, 26th October and Newcastle on Thursday, 28th October. The boycott action, called ‘Girls Night In Newcastle,’ is encouraging drinkers to stay home instead of visiting the city’s nightspots. Many young women have enjoyed the idea of going to University to return to normality following a year of lockdowns and social distancing.

 

However, many young women haven’t had this chance to enjoy their experience due to the risk of being spiked. Primrose Sparkes, who helped launch the boycott in Durham, said that previously the main factor she considered before going out was whether she had an early morning class.

 

“Now it’s: do I feel safe?” she said. “There’s an element of fear that wasn’t there before,” she added.

 

In response to reports in Newcastle, three Newcastle venues, The Market Shaker, The Dog and Parrot and Pumphreys Newcastle, have increased security measures in an effort to protect drinkers.

 

Market-Shaker Newcastle Statement.

Market-Shaker Newcastle Statement.

 

The owners have not had any confirmed cases of spiking related incidents however they are being proactive regarding the safety and well-being of their customers.

 

Alternatively, Jimmy Allen’s, situated on Elvet Bridge, Durham, was one of the first venues to announce the measures it was taking to increase security in the club. The club also said it is also allowing customers to bring their own capped cup and is currently looking to purchase lids to fit all of its glasses.

David Bullock, who is the co-manager said: “We needed to do something because people need to feel safe when they come out – it’s not right.”

However, the ‘Girls Night In Newcastle’ Instagram page is taking action as they say nightclubs aren’t doing enough to offer protection. In a post, they said:

“Never before have we heard of so many students waking up with no memory of what had happened the night before.

This is not getting ‘blacked-out drunk,’ this is getting drugged and is something that can be changed.

This is not a stay-at-home message.

This is asking our students to protest against the clubs and bars.

They are not responding to our complaints so we must make them.

We are asking clubs and bars to increase their entry security.

We are asking clubs and bars to provide free drink protection devices.”

 

Dog and Parrot Newcastle introduces ‘Spikeys to be inserted o the tops of bottles to prevent spiking

Dog and Parrot Newcastle introduces ‘Spikeys to be inserted o the tops of bottles to prevent spiking

 

The group said that while it is called ‘Girl’s Night In’ it wants to see men and women support their campaign.

 

The incidents have been acknowledged by Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham Universities.

Newcastle University commented: “We’re aware of an increase in reports of spiking and want to reassure students we’re working closely with the police and other colleagues in the city to keep you safe.”

They also added a link for students to report the crimes.

Please share and follow the page for more updates.

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Michael Gove proposes House of Lords sit in Sunderland during Parliament refurbishment

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Sunderland has been suggested as one of several locations for the House of Lords to relocate to while Parliament undergoes refurbishment.

York had been previously been proposed but the Government vetoed the plans.

Michael Gove, who is Levelling Up Secretary, is said to have written to Lord McFall of Alcluith suggesting locations including Stoke-on-Trent, Burnley and Sunderland.

In the letter, Mr Gove said he knows “cities and towns across the United Kingdom would be pleased to extend their hospitality to peers”.

He is quoted as saying that having “carefully reviewed the proposed arrangements”, he “will not support the use of the QEII Centre as an alternative location”.

The Queen Elizabeth II Centre conference and exhibition space is just a few minutes’ walk from the Palace of Westminster in London.

In the letter, which the Sunday Times said was also sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, Mr Gove suggested a move elsewhere in England, Scotland or Wales.

He is reported to have written: “As the minister responsible for levelling up, it is clear to me that the House of Lords moving elsewhere, even for a temporary period, would be widely welcomed.

“I have carefully reviewed the proposed arrangements and…I will not support the use of the QEII Centre as an alternative location.

“I propose to establish dedicated liaison points for you in my department to support you in identifying a suitable location for the House of Lords in the North, Midlands, South West, Scotland or Wales. I would, of course, be happy to meet you to discuss this.”

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Tyne Bridge to Close for Several Weeks for £41m Restoration

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Several weeks of overnight closures are planned in order to allow engineers to assess how bad a state the Tyne Bridge is in, before it can be restored to its former glory.

The long-overdue restoration is estimated to cost £41m in order to restore the bridge and refurbish the Central Motorway.

According to a local authority report, the inspection is expected to require the famous crossing to be closed from 10pm to 6am from June 13 to July 1. A number of roads underneath the bridge on the Newcastle Quayside are also due to be affected by the works – with closures due between May 16 and June 10 on Quayside, Lombard Street, Queen Street, and Akenside Hill from 8pm to 6am.

A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said: “We submitted a bid for £41.4 million to Government which, if approved, will enable a four-year maintenance programme for the Tyne Bridge and the Central Motorway to go ahead. As part of the funding process, we are required to carry out some initial works on the Tyne Bridge.

“This includes a full inspection of the bridge, so we can assess its condition and the scale of works required to finalise the costings and project plans to fully restore and refurbish this major structure. This needs to be completed ahead of funding being approved.

“As we need to inspect the entire span of the bridge, overnight closures may be required on the bridge and roads underneath it, so engineers can complete this work safely. Details on the programming are being finalised.”

The Tyne Bridge has not had any major maintenance for two decades and its much-needed refurbishment has been at the top of council officials’ to do list for years, in the hope of ensuring it is looking its best once again by its 100th birthday in 2028. However, it has been warned that the grade II* listed structure may have deteriorated into a worse condition than currently known and council bosses have warned that, like on other major projects like the Grainger Market’s roof repairs, the refurbishment may take longer than expected.”

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Seaburn and Roker Beaches Named Best Beaches in the Country in 2022

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Sunderland’s beaches have been named among the best in the country for the 11th year running.

Seaburn and Roker were both named as winners of the Seaside Award by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. The pair were once again handed Blue Flags, marking them out for their for their excellent water quality, cleanliness and attempts to constantly improve visitor amenities.

The Blue Flag awards, now in their 35th year, are issued by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and act as ‘a quality mark so visitors can be sure the beaches boast top-notch facilities and meet the highest environmental standards’.

Linda Williams, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for Vibrant City, said: “It is fantastic to see Sunderland’s beautiful beaches once again awarded the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Award.

“Flying these flags at Roker and Seaburn shows everyone who visits that our seafront has excellent quality bathing water and first-class facilities.

“We’re very lucky to have fantastic beaches with beautiful, clean water to swim and bathe in, and this national recognition is testament to the hard work of everyone involved in keeping our beaches clean, tidy and well-maintained.”

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