The family of murdered teenager Samantha Madgin are carrying out patrols at Rising Sun Country Park to help the community feel safe after a woman was allegedly raped.
Emergency services were called to the park in Wallsend on March 28 at around 4.10pm following reports a woman was raped near the Pit Heap area. An investigation was immediately launched and a 34-year-old man – Alan Anthony Rothwell, of Mowbray Street, Heaton – was arrested and appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court last Saturday charged with rape.
Visitors and walkers spoke of their shock following the alleged incident with many saying it was “scary” to hear. And to help residents feel safer, Samantha Madgin’s family. including mum Alison and sister Carly. have launched a voluntary outreach team to patrol the park.
Samantha was just 18 when she was stabbed to death in Wallsend by young killer Jordan Jobson. But since the tragedy in 2007, Alison has worked tirelessly to educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives and set up Samantha’s Legacy.
Now they have formed the Pink Angels Team to help others feel safe in the park and will wear pink hoodies so they are recognisable. Visitors will be able to chat with them or even join them on their walks in a bid to put people at ease.
Carly said keeping people safe is “their passion” and said both Samantha and their brother Lee, who died after a routine foot operation, would be “proud” of what they’re doing. She said: “We lost both Samantha and Lee and I think they were so proud to be from North Tyneside and I think they would be proud of what we’re doing by keeping people safe, that’s our passion.
“I feel like people watch the news and they’re seeing all the bad things that are happening and people are getting scared. They don’t want their kids to be out but we don’t want people to stop socialising and stop going out. There are good people and if we all stick together we overcome the bad things.
“I’m quite proud to come from North Tyneside and at a time like this, everyone sticks together. We’re all just trying to make things better.”
Michael Gove proposes House of Lords sit in Sunderland during Parliament refurbishment
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.”
Tyne Bridge to Close for Several Weeks for £41m Restoration
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.”
Seaburn and Roker Beaches Named Best Beaches in the Country in 2022
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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