Tough new penalties for drivers who commit mobile phone offences must work - lives depend on it

What does it take to stop selfish motorists using mobile phones while driving?

Richards Game of Life carrot mobile, pictured left, with foil spoiler.

RICHARD ORD: I’ve a dream, a silver dream veg machine

Am I the only man whose blood runs cold when his wife pipes up: “Let’s play a family board game?”


Campaigners claim a total NHS smoking ban discriminates against infirm smokers - should we care?

If we were to report that hospitals were considering a move to limit the maximum booze allowance to four double whiskeys and a six pack of lager per patient, the question wouldn’t be ‘isn’t that an infringement of people’s right to drink’, but ‘what is a hospital doing allowing patients to drink in the first place?’

Health 1
A child protection case conference.

LEGAL EAGLE: Children can be put on register

I was in an abusive relationship for several years with a former partner. This relationship has ended but social services have become involved as my two young children, aged 8 and 6 were present during some of the arguments. My children witnessed a particular fight and told a teacher at their school. My ex-partner left our home but I have now been asked to attend a meeting with staff from the childrens’ school, a social worker and a health visitor. What kind of meeting is this and what will happen?

Sir Peter Vardy

KATIE BULMER-COOKE: Don’t be afraid to ask for help

This past week has been a week filled with education, as I’ve delivered courses and took part in a course myself too.

Dark fruits of tomato Rosella.

GARDENING: It makes economic sense to grow your own cherry tomatoes

Small and perfectly formed are the watchwords for this year’s tomatoes – all cherry varieties and in a host of bright colours, some old, some new.

Social media phone apps.

JULIE ELLIOTT: The fear of fake news impacting on political process

Fake news has become THE news in recent months – prompting heated media debates world-wide, as well as within our own parliament.

Politics 8
Right on? Civil partnership campaigners have their day in court.

RICHARD ORD: Dog dirt delivers another fine mess

Anyone who tells you throwing money at a problem is not the answer to a problem, obviously hasn’t had kids.

Opinion 1
One of the sessions organised by Sunderland Carers' Centre on behalf of All Together Better.

WEARSIDE MATTERS: Organisations get together to help people help themselves

A health and social care programme will help Sunderland look after itself more effectively by bringing together a wide range of organisations to co-ordinate self-care in the city.

LEGAL EAGLE: Drinking after a road accident

LEGAL EAGLE: Drinking after a road accident

I was a driver involved in a road traffic collision. Before the Police arrived and to help calm my nerves I drank alcohol after the accident. The Police have now arrested me for and charged me with an offence of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. Do I have a defence?

Opinion 4
A dog is treated by RSPCA staff after it was rescued from the puppy farm run by a man who was jailed for six months for animal cruelty offences.

We are tougher on litter louts than we are on those who abuse animals - it’s time to change

We like to think of ourselves as a nation of animal lovers, but the RSPCA’s cruelty statistics often tell a very different story.

Sugar in food and soft drinks can cause obesity and diabetes.

SHAPING UP: The dangers of sugar addiction

I’ve started watching a new TV series this week ... Lucky Man.

Health 2
Does anyone sell healthy takeaways?

KATIE BULMER-COOKE: Where are the healthy options?

This week, I’m kicking off the column this week with a bold statement...I’m not surprised that we are one of the fattest cities in the UK. There I said it. I used the F word...and I used it in relation to our city.

Opinion 4
The flower of salmonberry Pacific Rose. Picture by Lubera

GARDENING: Salmonberry fruit is ideal in small gardens

The oddly-named salmonberry is a brilliant way for those with small gardens to grow a decent fruit crop while not compromising on flowers and good looks.

How the auditorium will look from the corner of Dun Cow Street

Sunderland’s ‘ugly Lego air raid shelter’ arts venue is a thing of beauty - you just have to look hard enough!

Beauty, they say, comes from within.

Sunderland 14
Colne Jobcentre could close

Brexit doom-mongers should look away - there’s good news on the jobs front

Doom-mongers avert your eyes ... the UK’s jobless rate has fallen.

River Station Pikes' No10

ON THE WATERFRONT: Floating HQs for river police

This week we chart the floating stations once used by Sunderland’s river police - the River Wear Watch.

All Together Better community-based champions Margaret Overy, left, and Janet King.

WEARSIDE MATTERS: All Together Better seeks community Champions

Volunteer voices are helping to spread the word about a Sunderland service that joins up health and social care in the city, after signing up to become community-based Champions.

RICHARD ORD: Love is...never having to say ‘how much?’

RICHARD ORD: Love is...never having to say ‘how much?’

Love is … a tacit agreement not to ‘waste’ money on Valentine’s Day gifts or cards.

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