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The city slickers.

Newcastle is beating the national average for schools rated "very good" by Ofsted.

A quarter of the city's primary schools achieved the rating compared to the average of 13pc.

And 74pc of its secondary schools were judged good or very good compared with 58pc in similar cities.

Good effort

A FAILING council department has turned around its performance in a year.

Castle Morpeth's housing benefit service has been judged one of the best performers in the country.

This comes a year after it was rated the second worst.

It is the second recent success for the department which was ranked in the top 15 for council tax collection in Government figures published last month.

Bobby dazzler

PEOPLE living in Kirk Merrington, Byers Green and Middlestone Moor in County Durham are being invited to police "surgeries" being held by their local beat bobby.

PC Gary Coulson will be available on Wednesday afternoon and the week after to talk to residents and offer advice on a variety of policing issues.

He will be on hand at Kirk Merrington Primary School on Wednesday between 1.30 and 3pm and at Byers Green Primary School the following Wednesday, July 14, between 2.00 and 3.30pm.

He said: "We haven't had a police surgery for a while now due to a number of factors.

"And while some people are already familiar with me through my involvement in youth work these sessions will give others the opportunity to get in touch," said PC Coulson.

Tyne power

A SQUAD of senior police officers has been set up to deal with neighbourhood issues in North Tyneside.

Four inspectors have been given new roles in North Shields, Wallsend, Whitley Bay and Forest Hall.

They will act as Northumbria Police's link with local communities.

The shake up follows restructuring of command areas in the force.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 5, 2004
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