Tenants in Blyth Valley are being asked not to smoke when housing company workers call to carry out repairs in their homes.
The request, which is aimed at protecting staff from the effect of passive smoking, precedes the July 1 deadline for all enclosed public places and workplaces becoming smoke-free.
Blyth Valley Housing managing director Ian Conway said: "We're asking tenants not to smoke in the room where our employees are working. Most people are reasonable and if asked would stop smoking for the duration of a home visit, or smoke away from the area where our employee is working."
FIRE broke out in a two-storey semi-detached house at Moulton Place, Blakelaw, Newcastle, yesterday.
Two fire crews fought the blaze shortly after 11am. The cooker was destroyed and the kitchen damaged but no one was hurt.
ADULTS who want to learn to swim or just improve their skills can join a 10-week course in South Tyneside.
Starting this Saturday, two courses will run from noon to 12.45pm and 12.45pm to 1.30pm at Stanhope Road Primary School in South Shields. The courses cost £22.50 and are suitable for adults of all abilities. For details call Donna Checksfield on (0191) 424-7953 or 07795 251917.
Coast bus cut
A BUS that links Newcastle to the Northumberland coast is to be cut back.
The X33 service links Newcastle with Cresswell, Ellington, Bedlington and Ashington, but there will now be fewer buses on the route after a review by operator Arriva. For details call the travel line on 0871 200-2233.
SUNDERLAND is spreading a smile around children's centres across the city for National Smile Month.
Children are swapping their bottles for weaning cups and youngsters are being handed free toothbrushes and toothpaste in a scheme by Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust. The event runs from May 13 to June 12.
Wheels on fire
A WHEELIE bin fire spread to the bay window of a house yesterday morning.
The fire caused slight damage to the property in Norton Road, Mount Pleasant, Stockton. No-one was injured in the blaze which started at about 3.40am.