Cutting edge success for campaign

The Teesside Evening Gazette has celebrated a victory in its campaign against the sale of samurai swords.

The Home Office has unveiled a consultation paper proposing a ban on the sale, import and hire of such weapons, which could be law by the end of the year. It is a change Middlesbroughbased Mothers Against Knives has been crusading for over the past five years.

Deputy editor Paul Sims said: "We embraced the campaign, we simply agreed with the philosophy of its founder Barbara Dunne, that we need to get knives off the street."

Dunne set up the group after her son Robert was murdered with a samurai sword in January 2003. There have been around 80 serious crimes involving samurai swords in England and Wales in the past four years.

• The Blackpool Gazette has also claimed a triumph, after writing to MPs and Lords beforeParliament's decision on Wednesday about where to locate a supercasino. The Department of Culture's bid to get an order passed through Parliament ratifying a recommendation to license Britain's only supercasino in Manchester, was narrowly defeated in the House of Lords.

The Gazette believes a supercasino would be a strong catalyst in Blackpool's regeneration, bringing in tourists and public sector spending.

News editor Jon Rhodes said: "In all the polls we've run in the paper, people have said they thought the casino was very important to regeneration. We believe the Department of Culture had completely dismissed the idea of siting the casino in a holiday resort and we thought this was unfair."

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