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Fancy a burger with haggis and whisky sauce? Wetherspoons is launching a special menu to mark Burns Night and it includes a quirky take on the traditional fare.
While haggis is always the star of the show when it comes to celebrations of Scotland’s national poet, the pub company has decided to go one better.
Burgers tend to be a universal favourite so it has come up with one which will have a uniquely Scottish flavour.
Soon North East customers will be able to tuck into a Highland Burger, which contains haggis and comes with a sauce made with that favourite Scottish tipple, whisky.
The 6oz burger will be served with chips and six beer-battered onion rings too - and, as an added treat, diners can try a special Robert Burns ale, from Scotland’s oldest working brewery, to go with it.
These will be on the menu in Newcastle from Saturday at The Quayside bar and The Mile Castle - as well as in other Wetherspoons pubs around the region - as part of week-long celebrations to mark the life and poetry of the Scottish poet.

Northumberland County Council are hosting a Holocaust memorial event as part of National Holocaust Memorial Day to remember all those lost in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

The event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day is open to all and will take place on 25th January at 1pm in the Council Chamber at County Hall, Morpeth. 

The theme for this years Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘the power of words’ and the impact and difference words can make, both for good and evil, which will be explored through music, film, readings and testimonies. The event will begin with the lighting of the Holocaust memorial candle and will conclude with the rising of the Holocaust flag and a blessing from Rabbi Lipsey.

The ceremony will be hosted by the Northumberland Youth Cabinet and Parliament and will feature a film from Sele First School and a talk from the Young Equality Stars from Prudhoe Highfield Middle School.

Veronica Jones, Northumberland County Council cabinet member for Adult Well Being and Health, said: “It is important that we continue to remember these shocking moments in history and all those that have lost their lives through unjust hatred and persecution. 

“It is through remembering these events that we can learn from them and they serve as a continuous reminder that more needs to be done to recognise prejudice and raise awareness about how to stop it.”

A new timetable of weekly  health walks has been launched by Active Northumberland offering  plenty of opportunities to explore Northumberland’s  beautiful countryside through the seasons.

The group walks are free, vary in  length - from short, intermediate and long -  and are open to everyone  They are led by friendly, trained volunteers who are on hand to provide encouragement and support and help people enjoy the many physical and mental health benefits that regular walking brings.

Walking is a low impact exercise that has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia,
stroke and some cancers.  While getting out in the fresh air with friends can help combat loneliness and depression.

David Gregory, health walk co-ordinator for Active Northumberland said:

“ Going for regular walks is one of the best and easiest things you can do for your health.  Most of us know that we should be trying to walk 10,000 steps a day but getting active can be difficult especially if you’ve had problems with your health. Yet walking could make all the difference - even if you are not feeling your best.  Some of our  walks are very gentle and last just 30 minutes to encourage new walkers and those with long term health conditions to  feel more confident in getting started.

“ It’s really easy to get involved. Just  turn up a few minutes before the start of a walk. You'll have great company, trained walk leaders and safe walking routes to get you on your way to healthier lifestyle.”

The new programme of walks runs from January - June 2018 and covers routes  in the north, west and south eastern corners of the county throughout  winter, spring and early summer.

Bill Godfrey from Blyth is 78 years old and regularly  walks with both the Blyth and Ashington Health Walk groups. Bill suffered a heart attack  last September and as a result had two stents fitted to improve his blood flow. He was back walking with both groups within weeks of his operation.

Bill said: “'The walks are a great way to make sure you get out and about, get some exercise and meet new people as well as old friends. I believe that because I have walked regularly, it has helped me recover quickly and return to the quality of life I had before my illness.”

Northumberland County Councillor Cath Homer, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure said:
“ In many ways walking is the perfect prescription. It’s good for our health, it’s a great mood-booster and a great way for people to get more exercise into their busy lives. Our group walks also offer people a great opportunity to explore their local area,  meet new people and make more friends. I would encourage anyone who may be interested to  give Health Walks a try!”

If you fancy giving it a go  -  all you need is a pair of comfortable shoes  with good grip and support for your feet. If it's a hot day  make sure you take a bottle of water and a waterproof or umbrella will come in very handy if rain is forecast.

To view a timetable of walks in your area log on to ww.activenorthumberland.org.uk/Activities.aspx and search health walks under the A-Z activity section.

Many libraries, GP surgeries and council contact centres hold a supply of printed programmes.  If you would like more information about health walks in Northumberland please contact David on  DGregory@activenorthumberland.org.uk or 07860504763  

Neighbourhood police officers in Bedlington are out on patrol and you can see where they have been.
Throughout January, officers in Bedlington are using the tracking Strava to show the public where they have been on patrol that day.
Strava is a website and app most commonly used to track athletic activity using GPS.
A different officer each day will be using the account to track their movements on patrol, posting their route once finished, as well as take photos engaging with the public.
This comes after a survey claimed more than 50% of the public hadn’t seen a uniformed officer in the last 12 months.
The Strava account can be accessed by anyone through searching for Bedlington Police on the website or alternatively you can follow their progress on their Twitter @Bedlingtonpol.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Rebecca Felton said: “This is a great way of not only engaging with the public, but also showing the community we are on patrol and have a visible presence.
“We encourage members of the public to log on and see the route and distance covered that day. You can always try to beat our step count and see if you can see us out and about.”

Residents, businesses and organisations can have their say on the North of Tyne devolution proposals at a special event in Alnwick.

The proposals, which were announced last November, offer a once in a lifetime devolution deal for Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland that includes unprecedented new powers and a £600 million investment fund.

The new investment and powers are expected to generate £1.1 billion for the local economy, create 10,000 new jobs and leverage £2.1 billion in private sector investment for the North of Tyne.

Residents and businesses have been able to give their views on the proposal via an online consultation since December after the three councils agreed to start the process of implementing the devolution deal for the North of Tyne.

The Alnwick event will give local people the chance to hear from the council on their hopes for devolution and the opportunities it provides to the area and its people. They can also give their feedback on the proposed scheme. 

Councillor leader Peter Jackson said: “This deal gives us a once in a lifetime chance to take local decisions about our future to provide more and better opportunities for everyone.

“Consultation is a key stage in this process and we hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity to get involved.

“This is an essential first step to further devolution of both funding and local decision making powers for the benefit of local people."

The event is being held on Tuesday 23 January, 2pm to 4pm, at Northumberland Hall, Market Place, Alnwick.

People interested in attending should book a place by contacting engagement@northtyneside.gov.uk.  

The online consultation will remain open until Monday 5 February at www.northoftynedevolution.com/consultation.

Hard copies of the consultation document and questionnaire are also available in over 140 libraries and customer service centres in the region. Go to www.northoftynedevolution.com/consultation/get-a-copy for details.

A pedestrian subway adjacent to the Red Lion roundabout in Bedlington is to be temporarily closed following local concerns about its condition and the anti - social behaviour that is taking place within it.  

Pedestrians will continue to be able to cross the road safely using an alternative route via the footpath and zebra crossings on Choppington Lane.

The subway from Glebe Road provides access under the A1068, Choppington Lane, but suffers from flooding and the collection of debris.  Access is poor - either via steps or a steep ramp -  and concerns have been raised about anti-social behaviour and public safety as it is an area where youths congregate.

The subway closure has been requested by County Councillor Russ Wallace and West Bedlington Town Council are also supporting the proposal.  A Temporary Traffic Regulation Order relating to its closure will come into effect on 5th February 2018, and will be in place for a period of 18 months.  During the period of the closure the impact will be monitored.

Northumberland County Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment and local services, said:  “Concerns about the subway have been raised with us by Councillor Wallace and West Bedlington Town Council.  We have listened to what they have told us and will be working closely with them to investigate possible improvements and solutions for both pedestrians and vehicles within the area.”


Adults across Northumberland are being offered the chance to improve their job prospects or train in a new discipline, thanks to Northumberland County Council’s Learning and Skills Service.

A series of new courses have been announced in the recently published Learning and Skills Prospectus, covering skills based classes, job-related training, apprenticeships and employability improvement.

The prospectus will be delivered to households across Northumberland over the coming weeks and includes details of over 320 courses which will be held in Northumberland County Council's Adult Learning Centres across the county.

Northumberland County Councillor Wayne Daley, cabinet member with responsibility for adult learning said:

“Learning is a never ending journey, everyone is unique so no matter where you are starting from we can help.   If the New Year means a  new start, getting trained for your dream job or learning a skill then please have a look through our prospectus. Our programme offers a wide range of high quality adult learning courses that can lead to recognised qualifications and improve people's confidence and skills while also providing a great way to meet new people.”

From beginners to seasoned students, young mums to jobseekers or retirees the  programme of courses is wide and varied. This year new courses have been introduced in digital skills, beauty, creative writing, step into construction (site and labourer based training programme) and FREE taster workshops in science related subjects such as muscles, bones & fitness and DNA & genetics.

The specialist teams at Learning and Skills offer help and support to all learners but particularly welcome the chance to support those people with special needs, learning difficulties, or those who just need an extra boost to help them through.

To download a copy of the prospectus  visit www.northumberland.gov.uk/adultlearning


Despicable thief Michael Daley left a pensioner feeling “violated” after sneaking into her home and stealing from her in a disgraceful abuse of trust.
Daley took advantage of the fact he had family members living at the same assisted living complex as the victim.
A court heard he let himself into the flat in Bedlington, Northumberland, and stole £200 from her handbag to pay off drug debts.
The victim, who lives with her husband, was left feeling vulnerable and insecure and has since installed a security camera for peace of mind.
Now Daley, 22, who admitted burglary, has been given a suspended prison sentence at Newcastle Crown Court.
Recorder Jonathan Sandiford told him: “This was a sneak-in burglary at a home that, as you well knew, was assisted living for older people, designed to allow them to live independently as far as possible and to give them a degree of security.