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  1. 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.”
  2. Donna gets top award for her volunteering

    A Bedlington resident recently received an accolade at a national ceremony in recognition of her many years of volunteering.
  3. 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.”
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. Kit sponsorship boost for junior team

    Bedlington FC Wolves, pictured, have been lucky enough to have their home kit sponsored by Evolution Gym from Under 8s through to Under 11s.
  7. The Tour of Britain cycle race which blazed through Northumberland in September has boosted the county’s economy by almost £4 million, an independent report has revealed. The world class cycling event saw an estimated 100,000 people lining the county’s roadsides with many flocking in from around the region to cheer on the top sporting stars, including UK favourite Mark Cavendish. Leader of Northumberland County Council, Peter Jackson said: “The financial boost to local businesses from the Tour was quite remarkable. For every pound invested, we saw over 10 times the return in the local economy and it was great to see the event so well supported within the county.” “ Not only did our County Council provide the main financial support to hold this stage of the race in Northumberland but our staff throughout the county did a brilliant job to make sure that the arrangements went so well.” The race featured 20 teams, with 120 riders from 24 different countries taking part. The event provided a huge opportunity to shine the international spotlight on the beauty of the county. International broadcasts of the race reached more than 150 countries including North America, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and reached 12 million viewers across Europe including the cycling powerhouse countries of France, Italy and Belgium. Councillor Cath Homer cabinet member with responsibility for culture, arts, leisure and tourism said: “The route showcased some of the most iconic and stunning scenery and landmarks in the county to an international audience. It put the county well and truly in the spotlight and I am sure this will inspire more people to visit the county in the future.” Stage two of the Tour, set off from Kielder and finished in Blyth passing through 28 communities and covering over 200 kms. Many shops, cafes, bars, hotels and restaurants along the route reported brisk business on the day. Jackie Sewell from Tomlinsons Cafe and Bunkhouse in Rothbury said: “The Tour of Britain was an outstanding success for local businesses, local people and visitors. “Rothbury was a shining example of bringing the community together, and the streets were packed with excited crowds. A day of events from best dressed bike painting; shop window dressing, face painting and local entertainers and local market stalls provided a real festival feel.” Economic Impact Highlights The Tour boosted the Northumberland economy by £3.891 million. Of the visitors who came to Northumberland 31 per cent stayed overnight with an average spend in the county of nearly £135 per group. Day visitors spent an average of £52 per group. An impressive 62 per cent said the day inspired them to take up cycling, or cycle more often in the future.
  8. Lucy Huddleston can still pursue her dancing dreams after having spinal surgery in Germany
  9. Northumberland County Council’s animal welfare team is issuing a caution about selling pets online after picking up a stray dog, recently sold on Gumtree, that had been roaming the streets for over a week. The lurcher dog had been sold in good faith a month ago through the online advert site Gumtree however the new owner changed their mind about the purchase and turned the dog out on the streets. The two year old female dog was microchipped so the council was able to trace the previous owners who were not in a position to have her back. She is now being cared for by the animal welfare team and will undergo a period of rehabilitation to regain condition and confidence. She has also been checked over by a vet who has given her a clean bill of health, other than a few small cuts and scrapes. Gemma Fowle, animal welfare officer said: “ We received reports that a dog had been roaming the streets and we had been trying for over a week to locate her and bring her to safety. “ She was initially in the Bedlington area but made her way over a period of days down the railway track to Newsham and then on to the Blyth Golf Club area. We have been working with a small group of volunteers who have been trying to help us locate the dog by tracking her movements. “Last night we had reports that she was by the golf club. We set out at 8.30 pm and managed to catch her just after midnight. It was a long night but we couldn’t possibly leave her out over Christmas. She was cold, very timid and hungry and obviously traumatised by her ordeal but is now in the very best of hands. The good news is that we have already had interest from several people known to us who have offered her a good home. “ I would urge caution to anyone selling pets on Facebook or Gumtree and ask them to make very careful checks, including a home check, so they are as confident as they can be that their pet will end up in a good home.” Northumberland County Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services said: “ Please think very carefully before you take on any animal. They take time, money, and commitment. If you have a pet and you are really unable to care for it then please contact your local animal rescue shelter for help in rehoming it. "
  10. Northumberland County Council’s ambitious scheme to replace more than 40,000 streetlights across the County will be completed by next summer. Northumberland County Council is entering the last few months of a three year project to replace all Northumberland’s street lights with more efficient LED lights and 16,000 columns which are reaching the end of their life in an ambitious scheme which will ultimately produce overall energy savings of around 64%, the equivalent of around £1.3m a year. To date, the scheme has seen around 32,000 new units installed, with a detailed programme for the rest of the works taking the project to completion for next summer. Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet member for Environment and Local Services, said: “These lights have made a great improvement in many areas, improving both driver and pedestrian safety, as well as delivering good levels of energy savings. “This has been an extremely ambitious project which has presented a number of technical challenges, which our teams have been working tirelessly to overcome to complete all works. “We appreciate people’s patience and support during the project so far and we are working closely with our contractor to ensure that the remaining works are carried out swiftly, with minimal disruption to the residents of Northumberland.” For further information and to view the programme of remaining works in each community, click here
  11. We challenged Northumbria University fashion students to capture the most stylish trend-setters on the streets of Newcastle. They were tasked with picking a fashionable style to focus on. Fashion communication student Emily Wilkinson decided to photograph people wearing scarves from designer to vintage in the city centre. Emily said: “I wanted to focus on how people use accessories to dress up an outfit - visual style combined with functionality and comfort.” Administrator Rebecca Cowan 18, of Whitley Bay , wore a scarf from Burberry, jacket from Missguided, a dress from Sainsbury’s and shoes from New Look . Emily said: “Rebecca used her scarf to dress up her colour-block outfit.” Student Caitlin Waddle, 19, of Bedlington , wore a scarf from ASOS , jacket from Topshop and leggings from Adidas.
  12. An event for two good causes is being organised by the family of a teenager who was the victim of a car crash in a Bedlington street.
  13. Below is a list of this week's school news from Newcastle and the North East - written by you. To get your school event or story included, simply fill out the form below, which is also at www.chroniclelive.co.uk/schoolnews Students created their own American-style diner serving up burgers and cheesecake amongst a three-course gastronomic delight for family and friends as part of their GCSE studies. The 16 hospitality students at Academy 360 in Sunderland planned the menu, prepared and cooked all the food, served guests and even designed the table decorations with Hollywood star-themed place mats, under the guidance of food technology teacher Jo Tissington. Their tasty US-influenced menu whetted diners’ appetites with starters, mains and puddings including chicken goujons, burgers, chilli con carne, cheesecake and coffee. Doubts and assumptions were put to one side as friendships were formed between the generations at an inspiring project held in Lanchester, County Durham . Karbon Homes’ Ageless Project brings together young and old people to increase understanding between the generations.
  14. Find out when your bins will be collected, when you can use libraries and leisure centres, and when council offices and services will be open this Christmas in a handy section on the Northumberland County Council website. A link from the home page will take you to quick links for bin collection days; County Hall and customer information centre opening times; times that you can phone the customer contact centre; library and leisure centre opening times; and Blyth Crematorium and register office availability. All bin collections across Northumberland will be two days later than normal during the week beginning 25th December, Monday collections on the Wednesday, Tuesday collections on the Thursday, and so on. During the week beginning 1st January 2018 all collections will be one day later than normal - Monday collections on the Tuesday, Tuesday collections on the Wednesday, etc. The day changes will affect both recycling and general rubbish bins. For more information about bins, waste and recycling in Northumberland, including a timetable of your collection days, visit www.northumberland.gov.uk/waste
  15. This round-up of Chriistmas shows - mainly traditional nativities - is super cute and covers schools from Walker to Washington, Gosforth to Gateshead and beyond. The video shows children aged five to seven at Delves Lane Primary School in Consett who performed Christmas songs in five languages to parents. Tutor Rachel Prior of Lingotot held a weekly after school club for the children for just 10 weeks. She said: "I am incredibly proud of my Lingotots." The gallery below shows some wonderful cheeky grins and faces of Christmas concentration as well as great group photos of the whole cast in these photographs submitted by schools. So much work has gone into the productions, including costumes and stage sets as well as all making time for all those essential rehearsals. And it is all very much appreciated, creating fabulous memories for participants big and small, as well as their friends and families, in the years to come. Don't miss the Chronicle's special Christmas Stars print supplement featuring as many photographs as we can from all the schools who took part, on Wednesday, December 20. The schools included here are: Adderlane Academy, Prudhoe; Appletree Gardens First School, Whitley Bay; Barmston Village Primary School, Washington; Beaconhill Primary School, Cramlington; Bedlington Station Primary School, Bedlington; Beech Hill Primary School, Walbottle; Bridgewater Community Primary School, Benwell, Newcastle; Burnhope Primary School, County Durham; Busy Bees, Durham.