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Found 148 results

  1. Bot

    New pothole scheme for local areas

    A new pilot scheme is being introduced to give local areas more say on road improvements. Extra funding of £500,000 has been allocated for a new Northumberland Local Pothole Fund, on top of the £20m already being spent county-wide through this year’s Local Transport Plan capital programme. The five Local Area Councils are each being allocated £100,000, with members of each Area Council invited to submit suggestions on their priorities for permanent repair of key areas suffering from repeat pothole failure or localised drainage issues. The money is being allocated from some of the additional funding from central Government through their National Productivity Investment Fund to help local authorities improve their highway infrastructure. The deadline for the first round of submissions is mid August, and once received, the identified locations will be inspected and assessed to identify the work needed and the potential cost. At this first stage councillors can submit a maximum of three locations per ward for consideration. It is intended that two further rounds of submissions will be invited later in the year, depending on expenditure as repairs progress. Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “Keeping our 3,000 miles of roads in good condition is a priority for us and this scheme is an excellent way for local areas to identify key locations for improvement. “Local councillors know their own roads extremely well and where the issues are, and we are committed to more decision making at a local level through our new Local Area Councils. “While we expect works will be carried out at the majority of locations put forward, our Area Managers will need to consider whether the scale and cost of the repair is appropriate for funding from this programme “It could be the location is already earmarked for other planned maintenance works, or would be better referred for consideration for repair through other larger capital maintenance programmes. “Either way the pilot scheme will ensure areas of concern are being flagged at both a county and local level and long-standing issues with potholes and road surfaces corrected in a timely manner.” A report on the pilot scheme will be presented to Local Area Councils next week.
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    Council unleashes green dog walkers

    A new initiative has been launched in Northumberland to stop residents and visitors falling foul of their most loyal friends. Northumberland County Council is introducing the Green Dog Walkers scheme, a community-led programme to reduce dog fouling and promote responsible dog ownership across the county. Dog walkers are now being encouraged to join up by signing the Green Dog Walker pledge. Those signing the pledge agree to always clean up after their dog and put the bag in a bin and to use a friendly approach to encourage other dog walkers to do the same. Northumberland County Council will provide a Green Dog Walkers support kit to local community groups and individuals who want to get involved. Those that sign up will be sent a green dog walkers armband to wear when walking their dog to help draw attention to the scheme. They will also be sent green doggy bags and pledge leaflets. Green Dog Walking is intended to be a friendly and non-confrontational approach to changing attitudes to the problem of dog fouling. It will complement other existing council approaches being delivered across the county including issuing fines when irresponsible dog owners are caught allowing their dogs to foul without picking up after them and also through educational initiatives promoting responsible dog ownership. Northumberland County Councillor, Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment and local services said: " Failing to clean up after your dog is unacceptable. Dog fouling is one of our top environmental priorities and one of the issues most commonly raised with us by residents. Not only is it unpleasant but dog dirt can carry serious diseases which can cause blindness and liver disorders, and children are the most susceptible. “The council’s dog wardens work hard to educate the public on responsible dog ownership and our commitment to effective enforcement will continue as before with patrols in problem areas across Northumberland “ Green Dog Walkers will have the power to add to their efforts and change attitudes about dog fouling in Northumberland in a positive and friendly way.” Local ward member for Hexham East, Northumberland County Councillor Cath Homer said : “ I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved and sign the pledge, so we can work together to make a real difference and improve the environment for everyone in Northumberland.” If you are interested in becoming a Green Dog Walker, please email [email protected], or for further information about the scheme you can visit the council’s website www.northumberland.gov.uk/greendogwalkers
  3. A new thresholds document has been launched today, 3rd July 2017, by Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board, providing guidance to assist professionals in identifying the most appropriate level of intervention and support. This new guidance, helps to clarify for everyone who works with children, the shared agreement on thresholds which have been developed by Northumberland County Council and colleagues on the multi agency Northumberland Local Safeguarding Children Board. The importance of providing help to families at the earliest possible opportunity remains imperative for all professionals who work with vulnerable young people and their families. When concerns become more complex, or where early identification and intervention do not appear to assist in reducing risk, it becomes increasingly important that professionals are able to utilise guidance on what might be the most appropriate “next step”. A new ‘Unborn Thresholds’ document has also been developed which focuses on the specific needs of unborn babies and their families. The new documents will be be used primarily as a helpful indicator of the types of interventions that are felt to be the most appropriate for families. To help support organisations, a large A2 poster of the thresholds document has been designed for organisations to put up in staff areas for easy reference, a webinar has been produced explaining the context and purpose of the document, and case studies have been produced for training exercises with staff to facilitate their understanding of how the documents should be used. Wayne Daley, Northumberland County Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “Providing early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life. “The new thresholds documents will help us and our colleagues in other organisations to identify issues and provide help at the earliest possible opportunity .” Paula Mead, Independent Chair of the multi-agency Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board said: “It is really important for children, young people and their families, that agencies provide them with the right level of support as early as possible. “This document is a tool that helps front-line staff to identify the most appropriate level of intervention and support that children and families need. ” Further information can be found on the Northumberland County Council website www.northumberland.gov.uk/thresholds
  4. Northumbria Police and Northumberland County Council are supporting the Young Drivers Event on Tuesday, 4 July, in Hexham. The event, which is to be held at Hexham Mart, Tyne Green, has been arranged jointly by Fire and Rescue, Police and Northumberland Community Safety and follows a similar event in Alnwick earlier this month. The event is to start at 6pm and runs through until 9pm several emergency services will be in attendance and will provide information and live demonstrations to drivers to highlight key issues and concerns on our roads. It's aimed at young people aged 14-24 but all are welcome to join. The evening begins with an opportunity to view modified cars, speak to medics, Fire and Rescue, paramedics, driving instructors, as well as Northumberland Blood Bike volunteers. You'll also hear from Northumbria's specialist Op Dragoon police, a dedicated team targeting road safety. ROSPA advanced motoring instructors will be on hand to give you a free driving assessment in your own car and a local mechanic will be available to carry out free vehicle checks. Northumbria Police Inspector, Pam Bridges said, “This is a great chance for young people who are already driving or thinking about learning to drive to really understand road safety. You'll see what's involved in a live extraction from a vehicle that's been in a mock accident and get hands-on with other live demonstrations, including a simulated drive with 'beer goggles' to see how dangerous drink driving can really be. For just a few hours of your time, you could learn something that could one day make a big difference or even save your life." Councillor John Riddle, Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing, Public Protection and Fire, said: 'The Young Driver Safety events have a great benefit to drivers and the local community. The events provide a range of information and demonstrations regarding safe driving and provide the attendees with information that they can take away and put into use when on our roads, giving them further education into safe driving with benefits for everyone." The event also provides the opportunity for drivers to have free assessed drives in their own car by ROSPA advanced motoring instructors along with free vehicle examinations carried out by a local mechanic.
  5. Northumberland Archives at Woodhorn has acquired a collection which has been independently assessed as ‘probably the most important archive of Northumbrian social history’ that was still in private hands. The collection of papers from Dickson, Archer & Thorp Solicitors of Alnwick charts the history of the 200 year old practice from its establishment in the late 18th century until its closure and the death of the last managing partner in 2003. The collection has been purchased by Northumberland County Council’s Archives team at Woodhorn thanks to a series of grants, including from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF); the Arts Council England and V&A Purchase Grant Fund; Friends of the National Libraries; and the Lord Crewe Trustees, with the total purchase cost £150,000. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, a HLF grant of £77,400 was awarded to assist with the purchase of the collection and it will also allow Northumberland Archives to engage a volunteer co-ordinator who will work with a team of volunteers to clean, package and undertake basic listing of the collection. The practice had a wide client base dealing with probate cases from families of relatively modest means to handling the business of many county families including that of the Duke of Northumberland. Practice partners were also involved in governance both county-wide and more locally. The collection comprises in excess of 400 archive boxes or more than eight cubic metres of records. Cllr Cath Homer, cabinet member for culture, arts and leisure at Northumberland County Council said: “This is a fantastic acquisition for Northumberland Archives. Once the content has been sorted and listed it will be an amazing resource for those studying family history or local history and also people interested in old wills or in criminal cases. It will give an incredible insight into the history of Alnwick and the wider community. Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, added: “We’re delighted that National Lottery players’ money can support Northumberland Archives to acquire this significant record of local history. The project will not only secure the collection’s future, but also share this heritage with the community through an exhibition and exciting new volunteering opportunities.” Northumberland County Council has recently taken over management of the county’s archive and modern records service in a move that will ensure the sustainability of the collections for the people of Northumberland and further afield. The council is committed to investment in preserving its historical records, and plans are already being developed to increase public access to the collections both online and through outreach programmes. The services also play a key role in strengthening the Council's overall records management, ensuring that in this digital age, the local authority is able to control and govern the vast amount of information it owns.
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    Help stop the spread of measles

    Northumberland County Council is reminding parents of the importance of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine, as a very effective way to prevent infection and stop measles from spreading. Measles is caused by a virus which can spread quickly through coughing and sneezing, person-to-person contact, or by touching a contaminated surface. The illness is highly infectious and can cause a rash and high fever. It can also cause serious health complications such as lung and brain infections, especially in babies under a year, teenagers and adults. There are currently large outbreaks of measles across some areas of Europe and with the summer holidays approaching and increasing travel there is a risk of measles being brought back to the UK by people who have not been completely vaccinated. In the last year, there have also been measles cases linked to music festivals and other large public events, mainly in teenagers and young adults. Elizabeth Morgan, Interim Public Health Director, said: “Fortunately, the MMR vaccine is a very effective way to prevent infection and stop measles from spreading to people who can't have the vaccine. Whatever your age, if you think you or your children may not have received two doses of the MMR vaccine, or you are unsure, speak to your GP - it's never too late to have the vaccine and measles can still be serious in adults. “ Northumberland County Councillor Veronica Jones, cabinet member for Adult Care and Public Health, said: “We would encourage all parents to have their children vaccinated against measles. It is important that we raise awareness of health issues and the danger of measles, so parents can make an informed choice about the vaccine.” Dr Alistair Blair, a GP in Morpeth and Clinical Chair at NHS Northumberland CCG, said: “Measles is highly infectious and children and adults who haven’t been vaccinated or had the infection before are at risk if measles is circulating. “There is no treatment for measles but it can be prevented by the MMR vaccine and two doses are required to ensure the best protection. “If anyone has missed out on MMR in the past it’s always possible to catch-up as the vaccine can be given at any age. Just contact your local GP.”
  7. Landowners who may be experiencing problems with unauthorised encampments are encouraged to call on the expertise of officers at Northumberland County Council. At this time of year the county sees an increase in the number of unauthorised traveller and non-traveller sites being established on private land. For a fixed-negotiation charge Northumberland County Council is now offering support to landowners through its fully rounded, professional service, which would ensure a quick resolution and smooth move-on of the group from the site. The council has a dedicated Liaison Officer, who works with traveller and non-traveller communities, who can be called upon to begin negotiations with the group, or take up any welfare concerns. A landowner could also be given support from the council’s legal and public protection teams, should court action be required to remove the encampment. John Riddle, Cabinet member for Planning, Housing and Resilience at the council, said: “Where a landowner may not want to conduct negotiations with an unauthorised encampment themselves, they can approach us to help with the move-on process. “Our officers have years of experience and knowledge of working with traveller groups, and often know the families who travel through the county on a regular basis. “Landowners are encouraged to take advantage of this expertise to ensure the smooth removal of a group from their land. “In most cases there are no issues with these types of encampments, but where a landowner feels they need some extra support the council can help.” A fee of £200 would be levied to a landowner for officer time in visiting and managing a move-on of the encampment, this would increase to £400 if court preparation papers or attendance at court by an officer, was required. Any further costs, such as bailiff costs or exceptional court costs would be agreed with the landowner first.
  8. Archaeologists working for the National Lottery funded Peregrini Lindisfarne Community Archaeology project have made exciting new discoveries which may well have turned a long held belief about the Holy Island of Lindisfarne on its head. The remote and beautiful island holds a special place in history. Known as the ‘Cradle of Christianity’ in the North East, it was here that St Aidan established a monastery in AD635 and set out to convert the pagan Northumbrians. The monastery developed into an international centre of learning and craftsmanship and it was during this Golden Age of Northumbria that exquisite items such as the Lindisfarne Gospels were produced. All this came to a crashing end with the arrival of the Vikings in the late 8th Century. Many in academic and ecclesiastical circles have long maintained that the close linear arrangement of the the Parish Church of St Marys with the Priory church is evidence of the original locations of the two Anglo-Saxon churches on Holy Island. This close linear relation is evidenced at other early Northumbrian monasteries such as Hexham and Jarrow. Until this summer the assumption has been that the original Anglo-Saxon churches stood down in the shelter a high rocky ridge known as of the Heugh in the area now occupied by the Parish Church and the Priory. But excavations during the last four weeks up on the Heugh suggest a very different configuration. The excavation has revealed the stone foundations of a small rectangular building with a chancel type configuration at the east end. The crude and unmortared walls, very simple window arches and positioning of a possible alter stone all suggest an early date which has led to speculation that this is a church building which could date from the 7th century. The Venerable Bede, writing in c.731, records that St Aidan arrived in Northumbria from St. Columba’s monastery on Iona in 635AD at the request of King Oswald and was gifted the Holy Island of Lindisfarne to establish his own monastery. The parallels between the islands of Iona and Lindisfarne are remarkable and it is easy to understand how this was a suitable location for Aidan to evangelise and convert the Northumbrians, especially given the close visual relationship between the island and the royal court of Oswald at Bamburgh. Contemporary historical sources refer to at least two churches on Lindisfarne, a small timber one built by Aidan and later one built by Finian which was dedicated to St. Peter. Richard Carlton, the director of The Archaeological Practice running the community archaeology dig on behalf of the Peregrini Lindisfarne HLF Landscape Partnership Scheme said: “This second year of investigation on the Heugh has exceeded all my expectation. And with work still to be done to revisit the watch tower structure identified last year and work in the Lantern Chapel building there is potential for the Heugh to yield more of its secrets.” Excavations last year further west on the Heugh revealed a massive foundation wall that archaeologist are now speculating is a foundation for a ‘watch tower’. The Venerable Bede, in his ‘Life of St. Cuthbert’, made reference to a signal from Inner Farne being seen from the watch tower on Holy Island to mark the death of St Cuthbert. Sara Rushton, Conservation Manager at Northumberland County Council, said: “This latest discovery of a potential church building on the Heugh cements Holy Island as one of the most significant early medieval sites in Britain. It is incredible to think that we have uncovered two very significant buildings associated with the early Christian foundation of the priory that provide tangible links to both St. Aidan and St. Cuthbert.” The monastic tradition on Iona, where Aidan came from, was much more dispersed than the patterns that developed at Hexham and Jarrow. The Irish monastic tradition was for small chapels and ‘turas’ type buildings defining the monastic precinct. The scatter configuration of buildings on Heugh certainly seems to have parallels with Iona where there were at least six chapels and this new discovery could be one of a number of chapels within the monastic complex. In addition the close visual relation between the buildings on the Heugh and the castle at Bamburgh, which the priory does not have, is significant and supports the early date. The Peregrini Lindisfarne project is a Landscape Partnership Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) thanks to National Lottery players and has been developed to conserve, enhance and celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of Holy Island and the wider shoreside landscape. The project is hosted by Northumberland County Council’s planning department. Cllr John Riddle, portfolio holder for planning at the council said: “Community participation is at the heart of the Peregrini project and this Community Archaeology has been a brilliant opportunity for people to get hands-on experience of absolutely fantastic archaeology which illustrates how wonderful the cultural heritage of our beautiful county is.” Ivor Crowther, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “The North East is full of incredible heritage and this find shows that there is still so many stories left to discover. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we’re delighted to support this project which is putting communities at the heart of celebrating the history of their landscape and creating strong partnerships to ensure its bright future.”
  9. Northumberland County Council is about to embark on a major refurbishment within Hexham’s historic Queen’s Hall to create a fantastic new facility that will provide an integrated library, customer and visitor information centre all under one roof. The investment scheme will breathe new life into the library area which has not had any major refurbishment work done to it for over 35 years. It has been designed taking customer needs into account and will create a convenient, modern and accessible service area for residents and visitors. Unfortunately while this work is taking place there will be some brief disruption to the library and tourist information services. These services will be temporarily relocated into the former Tourist Information Centre in the Wentworth Car Park for a twelve week period. A range of normal tourism and library services will continue to be provided here including four public access computers. The possibility of locating additional public computers into the foyer of the Wentworth Leisure Centre is also being explored. To allow for the organisation of this move the library will close at the Queen’s Hall on Saturday 1 July and reopen at Wentworth on Monday 17th July. Customers are currently being informed of the arrangements through social media, posters, fliers and via the website. Alison Elsdon, Director of Corporate Resources at Northumberland County Council said: “ It is great news that part of this wonderful historic building is to be given a new lease of life and the town will receive enhanced, joined up local services. “ We appreciate there will be some disruption to these services while the work is taking place and we are working hard to minimise the impact. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused, but I hope residents bear with us. “ Families can be reassured that the children’s Summer Reading Challenge will go ahead as planned and we are making arrangements to hold summer library activities in Wentworth Leisure Centre.” When the library is closed for two weeks, members will be able to renew or reserve books, 24/7 on the library website www.mylibrary.co.uk or through the library customer service line on 01670 620250. There will also be a book drop-off point at the Queen’s Hall. Corbridge TIC and Library is open six days a week, Monday - Saturday 10am - 4.30pm (closed 1-1.30pm) for those who wish to and are able to travel. A tourist information leaflet point will also be present in the foyer of the Queen’s Hall and staff will also be on hand to answer any enquiries that come in on the Hexham Tourist Information phone line. “ We are reviewing the plans for the layout of the new library with the aim of giving the best level of service to our customers. No definitive decisions have been made regarding the location of the local history collection.” added Cath Homer.
  10. Northumberland County Council has announced steps to take forward a project that will secure new schools and leisure for Ponteland. The council has carried out a review of previous plans, aimed at to ensuring that investment will provide the best long-term solution for students and the local community. The original outline planning application for the construction of a new Ponteland High and primary school, alongside a new leisure centre, has been reviewed and the County Council is working hard to address concerns raised by residents. The four Ponteland County Councillors asked officers to look at all possible options in detail that will not only provide new schools, but also provide for the long-term interests of the whole community. In order to facilitate the design changes, Northumberland County Council is to withdraw the outline planning application originally submitted in December 2016. A detailed planning application will now be developed and will be brought forward as soon as possible. The submission of a detailed application will also ensure that educational provision for the students on roll at the schools is secured by enabling the construction of the buildings to take place along the shortest achievable timescale. This will mean any requirement to provide temporary accommodation at the school sites will be kept to a minimum Cllr Wayne Daley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Northumberland County Council said: “While we remain committed to the investment of £57m into local education and leisure in Ponteland, we have to be sure that this is going to deliver the best possible educational environment for pupils across Northumberland. “We are working hard to ensure we address all of the of concerns raised by parents and residents in Ponteland to achieve the best possible educational outcome for the young people there.”
  11. Extra payment options for post-16 transport are being introduced as the new administration looks to make the charge easier for households to manage. The county council is now looking to carry out a comprehensive review of the policy which sees over 100 students in the county having to pay an annual sum of £600 for travel organised by the authority, and other Post 16 students who are able to use public transport having to pay for their own travel' While it was not possible for the administration to bring in any changes to its Post 16 Transport Policy ahead of the statutory deadline for the 2017/18 school year, it has implemented a new payment system which allows families to spread payments more evenly. Over the past year 127 students paid for post 16 transport. Of these 25 paid the fee as a lump sum and 102 choose to pay in instalments. Previously the £600 charge could be paid as a lump sum or as a payment of £200 followed by eight monthly payments by direct debit of £50. In a bid to help ease household budgeting, students will now be offered a third payment method from September 2017 - eight payments of £75 via direct debit. Deputy Council Leader Wayne Daley, who is also Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “As a council we believe the current post 16 travel charges are unfair and we are committed to overhauling this policy. “While statutory deadlines meant we couldn’t make any major changes for the coming school year we were keen to find a way of offering increased flexibility for those students and families who have to pay the charges. “Many people find it easier to spread bills evenly in smaller amounts rather than pay lump-sums or larger initial instalments. “We hope this new system will make things a little easier for some households while we carry out a root and branch review of the whole policy.” The £600 travel charge for students attending their nearest educational establishments where public transport is not available was introduced by the previous council administration.
  12. At its meeting on 5th July Northumberland County Council will consider a motion to withdraw the Northumberland Local Plan Core Strategy from Government and to carry out a review of some aspects of the document. Members of the council’s conservative group have submitted the motion which is also asking officers to undertake a full review of the housing and employment numbers, and strategic land use allocations, for the plan period up to 2031. In the motion members stress their support for economic and housing growth to support communities, as well as their commitment to the ambitions of the North East LEP strategic economic plan and North of Tyne devolution agenda. They question however whether the housing numbers contained within the current core strategy are required to meet these ambitions, and wish to undertake a review and any required public consultation as soon as possible. The proposed level of new housing in the County, at 24,320 by 2031 plus the inclusion of up to an additional 2,000 houses at Dissington Garden Village over and above objectively assessed need, are seen as significant issues. In response to the motion a report to full council by Geoff Paul, the council’s director of planning and economy, sets out the key issues raised by the motion, and what the process for withdrawing the Core Strategy would be. It highlights an opportunity to review the housing numbers required for Northumberland to deliver sustainable economic and housing growth through a recent refresh of the North East Strategic Economic Plan, expected revisions to national planning policy and recent and anticipated national publications on housing and population projections. Coun Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “Our group has long questioned some of the assumptions which were used by the previous council in drawing up the Core Strategy. “Information currently available, and anticipated for release by the Government later this year, suggests to us that the requirement for housing in our county may very well not be as high as has been proposed previously. We want to use this information from Government and take into full account the latest regional plan in the form of the NE Strategic Economic Plan, to review the need to build on acres of Green Belt land. “The new council which we are leading is determined to support and protect our communities and to plan for a sustainable and prosperous future for our county and the wider region and we therefore wanted to propose a review at the first opportunity. “I can promise that the most up-to-date available evidence will inform our review and that the new plan for our county will be produced as soon as possible." Cllr John Riddle, cabinet member for planning, housing and resilience at Northumberland County Council added: “We have listened carefully to our communities and want to implement this review of the core strategy to ensure that it is truly fit to address the future housing and economic needs of Northumberland, whilst respecting the environment and protecting our beautiful county.” Advice has been sought from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the report states that a local planning authority can withdraw a submitted plan at any time prior to adoption, at which point it would publish a statement about this and send notification to consultation bodies. It would also need to determine at which stage in the plan-making process it would need to go back to in order to make any necessary changes, and discussions are currently taking place with DCLG in an attempt to arrange a Ministerial visit to speak to the council leadership about the potential scenarios relating to the strategy. Members have said that they would wish the work to be done as quickly as possible, so that the strategy can be re-submitted to Government as soon as is practicable. Risks raised within the council report include the possibility of Government intervention in preparation of the plan due to the delayed timescale, and also of speculative or unplanned development in the county whilst changes are made to the plan. There could also be the increased likelihood of planning appeals where the council has used the draft plan to resist development proposals. Some current applications may also require re-consideration by committee. The full council will consider the motion and the report at its meeting at 3pm on Wednesday 5th July in County Hall, Morpeth. More about the Core Strategy The Northumberland Local Plan Core Strategy sets out the proposed strategic planning policies of the council to guide future development and planning decisions in Northumberland up to 2031. In line with national planning policy, the council must provide a positive planning policy framework that supports and grows the economy. One of the main premises of the currently submitted plan is that without positive policy intervention Northumberland will not have the working age population to support delivery of the Council’s Economic Strategy, or the ambitions of the North East LEP Strategic Economic Plan. A draft plan was submitted to Government on 7th April 2017 for independent examination.
  13. Northumberland County Council has made a £1.75 million commitment to providing great opportunities for young people, with a recruitment drive for 160 apprentices. The ‘We’re Making it work’ recruitment campaign has started for the county council’s Apprenticeship Programme, which offers apprenticeships from entry level to Degree level. Over the last five years the council has taken on more than 1000 apprentices, with schools in the county taking on over 200. Apprenticeship Coordinators will be supporting new apprentices, providing mentoring and advice to assist them through the learning process, along with a dedicated lecturing team. Daljit Lally, Interim Chief Executive of Northumberland County Council, said: “We support hundreds of apprentices each year and they are incredibly valuable to the council and to businesses across Northumberland. “Our current recruitment drive will see us take on 160 new apprentices this year, with the commitment that by 2020 we will be supporting up to 400.” Wayne Daley, Northumberland County Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “Apprenticeships are an excellent option for all ages. They provide people with the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge while working towards achieving nationally recognised qualifications. “They aren’t just for young people either - they also suit adults who may be out of work or looking for a career change. “There are some great opportunities across the county for people to gain the skills, and experience necessary to enter the world of employment.” Over the last two weeks an apprentice recruitment roadshow has taken place across the county, giving people the chance to go along for a chat, to ask questions and register interest in becoming an apprentice - 230 people have signed up so far. There is still time to go along - the Roadshow will be at Sanderson Arcade in Morpeth on the 27, and 28 June, and at the entrance of Willowburn sports centre in Alnwick on the 29 and 30 June. For information about apprenticeships with Northumberland County Council go to http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Education/Learning/Apprentice.aspx or email: [email protected]
  14. Northumberland County Council’s Trading Standards service is urging owners of Hotpoint fridge-freezers to check their model numbers for safety reasons after one was identified as the initial cause of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London. Residents who believe they may own a Hotpoint fridge freezer model FF175BP (white) or FF175BG (graphite), should call Whirlpool Corporation’s freephone hotline on 0800 316 3826 or visit www.hotpointservice.co.uk/fridgefreezer to register their details for further updates. The council’s trading standards service is encouraging residents to follow this guidance as soon as possible, to help keep themselves, their family and property safe from harm. Hotpoint manufactured these units between 2006 and 2009. It has not been subject to a product recall but current testing by technical experts to establish the cause of the fault, will establish whether any further action is required. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has ordered an immediate examination of the unit but has added there is “ no specific reason” for people with one of these fridge-freezers to switch them off until a full investigation is carried out. Hotpoint is expected to give customers further updates about what action it will take, and customers are advised to follow standard safety advice by not overloading plugs, ensuring sockets are not damaged, and checking cables and leads are in good condition. Paul Hedley, Chief Fire Officer with Northumberland Fire And rescue Service said: “ The safety of Northumberland’s residents is our priority. The device is currently being subject to immediate and rigorous testing to establish the cause of the fire. We urge residents with this model of fridge freezer to log their details promptly so if there is a product recall, this can be done swiftly.” Northumberland County Councillor John Riddle, Cabinet Member with responsibility for public protection added: “Sadly fires in the home can and do happen and smoke, the silent killer, is responsible for over half of all deaths in house fires. “ One of the easiest way to protect your home and family is by installing smoke alarms on every level of your home and making regular checks to ensure they are all in working order. “ With a simple push of the test button and you can check both the power supply and the detection mechanism; it should be carried out as a vital part of any household routine. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.” People with concerns about product safety can also call the Citizens Advice consumer service line on 03454 04 05 06 or the Government helpline on 0300 123 1016. The Government website on product recalls, which will be updated should further action on the product be necessary, can be found at www.gov.uk/productrecall.
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    County Council ready to respond

    Northumberland County Council is providing reassurance to residents that it is fully prepared to respond should a major incident occur within the county. The council regularly carries out reviews of the emergency procedures that are put into action for major events such as serious flooding, severe winter weather and other incidents. Cllr Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council said: “Following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire, and aftermath, the council is acutely aware of the importance of a swift and robust response to such an incident from the local authority. “We would like to reassure residents and communities that Northumberland County Council has detailed plans in place to respond to major incidents, which are regularly tested. “Over the last week we have been looking at a number of issues with the aim of providing reassurance that suitable procedures are in place and that we have confidence in our processes.” The council regularly reviews and updates its plans, including how it works with partner agencies to resolve emergency issues and restore normality as soon as is possible. To test arrangements, the council undertakes exercises and trains for these scenarios - including planning how people would be rehoused if their homes were lost or damaged. This planning ensures the council is ready to act when such a situation arises, as was the case early in December 2015 when Storm Desmond hit the region with devastating effect. The county council’s emergency severe weather response plans were activated and a multi-agency control room was established at Northumbria Fire & Rescue Service’s HQ at West Hartford, where Police, Fire and Rescue, Environment Agency and County Council staff converged to put in place a co-ordinated response to the incident. Departments across the council have been working proactively following the Grenfell Tower fire, to provide reassurance that safety procedures are in place and that there is every confidence in processes. Whilst Northumberland does not have any residential tower blocks of the type involved in the Grenfell Tower tragedy, there are residential low rise premises of up to four storeys. There are also premises within Northumberland which are fitted with external cladding and the council is working to establish the type and make of those panels. As part of a wide range of measures, the county council will also be liaising with external partners and contacting premises across the county to provide an offer of support, advice and guidance on fire safety matters and asking that they take steps to satisfy themselves that there are no safety concerns for the premises for which they are responsible.
  16. Scores of the county’s communities are to get a grandstand view of some of the world’s top cyclists after route details of the UK’s largest and most prestigious cycle race were revealed. The Ovo Energy Tour of Britain will travel through the heart of Northumberland on Monday 4 September, passing through 26 communities and covering 117 miles. The race will start in Kielder Water & Forest Park at 10.15am and head out through Bellingham and Otterburn before heading towards the coast via Elsdon, Rothbury, Alnwick, Eglingham, Chatton, Belford and Bamburgh. It will then head down the stunning Northumberland coastline passing through the communities of Seahouses, Beadnell, Embleton, Longhoughton, Lesbury, Hipsburn Warkworth and Amble. The race will then travel through Widdrington, Widdrington Station, Longhirst, Ulgham, Morpeth, Guide Post Choppington and Bedlington before passing through the finish line in Blyth to take in Seaton Sluice and Seaton Delaval before culminating in an exciting finish in Blyth, scheduled for around 3.30pm. This will give spectators at the finish line in Blyth the chance to see the riders pass twice. The Northumberland stage of the race will also incorporate three intermediate Eisberg Sprint sections and three SKODA King of the Mountain hill climbs which are expected to prove particularly popular with spectators. The Eisberg Sprints will take place at Seahouses, Warkworth and Seaton Delaval and offer fans the chance to see riders sprinting for points and bonus seconds. Riders will also tackle three categorised SKODA King of the Mountains climbs at Elsdon, Rothbury and Alnwick, gathering points for the best climber’s jersey. Northumberland County Council has worked with race organisers Sweetspot, finish sponsors Blyth Town Council and start sponsors Northumbrian Water to bring the Tour back to the county. It was last here in 2015. Councillor Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “It’s going to be a really exciting day for spectators as the cyclists race through the county’s towns, villages and hamlets and we will be keeping local residents fully informed of the race details as plans progress. “ The race will travel through some fantastic scenery and pass iconic landmarks including Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle along its route. The Tour is to be broadcast in over 120 countries and we look forward to providing a warm welcome to the competitors and supporters and showcasing our beautiful county and communities to an huge global audience.” In 2015, The Tour of Britain swept through the county creating a wave of excitement as some of the world’s top cyclists including Sir Bradley Wiggins cycled through our communities. Residents and businesses dressed the route in the distinctive red and gold colours of the Northumberland flag and thousands of spectators lined the route to cheer on the cyclists and give them a fantastic welcome. This year, the eight stage race will begin in Edinburgh on Sunday 3 September and finish in Cardiff in Wales on Sunday 10 September. Northumberland is hosting stage two on Monday September 4, after which the pro-cyclists will re-start in North Lincolnshire on Tuesday 5 September. Subsequent stages will take the race to the Cotswolds, the Malvern Hills and The Wye Valley. The route through the county was announced at the Northumberland School Games Festivals at Cramlington Learning Village where over 1,000 young people were competing to become county champions in a range of sports. Northumberland County Councillor, Cath Homer, Cabinet Member for Culture, Arts and Leisure said: “It is fantastic that we were able to announce the detailed route of the Tour of Britain at the Northumberland School Games. It would be great if the race inspires more people to get on their bikes and explore our beautiful county.” “ Cycling is a sport that is relatively cheap and accessible and we have some excellent cycling routes here in the county, including Sustrans Route 68 and the Coast and Castles.” Mayor of Blyth Town Council, John Potts said: “In 2015 when the cycle race came to Blyth the town was buzzing with excitement. The Town Council supported the event and the velodrome in the market place was very popular with children and adults alike. We will be supporting the event again this year and hope the whole Town gets involved in decorating the streets to show Blyth at its best. This international event generates a huge amount of publicity which can only be of benefit to all of us.” David Hall, Head of Leisure, Strategy and Transformation at Northumbrian Water said: “Northumbrian Water works hard to support events that benefit the economy of the North East and as the Tour of Britain passes through what we consider one of the best cycling counties in the UK, it will help to boost regional tourism and showcase Northumberland to the rest of the world. “As a business, we have a long association with cycling, both in terms of supporting races and providing opportunities for leisure cycling at our sites and we’re delighted to be able to help bring this elite sporting event right here to our region.” Mick Bennett, Race Director of the Ovo Energy Tour of Britain said: “We are delighted to be returning to Northumberland this September. Two years ago the reception that the county gave the race was outstanding, so we are looking forward to more of the same this September. To see the routes decorated in the county’s colours of red and yellow was fantastic, and with this year’s Stage Two route reaching new parts of northumberland, we are sure to see even more of this fantastic support.” Full Northumberland route details can be found at www.nlandtob.com, or for further information about the National Tour, please visit: www.tourofbritain.co.uk/home.php
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    New long stay parking for Hexham

    A new parking area has been established to help alleviate issues for motorists in Hexham. Land at the former Fire Station at Tyne Mills has been opened up and spaces marked out to provide all-day parking for people who work in the town. Northumberland County Council and local county councillors are working with the town council to find long term solutions to car parking issues in Hexham, and have reaffirmed their commitment to long-term improvements. Alongside work on permanent long-term car parking solutions, the council has been looking at sites that could be readily available - and further sites in addition to the fire station are also being considered. The temporary car park at the fire station is available now and provides up to 50 spaces. Parking will be free and there will be no restrictions or controls in place, although it is aimed primarily at all day parking for those who work in the town. Cllr Cath Homer, county councillor for Hexham East said: “I am very pleased that these interim arrangements are now up and running, and hope that they have a positive impact in alleviating some of the parking issues. “I am also pleased to say that the council is actively looking at both short and longer term solutions to the car parking issues we experience here in Hexham.” In relation to longer term solutions the council is assessing the suitability of a number of sites in the town - including the potential for a multi-storey car park or more extensive surface parking. Due to the historic and compact nature of the town centre, options to significantly increase overall parking capacity in the town are limited, however a small number of potential options are being explored. Sites that could have potential are being considered in relation to access and traffic impact, and where not owned by the county council discussions are taking place with landowners to allow options to be appraised. Cllr Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services at Northumberland County Council said: “We are committed to making progress on improving the car parking situation in Hexham. We have identified some potential options and will be assessing these as soon as possible and consulting the local community.”
  18. Detailed investigation work is getting underway ahead of proposed improvements to a world famous bridge spanning the River Tweed between England and Scotland. Northumberland County Council, Scottish Borders Council and the ‘Friends of Union Chain Bridge’ are working together on an ambitious £8m project to safeguard the future of the Union Chain Bridge near Berwick - the world’s oldest single span suspension bridge still open to traffic. The internationally significant bridge, constructed in 1820 and spanning the River Tweed on the Anglo-Scottish border requires urgent conservation and engineering repairs to secure its future. It has been on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register since 2013. A funding bid for the restoration is now being prepared for the Heritage Lottery Fund, with a maximum of £5m available towards the bulk of the work. The County Council’s Cabinet will next month consider recommendations to contribute funding over three years towards the scheme, with both Northumberland and Scottish Borders Council ultimately contributing towards the project. Other stakeholders will also be making significant contributions. Ahead of this, site investigation work is getting underway on the bridge from June 26 for up to four weeks, which will mean the road will be closed to vehicles from July 3 on weekdays for a fortnight. The investigation work is important in providing a greater understanding of the status and condition of the bridge - and allowing a more robust bid to be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund. There will be local diversions in place for traffic during the week, the bridge will be open to pedestrians and cyclists at all times and to vehicles at weekends. Engineers have already spoken with local parish councils, nearby businesses and other key stakeholders and are speaking to the Hutton and Paxton community council this week. Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “The Union Chain Bridge is of international significance but its condition has been of growing concern for a number of years. “Along with our colleagues in Scotland we are committed to safeguarding its future and status, both as a key transport link and as a contributor to the local tourism economy. “The site investigation work is vital ahead of any major project starting and engineers will be working to keep disruption to a minimum throughout.” The bridge itself is a single suspension span of 137m of timber construction supported from wrought iron chains by wrought iron hanger bars. If these vital repairs are not undertaken, the bridge would ultimately close to vehicles, losing its World status as the oldest surviving suspension bridge carrying traffic, causing serious loss to the local community. Councillor Gordon Edgar, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure, said: “I am pleased we are seeing progress in the bid to retain the Union Chain Bridge as the world’s oldest single span suspension bridge still used by traffic. “The iconic crossing has provided a vital link between Scotland and England for almost 200 years, and we want that to remain the case. “The short-term closure of the bridge to vehicles will cause some inconvenience but will provide important information for its long-term future.” Robbie Hunter, Chairman of the Friends of the Union Chain Bridge said: “The Friends of the Union Chain Bridge are delighted to hear of the continued significant financial support from both Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council towards the restoration of the bridge, which is a unique part of the UK's engineering history. “However, the success of the project is reliant on receiving HLF funding and the Friends with their large community support, on both sides of the Border and internationally, will continue to lobby hard to ensure the success of the project, with the aim of restoration underway in time for its Bicentenary in 2020. It would be an unforgivable tragedy if we failed to save this engineering icon.” Northumberland County Council’s Cabinet will discuss the report on the bridge on July 11.
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    Making the county greener and cleaner

    An ambitious programme of extra verge cutting and weed spraying is getting underway as the county gears up for the main tourist season. The county council is drafting in extra resources over the coming weeks to carry out additional grass cutting along highway verges across the county. The work is vital to ensure that vegetation does not restrict visibility for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. In addition to the road safety benefits, these works also improve the look of an area and keeps the network in better condition by preventing plants taking hold on the side of roads. As well as bringing in more staff the council is leasing two more tractors with special cutting equipment over the summer. Weed growth on pavements and kerb edges is an on-going problem across towns and villages in the county, especially during periods of warm wet weather when weeds grow very quickly. In order to improve the appearance of the county extra weed spraying is being done on pavements and kerb edges, so that residents should notice weeds dying back before being cleared away. Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “One of our priorities as a new administration is to improve the condition of the road network and invest in improvements that benefit everyone. “Our county brings in millions in tourism each year and it’s important our streets and highways are well maintained, both for safety and the overall look and feel of the place. “We’re committed to reversing the previous administration’s cost cutting on highway verge maintenance and weed control and have taken immediate steps to improve these key areas of activity to ensure Northumberland is looking its best ahead of the main tourist season.”
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    Duchess views final plans for LOVE Awards

    Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland has been hearing about the final plans for the seventh annual LOVE Northumberland awards, which she is due to present to winning groups and individuals on Wednesday 5th July. During a visit to the Alnwick Garden the Duchess heard about some of the great entries that have been received for this annual celebration of initiatives that improve and enhance the environment of Northumberland. Her Grace also chatted to local historian and broadcaster John Grundy, who will be the presenter who announces the winners this year, and to Jeannie Kielty, representative of main sponsors The Banks Group. Applications have now been judged and individuals and representatives of shortlisted groups are being invited to the awards event, which is set to be held in The Alnwick Garden pavilion. Jeannie Kielty from the Banks Group said: “We have been very pleased to support these awards since back in 2012, and I am continually impressed by the range and standard of new applications we receive each year. There is a wealth of groups and individuals out there with some fantastic stories to tell about how they help to improve their local areas. “The spirit of the LOVE Northumberland Awards matches our own commitment to supporting the communities in which we operate, and we’re very pleased to be able to help to recognise the contributions made by local people in enhancing their county’s environment in the last 12 months.” New cabinet member for environment and local services at Northumberland County Council, Councillor Glen Sanderson, was unable to attend the visit due to other council commitments, but said afterwards: “I am very much looking forward to being involved in the LOVE Northumberland Awards this year. It is very good to be able to celebrate all the excellent work done by local people right across the county. I very much look forward to hearing about all the great applications - and wish the best of luck to all shortlisted entries who are coming along to the ceremony on 5th July.” Nominations for awards were invited from schools, community and voluntary groups and individuals in seven categories for projects that preserve and enhance the environment or that address local environmental issues or problems. The judging panel was made up of representatives of the council and sponsors and supporters of the awards.
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    Flag raised to mark Armed Forces Week

    A special flag raising ceremony was held today at County Hall in Morpeth to mark national Armed Forces Week. The ceremony was part of a countrywide programme of events to celebrate and recognise HM Armed Forces - past, present and future. Servicemen and women and war veterans were joined by civic leaders and members of Northumberland County Council staff and the public to pay tribute to all those service personnel who put their lives on the line in war zones across the world. The Armed Forces Flag was raised on the flagpole outside County Hall and will fly all week ahead of Armed Forces Day, which falls on Saturday 24 June this year. Civic Head of Northumberland County Council, Councillor Anthony Murray said: “ Behind the flags, parades, and other events up and down the country to mark Armed Forces Day, we should remember that, as we speak, in this country and overseas, these brave people are putting their lives on the line - on the ground, in the air, and on the oceans - to keep us safe and to build a better world for our children. “ We must also remember that each one of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and reservists is also a wife or a husband; a father; a mother; a son or a daughter and recognise that the pressure on their families is considerable. I want to thank all those who support their loved ones in our Forces. “ Nor should we forget the commitment of our Cadets, or the adult volunteers . Of course, those serving in our Armed Forces will one day move into the larger family of veterans and Armed Forces Day is a celebration of our veterans’ community too, whatever their age. This is a day when we can show our patriotic support for all of these heroes, and their outstanding contribution to this country. They are a constant reminder to younger generations that preserving our way of life and the things we hold most dear is sometimes hard won, and never guaranteed. ”
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    Northumberland Live @Blyth this weekend

    The Undertones will be headlining ​The Northumberland Live Festival at Blyth this weekend June 24th, playing timeless classics including; ‘Here Comes the Summer’, ‘Jimmy Jimmy’, “My Perfect Cousin” and the power pop anthem “Teenage Kicks.” Review by http://neconnected.co.uk "In support to The Undertones will be new wave power pop band, Cryssis, who regularly pack out stadiums in their base country of Germany. Add to this local talent in the form of Ashington singer song writer Peesh, Durham based pop rock band, Twister and up and coming new alternative indie band Pacific who are tipped for the top. Also on the bill will be he Real Gone Gadgies, Arieanne Masters, The Exciters, Endless Sky and Little Moth. There will also be performances from Bad Apples hip hop crew, Blyth Samba and a few surprises too. As well as the musical attractions, the Festival will have its much looked forward to array of street theatre, superb food from the counties finest food suppliers and a family activity area which will keep all ages entertained. Also dropping in will be the Royal Logistics Corps Parachute Display Team, The Silver Stars who will perform daredevil manoeuvres as they descend onto the beach area. The fun starts at 10am and will continue until around 9pm. Parking is limited on site and a free park and ride service will be in operation run by Phoenix Taxis from the library in Blyth town centre." For all the latest information on the event follow the Northumberland Live facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NorthumberlandLiveFestival
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    Young tenants' guide launched

    Northumberland County Council in partnership with Silx Youth Project, a Blyth based organisation has launched a guidebook aimed at helping first time housing tenants. The Young Tenants’ User Guide has been developed directly with Silx Youth Project, based upon their own practical experience of working with young people and aims to provide information on everything a tenant may need. Aimed at 18-25 year olds, the guide tackles issues such as finance and how to keep on top of your bills, budgeting and saving money on utility bills, and how to claim for benefits they are entitled to. It also explains what a tenancy agreement is and the importance of understanding what tenants are responsible for and the council as the landlord, including what can happen if those responsibilities are not met. The idea for the guide came from feedback from young people in the Blyth area who were struggling to manage in social or private rented accommodation. John Riddle, Northumberland County Council’s Cabinet member for Planning, Housing and Resilience, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to work with Silx on this invaluable project. “We’re keen to support young people in being able to take that next step into adulthood, by moving into their new home. “However, we recognise they can find themselves in a vulnerable position and at risk of losing their tenancy, if they don’t have the skills or knowledge of what is involved in running a home. This guide covers everything they need to know to have a positive experience and to fulfill their potential as a home owner in the future.” The guide also includes tips on how to stay safe in your home, as well as issues such as sexual and mental health. Each new young tenant will be given the guide at their tenancy introduction meeting with a council housing officer, copies are also available from the Silx offices on Church Street, Blyth. Chris Antony, trustee of Silx, said: “We were finding that more and more young people in the Blyth area were struggling with all the different aspects that come with managing and surviving in a social or private rented accommodation. “Issues such as getting into debt, or anti-social behaviour in their home, were leading to young people not be able to progress with their tenancy. “We hope that this guide will give young people the information and support they need to understand what is involved in running their own home.”
  24. Northumberland County Council has offered emergency accommodation to survivors of the Grenfell fire in London. Daljit Lally, the interim Chief Executive of the County Council made contact with the Chief Executive and Director of Housing from the Royal Borough Kensington and Chelsea Council to make the offer. In preparation the County Council has made arrangements for housing to provide immediate temporary or permanent accommodation in Northumberland for two families from today, Monday 19th June 2017. Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. There is currently a crisis in housing people who have been displaced by this terrible tragedy in Kensington. “Even though we are some distance from London, we were keen to offer support.” In addition to offering accommodation for those affected by the tragedy, a proactive review is underway by county council departments to look at records of premises which operate stay put policies, or have external cladding applied to them, to provide confidence and assurance that safety issues have been properly considered and risk assessed. Paul Hedley, Chief Fire Officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “Our thoughts are with all those involved in the Grenfell Tower fire and our colleagues in the emergency services. "Across the country, this tragedy has touched us all. Whilst Northumberland does not have any residential tower blocks of the type involved in the Grenfell Tower tragedy, there are residential low rise premises of up to 4 storeys. There are of course also premises within Northumberland which we know are fitted with external cladding and we are working to establish the type and make of those panels. “I would like to reassure Northumberland residents that we unaware of any concerns about the safety of any multi-storey residential premises within the county. “As part of a wide range of measures, we will also be liaising with external partners and contacting premises across the county to provide an offer of support, advice and guidance on fire safety matters and asking that they take steps themselves to satisfy themselves that there are no safety concerns for the premises for which they are responsible.”
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    Cowpen Road improvement scheme complete

    A comprehensive scheme to improve one of Northumberland’s most congested roads is now complete. The £740,000 scheme to reduce congestion on Cowpen Road in Blyth was carried out in three stages consecutively, speeding up the work and improving the traffic flow. The project involved the removal and improvement of traffic lights, road widening and the creation of an additional lane on the exit from the Asda roundabout. New road markings are also in place on the A189 roundabout and approaches, along with improved road signs. Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “This scheme is a great credit to our staff who worked tirelessly to get the various stages of the work done as quickly as possible. “We did everything we could to minimise disruption and it’s important we bear in mind why this work was done in the first place - to improve safety, reduce congestion and improve journey times for the thousands of people who use this road every day. “Feedback has been very positive and the standard of the work is first class.” Local County Councillor Susan Davey, who long campaigned for the changes and helped secure funding from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “It’s fantastic that this long-awaited and desperately needed scheme is finally complete. “I am delighted that these adjustments have had a marked improvement on the flow of the traffic. The opening of Spencer Road on the industrial Estate has not only taken away the heavy lorries from the main body of the road but have helped the Port of Blyth to consider the relocation of their entrance. “As with all works and an ever increasing number of vehicle on our streets, monitoring of this road will remain a high priority.” Ray Browning, Programme Manager at the North East LEP, said: “This was an important upgrade to help alleviate pressure at peak times at key junctions benefiting not only the local community but also importantly helping efforts to attract new investment and jobs into the Blyth Riverside Business Park and the enterprise zones sites around Blyth Harbour where the North East LEP is also supporting infrastructure investment.”
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