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Found 153 results

  1. Bot

    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.”
  4. 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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    Chalking up a success in Prudhoe

    Wildlife is blooming in a corner of Prudhoe thanks to a group being supported by Northumberland County Council and Northumberland Wildlife Trust. The Spetchells Conservation Interest Group (SCIG) have been working hard over the past year to ensure a rosier future for the rare wildlife on the chalk hills at Tyne Riverside Country Park in Prudhoe, known as The Spetchells. The group has raised over £5,000 and put in countless volunteer hours to remove invasive cotoneaster shrubs from the top of the hill, making the land once more ideal for solitary mining bees and the dingy skipper butterfly, as well as a range of specialist chalkland plants such as wall rocket and dyer’s greenweed. Funding has come from a range of supporters, including Northumberland County Council’s Community Trust, Greggs, SCA, Thompson’s of Prudhoe, Jewson’s, Waitrose and Northumberland Wildlife Trust. This has enabled the group to buy information boards, training and tools to enable work to take place. The County Council’s Green Spaces team and Northumberland Wildlife Trust enabled the project to go ahead and also ensured the volunteer work was supported with logistics and tool storage. The Spetchells are an artificial landscape of chalk, created as a by product of the old ICI factory that was on the site SCA now occupies. The area is unique in the north east of England and now hosts the biggest chalk grassland habitat in the region. Many unusual species of plants and animals are found there, and SCIG formed last year to tackle some of the issues on site that now threaten them. Councillor Glen Sanderson, Northumberland County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: "We’re delighted at the finished work on the signs and the ongoing support of the very knowledgeable volunteers of SCIG, which have enabled huge progress on site through their efforts. “The site is a real asset to the local community and is already attracting a variety of endangered species.” Dr Keith Shaw, who has spearheaded the group, said: "The area is a popular beauty spot, but there were real concerns for the botany and insect life which needed huge effort to overcome. "We are so pleased to now offer signage to help people understand the site better, and with all the support we have had in returning this site to favourable condition, although there are further challenges ahead." Naomi Waite, Magnificent Meadows officer for Northumberland Wildlife Trust, said: "This site had been designated a special Local Wildlife Site many years ago for its populations of Dingy Skipper butterflies, but the whole site is important. It’s great so many people have helped reclaim our wildlife on site, it’s already making a big difference in 2017." The group will continue to meet to improve the grassland, offer talks to the public and monitor the wildlife. For more information contact countryside@northumberland.gov.uk
  7. Parents need to apply for 30 hours ASAP and well before the 31st August 2017 deadline if they wish to access a place next term (September 2017). A delay in applying may mean parents will not be able to access a place until January 2018 You can apply for free childcare here All 3 and 4 years old are entitled to 15 hours a week (570 hours a year) of free childcare and the government will begin to offer an additional 15 hours of free childcare per week to all eligible working families starting September 2017. For further information and to check whether your child is eligible to receive the additional 15 hours childcare, click here Northumberland County Council has been part of the pilot scheme offering 30 hours of free childcare, if you have taken part in the pilot scheme and your child will remain eligible for 30 hours free childcare in September 2017 then you will need to apply under the national scheme to continue to receive your additional entitlement.
  8. Work on a £1.5 m scheme to restore Hexham House and create a new wedding venue for the town is now in its final stages with the venue on track to be opened to the public in September. Northumberland County Council will be holding a series of open evenings later in the summer so couples planning to get married can view the venue and meet and chat with members of the Northumberland Wedding co-ordination team. Hexham House is a Grade II* listed building located within an award winning park with views of the Abbey from almost every room and will undoubtedly be a beautiful and popular place for couples to get married. The house is undergoing a major face-lift to convert it into a wedding complex, with the creation of a new register office, two wedding ceremony rooms and seven luxury self-catering holiday apartments complete with bridal suite. The interior of the building in Gilesgate is having a full upgrade and refurbishment and every effort is being made to ensure that any work is in-keeping with the heritage of the 18th Century house. Northumberland County Councillor Nick Oliver, cabinet member for corporate services said: “ The redevelopment of Hexham House is a really exciting opportunity, both for people planning to get married and the town itself. It is set to be one of the finest register offices in the North of England and will provide a great opportunity for those couples who are looking for an elegant setting that is also great value for money” Hexham House will not provide reception facilities and couples will be encouraged to contact local providers for this aspect of their wedding. The first couple to be married at the venue in September have chosen nearby Hexham Abbey for their reception and evening function. Prices for a wedding ceremony in the House range from £345-£395 Monday - Saturday and £500 on a Sunday or a Bank Holiday. Bookings for weddings can be made through the council’s ceremony coordination team Tel: 01670 602870 email: alnwickreg@northumberland.gov.uk.
  9. Northumberland County Council has welcomed the expansion of a major international company in the county. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc is the world leader in serving science, with revenues of $18 billion and approximately 55,000 employees globally. Its Cramlington site specialises in the production of Single Use Technology products and services used in the biotech industry. This week a new Customer Evaluation Centre (CEC) to showcase the company’s latest innovations was officially opened. The state of the art centre, which includes meeting spaces, will be used by customers taking part in training sessions, workshops and seminars. Council leader Peter Jackson performed the opening ceremony at the new centre. He said: “Thermo Fisher Scientific is a growing and innovative company that plays an important role in the economy of Northumberland. “We’re delighted that the investment in the Customer Evaluation Centre will help to underpin continued growth at the site in Cramlington. “The County Council's new direction is to encourage investment in world class manufacturing sectors such as the pharmaceutical and life sciences leading edge companies which we have in our county. “Our aim is to create more and better job prospects for our county, not only attracting inward investment but encouraging our existing businesses to build for the future."
  10. Local people are being asked for their views on the county’s highways and transport services – from the condition of roads and footpaths to the quality of cycling facilities. Their answers will be compared with the views of other members of the public across England and Scotland, thanks to the National Highways and Transport Public Satisfaction survey. Northumberland County Council is one of 112 local authorities to sign up to a standardised survey that will ask members of the public exactly the same questions, whether they live in Norfolk, Nottinghamshire or Northumberland. The survey, which is being run for the tenth year, is the largest collaboration between local authorities offering the opportunity to compare results, share in best practice and identify further opportunities to work together in the future. The questionnaire will be sent to a random sample of at least 3,300 of the county’s residents from 19th June, followed by a reminder, with local and national results to be published in mid-October 2017. Since the survey is based on a sample, residents that receive a copy are being urged to take part. Residents that receive the questionnaire can complete the survey online if they prefer, a short link will be printed on the front of the questionnaire and they will be required to enter a code before completing the questionnaire. The results will enable the council to find out what people in Northumberland think about these important services. The County Council has been doing the survey since it started and the feedback sits alongside other engagement it carries out via town and parish councils to help it determine and prioritise future works and improvements. Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “As one of the country’s largest counties with over 3,200 miles of road, we fully understand the importance of maintaining and improving our network. “This survey is another way for us to get a greater understanding of residents’ views on a range of transport and highways issues and enable us to work together to improve the lives of our many communities. “Residents views are extremely important to us so I hope very much that people are able to find the time to fill it in and let us know their thoughts.”
  11. Work to re-plant around 150 trees in the grounds of County Hall in Morpeth is continuing - with the help of local young people. The council has already undertaken work to re-plant trees along Queen Elizabeth Avenue on the open space area at the front of County Hall, to restore this attractive tree-lined footpath which is heavily used and enjoyed by both staff and local residents. Now members of the local 6th Morpeth St Aidan's Brownies have joined councillors and staff in the planting work. The planting scheme will retain the existing colour theme by replanting with the original varieties of purple leaved Norway Maple and Golden leaved Sycamore. Additional trees will be planted on the open space in front of County Hall and in the quadrangle at the centre of the building that is used by councillors and staff. Tree species will include oak, lime, maple, wild cherry, silver birch, rowan and alder. Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Local Services and the Environment, said: “We fully appreciated the level of public concern over the felling of the trees and have listened to the views of local residents. “Workers have been busy removing the stumps of the felled trees and replanting new ones in the County Hall grounds and the area is already looking better. “We’re delighted that local young people have been getting involved with the re-planting and helping create a green legacy for the county’s future. “The work also demonstrates our commitment to remaining at and improving the current County Hall site.” The trees were cut down in January as part of plans by the previous administration to build a retail park, new first school and 200 homes on the land. This scheme was halted by the County Council’s new administration.
  12. The new leadership at Northumberland County Council is putting plans in place to improve communication and engagement with local communities. One of the first services to introduce changes to the way it operates is the highways department which will be bringing local town, parish and ward councillors into the heart of its decision making process. In future, these stakeholders will be fully informed and consulted when highways improvement schemes, or Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) are being considered in their community to ensure that all parties are fully aware of the issues and the proposed work. Northumberland County Councillor, Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment & Local Services, said: “We have listened to what residents have been telling us and want to ensure that local people have more power and say in decisions that directly affect them and the communities in which they live.” At the start of each highways improvement scheme, the County Council will draft a brief and this will be discussed with these local community representatives to ensure that the issue of concern has been fully understood and that the problems that need to be resolved have been identified. If a scheme requires a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), the local town, parish and ward councillors will be consulted, followed by consultation with statutory consultees and any residents directly affected. The new arrangements also seek to improve upon the existing arrangements for involving local communities in the preparation of the highways investment programme. Council officers will write to local town, parish and ward councillors annually to share the issues that have been raised within their community and to agree local priority projects for the following year. Subject to funding and eligibility criteria, these projects will then be incorporated into a draft programme which will be reported to the new Local Area Councils for final local comment, before being formally approved. The new council administration at Northumberland County Council is to introduce five Local Area Councils: North Northumberland, Tynedale, Castle Morpeth, Ashington & Blyth and Cramlington & Bedlington to replace the previous four Area Committees. These area councils will meet monthly, have added responsibilities and aim to bring decision making closer to local communities. Councillor Sanderson added: “The introduction of five local area councils and improved partnership working with local communities will help ensure that our investments in highways improvement schemes are tailored to meet the needs of the community and deliver better all-round results. “With over 3,000 miles of roads connecting hundreds of communities, ensuring that we provide the most effective highway improvements with the funding available is a priority for this council.”
  13. A new system of local democracy will allow communities across the county “to create their own futures”, the new administration has pledged. Northumberland County Council has implemented a restructure of committees across Northumberland which will give town and parish councils a more active role and a greater say in what happens within their local areas. The restructure of committees to create five new local area councils across Northumberland will see the return of democracy and accountability to local areas, allowing them to decide and determine their own futures, based on the needs of the local community. The new local area councils will include; North Northumberland, Ashington & Blyth, Castle Morpeth, Tynedale and Cramlington & Bedlington and will meet bi-monthly to consider planning applications, road spending and petitions. The introduction of the local area councils will allow local people across Northumberland to have a greater influence on the decisions that directly affect them and their communities. Council leader Peter Jackson said: “We want to work with communities to help them create their own futures, rather than impose large projects or developments on them. “These new Local Area Councils are one way to develop a better future for the whole county. For example in north Northumberland we would fully expect the local area council to work very closely with the major towns of Alnwick and Berwick on local development plans for those communities. “We want to be clear this is not a return to district councils, but about bridging the gap between an autocratic, centralised county council and communities. “We value the work that town and parish councils are doing and wish to work closely with them, bridging the gap with a county council some see as distant and unengaging.” “And not only will the restructuring of the committees ensure the County Council’s policies take into account the needs and aspirations of local communities, it will also provide savings of £250,000 over the next four years from reductions in allowances, which can be ploughed back into essential daily services.” To find out more information and times and dates go to the ‘meetings’ section on the front page of the council website at www.northumberland.gov.uk
  14. Votes have been counted and MPs declared for the four parliamentary constituencies in Northumberland. The candidates declared as MP for each of the constituencies are as follows: Berwick-upon-Tweed - Anne-Marie Trevelyan, The Conservative Party Candidate Blyth Valley - Ronnie Campbell, Labour Party Hexham - Guy Opperman, The Conservative Party Candidate Wansbeck - Ian Lavery, Labour Party The elections were run by Northumberland County Council and all four counts took place overnight last night at Blyth Sports Centre. The turnout for the Northumberland constituencies was 71.5% for Berwick-upon-Tweed; 67.1% for Blyth Valley; 75.1% for Hexham and 68.4% for Wansbeck. Click here to see the declartion of results
  15. Polling stations across the county are open today, Thursday 8 June, for the UK Parliamentary General Election. The polling stations will be open from 7am - 10pm at 228 community venues across the county so if you are eligible to vote, make sure you go along and cast your vote - it can really make a difference. Over recent weeks, polling cards have been sent to residents through the post informing them of their elector number and their local polling station. While it is helpful if the card is brought along when residents vote, it is not essential, so if you’ve mislaid it, you can still vote, as long as you are registered and eligible. If you are unsure where your local polling station is you can log on to the Northumberland County Council website www.northumberland.gov.uk and type your home postcode into the My Place box on the top right hand side of the home page. This will bring up details of your nearest polling station. Will Booth, elections manager at Northumberland County Council said: “By casting your vote you will be helping to decide how the UK is run. Voting enables you to help decide who represents your local area in parliament and it is their job to raise local issues and support you as much as they can.”
  16. Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is running a pilot initiative aimed at offering further support to former students from the Prince's Trust Team programme. Five students who still wish to improve their confidence and deal with low levels of self esteem and feelings of anxiety and depression are meeting every Thursday afternoon for twelve weeks to share their experiences and to discuss and practice strategies for overcoming personal challenges which affect their health and well being. The students have been influential in the design of the programme by identifying the key areas they want to focus on as well as the duration of the course and frequency of meetings they feel will work best for them. Some examples of topics which have been covered so far are negative thinking, assertiveness, mindfulness and health and well being. In between each session the group practice techniques they have discussed as a group and record how it has made a difference in their own personal workbook. The group are currently focusing on employability skills and how their increased confidence and coping strategies can help them in the process of applying for jobs and increase job satisfaction. Leanne from Seaton Delaval said "This course I have attended has been really helpful for me having more of a positive attitude and being more assertive I have managed to express when I have not wanted to do something outside the group ,without the group I would not have been able to confidently do this". Chief Fire Officer as Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, Paul Hedley has supported the project, noting "Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service has identified an opportunity to re-engage with young people and offer a more bespoke programme of support which has involved listening to what young people feel the issues are for them and acting on it. In view of National SAFE Week I think this type of provision is important to consider. Addressing the health and well being issues which affect our young people can help them lead happier and safer lives".
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    Book of condolence for London.

    Northumberland County Council has opened a book of condolence following the terrorist attack in London The book is available to sign at the reception area in County Hall, Morpeth, from today (June 6th). Daljit Lally, Interim Chief Executive of Northumberland County Council said: “Again the events in London at the weekend were truly shocking and I am sure I speak on behalf of everyone in Northumberland in sending our condolences to all those affected by all these terrible events. “We stand together with both London and Manchester, the victims and their families. Terrorism will not win”. #westandtogether
  18. Polling stations will be open on Thursday 8 June across Northumberland for the UK Parliamentary General Election. The polling stations will be open from 7am - 10pm at 228 community venues across the county so if you are eligible to vote, make sure you go along and cast your vote - it can really make a difference. Over recent weeks, polling cards have been sent to residents through the post informing them of their elector number and their local polling station. While it is helpful if the card is brought along when residents vote, it is not essential, so if you’ve mislaid it, you can still vote, as long as you are registered and eligible. Will Booth, elections manager at Northumberland County Council said: “ By casting your vote you will be helping to decide how the UK is run. Voting enables you to help decide who represents your local area in parliament and it is their job to raise local issues and support you as much as they can. ”
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    Annual SAFE week looks to raise awareness

    A campaign to raise awareness in the North East about protecting vulnerable people from abuse and harm is returning for its fourth year. SAFE week, which will take place between June 5 and June 11 this year, has previously raised awareness of protecting vulnerable adults, but this year’s campaign will also focus on safeguarding children. The broader scope of the campaign is reflected in the new campaign name – Safeguarding Awareness For Everyone (SAFE) week. To mark SAFE week, activities will be delivered in three local authority areas: North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland. Key landmarks around the region will be lit up purple in honour of SAFE week, including St Mary’s Lighthouse, in North Tyneside and Newcastle’s Tyne Bridge. There will also be white flags raised outside buildings across the local authority areas to highlight issues around domestic abuse. Cllr Carole Burdis, North Tyneside Council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “Everyone deserves to live their life free from harm and abuse but sadly that isn’t always the case. “Events like SAFE week are a great way for us to highlight this issue and let people know that it is okay to speak up. We have a great range of support across our region and they can help you get through any problems you may have.” As the lead organisation in safeguarding adults and young people at risk of harm, North Tyneside Council organises SAFE week in conjunction with multi-agency partners from health, police, Newcastle and Northumberland local authorities, as well as a range of voluntary and private providers. Veronica Jones, Cabinet Member for Safeguarding at Northumberland County Council said: "We are proud to support SAFE week and raise awareness regarding the messages and support available for anyone who is or knows someone affected by these issues. "Safeguarding is everybody's responsibility and the events throughout SAFE week and beyond highlight the important role we can all play to promote safety." Chief Inspector Steve Hails from Northumbria Police's Safeguarding Department, said: "We are pleased to support our partners in helping to keep people safe in Northumbria. "Victims are our absolute priority and we are working with some fantastic organisations and partners to be able to provide a full wrap-around of support for those who have been affected by abuse. "We would encourage anyone who has been a victim of domestic or sexual abuse - recently or in the past - to come forward and report it to police. Our specialist safeguarding officers are here to support victims and each case is treated in a highly confidential and sensitive way, with the welfare and safety of the victim being of paramount importance. "We want to stress that everyone has a part to play in tackling abuse and we would ask if you witnesses something that doesn't feel right with an adult or child, please report it to police. Safeguarding really is everyone's business." Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird DBE QC, said: “People of all ages often don’t realise when they are vulnerable and they can get into situations through no fault of their own. Northumbria Police has a duty to look after them, whatever the circumstance, and working with partners and ensuring our officers are doing everything they can to protect vulnerable people is a top priority of mine. I congratulate this campaign, which is highlighting some very important issues such as domestic abuse and sexual exploitation, and I give it my full support.” Abuse can take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, institutional, discriminatory and neglect. Signs of abuse may include: Multiple bruising or finger marks Injuries which cannot be properly explained Deterioration of health for no apparent reason Loss of weight Inappropriate or inadequate clothing Withdrawal of changes in usual behaviour An unwillingness to be alone with a particular carer Unexplained shortage of money
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    Don't forget to post your postal vote

    With just a few days to go until the UK Parliamentary General Election, postal voters are being urged to return their ballot papers. Northumberland County Council elections manager, Will Booth said: “ We all lead busy lives and it is easy to put your vote to one side and forget to return it. If you are voting by post, please post your vote back to us as soon as you can. “ There are around 55,000 postal voters across the county and around 90 per cent of these will use their vote. Each pack returned goes through a vigorous checking process to ensure the system is absolutely secure. Prompt return is an enormous help to our election team who check each returned postal ballot pack separately.” If you do think you might have left it too late, and your vote won't arrive in time if you post it, don’t panic. You can take your postal vote to a polling station in the constituency in which you live, on the day of the election, right up until the time when polling closes at 10pm. Please treat this as a last resort. If you have registered to vote by post and have not yet received your postal vote you should immediately contact Northumberland County Council’s election team on 01670 624811 or email elections@northumberland.gov.uk
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    Council issues tumble dryer warning

    Northumberland County Council’s Trading Standards service is warning residents of a new recall on tumble dryers, this time of those sold under the trade names Beko and Blomberg. The company’s safety alert relates to their 8kg and 9kg condenser tumble dryers, that were manufactured between May and November 2012. This has come about following concerns raised during their monitoring of their products, which found it could lead to overheating and the risk of fire. The affected models are: DCU9330W, DCU9330R, DCU8230, DSC85W, TKF8439A. Beko is requesting that owners contact them so that a free modification, if required, can be carried out. The check is free of charge and carried out in the home, and affected products will be modified to remove any potential risk. Paul Hedley, Chief Fire Officer, said: “The safety of Northumberland’s residents is our priority and action should be taken swiftly to check these goods to ensure lives are not put at risk. “We would always advise the public to check their electrical appliances if safety concerns arise. It is vital that users regularly check and clean their tumble dryers and carefully follow safety guidelines to reduce the risk of a fire.” Councillor John Riddle, Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing, Public Protection and Fire, added: “Residents need to make sure that they check to see if their tumble dryer is one of the affected ones and take the necessary steps to keep themselves, their families and their homes safe.” Owners can check whether their product is one of those affected at http://www.beko.co.uk/safety and https://www.beko.co.uk/dryerrepair#!/check/precheck Alternatively, owners can call 0800 917 2018 to speak to a member of Beko’s customer service team.
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    Letting agents invited to forum

    Private letting agents are being invited to a forum next week to share best practice and get an update on any industry changes. The North of Tyne Managing Agent Event is a joint event between Northumberland County Council, North Tyneside Council and Newcastle City Council, together with the National Landlords Association. Following the success of the first such event last year, when more than 100 agents attended, this year’s forum will be held at the Holiday Inn, Seaton Burn, on Wed June 7th. It is an opportunity for letting agents to hear what services are on offer from their local council, as well as hearing from industry leaders. Guest speakers from organisations such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents, My Deposits and Northumbrian Water will be giving updates on everything from tax changes to dealing with disputes and adjudicators. Philip Soderquest, Head of Housing at Northumberland County Council, said: “We have decided to once again run this event, following the success of last year. “It is a key date for letting agents from across the county and will give them essential industry information, as well as allowing them the opportunity to meet up with other agents.” The event is free, but booking is essential and can be done through Eventbrite at www.eventbrite.co.uk putting North of Tyne Managing Agent Event into the search box. Or email privatesectorhousing@northumberland.gov.uk with your name and address, or calling the team on (01670) 623073.
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    Good progress on Morpeth cycleway scheme

    Widened shared paths along the A192 to the south of the town and to adjacent housing estates; Crossing improvements on Stobhill roundabout; and An upgraded ‘toucan’ crossing point opposite Sainsbury’s that allows use by people on bikes and detects people waiting to cross. It is being implemented by the council and has been wholly funded by a £600,000 award through the North East LEP from the Local Growth Fund, part of the North East Growth Deal.
  24. Cath McEvoy, Children’s Service Director at Northumberland County Council: “This was a great event which allowed the participating groups to get really creative about generating products that would sell, developing creative and entrepreneurial skills. The results of the sales were fantastic and each participating group should be very proud of their effort and contribution.”
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