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  1. Northumberland County Council are hosting a Holocaust memorial event as part of National Holocaust Memorial Day to remember all those lost in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day is open to all and will take place on 25th January at 1pm in the Council Chamber at County Hall, Morpeth. The theme for this years Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘the power of words’ and the impact and difference words can make, both for good and evil, which will be explored through music, film, readings and testimonies. The event will begin with the lighting of the Holocaust memorial candle and will conclude with the rising of the Holocaust flag and a blessing from Rabbi Lipsey. The ceremony will be hosted by the Northumberland Youth Cabinet and Parliament and will feature a film from Sele First School and a talk from the Young Equality Stars from Prudhoe Highfield Middle School. Veronica Jones, Northumberland County Council cabinet member for Adult Well Being and Health, said: “It is important that we continue to remember these shocking moments in history and all those that have lost their lives through unjust hatred and persecution. “It is through remembering these events that we can learn from them and they serve as a continuous reminder that more needs to be done to recognise prejudice and raise awareness about how to stop it.”
  2. One of Morpeth’s most famous timepieces is on the move to allow investigation of its condition and options for its possible restoration. The floral clock in Carlisle Park which was presented to the borough of Morpeth by James Fairbairn Smith of Detroit in 1972, has been carefully removed and has been taken down to renowned clockmakers Smith of Derby for detailed analysis on whether the mechanism can be repaired. Northumberland County Council was approached about the possibility of reinstating the flower clock by The Friends of Morpeth’s Floral Clock and are working with the group to explore options and costs that would be associated with this - and how they might be met - including the possibility of sponsorship. A team has also visited Whitby to look into how the floral clock there is managed and financed. Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “We are pleased to be working with the Friends of the Floral Clock to explore what will be required to restore and maintain it in the future. “Smiths of Derby have a history going back more than 150 years and will be able to advise us about the options available and costs associated with the repair and restoration of the clock, so that the Friends Group know what funds will need to be raised.” The Friends of Morpeth’s Floral Clock’s goal is to have the clock returned to its former glory in time for the summer judging of the 2018 Britain in Bloom competition. Barbara Ross from the Friends of Morpeth’s Floral Clock said: “It has been wonderful to see this project coming together, and we are delighted at the positivity and encouragement that we have received from Northumberland County Council, and the partnership we have forged. “It has been a bit like a fairy story: the bringing together of the Jobson Family with the family of Robert Fairbairn Smith, who donated the Clock in honour of his childhood friend. The people of Morpeth have really embraced this as part of their heritage with £2,000 of public donations received within a week and 900 people supporting us on Facebook! “This will put Morpeth on the map as with traditional carpet bedding we believe it will be one of its kind in England!” Anyone wishing to support or donate to the clock fund can email the group at morpethfloralclock@gmail.com
  3. Public consultation is underway on three new neighbourhood plans for Northumberland. Neighbourhood Plans for the North Northumberland Coastal Area (North Sunderland, Bamburgh and Beadnell parishes), Stannington parish, and Longhorsley parish have been submitted to the county council. Residents of the areas, and other stakeholders, now have a final opportunity to have a say on these draft plans, before they are the subject of an independent ‘examination’. All comments received during this consultation period will be provided to an appointed independent examiner along with the draft plans. Comments on the North Northumberland Coast and Stannington plans must be received by 4pm on Friday 9th February, and on the Longhorsley plan by 4pm on Friday 16th February. Comments received after this time will unfortunately not be able to be considered by the examiner. Neighbourhood planning gives local people direct involvement in preparing plans to guide the location and design of future development in their area. Engagement with a wide cross-section of the local communities, landowners and developers have led to the creation of these draft plans. They address important issues raised by many local people concerning the built and natural environment, local economy, housing, community wellbeing and other issues like flooding and transport. Cllr John Riddle, cabinet member for planning, housing and resilience at Northumberland County Council said: “Interest in neighbourhood planning continues to grow across Northumberland with these three new Neighbourhood Plans all having been submitted to the County Council in recent weeks. “The Parish Councils involved in writing the Plans have been supported by planning officers from the County Council who have helped by providing technical and practical support to ensure that they are presented in a way that best reflects the community's expectations, while still meeting their legal requirements.” Details of all the plans, accompanying documents and information about how to make comments can be found on the County Council’s website at www.northumberland.gov.uk/ourplan They have also been made available in County Hall in Morpeth and community locations in the three separate areas they cover. Once they have passed independent examination each will be put to a local referendum where people living in the affected parishes can vote on whether the plan should be used by the County Council when it makes decisions on planning applications. To find out more about Neighbourhood Planning in your area visit www.northumberland.gov.uk/ourplan e-mail NeighbourhoodPlanning@northumberland.gov.uk or contact the Neighbourhood Planning & Infrastructure Team, Planning Services, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF.
  4. A farm diversification based at Otterburn, Northumberland it is celebrating its successful expansion with the support of a grant from a European rural funding scheme. The LEADER programme grant, worth a total of £9,035.00 and amounting to 40 percent of the total project cost, has helped Girsonfield Stud & Racing to create jobs, increase the number of stables, improve their training facilities and care of the horses with new rubber mats and a new horse walker. Owner Susan Corbett said: “The funding from LEADER has really helped us up our game and improve the facilities for the horses. We now have 32 horses in training, from only 8 when we started the training yard 4 years ago. We have had 12 wins and 24 places since April both on the Flat and over Jumps and we are currently in the top 10% of Jumps trainers in the UK. I am very proud of our success and we have expanded our staff from 4 last year to 8 this year. We have a very young team with my son James as the yard jockey and Dillan Hurst our amateur jockey. Most of the team have come here straight from racing school and we have a great team in place.” Northumberland County Councillor and local ward member John Riddle said: “ Northumberland communities are being urged to make the most of grants available in coastal and upland areas before we exit the EU. “ LEADER Local Action Groups (LAGs) in Northumberland Coast and Lowlands and Northumberland Uplands are keen to make sure that communities, farmers, foresters and small businesses make full use of the funding still available to them. “The team is particularly keen to to hear about new project ideas that create good jobs or that support and enrich the lives of rural communities and can be delivered by December 2018.” Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham attended a celebration event along with racehorse owners and members of the Northumberland Uplands LEADER Local Action Group (NULAG). Girsonfield specialises in training both Flat and National Hunt horses, which is of particular interest to Mr Opperman who is a keen amateur jockey. He said: "As a keen jockey myself, I was delighted to be able to celebrate Girsonfield’s expansion as a result of a grant from the LEADER programme. It is vital that rural businesses like Girsonfield are able to keep improving and expanding, and I have no doubt that the superb new facilities at the stables will bring continued success to Girsonfield." NULAG chair, Terry Carroll said: “Girsonfield Stud is a fine example of a rural business looking to develop and grow, assisted by some grant aid, and so sustain the vitality of Northumberland’s economy. A wide range of other rural businesses have been helped in the current Leader programme. We are hopeful that a similar locally driven programme can be developed for the post Brexit era, to maintain this vital source of support for rural businesses.” LEADER Grants are available to improve the productivity of farming, help small businesses to grow, support rural tourism, develop our culture and heritage as well as provide rural services. The eligible LEADER funding area includes the market towns of Morpeth, Berwick on Tweed, Alnwick, Amble, Wooler, Rothbury, Hexham and Haltwhistle; and includes the Northumberland National Park area and Northumberland Coast Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which stretches from Berwick on Tweed to the River Coquet estuary, including Holy Island. Anyone with an idea for a project or who wants to find out more about LEADER funding, can contact Gill Cowell, the Programme Officer: gillian.cowell@northumberland.gov.uk or speak to a local NULAG member. More details are available on the LEADER website: www.nuleader.eu. The LEADER scheme is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) manages the LEADER scheme nationally and will make the payments to successful applicants.
  5. A new schools and leisure complex for Ponteland has come a step closer, after Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee agreed that it was ‘minded to approve’ the scheme at its meeting last night (11 January). The multi-million pound project will see new state of the art primary and secondary schools alongside leisure and cultural facilities, all based on the site of the existing leisure centre on Callerton Lane. The application is for demolition of the existing leisure centre and construction of the new schools and leisure centre, along with associated parking, infrastructure and playing fields. The two schools will have separate identities but be part of an integrated facility which will allow easy access to community facilities outside school hours. The community and leisure facilities will include a 100 station gym, 25 metre swimming pool, a learner pool, toddler aqua play area, climbing wall, soft play area, library, community cafe, dance studios, sports hall, performance space, a community cinema, and lifelong learning spaces. Northumberland County Councillor Eileen Armstrong, ward member for Ponteland East and Stannington, said: “This is the next step in securing fantastic new education and leisure facilities for the Ponteland area. “Ensuring that there are top quality learning environments for our young people is a very high priority for us, and this development will provide modern facilities for students for years into the future. “We also look forward to providing brand new top quality leisure facilities for use by pupils, the local community and visitors to the area. “I am very pleased to say that the new plans have addressed issues previously raised by the local community, and we expect that the community building will serve as an exemplar to others for a learning and community campus. Councillor Peter Jackson, leader of the county council, added: "This administration is determined to drive up standards in education in Northumberland so that we no longer languish below the national average. “Part of this drive is a willingness to invest in our schools. So we have increased school places in communities where they are needed such as Blyth and Morpeth. We have invested in new facilities for young people with special educational needs in Hexham and Ashington and now we are replacing outdated buildings in Ponteland. “We are addressing longstanding issues across the whole county." The site at Ponteland will include new parking and drop off facilities which will also support community events and sporting clubs. Sports pitches will be retained and enhanced to maintain continuity of local sporting clubs and there will be new all-weather sporting areas. Reorganisation is already underway for the majority of schools in the Ponteland partnership as first schools became primaries and Richard Coates CE School lowered its age range to include the primary phase from September last year (2017). Whalton, Stamfordham, Belsay and Heddon-on-the-Wall are all now enjoying the additional classrooms that have been constructed to enable reorganisation, and Darras Hall Primary School’s new build is well under construction and will be completed for September 2018. Ponteland High School will extend its age range to 11 to 18 from September 2019 and receive its first cohort of year 7 and 8 students then. The schedule for the new development aims for construction and completion of the school buildings by September 2019. Once the final go-ahead is given the council will be working very closely with all schools, parents and the local community to make sure that any disruption for students and families during development and changes is kept to a minimum. In line with normal protocol for a major proposal of this type, the council’s decision on the project will now be referred to the National Planning Casework Unit for determination from the Secretary of State on whether he wishes to call-in the application for his own determination.
  6. A lasting memorial to Northumbrian suffragette Emily Wilding Davison is to be erected in Carlisle Park in Morpeth in 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary since women were granted the right to vote. Northumberland County Council’s cabinet members have agreed the proposals for the scheme and to contribute £50,000 towards the monument which will be met from the Parks Enhancement Programme budget. Morpeth Town Council has agreed a financial contribution of £5,000 and efforts are continuing to secure additional funding for the project. Arrested and imprisoned for her part in demonstrations and activities in support of the Women’s Social and Political Union, Emily Davison’s name became known around the world in June 1913 when she stepped onto the Epsom track and was struck by the thundering hooves of the King George V’s horse Anmer. Emily never recovered from her injuries and died four days later in hospital. She was buried in St Mary’s Church Yard in Morpeth. Since that time, while an annual commemoration of her life takes place in Morpeth, no prominent memorial to her life and achievements - other than her grave - has been present in the town. Northumberland County Council and Morpeth Town Council have been working closely on proposals for the monument which will be erected in the formal garden of Carlisle Park. Information panels will also be provided in the park to highlight the significant role Emily played in the suffragette movement and will include walking trails to help guide visitors to Emily’s grave and other points of interest in the local area. Cllr Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services at Northumberland County Council and ward member for Longhorsley ,where Emily was born, said: “Emily Davison was a true local hero who brought about votes for women, and it is right that we recognise her achievements - especially in this centenary year. “Nationally renowned sculptor Ray Lonsdale has been contacted and has already provided some design concepts for the monument. The designs of a life size sculpture in steel have been shared with Morpeth’s Emily Inspires Group, Morpeth Heritage Group and other interested parties in the town who have all commented on the design. ” It is hoped the monument will be in place by July 2018. Pictured is a draft design concept of how the Emily memorial could look.
  7. After a review of the health and condition of trees that it is responsible for on Dacre Street in Morpeth, Northumberland County Council is planning to carry out some essential work from Monday 15th January to Friday 19th January. Four of the eleven mature trees on the street will have to be felled due to disease, and the stumps will be removed along with the stumps of two other previously removed trees. Essential pruning work will also take place on some of the remaining trees. Six new trees will then be planted. Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet member for Environment and Local Services, said: “It is always sad when we have to lose mature trees such as these. “However our investigations have found that they are not healthy, and as part of good tree management, and to ensure health and safety for pedestrians and road users in the future, they will unfortunately have to be taken down. “I am sorry this work will cause traffic disruption but it is necessary to shut the road on safety grounds. I’d also like to assure residents and visitors we will be planting similar trees in the street which will preserve the character of the area as an attractive tree lined avenue in the town.” The work will mean that Dacre Street has to be closed to traffic and pedestrians between the hours of 8.30am and 3.30pm during this week. Extra resources are being brought in to try and reduce the period of the road closure to a minimum, so it is hoped that the job can be completed in less than the five days. Road traffic and pedestrians will be able to use either Howard Terrace to the north or Stanley Terrace to the south and diversion routes will be signposted. Dacre Street car park will be accessible during part of the week.
  8. Community groups in Castle Morpeth are being encouraged to bid for support in a successful county-wide funding scheme. Community Chest, run by Northumberland County Council, awards grants of up to £5,000 to support community groups and organisations county-wide. The funding can help with costs by issuing 75% of the total amount required, towards equipment for community group activities and sports, venue refurbishments, transport facilities and much more. More than 1,500 projects have benefitted from £2.8 million in grants since 2009, which has contributed or helped towards £20 million worth of projects within Northumberland. The 1st Ellington Brownies recently received a grant of £500 to help with the cost of new sporting equipment for the young members. Leader Gillian Teasdale said: “The grant has been extremely beneficial for the girls individually, as well as improving their team player skills. “Before applying for the grant, we didn’t have any suitable equipment for outdoor activities. The new sporting equipment provides the girls with the opportunity to be active and healthy, as well as having fun.” A ‘Help for You’ fund is also available, which offers grants of up to £200 for young people aged under 18 to support them in pursuing an ambition. A maximum of £2,000 is available for each local area. Any young person considering applying should demonstrate leadership, sporting excellence or another endeavour, which will inspire other young people or project a positive role model for others to follow. Cllr Nick Oliver, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services at Northumberland County Council, said: “The Community Chest Fund is a fantastic opportunity for local community groups and organisations to enhance their services which will ultimately benefit the local community. “The 1st Ellington Brownies is a great example of how the funding can make a difference to local people.” “The scheme contributes to achieving our ambition for Northumberland, which is to support voluntary and community groups and organisations to deliver activities to maintain and create sustainable communities.” The closing date for Community Chest Scheme applications is 12th January 2018. For more information visit: www.northumberland.gov.uk/Campaigns/Community-Chest-Scheme.aspx or email: communitychest@northumberland.gov.uk
  9. Cabinet agrees school investment

    At a meeting on Tuesday (12 December) Northumberland County Council's Cabinet agreed a proposal to allocate £4.4m of the Basic Need capital grant, to provide additional school places at four school sites in Morpeth, Blyth, and Seaton Valley, and this will now go forward to full council for ratification. With a review of the council's overall capital programme underway, a report outlined proposed amendments to the previously approved Medium Term Financial Plan and Capital Programme back in February 2017. Basic Need funding is allocated by the Department of Education (DfE) to support growth of school capacity and assist local authorities in fulfilling their duty to ensure there are sufficient school places for children in their local area. Nationally £10.9 billion of funding has been provided by the DfE for the period of 2011-2020, with Northumberland’s total allocation for this period being £15.6m. In order to grow capacity to meet the demand for school places projects have been identified for Blyth, Morpeth and Seaton Valley. It is therefore proposed to allocate £4.4m of the Basic Need grant at the following schools: New Delaval Primary School ​(Blyth): invest £1m increase the capacity of the school by an additional 105 places. Horton Grange Primary School ​(Blyth): to invest £2m increase the capacity by an additional 210 places. Whytrig Middle School (Seaton Valley): Invest £673K to increase the capacity of the school by 144 places. Chantry Middle School (Morpeth): Will see an investment of £711k to increase the capacity of the school by 120 places. Councillor Wayne Daley, Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Children’s Services at Northumberland County Council said: "The council is committed to investing in education and school development. This funding will allow schools four schools to increase their capacity and will result in high quality facilities being available for pupils. “We want every child in Northumberland to have the best possible educational opportunities and this investment will help to provide the best possible learning environment.” The proposal will now go to full council for a decision In January 2018.
  10. At a meeting on 12 December 2017 Northumberland County Council Cabinet will consider a proposal report to allocate £4.4m of the Basic Need capital grant, to provide additional school places at four school sites in Morpeth,Blyth, and Seaton Valley. With a review of the council's overall capital programme underway, the report outlines proposed amendments to the previously approved Medium Term Financial Plan and Capital Programme back in February 2017. Basic Need funding is allocated by the Department of Education (DfE) to support growth of school capacity and assist local authorities in fulfilling their duty to ensure there are sufficient school places for children in their local area. Nationally £10.9 billion of funding has been provided by the DfE for the period of 2011-2020, with Northumberland’s total allocation for this period being £15.6m. In order to grow capacity to meet the demand for school places projects have been identified for Blyth, Morpeth and Seaton Valley. It is therefore proposed to allocate £4.4m of the Basic Need grant at the following schools: New Delaval Primary School ​(Blyth): invest £1m increase the capacity of the school by an additional 105 places. Horton Grange Primary School ​(Blyth): to invest £2m increase the capacity by an additional 210 places. Whytrig Middle School (Seaton Valley): Invest £673K to increase the capacity of the school by 144 places. Chantry Middle School (Morpeth): Will see an investment of £711k to increase the capacity of the school by 120 places. Councillor Wayne Daley, Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Children’s Services at Northumberland County Council said: "The council is committed to investing in education and school development. This funding will allow schools four schools to increase their capacity and will result in high quality facilities being available for pupils. “We want every child in Northumberland to have the best possible educational opportunities and this investment will help to provide the best possible learning environment.” If approved, the proposal will go to full council for a decision In January 2018.
  11. If you fancy making an attractive and affordable Christmas wreath to adorn your front door this festive season, why not join one of the workshops at Hepscott Park Horticultural Skills Unit near Morpeth The sessions cost £12, will last approximately 1 hour 30 minutes and will run on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd December. To book onto a workshop ring: 01670 623911.
  12. Following an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote at a local referendum in September, the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan has now been ‘made’ by Northumberland County Council, bringing it into legal force. The neighbourhood plan is now part of the statutory development plan for the Ponteland parish, and decisions on planning applications there must be made in accordance with the policies in the plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan is the fourth neighbourhood plan in Northumberland to be ‘made’, following Allendale in July 2015, Morpeth in May 2016 and Alnwick and Denwick in July 2017. The Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan referendum took place on Thursday 28th September and all residents of the parish who are registered to vote were able to have their say. Overall, 2,730 people voted, comprising 29.5% of the registered electors. With only 101 people voting ‘no’, there was a majority ‘yes’ vote of 96.3% in favour of making the neighbourhood plan. The plan was prepared by Ponteland Town Council through its neighbourhood plan steering group, with support from Northumberland County Council’s planning officers. Councillor John Riddle, cabinet member for planning at Northumberland County Council said: “The planning policy framework in Northumberland is being strengthened by the adoption of neighbourhood plans like this one. “This is the fourth plan to be made and there are around 20 others in various stages of preparation across the county. The council is pleased to provide significant support to local groups in preparation of their plans.” Ponteland Town Council has engaged with the community through extensive communication, consultation and engagement between 2012 and 2017 to produce the plan which addresses issues local people have identified as important in their local area. It comprises 32 planning policies which have been developed to address spatial planning and land use issues identified by the local community; including the built and natural environment, the local economy, housing, flooding and transport. Councillor Alan Varley, the Mayor of Ponteland, said: “Ponteland Town Council is delighted that the plan has been ‘made’ and wishes to express their sincere thanks to the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group members who put in so much time and effort on the Council’s behalf. “Thanks must also go to the planning officers at the county council, who were there to offer support and guidance when needed” The Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan and accompanying documents can be viewed on the county council’s website at www.northumberland.gov.uk/ourplan, at County Hall, Morpeth and in Ponteland Library at Ponteland Leisure Centre.
  13. A Christmas fair is to be held at Hepscott Park Horticultural Skills Unit on Wednesday December 6th providing a great opportunity to purchase some special gifts, while supporting a great local cause. On sale will be a range of Christmas trees, wreaths and table decorations, gifts and cards, jewellery, and ceramics crafted by local adults with learning disabilities. There will be also be a hamper raffle and a tombola. Visitors to the fair are invited to the adjacent Garden Café for Christmas refreshments and will receive a free mince pie with every drink purchased in the cafe. Hepscott Park Horticultural Skills Unit provides essential training and work experience for people with learning disabilities. The money raised on the day will be reinvested back into this important service. Northumberland County Councillor Veronica Jones, cabinet member with responsibility for adult wellbeing and health said: “Our staff and service users work very hard throughout the year and the fair is a great way to celebrate their work and showcase the skills they have gained. Please come along and support them,if you are able to.” The Horticultural Skills Unit’s Christmas fair will take place on Wednesday 6 December between 11am – 2pm at Hepscott Park, Morpeth, NE61 6NF.
  14. Hepscott Park Horticultural and Skills centre will be selling good quality Christmas trees from the end of November and orders are now being taken. Two types of tree will be on sale. Nordmann Fir trees , which don’t drop their needles, are being sold at £28 for a 5ft tree and £34 for a 6ft tree. The Norway Spruce trees once cut usually shed their needles, however the trees being sold at Hepscott Park will be sold in pots and if they are kept watered they shouldn’t shed their needles. These trees are being sold for £26 for a 4-5 foot tree. Hepscott Horticultural Skills Unit provides essential training and work experience for adults with learning disabilities. The money raised from the sale of the trees will be reinvested back into this important service. Trees may be collected from the Horticultural Skills Unit at Hepscott Park, Morpeth, NE61 6NF, or can be delivered free within a 5 mile radius. The trees should be ready for collection from Wednesday 29 November. To order your tree please phone 01670 623911
  15. If you fancy making an attractive and affordable Christmas wreath to adorn your front door this festive season, why not join one of the workshops at Hepscott Park Horticultural Skills Unit near Morpeth The sessions cost £10, will last approximately 1 hour 30 minutes and will run on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd December. To book onto a workshop ring: 01670 623911.
  16. If you fancy making an attractive and affordable Christmas wreath to adorn your front door this festive season, why not join one of the workshops at Hepscott Park Horticultural Skills Unit near Morpeth The sessions cost £10, will last approximately 1 hour 30 minutes and will run on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd December. To book onto a workshop ring: 01670 623911.
  17. Hundreds of residents have had their say on Morpeth’s future - with the county council now encouraging other towns to come forward. Over 300 visitors attended Morpeth Town Hall to share their ideas for the future redevelopment of the town - while nearly 200 more have so far filled in an online survey. Now council chiefs are looking into how similar sessions could be carried out in other parts of the county. Councillor Richard Wearmouth, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “We were delighted with the engagement and feedback from the masterplanning session - there were some great ideas put forward. “The pursuit of a masterplan for the town was a recommendation of the town’s Neighbourhood Plan. Once completed it will help developers understand how we want the Morpeth of the future to look and inform the better use of council owned land. “We know other areas are keen to see similar exercises take place and we’re calling for bodies such as town and parish councils to come forward as Morpeth did, with ideas on the future development of their towns. “In particular we are keen to explore possible uses for council owned land across the county, and town and parish councils could assist us greatly with that.” The Morpeth Masterplanning survey is open until 8pm on November 20. The survey, which can be accessed HERE, asks a series of questions about how services can best be delivered to local people and seeks ideas on the future ‘look and feel’ of Morpeth. PDFs of the maps are also available HERE Town and parish councils who wish to express an interest in a future development exercise should email strategicestates@northumberland.gov.uk with their details.
  18. A fire has broken out at Sanders Plant And Waste Management site in Pegswood, near Morpeth. A call was received by Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service at 7.32 am on Saturday 11th November. Four fire appliances and a high volume pump from Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service, supported by an aerial ladder platform from Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue Service attended the incident. While there is a plume of white smoke rising from the fire, this is quickly dissipating. The public are being reassured by Public Health England and the Environment Agency that there is minimal risk to human and animal health or the environment. However, any smoke can be an irritant and as a precaution residents immediately downwind of the fire are being visited by Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service and are being provided with advice. The fire is in a large, 70 metre x 20 metre steel framed shed which is two thirds full of builders rubble and general household waste. Firefighters anticipate that the fire could take some days to fully extinguish. Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is working with Northumbria Police to keep disruption to local residents to a minimum. Paul Hedley, Chief Fire Officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “ I’d just like to reassure the public that the fire is contained and under control. Although there is a smoke plume resulting from the fire it is not causing ourselves or our partner agencies any concern. We will continue to monitor both wind direction and speed and will offer advice to local communities if needed. This will potentially be a protracted incident with Fire and Rescue Service in attendance for some time.” Environment Agency Team Leader, Tristan Drought said: “The Environment Agency has sent officers to the site to assess the impact of the fire on the environment and will be working with the fire service to investigate the cause of the blaze. ” Water used to put out the fire is being collected in two large holding tanks on the site to prevent any contamination to the local watercourse. Sanders Plant and Waste Management is a licensed waste management site, registered with the Environment Agency. The company primarily collect the content of household skips which is then stored, sorted and recycled. Agencies on the ground are monitoring the smoke plume, and the weather forecast; the wind speed and direction is not set to change over the course of the weekend. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
  19. A fire has broken out at Sanders Plant And Waste Management site on Butterwell Drive in Pegswood, near Morpeth. A call was received by Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service at 7.32 am on Saturday 11th November. Four fire appliances and a high volume pump from Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service, supported by an aerial ladder platform from Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue Service attended the incident. While there is a plume of white smoke rising from the fire, this is quickly dissipating. The public are being reassured by Public Health England and the Environment Agency that there is minimal risk to human and animal health or the environment. However, any smoke can be an irritant and as a precaution residents immediately downwind of the fire are being visited by Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service and are being provided with advice. The fire is in a large, 70 metre x 20 metre steel framed shed which is two thirds full of builders rubble and general household waste. Firefighters anticipate that the fire could take some days to fully extinguish. Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is working with Northumbria Police to keep disruption to local residents to a minimum. Paul Hedley, Chief Fire Officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “ I’d just like to reassure the public that the fire is contained and under control. Although there is a smoke plume resulting from the fire it is not causing ourselves or our partner agencies any concern. We will continue to monitor both wind direction and speed and will offer advice to local communities if needed. This will potentially be a protracted incident with Fire and Rescue Service in attendance for some time.” Environment Agency Team Leader, Tristan Drought said: “The Environment Agency has sent officers to the site to assess the impact of the fire on the environment and will be working with the fire service to investigate the cause of the blaze. ” Water used to put out the fire is being collected in two large holding tanks on the site to prevent any contamination to the local watercourse. Sanders Plant and Waste Management is a licensed waste management site, registered with the Environment Agency. The company primarily collect the content of household skips which is then stored, sorted and recycled. Agencies on the ground are monitoring the smoke plume, and the weather forecast; the wind speed and direction is not set to change over the course of the weekend. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
  20. Morpeth Masterplan online survey

    Morpeth residents can still have their say on how the town develops over the next few years - by taking part in an online survey. A special drop-in session at Morpeth Town Hall on Friday, November 10 attracted hundreds of visitors - and people can now submit their views via an online survey from 8pm tonight (November 10). The survey, which can be accessed HERE, asks a series of questions about how services can best be delivered to local people and seeks ideas on the future ‘look and feel’ of Morpeth. Councillor Richard Wearmouth, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and himself a Morpeth resident, said: “It’s fantastic that so many people have already got involved and shared their ideas for the future redevelopment of Morpeth. “We understand some people will want to think about their ideas or have been unable to get along to the drop-in, so we’d encourage anyone who has an interest in the future of the town to fill in our survey, which will take just a few minutes. “Once we have all this information, it will ultimately form a supplementary planning document which will sit alongside the town’s Neighbourhood Plan and help developers understand how we want the Morpeth of the future to look.” The survey is open until 8pm on November 20.
  21. The County Remembers

    Members of the public joined staff, Northumberland County Councillors and ex servicemen for a Remembrance Day Service at County Hall in Morpeth earlier today ( Friday November 10.) War veterans and representatives of the RAF, Royal British Legion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, RAF Boulmer and emergency services joined together to help commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians in times of war. To mark the end of the First World War at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918, a two minute silence was held. A bugler from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers played the Last Post. Accompanied by a Northumbrian piper, wreaths of poppies were laid at the war memorial by Northumberland County Council civic head Councillor Anthony Murray MBE, HM Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Northumberland and representatives of the emergency services among many others. Children from The Dales School in Blyth made their own beautiful poppy wreath especially for the occasion and came to the service to lay it at the war memorial.
  22. At a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (7 November) Northumberland County Council approved funding for a new school on land of the former fire station. Cabinet gave the green light to the revised Outline Business Case to relocate Morpeth First School to a purpose-built new building on the site of the old Morpeth Fire Station at Loansdean. The £6.85m plan would see a purpose-built new building on the site with the scheme planned to be completed by September 2019. Approval was also given for a further £200,000 of capital funding to create separate overflow parking for County Hall staff to replace the existing temporary arrangements. The relocation project for Morpeth First school had previously been approved to be constructed on the County Hall site. Following the decision of the council in May of this year not to relocate the council headquarters, it was no longer possible to continue with the project as previously agreed. The revised proposal now places the same design of school building, but on the new preferred site. Further consultation on the revised site will take place prior to the submission of the detailed planning application which is programmed for early January 2018. Councillor Wayne Daley, Deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council, and cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “We will be working closely with local parents, residents and the wider Morpeth community to consult on the new school development. “Education is a priority for us and we are committed to deliver the best possible educational environment the young people of Northumberland.”
  23. Morpeth residents are being given the opportunity to have their say on how the town develops over the next few years. A special drop-in session is being arranged at Morpeth Town Hall to hear what the community would like to see in the town, along with areas for improvement. The event, being held on Friday, November 10 between 2pm and 8pm, also aims to find out how services can best be delivered to local people and develop ideas on the future ‘look and feel’ of Morpeth. While consultation events have been held in the town in the past, this is the first under the current administration, with the council taking a clean slate approach, with no fixed proposals on what should or shouldn’t be in the town. Councillor Richard Wearmouth, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and himself a Morpeth resident, said: “As a council that listens we want to work with local residents and businesses on ideas for the future redevelopment of Morpeth - including key sites like County Hall, the former library site and the Leisure Centre. “Morpeth is a town which presents so many opportunities - whether it’s retail, leisure or developing the night-time economy - but we want the community to be at the heart of the town’s future. “Once we have all this information, it will ultimately form a supplementary planning document which will sit alongside the town’s Neighbourhood Plan and help developers understand how we want the Morpeth of the future to look.” The Morpeth Masterplan consultation event takes place at Morpeth Town Hall, Market Place, NE61 1LZ, between 2pm and 8pm on Friday, November 10. For residents who can’t make it along, a website survey will be set up following the event.
  24. Morpeth’s old library site is set to provide some festive cheer for people visiting the town in the run up to Christmas. The council’s planning team is due to determine an application to demolish the derelict building and clear the site this week - with the cleared area then being made available for temporary car parking. Subject to planning approval, the old flat roofed former library building will be demolished, with work lined up to start from the week beginning 6th November. The mature trees on the site will be retained, with the exception of two trees both of which are dead or dying and which will be felled for safety reasons as part of the works. It will take several weeks to clear the buildings and leave a hardstanding area that will be left open so it can be used for informal car parking. When the work is complete it will be made available for immediate use, to support the town during the busy pre-Christmas period. Cllr Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council said, “The old library site forms part of the riverside development area which is currently being considered as part of the wider Morpeth masterplanning exercise. This exercise will look at how best to redevelop key sites around the town to meet local needs and boost the local economy. “Whilst this work is progressing we are pleased to put the site to some positive use - supporting businesses in the very important pre-Christmas period.” Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for local services at Northumberland County Council said:“This now derelict building is in very poor condition so demolishing it will both make the area safe and ready for future development for the benefit of the town, but also provide short term support by way of some extra informal parking capacity.” Councillor David Bawn, local ward member said: “I think it’s a great idea to make some positive use of the site, so we aim to complete the work and make the site available by the beginning of December.” The Willows and Beechfield will not be affected by this work.
  25. Hundreds of Northumberland children will have the chance to meet their favourite authors over the next two weeks, as the 34th Northern Children’s Book Festival gets underway. The festival which runs from 6 - 17 November is one of the largest children’s book festivals in the UK, and a host of inspiring and top name authors,​ ​poets,​ ​storytellers​ ​and​ ​illustrators​ ​will​ ​visiting​ ​schools​ ​and​ ​libraries​ ​across​ the region. Northumberland County Council’s library staff have arranged for four children’s authors and illustrators to visit Northumberland to meet children and young people across the county. They will be talking about their books, telling stories and making pictures, with lots of opportunities for audience participation and questions. The events are always entertaining and promote the message that reading is fun. Tracey​ ​Corderoy,​ ​award​ ​winning​ ​author,​ ​will​ ​be​ ​holding​ ​interactive story​ ​sessions​ ​based​ ​around​ ​her​ ​picture​ ​books​ ​and​ ​early​ ​reader series​ ​‘Shifty​ ​McGifty​ ​and​ ​Slippery​ ​Sam’.​ ​​Tracey​ ​will​ ​be​ ​visiting Embleton​ ​Primary​ ​and​ ​Swansfield​ ​Park​ ​Schools​ ​on​ ​Wednesday​ ​8th November. Another​ ​fantastic​ ​award​ ​winning​ ​author,​ ​Guy​ ​Bass,​ ​will​ ​be reading​ ​and​ ​talking​ ​to​ ​children​ ​about​ ​his​ ​latest​ ​series ‘Spynosaur’.​ ​Guy​ ​will​ ​be​ ​visiting​ ​Chantry​ ​and​ ​Newminster​ ​Middle Schools in Morpeth​ ​on​ ​Thursday​ ​9th​ ​November. Author​ ​and​ ​singer​ ​songwriter​ ​Alan​ ​Windram​ ​will​ ​be​ ​sharing his​ ​lovable​ ​‘Mac​ ​and​ ​Bob’​ ​series​ ​of​ ​picture​ ​books.​ ​ ​Alan​ ​will be​ ​visiting​ ​Ashington​ ​Central​ ​Primary​ ​School​ ​on​ ​Friday​ ​10th November. Last,​ ​but​ ​by​ ​no means​ ​least,​ ​Philip​ ​Ardagh,​ ​author​ ​of​ ​over 100​ ​books​ ​and​ ​winner​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Roald​ ​Dahl​ ​Funny​ ​Prize​ ​will be​ ​entertaining​ ​children​ ​with​ ​tales​ ​from​ ​his​ ​book​ ​series ‘The​ ​Grunts’​ ​ ​and​ ​giving​ ​them​ ​ideas​ ​on​ ​how​ ​to​ ​start creating​ ​their​ ​own​ ​stories.​ ​ ​Philip​ ​will​ ​be​ ​visiting Ovingham​ ​Middle​ ​and​ ​Ponteland​ ​Middle​ ​Schools​ ​on Monday​ ​13th​ ​November. Northumberland County Councillor, Cath Homer, cabinet member for culture, arts and leisure said: “ We’re​ ​looking​ ​forward​ ​to​ ​a​ ​fantastic​ ​fortnight​ ​with​ ​the​ ​authors​ who are set to bring alive the wonder of literature for all the young people involved. Initiatives such as this, which get children interested in reading are so important and we hope they go away enthused and inspired to read more often.” The festival will culminate in a ​ ​Gala​ ​Day which takes place on Saturday​ ​18th​ ​November at The​ ​Word,​ ​National​ ​Centre​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Written​ ​Word,​ ​South​ ​Shields. Gala Day has something for everyone aged 4 – 13. There will be free, fun, interactive family sessions with award winning authors, illustrators and storytellers. Gala​ ​Day​ ​events​ ​are​ ​free​ ​to​ ​attend​ ​but​ ​must​ ​be​ ​booked​ ​in​ ​advance on www.northernchildrensbookfestival.org.uk
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