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Northumberland News issue 23 Autumn 2012 | Phone 0845 600 6400

Free days out County’s Royal visit Award-winning parks Plus Olympic updates | LOVE Northumberland Awards | What’s on

Northumberland News Now available online, by email or in print. 7




Northumberland News is a quarterly magazine packed with features and news articles written specifically for county residents. Published in September, December, March and June it is distributed free of charge by Northumberland County Council. Every effort is made to ensure that all information is accurate at the time of publication.

If you would like to receive Northumberland News in large print, Braille, audio, or in another format or language please contact us.

In this issue: 4

Heritage Open Days 2012


Sports facilities up and running

10 Latest NHS news 13 New service for veterans

Telephone: 0845 600 6400 Type Talk: 18001 0845 600 6400 Email:

Northumberland News, Gold Award Winner in the External Newspaper or Magazine category at the CIPR PRide Awards North East. The magazine was judged best in the region during an awards ceremony in November 2011.


19 Funding for green travel 21 Firefighters prepare for competition 28 What’s on Front cover: Vicki Smith promotes ‘A marriage made in Northumberland’. Since the launch of this council campaign on Valentine’s day 2012, 12,560 people have looked at the council’s wedding brochure online and almost 4,000 have downloaded booking information. Overall, bookings and wedding ceremonies are up by 15 per cent. The campaign is designed to promote the beautiful wedding venues across the county and bring more people into Northumberland, providing a real boost to the local economy. For more information visit: | Phone 0845 600 6400

Welcome are committed to creating a legacy for all residents in the county to take part in sport and become fitter and healthier as a result.

Tony Settle, chairman of Northumberland Sport, introduces this issue of Northumberland News marking a particularly sporty summer. As this magazine went to print the 2012 Olympics were drawing to a close and we were looking ahead to the Paralympic Games. The Paralympics begin on 29 August when Northumberland’s Stephen Miller will be going for a remarkable fourth gold medal. Northumberland Sport has embraced the Games and we

We are involved in a number of programmes, predominantly funded by Sport England, that aim to enhance sporting provision in Northumberland. These include: improving opportunities for volunteers; raising the number of qualified coaches and increasing the number of accredited clubs, which ultimately will lead to an increase in participation. Information about specific programmes including Sport Makers, Sportivate and Bringing the Games Closer can be found on the Northumberland Sport website at www. Northumberland has done well securing Sport England and other external funding to improve sporting facilities at community clubs and school sites.

An example of this is the new running track at King Edward VI High School in Morpeth (page 7). Elsewhere in Northumberland, hundreds of children and adults took part in the county council’s ‘Give it a Go’ events and the Torch Relay (page 6) attracted huge crowds as it made its way around the county. Exercise is just one element of well-being and the Healthy School Awards (page 30) show how the county council is acknowledging those schools educating pupils about the importance of eating well. Other accolades featured in this issue include The LOVE Northumberland Awards (page 17) and the Green Flag Awards won by the county’s best parks (page 14). For those looking to take a break from sport, the Heritage Open Days return again this year. Details of the venues taking part are listed on page 4.

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Heritage Open Days 2012 Final preparations are underway for this year’s Heritage Open Days in Northumberland. The ever-popular annual cultural event coordinated by Northumberland County Council, will take place from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 September. Heritage Open Days aim to give visitors the chance to see buildings, which would not normally be open to the public or which would usually charge for admission, free of charge. Popular venues such as Cragside, Wallington Hall, Seaton Delaval Hall, Hexham’s Forum Cinema, Lindisfarne Castle and the Flodden Battle Field Walks are part of the programme once again. New listings such as Kielder Observatory, Woodhorn Narrow Gauge Railway, Kirkley Hall and St Cuthbert’s House, Seahouses are also taking part. Last year the variety of sites open to the public in Northumberland made it one of the most accessible counties in England. This year the programme is just as diverse, with more tours, events and activities taking place during the four-day event.

Councillor Neill Bradbury, executive member for customer relations and culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “The event is a firm favourite on the Northumberland calendar and I would encourage as many people as possible to explore the county’s heritage and learn about our history. There really is something for everyone including expert talks, guided walks and fascinating exhibitions.” A leaflet listing all the venues, activities, walks and talks taking place is available from tourist information centres, council contact centres and libraries or visit the website at: open

Pictured: Visitors at Sandstell Fishing Shiel, Spittal.

Pictured: Newbiggin Maritime Centre.

4 | Phone 0845 600 6400

The Prince of Wales visits county’s coast The Prince of Wales enjoyed his first official visit to Northumberland’s coastal communities earlier this summer. Arriving in Alnmouth Station by Tornado steam train on 23 July the heir to the throne spent two days visiting Warkworth, Amble, Holy Island, Bamburgh and Seahouses. The aim of the trip was to highlight small family businesses and community volunteering in the areas visited. As part of the tour, RAF Boulmer, the Grace Darling Museum in Bamburgh and The Ship Inn and Microbrewery in Low Newtonby-the-Sea were just a few of the stops along the way. On Holy Island HRH learned about the Holy Island Partnership and the Lindisfarne Peregrini Landscape Partnership as well visiting the newly refurbished Lookout Tower. In Seahouses, the Prince, who is president of the Marine Conservation Society, met community representatives and the Area of Outstanding Natural

Pictured: The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Northumberland with children on the beach at Bamburgh. Beauty Young Rangers where he talked to them about the practical work they carry out to conserve and enhance Northumberland’s coast. Northumberland County Councillor, Pat Scott, chair of the AONB Partnership, said: “We were delighted that The Prince of Wales chose to visit the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to highlight some of the work that the AONB Partnership does to conserve and enhance the coast. His Royal Highness met some of our volunteer beachcleaners (pictured below) who not only clean the beaches but record what they find as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s project and I was thrilled that he was able to chat to them. They do a great job and are real ambassadors for the AONB.” The Royal party who were guests of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle finished the trip to Northumberland with a tour of The Alnwick Garden where The Prince of Wales opened Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food centre at the Garden.


Olympic round-up The Olympic Games have gripped the nation this summer and Northumberland is no exception. We have watched as local athletes take part and thousands of people across the county have joined in many associated events. The main prelude event was the Torch Relay, which passed through Northumberland on 14, 15 and 16 June. The Flame travelled through 18 communities covering 136 miles on the county’s highways. More than 80,000 people turned out in Northumberland to view the Flame including 57 schools. The county council hosted an evening celebration and morning start event at the Pastures in Alnwick and a lunch time celebration at Blyth Sports Centre.

Pictured: Les Welsh foster carer and founder of Blyth’s Empire School of Boxing. Associated activities ran such as the ‘Give it a Go’ sports programme, ‘Northern Flame’ - a filming making project involving each community on route, a reading relay organised through the council’s library service, a young people’s singing project and Northumbriana a specially commissioned dance performance, which made its debut in Alnwick. During the Torch Relay the county council’s social media links attracted thousands of people; 2,024 Tweets flooded the council’s #NlandTorch account and a gallery of 500

Pictured: Brian Tinnion, a firefighter and charity fundraiser carrying the flame through Bamburgh.


images from community photographers was compiled by the council for everyone to see. These photos can still be viewed at northumberlandc/olympic-torchrelay but here is a selection.

Pictured: Charlotte Proud lived up to her name as she bore the Olympic torch along Hadrian’s Wall. | Phone 0845 600 6400

New facilities put sport on the right track Athletes and students are set to starting training on a new synthetic running track in Morpeth. Work on the million pound, multisport project on the site of King Edward VI High School finished in July – just in time for students at the school to try out the facilities before the end of term. To mark the completion of the project, students and staff from King Edward VI High School (KEVI), members of Morpeth Harriers, representatives from the county council, Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure and Sport England gathered at the site in Cottingwood Lane, Morpeth. The eagerly awaited project includes: a new six-lane synthetic running track; new changing rooms; improvements to paths and a ramp to ensure all facilities at the site are accessible to wheelchair users; new synthetic surfaces for the school’s existing shale all-weather sports area and improvements to the school’s four football pitches. Sport England contributed £536,000 to the project with funding of £455,225 from the county council, £40,000 from the Aiming High Fund, £19,802 from Morpeth Harriers, £175,000 from King Edward VI High School and £5,000 from the Banks charitable foundation. Local councillors Ian Lindley, David Moore and Andrew Tebbutt

Pictured: David Mitchinson (left), Sport England, opens the track with James Alder, 1966 Commonwealth Games Marathon champion. backed the project by donating their allowances for community schemes to pay for athletics equipment to be used at the site. Councillor Neil Bradbury, executive member for customer relations and culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “Encouraging participation in sport is a key part of the council’s work to promote health and well-being; this project has created the right facilities to support this aim.”

Simon Taylor, headteacher at The King Edward VI High School, said: “Improvements to sports facilities have been a high priority for our school governors for many years and we’re now keen to see our students and local athletes make full use of them and reap the rewards.”

The improvements will provide members of Morpeth Harriers with their own track. For the past 20 years the club’s athletes have had to travel to Jarrow to stage home league events.

David Mitchinson, Sport England’s senior grants manager, said: “In the year the Olympics came to London and saw Morpeth’s own Jim Alder carry the Olympic Torch there is no better tribute to the work of all involved with this project to see it come to fruition. This project gives the people of Morpeth and the surrounding areas a fantastic tangible legacy from the London 2012 Games.”

Mike Bateman, secretary of Morpeth Harriers, said: “These new facilities will allow us to develop athletes across a widerange of events and give our club a fantastic base in the heart of Morpeth.”

Work developing the project started in 2007 and has also involved organisations including the former Castle Morpeth Borough Council, Morpeth Town and Morpeth Juniors’ football club.


Pictured: Students from Prudhoe Community High School man their stall at Hexham Market with Richard Hayes (left) and Keith Gray from the council’s neighbourhood services team, which manages markets across the county.

Trading in school for business Pupils from Prudhoe Community High School took part in an Apprentice-style competition earlier this summer selling home made products from Hexham Market. A dozen students took part in the Hexham Market activity, which was made possible by Northumberland County Council offering market stall spaces for just £10, as part of National Market Fortnight. The apprentice event was modelled on the reality TV show hosted by Alan Sugar.


The theme of the market event was ‘summer treats.’ Pupils had one day to come up with ideas and make the products in the school with a £75 budget. Katie March, a year 10 student, said: “I really enjoyed it. It was quite challenging, and we learnt about the real world of setting up in business.” The event was part of a series of activities, which ran during a careers week at the school involving 60 year 10 pupils. Chris Shaw, head of business studies at the school, said: “Prudhoe students have a proud history of entrepreneurial activity. The careers week, including the market activity, really challenged students. As usual they rose to the challenge and exceeded all our expectations developing their creativity, organisational and teamwork skills, as well as taking part in an exciting, real world activity.”

National Market Fortnight ran from 23 June to the 8 July. Stall spaces were offered at markets managed by Northumberland County Council for just £10 to attract new traders and provide opportunities for new and startup businesses. Councillor Alan Thompson, Northumberland County Council’s executive member for neighbourhood services and highways, said: “We were really glad to be able to give people the chance to try out market trading for just £10. The people of Northumberland deserve to feel very proud of their markets, and it’s especially encouraging to see young people getting involved.” The National Association of British Market Authorities awarded Hexham the ‘best small outdoor market in Britain’ award in 2012. | Phone 0845 600 6400

Eco schools’ success A project to teach children the importance of recycling from a young age has reached the end of its second successful year. The county council’s popular Eco-Start recycling project has now reached 93 per cent of Northumberland’s primary and first schools. Those schools who have taken part have enjoyed recycling assemblies, composting workshops and parents have also received leaflets explaining the importance of waste management. The average secondary school produces 22kg of waste per pupil each academic year. The figure for primary schools is even higher at 45kg per pupil. Earlier this summer pupils of Adderlane First School in Prudhoe took part in the project. Officers from the council’s neighbourhood services and waste management teams took the children litter picking along the route they walk to their local swimming pool and talked about litter problems in the area while also doing something to improve the local environment. Adderlane First is working towards awards on the EcoSchools Programme, managed by Keep Britain Tidy. They currently have a bronze award, are working towards the Silver

Pictured: Pupils from Adderlane First School litter picking in their local area. award and then, hopefully, the prestigious Green Flag award. The school received a resource box for successfully completing the project and to encourage them to keep up their good work. Councillor Alan Thompson said: “The promotion of environmental awareness can contribute so much to the quality of our lives. Initiatives such as The EcoStart project teach children the importance of recycling from a young age. This increases the likelihood of them being an environmentally conscious adult.”

Emma Potts, teacher at Adderlane First School, said: “We have an eco-week every year but this is the first time we invited the council’s officers along. Their input enriched the week and made it more fulfilling for the children. It really strengthened their understanding of the importance of saving the planet.” The school has also pledged to support the council’s LOVE Northumberland campaign, which highlights the work of community based organisations, like the school, in working with the council to care for the local environment.


Leading GP reminds those at risk to think ahead and protect themselves from flu A Northumberland GP is reminding those people who are at risk from flu to protect themselves by having the free flu vaccination again this autumn. Dr Alistair Blair, chief clinical and accountable officer (designate) of NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group is reminding people in the county - especially pregnant women, children with complex health needs and adults with long term health conditions – they need to make sure they have their annual flu vaccine next month. Dr Blair said: “Older people are well established at coming forward for their annual flu vaccine every year, which is great news. However, we really want to remind pregnant women, the parents of children with complex health needs and adults with long term health conditions that they really need to make sure they protect themselves and have the vaccine.


“Whilst most people who are normally fit and healthy recover from flu by taking plenty of rest, fluids and over the counter flu remedies, for those in at risk groups it can cause serious illness and in the most tragic of cases, death. “We don’t want anyone to get ill from something which can be avoided and that’s why people who are at risk from flu should book a vaccination appointment with their GP as soon as possible.” He added: “We’re making it as easy as possible for people to get their free vaccine again this year. We’re working with midwifery services so that pregnant women are aware of the importance to get vaccinated. Community pharmacies are also offering the vaccination for free to those at risk and many of them are open longer hours which can be more convenient for people who work. “The free and safe annual flu jab will be available soon and includes protection against the H1N1 strain which caused the swine flu pandemic in 2009 and continues to attack younger people. For this reason it is really important that all pregnant women are protected no matter what stage of pregnancy.” If you are not sure whether you are eligible for a flu vaccination please check on the NHS choices website at To find your nearest participating pharmacy go to: or contact the Patient Advice and Liasion Service (PALS) on freephone 0800 0320202 or text 01670 51109 or email

Pictured: Northumberland GP lead Dr Alistair Blair is pictured receiving his flu injection by Dr Dawn Scott, public health consultant at NHS North of Tyne.

Clinical commis NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) continues to work towards becoming authorised as it prepares to take on new statutory duties for the planning and purchasing of healthcare and health services for the people of Northumberland.

£5m face lift brings new life to health centres across the county Thousands of patients across the county are set to benefit from nearly £5m of investment to bring old health centres back to life into newly modernised state-of-theart health facilities. Over the next year patients who use health centres in Haltwhistle, Bedlington, Guidepost and Broomhill will see their local NHS facilities given face lifts, meaning that both patients and health staff will benefit from much improved surroundings. Haltwhistle will be the first centre to see a £1.7m investment in an extensive modernisation which

is due to start in September when the GP practice, and other community services provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, will move into temporary accommodation near to the centre for around six months. Later in the year, subject to planning permission being granted, modernisations will take place at Bedlington Health Centre, which will have a £350k extension and minor refurbishment. Guidepost Health Centre will have £1.3m investment and complete refurbishment as will Broomhill Health Centre which will receive a £1.6m facelift.

Think Pharmacy First this autumn Think about your pharmacy first this autumn for fast access to medical advice and treatment for minor ailments and illness. The Think Pharmacy First scheme offers patients who qualify for free prescriptions, due to low income, the choice of going straight to their pharmacist without the need for a prescription. To find out if you are entitled to be treated for free call into your local pharmacy for a friendly chat with the pharmacy team.

ssioning group moves towards accreditation Clinical commissioning groups lie at the heart of the government’s plans to reform the NHS and put local clinicians in charge of health spending on behalf of patients. And because GPs are closer to their patients they are well placed to know how to improve the planning of healthcare and health services. Morpeth GP Dr Alistair Blair has been appointed as the chief clinical and accountable

officer (designate) of NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group which means that Dr Blair will be responsible for making sure that the CCG carries out its statutory duties. The appointment will now need to be ratified by the NHS Commissioning Board. Dr Blair, who has been a partner in Wellway Medical Group in Morpeth for the past eleven years, said: “I’m very pleased to have been appointed. We’ve a great opportunity here to make

sure that we respond to the needs of the local population while improving the quality of services and the health of the population overall.” Northumberland CCG is working closely with NHS North of Tyne, the current commissioners of NHS services in the county, to start taking on new responsibilities, after the NHS bill was passed by parliament and given Royal Assent earlier this year.


Morpeth’s new £18m flagship health centre moves closer The next key milestone has been reached in the development of a new health centre for Morpeth. A ‘topping out’ ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of the building structure of the £18m health centre, which will house two of the town’s GP practices Greystroke and Gas House Lane – along with integrated working with Morpeth’s third GP practice, Wellway. The new centre which is taking shape on the site of a former care home, The Mount at Haggs Field, in the town is being developed with investment from NHS North of Tyne and includes the provision of physiotherapy and outpatient appointments as well as other specialist services provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Called ‘Morpeth NHS Centre’ it’s due to open for patients from early 2013 will also include GP and primary care health services as well as diagnostic testing such as x-rays and ultra sound scans - also provided by Northumbria Healthcare - which reduces the need for people to go to hospital and helps people be treated closer to home.


Pictured: Councillor Jim Smith, chairman of Northumberland County Council (front centre), leads the topping out ceremony at Morpeth’s new health centre. John Walton, a member of Greystoke’s surgery patient participation group who came along to the ceremony, welcomed the development. He said: “It’s great news that the building is so close to the centre of Morpeth, as well as all the new facilities it will include. I am really looking forward to seeing the building when it’s finished.” The need for a new NHS centre was agreed after extensive public consultation during 2007 which asked how local health services could be improved for people living in the town and the surrounding area. Councillor Ian Lindley, executive member for health and well-

being at Northumberland County Council, said: “This is an exciting development in health services. The Morpeth health centre is part of our on-going commitment to provide high-quality healthcare. The modern equipment will help GPs to do diagnostic testing in the surgery which will cut down waiting times and save people from having to travel to hospital.” Councillor Jim Smith, chairman at Northumberland County Council, said: “I am absolutely delighted to see this new NHS centre being developed. I know that it will be a great asset to the people of Morpeth and provide them access to a greater range of diagnostic help.” | Phone 0845 600 6400

New service launched for county veterans

Pictured: Richard Blackburn, an army veteran from Cramlington who suffered from PTSD.

A new mental health service for the 200,000 veterans living in the region has been launched. The Veterans’ Wellbeing Assessment and Liaison Service (VWALS) offers support to north east veterans to help them access local mental health and social care services Richard Blackburn, from Cramlington, served in the army for six years. When he left the forces in 1997, he experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and struggled to adjust to civilian life. Richard said: “When I first left the army, I felt like I couldn’t function properly – I was struggling to remember simple things, such as taking medication. I just wasn’t myself. I didn’t know where to start when it came to seeking help, and it took me a long time to find a service which worked for me. “Just having one number to contact will make things much easier for those who are struggling with a mental health issue. I would encourage anyone in the north east who has been in the armed forces to contact VWALS if they are worried about their mental health.”

After a veteran gets in touch, an outreach worker from VWALS will visit the veteran in their own home to carry out an assessment to determine which local NHS services, social care organisations and charities are best placed to provide the help they need. Symon Day, clinical psychologist NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The experiences people have during their military service, or in trying to adjust to civilian life after leaving the forces, can sometimes lead to anxiety, depression, stress or even alcohol and drug misuse. Veterans are also susceptible to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “However, for a veteran experiencing mental health problems it can sometimes be difficult to know which of the many local NHS services and charities to contact for help and support - especially if they have only recently left the armed forces and are still adjusting to civilian life.

“VWALS provides a solution to this issue by giving veterans a single point of contact and directing them to the local services which are best placed to provide the support that they need.” Factors such as housing, welfare and employment will also be considered. The NHS will be working closely with The Royal British Legion to provide support in these areas. Andrew Drake, manager of The Royal British Legion in the North, said: “The Legion welcomes the launch of this much-needed service in the north east which represents the NHS working towards fulfilling aims set out in the Military Covenant - the nation’s pledge to look after our Armed Forces – specifically that they should face no disadvantage as a result of the unique nature of military service.” To find out more about the service visit: call 0191 4415974 or email


Flagship parks win awards

Pictured: Members of the Astley Park management committee celebrate their first Green Flag award with the council’s neighbourhood services team.

Parks in Ashington, Bedlington, Hexham, Morpeth and Seaton Delaval have been awarded Green Flag Awards. The winners announced earlier this summer are: Hirst Park (Ashington), Doctor Pit Park (Bedlington), Hexham Parks, (Hexham), Carlisle Park (Morpeth) and Astley Park (Seaton Delaval). The Green Flag Award scheme is the national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK. It was first launched in 1996 to recognise and reward the best green spaces in the country and to provide a benchmark against which our parks and green spaces are measured. It is also seen as a way of encouraging others to achieve high environmental standards. Councillor Alan Thompson, Northumberland County Council’s executive member for neighbourhood services, said: “Parks and green spaces are at the very heart of our communities, being enjoyed by local people and tourists alike. We are committed to maintaining high standards for our parks and it’s great to see that the hard work of parks’ staff and local people has paid off.


“Over the last few years Northumberland has gone from having two Green Flag award winning parks to having five, which in times of change and reducing resources is a great credit to our neighbourhood services teams.” Paul Todd, green flag award scheme manager, said: “We are thrilled to announce yet another record-breaking year for Green Flag Award parks and green spaces. A Green Flag Award provides national recognition for

the achievements of all those whose hard work and dedication has helped to create these fantastic places for all to enjoy.” Entries for the Green Flag Award are open to parks and green spaces located in the UK. They are awarded based on a set of eight criteria from sustainability to community involvement. Four of the five winners were also awarded Green Flag status in 2011. For more information visit: | Phone 0845 600 6400

Blooming marvellous make-over

Pictured: Councillor Ian Lindley (centre) with Sharon Storey and Raymond Easton at the Horticultural Skills Unit.

A service offering horticultural training and work experience to adults with learning difficulties is thriving following improvements and building work.

by Raymond Easton and Sharon Storey.

The Northumberland Horticultural Skills Unit, near Morpeth, re-opened on 16 July with a special ceremony to mark its refurbishment. First opened in 1985, the unit currently offers a service five days each week to 16 people per day.

In phase one of the development work upgrades to provide disabled access, new glasshouses and modern amenities have been made. These improvements allow the unit to offer a service to people with a broader range of disabilities as well as to extend the range of plants on sale to the public.

More than 100 people attended the launch, including service users, their carers, and staff. The unit was officially re-opened by councillor Ian Lindley, executive member for health and well-being, accompanied

Sharon, 40, from Cramlington and Raymond, 51, from Seaton Delaval have collectively worked on the site with staff at Northumberland County Council for nearly 40 years.

A coffee shop is currently being built as part of phase two of development on the site. This will provide an opportunity for the council’s five learning

disability day units and horticultural centres to promote their products directly to Northumberland residents. This will be launched later in the year. Councillor Ian Lindley said: “It is certainly clear to see that people enjoy coming and working at the Hepscott unit. We are keen to give users more choice and control over services which will help them to participate in life within their community. We will look to build upon the success of services such as these being offered at Hepscott, which includes preparing people for employment in voluntary work.� The unit at Hepscott Park, Stannington, Morpeth, NE61 62A is open to the public to buy plants Monday to Friday, 9.30am until 3.30pm.


Taking a stand A county-wide campaign to raise awareness about dog fouling and the problems and health risks it can cause has been running throughout the summer. Animal welfare officers from the county council’s public protection service launched the the ‘Don’t stand for it campaign’ with a series of school assemblies and events in Ridley Park, Blyth, and the Three Fields area of Berwick on 19 July. During these special events, officers distributed ‘poop’ bags and discussed the importance of being a responsible dog owner. Posters have been displayed across the county and stickers have been used to highlight the special bins to use for dog mess. Mess left by dogs is socially unacceptable, it spoils the environment and it also poses a major health risk; round worm eggs (Toxocara) in dog faeces can cause blindness, epilepsy and eye infections. The worm eggs can survive in the soil even after it has rained, so children playing on grass are at risk and the bacteria can cause sickness and diarrhoea.


Pictured: Stephen Hall, senior animal welfare officer, met dog walkers in Ridley Park, Blyth. To tackle this problem, a county dog control order makes it an offence not to pick up after your dog has fouled on any public land in Northumberland. Those who do not clean-up after their animals can face an on the spot fine of £75 and, if prosecuted, a fine of up to £1,000.

the public to assist us in protecting Northumberland’s environment by reporting incidents of dog fouling they witness to the council. Working together we can make a positive difference and ensure the small minority that break the law don’t get away with it.”

In the last year the council investigated more than 1,200 complaints about dog fouling and there have been many successful enforcement actions against offenders including prosecutions. Although the public protection service carried out 1,000 hours of targeted patrols last year there is a large area to cover and dog fouling continues to be an issue in some communities.

Councillor Anita Romer, executive member for public health and protection said: “This campaign is about raising awareness of dog fouling because it’s a real public health problem. I hope the campaign will convince the small minority who still do not pick up after their dogs to start. If not they could be facing on the spot fines of £75.”

Victoria Barrington, head of public protection at Northumberland County Council, said: “I would like to encourage

Those who would like to help protect the environment and report offenders can contact the county council on 0845 600 6400 or email | Phone 0845 600 6400

Rewarded for LOVEing Northumberland The Duchess of Northumberland helped to celebrate the best in community environmental work at a LOVE Northumberland awards’ event last month. Twelve groups were presented with awards in six categories during the event on 4 July at The Alnwick Garden, supported by main sponsor the Banks Group. Best new project went to Coppergate Allotment Association in Holywell for their work on a communal garden; best ongoing project to Friends of Ashington Community Woods and best urban project to North Hirst Tenants Group in Ashington for their project ‘Hirst Pride’.

Raising the bar for the best coast or countryside project was The Monday Club in Wark for ‘Enhancing Wark Village’, with a win in the best young people’s project category for ‘Corbridge Youth Initiative Allotment’. The best children’s project category was won by Prior Wallaz 4214 Crew in Berwick for their gardening project. The awards have been developed by Northumberland County Council through its LOVE Northumberland campaign. The aim is to promote the work of the council, its many partner organisations, community groups and volunteers who all work towards preserving and enhancing the environment in the county. Also sponsoring were the Co-operative Community Fund in the North East.

Nominations were invited for awards from a variety of community groups. There were also a number of groups at the Alnwick Garden event who were highly commended finalists. The Duchess was extremely impressed by the standard of entries. She said: “The work that is being carried out by these groups is fantastic. One of the things that I believe makes Northumberland stand out is the huge number of people who are willing to give up their time on a voluntary basis to improve their local area, and these awards are marking out just some of this work.” Winning entries received a £250 prize and runners-up £100. The money will be put towards projects or other work within the local community. Highly commended finalists also received a small cash prize.

Pictured: LOVE Northumberland award-winners with the Duchess at The Alnwick Garden. To find out more about LOVE Northumberland go to


Morpeth Northern Bypass – your views wanted There is still time to put forward your views about proposals for the Morpeth Northern Bypass. The second of two public events, for those keen to see the plans, ask questions and, give the council their views, will be held in Morpeth Town Hall on Tuesday 4 September between 11am and 7.30pm. During the consultation period, which began on 20 August and runs until Friday 28 September, the council is meeting with residents, community groups and any interested parties to discuss the plans and to ask for feedback on aspects of the £30m scheme. These include the options for crossing the proposed bypass at Fulbeck Lane, access routes for construction vehicles and the ideas for screening the proposed road. For those unable to attend the event on 4 September the plans are available to view at County Hall, Morpeth Library and Morpeth Town Hall and online at www.morpethnorthernbypass. org


Pictured: An Arial view of Morpeth. Councillor Simon Reed, said: “We are currently doing a lot of work to prepare for the Development Consent Order. As part of this it is vital that we carry out a full consultation with local people, businesses and organisations. “This will allow us to discuss different aspects of the scheme in more detail and we will be asking for feedback on the different options for some parts of the development ahead of our submission in the autumn. I would urge anyone who has a view about the plans for the new bypass to attend the public meeting or contact the council.”

Next Steps Following the consultation, the council will compile a report which will incorporate all the feedback and suggestions received during the consultation period. The report will also include any changes that are made to the design resulting from these comments and outline the reasons why some suggestions may not have been included. This report will be made publicly available at County Hall, Morpeth Library and on the website.

For more information about the scheme, visit: Phone: 0845 600 6400 Email: | Phone 0845 600 6400

Funding boost for greener travel A new green transport fund aims to help people in south east Northumberland to access work, training and education opportunities. The county council will work with partners to deliver a package of measures worth £4.2m to encourage sustainable commuting and improve infrastructure and services for cyclists and bus users. This includes undertaking work to make it easier for people who live in Ashington, Blyth, Cramlington, Bedlington and Newbiggin-by-the Sea to access employment both in their local areas and in Tyne and Wear. The Local Sustainable Transport Fund, which includes a £2.8m grant from the Department of Transport, aims to make it more attractive to use the bus, walk or cycle. This will in turn reduce traffic congestion and improve safety, health and air quality. The council will be rolling out a targeted programme of education, engagement and travel planning by a variety of measures including:

Pictured: Pupils from New Delaval Primary School taking part in the Bike It project.

• Working with those seeking

employment to ensure they are fully informed of transport options available to them and providing assistance with the costs of public transport. • Making improvements to the south east Northumberland cycle route network, providing cycle training and confidence for both job seekers and commuters. • Improving and promoting the local bus services to give better access to major employment sites in Northumberland, North Tyneside and beyond. • Providing improved travel information including the provision of a travel website and information relating to the benefits of sustainable transport. The programme of initiatives will build on the success of the Connect 2 project, run by the council in partnership with Sustrans, which connects the towns of Blyth, Bedlington and Cramlington and has introduced attractive local links making it quicker and easier to get around on foot and by bicycle.

The Connect 2 project, is led by the community, with input from town councils, local organisations and leading businesses, and has created a comprehensive network of accessible routes into places where people live, work and shop. To help make the most of the new routes, the Blyth Active Travel Town project delivered by Sustrans has been working with employers and staff to change attitudes towards cycling and walking and the Bike It project also aims to get more school children riding their bikes to school (see picture above). Councillor Simon Reed, executive member infrastructure and environment, said: “In this difficult economic climate it is important that we do as much as we can to help people who find it hard to get to work, education or training. This funding will enable the council to improve bus and cycle routes, improving our green infrastructure while helping people get around more easily.”


Fire review - impressive results A review of Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service has shown huge improvements year on year. Fires of all types have fallen by an average of 60 per cent from 2003 to 2012 and malicious false calls have fallen by 82 per cent thanks to prevention work and education in schools and the community. Improvements in the service’s ability to respond to wildfire and flooding have also been made; nationally, Northumberland is the lead authority in wildfire and in May this year hosted an international workshop as part of the European EUFOFINET programme. Since 2009 the fire service has had a swift water rescue service, which has strengthened response in the county.

Work has also been carried out with local businesses to raise awareness of the importance of continuity planning in the event of a fire. Young Firefighters’ clubs across the county, a Community Safety Academy and fire and road safety programmes are just some of the ways that the service aims to prevent accidents, injuries and damage to property and the environment through education. There is also a commitment to support sport as a way of reducing crime and anti-social behaviour. Programmes have been developed and led by firefighters, such as the NFRS Boxing Club and The Prince’s Trust programme. Since 2003 NFRS has provided fire safety advice to more than

59,600 homes and fitted 68,800 smoke alarms. The service also works with the housing sector and the county council to ensure common safety standards are achieved in homes across Northumberland. There has also been an expansion of work with vulnerable adults through targeted Home Fire Safety Checks. Alex Bennett, Northumberland’s chief fire officer, said: “We are pleased with these results but we must build on this success and continue to work efficiently and effectively.” Councillor Anita Romer, executive member for public protection, said: “These figures are very encouraging and demonstrate the importance of the fire service in all aspects of county life.”

Pictured: Chief fire officer Alex Bennett (front) with officers in their various specialist roles.

20 | Phone 0845 600 6400

Firefighters prepare to compete at Olympic park Firefighters from Northumberland have been honing their skills this summer having qualified for an international competition at the Olympic park in London. The multi award-winning extrication team from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) will take part in the World Rescue Organisation Challenge from 18 to 20 October. The seven-strong team of five fighters and two North East Ambulance Service paramedics will join 30 of the best extrication teams in the world at the Olympic site in Stratford. Judges will mark competitors on their technical skill and speed in an exercise to remove casualties from car crash scenarios set up to replicate real road accidents. The team, which trains together once a week at NFRS headquarters in West Hartford, has won many titles over the

Pictured: Members of the award-winning extrication team in action. past four years. These include regional and national awards as well as a world title for Best Trauma Team in the 2009 World Rescue Competition, Germany. Captain, Andy Pogson, training and watch manager for NFRS based in Prudhoe, said: “All team members are very experienced with at least ten years’ service behind them. We have been competing as a team for the past four years and the results show that we work very well together. “We are looking forward to taking part in this international completion once again and the fact that it is taking place on the Olympic site will only add to the occasion.” Other team members are firefighters Steve Wickham and Richard Fairbairn based in Hexham, as well as Gary Hall and Steve Wight, from West Hartford headquarters, near Cramlington. North East Ambulance Service paramedics James Kidman, from Prudhoe

and Donna Hay from Hebburn are also key members of the team. Alex Bennett, chief fire officer for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are proud to have one of the best technical rescue teams in the world. “Their expertise is used to train other officers in Northumberland as well as North East Ambulance Service with whom we work very closely. The success of this team embodies the wider professionalism and performance of the whole fire service.” Councillor Anita Romer, executive member for public protection at Northumberland County Council, said: “I wish the team well in their preparations for the competition. Their outstanding record in similar competitions reflects the expertise that these officers bring to this vital life-saving work in their day to day roles.”


22 | Phone 0845 600 6400

10,000 and counting… The campaign to bring superfast broadband to every property in Northumberland by 2020 has just registered its 10,000th supporter. Since November last year, the council-led iNorthumberland campaign has asked every resident and business across the county to throw their support behind the project. With compelling evidence of demand throughout the area, the project team hopes to secure more funding and encourage the market to step in to help the county’s most isolated homes and businesses. John Cooper, community engagement officer for Northumberland County Council, said: “Since last autumn, we have distributed more than 20,000 registration postcards throughout the county’s libraries and customer service centres. We’ve spoken at many events, written to the parents of every school-aged child and worked with local people to deliver leaflets into many homes. “10,000 is a great number for us to hit. This is the total number of individual properties we have registered support from, but if we counted the number of individual people who have got behind the campaign, the number would be far higher.”

The total number of registrations represents 12% of all the premises in Northumberland. The focus is on the number of individual premises because this is the number that the commercial providers will look at when they prepare their business case to bring faster connections to the county. John added: “We may have hit this number, but we still have a way to go to reach more and more people. We have recently launched a campaign aimed at businesses throughout the county, and we’re looking to recruit a network of voluntary digital champions who can focus the campaign on a local level.

“Where we have seen the strongest support, we have been able to link it back to one or two passionate locals who have helped promote our campaign. People have really got behind iNorthumberland and there can be no doubt that Northumberland wants superfast broadband connections.” For more information on the campaign, or if you are interested in becoming a digital champion and securing support in your local area, visit or telephone John Cooper on 01670 623415.


Is your neighbour really your neighbour? Illegal subletting of council and social housing costs the public money and stops people in genuine housing need from finding homes. Northumberland County Council launched a campaign this summer to ask the public to report, confidentially, any property that they think may be being sublet illegally. The campaign included radio advertising in the area, which was possible due to Government funding allocated to tackle the issue. Unlawful subletting means that a customer has signed a tenancy agreement for a property but then does not live there. Instead, they charge someone else to live in the property without their landlord’s permission and earn money from the rent. In 2009, the Audit Commission considered that at least 50,000 socially rented homes could be unlawfully sub-let. More recent work suggests that the figure could be even higher at up to three times the previous estimate. With more than 1.8 million households on waiting lists for social housing nationally, and 11,000 in Northumberland, unlawful subletting deprives the most vulnerable and needy people on housing waiting lists of a home.


The council and other social landlords are looking for anyone who is unlawfully letting the whole property to a single household or multiple sublets within one property. It does not include taking in a lodger or subletting with the consent of the landlord. This problem is being tackled working in partnership with Homes for Northumberland, as well as other social landlords in Northumberland – Bernicia, Isos Housing and Berwick Borough Housing. Councillor Tom Brechany, executive member responsible for housing at Northumberland County Council, said: “Unlawful

subletting deprives people on the waiting list and in genuine housing need from accessing affordable homes, which can mean that they have to remain in unsuitable housing for longer. There is also a cost to the public purse, and people who are doing this are making money from housing that is intended to meet social needs.” Anyone who suspects that a council or social home in Northumberland is being sublet illegally should call Northumberland County Council on 0845 600 6400, where they will receive advice on how it should be reported. | Phone 0845 600 6400

Seeking out ‘lost’ children and young people It is a legal requirement that the details of children living with someone other than a parent, grandparent, biological aunt, uncle, or sibling should be passed on to the council. If a child under the age of 16, or 18 if disabled, lives with someone outside their close family for 28 days or more, it is considered a private fostering arrangement. This is very different from traditional fostering, and is a privately arranged care situation between two parties.

please ask them to inform their local Northumberland County Council office immediately so we can ensure the child is being kept safe and so that support can be offered to the families.” “If not, they could miss out on essential welfare checks for the children, plus other support services for the families.” “Everybody has a role in keeping our children safe – whether you are a teacher, youth worker, neighbour, involved with school transport or a member of the public. Northumberland is encouraging multi-agency partners to raise awareness of private fostering within their own settings.”

Councillor Lesley Rickerby, added: “The council has a statutory responsibility to make sure that the carer, the child and their parents are all receiving the right kind of support and that the child is safe.” Private fostering information is being sent to a wide variety of public venues throughout September, including schools, children’s centres, libraries and community groups so they can join in the awareness-raising campaign. Visit our web pages privatefostering to read more about private fostering and to get details of your local Northumberland office.

Councillor Lesley Rickerby, executive member for children and young people, said: “We need to make sure that these children are not ‘lost’ in the sense that there is an unknown number of children and young people who are in privately arranged care. People simply do not realise that they are legally required to inform the council for everyone’s benefit.” “If you are aware of, a child who is being privately fostered or in a private fostering arrangement,


Councilmeetings Tuesday 4 September 2012 • Planning and Environment Committee, 6pm Council Chamber, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF. Wednesday 5 September 2012 • County Council, 3pm, Council Chamber, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF. • Area Planning Committee – North, 6pm, Alnwick Council Chamber, Clayport Street, Alnwick, NE66 1LA. Monday 10 September 2012 • Executive, 2pm, Committee Room 1, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF. • Area Committee – North, 6pm, William Elder Building, Berwick. Tuesday 11 September 2012 • Area Committee – West, 6pm, Merton Hall Merton Way, Ponteland, NE20 9PX . Wednesday 12 September 2012 • Area Committee – South East, 6pm, Newbiggin Sports and Community Centre, Woodhorn Road, Newbiggin, NE64 6HG. Tuesday 18 September 2012

• Area Planning Committee – South East, 6pm Adamson Suite, Choppington Social Welfare Centre, Colliery Road, Scotland Gate, NE62 5SR.

Wednesday 19 September 2012 • Area Planning Committee – West, 6pm, Venue to be confirmed. Thursday 27 September 2012 • Licensing and Regulatory Subcommittee, 10am, Morpeth Town Hall, Market Place, Morpeth, NE61 1LZ. • Family and Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, 2pm, Committee Room 1, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF.


Tuesday 2 October 2012 • Planning and Environment Committee, 6pm, Council Chamber, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF. Wednesday 3 October 2012

• County Council, 3pm, Council Chamber, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF.

Thursday 4 October 2012

• Area Planning Committee – North, 6pm,

Alnwick Council Chamber, Clayport Street, Alnwick, NE66 1LA.

Monday 8 October 2012

• Executive, 2pm, Committee Room 1, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF.

Tuesday 16 October 2012 • Area Planning Committee – South East, 6pm, Isabella Community Centre, Ogle Drive, Blyth, NE24 5JF. Wednesday 17 October 2012

• Area Planning Committee – West, 6pm, Venue to be confirmed.

Wednesday 24 October 2012 • Licensing and Regulatory Committee, 1.30pm, Committee Room 1, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF. • Licensing Committee, 2pm, Committee Room 1, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF. Thursday 1 November 2012

• Area Planning Committee – North, 6pm,

Alnwick Council Chamber, Clayport Street, Alnwick, NE66 1LA.

Tuesday 6 November 2012 • Planning and Environment Committee – 6pm, Council Chamber, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF. Wednesday 7 November 2012

• County Council, 3pm,Council Chamber, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF. | Phone 0845 600 6400 Monday 12 November 2012 • Executive, 2pm, Committee Room 1, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF. • Area Committee – North, 6pm Venue to be confirmed.

Tuesday 20 November 2012 • Area Planning Committee – South East, 6pm, Adamson Suite, Choppington Social Welfare Centre, Colliery Road, Scotland Gate, NE62 5SR.

Tuesday 13 November 2012 • Area Committee – West, 6pm, The Manors, Adderlane Road, West Wylam, Prudhoe, NE42 5ET.

• Area Planning Committee – West, 6pm,

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Wednesday 14 November 2012 • Area Committee – South East, 6pm, New Hartley Community Centre, St Michael’s Avenue, New Hartley, NE25 0RP.

Venue to be confirmed.

A full list of meetings is available at Meeting dates and venues can change. Before attending please check the website or contact committee services on 0845 600 6400 to confirm details.

The Police and Crime Commissioner elections Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) are new elected roles that will replace local police authorities. PCCs will not run the police, but will be responsible for holding the Chief Constable to account for the public. They will be able to:

• produce a police and crime plan setting out local policing priorities; • set the local policing budget and decide how money will be spent; • appoint chief constables and remove them where needed.

On Thursday 15 November 2012 registered voters in England (excluding London) and Wales, will vote for the PCC candidate they want to represent their police force area. Elections are taking place in 41 police force areas including Northumbria and polling booths will be open in Northumberland from 7am until 10pm on that day. A person can vote if they are registered and are: • aged 18 or over on polling day; • a British citizen; • an Irish, EU or qualifying Commonwealth citizen. British citizens living overseas cannot vote in these elections.

Voters in England and Wales must register by Wednesday 31 October 2012 in order to be able to vote on 15 November. The deadline for applying for a postal vote is 5pm, 31 October 2012. Anyone wishing to register to vote should contact their local electoral registration office, or go to and print off a registration form. For further information about the role PCCs will play in Northumbria Police force and the powers that they will have, visit the Home Office website http://


What’s on September Medieval Michaelmas Sat 1 - Sun 2 Sat 8 - Sun 9 Sat 15 - Sun 16 Sat 22 - Sun 23 Alnwick Castle Harbottle Show Sat 1 Harbottle Bands at Belsay Sun 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens Heritage Open Days Thurs 6 – Sun 9 See page 4 for details Bat Walk Fri 7 Wallington, Morpeth Booking essential: T: 01670 773963 Ingram Show Sat 8 Ingram, Powburn Kielder Challenge Walk Sat 8 Kielder Berwick Food Festival Sat 8 - Sun 9 September The Barracks, Berwick upon Tweed.


Run Northumberland Wallington 10k Sun 9 Wallington, Morpeth Vintage Car Show and Bands at Belsay Sun 9 Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens Montane Kielder 100 – Mountain Bike Event Sat 15 Kielder Water & Forest Park Thropton Show Sat 15 Thropton T: 01669 621577 Ann Wilkinson Sings Folk in the Central Hall Sun 16 Wallington, Morpeth Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival Wed 19 – Sun 23 The region’s largest film festival returns for its eighth annual celebration of the art of cinema. Hexham Eating Festival Sat 22 Hexham T: 01434 603022 Bellingham Blast Cycling Event Sat 22 - Sun 23 Bellingham Greater Morpeth Walking Festival Mon 24 - Sat 29 Morpeth T: 01670 503866

Cinema Night Fri 28 Newbiggin Maritime Centre, Newbiggin uk 4x4 Safari – Family event, drive your own 4 x 4 through Kielder Forest! Sat 29 (also 10 Nov) or call 08445 889 965. Wild Walk at Wallington – Wannie Line Walk Sat 29 Wallington, Morpeth Booking essential: T: 01670 773963 Woodland Heritage Day Sun 30 Wallington, Morpeth Hexham Abbey Festival Sat 22 – Sat 29 Hexham The Abbey and rural market town of Hexham provide the perfect setting for this popular local music and arts festival. T: 0808 1261257 Alnwick Food Festival and Alnwick Beer Festival Sat 22 - Sun 23 Alnwick The eighth Alnwick Food Festival returns once again. Chef JeanChristophe Novelli will be there once again and visitors will have the opportunity to meet him. A special evening will be held in the Northumberland Hall on Saturday 22 September, which JeanChristophe will host. T: Karen Larkin 07864956371 | Phone 0845 600 6400

October Trade Secrets – Conservation in Action Wed 3 - Thurs 4 Wallington, Morpeth Haltwhistle Autumn Walking Festival Sat 6 – Sun 14 Haltwhistle T: 01434 322025 Prepare to Prune! Sun 7 Wallington, Morpeth Kielder Marathon Sun 7 October Kielder Water & Forest Park Britain’s most beautiful marathon is back. This amazing route circles Kielder Water and passes award winning art installations, through forests and past breathtaking scenery. Alwinton Border Shepherds Show Sat 13 Alwinton William Turner’s Natural History of Plants Symposium Sat 13 Morpeth Town Hall Booking info 01670 535203 williamturner Run Northumberland Matfen 10K Sun 14 Matfen

Grace Darling: A Stage Celebration of a National Herorine The story of the Victorian sea rescue heroine Grace Darling is to be brought to the stage. Alnwick Playhouse: 01665 510 785 Wednesday, October 17; Thursday, October 18 (evening and matinee); Friday, October 19 Hexham Queen’s Hall: 01434 652477 Monday, October 22 and Tuesday, October 23 (evening and matinee) Blyth Phoenix theatre: 01670 367 228 Wednesday, October 31 Berwick Maltings: 01289 330999 Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2 (evening and matinee) Tickets are on sale from the venues. For further information visit: www. Ashington Walking Festival Mon 22 - Sun 28 Ashington T: 01670 514876 E: uk

November Tyne Tour Canoe Rally Fri 2 – Sun 4 Hexham Northumberland Music Festival Fri 9 - Sun 18 A festival of opera, Gilbert & Sullivan, classical and traditional concerts presented at three of Northumberland’s finest houses Doxford Hall, Eshott Hall and Guyzance Hall. Christmas Festive Gift Fair Sat 10 - Sun 11 Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens Kirkley Hall Christmas Fayre Sat 17 - Sun 18 Kirkley Hall Ghost Stories for Christmas Fri 23 - Sat 24 Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens Victorian Christmas with Father Christmas Sat 24 - Sun 25 Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens

Cinema Night Fri 26 Newbiggin Maritime Centre, Newbiggin uk

Winter Wonderland Dates throughout November and December Kielder Water & Forest Park Magical Christmas fun for all the family!

Hexham Spook Night Sat 27 Hexham T: 01434 603022

To find out about events happening in Northumberland visit events.northumberland. or follow us on:

Northumberland History Fair Sun 28 Woodhorn northumberlandevents


Fantastic day out in celebration of Northumberland Healthy Schools

Pictured: Pupils from New Hartley First School learning football tricks from Simon Harris, NUFC Foundation Coach, at the Healthy Schools’ Event at The Alnwick Garden.

Children from across the county joined Newcastle United Football coaches at The Alnwick Garden earlier this summer to mark the county council’s annual Northumberland Healthy School celebration. The event was held to recognise the achievement and commitment of schools supporting staff, children and parents to achieve a healthier lifestyle. The county council’s children’s services health and well-being team presented 14 schools


with certificates of commitment. Activities were also held throughout the day including training camps led by Newcastle United Football Coaching and entertainment by Jays Animal Encounters. The National Healthy School programme ceased to operate nationally in 2011, however Northumberland County Council remained committed to supporting the health and well-being of all children and continued the programme. The celebration event is an opportunity to say well done to those schools who have continued to be successful in this ambition.

Councillor Lesley Rickerby, executive member responsible for children and young people at Northumberland County Council, said: “The success of this programme is shown by the response from the children and young people themselves, saying they feel healthier, happier and more involved in their learning.” “Schools tell us that the programme has brought about continued improvement in behaviour, standards of work and overall school management. The efforts made by the schools to the health and well-being of pupils have been recognised by this award.” | Phone 0845 600 6400

Can you lend a helping hand?

Do you know someone that needs help to switch to digital? Digital TV switchover is the biggest change in television since the introduction of colour. Starting on September 2012 analogue television will be switched off across the Tyne Tees region. If you don’t have digital TV by the time of switchover, you will lose your TV channels. If you are still watching analogue TV (five channels or less) on any of your sets, you need to convert them to digital. Virtually any existing TV can be converted using a Freeview box, a digital satellite service or digital cable.

The BBC-run Help Scheme has helped hundreds of thousands of people to switch to digital.

Most people are ready for switchover, but you may know older and disabled people who need help to make the switch.

It offers people aged 75 and over (and eligible disabled) equipment, installation and free aftercare to convert one of their TV sets to digital. It costs £40, or is free to eligible people who are also on income related benefits.

The Switchover Help Scheme has launched a ‘Helping Hand’ campaign calling on everyone to try to make sure every older and disabled person in the area knows about the help they can get.

All eligible people have been contacted by post, but not everyone may be confident enough to take up the help. The “Helping Hand” campaign urges everyone to make sure older and disabled neighbours, customers

and friends know they can get help. Emma Speed is the Switchover Help Scheme manager for the Tyne Tees TV region. She said: “Many people will find it simple to switch and lots of people already have. But for those who need a little extra help, we want them to know that they will get the additional support they need from the Switchover Help Scheme and Digital UK.” So no-one is left behind, lend them a helping hand by passing this information to them. You may be the one person they trust to give them good advice.

For more information, call 0800 40 85 900 or visit Textphone users can call 0800 40 85 936. For general information and guidance on switchover please call Digital UK on 08456 50 50 50 or visit 31

Northumberland News Autumn 2012  

Northumberland News is a quarterly magazine packed with features, news, events, and information.

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