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Northumberland News issue 24 Winter 2012

www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400

10% off gifts at TICs County wins gold in Clean Britain Awards Win a stay at Linden Hall Christmas and New Year leisure offers Plus Stay well this winter – NHS news | Christmas bin collections | What’s on


Northumberland News Now available online, by email or in print. 4

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Northumberland News is a quarterly magazine packed with features and news articles written specifically for county residents. Published in December, March, June and September 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. Telephone: 0845 600 6400 Type Talk: 18001 0845 600 6400 Email: ask@northumberland.gov.uk

In this issue: 4

Christmas prizes and discounts

from TICs

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Fire service international success

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Christmas and New Year leisure

offers 14 Magazine survey and competition 18 Children’s Outstanding

Achievements Awards

20 Free bike training 22 Cheaper energy initiative 29 Workshops for would-be councillors

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.

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Front cover: Tourist information assistant, Rachel Williamson is pictured in Morpeth Chantry. Details about the county’s newly refurbished tourist information centres, as well as the wide range of goods and services available from them, can be found on pages 4 and 5.


www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400

Welcome

Jan Bibby, Director for the National Trust in Yorkshire and the North East and a member of Northumberland Tourism, introduces this issue of Northumberland News, at a particularly festive time of year… Winter is often associated with hibernation – closing the doors, lighting the fire and leaving the outside world behind until spring emerges. Traditionally attractions may have closed in the winter

but over the years at the National Trust we’ve been adding to what’s on offer, extending our opening hours, creating more events and giving people more reasons to visit. This Christmas, we’ve got loads of events taking place in Northumberland, whether you love Christmas or want to escape for some quiet time. You can visit Santa, tuck into Christmas dinner, escape the high street and do some Christmas shopping, or make your own crafts. Our website carries full details of all events and activities www.nationaltrust. org.uk/northeastchristmas My passion is walking. I spend a lot of time in the office or travelling so whenever I get the chance I love putting on my boots on and getting out into the countryside. In the winter, with the trees and shrubs bare of leaves, you’ve got more of a chance to spot wildlife. I particularly like getting out on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day for a walk.

For those of us who love the outdoors there are plenty of interesting features in this month’s issue. The countryside and how it is managed are covered in an article about a scheme to plant more meadows across Northumberland. There’s also information about free cycle training sessions as well as the county council’s gold star success in the Clean Britain Awards, which is good news for all of us whether we’re visiting, living or working in Northumberland. The New Year brings new opportunities. I’m very much looking forward to 2013 and working with partners across Northumberland to do more to provide great days out for people who live in the region and tourists visiting us, whilst conserving and looking after our countryside and heritage. Jan Bibby – Regional Director, National Trust

Find us on: Facebook at: www.northumberland.gov.uk/facebook Twitter at: www.northumberland.gov.uk/twitter YouTube at: www.northumberland.gov.uk/youtube 3


Christmas prizes and discounts from TICs

Newly refurbished Tourist Information Centres across Northumberland are proving to be the perfect places to pick-up locally crafted gifts for Christmas. With around 600,000 visitors each year, the TICs across Northumberland provide a one stop shop for information, advice and great products. Since the refurbishment programme began in April 2010 the range of goods from Northumberland and its local suppliers has greatly increased and the number of services on offer has also followed the same trend. More than 90 per cent of all goods and services sold in Northumberland’s TICs are now from local suppliers; in 2011 orders worth more than £500,000 were placed with local businesses, helping to support the county’s economy.

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The information centres’ buying team works closely with local businesses, large and small, to identify new products and discuss design, packaging, pricing and quality. Each of the 11 centres sells a wide range of local products ranging from jewellery and ceramics to prints, cards and books. They also sell tickets for some of the county’s major events and attractions, arrange tours, book accommodation and sell parking passes. Morpeth Chantry is a good example of this; it is a hub for northern craftsmanship with an impressive display of jewellery, textiles, original artwork and photography. The Chantry, in Bridge Street Morpeth, has become the centre of a thriving Northumberland arts community with links to musicians and writers. TICs are now also holding book signings meet the artist and craftsperson events, food tasting and Christmas shopping nights. Of the 11 TICs across the county, Berwick, Seahouses and Alnwick were the first three to be updated after securing EU furnding for refurbishment and rebranding. The aim was to improve the display of information on experiences, products and services across the county. The success of the rebranding led to the refurbishment of Wooler (working with partners The Glendale Trust), Craster and

Haltwhistle TICs, which also share the same building with the library. Hexham and Morpeth TICs are the latest to benefit from rebranding this autumn. Further good news came in the form of a nomination in the ‘keep it local’ category of the Northumberland Business Awards. At the time this magazine went to press the county council’s tourist information service was waiting for the results of this award on 15 November. Councillor Neil Bradbury, responsible for cultural services at Northumberland County Council, said: “Tourism is an important part of the county’s economy and investment in the TICs is crucial to inspire visitors to go to new places, support local businesses, craftspeople and artists. So far the rebranding, additional services and high-quality merchandise have proved very popular with visitors and local people.” Pictured above: Tourist information assistants Yvonne Grey (left) and Sarah Davidson in Hexham’s newly refurbished centre.


www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400

Winter events

10% discount

To mark the completion of the new-look centres we are offering all readers 10 per cent discount on any goods bought at any TIC in Northumberland on production of this page of Northumberland News.

The offer will end on 1 January 2013. To claim your discount, please produce a copy of this page of Northumberland News in advance of payment. There is no limit to the number of purchases that can be made during the offer period.

Christmas competition

Saturday 1 December Morpeth Chantry Christmas Advent Market. As well as a wide selection of Christmas goods there will be an Advent Knit display, spiced warm punch, a treacle shop, competitions and market stalls. Saturday 8 December – Hexham TIC Christmas Fair. Local suppliers selling Christmas goods will be joined by carol singers and story tellers.

We have a copy of the ‘Santa Comes to Northumberland’ book and a Northumberland jigsaw, which would make ideal stocking fillers this Christmas. For your chance to win simply contact us by email or post and answer the following question: How many Tourist Information Centres are there in Northumberland? Send your answer, marked TIC competition to: communications@northumberland.gov.uk or Communications, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2EF. Answers must arrive by Monday 17 December 2012. The winners will be chosen at random from all the correct answers received. Please provide a daytime telephone number. For more information about TICs in Northumberland including locations and opening hours, visit www.northumberland.gov.uk

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Fire service international success An award-winning team from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service took part in the extrication world championships this autumn. The six-strong team, which includes a paramedic from North East Ambulance Service, placed seventh out of 30 teams. Team captain Andy Pogson won third place in the officer in charge category and the technical tool operators also placed third. The competition, which attracted firefighters from across the globe, took place from 18 to 20 October at the Excel Arena, an Olympic venue in London. Judges marked officers on their technical skill in timed exercises to remove casualties from car crash scenarios set up to replicate real road accidents. Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service consistently performs well in regional, national and international extrication championships. This is the second time that the team has represented the UK in the World Rescue Extrication Championships; in 2009 they competed internationally after being crowned UK Rescue Extrication Champions.

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Picture caption (from left): Steve Wight, Andy Pogson, Donna Hay, Steve Wickham, Richard Fairbairn and Gary Hall. Watch manager Andy Pogson said: “We all worked well together in preparation for the competition and during the event itself. Taking part in these competitions is an ideal way to train and learn new techniques so we are ready for the real rescues we carry out as part of fire service roles.”

protection at Northumberland County Council said: “This team consistently excels in tests of skill, speed and team work. They embody the professionalism of Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service as a whole and are to be congratulated for their hard work.”

Alex Bennett, chief fire officer for Northumberland Fire and Rescue, said: “This is an outstanding achievement by a group of very dedicated officers. Their success reflects the training that is given to all firefighters in Northumberland to equip them with the skills to act with speed and care to save lives on Northumberland’s roads.”

Team members are:

Councillor Anita Romer, executive member for public

Andy Pogson - Prudhoe Watch manager Richard Fairbairn – Hexham Firefighter Gary Hall – West Hartford Firefighter Steve Wight – West Hartford Firefighter Steve Wickham – West Hartford Firefighter Donna Hay – North East Ambulance Service


www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400

Northumberland apprenticeship success A teenager from Northumberland has beaten hundreds of entrants to win the North East regional final of the National Apprenticeship Awards and National Training Awards 2012. Conor Reed (pictured), a Northumberland County Council business administration apprentice employed with Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS), was presented with this prestigious award during a special ceremony in Durham on 18 September. Northumberland Adult Learning Service is the training provider supporting Conor through his Apprenticeship.

During the same awards ceremony, Northumberland County Council was presented with an award and highly commended as macro apprenticeship employer of the year. Earlier this month the council was also named as one of England’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers by the National Apprenticeship Service. Councillor Lesley Rickerby, Northumberland County Council’s member with responsibility for children and young people, said: “The county council believes that

apprenticeships are a vital route into work, which can reap rewards for both trainees and employers.” For more information about apprenticeships through Northumberland County Council’s Adult Learning Service call 01670 622102 or email jane.cooper@ northumberland.gov.uk if you are an employer wishing to know more about apprenticeships call 01670 622791 or email debra.lowes@ northumberland.co.uk

Alex Bennett, chief fire officer for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Conor’s contribution to the fire service has been exceptional. We pride ourselves, as part of Northumberland County Council, in working with apprentices who demonstrate ambition, commitment and a desire to learn important skills for the world of work.” As part of his work Conor has become instrumental in managing the daily workload of Northumberland’s Young Firefighters’ Association (YFA) and also organising countywide events for YFA, such as the annual drill competition and summer camp.

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Special leisure offers for Leisure centres across Northumberland are running special offers and events in the build-up to Christmas and the New Year. Here is a selection to tempt those keen to get a headstart on resolutions to be fitter and healthier in 2013.

Bowling special offer and weight management courses North Country Leisure runs centres in Alnwick, Rothbury, Hexham and Prudhoe.

12 days of fitness Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure Trust is once again offering its popular ‘12 Days of Fitness’ for £12. This offer will run at Concordia in Cramlington, Sporting Club, Cramlington, Blyth Sports Centre and Sporting Club Blyth as well as at Northumberland County Council leisure centres in Ashington and Newbiggin. Perfect as a stocking filler, or to keep for yourself as a treat, it is available to buy from participating leisure centres from now until December 31. The pass can be activated at any time during January 2013 and once started it must be used on 12 consecutive days. For more information and opening times visit: www.bval.co.uk or call 01670 542222.

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It is offering a wide range of activities leading up to Christmas including festive ten pin bowling offers throughout December at Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham. In the New Year at Willowburn in Alnwick, Wentworth in Hexham and Waterworld in Prudhoe, Momenta Weight Management Courses will be starting. Beat the cycle of yo-yo dieting with this 13 week course which is FREE for members and at a special offer price of £36 for non-members. For more information contact your nearest centre directly: Willowburn (01665 605030), Wentworth (01434 607080) and Waterworld (01661 833144).

Annual membership offer The Swan Centre in Berwick is offering 14 months for the price of 12 months for those signing up for an annual Health and Fitness membership in November and 13 months for the price of 12 months for those joining in December. For more information about these offers, a range of ‘New Year, New You’ activities, as well as holiday season opening hours visit: www.swanleisurecentre.co.uk or phone 01289 330603.

General fitness Riverside Leisure Centre, Morpeth and Ponteland Leisure Centre have their Harpers Health and Fitness centres offering activities for all ages at all levels. More information can be found at www.harpersfitness. co.uk/riverside-leisurecentre--morpeth (01670 514665) for Morpeth or www.harpersfitness. co.uk/ponteland-leisurecentre (01661 825441) for Ponteland.


www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400

Christmas and New Year Swim for £1

Win an annual membership to your local leisure centre For a chance to win an annual membership to your local leisure centre, answer the following question: How many leisure centres are running this year’s ‘Swim for £1’ special offer? Please send your answer, marked Leisure Membership Competition, by email to: communications@ northumberland.gov.uk or by post to: Communications, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2EF. Entries must arrive by Friday 21 December 2012 and the winner will be chosen at random from all the correct answers. Please provide a daytime telephone number.

This county-wide promotion will apply on Saturdays and Sundays, between 11am and 3pm, throughout December. Anyone wishing to take part should bring along a completed ‘Swim for £1’ voucher (opposite) and hand this in at any of the participating pools, which are:

• The Swan Centre, • • • • • • • • •

Berwick Willowburn, Alnwick Rothbury Pool and Gym Concordia, Cramlington Blyth Leisure Centre, Ashington Leisure Centre, Riverside Leisure Centre, Morpeth Ponteland Leisure Centre, Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham Prudhoe Waterworld.

Please note, normal pool opening times and entry regulations apply at each of the participating centres There is no restriction on the number of vouchers that can be used per household. For more information and extra vouchers go to www. northumberland.gov.uk/swim.

Swim for a £1 in Northumberland

1 Voucher per Person per Swim

‘Swim for a £1’ is valid on Saturdays and Sundays between 11am and 3pm during December 2012. Normal entry restrictions, opening hours and pool capacity regulations at the individual centres apply. All vouchers expire on the 30 December 2012. Please complete voucher prior to arrival to avoid queuing.

Name: Address: Email: Age: (please tick) oUnder 16 o17-24 o25-54 o55+ The information above may be used for marketing purposes. Should you not wish to be contacted, please tick this box o

Swim for a £1 in Northumberland

1 Voucher per Person per Swim

‘Swim for a £1’ is valid on Saturdays and Sundays between 11am and 3pm during December 2012. Normal entry restrictions, opening hours and pool capacity regulations at the individual centres apply. All vouchers expire on the 30 December 2012. Please complete voucher prior to arrival to avoid queuing.

Name: Address: Email: Age: (please tick) oUnder 16 o17-24 o25-54 o55+ The information above may be used for marketing purposes. Should you not wish to be contacted, please tick this box o

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Be flu safe this winter

them are open at weekends and late evenings which can be more convenient for people who work.”

GPs across Northumberland are reminding those people who are at risk from flu but have not yet been vaccinated to make sure they protect themselves and their families.

The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had a jab last winter you need another one this year to stay flu safe. The jab doesn’t contain the ‘live’ virus so it cannot give you the flu.

Dr Alistair Blair, chief clinical officer (designate) of NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and a GP at Wellway Medical Group in Morpeth, is reminding people in the county - especially adults with long term health conditions such as diabetes and asthma, pregnant women and children with complex health needs - they need to make sure they have their annual flu vaccine. Dr Blair said: “We know that people over 65 years old are excellent at responding to the invitation from their GP to be vaccinated – however the younger age groups, probably because they are working, find it more difficult to find the time to come for a vaccination.” Dr Blair continued: “We’re making it as easy as possible for people to get their free vaccine again this year. You can make an appointment at your GP practice and local pharmacies are also offering the vaccination for free to those at risk and many of

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If you are not sure whether you are eligible for a flu vaccination please check on the NHS choices website at www.nhs.uk/flu

Dr Alistair Blair promoting the flu Vaccination campaign.

Think pharmacy first for coughs and colds this winter If you are over 60 or entitled to free prescriptions due to low income you can go straight to your local pharmacy for free treatment and advice under the Think Pharmacy First scheme. The pharmacy in your neighbourhood is a one stop shop for minor ailments and illnesses including the cold, sore throat, cold sores, stomach upset and indigestion and many other common problems. Think Pharmacy First offers patients who qualify for free prescriptions, the choice of going straight to their pharmacist for a consultation, advice and if appropriate, free treatment.

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group strengthens its team with key appointments


NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group is starting to make a real difference to patient care Schemes and new initiatives undertaken by NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are starting to make a difference to patient care.

to check for evidence of bowel inflammation.

One scheme that is helping patients suffering from stomach problems is a simple health test that checks for evidence of bowel inflammation.

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has made the stool sample test available for local patients who are suffering from bloating and chronic diarrhoea without weight loss.

Patient Kenneth Tweddle of Blyth, has endured chronic problems with bloating, cramps and diarrhoea for the past ten years after eating a meal.

“After further investigations the results came back all clear for any serious complications which was great news,” said Kenneth. “I was relieved that I had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).”

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are the organisations that will take over from primary care trusts and will be responsible for the planning

Pregnant women in Northumberland are being offered whooping cough vaccinations to protect their newborn babies following a rise in cases and deaths amongst young infants across the country. Being vaccinated will boost the short-term immunity passed on by pregnant women to protect their newborn babies – who normally cannot be vaccinated until they are two months old. The vaccine will be offered to pregnant women during routine antenatal appointments with a nurse, midwife or GP.

The 37-year-old ground worker, who has three children, made an appointment with his local GP at the town’s Waterloo Medical Group, and was offered a test

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has further strengthened its team after appointing lay members who will help to shape the new organisation.

Protecting newborn babies from whooping cough

and purchasing of NHS services for local people from April 2013. Jacqui Henderson CBE, has been appointed to the post of lay chair (designate), Trevor Waggett has taken up the audit lay governor (designate) and Peter Atkinson has been appointed to the patient and public involvement lay governor (designate) role. Dr Alistair Blair, chief clinical officer (designate) of NHS

Northumberland CCG, who is also a GP at Wellway Medical Group in Morpeth, said: “Becoming a lay member is an exciting opportunity as it means local people are able to influence the work of the CCG in the future.” The NHS Commissioning Board began to establish the wave of CCGs from 1 November 2012. This role will be described as ‘designate’ until establishment, when it will then become substantive.

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Getting rid of pests made easier with new website

Your questions answered The site also provides the answers to some of the most common questions around pest control. For example: Is there a charge for the pest control service? Treatment for rats and mice inside a house is free; for all other pest treatments, including in garages and outhouses, there is a charge.

Residents and businesses in Northumberland can now book and pay for a pest control treatment online via the council’s website. The new, redesigned pest control site at northumberland. gov.uk/pest makes it easier and faster to get help in eradicating pests, including rats, mice, ants, wasps, bed bugs and fleas.

businesses covering the regular

One of the new features on the site is seasonal pest information. This season there is advice about how to keep rats and mice away from gardens and homes during the winter.

The team of technicians covers

The council’s pest control team also offers a flexible, value for money service for business customers, including catering establishments and farms, which have a legal obligation to keep their premises free of pests. Cost effective contracts can be provided by the council for

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monitoring of premises, early morning appointments, free advice over the phone and a

What if the rats/mice are coming from my neighbour? If you suspect the rodents are living in your neighbour’s garden, the first thing to do is to let them know what you have witnessed. We would then advise both you and the surrounding neighbours to remove any food source for the next seven to 10 days. If the problem persists further then you should contact us via northumberland.gov.uk/ pest.

pest identification service.

the whole of Northumberland and is now able to access, make live updates, book revisits and text customers that they are on their way whilst carrying out their daily work. This has enabled the service to provide more appointments during normal working hours and offer early morning appointments to those who are unable to take time off work.

I have a catering business – how would a pest infestation affect my business? A pest problem in a business can seriously damage your reputation and profitability. Food businesses must take all reasonable precautions to prevent pests, such as rats, mice, cockroaches and flying insects gaining entry into food storage and preparation areas. Officers have the power to close down businesses where there is evidence of a pest infestation.


www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400

Look after your waste this Christmas! We spend, on average, £169 on our Christmas food and drink, but at the same time we are wasting up to £50 a month throwing away perfectly good food! Why not make this the Christmas you ‘Love Food Hate Waste’, with some useful hints and tips:

• Count down to Christmas

by eating food from the freezer. It clears space for leftovers and makes use of what’s already there, saving money in the run up to the celebrations. • If you’re used to cooking for a small number of people and need to cater for a party, the Love Food Hate Waste campaign provides a handy on-line portion tool. • Before you go shopping it’s worth checking your cupboards and freezer to see what’s there. Making a simple meal plan is really helpful too. • Make a shopping list so you only buy what you need. And if there are tempting Christmas offers and festive treats, don’t forget to freeze them if you don’t get round to eating them. There are many more helpful ideas at: www.lovefoodhatewaste.com

Christmas and New Year bin collections Due to the bank holidays at Christmas and New Year, bin collections in Northumberland will be as follows. These changes affect all types of bin. Normal collection day Monday 24 December Tuesday 25 December Wednesday 26 December Thursday 27 December Monday 31 December Tuesday 1 January Wednesday 2 January Thursday 3 January

Revised collection day Monday 24 December (no change) Thursday 27 December Friday 28 December Saturday 29 December Monday 31 December (no change) Wednesday 2 January Thursday 3 January Friday 4 January

Collections return to normal from Monday 7 January 2013 Recycle real Christmas trees and other items that you don’t want this Christmas at your local household waste recovery centre. For locations and to find out more about bin collections and recycling visit www.northumberland.gov.uk/ waste or phone 0845 600 6400.

More rewards for recycling Recycling plastic bottles and empty aerosols through the recycling bin could put Northumberland residents in with a chance to win around £250 worth of prizes.

The North East Recycling Rewards scheme has been re-launched – making a further £10,000 worth of prizes available across the region over the next eight months to residents who register for the scheme and recycle. If you’ve already registered you don’t need to do it again – you will be sent further stickers to carry on with your good work. If you want to register for the first time or find out more go to www.recycle-more.co.uk/ NERewards Winners are selected through a monthly draw. Then each winner can pick from a range of prizes to the value of at least £250.

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Northumberland News – tell us what you think and win an overnight stay at Linden Hall

It is important to us to know what you think about Northumberland News magazine and the information you receive. That is why we are asking readers to spend five minutes completing this short questionnaire, which can be submitted via the internet or by post. Your answers will help us to shape future editions of Northumberland News to make sure it is relevant and interesting for everyone in the county.

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To be entered into our free prize draw, please complete and submit the survey by Wednesday 2 January 2013. Please provide your name and contact number. The winner and a guest will enjoy an overnight stay at Macdonald Linden Hall, inclusive of a three course dinner in the Linden Tree Pub and full English breakfast.

a three course meal in the Linden Tree Pub and all drinks, side orders and extras to be paid for on departure).

(Terms and conditions: Subject to availability when booking. Valid until 28 February 2013. Prize not valid on Saturdays, Christmas or New Year. Dinner is

For more details about Linden Hall and information about the latest offers visit: www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/ lindenhall


www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400 1. About you

6. What articles do you find most interesting?

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Please return this survey to the address below or complete online at www.northumberland.gov.uk/ newssurvey by Wed 2 January 2013. Communications (survey) Northumberland County Council County Hall Morpeth Northumberland NE61 2EF.

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Gold for Northumberland in Clean Britain Awards Northumberland has won a gold award and been rated a five-star authority in the national Clean Britain Awards. Nine local authority areas received awards, with Northumberland gaining top honours in the large authority category – for councils with a population of more than 200,000. The awards featured categories for small, medium and large authorities and each entrant faced a tough judging process with anonymous inspection visits to assess 13 key criteria, including general litter, chewing gum and smoking-related litter, fly-tipping, graffiti and litter bins. Judges said that the standards of cleanliness achieved in Northumberland were very impressive and commended the council on maintaining such a high standard across a wide and diverse area. The inspection covered coastal and inland areas in both the east and west of the county; two locations achieved 100%, with others also achieving almost perfect scores. The Wentworth Leisure Centre, car park and supermarket area of Hexham was found to be in almost perfect condition, and judges said that for such a busy area this was a commendable achievement.

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Pictured: Cllr Alan Thompson (front, centre) with neighbourhood services officers (from left), Richie Jones, Bob Patterson, Brendan Fahey and Ali Johnson. Church Point recreational area at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea also achieved a 100% score – also noted as creditable for an area in constant use by visitors. Judges did comment that in some areas there were minor vegetation problems but that this was not a widespread issue. Councillor Alan Thompson, executive member responsible for highways and neighbourhood services at Northumberland County Council said: “This is a fantastic result for Northumberland – and very well deserved for all our teams who work so hard to keep our county clean and green. “Through the LOVE Northumberland campaign we have been working closely with local communities to make sure that we know where any litter hot spots are – and encouraging residents to report issues to us as soon as they are aware of them.

“Credit must go to local community volunteers and partner agencies too – who work closely with us to ensure that our county is pristine, for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. “The growing relationship between our residents and the council and spirit of cooperation assists in enhancing the reputation of Northumberland.” The Clean Britain Awards are run by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) in association with the British Cleaning Council and are open to all local authorities and other organisations involved in managing public spaces. Winner of the small local authority category was Hyndburn Borough Council in Lancashire and the medium sized was North Tyneside Council. North Tyneside was the overall national winner. The awards are sponsored by Kier and further details can be found at www.cleanbritainawards.co.uk


www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400

Meadows have their roots in Northumberland New meadows are taking root across the county as part of Northumberland’s Growing Wild Project. Twelve sites have been developed so far as part of a project that is being run by Northumberland County Council in partnership with the Northumberland Wildlife Trust. The sites, which gained funding from the SITA Trust, have been identified in conjunction with local communities. Where found to have suitable soil conditions they are prepared and developed to help them thrive. Management of the areas involves cutting two or three times a year and wildflower seeds or plug plants added before the winter sets in. The sites are then left to develop naturally in the spring, allowing as many wildflowers as possible to grow. The seeds for each of these meadows have all been grown and harvested at Windyside Farm near Thropton. Farmer Kevin Wharf (pictured) owns Windyside and has been developing wildflower meadows there for more than 15 years. Councillor Alan Thompson, executive member responsible for highways and neighbourhood services at Northumberland County

Council said: “The council is responsible for maintaining a vast network of grassland sites, including parks, nature reserves and roadside verges. “Some grassed areas do need to be regularly cut throughout the spring and summer season. However, not all areas need to be maintained to the standard of garden lawns or football pitches. Grassland that is allowed to flourish can transform into a sea of wildflowers becoming a haven for bees and butterflies. “The seed from Kevin Wharf’s farm in Thropton is ideal because we know that it is able to cope with the weather conditions that the county of Northumberland experiences.” Sites have already been developed as part of the project – at Choppington, Bedlington Station, Hartford Bridge, Pegswood, Bedlington, Morpeth, Ashington, Blyth and Cramlington - and they can be identified by a small sign displaying a flower and bee logo.

Kara Jackson, conservation officer with the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, said: “We are currently preparing and seeding seven hectares of new Growing Wild meadows throughout the county and I am looking forward to seeing the results next year. Wildflower surveys this year showed that we had an increase from five species in 2011 to more than 30 species in 2012 in some of the meadows. It’s great to see so many of Northumberland’s amenity grasslands being transformed into features that are good for wildlife.” In 2013 the council and the Wildlife Trust hope to develop a further ten sites with locations currently being considered in Amble, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Blyth, Cramlington, Hexham, Morpeth and Seaton Sluice. To suggest a suitable wildflower site in Northumberland contact Kara Jackson at Northumberland Wildlife Trust on 0191 2846884 or kara.jackson@northwt.org.uk

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World champion praises children’s outstanding achievements Former world boxing champion Glenn McCrory joined a packed audience at Blyth’s Phoenix Theatre to celebrate the achievements of Northumberland’s looked after children and young people. More than 140 looked after young people were nominated in the county council’s fifth annual Children’s Outstanding Achievements Awards 2012. Certificates were presented for excellence in personal achievement, education and sport as well as group project achievements. Nicole Fenwick, deputy chairman of the Children in Care Council ‘Voices Making Choices’, said: “For this fifth Celebrating Achievement Awards event, we decided to build upon the success of last year. There were so many nominations this year that we are organising a separate Christmas celebration event for the under sevens. It really means a lot seeing all of the young people that I have worked with over the last few months getting their awards. It was particularly nice to see how the younger children have developed. It was a great night to be around everybody, as it is not often that we all get together.”

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Pictured: Glenn McCrory and Deputy Chair of the Children in Care Council Voices Making Choices, Nicole Fenwick, with Les Welsh’s Olympic Torch, which featured in the event. Glenn McCrory, boxing star and Northumberland’s Deputy Lord Lieutenant, said: “Looked after children and young people is a group close to my heart. My parents fostered for about 30 years for children who needed long term homes and families. Congratulations to all of the children and young people; I wish them every success to attain more in the future.” Olympic Torch bearing boxing coach and Northumberland Foster Carer, Les Welsh, began the evening with a spotlight Olympic Torch run to the stage, where he joined young people from his Empire School of Boxing. As part of the event there were singing, dancing and musical performances from looked after children and young people. The performers all gained new skills while preparing for the show with singing lessons for the group ‘True voices’ and dance

workshops for ‘NE Wayz’ dance troupe. Councillor Lesley Rickerby, Northumberland County Council’s executive member for children and young people, who helped celebrate the evening, said: “This was another fantastic event, where we all gained inspiration from the youngsters. They are wonderful advocates, not only for themselves, but also for Northumberland. The young people’s enthusiasm keeps me going in my work with children and young people. I wish them all well for the future, and am looking forward to next year.” If you are interested in helping looked after children and young people achieve in life, why not come along to an information evening or visit Northumberland’s adoption and fostering webpages to find out more http://family. northumberland.gov.uk


www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400

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Time to get on your bike with free training For anyone who hasn’t cycled for a long time, today’s traffic can be a daunting prospect. Now help is at hand with free cycle training sessions for adults this winter. The county council has teamed up with bike charity WATbike for the sessions, which aim to promote sustainable travel and to ensure cyclists are safe on the roads. Free cycle training is available for people age 16 and above who live, work or study in South East Northumberland. The sessions aim to provide people with the confidence to ride a bike safely, enjoyably and comfortably in today’s traffic conditions. The courses will be led by trained and experienced cyclists and will also provide tips on cycle maintenance and what types of clothing you should wear. After training, each candidate will receive the South East Northumberland cycle map, and also be offered a free place on one of WATBike’s regular guided rides (valued at £15). These sessions will take place regularly until March 2015. There are morning and afternoon sessions arranged on Sunday 2, Thursday 6, Sunday 9, Sunday 16 and Thursday 20 December. The training will take place

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Pictured (front): John Leathy and Sue Bevan, volunteer guides and trainers for WATbike. initially at the WATbike premises in West Sleekburn and surrounding roads but this may expand to workplaces in South East Northumberland in the future. Sarah-Alexandra Rowell, the council’s travel plan co-ordinator said: “With its success in the Olympics, cycling is enjoying massive interest, but lots of people who want to give it a go are put off by busy roads or worried about accidents. This scheme is a great way to build confidence in a safe and controlled way and the informal nature of the course will really appeal to beginners and

experienced riders alike.” To book a place or get more details contact cycletraining@watbus.org. uk or visit http://www.watbus. org.uk/adult-cycle-training/ The cycle training is funded through the South East Northumberland Sustainable Transport to Work project which is part of the council’s Local SustainableTransport Fund project. The LSTF initiative aims to improve sustainable travel choices for access to work and education in the south east of the county.


www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400

Safer driving programme is motoring along A project offering advice and support to young people keen to work on cars and motorbikes is seeking new members. The Motor Project based at the East Centre in Prudhoe has 20 members 13 to 18-years-old. With new equipment bought with a grant from the Local Multiagency Partnership (LMAPS) and plans to begin an exciting mechanical challenge to build a hovercraft, this is the ideal time for new members to join in. Sarah Wood from the county council’s youth service explained the purpose of the sessions: “Young people can come along and bring their cars or their bikes and work on them in a safe environment under the supervision of mechanically confident workers who can ensure the safety of the vehicles when they leave the workshop.

Young people can get their cars up to standard to pass their MOTs, or if they are modifying them staff ensure the work carried out leaves the vehicle safe to drive. Often faults and dangers are picked up and rectified through these sessions. Young people are also informed about adhering to standards outlined in their insurance. All the while the message of road respect and safety is being delivered.” The weekly sessions take place in a purpose built workshop where all the equipment required to carry out maintenance on vehicles and bikes is available. The project is led by Mick Scrimshaw with support from Debby Smith who has a strong mechanical background. As well as the workshops, which run every Monday from 7pm to 9.30pm, there are plans to organise trips and track days in 2013.

The project has had strong support from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, Northumbria Police and Prudhoe Town Council. Sarah Wood said: “We are keen to encourage young people to use this service, especially those who are approaching the age where they would consider starting to drive. We also welcome younger age groups who may wish to become involved with bikes and other projects like the hovercraft. For more information about the project email sarah. wood@northumberland.gov. uk or phone 01661 832343. Pictured: Mick Scrimshaw project leader (back right) with members of the Motor Project in the East Centre Prudhoe.

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People purchasing power creating a buzz People living in Northumberland are being urged to use their potential bulk buying power to get a better deal for themselves on energy prices. Northumberland County Council is collaborating in a contractual arrangement involving 12 local authorities across the country to create the first ever UK Collective Energy Switching Scheme.

How does it work? The county council is gathering registrations from people who want to switch without hassle and pay less for energy. Working with 11 other participating councils, an auction will be organised and the supplier who offers the cheapest tariffs will win the contract. After the auction, each person who registers will receive a personal offer. Each person can then decide whether to accept the offer or not – there is no obligation to take the deal.

Register for the auction to get a new energy deal All the registrations are grouped anonymously and the energy suppliers submit their best deal. The auction will take place on 18 December 2012. The price offered by the suppliers is independent of the number of participants who make the switch. The more people who sign up the more likely suppliers are to give an additional discount, so you get an attractive energy deal.

Which suppliers will participate? In principle any nationwide supplier can participate. The supplier has to meet several predetermined quality requirements, to guarantee a smooth, reliable switch for the participants.

Sign up with no obligation You will need the following details to complete your registration by 17 Dec 2012:

• Your name, address and

contact details. • The name of your current energy supplier(s) and current tariff plan(s). • Your current consumption in kWh or spend. See your energy bill or your annual statement. • Up to five households can register on the same email address, so people can help neighbours and friends who do not have access to the internet or emails. Details of those who register will only be shared with the winning supplier if they confirm that they want to switch.

For more information, visit the website: www.readytoswitch.co.uk Email: Energy@northumberland.gov.uk Phone: Northumberland County Council on 0845 600 6400.

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www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400

New hospital will have the “wow” factor The Duchess of Northumberland gave the seal of approval to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Cramlington when she carried out a groundbreaking ceremony on the site in October. Doctors, nurses, local MP’s and councillors were among those who watched the Duchess mark the start of work on the new hospital from the cab of an excavator. Later the Duchess met staff and guests who have been involved in the design of the new hospital and said: “This hospital will be a fantastic asset for the people of Northumberland and North Tyneside and will most certainly have the “wow” factor.” The new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital will be the first in the country to have specialists available to see and treat the most seriously ill or injured patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Leading experts in healthcare say that medical evidence shows that seeing a specialist early in the patient journey saves lives and improves outcomes for emergency patients.

Pictured: The Duchess of Northumberland marks the start of work on the new hospital in Cramlington. With this in mind and faced with ever increasing numbers of patients attending A & E departments at Northumbria NHS Foundation trust, clinicians have taken some of the best practice from hospitals nationally and internationally to provide a centre of excellence that will improve care for emergency patients. Once they are on the road to recovery patients will be transferred to their local hospital. The new hospital will have a state-of-the-art A & E department, in-patient wards, hi-tech diagnostics and critical care as well as a short-stay Paediatric facility and consultantled maternity unit. The innovative design, on three floors, includes wards arranged around a central nurses’ station, which will improve observation

of patients and deliver highquality care. Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Jim Mackey said: “This will improve healthcare for the 500,000 population of North Tyneside and Northumberland, giving them access to some of the best emergency care in the United Kingdom and internationally. “I am immensely proud of our clinical teams who have worked so hard to improve the way we deliver emergency care. They have taken ideas from home and abroad to provide quality care in a dedicated setting for the first time in the country.” Work has now started on the hospital and will take 27 months to complete.

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Book now for an unforgettable wedding date Passion is running high in Northumberland if predictions for the date 12/12/12 are to be believed. A higher than usual number of couples have picked the memorable date to get married in the county and this trend is being replicated across the country. Lorraine Dewison who manages the registrar service in Northumberland said: “Last year on a Wednesday in December we had just one wedding booked. This year on Wednesday December 12 we have seven weddings booked. It is the last date in this century for a triple number date and I guess, would be brides and grooms, will want to be a little part of history. It is also a novel number and will make anniversaries easy to remember.” In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve signs of the zodiac, so the omens for a wedding on that day are good. Two couples in the county have gone one step further and are booked to get married at 12 minutes past 12, on 12, 12, 2012.

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Linda Stevenson is one of the brides preparing to tie the knot at that time. Linda, originally from Scotland, will marry Craig Jose, from Newcastle at Ellingham Hall. Linda said: “We chose Northumberland because it is such a fabulous and beautiful county. It’s also in the middle for our families to travel to. I saw an advert for weddings at Ellingham Hall on 12/12/12 and I said to

Craig ‘Wow what an amazing date, you’d never forget it.” Unbeknown to Linda, Craig provisionally booked the wedding and then proposed. Christmas is extra special for the couple as it is when they got together and Linda’s birthday is also in December. The county’s registrars officiate at civil weddings which can take place in over 70 stunning venues across the county.

A full colour brochure is available online showcasing Northumberland ceremony venues. To view a copy of the ‘Your Northumberland wedding’ brochure visit www. mynorthumberlandwedding.co.uk or call 01665 602870 and speak to a member of the council’s wedding ceremonies co-ordination team.


www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400

Beat winter blues with mood boosting books If you are feeling tired and stressed or just fancy a bit of a pick-meup, why not pop down to your local library and boost your mood with a recommended read. With the dark autumn nights now upon us Northumberland County Council is backing national charity The Reading Agency’s Mood Boosting Books campaign which recommends ‘cheer you up’ books chosen by readers.

Debbie Hicks, director of research for The Reading Agency, said: “Research shows that reading improves mental well-being. Our 2012 Moodboosting Books campaign is aimed at promoting the restorative power of reading to help people feel better and reduce stress levels.” Mood-boosting Books 2012 follows the success of the promotion which The Reading Agency, the charity working to inspire people to read more, ran last year. It engaged 50,000 people, across 115 library authorities, as well as in colleges, NHS trusts and prisons.

Neil Bradbury, Northumberland County Council’s executive member for libraries, said: “Reading great books can directly affect your sense of wellbeing and transform the way you see the world. The Reading Agency has recommended 27 books, but we have almost half a million books in stock in libraries across the county so there is plenty of choice for you to find a great book to inspire, entertain and enjoy.” Find out more about the county council’s library service by visiting the awarding winning website at www.mylibrary.co.uk

Eight reading groups around the UK read, reviewed and recommended a selection of 27 mood-boosting books. Among them are classics The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, as well as more recent titles such as To The Moon and Back by Jill Mansell, Life According To Lubka by Laurie Graham and A Spot Of Bother by Mark Haddon. According to official figures, winter depression (seasonal affective disorder or SAD) is thought to affect up to one in 15 British people every year between September and April. Many more of us (about 17%) get a milder form of the condition, known as the winter blues.

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Campaign launched to help victims of domestic abuse Are you always walking on eggshells? Are you living in fear of someone? The winter holiday period is a time when incidents of domestic abuse are known to increase. Northumbria Police has launched a campaign to raise awareness of all forms of domestic abuse and to encourage victims to seek help or to report their abuser. The message is that all domestic abuse victims have the right to live without fear or violence. The force is working with Northumberland County Council and other local authorities, private bodies and charitable organisations to help victims access help and support. The campaign, which is running until the end of January 2013, supports the good work already being carried out to support domestic abuse victims and their families. Northumbria Police talked to the victims of domestic abuse and people who work with them to make sure the advertising campaign contains the right messages. These will be communicated through radio advertising, transport advertising, ladies’ washrooms in GP surgeries and in shopping centres.

What is domestic abuse? Domestic abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in a relationship together, or between family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. The new campaign aims to make people aware that domestic abuse may be: Physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. How to find help For independent and confidential advice call 0800 066 5555 In an emergency call 999 Northumberland Women’s Refuge - 01670 820199 A list of organisations offering support in Northumberland and national helplines can be found on the websites: www.enough.me.uk www.northumberland.gov.uk

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www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400

Save time - do it online The success and popularity of services offered through the council’s web and social media sites has prompted a campaign to encourage more people to ‘Save time - do it online’. The campaign encourages customers who usually visit or ring customer service centres to visit www.northumberland.gov.uk instead, making a whole range of tasks simpler, faster and cheaper. The way residents and customers communicate with the council is changing; three years ago there was no social media presence at all and now more than 36,000 people have signed up to the county council’s profiles on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Customers are setting the agenda and it is clear that a significant number of Northumberland’s residents prefer to access county council services online. In the last month more than 5,400 people interacted, contacted, commented or asked us a question via Facebook or Twitter. Going online ensures you never have to queue in an office or wait on the telephone again. Just log on and complete the task from the comfort of your own home, or even on the move from your smart phone. Problems such as faulty street lights, missed bin collections and pot holes can also be reported conveniently and efficiently.

Several newly redeveloped Northumberland County Council webpages are now online such as council tax, pest control and the award-winning ‘My library’. These new sites make paying your council tax bill, booking a pest control visit or using a range of library services faster, easier and more convenient. Ross Wigham service manager communications, said: “As a council we are continually

looking at ways to transform services so that they can be accessed easily by our customers. By doing more online, residents can decide on a time that best suits their lifestyle. “By offering more self-service transactions this gives people more choice and convenience and hopefully increases customer satisfaction.”

If you haven’t got access to a computer at home, why not visit your local library to access a computer for free.

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Councilmeetings Tuesday 4 December 2012 • Planning and Environment Committee 6pm - Council Chamber, County Hall, Morpeth Wednesday 5 December 2012

• County Council

3pm - Council Chamber, County Hall, Morpeth

Thursday 6 December 2012 • Area Planning Committee - North 6pm - Alnwick Council Chamber, Clayport Street, Alnwick, NE66 1LA

Tuesday 18 December 2012 • Economic Prosperity & Strategic Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee 10am - Committee Room 1, County Hall, Morpeth • Area Planning Committee - South East 6pm - Isabella Community Centre, Ogle Drive, Blyth, NE24 5JF Wednesday 19 December 2012 • Area Planning Committee - West 2pm - Council Chamber, Prospect House, Hexham, NE46 1XD

Monday 10 December 2012

• Executive

Thursday 20 December 2012 • Family and Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee 2pm - Committee Room 2, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF

Tuesday 11 December 2012 • Communities & Place Overview & Scrutiny Committee 2pm - West Hartford Fire Station • Area Committee - West 6pm - Haydon Lodge (by Haydon Bridge High School)

Thursday 3 January 2013 • Area Planning Committee - North 6pm - Alnwick Council Chamber, Clayport Street, Alnwick, NE66 1LA

2pm - Committee Room 1, County Hall, Morpeth • Area Committee - North 6pm - Venue to be confirmed

Wednesday 12 December 2012

• Licensing and Regulatory Committee

1.30pm - Council Chamber, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF • Licensing Committee 2.00pm - Council Chamber, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF • Area Committee - South East 6pm - Salvation Army Hall, Bedlington Thursday 13 December 2012 • Care and Well-being Overview & Scrutiny Committee 2pm - Committee Room 2, County Hall, Morpeth

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Monday 7 January 2013

• Executive

2pm - Committee Room 1, County Hall, Morpeth

Tuesday 8 January 2013 • Planning and Environment Committee 6pm - Council Chamber, County Hall, Morpeth Wednesday 9 January 2013

• Communities & Place Overview & Scrutiny Committee 2pm - Committee Room 1, County Hall, Morpeth

Monday 14 January 2013

• Area Committee - North

6pm - Morpeth Town Hall


www.northumberland.gov.uk | Phone 0845 600 6400 Tuesday 15 January 2013 • Area Committee - West 6pm - Corbridge First School • Area Planning Committee - South East 6pm - Adamson Suite, Choppington Social Welfare, Colliery Road, Scotland Gate, NE62 5SR Wednesday 16 January 2013

• Area Committee - South East

6pm - Choppington Social Welfare, Colliery Road, Scotland Gate, NE62 5SR • Area Planning Committee - West 6pm - Council Chamber, Prospect House, Hexham, NE46 1XD • County Council 3pm - Council Chamber, County Hall, Morpeth Thursday 7 February 2013

• Area Planning Committee - North

6pm - Alnwick Council Chamber, Clayport Street, Alnwick, NE66 1LA

Monday 11 February 2013 • Executive 2pm - Committee Room 1, County Hall, Morpeth • Area Committee - North 6pm - Venue to be confirmed Tuesday 12 February 2013 • Area Committee - West 6pm - Venue to be confirmed A full list of meetings is available at www.northumberland.gov.uk. Meeting dates and venues can change. Before attending please check the website or contact committee services on 0845 600 6400 to confirm details.

Workshops for would-be councillors Have you ever thought about becoming a town or parish councillor? Would you like to find out more about the role? Workshops will take place in the New Year in Alnwick, Choppington and Hexham to provide information and advice. At each session county council and Northumberland Association of Local Councils officers and parish/town councillors will be attending to give presentations and advice. Sessions will cover the following:

• What are parish and town councils? • What powers and freedoms do they have? • How do they relate to the

county council? • How can you apply or stand to become a parish or town councillor? The sessions will take place as follows:

• Monday 21 January 2013

Council Chamber, Clayport Street, Alnwick. • Thursday 24 January 2013 Prospect House, Hexham • Monday 28 January 2013 William Elder Building, Berwick • Wednesday 30 January 2013 Jamieson Room, Choppington Social Welfare Centre, Scotland Gate, Choppington. Light refreshments will be provided at 6pm before each workshop begins at 6.30pm. The sessions will be chaired by: Councillor Pat Scott in

Alnwick, Councillor Colin Horncastle in Hexham and Councillor Ian Swithenbank in Choppington. There will be opportunities to ask questions during each session. Paddy Gascoigne, service manager for democratic services at Northumberland County Council, said: “Councils depend on the energy, enthusiasm and the commitment of local people. It can be immensely rewarding joining your local council and you can really improve local life.” If you are interested in attending, please phone Mike Bird in democratic services on 01670 622616 or email demserv.ar@ northumberland.gov.uk so that numbers for each event can be confirmed.

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What’s on December

Berwick Christmas lights switch on Saturday 1, 5.30pm Berwick town centre. Mrs Claus Christmas Crafts Every Saturday and Sunday in December 12 noon – 3pm Suggested donation £1. www.experiencewoodhorn.com Woodhorn Christmas Fayre Sunday 2, 11am – 4pm Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives. www.experiencewoodhorn.com Christmas wreath making workshop Sunday 2 and Monday 3, 10am-4pm Wallington Hall Make two wreaths and enjoy coffee and lunch for £38. Call 01670 773600 to book a place. Festive Wreath Making Workshop Thursday 6, 10am – 3pm Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens Join the head gardener and create your own Christmas Wreath. Followed by lunch in the tea room. To book contact 0870 333 1187. Non-members: adults and concessions £50. Members: adults and concessions £45. Event is not suitable for children.

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Christmas Fayre Saturday 8, 11am – 4pm Kielder Castle the Duke’s Pantry Hexham, NE48 1ER 01434 250100. www.thedukespantry.co.uk

Concert at Bamburgh Castle Saturday 15, 7pm – 9pm Kings Hall, Bamburgh Castle. Tickets £10. Phone 01668 214208.

Christmas concert Saturday 8, 4.30pm – 6.40pm Wallington Hall Adults £15, children £7.50 includes seasonal refreshments. Call 0844249 1895 or book online www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ wallington

Festive Carols and Seasonal Songs Sunday 16, performances at 2pm and 3pm. Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens No need to book. Tickets available to buy at the site on the day. Prices: Adult: £7.70 / Concessions: £6.90 / Child: £4.60 / Family: £20.00 English Heritage members: free.

Seaton Delaval Hall Christmas Fair Saturday 8 and Sunday 9, 11am – 3pm Santa’s grotto £3 per child. Advanced booking essential for grotto call 0191 2379100. The Medieval Christmas Saturday 8 and Sunday 9, presentations at 11.15am, 12.30pm, 1.45pm and 3pm. Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens Discover how Christmas was celebrated during medieval times with Heuristics and their shows of fascinating facts. Christmas fair and activities for children. No need to book. Prices: Adult: £7.70 / concessions: £6.90 / child: £4.60 / family: £20. English Heritage members: free. Christmas Music Friday 14, 7.30pm – 10.30pm Alnwick Rotary Club evening of live music to raise funds for local charities. The Hindmarsh Hall, Alnwick. Phone 01665 711360. Panto - Mother Goose Friday 14 at 7.30pm and Saturday 15 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Warkworth Drama Group’s panto. Tickets £6. www.warkworthdrama.org.uk

Meet Santa at Cragside Sunday 16, 11am-4pm Cragside house, Rothbury No booking required to meet Santa. Normal admission charges apply. Winter tales Saturday 22, 12 noon – 2pm Seaton Delaval Hall Seasonal tales told by costumed story tellers. Booking essential. Call on 0191 3279100. Normal admission charges apply. A Christmas Carol Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 11am and 2pm Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens Actor Chris Cade brings to life this Dickens classic. No need to book. Adult: £7.70 / concessions: £6.90 / child: £4.60 / family: £20. English Heritage members: free. To find out about events happening in Northumberland visit events.northumberland. gov.uk or follow us on: Twitter.com/EventsNE Facebook.com/ northumberlandevents


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Northumberland News Winter 2012