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County Councillor Report (Aug 2021)

by Wendy Pattison – Tel. 07779 983072

And also on Facebook: Cllr Wendy Pattison

Photo portrait of Councillor Wendy Pattison

[All text and the above portrait photo provided by Cllr Wendy Pattison and used with permission. Received: 25 July 2021.]


New approach to integrated support for Northumberland communities to be agreed

Communities in Northumberland are set to benefit from an innovative new model for supporting adults with long-term care and support needs.

The proposal is to develop a collaborative partnership, in which adult social care services will be one element in a wider integrated approach to supporting people with care and support needs in the community.

The move will see Northumberland County Council working increasingly closely with GP practices, mental health services and the voluntary and community sector, to provide bespoke support for Northumberland residents.

There are also potential opportunities for closer integration with other Council services, including children’s services (0-19) and the preventative community support which is now being provided by Northumberland Communities Together (NCT), a community network hosted by the Council.

Cath McEvoy-Carr, Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Children’s Services at Northumberland County Council said: “The pandemic has seen teams from across the public sector working together more effectively than ever before, and we want to build on what has been achieved in Northumberland, and take it forward in new and innovative ways.

“Adult Social Care and Public Health staff are already working closely with our Northumberland Communities Together team providing invaluable support to communities during the pandemic by connecting, strengthening and supporting adults and young people in local communities to improve health and life chances”.

“Our aim is for all the professionals involved in a person’s care, support, therapy and treatment, to be able to operate as seamlessly as possible, sharing skills, information and capacity, and taking joint responsibility for ensuring that the person is always at the centre.”

Under a 2011 partnership agreement with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Northumberland County Council delegated provision of most adult social care functions to the Trust, including: care management, community rehabilitation services, some specialist learning disability services and a variety of business support functions.

In 2020, the Council proposed a new model for the integration of community-based health and care services for people with long-term disabling health conditions. This would have had separate governance arrangements, which might have involved additional NHS partners such as primary care and mental health services, to support closer integration with key health services outside the Trust.

The Trust did not feel able to support this proposal, and came to the view that new opportunities associated with the national policy for Integrated Care Systems (ICS) meant that the formal partnership agreement was no longer necessary. As a result, the formal partnership agreement between the Council and the Trust will end on 30 September 2021.

Cath McEvoy-Carr said: “We continue to believe that the best way to support people with disabling long-term conditions is through integrated front-line health and social care services, delivered locally.

“The end of the existing partnership provides an opportunity to refocus and enhance the Council’s commitment to integrated care, delivered locally to communities working with many partners including primary care and the voluntary and community sector as well as our regional NHS trusts.

“While the link between acute hospitals and social care remains extremely important, we believe that integration with primary care and mental health services should be our key priorities over the next few years.”

The proposal for the new model will be presented to Northumberland’s Health and Wellbeing Oversight and Scrutiny Committee on 2 August 2021.

Five neighbourhood plans are officially ‘made’

Residents of Alnmouth, Craster, Embleton, Hexham and Lesbury now have more of a say over future development in their parishes, following the adoption of neighbourhood plans for their respective areas.

The neighbourhood plans will now form part of the statutory development plan for Northumberland, meaning that future planning decisions in the five areas will be made in line with policies in them, unless ‘material’ considerations indicate otherwise. 

The plans were officially adopted, or ‘made’, at a meeting of Northumberland County Council’s cabinet this week.  

This comes after there were referendums in each area, which asked residents if they wanted the neighbourhood plans to be considered during planning decision-making.

 The neighbourhood plans will now form a key part of the planning process for these five areas. They will have real influence in decisions on new housing, businesses and services, retaining community facilities, protecting green spaces, providing sustainable transport, protecting local heritage assets and the design of new development. 

The plans were created by the local parish and town councils with significant input and support from local residents, who all worked closely with planning officers from the council to agree what is important to each area.

Councillor Colin Horncastle, cabinet member for community services at Northumberland County Council, said: “The neighbourhood plans made today are a testament to the hard work of many dedicated people in these communities, and I am very pleased to see them come into effect.

“The town and parish councils have engaged with residents to produce plans that really address locally-important issues, and they have given these communities a say in how land will be developed in the future.”

The county council, as the local planning authority, has a statutory or legal duty to support any local community preparing a neighbourhood plan. 

Work is continuing to prepare neighbourhood plans for 26 other parishes across Northumberland, while 10 are already in place. 

Free course helps people achieve improved weight and wellbeing 

Residents are being invited to sign up to a free weight management programme which is being run by Active Northumberland to help participants to achieve a long-lasting healthy weight and boost their wellbeing. 
 The programme, supported by Northumberland County Council’s public health service, and funded by the government, is available in leisure centres around the county. It is open to adults in Northumberland who are interested in losing weight and getting fitter and healthier. 

Anyone interested in achieving a health weight can sign up to the programme which is aimed at people with a body mass index (BMI) of over 30kg/m2 . If you’re not sure about your BMI you can check it by visiting: 

The unique 12-week course called Momenta has been developed by experts in the fields of nutrition, physical activity and psychology, and is based on the latest scientific evidence. The programme helps participants to start and maintain healthier habits and to introduce realistic lifestyle goals to achieve a healthy weight.  

They will also learn about the key factors that contribute to weight gain and why so many methods of ‘dieting’ fail in the long term. The programme consists of weekly, one hour classroom-based sessions and an optional exercise element.  

For the last two years Active Northumberland has been working with Northumberland County Council and their wider partners to create a joint and long-lasting approach to tackling obesity and to support residents to achieve a healthier weight.   Previously people had to be referred by their GP or health practitioner to join the course. Now they can sign up themselves. 

Mark Warnes, Chief Executive of Active Northumberland, said:  

“We have a well-qualified, passionate and very friendly team who are ready to help residents to maintain a healthy weight.  Physical activity is a part of our wider programme and if participants wish we will help them to find an exercise routine that they enjoy, and which works for them; this might be in one of our great leisure facilities or with friends in a community setting. 

If you are interested in taking part, please email: 

Or you can sign up to the programme at 

What Is the Queen’s Green Canopy?

The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) is a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 which invites people from across the United Kingdom to Plant a Tree for the Jubilee.” 

Everyone from individuals to Scout and Girlguiding groups, villages, cities, counties, schools and corporates will be encouraged to play their part to enhance our environment by planting trees from October, when the tree planting season begins, through to the end of the Jubilee year in 2022. 

With a focus on planting sustainably, the QGC will encourage planting of trees to create a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the Nation, which will benefit future generations. 

As well as inviting the planting of new trees, The Queen’s Green Canopy will dedicate a network of 70 Ancient Woodlands across the United Kingdom and identify 70 Ancient Trees to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service. 

Everyone should be able to get involved in Planting a Tree for the Platinum Jubilee in celebration of The Queen’s 70 years of Service to the Nation. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a complete novice, we will guide you through the process of planting trees so that they survive and flourish for years to come.


If you wish to plant a tree in your garden to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee, we recommend you order a tree/trees from a certified Plant Healthy nursery in your area. Please see below our PLAN page for advice on the tree planting season (October to March), where to plant and how to secure a healthy tree which is right for your location.

From October, you can add your Jubilee tree to the QGC map

You may also wish to order an official plaque to place in your garden to mark the occasion for generations to come. Templates for QGC plaques with suggested wording and recommended suppliers will be available on this site from September 2021 ready for when the tree planting season begins in October.

Communities And Groups

Community groups (residents’ associations, Scout and Girl guiding groups, Parish Councils, youth and sports clubs, Rotary Clubs etc) are encouraged to get involved in Planting a Tree for the Platinum Jubilee in celebration of The Queen’s 70 years of Service to the Nation. 

The Woodland Trust is a partner of the QGC and their Free Trees for Schools and Communities Scheme is a great way to get involved with tree planting. Across 2021 and 2022 they have over three million saplings in tree packs, available on a first come first served basis. Information on how to apply for the free saplings is available through the Woodland Trust website.

Please see below our PLAN page for advice on the tree planting season (October to March), where to plant and how to secure a healthy tree which is right for your location. 

From October, you can photograph your Jubilee tree and upload it on to the QGC map

Contact Us

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