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County Councillor Report (Feb 2019)

County Councillor Report

Feb 2019

by Wendy Pattison – Tel. 07779 983072

County Councillor Wendy Pattison Northumberland


Professional foster care recruitment: find out how you can help children and young people in 2019

Have you considered a new rewarding job role for 2019?  Have you heard about paid professional foster care?  

Foster Care are looking for people from all walks of life to work as different types of paid professional foster carers with children aged 0 to 18. 

Call or email Caroline on 01670 62 62 62  Or visit for more information

The effective management of recording at local council and parish meetings

The right to record, film and to broadcast meetings of the council/parish meeting is established under the Openness of Local Government Regulations 2014. This is in addition to the rights of the press and public to attend such meetings. The term “record” means any form of audio, visual or electronic recording. Those who attend a public meeting should expect to be filmed. This includes councillors, council officers and members of the public (however, it would be considered a courtesy to ask the Chairman’s permission, so that any member of the public who does not want to be filmed can say so and move out of the line of vision. The rules that the [council/parish meeting] will apply are;

  1. The [council/parish meeting] will display requirements as to filming, recording and broadcasting at its meeting venues and on its website or on notice boards in the parish and those undertaking these activities will be deemed to have accepted them whether they have read them or not. The Chairman may also verbally remind the meeting and all present of the freedom to record but that these rules/guidance are in place to enable any type of recording to take place with minimal disruption to the council meeting.
  2. Any person wishing to record a meeting in any format whatsoever is encouraged (but not compelled), to contact the Clerk prior to the start of the meeting. The Clerk’s details are set out in the public notice and/or agenda of the meeting; (or in his/her absence, the contact will be the Chairman of the [council/parish meeting]). Discussing requirements with the clerk beforehand will help to ensure that the council provides reasonable facilities to meet the needs of the person that is recording.
  3. The person making the recording may move around, however in doing so he/she must ensure that there is minimal or no disruption to the proceedings of the meeting.
  4. A person or persons recording the [council/parish) meeting are reminded that the “Public Participation” period may not be part of the formal meeting and that they should take legal advice for themselves as to their rights to make any recording during that period.
  5. Where the press and public are excluded from a meeting or part of a meeting owing to the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, recording of that meeting or that part of the meeting will not be permitted.
  6. The specific filming of children or young people under the age of 18 who are present cannot take place unless their parents/guardians have given their written consent. This provision also applies to vulnerable adults whereby the consent of a responsible adult is required, ie a medical professional, carer or legal guardian. Where the permission is given, filming of these people can take place.
  7. The council requests that all recording is overt (i.e. clearly visible to anyone at the meeting) but cannot compel those who are recording to do so.
  8. The use of digital and social media recording tools, for example Twitter, blogging or audio recording are allowed as long as this type of recording is carried out in a non-disruptive way and only to the extent that it does not interfere with the ability of any person present to follow the debate.
  9. A person or persons making a recording has no right to interrupt a [council/parish meeting] by asking questions or making comments for the purpose of the recording. The person recording has no right to ask councillors, officers or any members of the public who have been given permission to contribute orally to the meeting to repeat a statement for the purposes of the recording.


Highways England was last in contact about the A1 Wandylaw to Warenford resurfacing scheme in June 2018 to indicate that the works would not start until March 2019 at the earliest.

They have since taken the decision to only undertake some remedial patching work during 2019 which will use overnight working and should cause minimal disruption.

The substantive resurfacing and drainage works are unlikely to take place until 2020/2021.

Once they have established sufficient information on the options for delivering these works, we will consult with you and other local organisations/businesses/residents as we continue to progress design options

Rescue dogs are stars of 2019 charity calendar

A charity calendar, featuring dogs rescued in Northumberland, is for sale with all the proceeds going directly to four local animal charities.The calendar features twelve dogs that have been rescued by Northumberland County Council’s animal welfare team and partner charities. Each dog has their back story printed alongside their photograph.The printing of the calendar has been funded by the fines collected for dog fouling offences in Northumberland. All the proceeds will go to four local animal charities: S.H.A.K, Alexa’s Animals, B.A.R.K and The Dog’s Trust.

A charity calendar, featuring dogs rescued in Northumberland, is now for sale with all the proceeds going directly to four local animal charities.

One of the rescued dogs is Jess who was reported living on the railway tracks during the winter months only coming out at night when quiet to forage for food. An Animal welfare Officer and a team of volunteers having managed to trap her, found her in a terrible condition and very underweight. Since then she has received loving care and as been found a new home where she now lives a full and healthy life.

Another chosen dog was Kas who was left living on the streets whilst her owners were on holiday. She was picked up by a council Animal Welfare Officer and re-homed with a loving owner.  

Ollie the lurcher was four months old when he was found straying and placed in kennels. He has found his forever home and is absolutely adored by his new owners in his new loving home.

Stephen Wylie of the dog rescue charity S.H.A.K said: “We’ve had another successful year working alongside the council’s animal welfare team. Together we have helped dogs to be reunited with their owners, receive medical attention when needed and if necessary find new homes. We rescue large breeds of dogs that are either mistreated, neglected or unwanted in our community, and for many we are their last chance. We desperately need funds to keep our animals in homes until we find the right person to give them the second chance they deserve and the proceeds we will receive from the sale of this calendar are greatly appreciated.”

The calendars are available for a minimum donation of £3.99 from council information centres, through the Council website or by contacting the animal welfare team on 0345 600 6400.

Council protects vulnerable adults with scam call blocking devices

Some of the most elderly and vulnerable people in Northumberland who have been plagued by nuisance and scam phone calls have been given greater security and peace of mind after being loaned telephone blocking devices by Northumberland County Council.

Last year the authority’s Housing and Public Protection Service purchased five ‘True Call’ telephone call blocking devices in a bid to clamp down on fraudsters and offer a greater sense of security for those most at risk.

The devices have been used across the county blocking 99 per cent of nuisance and scam calls for the occupiers of those properties they were installed in, providing significant benefit and respite to those who had previously being targeted.

Analysis shows that a staggering 61 per cent of all calls received by residents who had a device were nuisance phone calls and that 1849 calls had been blocked and two scams were prevented.  Residents were also receiving twice the national average number of nuisance calls. 

The True Call devices, which normally cost around £100, plug in between the phone and the telephone socket and intercept all calls.

Unless the caller and number is registered in advance by the occupier, before letting the caller through, they must first state their name and where they are calling from so that the person receiving the call can decide whether or not to let them through.

Having achieved the desired effect of reducing the number of calls received, the devices are then placed in the homes of other residents in need.

Philip Soderquest, Northumberland County Council’s Head of Housing and Public Protection said, “We know that these call-blockers can make a real difference to people’s lives and give those in vulnerable situations, such as those with dementia and their families, a greater sense of protection and security. They reduce confusion and stress for older people and help those who live alone feel safer and more in control.

“NCC has a small supply of the devices that they can lend to older adults who are the group most vulnerable to scam calls and we want to put them where they will be the most use. “If you are elderly, or have an elderly member of your family  being plagued by unwanted phone calls please call us on 01670 623870 or send an e-mail to and we will be in contact to see if we can assist.”


Image of Wendy Pattison, and all text provided by Cllr. Wendy Pattison and used with permission.


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