County Councillor Report
by Wendy Pattison
email@example.com – Tel. 07779 983072
And also on Facebook: Cllr Wendy Pattison
[All text and images provided by Cllr Wendy Pattison and used with permission. Received on 29 December 2020.]
Happy New Year from my screen to yours!!
Wishing you all a safe, healthy and a prosperous New Year.
Green Holiday Period
Over the holiday period, households often produce increased amounts of waste, from leftover festive food to gift wrapping paper.
The council is encouraging everyone to practise effective recycling this festive season and help move toward an even greener, cleaner and climate friendly Northumberland.
There are number of facilities across the county to help residents achieve this.
They can recycle from home using their household waste recycling bin. Items such as plastic bottles, cardboard packaging, paper cards and food tins can go in household recycling bins.
The county’s household waste recovery centres (HWRCs) also accept a variety of items, such as glass bottles and jars, old or broken electricals, and even Christmas trees.
Due to the current local COVID-19 restrictions in place, residents are strongly advised to limit their time outside the home and therefore should make as few journeys to HWRCs as possible.
Residents are also encouraged to practise better battery recycling. All household batteries, including ‘button’ batteries from watches, can be recycled at HWRCs.
There are additional battery recycling facilities in local supermarkets and shops where used batteries can be recycled free of charge.
The council have also arranged for additional Christmas tree recycling points to be located throughout the county, where people can drop-off their real trees.
Residents should also be mindful of reducing their food waste over the festive season by practicing smart shopping and being mindful of how much perishable food they buy.
Second phase of business support grant schemes underway
The second versions of schemes to support businesses which have been severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions are underway in Northumberland.
Northumberland County Council is writing directly to businesses which have already applied for the first phase of three different types of support, and are now eligible for version 2, making the process of securing grants more straightforward.
Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) Version 2 is for hospitality, hotel, bed and breakfast, and leisure industry businesses which have remained open but were severely affected by the COVID-19 restrictions, and are liable for business rates. This second phase of the scheme will provide support for the 4-week period starting on 2 December 2020.
Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Version 2 is for businesses that have been required by legislation to close due to local or national COVID-19 restrictions, for example during lockdown and Tier 3 restrictions, and which are liable for business rates. Phase two will provide support for the 4-week period starting 2 December 2020.
Businesses such as nightclubs which have successfully applied for Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector) will also be contacted so that they can gain ongoing support.
For those businesses which haven’t yet applied for phase one of the grants but think that they may be eligible applications will remain open until Sunday 10 January 2021 for the ‘Open’ scheme. Applications for the ‘Closed’ scheme will continue after that date.
Full details of all grants available, and how to apply, are available at www.northumberland.gov.uk/businesshub
Northumberland County Council will work with partners in Alnwick to look at the possibility of a move of an Alnwick museum.
The council is now in discussion with the Trustees of the Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery and Alnwick Town Council about the possibility of relocating the Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery into the more spacious Northumberland Hall in the centre of the town.
The feasibility study would fully evaluate whether the historic hall is suitable for such a use and also look at its use for other council services in the town.
The Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery is currently located in a Grade 2 listed former church. It is run by volunteers and delivers high quality exhibitions which celebrate the history, traditions, culture, and arts of north Northumberland. It also showcases the work of local national and international artists.
It currently attracts around 10,000 visitors a year but relocating it to a more central location could help increase visitor numbers and audiences and provide more room for additional exhibitions.
Jean Humphrys, chair of the Trustees said: “We love our Museum building in Bailiffgate, and appreciate that being able to lease this building through His Grace, The Duke of Northumberland’s Trust, put us in a very privileged position which has allowed the Museum to grow and develop over the years. When the Museum started in 2002, we had no idea how successful we would become.
“Our success and our wish to do more to tell the story of Alnwick and to bring new and exciting exhibitions to local people has made us realise that we need more space. It is a testing time for Trustees and, in the current climate we need to be forward looking, resilient and sustainable.”
Lynda Wearn, Mayor of Alnwick said: “The potential of having a major tourist attraction in the town centre is an extremely exciting prospect. We also, however, understand that current users and the residents of the town need to be consulted on the proposals once they are developed and we look forward to receiving more detail as the feasibility study progresses.”