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County Councillor Report (Jun 2020)

County Councillor Report

Apr 2020

by Wendy Pattison – Tel. 07779 983072

And now on Facebook: Cllr Wendy Pattison

County Councillor Wendy Pattison Northumberland

[All text and images provided by Cllr Wendy Pattison and used with permission. Received on 7 Jun 2020.]

Hedgeley Parish

Grass Verges

Verge cutting started on June 5th.

Car Parks

Bamburgh Car Park has now re-opened, Newton by the Sea currently has two car parks open, Beadnell is also open and most of the local car parks are expected to open on June 15th.

A697 Road Issues near Crawley View

A report has been made to NCC Highways regarding dips in the road and slight subsidence outside properties at Crawley View. HGVs are hitting the dips and causing noise nuisance.

Public Toilets

NCC Neighbourhood Services will be assessing each facility, there will be individual assessments carried out for each site with maps detailing social distance queueing routes, this has to be possible in order to open the facility, there will be signage on all facilities explaining the process to be adhered to, in facilities that can’t accommodate social distancing inside the facility,  they will be restricted to one person in and one person out, all doors where possible will be wedged open (providing this does not compromise any dignity) all staff will be provided with the correct PPE face masks, visors, gauntlets, and suits, the facilities will be cleaned and restocked three times a day and  senior management has put measures in place to secure the additional resource if required to meet this enhanced service standard.

Superfast Broadband for our rural communities

With the help of iNorthumberland officer, Mrs Sylvia Pringle, I recently asked all Longhoughton Ward Parish Councils to obtain a Community Fibre Partnership quote for bringing fibre to properties into your Parish for those residents and businesses who currently don’t have access to Superfast Broadband.  See link for more info on the Community Fibre Partnership scheme:

Broadband for Rural Communities – Gigabit Vouchers

As part of the Government’s Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme business and residents in some of the hardest-to-reach places in the UK are eligible for additional funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband to their premises when part of a group project.

Anyone who would like to have more information on this project, please contact Sylvia Pringle, by email:

Books by the Sea

You may have seen some little book libraries while out and about during lockdown. There are three locations currently, North Sunderland, on the back road out towards Fleetham, Embleton which many of you may be familiar with, and also one just north of Alnmouth by the coastal footpath heading in the direction of Boulmer.

Books by the Sea expect to be in a position to announce two further branches to the reading project in the near future with two new recruits to the project. The idea behind this initiative is to promote reading through the Books By The Sea network and create happenings connected to each branch involving local children, writers, illustrators, artists, runners, walkers, and even County Councillors? It is hoped that each local community will embrace their library and get involved with it. Each one really needs a steward to look after it, keep the stock presented well, rotate the stock every now and again – The books are all stamped in the library with an Ex Libris book stamp so that people can remember where they found their book. Please do get in touch if you would like to be more involved. There is a lot of information about how successful libraries have become successful here:

The optimal place for people interested in the Books by the Sea project is on the Instagram account, account name is @booksbythesea_lfl, if people don’t have the Instagram app they can access it via the internet here: There is a page on the website all about the project here: There is a messaging function in Instagram which is used all of the time, so people can get in contact that way. However, if anyone is not comfortable on Instagram and would rather email, then please get in touch via email: 

There is no need at the moment for anyone to donate books at this stage, there is a lot of books in stock already. Although the project title is Books By the Sea, this does not preclude all of our rural areas from taking part  at all and Longframlington have now acquired their own little library, The Longframlington library also has its own Instagram account: @longfram_book_exchange, they can be found here where there is a great photo of a very happy and excited young reader:

Every library is equipped with a spray bottle of sanitiser, donated by Seahouses Co-op and a microfibre cloth. If people are at all wary of borrowing the books it might put their mind at ease to know that Books by the Sea are very conscious of the risk of Covid-19 and have consulted with the Little Free Library website which provides good advice. The libraries installed so far were designed carefully not to jar with their surroundings and were built with care by a local builder. 

Northumberland Residents Parking Permit

If you live in a residential property within a residents’ parking scheme area, ‘permit holders only’, you’ll need to apply for a permit to park during restricted hours.

A permit doesn’t guarantee a parking space outside of your property because resident bays aren’t allocated to individual properties. View the terms and conditions here

NCC carried out a formal review of the annual cost of a resident and visitor permit, which has been the first review for over 10 years.  The administrative cost of producing the permits exceeds the current charge, and further costs are incurred through the management and enforcement of the permit schemes themselves.  Therefore, from 1 April 2019, the annual cost of a resident and visitor permit is £25.00 each.

Guest Houses Parking Permits

If you run a guest house located within a resident parking permit scheme you will be able to apply for up to two parking permits.

NCC policy has been to consider the number of letting bedrooms, any private or unrestricted parking near to the establishment and any alternative council operated off-street parking in the vicinity that can be used and to review the number of permits that have been issued across the scheme.

However, as parking pressures in all of our towns has increased significantly since the introduction of free parking, we have reviewed our policy.  A guest house will now be able to apply for the same number of permits as any other residential property within the scheme area, a maximum of two permits. However, to give more flexibility these can be two ‘visitor’ permits which will allow them both to be used in any vehicle.

 We carried out a formal review of the annual cost of a resident and visitor permit, which has been the first review for over 10 years.  The administrative cost of producing the permits exceeds the current charge, and further costs are incurred through the management and enforcement of the permit schemes themselves.  Therefore, the annual cost of a resident and visitor permit is increasing to £25.00 each.

You will soon be able to apply for your permits online by completing a Guest House parking permit application form and you can upload proof that the premises are being used as a guest house with your application.

If you have more guests than you have permits, you’ll need to find alternative places for them to park safely and legally.

Disabled Parking Bays

If you’d like to request a new ‘on-street’ disabled parking bay introduced at a public building or home address, email

To qualify for a residential disabled parking bay near your home, you must be a blue badge holder and:

  • demonstrate a genuine need for the bay requested
  • not have access to private parking within or near the premises
  • receive the higher rate mobility component of the disability living allowance
  • drive your own car or nominate a carer who drives you and resides at your address
  • provide copies of your driving licence and vehicle registration documents displaying your name and address

The application form also needs to be signed by a doctor or occupational therapist.

Applications for new bays take a minimum of three months. We will deal with applications as quickly as possible.

However, creating new parking places involves consultation with the local community, which can take time.

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