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County Councillor Report (Jun 2021)

by Wendy Pattison

wendy.pattison@northumberland.gov.uk – 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: 29 May 2021.]

HEDGELEY PARISH

Northumberland says “Thank You” to its volunteers

Volunteers across Northumberland are being celebrated as part of the national Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June). Throughout the last 12 months volunteers have been at the heart of the county’s response to the Covid pandemic. 

Volunteers’ Week is an annual event and is a time to recognise and thank volunteers. Northumberland County Council launched a new initiative Northumberland Communities Together (NCT) to support residents, with the help of our voluntary and community groups during this most unprecedented time. 

During the week the council is working with a number of partners including local infrastructure charity, Northumberland Community Voluntary Action (CVA) to encourage businesses and residents to recognise the volunteers who have helped in their community during the last 12 months and to thank those who usually volunteer but have not been able to do so because of the pandemic.

A drop-in event will also be held at the newly opened The Hub at Cramlington on Fri, June 4 from 11am-1pm where people can find out more about how to get involved in volunteering. A number of community organisations including Northumberland CVA will be on hand to give people advice and information on how they can be a volunteer.

People are also encouraged to get involved in The Big Lunch, a national event organised by the Eden Project and supported by The National Lottery and Iceland and The Food Warehouse. Throughout June communities and neighbours are encouraged to host a “Big Lunch” whether it’s online, or across the fence to help communities to reconnect.

Cllr Wendy Pattison, cabinet member for Adults’ Wellbeing at Northumberland County Council, said, “Working together with the voluntary and community sector across Northumberland has been a privilege and has strengthened the support we are all able to offer our communities. 

“We, along with our partners have been astounded by the influx of interest from people from all sections of our communities who offered their support and given their time to help others during the pandemic. It has been a heartening experience and we are truly grateful for the many offers of support as well as the continued support of the volunteers that have been with us for many years, even if they have been unable to actively volunteer during the crisis. 

“We would like to thank all those registered as volunteers with us, as well as the many voluntary and community groups throughout Northumberland who, along with their volunteers, have supported communities across the county and we look forward to continuing working with them all in the future.” 

Queen’s Green Canopy

The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) initiative is encouraging everyone to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 by planting trees. Wherever you are in the UK, you can plant a tree to celebrate The Queen’s 70 years of service to the nation.

The Queen’s Green Canopy will create a network of individual trees, avenues, copses and whole woodlands in honour of The Queen’s service and the legacy she has built.

This will create a green legacy of its own, with every tree planted bringing benefits for people, wildlife and climate, now and for the future.

Get involved

From planting a single tree in your garden to joining neighbours, a community group or your local school to apply for a free tree pack, every tree makes a difference. 

Any trees planted from October 2021 to the end of the jubilee year in 2022 can be part of the QGC. Tree planting season is October to March – this is when roots are dormant and new trees will have the best chance of flourishing. Why not use the summer months to plan your planting and arrange a day of celebration?

Have your say on waste in Northumberland

Residents are being asked to give their views on waste management in the County by filling in this year’s Waste Services Customer Satisfaction Survey.

The survey is an opportunity for participants to provide feedback on their experiences and interactions with council household waste disposal services, including: 

  • Weekly bin collections (rubbish and recycling wheeled bins)
  • Bulky waste collection service
  • Garden waste service
  • Local recycling points (glass and textile banks)
  • Household Waste Recovery Centres (the tip)
  • Other household waste disposal services

By taking part, residents have the chance to win a £50 prize. To be entered into the prize draw, complete the questionnaire and provide contact details when requested.

Greg Gavin, Head of Neighbourhood Services for Northumberland County Council, said: “The council is constantly reviewing how services are delivered to residents and customers across the county. 

“To help shape future service delivery, we want to capture the views and experiences of those who use our services. 

“I encourage all residents to spare a few minutes to help us improve our services and possibly win £50!” 

Responses should be submitted by Saturday 12 June. 

For more information about waste, bins and recycling in Northumberland, visit: www.northumberland.gov.uk/waste

Connecting talent to opportunity in Northumberland

Investing in the future of Northumberland’s children and young people remains a top priority for the County Council with further opportunities being opened up through pioneering EdTech platform, globalbridge.

Founded in Northumberland, globalbridge is working with education and industry across the UK, levelling the playing field of opportunity for school and college leavers. It is a digital platform that seeks to connect talent to opportunity.

Built by teachers, it provides young people with a multi-media driven ‘e-portfolio’ to evidence their knowledge, character, skills and achievements beyond grades alone. Connecting young people and education with employers, apprenticeship opportunities and universities, it provides a pathway to bright futures in employment, education and training.

Cath McEvoy-Carr, Executive Director for Adult and Children’s services, said: “We, as a council are committed to engaging with solutions that will enhance the future prospects for young people. This is a great opportunity for our children and young people. It offers them the chance to link with local and national businesses and universities for further education or career opportunities, and experience. 
“It’s a chance for them to showcase their own talent and experience, both inside and out of school and as part of the council’s ambitions to support our children and young people’s futures we are delighted to be a part of this; helping them to thrive and grow.” 

The globalbridge platform can be built into a school’s curriculum to help young people build an evidence portfolio of their skills, talents and achievements. Schools can work with their students to access the right opportunities for them, along with digital resources and engagements with providers in FE, HE and industry. Students can upload their information to the platform, their education portfolio, along with extra-curricular activities and interests, to more effectively evidence the whole person. By uploading media to the platform, businesses and universities will be able to link with those of similar interests and offer opportunities suited to the student.

Safeguarding has played a key role in ensuring this platform is fit for purpose giving teachers and parents access too! 

Northumberland businesses also get a chance to link up with students on their doorsteps. As part of the package those that sign up to the platform will get three free opportunities to link up with students for work experience, apprenticeships or jobs. This creates a hugely exciting opportunity for the region to be the first council to create a digital network connecting education and industry, and more specifically, talent to opportunity.

Ben Mason, Founder and CEO of globalbridge, said: “globalbridge is excited to be working with schools across Northumberland. As an education technology platform founded in the region, globalbridge enables young people to evidence the knowledge, character, skills and achievements beyond grades alone. 

“Evidencing talent beyond or in support of written applications is vital, especially when connecting talent to opportunity in a post covid digital world. It is fantastic to be working with a forward thinking, innovative council to provide such a platform for young people across Northumberland.” 

For more information head to https://www.myglobalbridge.com/ 

County backs clean-up mission

The County Council is once again pledging its support as Keep Britain Tidy launches its annual Great British Spring Clean. 

In the past 12 months, people have relied on the places close to home – the local park or beach – as somewhere to escape to, to exercise and to play. 

Now the council is asking residents and community groups to help do their bit in a Covid-safe way and clear up the litter that can blight these places as part of its Great British Spring Clean. 
The campaign, which runs from 28 May – 13 June, calls on the public to pledge to clean-up and help the charity achieve a million miles of litter-picking. “This year due to Covid we’re not organising any events, but we are encouraging volunteers to borrow equipment from us for solo activity or use in small groups to litter pick their local area – whether it’s the local park, green space, countryside rights of way or just the local streets where they enjoy a regular walk.”

This year’s campaign comes as the charity has reported a massive increase in the number of people who have started litter-picking during the various lockdowns. It has seen the number of #LitterHeroes grow by a third in less than 12 months. 

The Great British Spring Clean, now in its sixth year, brings together individuals, community organisations, businesses and councils to make a difference to the environment on our doorstep. In 2019, more than half a million #LitterHeroes collected just under a million bags of litter, weighing around 4,308 tons. 

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “The Great British Spring Clean would not be possible without the support of local authorities, including Northumberland County Council. 

“We have all spent a lot more time in our local area in the past year and have come to realise just how important our local park or green space is for our mental and physical health. 

“We need to care for these spaces and the Great British Spring Clean is an opportunity for everyone to take a small action that, collectively, can make a big difference. 

“Whether you commit to do five minutes or five hours, every single pledge will help us reach our million-mile target and clear many tonnes of litter pollution from our environment.” 

People can pledge to get involved at www.keepbritaintidy.org/gbspringclean

Anyone wanting to request equipment and collection of bagged rubbish from the council can contact highwaysandneighbourhoodservices@northumberland.gov.uk 

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