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County Councillor Report (Jun 2024)

wendy.pattison@northumberland.gov.uk – Tel. 07779 983072

And also on Facebook: Cllr Wendy Pattison

Portrait photo of Councillor Wendy Pattison
Cllr Wendy Pattison

Received: 29 May 2024.

[All text and the above portrait image provided by Cllr Wendy Pattison and used with permission.]

HEDGELEY PARISH

County Events to Commemorate D-Day 80th Anniversary

A series of special events are taking place in June in Northumberland to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. 

Blyth will be the focus of activity, with major events on the Quayside and the beachfront, culminating in a dazzling beacon lighting ceremony on the evening of June 6th. 

That date marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied forces mounted the largest amphibious invasion the world has ever witnessed.  

In 1944 Operation Overlord saw around 4,000 ships and landing craft set down about 132,500 troops on five Normandy beaches in an action that would bring about the liberation of north-west Europe from Nazi occupation. 

The bravery and sacrifice of those people in securing the peace and freedom enjoyed today will be recognised at the events in Blyth and around the county, organised by Northumberland County Council on D-Day, and Blyth Town Council on June 1st. 

On Thursday, June 6th, D-Day proclamations will take place at 8am through Parish and Town Councils throughout the county. Later, a specially commissioned D-Day Poem will be recited at 11am in schools across Northumberland. 

From 4pm, one of the biggest community events of the year organised by the County Council will take place – culminating in a spectacular national beacon lighting. 

‘Northumberland Remembers’, which will be set up on Blyth Links, is a family focused event featuring a music stage with acts playing songs from the era and performances from Boulmer Military Wives Choir, Coquet Band and Soldiers of Swing.

And around 6pm, weather permitting, there will be a flypast from a vintage plane – either a Tiger Moth or a Chipmunk.

The evening will see a Commemoration Service on the plaza area outside the Dave Stephen’s Centre from 7:45 pm, followed by the lighting of a national beacon on the roof of the Centre by a local 100-year-old veteran at 9.15pm. 

The evening ends with communities being asked to pause for an International Tribute. 

Northumberland County Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: “This is a significant anniversary in both British and world history and it is right the county is coming together to remember those whose bravery and sacrifice brought us to the peace we enjoy in this country today. 

“With events across the county and Blyth, it’s an opportunity not only to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, but also to commemorate all those involved and ensure through activities aimed at all ages, that the events of D-Day are not forgotten. 

“A lot of work is being put in to ensure this is a truly memorable day and we’re looking forward to a big turn-out of all ages.” 

Starting the commemorative events is the Quayside Festival on Saturday 1 June – an event hosted by Blyth Town Council running the full length of the quayside from 10 am until 4 pm. 

The Quayside Festival will feature a variety of live musical performances, including those by The Community Voices Choir, Tall Ships Shanty Singers, The Victory Rollers, and Graeme Danby, and will also feature a local solo artist from Blyth.  

The event will also showcase a range of food options and local businesses. 

The Military will be present at the event and will display various activities, including a climbing wall and bungee run. Attendees will also have the opportunity to interact with the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force as well as the local cadet groups, to learn more about their work and potential avenues for involvement.  

Local youth and community groups will also be in attendance to demonstrate what they have to offer for young people in the town. 

Blyth Battery and Rotary will also be joining the festivities with Army jeeps and cars from the era. The car park area of the enterprise centre will have rides and stalls, and the Harbour Commissioner’s building will be open for public exploration. 

Blyth Mayor Warren Taylor said: “Being able to welcome so many military groups is a great honour and a wonderful way to show our appreciation to not only those who sacrificed so much 80 years ago but also to those who still do to this day.”  

The Quayside Festival is a day for families to explore, interact and learn from those in the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Airforce first hand.

Energy Upgrade Funding for Eligible Properties in Northumberland

Eligible homes in the county are set to benefit from funding for low-carbon energy upgrades. 

Close up of gloved-hands laying rockwool insulation in loft

Northumberland County Council has been successful in securing £12.4m as part of the Government’s Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 (HUG2) to install energy efficiency improvements to properties which are not connected to mains gas and are using resources such as oil, LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), inefficient electric heaters or coal. 

Eligible households in the county, including owner-occupied and privately owned properties, can apply for energy saving upgrades which may include loft, cavity wall, internal wall, or underfloor insulation, air source heat pumps or solar panels, helping households, keep warm, become more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprint. 

Northumberland has been awarded this important funding and NCC want to support all our residents to ensure that they have the most comfortable and affordable homes wherever possible.  

The county has lots of rural pockets which rely on fuel such as coal for heat. With the move away from fossil fuel towards greener energy it is imperative that we make sure no one is left behind and that everyone’s home is energy efficient and has the opportunity make the transition to a greener future.

The scheme is part of the Governments Sustainable Warmth strategy which is part of its legal commitment to reach net zero by 2050 and forms part of the Council’s Climate Change Action Plan to make Northumberland carbon neutral by 2030. 

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance said: “This investment will help thousands of households to heat their homes for less, keep them warm for longer and could save hundreds on their annual energy bill. 

“The green energy sector is growing, and this funding will support green jobs and provide the training needed to deliver these vital upgrades to homes.” 

Households can check their eligibility and apply at https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Climate-Change/Renewable-energy.aspx 

Eligible homes will receive an assessment to determine which measures are most appropriate. 

Mental Health

Life can sometimes feel overwhelming. One in four people in the UK experienced mental health issues in the last year.

This means that most people in England know someone with mental health problems or have personally experienced them.  But we don’t need to wait until we are struggling with our mental health; there are lots of things we can do to protect ourselves and prevent problems escalating, just as we do with our physical health. Every mind matters has great tips on how to look after your mental health including a Mind Plan quiz that helps you feel more in control, deal with stress and anxiety, boost your mood and help you sleep. Dealing with life’s challenges – Every Mind Matters – NHS (www.nhs.uk) 

Close up of man's eyes overlaid with the words 'Minds matter'

Young people’s mental health

Everyone feels sad, worried or stressed sometimes, but if these feelings are starting to impact you, remember you are not alone and there is lots of help available.

Kooth

Kooth is an online mental health service for people aged 11 to 25. Email: contact@kooth.com

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