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County Councillor Report (Nov 2019)

County Councillor Report

May 2019

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.]

Bolton and Beanley Village

Both of these charming rural villages receive quite a lot of passing traffic on a daily basis and some drivers are driving through at excessive speeds. After speaking with NCC Traffic Management, it is been proposed that each village would benefit from better and more up to date village signage. This should have the effect of making all drivers aware that they are entering into a residential village and should help to ensure that they start to slow down before entry. The safety of residents in all of our rural villages is of paramount importance.

9 Parishes Meeting

Hedgeley Parish Council was represented at the meeting on October 3rd by the Chair of Hedgeley Parish Council, Cllr May Wilson and the Vice Chair, Cllr Noreen Birnie. Speakers present at the meeting were County Councillor Glen Sanderson (with responsibility for highways) and NCC Officer, Mr Paul Jones. An update on progress was requested by Cllr Wilson regarding the new traffic calming initiative for Powburn. A design plan of the planned traffic safety changes and signage for the village was submitted to the Parish Council approximately 3 months ago. This work will be completed next year.  

Arriva North East and the proposed Newcastle upon Tyne ‘Clean Air Zone’

Newcastle City Council is planning to introduce a Clean Air Zone in 2021 with a requirement that all buses running through it meet the Euro 6 emissions standard for harmful pollutants like nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. Arriva North East, which operates bus service X18, has around 150 vehicles that serve the area that will be covered by the CAZ, and most of them meet the slightly lower Euro 5 emissions standard. Arriva has therefore just started a programme to modify 69 buses, which will bring them up to the required Euro 6 emissions standard by the end of this year. The balance will come from new vehicles, cascades from other parts of our network or further modifications during 2020.

The CAZ will have no impact on the service that Arriva provides in our area, except that there will be reduced emissions from the vehicles

Proposed Implementation of the Northumberland Street Works Permit Scheme

The County Council currently operates a street works noticing scheme to manage all road and street works undertaken on Northumberland’s public highways. In July 2018 the then Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, sent a letter to all noticing authorities across the country, encouraging them to consider the implementation of a street works permit scheme, and highlighting his powers to direct a local authority to implement such a scheme.

The key difference between noticing and permits is that noticing simply requires a statutory undertaker (either internal highways teams or external utility companies) to ‘notify’ the authority of any works that they intend to undertake, the Council then seeks to coordinate these works, however, under a permit scheme, all statutory undertakers will be required to seek ‘permission’ to work on the highway from the Council.

The statutory consultation on the proposed permit scheme commenced on July 24th 2019 and closes on 23rd October 2019. Full details are on the Council’s website under the section ‘Proposed Street Works permit scheme’.

The specific objectives of the proposed NCC permit scheme are:

Coordination – reduce occupation of the highway for both street and highway works in order to minimize disruption to the travelling public;

Compliance – improve compliance with the relevant codes of practice and conditions;

Information – ensure accurate information is available to the public through improved quality of information received from all works promoters;

Fairness – ensure all works promoters are treated fairly and with parity;

Collaboration – encourage collaborate working between all works promoters.

Broadband for Rural Communities

Some of the hardest to reach places are eligible for additional funding towards the costs of installing gigabit- capable broadband to their premises when part of a group project.

How do you qualify?

  1. Premises must be in a rural area
  2. Available broadband speed must be less than 30 megabits per second
  3. You must be part of a group project (two or more premises)

You can check whether you are eligible for a rural gigabit voucher and search for registered suppliers in our area by looking up your post code on

BorrowBox – Your library in one app is here!

With BorrowBox you can borrow from Northumberland Libraries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Prepare to experience the most mobile library of all when BorrowBox – your library in one app – arrives at Northumberland Libraries for Libraries Week. 

Recognised as the No.1 library download platform in the world, BorrowBox is the brainchild of Bolinda Digital. Unique because it enables members of public libraries to download and borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks via digital loans.

On your phone, on your tablet, on your home computer, BorrowBox means the doors to your local library never close. Access books around the clock, from the very best authors, including big names such as Philippa Gregory, David Baldacci, Lee Child, Ann Cleeves, Mari Hannah, James Patterson and Lynda LaPlante, among others. The selection of international bestselling titles expands constantly, bringing you the best range of eContent since digital lending began. Young Adult and Children’s content will be available as well.

Elegant, intuitive and simple to operate and enjoy, BorrowBox can be used online and with Apple iOS and Google Android device by downloading the BorrowBox app.

The BorrowBox app incorporates a dedicated eBook reader and eAudiobook player and is available now from the App Store and Google Play.   Kindle Fire users can also download the app, while PC users can access BorrowBox through the website.

Once downloaded, members simply then choose Northumberland Libraries in the app, enter their library card number and PIN plus their email address.

Library members can borrow up to 10 items at any one time – five eBooks and five eAudiobooks – for three weeks.

Get the app now and get ready to borrow and download eAudiobooks and eBooks. Ask us how to get started with BorrowBox today!  

Library members can continue to use RBdigital to read eBooks, eMagazines and eAudio in addition to BorrowBox.

Mobile Library Service

Can I request a mobile library visit in my area?

If you would like a mobile library to visit the area you live in, you should first read the service criteria document to check whether you are eligible to receive the service. To request a copy please contact the Mobile Library Service by emailing

I am unable to leave my home; how can I continue to receive a library service?

Northumberland County Council runs a Home Library Service, which is delivered by volunteers across the County. It is a service specifically designed for housebound customers and involves a volunteer visiting the customer on a regular basis, discussing their book choices with them and delivering and returning items on their behalf. Any Northumberland resident who is concerned that their disability or mobility needs could prevent them from accessing a library service they should contact the Home Library Service by emailing as above.

How will I know if the mobile library is unable to visit me?

Customers can sign up to the email notification service where they will be informed by email of any changes to their regular service or times when the mobile library is unable to visit you as planned (for example in severe weather conditions}.

Public asked to help shape future of library service

Northumberland residents could be asked for their opinion to help shape the future of the county’s library service.

A report will be discussed at a Cabinet meeting of Northumberland County Council, which will recommend that the council agrees to a public consultation on the service.

If agreed it is proposed that a consultation of up to 12 weeks will be held to gather people’s opinion on how the service should be run in the future.

The consultation will aim to get the opinions of both library users and non-users. Views will be captured via an online survey, with paper copies also available at libraries. A series of drop-in sessions will also be held for residents to ask questions or provide verbal feedback.

It is hoped the consultation will help identify the most valued aspects of the service and the barriers to library use across the county. The results of the consultation will help the council focus on how the service is delivered in the future.

Following a decision next week the proposed consultation would start in the Autumn, with initial findings expected in early 2020.

As a statutory service the council is required to carry out a public consultation exercise if changes to the service are proposed.
The consultation will offer people the opportunity to have their say to help design a library service that works for all. Even if you’re not currently a regular user of the service NCC want to hear from you to understand what could be done to encourage more people to use their library.

Recycling Plastic

Recycling plastic in Northumberland doesn’t have to be complicated. Just ask yourself one simple question… is it a bottle? If it’s plastic and it’s bottle-shaped then put it in your recycle bin.

Don’t forget the bottle tops too – they can now be recycled – just leave them on the bottle!

That means plastic tubes, trays, pots, cartons, bags and toys should be re-used, gifted or put into your household rubbish bin.

NCC have been working with the  waste team to produce a video that makes the often confusing process of deciding which types of plastic go into your recycling bin a little easier:


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