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County Councillor Report (Oct 2023) – Tel. 07779 983072

And also on Facebook: Cllr Wendy Pattison

Portrait photo of Councillor Wendy Pattison
Cllr Wendy Pattison

[All text and the above portrait image provided by Cllr Wendy Pattison and used with permission. Received: 22 September 2023.]


Council taking positive action against Blue Badge misuse

Northumberland County Council is reminding motorists around incorrect use of the national Blue Badge scheme. 

The scheme is designed to help disabled people park closer to their destination by providing a clearly visible badge which can be put in the front windscreen when parked. 

And although the vast majority of badges are used correctly, there is a small minority who misuse other people’s Blue Badges, either to save money by parking in disabled bays or through laziness and a wish to park closer to where they want to go. 

Recently there has been a number of incidents where badges have correctly been confiscated after being used to park up, even though the registered badge holder is not in the car. 

Inspections have been taking place after genuine Blue Badge users raised concerns about the badges being misused. 

Last year the County Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers retained ten Blue Badges that they believed were being used inappropriately for further investigation by the Council’s Corporate Fraud Team. 

The Blue Badge parking scheme is key for residents with mobility problems or hidden disabilities, allowing them to park their vehicle close to their destination, either as a passenger or the driver. However, misuse of blue badges is not acceptable and means that those who genuinely need to use these parking spaces can find themselves displaced by people who do not. 

As a council we are committed to supporting those genuine users who need access to parking spaces to lead more active and independent lives. 

Those who misuse them can ultimately be fined or at the least having the inconvenience of the badge being seized and receiving a written warning. 

The 9 Parishes Meeting

Climate Change and The Environment

On Tuesday, September 19th 2023 at 630pm the above meeting was held in the Breamish Hall, Powburn, NE66 4HT.

Three Officers from Northumberland County Council attended along with a representative from Swarland and Newton on the Moor Action on Climate Group (SNAC).

The meeting was a great success and extremely well attended. Biodiversity was a popular discussion point and provoked many questions.

Swarland and Newton Action on Climate was also very popular and our speaker talked about the group and their various successes including the resumption of the bus service at Newton on the Moor.

SNAC is made up of local people who want to do something to tackle climate change and to protect and enhance the natural environment in our areas. They meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 7pm in Swarland Village Club,

Ranting about Rivers (SNAC)

The state of the rivers in the UK has been in the news recently, particularly given the disappointing changes in government policy. We’re delighted that Steve Lowe from the Northumberland Rivers Trust is coming to talk to us about the state of rivers in Northumberland at our meeting on October 19th. NB This meeting will be in Swarland Village Hall.

NB This meeting will be held in Swarland Village Hall.

If you want to do something about climate change, or if you’re passionate about wildlife and biodiversity – than why not join the group? They are delivering a number of projects, so whether you’d like to help plant trees, campaign to reduce waste or help to create wildlife corridors – they would love to hear from you.

To find out more find SNAC find them at or email

Animal welfare team given RSPCA platinum stamp of approval 

Animal Welfare Officers in Northumberland have been given the prestigious platinum PawPrints award by the RSPCA for their work with stray dogs. 

Northumberland County Council’s Animal Welfare Team has received a Platinum Footprint Award from the national animal charity after achieving the Gold status for 10 consecutive years. 

The awards recognise and celebrate public service organisations that go above and beyond to ensure high animal welfare standards in their communities. 

The team were recognised for their regular proactive work educating owners about responsible pet ownership, preventative measures to reduce straying such as providing an out-of-hours service and offering a micro-chipping service. 

They also work tirelessly to reunite stray dogs with their owners, and in 2021/22 dealt with 238 stray dog cases either returning the dogs to their owners or taking them to a place of safety.  Where a case of animal neglect or cruelty is evident, they work hard to prosecute the owners through the courts. 
 The team also runs a popular Green Dog Walkers Scheme which encourages responsible dog ownership.  

It is really important that owners continue to play their part and take the necessary steps to prevent stray dogs before accidents happen. I urge that all dog owners, including those with working dogs, ensure their pets are wearing ID tags, that they are microchipped and that their details are kept up to date on the microchip database.

 Residents can report animal welfare issues directly to the team by visiting the council’s website 

Short Term Support Services rated Outstanding

A service that helps people regain their independence after a serious accident or illness has retained its Outstanding rating following the latest inspection. 

The Short Term Support Service (STSS) is registered in four geographical areas – Alnwick, Berwick, south-east Northumberland and west Northumberland.

The services in all four geographical areas have previously been rated as Outstanding and following the most recent inspections in Berwick and West Northumberland both services have retained the top rating

County Councillor Wendy Pattison, Portfolio Holder for Caring for Adults, said: “Our short term support services provide valuable support to help people regain their confidence and independence.

“These ratings are welcome recognition of the excellent care provided by staff on a daily basis.” 

Inspectors highlighted that:  People experienced consistent, effective and safe care from reablement staff.

  • People, relatives, external professionals and staff all spoke highly of the service.
  • People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives.
  • Staff consistently described a sense of achievement from their work and relished supporting people to regain independence.
  • There was a proactive approach to working with external partners which had a positive impact on the health and wellbeing outcomes people experienced.

The services are inspected by the CQC on a rolling schedule to ensure each service meets quality and safety standards.

How to dispose of your hazardous waste

The type and quantity of hazardous waste determines how it can be recycled or disposed of:

At one of our Household Waste Recovery Centres (HWRCs)

  • Used engine oil
  • Both car batteries and household batteries
  • Gas cylinders
  • Fridges and freezers
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Televisions
  • Computer monitors

Return the waste to the retailer

  • Unwanted household medicines
  • Other unwanted pharmaceutical products 

Use our hazardous household waste collection service

Northumberland County Council offers a subsidised collection service for those items of hazardous household waste such as asbestos, garden pesticides, and flammable solvents, which are not accepted at HWRCs or retailers.

There is a lifetime limit to the quantity of hazardous material we can collect from one property.

You will need to accurately describe, list and pay for the waste you want collected. If you under-report, then the excess material will be left behind.

PLEASE NOTE: The council levies a charge to secure a contribution towards the costs of providing this discretionary service. This service is for householders only. Businesses must make their own arrangements for a hazardous waste collection with a private waste management company.

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