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County Councillor Report (Sep 2019)

County Councillor Report

May 2019

by Wendy Pattison

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

And now on Facebook: Cllr Wendy Pattison

County Councillor Wendy Pattison Northumberland

HEDGELEY PARISH

Beanley Traffic Speed Data

Unfortunately following a recent traffic speed survey in the village, the results did not meet the criteria required by the Northumberland Safety Roads Initiative for consideration of additional measures. I will ask NCC Traffic Managers to look at this issue again in order to try and safeguard residents from speeding vehicles.

Powburn 30mph flashing traffic speed sign

I have agreed to fund a flashing 30mph speed sign at the North End of Powburn Village. Traffic road signage measures (gates) are to be put into place and some signage will be changed.

9 Parishes Meeting

A meeting of the 9 Parishes which comprise/make up the Longhoughton Ward will be held on Friday, October 4th at 6.30pm at the Parish Rooms Embleton. Invited speakers will be County Councillor Glen Sanderson, NCC Cabinet Member and Portfolio Holder forEnvironment and Local Services, along with Ms Andrea Cowans, the NCC Dog Warden.

Winter is coming!

A collaborative venture is planning to open wood fuel log banks across Northumberland. A pilot log bank is currently being established near Wooler under the auspices of the Glendale Gateway Trust. Logs are now being gathered which will be available for people who may be rurally isolated, in poor health, or, have financial constraints or just simply getting older and finding it difficult to handle or obtaining logs. The wood will be delivered to all homes by volunteers, trained or with appropriate skills will stack the logs and carry out basic checks to ensure fire safety and/or ascertain whether any other assistance is required.

For more information, contact Kate Thick, Email katethick@hotmail.com or telephone 07900963234

FREE TREES FOR SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES

The Woodland Trust has two delivery periods for applying for free trees per year, one in March and the other in November. They are currently taking applications for trees to be delivered in NOVEMBER 2019. Please note that responses to applications may take a few weeks due to current high demand. Choose your pack(s) from the list on the website https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/free-trees/ and fill out the application form. Before you start you’ll need to:

  • Know the six digit grid reference for the land you wish to plant using the grid reference finder on the woodland trust website
  • Have permission from the legal landowner

Who can apply?

  • Schools across the UK, plus nurseries, colleges, universities and outdoor learning centres
  • All kinds of different groups such as resident associations, sports clubs, parish councils, scouts, guides and many more.

You don’t need to belong to an official organisation. You could even set up a group for the purpose of planting, but you must be not-for-profit. The most important thing is that your group is willing to take on the planning, planting and care of the saplings.

Requests for additional grit bins in Northumberland

a) Locations that meet Northumberland’s Winter Service criteria 

Northumberland County Council can only provide grit bins that meet the winter service criteria. These bins will usually be yellow and will be provided from the County Council’s winter maintenance budget where resources allow. These requests should be passed through the local area highways teams. 

Providing the Salt bin meets the winter service criteria Northumberland County Council will be responsible for all future maintenance including tagging, monitoring and refilling bins.

b) Provision of salt bins at locations that don’t meet our criteria

The local town or parish council can purchase a grit bin from Northumberland County Council to be placed in a location that does not meet the winter service criteria but is viewed by them as a requirement and is in a location that can be safely accessed by Highways crews for refilling and does not obstruct the public footpath. These grit bins will usually be green. 

A one-off fee of £250 is charged through their allocations, which includes the bin being filled on delivery and two additional refills in the first year. The bin is again tagged and monitored by the County Council.

The ongoing maintenance liability for these green grit bins will fall to the relevant town or parish council. Additional refills can be purchased from the County Council at a cost of £125 for 3 refills, or the relevant town or parish council can arrange for the bin to be refilled independently. 

All grit bins must be purchased through Northumberland County Council to ensure the correct type of bin (e.g. one that is sufficiently robust) is provided. All grit bins purchased must be placed with the assistance of relevant County Council Officers to ensure their health and safety compliance. 

The above position will be reviewed annually to ensure that the County Council has sufficient capacity to monitor and refill all bins. 

Assisted Waste Collections

If you are having trouble bringing out your bin for waste collections, you may qualify for help and assistance from Northumberland County Council trade refuse department

This service is for NORTHUMBERLAND Residents Only

Please note: To qualify for this service there must be no other able-bodied person over 16 years of age living at the address

A form to complete is available online on Northumberland County Council’s website or telephone NCC on 0345 600 6400 and ask for the trade refuse department.

GARDEN WASTE COLLECTIONS 2019

Garden Waste Bins

The 2019 season runs from early March until the end of November / beginning of December.  The final collections are scheduled to take place during the weeks commencing Nov 25th or 2nd December 2019 – depending on where you live.   The price for the 2019 season is £40 per bin and is the same whenever you join the scheme in the 2019 season.   We can take payments for the 2019 season, providing you know your unique property reference number (which will be supplied in the email or letter of invitation to current customers). 

To pay for your garden waste collection service, quote your reference number to pay: 

Residents wishing to join the scheme in 2019 can get further information by calling 0345 600 6400. Residents who received garden waste collections in 2018 will automatically receive a renewal email or letter during late January or early February 2019.  The price for the 2019 season will be £40, and will be the season charge per bin, no matter when you join in the 2019 season.

NB.  Paid for stickers will be delivered by Royal Mail and will start to be issued from w/c 21 January in plenty of time for your first collection.

DUMPING GARDEN WASTE WILL DAMAGE COASTAL ECOSYSTEM

Northumberland County Council is issuing a reminder to residents that the dumping of garden waste is illegal and classed as fly-tipping, following a spate of incidents, along the Northumberland coast which is damaging the local ecosystem.

Over the past month there has been an increase in the number of reports of people  disposing of garden waste along the coastline, particularly on beaches, dunes, links and harbour areas.

There is a belief among local residents and gardening contractors that as it is  garden waste, it is helping the land and therefore this does not count as fly-tipping. 

Iain Robson, Access and Natural Environment Officer with the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership explains:

“ We are becoming increasingly concerned at the amount of garden waste that is being discarded along the dunes.

“ Most of the coastal grasslands and dune systems on the Northumberland coast are protected for their important flora  The dumping of soil, grass cuttings and other garden waste causes two problems; firstly it enriches the soil which encourages the growth of weeds species such as docks and nettles, which outcompete the wildflowers. The second issue is accidental introduction of garden plants into the grasslands which can also outcompete native wildflowers causing the loss of important dune grassland plants. 

Northumberland County Councillor, Glen Sanderson, cabinet member with responsibility for the environment and local services said:

“There are so many ways to get rid of waste responsibly and the vast majority of our residents do so.

“There are free facilities available to householders at all of Northumberland’s household recycling centres and we operate a household garden waste collection service for a small fee.

“No matter what the waste, or the reasons behind it, fly tipping will never be tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly by the council.”

Those caught fly tipping may be issued with a £400 fixed penalty notice or may be prosecuted for the offence which could lead to a fine or a term of imprisonment.

If anyone has any information or concerns about  the illegal disposal of garden waste please report this in confidence by calling 0345 600 6400 or by reporting it online at www.northumberland.gov.uk

ALNWICK STREET TRIAL

One of Alnwick’s main shopping streets has been closed to traffic in a trial aimed at further improving the town centre.

The pedestrianisation of Narrowgate between Fenkle Street and Bondgate Within will come into effect on July 29 – creating a safer and more pleasant experience for locals and visitors in the street.

Options for this area of the town centre were put forward for consultation at the Alnwick Forum event late last year, with pedestrianisation being the preferred choice of traders and many of those who attended.

The Alnwick Forum is a partnership between Northumberland County Council and Alnwick Town Council, aimed at improving and securing the future of the town.

Traders are now being encouraged to come up with creative ideas about how the new pedestrianised area could be used during the trial period, with planters being temporarily installed to block off the road to vehicles and bunting being put up on the street.

Businesses are being urged to feed any ideas into the Chamber of Trade to help create a welcoming area for shoppers.

“These streets were built long before motorised traffic and Narrowgate by its very name is not a wide street and does not lend itself to a comfortable mix of heavy traffic and pedestrians. We think this is an excellent opportunity to revitalise this key part of the town centre.”

Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, added: “Across Northumberland we’re working to improve our town centres and a key part of this is listening to what local communities want.

“As with any changes to our road network it may take a bit of getting used to and we’d ask drivers to take extra care while they become accustomed to this closure.

During the trial the traffic levels around the town will be monitored to measure the impact of the closure and the trial pedestrianisation scheme will be reviewed in 12 months’ time, before deciding upon what permanent changes need to be made to the road and pavements at Narrowgate as well as any other improvements that are needed to the local highway network. 

Drivers who have previously used Narrowgate to get in and out of the town should now use the alternative routes via Fenkle Street or Dispensary Street which will be clearly signposted.

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