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

And also on Facebook: Cllr Wendy Pattison

Portrait photo of Councillor Wendy Pattison
Cllr Wendy Pattison

[All text and images provided by Cllr Wendy Pattison and used with permission. Received: 21 August 2023.]


9 Parishes Meeting

Climate Change and The Environment

On Tuesday 19 September 2023 at 6:30pm the above meeting will be held in the Breamish Hall, Powburn, NE66 4HT.

All are welcome and I look very much forward to seeing you in Powburn. There will be refreshments and cake!

Two Officers from Northumberland County Council will be attending along with a representative from a Climate Change Group located in Newton on the Moor.

There will be a question-and-answer session at the end of each presentation.

The digital phone switchover

What you need to know

What is the digital phone switchover?

The UK’s telephone network is changing. Between now and 2025 most telephone providers will be moving their customers from old analogue landlines over to new upgraded landline services using digital technology.

This means services that rely on the old landline system such as home phones and healthcare devices will be switched over.

How will it affect me/what do I need to do?

The good news is – your landline isn’t going anywhere and for most consumers and businesses, this change will be straightforward. In fact, many customers are already making the switch when they upgrade to full fibre broadband.

Your telecoms provider (Virgin Media O2 or BT) should contact you before the switchover to check in and discuss what you need to do to make sure your service isn’t affected. However, we’re encouraging everyone to know what to expect.

If you have an internet connection, the change may be as simple as plugging your phone into your broadband router rather than the socket on the wall.

Your telecoms provider should contact you before the switchover to let you know if you’ll be affected.

Do you or someone you know depend on their landline and/or use a telecare device connected to a phone line such as a fall monitor, lifeline or personal alarm? If yes, then please notify the communications provider now (the provider of this service) so that they can advise on how the switch might affect the service of the devices or home phone.

If you have other devices connected to your phone line, such as alarm systems, you might need to upgrade your device to make sure it is compatible. If you are unsure about how a device in your home or business might be affected, it is recommended you contact the equipment supplier or device manufacturer to find out whether it will remain functional on a digital phone line.

In an emergency

Digital landlines cannot carry a power connection, so in the event of a power cut they will not work. If you have a mobile phone this can still be used, but if you’ve no other means of calling the emergency services your telecoms provider will offer a solution to allow calls to be made to emergency services.

You should tell your telecoms provider now if you have no other way of making emergency calls.


University isn’t for Everyone

Northumberland County Council has apprenticeship vacancies offering a range of career opportunities for people across the county with applications opening Friday 18 August. 

After a successful apprenticeship recruitment drive earlier this summer, The Council is on the lookout for more candidates to join the workforce with starting dates from October. 

Cabinet member for Corporate Services, Cllr Richard Wearmouth, said: “Keeping home-grown talent in the region is so important, by providing high-quality career pathways we’re futureproofing our own workforce, and creating great opportunities for people to kick-start their careers. 

“Last year alone the Council employed more than 60 apprentices, with almost 100 completing their qualifications from entry level, right up to degree as well as supporting more than 30 staff with upskilling through an apprenticeship.” 

One such member of staff who completed their apprenticeship and now is a full-time member of staff is Support Technician, Isabelle McCormack.  

She said: “My apprenticeship gave me the skills I needed to succeed at getting a full-time job. The on-the-job training, help and advice from my colleagues and managers made me feel so supported. 

“This is only the start for me, I’m now looking at doing a Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship in Project Management and progressing my career even further.” 

Apprenticeships are open to everyone aged 16 and over not in full-time education. They can take between one to six years to complete, depending on the level chosen and whether candidates have any prior experience, all while earning a wage.  

The Council is recruiting a mix of office-based and hands-on apprenticeships positions across the county. 

Whether you are looking for an apprenticeship now, or considering it in the future, don’t miss this opportunity to join one of the region’s largest employers.

Applications close 3 September 2023: 

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