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General Alert issued by Northumberland County Council

Senior managers from across the authority met on Thursday morning to agree and coordinate actions.  From that meeting the following General Alert was issued which you may find useful:


Effective: 1 Mar 2018


County Council gritters have continued working overnight with support from farming and other subcontractors in challenging conditions. Further heavy snow showers and high winds and drifting snow have made driving conditions treacherous county wide. Abandoned cars are now causing issues with ploughing on some roads across the county. We will continue to work 24 hrs throughout this weather. PLEASE DO NOT TRAVEL UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.


Housing repairs:
Council housing tenants are advised that any non-urgent repair work scheduled for today or tomorrow (Thur 1st & Fri 2nd March) have been cancelled. No further non-urgent repairs will be scheduled at this time.


We are responding to priority, emergency repairs only and we have teams working to get to this as quickly as possible in Blyth and Alnwick. To report an emergency repair contact us on (01670) 542424.


Bin Collections:
The council has cancelled all bin collections across Northumberland today. We are not going to be able to collect any bins this week now. If your bin was missed on Wednesday) or Thursday, we are putting on general waste collections next Wednesday and Thursday instead, so please put your bin out then. Thank you for your patience.


More details on what to do if your bin is not collected is here:


GET THE LATEST INFORMATION on Northumberland school closures • road conditions • winter gritting • bin collections • general service interruptions:




REMINDER – The best way to request gritting, ploughing and grit bin refills for a specific area is to use our online form here

Devolution Deal for the North of Tyne

At the end of last year, The Government and Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council and Northumberland County Council agreed a landmark ‘minded to approve’ devolution deal for the North of Tyne. This ‘minded to approve’ devolution deal will transfer unprecedented new powers and investment from Government to the North of Tyne.


A summary of the new powers and funding that will be available to the North of Tyne through this deal are summarised as follows:


  • A new, directly elected Mayor for North of Tyne to give a strong and powerful voice to our area
  • £600 million of extra money to invest in the North of Tyne
  • Projects to improve education, skills and help people get into work
  • Local control of the £23 million per year budget for adult education
  • Powers to develop land for economic growth and regeneration
  • Projects that increase the growth and productivity of our rural communities
  • Working better with Government to boost trade and investment
  • Projects to grow our digital sector and low-carbon economy
  • A joint committee to manage public transport across the North East
  • A commitment to explore new opportunities for the North of Tyne in future


This is an ambitious devolution deal, and it aims to increase opportunities and living standards across the area, and build on the North of Tyne’s impressive productivity rates. The deal will also help to drive the Northern Powerhouse and give North of Tyne a significant role in growing the economy of the North.


The views of all are important, and residents can share their opinions on the North of Tyne devolution proposal and find out more about it by attending one of the consultation events.


There will be a consultation held in Alnwick on Tuesday 23 January, 2pm to 4pm at Northumberland Hall, Market Place, Alnwick, Northumberland.


The Consultation period closes on Monday 5 February 2018.


Views can be given online at where all will be able to find out more about the proposal.


Alnwick precept set for 2018/19

Alnwick Town Council will increase its precept by £20,037 in 2018/19.  This increase equates to a £4.90 per annum increase on a Band D dwelling and is a 4.9% rise.

The increased precept in 2018/19 will help fund replacement planters around the town, a suitable World War 1 commemoration and refurbishment work to Robertson’s Fountain. The budgets for grants to local organisations and for local events will also increase by over £10,000. 

Mayor of Alnwick, Councillor Alan Symmonds said “Our budgets have been carefully reviewed and in the next financial year we are looking to continue to make improvements in the town centre; last year we installed the CCTV system and undertook work on the fingerposts. We have also seen increased demand for our help from local organisations and event organisers and as a result, have increased our budgets”.   

The total Town Council precept for 2018/19 will be £287,175, and the new Band D precept is likely to still be below the average for Town Councils in Northumberland.

Junior Football Club scheme moves a step closer

Alnwick Town Council has agreed to move forward with its proposed loan to Alnwick Town Junior Football Club to assist with the proposed all weather pitch and new clubhouse and changing rooms at Greenfield.


In October, the council decided to undertake the necessary consultation on the project and their intention to borrow; this was a pre-requisite of any application for borrowing approval, which needs to be made to the Secretary of State.


At the Town Council meeting on Thursday, councillors heard that public consultation had resulted in 32 responses, all of which were supportive. Councillors were also told that the Northumberland Gazette Facebook site, had reported in October that consultation was being carried out, and had received 32 ‘likes’.


The Football Club scheme obtained planning permission on 14th December 2017 and the Football Foundation meets this week to consider offering a grant of £409,000 to the scheme. The meeting gave the Town Clerk delegated authority, in consultation with the Mayor, to finalise any remaining details required for the borrowing application.


Peter Hately, Chairman of Alnwick Town Junior Football Club, attended the meeting and Councillors wished him every success with the delivery of the project.

Town Council grants wishes for local organisations

At its December 2017 Finance & Policy meeting the Council approved £17,000 worth of grants to local charities, societies and associations.


This money included four grants of over £1,500 to Alnwick and District Playhouse Trust, Bailffgate Museum, Hospice Care North Northumberland and Northumberland CAB – Alnwick Office, as well as grants to eight organisations who had applied for grants for the first time.


Mayor of Alnwick, Alan Symmonds, said “The Town Council has an important role to play supporting local organisations.  They all do a fantastic job around the town and help many residents, both young and old.  This year we have seen more applications than ever and from a very diverse range of organisations requesting funding which the Town Council is pleased to support”.


The Town Council received 27 applications for grants, the most they have ever received. Grants were awarded for the first time to Alnwick Medical Group, Alnwick Dolphins, Alnwick Music Society, My Life Productions, Aspire to Believe, Stars Learning Ltd, Alnwick Garden Trust and the Northumberland Branch of the Western Front Association.


The grants are used to help with a range of items from essential running costs including transport costs, purchase of specialist equipment, financial advice and delivery of health projects. This year sees some new type of support being helped through a grant including help towards the costs of a WWI Centenary conference in Alnwick in 2018.

Alnwick Town Council announces Grant Applications for 2018 are now open

Alnwick Town Council is encouraging local voluntary and community organisations who are based in, or predominantly serve Alnwick and require financial assistance for 2018, to complete and return an application form by 1st December 2017.


Mayor Alan Symmonds said “The Town Council are pleased that they have been able to increase its grants budget and has £16,000 to distribute to local organisations.  Each year we are able to help some of our local organisations and groups who provide very valuable services to the town and are in need of financial support.  We are always pleased to received applications from groups who have not applied for a grant from the Town Council before”.


Please click to download the Grant Criteria – 2018 (PDF Document)


Please click to download a Grant Application Form 2018 (Word document)


Please click to download a Grant Application Form 2018 (PDF document)

Town Council want to help Junior Football Club provide new facilities

A scheme costing just over £1million to provide a full all-weather floodlit artificial football pitch, a new clubhouse, with changing rooms and improved car parking at Greensfield Alnwick is being progressed by Alnwick Town Junior Football Club.


A planning application is currently being determined and if everything is in place, it is hoped a start will be made on the site in Spring 2018. It is proposed that the facilities would also be used by the new High School.


A funding package has been drawn together by the Club which hopefully will see over £800,000 provided by the Football Foundation and Northumberland County Council and Alnwick Town Council has been asked to give a loan of £190,000 to complete the necessary funding.


To be able to give a loan of this amount requires the Town Council to borrow the money and it will be necessary to obtain borrowing approval from the Secretary of State. It is proposed that the Town Council will take a 15 year loan with an annual repayment of £12,667. The loan repayment amount will be met by the Junior Football Club, with no cost therefore to the Town Council.  In the event of a default on the loan repayment, the Duke of Northumberland, who is president of the Club, has guaranteed payment of up to half the annual figure.


In accordance with borrowing procedures, the Town Council is consulting with residents regarding the scheme and its proposal to borrow money. As a condition of any loan, the Town Council are requiring that the facilities be available for use by other clubs and sports when not in use by the football club.


Anyone wishing to receive more details of the scheme, or comment on the proposals and borrowing intention, should contact the Town Clerk, Room 5, 27 Fenkle Street, Alnwick NE66 1HW, Tel 01665 602574 or email Comments are requested before 8th November 2017.

And the ‘eyes’ have it!

Thomson Opticians, in Market Street, have won the Tour of Britain window display competition run by Alnwick Town Council in partnership with Alnwick Chamber of Trade, which was judged on Friday by the Mayor of Alnwick, Councillor Alan Symmonds. Their winning display won them £100.

Winner of the Tour of Britain Window Dressing competition

Winner of the Tour of Britain Window Dressing competition










2nd prize went to the Beehive in Narrowgate and 3rd prize to Simply Flowers in Bondgate Within who win £75 and £50 respectively.  The Mayor was very impressed with the standard of all the displays so he gave two Highly Commended certificates and a bottle of Prosecco, to the Wool Shop in The Shambles and Hotspur 1364 in Narrowgate.


Councillor Symmonds said “I chose Thomson Opticians window as 1st place as I felt it had a real impact with the two windows brightly decorated in Tour of Britain and Northumberland colours.  The Beehive, who came 2nd was a well thought out window with a poem for the occasion whilst the window at Simply Flowers had good impact using products form their shop”.


The Mayor continued “I must say a big thank you to those businesses who took part in the competition who are all and they are to be commended on their efforts.  All the winning entries were awarded certificates which are displayed in the windows so do look out for them around the town”.


Over 20 shops took part with some proudly decorating their windows using the Northumberland colours of red and yellow.  The Tour of Britain passed through Alnwick town centre on Monday so the windows gave the riders, their support crews, and the many visitors, a real welcome to the town.

Vacancies for Councillors in Alnwick

Two vacancies exist on Alnwick Town Council for councillors. These vacancies are in the Castle Ward. The council are looking to fill the vacancies by co-option and the positions will run until May 2021.

Anyone interested in being considered for one of the vacancies is requested to make an application in writing and setting out why they would like to be a councillor, in not more than 500 words. Application must be submitted to Bill Batey, Chief Officer and Town Clerk, Room 5, 27 Fenkle Street, Alnwick, NE66 1HW or emailed to, not later than noon on Wednesday 13th September 2017.

Anyone wishing to find out more about what is involved in being councillor and how the Town Council operates is asked to contact Bill via the above email or on 07971 810267, to arrange an informal discussion.

The Town Council comprises of 18 councillors and has an annual budget of some £300,000. The Town Council runs the local cemetery, most playgrounds and allotments and has responsibility for floral displays, local seats, bus shelters, memorials, town twinning, civic events such as Remembrance Sunday, many local projects such as CCTV and assists many local organisations with small grants. Over the coming term important discussions and decisions will be required on issues such as car parking, transport priorities, promoting the town and supporting local businesses.

Decision will be made by the Council on Thursday 14th September 2017.