Northumberland County Council has withdrawn the Northumberland Local Plan Core Strategy from Government and to carry out a review of some aspects of the document.

The review will look to further protect Green Belt land and prevent a development “free for all” in the future.  A motion to full council asking for a full review of the housing and employment numbers and strategic land use allocations within the draft Core Strategy was carried by 39 votes to 22.

Coun Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “While we believe the vast majority of the plan is fine, information currently available, and anticipated for release by the Government later this year, suggests to us that the requirement for housing in our County may very well not be as high as has been proposed previously.

“We want to use this information from Government and take into full account the latest regional plan in the form of the NE Strategic Economic Plan, to review the need to build on acres of Green Belt land.

“Ultimately we want to improve control of development within our County, not create a free for all which encroaches on our Green Belt.”

Read more.

As a key part of its aim is to become a trusted source of expertise in voluntary sector leadership development, the Open University’s Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership has a particular mission to research, engage with, and ultimately impact on improving collaborative leadership in smaller voluntary sector organisations.
Central to this is providing access to free leadership courses and to help leader and aspiring leaders to help adapt to the multiple challenges they face.
To find out more, visit:

Boundary changes to Northumberland’s new five local area councils have been agreed. The new councils cover North Northumberland, Ashington and Blyth, Castle Morpeth, Tynedale, and Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley. Each area is responsible for issues such as planning applications, road spending and petitions - bringing decision making back to a more local level. 

Since they were set up in May, local members have been consulted on the boundaries. At full council, members agreed to move Stakeford Electoral Division into Castle Morpeth from Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley and also move Bothal Electoral Division from Castle Morpeth into Ashington and Blyth. 

Councillor Richard Dodd, the county council’s Business Chair, said: “These councils are all about giving more power back to our communities and enabling decision making at a local level. In the past we have had decisions made about towns and villages without people from those areas involved. We have previously said we would review the boundaries in the next six months to a year and make changes if necessary. We’ve listened to local members in Stakeford and Bothal and are happy to make these changes.”

The Care Quality Commission has published a new map showing ratings for hospitals, GP practices and care homes across England. You can use this map to search for services in your area, compare ratings and read inspection reports.

View the new ratings map.

A new thresholds document has been launched by Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board that provides guidance to assist professionals in identifying the most appropriate level of intervention and support.

This new guidance helps to clarify for everyone who works with children the shared agreement on thresholds which have been developed by Northumberland County Council and colleagues on the multi agency Northumberland Local Safeguarding Children Board.

Paula Mead, Independent Chair of the multi-agency Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board said: “It is really important for children, young people and their families, that agencies provide them with the right level of support as early as possible.   This document is a tool that helps front-line staff to identify the most appropriate level of intervention and support that children and families need.”

Find out more at