A question mark has once again been placed over the future of one of Tynedale’s rural bus services due to dwindling passenger numbers.  
 
Northumberland County Council confirmed that the weekly 695 dial-a-ride service, operated by Adapt North East, will not survive in the long term if user numbers don’t increase.  The bus, which carries out a weekly return journey between Blanchland, Slaley, Hexhamshire and Hexham, is used regularly by a dedicated core of passengers who have repeatedly campaigned for its future over the last five years. 
 
A county council spokesman said: “The 695 service operates one day per week. The service is a dial-a-ride scheme operated by community transport provider Adapt NE under contract to Northumberland County Council.  In the past, this service has been well used, however over recent years patronage on the service has declined.  In an effort to boost patronage and secure the future of the service, Northumberland County Council is engaging with the operator and the town/parish councils along the route in an effort to raise awareness and boost patronage.  “Without an increase in the number of passengers using the 695, the long- term viability of the service will be in doubt.”
 
For more information about the service, contact Adapt North East on (01434) 600599.

Northumberland County Council Trading Standards Service is warning people to be aware of telephone calls that claim to be from the Inland Revenue.

There have been a small number of reports in the county of residents receiving an automated recording announcement that the Inland Revenue are preparing a case against the person, and if they want to speak to the case office they should press “1”.

Details reported by Action Fraud state that those who press the button are advised that there is a warrant out in their name and if they don’t pay, the police will arrest them.

Anyone who thinks they have received or been victim to a hoax should call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.  They can report these incidents on the Action Fraud website http://www.actionfraud.police.uk , or via 0300 123 2040.

Do you work with people aged 16+ in the North East of England or Cumbria who currently use or have in the past used NHS services for eating disorders /distress?

NIWE Eating Distress Service is inviting people suffering from eating disorders and distress to a series of Focus Groups that they’re organising over the next few months to give them a chance to have a say in work that is currently happening to make changes and improvements in services.

There will be a maximum of 10 people in each group and discussions will focus on what participants have found helpful or unhelpful and their views about improvements. Each group meeting will last for 2 hours between 5pm and 7pm and will take place at The Old Post Office, 5 Pink Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5DW.

To Get Involved, contact Maria Lavelle on 0191 221 0233 at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The deadline is fast approaching for the submission of entries for the 2017 LOVE Northumberland Awards.
 
Community groups, schools and individuals can enter their environmental projects and initiatives for this annual celebration of activities which help to keep the county clean and green.  The awards mark out work which improves local areas for the benefit of members of the community and culminate in a presentation event at the Alnwick Garden with Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland.
 
Paul Jones, director of local services and housing delivery at Northumberland County Council, said:  “We urge groups, individuals, schools and youth groups to think about their activities within local communities, and consider whether any of them might be eligible to enter any of the LOVE Northumberland categories.  Local projects can make a huge difference for communities and individuals, and as a council we want to celebrate this excellent work, and reward those who give time and effort to improving and enhancing our environment.  Our staff will be happy to discuss projects, advise about application categories and how to apply.”
 
The deadline is 31st May.  Find out about the different categories and how to enter.

This week has seen the national roll-out by Government of the Childcare Service for children up to the age of four.  This means that parents wishing to access Tax-Free Childcare now or the 30 hours free childcare entitlement from September 2017 are able to apply by using the Government’s Childcare Service website. 

Northumberland County Council was one of eight local authorities nationally - the Early Implementers - to take part in the pilot scheme to offer eligible families 30 hours of free childcare for 3-4 year olds. The scheme is now being rolled out across the country.

For more information about the scheme and details on how to apply, visit:
http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/News/2017/Apr/National-roll-out-of-30-hours-free-childcare.aspx