Northumberland County Council
Election 2017 Results
|Party||Seats 2013||Seats 2017||Change|
|Seats 201321||Seats 201733||Change+12|
|Seats 201332||Seats 201724||Change−8|
|Seats 20133||Seats 20177||Change+4|
|Seats 201311||Seats 20173||Change−8|
|Change compared with|
The leaders of seven North East councils are asking residents to "keep doing your bit" to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
In an open letter, the council leaders also said they were "disappointed" about the imposition of tier three on Greater Manchester "without agreed economic support" and urged "the government to engage with us and look at the local evidence before forcing us down the same path".
"Once again, the collective efforts of the North East have seen indications that the rate of Covid infections is slowing down," the council leaders said.
"We know it is difficult not to be able to physically see and hold loved ones, to enjoy a night out with friends at the theatre or down the pub but by not mixing households and following the rules you are making a difference.
"It has only been possible to slow the virus because the overwhelming majority continue to do their bit.
It is imperative we don’t let our guard slip or lure ourselves into a false sense of security just "because we are seeing a slowly improving picture. To do so would undo all your hard work."
The letter was signed by
- Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council
- Martin Gannon, leader of Gateshead Council
- Glen Sanderson, leader of Northumberland County Council
- Norma Redfearn, mayor of North Tyneside Council
- Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council
- Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council
- Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council
- Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor
- Kim McGuinness, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner
Local Democracy Reporting Service
A meeting between North East leaders and a senior Government official has been called off "at the last minute", according to one council chief.
The leaders of Northumberland, Newcastle, South and North Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham signed a joint statement urging the Government to not impose “devastating” coronavirus restrictions.
It pointed to “evidence of a flattening of the curve” and said “there is a collective view –we can make alert level 2 work.”
After this, they were invited to a presentation from Jonathan Van-Tam, Government’s deputy chief medical officer on Thursday evening only for it to be called off.
Martin Gannon Gateshead Council leader, said: “I got an email saying ‘sorry it’s cancelled’ with two minutes notice.
“I got another email later saying something was wrong with the data, and they don’t want to waste time. “
He added: "Our data is clear, we have got a case.”
Local Democracy Reporter
The leaders of seven North East councils are due to make their case against more coronavirus restrictions today.
They are expected to speak to ministers - after signing a joint letter urging existing measures be given more time.
The leaders of Northumberland, Newcastle, South and North Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham councils, along with the Mayor of North Tyne, say moving the region up in to highest category for restrictions would be “devastating.”
The joint letter said there was “evidence of a flattening of the curve ...there is a collective view – we can make alert level 2 work.”
They urged the Government to give the current restrictions more time and warned that the economic consequences will be “devastating without further support”.
There was a warning that paying two-thirds of salaries would not be enough to protect the jobs of thousands” and payments to employees of businesses forced to close should at least match the 80% of the original furlough scheme.
The local coronavirus infection rate among over-60s could be what the government is using to decide whether to impose the strictest lockdown restrictions on any given area, Gateshead Council's leader has said.
North East local authorities in Northumberland, Newcastle, South and North Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham said they would oppose any attempt to move them into Tier 3.
The current set of measures were working and needed more time, Martin Gannon said.
"There's a bit of confusion about what the government is looking at - we think it is based on the number of cases in over-60s," he said.
"It would be helpful if they would clarify that."Copyright: BBC
Mr Gannon said the support package proposed for the 100,000 people employed directly and indirectly in the region's hospitality sector would be "catastrophically disastrous".
The Prime Minister is expected to announce a new three-tier system of lockdowns later as part of government efforts to tackle the Covid pandemic.
Pubs and restaurants could be closed in areas with the highest infection rates.
Parts of the North East are already subject to tighter restrictions.
It has not been confirmed how the North East will be affected yet - and parts are already subject to tight restricitons - but the region's leaders are due to have a call with the government this morning.
The changes will be announced in the House of Commons, following a meeting of the emergency Cobra committee and there will then be a Downing Street press conference this evening.Copyright: Getty Images
More than 40 councils in coastal areas of the UK - including Durham, Newcastle, Northumberland, South Tyneside and the North of Tyne mayor - have demanded a £1bn 'kick-start' from the government to help recover from the impact of coronavirus.
In a letter to the chancellor, they say the money could create almost 74,000 jobs by developing zero-emission ships and offshore wind farms.
This would help "economically at-risk" communities, they add.
The government said it was supporting "millions of firms" through the pandemic and "continuing to innovate".Copyright: Reuters
A Bedlington pub has become the first in Northumberland to be closed down for breaching Covid-19 regulations.
The Wharton Arms, in Burdon Terrace, was served with a direction notice today.
The venue must shut for 14 days and the licensee has the opportunity to appeal.
Among the issues spotted during a routine police visit were failing to display an NHS Track and Trace QR code, allowing different households to mix without face coverings and failing to enforce social distancing.
Councillor John Riddle, cabinet member with responsibility for public protection at Northumberland County Council, said: “This pub posed a serious imminent risk to public health, by not putting in place the required Covid-19 secure measures, and therefore was a greater risk for transmission of coronavirus.
Thankfully we are finding most businesses are doing all they can to keep their staff and customers safe.
“However, we won’t hesitate to take strong enforcement action where we find traders clearly breaching the regulations and putting lives at risk.”Copyright: Google
Local Democracy Reporting Service
Northumberland County Council’s chief executive is returning to her post after a period of "extended leave".
A spokesman for the authority simply confirmed that Daljit Lally (pictured), who was placed on leave after sending emails to councillors claiming she had "serious whistleblowing concerns" about the way the authority was being run and accusing then council leader Peter Jackson of possible "bias", will be resuming her role in the council.Copyright: BBC
However, the council spokesman would not confirm a date for her return to work, with some suggesting it would be as early as tomorrow. The LDRS has also been told that initial investigations by an independent consultant have found no evidence of wrongdoing in relation to allegations against Mrs Lally.
Since her concerns were exposed, three cabinet resigned in protest at her treatment and Councillor Jackson was ousted after a no confidence vote.
Mrs Lally has been approached for comment.
People across seven council areas in the North East are now subject to stricter coronavirus restrictions after a spike in cases.
Here's a reminder of some of the key points:
- The rules affect Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Northumberland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and County Durham council areas
- There is a ban on households mixing both inside and in gardens, but outside in a park could be alright if people social distance, a health boss said
- The measures mean restaurants and bars will only be able to offer table service and will have to shut between 22:00 BST and 05:00
- Holidays are permitted but only with members of your household or support bubble
- People should not spectate at any grassroots sport or play sport in the restricted areas
There is some confusion over whether to exclude grandparents helping with childcare from the restrictions, with discussions between Newcastle CIty Council and the government taking place yesterday.