A few months after we declared a Climate Emergency it’s great to see that Northumberland has been named as the greenest county on the North East and ranked 7th in the UK for low levels of emissions. The work we are doing right across the county and across council services will reinforce that position and our committment to the environment. Read the article here.
The first meeting of the Northumberland Climate Change Steering Group met on 13th September at County Hall. The group is chaired Cllr Glen Sanderson and is putting into action the County Council’s pledges to reduce council emissions in Northumberland by 50% by 2025 and make the county carbon neutral by 2030.
Conservative Council Leader Peter Jackson commented after the meeting “Northumberland is leading the way amongst North East authorities and is pursuing an ambitious strategy to generate more green energy, consume less energy and increasing emissions capture. Working with partners our Council will take immediate steps to moderate and eventually dramatically reduce our carbon footprint. There is a great deal that can be done and we will be seeking feedback from residents on our plans in the following weeks and months. We are determined to demonstrate our commitment to the climate change agenda by our actions and through community leadership. We will also influence the regional and national agenda”.
Cllr Sanderson “Council staff have really embraced the desire of our Conservative administration to take this important issue very seriously. Much has already been done and clear plans across all areas of council activity will be presented soon. This will include doubling the number of electrical charging points in our car parks and increasing tree planting on Council owned land to help with carbon capture.”
Northumberland also featured in a Guardian list of favourite holiday destinations this weekend.
Details of the design and the contract award for the building of a new schools complex in Hexham have been announced. Our Conservative administration are making a significant £30m+ investment in building new schools for Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School on the QEHS site. The listed Hydro building will become the frontage of the school with the new build tot he rear. Galliford Try will be the contractor.
Local people fought hard for the retention of the three tier system that serves our children so well in the west of the county and was essential that much needed investment was made into our High School – the pinnacle of our successful system. I’m proud to be part of the Northumberland County Council Cabinet that made this decision.
Read more in the Hexham Courant here.
We have managed to secure £12m funding via the North of Tyne Combined Authority to provide broadband in rural areas across Northumberland. The funding will pay for connecting public buildings in rural areas with high speed fibre. This is turn makes it easier to connect houses in these rural areas because the high speed internet is already so much closer – a double whammy.
I’m pleased to have been able to play a part in bringing about this investment working closely with our 2 rural MP’s Guy Opperman and Anne-Marie Trevelyan to lobby DCMS and the Minister Margot James MP.
Read more in the council’s press release.
Last week I presented a paper to Nothumberland County Council Cabinet outlining extra steps being taken to strengthen governance of the council’s regeneration company Advance Northumberland. Steps include a new Operating Agreement between the Council and Advance, separation of duties so that councillors on the board of Advance do not participate in decisions about Advance and a Loans Board to approve lending.
These steps will ensure the flagrant misuse of taxpayer’s money that happened under the previous Labour administration with previous development company Arch cannot happen again.
Read the Hexham Courant Report here.