"Prudhoe Through The Lens" - exciting event in Prudhoe Library on Wednesday 20th March 2019..
18 January 2019

Invitation to Express an Interest in Designing and Building a New and Improved Website for Prudhoe Town Council..
18 January 2019

Invitation to Express an Interest in Designing and Building a New and Improved Website for Prudhoe Town Council

Prudhoe Town Council serves the people of the Parish of Prudhoe, which includes the Village of Mickley.  It has a population of approximately 11,675 and as you would expect, the Town Council’s website is linked to its social media presence in order to provide key information to the local electorate, visitors and potential business investors to the Town.

The current website is operated through spanglefish and it has reached its full capacity in terms of document uploads. Our current website address is www.prudhoetowncouncil.gov.uk. The Town Council wish to retain this web address.

The Town Council are required and committed to publishing certain key information on their website in accordance with the legal requirements of the transparency code. This, by way of example, includes Councillor details and contact arrangements, budget information, reports, policy statements and press releases as well as information about how the Council takes decisions, including a timetable of meetings, agendas and minutes of Council and Committee meetings.

With this in mind, your brief is to design an informative, attractive, fit for purpose and easy to use website from a user perspective, that can be maintained, managed and updated by Town Council staff on an in-house basis, easily and time efficiently.

As the information on our current website needs to be retained and publicly accessible, any new website would need to incorporate this information or provide a direct link to the old website and its historic material.

In so far as is possible we would want the successful contractor to demonstrate how they would endeavour to “future proof” the new website. We would expect the website including any staff training of the Council’s two members of staff, to be completed within 8 weeks of the contract being awarded.

The expressions of interested submitted will be used to inform the Council as to their budgetary requirements for the creation of their new website. It should be noted that only those companies who submit an expression of interest will be invited to formally tender for the contract, although the Council reserves the right not to invite all companies who express an interest to formally tender for the work.

Essential information required from those wishing to express an interest in undertaking this work on behalf of Prudhoe Town Council.

PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY TO ENSURE ALL REQUIREMENTS ARE MET

Those Companies who wish to express an interest in designing a new website for Prudhoe Town Council need to submit their expressions of interest in writing in a letter or email clearly marked “Website Expressions of Interest” to Sarah Eden, Town Clerk, Prudhoe Town Council, Spetchells Centre, 58 Front Street, Prudhoe, Northumberland NE42 5AA or to info@prudhoetowncouncil.gov.uk by Noon on Wednesday 6th February 2019

All expressions of interest should include indicative examples of website design work that could be undertaken on our behalf by your company, together with your pricing structure and a GANNT chart setting out your indicative project timetable, to include any necessary staff training for two members of staff.

The Town Council also require the contact details and website details of four previous similar clients to enable us to take up confidential references from them regarding all aspects of the quality and delivery of your work. All expressions of interest must include full details of your current professional indemnity insurance. Expressions of Interest that do not include details of every aspect required, will not be considered. Any enquiries regarding this invitation to express an interest should be addressed to the Town Clerk at info@prudhoetowncouncil.gov.uk

Cessation of Prudhoe Town Council TV Licence Grant Scheme for those aged 65 and over.....
17 January 2019

Cessation of Prudhoe Town Council TV Licence Grant Refund Scheme for those aged 65 and over.

The TV Licence Scheme was launched in 1980 by Prudhoe Town Council.  It was said to be the second such scheme in the country, the first having been set up by Sheffield City Council. The initial licence grant was for £12 per application, paid to qualifying residents in the form of TV Licence stamps.  Until 2008-9, the value of the grant was £15 per licence, but it was then raised to £30.

Over the years there have been a number of changes to the administration of the scheme, the result being that the council now pays £30 cash to those eligible residents who seek the grant, following eligibility checks being carried out by the Karbon Homes customer services desk in the library.

The Scheme is not means-tested, providing you are a Prudhoe resident, in receipt of state retirement pension and have paid your TV licence, the £30 refund will be paid over.

At its meeting last night, the council considered the future of the scheme, taking into consideration the following points:

That the council has to be able to satisfy itself that the benefit of the scheme is proportionate to the expenditure incurred.

That further changes are required to the administration of the scheme in view that Karbon Homes is no longer able to support the council, and following questions from the council’s external auditor.

That the council should ensure that all those entitled are aware of the scheme through better advertising and should budget accordingly.We currently commit £12,000 in the budget to this scheme.

That currently all those entitled to the £30 grant do not claim it.Based on the last published census the cost would be £32,850 if they did (1,095 population between age 65-74).

In June 2020 the Government will cease to fund the free TV Licence for the over 75’s and the decision as to whether it continues will be taken by the BBC.It is probable that the BBC will not support this, subsequently increasing the likely number of claimants.

In considering the above points, the council agreed at its meeting last night that the TV Licence Refund Scheme should cease at the end of the financial year. 

Councillors were mindful that if better publicised the scheme could result in a far greater expenditure than the council had ever committed to the scheme and therefore a bigger burden on the council tax payers of Prudhoe.

Councillors were concerned about the impact on those in real need of discontinuing the scheme, but in view that it is not means-tested were accepting that there was no way of establishing this.

The refund will continue to be paid until 31st March 2019 to those who have not have not already claimed in the current financial year.

The next meeting of Prudhoe Town Council is the Extra-Ordinary Budget Meeting, being held on Wednesday 23rd January 2019, beginning at 7:00pm in meeting room 1 of the Spetchells Centre..
17 January 2019

The next meeting of Prudhoe Town Council is the Extra-Ordinary Budget Meeting, being held on Wednesday 23rd January 2019, beginning at 7:00pm in meeting room 1 of the Spetchells Centre.

Please click on the image below to open to agenda in PDF format.

 

Notice of Election - Castle & Eltringham..
17 January 2019

Anyone interested in the vacancy at Prudhoe - Castle & Eltringham Ward should contact the Northumberland County Council Elections office for nomination papers (details below).

Providing there is more than one person nominated, the election will be held on Thursday 21st February 2019 and we are advised that the caretakers bungalow of Prudhoe Castle First School has been assigned as a polling station.

If you are considering the post, you are welcome to contact the Town Council office for more information about the role.

Applications for Grant Aid are now being invited by Prudhoe Town Council.....
15 January 2019

Prudhoe Town Council would like to invite applications for Grant Aid from local voluntary, non-profit making organisations for the financial year 2019/20.

If you are involved with or know of a local group who could benefit from ‘Grant Aid’ please encourage them to pick up an application pack from The Spetchells Centre.

Alternatively, please download the guidelines and application form by clicking HERE.

You can also view the awards made in previous years using the right tabs on the Grant Aid page.

Calling all Budding Young Actors ! Exciting Opportunity For Young People to pursue their acting aspirations !..
15 January 2019

CALLING ALL YOUNG ACTORS

Mortal Fools (Prudhoe based charity) and their youth theatre group Tyne Valley Youth Theatre are looking for 10-12 young people to be part of their upcoming Northern Youth Theatre Tour. Participants will work with a professional director and production team to create their own theatre production, which will then go on tour to 8 different venues across the North of England. 

This is a really fantastic opportunity for any young people aged 14-19 with an interest in theatre in Prudhoe and surrounding area:


The majority of rehearsals will take place at Fuse Media Centre, and in Riding Mill during half term. Full details about the project (including rehearsal and tour schedule) can be found online: www.tvyt.org.uk/tvyt-ensemble

Extended deadline for expressions of interest is Wednesday 16th January and there will be an information session at Spetchells Centre on Thursday 17th January 18:00-19:30

 

 

The Northumberland Local Plan Consultation ..
15 January 2019

The Northumberland Local Plan Consultation

Northumberland Local Plan

Publication Draft Local Plan - 30 January to 13 March 2019

Following agreement by Cabinet on 19 December 2018 and Full Council on 9 January 2019, Northumberland Copunty Council (NCC) are inviting comments on the ‘Publication Draft’ of the Northumberland Local Plan, during a six week period between 30 January 2019 and 13 March 2019.

The papers for the above meetings, which includes a draft of the Publication version of the Local Plan and the Policies Map, can be accessed from the following link: http://committee.northumberland.gov.uk/Meeting.aspx?MeetID=9385

The Local Plan sets out strategic planning policies and planning principles for the whole county, the general scale and distribution of new development, and the detail of where new homes, workplaces and facilities will be located. The Publication Draft Local Plan provides the final opportunity to comment on the document before it is submitted for independent examination.

In February and March 2019 NCC will be hosting a number of drop-in sessions around Northumberland. The drop-in sessions will include a small exhibition and staff from the local plan team will be present to help answer questions and advise on how to provide comments.

The Prudhoe drop-in session will take place at Waterworld Bowls Pavilion on Saturday 16th February from 10:00am until 3:00pm.

A commemorative carpet of wreaths.....
19 December 2018

On Remembrance Sunday, townsfolk, community groups and businesses take part in the Act of Remembrance at the Lychgate War Memorial, located at St. Mary Magdalene Church.  Part of that act is the laying of wreaths and in previous years, following Remembrance Sunday, wreaths have not lasted past the turn of the year.

In a bid to preserve the lifespan of the wreaths and to keep live Remembrance throughout the year, whilst at the same time allowing St. Mary Magdalene Church the opportunity to prepare for Christmas, the wreaths have been moved to the Royal British Legion War Memorial at The Glade.

Next year, as well as having a Veterans Memorial Seat we also intend to have a structure to display and hold the wreaths upright, however, this year we hope those passing appreciate the commemorative carpet of wreaths surrounding the Royal British Legion War Memorial.

We will remember them.....
19 December 2018

A number of Prudhoe Veterans, led by Craig Sewell and Michael Hillary have joined forces and asked the townsfolk of Prudhoe if they liked the idea of an Armed Forces Memorial Seat, the response was a resounding ‘yes’ and in view of this they set up a ‘Go Fund Me’ page to seek funding for the project.

The memorial seat they presented was along the lines of that pictured below but the idea is that the seat will be designed and built locally and that schools will be involved in coming up with the design.

The project has raised £770 (29 people) so far with donations still coming in.  The film projected on the outside of The Falcon on Remembrance Sunday, put together by Wayne Bond, asked for donations also, all of which will be donated to the project.

With regards the location of the seat(s) the following proposals were put forward:

The Bus Stop opposite the Dr Syntax as it is near the war memorial and the planting provides an attractive backdrop.The bus stop is regularly used by elderly people and the seats would be appreciated here.

The Glade as this is classed as the centre of town and there is also a war memorial here.

Near the bus shelter opposite Barclays.

West Wylam Bank (opposite Waterworld)

38 responses were given to a poll on social media with the following results:

  • The Bus Stop opposite The Syntax (23)
  • The Glade (10)
  • St. Matthew’s Hall (1)
  • Edgewell Cemetery (2)
  • Bus Shelter opposite Barclays (1)
  • West Wylam Bank (1)

The proposal received resounding support from Prudhoe Town Council at its meeting in November.  Members proposed that a seat be installed opposite The Syntax and another at The Glade.  The council was also keen to ensure that future maintenance falls within their remit, like other town seats.

Fundraising for the seats is on-going and a local iron worker is keen to deliver the final design; updates will be posted in the New Year in the hope that the seats are in place for November 2019.

If you wish to donate, please visit the 'Go Fund Me' page, by clicking on the link below:

 

Citizens Advice Northumberland gets £6,000 boost from Prudhoe Town Council.....
14 December 2018

Citizens Advice Northumberland gets £6,000 boost from Prudhoe Town Council.

Prudhoe Town Council pledged £6,000 for Citizens Advice Northumberland in January 2018 as part of the council's 2018/19 Grant Aid Scheme.

Although the town has been without a face-to-face link to the service for some of the year, following the set up of an advice service in The Manors on Adderlane Road, the council wholeheartedly agreed that the funding should now be paid over.

In reaching their decision the Council expressed their desire to see the establishment of a 'drop-in' advice session within Prudhoe, so that members of the community in urgent need of advice and assistance could receive help and support without the need for an appointment.

Prudhoe Town Council objects strongly to proposed car parking charges at Prudhoe Interchange and Tyne Riverside Country Park..
14 December 2018

Prudhoe Town Council objects strongly to proposed car parking charges at Prudhoe Interchange and Tyne Riverside Country Park.

Prudhoe Town Council were unanimous in their support of the many residents and user groups who attended the council meeting on 28th November to object to Northumberland County Council's proposed parking charges at Prudhoe Interchange and Tyne Riverside Country Park.  The council were very grateful to Director of Local Services, Paul Jones, for attending and sent a letter with the followng objections by way of response:

  • Disparity of the approach taken towards Prudhoe and market towns within the County as car parking charges are a deterrent to tourists; Prudhoe is a historic Castle town and we also wish to welcome tourists to Prudhoe and certainly not deter them.
  • The potential negative impact on potential visitors to Prudhoe and the knock-on adverse impact on the economy of the town.
  • The potential adverse impact on the new café business; especially taking account of the fact that there was no assurance that the new proprietors were aware of the proposal before taking on the venture.
  • The policy of charging to park at the Tyne Riverside Country Park is felt to be at odds with the County Council’s policy of encouraging a healthy lifestyle as the park is used regularly by many community and sporting groups (including the Prudhoe Parkrun, Junior Parkrun, Tyne Valley Canoe Club, Prudhoe Plodders  and walking groups to name but a few, as well as cyclists who transport their bike via car and many dog walkers who visit by car before taking their walk.
  • The cost of the season ticket at the railway was felt to be unreasonably high.
  • The proposed charges at the railway station discriminated against rail users in Prudhoe who were acting in an environmentally friendly manner and reducing their carbon footprint by travelling into Newcastle by train (the proposed Parking Charges would increase the cost of travelling to work in Newcastle by rail by a further 50%).
  • Prudhoe railway station is now the busiest on the line following a great deal of work by the Tyne Valley Community Rail Users Group and the proposed charges would discourage rail travel.
  • Parking Charges at both sites would displace the traffic elsewhere.
  • Previous attempts to introduce car park charging had to be abandoned as people would not pay to use the car park.

At their meeting this week, 12th December, Councillors were assured to hear from County Councillor Gordon Stewart that the administration were looking closely at the objections and he was optimistic that the special case being made for Prudhoe would be well received.

You can still respond to the consultation by emailing budget@northumberland.gov.uk

TOWN COUNCIL VACANCY - Castle & Eltringham ..
29 November 2018

TOWN COUNCIL VACANCY - Castle & Eltringham

If you are interested in the vacancy, please contact the Elections Office without delay.

You would be required to provide the Returning Officer at Northumberland County Council with x10 signatures of residents in the above named ward requesting a by-election, before 19th December 2018.

Once a by-election has been called, those persons interested must complete a nomination pack; if more than one person is nonminated there will be a by-election.  If only one person is nominated, they will be considered 'elected unopposed.

Alternatively, if a by-election is not called, residing members of Prudhoe Town Council can co-opt a member into the vacant seat.

Out of Town Retail Development..
29 November 2018

Reserved Matters Application relating to planning permission 16/02082/OUT for the first phase of development (the eastern area of the outline planning permission) consisting of 1,727sqm discount food store (A1 food retail), 929sqm (A1 food retail), 2,974sqm (A1 non-food retail), 697sqm (external open garden centre), 471 sqm (A1/A3), 240sqm restaurant/drive through (A3/A5), with associated access, car parking, service area, landscaping and infrastructure works.

Land South of Regents Drive, REM/03945/REM

In July 2016 Prudhoe Town Council supported ‘in principle’ the outline planning application for a retail development at Low Prudhoe, at the same time they supported the outline planning application for a Town Centre Retail Development, ref. 16/02083/OUT.  In considering their response the council appreciated that the ‘out of town’ retail development was a positive investment in the town and would reduce the outflow of trade to other locations, however, they stipulated that the Town Centre Retail Development should be given priority over an ‘out of town’ development as this would be best for the town.

At last night’s meeting the ‘reserved matters’ for the ‘out of town’ retail development was considered and the council, like members of the public, were able to read more detailed information relating to the type and scale of retail outlets expected at Low Prudhoe, including the infrastructure, landscape, elevations and design and access statement.  This included a possible Aldi, KFC drive-through/restaurant, a non-food retail outlet with external garden centre, a further food retail outlet and five smaller mixed-use outlets; all with associated parking.

Members of the council were conflicting in their views, in the main the effect that the development could have on the Front Street with examples of cases where ‘out of town’ retail developments had a detrimental impact and town centre footfall suffered.  At the same time, members applauded Front Street traders and their determination and survival over the years; where many towns feel the impact of empty shops, Prudhoe does not.  It was discussed that Prudhoe Front Street is also moving towards being more than shopping alone; there is a growing element of non-retail businesses, community and social venues adding to the shopping offer.

The Town Council agreed to object to the development, by a marginal vote of 5 in favour/4 against, for reasons of the impact of the development on the town centre, again stating that the outline permission given for the town centre development (16/02083/OUT), as asserted in July 2016, should be the primary consideration for the good of the town.

Members were mindful that their objection was likely to have little impact in view that outline planning permission has been approved and put forward suggestions for section 106 agreements that Northumberland County Council should seek to agree with the developer.  These were:

An Employment and Skills Plan (ESP) to align the opportunities for skills and jobs with residents, most specifically those in need of training and employment, and/or funding to equip residents with the required skills.An ESP could include making available locally; apprenticeships, employment and training initiatives, maximising local labour and work experience.

A Litter Strategy to mitigate against the additional litter that comes with fast food outlets.

A Local Travel Plan to ensure a town bus service is made available allowing all residents access to the development, not just car drivers.

They might be for litter and dog poo but they don't have to look rubbish!..
23 November 2018

They might be for litter and dog poo but they don't have to look rubbish!

As well as having the town's many litter bins cleansed and grafitti removed the Town Council has also purchased new bins to replace some of the older style bins transferred from Northumberland County Council.

Next week will see the litter bins installed, so if when you are out and about you notice your favourite litter bin is missing, please be patient, it will be replaced. 

New bins are being installed at the Edgewell Bus Shelters (on the B6395) and at Scales Cresent, West Wylam.

Replacement bins are being installed at West Wylam Shopping Centre, Drawback, Moor Road, Redwell Road (top and bottom), Hillcrest, Highfield Lane, Eltringham/Mickley Junction, Kepwell Bank Top, Mickley Field, West Mickley Play Area, Oakfield Terrace and Castlefields Drive/The Lonnen.

Please help keep the town looking tidy by using the litter bins provided by Prudhoe Town Council and emptied by Northumberland County Council.

Remember all bins are dual purpose so can be used for litter and dog waste.

Prudhoe commemorates 100 years.....
30 October 2018

Prudhoe commemorates 100 years...

Prudhoe Town Council was very clear that it wished to help residents mark and commemorate 100 years since the end of WW1.

The Town Council received information from Irene Davis (Prudhoe Women's Branch of the Royal British Legion) regarding the spectacular Silent Soldiers being sold via The Poppy Factory and the council was hugely supportive of four being purchased to stand at the Gateways to the town.  

The Prudhoe Branch of the Royal British Legion bought a further two soldiers; one stands on 'The Glade' near the RBL Memorial and another at The Lychgate War Memorial at St. Mary Magdalene Church.

Like last year, volunteers have put poppies on lamp posts and at our schools and the town looks colourful and ready for 11th November.

A further commemoration is in the form of the planting at the Road Ends (opposite The Syntax), an area recently taken over by Prudhoe Town Council.  The Town Council has maintained the flower beds for a number of years but is now responsible for the toilet block also. 

 

It is not usual for a commemorative planting during autumn/winter but the Prudhoe in Bloom group of Prudhoe Town Council thought the above scheme would work well and Hollybush Nursery was able to deliver.

Many residents have already commented that the bed looks impressive and that they are proud that their town is marking this very special Remembrance Day.

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58 Front Street The Spetchells Centre Prudhoe Northumberland NE42 5AA Tel: (01661) 835487 email: prudhoetc@hotmail.com
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