Get involved with the council

Get involved with the council

There are lots of different ways you can get involved with the county council and have your say on matters which affect you.

Get involved with the council

Find out how to sign up for our democracy workshops, sign or start a petition and ask a question at public question time or your local area committee meeting.

Public question time
The council holds a public question time session before the full council meeting. The last day for receiving questions for each meeting is noon, seven clear days before the full council meeting. The press and public are welcome.

Asking questions
  • You can put up to two questions to a member of the council’s cabinet, by email or in writing.
  • Questions should be about council functions or services and you must give your name, address, the name of the cabinet member being asked the questions and whether or not you’ll be attending the meeting.
  • Questions should be short and meet the criteria set out in the council’s constitution.
Questions in writing should be addressed to:

Andrea Todd
Democratic Services
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
NE61 2EF


Notice of Questions
Questions must be received at least seven clear days before the date of the meeting either in writing or by email. Your question must include your name and address, a telephone number and an email address. You should also indicate whether or not you will be attending the council meeting.

Details of deadlines for forthcoming county council meetings are as follows:
  • Wednsday 21 February 2018 - deadline is noon on Tuesday, 13 February 2018
  • Wednesday, 4 April 2018 - deadline is noon on Friday, 23 March 2018.
Please note that public question times will not take place at the Annual County Council meeetings that take place in May each year.

You can come to the council meeting to put your questions to the cabinet member yourself. If you can’t attend, you’ll receive a written response.

If you require more information about public question time, please contact Jackie Roll on (01670) 622603, or you can write to her using the address below:

Jackie Roll
Democratic Services Manager
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
NE61 2EF
Local Area Councils
Five Local Area Councils cover five areas of Northumberland and are there to help communities have a greater say in council affairs. These cover north Northumberland, Tynedale, Castle Morpeth, Cramlington/Bedlington/Seaton Valley, and Ashington/Blyth.

Their overall aim is to empower citizens, strengthen communities and improve services. They involve councillors for each particular area and are held in public.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Regular items include public question time, a slot for submitting and considering petitions, and Local Services updates.
Public question time at Local Area Council meetings
Local Area Councils have the chance to reply to any questions from the public, which may either be received in advance or asked at the meeting. Questions can be asked about issues for which the council has a responsibility. 

Council agreed in 2012 that the management of public question time is at the discretion of the chair of the committee. However, a question may be rejected if:
  • it is not about a matter which the council has a responsibility or which affects Northumberland
  • it is defamatory, frivolous or offensive
  • it is the same as a question which has been put at a meeting in the past six months
  • it requires the disclosure of confidential or exempt information
  • the cost of providing an answer is disproportionate
  • it relates to staffing or industrial relation matters
  • it relates to planning, licensing and/or other regulatory applications
If the chair is of the opinion that a question is one which can’t properly be asked in an area committee meeting, they will disallow it and inform the resident. The committee can request that written answers be given after the meeting if appropriate.

Please use the links below to find out more about area committee meetings in Northumberland and who attends.

Ashington/Blyth Local Area Council ​Castle Morpeth Local Area Council Cramlington/Bedlington/Seaton Valley Local Area Council North Northumberland Local Area Council Tynedale Local Area Council Local Area Council public question time
The template and guidance for asking questions at Local Area Council public question time can be found by clicking the link below. You can also submit a question online by clicking here.
Planning committees
There are opportunities to speak on planning applications if you have submitted written representations (for any further queries or advice, please email

For details of public speaking rights and other planning protocols, please click on the links below:
Reporting on council committee meetings
Details of the public's rights to film, photograph or make an audio recording of the proceedings of meetings can be found by clicking here.
Democracy workshops
Democratic services hold interactive workshop events in Northumberland about attending county council meetings, speaking at meetings, accessing information and petitioning the county council.

Everyone is welcome, but these workshops may be of particular interest to residents, residents' groups and others.

For further information, please contact:

There are currently no sessions scheduled, but there are a number of other ways to get involved.

Becoming a Councillor

If you are interested in standing as a candidate at the next local election, please see below

For futher details on the forthcoming election please click here

Becoming a County Councillor
If you are interested in standing as a candidate at the next local election, please see below:-
Nomination packs are available now click here but cannot be submitted until 21 March 2017.  To arrange an appointment to submit a nomination paper contact the elections office.

To request a copy of the electoral register or absent voting list please use the forms below.

If you require a copy of the electoral register click here if you require this is a word format please contact us
If you require a copy of the absent voting list click here if you require this is a word format please contact us

All candidates MUST submit an elections expenses account after the election has taken place.  The forms can be downloaded below.

Declaration of agent local government election
Declaration of candidate local government election
Local government election candidates spending return
Explanatory notes local government election 

For more information contact:
by email:
by phone:    01670624811
by post:      Electoral Services
                  Northumberland County Council
                  County Hall
                  NE61 2EF
Becoming a Town or Parish Councillor
If you are interested in standing as a candidate at the next local elections please see below:-

The election timetable shows critical deadlines click here to download    

Nomination packs are available now click here but cannot be submitted until 21 March 2017.  To arrange an appointment to submit a nomination paper contact the elections office.

To request a copy of the electoral register or absent vote list please use the forms below.

If you require a copy of the electoral register click here if you require a copy of this document in word format please contact us 

If you require a copy of the absent voting list click here if you require a copy of this document in a word format please contact us

All candidates MUST submit an elections expenses account after the election has taken place.  The forms can be downloaded below.

Election expenses for Candidates at Parish Elections 

For more information contact:
by email:
by phone:    01670 624811
by post:       Electoral Services
                   Northumberland County Council
                   County Hall
                   NE61 2EF

Petition information

Northumberland County Council is committed to engaging with people, getting closer to communities and improving services. We welcome petitions so you can let us know your concerns or ideas.

Petitions can be created or signed by anyone living, working, studying or using services in Northumberland. They can be in paper or electronic form ('e-petition') and submitted with both written and electronic signatures.

Make an e-petition to Northumberland County Council

Create a new petition
If you wish to create a new e-petition, you should first check you aren’t duplicating an existing petition. The petitions log, which provides summary details of petitions received, is updated on a weekly basis. It doesn’t cover petitions that are responding to licensing or planning applications. Please use the link below to create a new petition: Valid petitions require a minimum of 50 signatures for local issues and 100 signatures for countywide/ budgetary issues. Signatures will only count from people who either live, work, study or use services in Northumberland. If petitions contain less than the minimal thresholds (50 or 100), they will be referred to the relevant senior officer for consideration. Petitions should concern issues that are the responsibility of the county council. Once a petition has been considered about a particular issue, no further petitions about the same issue will be accepted within the following 12 months. Further details are available in the
petitions protocol.

Paper petitions should be directed for the attention of:

The Petitions Officer
Democratic Services
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
NE61 2EF

For any queries, please contact
What happens to petitions?
Petitions about local issues (containing a minimum of 50 signatures) will be considered by the local area council meetings.

The petitions committee considers petitions containing a minimum of 100 signatures relating to corporate or county matters which do not fall within the remit of the area committees, planning or other regulatory committees.

It will make recommendations to full council, the cabinet or regulatory committees depending upon the subject matter. If possible, a report will be made for the next available meeting after receiving a petition. Sometimes this takes longer if the issue needs more investigating.

A petition about licensing or planning applications will be considered when the planning committee is ready to consider the planning application.

Some petitions will not be considered in this process, for example:
  • responses to ongoing consultation exercises
  • if a petition's subject is considered by the petitions officer to be offensive and using inappropriate language 
  • if it includes false or defamatory statements
  • if it is commercially sensitive or contains confidential material
  • if it includes complaints about individuals
  • if it is about issues which are the subject of judicial proceedings
A petition will not normally be considered if it is received within 12 months of the meeting where another petition on the same matter was considered.

What can I expect in response to my petition?

Received petitions should be acknowledged to the lead petitioner within seven working days of their receipt by democratic services.

The letter of receipt will include these details:
  • the officer contact
  • service area contact
  • date, time and venue of the meeting where a report responding to the petition will be heard
If any of these details cannot be provided in the first letter, more information will be sent out when details have been confirmed.

If the response is being heard at a later meeting (e.g. because the complexity of the issue being investigated will take more time to produce a report), the lead petitioner will be advised as soon as possible.

The lead petitioner will receive a copy of the report at least five days before the meeting. The lead petitioner will receive a minute extract about the decision taken following the meeting.
View current e-petitions

You can view signatures on other closed e-petitions here. 

There are currently no e-petitions open for signatures.


View closed petitions 2017

​Installation of Speed Cameras and Traffic Calming in Rothesay and Victoria Terrace, Bedlington

After the death of a friend, caused by a speeding motorist along Victoria/Rothesay Terrace, it's about time the route from Bedlington Station to Stead Lane had some traffic calming measures installed along this route to prevent another tragedy.

Signatories: 1198 (316 electronic signatures, 882 paper signatures)

Closed on 26 October 2017

Proposer: Mr M Hemsted


Request for traffic calming, monitoring of speed limit and weight/size restrictions on Hallstile Bank, Hexham

The 20mph signs on Hallstile Bank, a residential street in Hexham are not being adhered to. Traffic speeds down the bank from very early in the morning and well into the night. Anti Social behaviour with revving cars occurs daily. Lorries and buses (up to 2.55 m wide) navigate a bend on the steep bank, when the road width is 3.05m (narrowest section) with a footpath only on one side.

We, the undersigned, petition Northumberland County Council to review current usage of the road, consider restricting the size / weight of vehicles using the bank and install traffic monitoring and calming measures to ensure it is used safely and considerately.

Signatories: 109

Closed on: 20 October 2017

Proposer: Mrs Mari Stewart


Fair Play for Craster and its Visitors

Craster Parish Council believes the County Council should create a ring fenced fund for the provision of tourist facilities in Craster, and to finance measures to cater for and manage tourists visiting the parish, by a levy to be added to the existing car park charges. This fund should be divided with 10% going to the County Council for administration, 20% to the Ward Councillor to increase the allowance to cater for tourists in the adjacent parishes and the remaining 70% for projects identified by the Parish Council. It is proposed that the levy is 50p on the hourly rates and £1.00 on the daily rate taking the charges to £1.00 for one hour, £1.50 for two hours, £2.00 for three hours and £3.00 for all day.

Signatories: 12 electronic signatures and 212 handwritten signatures (224 total). 

Closed on: Monday, 13 March 2017

Proposer: Bryn Owen

Latest position: a response will be organised for the Petitions Committee.

Save West Bedlington from more housing, equal the amount to all areas

We the undersigned call upon Northumberland County Council and Arch to stop further house building on land they own in the West Bedlington area and look at areas in the defined Bedlington area of the core strategy (Bedlington Station, East Sleekburn, Hartford, Nedderton and Cambois) where housing is wanted and supported.

NCC have stated via the core strategy that 1280 homes need to be built in the defined Bedlington area by 2031, however recent planning permissions show this target looks to be delivered by 2020 at the latest in Bedlington as a settlement alone as the majority of houses have been built in the west area.

We call on NCC to stop house building in only West Bedlington and Make it more equal to all areas of Bedlington as stated which is Bedlington Station, East Sleekburn, Hartford and Nedderton.

Signatories: 27 electronic signatures

Closed on: Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Proposer: Adam Hogg

Current situation: Submitted into consultation on the Core Strategy.

Lower Speed on Edendale Avenue, Blyth

Lower speed on Edendale Avenue, people speed more going down that road from bridge at Deanview Drive all the way along Edendale to Briardale Road. The problem apart from speeding is kids play in street and elderly people live at bottom. It is hard to cross road when cars are speeding and half of cars do not slow down by bungalows are as there is sharp bend.

Signatories: 58 electronic signatures 

Status: Closed 

Closed on: 31 January 2017 at 12 Noon

Proposer: Mary Shepherd

Current situation: a report responding to the e-petition was considered by the Area Committee - South on 15 March 2017. The request for a 20 mph speed limit has been added to the Directory of Requests database for consideration in a future LTP (Local Transport Plan) programme.
View recently closed e-petitions
All of our recently closed e-petitions are shown below. You can view signatures on recent e-petitions here.

Request for an All Weather Concrete Skate Park as part of revamp, Eastwood Park, West Wylam

Concerns for children's safety when travelling to and from Highfield Park along dangerous roads used by speeding vehicles. This matter needs to be resolved before an accident occurs.

Signatories: 86 

Closed on: 8 December 2017

Proposer: Mr S Hutchinson


Please provide storage for beach wheelchairs at Blyth South Beach

Beach Access North East provides free of charge, access to beach wheelchairs at Blyth South Beach. We need storage for these to be located at the beach, so other volunteers can increase the days when these are available to members of the public to use. We cannot buy a larger range of equipment to improve the accessibility to this beach without storage at the beach. We need at a minimum a 2m square, secure, vandal proof container but would prefer more room. We can provide the container, we need the council to give permission and to provide hard standing at a location near to or on the promenade/car park.

Signatories: 10 

Closed on: 14 November 2017

Proposer: Caroline Corfield

Street Lighting, Moor Road, Prudhoe

We the undersigned request that Northumberland county Council install and maintain appropriate street lighting to Moor Road between Moor Grange and the entrance to Humbles Wood/Fern Dene Hospital. (Grid ref 10/61&62 ordnance survey pathfinder 548). Currently there is no street lighting on this under maintained, dark narrow road. The footpath is heavily populated by woodland and used by residents, visitors and hospital staff 24 hours per day. We believe this is a huge safety concern which needs to addressed urgently for the following reasons;

  • To provide a safe and convenient pedestrian route between houses and local community facilities.
  • Create a safe route for vehicular movement and enable residents/staff needs for statutory and other services to be met efficiently. 
  • Safeguarding of minors walking to school.
As a full transport statement, plan and framework should have been conducted and agreed at planning stages with Humbles Wood being over 50 dwellings, failure to provide adequate street lighting for a residential route is a huge oversight and should be addressed.

This road is now classed as a double carriage way with a 30mph speed restriction, so is no longer a country lane. Therefore appropriate street lighting in recognition of this being an adopted road should be installed.

25 Million pound was made available for a lighting renewal program in Northumberland, and yet we are advised none of this is available for new street lighting.

Signatories: 156

Closed on: 2 November 2017

Proposer: Mrs L Rusby


view closed petitions 2017 (continued 3 of 3)

Objection to the Continued Temporary Closure of Public Footpath no. 22, Park Lane to Stanley Burn, Prudhoe

Public footpath no.22 closure notice was issued in January 2017 for a 6 month period. The closure was then extended to October 2017. The closure has now been extended again until 30 April 2019. Closures have been granted to enable development of the old hospital site by Gentoo. Gentoo have stated that they will re-open the path periodically during the current closure period but no dates have been provided.

Footpath no.22 is a valued and well used path by the local community, its closure is denying safe access to a wider network of paths for recreational use. Moor Road provides alternative access but is used by heavy construction traffic servicing Gentoo’s development.

A 2 years, 3  month closure period can not reasonably be considered as ‘temporary.’ Gentoo has continually failed to meet its own targets and honour promises given to the community. Petitioners have lost faith and trust in Gentoo and their assurance to periodically open the path and therefore request that Northumberland County Council:

1) revoke the current excessive and unreasonable temporary closure;
2) require Gentoo to provide safe access across the site (similar to that provided by Story Homes at their Crawcrook development).
3) Significantly reduce any future temporary closure periods.

Signatories: 204. ​Closed on 31 December 2017

Proposer: Mr Philip Hindmarsh

Regeneration of Ashington Town Centre
Object to the decision to withdraw the new County Hall project from being built in Ashington.  We demand a similar major development project to be realised for Ashington Town to ensure we protect and revitalise current businesses and harvest in additional major investors to create quality jobs with decent wages.

Signatories: 243. Closed on: 27 December 2017

Proposer: Mr K Ellis

View closed petitions 2016


Save Cleveland School, Newbiggin-By-The-Sea

This petition is to save Cleveland School for community use while safeguarding the heritage and conservation area of the village.

Signatories: 157
Status: Closed on 9 November 2016
Proposer: Gareth Mclean

Current situation: both this e-petition and another petition about the Cleveland School site have been forwarded to Strategic Estates and and Planning Services to consider during consultation on the next steps for the future of the site.

Parking at Barley Rise, Ashington

This petition is to make the Barley Rise housing area a permit holders only parking area to stop people parking here visiting Wansbeck Hospital which would stop the current traffic issues.

Signatories: 52 
Status: Closed
Closed on: 27 August 2016
Proposer: Samuel Nelmes
Current situation: consultation to be arranged about residents' views on a parking scheme.

Unnecessary Extension of Malvins Road Closure Order and
Surface Water Flooding Problems

We the undersigned believe that the housing developer, Gleeson Homes, should minimise the period Malvins Road is closed to public traffic. The further extension for one year of the current closure order enables the housing development company to install services and surface water drainage without taking the clearance of surface water flooding at the edge of this site into consideration. We demand that either Malvins Road is reopened immediately or that the developer and the landowners implement a full shared surface water drainage scheme to remove the public nuisance and danger caused by the landfill of this development site.

Signatories: 173 electronic signatures
Status: Closed
Closed on: 31 May 2016
Proposer: Susan Davey

Current situation: a response to the petition was considered by the Area Committee - South on Wednesday 13 July 2016 at 6pm at Choppington Social Welfare Centre. The committee noted the information in the report and agreed that the ward member be kept informed of progress.

Save Druridge

We have a love and a passion for Druridge Bay in Northumberland, England, and the surrounding
area. Please join us in our endeavour to save this beautiful landscape from becoming a victim of
open cast mining, in particular the 'Highthorn' proposed site, and sign our petition now.

Signatories: 5,788 electronic signatures as of 31 May 2016 (3,950 at 31 March 2015) (paper signatures have also been received, plus a separate electronc petition of 9,000 signatures has also been received).
Status: Closed
Closed on: 31 May 2016
Proposer: Hannah Heron (Save Druridge)

Current situation: a planning application on this matter was considered by the Council's Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday 5 July at 2pm at County Hall, Morpeth. It was resolved that the committee be minded to approve the application subject to the conditions set out in the report and the completion of a S106 agreement relating to the reasons detailed in the report.

Support Opencast Mining at Highthorn

Mining is a part of the cultural heritage of the North East and we respect and value this area of
employment. We fully support the proposal to opencast the area identified close to Druridge Bay in
Northumberland. The development of this site will maintain and create jobs for local people.
Continued employment will enable those individuals to be able to provide for their families and
contribute to the local economy. Due to the high level of redundancies in other sectors of
employment in Northumberland, it is essential we create job prospects where possible. The use of coal is essential in being able to generate electricity. As a country we do not have the facilities to meet the demands for electricity without using coal and as a result of this we currently have to import much of the coal we need. Let us keep the industry local and let local people benefit.

Signatories: 153 as of 31 May 2016 (142 as at 31 March 2015)
Status: Closed
Closed on: 31 May 2016
Proposer: Cheryl Wade

Current situation: a planning application on this matter was considered by the Council's Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday 5 July at 2pm at County Hall, Morpeth. It was resolved that the committee be minded to approve the application subject to the conditions set out in the report and the completion of a S106 agreement relating to the reasons detailed in the report.
View closed petitions 2016 (continued)
Details of petitions closed in 2016:


Blyth Save Our Sea Wall

We the undersigned request that Northumberland County Council support the residents against the closure of Blyth Valley Footpath 197. This footpath has been used by local residents and countless visitors for many years to escape from the beach at high tide and we are vehemently opposed to its closure.

Signatories: 5 electronic signatures (180 signatures on accompanying paper petition)

Closed on: 31 December 2016 at 12 Noon

Proposer: Eileen Cartie

Current situation: the Rights of Way Committee agreed at its meeting on 10 January 2017 that rights of way access were not considered to exist over the route.
View closed e-petitions 2015


Save The Willows

This is a petition to protest at Northumberland County Council's intention to demolish the fine mid
Victorian buildings on Gas House Lane, Morpeth known as the Willows & Beechfield. We would also
like to demonstrate our concern at the Library being located to the much smaller premises of what is
currently the Chantry Craft Centre.

Signatories: 669 electronic signatures, plus a 348 paper petiton (1017 in total) 
Closed on 9 December 2015
Proposer: David Clark
Current situation: A report was considered by the Area Committee - Central in January 2016.  

Oppose fracking in Northumberland

From the mammals, birds and marine life to the plants and smallest insects, the entire ecological
security of our beautiful Northumberland has worldwide importance. It is at risk.

Fracking would contaminate drinking water supplies. It introduces toxic chemicals, carcinogenic
hydrocarbons and radioactive matter into the natural food chain. The biodiversity that is already
stressed from pollution, pesticides and climate change will be under threat.

The government report that suggests shale gas is clean energy is untrustworthy, produced in part by
people with financial interests in the energy industry. Investment in fracking would be better spent
on renewable energy that will reduce carbon emissions and be less toxic to our home. The council has already recognised Northumberland has potential to become a world leader in renewable energy.

We understand the financial incentives for utilising shale gas, but the real cost to our environment is
too high. We petition Northumberland County Council to take the lead in England and have a policy
to refuse all planning applications from any party for shale gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing, and
similar methods.

Signatories: 104 as of 25 November 2015 (91 as of 31 March 2015)
Status: Closed on 25 November
Proposer: Rachael Roberts
Current situation: this e-petition was considered by the council's petitions committee at its last meeting on 16 February 2016. The committee agreed to note the information in the officer's report regarding the postition with  fracking in relation to Northumberland. The agenda, report and minutes can be accessed here.  

Save Bebside from the threat of opencast mining

We petition Northumberland County Council to protect Hathery Lane and the surrounding area from
the threat of opencast mining. Owing to the devastating impact of mining on the local environment
and the health problems, traffic issues, and pollution associated with it; we feel that Blyth should be
embracing a 'greener' future.

Paramount to this objection, we would like the council to recognise the ecological importance of
Hathery Lane and its significance within the local community.

Signatories: 224 (as of 4 October 2015; 222 as of 31 March 2015)
Closed on 4th October 2015
Proposer: Sally Pattison Latest position: this e-petition was reported to planning and will be considered among representations received. It is a planning matter so is not taken through the council’s petitioning procedure but considered in relation to any planning application about the issue. The application will be considered by the Strategic Planning Committee on 5 July 2016 at 2pm.

Save Embleton First School

The proposed closure of Vincent Edwards School, Embleton: We ask the council to keep Vincent
Edwards School, Embleton open as a viable Primary School within the restructured Alnwick

Signatories: 125 as of 22 October 2015
Closed on 22 October 2015
Proposer: Georgina Armstrong Latest position: this e-petition will be considered by scrutiny and cabinet among other letters of representation. As this is in response to a council consultation, it is not taken through the council’s petitioning procedure


Stop the new executive homes at the top of Emily Davison Avenue, Morpeth

Four new executive homes have been proposed at the top of Emily Davison Avenue, wiping out a
cul-de-sac designed for children to play with. The streets were not designed to cope with the extra
traffic. Not only this, but the building work would be a major inconvenience due to the narrow
streets and obvious disturbance to residents. Thank you in advance for your support!

Signatories: 17 as of 29 September 2015
Closed on 29 September 2015
Proposer: Angus Kirk Latest position: this e-petition was reported to planning among other consultation responses in relation to this application. It is a planning matter so is not taken through the council’s petitioning procedure but considered in relation to any planning application about the issue.
Meetings of the petitions committee
Further information on petitions
For further advice or information about the petitioning process or past petitions considered since 1 April 2009, please contact: