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.
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
Asking a question at a Local area committee
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.