The council carries out consultations with members of the public and the people’s panel.

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The Government wants to have nationwide gigabit-capable broadband as soon as possible. While great progress is being made, the Government is aware it needs to help in the parts of the country that are not commercially viable. 

£5bn was committed in the 2020 budget to ensure that all areas of the UK can benefit equally. The funding will be spent through a range of projects known as Project Gigabit. As part of this, Building Digital UK (BDUK) will fund contracts for suppliers to deliver gigabit-capable wholesale infrastructure to the hardest to reach areas.

Public Review stage

An Open Market Review (OMR) took place in April 2021. This OMR requested information from suppliers on their existing and planned broadband coverage over the next three years.

Durham County Council and BDUK now want to validate the information gathered through a Public Review process.

Stakeholders including the public, businesses, internet service providers and broadband infrastructure operators, are invited to provide feedback about the proposed eligible areas for government investment (intervention).
Suppliers who missed contributing to the preceding OMR, or had no definitive plans and/or evidence base on which to substantiate claims at that earlier stage, now have a final opportunity to notify Durham County Council and BDUK before the procurement stage.

Click here for further information available on the Durham County Council website
Plans to upgrade, refurbish and remodel Newbiggin Sports and Community Centre can be viewed on the boards below. 

View the Newbiggin consultation boards 

Residents can give their comments on the proposals by emailing or handing in their written comments at Newbiggin Sports Centre reception 

Northumberland County Council has agreed to fund the £1.5 million upgrade which will provide modern, flexible leisure, library and community spaces. Plans include: 
  • A new entrance 
  • the relocation of the library within the centre 
  • the creation of a community café and hub area  
  • improved changing facilities including those for outdoor sports.  
  • the creation of a dedicated studio space 
  • the relining of the sports hall floor 
  • changing and toilet facilities for adults with additional needs or older children who need privacy and space 
  • the refurbishment of the squash courts and viewing gallery 
  • redecoration throughout the centre 
  • some essential repairs to the fabric of the building. 
The centre has two external full sized football pitches that are used by a number of local teams;   Northumberland County Council has been working with the Football Foundation to  provide new and enhanced grass pitches to the rear of the centre. 

Detailed plans for the centre will be submitted to Northumberland County Council’s planning service in December and if approved, it is hoped that work will start in Spring 2021 and be complete towards the end of 2021. 
Opened 16 Nov 2020 - Closes 14 Dec 2020

Northumberland Line Consultation 

The Northumberland Line will bring passenger trains back into service between Ashington and Newcastle. It is a priority of both Northumberland County Council and North Tyneside Council and is supported by a number of key project partners, including the Department for Transport (DfT), Network Rail, Transport for the North (TfN) Nexus and Northern Rail.
Consultation on the Tyne Mills Depot project.

The project includes a new workshop, storage units and a new office space in Hexham.

Information about the project can be found in the PDFs provided below:
Consultation and communication are vital to the effective and efficient delivery of customer-focused services and support to all communities in line with the council’s vision.

Consultation is carried out in order:
  • to find out what you think
  • to identify your priorities and concerns
  • to meet our statutory obligations
We consult with communities and individuals using methods such as postal, phone and internet surveys, focus groups and workshops. We also utilise the Northumberland People’s Panel up to four times a year.
Results help us to understand what residents, service users and businesses think of the services we provide. They can help us understand our customers’ needs, and therefore are used when planning changes.
If you’re a Northumberland resident and have views on council services, you can have your say.

We’re looking for new members to join our people’s panel, a group of residents whose views and opinions help to shape public services.

About the Northumberland people's panel
You can find out what the people's panel is and more in the FAQs below.


The peoples' panel is a group of residents who have registered to be involved in consultation exercises with the council. As a member of the panel, you will be able to tell us your views and what you expect from local public services, such as fire and rescue, highways, accessing services and the council budget.
The views and feedback we receive from members of the people’s panel assist in planning and prioritising our services more effectively, and help to shape decisions made by the council and partner organisations.
Twice a year, panel members receive a survey via email requesting views on life in Northumberland and what they think about council services. Occasionally, members may be asked to take part in other consultations, such as focus groups, workshops, forums and one-off surveys, which are completely voluntary.
So that the panel is broadly representative of Northumberland as a whole, we ensure we have a broad range of people based on age, gender, ethnicity, disability and geographical area. Sometimes it may not be possible to be included if you belong to an over-represented group (e.g. young people).
Members of the panel do not receive payment for participating, but will be reimbursed for any travel expenses if attending focus groups or forums. Each year, if panel members complete at least two surveys, they are entered into a prize draw to win items such as shopping vouchers, iPods or tablets.
The information you give us about yourself is only used for research and consultation purposes. The reports and results we create do not give out details about individual panel members, nor do we pass or sell on details to third parties.
We will give regular feedback on what we have found out, and action taken as a result, through newsletters and the council's website.
Every three years we refresh the panel, to give current members the opportunity to opt out and so that all residents have the opportunity to get involved.  If you would like to join the people’s panel, click on the box below to register your details

Register for the people’s panel
Northumberland County Council has conducted between two and three people’s panel surveys a year.

These surveys allow the council to gain valuable information on services and the economy and lifestyles of Northumberland residents. These results are then used to inform policy and service delivery within Northumberland.
In 2013, a survey was commissioned to gain residents’ opinions relating to their lifestyles and perceptions of Northumberland's economy. 
In  2013, a survey was commissioned to gain residents’ thoughts and experiences of access to services within Northumberland and to support the development of a superfast broadband bid to central government. 
Our Young People in Northumberland (YPiN) group aims to be the voice for the youth of the county.

Youth groups who are looking to make a difference in the county can consult with YPiN on a variety of issues and our role is to be the voice to help influence change. All organisations and policy makers must agree to the consultation process before any action can be taken. We always strive to represent all young people in Northumberland. If you have formed a social action group or are a youth group from Northumberland, please contact us to discuss how we can help make the changes you want to see.
Below are some of the groups we work with in Northumberland:
  • The youth service provide a wide range of exciting opportunities for young people.
  • Hexham Youth Initiative is a youth project providing activities and opportunities to young people in Hexham.
  • The youth cabinet is a group of young people, elected by young people, to be involved in the decision-making process across Northumberland.
  • WOWI is a social and support group for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) youths based in Northumberland.
  • The UK Youth Parliament is another elected group of young people who voice the young people of Northumberland’s opinions on a national level.
  • The youth offending service works with young people to stop offending and prevent re-offending.
  • The teenage pregnancy team has been accessed by some of our members through awareness-raising sessions.
  • Positive Futures is supporting young people to involve themselves in a variety of new and exciting experiences.