The latest information about Northumberland leisure centres during the coronavirus pandemic.

This information was last updated 27 November at 18:21. 

We are delighted to welcome you back once again to some of our centres from Wednesday 2nd December.

Safety continues to be our number one priority and a huge amount of work has gone into preparing our centres and activities for your safe return. 
 
We are delighted to announce that we will be re-opening the majority of our facilities from Wednesday 2nd December to offer:
  • Gym
  • Swimming including lessons
  • Spa treatments
  •  Outdoor Pitches & 3G
  • Clip 'n Climb Ponteland
  • Under 18 organised activities
With the exception of the below facilities:
  • Rothbury Pool & Gym & Druridge Bay Fitness centre will open from on Saturday 5th December.  
  • Our School facilities at Cramlington Sporting Club and Bedlington will also open for outdoor pitches only.
  • ​Learn to Swim lessons will return from Thursday 3rd December, except at Berwick and Rothbury
An email has been sent to all members with further information around your Direct Debit payments.

Our Contact Centre Team will be available for any enquiries between 9:00am and 2:00pm Mon-Thurs. Please click here to review information which has been prepared to answer the majority of questions.
 
Once again, the team here at Active Northumberland would like to thank everyone for your continued support during these very challenging times and we look forward to seeing everyone next week. 
Our Business Waste Collection service is still operating despite the latest restrictions due coronavirus (COVID-19)

This information was last updated on 5 November 2020.

If you are a business who currently has a waste collection contract with Northumberland County Council, and you ​have had to temporarily close due to the latest restrictions due to coronavirus (COVID-19) please contact us if you wish to amend your waste collection contract.

 
Please let us know as soon as possible, so we can discuss different options that may be available for you.
 

 

Contact us

If you need to speak to a Waste Management Officer, please see the email addresses below for who to contact in your area:

Please note that the following email addresses are for business waste enquiries only.
 
For the Northern area, please contact Julie Case at julie.case@northumberland.gov.uk.
 
For the West and Central area, please contact Kevin Ferrol at 
 
For the South East area, please contact Matthew Swaddle at 
Here is a list of all Northumberland County Council maintained public conveniences, including disabled access and baby changing facilities.

This information was last updated 5 November 2020.

See the list below for which toilets are open and when.

Toilets not detailed in the list below are currently closed due to Covid-19 health and safety concerns. Please follow appropriate social distancing guidance and directions on safety signs at the facilities.

This list will be updated as health and safety issues are reviewed.
If you have any issues and wish to report a problem, please use the link below: Alternatively, if you wish to make any comments or suggestions about any toilet units, please contact 0345 600 6400.
The Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (R.A.D.A.R), alongside disability organisations, local authorities and others, established a national key scheme (NKS) for toilets for disabled people in 1981.

The principle is if a local authority locks public toilets for disabled people, it can use a standard lock and make arrangements for disabled people to obtain a key.

Can I purchase a R.A.D.A.R key from Northumberland County Council?
You can obtain a key from tourist information centres or from customer services information centres throughout Northumberland at a cost of £3.60 including VAT.

R.A.D.A.R keys must have VAT charged at 20% unless a 0% VAT for individuals form is signed by each disabled person. This form is available to download here and from tourist information and customer service information centres. The key will fit all national toilets participating in the scheme.
To commemorate Remembrance Day, Northumberland County Council will be hosting an online service on Sunday 8 November and Wednesday 11 November. Residents of Northumberland will be able to join a virtual event to pay their respects at 10.30am on both days by visiting one of our social media channels. 

 

This information was last updated 5 November at 13:46.

The council would also like to encourage residents to take to their doorsteps on Remembrance Sunday (8 November) at 11am to observe the two-minute silence. 

From 5 November 2020, there are new national restrictions in England that effect how Remembrance Sunday activities can take place in line with current COVID-19 restrictions and requirements. 

Local authorities and faith leaders in England can organise outdoor Remembrance events at a public war memorial or cenotaph, so long as they follow the below principles: 

  • Be outdoors, as transmission risks are significantly reduced 
  • Complete a Covid-19 risk assessment 
  • Take reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the virus 
  • Where necessary, engage with neighbouring businesses, transport operators and local transport authorities to assess any risks to the local area of increased visitors from other locations and apply additional mitigations if needed 
  • Kept short and focussed on wreath laying, with a reduced march or parade only if social distancing can be maintained 
  • Any small, military bands should observe social distancing. Buglers can perform outdoors at Remembrance Sunday events 
  • Observe social distancing at all times 
  • Limit communal singing to the national anthem and one additional song, if additional mitigations are put in place, including: 
    • Communal singing must be outdoors only 
    • Songs should be a few minutes or less 
    • There should be 2 metres between attendees 
    • Any surrounding surfaces that are touched should be regularly cleaned 
    • ​There must be very clear rules about non-attendance of the symptomatic, those who are isolating as close contacts of a case or who have been advised to do so by NHS Test & Trace, and those quarantining 
    • Consideration is given to the vulnerability of some individuals 
  • Take reasonable steps to temporarily record contact details of those attending (including those present in a working capacity and members of the public who stop to spectate) for at least 21 days to assist NHS Test and Trace, with requests for that data if needed 
  • Keep attendance numbers to a minimum, focussing attendance on those wishing to lay wreaths, and take reasonable steps to minimise wider public viewing. The following people are legally permitted to attend events to commemorate Remembrance Sunday events as participants: 
    • People attending as part of their work (such as local councillors, local faith leaders, local MP’s) 
    • People attending in a voluntary capacity on behalf of a recognised organisation 
    • Members of the armed forces 
    • Veterans of the armed forces, and/or their representatives or carers 
    • Members of the public are legally permitted to stop and watch the event as spectators, but event organiser should take reasonable steps to discourage the public from attending events and be mindful of the risk that such events pose especially to veterans who are often elderly. Where members of the public do attend, they must only attend the event with their own household or those in their support bubble, or one other person and observe social distancing rules. 

From 5 November 2020 places of worship are not permitted to open for communal worship. Celebrants may, however, enter places of worship to broadcast services to their communities and will be able to incorporate Remembrance services as part of this when they do so.

Keep up to date with the latest library news here.

This information was last updated 05 November 2020 at 8:45
 

From Thursday, Nov 5 Northumberland Libraries will continue to offer a Select and Collect service at a number of its libraries. For a full list of these libraries, and to check opening hours, click here 
 
Select and Collect allows you to request titles or genres of books, via an online form or by contacting the library direct. The team will make your selection and arrange a suitable collection date and time.
 
You can also reserve specific items to be sent to your local library.
You can reserve in 4 ways:
  • Online using your library card number and PIN
  • Telephone a library
  • In person when you are visiting for select and collect.
  • Using the Spydus App
 
We are no longer able to offer Time Limited Browsing at libraries during this lockdown period.
 
Our digital library continues to be available and members can access hundreds of eBooks, eAudio and magazines. If you are not a library member you can join online today and access our digital library with your temporary borrower ID.
 
Online resources such as Ancestry, Find My Past and Theory Test Pro can be accessed by members at home.
 
Our Digital Helpline is also still available for anyone who is needs help with getting online or accessing online services. Call 0345 600 6400 and request a call back.
 
For further updates continue to check this page as well as the Northumberland Libraries social media pages:
The latest information regarding Household Waste Recovery Centres (HWRCs), also known as 'tips', during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This information was last updated 4 November 2020

Tips will remain open during second lockdown - Thursday 5 November

Our tips will remain open during the national lockdown, beginning Thursday 5 November. There will be no changes to how the sites are operated. 

The Government are instructing people to stay home as much as possible throughout the lockdown period, so please limit the number of journeys you make. 

We advise residents to recycle from home as much as possible in order to limit their time spent outside the home. The following items can be placed in household recycling bins: paper and magazines, cardboard, plastic bottles, clean/rinsed food tins, drinks cans, and aerosols. The permit scheme (see below) that was introduced on Monday 26 October will still be available as well.

 

Permit scheme - available now

The household waste permit scheme is being reintroduced on Monday 26 October. Please click here for more information about applying for a permit and booking a time slot at your local tip. 
The latest information about our Northumberland Parks and how they are affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This information was last updated 4 November 2020

Country parks in Northumberland


All our country parks will remain open.  You can find out more about our country parks here.


Play parks and town parks in Northumberland


All the county council run parks and play areas are open. Find out more about our parks here.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, no water parks are open and there are no plans to reopen them this summer.
The latest information regarding pest control in Northumberland, and how this service is operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This information was last updated 5 November 2020.

From the 31 August 2020 all pest treatments will return to normal. This will remain the same throughout the second national lockdown beginning 5 November. Any changes during this period will be updated here. 

To learn more about pest treatments and how to make a booking click here

At the momenet we are still only able to make bookings for pests which pose a threat to public health. 

These pests include:
  • Rats and mice
  • Fleas and bedbugs
  • Wasps
The latest information on Northumberland Markets during the pandemic.

This information was last updated 4 November at 15:14.

From Thursday 5th November all markets will remain open to enable traders to continue providing the following essential items:
  • Food and grocery
  • Household goods
  • Hardware supplies
  • Bicycles
  • Pet supplies
  • Newsagents
  • Flowers and plants

Any non-essential traders will only be able to attend if this is to facilitate a click and collect service they operate but this will be for the collection of pre-ordered goods only.
 
The latest information about maintenance work carried out by the council and how this is operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This information was last updated 4 November 2020.

We will continue delivering our street cleansing and winter grounds maintenance program to keep our country clean, green and safe. 
 
Remember - it's really important everyone sticks to the social distancing rules - so please keep away from our teams if you see them working - and we'll do likewise.
The latest information about parking in Northumberland and how it is affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The latest information about parking in Northumberland and how it is affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This information was updated 4 November 2020

All public car parks remain open. Car parks that charge to park will continue to do so. The council will keep the car park openings under review as the situation may change depending on local or national developments. 

Public safety remains our top priority and we have made a number of improvements in response to the challenges faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, including;-

  • relocating a number of ticket machines in coastal car parks to better facilitate social distancing in the event of queues forming during busy periods

  • introducing Pay By Phone into our Pay and Display car parks to provide a convenient contactless method of payment removing the need for users to obtain a pay and display ticket from the machines

  • providing additional public toilet facilities in some of our car parks because of increased demand on our existing facilities and to enable social distancing to be maintained

Pay By Phone is used by many local authorities across the country. Users only need to set up an account once and then it can be used in all car parks where Pay By Phone is in operation. The service also offers additional benefits such as being able to extend parking sessions remotely.

For further information on the implementation of Pay By Phone, please click here

The latest information regarding bin collections and how the service is affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This information was last updated on 4 November 2020

 

Check your bin collection date here

  

Bin Collections

Our bin collection teams are still out and about, working to collect your normal household rubbish and recycling bins. We're also running our commercial waste service to businesses.

Please click here to see our alerts page, where we will update you on any issues we have with collecting your bins.

You can help by thoroughly washing your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after touching your bins. 

If someone in your household had symptoms for COVID-19, please make sure their waste is also double-bagged, the handles of each bag are tied, and is stored for 72 hours in a place not accessed by people/pets before putting in it your bin.

We will respond to advice from the government and Public Health England, and will keep residents informed of changes to our waste services. 

If you suspect that someone has the Coronavirus, here is the government advice on what to do with their waste, and how to clean any areas where they have been:
The latest information regarding bulky waste collections and how this service is operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This information was last updated on 4 November 2020.

As you may be aware we have been running a restricted service that has meant we can't collect all items we usually can. From Monday 3 August 2020 we can begin to collect more of your items. However, we still cannot collect large exercise equipment such as treadmills and exercise bikes.
 
The latest information regarding garden waste collection in Northumberland during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This information was last updated 4 November 2020

Check your collections date at www.northumberland.gov.uk/bins

Our garden waste collection service is still running during this time and will continue until our scheduled final collections for this season's garden waste collection service which are due week commencing Monday 23 November and week commencing Monday 30 November 2020.

If you think your garden waste collection has been missed, please visit out alerts page here to find out if your area was affected and when it will be collected. If you would like to report a missed garden waste collection, visit our dedicated garden waste page here for more information.

Please put your bins out before 7am on your normal bin collection day. You can help us by thoroughly washing your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after touching your bins - as well as applying social distancing rules - this is really important.
 

More garden waste information

For more information on your garden waste service, please click here. You can find out information such as: 

  • How to subscribe to the service
  • What can and can't go in your garden waste bin
  • How to report a missed garden waste collection
The latest information regarding wedding Registration Services and funeral services, in relation to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

This information was last updated 26 November at 15:58


Restrictions from Wednesday 2 December

Weddings
Following the Prime Minister's announcement, Northumberland has now moved into a Tier 3 restricted area. As such from Wednesday 2 December,  weddings and civil partnerships will be allowed to take place with a restriction on the number of attendees. 15 people can attend a ceremony, however wedding receptions are not permitted.
 
If you have any queries regarding weddings or civil partnerships, please contact the Ceremony Team at alnwickreg@northumberland.gov.uk.

Funerals
Funerals are also allowed with 30 people permitted to attend. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. If you have any queries regarding funerals, please contact Bereavement Services at blyth.crematorium@northumberland.gov.uk.
 
Anyone working is not counted in the 15 or 30. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.


Restrictions from 5 November to 2 December

From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December 2020 weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted unless under exceptional circumstances which is where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover (‘deathbed wedding’). These weddings are limited to 6 people. 

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Anyone working is not counted in the 15 or 30. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
 

Contact us

If you have any queries regarding weddings or civil partnerships, please contact the Ceremony Team at alnwickreg@northumberland.gov.uk. Regular updates are also available at mynorthumberlandwedding.co.uk and on Facebook and Twitter If you have any queries regarding funerals, please contact Bereavement Services at blyth.crematorium@northumberland.gov.uk.
The latest information about Museums Northumberland and how they are affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This information was last updated 3 November 2020

Due to government restrictions Woodhorn Museum will be closing to the public from 4pm on Wednesday 4 November.

Berwick Museum and Art Gallery, Hexham Old Gaol and Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum will also remain closed. 

For further updates please go to museumsnorthumberland.org.uk 
The latest information regarding animal welfare issues during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This information was last updated 3 November 2020.

Please keep your dogs safe and secure during this national crisis. If your dog strays or runs away, there will not be as many members of the public out and about to help locate your dog as normal.
 
Help your local animal welfare team out by:
  • Making sure your dog is always wearing a collar and tag with current contact details (and check microchip details are up to date)
  • Not leaving your dog unattended in the garden or while on walks
  • Checking garden fencing and gates are secure
  • Keeping your dog on a lead while exercising, in case they get spooked or run off
If you are concerned about the welfare of a pet – report an animal welfare issue.
 
This is not to be used for reporting problems with wild animals such as birds, rodents, foxes, etc. There are various organisations, such as the RSPB and the RSPCA, which can help in these cases.

If you have lost your dog, or have found a stray dog, please click here to report lost/stray dog.
The latest information about Northumberland Archives and how this service is affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Archives - Service Updates

Guidance for our customers on the Planning Service during Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This information was last updated 3 November 2020. 

There have been changes to how some of our services operate due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). For the latest up-to-date information please read our Planning Services Frequently Asked Questions - Covid-19 Guidance Document.

Questions and advice

Before contacting us please read the information on our planning webpages as these may answer your query. We cannot give you advice on whether or not permission is required over the phone or by email because it takes time and further detail to assess this properly, for step by step advice read our Do I need planning permission guidance.

For the protection of residents and staff the duty planner 'drop in' service is suspended. However the duty planner telephone service will be available from 10am - 2pm Monday to Friday via the Customer Services number 0345 600 6400. You may be asked to leave a message if the duty planner is on another call (or if you call outside of these times) so please include any application reference and your email address with your message so we can provide an informed response. 

To submit an application please see our Apply for Planning Permission page.

ALERT: Validation delays. We are currently experiencing high volumes of work and as a result there are currently delays with Validation. We are working hard to get through the back log. All applications that are deemed valid will be registered from the date they were recieved. Thank you for your patience 

Questions about specific applications should be directed to the Case Officer for that application. Their name can be found using the reference number on our Public Access system where you can also submit comments online. For anything else if you know the name of the person/team within Planning Services you need to contact please send your correspondence directly to them or view the email addresses for specific planning teams. If you are emailing us about a specific site or application please include the address/reference number so we can find it.
Here you can find the latest information regarding tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This information was last updated 3 November 2020. 

Following national guidance from Thursday 5 November the Morpeth Chantry Tourist Information Centre and Craft Centre will be closed to the public.

The Bagpipe Museum and Northern Poetry Library will also remain closed to the public.

Please note that Tourist Information Centres at Seahouses and Craster will also close from Thursday 5 November.

For any enquiries please contact 0345 600 6400 and continue to check this page for further updates.

Visitor information is available from www.visitnorthumberland.com or by emailing: visitorinfo@northumberland.gov.uk

The latest information regarding birth and death registrations, and how the service is affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This information was last updated on 2 November 2020.


Births
We are doing face-to-face birth registrations. To arrange an appointment, please telephone 0345 600 6400.

However, if you live in North Tyneside and your baby was born at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington, you will be able to do a birth declaration at the Riverside Children's Centre in North Shields. Please telephone 0191 643 8899 to make an appointment. 
 
Deaths
 
Due to the current guidelines regarding COVID-19, we are no longer offering face to face appointments to register a death.
 
The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) will be scanned directly to the Registrars by the hospital or doctor. The death will then be registered via telephone. Please call 0345 600 6400 to make an appointment. 
 
A death must be registered within five days.
The latest information about Music Partnership North and how our service is operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This page was last updated on 5 November 2020

Information for Parents

Instrumental/vocal tuition at school - If your child’s school is allowing in-person lessons and you normally pay for lessons through the school, please sign up by contacting the school and registering for tuition in the normal way. Your school will advise on the cost.

Instrumental/vocal tuition at direct billing school - If your child’s school is allowing in-person lessons and you normally pay Music Partnership North directly, please follow this link to register your child for lessons. Lesson charges will be the same as last term i.e £6.25 shared or £17.50 for an individual 30 minute lesson.

Online instrumental/vocal tuition after school - If your school has confirmed they are not currently allowing visiting tutors into the school then we will still offer an online service where possible. All the relevant information and registration process can be accessed by following this link (please be aware that for all online lessons, a separate parental consent form will need to be completed prior to lessons starting.) The cost of online lessons are: 20 mins £12.00 and 30 mins £17.50.


Information for Schools - Risk Assessments

Music Resources

A helpful list of music resources including ones created by us with Culture bridge linked here.
 

Maintenance of Instruments during school closures

In the event of students experiencing any issues with their instrument or needing advice on tuning string instruments, we ask that you take a look at the leaflets below:


MPN Office Team contact details can be found here.

The latest information about public access to Customer Service, Information Centres, and Registrars, in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).

This information was last updated 2 November 2020.

Following the Government’s advice in relation to further measures regarding national restrictions, it’s important we protect both our residents and our staff. The council has restricted public access to our buildings.

Customer Service Information Centres and Registrars have moved to a first point of contact being a digital recommendation. We will not have any front of house staffing and facilities, and will only offer a limited face to face service available at our sites if it is safely managed, by appointment only, and after a risk assessment deems it necessary to do so.  
 
The safest way for you to contact the council is via our website. You can also call us on 0345 600 6400 during office hours.
  • Monday to Thursday 08:30 - 17:00 
  • Friday 08:30 - 16:30 

We now have dedicated #Coronavirus section on our website dedicated to provide you with the information and updates on our services. Click here to view our coronavirus information and updates.

The latest information regarding burials and cremations and how these are operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This information was last updated on 2 November 2020.

 

Cremations

Due to the government guidelines, we have introduced some temporary measures to ensure that mourners are able to follow Government guidelines on social distancing.

A maximum of up to 30 people should attend a cremation service in person and they should be;
  • members of the person’s household,
  • close family members,
  • if the above are unable to attend, close friends,
  • attendance of a celebrant of choice, should the bereaved request this.
Webcasting:
To support loved ones who can not attend in person, we have made webcasting of the service available free of charge. Details of how families can access each service remotely via the internet has been sent to Funeral Directors who will be able to advise the family.
 

 

Burials

A maximum of up to 10 people should be present at the graveside and they should be;

  • members of the person’s household,
  • close family members,
  • if the above are unable to attend, close friends,
  • attendance of a celebrant of choice, should the bereaved request this.
 
Remember - it's really important everyone adheres to the social distancing guidance for the safety of themselves, families and our staff.
 
We understand that these restrictions may be difficult for families that are already going through a difficult time but urge people to follow the guidance to protect themselves and their loved ones. 
 
The link below details current government guidance regarding funerals:
The latest information regarding the coroner's service in Northumberland, and how this service is operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

This information was last updated on 2 November 2020.

The Northumberland Coroner's Office remains open, however we may be working remotely in response to the COVID-19 virus. 

All information concerning case referrals, queries, and any other business should now be sent to our email address: This email address is monitored between 8am and 4pm (Monday to Friday) and we will respond as soon as possible.

PLEASE NOTE: The Coroner's Court continues to operate within the restrictions in place due to Covid-19. Please contact the Coroner's Office if you require any assistance.

 

The National Bereavement Partnership - COVID-19 Hub

This hub was created to provide support to all affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by working closely with the NHS Trusts and other relevant organisations.

Please click here for more information about The National Bereavement Partnership.

You can call their free helpline on 0800 448 0800, open every day from 7am - 10pm.
The latest information about schools in Northumberland affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This information was last updated on 23 September 2020.


Reopening of schools

Attendance in nurseries, childminders and other early years providers remains optional, but we strongly encourage you to take up a place for your child. You can check if your child is eligible for any of the free childcare entitlements, worth on average £2,500 a year to parents of 2 year olds, and up to £5,000 a year to parents of 3 and 4 year olds, on the Childcare Choices website.

It is the expectation of the Department for Education that all pupils, in all other year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. For parents and carers of children of compulsory school age, this means that the legal duty on you as a parent to send your child to school regularly will apply.

A small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves, or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19). If your child is unable to attend school or college for this reason, you should talk to your school or college about what support is in place in terms of remote education.

The Local Authority continue to work with head teachers in schools across the county to support them in the implementation of appropriate health and safety measures based on their risk assessments, and in line with Government guidance. If you have concerns about your child returning to school or college, because you consider they may have other risk factors, you should discuss with your school or college the measures they are putting in place to reduce risks in line with government guidance.

Useful resources

If you feel worried or anxious of your child/ren's return to school, you may find the resources on this padlet useful.

You can find the full questions and answers document here

School transport will be provided, but this is dependent on the number of pupils who wish to travel, the availability of drivers, and the start times schools may operate.

Parents should contact their child’s school to discuss arrangements.

You can find the full questions and answers document here
The scheme outlines that if a school catering service cannot provide meals or food parcels, they should offer pupils from families that are eligible for benefits-related free school meals an alternative.
 
We are continuing to accept free school meal applications at this time. If you think your child is eligible but you are not currently claiming, you can contact us on 0345 600 6400 (Monday-Thursday 8.30am-5pm, Fridays 8.30am-4.30pm), or apply by submitting this application form:

Please click here to view the free school meals application form.

You can find the full questions and answers document here
The latest information regarding taxi licensing in Northumberland, and how this is impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This information was last updated 9 September 2020. 

Important coronavirus update - Hackney carriage/Private hire licensing

Due to emergency steps being taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Northumberland County Council has introduced a simplified process for the renewal of driver and vehicle licences. This simplified process will remain in place until it is considered reasonable to return to standard operating procedures.

As you will appreciate the licensing staff are no longer able to operate from the Council Offices. However, all Licensing staff are now mainly working from home and can deal with enquiries. These changes have been made to help minimise the risk and spread of the virus, and to keep our staff and customers safe.

Unfortunately our main Licensing number is not accessible, but you can ring the Council Customer Services on 0345 600 6400 and they can forward your enquiry to the Licensing section. An easier option will be to email: licensing@northumberland.gov.uk and someone will respond. All face to face appointments have been suspended until further notice.

As a temporary measure, renewal driver badges and renewed vehicle plates may not be issued immediately. Instead, an acknowledgement will be e-mailed to you. You must carry this with you whenever you are working in order to prove that you, or your vehicle, are still licensed. Appointments will be made for plates to be collected from Stakeford Depot. Drivers Badges will be posted out when they have been produced.
 

Renewing a licence

Driver renewals

Drivers can apply to renew their driver's licences online. 

Applicants will be contacted following receipt of an application and invited to make payment and forward any required documents.  

It is understood that at the current time applicants may have difficulty obtaining medical certificates.  Where this is the case applicants should contact the licensing section as soon as possible

Vehicle renewals
Applicants can apply to renew their vehicle licences online. Applicants will be contacted following receipt of an application and invited to make payment and forward any required documents.

It is understood that there may be delays in relation to vehicle testing.  Applicants should notify the licensing section of the vehicle test date as soon as possible. 

New licences 

Please see the drop down boxes below for new driver and vehicle applications. 

We are now processing new driver applications. Please email licensing@northumberland.gov.uk to book your knowledge test and Child & Adult Sexual Exploitation Training (CASE). Once you have passed the knowledge/locality test a member of the team will send you a private hire and/or hackney carriage drivers application form together with a group 2 medical application to be completed by your GP. Applicants should enquire with their GP as soon as possible as to whether they can access appointments for medical certificates. Licences cannot be granted without satisfactory medical certificates. 

 

Knowledge tests

You will need to pass a knowledge test which is now remote on a one to one basis and conducted via a virtual meeting using either microsoft teams or Google meet. To book a knowledge test please email licensing@northumberland.gov.uk A member of the team will take your payment and book you onto the next available test or at a time convenient to you. Please note there is a short waiting list at present. 

Child & Adult Sexual Exploitation Training (CASE)

As a temporary measure, CASE training is also currently being conducted remotely. To book onto the training please email licensing@northumberland.gov.uk A member of the team will take your payment and book you onto the next available training session. 
Applications are being processed but proprietors should contact the licensing section to discuss. 
 
The preferred contact method with the licensing department is by e-mail: 

Department for Transport (DfT)

Following the Prime Ministers announcement on 22nd September 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) laid a Statutory Instrument in both Houses of Parliament to mandate the wearing of face coverings in taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) in England under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. This regulation has now come into effect.   
  
In line with public transport and retail settings the Regulations gives new powers to taxi and PHV drivers to deny access to a service, and to direct someone to leave a service, if they are not wearing a face covering without a legitimate reason.  If passengers fail to comply, the Police have a power to remove passengers from a service (using reasonable force if necessary), and issue a Fixed Penalty Notice. The requirement only applies when a service is being provided i.e. passengers are not required to wear a face covering when the vehicle is used for personal use. 
  
We always recommended that passengers wear face coverings in PHVs and taxis and moving to mandating this is a reasonable additional step to take to reduce the risk of infection when used alongside other measures. We will also be working with taxi and PHV operators and drivers to ensure that all passengers are aware of the exemptions to this regulation. There are health, age, equalities and other reasons why someone may not be able to wear a face covering. It is crucial that operators and passengers are aware of these exemptions to ensure that everyone can have confidence in using public transport. DfT will publish updated guidance as soon as possible for operators and passengers on travelling safely during the outbreak. The guidance will reflect the latest information about face coverings. I would be grateful if you could share the change and the updated guidance with your licensees.
 
We would also like to take this opportunity to draw your attention a number of assets which DfT are creating to support our stakeholders to communicate this change. The assets will contain messages around how to ensure both drivers and customers are kept safe, as well as messaging on exemptions. They will be made available https://extranet.dft.gov.uk/safer-transport-campaign/ shortly alongside the existing assets we have available. Please do cascade these assets and resources to your members/networks.   
 
The following COVID guidance pages have been updated: 

The latest information regarding housing visits and repairs in Northumberland and how this service is affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This information was last updated 24 July 2020.


Gas servicing of council homes
As your landlord we are required by law to carry out an annual Gas Safety Inspection and the Government has confirmed that this should continue during the current crisis. Immediately after lockdown, we did take the decision to temporarily suspend the service pending a review of how this work could be done safely but we have now started again to carry out servicing visits in order to keep you and your families safe in your  homes. 

We appreciate this is a very challenging time for everyone, but would please ask that you allow access and support us to carry out this essential work.  

In order to minimise the risk of infection for both residents and our gas servicing engineers, we will be taking the following approach:
  • Engineers will be practicing good hand hygiene and wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in line with the advice from Public Health England. 
  • They will be adhering to social distancing and maintaining a minimum of 2 metre distance from residents whilst in the property. We will be seeking to carry out the inspection as quickly as possible but we would ask that you please respect this and if possible move to a different room while the inspection is taking place. 
  • Surfaces and any tools used will be wiped clean after the visit and PPE disposed of away from your home. 
  • If you or a member of your household is displaying symptoms of the Covid-19 please let us know and we will look to re-arrange the inspection after 14 days. 
  • If you or a member of your household is currently shielding or have received notification from the NHS that you are vulnerable, again please let us know and we will look to re-arrange the inspection at a later date.
We appreciate this is a very challenging time for everyone, but would please ask that you allow access and support us to carry out these essential works to maintain safety in your home.
 
Housing repairs to resume
Northumberland County Council is to re-introduce its routine repairs and maintenance service to council tenants  from week commencing 27 July 2020.

The team is working hard to deal with jobs that they have been unable to progress during lockdown and we would appreciate your patience as repairs may take longer than normal to get carried out as we deal with this backlog. 

Additionally, there may be some types of jobs, such as plastering that may take longer to complete as material suppliers are also dealing with the backlog of orders that have built up during lockdown. 

We will be following public health guidance and relying on risk assessments to ensure the safety of our staff and residents, specifically practising good hand hygiene and maintaining social distancing whilst in properties. Where appropriate, they will be wearing personal protective equipment.

Allocating vacant council houses
During the crisis, it has been necessary to suspend Northumberland Homefinder and it has only been possible to allocate housing, both on a temporary and permanent basis, where it has been necessary due to specific circumstances. 

As restrictions are now being relaxed we are looking into how we can resume this service safely for both our customers and colleagues.

We know this is an important service and we hope to have the service up and running again the week commencing 20th July.

Any updates will be announced on the homefinder website www.northumberlandhomefinder.org.uk

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