The Care Quality Commission will be inspecting the Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust in November. In advance of the inspection, they will be hosting two listening events in Northumberland. These listening events will allow service users, patients, and their families, to share their experiences - this will help shape the CQC inspection.

Both events will take place on Thursday 22nd October between 3-6pm at the following venues:

  • Hexham - Hexham Trinity Methodist Church, Beaumont Street, Hexham, NE46 3LS
  • Alnwick - Council Registry Office, 27 Fenkle St, Alnwick NE66 1HW

Each event has two parts, a drop-in hour between 3-4pm, followed by two small group meetings at 4pm and 5pm. People are welcome to come and share at any time between 3-6pm.

The CQC are holding these events in partnership with Healthwatch Northumberland. A mixture of CQC Inspectors and Healthwatch staff will be available to speak to on the day.

The CQC and Healthwatch will also have staff working locally (libraries and shopping centres) to promote the events and complete questionnaires.

If you cannot attend these events and would like to share your experiences of the Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust you can visit this webpage. Here you will find: information on the CQC, the sites visited for this inspection, listening event posters, how you can register for alerts and reports, and how to join the online community.

You can also get in touch by the following methods:

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Post - CQC, Citygate, Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4PA
  • Or by calling - 03000 61 61 61

The Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Area has put forward a proposal for its future by outlining its own neighbourhood development plan for the next two decades. A final draft plan has been submitted to Northumberland County Council as the local planning authority for independent examination, and the council is now inviting people with an interest in the area to make final comments on the plan during a six week period before it is formally considered by an independent examiner. 

The Neighbourhood Area covers the parishes of Alnwick, Denwick and Denwick Detached.

Once the plan passes independent examination it will be put to a local referendum where people living in the Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Area can vote on whether the plan should be used by the council when it makes decisions on planning applications.

A steering group was formed by Alnwick Town Council to help guide preparation of the plan.  Engagement with a wide section of the local community, land owners and developers has led to the creation of a plan which addresses important issues raised by many residents concerning housing, the economy, environmental protection, transport, safeguarding wildlife and heritage assets and supporting community facilities. Local residents, businesses and other interested parties will be able to make comments on the final draft plan between Friday 9 October and midnight on Monday 23 November 2015.

The plan and accompanying documents can be viewed on the County Council’s website at  

They will also be available at:

  • Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF (Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm);
  • Alnwick Library, Green Batt, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1TU (Mon 9am – 6pm, Tues 9am – 5:30pm, Thurs 9am – 5:30pm, Fri 12pm – 7pm, Sat 9:30am-12:30pm)

Written representations can be made by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by post to: Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Plan, Communities and Infrastructure Team, Planning and Housing Services, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF.

All comments and feedback must be received by Northumberland County Council no later than midnight on Monday 23 November 2015. All information will be made publicly available and will be forwarded for consideration by the independent examiner appointed to examine the proposed plan.

The core strategy sets out the council’s priorities for Northumberland in the future – which include the creation of 10,000 additional jobs by 2031 and extending choice in the housing market. This will be the last chance for residents and other interested parties to have their say on the document before it is submitted to Government for independent examination – and follows four previous public consultations. This is the fifth large scale consultation on elements of the core strategy, and at each stage the council has listened to views and comments and amended the plan taking feedback into account.

The council wants to make sure that Northumberland thrives economically, and to do this it must allocate land for economic development and housing, while preserving and enhancing the county’s special environmental qualities.

The plan will be considered by the council’s cabinet on 29th September, and if agreed consultation will start on Wednesday 14th October.  This is a statutory consultation, and all comments and feedback must be received by Wednesday 25th November.  A leaflet will be posted through every door in the county explaining the consultation and how to have your say.  Twenty three drop-in events have been arranged right across Northumberland, where residents will be able to find out more, and ask questions of council officers. The full draft strategy, all of the evidence work that supports it and feedback forms will be available on the council’s website from 14th October 2015. Following this consultation it is expected that the core strategy will be submitted to Government in March 2016, with the examination taking place during that summer.  The plan could then be adopted in autumn 2016.

The first steps have been taken to designate a neighbourhood planning area which will cover the parishes of Acomb and Wooler. Consultation on whether the local community supports this as a suitable area for neighbourhood planning is taking place from 9 October to the 9 November 2015. 

In Northumberland, neighbourhood planning must be led by parish and town councils, and through the plan they can use powers to shape where new homes, shops, offices and other businesses should be built, and what those new buildings should look like.  Plans must also take into account national planning policy and the policies set out in the Northumberland Local Plan. The county council has a statutory role in neighbourhood planning and it supports groups involved by providing advice on processes to be followed and by giving practical and technical support.

Details of the applications can be found on Northumberland County Council’s website.

Those who want to make comments on the proposed neighbourhood area can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or write to the Strategic Planning and Housing team, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth NE61 2EF.

Representations must be received by Northumberland County Council on or before 9 November 2015 for the Acomb area and 20th November for the Wooler area.

People living in Northumberland are being asked for their views about a range of issues, including what it is like to live in the area, what they think needs improving and how satisfied they are with how the county council runs things.

On behalf of the council, market research experts Ipsos Mori are sending out more than 8,000 questionnaires by post over the next few weeks to a random sample of residents the council to prioritise and develop its services.  All completed surveys will be treated confidentially and only seen by IpsosMori. Northumberland Council will receive a report on the overall findings and the results of the survey are expected in January. 

Deputy Leader for Northumberland County Council, Cllr Dave Ledger said: “It’s really important that we ask the people of Northumberland for their views on the area, our services and their priorities.

“The residents’ survey is one of the ways in which we do this. If you receive one of the questionnaires please do take the time to complete and return it. We are here to serve the people of Northumberland so it’s crucial we know what residents think and care about, especially during these difficult financial times.”

If anyone has any queries about the survey they can contact Ipsos Mori on 0808 141 3087 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.