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18 June 2020 County Council News

Reopening Town Centres - Business Owners & How You Can Help

The attached letter explains the approach the County Council are taking to constructively support the reopening of our town centres. 

Northumberland County Council want to ensure all town centre businesses have access to the same information. Any follow-up queries should be directed through the Council’s call centre as detailed in the letter.

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  • © 2020 Blyth Town Council


    18 June 2020 Council News

    Summer Planting Schemes

    Here at the Town Council we have received some enquiries regarding the wildflower planting which has been mowed this year. See below for further information as to why the decision was made by the Partnership Team at Northumberland County Council to do this.

    Wildflower Planting

    The wildflower areas would have needed to be sown with new seed by mid-April at the latest to provide the usual display for the summer months and, due to the Covid-19 situation, the Partnership Team faced difficulties with staffing as some members of the Team were off with issues related to the virus and others were deployed to carry out other essential duties.  It was necessary to consider the service delivery at the time and what could realistically be carried out in light of the crisis as services such as bin emptying and street cleansing had to continue throughout the Town.

    We appreciate that the wildflowers are very attractive and well received by all but, taking into account the situation and after discussion with colleagues in the Partnership Team, it was agreed not to plant this year and to mow the areas.  The wildflower planting will be carried out again for 2021.

    The Team continued to carry out grass cutting and all other planting plans for the Town have gone ahead over the past few weeks.

    The Town Council would like to thank our Partnership Team for Blyth and the team at the Stakeford Nursery for all the work they have done during this difficult time to make sure we could still provide some beautiful planting around the Town.

    Click here to view some of the photographs from this years planting efforts.


  • © 2020 Blyth Town Council


    17 June 2020 Council News

    Citizens Advice - Here to Help You Through Hardship

    Please do not suffer in silence - there is help if you need it.

    Citizen’s Advice are able to respond to emergency hardship within 24 hours with fuel vouchers (from British Gas Energy Trust and Energy Redress Fund), and direct top ups, they are also able in necessary cases, to deliver paper codes to households. 

    They are also able to offer additional hardship “beyond fuel” so we can feel confident in the bigger picture.

    Residents will also be connected to direct preventative support / debt reduction etc, there are three bites at the hardship fund, we commit to supporting engagement and welcome two way feedback regarding referrals to really support positive outcomes - partnership is key, we share responsibility and impact!

    If you need advice on Energy/Fuel Poverty, please contact Citizens Advice - 01670 339960
    Email energy@citizensadvicenorthumberland.org.uk

     

     


  • © 2020 Blyth Town Council


    15 June 2020 Blyth Town News

    Visiting Blyth? Maintain Your Social Distance

    Please remember if you are visiting our Town Centre from today, social distancing guidelines remain in force - both inside shops and in all outside areas (such as pavements and street crossings).

    You MUST maintain a two-metre distance from one another.

    There will be staff on hand to keep everyone safe in the form of “Community Ambassadors”. They will be wearing orange hi-viz vests with “here to help” armbands. Do say hello!

    Remember face coverings are COMPULSORY on public transport.


  • © 2020 Blyth Town Council


    12 June 2020 Blyth Town News

    Finalising Measures to Reopen Blyth Town Centre

    Draft proposals to safely re-open town centres as lockdown eases are being finalised by Northumberland County Council.

    Since the start of lockdown in March, most town centres across the country virtually closed. Some shops were allowed to stay open, but in the main, streets have been empty.

    Now, following the Government’s announcement that restrictions on shops will be lifted on 15 June, town centres will open once again to shoppers. See the plans for each of Northumberland’s larger towns HERE

    However, the government has made it clear that social distancing guidelines remain in force, and that both inside shops and in all outside areas such as pavements and street crossings the public must maintain a two-metre distance from one another. 

    Councillor Glen Sanderson, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, explained: “In Northumberland, the layout of shopping streets, particularly in some of the older towns, does not make social distancing easy, with narrow pavements and limited queueing space. 

    “But if the retail market is to recover people must feel confident that they can visit town centres safely, which will require some simple temporary adjustments to the way that town centres operate. 

    “We’re doing our best to ensure we’re supporting all our high-street businesses while at the same time keeping residents safe - which is our absolute priority.”

    The county council has initially focused on its 12 larger towns to establish what measures could be put in place to ensure the safe movement of pedestrians, while still allowing for shops to receive deliveries. Work is also progressing to look at  the shopping areas in some of the smaller towns and villages.

    Many of the measures identified are relatively simple. They include notices reminding people about social distancing, advisory one-way signs for pedestrians in some areas, working with traders to remove unnecessary street advertising boards on the pavement and liaison with the local Town and Parish Councils to relocate any street furniture that is causing a problem..

    A range of other potential next steps have also been identified following discussion with local stakeholders, as options that could be considered at a later stage to create additional pedestrian circulation space for social distancing purposes, if this is required as the towns becomes busier. 

    These include the temporary suspension of some on-street parking / loading areas , and even the use of temporary one-way traffic systems and pedestrianisation of some areas, if it proves necessary to create more pedestrian space at key locations to ensure public safety. These potential next steps  would only be brought into effect following further dialogue with local councillors, town councils and local businesses.

    The council is also looking at providing ‘Community Ambassadors’ for the first few days of reopening to provide a visible presence on the high streets, offering friendly support and guidance to shoppers and traders.

    Cllr Sanderson added: “We must stress these are simple, short-term measures and aren’t intended to replace the long-term regeneration plans for our town centres which are being developed. Discussions about longer term plans, which may include considering traffic flows and possible pedestrianisation of some streets, along with cycle and walking initiatives in line with our climate change action plan commitment, will continue with councillors, residents and businesses.

    “And while any change can be difficult and bring a certain level of disruption we hope people will understand it’s in the interests of their safety as well as crucial to get our businesses up and running.

    “We’ll continue to monitor how our town centres are operating as more businesses reopen and will work closely  with local members, parish and town councils, as well as local businesses to make sure that our towns continue to be safe and attractive places to shop and visit.”

    Source: Northumberland County Council News


© 2020 Blyth Town Council


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