Northumberland County Council has implemented a restructure of committees across Northumberland which will give town and parish councils a more active role and a greater say in what happens within their local areas.
The restructure of committees to create five new local area councils across Northumberland will see the return of democracy and accountability to local areas, allowing them to decide and determine their own futures, based on the needs of the local community.
The new local area councils will include; North Northumberland, Ashington & Blyth, Castle Morpeth, Tynedale and Cramlington & Bedlington and will meet bi-monthly to consider planning applications, road spending and petitions.
The introduction of the local area councils will allow local people across Northumberland to have a greater influence on the decisions that directly affect them and their communities.
Council leader Peter Jackson said: “We want to work with communities to help them create their own futures, rather than impose large projects or developments on them.
“These new Local Area Councils are one way to develop a better future for the whole county. For example in north Northumberland we would fully expect the local area council to work very closely with the major towns of Alnwick and Berwick on local development plans for those communities.
“We want to be clear this is not a return to district councils, but about bridging the gap between an autocratic, centralised county council and communities.
“We value the work that town and parish councils are doing and wish to work closely with them, bridging the gap with a county council some see as distant and unengaging.”
“And not only will the restructuring of the committees ensure the County Council’s policies take into account the needs and aspirations of local communities, it will also provide savings of £250,000 over the next four years from reductions in allowances, which can be ploughed back into essential daily services.”
To find out more information and times and dates go to the ‘meetings’ section on the front page of the council website at www.northumberland.gov.uk