Shops scrutiny

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WAYS to tackle the growing number of long-term empty and unkempt properties in the county are being discussed by Northumberland County Council.

Officers and councillors including Ponteland North member Richard Dodd are looking into the issue of long-term empty homes that have been unoccupied for more than six months.

He said: “There are now about 40 of these properties in each of the Ponteland county councillors’ divisions, so we are working hard to tackle the problem.”