Northumberland County Council says its goal is to safeguard jobs.
“We are simply having informal discussions with a range of potential partners on how we can deliver services more efficiently...but we need to be clear that this is only one of many options we are considering."
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A former Premier League footballer has been cleared of raping a woman he met in a nightclub.
72-year-old Arthur Bierton from Thirsk was convicted at Teesside Crown Court of abusing two young girls in the 1980s and 90s.