03 October 2023

Male role model Awards

Recognise the men and boys who have made important contributions across West Northamptonshire as part of the West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) Male Role Model Awards 2023.

The awards aim to raise awareness around men’s wellbeing and celebrate those who inspire and have a positive impact on the lives of others in the community or the workplace.

WNC is looking for men who have been inspirational in the broadest sense and would like to know how they have inspired you or others, what they have achieved, or what they have done to help you or your community.

Nominations open on Monday 2 October and close on Sunday 29 October. The finalists will be announced at an awards ceremony which will take place at Northampton Museum on International Men's Day on Friday 17 November 2023.

There are so many men playing hugely important roles across West Northants communities and workplaces.

However, we cannot recognise these men without the help of residents who know and work with them closely, so we are calling on you to help!

What we’re looking for is not only someone who goes that extra mile, but that man who has made a real difference to those around them and helped to support their community and nurture the next generation of young men.

Potential nominees could include someone who has inspired you through their charity work, an inspirational business owner or someone who has helped you personally.

It could be a family member who has been a rock during a challenging time, a neighbour who has set up a community group to support local children, or a friend who has campaigned for better healthcare – nominate your role model now!

Cllr David Smith, WNC's Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement, and regulatory Services

International Men's Day (IMD) is celebrated around the world, and in the UK focusses on the core themes of making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys, promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity and raising awareness of charities supporting the wellbeing of men and boys.

For more information about the WNC Male Role Model Awards 2023 and to make a nomination, please visit our Male Role Model webpage.

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Construction works to transform Northampton shopping district start on site
February 27, 2024
Construction works to transform Northampton shopping district start on site
27 February 2024 The main construction works to redevelop Abington and Fish Street, Northampton kick-started on Monday, 26 February. West Northamptonshire Council is working with Kier to carry out vital works to enhance the appearance of Abington Street and Fish Street. Over the coming months they’ll be installing new paving and seating, additional trees and planting to boost the landscaping in the area. Kier and WNC continue to liaise directly with businesses in the area to keep them up to date on the progress of works. As part of this, there will be a dedicated single point of contact for businesses throughout the project. The redevelopment will complement the wider regeneration of the town centre, including the Market Square transformation, and provide enhanced connectivity with the rest of the town. We are delighted that the main construction works on this significant project to one of the busiest shopping streets in our area have begun. Essential preparation and investigatory works have taken place since September last year, however, people will now be able to see the main works taking shape. Once complete this winter, the revitalised area and enhanced features will offer a fantastic space for people to use and enjoy. We look forward to this taking shape in the coming weeks and months. Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at WNC Investigatory works were carried out in September to gain an understanding of all services connected through Abington and Fish Street, with preparatory works carried out in autumn last year. We are pleased to begin the main construction works that will transform this shopping district and deliver substantial economic and social benefit for the people of Northampton and the wider West Northamptonshire area. We will be working together with West Northamptonshire Council on this vital project to ensure we leave a positive footprint in the area and bring new life to this town center. Peter Ingram, contract director at Kier Transportation To stay up to date with the regeneration of Northampton Town Centre, visit: www.wearenorthampton.com Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Upcoming road closures for Northampton’s North-West Relief Road
February 27, 2024
Upcoming road closures for Northampton’s North-West Relief Road
27 February 2024 The Northampton North-West Relief Road will provide a vital link from the A428 Harlestone Road to the A5199 Welford Road. It will serve the housing growth that is proposed to the west and north of Northampton and help address existing congestion by providing another crossing of the river valley. West Northamptonshire Council, alongside our Highways partner Kier Transportation and contractor Balfour Beatty, will be carrying out significant works to bring forward this scheme which include essential road closures of Sandy Lane and Welford Road. The scheme is supported by SEMLEP, the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership and benefits from £7.93 million of Local Growth funding. In addition to three-way lights that are currently in place on Brampton Lane until 28 March, road closures will be in place in the following locations: Sandy Lane will be closed from 4 March until 3 April with a diversion in place via Northampton Road and Harlestone Road. Access to properties and amenities on Sandy Lane will be maintained throughout the closure. Brampton Lane/ Welford Road will be closed at night between 8pm and 6am Monday to Friday from 18 March to 28 March with a diversion in place overnight. Welford Road will be closed from 3 April until 21 June with a diversion in place for road users. Access to properties and amenities will be maintained throughout the closure. For further information regarding the project visit: Major highways projects . For full details of the road closures please visit: Roadworks. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Postal voters urged to apply early for the May elections
February 26, 2024
Postal voters urged to apply early for the May elections
Electoral services 26 February 2024 Residents in North and West Northamptonshire are being encouraged to apply early to vote by post for the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Elections this spring. On Thursday, 2 May voters across North and West Northamptonshire will go to the polls to elect the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. The Police Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) is elected to oversee local policing and fire and rescue services, manage the police & fire and rescue budget, set council tax rates for policing, and ensure transparent communication about police activities in the community. They will also make key appointments of the Chief Constable and the Chief Fire Officer for the Northamptonshire area. People are urged to apply for postal votes as early as possible ahead of the deadline of 5pm on Wednesday, 17 April and those wishing to vote by proxy (when someone votes on your behalf) can also do this in advance of the deadline of 5pm on Wednesday, 24 April. Anyone who is not yet registered to vote must do so by Tuesday, 16 April in order to take part in this spring’s election. You can register to vote on the gov.uk website . Students have the option of registering at both their home and term-time addresses, and if they are in different local authority areas, they can vote in both locations during the election. As we prepare for the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner elections, I urge each and every member of our community to take a moment to ensure their voice is heard in the upcoming elections. Registering to vote is quick and easy, taking just five minutes, and all you need is your National Insurance number. By registering, you not only exercise your democratic right to vote in local elections but also have a voice on matters important to you. Plus, registering can have additional benefits like improving your credit score and making it easier to secure loans, rent or buy a new home. If you've recently moved or changed your details, remember that you'll need to re-register to vote. For those who may face challenges in visiting a polling station on Election Day, whether due to health concerns or other circumstances, registering to vote by post or proxy ensures that your voice remains as vital and influential as ever. Anna Earnshaw, Returning Officer for the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner elections The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to produce accepted photographic identification when voting in person at a polling station. This new requirement will apply to this election. Voters intending to vote in person are urged to ensure they have one of the acceptable forms of photo ID prior to attending their polling station. Residents without an acceptable form of ID have until 5pm on Wednesday, 24 April to apply for their Voter ID . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Mae Stephens joins ‘A Perfect Day’ Festival
February 26, 2024
Mae Stephens joins ‘A Perfect Day’ Festival
Events 26 February 2024 Mae Stephens has announced she will be performing as part of ‘A Perfect Day’ concert line-up, supporting headliner James Arthur this June. 2023 was a huge year for rising star, Mae Stephens. Few artists release their debut single and have their world turned upside down, yet for the Kettering born 20-year-old her infectious, attitude-filled alt-pop bop, ‘If We Ever Broke Up’ became an international smash, scoring accumulated audio streams of nearly one billion and was named the second most popular song on TikTok globally in 2023. A songwriter since the age of 12, her ‘perfect kiss-off to an ex’ connected with audiences around the world. Mae performed at festivals including Glastonbury, The Great Escape (where NME included her in their ‘10 Best New Artists’ at the festival) and headlined the BBC Radio 1 Introducing stage at Reading & Leeds. Featured as one of VEVO’s ‘Artists To Watch’ for 2024, Mae has recently released the single ‘ADHD’. It’s fantastic to be playing as part of A Perfect Day concert in Delapré Park supporting James Arthur this summer. It’s a home county gig for me - I can’t wait! Mae Stephens About A Perfect Day ‘A Perfect Day’ is a new single day outdoor live music event presented by West Northamptonshire Council in partnership with Kilimanjaro & UK Live Ltd. Taking place at one of the most beautiful public gardens in Northampton known as the historic Delapré Park. Bring your picnic blanket & family and get ready to enjoy the ultimate day out with music, great facilities and fine food and drink! Buy tickets for ‘A Perfect Day’. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northants Council to tackle litter this spring
February 26, 2024
West Northants Council to tackle litter this spring
Cleaner communities 26 February 2024 West Northamptonshire Council is springing into action to tackle litter across the area as it launches a new campaign to help reduce littering which blights our streets, roads and green spaces. The Litter Charter, which was launched in 2022, sets out how the Council collaborates with partners (Wombles, National Highways, community groups), enables community litter picks (by providing equipment and making arrangements to collect the rubbish from public land) and takes enforcement action (fixed penalty notices and fines). As well as the Council’s approach to additional or replacement litter bins. During March, the Council is coordinating and supporting a range of Community Spring Clean activities, which coincides with the National Spring Clean campaign organised by Keep Britain Tidy running in the last weeks of the month. To support these events, the council has litter picking equipment available to borrow, guidance on how to safely organise a community litter pick and it can supply sacks. When a litter pick has been registered on our ‘cleaner communities’ web page and the activity is completed the Council will collect the rubbish. It is disappointing that some people show such little regard for the environment and their local community that they drop litter wherever they like. We’re committed to tackling this issue, and it is always heartening to see the great work of our partners, officers and volunteers who work so hard to keep their communities clean and green. We want to do all we can to support their excellent work, as well as encourage and assist other groups to join them. By working together to clean our local area, we send a strong message that littering is anti-social and not acceptable. If you would like to hold litter pick in your community and support the community spring clean please get in touch with us to find out more about borrowing free litter picking equipment. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste at WNC Anti-littering messaging will be shared across social media, and the road traffic management signs as part of the campaign in a bid to help deter people from littering and facing a penalty for this crime. To further support this work, higher fines for litter and other environmental crime were introduced across West Northamptonshire from 1 February. The maximum amount those who litter or graffiti has increased from £150 to £500. WNC will also be working with young people to educate them on the harmful impact litter has and help inspire the next generation to help keep our communities clean. To find out more about the litter charter and to borrow litter picking equipment visit our Cleaner Communities page. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Government funding set to benefit West Northants transport network
February 26, 2024
Government funding set to benefit West Northants transport network
Parking, roads and transport 26 February 2024 People across West Northamptonshire are set to benefit from significant improvements to the local transport Network as £162 million worth of Government funding will be allocated to West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) from 2025/26 over a seven-year period. The announcement from the Government’s Local Transport Fund, which will see £4.7 billion worth of investment from April 2025 to improve local transport connections that so many people rely on every day, particularly across smaller cities, towns, and rural areas. This investment - announced as part of Network North - will deliver a funding uplift across the North and Midlands over seven years. The announcement that the Government is investing billions worth of funding into transforming the country’s local travel network will make a positive impact on local authorities and communities across the nation. It is fantastic news that from 2025 West Northamptonshire will benefit from over £162 million worth of funding which we can inject into the local transport network to make a tangible impact for our residents. Over the coming months we will work with the Department for Transport to consider how we can best utilise this funding to ensure it makes a real difference for West Northamptonshire. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste at WNC The Government will develop guidance to enable local authorities to invest in transformative and ambitious transport improvements from 2025 through to 2032 which will: drive better connectivity within our towns and suburbs drive better connectivity between our villages and towns improve everyday local journeys for people WNC is in the process of developing the Local Transport Plan and bus strategy for West Northamptonshire which will play a key role in shaping how this funding can be best utilised. WNC will continue to keep local residents and communities updated on the progress of the funding and consultation for the Local Transport Plan via: www.westnorthants.gov.uk Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Crackdown on underage riders on Voi e-scooters
February 26, 2024
Crackdown on underage riders on Voi e-scooters
26 February 2024 West Northamptonshire and North Northamptonshire Councils, Northamptonshire police and e-scooter company Voi are urging people not to share their e-scooter accounts with anyone - especially people below the rider age limit which is 18 years old in Northamptonshire. No-one under the age of 18 is allowed to ride a Voi rental e-scooter in Northamptonshire, as agreed with West Northamptonshire and North Northamptonshire Councils, who manage the e-scooter trials in this area. Anyone who allows an underage rider to use their account could be banned from Voi and even face prosecution. Northamptonshire police will be carrying out spot checks/patrols on e-scooter riders in coming weeks to clamp down on underage riders. At the same time, Voi is reminding people that e-scooters are for people aged 18 and older with a joint campaign. To ride a Voi e-scooter in the UK, riders must have either a full or provisional driving licence and meet local age restrictions. The vast majority of rental e-scooter riders follow the rules and do not share their account with anyone. However, in the UK, just over 500 Voi riders (out of 1.5 million) - or just under 0.04% of all users - have been banned for sharing their accounts with underage riders. If anyone spots someone they believe is underage riding a Voi e-scooter in Northamptonshire, they can report it to the company on either report.voi.com or [email protected] . Please supply as much information as possible, including the date, time, location and if possible the e-scooter’s four-digit registration number. The number of people breaking the rules and riding our scooters at a lower age than allowed or permitting others to ride our e-scooters is small - but any number is too many. Our rules are in place so that riders remain safe - and anyone breaking them is risking their and others’ safety. Jack Samler, regional country manager for Voi UK, Ireland and France, said Voi works closely with local authorities to agree to regulations for use of its services, including operating hours, parking zones and minimum age. We know that targeting dangerous e-scooter riding is something that the community want us to focus on and operations like the ones we will be carrying out in the coming weeks will do exactly that. A young person without a driving licence has no experience of what it’s like to travel on the roads and by enabling a child to ride an e-scooter, you are putting them at risk of serious injury and even death. If we stop a young person using an adult’s account, we will be looking to progress a prosecution against that adult for offences such as permitting someone with no insurance to use their account. We will continue working with Voi and the two local councils to target underage riding and anyone who spots an underage e-scooter rider is encouraged to report it to Voi via their reporting system. Please keep the children in your care safe by refusing to share your Voi account with them. E-Scooters are not toys and there is a reason why the minimum age to ride one is 18. Matt O’Connell, Northamptonshire Police Safer Roads Team Manager Since the e-scooter trials were launched, they have continued to grow in popularity. But sadly, there are a small number of individuals who are abusing the trial and assisting under 18s, so they can ride on Voi e-scooters. I welcome this campaign by Northamptonshire Police and we are working hard with Voi to crack down on underage riders, but also need your help - if you spot someone who may be underage using an e-scooters or any other incidents of unacceptable rider behaviour, please report the incident. Cllr Matt Binley, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for Highways, Travel and Assets The Voi scheme provides a cost-effective and sustainable way to travel. However, unfortunately there are some people who abuse this scheme and help under 18s access e-scooters illegally. We are pleased to support this campaign with Northamptonshire Police and reduce the number of people illegally riding underage. Let’s work together to help keep everyone safe, and ensure only those who are legally old enough to ride the e-scooters do so. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways & Waste, West Northamptonshire Council Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council launch £260k grants scheme to support local infrastructure organisations in West Northants
February 26, 2024
Council launch £260k grants scheme to support local infrastructure organisations in West Northants
26 February 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has launched a new £260k grant funding scheme which aims to support local infrastructure organisations address the needs of third sector organisations to develop and grow in West Northants. Local infrastructure organisations incorporate a diverse range of services including community groups, voluntary organisations, faith and equalities groups, charities, social enterprises, co-operatives, community interest companies and housing associations. This grant funding will be available over the financial years 2024/25 and 2025/26 for eligible projects or services and incorporates £50k of funding from Central Government via the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). The types of initiatives that will be considered for the grant funding will play a crucial role in enhancing the wellbeing of individuals and communities by promoting: Leadership and advocacy: to bring together and strengthen diverse groups and marginalised communities and give them a voice to influence key decisions that affect our communities. Partnerships and Collaborations: to create opportunities and drive effective joint working through building partnerships, both at a local level but also strategic relationships enabling communities to be prepared for project development as well as in times of crisis. Capacity Building: to provide organisations with access to practical support and resources to allow for strong foundations so that our local voluntary and community sector can thrive and build resilience. Volunteering: to enable people to build connections and work together around subject matters of interest whilst driving positive changes locally. Eligible projects can be new or existing initiatives or services, or expansions of existing projects or services, and can be operated by a single provider or run in partnership or via collaborative working. Projects must operate, or be prepared to operate, within the geographical area of West Northamptonshire and support the council in achieving one or more of its corporate priorities . This funding is specifically for organisations who enable communities to influence decisions and provide them with a voice and a platform to be heard. It’s for those who encourage volunteering opportunities and ultimately support our wonderful Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector to deliver projects that really matter to people’s daily lives. I urge all eligible organisations to apply for this grant funding and get support with the continued delivery of initiatives which help our residents get the most out of living in West Northamptonshire and play a crucial role in enhancing our local infrastructure offer. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services at West Northamptonshire Council The grant funding will initially be in place for a two-year period and will be eligible for renewal and/or revision after that period. Organisations are invited to apply for the funding by Monday 11 March, 2024 via the WNC website . Further information and the full criteria for applications can be found in the Council’s Community Funding Grants Framework . If you would like an application form or wish to speak to the Community Funding Grants Team about your project or your eligibility to apply for this grant, email: [email protected] including your contact telephone number. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New routes to encourage walking and cycling to be introduced in Northampton
February 22, 2024
New routes to encourage walking and cycling to be introduced in Northampton
22 February 2024 More than a kilometre of traffic-free routes for use by walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users will be implemented towards the South of Northampton Town Centre to provide better connection to local amenities and encourage more sustainable methods of travel through the town. West Northamptonshire Council has successfully bid for and been awarded £0.67m from Active Travel England to enable this scheme to be brought forward. Enabling people to walk, wheel or cycle to where they need to be gives young people vital transport independence and helps build healthier and happier communities. It’s fantastic to see work getting underway on these new sustainable active travel routes. Once complete, this scheme will give thousands of Northampton residents more opportunities to get out and about under their own steam, helping them keep fit, save money and do their bit for environment in the process. Chris Boardman, National Active Travel Commissioner at Active Travel England Work is set to start on 26 February, with the completed routes anticipated to open in June 2024 for the local community to enjoy. We are excited for works to start on 26 February to transform the current dirt tracks into accessible paths for cyclists and walkers to enjoy together. The active route will provide essential connectivity between Northampton Town Centre and local amenities such as Delapré Abbey, The University of Northampton and Northampton Bike Park, as well as support commuters travelling to Brackmills Industrial Estate. We are grateful to have received funding from Active Travel England which will enable us to deliver this scheme, which we hope will provide a whole-host of benefits including reducing carbon emissions and encouraging people to live a more active lifestyle. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste at West Northamptonshire Council The works are being carried by Kier, the Council’s Highways partner for West Northamptonshire. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northamptonshire Council sets out budget for 2024/2025
February 23, 2024
West Northamptonshire Council sets out budget for 2024/2025
Budget and charges 23 February 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has set a balanced budget for the year ahead, which will protect frontline services and tackle significant financial challenges. At their Full Council meeting in Northampton’s Guildhall (Thursday, 22 February), members approved the final budget proposals, Housing Revenue Account and setting of the Council Tax for 2024/2025. In common with local authorities across the country, the Council is facing severe financial pressures due to factors including the current economic climate, high inflation rates driving up running costs and an increase in demand for services, particularly around supporting children in care and vulnerable adults. Despite these pressures, the authority has set a balanced revenue budget for 2024/2025 of £889.5m (£414.5m excluding Dedicated Schools Grant). The budget includes a Council Tax increase of 4.99%, which is in line with the Government’s threshold, generating extra funding of around £13.1m – with 2% of the increase going towards funding adult social care and representing an average increase on a Band D property of £84.52 a year, the equivalent of £1.63 a week. The approved budget follows a strong commitment to making services as efficient as possible and reviewing income streams in order to maintain and protect services, with £24.1m of productivity proposals put forward. The agreed budget also considered people’s feedback in the recent budget public consultation, which attracted over 750 comments from residents, businesses, partners and other stakeholders. It has also been subject to continuous review and scrutiny, including consideration by the cross-party group of members of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The 2024/2025 budget will see WNC invest over £164m in its capital programme, to improve local infrastructure and assets such as land, buildings and equipment. The Council is also set to spend an estimated £20m in public health support which is funding from the Government in the year ahead to progress a range of schemes aimed at improving residents’ wellbeing, reducing health inequalities and continuing to support communities. Within the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) WNC plans to invest £59m of capital funds in social housing during the next financial year. This investment forms part of a total five-year capital programme which amounts to £287m. Also built into the plans is investment in decarbonisation which is estimated to impact on 500 homes. The capital investment in 2024-2025 includes: £10m on external improvements £11m on internal works improvements £2.3m on disabled adaptations £26m on new build programmes and major projects £10m on buying back social housing and for spot purchases of suitable properties. In addition to this the Council will spend approximately £65m on managing and maintaining the existing housing stock which is funded primarily by Housing Rents received from current tenants. Balancing the budget is never an easy task, but it was essential to ensure that the council can continue to provide the services that our communities rely on. The Council has concentrated its efforts on finding ways to save more money and generate additional income to address these financial pressures, rising costs, and increasing demand for services that support vulnerable adults and children. Our communities' needs are always at the forefront of everything we do, and we are dedicated to finding ways to ease the burden and ensure that our community thrives. Cllr Malcolm Longley, Cabinet Member for Finance at West Northamptonshire Council Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Update on traffic enforcement measures
February 21, 2024
Update on traffic enforcement measures
21 February 2024 Nearly 600 motorists will be warned about flouting road restrictions at a congested Northampton junction since recently introducing enforcement measures to help keep traffic moving there. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is in the process of issuing 597 warning notices to drivers who have blocked the hatched yellow box at the junction of St John’s Street and Victoria Gardens since enforcement cameras went live at the start of this month (1 February). The measures have been put in place to help reduce town centre traffic congestion after the Department for Transport (DfT) changed legislation to enable local authorities to apply for powers to enforce against moving traffic contraventions. During the first six months of this site going live, a warning notice will be issued for first offences to any vehicle, and from 1 August onwards, all motorists who breach the rules at this site will receive a Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) of £70.00, reduced to £35 if paid within 21 days. No PCNs have yet been issued. Any money from future PCNs is ring fenced and will be put back in to funding highways services and projects under the legislation. Figures show that despite town centre diversions potentially causing additional traffic along St John’s Street, the majority of those drivers facing warning notices for blocking the yellow box were travelling away from the town centre on the Victoria Gardens gyratory system. On 16 February, WNC also introduced enforcement at two other sites with the following number of warnings currently being issued: Right turns are not allowed from Fishponds Road into Great Billing Way – 187 warning notices Hermitage Way is a bus only route which is routinely used by other motorists – 36 warning notices Councillor Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste, said: “Contrary to recent reports and speculation, these new measures aren’t about ‘punishing’ drivers at all but helping them by trying to ease congestion and keep the traffic flowing in our town. We know some people have expressed unhappiness about them, but many more also support what we are doing and we have received requests to look at introducing these measures in other areas of West Northamptonshire. We want people to know where this enforcement is taking place and to be aware of the rules of the road in these areas so that they don’t fall foul of the law and help us to keep traffic moving.” With its highways partner Kier and the police, WNC has identified the first five spots which would benefit from this kind of enforcement. Alongside the cameras put in place this month, two further locations already agreed are set to be added at a later stage: Entry into the specified stretch of Deanshanger Road is prohibited except for buses. At the Horse Market junction with Gold St and Marefair, several right and left turns are banned, and drivers should also ensure they follow the blue directional arrow signs. Motorists should avoid stopping in the box junction at the eastern end of Gold Street. Further sites for enforcement are under consideration, especially those that residents suggested during the consultation process. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Join upcoming engagement sessions and shape the West Northants Tree Strategy
February 21, 2024
Join upcoming engagement sessions and shape the West Northants Tree Strategy
21 February 2024 West Northamptonshire Council is developing a new Tree Strategy that will provide a clear vision and action plan for maximising the benefits of trees across West Northamptonshire into the future. Residents, businesses and community groups are being invited to help shape the tree strategy and join one of the upcoming in person events and online drop in which are taking place this March. People can sign up for the online sessions on Friday 15 March by visiting the Eventbrite link. Alternatively, we’d love to speak to people in person and you can turn up to one of the following session: Monday 18 March 10:30-16:30 at The Guildhall, Northampton Tuesday 19 March 10:30-16:30 at Daventry Library, The Abbey Centre Wednesday 20 March 10:30-16:30 at The Forum, Towcester The engagement sessions follow on from the public consultation which was carried out in November 2023. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northampton’s Market Square contractors invest in local community
February 21, 2024
Northampton’s Market Square contractors invest in local community
Northampton Market 21 February 2024 West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) contractor for the Market Square project has been adding social value to the area by encouraging the aspirations of local people. As part of an ongoing commitment to ‘Level Up’ West Northants, WNC ensures that the contractors for our regeneration projects add social value to the community they are working in. This social value requirement means that investment from the Towns Fund not only enables us to deliver great projects such as the Market Square redevelopment, but some of this investment directly benefits communities across West Northants. Delivering on these social value requirements has included partnering with schools to deliver engaging workshops, providing employment and placement opportunities as well as supporting local businesses to grow the local economy. Over the past year Stepnell have visited many local schools to spark an interest in construction and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) related fields through creative and interactive workshops with students of all ages. Representatives from Stepnell have worked with seven schools, committing over 70 hours to engage with young people who have an interest in construction and STEM. They ran fun, interactive workshops with children of all ages to teach them a range of skills including team working and critical thinking as well as introducing them to basic concepts in design, engineering, physics and material chemistry. These workshops taught students about biodiversity in construction by building ‘bug hotels’ for the school grounds. They learnt about how different insects and bugs are attracted to different materials. Zip wire construction provided insights into momentum and scientific experiment design by enabling children to investigate and experiment how different materials and angles used affects the ability of a zip wire to transport a toy from one side of the classroom to another. It is excellent to see Stepnell provide our school children with these creative and informative sessions where they were able to take part in fun challenges whilst learning key concepts in STEM and construction. I hope that these sessions provided insight into the construction world and sparked an interest in STEM subjects and the wider redevelopment of West Northamptonshire. Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families at WNC In addition to working with schools to provide these workshops, Stepnell further facilitated the encouragement of our young people’s aspirations by offering work experience to college and university students with an interest in civil engineering. The development created apprenticeship opportunities meanwhile Stepnell employed five local employees on training programmes. I am delighted to witness the wider social value that the redevelopment of the Market Square has added to our communities across West Northamptonshire over the past year. Our project to redevelop the Market Square sits at the heart of a broader strategy for the economic regeneration of Northampton Town Centre, it is great to see that our partners are also working to add social value to this project. Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at WNC Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Grants scheme launched to support debt and money advice and immigration services in West Northants
February 19, 2024
Grants scheme launched to support debt and money advice and immigration services in West Northants
19 February 2024 West Northamptonshire Council has launched a new £770k grants scheme to support Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisation initiatives providing debt and money advice and immigration support services in West Northants. The grant funding will be available from 1 April 2024 to 30 March 2026 for eligible projects or services. These can be new initiatives, existing projects or services, or expansions of existing projects or services that: help to prevent people from experiencing debt and financial crisis by providing early intervention and support around issues such as bankruptcy, foreclosure and eviction provide debt management and money advice services to enable people to contain and manage their debt obligations. This can be by creating manageable repayment plans, advocating services, negotiating with creditors and landlords, or other forms of support to avoid people falling deeper into debt provide tailored welfare and benefit advice enabling people to maximise their entitlement to welfare support and reduce and contain their debt obligations promote financial stability and security by helping people to build a foundation that reduces future financial stress and uncertainty improve financial literacy by providing support, education and resources, particularly in the areas of how to budget and manage debt effectively empower residents to take control of their financial lives and equip them with the knowledge, skills and resources to overcome financial obstacles, achieve goals, and work towards a brighter financial future reduce socioeconomic inequality by providing communities who may be disproportionately affected by financial challenges with access to quality debt and money advice improve overall economic impact by reducing personal debt levels and contributing to economic growth and stability at both the individual and societal levels In addition, grant funding is available for existing projects or services that provide immigration support, including those that: provide individuals with legal guidance to understand their rights, options, and obligations under immigration law. This also includes the navigation of the immigration processes, which can be complex and daunting, especially for individuals who may not be familiar with the legal system or who face language barriers protect Human Rights and ensure that individuals fleeing persecution, violence, or other forms of harm have the opportunity to seek protection and immigration in accordance with international Human Rights standards. These services should also safeguard the rights and dignity of vulnerable immigrants empower individuals to make informed decisions about their migration journey and reduce their vulnerability to exploitation and abuse by unscrupulous individuals or organisations help individuals to understand their eligibility for various services and benefits such as healthcare and education and support with applications and documentation to ensure that migrants can access the resources they need to rebuild their lives in a new country support family reunification, promote integration and enable social cohesion and contributions to society Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services at West Northamptonshire Council, said: “This grant funding will not only help to improve the lives of local people by supporting them to become debt free and avoid financial crisis, it will also help those on their migration journey who might be at risk of abuse and exploitation. “We are extremely grateful to all of our fantastic VCSE partners who continue to deliver this vital work and support our residents and communities, and I encourage all those who are eligible for this funding to apply.” Further information and the full criteria for applications can be found on the WNC website and in the Council’s Community Funding Grants Framework . If you would like an application form or wish to speak to the Community Funding Grants Team about your project or your eligibility to apply for this grant, email: [email protected] including your contact telephone number. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Have your say on plans to improve air quality in West Northants
February 19, 2024
Have your say on plans to improve air quality in West Northants
Have your say 19 February 2024 People across West Northamptonshire are being invited to have their say on proposals to address air quality concerns and improve standards across the area. Reducing air pollution is vitally important to the local health and environment. All councils have a duty to monitor local air quality to make sure it meets certain standards. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) monitor air quality in several locations across the area. WNC is in the process of developing Air Quality Action Plan or AQAP which outlines the steps it will take to work towards improving air quality and reducing air pollution. Residents and businesses across the area are now invited to view the proposals and share their views. People can have their say from Monday 19 February to Sunday 17 March by visiting the WNC website. The draft AQAP replaces existing plans from former sovereign councils which have produced positive improvements in air quality and builds on them further. Some of the actions producing positive effects include: controls around planning to make sure air quality is considered introducing a Low Emission Strategy in Northampton reducing vehicle emissions through improved ways and routes of travel delivering electric vehicle infrastructure Given our bold Net Zero commitments, the Air Quality Action Plan is the first crucial step towards putting measures in place to improve air quality in Northampton, and wider West Northamptonshire. As part of the development of the plan, we will be looking at how we can improve air quality as a local authority and how we can support residents in making changes to help achieve these aims. Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council The feedback from the consultation will inform the final draft which will be submitted to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), who oversees air quality plans. DEFRA will make a decision on the AQAPs suitability before notifying the council if it can be applied or not. Once in place, the AQAP will be annually reviewed when WNC publishes the Annual Status Report. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
‘Good’ judgement for fostering service
February 19, 2024
‘Good’ judgement for fostering service
19 February 2024 Significant improvements to fostering services in Northamptonshire have led to their Ofsted rating rising to ‘Good’ from ‘Inadequate’ in just 12 months. Ofsted today published their report following their weeklong inspection of Northamptonshire Children’s Trust Independent Fostering Agency (NCT IFA) last month (15 to 19 January 2024), finding that ‘since the last inspection, there have been significant improvements in how well foster carers are supported and supervised.’ Today’s Ofsted findings have been welcomed by North and West Northamptonshire Councils, which have been working closely with NCT on its journey to improve children’s services countywide. In their report, inspectors said 'supervising social workers spend time with children on a regular basis. This has helped to improve the overall quality of relationships between children, foster carers and their supervising social workers.’ In turn this means ‘children are settled and make good progress. Many children remain with their foster carers for many years and into their adulthood.’ This leads to positive outcomes for children in giving them stability and consistency. They also saw that ‘The fostering agency is working hard to better understand the quality of children’s lived experiences. Care practice is now more meaningful and child centred. Children have their own separate recordings that are, overall, written in a child-friendly way.’ Evidencing that children and young people are at the heart of all that NCT do. Inspectors saw that the fostering service are working collaboratively within NCT, saying ‘There is a better understanding and appreciation of each other’s professional roles. Collaboration between supervising social workers, children’s social workers and foster carers is improving.’ Achieving permanence for children and young people is evident and inspectors noted that ‘Managers have been creative in linking across the children’s trust to support good outcomes for children. Good relationships between the fostering agency and the voluntary adoption agency mean that children benefit from early permanence in their care.’ It is fantastic that Ofsted judge our independent fostering agency as ‘good’. Attaining this has been no mean feat and it is a real testament to the commitment and hard work of colleagues in the service to reach this. Of course, our foster carers are critical to this and are an incredible asset, providing guidance, stability, support, and care to some of the most vulnerable children and young people. With a huge shortage of foster carers we would encourage anyone who has been considering fostering to get in touch with us. Our expert, friendly team will guide you through every step of the process. You could make a huge difference to the lives of children and young people in Northamptonshire. Colin Foster, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire Children’s Trust I am assured by the news that Ofsted has recognised the significant improvements in our fostering service and the positive impact it is having on the children and young people that are cared for. There are few things more important than the lives of vulnerable children. As the report states, there is still work to do, and as acknowledged in the findings, the members of the current senior leadership team have the capacity to achieve the remaining changes and developments. We will work openly and collaboratively with them to ensure this happens. Cllr Scott Edwards, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills at North Northamptonshire Council This is positive news for our children and young people, our foster carers and colleagues who work hard to improve outcomes and help give our young people the best start in life. To see improvements in care being more child centred, for educational needs to be met and understood as well as our young people regularly taking part in extracurricular activities is all really encouraging. I am pleased to hear there are much better relationships with our foster carers as they play a vital role in helping us to improve the lives and outcomes of our children and young people – and it is absolutely necessary that they feel supported in all they do. I would like to share my thanks to colleagues who have been committed to making necessary improvements over the last 12 months and who I am sure, will continue to support this improvement journey. Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills at WNC Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Cabinet set out budget proposals for 2024/25
February 15, 2024
Cabinet set out budget proposals for 2024/25
15 February 2024 Cabinet members set out budget proposals for 2024/25 while protecting the most vulnerable in our community and tackling a significant rise in costs and demand for services. In common with local authorities across the country, the Council is facing financial pressures due to a range of factors including the current economic climate, inflation rates and a rise in demand for services, particularly around supporting children in care and vulnerable adults. However, given these pressures, the authority is proposing to deliver a balanced revenue budget for 2024/25 of £889.5m (£414.5m excluding dedicated Schools Grant). The budget was presented to Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday and follows a six-week public consultation which allowed residents, businesses, partners and other stakeholders to review and provide feedback on the proposals. It has also been subject to continuous review and scrutiny, including consideration by the cross-party group of members of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The proposals seek to raise the average Council Tax by 4.99%, which is in line with the Government’s allowance, generating extra funding of around £13.1m – with 2% of the increase going towards funding adult social care and represents an increase on a Band D property of £84.52 a year, the equivalent of £1.63 a week. The budget follows a strong commitment to making services as efficient as possible and reviewing income streams in order to maintain and protect services, with £24.1m of savings proposals put forward. These will be found through savings in operating costs and includes restructuring departments, introducing back-office savings without impacting on how services are delivered to residents. In the face of severe financial pressures, rising costs and the continuing increase in demand for services, such as those supporting vulnerable adults and children, putting this budget together has been extremely challenging and we’ve faced some really tough choices. However, despite these pressures, we have still managed to protect services and there are no service reductions contained within these budget plans which I believe is a great achievement. Every decision we've made, every penny we've allocated, has been with you, our residents, in mind. Balancing the budget hasn't been easy, but it's necessary to ensure we can continue to provide the vital services our community relies on. We’ve therefore focused hard on how we can save more money and raise extra income to address inflationary pressures and cover the increasing costs of high service demand. Your needs are at the forefront of everything we do. We're dedicated to finding ways to ease the burden and ensure that our community thrives, even in challenging times. Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council At their meeting, Cabinet members agreed to recommend the final 2024/25 budget to next week’s Full Council, which will take place in Northampton’s Guildhall on Thursday, 22 February at 5pm. The agenda will be published this week on the Council’s website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northants to Mark Two Year Anniversary of Conflict in Ukraine
February 15, 2024
West Northants to Mark Two Year Anniversary of Conflict in Ukraine
15 February 2024 On Saturday 24 February, it will be two years since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In West Northamptonshire Ukrainian families and their hosts will join people across the UK to observe this anniversary of the conflict in Ukraine on Friday 23 February. The Ukrainian flag will be raised at all West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) office buildings in Towcester, Daventry, and Northampton to mark two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. There will be a ceremony to commemorate the day starting at 11am until 11:30am in the Guildhall courtyard, followed by the raising of the Ukrainian flag at the front of the Guildhall in Northampton. The event will be attended by the Chairman and Leader of WNC and representatives from the Ukrainian community. A minute’s silence will be held to honour all of those affected by the ongoing war followed by the lighting of candles. Speeches will be translated into Ukrainian, and Sunflower seeds will be available for guests to take away. The proceeds from the sale of these will go directly to the Red Cross- Ukraine Crisis Appeal. As we mark two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we continue to show our support and solidarity to Ukrainians in our local community and beyond. I want to take the opportunity to thank all the people across West Northants for welcoming our Ukrainian guests into our communities. Cllr David Smith Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Regulatory Services Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northampton students learn how to be a good citizen at 2-day event
February 15, 2024
Northampton students learn how to be a good citizen at 2-day event
15 February 2024 Students from Primary Schools across Northampton learned about being a good citizen and personal safety in the second Young Citizen’s Day Event of this academic year. Over 650 Year 6 students from 12 Primary Schools attended the event at The Deco Theatre, Northampton, on February 6 and 7. The day was developed by West Northamptonshire Council’s Community Safety and Engagement Team and funded by the Northamptonshire Serious Violence Prevention Partnership. Watch our video of the event. Good Citizens event video The two-day event aimed to give young people a greater understanding of emergency services, to instil an understanding of personal safety and to encourage being considerate towards others. The students took part in a variety of engaging interactive workshops and group presentations delivered by agencies from across Northamptonshire. These included substance abuse, rail and road safety, crime prevention and personal safety, hate crime, online safety and serious violence. During their lunchbreak students watched an engaging performance by Rushden Academy. The Young Citizens schemes gives us the opportunity to work proactively with children and young people to explore community safety issues and encourage them to be good citizens. The event provides a greater understanding of emergency services, imparts essential safety skills and cultivates compassion towards others. We are proud to be involved in such an impactful event and hope that the experience gained will equip these students for their futures. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Regulatory Services at West Northamptonshire Council It’s so important that local partners work together to help inform young people and encourage them to make the right choices in life. I am delighted that the Serious Violence Partnership has been able to fund such a fantastic event. I’m sure the students who attended will have found it really beneficial in helping to improve their awareness and ensure they can stay safe in their local communities. Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Cabinet approves future plans for County Hall
February 15, 2024
Cabinet approves future plans for County Hall
15 February 2024 Future plans to lease out parts of the former County Hall buildings in Northampton aim to ensure a positive future for these important heritage buildings. County Hall, along with other historic buildings like the Guildhall, holds significant importance in the town and county's history and forms an integral part of West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC's) collection of heritage assets. However, after a thorough review of WNC office space and assets, it became clear that there is a surplus of office and administrative meeting rooms within these historic sites, which could be better utilised whilst reducing costs on the public purse. In a move aimed at ensuring these buildings have a productive future and have the best chance of retaining their character and historic significance, the Council’s Cabinet has approved the following: Judges’ Lodgings: The property will be transferred on a long leasehold basis, with potential use as a hotel or private residence, maintaining its character as a dwelling. Centre Block and Former Constabulary Block: the Council will seek to transfer this on a long leasehold basis for restoration and conversion, probably to flats, to maximize the property's potential, ensure its preservation, and allow people to enjoy its historic features. Sessions House and Front Block: whilst elements may be leased for commercial food and drink operations, the Council will continue to investigate alternative uses which retain public use of these historic spaces and enhance the regeneration of the town centre seeking to attract and increase future footfall. Separately, work will be pursued on options for greater public access to experience the history of justice in Northampton. We appreciate the significance of our cherished County Hall buildings and the role they play in our town and county's history. This week, we announce a decision aimed at securing their preservation and beneficial future use. Our goal is threefold: first, to increase public access and enjoyment of these heritage assets, allowing them to play a valued role in our community. Second, by transforming County Hall, we contribute to the preservation of our heritage and the regeneration of Northampton. Thirdly, we make good use of public money and reduce our operating costs, allowing us to put more money into services for our residents. By approving the transfers, we pave the way for restoration, preservation, and where appropriate, conversion, ensuring a brighter future for these significant landmarks. This decision aligns with our commitment to the community, aiming to enhance public use and enjoyment of County Hall's rich history. We will continue to engage with the public and stakeholders throughout this process, ensuring transparency and collaboration. Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council For more information, please visit our website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
First steps towards new cricket facility in Northampton agreed by Cabinet
February 14, 2024
First steps towards new cricket facility in Northampton agreed by Cabinet
Parks, sports and leisure 14 February 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has agreed to lease land to Northamptonshire County Cricket Club (NCCC) as it seeks to deliver a brand-new cricket facility in Northampton. At yesterday’s cabinet meeting (Tuesday, 13 February), councillors approved plans for a 125-year lease for land at New Manor Farm, Moulton to NCCC, which will enable the club to take a step forward in consulting with residents around the further progress of proposals to deliver a second site. Those proposals will be tested through the planning process and local licensing regimes, which will be subject to the usual consultation processes. Both the cricket club and the council are committed to engaging with all stakeholders including parish councils, community groups and local residents in the area to ensure that the detailed plans are fully explored and any mitigation required is understood prior to any planning application being submitted. This is an exciting milestone in a project that we’ve been working on for some time. There’s so much growth happening for cricket in the county, particularly in the women’s game and disability cricket, and over the last few years this has significantly increased pressure on our existing facilities. We cannot play any more games at The County Ground than we do currently, so it makes sense for us to investigate the idea of an additional venue, which the site at Moulton offers Ray Payne, NCCC Chief Executive The plans are for a permanent capacity of 2,000 and while the illustrative plans from NCCC show temporary stands which would substantially increase the capacity, this could only happen with the permission of the local authority and is not part of the lease agreement considered by WNC’s Cabinet yesterday. The new venue would become a home for the development of women’s and girls’ cricket of all formats, including softball festivals, junior leagues and provide a consistent venue for pathway cricket. There are no plans to move the professional men’s setup or club offices away from The County Ground, a venue Northamptonshire County Cricket Club has been proud to call home since 1886. We’re confident that a new facility will add enormous value to women and girls’ cricket in Northamptonshire and have a transformational impact on the volume and quality of cricket that’s played in the county. Ray Payne, NCCC Chief Executive Many of the club’s goals align with the objectives of the council to provide accessible sport and wellbeing opportunities within the local community. The proposals will enable NCCC to grow participation in cricket from grass roots programmes through to academy level, making the sport accessible to people from all backgrounds. We are pleased to have agreed to lease this land to NCCC so that they can begin the process of making this opportunity a reality. This is an exciting step forward in their plans to deliver a first-class facility in West Northamptonshire and supports the council’s commitment to providing accessible health and wellbeing facilities in local communities. These proposals will ensure cricket, as the primary use, continues to be an important element in the Northamptonshire calendar, providing high-quality training opportunities as well as improved walking routes throughout the local area and will follow thorough consultation and discussion with residents. Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure We’re proud that prudent governance and commercial growth of the club have helped us to achieve an enviable level of financial security. Now we need to ensure that we invest in our facilities so we can increase opportunities for everyone to play and expand the club’s reach into communities across Northamptonshire and surrounding counties. Gavin Warren, NCCC Chairman Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Partners come together to clean up Kingsthorpe, Northampton
February 14, 2024
Partners come together to clean up Kingsthorpe, Northampton
Bins, recycling and waste 14 February 2024 Tens of bags of litter, and fly-tipped items including sofas were collected and removed by volunteers, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and Northamptonshire Partnership Homes (NPH) as a collective effort to tidy up Kingsthorpe, Northampton. Litter pickers from Community Safety, Engagement and Resettlement Team at WNC held the Day of Action, alongside recycling and waste services partner, Veolia, The Wombles and NPH who all took to the streets to collect items which had been strewn carelessly and illegally. All of the items collected will now be disposed of responsibly and will no longer be causing a negative impact on the environment. The litter picks took place at Nursery Lane, Cranford Road, Norton Road, Eastern Avenue, Bondfield Road, the corner of Kingsland Avenue opposite the church, and Newnham Road. It is disappointing that some people show such little regard for the environment and their local community that they drop litter wherever they like. We’re committed to tackling this issue, and it is always heartening to see the great work of our partners, officers and volunteers who work so hard to keep their communities clean and green. We want to do all we can to support their excellent work, as well as encourage and assist other groups to join them. By working together, we send a strong message to offenders that their actions are not acceptable and will not be tolerated. If you would like to hold a litter pick in your community, please get in touch with us to find out more about borrowing free litter picking equipment. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Climate, Transport, Highways and Waste at West Northamptonshire Council People can report fly-tipping and littering on our website, along with details of any information which can help to pinpoint the offenders. To find out more visit our cleaner communities page. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Local students partner with Northampton Film Festival to create Rugby World Cup trailer
February 14, 2024
Local students partner with Northampton Film Festival to create Rugby World Cup trailer
14 February 2024 Sixth form students from Northgate Academy in Northampton have partnered with Northampton Film Festival to produce an online trailer promoting the Women’s Rugby World Cup, which is coming to West Northants in 2025. Around 20 young people are taking part in the project and overseeing every stage of creation, from planning and story boarding to filming and creative direction, with a number of sessions taking place at the Bee Hive in Northampton. The project launched following students’ work experience placements with the West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) Web Team where they demonstrated a keen interest in stop motion films and working in the film industry as a future career aspiration. The project aims to provide students with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) with a greater understanding of the realities of seeking employment and working in the film industry and aims to equip them with essential employment skills whilst learning the art of film production, exercising their creative abilities and building a portfolio of work experience. The Northampton Film Festival have delivered hands on workshops for the students centred around writing poetry and short stories as well as auditioning hopefuls wanting to take part in the film. The final trailer will be premiered during the Northampton Film Festival at Cineworld in March, with the full video teaser being used to promote the Women's Rugby World Cup being hosted in West Northants in 2025. The Bee Hive is a vocational sixth form provision for young people with moderate (MLD) to severe (SLD) learning disabilities and is part of the Northgate School Arts College Academy Trust. The centre provides students with first-hand real-life experiential learning. It has a café, a conference hall, a commercial kitchen, a second-hand shop, and a wellbeing centre. I love drawing, I used to draw Angry Birds at primary school and have always wanted to be an artist. I am really enjoying doing storyboarding for this project. I would love to take part in more projects like this. Lemmy, Northgate student I really like doing something unique and different at school. I’ve been working on an introduction to West Northants and what it’s known for: shoes, the Lift Tower, beautiful scenery, and rugby! I want to show that people with special educational needs can still achieve things. The trailer will show that we have all put a lot of effort in and worked hard. This work has helped me with skills for future jobs. Matthew, Northgate student The project has been a joint initiative by Northgate School and West Northamptonshire Council’s Digital, Technology and Innovation; Sports and Leisure teams and the West Northamptonshire SEND Partnership. It is great to see students applying their creativity to this project whilst learning new skills and gaining experiencing in a film creation environment. It is opportunities like these that provide our young people with valuable experience which will play an essential role in their career journey. I have attended some of the sessions to date and I can see firsthand just how stuck in the young people are getting with this project, with lots of great ideas. I am very much looking forward to seeing the final trailer being shown in Cineworld as part of the Northampton Film Festival! Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills at WNC Northampton Film Festival is passionate about making sure diverse voices are heard. To create the best work and tell the best stories, we need to ensure Northamptonshire talent is supported to develop skills and gain experience in Film. We know we’re going to make a better film because we’ve involved enthusiastic young people with new ideas, and we’re extremely grateful to Cineworld Northampton who have given us the opportunity to premiere it in such a fantastic venue as part of the Festival! Becky Carrier, Director at Northampton Film Festival Free tickets to the premiere on 11 March are available on the Northampton Film Festival Website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Leader provides update on flooding at Billing Aquadrome
February 12, 2024
Leader provides update on flooding at Billing Aquadrome
We are so pleased to hear that the water levels have receded and residents have been able to return to their homes at Billing Aquadrome following the flooding over the weekend. Emergency services partners, including our Council, fire and police service worked alongside on site management to support the evacuation of residents alongside an absolutely tremendous response from local community volunteers including The Red Cross and 4X4. Around 60 residents stayed at a sheltered venue there overnight on Saturday and were provided with emergency bedding and hot food, with others staying with relatives until they were able to start returning to their homes later on Sunday. Whilst the health and safety of residents at Billing Aquadrome is ultimately the responsibility of the park owners, we and our emergency services partners will always step in to respond and support in incidents where there’s clearly a high risk to people’s welfare and wellbeing. For the sake of those residents who continue to be affected by flooding at Billing, we cannot allow it to keep happening and there needs to be a sustainable, long-term solution to addressing these issues. We cannot stress how difficult and challenging that will be, given that this is part of the flood plain there to protect houses and businesses in the wider area. Alongside supporting the site’s owners in improving their emergency response plans it’s important we also work with other partners including Environment Agency to identify the challenges and opportunities that will help us do this. We are therefore taking steps to set up a task group that will look at these issues. We are aware there have been challenges around the site’s ownership arrangements and believe a more settled long-term solution would result in the park’s plans and ability to respond becoming stronger and stronger with less reliance on the public purse.
Billing Aquadrome: evacuation update due to flooding
February 10, 2024
Billing Aquadrome: evacuation update due to flooding
10 February 2024 Billing aquadrome flooding “Due to the significant amount of rainfall breaching river banks and with high water levels over the last 24 hours, residents at Billing Aquadrome are being evacuated due to health and welfare concerns. We’re working closely with our Local Resilience Forum partners including Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue service to support Billing’s management team with the evacuation. As an urgent priority, we have assisted vulnerable residents with packages of support. We are providing camp beds and hot food and working with the Red Cross who are also on site offering their support. For residents who do not have any alternative accommodation, we will provide this to them to ensure they have somewhere safe and warm to go to. We will continue to support the management at Billing Aquadrome with arrangements at their on site, until water levels drop and residents can return safely." Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council With flooding possible across our area, please all take care – you can find out more flood information and advice here: https://www.westnorthants.gov.uk/news/advice-event-flooding Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Billing Aquadrome: flooding update
February 11, 2024
Billing Aquadrome: flooding update
11 February 2024 “WNC staff left the site at 11pm last night having settled residents with emergency beds and hot food and thankfully there was no additional flooding overnight. This means that Billing Aquadrome’s management has today been able to start assessing the situation, bringing in electricians, and taking the first steps towards moving residents safely back into their homes as soon as possible. The immediate emergency response has now ended but we’re continuing to liaise with the Environment Agency to monitor the situation and we will continue to support the site’s management and residents by keeping overnight resources such as camp beds on standby at the site. We’d like to thank all partners involved including the Red Cross, police and fire service for all their assistance with the evacuation and supporting.” Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Third round of grant funding launched to help recruit volunteers in West Northants
February 09, 2024
Third round of grant funding launched to help recruit volunteers in West Northants
09 February 2024 Are you a Voluntary or a Community Sector organisation looking to recruit more volunteers and help your local community? West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has launched a third round of grant funding which aims to create additional volunteering opportunities in West Northants. Local charities, voluntary or community groups, clubs, community interest companies, and not for profit organisations are invited to apply for a grant up to £1,500 to recruit new volunteers for use for projects which address a local community need. This Community Funding Grant Scheme has received £47,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to fund these creation of additional volunteering projects. Our communities are at the heart of everything we do and we’re thrilled to be offering this third round of funding to support and enable our Community and Voluntary Sector organisations to continue their valuable work. This funding will help improve the lives of local people and I encourage all those who are eligible to get in touch with our Grants Team to find out more. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services at West Northamptonshire Council Further information and the full criteria for applications can be found on the WNC website and in the Council’s Community Funding Grants Framework . If you would like an application form or wish to speak to the Community Funding Grants Team about your project or your eligibility to apply for this grant, email: [email protected] including your contact telephone number. More information about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) can be on the Gov website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Local enterprise partnership set for smooth transfer
February 09, 2024
Local enterprise partnership set for smooth transfer
09 February 2024 Businesses can expect a seamless transition when the functions of the local enterprise partnership transfer to West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) this spring. The move follows the Government’s decision last year to end core funding for Local Enterprise Partnerships from 31 March 2024, to allow for continuing services to be run through local authorities. From the start of April 2024, WNC will take the role of host for the continuing functions from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP). This includes: Strategic regional economic planning The Growth Hub, a government-backed business support service which provides free 1-2-1 advice, guidance and resources to assist businesses located in the South East Midlands to realise growth ambitions and overcome constraints. The Careers Hub, which connects local employers to individual schools, colleges and training providers to coordinate careers education to the needs of the region’s economy and enhance each student’s early experiences of the workplace. This approach was agreed collectively by the six local authorities in the South East Midlands – Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire, Luton, Milton Keynes, North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire. The Central Area Growth Board, made up of the leaders of each authority, will provide the initial governance structure, prior to the establishment of a joint committee. The board will be supported by a newly formed Business Board with representatives from the business community across the area. The Business board will play a critical role in ensuring businesses across the South East Midlands have a hand in shaping the economy, and a voice on issued that affect them. We’re committed to ensuring the businesses and individuals who have been so brilliantly supported by SEMLEP will experience a smooth transition. In the coming months and years, we’ll also dedicate our efforts across the South East Midlands to building on the great work that’s been done by everyone so far. I’m looking forward to welcoming some fantastic new colleagues, albeit that we’ve already been working closely with them for some years. Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Co-chair of the Growth Board Final preparations are now being made to transfer staff and functions to WNC as the host authority, along with the agreed budget for their management. These arrangements will be discussed at a meeting of WNC’s Cabinet on Tuesday 13 February 2024. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Silverstone confirmed as home of British Grand Prix until 2034 following 10-year Formula 1 extension
February 08, 2024
Silverstone confirmed as home of British Grand Prix until 2034 following 10-year Formula 1 extension
08 February 2024 Council leaders have welcomed today’s announcement that Silverstone will remain the home of the British Grand Prix for another 10 years, further strengthening West Northants as a destination of sporting and cultural excellence. The world-class motorsports venue has announced it will continue to host the British Grand Prix until 2034 after reaching an agreement with Formula 1. This new deal will see Silverstone race into its ninth decade having hosted the first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix in 1950. This is fantastic news and we are delighted that the prominent world-renowned British Grand Prix will continue to be held in West Northamptonshire. The event attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year and hugely benefits our tourism and visitor economy while showcasing West Northants to a global audience. Our dedicated Economic Growth & Inward Investment Team will be working closely with Silverstone to support their many incredible events and activities in our area. Attracting more visitors to West Northamptonshire, increasing footfall and spend is a top priority. I would like to offer a huge congratulations to Silverstone and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship over the next decade and beyond. Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, at West Northamptonshire Council The British Grand Prix has become one of the largest attended events on the F1 calendar and a pivotal event in West Northamptonshire. Last year’s event attracted some of the biggest names in sport, music and culture, as the race drew in a record crowd of 480,000 across the weekend with over 60,000 fans camping in the local area. This year, fans will enjoy a weekend filled with great racing as well as off-track entertainment including concerts every evening on Silverstone’s main stage headlined by music’s biggest artists, including Stormzy and Kings of Leon. The 3.6 mile (5.8km), 18-corner Silverstone circuit has been revered by drivers through the ages. 74 years on from Giuseppe Farina’s first victory, a roll call of Formula 1 royalty have taken the chequered flag including Alberto Ascari, Sir Stirling Moss OBE, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark OBE, Jack Brabham AO OBE, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, and Sir Lewis Hamilton MBE, who has a record eight victories. Three other members of the 2024 grid have claimed victory around the famous circuit including two-time winners Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso, and Carlos Sainz who took his maiden victory there in 2022. Great Britain has always played a pivotal role in Formula 1 and today it is home to seven teams competing in the World Championship, many located just a few miles from the circuit. Throughout its history, F1 has contributed significantly to the UK economy, creating thousands of jobs and boosting the country’s manufacturing industry through pioneering research and development projects. F1 also works closely with UK universities and schools to drive interest in STEM subjects, fully funding full-time university scholarships at five universities, running STEM skills workshops across the country and hosting career insight days for school students. The Formula 1 Qatar Airways British Grand Prix 2024 will take place from 4 to 7 July. I am delighted we have secured a 10-year extension to host the Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. This contractual security will provide a solid base for the further development of the venue as we continue to improve and transform the circuit into a year-round international motorsport and leisure destination. The 2024 Formula 1 season will start with 9 BRDC Full and Honorary members on the grid and the importance of our continued support of young drivers is particularly evidenced by the success of Lewis, Lando, George and Alex. Peter Digby, Chairman of the British Racing Drivers’ Club This long-term commitment reflects the importance of the British Grand Prix to Formula 1 and their acknowledgement of our ability to deliver a world-class experience for the British fans who are among the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable in the world. The cheers of support for the home teams, and particularly for the British drivers on the grid, makes the Silverstone atmosphere unique and I am looking forward to harnessing this passion for our sport and taking the event to the next level in the coming decade. Stuart Pringle, Chief Executive Officer, Silverstone I am delighted to announce that the British Grand Prix will remain on the calendar for ten more years with this agreement. Silverstone is an iconic venue at the heart of F1 history and as it approaches its ninth decade hosting Grands Prix, the event continues to attract fans from around the world for fantastic racing on track and the amazing fan experience off it. I would like to thank Stuart Pringle and the Silverstone team for their hard work and dedication to take the British Grand Prix to new heights and I look forward to working closely with them as they look to further improve the facilities and fan experience over the next ten years. Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1 Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Let’s Rock announce first ever Let’s Rock Northampton!
February 07, 2024
Let’s Rock announce first ever Let’s Rock Northampton!
Events 07 February 2024 The UK’s most iconic retro festival series Let’s Rock is heading to Northampton for the very first time this summer! The inaugural Let’s Rock Northampton will take place at Delapré Park on Saturday 15 June, and will be headlined by 80’s superstar Billy Ocean. Also performing on the day are Tony Hadley, Go West, The Boomtown Rats, Tom Bailey (Thompson Twins), Heaven 17, Jason Donovan, Altered Images and many, many more. Tickets start at just £35 and are on sale from 10am on Friday 9 February, from the Let’s Rock website . Billy Ocean broke through in 1976 with the smash ‘Love Really Hurts Without You” and had a string of further hits throughout the late 70s and 80s including ‘Red Light Spells Danger’, ‘Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)’, ‘There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)’ – a US No.1 – and the colossal 1985 UK No.1 ‘When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going’, the theme from the hit film ‘The Jewel Of The Nile’. The same year, Billy became the first British artist to win the Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. In 2020 he was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to music. I genuinely love playing Let’s Rock, the atmosphere is always brilliant. Ten thousand crazy fans singing your songs back to you – what could be better?! Billy Ocean I can’t wait to perform at Let’s Rock in 2024. Let’s Rock means summertime to me and I’m already looking forward to the longer and warmer days. Bring it on! Jason Donovan We’re thrilled to be bringing Let’s Rock to Northampton for the very first time. We hope local 80s pop fans will love a line-up that includes iconic artists like Billy Ocean and Tony Hadley We look forward to welcoming you all to Delapré Park on June 15th! UK Live Ltd/Let’s Rock organisers Music events like these are of huge value to our community, bringing together residents from all walks of life to celebrate music, arts, and culture. This occasion is the perfect opportunity to showcase West Northamptonshire as an area of Arts and Culture excellence whilst highlighting nationally our host venue, Delapré Abbey which is already leading the way as a major attraction. Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy leader for West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure About Let's Rock British retro festival, Let’s Rock offers glorious non-stop nostalgic fun, with legendary musicians performing hit after hit to a family crowd of all ages, many of whom come dressed in their finest ‘80s fashion. Since launching in 2009 with a solitary festival at Cookham Moor in Berkshire, Let’s Rock has grown into the UK’s biggest retro festival series, and in doing so has re-launched and revitalized the careers of many iconic 80s artists. Let’s Rock works with many amazing charities including official charity partner Child Bereavement UK, who support families and educate professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a family is facing bereavement. Since partnering with UK Live in 2014, Child Bereavement have raised almost a million pounds at Let’s Rock events. Visit the Let’s Rock website for further information. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Collide: A ChoirFest Experience Music Director promises to create a choir in under an hour at exclusive free pop-up group singing experience
February 06, 2024
Collide: A ChoirFest Experience Music Director promises to create a choir in under an hour at exclusive free pop-up group singing experience
06 February 2024 Gareth Fuller and show cast members lead this relaxed, fun singing opportunity, open to all regardless of experience….and its free! An exclusive pop-up taster singing session, offering individuals of all skill levels a chance to discover the joy of singing, is set to prove what many have questioned – everyone can sing! The bold claim is set to be put to the test during an engaging session taking place on Saturday 9 March 2024, from 10:30am to midday at The Carnegie Room, Northampton Central Library. Providing participants with a glimpse into the power of singing together, attendees will learn harmonies plus other vocal techniques and be taught a song by the end of the session, creating a choir in the process! Whether a complete beginner or looking to refine your singing skills, the session promises to be an enjoyable and educational experience plus a great opportunity to discover the many benefits of singing with others. During our weekly community choirs across Northamptonshire and the UK, we have proven that no matter your ability, singing really is something everyone can do! Stress-relieving and confidence-building, I am excited to lead this session and create a choir in a short time and prove that everyone can sing! Gareth Fuller, ChoirFest Music Director and Choir Director to over 450 Northants based community voices and Liam Gallagher’s sold out Knebworth shows attended by over 160,000 This joint initiative by Public Health, Northampton Central Library and West Northamptonshire Council will also include cast members of the highly anticipated music production Collide: A ChoirFest Experience, sharing a snippet of what to expect from the show which takes place on 30 March 2024, at The Royal & Derngate Theatre. The specially commissioned musical show celebrates the joys of group singing whilst providing an opportunity for 200 local community voices to sing alongside a full live band, string section and Karen Gibson MBE, famed for leading the choir at the Royal wedding of the Sussexes, Harry and Meghan. In addition to the many services available at Northampton Central Library, a large collection of musical scores sets are available for choirs and orchestras to hire at reasonable rates. A variety of service options are available, from an annual subscription to a one-off set. Currently around 40 groups use the service, with 6920 scores loaned in the last year. All fees and charges can be found on the WNC website . This free taster session is a perfect opportunity to get involved and experience choir singing first hand. Participants will also get a chance to see the cast of ChoirFest in action as we countdown to what is going to be a showstopping main event. I encourage everyone to join us as we celebrate the musical talent offering in West Northamptonshire and also urge local music groups to take advantage of the great value musical scores available from the Central Library. Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure Free tickets for The Exclusive Taster Singing Session will be available from 5 February, book your tickets here . Tickets for Collide: A ChoirFest Experience are on sale now, available from the Royal & Derngate website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Young people share their views on how authorities can tackle youth vaping
February 07, 2024
Young people share their views on how authorities can tackle youth vaping
07 February 2024 Organisations in West Northants heard first-hand from, Young Healthwatch, about how they can help tackle youth vaping as part of a multi-agency summit to better understand the challenges associated with this, and how we can work as one to tackle the increasing issue. Youth vaping continues to be a priority issue for many organisations in West Northamptonshire including; schools, health colleagues, councillors, parish councils and council services like public health, waste and recycling, community safety and trading standards. With the concern shared with many parents, relatives and even some young people themselves with these audiences supporting the work underway. The Vaping Summit took place Monday 5 February and brought together these organisations to take the first step in developing a strategy to tackle this head on. Work underway to date includes working closely with schools to develop and distribute resources on how they can support young people with acknowledgement that further resources are needed, as well as engagement with children and young people to gain further insight. Our Trading Standards team continue to ramp up activity as they have seen a significant increase from illegal vape seizures in 2023-to date (284,000 vapes) compared to 2022/23 seizures (1500 vapes), showing the scale of the rapid increase in availability and the issue at hand. This includes a large scale seizure from a warehouse in Northampton, which prevented £2.7 million worth of vapes being sold in West Northamptonshire. In addition to this, the Trading Standards team in 23/24 to date have tested 40 premises reported to be selling vapes to those underage to purchase them, with an overall non-compliance of 43% which is again up from the previous year. The recent announcement from the Government regarding the ban on disposal vapes is very much welcome and this will no doubt help to tackle the onward rise in youth vaping we are seeing. However, listening to the issues raised and speaking to the young people themselves – there is more that we can do locally to further tackle this issue and build on the commitment many partners have made. Our recent Health and Wellbeing strategy for West Northants sets out how together, we aim to help our young people have the ‘best start in life’ and that includes giving them the right information and support to say no to vaping or to help them stop if they are already doing so. A core focus for us next is going to be how we further work and seek feedback from young people and their parents we can implement the right actions going forwards. Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at WNC It is alarming to see an increase in shops selling vapes and tobacco-based items to people under the legal age of 18. As part of our commitment to tackling youth vaping, we will seek to seize illicit vapes and take action where we find non-compliance from those selling these items. By hearing from young people first-hand, we can better understand how we can all work together to tackle this head on. WNC will be working with young people to develop and deliver their plan to reduce vaping in young people, which includes developing a communications campaign, developing support for schools, parents, and young people, and working with partners across the system to deliver this. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Regulatory Services at WNC Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
East Hunsbury and Shelfleys by-election: what voters need to know
February 07, 2024
East Hunsbury and Shelfleys by-election: what voters need to know
Electoral services 07 February 2024 People living in our Council’s East Hunsbury and Shelfleys electoral ward can go to the polls today (Thursday, 8 February) to vote for a new councillor to represent their area. The by-election is being held following the resignation of former West Northamptonshire Councillor Suresh Patel, and will see one councillor elected. The candidates are as follows: Clare Robertson-Marriott (Labour and Cooperative Party) Daniel Soan (Conservative Party) Carl Neville Mark Squires (Liberal Democrats) Voting Polling stations across the ward are open from 7am until 10pm, and are located at the following places: Collingtree Golf Club, 90 Windingbrook Lane Abbey Centre Baptist Church, Overslade Close, Blackymore Community Centre, Butts Croft Close, Mobile Unit in Ladybridge Drive. The details of your polling station will be printed on your poll card. You do not need to take your poll card with you in order to vote, but you must bring a valid form of Voter ID . Acceptable forms of Voter ID By law, you must present a valid form of photo ID at the polling station in order to vote. You can use expired photo ID, as long as the image on the ID remains a good likeness to you. You only need to bring one of the documents to the polling station to vote in person, but it must be the original document. You can use: Passport (UK, EU/EEA, Commonwealth issued) Driving licence (including provisional licences) (UK, EU/EEA issued) Blue Badge Certain older/disabled people concessionary travel cards Identity card with PASS mark (Proof of Age Standards Scheme) Biometric Immigration document Defence identity card Certain national identity cards More information is available on our Voter ID page Results The votes will be counted following the close of polls at 10pm, with the result posted on our X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook pages as soon as they are announced. The result will also be posted on our Elections Results page Find out more More information about this by-election can be found on the Statement of Persons Nominated document on our Elections pages Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northamptonshire Council App has got even better
February 07, 2024
West Northamptonshire Council App has got even better
07 February 2024 West Northamptonshire Council introduces enhanced Report It functionality in the Council app, enabling a seamless and efficient way to interact with the council, report issues and stay connected with the local community on the go. The app is the go-to resource for West Northamptonshire residents, providing easy access to essential council services and timely local news. Now, with the addition of the Report It features, residents can report incidents ranging from fly tipping and graffiti to abandoned trolleys and street cleansing, all from the convenience of their mobile devices. We're thrilled to introduce the Report It feature to our West Northamptonshire Council App. It's all about making life simpler for our residents and keeping our community connected and informed. We want you to have the tools you need to stay in the know, report issues, and actively contribute to our vibrant community. The enhancement of the Report It functionality takes this commitment a step further, empowering you to report incidents quickly and conveniently without the need to phone us. Cllr Mike Hallam, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and HR The app offers a host of functional features designed to enhance residents’ experience allowing you to access council services near your location. Whether you're looking for the nearest council offices, car parks, food banks, libraries, parks or other essential local services, such as the network of Welcoming Spaces, the information is just a few taps away. This app has been crafted to cater to the diverse needs of our residents, providing them with a one-stop solution to easily access local services, news, and real-time updates. Whether it's receiving reminders for bin collection schedules, so you never forget to put your bins out, accessing our recycling guidelines, making it easier for you to make sustainable choices, or receiving alerts about any potential disruptions to collections, the app has it all. Cllr Phil Larratt, WNC Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste Download or update the West Northamptonshire Council App from your device's app store to explore the new functionality. The app is continuously being developed, and we will be adding new features as we progress. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service welcomes twelve new firefighters
February 07, 2024
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service welcomes twelve new firefighters
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue has welcomed twelve new wholetime firefighters to the Service. The new firefighters have completed an induction to the service where they were given the opportunity to learn about the organisation by spending time with departments form around the service, including Prevention, Protection and Business Services. They also helped to form the guard of honour at Firefighter Hilmi Say’s funeral on January 24. The new recruits have now gone to the Fire Service College in the Cotswolds, where they will spend eight weeks learning how to use breathing apparatus, put out different types of fires, and deal with hazardous materials. Once they have finished the intense training course at the College, they will have a Passing Out Parade before returning for three weeks further training at Northamptonshire, where they will then be posted to a Watch at one of the stations around the county. The new intake was welcomed by Acting Chief Fire Officer Simon Tuhill at the Service HQ at Darby House in Wellingborough. He said: “It was fantastic to meet the newest group of recruits and to wish them well as they head off to the Fire Service College. “Being a firefighter is a very rewarding job, and one I hope they will all enjoy as they go through their careers with us.” Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold added: “It is brilliant to welcome the newest cohort of recruits to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue. They join us at an exciting time for the Service with new investment in fleet and equipment. “Eight new fire appliances and a 42-metre turntable ladder have joined the fleet, and four more will be delivered soon, ensuring that firefighters have the best possible equipment to keep the county safe. “This investment means that we have more resources to respond to incidents when our residents are in need and ensures our staff have the best tools available to do the job.” One of the new recruits is 26-year-old Harry Copley-Watts. Harry worked in recruitment before becoming a firefighter and he is now looking forward to making a difference in people’s lives. “The thought of being able to make someone’s life better, whether that be responding to an emergency or via Prevention or Protection work, has always been something that appealed to me. “The Service has done a really good job at showing us how it works, but now I am really looking forward to learning new skills at the Fire Service College and continuing my journey with a really good group of people.”
West Northants streets made safer following work to improve anti-social behaviour
February 05, 2024
West Northants streets made safer following work to improve anti-social behaviour
Community, safety and emergencies 05 February 2024 Work to improve safety and security in two Northampton crime hotspots has been completed as part of the Government’s Safer Streets initiative. Six CCTV cameras, funded by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) with support from the Government’s Safer Streets fund, have been installed in Blackthorn and Bellinge following high levels of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity including drug-dealing, assaults and shoplifting. The cameras are situated in Blackthorn Road, Black Bridge Court and behind the shopping area in Blackthorn, and on Fishponds Road, Fieldmill Road and Billingmead Walk in Bellinge. A new CCTV camera was also installed in Blackthorn’s Spinneyside Walk last year which has resulted in a 100% reduction in crime in that area. Blackthorn and Bellinge have disproportionately high crime levels and part of this is due to the prevalence of alleyways, underpasses and deprivation. In addition to the CCTV cameras, WNC has utilised £99,000 of funding to improve safety in these areas by installing new lighting in underpasses and providing a targeted youth project to engage young people and divert them from criminal activity, including one-to-one mentoring with young people not in education. Keeping residents safe is one of the Council’s top priorities and we have invested significantly to improve areas which have historically been hotspots for anti-social behaviour and where we have been told that people feel unsafe. It is fantastic to see the positive impact this work is already having on the lives of residents and local businesses and communities, and we look forward to continuing to work with partners to further reduce criminal activity across West Northamptonshire and make our streets safer and more pleasant for everyone. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services at West Northamptonshire Council Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Rising sports stars urged to apply for talent scheme fronted by Olympians
February 05, 2024
Rising sports stars urged to apply for talent scheme fronted by Olympians
Parks, sports and leisure 05 February 2024 Up-and-coming athletes in West Northamptonshire are being given the chance to take their careers to the next level – in an Olympic and Paralympic year – with Everyone Active's Sporting Champions scheme. Relaunching this month, the renowned programme empowers aspiring athletes to unlock their full potential by offering access to state-of-the-art training facilities and mentoring support from Olympians and Paralympians. Since its inception in 2016, the scheme has transformed the lives of more than 5,000 athletes by providing them with free access to Everyone Active's 230-plus leisure centres nationwide, helping them press forward in their journey to sporting stardom. These include Moulton Leisure Centre and Daventry Leisure Centre, run in partnership with West Northamptonshire Council. For 2024, the legendary Colin Jackson, Olympic 110m hurdles silver medallist and former world record holder, returns as the scheme's Ambassador. He will be working alongside a line-up of inspiring Elite athletes who have starred on the Olympic and Paralympic stage – Northamptonshire swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton, Lauren Steadman, Lutalo Muhammad, Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova, Kadeena Cox, Richard Kilty – in group mentoring sessions throughout the year. These sporting heroes will share their wisdom and expertise, guiding up and coming athletes every step of the way. Colin said: "I'm passionate about nurturing young talent and the Sporting Champions scheme goes above and beyond in this mission. With the Olympics and Paralympics taking place in Paris this summer, the programme takes on even greater significance in 2024. Seeing these future champions flourish fuels my excitement for what's to come." Over the past eight years, the Sporting Champions scheme has poured more than £2million into young athletes, proving its commitment to grassroots sporting excellence. At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, no fewer than 30 Sporting Champions competed, taking home five gold, two silver and three bronze medals. We are delighted to support up and coming athletes from West Northamptonshire on their journey to success. As a leisure provider working in partnership with West Northamptonshire Council, we feel it is important to cater for all sections of the community. The Sporting Champions scheme has supported thousands of athletes over the years and we are proud to be continuing this again in 2024. We hope to continue making a real difference to our athletes’ success and are excited to see what this Olympic year will bring. Jamie Brightwell, Everyone Active’s Contract Manager We are pleased to be working alongside our partners at Everyone Active to support this initiative, which aims to uncover the next sporting stars in West Northamptonshire. As a council, we aim to do everything within our power to inspire people to live a more active and healthier lifestyle, and nurture sporting success. Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure Applications open on Monday, February 12, 2024 and run until Monday, March 11, 2024 via the Everyone Active Sporting Champions website, easportingchampions.com Follow the Sporting Champions Instagram (@easportingchamps) for more information on how to apply. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
James Arthur announced as summer headliner for Northampton’s ‘A Perfect Day’ concert
February 05, 2024
James Arthur announced as summer headliner for Northampton’s ‘A Perfect Day’ concert
05 February 2024 Chart-topping UK singer/songwriter, James Arthur has announced a date in Northampton this summer, headlining ‘A Perfect Day’ concert at Delapré Park. James Arthur first rose to prominence when he won the ninth series of The X Factor in 2012. He has gone on to accrue a massive haul of hits including ‘Impossible’, ‘You’re Nobody ‘Til Someone Loves You’, ‘Sun Comes Up’, ‘Naked’, ‘Rewrite The Stars’, ‘The Power Of Love’, ‘Lasting Lover’, ‘Train Wreck’ and his global breakthrough track, the seminal single ‘Say You Won't Let Go’ - all contributing to James being one of the world’s biggest streaming artists, with over 38 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone. James’s fifth album, ‘Bitter Sweet Love’, hit the charts last week, going straight to No. 1 following four Top 10 previous album releases. I am delighted to be playing Delapré Park as part of my summer diary for 2024. I look forward to performing my hits in this beautiful location and I really hope you can join me James Arthur Music events like these are of huge value to our community, bringing together residents from all walks of life to celebrate music, arts, and culture. This occasion is the perfect opportunity to showcase West Northamptonshire as an area of Arts and Culture excellence whilst highlighting nationally our host venue, Delapré Abbey which is already leading the way as a major attraction. Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy leader for West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure About A Perfect Day ‘A Perfect Day’ is a new single day outdoor live music event presented by West Northamptonshire Council in partnership with Kilimanjaro & UK Live Ltd. Taking place at one of the most beautiful public gardens in Northampton known as the historic Delapré Park. Bring your picnic blanket & family and get ready to enjoy the ultimate day out with music, great facilities and fine food and drink! Tickets are available here . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northamptonshire students set to take part in Children’s Mental Health Week
February 05, 2024
Northamptonshire students set to take part in Children’s Mental Health Week
Mental health and wellbeing 05 February 2024 As another Children’s Mental Health Week starts (5-11 February) pupils in schools across Northamptonshire will again be taking part in activities to get them talking about mental health. Embracing this year’s theme: ‘My voice matters’, the Healthy Schools team in West Northamptonshire and North Northamptonshire have come together with local children and young people to create a resource pack which has been sent out to schools. It’s full of activities to give pupils the tools they need to express their feelings and provides them with helpful, healthy coping strategies. The resource pack is the perfect tool for schools to use and includes ideas such as ‘My voice matters’ walls, affirmation writing, scream time, journaling, fidget toys and active listening. All are positive ways, recommended by young people, to help other youngsters share their thoughts and feelings on mental health. Pupils at Key Stage 2 and above will also each get a ‘Comfort Card’. These are handy bank card sized cards which can be kept by students in a wallet, purse or mobile phone case. The cards signpost to key services and apps which offer further support and guidance if they should need it. Throughout the week, Reach Collaborative – which includes organisations such as Service Six, Youth Works (North), Lowdown (West) and the Mental Health Support in Schools team – will be visiting a number of secondary schools to deliver assemblies on mental health. They will also be holding awareness sessions for students and signposting them to mental wellbeing resources. There is lots happening in Northamptonshire to mark this week and raise awareness of children’s mental health. To support our young people to feel empowered to talk about their mental health is really important both for their own wellbeing as well as to help encourage others and I hope the activities mentioned above really help to achieve this. I would like to share my thanks to all the young people from the Talk Out Loud group who have been brilliant in helping to share their thoughts, ideas and suggestions in the development of the resource pack – it is a great tool for schools, as well as parents, carers and colleagues working with children and young people. Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills at West Northamptonshire Council I think ‘My voice matters’ is a great theme for this year. Our young residents’ voices really do matter; they are an important part of our communities and the future of them. Our youngsters have been through challenging times in the last few years which makes celebrating Children’s Mental Health Week especially important. We know that living through a global pandemic has impacted on young people’s mental health. That’s why these resources, created with, and for young people, are so key in building their wellbeing and resilience. I am glad this week gives us an opportunity to give our youngsters the support and tools they need, hopefully, not just for this week, but also to carry with them and use in the future if the need arises. Cllr Gill Mercer, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing There is a lot of support available via apps, text services, community organisations and health services for children, young people and families who are looking for support for either themselves, a friend, or for their child or relative. These include: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS Connect): Open 9am to 7pm – 0300 1111 022. Text your school nurse: Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm – 07507 329600. Text SHOUT to 85258. Available 24 hours. Speak to Childline on 0800 1111. Available 24 hours. Speak to the Samaritans on 116 123. Available 24 hours. Use apps such as Calm Harm, Clear Fear, Move Mood or Teens. For more helpful resources please visit the CAMHS Resources website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Scrutiny set out recommendations on Northampton’s micro mobility scheme
February 02, 2024
Scrutiny set out recommendations on Northampton’s micro mobility scheme
02 February 2024 West Northamptonshire Council’s place overview and scrutiny committee puts forward recommendations for the area’s public e-scooter scheme, following public consultation. On Wednesday, 31 January WNC's pace overview and scrutiny committee considered a report tabled by a task and finish group which was established to strongly consider and make recommendations regarding Northampton’s e-scooter trial. The task and finish group received evidence from the Police, WNC, VOI, key stakeholders and from members of the public through a public survey. The survey gathered feedback on the operation of the scheme, as well as, understanding how people use the e-scooters, how often, and how the Council can address people's concerns. More than 3,000 responses were submitted as part of the survey consultation which took place throughout December 2023 into January 2024. The task and finish group carried out a thorough review of the feedback to the survey and created a list of recommendations which were considered by the Scrutiny Committee. These recommendations will now be presented to WNC's Cabinet at their meeting in March. Recommendations include: Speed controls and restricted areas to be reviewed Implement new technology to prevent twin riding and riding on the pavement Seek to improve visibility at night and use in the dark Review and improve the complaints and feedback procedure Explore governance, enforcement, and further education The micro mobility scheme provides an affordable and sustainable travel option for people across West Northamptonshire to enable them to get to and from work, education and enjoying local services. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the survey and share their views with us. It remains clear that safety is a core priority- including the safety of riders and other road and footpath users. We will now work with VOI to create a road map on how we can deliver these recommendations for the local community. Cllr Alison Eastwood, the Vice Chairman of the Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Chairman of the Task and Finish Group Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New Year… New career? Support is available to land your dream job in West Northants!
January 31, 2024
New Year… New career? Support is available to land your dream job in West Northants!
Jobs and careers 31 January 2024 Looking for a new job or wanting to grow your business in 2024? We offer an extensive range of free employment support which could help you! From drop-in sessions and online courses to support finding a job and advice from expert partners, West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) free Employment Support Service is available all year round for every resident to access the support and training needed to find local employment. The service also enables every employer to utilise the skilled local workforce to grow their business. The Employment Support Service provides a range of assistance to make finding a job as easy as possible. This support includes training and upskilling, CV and cover letter writing and interview preparation, as well as a range of free courses and webinars covering everything from digital skills and wellbeing in the workplace to improving English and Maths. The service also offers help with transportation issues, money advice, and mental health support. Our Economic Growth and Inward Investment team also run drop-in sessions at Towcester Library on the second Wednesday of every month from 1pm to 3pm providing expert help from our partners with job searching, CVs, training, money advice and much more – no booking required. There is a vast and growing range of employment opportunities in West Northants, from working in our thriving transport and logistics industries, to engineering and construction, to retail and hospitality – we have something for everyone. Supporting local businesses and helping people into employment is one of the council’s top priorities which is why we have invested £1.5m of our UK Shared Prosperity Fund into People & Skills. I encourage all West Northants residents to take advantage of this free employment support service to land their dream job, and for businesses we also have a wealth of free business support tailored to your needs. Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at WNC Sign up to receive our monthly employment e-newsletter to be kept in the loop about employment and development opportunities across West Northants. Alternatively, email: [email protected] or complete our online employment support form . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Eastern and central European people urged to complete health survey
January 31, 2024
Eastern and central European people urged to complete health survey
31 January 2024 A survey has been launched to help better engage eastern and central European people living in Northamptonshire to further understand how these communities access health services. The aim of the project, which is being run by both West and North Northamptonshire Councils, is to learn more about their experiences of health and care services, as well as their wellbeing needs, after the pandemic highlighted a lack of relationships with groups within these communities. The survey asks people what services they use, what services they would like better access to, and any challenges they face, as well as any improvement they would like to see. The survey is available in multiple Eastern and Central European languages, and responses are completely anonymous. People can find out more and complete the survey here The closing date is 12 February 2024. World Health Organisation (WHO) data shows that life expectancy in many Eastern European countries is considerably lower than in the UK, and with worse health outcomes such as smoking, HIV and TB. The full extent of such issues locally is unknown and the pandemic highlighted a lack of relationships with various groups within this community. It is hoped the survey will help the Councils better understand the inequalities in healthcare access and outcomes. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northants residents urged to give electricals a new lease of life
January 31, 2024
West Northants residents urged to give electricals a new lease of life
Bins, recycling and waste 31 January 2024 Residents are being encouraged to give old or broken electrical items a fresh lease of life by recycling them through West Northamptonshire Council’s kerbside collection service. From toasters to kettles, sandwich makers to hairdryers or irons, anything with a plug, battery or cable can be recycled and turned into something new via the service. Research conducted by Material Focus revealed that nearly 40% of UK adults bought nearly 40 million items of household tech between Black Friday and Christmas. On top of this 2 million electricals are binned in this time and a further 2.2 million are put away in cupboards and drawers. Here’s what West Northants residents can do if you have bought new electricals over the holiday period and are doing a clear out. Small items of waste electrical equipment and batteries, which will fit inside a carrier bag should be placed on top of your domestic waste bin as follows: Daventry area residents: on top of the black general waste bin Northampton area residents: on top of the blue-lidded recycling bin South Northamptonshire area residents: on top of either bin Electrical items that are still in working condition can be donated to charity shops or sold second hand for someone else to reuse. Residents can recycle their single use vapes at Household Waste Recycling Centres or return them to where they bought them from. Please do not place them with your household waste collection. Large electrical items can be taken to recycling centres, or collected using the bulky waste collection service. Unwanted electricals are one of the fastest growing sources of waste in the UK. People might be clearing out and decluttering, which can include old electrical items. These items usually include valuable plastics and metals, so if they can’t be reused, repaired or donated then they can be recycled with our easy kerbside collection service. Using this service not only helps the environment, but it also reduces the risk of fires in our bin trucks and waste facilities. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste This communications campaign is one of 40 UK projects funded by Material Focus, the not for profit organisation leading the Recycle Your Electricals campaign. It will lead the way in West Northamptonshire, joining other projects around the country in making it easier for 10 million UK residents to recycle their electricals. DEFRA is currently consulting on updated measures to require retailers and the supply chain to accept more electrical goods to be returned for recycling. These additional requirements are not yet in place and the Council’s collection scheme compliments any arrangements required for retailers, giving residents more choice. More information about recycling electrical items and batteries can be found at www.westnorthants.gov.uk/weeerecycle and www.recycleyourelectricals.org.uk Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Traffic enforcement set to start next month following positive survey response
January 31, 2024
Traffic enforcement set to start next month following positive survey response
Parking, roads and transport 31 January 2024 The junction of Victoria Gardens and St John's Street Motorists are encouraged to pay attention to the rules of the road as traffic enforcement starts in several areas where some are ignoring or unaware of the restrictions in place. New regulations came into effect in May 2022 through the Traffic Management Act (2004) and the Department for Transport (DfT) has changed legislation to enable local authorities to apply for powers to enforce against moving traffic contraventions. The Government approved plans for West Northamptonshire Council to take on this responsibility, following a positive response to a public consultation around five proposed sites, three of which will be coming forward for enforcement in February. Many of these are intended to aid traffic flow by ensuring carriageways don’t become blocked by vehicles, and to help avoid accidents taking place at busy junctions. These powers have until now only been used by police but a recent change in the law makes it possible for councils to tackle those breaching regulations. With our highways partner Kier and the police, we identified the first five spots which would benefit from this kind of enforcement. The majority of survey responses came from those who either strongly support or support the introduction of these measures, although some of those who responded to the survey disagreed, but their objections were largely around the introduction of enforcement as a concept. As long as people are aware of and are following the rules of the road, they won’t fall foul of these new measures, and we should see fewer accidents and hopefully less congestion as a result. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste Cameras will be installed in five locations, the first three of which will be: Vehicles regularly block the hatched yellow box at the junction of St John’s Street and Victoria Gardens – anyone driving into a box junction must have means to exit it without stopping. Enforcement will start there on Thursday 1 February. Right turns are not allowed from Fishponds Road into Great Billing Way and enforcement will start there around mid-February. Hermitage Way is a bus only route which is routinely used by other motorists and enforcement is also set to start there later in February. During the first six months of operation at each site a warning notice will be issued for first offences for any given vehicle, thereafter Penalty Charge Notices will be issued. Two further locations already agreed are set to be added at a later stage: Entry into the specified stretch of Deanshanger Road is prohibited except for buses. At the Horse Market junction with Gold St and Marefair, several right and left turns are banned, and drivers should also ensure they follow the blue directional arrow signs. Motorists should avoid stopping in the box junction at the eastern end of Gold Street. Further sites for enforcement are under consideration, especially those that residents suggested during the consultation process. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Have your say on Post 16 school travel in West Northants
February 01, 2024
Have your say on Post 16 school travel in West Northants
01 February 2024 People are being encouraged to share their views on proposed changes to the council’s Home to School Transport services for Post 16 students across West Northamptonshire. By law, students are required to continue in education or training until the age of 18 years. While local authorities have no statutory duty to provide transport for students over the age of 16 years, they must publish an annual transport policy statement setting out how they will support young adults to access education and training. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has reviewed the current Post 16 Transport Policy Statement and proposed changes which apply to young people of sixth form age and young people with Education, Health and Care plans (EHC) up to age 25. Today (1 February), a 9-week consultation has launched inviting residents to share their views on the proposed changes to this service, with any changes coming into effect from September 2024. The consultation runs until midnight on Monday 1 April, with residents encouraged to take part via the council’s consultation hub. The changes are the first proposed in a decade and aim to address the high demand and operating costs of the service while providing greater flexibility for parents and carers, supporting young people’s independence and helping to promote sustainable travel. Key proposals to the policy include greater support for young adults undertaking apprenticeships, increased use of Personal Transport Budgets (PTB) , providing transport provision only at standard school and college start and finish times, and increasing the parent and carer contribution towards the cost of Post 16 transport. Similarly to other local authorities, we are in the process of reviewing our transport services to ensure they respond to the needs of our young people, parents and carers and are both financially effective and environmentally sustainable. We recognise circumstances for each young adult and family are often different, therefore we want to know how each of our proposals may affect them. We will also be seeking views from schools and colleges and welcome feedback from West Northamptonshire residents and other interested stakeholders. By holding this consultation, we are hopeful that we will be able to give all families a better choice in how any proposals might work and I strongly encourage anyone with an interest to take part in the survey and get involved. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste, said The findings of the consultation will be published and presented to WNC’s Cabinet in May 2024. Feedback will help to inform any decision by the council on the proposed changes to the Home to School Transport policy and how transport assistance is delivered. The consultation will last nine weeks and residents can take part in the following ways: - Complete the online survey here . - Email: [email protected] - Write to: Home to School Transport Consultation 2023, West Northamptonshire Council, The Guildhall, St Giles' Square, Northampton NN1 1DE For more information on Home to School Transport please visit the School travel assistance webpage . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northampton’s Market Square contractors invest in local businesses
February 01, 2024
Northampton’s Market Square contractors invest in local businesses
01 February 2024 Over the past year West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) contractor for the Market Square works, Stepnell, have been engaging with businesses to add social value by upskilling our workforce and investing in small and medium businesses. As part of an ongoing commitment to ‘Level Up’ West Northants, WNC ensures that the contractors for our regeneration projects add social value to the community they are working in. This social value requirement means that investment from the Towns Fund not only enables us to deliver great projects such as the Market Square redevelopment, but some of this investment directly benefits communities across West Northants. A number of colleagues working on the project live in Northampton. Dan, who is a Site Engineer at Danaher and Walsh, (Stepnells main sub-contractor) is coordinating and overseeing aspects of the construction. It is nice to work in my own town, it’ll be good to be able to bring my family down to the Market Square once it’s open and show them my work. I have gained a lot of new skills while working on the project. Dan, Site Engineer It is great to work in my local town, within the community. Working on our turf rather than further afield. Employing local people to support the project, they are eager to work in their own town. Lewis, Paving Supervisor Delivering on these social value requirements has included partnering with schools to deliver engaging workshops, providing employment and placement opportunities as well as supporting local businesses to grow the local economy. By delivering expert advice through over 8 hours of workshops and webinars Stepnell developed expertise and upskilled the workforces of local businesses. This has provided the businesses with the knowledge to be able to better operate and compete as part of public and private sector supply chains. To ensure that the benefits of investment in Northampton are felt across West Northants, Stepnell is committed to spending over £1.5 million with local small and medium businesses over the course of the Market Square project. In addition to investing in our local businesses, the contractor and main sub-contractor from the Market Square project helped to renovate a nearby green space. St Katherine’s Gardens is a green space in central Northampton that provides a walkway between the bus station and Horse Market. As part of the Coronation ‘Big Help Out’ last year Stepnell and their subcontractors Danaher and Walsh donated and installed benches, hanging baskets, garden decorations and railings for the green space. The regeneration of the historic Market Square is set to transform the heart of Northampton Town Centre. By working closely with Stepnell and their sub contractors we have boosted our economy by investing in local businesses, upskilling local colleagues and adding social value to our region as part of the construction project. We will continue to work together to ensure that the benefits of the scheme reach across West Northamptonshire. Councillor Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at WNC Adding social value and engaging with the communities we work in is a fundamental part of our ethos here at Stepnell. We strive to promote local skills and support the growth of responsible local businesses. It’s great to see the positive impact that we are having in West Northants through these social value projects. Adrian Barnes, Regional Director at Stepnell Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Higher fines for environmental crime are introduced across West Northamptonshire
February 01, 2024
Higher fines for environmental crime are introduced across West Northamptonshire
01 February 2024 People who illegally drop their litter, dump items by fly-tipping, graffiti and do not follow their household duty of care will now face higher fines as West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) rolls out increased fines for environmental crime. The higher amount that anyone found committing these crimes in West Northamptonshire increased on 1 February 2024. To help strengthen councils in their fight against waste crime, Government has laid a statutory instrument increasing the upper limits for various fixed penalty notices (FPNs). The costs for these crimes in West Northamptonshire will be: The maximum amount those caught fly-tipping has increased from £400 to £1,000 The maximum amount those who litter or graffiti has increased from £150 to £500. The maximum amount those who breach their household waste duty of care could be fined has increased from £400 to £600. For example, using an unlicensed waste carrier to remove rubbish which is then fly-tipped illegally. WNC is one many Councils adopting these increased fine levels, while some other local authorities will follow in April. Fly-tipping and other environmental crimes are unacceptable and impact every one of us in our communities. They spoil our streets, parks and open spaces, create an environmental hazard, and the clean-up costs and work involved to remove waste place a significant financial burden both on our council and on private landowners. Through the hard work of our environmental crime team, we have made a head start on creating a cleaner community for everyone and the increased penalty for these crimes further supports our commitment to tackling this. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Regulatory Services To find out more about householder duty of care, and to report an environmental crime visit www.westnorthants.gov.uk/cleaner-communities Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northampton night time economy recognised globally with prestigious Purple Flag accreditation
February 01, 2024
Northampton night time economy recognised globally with prestigious Purple Flag accreditation
01 February 2024 Northampton is celebrating as it proudly receives the globally acclaimed Purple Flag accreditation, recognising its commitment to creating a dynamic, secure, and vibrant evening and night time economy. This prestigious award highlights Northampton's blend of night time entertainment, dining, and culture, all while ensuring the safety and well-being of residents and visitors in the evening and night time economy. Purple Flag, similar to the Blue Flag for beaches, aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 5pm to 5am. There are 100 Purple Flag destinations around the world including world renowned tourist destinations to small market towns. Receiving the Purple Flag accreditation can boost the local economy, increase tourism, and improve the overall quality of life for residents by providing more night time entertainment and social opportunities. It’s a way for cities and towns to demonstrate their commitment to creating vibrant and safe evening and night time environments. West Northamptonshire Council, the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Northampton BID, working with partners, have successfully retained the Purple Flag status for five years. Northampton is one of 10 areas in the UK to have received a Full Renewal accreditation with 13 others receiving an Interim Renewal accreditation. Key successes in Northampton's submission include the impressive dedication of the Purple Flag partners, the licensed driver training scheme and the new night time economy strategy. In the past 3 years, the council alongside partners has delivered a range of initiatives to improve safety in the town centre. This includes investing in ID scan technology in clubs and bars, improvements to street lighting at taxi ranks and other identified dark spaces, launching the Flare App , creating safer walking routes and help points in the Racecourse and Beckets Park, increased CCTV and Police Nightsafe crews around the town centre, and introducing a new Taxi Marshal service to promote safer travelling at nighttime. The West Community Safety Partnership also led on the development of the It Only Takes One campaign promoting safety advice for women and raising awareness of the impact that harassment and inappropriate behaviour can have while educating bystanders to recognise unacceptable behaviour. In addition, the roll out of ‘Stand by Her’ training was delivered to young men in education to help them understand the impact of harassing behaviour on women. With the help of partners we have delivered an incredible amount of work over the past 3 years to improve the night time economy in Northampton and ensure that residents and visitors feel safe at all times. The impact of this work is evident in the reduced crime rates and feedback from local businesses and I am delighted that this was recognised by the Purple Flag auditors on their visit to Northampton town centre during one of our peak night time economy weekends. The council is committed to working with businesses to ensure we remain a safe and vibrant evening destination and we look forward to continuing this vital ongoing work to make West Northamptonshire a safe, enjoyable and welcoming place for all. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services at West Northamptonshire Council We all want to make Northampton a place where people feel safe, and there has been a lot of work undertaken by a number of different organisations to contribute towards that. The OPFCC has worked with West Northamptonshire Council to invest in a number of safety measures in the town centre, including new CCTV help points and well-lit safe walking routes. It’s a fantastic endorsement for Northampton to be awarded Purple Flag accreditation and demonstrates that the many efforts to improve safety in the town centre are having a very positive effect. Stephen Mold, the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Creating a safe and welcoming environment for our visitors is key to a successful night time economy and I’m delighted the efforts of multiple partners to do just this has been recognised. We enjoy a close working relationship with local authorities, emergency services and the volunteer groups who all play an integral role in ensuring visitors can enjoy a night out in Northampton. We look forward to developing that further as we prepare for the exciting plans afoot for our town centre with the reimagined Market Square, the opening of STACK and a refreshed Fish Street and Abington Street. Mark Mullen, Operations Manager at Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
2.99% precept increase – £2.19 a year – for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service
February 01, 2024
2.99% precept increase – £2.19 a year – for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has proposed an increase of 2.99% a year in the council tax precept paid for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service. An increase of 2.99% amounts to £2.19 a year for the average, Band D household. This increase is lower than the level of inflation, and is the maximum amount suggested by the Government in their financial settlement. Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said that the increase means that Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service can continue to deliver and develop its current level of service and will be able to make some investments to improve the service this year. But as Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is one of the poorest funded in the country, it will face financial challenges in the future. Stephen Mold said: “Our Fire and Rescue Service is the third lowest funded in the country, with the second lowest precept levels. “The Service has worked hard to reach a stable financial position – it is efficient and effective and keeps people safe. Thanks to that, we can manage within the budget and invest in some improvements, but future years look more challenging.” The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner said that local taxpayers contribute most of the Service’s funding – 63%. Local business rates contribute 12% and 25% comes from the Government. “Because taxpayers contribute most of our funding, the council tax precept makes an enormous difference to our budget,” Stephen Mold said. “Our budget survey showed that people were prepared to pay even more than the 2.99% I am proposing, and I am very grateful for that support.” Over the last four years since the Fire and Rescue Service transferred to the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, there has been an increase in the number of firefighters and a £10m programme of capital investment has transformed the Service. Eight new fire appliances and a 42-metre turntable ladder have joined the fleet, and four more will be delivered soon, ensuring that firefighters have the best possible equipment to keep the county safe. Money is being set aside in the 2024/25 budget for work that will make further changes to improve the way the Service works, to improve support services to make the Service more efficient, and to improve the culture of the organisation and the wellbeing of firefighters. The Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue precept accounts for around 4% of the council tax paid by a Band D household in Northamptonshire. The council tax precept proposals will be discussed by Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel at a public meeting on Tuesday 6 February.
New recruits graduate from Fire Service College with ‘Passing Out’ parade
February 01, 2024
New recruits graduate from Fire Service College with ‘Passing Out’ parade
A group of wholetime firefighters who joined Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service last autumn have officially graduated from the Fire Service College after an intense training period. The four new apprentices had been welcomed to the Service in October before heading to College at Moreton-in-Marsh. Jon-Lee Fielding, William Hand, Max Titmuss and Matthew Weston concluded their eight weeks of training with their Passing Out parade on December 21. The new firefighters successfully put in to practise their new skills as they carried out a drill on an oil rig where they had to both put out a fire and rescue casualties. After that, they were able to celebrate with family and friends, who made the trip to the Fire Service College in the Cotswolds. Watching on and congratulating them on their achievements in person were Area Manager Mick Berry and Station Manager Rich Walding. Area Manager Mick Berry said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome these new recruits to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service. “It was a privilege to be able to celebrate with them and their families on what is an incredibly proud day in any firefighters career.” After completing their three-week conversion courses, the four new recruits will be posted to their stations in early February.
Plan agreed to make Northampton fire-damaged premises safe
January 30, 2024
Plan agreed to make Northampton fire-damaged premises safe
30 January 2024 Work to make the former Balloon Bar in Bridge Street, Northampton, safe have been agreed between West Northamptonshire Council and the site’s owner. During a First Tier Tribunal hearing this week the building owners, following discussion with the council, agreed that they would carry out initial work by 12 April 2024. This will include installation of a retaining structure to the front wall of the building to prevent collapse, and clearance of loose fire damaged material to allow safe access. We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with the site’s owner which will result in necessary work being carried out, which will take us a significant step closer to reopening Bridge Street. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Regulatory Services Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New strategy sets out vision to boost visitor economy, support local businesses and enhance tourism in Northamptonshire
January 30, 2024
New strategy sets out vision to boost visitor economy, support local businesses and enhance tourism in Northamptonshire
30 January 2024 A new tourism strategy for Northamptonshire has been given the go ahead by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) at their Cabinet and Executive meetings this month (16 and 18 January). The Northamptonshire Tourism Strategy sets out a vision and approach to nurturing and enhancing the county’s visitor economy and aims to improve pride in place, generate inward investment and create new employment opportunities as well as reduce carbon emissions in line with both councils’ sustainability goals. The strategy, which has been developed over an 18-month period and co-produced by WNC and NNC alongside partners and stakeholders from across the public, private and voluntary and community sectors, will be implemented between now and 2030 focussing on 4 key themes: Visits and Value, Great People, Better Business and Inspirational Places. Plans also include the exploration of a new private sector-led Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) which will work with national tourism agency Visit England to oversee and drive the delivery of the strategy while playing a crucial role in promoting and marketing specific destinations to attract tourists. The LVEP will also be responsible for identifying and bidding for Government funding streams. Similarly to Visit England, which focuses on showcasing the diverse attractions, cultural heritage, and experiences offered by different regions across England, a LVEP would work on developing and implementing strategic marketing initiatives to boost tourism, support local businesses, and enhance the overall appeal of Northamptonshire to visitors both domestically and internationally. The development setting out what the LVEP could look like in Northamptonshire is a priority following the adoption of the Northamptonshire Tourism Strategy and will be explored in partnership with the private sector. The visitor economy in Northamptonshire is diverse, robust and has extreme potential for largescale growth. By developing a Local Visitor Economy Partnership between the private and public sector, we can source support from Visit England to expand Northamptonshire’s tourism offer even further and realise growth for the entire county. Our strategic location in the country, boasting proud culture and heritage, along with world-class attractions and events, makes Northamptonshire the perfect destination for visitors and engagement. National statistics show over 18 million visits to the county spending close to £1 billion a year which supports over 30,000 jobs across the county and 3,000 businesses, including a wide range of attractions, hotels, pubs and other venues that visitors enjoy." We will work collaboratively and creatively to ensure every resident and visitor in Northamptonshire utilises the tourism offer of the county, and we will work with attractions and employers to overcome barriers and realise opportunities for growth. Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, at West Northamptonshire Council Both councils will continue to deliver specific tourism activities at a local level but will work with wider partners for larger initiatives when appropriate and necessary. We are extremely proud of the county we call home - it really is a hidden gem, which in the past may have been overlooked when people are looking for places to visit and stay. But that shouldn’t be the case at all, and this new strategy sets out how we can attract and improve visitor numbers, encourage people to return and boost the tourism economy. It also looks at how we can maximise future potential, where both councils can continue to work together and in close partnership with the tourism industry, education and other stakeholders to promote Northamptonshire. Our diverse offer gives visitors a huge variety of experiences and activities to enjoy, alongside beautiful towns and villages packed full of unique shops, cafes and restaurants to explore. We are also extremely fortunate to have some stunning countryside on our doorsteps, with routes and trails to help you get back to nature. We also want to encourage visitors to stay in our county and to do that we need to enhance our accommodation offering from camping, glamping, and budget to high end accommodation. We really need to shout about Northamptonshire and what it has to offer. A huge thank you goes out to everyone who has engaged in the process so far, this is the first stage of many and stakeholder involvement plays a vital part of this plan. Now that the strategy has been approved by both councils, we can continue to grow and develop the relationships between us, WNC and partners to put the strategy into action, alongside developing the LVEP, which will all in turn help us showcase this fantastic county. Cllr Helen Howell, Deputy Leader of North Northamptonshire Council and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism View the strategy on the WNC and NNC websites . A full designed version of the strategy will be available on both councils’ websites the coming weeks. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Your feedback on activities and respite for children with disabilities
January 29, 2024
Your feedback on activities and respite for children with disabilities
29 January 2024 In Autumn 2023, we conducted a survey seeking residents views on a proposed new way of delivering activities and respite (short breaks) for disabled children in Northamptonshire. It was important that we gave as many people the opportunity to feedback via an electronic survey and through face to face sessions. Conducted throughout October and November, the survey received an overwhelming response, with 150 individuals contributing their valuable insights and a further 134 attending the various workshops. We want to thank all those who took part and are immensely grateful for the enthusiastic participation of our community. These responses have proven instrumental in addressing key issues that currently exist. Key Findings Include: The idea of a single referral pathway is beneficial to help avoid families having to tell their stories repeatedly. Any assessment that is already in place should be used for access to the short break’s services. Some respondents did want to keep self-referrals. Respondents agreed with the principle of reallocating funding, however, they did not agree with closing the residential short breaks unit 1 day a week. That daytime activities preferred included swimming, activities involving animals, cooking or musical activities. The need for better links with activities already taking place in communities and support for children and young people to access them. The need for 1:1 or 2:1 staffing, followed by secure environments and small groups to access services. The sleep service should not be added to the short breaks group of services. Sensory impairment services should not be added to the short breaks group of services. Adding personal care and support services to the short breaks group of services would be positive. That in general, respondents agreed with some parts of the proposals but not all of it. The survey covered a broad spectrum of topics allowing us to review the entire provision and receive appropriate feedback. Thanks to this, a new model of short breaks and respite will be implemented; this will consist of: A single referral route into the short break’s services. Existing assessments being used to access the short breaks services and allowing parents to self-refer. Residential short breaks unit reducing the bed capacity rather than closing 1 night a week; analysis shows this will still enable the need to be met. The Sleep Service (and budget) will not be included in the Short Breaks group of services. The Sensory Impairment services will not be included in the short breaks group of service Consideration of adding PCaS services during the 2nd year of the contract after modelling the viability of this. The next steps of the process are; Commissioning the new services to be in place by November 2024. Complete a whole service review of the sleep service and agree a joint plan to reduce the waiting list. Ensure the transition from the current services to the new services are as smooth as possible to avoid any negative impact on children, young people and their families. Your voice has made a difference in how the new model is going to look. We want to continue listening and supporting you as we go through the next stages. Keep in touch with us at [email protected] if you have any questions. The complete survey report is available here . Whether you are a stakeholder, industry professional, or simply curious about the trends shaping our world, we encourage you to explore the report and gain valuable insights into the current landscape. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Planning for Tiffield special school gets the green light
January 25, 2024
Planning for Tiffield special school gets the green light
25 January 2024 A special school, to be located in Towcester gets the go-ahead from West Northamptonshire’s Planning committee. It is set to provide 250 places for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Approved by WNC’s Strategic Planning Committee, the new special school will continue in its development to provide much-needed spaces for 250 children and young people between the ages of four to 18 with SEND. The unit will cater for children who are on the autistic spectrum (ASC) and have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), as well as those with severe learning difficulties (SLD). The planning application was approved subject to conditions, which include managing traffic to and from the school. This will include the routes of minibuses, which will be used to transport the majority of children to the school. The proposals approved are for a three-storey building that is specially designed to create an environment for children to learn, grow and thrive. The school will have general and practical teaching spaces, a lift providing access to the upper floor, with each key stage being located adjacent to a calm room, intervention room and a group room. There will be two halls proposed to provide physical activities, music, drama and assembly spaces. The Early Years phase will be co-located with need specific sensory rooms and separate dining spaces for primary and secondary pupils. This comes as a positive step forward as the demand for SEND placements continues to increase in West Northants, with this new provision providing additional school places for many local children in a specialist environment. This is great news for children and young people with SEND, and their families. We know there is a shortfall of placements in West Northants and that demand is continuing to increase, so this is very much needed. The planning and design of the school has been really thorough in detail and I am confident it is going to offer fantastic education and learning facilities in an environment right for the children. We know that this isn’t an instant solution, however it is a long-term one that will help us manage the demand we are seeing for placements as we continue on our improvement journey. The team involved will continue to work closely with all partners and stakeholders to ensure all are kept up to date and informed on progress. Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Childrens, Families, Education and Skills at WNC Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
First Cohort of Schools Receive West Northamptonshire Councils Bronze Healthy Schools Award
January 25, 2024
First Cohort of Schools Receive West Northamptonshire Councils Bronze Healthy Schools Award
25 January 2024 Twenty eight schools across West Northamptonshire have become some of the first schools in the county to be rewarded with West Northamptonshire Council’s new Healthy Schools Awards accreditation, achieving a Bronze award. The award is designed to improve the health and wellbeing of whole school communities which must attain certain standards across areas including mental health and wellbeing, healthy eating, physical activity and PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education). Standards have been specifically designed and tailored to Northamptonshire, which makes it unique compared to other healthy schools awards. The schools who achieved this prestigious award are: Lumbertubs Primary School Hunsbury Park Primary Spring Lane Primary Briar Hill Primary School Falconer’s Hill Academy Crick Primary Billing Brook School Hospital and Outreach Education St James Primary The Parker Academy - E-ACT Waynflete Infants School Eastfield Academy Greenfields Specialist School for Communication Stoke Bruene CE Primary School Gayton CE Primary School Yardley Gobian CE Primary School Tiffield CE Primary School Whittlebury CE Primary School On Track Education Northampton Croughton All Saints CofE Primary School Newnham Primary School Welton Academy Cedar Road Primary School St Mary’s Catholic Primary School The Bliss Charity School Wootton Primary School Hopping Hill Primary School The majority of these schools have already signed up to start working towards the Healthy Schools Silver Award, which involves them focusing a universal and targeted health priority in their setting and putting an intervention in place. Visit West Northamptonshire Councils website for more information on West Northamptonshire Councils Healthy Schools Award Programme . I am delighted to see so many schools make a continued commitment towards giving our children a healthier future. Gaining a bronze level award is an incredible achievement and I am very excited to see so many schools sign up to work towards getting their silver award. Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Childrens, Families and Education at WNC I am pleased that so many of our schools are committed to keeping children across West Northamptonshire healthy. The number of schools who have participated in this scheme is so encouraging, and I am proud of West Northamptonshire Council’s continued effort to keeping our residents safe and well. Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Wellbeing and Health Integration at WNC Gathering evidence to support our application for the healthy school award meant that when Ofsted came we already had body of evidence to support our meeting about 'Personal Development'. This supported the conversation and meant we didn't miss anything out. Laura White, The Bliss Charity School Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Hundreds pay tribute to Hilmi at funeral
January 25, 2024
Hundreds pay tribute to Hilmi at funeral
Hundreds of people turned out to pay tribute to Corby firefighter Hilmi Say at his funeral today (January 24). Hilmi was diagnosed with cancer in January 2022 and had bravely been fighting it since. He sadly passed away aged 40 on the morning of December 23, surrounded by his family. In the period since, the Fire Service has been supporting Hilmi’s wife, Victoria, and his children. Hilmi was finally laid to rest this afternoon with his funeral procession starting at the Corby fire station where he so loyally served for more than a decade. His coffin was transported by a turntable ladder, and flanked by two fire engines, on a procession route lined with well-wishers through Corby town centre and onto Rothwell. There, firefighters and fire staff helped form a Guard of Honour to welcome Hilmi into Rothwell Holy Trinity Parish Church, where a funeral service paid tribute to his life. Following the funeral, a private burial and wake were held in Corby. Acting Chief Fire Officer Simon Tuhill attended the ceremony, and reflecting on an emotional day, said: “Hilmi was an incredibly popular person across the Fire Service, so it was no surprise to see that so many people wanted to come along and pay their respects. “I know how proud Hilmi was to be a firefighter, and I’m glad that the Fire Service could grant his final wishes by playing such a key role in his funeral. “Although this was an opportunity to lay him to rest, we know that Hilmi’s death continues to have an impact on everyone who knew him. We will continue to support Victoria and their children, as well as our firefighters and fire staff.”
Wellingborough man convicted in connection with several fly-tipping incidents following council prosecution
January 23, 2024
Wellingborough man convicted in connection with several fly-tipping incidents following council prosecution
23 January 2024 A man who illegally allowed his waste to be dumped in public areas over the course of four months in 2022 has been prosecuted and was ordered to pay £9,628.35 by Wellingborough Magistrates Court on 16 January 2024. Following successful prosecution by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), Mr Luke Daniel Brown, was charged with four offences of breaching Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Brown aged 30 of Furnace Lane, Wellingborough pleaded guilty to all four charges. Neighbourhood wardens investigated four separate fly tips across West Northants. The offences took place on 15 February at Court Farm Lane, Overstone, 3 March, at Pritchard Close, Rectory Farm, 15 March at Leyside Court, Overstone Lodge, and 6 June at Pritchard Close, Rectory Farm, Northampton. During the investigation all the fly-tips and waste could be linked to Mr Brown and his business activities. West Northamptonshire Council’s senior lawyer from the in-house legal team highlighted to the court that the offences were committed for financial gain and contained large amounts of household rubbish, together with unidentified animal carcasses, rotting meat, soiled bedding, empty food packaging and faeces, from the unlicensed dog breeding business that Mr Brown had been running from his home at the time. Given the amount and type of waste you produced the offences were despicable and disgusting. If you were going to pay someone to get rid of your waste for you, especially given its nature, you should have been even more careful. The Magistrates Mr Brown received a fine of £1,000 for each offence, was ordered to pay a £1,600 victim surcharge and the council’s full costs of £4,028.35, a total of £9,628.35. Our officers worked extremely hard to achieve this outcome and ensure those who illegally fly-tip are held accountable. We will not hesitate to take action against those who think they can carelessly discard of their rubbish on our streets and green areas, causing a negative impact on our environment and our communities. There is simply no excuse for not ensuring waste is correctly disposed of, and offenders will face the consequences of their actions. We would like to thank the members of the public that supported our investigations. Cllr David Smith, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services at WNC Anyone can report fly-tipping on the WNC website, along with details of any information which can help to pinpoint the offenders. We value the support of our communities to help reduce fly-tipping and encourage pride in our local areas. To find out more visit our cleaner communities page. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northampton hosts Female Founders Summit with Mary Portas as headline speaker
January 22, 2024
Northampton hosts Female Founders Summit with Mary Portas as headline speaker
22 January 2024 An event to empower more women to conquer and flourish in business will take place in Northampton this summer, with ‘Queen of Shops’ Mary Portas announced as the headline speaker. The Female Founders Summit 2024 - organised by accredited master coach Lucienne Shakir in partnership with West Northamptonshire Council and a number of local businesswomen - will be hosted across various town centre venues on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th July. Well known businesswoman, broadcaster, author and activist Mary Portas made her name during her BBC series Mary Queen of Shops, having previously worked with some of the biggest names in global retail. As the co-chair of the Better Business Act, Mary now heads a coalition of businesses calling for a change in the law to ensure UK companies align their interests with those of wider society and the environment. She will be taking the stage at the Royal Theatre on the Saturday evening. I am thrilled to be bringing the Female Founders Summit to my hometown for the first time, and to be welcoming such an inspiring and celebrated public figure to share her insight and experience as a successful businesswoman. We also have Emma Bridgewater and many more high-profile experts lined up to be announced soon, so I am not exaggerating when I say this will be a truly accessible, transformational and actionable live experience that will leave a lasting impact on those who attend. Lucienne, Coach of hundreds of female founders Female Founders Summit 2024 will include deep learning and masterclasses hosted at a number of venues within a stone’s throw of the cultural quarter over the weekend, including Royal Theatre, Delapré Abbey, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, Northampton Film House, and Vulcan Works. Topics of talks will cover the blueprint for generating a £1million reoccurring revenue, how to grow an online presence and personal brand without fear, and other interesting and useful themes relevant to being a female founder. With only one in five female-led businesses in the UK making the £1million revenue mark, and women experiencing less financial backing for their entrepreneurial ideas, Lucienne says the Female Founders Summit is needed. Female founders don’t have a home. There are not many live events designed specifically for us that cater to our needs as female founders. No space that is set up for us to win, and no roster of experts that deliver powerful content based on their lived experience, especially for those who cannot afford coaching and support. The Female Founders Summit, now in its third year, aims to change that. Lucienne, coach of hundreds of female founders Female Founders Summit is in partnership with West Northamptonshire Council, and local female-led organisations: The Brady Creative, Goldings Communications and The Lewis Foundation. Early Bird tickets go on sale at the beginning of March. For notification nearer the time you can join the waiting list . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Business brunch sees a step forward in increasing work opportunities for young people with special and educational needs (SEND)
January 19, 2024
Business brunch sees a step forward in increasing work opportunities for young people with special and educational needs (SEND)
19 January 2024 Over 50 businesses in West Northamptonshire have come together to increase opportunities for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in the workplace. Held by West Northamptonshire SEND Partnership, the ‘Business Brunch’ brings together local employers to start the conversation around employment opportunities for young people with SEND and how together, improvement can be made on current employment figures in West Northants: 86% of people with Special Needs would like to work 22% National percentage for adults with Autism in employment 4.7% National percentage for adults with learning disabilities in employment 1.4% West Northamptonshire figures for adults with learning disabilities in employment The first ‘Business Brunch’ saw real enthusiasm in the room from employers as conversations looked at how employers can better support young people with SEND and increase opportunities to support them in employment, preparing them for their adulthood journey. At the heart of the Business Brunch, included hearing from young people with SEND who are currently in work or have experienced the employment process, as well as hearing from employers such as Kempston Controls GXO who currently have employees with SEND who explained the positive impact these colleagues have on the workplace. Every child and young person deserves the same opportunities in employment and those with SEND have so much to offer – they bring new ideas, experiences and skills to the workplace, all in which are really valuable. I am incredibly passionate about this piece of work and how together with the business sector we can improve work opportunities for our young people. The figures quoted above are stark and show just how important this project is. It was really encouraging to see so many businesses come along to the brunch, all keen to find out more, share their ideas and be involved. This project is at the beginning with lots more understanding and scoping to get us to where we want to be, however I am confident from conversations in the room that together, we can take this work forward in a way that will make a difference. Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills at WNC Include a link for further opportunities or where people can find out more please contact: [email protected] Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Does your Parish Council reflect your local Community Area?  Have your say in the Community Governance Review Consultation
January 19, 2024
Does your Parish Council reflect your local Community Area? Have your say in the Community Governance Review Consultation
19 January 2024 Residents, parishes, and businesses in West Northants are invited to actively participate in shaping future electoral and governance arrangements for parishes within the area via the West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) consultation hub before midnight on Wednesday, 31 January. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) launched the Stage One consultation for the Community Governance Review in November 2023 to seek views and proposals from residents, parishes, and stakeholders regarding existing parish boundaries, numbers of parish councillors, and potential changes to parishes. Responses to the consultation could include abolishing, renaming or combining existing parishes, or creating new ones. Proposals for change should seek to reflect local communities. Before starting the consultation, the Council sought requests from parishes that wanted to make certain changes to their parish arrangements. The outcome of this pre-review consultation, in addition to the recently concluded Local Government Boundary Review of West Northants Council wards, has determined the identified parish areas for inclusion in this consultation. Parish councils can provide a formal local government voice for their residents, and services for local people such as clubs for youth, elderly, parents, sports & leisure facilities, libraries, additional care for the local environment, and much more. So the Community Governance Review is more than a process—it's an invitation for you to bring positive change to your local community by getting involved in shaping the future of West Northamptonshire. Your input will contribute to building local parish and town council arrangements that best reflect your local community and that will stand the test of time. Councillor Jonathan Nunn, the Leader of West Northamptonshire Council Proposals from the Stage One consultation will be refined through the Stage Two consultation launching in April 2024. New parish arrangements resulting from this review will take effect at the May 2025 local elections, providing long-term benefits for the community and ensuring an efficient and representative governance structure. For more information, please visit the Community Governance Review webpage . Residents can submit their feedback online or request a paper form by contacting [email protected] . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Cabinet gives green light to Office Optimisation plans
January 19, 2024
Cabinet gives green light to Office Optimisation plans
19 January 2024 Plans to bring more council services together into a central office in Northampton, whilst safeguarding the town’s historic civic traditions, received the go-ahead this week. At their meeting this week (Tuesday, 16 January) West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet members agreed proposals to move the majority of its back-office workers to its Northampton base in One Angel Square (OAS) with key sites in Daventry and Towcester continuing as local hubs where customers can access support and help. Under the proposals, WNC staff currently based in the modern part of the Guildhall will relocate to OAS with the exception of the Coroner's service which will relocate to the historic part of the Guildhall. The historic Guildhall building will continue to be the democratic heart of West Northamptonshire and host civic and ceremonial events and activities, including continuing as the home to the Mayor of Northampton. Northampton Town Council (NTC), a new council which covers parts of the town, was formed alongside WNC as part of government reorganisation in April 2021. WNC put in place a licence for NTC for to use part of the historic Guildhall for three years while it established itself and its plans. WNC has now agreed to extend this license by 12 months whilst NTC identifies suitable alternative accommodation. WNC is working with NTC on this, but the town Council will move from the Guildhall in early 2025. This will allow the Northamptonshire Coroner’s service to be based in the historic building where it currently holds Coroner’s Courts for the County. This is a historic service itself dating back to the 1100’s. Some WNC teams currently working from The Forum in Towcester will relocate to OAS in stages during 2024 and early 2025 and Northampton’s One Stop Shop will also move from the Guildhall to the lower ground floor of OAS, resulting in a more modern and accessible service for residents. The proposals are expected to save taxpayers at least £350,000 a year initially, increasing as the rationalisation of property and new ways of working bed in. It follows a thorough review which identified that WNC has significantly more office space than it requires, along with a need to change how it uses its buildings to better support residents. The Review also looked at the potential to rent space and the cost to convert and refurbish space. None of these offered taxpayers the value for money that the approved proposal will now deliver. “As we adapt to the challenges across public services, it’s important we do not waste valuable taxpayers' money on things like surplus office space and that we make plans to reduce office space and maintenance costs. But it’s not just a financial decision; it's about bringing our teams closer, so they can work even better together, and that we ensure we adapt our services and locations to reflect residents’ needs. “The plans moving forward in 2024 maximise the use of our building spaces but also recognise the importance of protecting our heritage and maintaining ceremonial and civic traditions, as seen in our plans for the historic Guildhall, and ensuring Mayors can continue to use the historic section of the Guildhall. Whilst the office of the Mayor is far older than the building – dating back to 1215 – welecome the opportunity to continue the association of the Mayor with the building. “These plans also align with our goal to be net zero by 2030, with OAS being the most energy efficient of all the councils' offices. “Alongside these changes, we are reshaping and improving our service provision for residents in local communities across West Northants, working with partner public services in hubs at places our residents already access in their neighbourhoods such as libraries. We also have outreach teams from various departments who visit communities, taking our services out to residents. The expansion and development of locality hubs in Towcester and Daventry reflect our commitment to adapting to the needs of our community. “While we want customers to be able to do more online and are working to make this simpler, we also know that many people face complicated circumstances and need to access multiple services for support. The existing Northampton One Stop Shop is one of the busiest we have but it cannot expand to meet the growing complexity of some customers' needs. Currently, some customers have to move between the Guildhall and OAS to see our different services and many of our adult and children's services visitors can be vulnerable and emotional. Neither the current Guildhall One Stop Shop or the existing OAS facilities are suitable for these kind of visitors and in the new One Stop Shop, we will have private rooms and facilities to allow more teams to work with vulnerable residents. This, coupled with our existing customer outreach sessions, will mean we can support vulnerable people more effectively." Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council The plans follow the successful relocation of services from Lodge Road, Daventry in the summer, and the development of the nearby Abbey Centre into a locality hub including Adults, Children’s and other frontline WNC services joining community and voluntary partners. See more detailed information about the plans . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
How to beat the January gym rush at your local leisure centre
January 18, 2024
How to beat the January gym rush at your local leisure centre
18 January 2024 Gymgoers in West Northamptonshire have been given top tips on how to beat the January rush by local leisure operator Everyone Active. With the new year providing many with the motivation to start a new fitness regime or take their existing workouts up a level, gyms and exercise studios can quickly become busy. With this in mind, Everyone Active, which runs Daventry Leisure Centre and Moulton Leisure Centre in partnership with West Northamptonshire Council, has put together its five hacks to help you get active. We welcome everyone to our sites, whether they are new, returning or existing members. We want people in the local community to be able to work out when and how they want to, and we will support them to achieve their fitness goals. No matter what your age, interests or ability, there is an activity for you at our centres. Jamie Brightwell, Everyone Active’s contract manager 1. Identify quiet times to go to the gym Take a few weeks to identify when the best times are to visit your gym. No two centres are the same, so head along at different times to see what fits you best. The post-work window is usually busy, so maybe rising early, a lunchtime session or a mid-evening slot could be the answer. If you have free time on weekdays, you will likely get your pick of the equipment during normal working hours. 2. Use minimal equipment You don’t necessarily need to use a wide variety of equipment to get a full workout, and the less equipment you use, the less likely you are to run into gym traffic. A personal trainer at an Everyone Active centre will be able to give good advice on how to get a great workout using just a few pieces of Everyone Active’s state-of-the-art equipment. For further details around personal training, ask colleagues in centre, while for initial inspiration around small-scale workouts. 3. Virtual classes Group exercise classes can be highly subscribed, but virtual classes are a great way to beat the rush. There are usually spots free, allowing you to join classes at the last minute and work up a sweat whenever is convenient. For many people, virtual classes also help to tackle the anxiety they may initially feel about exercising in front of others. 4. Try a different activity Getting fit doesn’t have to be all about the gym. Sometimes it’s a good motivation-builder – and a change of pace – to throw in something different. Perhaps you’d enjoy swimming a few lengths, or staying on land for a game of badminton or a yoga class. Doing different activities will enhance your all-round fitness and keep your interest levels high. 5. Work out at home The Great British weather may not be at its finest at this time of year, but you don’t have to leave your own home to be active. Everyone on Demand – available within the Everyone Active app – allows you to access a wide range of fitness options from the comfort of your living room. From fitness and personal training to wellness, there’s a service or session to support everyone. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Eligible households to benefit from funding to make their homes more efficient
January 19, 2024
Eligible households to benefit from funding to make their homes more efficient
19 January 2024 Household across West Northamptonshire with an annual income of £31,000 or less amongst other criteria, could benefit from Government funding to make their homes more energy efficient this winter. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has launched the second phase of the Homes Upgrade Grant. The scheme is designed to make a significant impact by ensuring that eligible households have access to affordable, energy-efficient heating solutions. WNC have partnered with Agility Eco to deliver this scheme and to arrange and carry out the improvement assessment and all the retrofit work. To be eligible for the scheme, homeowners must meet the following criteria: Applicants for the scheme must not use a mains gas connection for heating Applicants must have a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) score of D or below, which can be found in an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Residents will be supported with this part of the eligibility process during application. Residents will be provided with a free EPC where they do not already have one. Applicants must have a total household annual income of £31,000 or below or live in an eligible low-income postcode area. The list of eligible postcode areas has been selected by the Government and you can check your postcode via this link. For rented homes, tenants must have permission from their landlord, who is required to provide a financial contribution of at least one-third towards the work. If you are in a rented property, the financial eligibility criteria relate to you, not your landlord. Funding is only available if your landlord has a portfolio of four properties or fewer and the funding cannot be used to meet their existing legal minimum energy efficiency requirements. How to Check Eligibility: You can check if your property has an EPC and learn about your SAP score by at Find an energy certificate - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) . West Northamptonshire Council understands that energy efficiency needs may change over time. If work has been done on your property since your last EPC assessment, your SAP score may have improved. Our dedicated installers will be able to verify your eligibility during your assessment. We are delighted to be supporting this Government initiative in order to provide support to residents with vital funding through the second phase of the Home Upgrade Grant. This is an important opportunity for local residents to improve their homes and save money on their energy bills and I would encourage anyone who thinks they might be eligible to find out more. It is also a huge step in the right direction towards our Net Zero 2030 commitment, as this grant will enable residents to reduce their carbon emissions. Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Strategy and for Sustainability You can access information and apply for the grant here. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Partner with us for Northampton Pride 2024!
January 15, 2024
Partner with us for Northampton Pride 2024!
Events 15 January 2024 Would you like to put your business or organisation in front of thousands of people while demonstrating your support for West Northamptonshire’s LGBTQ+ community? Applications are now open for local groups, organisations, or businesses to sponsor the Northampton Pride festival 2024, taking place on Saturday 13 July, and show their commitment to creating a tolerant and fair society for all while celebrating our fabulous LGBTQ+ community. Now in its 7th year, the event is organised by the Northampton Pride Committee and West Northamptonshire Council’s LGBTQ+ and Allies Forum and features live performances, walkabout entertainers, stalls, food and much more for people to participate in. This year’s event will once again take place at University of Northampton’s Waterside Campus with a programme of entertainment and activities, which last year, saw thousands of people attend from Northamptonshire and surrounding areas, creating an unforgettable buzz within the town. The Pride Parade, which has become a central part of the celebrations, involved more than 200 people, made up of more than 10 organised local groups and paid performers, and joined by members of the public. Over 50 stalls took part on the day, including a range of LGBTQ groups, local services, inclusive sports clubs and local independent businesses, all showcased across our social media channels for thousands of people to see. The council has a range of sponsorship packages on offer including the option to tailor packages to individual businesses’ needs. As a council we are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all aspects of our work and supporting the LGBTQ+ community all year round. We are looking for organisations who share this ambition to support this event and demonstrate their commitment to inclusion for everyone. Get in touch today to discuss the wide range of packages on offer. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services Find out more about the Northampton Pride event and available sponsorship packages on the WNC website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council partners with Northampton Hope Centre to open temporary winter night shelter
January 15, 2024
Council partners with Northampton Hope Centre to open temporary winter night shelter
Community, safety and emergencies 15 January 2024 In response to the rise in homelessness, the Hope Centre in partnership with West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has opened a winter night shelter. The Hope Centre, a lifeline for those experiencing homelessness, are witnessing a record influx of individuals seeking support, with an alarming 1-3 newly homeless individuals registering for support daily over the Christmas period. Homelessness and rough sleeping is a significant issue across the country and there is concern that many people are unaware of the harsh realities of rough sleeping, particularly as winter approaches. Cold weather is a serious threat to anyone sleeping outside, there is the risk of hypothermia and death, we are already seeing a record increase in the numbers of people facing homelessness, and during the winter months we always see numbers rise. While temperatures have been un seasonally low, we are anticipating a cold and unsettled winter to come. We have a duty of care to protect the most vulnerable and with numbers rising, and many new to experiencing rough sleeping, providing somewhere safe for people to sleep in the harshest of weather must be a priority. Alex Copeland, CEO of the Hope Centre The night shelter is the result of weeks of behind-the-scenes preparation and collaboration with WNC. The establishment of the new night shelter represents one of the biggest expansions of support for Northampton’s rough sleepers in years. I want people to know that we are determined to do everything in our power to help those who find themselves homeless, and the new night shelter is just one aspect of our offer. It has taken a lot of work alongside Northampton Hope Centre to provide this temporary overnight accommodation so that those who find themselves in a housing crisis can avoid sleeping on the streets. As a council we are continuing to work hard to prevent homelessness early on and we are working with a range of partners to provide access to specialist support for those who need it. Our ultimate ambition will always be to get people into permanent accommodation, but in the meantime, I am proud that we are expanding the emergency support on offer. We are also carrying out an extensive reform of our homelessness service to increase early intervention and prevention work as well as extra investment in staff for this service to help manage an increasing demand. Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure The night shelter, located at Queens Grove Methodist Church, will be a 7-day service to give emergency accommodation to those who find themselves in housing crisis. The overnight service will form part of Hope’s wider support process during the winter months which also includes extended hours at their day centre. As with all Hope services the night shelter will be integral to their holistic approach to the problems associated with homelessness, giving individuals the critical support they need to cope with the traumas that have resulted in them becoming homeless and helping people rebuild lives. The Hope Centre, celebrating its 50th birthday opened the temporary night shelter as a pilot project with a view to open a permanent night shelter as part of its anniversary goals. It is with thanks to the success of their winter appeal and support from West Northamptonshire council that they have been able to raise enough to open the temporary shelter this month. With numbers rising as they are and with the lack of enough alternative accommodation this winter, we have a duty to protect the most vulnerable. I don’t want to be here talking about how many people died on the streets during the winter of 2024. Homelessness is the very end of a journey thousands of people across the UK are navigating as income fails to match living expenses, debts are spiralling, and rents rise. These are just some of the many reasons people find themselves on the streets, and I’m afraid we are at the coalface of this social crisis. Alex Copeland, CEO of the Hope Centre The Hope Centre concedes there is a cost to running the shelter but believes the service will save lives. The centre continues to rely heavily on public donations and the support of local businesses to support people facing homelessness and hardship and have launched an appeal for funding for their birthday year. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
By-election to be held in Northampton next month
January 15, 2024
By-election to be held in Northampton next month
Electoral services 15 January 2024 Candidates have been announced today for a by-election due to take place in an area of Northampton next month. People living in West Northamptonshire Council’s East Hunsbury and Shelfleys electoral ward will be able to go to the polls on Thursday, 8 February to vote for a new councillor to represent their area. The election was prompted by a vacancy following the resignation of former WNC councillor Suresh Patel. Elections information published today sets out who has been nominated to stand for the election, along with the location of polling stations in the electoral ward, which covers areas including Shelfleys, Merefield and Blacky More. The candidates are: Clare Robertson-Marriott (Labour and Cooperative Party) Daniel Soan (Conservative Party) Carl Neville Mark Squires (Liberal Democrats) More information can be found on the Statement of Persons Nominated document on our Elections pages Voting information Residents in the ward who are not already registered to vote have until Tuesday, 23 January 2024 to do so. You can register to vote on the gov.uk website The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Thursday, 24 January. Those wishing to apply for a proxy vote (when someone votes on your behalf) must submit their applications by 5pm on Wednesday, 31 January. Voter ID The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to produce accepted photographic identification when voting in person at a polling station. This new requirement will apply to this election. Electors intending to vote in person are urged to ensure they have one of the acceptable forms of photo ID prior to attending their polling station. Residents without an acceptable form of ID have until 5pm on Wednesday, 31 January to apply for their Voter ID . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Consultation period extended for environmental proposals in Northampton town centre
January 15, 2024
Consultation period extended for environmental proposals in Northampton town centre
Bins, recycling and waste 15 January 2024 Businesses and residents are invited to give their views on plans to introduce a new Environmental Policy for Northampton Town Centre. West Northamptonshire Council is asking people for their thoughts on the introduction of a new policy which will seek to improve commercial waste and environmental issues in the central Northampton area. The consultation period has been extended and will now close on Sunday, 18 February. The policy will initially be trialled in Northampton before being considered for roll-out across the wider West Northamptonshire area. People are being asked to help shape parts of the policy around waste from businesses in the town centre and help the Council to understand if there are any obstacles that businesses face in respect of their waste collections. This will form part of a wider project of engagement with Northampton town centre businesses. People can view the plans and give their views on the WNC website. Feedback from the consultation will be collated and analysed and will help the council to prepare and shape the Northampton Town Centre Environmental Policy which will be considered by Cabinet in May 2024. All organisations have a responsibility for ensuring that any waste arising from their activities is handled, stored and disposed of in a responsible manner as defined by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (section 34) and the Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991. After consultation, a waste policy shall apply to the town centre of Northampton for the management of all commercial waste generated by businesses. Prior to coming into effect, the Council will be working with businesses within the town centre to do a soft launch of the policy, in doing so we will be able to advice and signpost businesses for any assistance they may need to be able to work within the policy. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Have your say on proposed Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans
January 16, 2024
Have your say on proposed Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans
16 January 2024 Residents, businesses and community groups are invited to share their views on the draft Brackley, Daventry, and Towcester Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). These plans, open for public consultation from today, Monday, 15 January to Sunday, 25 February aim to create a culture of walking and cycling by proposing infrastructure developments that make active travel a natural choice for residents and visitors. The initiative aligns with the government's ambition to promote cycling and walking for shorter journeys, reducing traffic congestion, enhancing air quality, and contributing to the overall well-being of the community. The draft LCWIPs for Brackley, Daventry, and Towcester represent our commitment to building a sustainable and connected future. We believe that by investing in walking and cycling infrastructure, we can create vibrant, healthier communities while contributing to broader environmental goals. Your views are crucial in shaping the future of sustainable transportation in our communities and will be shaping the final plans and ensuring they align with the needs and aspirations of our residents. We want to hear from you, so please take a moment to share your thoughts on the proposals. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for environment, transport, highways and waste at West Northamptonshire Council The LCWIPs, currently in the early stages of development, provide a glimpse into potential schemes that, over time, will create comprehensive walking and cycling networks. The focus on Brackley, Daventry, and Towcester demonstrates the commitment to local communities, with plans for Northampton set to be consulted on later this year. Key objectives of having LCWIPs for Brackley, Towcester, and Daventry include: Securing Funding: The plans position the council strategically to secure additional funding for walking and cycling schemes, ensuring the best value for money by concentrating efforts where the highest increases in walking and cycling are anticipated. Collaborative Partnerships: The council aims to work collaboratively with partners such as National Highways, Network Rail, and other stakeholders, including developers, who have access to alternative funding sources. To view the draft plans and share your thoughts, visit the dedicated consultation pages on our Consultation Hub: Brackley Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan Consultation Daventry Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan Consultation Towcester Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan Consultation Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Your Money, Your Say – WNC Budget 2024/25 Consultation Ending Soon
January 11, 2024
Your Money, Your Say – WNC Budget 2024/25 Consultation Ending Soon
11 January 2024 Residents, businesses and community groups in West Northants have until midnight on Tuesday, 23 January to share their views on the draft budget proposals for 2024/25. At the Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, 12 December 2023 members approved for consultation its draft budget for 2024-25 and launched a six-week consultation seeking people’s views on a range of saving and efficiency proposals which will allow the West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) to balance its books, while protecting the most vulnerable in our community and tackling the rise in costs and demand for services. People can have their say on the budget proposals by completing the survey on our Consultation Hub . The survey can be accessed online for free at libraries across West Northants, or you can request a copy in another format by emailing [email protected] or phoning 0300 126 7000 . We have worked hard to shape a robust, balanced draft budget that prioritises our resources to support our most vulnerable residents and protect frontline services in the most cost-effective way possible. Your feedback is very important to us, as it empowers us to make informed decisions and drive positive changes in our communities. So, please take the time to tell us what you think. You don’t have to answer all of the questions or provide feedback on every section, you can choose to focus on the areas that are most important to you. Cllr Malcolm Longley, Cabinet Member for Finance at West Northamptonshire Council The budget proposals for next year are made up of a £409.2m net revenue budget (excluding grant-funded schools' expenditure of £451m) and also include £25.7m of efficiencies through planned improvements in productivity and additional income generation. To help WNC balance the books whilst continuing to protect services during its fourth year as a unitary authority, the draft budget proposals include: Increasing fees and charges broadly in line with inflation, to ensure they continue to properly reflect today’s operating costs. Proposing to raise Council Tax by 4.99% This increase equates to an average rise of £1.63 a week on a Band D property. Continuing to review services and restructure teams within the organisation, introducing new, more efficient ways of working to make back-office savings without impacting on how services are delivered to residents. During 2024/25 the Council also plans to invest a total of almost £143m in its capital programme, to improve local infrastructure and assets such as land, buildings and equipment. It is also set to spend an estimated £20m in public health funding from the Government in the year ahead to progress a range of schemes aimed at improving residents’ wellbeing, reducing health inequalities and continuing to support communities through the ongoing cost of living challenges. Within the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) there are plans to invest £54m of capital funds in social housing during the next financial year, which forms part of a total five-year capital programme which amounts to £279m. Also built into the plans is investment in decarbonisation which is estimated to impact on 500 homes. The capital investment in 2024-25 includes: £7m on external improvements £11m on internal works improvements £2.3m on disabled adaptations £24m on new build programmes and major projects; and £10m on buying back social housing and for spot purchases of suitable properties. In addition to this the Council will spend approximately £65m on managing and maintaining the existing housing stock which is funded primarily by Housing Rents received from current tenants. To ensure this can be achieved, the draft budget proposals include an increase in rents in our rented housing of 7.7% in line with the Government’s amended Rent Standard. Cabinet will consider the final budget for 2024/25 on Tuesday, 13 February 2024 for recommendation to the full Council meeting on Thursday, 22 February 2024; subject to any changes made following consideration of the consultation feedback, the Local Government financial settlement and the latest financial position. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Mercedes expansion set to create huge investment and highly skilled jobs in Brackley, West Northamptonshire
January 11, 2024
Mercedes expansion set to create huge investment and highly skilled jobs in Brackley, West Northamptonshire
11 January 2024 An expansion of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas headquarters has been given the go ahead by West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Strategic Planning Committee at their meeting on Tuesday (9 January), anticipating millions of pounds of economic investment and over 500 multiple skill set jobs in Brackley. The site, located on St James Road, is currently the headquarters for the Mercedes Formula one team and is where the cars are designed and constructed with engineering work being carried out through their Applied Science engineering capability, which conducts engineering design for external clients. These projects include the design of the next British Challenger for the Americas Cup. A key aim of the planning application is to create a parkland campus setting, which will result in the removal of much of the car parking that dominates the site and replace it with trees and landscaping to create a site appropriate for a Formula 1 headquarters. The plans propose to remove the existing car park and replace with a single deck car park featuring an under croft and a surface level car park, together with vehicular access to the Mercedes site from Lauda Drive and St James Road. In addition, there will be a covered walkway, refurbished bridge, new pedestrian and cycle bridge, cycle hub and parking spaces with solar panels. The refurbishment will also see the introduction of a three-storey marketing centre and health and wellbeing hub complete with restaurant, gym, yoga space and other facilities for Mercedes employees. Mercedes has plans to expand its operations on site which could include further diversification away from Formula one and involve expanding the workforce from 1400 to 1900 people over the next five years. The company also has ambitious sustainability objectives to become Net Zero by 2030. Following extensive consultation with local businesses, the proposals also include works to mitigate the impact of traffic flow in the area by widening Oxford Road and lengthening the right turn lane into St James Road to accommodate an additional 2 cars. Double yellow lines along the northern side of the St James Road and around the turning head will be extended to mitigate unsafe parking and make the area safer for road users. In addition, alterations will be made to the Oxford Road/Lauda Drive roundabout to provide an additional lane and improvements will be made to the cycle route along Oxford Road. I am delighted that Mercedes has chosen to invest and expand its world-famous motorsport engineering in West Northamptonshire. The site is located in an area which is known for motorsport given the proximity of the Silverstone circuit and our location within Motorsport Valley. This is an area of national significance in the high-tech innovation and high-performance engineering sectors. These plans promise fantastic opportunities for economic growth and inward investment in Brackley and support our strive to be a leader in driving innovation while supporting business growth and building a strong, responsive and thriving local economy. This development is likely to generate around 500 new full-time jobs with a predicted expenditure of approximately £70m which would further feed into the local economy and create additional full time jobs during construction. Our Economic Growth & Inward Investment Team have been working closely with Mercedes to deliver impactful benefits to the local labour market, including local recruitment, school engagement and more. Cllr Daniel Lister, WNC’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Rushden crew promote fire safety at visit to Irchester temple
January 12, 2024
Rushden crew promote fire safety at visit to Irchester temple
Fire crews at Rushden have been continuing to carry out engagement work in their local community. Earlier today (January 10), firefighters from the station visited the Wat Pa Buddharam Buddhist temple in Irchester to carry out a Fire Safety Visit. Crews from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service will regularly carry out Fire Safety Visits not just at domestic properties for residents, but with community groups and organisations to help increase safety awareness. During the visit, the crew handed out fire safety advice and also familiarised themselves with the building so they can react quickly and efficiently should they ever be called to an emergency incident there. While at the temple, they also took some time out to speak to the Temple’s leaders and learn more about the Buddhist culture. The Rushden crew regularly pay visits to local community groups, and in November were recognised for the community work carried out within their local area at the annual Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service awards ceremony .
West Northants one of beacon sites for a national programme to build a model of co-designed youth services
January 10, 2024
West Northants one of beacon sites for a national programme to build a model of co-designed youth services
10 January 2024 West Northants one of three areas in England selected as a partner for the National Youth Agency (NYA)‘s Routes to Community Success programme. The programme, made possible with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF), aims to pilot a collaborative and youth-led approach to designing youth work services over the next two years. Cornwall, Norfolk and West Northamptonshire are the three test-bed areas, along with a strand focussing on digital youth work, which is being overseen by the NYA. The NYA has been awarded funding of £495,155 from the NLCF to deliver Routes to Community Success with the aim of gathering evidence to inform a model approach for boosting the capacity of the youth sector, through the co-design of services with young people and building the skills, capacity and resilience of grassroots providers. We are delighted to oversee this initiative which will help build the evidence-base for creating a more cohesive youth offer, to ensure it responds to need, is high quality and more sustainable. The programme complements the work of the Young People’s Foundation Trust which is also providing support through its Local Partnerships Fund to build more effective collaboration across youth organisations. Leigh Middleton, Chief Executive, National Youth Agency Through the project at least eight local organisations in West Northants will put in place organisational development plans, leading to training and capacity building opportunities, identified in partnership with the local young people who will benefit from their services. Each area has been awarded seed funding from the Routes to Community Success programme to help leverage match funding to embark on their youth work development activities. 15 local Youth Ambassadors will be recruited who will engage with young people across the area, to ensure that their needs and aspirations, relating to their local youth work offer, inform the development plans. Youth Ambassadors will benefit from in-person training, mentoring and peer support drawing upon the expertise, tools and development frameworks of the NYA, to develop their knowledge of community engagement, youth voice and effective youth participation. The lottery funding is also enabling an independent evaluation of the programme. Local practitioners and volunteers will benefit from training to build their skills in areas such as youth participation, in line with feedback from young people to improve the quality of their youth work services. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northants to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2024
January 10, 2024
West Northants to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2024
Community, safety and emergencies 10 January 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will be marking Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) on Friday 26 January to remember the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust under Nazi persecution and in genocides in Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia and Darfur. HMD 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and this year’s theme is Fragility of Freedom. This reflects on how freedom is fragile and vulnerable to abuse. Genocide never just happens, there are always a set of circumstances which occur or are created to build the climate within which it can take place. To mark the day dignitaries and community groups will come together for a ceremony in the Great Hall, within the Guildhall, Northampton from 1pm. The event will commence with refreshments and Challah Bread followed by various speakers including Lord Lieutenant James Saunders-Watson, Chairman of WNC John Shephard, WNC Leader Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Pastor Volker Landing and Cllr Sam Rumens. In attendance there will be Uta Esselborn from the Gröschlerhaus (Holocaust museum) in Germany. There will be performances from Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts (NMPAT) and Northamptonshire schools. The event will conclude with the laying of flowers in the courtyard. Holocaust Memorial Day gives us a chance to remember those who have died in past genocides. On this annual day we will honour the victims and we stand in solidarity with the communities and families affected. I would like to invite and encourage residents to join in the service of remembrance. Cllr David Smith, WNC’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services The ceremony will be recorded and shared via WNC’s Facebook and You Tube channel. To view the full programme for the day, please visit the Holocaust Memorial Day webpage . Residents are invited to join the Light the Darkness National Moment at 8pm where people can light candles and place them safely in their windows to stand against prejudice and hatred today. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Cabinet set to discuss proposals following a consultation held on a Care Home located in Towcester
January 09, 2024
Cabinet set to discuss proposals following a consultation held on a Care Home located in Towcester
09 January 2024 West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Cabinet will meet next week to discuss the outcome of a public consultation regarding the future of Ridgway House care home. The care home located in Towcester is owned and managed by the Council, providing residential care to 17 residents who currently occupy the home, out of a total 25 rooms available. This is primarily due to the inadequacy of its design and amenities in meeting the requirements of individuals seeking residential care and support in their later years. While the demand for registered care homes has remained relatively constant over the years, the nature of care required has evolved, with an increasing number of residents needing nursing care as opposed to the residential care that Ridgway House is currently able to provide. Due to the building being old and its design, it is difficult to meet these more complex care needs and falls short of today's accessibility and facility requirements stipulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for new care home constructions, including infection control audits showing challenges with the environment to provide individual personalised care due to their being no en-suite facilities. The public consultation on future proposals for Ridgeway House launched in October 2023, seeking the views of its residents, staff and members of the public. Thank you to all those who responded to the survey, we received over 180 responses and it provided a real understanding into what matters most to those who currently live at Ridgeway House and their families, colleagues as well as local residents. Understandably, the news of a potential closure of a care home may have caused worry and concern for residents, their relatives and colleagues. This is recognised within the responses, with many comments referring to keeping the care home to remain open to avoid disruption for those who currently live at Ridgeway House, ensuring they remain safe and settled. However, responses also recognised that people living in the home needed better facilities to support them in future. I can assure everyone that our priority is the safety of those we care for and being able to provide the right care for them, in the right environment; it is essential for us to be able to do this both now and in the future. Due to the condition of the building and the challenges we have around its general maintenance and ongoing suitability for residents, after extensive consideration and a review of the options available, the recommendation put forward to Cabinet is to close Ridgeway House Care Home as part of a safe closure programme. Taking this decision now will enable us to work with residents and their families in a more planned and productive way, to find a suitable, alternative setting that is right for them and their needs, instead of the possibility of needing to secure alternative accommodation at short notice. Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at WNC Following this feedback, Cabinet are being asked to consider the proposal to close the care home as part of a safe closure programme. Depending on approval from Cabinet, the Council will work closely with current residents and their families, to move to alternative residential care accommodation providing a suitable and safe environment to meet their individual needs. At present, no plans have been agreed for the future of the site and this will be looked into following Cabinets decision. To read the cabinet report, please see the Agenda for Cabinet on Tuesday 16 January 2024, 6pm Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Fire Service to pay tribute to Corby firefighter Hilmi Say at funeral
January 09, 2024
Fire Service to pay tribute to Corby firefighter Hilmi Say at funeral
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service will be paying tribute to the life of Corby firefighter Hilmi Say at his funeral on January 24. The Service was devastated at the loss of Hilmi, who has been a much-loved member of the brigade since he joined in 2010, where he had served at Corby Fire Station ever since. Hilmi was diagnosed with cancer in January 2022 and had bravely been fighting it since. He sadly passed away aged 40 on the morning of December 23, surrounded by his family. In the period since, the Fire Service has been supporting Hilmi’s wife, Victoria, and his children Brooke, 14, and Sophia, 11. With the blessing of Hilmi’s family, the Fire Service can confirm the details of his funeral arrangements and encourages anyone who knew Hilmi to come along and celebrate his life. The funeral service will be held on Wednesday January 24 at 11am at Rothwell Holy Trinity Parish Church, but prior to this a funeral procession will be leaving from Corby Fire Station at 10am. He will be carried by a turntable ladder truck and flanked by two fire engines and funeral cars in a route starting at the station and heading through Corby town centre. On arrival at the church in Rothwell, he will be carried through a Fire Service Guard of Honour. Following that, a burial service will take place back in Corby at Shire Lodge Cemetery, followed by a wake at the neighbouring Best Western Rockingham Forest Hotel. Those who are attending the services are being encouraged to wear their best black outfits, but operational firefighters will be attending in their full firefighter kit to help form the Guard of Honour. Hilmi’s wife, Victoria Say, said: “As a serving firefighter and all-round amazing human, we will be giving Hilmi the send-off he deserves. This will be a very special day for the most incredible man.” Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Acting Chief Fire Officer, Simon Tuhill, said: “The loss of Hilmi has been absolutely devastating for the Service, and since then we have tried our best to support not just Hilmi’s immediate family and friends, but also our own staff who have been so deeply affected by this. “Hilmi joined us in 2010 after finishing his training and had served at Corby Fire Station ever since, and in that time, he had become a hugely popular and well-respected figure within the Service. When Hilmi was diagnosed, he continued to diligently carry out his duties for as long as he could. “Those who know him well knew how proud he was to be a firefighter and to serve the local community, and therefore it is only fitting that the Service plays a big part in giving him the send-off that he deserves.” Further details on the funeral arrangements are as follows: Funeral timings 10:00 – Funeral procession leaves Corby Station and through the following route: Lloyds Road, The Jamb, High Street (Old Village), Cottingham Road (towards Corby town centre), George Street (town centre), Jubilee Avenue, Beanfield Avenue, onto Rothwell. 11:00 – Funeral service begins at Rothwell Holy Trinity Parish Church 13.00 – Burial service begins at Shire Lodge Cemetery, Corby 13.30 – Wake begins at the Best Western Rockingham Forest Hotel, Corby Further details For those who wish to attend the funeral, do not come to the Fire Station at 10am, but head straight to Rothwell early to park and head to the church. Please do not follow the funeral procession through Corby in your car. Once the funeral service is over, please head straight to Shire Lodge Cemetery and use the car parks at the Best Western and Corby Town Football Club. Please do not park at the Cemetery unless it is in a designated parking area. For those not attending the funeral service but who wish to pay tribute, please come along if you can and wave Hilmi off anywhere along the procession route in Corby prior to the funeral service, between 10am and 11am. Everyone is also welcome at either the burial service or the wake at the Best Western.
New directory to support families caring for children with SEND
January 08, 2024
New directory to support families caring for children with SEND
Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) 08 January 2024 A new online directory of services for children and young people in West Northamptonshire with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has been launched. Developed together with partners, young people and their families, the Local Offer website is a user-friendly online platform that brings together a range of information about the services available for children and young people with SEND, including youth clubs, early years support, social care and transport, as well as health services and much more. At the heart of the Local Offer is a directory which aims to help families find the right service, support group or activity as quickly and as easily as possible. It includes the ability to filter searches by age group, location, type of need or service - helping people find exactly what they are looking for The features on the Local Offer for West Northants pages will really help families find the information and services they are looking for. It is vital that our families, children and young people can access helpful and accurate information at their fingertips, and the revised Local Offer is a real step forward in helping to achieve this. There is a huge community of families, services and organisations that provide support and share information on SEND, and the Local Offer aims to bring this community together. It is a great resource for families to use and I really encourage you all to have a look – you may find activity groups available near you that you weren’t aware of. Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills at West Northamptonshire Council The Local Offer will continue to grow and develop and will be regularly updated with new information to ensure it remains an up-to-date and helpful resource. To visit the Local Offer for West Northants please visit: www.westnorthants.gov.uk/local-offer or join the community online by following the social media accounts. Facebook: Local Offer West Northants, Instagram: localofferwestnorthants and X: @LocalOfferWN Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Latest flooding update from the Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum
January 06, 2024
Latest flooding update from the Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum
Friday 5 January (1300hrs) Latest update: Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum (LRF) partners have today (5 January) stood down response to floods as the risk of further flooding in the county recedes. Overnight weather conditions had less impact on Northamptonshire waterways than was predicted, and water levels are thought to have largely peaked across the county. This means that the county can move into the recovery phase as partners from the local authorities lead the clear up work. LRF partners which include Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, West Northamptonshire Council, North Northamptonshire Council, the Environment Agency, emergency planners and health agencies have supported the safety and welfare of people displaced or affected by the weather conditions over the last week. They have been supported by a wider group of agencies including volunteers from Northamptonshire Search and Rescue, Nene Maritime Volunteer Service and Rapid Relief Team. Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service Area Commander, Mick Berry said, on behalf of the LRF: “I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the planning and response work over the last week, not just at Billing Aquadrome but also ensuring resilience right across Northamptonshire. This is a great example of collaborative working to keep the county’s residents safe. “I would also like to thank the public for following the right safety messages and taking precautions to keep themselves safe as well. “There continues to be a lot of standing water around and some localised flooding, and we know that weather conditions can change rapidly. We ask people to keep listening to forecasts and follow the safety messages that the fire service and other partners share during periods of inclement weather.”
Draft taxi and private hire policy goes to committee next week
January 04, 2024
Draft taxi and private hire policy goes to committee next week
04 January 2024 Members of West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Taxi and General Licensing Committee will next week consider whether to approve a new draft policy designed to protect taxi and private hire passengers. The draft policy’s key aim is to ensure that drivers and vehicles meet high standards in protecting the public and providing a quality service. It has been through extensive consultation in recent months with many opportunities for the everyone, including the industry, to submit comments. The policies are also there to protect the reputation of the industry, ensuring passengers can be confident that they will always have a positive experience. To do this part of the new approach is a points scheme which will allow for more consistent enforcement. The document has been drafted in line with Government and Institute of Licensing guidance and is similar to those of all our neighbouring authorities. We’ve considered all views, including those of the trade and unions, in compiling what we believe is a robust policy which will help to ensure passengers are appropriately protected and the high quality of service maintained. We’re conscious that some members of the trade are unhappy with elements of the policy, and we acknowledge this, though public safety must remain our primary concern. Those drivers who operate a safe and well-maintained vehicle, keep a high standard of cleanliness, do not drive in a reckless fashion, so providing a positive experience for passengers will see no difference. Working with the industry we have recently introduced taxi marshals in Northampton which will also help promote safety for both the public and drivers. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Regulatory Services The Council will continue to engage and work with the taxi and private hire industry to help maintain the reputation of the trade in providing a safe means of public transport in the area. If approved, the policy will be a living document and will be under constant review to ensure it remains fit for purpose. The committee is set to meet at The Guildhall next Tuesday (9 January) and full details of the policy, including all consultation responses can be viewed on our website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Water rescue operation at Billing Aquadrome
January 05, 2024
Water rescue operation at Billing Aquadrome
The Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum agencies have continued to work together today (Wednesday 3 January) in response to the flooding at Billing Aquadrome. Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service crews from Corby, Wellingborough and Mereway have been at the scene all day to rescue the remaining residents from the site. Crews have used specialist water rescue equipment and vehicles including boats and rescue sleds to take people to safety. Twenty-nine adults and two children, along with a number of pets have been evacuated today as part of the rescue operations. Crews are continuing to carry out a systematic search of the 1750 static homes. They have made contact with and evacuated everyone who wanted to leave, however, a small number of residents have chosen to remain in their properties. Due to the scale of the incident additional resources were requested from neighbouring fire services who provided two additional boats. This enabled Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service to continue responding to the flooding at Billing Aquadrome whilst also attending other incidents around the county. Also supporting the response were Northamptonshire Police and the other LRF partner agencies, as well as volunteers from Northamptonshire Search and Rescue. It is expected that the operation at Billing Aquadrome will be scaled down in the next few hours. The response to the wider flooding continues as LRF partners work to support the safety and welfare of vulnerable people affected by the flooding across the county. For information on flood warnings visit: https://www.gov.uk/check-flooding
Flooding update from the Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum
January 05, 2024
Flooding update from the Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum
NEWS RELEASE ON BEHALF OF NORTHAMPTONSHIRE LOCAL RESILIENCE FORUM The multi-agency response to flooding on Billing Aquadrome concluded last night and all emergency services were stood down at around 9.20pm (3 January). The potential for flooding continues to be a concern in Northamptonshire and whilst the rain may have eased today, water levels may not have peaked and there is likely to be further flood disruption over the coming days. Further rainfall is predicted in Northamptonshire later this evening (4 January) and residents across Northamptonshire and particularly those who live close to waterways are being urged to continue to follow safety advice around flood water. The rivers Nene, Tove and Great River Ouse continue to swell and will likely lead to a further increase in water levels and localised flooding. Roads may appear to be clear, but the conditions could deteriorate again as these water levels rise. Motorists are encouraged to avoid driving through flood water and leave additional time for their journeys. Northamptonshire’s Local Resilience Forum partners are continuing to meet daily as they work to manage the situation, to monitor the weather and flooding risk across the county and continue to implement plans to keep the county safe.
Advice in the event of flooding
January 02, 2024
Advice in the event of flooding
Community, safety and emergencies 02 January 2024 The Environment Agency has issued a flood warning for our area, so here’s what to do in the event this should threaten to affect you or your home. If you are in immediate danger, call 999. Listen out for local radio updates or find out how to sign up for flood warnings on the Government website . You can also call the Flood line on 0345 988 1188. Up-to-date flood alerts are also posted on the Government website and can be checked by location. If water is entering your home: Make sure you have access to clean water Move essential items upstairs or out of reach of the water Turn off gas, electricity, and water supplies when flood water is about to enter your home, but only if safe to do so - do not touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water Make sure you stay safe and follow information contained in the Northamptonshire Flood Toolkit . Don’t be tempted to drive through flood water, it can leave you stranded and in need or rescue. You can log any road flooding with our Highways team . Any other type of flooding can be reported to our Flood and Water Team . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
School catering company admit offences in out of court settlement over food safety violations
December 21, 2023
School catering company admit offences in out of court settlement over food safety violations
21 December 2023 ABM which provides catering services for Green Nortons CE Primary School near Towcester has agreed to pay full council fees, in lieu of a legal trial after admitting guilt for failing to follow food hygiene law, following a visit from West Northamptonshire Council Health Protection Officers in 2018. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and ABM Catering Ltd based in Warwickshire have come to an out of court settlement, with ABM being served with a simple caution – which is an admission of guilt on four offences – and agreed to pay full council costs, in lieu of a legal trial. Health Protection Officers from WNC (previously South Northants Council) visited the primary school following complaints from parents about reported mice sightings in summer 2018. The officers found evidence of a widespread mouse infestation in the school kitchen which was being used to prepare and serve food for children. It was found that ABM were made aware of the infestation a month prior to the health protection visit, however continued to trade. WNC sought prosecution of ABM on four offences relating to the failure to ensure a safe environment for food preparation, failure to comply with food hygiene standards and failure to implement adequate pest control procedures, alongside failing to register their business. Despite ABM launching a legal challenge against the council, the court ruled in favour of WNC to dismiss these challenges which resulted in the catering company putting forward an out of court settlement offer. We are determined to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of the children in our schools. It is unacceptable that ABM put the health of our children at risk by continuing to serve them food after being made aware of a mouse infestation. am pleased to hear that the Councils actions were validated by the court and the company then admitted to the offences and put forward the offer of settling out of court Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Regulatory Services at WNC Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New taxi marshal service launched to promote safer travelling at night time
December 21, 2023
New taxi marshal service launched to promote safer travelling at night time
21 December 2023 A new taxi marshal service has been launched in Northampton to help people to travel more safely during peak Night Time Economy (NTE) periods. The marshals will be positioned at the taxi rank on Mercer’s Row in Northampton town centre between 11pm and 5am on Friday and Saturday nights during pay weekends, bank holiday weekends and additional weekends during busy and festive periods. Taxi Marshals will be responsible for making sure lone females, vulnerable people and those accompanied by children are safely supervised when using taxis as well as addressing any conflicts arising on the taxi rank and reporting any incidents to the Licensing Authority and Northamptonshire Police. They will also help to manage taxi queueing systems and move on private hire vehicles ‘plying for hire’ and will be SIA licensed and accredited in accordance with Security Industry Authority (SIA). The scheme, which launches on Friday 22 December through to September 2025 with the possibility to extend, will be funded using Safer Streets 5 funding led by the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC) and delivered by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC). EP Traffic Services LTD have been successful in procuring the contract. This initiative pilot will enhance the current work carried out by WNC and Northamptonshire Police to work with taxi drivers and private hire vehicles to ensure they comply with legislation and carry out the relevant training. This innovative pilot is just one of the steps we are taking to improve the Night Time Economy in West Northamptonshire and make our town centres a safer and more welcoming place for everyone. As well as improving the safety of women and girls and vulnerable people, the taxi marshals aim to reduce illegal ‘pick ups’ and diffuse confrontational situations to make nights out more enjoyable for both members of the public and our taxi drivers who play an important role in getting people home safely. The marshals will also help to reduce the pressure emergency services face each weekend by reducing the risk of road traffic accidents and using conflict management training to diffuse escalating situations. Cllr David Smith, WNC’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services Other projects and improvements in the Night Time Economy funded via Safer Streets funding include taxi rank lighting upgrades, additional CCTV cameras and Safer Night’s Out routes and help points . In addition to this, Northants Police also staff permanent Operations around predatory behaviour in the town centre. This taxi marshal scheme will make a positive contribution to the safety and confidence of people who are out at night in Northampton town centre. It is one of several schemes that have been funded through money I have secured from the Government’s Safer Streets initiative, which has provided more than £4 million for practical projects to prevent crime and reduce anti-social behaviour. Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold The scheme is also part of a wider programme of work to tackle violence against women and girls in the Night Time Economy that has seen £1.2 million spent on initiatives including ID scanning technology at late night venues, environmental improvements such as lighting and CCTV, training for staff in pubs and clubs to recognise vulnerability and challenge harassment, the introduction of the SNOvan and the Licensing SAVI scheme to help premises improve safety for customers at their venues. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Unusual event application submitted before Christmas
December 21, 2023
Unusual event application submitted before Christmas
21 December 2023 These days it’s so easy to apply for a temporary event licence, and today West Northamptonshire Council has received an unusual application for an event, right before Christmas. Submitted by S. Claus, the application states that the ‘Chief Toymaker’ intends to issue a present to everyone in West Northamptonshire. People are advised to keep an eye out for unusual activity on the evening of 24 December, into the early hours. This may include jingling sleigh bells, trotting reindeers and sipping milk. The unusual event application to the Council states that the purpose of this event, which will be delivered by a flying sleigh and eight flying reindeers, is to spread joy to all this festive season. Christmas is a very busy time of year, and we are very surprised to have received this unusual but very exciting event notice last minute. I would urge everyone, particularly our younger residents, to please be vigilant this festive season and if they hear sleigh bells, not to go outside. Instead, they should close their eyes, and go back to sleep right away. The Leader of West Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Jonathan Nunn Are you planning an event in 2024? Be sure to notify West Northamptonshire Council by visiting Notify us of an event . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Last two weeks to have your say on the future of Greyfriars in Northampton Town Centre
December 21, 2023
Last two weeks to have your say on the future of Greyfriars in Northampton Town Centre
21 December 2023 Help shape the future of the Greyfriars sites in Northampton as West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) seeks views on the first stage of engagement to ask the community their views on the emerging vision. Over 1,100 people have shared their feedback on the emerging vision, there are just a few weeks left to share your thoughts on how the site could be transformed. The online engagement launched on Tuesday, 5 December and will run through until Sunday, 7 January. Visit ampnorthampton.com to view the emerging vision to amplify the area and have your say. The area includes the former Greyfriars bus station site, the East and West Island, the Mayorhold multi-storey car park, Belgrave House, the Corn Exchange and the Victoria Street car park. Residents, visitors, businesses, and community organisations are being asked to provide their ideas for the future of this area and celebrate the heritage of the site through sharing their memories of Greyfriars from years gone by. This is a really exciting opportunity for the community to help shape the future of one of the most prominent empty spots in Northampton. Be sure to be a part of the emerging vision as we breathe new life into their area. Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at West Northamptonshire Council Ambitions to amplify Northampton and establish Greyfriars as a creative hub for the town, weaving together culture, performance, craft and youth facilities, have been met with much positivity. Respondents also welcome the creation of a new town park and multi-layered landscape that transforms existing levels to create a sequence of blue-green open spaces that support intergenerational living in the town centre. There has been clear support for the creation of a pedestrian-first environment that facilitates walking and cycling and makes it easier to get around the area. Many have embraced the ambition to make Emporium Way more inviting as the first step in reconnecting the site with the Market Square and the rest of the town centre. Overall, the vast majority of respondents agree that movement and access should be prioritised at Greyfriars. Some have offered ideas including better lighting and signage, dedicated cycle routes and safer pedestrian access. WNC have commissioned architects, urban designers and landscape architects Studio Egret West to lead on the development of the vision and proposals for the site in collaboration with transport consultant Civic Engineers. Deetu are the consultation experts behind the online platform. The emerging vision includes new high-quality homes offering multi-generational living, dedicated community space, a new park as well as exploring where commercial and leisure uses could be developed. A core element of the proposals is to improve connectivity within the surrounding area and provide enhanced walking and cycling. Our emerging proposals have the potential not only to revive Greyfriars, but to ripple far beyond the site to the wider town centre and Northampton as a whole. It is clear from the enthusiastic response, and constructive feedback received so far, that many share this sense of opportunity, and we look forward to taking this energy forward. David West, Founding Director of Studio Egret West The initial feedback collated from the first stage of engagement will be considered by WNC and a highly experienced multi-disciplinary team of architects, transport and commercial experts, to develop a vision by spring 2024 and launch a second stage of engagement. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Free ice-skating and curling at Northampton’s market this Christmas
December 20, 2023
Free ice-skating and curling at Northampton’s market this Christmas
Northampton Market 20 December 2023 Head down to Northampton’s Market at Commercial Street to join in free ice-skating and curling this Christmas. Taking place daily up until 22 December between 10am and 4pm, people are advised to put on their skates and join in the festive fun. Northampton BID has kindly sponsored this year's curling lane event. All skates and equipment are provided free of charge. West Northamptonshire Council is working with market traders to deliver a free events programme to offer something for everyone. Following the summer of fun throughout the summer holidays, we’re pleased to extend this throughout December. To help support with access to the market’s temporary location at Commercial Street, WNC is working with Bounds to offer free journeys for the bus station to the market. Simply press a button at either location and a free taxi will be called to take you to or from the market. To find out more about the local produce, gifts and services on offer at the Northampton Market, visit Love Northampton Market on Facebook. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Have your say on public e-scooters in West Northamptonshire
December 21, 2023
Have your say on public e-scooters in West Northamptonshire
21 December 2023 People across West Northamptonshire are being asked to share their views on the public e-scooters, to support councillors who are scrutinising the effectiveness of the scheme. As part of West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Scrutiny process, the Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee is seeking people’s feedback on the scheme, which is currently operated by Voi and WNC in the Northampton and Moulton areas. The Committee is looking for evidence into the opportunities and issues around the e-scooter scheme, which has been running in the town since 2020. At their recent meeting (4 December), Scrutiny members decided to establish a task and finish group on the issue, to include WNC colleagues and representatives from various organisations to establish a course of action. Residents are now being encouraged to give the Committee their views on the e-scooters scheme by completing a short survey . The deadline for comments is Thursday 11 January. WNC and Voi are committed to delivering a micro mobility scheme in Northampton which offers a safe, sustainable and affordable transport option for our residents and visitors. Safety is a core priority – including the safety of riders and other road and footpath users – and we always seek to address key concerns, working with the police to ensure the scheme meets the safety needs of residents. It is important that the service meets the needs of all, and upholds the principles of safety, health, cost and sustainability. Our new task and finish group will look at this in depth, but we can’t do this without the views and feedback of our residents. This is democracy at work, and we want all to have the ability to have their say. Cllr Alison Eastwood, the Vice Chairman of the Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Chairman of the Task and Finish Group The outcomes of the scrutiny review will then be presented to WNC’s Cabinet at a future meeting. The Cabinet will take the report into account when it considers if the trial will continue for a period of another two years, and if so on what basis. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Join a ‘Get Up and Go’ class near you
December 19, 2023
Join a ‘Get Up and Go’ class near you
19 December 2023 Are you on the lookout for ways to help family members or friends stay steady on their feet? We have fun and effective strength and balance exercise sessions taking place across West Northants this winter. Meeting others and doing exercises as part of a friendly Get Up and Go group, is a proven way to stay fit, safe, and well. The classes use exercises that have been designed to improve strength and balance, and help people stay independent and falls free. They have a brilliant atmosphere and go at a pace that works for everyone. With classes happening in Daventry, South Northants and Northampton, book onto the nearest one by calling Katy on 07955 441975, emailing [email protected] or visiting: Find a Get Up & Go class - Northamptonshire Sport If you are looking for more information on staying steady on your feet please visit: Welcome to Steady on Your Feet Northamptonshire or for information on staying well over the winter period, please visit: Adult social care and wellbeing | West Northamptonshire Council (westnorthants.gov.uk) Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Christmas comes early as new bike scheme launches for children at Monksmoor Primary school in Daventry
December 20, 2023
Christmas comes early as new bike scheme launches for children at Monksmoor Primary school in Daventry
20 December 2023 Pupils from a West Northamptonshire School have received bikes for Christmas as part of a scheme to support children’s mental wellbeing and grow a love for cycling and being active. Nine students in Years 5 and 6 at Daventry’s Monksmoor Primary School received the free bicycles under the pilot initiative, which aims to encourage young people to take part in physical activity, enjoy the outdoors and connect with friends. By having access to these bikes, will help to support our younger generation to consider active travel options that are local to them, as well as prompt enjoyment through using more sustainable modes of transport. All the bikes were donations gifted to the project and refurbished by The Delapre Bike Doctor, Steve Adams, making them into their good-as-new condition, before presenting them to the children. The pupils also received safety equipment including cycle helmets, as well as cycling proficiency lessons from Space 2 Talk, insight into cycling safely through Northamptonshire Police and a short course in basic bicycle maintenance from The Bike Doctor. The pilot scheme is a partnership effort which has stemmed from the Rural West Local Area Partnership, serving the communities of Daventry East & Woodford, Daventry West and Weedon. Partners involved include; West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), Daventry Town Council, The Delapre Bike Doctor, Space 2 Talk, Northamptonshire Police, Goodwill Solutions, Daventry Community Shed and Olleco. This project is the first of its kind in West Northamptonshire and is being piloted in a small number of schools initially, with the aim of rolling it out further if it proves a success. As part of the scheme, people with old bikes they no long use are being asked to consider donating them to the cause in the New Year. Anyone who would like to support the initiative can donate their old bike by dropping it off at The Stable Block at Delapre Abbey, Tuesday to Friday between 10am to 3.30pm, or on Saturdays between 10am to 1pm starting from the New Year. All bikes will be assessed to ensure they can be refurbished to a high standard and cost effectively before they are gifted to others. Not all bike donations may be accepted. We are particularly interested in XS adult bikes with 26”wheels and 24” wheeled children's bikes. This is a fantastic initiative that is only made possible by partners working together. I would like to say a huge thank you to all involved and those who have donated. We know the positive benefits physical activity and being outdoors has on our young people and it is great that this scheme brings these elements together. I look forward to seeing how we can further roll this initiative out to other schools in the area and hearing from the students how they are enjoying the use of their bike. Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at WNC It is great news that we have been able to work with partners to donate bikes to young people. This will provide them with a fantastic opportunity to meet with friends and get outside. By travelling by bike they can not only enjoy the local area but help reduce their carbon footprint and travel sustainably. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste at WNC Watch a video about the bicycle scheme here. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Local partnership launches website to help people reconnect with nature in Northampton
December 19, 2023
Local partnership launches website to help people reconnect with nature in Northampton
19 December 2023 Local people and organisations have been working together to help make it easier for people in Northampton to reconnect with nature. The Active Quarter partnership is made up of landowners, charities, businesses, community groups and organisations including West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), who have been working together to improve access to the vast greenspace between the south of the town centre, Brackmills Industrial Estate and Hardingstone. This outdoor space offers a range of attractions including the award-winning Northampton Bike Park, the Washlands Nature Reserve and miles of footpaths through nature. Since 2020, residents have played an active role in improving these spaces for the community including curating a range of new workshops and classes at Delapré Abbey and completing public research projects with the University of Northampton to help demonstrate the need for more accessible footpath signage in Delapré Park. This month, the vision for the Active Quarter takes another step forward with the launch of a brand-new website designed to make finding and enjoying great outdoor spaces in Northampton even easier. The website includes an outdoor spaces directory and information about street lighting, seating, public toilets, and other useful details as well as upcoming health and wellbeing events and updates about improvements in the area. The ambition for the Active Quarter partnership is to help make it easier for everybody to access safe, high-quality outdoor spaces - and enjoy getting active however they choose. The partnership aims to champion community engagement and ensure local residents play an active role in deciding how to improve these spaces. We’re really excited about the launch of our new website. Parks and outdoor spaces are vital for our health and wellbeing and we hope this can become an excellent resource supported by the community to help people get outdoors with confidence. Dr Declan Ryan, Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at the University of Northampton In keeping with the aims of the Active Quarter project, the website will grow and evolve over time with residents being invited to contribute. Visitors to the site can complete a website feedback form, contribute to a map of outdoor seating in the area and share any local community groups they are part of. We are delighted to be working in partnership with local organisations and residents to develop this new initiative which enables people to discover the beautiful scenery and walking routes available in the heart of Northampton. The Active Quarter covers an extensive area of green space and water, miles of footpaths, cycle routes, and sport and leisure facilities, all of which are featured on the new website. We hope this project will play an important role in protecting and enhancing our valuable recreational spaces while helping to shape the future health and wellbeing of communities in Northampton and the surrounding areas. Councillor Adam Brown, WNC’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure Find out more by visiting the new Active Quarter website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Junior doctors’ strikes to seriously impact NHS services in Northamptonshire
December 18, 2023
Junior doctors’ strikes to seriously impact NHS services in Northamptonshire
Health and wellbeing 18 December 2023 Strike action from junior doctors is expected to have a serious impact on NHS services across Northamptonshire in the run-up to Christmas and into the new year. The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced that junior doctors will strike from 7am on Wednesday 20 December until 7am on Saturday 23 December, and then again from 7am on Wednesday 3 January to 7am on Tuesday 9 January. Local people are being urged to be ready for the impact of the industrial action – which is likely to result in longer waits or delayed treatment – and follow the advice of the NHS to ensure care is available to those who need it most. Junior doctors are qualified doctors with up to eight years’ experience working in hospitals or up to three years in general practice. They make up around half of all doctors in the NHS, so while staff will continue to work hard to provide patients with the best possible care during this latest strike action, there is likely to be a significant impact on local services at a time when the NHS is already under severe pressure. During these upcoming periods of industrial action, we will be prioritising emergency care, critical care, acute mental health care, neonatal care, maternity and trauma. The NHS is asking patients to choose services appropriately and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to patients who need it most. This includes using 111 online as the first port of call for health needs, and only using 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency. At this time of year when vulnerable people are particularly at risk from ill-health, we also ask that people do what they can to look after loved ones and check in on family members and neighbours. We apologise to local people who are impacted by this action and thank them for their continued co-operation, patience and understanding. Dr Imogen Staveley, Interim Chief Medical Officer for NHS Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board Options available to patients during strike action Patients with urgent health concerns Anyone who needs urgent care (aged five and over) should use 111.nhs.uk to be assessed and directed to the right care for them. If needed a healthcare professional will call you back and this option can save you time in waiting areas. If you do not have internet access or you are contacting 111 about a patient aged under five, please call 111 instead. Corby Urgent Care Centre is open every day between 8am and 8pm and can help with minor injuries/ illnesses such as lacerations, sprains, strains, minor burns or scalds. GP practices will also continue to be open, including the enhanced access service (out of hours) but are also likely to be extremely busy. Please continue to contact your GP practice if you need GP services and the out of hours service can be reached via 111.nhs.uk . Remember you can also book appointments and order repeat prescriptions online or by using the NHS app. Patients with minor illnesses and injuries Your local pharmacy can help with minor illnesses like coughs, colds and red eye. They are open late and no appointment is needed. Patients who need medical help or advice but are unsure where to go Patients who need medical help or advice (aged five and over) but are unsure where to go, should contact NHS 111 online unless it unless it is a life-threatening emergency when you should still call 999. If you do not have internet access or you are contacting 111 about a patient aged under five, please call 111 instead. Patients who have an appointment on strike days Everyone who has an appointment should attend as planned unless your local NHS provider has contacted you to reschedule. If they have not contacted you, please attend your appointment. Patients should continue to call 999 in a medical or mental health emergency – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk. For more information on when to call 999 and when to go to A&E , you can visit the NHS UK website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Nominate an inspiring woman for this year’s Inspirational Women Awards
December 18, 2023
Nominate an inspiring woman for this year’s Inspirational Women Awards
18 December 2023 Women that inspire inclusion in businesses and communities across West Northamptonshire are to be recognised in the 12th Annual Inspirational Women Awards. West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Women’s Forum organises this award to publicly recognise and promote the women who have a real and inspirational impact in their communities and workplaces. Members of the public are invited to nominate the women in their lives who inspire them, with the nominations opening today (18 December) and running until Sunday 4 February 2024. The two categories for the 2024 awards are: Business Award Community Award Potential nominees for the Business Award could include someone who has inspired through their paid employment, an inspirational business owner or someone who has inspired you in your career. For the Community Award, it could be a family member who has supported you through a difficult time, a neighbour who has set up a community group to support local children and families, a friend who has campaigned for a cause close to their heart, or a colleague who fundraises for charity. There will also be a Community Special Recognition Award sponsored by our highways partner Kier. Last year’s winners, Sally Jordan from Ecton Brook Residents Association and Becky Bradshaw from the University of Northampton, are invited back to help judge. Shortlisted finalists will be announced the week commencing 19 February and invited to an awards ceremony hosted by the WNC Women’s Forum at the Guildhall on International Woman’s Day (IWD), Saturday 9 March 2024. This year’s theme for IWD is Inspiring Inclusion, with the premise that if we can inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion then we can forge a better world – one where women feel a sense of empowerment and belonging. International Women’s Day is an excellent opportunity for us to highlight and celebrate the accomplishments of women. We are lucky to have so many women playing vital roles in our communities and workplaces across West Northants, and this award gives us the opportunity to congratulate them on their achievements and say thank you. Cllr David Smith, WNC’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services For more information about the 2024 Inspirational Women Awards and to nominate an inspirational woman in your life, please visit our Inspirational Women Awards webpage . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Organisations across West Northamptonshire come together to deliver operation to keep residents safe
December 18, 2023
Organisations across West Northamptonshire come together to deliver operation to keep residents safe
18 December 2023 West Northamptonshire Council’s Licensing Team and Northamptonshire Police Safer Roads Police Team are working in partnership to work with licensed vehicle drivers to carry out spot checks, focusing on vehicle safety. On Friday, 8 December, they carried out an operation where several licensed taxis and private hire vehicles in West Northamptonshire had their licences suspended due to failing safety spot checks. The vehicle spot checks carried out by the Police Safer Roads team and the Council’s Licensing Officers identified several vehicles that were deemed unsafe to carry passengers. Four vehicles out of 23 inspected by officers and examiners were found to have immediate safety defects which included worn tyres and faulty lights. One vehicle was found to have a tyre which was worn to the extent the cord was exposed. An additional vehicle was found to not be compliant with law around smoking in vehicles. By working with the police to carry out regular checks of the way that licensed vehicle drivers are working we can make sure that they’re adhering to the conditions of their licence and insurance and residents are travelling safely. Our officers will now take the appropriate steps in relation to the minority of licence holders whose vehicles were found to be unsafe. Officers are also working with other drivers to raise awareness of how they can keep their vehicles in tip top condition and keep users safe. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Regulatory Services at WNC When people pay to take a taxi or private hire vehicle, they should be able to feel confident that it is in safe, roadworthy condition and is being driven by someone with the necessary licences and the checks that sit behind those. These vehicles and the service they provide are a lifeline for a lot of people, and we’re here to make sure they are as safe as possible when using them. We’re committed to improving the safety of all road users and will continue to work with council partners across the county to achieve this aim. Matt O’Connell, Safer Roads Team manager at Northamptonshire Police Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Singing for health: ChoirFest performers reveal how singing improves mental health and wellbeing
December 19, 2023
Singing for health: ChoirFest performers reveal how singing improves mental health and wellbeing
19 December 2023 We all know that singing is fun – when our favourite song starts playing, many of us would agree that it’s impossible not to sing along, dance or at least tap our feet. Now, research has revealed that singing with others by joining a choir can have a positive impact on mental health and other health-related outcomes, regardless of age, gender or ability. Several studies have found that group singing improves both physical and psychological wellbeing in people with and without chronic health conditions, with the range of health benefits including strengthening the immune system, increasing pain threshold, improving lung function, and enhancing memory in people with dementia. In 2016, researchers from Oxford Brookes University carried out an online study, titled ‘It’s better together: the psychological benefits of singing in a choir ’, which asked 375 people who sang alone, in choirs, or were members of a sports team about their experience of these activities. All three activities reported high levels of psychological wellbeing – but choristers stood out as experiencing the greatest benefit. Collide: A Choirfest Experience is a specially commissioned show which celebrates the joys of group singing whilst providing an opportunity for local community choirs to sing alongside Karen Gibson MBE, famed for leading the choir at the Royal wedding of the Sussexes, Harry and Meghan. Taking place on 30 March 2024, at Northampton’s historic Royal and Derngate Theatre, the event will include 200 voices performing all genres of music together, boasting a mix of ages, demographics, and cultural backgrounds, proving that singing can connect individuals that may never have ordinarily crossed paths. One of the organisations performing in the show is Northants Sings Out (NSO), which has over 10 years’ experience creating local choirs across the county and beyond, incorporating over 450 voices across adult and child-based choirs. One of these choirs is One Voice Choir, which is made up of Northants based Foster Carers, Adoptive Families and their support networks, Family Link workers, Children's Key Workers, Social Workers, and everyone involved in fostering and adoption. The choir provides members with support and a safe place to have some time away from the ups and downs of foster caring and adopting, as well as the opportunity to learn to sing. As a social worker, this choir connects me to our wonderful Carers and Adopters. It supports my well-being. It really is joyful, full of laughter, lots of fun and a circle of love and kindness. I always feel energised after our sessions and have amazed myself at how much we have achieved together. Performing on stage will always be a precious memory. It has kept me sane, smiling and through lockdown helped me truly value the power of community. Choir Member One Voice Choir is simply amazing to be part of. As an Adopter and Mum of a big family there is not much time to feel yourself. The choir gives you the boost that you need to keep going when things are tough – it’s the best form of self-care and I look forward to and cherish the weekly sessions so much. Not only does the singing simply bring pure joy but the support and laughter with like-minded, wonderful people just gives us all a lift and our wellbeing is improved as a result. Thank you, One Voice. Choir Member The benefits of joining a choir are not limited to any specific age group, gender, or demographic, as Music Director of the Northampton Male Voice Choir, Stephen Bell confirmed. As a long-established award-winning choir with around 90 singers from across Northamptonshire, the impact of singing together for men has been powerfully demonstrated. I’ve noticed many solid friendships form in the choir over the years. There’s a real sense of ‘can do’ too, a team working together for a common goal: great singing performances! Singing brings tremendous benefits for participants. There’s the camaraderie for starters but best of all is the mental stimulus and sense of well-being that comes from rehearsing and performing together. Stephen Bell And over 2.8million people who have joined choirs in the UK alone, clearly agree. Common mood-related issues such as loneliness, anxiety, depression, anger, low mood, and isolation can all be addressed through participation in a choir. Learning a new skill and the confidence built in doing so has also been considered a key reason many are seeking out all ability choirs across Northamptonshire. In West Northamptonshire we have a diverse range of local and community choirs which play an important role in improving many people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. As well as generally being a cost-effective way to socialise and learn a new skill, choirs provide the perfect space to relieve stress and combat loneliness – and you don’t have to be the greatest singer to get involved. Collide: A ChoirFest experience provides the perfect opportunity for people to discover the unique talent we have in West Northamptonshire and discover the benefits of choir singing for themselves while coming together to enjoy a showstopping musical production. Councillor Adam Brown, WNC’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure For those interested in experiencing the benefits of group singing there are many across the local area including ChoirFest performers Northants Sings Out, which operates across Northamptonshire and includes a range of community choirs for all abilities and musical genres, as well as The Queen Eleanor Choir, Northampton Male Voice Choir and the NMPAT community choir. Tickets for Collide: A ChoirFest Experience are on sale now, available from the Royal and Derngate website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Notice of Casual Vacancy Statement
December 15, 2023
Notice of Casual Vacancy Statement
15 December 2023 West Northamptonshire Council has today notified the public about a councillor vacancy in its Northampton ward area of East Hunsbury and Shelfleys following the resignation of Cllr Suresh Patel. The Council has published a Notice of Casual Vacancy. A by-election is expected to take place in the new year. Suresh Patel was a member of WNC since its inception in April 2021, having previously been a member of Northamptonshire County Council since 2009 and Northampton Borough Council since 2011. He also held the role as Chairman of WNC’s Democracy and Standards Committee and until a successor is appointed, the vice-chairman will serve as Chairman. The vacant seat is one of three West Northamptonshire council seats covering East Hunsbury and Shelfleys ward, which covers areas including Shelfleys, Merefield and Blacky More. To view the Notice of Casual Vacancy and further information visit Election notices and future elections | West Northamptonshire Council (westnorthants.gov.uk) Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Parking enforcement to be introduced in the new year
December 15, 2023
Parking enforcement to be introduced in the new year
15 December 2023 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will be introducing enforcement to prevent and reduce people from ‘double parking’ and from parking in front of dropped kerbs. Double parking means leaving your car next to a row of cars that have already been parked which can be dangerous and poses a danger to pedestrians and other road users including impeding emergency services vehicles. Similarly, parking alongside a dropped kerb can cause considerable inconvenience and put vulnerable road users at severe risk and also impacts drivers trying to enter or leave a premises. As a result of numerous complaints, WNC has made the decision to commence enforcement and will issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) to any vehicle observed contravening these restrictions. The Government deem this a higher-level contravention which is £70, discounted to £35 in the first 14 days only. Obstructive parking can cause a real nuisance for residents and road users, especially the disabled and people with pushchairs. These measures will help to alleviate double parking and obstructive access to dropped kerbs. We hope that people will listen to these measures and be considerate when they’re parking in a restricted area. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste at WNC To find out more about parking across West Northamptonshire visit: https://www.westnorthants.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-transport Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Cabinet approves plans to extend measures to curb anti-social behaviour in Northampton
December 14, 2023
Cabinet approves plans to extend measures to curb anti-social behaviour in Northampton
14 December 2023 West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Cabinet has approved plans to renew a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in Northampton to help tackle nuisance and problem behaviour. The decision made at Tuesday’s (12 December) meeting follows a six-week public consultation with residents and partners to gather views on extending the PSPO for a further 3 years, up to September 2026. A PSPO is a power that allows councils to impose restrictions on a defined area to tackle problem behaviour and provide better protection for victims under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The current PSPO covering the Northampton Town area was introduced in 2020 in response to issues of anti-social behaviour which included drug use, street drinking and urinating in public places. Over two thirds of consultation respondents stated that they had personally experienced nuisance behaviours in Northampton in the last six months, while more than half of respondents agreed that the current PSPO helps to address these issues. The current Order prohibits: The use of intoxicating substances, including illegal or psychoactive substances Having an item in possession to use/take an intoxicating substance, this includes needles and smoking devices that are not e-cigarettes Consumption of alcohol in unauthorised or unlicensed open areas, for example on streets Urinating or defecating in public places, unless a toilet has been provided for that purpose Spitting Riding a bike or scooter when requested not to do so by the Police or a Council authorised person Busking when requested not to do so by the Police or a Council authorised person Failure to comply with the Order is subject to a fine. The current Order also has provision for the control of dogs, however this has been removed from this renewal and is now covered under a separate Order. The new Order includes two new provisions: Riding a bike or scooter when requested not to do so by the Police or a Council authorised person Busking when requested not to do so by the Police or a Council authorised person A full version of the updated PSPO can be viewed on the West Northamptonshire Council website . The Council is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour and creating safer communities which is why we’re pleased to be extending this Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) and keeping these measures in place. Northampton continues to be impacted by a range of anti-social behaviour on its streets and the current Order allows the Council and its partners to tackle these issues. The public consultation gave very clear indication of support for the Order and partner agencies were also overwhelming in their backing for the amendment and extension of this PSPO. We hope that by keeping these measures in place we can help to deter nuisance behaviour and make Northampton a safer and more pleasant place to live, work, and visit for everyone. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Investment into innovative road repair machinery showcased in Harpole
December 14, 2023
Investment into innovative road repair machinery showcased in Harpole
14 December 2023 The JCB Pothole Pro, an innovative machine set to slash time and costs for road repairs, has been demonstrated in Harpole as part of West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) long-term vision to improve the road network across the area. Upper High Street, Harpole from Nobottle Road to the village was closed from 28 November to 1 December for road surface repairs to be carried out across a 450sqm stretch. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Highways, and Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader for West Northamptonshire Council, were joined by representatives from the Council’s Highways partner, Kier, to see the JCB Pothole Pro in action. The JCB Pothole Pro machine is a new and exciting piece of technology acquired by West Northamptonshire Council, and is set to carry out road defect repairs four times faster than standard methods – while providing a quality solution. The Pothole Pro enables WNC’s highways partner Kier to carry out an improved repair service allowing them to cut the defect, crop the edges and clean the area with one machine before it is filled. The investment in this new technology forms part of the Council’s long-term vision to improve the road network across the area and follows the Government announcement to invest more than £2.8 million additional funds into our Highways in 2023/24. We’re delighted to have invested into this ground-breaking technology, which will help to achieve the Council’s strategy to deliver prompt and lasting pothole repairs. This offers us a new and innovative way to improve the speed with which we can address road surface issues and we look forward to seeing this in action across West Northamptonshire in the coming months. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways & Waste at West Northamptonshire Council We welcome West Northamptonshire Council’s investment in the JCB Pothole Pro. This addition to the fleet will allow road network improvements to be carried out safely and efficiently - while creating less disruption for the general public and providing greater flexibility to best deploy our resources. This is another positive step in our efforts to provide a quality, value for money service in the communities we work. John Coombes, general manager at Kier Transportation To find out more about Highway services across West Northamptonshire, including how to report road defects, visit: https://www.westnorthants.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-transport Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Your money, Your say: we want your views on 2024/25 budget proposals
December 13, 2023
Your money, Your say: we want your views on 2024/25 budget proposals
Finance 13 December 2023 Residents, businesses and community groups in West Northants are encouraged to share their views on the draft budget proposals for 2024/25. Members of the Cabinet met last night (Tuesday, 12 Dec) to discuss a range of saving and efficiency proposals which will allow the West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) to balance its books, while protecting the most vulnerable in our community and tackling the rise in costs and demand for services. The proposals are now open to public feedback for six weeks until midnight on Tuesday, 23 January. The final budget will be presented to the full Council in February 2024. People can have their say on the budget proposals by completing the survey on our Consultation Hub . The survey can be accessed online for free at libraries across West Northants, or you can request a copy in another format by emailing [email protected] or phoning 0300 126 7000 . We have worked hard to shape a robust, balanced draft budget that prioritises our resources to support our most vulnerable residents and protect frontline services in the most cost-effective way possible. Your feedback is very important to us, as it empowers us to make informed decisions and drive positive changes in our communities. So, please take the time to tell us what you think. You don’t have to answer all of the questions or provide feedback on every section, you can choose to focus on the areas that are most important to you. Councillor Malcolm Longley, Cabinet Member for Finance at West Northamptonshire Council Watch our video to find out more about the budget proposals for 2024/25: Our Budget Explained: 2024/25 The budget proposals for next year are made up of a £409.2m net revenue budget (excluding grant-funded schools' expenditure of £451m) and also include £25.7m of efficiencies through planned improvements in productivity and additional income generation. To help WNC balance the books whilst continuing to protect services during its fourth year as a unitary authority, the draft budget proposals include: Increasing fees and charges broadly in line with inflation, to ensure they continue to properly reflect today’s operating costs. Proposing to raise Council Tax by 4.99% This increase equates to an average rise of £1.63 a week on a Band D property. Continuing to review services and restructure teams within the organisation, introducing new, more efficient ways of working to make back-office savings without impacting on how services are delivered to residents. During 2024/25 the Council also plans to invest a total of almost £143m in its capital programme, to improve local infrastructure and assets such as land, buildings and equipment. It is also set to spend an estimated £20m in public health funding from the Government in the year ahead to progress a range of schemes aimed at improving residents’ wellbeing, reducing health inequalities and continuing to support communities through the ongoing cost of living challenges. Within the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) there are plans to invest £54m of capital funds in social housing during the next financial year, which forms part of a total five-year capital programme which amounts to £279m. Also built into the plans is investment in decarbonisation which is estimated to impact on 500 homes. The capital investment in 2024-25 includes: £7m on external improvements £11m on internal works improvements £2.3m on disabled adaptations £24m on new build programmes and major projects; and £10m on buying back social housing and for spot purchases of suitable properties. In addition to this the Council will spend approximately £65m on managing and maintaining the existing housing stock which is funded primarily by Housing Rents received from current tenants. To ensure this can be achieved, the draft budget proposals include an increase in rents in our rented housing of 7.7% in line with the Government’s amended Rent Standard. Cabinet will consider the final budget for 2024/25 on Tuesday, 13 February 2024 for recommendation to the full Council meeting on Thursday, 22 February 2024; subject to any changes made following consideration of the consultation feedback, the Local Government financial settlement and the latest financial position. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
What we’ve heard so far for the future of Greyfriars, Northampton
December 13, 2023
What we’ve heard so far for the future of Greyfriars, Northampton
Regeneration 13 December 2023 Last week the regeneration of Northampton Town Centre took an exciting step forward. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) launched the first stage of engagement to ask the community to help shape the future and revamp the vacant Greyfriars site. One week into the engagement, more than 800 people have shared their views on the emerging vision. They have shared their ideas on the future of the area, ideas for temporary uses of the site while it is being developed, and many personal memories of Greyfriars in past years. The 14 acre area includes the former bus station site, East and West Island, Mayorhold Multistorey Car Park, Belgrave House, Corn Exchange and Victoria Street Car Park. Residents, visitors, businesses, and community organisations are being asked to provide their ideas for the future of this area and celebrate the heritage of the site through sharing their memories of Greyfriars from years gone by. Feedback so far indicates that culture and craft should be at the heart of Greyfriars, with hundreds of ideas given about what form this could take. Some examples given include having workshops to rent, craft studios, music venues, independent retail space, and places for new artists and talent to start up. Comments also suggest that it would be beneficial to have different generations living at Greyfriars, with multi-generational living including a mix of build-to-rent, build-to-buy, later living and student accommodation. Landscaped park spaces, where people can gather, sit and relax are important to many who have responded to the survey so far. Play and playfulness form a core part of the vision. Hundreds of ideas have been shared about what this could look like, from interactive water features, art trails and outdoor games areas, to nature trails, outdoor gym equipment and play areas for children. Walking and cycling routes, getting around the area, and making Emporium Way more inviting are key parts of the future of Greyfriars. The vast majority of respondents agree this is a priority within any suggested improvements in the area, to make it easier for people to get to Greyfriars. Some of these ideas include better lighting and signage, dedicated cycle routes and safer pedestrian access. The online engagement launched on Tuesday, 5 December and will run through until Sunday, 7 January. Visit ampnorthampton.com to view the emerging vision to amplify the area and have your say. Greyfriars is the largest brownfield opportunity within West Northamptonshire and represents a significant opportunity to deliver transformative change for the town. The site boasts a prime location at the heart of town, next to the ongoing transformation of the historic Market Square and redevelopment of the former Marks and Spencer’s and BHS units. The central location provides a unique opportunity to transform this part of the town centre and have a positive impact on the wider area. WNC is working with consultation experts, Deetu and architects, Studio Egret West to develop the engagement and proposed plans for the future scheme. The emerging vision includes new high-quality homes offering multi-generational living, dedicated community space, a new park as well as exploring where commercial and leisure uses could be developed. A core element of the proposals is to improve connectivity within the surrounding area and provide enhanced walking and cycling. The initial feedback collated from the first stage of engagement will be considered by WNC and a highly experienced multi-disciplinary team of architects, transport and commercial experts, to develop a vision by spring 2024 and launch a second stage of engagement. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?