25 January 2024

Healthy schools Bronze Award

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

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Join our  Audit & Governance Committee
April 22, 2024
Join our Audit & Governance Committee
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Car parking payment app to be introduced in Northampton
April 19, 2024
Car parking payment app to be introduced in Northampton
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Families and young people invited to have their say on early support available
April 19, 2024
Families and young people invited to have their say on early support available
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Home Upgrade Grant Expands Eligibility Criteria to Reach More Low-Income Households
April 18, 2024
Home Upgrade Grant Expands Eligibility Criteria to Reach More Low-Income Households
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Statement regarding council leadership
April 19, 2024
Statement regarding council leadership
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Twelve new firefighters welcomed to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service
April 18, 2024
Twelve new firefighters welcomed to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service
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Those living and working in Brackley encouraged to feedback on public transport in the area
April 17, 2024
Those living and working in Brackley encouraged to feedback on public transport in the area
17 April 2024 People who live and work in the Brackley area are being encouraged to take part in a study on how they currently use public transport and what they would like to see from it in the future. The Brackley Area Public Transport Study looks at bus services and community transport in the area with an aim to identify potential improvements that can be made to the services. The study area also covers several villages including, Culworth, Evenley, Syresham and Warkworth. People have until Sunday 5 May to share their thoughts, and those unable to access it online will be able to complete a paper copy or use a dedicated phone line. There will also be a series of drop-in-sessions across the area, to find out more about the locations, dates and times visit: GO Travel Solutions Website Organisations within the area including workplaces, health centres and community facilities are invited to give feedback in a separate survey. The study has been commissioned by West Northamptonshire Council and is funded by the Bus Service Improvement Plan. It is being led by GO Travel Solutions who are a specialist sustainable transport consultancy. Find out more about the area it covers and have your say at GO Travel Solutions Website Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Children in Northants protected from cleaning product injuries in new campaign
April 17, 2024
Children in Northants protected from cleaning product injuries in new campaign
17 April 2024 Families in North and West Northamptonshire are being urged by the Royal Society for the Prevention Accidents (RoSPA) to take action to protect their children from the risks of household cleaning products. The latest phase of the Take Action Today, Put Them Away campaign, funded by the UK Cleaning Products Industry Association (UKCPI), is being launched on 16 of April 2024 . This follows the scheme’s success in 44 areas of the UK including Birmingham, Liverpool, King’s Lynn, Nottingham, Newcastle, Bradford and Northern Ireland where over 700,000 families have been helped to prevent poisoning and eye injuries. In North Northamptonshire, accidental poisonings accounted for 55 emergency admissions for 0 – 4-year-olds between 2018/19- 2020/21. In West Northamptonshire, accidental poisonings accounted for 115 emergency admissions for 0 – 4-year-olds between 2018/19- 2020/21. As part of the campaign, a handy magnetic notepad featuring key safety advice will be handed out to thousands of families by health visitors and children’s centre staff. Jim Oram, RoSPA’s public health project officer, said: “The notepad acts as a constant reminder in family kitchens to store cleaning products out of reach, out of sight and in a locked cupboard. “Due to their inquisitive nature, children under the age of five are most at risk of accidentally swallowing or getting household cleaning products, like liquid laundry capsules, into their eyes. Even products with a child-resistant closure cannot guarantee safety - they only reduce the risk by delaying access to the product.” Philip Malpass, from the industry’s trade body, the UKCPI, said: “Cleaning products are designed to be safe to use and to provide the clean and hygienic home we often take for granted today. The accidents we see involving young children and cleaning products are avoidable and whilst the severity of the injuries are generally low, we hope that this campaign will remind parents to follow the usage instructions on the packaging, and in so doing, avoid unnecessary accidents.” Councillor Gill Mercer, North Northamptonshire’s Executive Member of Adults, Health and Wellbeing, said: “I’m delighted to be able to support this campaign to help to keep our youngest residents safe. RoSPA provide trusted advice to parents and carers and Take Action Today, Put Them Away, provides important information and advice to help keep children safe from the harms that can come from household cleaning products. I am sure that the magnetic pads which will be given out as part of this campaign, including through our Family Hubs, will be incredibly useful for families.’’ Councillor Matt Golby, West Northamptonshire’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Wellbeing and Health Integration, said: “Cleaning products can be dangerous to young children, but accidents are avoidable. I am reassured to see the Take Action Today, Put Them Away campaign is being launched in Northamptonshire after great successes in other parts of the country. We are urging all parents and carers to store household cleaning products out of reach of children as part of our campaign to prevent accidental poisonings and eye injuries.” Take action today, put them away advice to parents includes: • Store household cleaning products out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard • Always store chemicals in their original containers • Never pierce or break laundry capsules or tablets • Always close the lid of any product • In the event of an incident, follow advice on the product pack and seek medical attention. UKCPI is the leading trade association representing UK producers of cleaning and hygiene products from household soaps, washing powders, liquids, disinfectants, air care and polishes to the professional cleaning and hygiene products used in industrial and institutional applications. It provides advice and guidance to manufacturers, distributors and users of cleaning and hygiene products. UKCPI also works in partnership with policymakers, the public and the media, to inform public discussions about cleanliness, hygiene and sustainable cleaning. Further information on the Take Action Today campaign can be found on the ROSPA website . For more details about the UKCPI, visit www.ukcpi.org Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Be a part of Northampton’s historic Market, reimagined
April 18, 2024
Be a part of Northampton’s historic Market, reimagined
18 April 2024 Local market traders and businesses who are interested in moving to the revitalised Northampton Market Square are encouraged to submit an expression of interest. Northampton is home to one of the longest running outdoor markets in Europe. The historic market square is undergoing extensive refurbishment and West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is looking for traders to be a part of the revitalised market as it opens late summer 2024. Existing and prospective traders are invited to attend a drop-in session at Northampton Library, Abington Street, Northampton NN1 2BA with WNC and Business & Intellectual Property Centre Northamptonshire (BIPC) on Monday 22 April between 10am and 12pm to find out more about the move back to Market Square. There is no need to book, just pop in and visit the Carnegie room on level one. If you have any questions, please email [email protected] WNC colleagues will be on hand to speak to attendees about opportunities at the revitalised market once it opens this summer, and to discuss their requirements for the new market location. BIPC Northamptonshire will provide valuable information on how to start and grow a trading business. They will provide guidance on how to get and use information which identifies customer desires and how best to meet them. As part of the extensive refurbishment traders will have access to bespoke, fixed permanent stalls as well as pop up stalls. These modern stalls benefit from electric, water and lighting, can be customised to meet the needs of traders and provide a safe and secure place to store goods. The Market Square will be enhanced by the new shoe-inspired water feature, dedicated events space and improved landscaping will create a welcoming destination and drive footfall into Northampton town centre. “The refurbishment of our Market Square is a core part of the significant investment in and regeneration of Northampton. “It is great to see the project progress and I am pleased that we can now start accepting expressions of interest for traders to move into the bespoke market stalls when they open later in the year.” Cllr Dan Lister, WNC’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth If you have a great business or business idea and want to become part of Northampton’s rich heritage – get in touch to register your interest by contacting [email protected] before the deadline on 17 May 2024. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Thousands of pupils allocated primary school places – for September 2024
April 16, 2024
Thousands of pupils allocated primary school places – for September 2024
16 April 2024 4,500 reception places at primary school have been allocated to pupils across West Northamptonshire today (Tuesday 16 April). This year, 94 per cent of applicants secured a place at their first preference school, up from 93 per cent last year. 99.2 per cent of families were offered a place at one of their preferred schools. Cllr Fiona Baker, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for children, families, and education, said: “We’re very pleased that so many families were able to secure a place at a preferred school for their child. The Council remains committed to ensuring that children have the best possible start to their education and this is reflected in the continued high number of school preferences met.” Parents/carers who applied for their primary school place online will receive their email offer today (16 April). For those who were not successful in gaining a place at their preferred school, parents have the right to appeal through the independent admission appeals process. Additionally, the number of pupils obtaining their first preference for junior school (Year 3) places was 100 per cent, up from 98 per cent last year. The next round of primary school place allocations (for late applicants) will take place in May. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northamptonshire to commemorate Stephen Lawrence Day
April 15, 2024
West Northamptonshire to commemorate Stephen Lawrence Day
15 April 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will be marking Stephen Lawrence Day on Monday, 22 April to commemorate the life of the 18-year-old who was killed in an unprovoked racist attack 31 years ago. Following a memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of his death in 2018, it was announced that there would be a national day to remember Stephen’s life with the aim to also focus on young people and the communities they live in, enabling them to make positive choices and live to their full potential. A ceremony will take place at the Guildhall, Northampton, from midday to 1.30pm and will be attended by local organisations and community representatives including Northamptonshire Police, the University of Northampton (UON) and local Town and Parish Councils. Speeches on the day will be provided by WNC’s Chairman Cllr John Shephard, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire Hassan Shah, WNC’s Diverse Forum Co-Chair Councillor James Hill, Local Policing Commander Superintendent Rachael Handford, and Co-Chair for the Global Ethnic Majority (GEM) Network Marcella Daye. The ceremony will conclude with the lighting of candles and time for reflection followed by refreshments in the Guildhall court room. “The anniversary of Stephen’s horrific death provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made in society thanks to his family’s steadfast pursuit of justice and tireless campaigning, whilst also acknowledging that there is still work to be done before we achieve true equality. “In West Northamptonshire, we celebrate our diverse communities and I hope that people will join us in observing this day and reflecting upon Stephen’s legacy as we continue to pave the way for a greater understanding of discrimination, equality and cultural change in our communities.” Councillor David Smith, WNC's Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services "It’s been 31 years since Stephen’s tragic murder however the shock and injustice of his death remain as poignant as ever. “He was only 18 when he was murdered and as the mother of a child of a similar age, his parents and family remain in my thoughts as the sense of loss is just unimaginable. They have always shown such strength and dignity in their fight for justice and equality. “Commemorating Stephen Lawrence Day is really important as it serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring fight against racism and inequality in our society - a fight in which everyone has a part to play, including the police. “Celebrating diversity within our communities is really important to us as it fosters understanding, tolerance, and unity – values which Stephen stood for and values we aim to echo when policing our towns in Northamptonshire.” Superintendent Rachael Handford Social media users can help spread awareness about Stephen Lawrence Day and make a pledge by using the hashtags: #stephenlawrencedaypledge #SLDay23 #StephenLawrenceDay #StephenLawrence #BecauseOfStephen #ALegacyOfChange #LiveYourBestLife. For more information please visit the Stephen Lawrence Day website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council launches innovative decarbonisation scheme to help local businesses reach net zero
April 15, 2024
Council launches innovative decarbonisation scheme to help local businesses reach net zero
15 April 2024 Businesses in West Northamptonshire can now access a new decarbonisation support programme aimed at helping them to reach net zero and achieve their sustainability goals, including free business support, tailored energy audits and match funding up to £20,000 to implement energy efficiency measures. The programme is specifically tailored to help small and medium sized businesses make the transition to net zero and implement their sustainability plans and has received £630,854 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), a central part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda. The Net Zero West Northants project combines technical advice and diagnostic work with access to grant funding to enable qualifying businesses to invest in decarbonisation activities, and is part of the Council's commitment to supporting sustainable economic growth across the West Northamptonshire area. West Northamptonshire Council has a target for the area to reach net zero as a whole by 2045 and this fund will be a catalyst to realising this target. Following a competitive tendering process, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has appointed Ngage Solutions to deliver the programme. Ngage are leaders in this field and will work with local businesses to help them understand more about their carbon footprint, providing information, advice and guidance on decarbonisation solutions, including how the business can monitor reduction in carbon emissions. The free support will include 1-2-1 sessions, workshops and the use of expert diagnostic tools. Grants are match-funded and will initially cover 50% of project cost between the value of £1,000 - £20,000. Examples of projects that can be funded include LED lighting, solar panels, insulation and glazing, heating and cooling systems, new energy efficient equipment, and water and waste reduction technologies. "This decarbonisation programme highlights our commitment to supporting local businesses while reducing West Northamptonshire’s carbon emissions as we all move towards a net zero future. “As well as saving businesses money, energy saving solutions have many cross-benefits for the wider community, including better air quality and improved health and wellbeing for residents. “This scheme is one of many ways in which we are actively driving the local economy to ensure inclusive, sustainable growth, making West Northants the perfect place to live, work, visit and invest. I encourage all businesses to take a look at the website and see how they could benefit from this support today.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth "We are thrilled to be partnering with West Northamptonshire Council to support local businesses in measuring their carbon footprint and providing the necessary funding to fuel their decarbonisation endeavours. “Often, just knowing where to start on the journey can be a major hurdle for many organisations to take action, and that’s where our team can step in to assist. “With our extensive experience of closely collaborating with hundreds of businesses to accelerate their journey to net zero, we've witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of sustainability initiatives. From driving cost savings to boosting staff morale and seizing green marketing opportunities, the benefits are tangible." Daniel Cope, Climate Change Project Manager at Ngage Solutions Find out more about how your business can take part by visiting the Net Zero West Northants website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Share your views on helping Brackley High Street to flourish
April 15, 2024
Share your views on helping Brackley High Street to flourish
15 April 2024 Brackley is a unique market town based on a proud heritage and boasts independent businesses, boutique shops, quaint eateries and more. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) are keen to establish a clear vision for building on Brackley’s strengths to ultimately enhance the community and sustainably grow the economy. Residents and visitors are being asked to share their ideas about enhancing Brackley and any improvements they would like to see made to the high street. Nationally, high streets across the UK are facing a variety of challenges and many people are using them differently to how they have done in the past. Now is the time to reflect on the future of the high street and particularly how Brackley can prosper. WNC’s Brackley Town Centre Manager has been working closely with local businesses, organisations, and Brackley Town Council to champion the local community, to harness the pride in the town and to establish opportunities to improve the local high street and benefit every local resident, business and visitor. We need your help to shape ideas for these improvements and have set out a series of questions to understand your current and future uses of Brackley High Street and how you’d like to see the high street improved. Some of the ideas already suggested include: An improved marketing strategy to raise awareness around what is available to residents and promote the town to visitors Working alongside landlords and commercial agents to encourage leasing of empty premises and provide more choice to prospective businesses and investors Attracting more independent businesses to relocate to or open additional branches in Brackley Tailored support & guidance to nurture new business start-ups Delivery of more town centre events; including music, pavement dining and activities for families Additional markets and stalls to provide more choice and attract people to the town Considering the introduction of a Town Gift Card or loyalty scheme to encourage people to spend locally “Everyone in Northamptonshire knows our area is a unique destination for every resident, visitor, business and investor to enjoy time and time again, and that’s why we want to make visiting here the best experience it can be. “Brackley is one of the gems in West Northamptonshire’s crown and I encourage everyone in the County and beyond to take part in this idea gathering exercise and help us to shape, develop and prioritise projects and adapt the high street experience to meet the needs of the local community and visitors.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration & Growth Take part in the survey by visiting the WNC Consultation Hub by midnight on Sunday, 26 May. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New websites brings together activities and offers of support in your neighbourhood 
April 12, 2024
New websites brings together activities and offers of support in your neighbourhood 
12 April 2024 Bringing together events, activities and offers of support happening where you live, keeping information relevant and local to you. The new ‘Live Your Best Life’ website , brought to you by local health, care, community, police, fire and voluntary sector organisations in West Northants aims to be a central point of information for all things local. Currently in its ‘first phase’ of launch, the new ‘Live Your Best Life’ website explains the role of the nine Local Area Partnerships, also known as LAPs in West Northamptonshire and how by working together with partner organisations, as well as community and voluntary sector organisations we can ensure local services and activities are better coordinated and focused on the needs of each area they serve. By working in this way with local communities, we can design services that really make a difference, to help residents, their families and their neighbourhood, to live their best life. If you live in West Northamptonshire, your area will be part of one of the following Local Area Partnerships: Northampton East: Billing and Rectory Farm, Riverside Park and Talavera Northampton South: Delapre and Rushmere, East Hunsbury, Nene Valley and Shelfleys Northampton West: Duston East, Duston West, St Crispin and Sixfields Northampton Central: Abington and Phippsville, Castle, Dallington, Spencer and St George Northampton North: Boothville and parklands, Headlands, Kingsthorpe North and Kingsthorpe South Rural North: Braunston and Crick, Brixworth, Long Bucky and Moulton Rural West: Daventry East, Daventry West and Woodford and Weedon Rural South: Brackley, Middleton Cheney and Silverston Rural East: Bugbrooke, Deanshanger, Hackleton and Grange Park and Towcester and Roade You can see which one covers your area by using the interactive map . Simply, type in your address and click anywhere within the boundary and it will give you the information of your LAP. Each of our LAPs covers communities of between 30,000 and 50,000 people, so your neighbourhood may be part of a LAP with surrounding villages or towns and will include some local organisations specific to your area. You can see the organisations involved in your area by visiting your Local Area Partnership page. (You can find links to all 9 LAP pages on the homepage) . Each of the LAPs has their own webpage that includes information about the neighbourhood, spotlights events and activities happening locally, partner organisations involved as well as what the priorities are and latest news / updates – bringing lots of local information together in one place. From Knit & natter classes, to Carpet Bowls, Family Fun sessions and creative expression workshops there is lots on offer within your local area – so take a look on the webpage for where you live to find out more. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Outline of progress on Sandy Lane Relief Road
April 11, 2024
Outline of progress on Sandy Lane Relief Road
11 April 2024 The new road being built to replace part of Sandy Lane near Harpole could soon be open, using a temporary link while further work takes place. Sandy Lane Relief Road, as it is currently known, was required to serve new housing developments being built in the area. It will provide a new route for vehicles that might previously have used Sandy Lane which stretched from the Kislingbury roundabout on the A4500 to the junction of Berrywood Road and Roman Road. There has been a clear impact on Harpole and Duston residents, who have seen an increase in vehicles cutting through those areas. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) agreed the construction of a temporary link as a potential solution some time ago with developers which has been progressed. However, due to other work the council was not aware of, implemented by the developer to respond to resident concerns, we have had to reassess the safety of the temporary link to take this into account. We can confirm the safety audit is complete and we now await timescales from the developers to undertake the resulting works prior to opening of the road “We’re conscious that this work has caused lots of frustration and disruption and we have sympathy for everyone affected. “We’ve been working as hard as we can to try and provide a temporary solution, to get the road open or at least partially open, but unauthorised work by the developers has made this difficult to achieve. “We’re continuing to work with the developer as we would like to see the road open as quickly as possible, but of course it must be safe for residents and road users alike. “We know there are businesses that have been affected by the works and we are confident that once everything is complete, they will see significant benefits. We are sorry that this has been so long in coming.” Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste We anticipate that a permanent link will be opened between Sandy Lane Relief Road and Sandy Lane by early summer. This is already under construction and once complete would allow the temporary link to be closed. Sandy Lane Relief Road consists of two stretches: Southern section that runs north from the A4500 opposite Upton Valley Way North, on land owned by Homes England – partially completed in 2010 Northern section that runs south from Roman Road, crossing Sandy Lane, and progressing toward the land owned by Homes England - due to complete in 2024 For construction of the northern section to take place, Sandy Lane had to close, and parts of it will not reopen to through traffic. WNC continues to meet with Homes England to connect both stretches of the relief road as quickly as possible and thereby complete the route. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Young people taught practical firefighting skills to build confidence
April 12, 2024
Young people taught practical firefighting skills to build confidence
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service have delivered a course designed to teach vital life skills to young people in Rushden. Nine young people aged between 11-14 from RUSH 2The DEN Youth Club took part in a range of practical and classroom-based sessions designed to improve their relationship with uniformed emergency services. Across three all-day sessions at Rushden Fire Station, the group carried out a series of fire service drills and were shown the equipment that firefighters use when dealing with an emergency incident. They also learned basic first aid which included CPR, how to help someone in danger in the water and how to stay safe on the roads. The Arson Task Force, a joint partnership between fire and police, also delivered a session highlighting the impact of deliberate fire setting on the community and the strain it puts on resources within the fire service. As well as that, the group learned about the dangers of anti-social behaviour following a classroom activity from the Rushden Neighbourhood Policing Team. The course concluded on Tuesday (April 9) with each member of the group being awarded a certificate from Arson Reduction Co-ordinator Andy Evans. Lisa Bryan, Prevention, Safeguarding and Partnerships Manager at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Working with youth groups such as RUSH 2The DEN allows us to engage with young people in the right way at the right time. This is crucial to ensure our work leaves a lasting impact and helps them to stay safe in the future. “Our sessions provide young people with opportunities to build confidence and learn new skills, we hope that through doing that, young people feel more able to deal with difficult situations and make decisions that keep themselves and others safe.” One of the young people participating on the course said: “This is really worth getting up for in the morning, it’s really fun!” RUSH 2The DEN is an award-winning youth group based in Rushden that aims to support young people’s development by offering opportunities to gain and develop skills, knowledge, self-awareness, and confidence. River, founder and manager at RUSH 2The DEN, said: “Our young people were put through their paces, not only in the lecture room, but also on the drill yard. “The outside learning taught some of the preliminary firefighter skills as well as teamwork help to tackle the challenges and obstacles presented. “Our volunteer Youth Leaders at RUSH 2The DEN are exceptionally proud of the young people who took part and completed the three-day course. They have all become more engaged, confident, responsible young people.”
Summer road maintenance scheme to begin
April 10, 2024
Summer road maintenance scheme to begin
10 April 2024 West Northamptonshire’s fleet of highways machinery is preparing to roll out the summer road maintenance programme, focusing on major projects that require warm and dry weather conditions. Like many councils, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) faces the challenge of roads deteriorating during cold and wet winter weather, needing urgent action. Over the years, here as well as elsewhere, there has been a gradual decline in road conditions due to available budgets and funding not being able to keep up. WNC is prioritising essential work, alongside a comprehensive maintenance plan for the year. However, adverse weather conditions, including record rainfall since October, have hindered schedules. WNC and its highways partner, Kier, will carry out various projects across West Northamptonshire, including road resurfacing, patching, improving surface drainage systems, enhancing our green spaces and increasing biodiversity, cleaning gullies, and emergency repairs. In the coming summer months, in addition to essential road repairs and maintenance, major resurfacing schemes already scheduled, include the following locations: Yardley Gobion - A508 Northampton Daventry - Long March Roundabout West Haddon - Northampton Road Brackley - Radstone Road Blisworth - Stoke Road (3533) Northampton - A5123 Towcester Road Northampton - A508 London Road Northampton - A508 Harborough Road Everdon - Farthingstone Road. Further information and a full rundown of schemes for the year ahead will be listed in the annual plan, which will be published shortly. “We understand people’s frustration with the current condition of the roads, and we apologise for this. Maintaining our roads is a significant task, especially during the wet and cold winter months. Therefore, spring through to autumn is when we can undertake most of the necessary work.” “It’s a real challenge for all councils to balance competing priorities with our limited budgets. We allocate £26m annually across our road and transport services, but this only stretches so far. Resurfacing all roads in West Northants would cost approximately £250 million, while our total budget for running all services, including supporting vulnerable children and adults, is just over £400 million per year.” “This is why we've invested in new technology, such as the Pothole Pro machine, which has significantly improved the volume and quality of repairs. As a result of finding ways to use this machine more efficiently, we expect that this year the machine will use 16 tonnes of repair material per day, up from the 9 tonnes last year which was the amount anticipated when the machine was bought.” In the Daventry area, whose road conditions were recently highlighted nationally by the ‘Daventry Banksie’ campaigner, WNC has received nearly 4,000 reports in the past six months. We’ve attended around 500 emergencies, repaired 2,500 defects, and completed over 10,000 square meters of road repairs. “In the past year, we've completed four major road repair schemes in the area, with further resurfacing work planned for this month. However, this work must be conducted in warmer weather to prevent repairs from failing. Some repairs of particular concern to Daventry residents are on busy roundabouts. We've repaired some already, with a further key roundabout scheduled for deeper repair later this month, as warmer spring weather is essential for proper repairs.” “Considering these challenges, we continue to seek ways of increasing the money we have available for road repairs. We also welcome the news of the £162 million allocation from central government over the next seven years for our wider road network, as part of the HS2 phase 2 cancellation. We eagerly await further details on when we will get this money, the profile of how much we will get in each of the next seven years, and what criteria will be placed on the use of it, so we can start to use it on the local road and transport priorities that are important to us and to West Northants residents.” Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of WNC For more information on major highway projects, upcoming works, or to report a defect, visit our parking, roads and transport page Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
500 days to go! West Northants counts down to Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 with legacy programme Impact ’25 launch event
April 09, 2024
500 days to go! West Northants counts down to Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 with legacy programme Impact ’25 launch event
09 April 2024 Today (9 April) marks 500 days to go until the start of the Women’s Rugby World Cup, the biggest-ever celebration of women’s international rugby, which will see matches take place in front of a worldwide audience at Northampton’s cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens. To mark this momentous day, local women and girls joined members of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), Northampton Saints and West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for the launch of Impact ’25, the RFU’s transformational legacy programme which aims to grow rugby throughout the country, delivered in partnership with UK Government, Sport England and UK Sport. The multi-million-pound programme will provide substantial improvements in facilities and greater opportunities for females at all levels of the game and has already seen £12.13m of Government funding committed to women and girls’ grassroots rugby. Attendees at the event, hosted by Northampton Saints and Loughborough Lightning, were able to take part in girls’ non-contact Rugby, led by Lightning players and Saints community coaches, as well as watch the ‘Heart of the Game’ Rugby World Cup trailer produced by local sixth form students from the Bee Hive SEND vocational college for Northampton Film Festival. “We are extremely excited to welcome the Women’s Rugby World Cup to West Northamptonshire next year and it was great to experience a taste of what is to come at today’s Impact ’25 launch event. “This major tournament will bring huge benefits to our area, not only attracting visitors from around the world and showcasing West Northamptonshire's unique rugby culture to millions of viewers, but also encouraging more people to get active and building women and girls’ participation in both Rugby and other sports by providing a wealth of new sporting opportunities.” Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of WNC and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure “We were absolutely over the moon to be selected as one of the host venues for the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup, and as the tournament approaches, that excitement continues to build. “Participation in women’s and girls’ rugby throughout our region has never been higher, and the audience for the sport is growing all the time. We are delighted to have played a part in that through our partnership with Loughborough Lightning and our community outreach programmes, as well as by hosting women’s international matches in Northampton in 2021 and 2023. “We hope bringing several World Cup matches to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens in 2025 will have a transformational effect on rugby in our region – and with 500 days now to go until the tournament gets underway, it’s fantastic to see the Impact ’25 legacy programme also get up and running today. “We are confident the Women’s Rugby World Cup and Impact ’25 can inspire the next generation of female players and create a lasting legacy of success for women’s rugby and the local community in Northampton and beyond. “Everyone at Saints is grateful to West Northamptonshire Council for their collaboration in helping us host this event and launch Impact ’25 in Northampton, as well as to the RFU, UK Government and Sport England for their funding and support.” Mark Darbon, Chief Executive of Northampton Saints “The opportunity to grow the women’s game was a primary driver behind our bid to host Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, and we are very grateful to Government for committing funding to this transformational programme as part of the tournament. “Working together with Government, UK Sport, Sport England and World Rugby we will create a legacy for women’s rugby in England and the home nations, both in terms of attracting more fans and people to play, coach, officiate, and volunteer. “We are already seeing huge strides forwards being made thanks to Impact ‘25 and look forward to seeing further progress over the coming months and years.” Bill Sweeney, CEO, RFU Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Help shape the future planning in West Northamptonshire
April 08, 2024
Help shape the future planning in West Northamptonshire
08 April 2024 People across West Northamptonshire are being invited to have their say on the draft Local Plan strategy which enables West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) to plan for the future of the area positively and sustainably by guiding decisions on future development proposals and creating places where people wish to live, work and visit and will thrive. The draft Plan sets out a vision and objectives for the area, its ambitions for new development and commitment to dealing with climate change. The Plan allocates land for housing and employment and contains a series of planning policies for these and many other topics such as leisure, transport, health and wellbeing, infrastructure and the environment and where development can and cannot take place. Once adopted the new Plan will replace current plans that cover West Northamptonshire and form part of the development plan against which planning decisions are made. This consultation is gives residents the opportunity to get involved with this stage of the local plan process and will help WNC consider and address issues before a final draft is produced. People can have their say from Monday 8 April to Sunday 2 June by visiting the Local Plan consultation . “This is a really exciting opportunity for local businesses, residents and community groups to help shape the future of planning across West Northamptonshire. “The local plan provides the guiding principles for new development, dedicated green spaces and infrastructure across the area; and has an impact on everyone’s lives across the area. We invite the community to review the plans and have their say.” Cllr Rebecca Breese, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, Built Environment and Rural Affairs The Plan is still being prepared, evidence gathered, and proposals considered, and WNC invite comments on the fully developed policies, the partly developed policies and any other parts of the Plan including allocations for housing and employment growth and guidance that applies to your area. The draft Plan is accompanied by a number of technical documents and other evidence. All can be found on the dedicated New Local Plan for West Northamptonshire page. The evidence will continue to be updated as the Plan progresses. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Support available to help local businesses foster innovation
April 08, 2024
Support available to help local businesses foster innovation
08 April 2024 Grants of up to £20,000 are available from the University of Bedfordshire to local businesses as part of a new programme launched by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) to deliver business support, growth and innovation in the region. The initiative seeks to forge pathways to innovation while fostering a dynamic business ecosystem that fuels local pride, skill enhancement, and the expansion of employment opportunities, with £325,000 in funding available as part of the support package. As part of this comprehensive programme, the University will deliver business growth initiatives, including activities designed to empower businesses with innovation and technological support, enhancing their productivity and competitiveness. From fully-funded participation in short courses to personalised 1-2-1 consultancy sessions with industry experts, businesses will receive tailored support to address their unique needs. Funded by £625k of UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF), a central part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda, this project marks a strategic investment in local businesses operating within the West Northamptonshire region. Building upon the successful outcomes of previous partnerships, this venture is poised to deliver tangible results in business innovation and support. "We are delighted to join forces with West Northamptonshire Council to empower local businesses with the tools and resources they need to thrive in today’s competitive landscape. This collaboration exemplifies our dedication to driving positive change and fostering a climate of innovation that benefits both businesses and the wider community. This partnership marks a significant step in bolstering the region’s business ecosystem, laying the groundwork for sustained growth and prosperity.” Andrew Church, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation at the University of Bedfordshire "We appreciate the unique challenges businesses face which is why we’ve chosen to dedicate this funding to support and enable them to innovate and grow. “Our ambition is to enable every business in West Northamptonshire to thrive and for this reason we have allocated the majority of our UK Shared Prosperity funding towards supporting businesses and creating employment opportunities to sustain the local economy. “We are dedicated to providing high quality support, training and guidance and wherever possible, funding, to enable our local businesses to fulfil their potential. I encourage all businesses to take advantage of this free support as well as the range of support available on the WNC website all year around.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at West Northamptonshire Council Find out more about the business support available through this programme via the University’s Research & Innovation Service . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Help shape the future of biodiversity in West Northamptonshire
April 08, 2024
Help shape the future of biodiversity in West Northamptonshire
08 April 2024 As we enter the spring and summer months, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is looking at ways it can help promote environmental awareness for the natural environment and gain further understanding on how people locally support national campaigns to enhance biodiversity. Last year, WNC supported the national campaign run by Plantlife, No Mow May. The Council will again be supporting the campaign this year in May and will be enabling some of the green spaces it looks after to grow wildly for May, where safe and reasonable to do so. People across West Northamptonshire are being asked to share their views on the national campaign and let the Council know if they take part in these, so that it can gain a better understanding of how West Northamptonshire residents positively impacted biodiversity. The six-week online engagement will take place from Monday 8 April to Sunday 19 May, and people can have their say here: https://westnorthants.citizenspace.com/cet/no-mow-may “Creating areas for our wildlife is important, the best time to do this is in late spring although we encourage this all-year round. Birds, bats, beetles, butterflies and other wildlife are pollinators, this means that they are needed for flowers and crops to reproduce or produce food. Without pollinators we would not have an agricultural economy, which means we would not have a food supply, it would also greatly change the natural environment and surrounding landscapes. “We allow verges to grow where this doesn’t cause an obstruction, however, we take account of pedestrians and traffic by cutting the necessary amount of grass verge to make it safe. “I would encourage anyone who has supported these national campaigns or is interested in finding out how they can support biodiversity in their area to fill out the online form and help shape the future of wildlife in West Northants.” Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste at WNC Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Closure orders secured at cuckooed addresses in Northampton
April 08, 2024
Closure orders secured at cuckooed addresses in Northampton
08 April 2024 Two closure orders have been secured at addresses in Northampton after they were suspected to have been cuckooed. The first of these orders was secured at an address in Pendle Road, Northampton, on March 13, and the second was secured on March 28 at an address in Latymer Court, Northampton. Both addresses were targeted by Northamptonshire Police and West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) via a joint operation after a number of reports that the occupants of both properties were being cuckooed by known drug users. 'Cuckooing' is a crime in which drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base. Reports made by local residents regarding both properties involved concerns for the vulnerable tenants, the increase in anti-social behaviour around the properties, and increased incidents of suspected drug dealing and drug use. Both closure orders will be in place for three months with no one except the resident, the Council, and the emergency services allowed inside the property. Since the closure order was issued, two men have been charged in connection with breaching it. “I am pleased that we have managed to secure these closure orders as they protect the vulnerable residents and make the general area a nicer place to live for everyone else. “Tackling cuckooing is really important to us as neighbourhood policing officers and I’d like to thank the local communities in both of these areas who provided us with the information we needed to obtain these orders. “If you have any concerns about problem addresses in your local area, please contact us. Although it may seem like nothing is happening following your initial report, please know that behind the scenes, the team will be putting together a plan to tackle the issues.” PC Grace Manwaring “Through a great partnership effort we have been able to work with the police to take positive action against cuckooing and prevent any further anti-social behaviour at these properties. “These Orders will make a huge difference to the quality of life for local residents while serving as a reminder to people that anti-social behaviour in any form will not be tolerated in West Northamptonshire.” Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Help shape West Northamptonshire’s approach to manage flood risk across the area
April 08, 2024
Help shape West Northamptonshire’s approach to manage flood risk across the area
08 April 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) lead in managing local flood risks, this includes risks of flooding from surface water, groundwater and ordinary (smaller) watercourses. Under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, WNC is required to develop, apply, and monitor a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy which sets out how it intends to manage floods and the effect of flooding on our area. The Strategy will focus on local flood risk from surface water, groundwater, and watercourses including rivers, streams and brooks, culverts and ditches and sets out the way the Council manage flood risks for the next six years. People across West Northamptonshire are being invited to share their views during this non-statutory consultation which will help shape the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy during the early stages of its development. This is a consultation on the draft strategic objectives for the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy. It is open for people to share their views from Monday 8 April to Sunday 16 June. To view the draft strategic objectives and provide your feedback visit: https://westnorthants.citizenspace.com/cet/local-flood-risk-management-strategy "Flood risk is changing as changes in our climate contribute towards increased rainfall. In addition, pressures such as population growth and new development across the area means we must adapt to future flood risks. Planning to manage flood risk is more important than ever and the Strategy seeks to consider local issues, including environmental and planning challenges to ensure we’re able to strategically manage flood risk across the area. “In order for us to shape the Strategy we would like to understand the public’s main issues and concerns in relation to flooding across West Northamptonshire to ensure we are focusing on the right themes to manage flood risk in the future. I would also encourage everyone to review the draft strategic objectives and have their say as part of the consultation.” Cllr Pinder Chauhan, Assistant Cabinet Member for Flooding at WNC WNC’s current Northamptonshire Strategy requires updating as a result of environmental and governmental changes, in addition to West Northamptonshire Council now operating as a unitary body. The feedback collated from the consultation will help to shape the Strategy during the early stages of its development. A statutory public consultation will take place once the draft Strategy has been developed, which will give you another opportunity to have your say. The Strategy will then be presented to cabinet for consideration and adoption. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
18 West Northamptonshire entrepreneurs awarded business grants
April 08, 2024
18 West Northamptonshire entrepreneurs awarded business grants
08 April 2024 18 entrepreneurs from West Northamptonshire have been awarded business grants of £2,000 from the Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire’s (BIPC) Build Your Business initiative. This project has received £374,600 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, allocated by West Northamptonshire Council who host BIPC Northamptonshire for the county. Build Your Business sees the potential entrepreneurs participate in various business support sessions, designed to help strengthen their business and enable them to establish sustainable new enterprises, followed by the opportunity to secure seed funding. The Build Your Business programme comprises five modules covering a range of essential topics including marketing, business growth and financial planning, all tailored to businesses’ individual needs. As part of the complete package of support, drop-in sessions are also available at Brixworth, Towcester, Wellingborough and Kettering libraries. A key component of Build Your Business is the opportunity for entrepreneurs in Northamptonshire under one year old to apply for a £2,000 start-up grant to help turn their idea into a reality. Following completion of the modules of the scheme, eligible businesses are invited to secure this financial boost to implement into the operation of their new enterprise. BIPC Northamptonshire support is also free and unlimited, meaning businesses can utilise their ongoing knowledge and expertise as they continue to grow and develop. The successful grant winners of the first round of grants are: Alessandra Amico-Jones - Alessandra Amico-Jones EFT Chris Bartley - Towcester Carpet Cleaning Company Leah Campbell - The Inclusive Strengths Co Callie Early - Ace Decluttering Milly Fyfe - No Fuss Meals For Busy Parents Brendan Gilbert & Harry Evans - TwelveTwentyFive Stephen Hodgkinson - Affordable EV Charging Solutions Nicola Kay - Kay Howard Tutoring Zoe Laughton - Laughton Young Consulting Limited Roddy Lloyd-Jones – LJPhotostop Tessa McAndrew - Remidy Clinic Francis Robertson-Marriott & Ralph Major - The Cool Classics (TCC) Aveline Rust & Aprille Russell - Glam-Start Hair and Beauty Academy Davit Sikharulidze - Mavis Technologies Limited Vicky Skinner - Animal Focused Gareth Watson & Sarah Watson - Procare Clean Adrian Watt - Brackley Ewaste Recycling Michelle Westgarth - Wootton Wellness Counselling Services Animal Focused provides Educational Consultancy, Training and Animal Assisted Therapy. “We have been using the BIPC Northamptonshire services since we first set up in April 2023, having 1:1 sessions with James and attending some of the webinars and events. “The support and guidance has been invaluable and provided the reassurance that I could actually run a business! “Having been awarded the Build Your Business grant we are now able to purchase an online learning platform and develop our online course to support schools who are bringing dogs into classrooms for therapy and educational support, providing downloadable resources like risk assessments and infection control policies as well as providing guidance on ensuring the dogs welfare and introducing learning to the dogs.” Animal Focused founder, Vicky Skinner Following the success of this first round of grants, the BIPC Northamptonshire is thrilled to announce a second round of funding under the Build Your Business programme. If you're an aspiring local entrepreneur with a business under one year old, you have the chance to apply for a start-up grant of £2,000 to help towards business-associated costs and benefit from expert advice from the Team. “A huge congratulations to all the winners of the Build Your Business programme. “Entrepreneurs and start-up businesses thrive in West Northamptonshire and we are dedicated to delivering the necessary support to amplify these activities even more and enable long-term business survival in the area. It is for this reason that we are proud to host the BIPC Northamptonshire Team in West Northamptonshire Council, along with hosting the South East Midlands Growth Hub and our very own Economic Growth & Inward Investment Service. “As a local authority we want to see every business in our area thrive and for this reason we have allocated the majority of our UK Shared Prosperity and Rural England Prosperity funding towards supporting businesses and creating employment opportunities to sustain the local economy. I encourage all businesses to take a look at our funding website to find details on how to apply for all of our support and grants.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration & Growth Businesses interested in taking advantage of the Build Your Business programme are encouraged to visit the BIPC Northamptonshire website where they can learn more, find dates for drop-in sessions, register for workshops, webinars, one to ones and more. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election to be held next month
April 08, 2024
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election to be held next month
08 April 2024 Candidates have been announced today for the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election due to take place in Northamptonshire next month. On Thursday, 2 May voters across Northamptonshire will go to the polls to elect their Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. The Council has today published a Statement of Persons Nominated listing all individuals who will be standing for the election. They are: Martyn Emberson – Conservative and Unionist Party Ana Gunn – Liberal Democrats Danielle Stone – Labour and Co-operative Party 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. Anyone who is not yet registered to vote should do so by Tuesday, 16 April in order to take part in this election. You can register to vote on the gov.uk website. People can apply for postal votes by 5pm on Wednesday17 April (this deadline is for NEW applications to vote by post or postal-proxy and those making changes to or cancelling their postal or postal-proxy votes) 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 (not for postal-proxy or emergency proxy applications). 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 for this election. The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to produce acceptable 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. For more information and to view the timetable of the election visit our website Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council explores modular housing as temporary accommodation solution in West Northants
April 02, 2024
Council explores modular housing as temporary accommodation solution in West Northants
02 April 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is exploring options to address the growing need for temporary accommodation in the local area. This month, officers from WNC attended Milton Keynes to view 70 new modular homes and assess if this form of temporary accommodation would be suitable in West Northamptonshire. The three-storey modular homes two-bedroom units act as a practical alternative to providing B&B stays to local families and individuals in urgent need of somewhere to stay. Each residential unit is equipped with furniture and contains a living/kitchen/dining space, a double-bedded room, a single/bunk bedroom and a shower room with WC and sink. The units are intended for families to live in for up to 12 months during which time they would have access to support services including opportunities for training and work. “Across the country we are seeing demand for temporary accommodation rocket due to cost of living increases and a lack of affordable housing. “As a result, local authorities are having to source emergency temporary accommodation such as B&Bs and hotels for an unprecedented number of people, which is expensive for councils and taxpayers. “Modular housing can be a cost-efficient alternative and would enable us to support families while they get back on their feet and help them to find more permanent accommodation. “The council is actively exploring options to ensure we’re able to meet the safety and support needs of our vulnerable residents and address the growing demand for homes in West Northamptonshire.” Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of WNC and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northampton workspace reaches award final
April 02, 2024
Northampton workspace reaches award final
02 April 2024 Vulcan Works, which offers office space, coworking opportunities and business support from its base in Northampton’s Cultural Quarter, is a finalist in two categories of the SME Northamptonshire Business Awards which recognise industrious, hardworking and enterprising small and medium sized businesses. The centre is up for the Business Innovation Award, which celebrates companies doing something new, different, smarter or better that will make a positive difference, and also shortlisted for the Positive Impact Award, which is looking for those who are innovating and adapting their business to not only thrive but benefit the wider community. In the 12 months since it opened, the Vulcan Works team has supported countless startups and small businesses through workspace provision, events, workshops and partnerships with other organisation, including Barclays Bank. “We are absolutely delighted that Vulcan Works has been shortlisted for these awards and we are very proud of all that we have achieved in just a year. “Vulcan Works has quickly established itself as a key part of the Northamptonshire business community and our customers, partners and local business support organisations have made the centre the thriving, bustling, exciting hub that we hoped it would be.” Garrick Hurter, Centre Manager at Vulcan Works. “It is fantastic news that Vulcan Works has been shortlisted for two categories at the prestigious Northamptonshire SME awards. This truly reflects the hard work of all those involved in bringing this project to life, and all the continued dedication of our partners at Oxford Innovation to provide innovative business support to local SMEs.” Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth The SME Northamptonshire Business Awards take place on Thursday 2nd May at the Mercure Daventry Court Hotel. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Multi-agency exercise tests emergency services response to terrorist and chemical attack
March 28, 2024
Multi-agency exercise tests emergency services response to terrorist and chemical attack
Fire, Police and Ambulance services in Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties joined forces last week to test their joint response to a terrorist and chemical attack during a multi-agency training exercise at Silverstone circuit. Exercise Callicarpa, one of the largest training exercises of its kind in recent years, allowed the emergency services to test their strategic and tactical responses, as well as evaluating how well they communicate with each other at largescale major incidents. [embedded content] The first phase of the exercise tested the response to a marauding terrorist attack. This saw Northamptonshire Police – supported by Counter Terrorist Policing East Midlands (CPTEM) – deliver a realistic scenario where firearms officers responded to an attack on foot with multiple casualties. Once the area had been declared safe, Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service and East Midlands Ambulance Service were able to start initial casualty management, with student volunteers from Moulton College playing injured members of the public requiring treatment. The final phase of the exercise replicated a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) incident involving an unknown chemical substance. This tested how Fire, Police and EMAS were able to neutralise the threat safely and decontaminate both members of the public as well as their own staff on-site. A number of fire engines from Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service were on scene, as well as appliances from neighbouring Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and the Detection, Identification and Monitoring unit from Leicestershire, the latter of which would help to detect what the chemical substance was. The event also allowed Northamptonshire crews the opportunity to test the deployment of the Mass Decontamination Unit, which can process up to 300 casualties in an hour and contains a de-robe section, showers and a re-robe section for contaminated members of the public. Group Commander Rob Green, of Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: “Thankfully the likelihood of such an event happening in real life is small, but training exercises such as this help us learn how we can support each other, share any risks or situational awareness and then deploy the right resources appropriately. I’d like to thank Silverstone circuit for allowing us to use their facilities in order to help us do that. “This exercise has allowed us to have a better understanding of how we can work together to resolve incidents on this scale and keep people safe.” Superintendent Jen Helm, of Northamptonshire Police, said: “Over the last few years policing has evolved in how we respond to these kinds of incidents, particularly after the findings of various inquests such as the Manchester Arena Inquiry. “These events in real life are rare, but when they happen, they are complex and dynamic with lots of moving parts. No agency can resolve them alone. Exercises like Callicarpa help us learn how to maximise opportunities to tackle the threat and reduce harm to everyone. “Replicating something on this scale probably hasn’t happened within the county for quite a long time, and it’s given us a real opportunity to identify how the respective emergency services work well together, what the gaps are, and where we can better improve things such as communications and understanding capabilities.” Alex Lacey, Chief Operating Officer, Silverstone, added: “We’re very pleased to have been able to support the agencies for Exercise Callicarpa by providing an appropriate environment and infrastructure to deliver this large-scale training event. “The exercise has not only been invaluable to the many services involved, but also important for our venue, which along with a calendar of sport, entertainment and business events, holds the largest sporting event in the UK, hosting the Formula 1 British Grand Prix.” If you have any information about activity or behaviour that doesn’t feel right, please report it to Counter Terrorism Policing. You can either fill in a secure online form at www.gov.uk/AC T or call 0800 789 321. In an emergency you should always dial 999.
12,500 m2 of road repairs carried out across West Northamptonshire by innovative new machinery
March 27, 2024
12,500 m2 of road repairs carried out across West Northamptonshire by innovative new machinery
27 March 2024 The JCB Pothole Pro, an innovative machine which cuts time and costs for road repairs, has completed repairs at over 12,500 m2 worth of road since its roll out in August 2023. West Northamptonshire Council’s long-term vision to improve the road network across the area has seen the Council invest into purchasing the machinery to enable high-quality works to be completed quickly and efficiently. Over the 152 days that the JCB pothole pro has been out across the road network, it has carried out works in 33 locations across West Northamptonshire. 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 Council's investment into this innovative technology 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 the further impact this makes across West Northamptonshire.” 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 innovative pothole repair solution allows 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. We are continually assessing its capabilities, ensuring we achieve the most efficient output in each location. This is another positive step in our efforts to provide a quality, value for money service in the communities we work.” Peter Ingram, Contract Director at Kier Transportation The pothole pro was initially planned to use up to nine tonnes of tarmac a day. Following use across the network it has been able to use up to 16 tonnes a day. The Council and Kier have also identified areas where it can have the biggest impact. In 2024, we are committed to using the machinery alongside new equipment to deliver sustainable long-term repairs across the area. 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?
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election to be held in May
March 26, 2024
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election to be held in May
26 March 2024 On Thursday, 2 May voters across Northamptonshire will go to the polls to elect their Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. A Notice of Election for the Commissioner role has been published today (Tuesday, 26 March) and potential candidates will have until 4pm on Friday, 5 April to submit their nomination papers. 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. Anyone who is not yet registered to vote must do so by Tuesday, 16 April in order to take part in this election. You can register to vote on the gov.uk website . People can apply for postal votes by 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. 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. 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 . For more information and to view the timetable of the election visit our website The Notice of Election for the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Election on Thursday, 2 May, also marks the start of the pre-election period (previously known as purdah) for West Northamptonshire Council. This is the period of heightened sensitivity in the run-up to polling day when specific restrictions are in place for the Council’s publicity and use of resources. Find out more about the pre-election period for local authorities. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northampton youth given opportunity to discover their ‘ambitions and aspirations’ with National Theatre Live
March 26, 2024
Northampton youth given opportunity to discover their ‘ambitions and aspirations’ with National Theatre Live
26 March 2024 An initiative set up by the National Theatre Live is being supported by local organisations and will see young people from the East of Northampton watch the nationally renowned play ‘Dear England’ starring global star Joseph Fiennes. ‘Dear England’ is a gripping examination of both the nation and the game of football and is a fictional account of the struggles and successes of the England Football team. The National Theatre Live are developing community screenings of their Dear England Production with the key focus of bringing an immersive theatre experience to those who might not usually have an opportunity to experience it. The initiative is a partnership effort which has stemmed from the Northampton East Local Area Partnership, serving the communities of Billing and Rectory Farm, Riverside Park and Talavera. Partners involved in this project include West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), Trilogy Active, Silhouette Youth Theatre, Free2Talk CIC and National Theatre Live with grant funding from Northampton Town Council. “I am pleased we’ve been able to work with partners to bring the National Theatre Live to Northampton and enable our young people to enjoy the experience of theatre for free. I hope all those attending enjoy the show and that Dear England inspires our next generation of local sporting champions.” Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of WNC and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure The event aims to encourage young people to share their aspirations, future ambitions and what they feel are the barriers to reaching their own full potential and will also bring together youth providers to promote their services and engage with the young people in attendance. “We are delighted to be hosting this important event at the Forum Cinema. As an organisation we are committed to inspiring active lifestyles and themes of Dear England of mental health, creating a supportive environment and young people from challenging backgrounds reaching success if something we very much support.” Managing Director of Trilogy Active John Fletcher While Trilogy Active’s Forum cinema will host the screening, Emmanuel Church will then welcome young people to a relaxed consultation event that will be facilitated by Silhouette Youth Theatre and Free2Talk CIC. “We are thrilled that young audiences across Northampton will get to experience ‘Dear England’ – a play that has resonated with fans of theatre and football alike. We believe in the power of the arts to inspire and empower young people, and this initiative exemplifies our commitment to making theatre accessible to everyone.” Sari Blom, Director of Digital at the National Theatre. The event will take place on Thursday 28th March 2024. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northamptonshire wins bid for electric buses
March 22, 2024
West Northamptonshire wins bid for electric buses
22 March 2024 Northampton will soon see new electric buses thanks to £9.4m from the Government. Northampton will soon benefit from around £9.4m Government investment into electric buses as part of a more sustainable public transport network. The Department for Transport (DfT) today announced it was awarding £9,365,523 to West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and Stagecoach as part of its Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas 2, (ZEBRA 2), initiative. Introduction of electric buses onto the Stagecoach network will help reduce carbon emissions and pollution in Northampton, which currently has six Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). The 51 new buses will cover a variety of routes across Northampton including Ecton Brook, Kingsthorpe, Duston and Camp Hill. This is fantastic news for our residents. Securing this funding is a brilliant achievement and I’m extremely grateful to the team, including Stagecoach, who put the bid together and to the Government for this vital funding. Electric buses are not cheap, and the costs are such that Stagecoach would not have been able to invest to this level without support. This will be a real game-changer in our work towards net zero and improving sustainability across West Northamptonshire. Cllr Phil Larratt, WNC Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste The project is expected to save 76,708 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and reduce nitrogen oxides emissions by 27 tonnes over a 17-year period. The new buses and charging infrastructure costing around £28m will now be commissioned and should join the Stagecoach fleet by late 2026. We welcome the announcement of funding to West Northamptonshire for investment in new zero-emission buses. This is a really positive step forward in helping to reduce carbon emissions and deliver cleaner air for those in our communities, building on the funding already made available to support bus services through the £2 fare cap. We look forward to working with West Northamptonshire Council and partners to deliver our ambitions for a thriving bus service that supports local communities. Mark Whitelock, Managing Director of Stagecoach Midlands The buses will also meet the latest accessibility standards set out by the DfT, including additional wheelchair and pushchair space, and induction loops for those with hearing loss. Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) 2 funding totalling £143m has been confirmed for 25 schemes across the country and the West Northamptonshire award was among the largest. As part of our plan to improve local transport in the East Midlands, we’re providing over £25 million to roll out 177 brand new zero-emission buses across the region. This latest investment into our bus fleet comes on top of the £3.5 billion we have invested into our bus network since 2020, protecting and improving bus routes into 2025 as well as extending the £2 bus fare cap until the end of 2024, made possible by reallocated HS2 funding. Transport Secretary Mark Harper Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Tourism strategy for Northamptonshire officially launched
March 20, 2024
Tourism strategy for Northamptonshire officially launched
20 March 2024 To coincide with English Tourism Week, a brand-new tourism strategy for the county has been launched by North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) and West Northamptonshire Council (WNC). 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 focusing on 4 key themes: Visits and Value, Great People, Better Business and Inspirational Places. A total of 150 representatives from across the industry, both councils and stakeholders gathered for an event at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery yesterday (19 March) to hear about opportunities to progress the development of a Northamptonshire Local Visitor Economy Partnership, as well as see the new strategy and hear from presenters including Visit England. National statistics show Northamptonshire receives over 18 million visits each year. This totals a spend of close to £1billion which supports over 30,000 jobs and 3,000 businesses across the county, including a wide range of attractions, hotels, pubs and other amazing venues that visitors value and enjoy. NNC and WNC want to grow this economy to not only support local businesses and increase footfall and spend, but to raise the profile of Northamptonshire on a global scale as a unique destination to visit time and time again. “While we all know that Northamptonshire is a hidden gem, combining gorgeous countryside, ancient woodlands and cultural treasures, we need to let the rest of the world hear what’s on offer and invite them to relish in our county’s grandeur. “The recent 2023 cinema smash, Saltburn showcased the stunning heritage we have right on our doorstep at the wonderful Drayton House but this is just a tiny slice of what we have with the county bursting with stately homes and countless honey-stone villages. We really are the envy of others around the globe. “I’m tremendously proud that we’re part of a partnership which has launched a new tourism strategy for our county and we’re determined to work with the industry and local businesses and attractions to ensure that Northamptonshire’s visitor economy is supported to maximise tourism. “Whilst both councils are working together on delivering the strategy, we are also committed to our respective areas and, here in the North, we have provisionally been allocated £5 million from Government which will help develop our cultural offering even further.” Cllr Helen Howell, NNC’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism "Everyone in Northamptonshire knows our area is a unique destination for every resident, visitor, business and investor to enjoy time and time again, before relocating here permanently. “The offer of this county combines the beauty of the Cotswolds with the excitement of London; there is an unlimited number of things to see, do and experience and we know that the strength of our combined voices will continue to get Northamptonshire showcased on a global stage. We are dedicated to working with as many partners as possible to enhance the local visitor economy and achieve pride in place for everyone within the area. “Here in West Northamptonshire, we’re proud to be home to Silverstone which just received a 10-year extension of the Formula 1 grand prix, we’re hosting large scale music events in the summer including A Perfect Day concert featuring award winning headline act James Arthur, and next year we’ll be hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup. “Northamptonshire is an area that has a unique offering, a robust heritage and an incredible potential for growth. I’m extremely excited to see this develop and our Economic Growth & Inward Investment service will be working diligently to secure LVEP status for Northamptonshire as soon as possible.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration & Growth at WNC As well as the launch of the Tourism Strategy for Northamptonshire, this week sees the first birthday of the Discover Northamptonshire Hub at Rushden Lakes - a fully interactive space which promotes all things Northamptonshire, including days out, attractions, walks, town and village offerings, places to eat, sustainable transport, heritage, accommodation and local and major events. The hub has events planned to mark English Tourism Week as well as for the Easter holidays. The strategy can be viewed on the Discover Northamptonshire website. Editor’s Note: North Northamptonshire Council have provisionally been awarded £5m of Levelling Up Culture Projects funding from central Government. As part of this process, NNC will be required to create an investment plan detailing how the funds would be spent. As part of this process, NNC will be working alongside partners to identify suitable projects as well as looking at the council’s recently adopted Culture, Tourism and Heritage Business Plan. Any funding received will be used to develop and improve the culture offer across North Northants, building on what is already a vibrant and diverse range of opportunities. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Neighbourhood Policing Team secure extension to Towcester house closure order
March 21, 2024
Neighbourhood Policing Team secure extension to Towcester house closure order
21 March 2024 Residents in Towcester are being further protected from drug-related anti-social behaviour after their Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) worked with partners to extend a closure order on a problem property. Back in December, Northamptonshire Police and West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Anti-Social Behaviour team successfully obtained a three-month closure order to board up a property in Caernarvon Close under Part 4 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Reports from residents had highlighted the council-owned property was being used for the supply and use of illegal drugs and attracting persistent anti-social behaviour (ASB), causing alarm and distress to people in the area. With the original order due to expire on March 7, to guard against the chance of the displaced occupant trying to return officers from Towcester NPT again worked with WNC and Grand Union Housing colleagues to apply for an extension until May 21, 2024. This was granted on February 22 at Northampton Magistrates’ Court, meaning the only people allowed to enter the property during this time are the emergency services and Grand Union Housing staff. Anyone else who goes inside will be committing a criminal offence and can be arrested. We’re really pleased to see this extension order granted, as our priority has been to prevent any recurrence of the disorder that was previously associated with this address. We know how much the local community was affected by this criminality and ASB and it’s great to know that will continue to be prevented by this order. PC Jim King, of Towcester NPT We take crime and ASB seriously and will always seek to use the appropriate legislation to target those that cause alarm or distress in our communities. If you suffer ASB issues where you live, please report it so we and our partners can help. Sergeant Wyn Hughes, anti-social behaviour lead at the Force I am pleased this extension order has been granted as a result of a partnership effort. This closure order demonstrates that we are passionate about listening to residents and creating safer communities, and I strongly urge any victims of anti-social behaviour to report it immediately and not suffer in silence. Anti-social behaviour can have a devastating impact on the lives of victims and as a council we are committed to tackling the growing challenges around this crime. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services Report non-emergency ASB, crime and suspicious activity by calling 101 or online at Northants Police . In an emergency, always call 999. Find advice and support on ASB Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Reminder to have your say on Post 16 school travel in West Northants
March 20, 2024
Reminder to have your say on Post 16 school travel in West Northants
20 March 2024 People are reminded to share their views on proposed changes to the council’s Home to School Transport services for Post 16 students across West Northamptonshire following an extension to the consultation until midnight on Sunday 7 April. 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. Any changes will come into effect from September 2024. 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. “We want to make sure that we are providing the best and most cost-effective service for residents and one which is fair and efficient for all who use it. “To achieve this, it is vital that we listen to and carefully consider the views of parents, carers, and young people who may be affected by these proposals so we can ensure the service continues to meet the needs of our community. I strongly encourage everyone to take part in this consultation and get involved.” Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste 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. Residents can take part in the consultation in the following ways: Complete the online survey 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?
Plans for innovative food and leisure space in Northampton given the go ahead
March 21, 2024
Plans for innovative food and leisure space in Northampton given the go ahead
21 March 2024 Plans to transform the vacant Market Walk shopping centre in Northampton town centre have been given the go ahead by West Northamptonshire Councillors at the Strategic Planning Committee this week (19 March). Leisure developer STACK’s planning application will see the creation of an exciting and innovative entertainment hub with independent street food outlets, bars and a dedicated space for interactive games. The scheme also includes a main stage, which will be used for live music and entertainment. The facility is set to be the first in the Midlands and will enhance the town’s vibrancy and vitality, supporting both the daytime and night-time economy and complementing the adjacent ongoing transformation of the historic Market Square and public realm of Abington Street and Fish Street. STACK completed on the site in August 2023 and the planning approval takes it one step forward, license approval is still pending but once granted the design development can be progressed to the next stage. The scheme is being supported by the council, which is providing up to £4.2m investment through the Towns Fund, with a further £8m investment from STACK which will enable the space to be transformed into a new leisure, entertainment, and social community hub. “I am delighted that plans for STACK’s first facility in the Midlands have been given the go ahead and look forward to seeing works begin to set up this innovative entertainment space in the heart of Northampton town centre. “STACK offers something truly unique for our town centre and will see footfall increase significantly, attracting more families and people who might not normally have visited the area. “Together with our other regeneration projects, the leisure economy in Northampton is set to rocket and provide a diverse mix of entertainment, food and drink, and retail opportunities which will benefit residents, local businesses and traders.” Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at West Northamptonshire Council, said: The plans for a STACK in Northampton are the latest in a number of announcements made by the company as it rolls out its master plan to become a nationally recognised brand. “We are thrilled that we can now start to move forward with our plans to bring STACK to Northampton and to create an exciting leisure destination for local residents and visitors.” “STACK will play a vital role in the plans to regenerate the Market Square area – of which Market Walk Shopping Centre is a part – and which will make a massive, positive difference to the local economy.” Neill Winch, CEO of STACK Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
PUNK: Rage & Revolution exhibition shortlisted for prestigious Museum and Heritage award
March 20, 2024
PUNK: Rage & Revolution exhibition shortlisted for prestigious Museum and Heritage award
20 March 2024 Northampton Museum and Art Gallery are delighted to announce that the temporary exhibition PUNK: Rage & Revolution has been shortlisted for the Museum and Heritage Awards 2024, in their category Temporary or Touring Exhibition of the Year – Budget Under £80k. The exhibition has been the most visited temporary exhibition to date, seeing 55,936 visitors between 16 September 2023 and 3 March 2024. The museum is up against competitors including Leeds Museums and Galleries, Thackray Museum of Medicine, Garden Museum, and Historic Royal Palaces. The full shortlist can be viewed on the Museums and Heritage Awards website with the winner being announced on 15 May at a ceremony in London. “The PUNK: Rage & Revolution exhibition has been a huge success and to see this recognised alongside other such respected organisations is a real achievement. Northampton Museum and Art Gallery has a strong following of supporters who have helped make this happen. Congratulations to the talented and dedicated team who pulled this exhibition together.” Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure The Museums and Heritage Awards celebrate the very best in the world of museums, galleries, and cultural and heritage visitor attractions. “It's truly inspiring to witness the broad range of organisations featured on this year's shortlist, where small local museums stand shoulder-to-shoulder with globally renowned institutions. This diverse line-up beautifully reflects the rich tapestry of this sector, showcasing the inclusive and eclectic nature of our global cultural heritage.” Anna Preedy, Director of Museums + Heritage Awards As the museum celebrates the success of the Punk exhibition, they also look forward to welcoming visitors to the new temporary exhibition Vivienne Westwood: A Private Collection, which will be running until June 9. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Employment opportunities at upcoming elections
March 21, 2024
Employment opportunities at upcoming elections
Electoral services 21 March 2024 Residents can do their bit for the democratic process while earning themselves some extra money by taking up a role in the upcoming elections. With the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) election scheduled for 2 May and a General Election anticipated before the end of this year, people are encouraged to consider a range of casual employment opportunities with the dedicated team responsible for organising elections in West Northamptonshire. A variety of roles are available, with Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks in rural areas in particular needed to greet voters and issue ballot papers at polling stations. People are also needed to count votes after close of polls. Find out more and view detailed job descriptions No prior experience in election administration is necessary as comprehensive training will be provided, however, applicants must be available to work outside of normal office hours to meet the demands of election and canvassing activities. At every election we employ hundreds of staff to ensure that the process runs smoothly, openly and transparently for voters across West Northamptonshire and we always welcome residents to be part of this major effort. Not only does it allow people to make their own valuable contribution towards the elections process and shaping the future of their area but they can also earn some extra income in doing so. I would encourage anyone interested in doing their bit to go on our website and have a look at the many opportunities available. Anna Earnshaw, Returning Officer for the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Tickets selling fast as West Northants Choir Festival announces final line-up for performance headlined by Royal Wedding’s Karen Gibson MBE
March 21, 2024
Tickets selling fast as West Northants Choir Festival announces final line-up for performance headlined by Royal Wedding’s Karen Gibson MBE
Events 21 March 2024 Royal Wedding Choir Director Karen Gibson MBE will exclusively perform alongside a 200-person West Northants based super choir – with ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack vocalist, Downton Abbey String Quartet, Blur’s backing singer plus many more local acts completing the line-up. Here’s what we know about Collide: A ChoirFest Experience. Limited tickets are still available for Collide: A ChoirFest Experience featuring special guest Karen Gibson MBE, famed for her performance at the Duke and Dutchess of Sussex’s wedding, as excitement is at an all-time high for the hotly anticipated groundbreaking show coming to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate Theatre on Saturday 30 March. Promising to be a perfect music event for the Easter bank holiday weekend, the stage is set for an unmissable musical experience for lovers of all genres and styles; from pop to disco, and rock to gospel, there’s something for everyone. 200 voices from across West Northants; including a Gospel Choir, accomplished solo singers, and performers from Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT) will all join the stellar lineup, with the night being hosted by Blur backing vocalist Wendi Rose and popular local broadcaster John Griff. Meet the hosts London based radio host and live show presenter, Wendi ‘Rubee’ Rose is an experienced and charismatic backing singer who has toured the world many times over, performing at major venues from Sydney Opera House to Madison Square Garden with some of music’s top artists including Blur, duetting with Nick Cave, Mariah Carey, Sam Smith, Stormzy, Sir Paul McCartney and the late Tina Turner. She served as the principal choir director for the London Community Gospel Choir for over 15 years, citing meeting the great Nelson Mandela and HM Queen Elizabeth II as two memorable moments. Wendi's infectious humour, fun nature and warm personality will be a welcome addition to the exhilarating show format as she hosts Collide: A ChoirFest Experience alongside Northants’ very own John Griff. A firm favourite with listeners, John's voice has been heard over local and national radio airways for over three decades. A columnist for the Northampton Chronicle and Echo newspaper, John is a professional podcast producer and presenter, having worked with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Northamptonshire Police and Chester House Estate teams, amongst others. Away from work, John is a Trustee of the Nene Rivers Trust and an Ambassador of both the Northamptonshire Community Foundation and Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT). The amazing work of NMPAT will also be championed on the night by performers from the county’s biggest, most impactful arts teaching provider. As one of the official charities of choice for the event, NMPAT are set to deliver a breath-taking moment during the unforgettable night of music and electrifying performances. Having provided children and young people with musical and artistic opportunities for well over 4 decades, their Saturday Music and Performing Arts Centres, extensive programme of concerts and events, plus individual music lessons demonstrate their reach and dedication to The Arts within Northamptonshire and beyond. Meet the performers In addition, local singers Joely Wright and Lufuno Ndou will deliver stunning solo performances, billed as breathtaking, standout moments representing the rich musical offering across the area. Lufuno Ndou is a South African-born Mezzo-Soprano who grew up in Northampton. She then went on to study at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, record music for the Black Panther films, perform with the Pegasus Opera Company, and sing with Chineke! Orchestra at the 2022 BBC Proms. Hailing from Kingsthorpe, Northampton, Joely Wright will bring her passion and love for musical theatre to Collide: A ChoirFest Experience as she represents the Northants Youth Music 23 project (NYM23). A voluntary run organisation, NYM23 is developing work to create opportunities for singers and musicians (18-30) to facilitate their continual musical development at every stage in their journey. Having opened the 2023 Community Foundation Awards Ceremony at the Royal Theatre, Joely has proved a talented, popular ambassador for NYM23. Joely has graduated from SLP College with a Level 6 Trinity Diploma in Musical Theatre, with ambitions to perform on West End stages. Featuring specially arranged mass ensemble pieces created and conducted by award winning, Music Director Gareth Fuller, the evening is set against a backdrop of an all-star live band and string quartet plus full production crew all credited with supporting A-list music artists at iconic international venues and festivals. “It is an honour to share the stage with Karen Gibson at Collide: A ChoirFest Experience, which promises to be an extraordinary production showcasing the amazing music across West Northants." “The event will shine a spotlight on the impact of differing musical backgrounds, genres and disciplines all joining one stage. It is a pleasure to be part of this magnificent occasion in West Northants music.” Gareth Fuller, Choir Director at Liam Gallaher’s sell out Knebworth shows. “I am thrilled that West Northamptonshire is the chosen destination for such big household names to deliver what is set to be a showstopping event." “Collide: A ChoirFest Experience is the largest multi-genre choir performance to take place in our area yet, featuring some of West Northamptonshire’s finest local and community choirs, talented soloists and inspiring performers from NMPAT, showcasing the fantastic musical offering we have here in West Northants. I strongly urge everyone to buy their tickets now to avoid disappointment.” Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure. Tickets for Collide: A ChoirFest Experience are on sale now, available from Royal and Derngate . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Statement on the increase in demand for children with SEND
March 21, 2024
Statement on the increase in demand for children with SEND
21 March 2024 Please see our statement below on an increase in demand for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities: “We are aware of the planned demonstration from a group of parents today and continue to encourage them to join the many other SEND families who are working together with us and our partners on tackling these challenges. “As a Council and as a partnership we have been open in recognising the challenges we face in terms of a significant shortfall of provision for SEND places across West Northants and overdue education, health and care needs assessments and the impact this is having on our children, young people and their families. “We know the partnership has not delivered the services it should, and we are working extremely hard to put in solutions for this, including our plans to create an additional 600 places for children and young people with SEND by Autumn 2025 which we are on track to complete. We know this isn’t an instant solution and it will take time to embed, however these issues are unfortunately not a quick fix and are challenges being felt by local authorities across the country. “We have also invested and continue to do so, in additional resources, such as additional EPs to address our timeliness, but we have been open that this will take time to address the issues which we have in ensuring children with SEN receive the best support possible and in a timely manner. We know we are not there yet, but we are doing all we can to improve this.” “As we are sure most will be aware, we currently have our Local Area SEND Inspection, which will enable us to consider the services further and we will lake learning from their findings to continue to improve services.” Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northamptonshire firefighter brings home medals from prestigious overseas competition
March 21, 2024
Northamptonshire firefighter brings home medals from prestigious overseas competition
A Northamptonshire firefighter has been flying the flag for his local Service in a prestigious competition in Saudi Arabia pitting firefighters from across the world against each other. Dean Keeber, a firefighter on Red Watch at Wellingborough, made the eight-hour flight to Dammam earlier this month to compete in the Aramco ‘Feel the Burn’ Firefighter Challenge – a five-day event starting on March 4 with more than 300 firefighters from 29 different countries across the globe taking part. In front of a total of almost 90,000 spectators across the whole tournament, Dean – who has taken part in a number of Firefighter Challenges both in the UK and overseas – managed to win two bronze medals in his age category. “It’s like a mini-Olympics for firefighters, and I was approached to take part in December, so it didn’t give me much time to prepare for it,” said Dean. “But luckily I’d been keeping myself fit over Christmas, so that and my previous hard work in other competitions had put me in good stead.” Dean was awarded third place in the ‘Toughest Firefighter Alive’ challenge. The gruelling contest of four stages over 40 minutes consisted of pulling hoses, dragging casualties, climbing a three-metre wall, carrying heavy weights up towers, crawling through tunnels and finishing with a 10-floor run to the top of a tower. To make it even tougher, all this was done wearing full fire kit, boots and breathing apparatus in temperatures nearing 30°C. He was narrowly pipped to first and second place by competitors from Norway and the Czech Republic. He was also awarded bronze in the Stair Climb Race, which saw him summit 13 floors and 312 steps to the top of the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture building. Dean was also a member of the UK Mixed Relay team that came in sixth place. As well as maintaining his fitness, the competitions Dean takes part in help him keep his firefighting skills up-to-date and potentially learn new skills from across the world – all of which helps him to keep residents safe in Northamptonshire. Dean said: “This competition has given me a chance to visit a country that I wouldn’t typically visit, and while we were there it was wonderful to be shown around some of the Saudi fire stations and see how they approach things and learn from that. We also got shown around some of the tourist hotspots, so it was a great visit that I’ve taken a lot away from.”
Chief Fire Officer says Commissioner’s remarks hurtful and damaging
March 21, 2024
Chief Fire Officer says Commissioner’s remarks hurtful and damaging
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service Acting Chief Fire Officer Simon Tuhill has said that misogynistic language used by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner is unacceptable, and do not reflect the values of the Service and its staff. Simon Tuhill said that the Fire Service is held in extremely high esteem by the public, and staff are proud of how much trust is placed in them and know they must earn it. He said that the while there is work to do on improving the culture and diversity of the Service, he did not want the Commissioner’s remarks to detract from progress that has been made locally. Acting Chief Fire Officer Simon Tuhill said: “The Fire Service is under scrutiny as never before. We have all been working extremely hard in Northamptonshire to make our service a kinder, better place to work. I am proud of the way everyone has committed to reaching the highest standards of behaviour and making a difference, both to their colleagues and the wider public. “Everyone who works in our Service should be confident to come forward and challenge unacceptable behaviour and language in any form, from anyone – no-one is above that challenge. “I am leading the work to improve our culture and I am happy be accountable for the work we are doing to tackle misogyny and discrimination of any kind. “But while the Commissioner is accountable to the public, he fell short of the standards we expect from ourselves, and his remarks clearly made it impossible for him to legitimately hold me and this Service to account. “His remarks were hurtful and damaging. Over the last few days I have been contacted by many members of staff expressing their concern and outrage, which I share. I am clear that I do not want what he said to be seen as a reflection of the values we embody in Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, or the work we are doing to be better.” Simon Tuhill said that he and his senior team will continue to ensure firefighters and staff are supported and that he is keeping in touch with the Chief Constable and the Chief Executive of the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, to see what amends can be made. He reassured the public that work to improve diversity and culture in the Service is making a difference and will continue. “We have high standards, and we will not accept language and behaviour that falls short of them – ever, from anyone. Our staff are not only offended by what has happened and personally hurt, but they are angry that this might reflect badly on them and the work that they do. “To be clear – at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, misogyny is unacceptable. Everyone who works here joins me in condemning the comments made and reassuring the public that disrespect or hate of any kind has no place in our Service.”
Join the Northamptonshire Police, Fire, and Crime Panel as an independent member
March 19, 2024
Join the Northamptonshire Police, Fire, and Crime Panel as an independent member
19 March 2024 Residents across Northamptonshire have an opportunity to participate in the governance and accountability of police and fire services by joining the Northamptonshire Police, Fire, and Crime Panel as an independent member. The Northamptonshire Police, Fire, and Crime (NPFC) Panel are seeking three dedicated and passionate individuals to serve as independent members on the panel from June 2024 until May 2028. The Police, Fire, and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) is responsible for overseeing the delivery and performance of police and fire services. They work closely with the Chief Constable and Chief Fire Officer to establish strategic objectives for their respective areas and hold the chiefs to account for delivering them. The PFCC is accountable to the electorate. The NPFC Panel scrutinises how the PFCC carries out their responsibilities. The Police, Fire and Crime Panel, consisting of ten councillors from West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council, along with three independent members, ensures accountability and transparency in decision-making processes of police and fire services. In your role as an independent member, your responsibilities will include scrutinising decisions and actions taken by the PFCC, reviewing draft plans and annual reports, advising on precept proposals, participating in the appointment of senior staff, and resolving non-criminal complaints about the conduct of the PFCC. Your insights and recommendations will directly influence the direction of public safety initiatives in Northamptonshire. Independent members are paid an allowance for carrying out the role. You will also receive comprehensive induction, training, and ongoing support to excel in this role. To embark on this rewarding journey and contribute to shaping the future of policing and fire services in Northamptonshire, interested candidates are encouraged to access the application pack and additional information on our website and to submit their applications by Sunday, 21 April 2024. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
A Perfect Day Festival champions Northampton’s buoyant live music scene
March 19, 2024
A Perfect Day Festival champions Northampton’s buoyant live music scene
19 March 2024 A Perfect Day Festival has revealed further acts that will be appearing in support of headliner James Arthur at Delapré Park, Northampton this June. The festival is an opportunity to showcase the wealth of musical talent in the region. This is reflected in the announcement of performances by a number of Northampton-based acts including singer/songwriters: Billy Lockett, Andy Crofts, Charlotte Carpenter and indie-rock band Balter. Further special guests to be announced. About a Perfect Day ‘A Perfect Day’ is a new single day outdoor live music event presented by West Northants 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 and family and get ready to enjoy the ultimate day out with music, great facilities and fine food and drink! Further information about the event and artists can be found on their webpages Media enquiries: James Delanoy [email protected] / tel: 01223 812533 for Kilimanjaro Live Ltd. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
A focus on early support available for families and young people as they are invited to have their say
March 18, 2024
A focus on early support available for families and young people as they are invited to have their say
18 March 2024 Parents, carers and young people are invited to have their say on future services for children, young people and families in West Northants as part of a consultation to refresh and review our local support offer. The consultation is an opportunity for families to input into what our 0-19 services look like for children and young people, and how families would like to access support, advice and information in a way that is convenient and right for them. The consultation is available now for residents to complete via the online survey here: https://westnorthants.citizenspace.com/family-hubs/services-for-cyp-and-families. All responses from the survey will be anonymous, with the feedback being collated and used to inform the new service model for Council funded 0-19 services and the approach to how the Council, together with other local organisations improves the offer regarding early support for children and young people in West Northamptonshire. This comes at a time in West Northamptonshire, where this is a huge focus on early help services for our families and young people, with this consultation being an important part. Together with other local organisations, the Council is looking at the early help offer and how this can be strengthened to ensure there is the right, preventative support available.The consultation responses will directly feed into project and service development including: Establishing local Family Hubs in West Northants with the aim of ensuring all families with children aged between the years of 0-19 can access help, advice and support they need for a wide range of services much more easily. This includes exploring different ways to make services accessible – for example building an informative digital offer, creating in-person ‘hubs’ where various services are available for families in one place. Planning of the Council’s service specification for our 0-19 services – understanding what families and young people would like from these services will help to create a localised specification that meets the needs of our population. “This is about how together with other organisations we can ensure families can access timely and helpful support to offer information, advice and guidance on a range of topics – this may be advice on newborn support and development, vaccinations for children, mental wellbeing advice for teenagers to name a few examples. By ensuring that people have access to the right early help can make a difference to their wellbeing, development and ultimately, life experiences. “Across West Northants there are some excellent services which work in the Early Help Space, for example our schools, health colleagues, voluntary sector, our libraries as well as many others. However, the needs of children and families that require help and support continues to increase and it is essential we meet the needs of our population and streamline how people can access this support. It is only by listening and engaging with those that have used our services or are likely too, that we can build a service offer that is right for our local families. We would like to build and strengthen the support already available, therefore I would encourage families and young people to please take the time to complete the consultation – your responses are so important for us developing our offer further to provide the right help, at the right time by the right service.” Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills The consultation is available on the link here: https://westnorthants.citizenspace.com/family-hubs/services-for-cyp-and-families. consultation closes on Sunday 28 April, at midnight. All responses from the survey will be anonymous. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Subscriptions now open for West Northants garden waste service
March 15, 2024
Subscriptions now open for West Northants garden waste service
15 March 2024 Residents across West Northamptonshire can now sign up for optional, chargeable garden waste collections from April 2024. The annual subscription charge for the fortnightly service from April 2024 to the end of March 2025 is £58 per bin and can be made online at www.westnorthants.gov.uk/gardenwaste Residents can sign up for an annual direct debit to save having to remember to renew every year. Residents who are unable to access the internet can subscribe to the service by phoning the council on 0300 126 7000. Once households are signed up to the service, they will receive their new 2024/25 garden waste permit which they will be asked to stick on their garden waste bin. Any bins that have not subscribed will not be emptied after 1 April. People who do not wish to sign up to the service have the option of composting their garden waste at home, either in a traditional compost heap or by purchasing a compost bin by visiting www.getcomposting.com and typing in their postcode to see offers available in their area. People can also recycle garden waste for free at any of the Council’s household waste recycling centres. A comprehensive list of FAQs are also available on the Council’s website at www.westnorthants.gov.uk/bins-recycling-and-street-cleaning/garden-waste-collection-faqs More information can be found at www.westnorthants.gov.uk/gardenwaste Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Help keep your area clean and tidy this spring
March 15, 2024
Help keep your area clean and tidy this spring
15 March 2024 People across West Northamptonshire are being encouraged spring into action this March and help tackle litter in their local areas. West Northamptonshire Council is coordinating and supporting a range of Community Spring Clean activities throughout the month, which coincides with the National Spring Clean campaign organised by Keep Britain Tidy running from 15 to 31 March. 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. There are more than 35 community spring clean events taking place throughout March across West Northamptonshire and residents can join one of these events if they prefer. 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. “It is disappointing that some people show such little regard for the environment and their local community that they drop litter wherever they like. The Council is 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 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. 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. 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?
Work starts on the new special school located in Towcester
March 15, 2024
Work starts on the new special school located in Towcester
15 March 2024 Construction works have started on the development of a new special school located in Towcester which will provide much-needed places for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Leading construction firm Wilmott Dixon are underway with the development of the new school, called Tiffield Academy, which is set to open in autumn 2025 and will cater for children and young people between the ages of four to 18 with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC), speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), as well as those with severe learning difficulties (SLD). The school will be designed to physically accommodate 250 pupils, although it will operate to an admissions number of 230, with the remaining 20 places expected to be filled through emergency placements or other extenuating factors. Commemorating the occasion with a ground-breaking ceremony, stakeholders came together to mark the start of the project, which will take shape over the next 18 months. Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills at West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) was joined by representatives Wilmott Dixon who are delivering the project and Greenwood Academies Trust who will be responsible for running the new school. This work follows planning approval in January this year 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 next 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. “It is positive to see work underway at the Tiffield site in preparation for opening in Autumn 2025 as we know these additional spaces are very much needed and will make a significant difference to the children and young people who will attend the school, as well as their families. This school will provide an engaging environment and excellent teaching and learning facilities to help our students learn, develop and connect. “This is a step forward and is part of our wider programme of creating 600 new specialist places locally as we continue to see a high demand for SEND places to meet the needs of our children and young people. “We know this is not a solution for all and that there remain challenges with demand in other areas. We are working hard to provide support in all areas across our SEND offer and are working with schools and learning providers to embed a graduated response to ensure children’s needs are identified as early as possible and met in the best way. We are also reviewing the needs of all children to understand if and when additional specialist provision is needed.” Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education “We are pleased to be working with the Council and the DfE to deliver a vital new school for the young people of West Northamptonshire. It is great to see the first steps taken today towards this becoming a physical reality. We look forward to welcoming Tiffield Academy into the GAT family and, most importantly, working with our first cohort of fantastic young people from Autumn 2025.” Spokesperson for Wilmot Dixon said: “We would like to thank West Northamptonshire Council for providing us with the opportunity to be a part of this new prestigious SEND project. As a result of the collaborative approach between each stakeholder, we are well underway to delivering this exciting new facility. Our goal is to assist West Northamptonshire council and the Greenwood Academy Trust in creating a positive legacy for the trust and the wider community for many years to come.” Wayne Norrie, Chief Executive of Greenwood Academies Further updates on progress will continue to be shared as building works continue. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Step Into a World of Vivienne Westwood at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery
March 15, 2024
Step Into a World of Vivienne Westwood at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery
15 March 2024 People are invited to discover the beauty, innovation and artistry of Vivienne Westwood clothing and footwear through the eyes of private collector, Lee Price. Lee, originally from Kettering, worked for Vivienne Westwood in the mid 90's for 18 years and has been collecting Westwood clothing and accessories for over 35 years. This exhibition is the result of a collaboration between Lee and Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. Dame Vivienne Westwood is arguably the most influential British fashion designer of the twentieth century. Her name is synonymous with punk and creating iconic fashion collections that combine an encyclopaedic knowledge of fashion history and tradition with an ability to defy convention and incite provocation. From X rated t shirts and bondage boots to corsets, tartan and tweed her clothes always inspire and provoke comment. “After the success of PUNK: Rage & Revolution, it is marvellous to see another iconic figure from that era taking centre stage at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. “The collection offers visitors a chance to peer into a moment of time through the eyes of Lee Price, an experienced member of the fashion world with a personal connection to the Vivienne Westwood brand. “It offers the people of Northamptonshire and beyond a chance to see some truly unique pieces of fashion and history in a striking environment.” Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure The exhibition opens in the Temporary Gallery at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery on Saturday 16 March and will run until Sunday 9 June with free entry. Disclaimer: The Vivienne Westwood group and brand was not involved in the curation or organisation of this exhibition. It is not an institutional partnership with Vivienne Westwood Limited. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Notices issued for those flouting traffic enforcement
March 15, 2024
Notices issued for those flouting traffic enforcement
15 March 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is in the process of issuing over 1300 warning notices to drivers who have not adhered to regulations at Hermitage Way, Wootton and Fishponds Road junction after enforcement cameras went live on 16 February. Right turns are not allowed from Fishponds Road into Great Billing Way and Hermitage Way is a bus only route which is routinely used by other motorists. The measures have been put in place to address road safety concerns, and prohibit vehicles from using the bus route as a short cut. To date, at Fishponds Road: 1192 Warning Notices have been distributed and 17 Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) issued. Whereas at Hermitage Way 123 Warning Notices have been given to drivers, and 1 PCN has been issued. “These new measures aren’t about ‘punishing’ drivers at all but helping them by trying to ease congestion keep our roads safe and keep the traffic and bus flowing in our town. We know some people have expressed concerns 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.” Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council sets out its vision to tackle homelessness in West Northamptonshire
March 14, 2024
Council sets out its vision to tackle homelessness in West Northamptonshire
14 March 2024 A new West Northamptonshire Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy was adopted by Cabinet on 12 March. The document lays out the Council’s vision to provide an improved approach to homelessness prevention, relief, and joint working across the local area, as well as help in meeting the emergency and longer-term housing needs of the most vulnerable residents. The strategy, which covers 2024 to 2027, also focuses on reducing demand for temporary accommodation by ensuring more effective homelessness prevention and greater opportunities and support to help those who become homeless to move on to settled housing solutions. The strategy, which was co-produced with key partners and stakeholders, has four key themes, these being: Improve collaborative partnerships to make homelessness everyone’s business Early joined-up intervention and prevention of homelessness Increase provision and access to suitable and sustainable settled housing solutions Ensure that when rough sleeping occurs, it is rare, brief and non-recurring A series of actions and objectives are set out in the strategy in order to deliver against the four themes, including the establishment of a collaborative multi-agency approach to dealing with homelessness and securing more investment and grant funding opportunities to maximise the support available. The strategy also sets out plans to identify and provide appropriate targeted support for people with more complex needs to help sustain tenancies. “Homelessness is an ever-changing landscape which brings new challenges all the time, however it is an issue which as a council we are committed to tackling. “Our Housing Teams, alongside partners, already deliver exceptional work to support our most vulnerable residents across West Northamptonshire, however with growing demand and increased pressures on services we need to identify new ways of working to best utilise our resources and meet people’s needs. “This strategy will be followed by a 12-month Delivery Plan setting out how we will continue to work with partners and stakeholders to deliver these priorities and objectives, with a primary focus on reducing demand for temporary accommodation and ensuring more effective homelessness prevention and support for those most in need.” Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Getting active in Northamptonshire made easier thanks to funding for grassroots sports projects
March 14, 2024
Getting active in Northamptonshire made easier thanks to funding for grassroots sports projects
14 March 2024 The Government announced recently that more than 1,100 grassroots sport projects will benefit from £93 million of funding as part of the continued drive to get more people active. Research shows exercising more was the UK’s most common New Year’s resolution for 2024*, and the Government is helping hundreds of thousands more people across the UK keep their resolution and get active by delivering high-quality grassroots sport facilities. From Belfast to Bracknell, over 1,100 projects are receiving funding that will go towards facilities such as changing rooms, pavilions, state of the art 3G artificial grass pitches, goalposts and floodlights, improving access to sport and physical activity for local communities. 19 projects in Northamptonshire will benefit from the investment totalling over £339,000, towards projects costing £666,601. In West Northamptonshire, Silverstone Recreational Association, Grange Park Parish Council, as well as grassroots football clubs such as Brackley Athletic, Long Buckby AFC and Weedon Football Club accessed funding for a range of areas such as changing room upgrades, goalposts and grass pitch maintenance equipment. West Northamptonshire’s share of the award across its 8 projects is £285,518. “Sports and physical activity are fundamental to our health and wellbeing and we are lucky to have such a great variety of grassroots clubs and initiatives in West Northamptonshire. “This funding from Central Government will not only help to upgrade and maintain these high-quality facilities but will ensure they continue to be accessible to all as we continue to grow our reputation as a major sporting destination and welcome large-scale events, including the Women’s Rugby World Cup, to West Northamptonshire. “We hope initiatives like this will inspire even more people to get involved in sports and look into what is available in their local area.” Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader for West Northamptonshire Council In North Northamptonshire, 11 projects have received funding from this round totalling £53,508. Grassroots football clubs such as Higham Town, Kettering Ise Lodge and FC Aztec, have benefitted, as well as community organisations supporting grassroots football such as Wellingborough Old Grammarians Sports Association, Kings Cliffe & Area CSP Limited and Woodford Community and Sports Complex. “I’m delighted that our clubs and organisations have received funding. This money is so important to help them to continue their great work engaging people in our local communities in sports, as activity is vital to our physical health as well as wellbeing and mental health. Funding such as this gives our North Northamptonshire young people the chance to take part in extracurricular exercise, and also means that older residents can continue to remain involved in sports, either through continuing to play, or through supporting. I’d like to take this opportunity to not only congratulate our clubs and organisations, but also thank them for their efforts." Councillor Helen Howell. Deputy Leader of North Northamptonshire Council, and Executive member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism Since 2021, the Government, along with its partners, have helped deliver new facilities or improvements at almost 2,400 sites across the UK aiming to get at least 120,000 more people active, through the £325 million programme. This investment is supporting grassroots clubs up and down the country, including women and girls’ teams. It also follows the Government and The FA announcing an additional £30 million to build 30 new state of the art 3G pitches and facilities to prioritise women’s and girls’ teams across England, following the Lionesses success at UEFA EURO 2022, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. Details on how to get facilities investment in your area can be found at the Football Foundation or you can contact Stuart Smith, Head of Facilities & Investment at Northamptonshire FA by email. To read the full press release, please visit the Government website - Getting active made easier with £93 million funding for over 1,100 grassroots sports projects Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Consultation to improve air quality in West Northants extended
March 14, 2024
Consultation to improve air quality in West Northants extended
14 March 2024 The public consultation on proposals to improve air quality across West Northamptonshire has been extended, giving people until midnight on 1 April to help shape the plans. Reducing air pollution is vitally important to local health and environment. All councils have a duty to monitor some types of air pollution and take steps to make sure it meets legal standards. National government also has responsibility for measuring and taking steps to improve some types of air pollution including fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 that has been recognised as a significant contributor to poor health. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) monitors air quality in several locations across the area. The way in which the Council measures air pollution is managed by national government guidance. This ensures that the data is reliable and can be used in making informed decisions to improve air quality. WNC is in the process of developing an Air Quality Action Plan or AQAP which outlines the steps it will take to work towards improving air quality and reducing air pollution. “The Air Quality Action Plan will enhance the work we already deliver with partners, such as National Highways, to improve air quality across our area. “Our draft Air Quality Action Plan gives information on the actions that the Council is taking to reduce pollution. We are not looking at ULEZ congestion charging like other Councils have introduced. Regulation is only one of the ways in which national and local government can improve air quality and the choices we all make when travelling or heating our homes can also make a big difference. Please share your views on the actions proposed and help shape the plan.” Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Regulatory Services Residents and businesses across the area are now invited to look at the proposals and share their views. People can have their say until midnight on Monday, 1 April 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 reducing vehicle emissions by reducing congestion and encouraging alternative travel choices such as walking, cycling and public transport delivering publicly available electric vehicle infrastructure 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. 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?
Quit smoking, start saving with the help of your local stop smoking service
March 13, 2024
Quit smoking, start saving with the help of your local stop smoking service
13 March 2024 Smokers in West Northamptonshire are being urged to give quitting a go ahead of National No Smoking Day on Wednesday 13 March with the call to ‘quit smoking and start saving’. In West Northamptonshire, around 12 per cent of adults smoke (13 per cent average in England), having a significant impact on their health as well as their wealth. Lisa, from Northampton contacted the Stop Smoking Service and has successfully completed the stop smoking programme. “I have successfully completed this whole program and feel confident about my future as a non-smoker. When you are truly ready to stop, when you've run out of excuses as to why you are still smoking call Niall. He checks in with you every two weeks you can have a "quick catch up" or a long conversation, he lets you lead in what support works best for you. You can still have your "5 minutes peace", you can still take yourself outside, you just don't have to smoke. You have programmed yourself into a routine and you can change that. It's just wherever you are willing to let go of the excuses.” Lisa from Northampton Stopping smoking not only supports a healthier you, but also a wealthier you. On average smokers spend £47 a week on tobacco, that’s nearly £2,500 a year to spend on other things once you quit. With smoking seeing an instant impact on their funds, they can also expect to see the difference in their health, in as little as 20 minutes! After 20 mins: Your pulse will already return to normal After 8 hours: Your oxygen levels will start to recover and the harmful carbon monoxide in your body has halved After 48 hours: All carbon monoxide is flushed out - your lungs are clearing out mucus and your senses of taste and smell are improving After 72 hours: Breathing feels easier and best of all you’re feeling more energetic After 2 to 12 weeks: Your blood is pumping to your heart and muscles better thanks to improved circulation After 3 to 9 months: Your lungs are working 10 per cent better so less coughing and wheezing After 1 year: Your risk of a heart attack has halved compared to a smoker. “It is never too late to quit smoking and take steps to help improve your health and wellbeing. Our Stop Smoking Service is on hand to help offer you free support to help you do this and will provide helpful advice with your quitting journey, as well as options on which support you would prefer to access.” Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at West Northants Council It is never too late to quit. To get in touch with the Stop Smoking Service at West Northamptonshire Council please visit www.westnorthants.gov.uk/stopsmoking or call 0300 126 5700 (option 1) – people can contact the service directly without a referral from a health professional. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Eligible households urged to access funding to save money to heat their homes
March 13, 2024
Eligible households urged to access funding to save money to heat their homes
13 March 2024 Residents who have an annual household income of under £31,000 or less and are not connected to mains gas networks could be eligible for government funding to help to make their homes more energy efficient and save money on heating their homes, reducing fuel poverty. From Tuesday 2 April the criteria will change to less than £36,000 combined gross annual income. The second phase of the Homes Upgrade Grant, delivered by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), provides Government funding to help those who are eligible to have affordable and energy-efficient heating solutions. WNC is partnered with Agility Eco to be able to offer this scheme to the people of West Northamptonshire this opportunity by arranging and carrying out the improvement assessment and all the retrofit work. Local installers in each region will guide customers through the application journey, helping them understand and establish eligibility for the scheme. If eligible, the installer will identify which improvements for the home will provide the greatest benefits and arrange any necessary surveys and installations. “This vital funding enables low-income households to carry out improvement to make their homes more efficient, helping them save money and reduce fuel poverty. “With fuel costs remaining high, the second phase of this scheme is an important chance for local residents to improve their homes, save money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon emissions.” Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council 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. From Tuesday 2 April the criteria will change to less than £36,000 combined gross annual income. 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. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northamptonshire businesses benefit from showcase of support at Northamptonshire Business Exhibition
March 13, 2024
West Northamptonshire businesses benefit from showcase of support at Northamptonshire Business Exhibition
13 March 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership’s (SEMLEP) Growth Hub and SEMLEP Careers Hub teamed up on Friday 8 March to showcase the vast amount of free support available for start-up and established businesses across West Northamptonshire during a major exhibition. The Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce’s Business Exhibition took place at Wickstead Park, Kettering and provided exhibitors and visitors the opportunity to build new connections, increase brand profile and develop new business opportunities. Members of the Council’s Economic Growth and Inward Investment Team as well as Northamptonshire Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) were on hand to promote West Northants as the perfect place for business and investment, plus speak to attendees about the free support available, as well as funding. Attendees who visited the stand not only learned of the extensive range of support which is tailored to the needs of each employer locally, but also about the regular business e-news updates available to subscribe to. People were invited to enter a raffle to win 3 luxury prizes of locally-sourced produce kindly donated by businesses in West Northamptonshire, including Royal & Derngate, Towcester Racecourse and Mill Brewery. "We were delighted to partner with the SEMLEP Growth Hub team for this year’s Chamber Business Exhibition where we spoke to hundreds of local businesses about the variety of tailored support and funding available. “As a council, we are dedicated to delivering economic prosperity in West Northants and want to work in collaboration with as many partners and stakeholders as possible to achieve our vision. “West Northants is the ideal location for investment and business growth, and we will do everything possible to support businesses at all stages and of all sizes, ensuring they are aware of the broad range of advice available and support to access funding streams to help them continuously grow and thrive.” Cllr Daniel Lister, WNC’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth The event follows the recent announcement that Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) functions will be hosted by West Northamptonshire Council from 1 April 2024. These include strategic economic planning, the Growth Hub, which supports and strengthens businesses, and the Careers Hub, which links schools and colleges with employers to create world-class careers opportunities. “It’s been fantastic to partner with WNC again this year for the Chamber business expo showcasing how beneficial it is for us to work together in the delivery of business support across the region. The growth hub are committed to being the regional gateway for SMEs to access the right support to grow their business and overcome challenges.” Ruth Roan, SEMLEP Growth Hub Manager Find out more about the expo event on the Northants Chamber website or access the range of free business support available; including help with sourcing funding, finding suitable commercial premises, filling vacancies, upskilling staff and more, on the WNC website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Everdon Outdoor Learning Centre to celebrate its 50th Anniversary
March 11, 2024
Everdon Outdoor Learning Centre to celebrate its 50th Anniversary
11 March 2024 This May, Everdon Outdoor Learning Centre near Daventry will be marking 50 years since opening its doors as an Outdoor Learning Centre with two open days during the May bank holiday weekend. The centre offers residential overnight stays and day trips for schools, Forest School Level 3 training & CPD courses for adults and a space for community events. The surrounding countryside provides contrasting landscapes, making it the ideal spot for studying geography, science, and the environment. To celebrate this significant milestone there will be two open days on 5 and 6 May from 1-5pm, providing people with an opportunity to look around the centre, see the new outdoor classroom and take a trip down memory lane for those who have previously visited. There will also be the chance to cook some marshmallows with the rangers onsite. Having visited Everdon Outdoor Learning Centre several times over the past three years, it is great to see that we are celebrating this important milestone in the journey of this fantastic facility. The centre is a unique place that offers activities such as river studies, woodland survival, orienteering, and work with nurture groups. The wonderful team at the centre pride themselves on creating a homely atmosphere and making everyone who visits feel welcome. I would encourage people to join us at one of the open days to find out more about the centre and mark this anniversary. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste More information on the events will be published on the West Northamptonshire Council website and social media channels. Find out more about the centre. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Help shape West Northamptonshire’s tree strategy
March 12, 2024
Help shape West Northamptonshire’s tree strategy
12 March 2024 West Northamptonshire Council is in the process of 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. The strategy is the result of a recommendation made by the Tree Policy Task and Finish Group in autumn 2022. The Council is working with consultants Woodland Dwelling Ltd. to develop the Tree Strategy. Following on from the public online engagement between November 2023 and January 2024 the Council is now holding public drop-in events: Monday 18 March, 10.30am - 4.30pm at The Guildhall, Northampton NN1 1DE Tuesday 19 March, 10.30am - 4.30pm at The Library, Daventry NN11 4XG Wednesday 20 March, 10.30am - 4.30pm at The Forum, Towcester NN12 6AD Residents, businesses and community groups are invited to pop in and speak to colleagues to find out more about how they can help shape the development of the tree strategy, and the next steps. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Three Northampton Public Spaces Protection Orders Renewed
March 11, 2024
Three Northampton Public Spaces Protection Orders Renewed
11 March 2024 Following consultation three Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) have been renewed for in Northampton, approving the continued closure of the following public pathways: Marble Arch, new order in force from 8 January 2024 Jeyes Jetty, new order in force from 8 March 2024 Dunster Street, new order in force on 25 March 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) consulted on proposals to renew all three PSPOs under the powers granted by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime, and Policing Act 2014. The PSPOs for Marble Arch, Jeyes Jetty, and Dunster Street have each been renewed for three years with each highway closed to pedestrians at all times. These renewed orders aim to address the persistent issues of anti-social behaviour and ensure the safety of the community in these areas. Marble Arch, which connects Barrack Road and Ash Street, was first gated in 2018 due to persistent illegal activities and anti-social behaviour and has been renewed for a second time. Jeyes Jetty is an alleyway between Drapery and College Street and has been a longstanding hotspot for crime. It was first closed in 2021 following the tragic death of a young man in the alley. Dunster Street alley between Dunster Street and St Michael’s Road and was first closed in 2021. It had previously been a hotspot for drug dealing, fly tipping and anti-social behaviour and it was originally requested for closure by local residents being impacted by this activity. A full version of the updated PSPOs can be viewed on the West Northamptonshire Council website. “The Council is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour and creating safer communities. “In line with this commitment we have, following public consultation, extended the Public Spaces Protection Orders in these three locations. “By having these alleyways remaining closed I am confident we will continue to see a reduction in anti-social behaviour and criminal activity in Northampton.” Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Update on Ridgeway House care home
March 12, 2024
Update on Ridgeway House care home
12 March 2024 Work to relocate residents of Ridgeway House care home to more comfortable accommodation has been successfully completed this week with the care home officially closing on 11 March 2024. The move to alternative accommodation means the residents can continue to receive quality care in an environment that will better meet their needs. All the families of residents have been fully involved in the relocation process and were offered the opportunity to visit homes before final decisions were made. To help ensure a smooth transition for residents and support their families, the Council provided staff and transport for each resident making the journey as comfortable as possible. In addition, much of the equipment previously used at Ridgway House has been donated to a local charity that will support in taking the equipment to Ukraine hospitals. The announcement regarding the closure of Ridgeway House following public consultation was heavily covered. The decision was made by Cabinet due to the care home being significantly under-occupied. The outdated design of the care home also meant it was no longer able to provide facilities to meet the needs of people who require residential care. Regarding the future use of the building, the Council is in the process of considering the future use of this building and will provide an update when this decision has been made. To be clear, there is no agreed plan in place for the use of this building. A thank you to all the staff at Ridgeway, as well as to the residents and their families. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Q&A session for potential election candidates and agents
March 07, 2024
Q&A session for potential election candidates and agents
07 March 2024 An online session is being held for prospective candidates and agents in the forthcoming Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election. The event will take place on Tuesday, 12 March at 12.30pm via Teams and will be an opportunity to ask questions about the nomination process, the timetable, the deposit required and other steps required to stand as a candidate. Anyone who would like to attend the online event or has any questions should email [email protected] Those who are unable to attend but would like to find out more can contact the team on the email address above and they will be happy to answer any queries. The Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election takes place on Thursday, 2 May 2024. Find more information on the election, along with further details on electoral registration, postal and proxy vote applications, by visiting our Electoral Services pages . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northamptonshire Council welcomes the extension of the Household Support Fund
March 07, 2024
West Northamptonshire Council welcomes the extension of the Household Support Fund
07 March 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has welcomed the extension of the Government’s Household Support Fund (HSF) initiative announced in yesterday’s Budget announcement. HSF funding is set to be extended for a further six months from the end of March this year following the announcement by the Chancellor yesterday. The initiative has so far seen more than £11m allocated to WNC from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in just over two years with over 251,800 awards of support to households who have struggled financially. WNC will now await further information from the Government on the future funding earmarked for West Northamptonshire to support residents through the continued cost of living challenges. The Council will also continue to work with community and voluntary partners on developing long-term, methods of support available to residents, continuing commitment to the delivery of the Anti-Poverty Strategy. This includes: Continuing to grow the number of welcoming spaces available in Northampton, Daventry and South Northants areas, providing a place for families and residents to pop in for a hot drink, friendly conversation and other activities. These spaces are available throughout the year, all offering something different. Working closely with local community and food larders as they provide access to affordable food for anyone facing hardship, as well as providing a sustainable approach to waste. The larders have a range of heavily discounted food and grocery items that offer an alternative to supermarket shopping via a membership programme. For more information please visit Hope Centre Larders and TowFood larders . This includes Food banks to support those in need of emergency food. “Over the last few years, the HSF has provided much-needed and vital support for many residents in West Northants during the cost-of-living challenges and it is positive to see this extended further. The support has been critical for many families and households, and one that has been made possible through the DWP funding and partnership working with our community and voluntary sector organisations. “Together with our partners, we have started to lay foundations for sustainable support for our families facing financial hardship with a great example of this being further investment into money and debt advice services to increase support available for those facing severe financial hardship. “There is full commitment from everyone to continue to build on this work together. As more information is provided by the Government and Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) regarding the next tranche of the HSF, the Council will share its plans of distribution. Councillor Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adults, Social Care and Public Health For a full list of support available for residents see Cost of living support which includes information on local food larders, money and debt advice as well as help with household bills. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New strategy to tackle serious violence in the county
March 06, 2024
New strategy to tackle serious violence in the county
Community, safety and emergencies 06 March 2024 Northamptonshire Serious Violence Prevention Partnership (NSVPP) has launched a strategy to tackle crime and serious violence in Northamptonshire, with a specific focus on violence among under 25s. On March 6, partners gathered alongside community organisations to hear about the NSVPP’s plans and the work already being delivered by partners across the county. Jordan Letts from the Northampton Saints Foundation delivered a presentation around the club’s work supporting young people to build a positive future. Gifford Sutherland from Upskill U spoke about the Exodus Programme, a therapeutic approach co-designed by young people which aims to support those affected by or at risk of violence and exploitation. Alongside these guest speakers, an incredibly powerful video was shared of Cheri Curran sharing her personal experiences of knife crime, following the loss of her son Louis-Ryan Menezes. The NSVPP announced its plans to implement a public health approach to violence prevention. This looks a gaining an understanding of the root causes of violence to develop evidence-based interventions which focus on both reduction and prevention. This early intervention creates the opportunity to treat the root causes of violence and to not just tackle it but prevent it. Partners set out how they will work together, with children and, young people, and wider communities to prevent and reduce serious violence. They aim to: Stabilise and reduce violence in the short-term Understand the underlying causes of violence in the county Co-ordinate Northamptonshire’s communities and public organisations to address those causes in the longer term In addition to outlining their commitments and aims, the NSVPP emphasised the importance of building upon the fantastic work already being delivered across the county. Projects such as the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) have been instrumental in addressing violent behaviour among suspected or known gang members and individuals at risk of gang involvement or criminal exploitation. The work of CIRV is now incorporated into the Youth Violence Intervention Unit which provides support and interventions to participants which aim to reduce violent incidents and enhance community safety. More than 30 OPFCC funded Bleed Kits have been installed across the county in partnership with Off the Streets NN. These kits play a crucial role in providing immediate medical assistance in the event of a violent incident, potentially saving lives. "There is no such thing as an acceptable level of serious violence, it has a devastating impact on the lives of victims and their families. By taking this partnership approach we can focus on preventing serious violence from occurring in the first place, building upon the fantastic work already taking place in Northamptonshire." Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services on West Northamptonshire Council "North Northamptonshire Council's vision is for a place where everyone has the best opportunities and quality of life. For residents to thrive they must feel safe in their communities. Although Northamptonshire is a safe place to live, local organisations are committed to preventing serious violence and protecting our communities from its impact. This will mean better co-ordination between partners, helping us to work together more effectively. Our aim is to tackle the root causes of serious violence and stop it from escalating, minimising the harm caused. This will complement the other preventive work already being carried out by the council and its partners, as well as local efforts to reduce reoffending. This new strategy will help drive this positive work forward and ensure organisations across Northamptonshire are focused on working together for the benefit of residents." Cllr Mark Rowley, Executive Member for Housing, Communities and Levelling Up at North Northamptonshire Council "Everyone at the launch must now challenge themselves to make this strategy a living plan and turn it into action so that we will intervene early to put young people on the right path, prevent crime and have a lasting impact on communities across the county. Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold "Tackling serious violence is a Matter of Priority for Northamptonshire Police and we’re pleased to be working closely with partners to help reduce offences and the impact these crimes can have on victims and our communities. During the last 18 months we’ve delivered a number of weeks of action taking robust action against those involved in serious violence offences, while also taking part in national initiatives aimed at engaging and educating people about the dangers of knife crime and county lines. This is an exciting new approach for Northamptonshire as we know no single organisation can deal with this issue on their own. We are more likely to have a long term, significant and positive impact if we work together, along with other partners including schools and community groups. This work is about agencies in Northamptonshire coming together to get upstream and prevent young people from becoming embroiled in a life of crime. We know there are young people who are groomed into committing crime who are out of their depth and want to stop but don’t know how to. We want to help provide them with a way to turn their lives around. Through this partnership we will tackle the causes of crime. Young people can be offered a variety of opportunities to change their behaviour and move away from crime. This involves the excellent work of the Youth Offending Service’s Turnaround Programme and the Exodus Project which helps to build relationships with vulnerable young people. This is an important commitment from all partners who have agreed to work together, and I am confident this new approach will have a positive impact and see a reduction in violent crime across the county." Detective Superintendent Andy Glenn, Northamptonshire Police Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Nomination Q&A session for potential candidates and agents
March 07, 2024
Nomination Q&A session for potential candidates and agents
07 March 2024 An online session is being held for prospective candidates and agents in the forthcoming Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election. The event will take place on Tuesday, 12 March at 12.30pm via Teams and will be an opportunity to ask questions about the nomination process, the timetable, the deposit required and other steps required to stand as a candidate. Anyone who would like to attend the online event or has any questions should email [email protected] Those who are unable to attend but would like to find out more can contact the team on the email address above and they will be happy to answer any queries. The Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election takes place on Thursday, 2 May 2024. Find more information on the election, along with further details on electoral registration, postal and proxy vote applications, by visiting our Electoral Services pages . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Tributes paid to celebrated civic champion
March 06, 2024
Tributes paid to celebrated civic champion
06 March 2024 West Northamptonshire Council has paid tribute to former Lord-Lieutenant David Laing who has sadly passed away. Mr Laing had recently been celebrated in the 2024 New Year’s Honours List, being awarded a CBE by HRH Princess Anne for his services to charity and philanthropy. Having served as Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire from 2014 until 2020, he had a significant impact on the County – being vice chair on the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, as well as working to support a wide array of charities and voluntary organisations. His support was pivotal in the establishment of the Northamptonshire Community Foundation, which has given out over £20m in grants to causes across the county. He also served as the County’s High Sheriff and was Pro Chancellor at the University of Northampton. The Council has paid tribute to Mr Laing and will be lowering the WNC flag at all of its offices from tomorrow (Thursday 7 March) for a week as a mark of respect and remembrance. David was loved and admired by so many people throughout our beautiful county, his boundless kindness and positivity have been such an inspiration to so many people, including myself. David was hugely supportive of the establishment of our Council, being a vocal supporter of improving services for the people that rely on them by improving the connectivity between them. His passion for making our county a better place for everyone lives on. Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council From cricket, rugby and motorsports to skateboarding and BMX, Mr Laing had a passion for sports and promoting youth and community involvement through his involvement in sports clubs, youth organisations and school trusts. He was central to establishing Adrenaline Alley, a local charity and the UK’s largest indoor BMX and skatepark, while the David Laing Foundation works with a range of charities that help support young people, music, art, sports and health. David was a trailblazer and a wonderful human being, with a spirit of adventure and remarkable positivity in all he was involved within Northamptonshire and across the globe. He was always local and made time to talk, share thoughts and ideas and motivate others to do their best at all times and in all places. Nothing was too much, and his words meant so much. His artistic and literary skills were also to be admired together with his genuine warmth and welcoming personality. No words can sum up David but the true experience of knowing him as a friend and passionate county ambassador was an honour that I will always treasure. I send my love to Mary and the family. André González De Savage, Councillor for East Hunsbury and friend of Mr Laing Mr Laing will be remembered at a private family service. A public memorial to celebrate his life and bring the organisations he supported together will be held later in the year. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Businesses warned not to flout fire safety following successful prosecutions
March 06, 2024
Businesses warned not to flout fire safety following successful prosecutions
Businesses who flout fire safety laws and needlessly put peoples’ lives in danger will be pursued to the full extent of the law – in a stark warning from Fire Protection Officers in Northamptonshire. Taking businesses to court is a rare occurrence for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, but the Protection Team within the Service has been forced to head down the legal route twice within the last five months – the first time in a number of years that such action has been required. In December, the owners of a business pleaded guilty to offences under the Fire Safety Order at Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court. Back in August 2022, a serious fire occurred in the lower ground of a block of flats in Northampton that belonged to the company. A fire door at the premises did not have a self-closing device fitted, which meant that smoke entered the staircase and hindered escape routes. Firefighters ended up having to enter the premises and rescue a resident from the staircase who was trying to escape. “Given the circumstances in this fire we decided to gather further details,” explains John Pratt, a Protection Team Leader at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service. “Our subsequent investigation found that the premises’ fire risk assessment in June 2021 had identified that the self-closing device – which is designed to close fire doors and stop the blaze from spreading – had not been fitted properly and needed to be rectified as a matter of urgency. “The fire obviously happened more than a year later, so the basis of our case was that they had failed to provide sufficient means of escape and had failed to rectify the deficiencies identified in the 2021 report.” This followed a successful case where a takeaway restaurant in Northampton had pleaded guilty in November at Northampton Magistrates’ Court for breaching a fire prohibition notice that had been served on it. Fire Protection Officers had found that storerooms in the basement had been converted into bedrooms, compromising fire safety. After prohibiting them from letting staff sleep on the premises, a follow-up inspection a day later in February 2023 found the notice had already been breached. John Pratt added: “We don’t go down this route very often, these two cases were the first in a number of years as generally most buildings are broadly compliant with fire safety regulations. The strength of the cases we built meant both defendants pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. “When we look at whether to prosecute, we have to identify that it’s in the public interest to do so and that there has been an immediate risk to life. “The threshold for this action is particularly high, but due to these cases including a breach of a formal notice and a person being placed at a serious risk during a fire, the decision for our senior leaders to pursue a prosecution was clear. “If there’s a risk to life it’s usually a simple decision for us. It’s our role and duty to create a safe environment for the people of Northamptonshire, so when we do come across flaws and deficiencies, we take decisive action. “Primarily though, we want to help support businesses and organisations to maintain and improve the safety of their premises for their staff, visitors and customers.” Businesses can contact the Protection Team at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service for specialist advice, and to receive a bespoke safety approach by emailing fireprotection@northantsfire.gov.uk There is also a suite of safety tips and advice for businesses and responsible persons at www.northantsfire.gov.uk/information-for-business-owners/
Inspirational Women’s Award 2024 shortlist announced
March 04, 2024
Inspirational Women’s Award 2024 shortlist announced
04 March 2024 The Inspirational Women’s Award judges have shortlisted 8 women for the two categories, Community and Business. This year there was over 80 nominations submitted. The winners will be announced at the International Women’s Day event taking place at the Northampton Guildhall on Saturday 9 March between 11am and 3pm. Organised by the Women’s Forum at West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) the awards publicly recognise and promote women who inspire, impacting the lives of others in their community or workplace. Community award shortlist Anne Thompson Anne is a dedicated member of the Deanshanger community, serving as a Parish Councillor and a founding member of the Good Neighbours scheme. The creation of the scheme has brought the village together, providing essential support for those in the community. Anne plays a key role in coordinating community events including, Easter trails, Christmas Lights Switch-on and community volunteering to mark the King’s Coronation. Jane Capps Jane is one of the founders of Off The Streets NN which is dedicated to tackling knife crime in Northamptonshire. She has helped organise free bleed control training to local residents and companies which so far has been attended by over 600 people. Alongside her team members Jane has been responsible for the installation of over 200 bleed control kits and cabinets across the county. Miranda Wixon Miranda is involved with several charities both nationally and across Northamptonshire. She is a one of the founders of the Community Larder network in Northamptonshire providing food to over 2,500 people each week. She is currently the Chair of the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprises Assembly, a board member of the Integrated Care System Northamptonshire and a Trustee of Northamptonshire ACRE. Miranda is working in partnership with the Hope Centre to expand the Community Larder Network. Sally Jones Sally is the Chair of Trustees for Northamptonshire Carers, a charity which provides support, advice, services and assessments for thousands of carers across the county. Her knowledge, commitment and skills have been supported the organisations’ growth. She is the secretary for Ecton Village Hall and a volunteer for Ecton Golden Oldies which arranges trips, lunches and get togethers for people over 65 in the village. She has been described as a wonderful role model and an inspiration to others. Business award shortlist Anabela Yourell Anabela, ‘Bela,’ is the owner of Fitter Body Ladies a gym designed to create a safe happy place for women over 30 to exercise. Bela has created a supportive community that enables women to exercise without judgement where they feel encouraged and motivated to achieve their goals. Through her work she has given countless women the confidence and strength to become physically and mentally stronger. She has been described as an inspiration to many people who genuinely cares about the success of others. Rebecca Gill Rebecca is the founder of Virtual Reality Therapies a social enterprise dedicated to improving people’s mental health, wellbeing and rehabilitation. Through VR she has created a space where people are able to explore the unthinkable from becoming a mermaid to becoming a wildlife experience guide. Rebecca has worked with a local SEND school to support the transitions and transport access for autistic students. Through these workshops students were able to learn about the triggers of going on transport and safely explore the environment building their self-confidence. Dawn Wright Dawn is the Voluntary Services Manager at St Andrew’s Healthcare which provides speciality mental healthcare and aims to inspire home for those with complex mental health needs. Since she started over 150 volunteers have joined the service supporting patients across three mental health hospitals and community partnerships. She was formerly CEO for The Lowdown, a charity which supports young people’s mental health. Dawn understands the needs of volunteers and takes every opportunity to celebrate their hard work. Joyce Martin Joyce is the first Black woman to open a Black professional Hair Care and Beauty Salon in Northampton in 1982, and the first specialist Afro Black Hair Care and Beauty lecturer at Northampton College of Further Education. When she started out there were no other options for Black women to come together she created a space where people could receive specialist haircare and spend time with other women in the community. Joyce is described as a pioneer who’s work has benefited the community for generations. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
The Council welcomes the start of an Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspection
March 05, 2024
The Council welcomes the start of an Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspection
05 March 2024 West Northamptonshire Council has today welcomed the start of an Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection into local services for children with special needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The inspection process starts this week and will run until 22 March , with Ofsted and CQC looking at the full range of SEND services for children and young people across West Northamptonshire. This will not only involve them spending their time with children and their families, but also speaking with colleagues from across the local SEND partnership, including WNC, our Children's Trust and partners such as schools and health care providers. The inspection is set against a national backdrop of increased demand for SEND services being experienced by local authorities across the country, including West Northamptonshire. It also comes less than a year after the publication of the Partnership’s three-year strategy to improve SEND services, co-produced with local families and partners in September 2023. Although it is still early days in the Partnesrhip’s improvement journey for SEND, work is progressing against the six key priorities within the strategy. Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills at WNC said: “ We welcome this inspection as an opportunity for Ofsted and CQC to see the strong foundations we have been laying to improve outcomes for youngsters several months on from the launch of our new three-year SEND strategy co-produced with local families and partners. But we also know that this inspection comes in the very early days of our improvement journey, where many families will not yet be able to feel the impact of the gradual progress we’re making. “We know we still have a long way to go to address our SEND challenges and fully expect this inspection to reaffirm that, but we also hope it will recognise the early and firm steps we’ve been taking towards improving outcomes for families.” Actions already being taken against the six priorities set out for our first year of delivering the strategy include: Launching a new effective co-produced Local Offer: the online directory was launched in January 2024 to help families find the right service, support group or activity as easily as possible. Developed 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 SEND services available locally, including youth clubs, early years support, social care and transport, as well as health services and much more, helping people to find exactly what they are looking for. Opening 75 new places for children and young people with SEND: We continue to meet our overarching aim of 600 news places by September 2025 providing children and young people with the right environments to meet their needs. Plans are also progressing well to open a new s pecial school in the South of the county which will create a further 250 places. Commissioning a new Educational Psychology service to clear the backlog of cases: the Council is appointing a team of educational psychologists, with the aim of seeing a reduction in the backlog of those waiting to receive an educational psychology assessment by the end 2024. Focusing on improving learning and development , including publishing a centralised training offer and developing and promoting a programme of supported Internships, Traineeships and Apprenticeships: in February the first ‘ Business Brunch ’ was held, bringing 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. This work continues to be core workstream to implement and support development in this area. The result of the inspection is due to be published by Ofsted and CQC later this spring. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Bus service to continue as normal with new operator
March 05, 2024
Bus service to continue as normal with new operator
Buses and transport 05 March 2024 Residents will have no break in service as the 59/60 bus service will be operated by Stagecoach from 11 March. In February, West Northamptonshire Council was made aware that Uno would no longer operate the route after 10 March. The Council has worked closely with operators to ensure there is no break in this service, with Stagecoach now contracted to run this route, connecting Guilsborough, Welford and Market Harborough. We are delighted that Stagecoach will be operating the 59 / 60 bus service from 11 March. This service provides essential connectivity for residents, shoppers and local students, and it is great news that there will be a smooth continuation and no gap in buses running. We look forward to continuing to work with Stagecoach. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste at West Northamptonshire Council We are excited to be running these new routes on behalf of West Northamptonshire Council. These additional services further expand the Stagecoach bus network, connecting us to new areas and communities within Northamptonshire. We look forward to welcoming passengers onboard. Mark Whitelocks, Managing Director Stagecoach Midlands Stay up-to-date with bus services in your area Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Section of regenerated paving opens at Northampton’s historic market square
March 04, 2024
Section of regenerated paving opens at Northampton’s historic market square
04 March 2024 Visitors to Northampton Town Centre can now access the revitalised paving at Market Square as the section connecting Abington Street to the Grosvenor Centre opened on Monday, 4 March. The cobbles used as part of the transformation of Northampton’s historic market square have been retained from the previous paving where possible, and sympathetically restored to reuse as part of the regenerated space. Visitors to Northampton Town Centre can now access the Grosvenor Centre from Abington Street alongside Market Walk as this section of completed paving at Market Square opens, which will help to provide increased connectivity to this part of the town. We are delighted that the existing cobbles have been restored and retained as part of the regeneration works, which provide a nod to the square’s history. Working closely with our partners Stepnell, it is great to see the project progress and reach important milestones such as this. Councillor Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at West Northamptonshire Council Further progress has been made in February as the light columns for the site were installed and four of the permanent market stalls arrived and have been fitted. The remainder of the bespoke market stalls are due to arrive this month, which will be complemented by the semi-mature trees which will be planted. The design, cladding and colours of the stalls compliment the surrounding rich heritage of Northampton’s Market Square. These stalls are a bespoke design with unique features, designed specifically for the needs of the Northampton Market traders. They are made of heavy-duty steel frames with robust cladding, which provides a sustainable and robust product. To stay up to date with regeneration across Northampton visit www.wearenorthampton.com Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Section of regenerated paving opens at Northampton’s historic market square
March 04, 2024
Section of regenerated paving opens at Northampton’s historic market square
04 March 2024 Visitors to Northampton Town Centre can now access the revitalised paving at Market Square as the section connecting Abington Street to the Grosvenor Centre opened on Monday, 4 March. The cobbles used as part of the transformation of Northampton’s historic market square have been retained from the previous paving where possible, and sympathetically restored to reuse as part of the regenerated space. Councillor Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at West Northamptonshire Council said: “Visitors to Northampton Town Centre can now access the Grosvenor Centre from Abington Street alongside Market Walk as this section of completed paving at Market Square opens, which will help to provide increased connectivity to this part of the town. “We are delighted that the existing cobbles have been restored and retained as part of the regeneration works, which provide a nod to the square’s history. Working closely with our partners Stepnell, it is great to see the project progress and reach important milestones such as this.” Further progress has been made in February as the light columns for the site were installed and four of the permanent market stalls arrived and have been fitted. The remainder of the bespoke market stalls are due to arrive this month, which will be complemented by the semi-mature trees which will be planted. The design, cladding and colours of the stalls compliment the surrounding rich heritage of Northampton’s Market Square. These stalls are a bespoke design with unique features, designed specifically for the needs of the Northampton Market traders. They are made of heavy-duty steel frames with robust cladding, which provides a sustainable and robust product. To stay up to date with regeneration across Northampton visit www.wearenorthampton.com Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Traffic enforcement measures taking effect during first month
March 01, 2024
Traffic enforcement measures taking effect during first month
Parking, roads and transport 01 March 2024 More than 800 motorists have been warned about flouting road restrictions at a congested Northampton junction in the first month of enforcement measures to help keep traffic moving there. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is issuing 844 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). No Penalty Charge Notices have yet been issued. During the first 17 days of the scheme, 597 warnings were issued, averaging around 35 per day. The end-of-month total of 844 warning notices shows the number of offences is falling, to around 29 warnings per day. 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, anyone who breaches the rules at this site will receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £70, reduced to £35 if paid within 21 days. 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 – 812 warning notices Hermitage Way is a bus only route which is routinely used by other motorists – 88 warning notices Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Government funding carry-over approved to invest in Children’s Services
March 01, 2024
Government funding carry-over approved to invest in Children’s Services
01 March 2024 One Angel Square The Government is minded to agree for West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) to carry over the unused capital allocations previously granted ‘to support and accelerate the council’s plans for transformation and efficiency following the 2021 local government reorganisation’. It has widened the remit of what the ‘capitalisation direction’ can be used for, allowing the council to invest in further transformative projects to prevent, as far as possible, children falling into social care. In turn this will help to lower the cost of providing future services. Last week WNC agreed a balanced budget for the coming year without needing to place any reliance on this support. Therefore, the Government’s confirmation that this £6.6m could be carried over is very welcome as it will mean new initiatives can be introduced to improve our children’s and early help offer and further reduce the cost of providing services over the longer term. The council applied to The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) for what is called ‘capitalisation support’, which means certain costs can be funded using capital resources, rather than shorter term revenue resources. The application was simply seeking to carry forward the support the council had been previously given but not used, and allow it to be used more effectively for the priorities it faces today. “Capitalisation directions are sometimes used to deal with financial distress in local authorities, but this is not the case for West Northamptonshire. "We are proactively using all the tools available to us to invest in transforming services for the benefit of our residents whilst also seeking to reduce ongoing costs going forward, which automatically leads to greater financial sustainability.” Council Chief Finance Officer, Martin Henry Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
National offer day sees over 4,800 secondary school places allocated
March 01, 2024
National offer day sees over 4,800 secondary school places allocated
01 March 2024 This is an increase of 60 places from the previous year, with 95% of families having secured a place at one of their three preferred schools, a slight increase compared to last year. 76 per cent of applicants (3,682 children) secured a place at their first choice school, 14.2 per cent (689) of pupils secured a place at their second preference school and 4.8 per cent (230) of pupils at their third preference school. Families who applied for their secondary school place online and within the deadline of 31 October will receive an e-mail offer today and are able to check their offer on the council’s online Admissions Portal . Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for children, families, and education at WNC said: “Secondary school is the start of the next step in a young person’s education journey and will help with their development to adulthood. Their years at secondary school will provide them with a wealth of new experiences, skills and knowledge so it is great to see that 95% of applications have been allocated a place at one of their three preferred schools.” All applications have the right to appeal (through the independent appeals process) if they have been unable to secure a place at one of their higher preferred school options. The next round of secondary school place allocations (for late applicants) will take place in April / May. Primary school places will be announced on 16 April. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
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?