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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There is also a suite of safety tips and advice for businesses and responsible persons at www.northantsfire.gov.uk/information-for-business-owners/



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Planning for a new heritage park in Northampton has been given the green light
May 15, 2024
Planning for a new heritage park in Northampton has been given the green light
15 May 2024 Planning permission has been granted to transform Chalk Lane Car Park in Marefair, Northampton into a new park celebrating the heritage of the former castle and local area; and which will offer open green space for families and the local community to enjoy. Marefair and the surrounding area has a fascinating and important history as the site of the once famous Northampton Castle, with archaeological excavation sites, historic local buildings such as the Old Black Lion Pub, Hazelrigg House, Castile Hill URC, St Peters Church and a former Saxon Palace. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has secured £1.6 million from the Government’s Towns Fund towards the creation of this Heritage Park in Marefair and will deliver new green space, trees, play areas, heritage timeline poles, community gardens, pathways and lighting for everyone to enjoy. “Marefair provides the entrance into our town from the train station and we’re thrilled that planning permission has been granted. This is an important milestone in bringing forward a welcoming space for visitors and residents alike, this exciting project will provide really important open green space for the communities of Spring Boroughs to enjoy and understand more about the history of the town.” Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth Following planning permission being granted, works will now be underway to prepare for construction works to begin this summer. Click here to find out more about the regeneration schemes which are taking shape across Northampton. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Review highlights progress at pace for West Northamptonshire Council
May 16, 2024
Review highlights progress at pace for West Northamptonshire Council
16 May 2024 An independent review of how West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is working three years after its inception has highlighted a strong positive start as a new unitary authority with ‘much achieved at pace’. Feedback from the Local Government Association’s (LGA) recent Corporate Peer Challenge also emphasised the ‘positive culture’ and ‘tangible upbeat energy’ of staff at WNC, who it said took a ‘thoughtful people-centred approach’ to engaging with residents, with many examples of frontline workers ‘going the extra mile’ to support their needs. It cited ‘good and constructive working relationships between all councillors and officers, having ‘mutual respect and support’ particularly observable between the senior management team and Cabinet members. A report of the peer challenge’s findings published today West Northamptonshire Corporate Peer Challenge said that external partner organisations described relationships with the Council as ‘the best they have ever been’ and WNC now needed to work more closely and strategically with them to shape the future of the area, including developing a long-term Place vision. The Corporate Peer Challenge took place in March by a team of senior officers and members from other councils across the country, who looked in detail at how effective WNC is at providing services, measuring its own ability to deliver upon its plans and vision for improving West Northants and in terms of governance and leadership. The LGA carried out the review at no cost as part of its improvement programme. During their four-day visit they held more than 40 sessions to gather information and views of over 110 people including staff, councillors and external partners from the business, health, community and education sectors. The Peers also recognised the development of the Council so far had been focused on bringing together the many services, staff and complex systems and processes from the four previous councils, stating ‘a huge amount has been achieved and this has concentrated effort and energy’. They recognise the scale of effort required to do this and that staff needed to take stock of their achievements. They added that WNC had done this ‘under the shadow of the county council’s failure and government intervention’ with still more work to do, but moving forward the Council ‘cannot be an apologist for the past for things that did or didn’t happen prior to its existence’ and should now start to ‘look outwards and explore with partners what it wants for West Northamptonshire’. This aligns with the Council’s own vision and purpose for the next stage of its journey. The report also highlights how staff told the Peer Team they liked working for the Council, which was also developing a reputation of being a good place to work for potential employees both with and without previous local government experience. Staff felt they had the right support, tools and equipment to do their jobs effectively and that the approach of the Executive Leadership Team was open and accessible. Peers also witnessed shared ownership and energetic leadership of governance and culture at the council’s main offices in Angel Square, Northampton. The report published today puts forward eight recommendations from the review and the Council will now develop and publish an action plan on how it plans to progress them. They focus on issues such as doing more to raise the wider profile of West Northants and engaging better with partners to produce a long-term vision, developing how the Council plans for its medium to longer term budget pressures and reviewing financial risks in line with corporate ambitions. Other recommendations include developing overview and scrutiny and improving customer transactions and the Council’s website. “We welcome the findings of the LGA’s Corporate Peer Challenge as an excellent test of our organisation’s priorities, strengths, challenges and culture. “This report recognises the incredible journey of change our Council has experienced in its formative years and their recommendations will be key to helping us to shape our next chapter for better services and outcomes for people across West Northamptonshire. “It reflects the substantial amount of work we have done at pace to build strong foundations for our new council and create a positive can-do culture of energy and enthusiasm amongst staff and members, which will be crucial to our success in the years ahead. We know there is still much more to do but this review reaffirms that we now need to look forward, not back as we enter our fourth year. "It’s encouraging to know our partners share our aspirations for the area and are keen to join us on our journey ahead and we will welcome their closer working and the invaluable involvement they will bring towards shaping a long-term vision for West Northamptonshire. I would like to thank everyone who was involved or contributed to this peer challenge.” Councillor Adam Brown, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council West Northamptonshire Council was formed as a new unitary authority on 1 April 2021 as part of major local government reorganisation in Northamptonshire, replacing the previous county council and Daventry, Northampton and South Northants councils. The Report can be viewed on WNC’s website here West Northamptonshire Corporate Peer Challenge The LGA Corporate Peer Challenge took place from 4-7 March at WNC’s office in One Angel Square, Northampton. The peer team considered the core themes looked at by all corporate peer challenges, namely: local priorities and outcomes, organisational and place leadership, governance and culture, financial planning and management and capacity for improvement. Find out more about the LGA Corporate Peer Challenge on their website Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Adam sports energy and enthusiasm for new leadership role
May 17, 2024
Adam sports energy and enthusiasm for new leadership role
17 May 2024 Rugby fan Adam Brown is aiming to put West Northamptonshire at the top of the league for better public services and outcomes for residents in his new role as Leader of the Council. The 39-year-old Saints fan and qualified rugby referee, who was born in Northampton and grew up in Weedon, took the reins as West Northamptonshire Council’s Leader at its annual meeting last night (Thursday, 16 May) as the unitary authority embarks upon its fourth year. Adam, who has been a councillor for eight years and championed the successful bid to bring the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup to West Northants, is looking forward to tackling WNC’s challenges and converting them into opportunities that improve services and support local communities. “I feel privileged to have been chosen for this role and really excited to be leading West Northamptonshire Council into its next chapter as a young unitary authority. We’ve already achieved some significant milestones in our first three years, bringing together hundreds of services and staff from the old councils, working to transform and improve what we deliver to our residents whilst also saving millions of pounds of public money in the process. “We’re now moving into our second phase as a council with a laser focus on productivity initiatives, such as best use of IT and artificial intelligence as well as redesigning services that are easier for our residents to interact with and more cost effective for our taxpayers. He added: “A top priority for us moving forward this year is the need to do much more to improve and invest in our roads and tackle the blight of potholes, which we know are a huge concern for our residents and there will be some positive news in the coming weeks around how we’ll be doing this that will signify how serious we are about acting on these issues. “Other key focuses will include stepping up our work with partners on tackling poverty and improving people’s health and wellbeing and continuing to progress our major regeneration plans for Northampton whilst shaping similar proposals for Daventry, Towcester and Brackley. We’ll also be developing new place strategies to really put West Northants on the national map, with plans to host exciting international events including the Rugby World Cup 2025.” Cllr Brown Hear more from Cllr Brown about his plans and priorities as Leader in our video: Leader of the Council, Cllr Adam Brown First finding his way into politics in 2015 as a campaign volunteer, Cllr Brown became a Daventry District Councillor for Weedon ward the following year, then later DDC’s Deputy Leader. In 2017 he was elected as a Northamptonshire County Councillor for Bugbrooke and in 2021 became a WNC councillor for the same division – a role he has continued to serve for the past three years alongside the remits of Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure. Cllr Brown, who lives in Northampton with his wife and three-year-old son, has a professional background in financial services, including spending time working at Santander Bank in Spain after studying modern languages at Exeter University. “As a relatively young Council Leader I’m hoping I’ll bring a different perspective to the role along with fresh energy and enthusiasm. I also think bringing two strong sets of experience to the role, through my financial services background and as a councillor of eight years, will prove really beneficial.” Cllr Brown In his spare time, alongside his passion for rugby and being a Saints season ticket-holder, Cllr Brown enjoys spending time with family and is also a keen runner and is currently in training to take part in the Amazing Northampton Run half-marathon this September, to help raise funds for Northampton’s Hope Centre. “West Northamptonshire is a wonderful area and I’m passionate about providing excellent services and focusing on issues that matter most to the people here, in the place where I live, grew up and where I’m now bringing up my own family.” Cllr Brown Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council Cabinet changes put resident priorities at forefront of future work
May 17, 2024
Council Cabinet changes put resident priorities at forefront of future work
17 May 2024 A reshuffle of West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet is refocusing senior councillors’ responsibilities on the latest priorities and needs of local residents. Cllr Adam Brown was elected as new Leader of the Council at WNC’s annual meeting last night (Thursday 16 May) . Within his new role he has appointed the Council's Cabinet Members and introduced a series of changes to their portfolios – these are the specific council services that they are responsible for overseeing. Under the new arrangements, some portfolios have been streamlined to specific service areas, such as housing and highways, enabling the Council to concentrate a greater focus on tackling these issues. Other changes have been made to better align service areas, such as including sustainability within the environment portfolio. The new Cabinet arrangements are as follows: Cllr Matt Golby is appointed Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Public Health and Regulatory Services, better aligning services aimed at improving people’s wellbeing Cllr Rosie Herring joins Cabinet for the first time as the Council’s new Cabinet Member for Housing, a key priority for residents and area of challenges and opportunities in the years ahead Cllr Phil Larratt is appointed Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, continuing his commitment to improving and investing in roads in a more focused remit Cllr Rebecca Breese becomes Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Waste, with a renewed focus on tackling climate change and progressing sustainability within her portfolio Cllr David Smith is appointed Cabinet Member for Planning and Communities, retaining his previous remit around community safety and partnerships alongside new planning and development control responsibilities Cllr Dan Lister becomes Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture and Leisure, better aligning the council’s place-shaping services with regeneration, business growth and economic investment Cllr Malcolm Longley continues as the Council’s Finance Portfolio Holder, having successfully steered the authority through its financial challenges Cllr Mike Hallam retains his role as Cabinet Member for HR & Corporate Services as the Council seeks to boost its productivity, IT and AI initiatives Cllr Fiona Baker retains her role as Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, ensuring essential continuity in the ongoing improvement journey for these key services. “I am delighted to be able to appoint such experienced and dedicated colleagues to Cabinet who have a huge wealth of knowledge across our broad range of services. “Having listened to residents about their priorities for what the Council should be doing and the needs they have, these changes aim to refocus and strengthen our efforts to ensure we are serving them in the best ways we possibly can.” Cllr Adam Brown, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council The Cabinet will be supported by the following Assistant Cabinet Members in their portfolio areas: Cllr Kevin Parker - Finances Cllr Rupert Frost - Business Engagement (Daventry) Cllr Greg Lunn - Sport & Leisure Cllr Alison Eastwood - Arts & Culture Cllr Tony Bagot-Webb - Highways, HS2 Cllr William Barter – Rail Cllr Anna King – Communities Cllr Alan Chantler – Planning Cllr Jo Gilford - Waste & Recycling Cllr Pinder Chauhan – Flooding Cllr Daniel Cribbin - Health Integration Cllr Stephen Hibbert – Housing Cllr Nick Sturges Alex - IT / Transformation and People Cllr Mark Hughes - Education Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Final line-up announced for A Perfect Day Festival
May 14, 2024
Final line-up announced for A Perfect Day Festival
14 May 2024 The line-up is now complete for A Perfect Day Festival, the exciting new one-day live music event headlined by chart-topping singer-songwriter James Arthur, taking place on Saturday 16 June at Northampton’s Delapré Park. The final acts confirmed for the bill are soul sensation Jalen Ngonda, R&B/Pop artist ADMT and indie-pop duo Dolores Forever. There will also be a special guest appearance from Northamptonshire choir Northants Sings Out, currently wowing TV audiences nationwide on Britain’s Got Talent. They will be joining fellow Northamptonshire based artists Balter, Charlotte Carpenter, Andy Crofts, Billy Lockett and Mae Stephens. A perfect day is promised with this eclectic mix of acts taking to the stage from 12.30pm, culminating in a performance by the phenomenal James Arthur. ABOUT A PERFECT DAY A Perfect Day’ is a new single day outdoor live music event presented by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) in partnership with Kilimanjaro & UK Live Ltd. It takes place in the historic Delapré Park, one of Northampton's most beautiful public gardens. Bring your family, picnic blanket and anticipation for a day packed with incredible music, excellent facilities, and fine food and drink! Find out more and buy tickets on the A Perfect Day website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Councils in West Northamptonshire to host summit to reach sustainability goals
May 15, 2024
Councils in West Northamptonshire to host summit to reach sustainability goals
15 May 2024 Plans are under way to deliver a climate change summit in the autumn which seeks to provide businesses and residents across West Northamptonshire with the tools they need to reduce their carbon footprint. Representatives from West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), Climate Action-West Northants (CA-WN), Northampton Town Council and parish councils across the area have joined forces to work in collaboration to consider how they can provide people with the tools they need to meet the target of becoming net zero in West Northamptonshire by 2045. Sustainability is high on the agenda for WNC with work already underway to make West Northants a sustainable place to live. WNC has committed to: Achieve Net Zero on all council operations by 2030 and those of residents and businesses by 2045 Take a community leadership role for Sustainability in West Northants Ensure all Council strategies and policies are aligned to and contribute to the delivery of the UN SDGs As part of these ambitious targets, WNC is working in collaboration with Northampton Town Council to host a summit which will provide residents and businesses with tangible tools to help them to become more sustainable in their day to day lives. “We are embarking on a bold new approach to make West Northamptonshire a more sustainable place to live and work. “Steps that the council is taking are many and varied including increasing solar energy production, and considering how we can invest in electric powered waste vehicles to reduce our outputs. “We are pleased to be working in collaboration with our town and parish councils to deliver this summit which will provide people across the area with the tools they need to live a more sustainable lifestyle and come on this journey with us.” Cllr Rebecca Breese, Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling & Waste at WNC "Climate change is a major challenge, but our initial meeting with representatives from WNC, Daventry and Towcester Councils and six local parish councils indicates how many have heard climate scientists’ urgent warnings. “Many people are anxious about the now looming effects of climate change and wonder what they can do to make a difference, whilst others are anxious but put it out of their mind. We hope the Summit will help local people face the challenge and feel the hope that working together brings. “The incoming Mayor of Northampton, Cllr Paul Joyce, is passionate about the environment and keen to work with local green organisations to support climate change awareness and sustainability.” Councillors Paul Joyce and Andrew Stevens from Northampton Town Council Plans are being developed for the content for the summit, and more information will be shared on WNC’s website and social media channels soon. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Residents feedback to help shape the future of air quality improvements in West Northamptonshire
May 15, 2024
Residents feedback to help shape the future of air quality improvements in West Northamptonshire
15 May 2024 Nearly 1,000 people from across West Northamptonshire gave their views on draft proposals to improve air quality in a public consultation on the Council’s Draft Air Quality Action Plans (AQAP). 53% of respondents to the consultation said they were concerned about air quality in their town or home area and 58% of respondents were concerned about air quality in West Northamptonshire. Now their comments are being taken into consideration to help shape the plans, which will need final sign off from DEFRA. Reducing air pollution is vitally important to local health and the environment. All councils have a duty to monitor some types of air pollution and take steps to make sure it meets standards set by Government. The UK Government 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 in line with current national government guidance. This ensures that the data is reliable and can be used in making informed decisions to improve air quality. "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. Once approved by DEFRA, our Air Quality Action Plan will clarify actions that the Council and its partners are taking to reduce pollution. ULEZ congestion charging, as other Councils have introduced isn’t being considered at this time. 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.” Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Public Health & Regulatory Services The proposed AQAP has been produced to identify areas where action can be taken to improve air quality. Some of the suggested 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 Air Quality Action Plan will outline the steps it will take to work towards improving air quality and reducing air pollution. The feedback from the consultation is now being analysed to help shape the final plan which will need final sign off from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) before it can be implemented. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New employability hub to launch at Weston Favell Shopping Centre
May 13, 2024
New employability hub to launch at Weston Favell Shopping Centre
13 May 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has teamed up with Weston Favell Shopping Centre to launch an employability hub dedicated to helping local people find work and volunteering opportunities. The hub is inclusive to everybody including those with learning disabilities (LD) and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and will benefit from support via WNC’s Learning, Independence, Volunteering, and Employment (LIVE) Team , who will also support businesses to become more inclusive by taking practical steps to welcome a more diverse workforce. A launch event will take place at Weston Favell Library on Friday 24 May, from 10am to 2pm, with WNC’s Adult Learning and Economic Growth and Inward Investment teams presenting local employment, training and volunteering opportunities, plus Community Connect providing welfare and wellbeing support. In addition, Futures will be attending on behalf of the National Careers Service. The hub will begin with a one-off event with an ambition to develop a more regular programme moving forward. Attendees on the day will be able to access support with job searching, including vacancies within the shopping centre, CV writing, interview technique, money advice, and support for adults with learning disabilities including supporting independence and access to volunteering or work. The event, which has been organised by the Northampton East Local Area Partnership (LAP) also marks the shopping centre’s 50th anniversary and celebrates the centre’s role in serving the local community and providing employment opportunities over the past five decades. "If you are looking for work, interested in local volunteering opportunities, or simply want some support writing your CV ready for your next step into work, then pay us a visit on Friday 24 May to speak to our support services and learn what’s on offer. “I am delighted that we’ve been able to team up with Weston Favell Shopping Centre on their 50th birthday and this initiative is part of that celebration in recognition of the impact the centre has had on local employment opportunities in West Northants over the past 50 years. “Residents can also access a wealth of free employment support, courses and webinars all year round, available through the West Northants Employment Support Service.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at WNC In addition to the library, Weston Favell Shopping Centre is also home to the Trussell Trust Foodbank , based in neighbouring building Emmanuel Church, which offers Community Law and Citizens Advice services. "The Employment Hub is a great opportunity for job seekers who visit the centre. “94% of staff at the centre live locally, so we witness firsthand the benefits of employing people from the surrounding area, strengthening our relationships with our local community. “Our goal is to become more inclusive in our employment practices and to share any new knowledge or best practices with other businesses within the shopping centre. We hope that this upcoming Employment Hub will become an ongoing program that provides local people with the resources they need to gain employment.” Zoe Butler, Weston Favell Shopping Centre Manager More information about the employment support service can be found on our free employment support page . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Reminder to submit completed application form for West Northants skills and employment grant scheme
May 13, 2024
Reminder to submit completed application form for West Northants skills and employment grant scheme
13 May 2024 Local voluntary and community organisations are reminded to submit their completed application form and all supporting documentation for West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) new grant scheme which aims to support local people to develop their learning and skills and help them get into work. Since launching at the beginning of the month, the Skills for Communities grant scheme has already received over 80 enquiries, and with just under 2 weeks left to apply, organisations are urged to submit their completed application form and all supporting documentation before 5 pm on Friday, 24 May 2024. Eligible community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations, including registered charities, community interest companies and social enterprises that operate, or are prepared to operate within the geographical area of West Northamptonshire, can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £300,000. The grants are aimed at supporting residents aged 16+ who are no longer in full-time education and who would like to develop existing or learn new skills to help them into work. Funded using £500,000 of UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF), a central part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda, this grant funding will be available over the 2024/25 financial year and will be awarded to organisations who address an identified local need by supporting people to enter the world of work, including voluntary work. “We are delighted by the level of interest in the Skills for Communities grant programme which is testament to the many fantastic organisations we have locally that continuously give back to their communities and help make West Northants great. “This grant funding is one of many ways we are using our UKSPF allocation to invest in local people, upskill the local workforce and create more employment opportunities to make our area the perfect place to live, work, visit and thrive. I encourage all interested organisations to submit an application before Friday, 24 May 2024.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture and Leisure For more information and to receive a copy of the full guidance notes and an application form, please email [email protected] . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Community partnership delivers programme of works to improve Daventry estate
May 13, 2024
Community partnership delivers programme of works to improve Daventry estate
13 May 2024 A programme of works has been delivered by West Northamptonshire partners to improve the Southbrook estate in Daventry as part of Operation Fragment. Operation Fragment brings together West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), Northamptonshire Police, Futures Housing Group, Daventry Town Council, Southbrook Community Centre, Youth Inspired and local volunteers in a bid to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and improve the local community. The Operation has seen a number of clean up days take place which included litter picking, clearing large items of rubbish and cutting back hedges. Offensive graffiti has also been removed from underpasses around the estate, with the Fishponds underpass benefitting from a street art project created by local artist Binty Bint and members of the Youth Hub. Street lighting has been improved in the area and a new permanent CCTV camera has been installed on Hood Road by Daventry Town Council using funding from the OPFCC. Motorbike deterrent barriers will also be installed at three locations along the footpath running from Hood Road to Frobisher Close. In addition, several engagement events have been held with WNC’s Environmental Health Team providing education and advice around fly-tipping to residents and agencies who provide services to the estate. Northamptonshire charity Youth Inspired have also been funded to run youth group sessions at the Southbrook Community Centre and work is taking place for Futures Housing Group to adopt and improve some of the area’s unused play areas. “Crimes such as littering, fly-tipping, offensive graffiti and anti-social behaviour have a negative impact on residents’ lives and undermine community cohesion. “By working with partner agencies and the community as part of Operation Fragment we have been able to help to tackle these issues and improve the Southbrook area for the whole community. A big well done to all those involved including the volunteers who have played a part in making this happen.” Cllr David Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Communities As part of the Operation, Police have increased high visibility patrols in Southbrook with consistent engagement with community members and attendance to crimes as and when they occur, leading to several arrests, including for robbery, driving, and drug offences plus others following warrant activity in January. The Neighbourhood Policing Team have also carried out intervention work with young people in the area and conducted engagement sessions at Danetre And Southbrook Learning Village (DSLV) including presentations regarding youth violence and a session called Carry a Basketball, Not a Knife. “The community is at the core of all of the activity we have done over the past few months. “Working in conjunction with partner agencies has enabled a joined-up and cohesive approach to tackling issues within the Southbrook area. As we enter the summer months, we look forward to building on the successes achieved so far.” Police Sergeant Josh Ellard from the Op Fragment Team If you live in Daventry and have concerns about your local community, you can email details of the issue to [email protected] and the team will direct you to the best placed organisation to help. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Fresh grant funding available for West Northants Voluntary and Community Sector
May 14, 2024
Fresh grant funding available for West Northants Voluntary and Community Sector
14 May 2024 Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector (VCSE) organisations who deliver important services in West Northamptonshire can now apply for grants of up to £15,000 to help West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) deliver its strategic aims and objectives. This round of the Discretionary Community Funding Grants follows last year’s successful round which saw £323,374 awarded to 33 local VCSE organisations. Interest in the grant scheme is high therefore organisations are encouraged to check the eligibility criteria and submit an application ahead of the deadline. The grant scheme is open to local registered charities, not-for-profit and VCSE organisations that operate, or are prepared to operate, within the geographical area of West Northamptonshire. Eligible applicants must address an identified local need, and support, enable or facilitate the achievement of one or more of the Council's strategic aims, objectives or priorities. Details of these strategic aims, objectives or priorities can be found in WNC’s: Applications for this round of funding should be submitted no later than 5pm on Wednesday, 26 June 2024. “These grants allow us to support the local Voluntary and Community sector who provide services to our communities. “These organisations are highly connected and can react quickly to specific needs and situations and are an important partner. We’re delighted to be able to offer them this funding in addition to the £323,374 awarded last year. “I encourage all organisations who are eligible to check the full criteria and submit an application before 26 June.” Cllr David Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Communities Interested VCSE organisations can find out more and view the evaluation criteria on the WNC website and in the Council’s Community Funding Grants Framework . For an application form and guidance please email [email protected] . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Voluntary and Community Sector awarded £1.9 million to deliver initiatives across West Northants
May 14, 2024
Voluntary and Community Sector awarded £1.9 million to deliver initiatives across West Northants
14 May 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has awarded over £1.9 million in grant funding to local Voluntary and Community Sector organisations to enable them to deliver a range of projects and initiatives across West Northants. The funding has been awarded, over two years, as part of three Community Funding Grant Schemes using £655k from Central Government via the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF). Initiatives that will be delivered using the funding include improved community transport services; debt and money, and immigration advice services; and additional support for local infrastructure organisations to help them grow and meet the needs of the local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. Seven community transport operators have been awarded funding totalling £951k to provide safe and cost-efficient community transport options across West Northants which aim to increase accessibility and inclusion and reduce social isolation. The successful organisations are: Ability CIC Brackley Volunteer Car Scheme Cogenhoe & Whiston Parish Council (Village Hopper) Comm Mini-Bus Daventry Area Community Transport Northampton Door to Door Towcester Area Door to Door Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire, in partnership with Daventry Volunteer Centre and South Northants Volunteer Bureau, were also successful in winning £260k of funding which will be used to bring together and strengthen diverse groups and marginalised communities and support the local voluntary and community sector. Citizens Advice West Northamptonshire and Cherwell (CAWNAC) have teamed up with Community Law Service (CLS) following £620k of funding which will be used to provide debt and money advice services and provide early intervention and support to help prevent people from experiencing financial crisis and issues such as bankruptcy and eviction. CLS alongside Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council have also been allocated £116,164 to provide immigration support, including providing individuals with legal guidance to understand their rights, options, and obligations under immigration law and protecting the Human Rights of individuals fleeing persecution, violence, or other forms of harm. “We are delighted to be awarding this funding to our fantastic VCSE partners and are extremely grateful for the vital work they do to support our residents and communities. “This grant funding will help to improve the lives of local people through a wide range of projects and initiatives, from alleviating transport challenges for some of our most vulnerable residents to empowering residents to take control of their financial lives and overcome debt. “I look forward to seeing the various projects and services in progress and the positive impact these will have for people across West Northants.” Cllr David Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Communities Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Help shape the vision for Daventry Town Centre
May 14, 2024
Help shape the vision for Daventry Town Centre
14 May 2024 People across West Northamptonshire are being invited to get involved in shaping new plans for Daventry town centre, which seek to boost economic growth and quality of life for local residents. The Daventry Masterplan is being developed by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) upon the principles established in the Daventry Vision 2035 which was previously adopted in March 2021. Building upon this work, the new Masterplan aims to reinvent the market town experience in Daventry, prioritising wellbeing and enjoyment, improving connections and providing a more welcoming location that will increase footfall and increase investment into the town. Proposals set out in the draft Masterplan include: Turning Market Square into a flexible events space, which could also be used as a market space Creating a new destination play park and café at New Street Rec Opening up the High Street entrance to the Arc Cinema, creating a new Mulberry Square Making High Street a shared surface street, with more seating and planting Enhancing Sheaf Street with better lighting, seating and public art Exploring opportunities to modernise retail units, to meet 21st century demands Newer homes and urban greenery alongside a village green space in Eastern Way, supporting the vibrancy of the town centre with improved doorstep amenities. Residents, businesses and other community groups and organisations are being encouraged to view the draft masterplan and give their comments on the outline plans beginning today (13 May) and running until 13 June 2024. View the proposals for Daventry town centre and have a say There is also the opportunity to view the proposals in person and speak with WNC teams involved in the work outside Waitrose in Bowen Square, Daventry on Saturday 18 May between 9am and 4.30pm. Improving Daventry town centre and reinventing our market town is a priority for us and the new Masterplan aims to build in more detail upon the aspirations of the community set out in the Daventry Town Centre Vision 2035. Improving public spaces, enhancing play spaces and celebrating local cultures and heritage are key themes for the proposals set out in the masterplan, which also strives to provide an improved and welcoming space for people to come together to eat, play and relax. We want to bring residents, businesses and stakeholders along on this journey and it’s really important they tell us what they think about the proposals, so I would encourage them to take a look and complete the survey. Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture and Leisure Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council teams up with Weston Favell Shopping Centre to launch employability hub helping local people find jobs
May 13, 2024
Council teams up with Weston Favell Shopping Centre to launch employability hub helping local people find jobs
13 May 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has teamed up with Weston Favell Shopping Centre to launch an employability hub dedicated to helping local people find work and volunteering opportunities. The hub is inclusive to everybody including those with learning disabilities (LD) and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and will benefit from support via WNC’s Learning, Independence, Volunteering, and Employment (LIVE) Team , who will also support businesses to become more inclusive by taking practical steps to welcome a more diverse workforce. A launch event will take place at Weston Favell Library on Friday 24 May, from 10am to 2pm, with WNC’s Adult Learning and Economic Growth and Inward Investment teams presenting local employment, training and volunteering opportunities, plus Community Connect providing welfare and wellbeing support. In addition, Futures will be attending on behalf of the National Careers Service. The hub will begin with a one-off event with an ambition to develop a more regular programme moving forward. Attendees on the day will be able to access support with job searching, including vacancies within the shopping centre, CV writing, interview technique, money advice, and support for adults with learning disabilities including supporting independence and access to volunteering or work. The event, which has been organised by the Northampton East Local Area Partnership (LAP) also marks the shopping centre’s 50th anniversary and celebrates the centre’s role in serving the local community and providing employment opportunities over the past five decades. "If you are looking for work, interested in local volunteering opportunities, or simply want some support writing your CV ready for your next step into work, then pay us a visit on Friday 24 May to speak to our support services and learn what’s on offer. “I am delighted that we’ve been able to team up with Weston Favell Shopping Centre on their 50th birthday and this initiative is part of that celebration in recognition of the impact the centre has had on local employment opportunities in West Northants over the past 50 years. “Residents can also access a wealth of free employment support, courses and webinars all year round, available through the West Northants Employment Support Service.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at WNC In addition to the library, Weston Favell Shopping Centre is also home to the Trussell Trust Foodbank , based in neighbouring building Emmanuel Church, which offers Community Law and Citizens Advice services. "The Employment Hub is a great opportunity for job seekers who visit the centre. “94% of staff at the centre live locally, so we witness firsthand the benefits of employing people from the surrounding area, strengthening our relationships with our local community. “Our goal is to become more inclusive in our employment practices and to share any new knowledge or best practices with other businesses within the shopping centre. We hope that this upcoming Employment Hub will become an ongoing program that provides local people with the resources they need to gain employment.” Zoe Butler, Weston Favell Shopping Centre Manager More information about the employment support service can be found on our free employment support page . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Popular swim teacher retires after 50 years poolside
May 10, 2024
Popular swim teacher retires after 50 years poolside
10 May 2024 A Daventry swim teacher has retired recently after teaching generations upon generations of children in a career stretching back 50 years. Rose Sutherland is a hugely respected figure at Daventry Leisure Centre, which is run by Everyone Active in partnership with West Northamptonshire Council. The 83-year-old has 49 years of swim teaching with Daventry Dolphins Swimming Club under her belt, totalling an estimated 36,000 lessons. Rose was first associated with the club in 1974 when her daughter Angela and son Mark became members. She started off as a raffle ticket seller but quickly became a poolside helper and then a teacher in 1975. Rose has taught a variety of lessons, from swim scheme and school swimming to club and synchronised swimming. A former president of Daventry Dolphins as well as a county-qualified judge and starter, Rose has been known to teach three generations of the same families. She has volunteered with many schools and taught numerous children on a one-to-one basis who needed extra encouragement. Rose’s commitment to the job is truly remarkable. Her knowledge and understanding of swimming strokes are incredible, thanks to her continuous professional development and experience gained poolside. She has continued to pass this knowledge down to newly-qualified teachers, ensuring future generations benefit. Rose has been a fantastic ambassador for swimming locally and we wish her all the best in her retirement. Jamie Brightwell, Everyone Active’s contract manager Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Nikki Watson to start as Chief Fire Officer in Northamptonshire on May 16
May 10, 2024
Nikki Watson to start as Chief Fire Officer in Northamptonshire on May 16
Nikki Watson will join Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service as Chief Fire Officer on Thursday 16 May. Following the conclusion of an IOPC investigation, which found that there was no case to answer in respect of any of the allegations against her, Nikki is ready to start her new role. Nikki, who retired from a 36-year career in policing last year, said that she is hugely excited to join Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service. “I am thrilled to be joining Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, which plays such a vital role in keeping the community safe,” Nikki Watson said. “I have devoted my whole career to public service. I am passionate about public safety, and I know that the firefighters and staff that I will lead are proudly committed to doing their best for the people of Northamptonshire. I’m looking forward to taking the Service forward to meet the challenges of this busy and growing county. “I am also incredibly grateful to Simon Tuhill and the chief officer team for having shown great leadership through a challenging time for everyone. I’m looking forward to working with Simon and the new Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Danielle Stone,” Nikki Watson added. Nikki has a wealth of experience in senior public service leadership and during her policing career, leading in command roles spanning public order, firearms, and counter terrorism. She chaired the Local Resilience Forum and managed the response to major incidents to mitigate disruption to communities from events such as major flooding and the Covid pandemic. When she retired, she was Deputy Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police. Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Danielle Stone, said: “I have satisfied myself that the recruitment process last year for the new Chief Fire Officer was carried out with integrity and rigour and I am happy to follow the proper process and welcome Nikki Watson to her new role. “I will support Nikki in her work with the wider chief officer team, so that she can successfully drive forward the changes that will make our communities safer and create better, safer working environments for firefighters and staff.”
Help us fine tune the vision for the future of Greyfriars
May 08, 2024
Help us fine tune the vision for the future of Greyfriars
08 May 2024 The second phase of engagement to redevelop the Greyfriars area in Northampton launches today. People across West Northamptonshire are being invited to view plans which have been shaped by feedback from the community following the initial engagement which launched in December 2023. The proposals include redevelopment of the former Greyfriars bus station site, the Corn Exchange Building, Belgrave House, the Mayorhold Multistorey Car Park, the Victoria Street Car Park, and the areas known as the east and west islands. Greyfriars is the largest brownfield opportunity within West Northamptonshire and represents a significant opportunity to deliver transformative change for the town. The site boasts a prime location at the heart of town, next to the ongoing transformation of the historic Market Square and redevelopment of the former Marks and Spencer’s and BHS units. The central location provides a unique opportunity to transform this part of the town centre and have a positive impact on the wider area. Greyfriars will be a new vibrant neighbourhood within Northampton town centre, it will provide new homes for all and breathe life and energy into abandoned buildings. It will restitch forgotten connections and create new ones, amplifying the impact of nature and creativity throughout with Northampton’s first town park as its centrepiece. During a first round of engagement held between December 2023 and January 2024, over 1,500 people shared their thoughts on the emerging vision to transform Greyfriars. The second phase of engagement reflects this feedback with a refreshed vision and set of proposals. The vision seeks to deliver a mix of new homes including student, later living, cooperative living, build to rent and build to sell. Over half of the respondents to the first round of engagement stated they would consider living here with the introduction of active travel, culture and a new park. The online engagement launches Wednesday 8 May and will run through until Sunday 9 June. Visit ampnorthampton.com to view the emerging vision to amplify the area and have your say. In person event will take place at the Grosvenor Centre, Northampton on Saturday 1 June between 9am and 5pm. “We are delighted than more than 1,500 people responded to the first stage of engagement for the future plans for the Greyfriars site. We are taking an exciting step forward to further enhance our vision as we launch the second stage of our engagement and showcase our vision for the area, which has been shaped by the community during the first engagement which took place earlier this year. “I would encourage everyone to come along to the in-person event to speak to our team of experts about the vision for this area and have their say to help shape the future of this part of Northampton.” Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth This area will be enhanced by a new Greyfriars park running along Lady’s Lane with an outdoor amphitheatre and pedestrian first landscape. A renewed Corn Exchange will act as a multi-use culture led hub that welcomes performance, classes and showcase; while the transformed Belgrave House will be transformed into a creative, cultural and community building that celebrates the thinkers and movers of Northampton. More than 70 per cent of responses to the initial engagement expressed a need for a park, and cultural facilities in this area. More than 100 people provided additional comments during the first engagement highlighting the need for improved bus services in the area. The existing bus station doesn’t allow for the growth of bus services to meet the growing demand. As part of this, WNC is exploring the opportunities to enhance Northgate bus station. This includes the extension of the station to allow for more capacity and the centralisation of buses, increasing the reliability of services and new waiting rooms and facilities to improve passenger experience. The proposals have been crafted by a multi-disciplinary team led by Studio Egret West, who have been commissioned by West Northamptonshire Council to craft the vision for the area. This team comprises urban designers, architects, landscape architects, and transport, commercial and sustainability experts. “Building upon the enthusiasm for and feedback on our initial proposals, we are excited to showcase our evolved vision to revamp Greyfriars. It is an energetic and transformational framework, curated to inject life back into this forgotten part of the town.” David West, Founding Director, Studio Egret West To keep up to date with regeneration across Northampton, visit www.wearenorthampton.com Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New Vice Lord-Lieutenant for Northamptonshire appointed
May 08, 2024
New Vice Lord-Lieutenant for Northamptonshire appointed
08 May 2024 The Lord-Lieutenant’s office is proud to announce the appointment of Anne Burnett as the new Vice Lord-Lieutenant (VLL) for Northamptonshire. Anne Burnett’s journey is one of dedication and service. Coming from a military family, she traversed the globe before finding her home near Oundle. A graduate in Politics from Durham University, Anne's professional journey led her to the heart of London's financial district, where she made history as one of the first female members of the Stock Exchange. Married for 35 years to her husband David, Anne is a devoted family person, with two children and a cherished grandchild. Beyond her family and professional life, Anne's commitment to her community is unwavering. From her tenure as High Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 2014-2015 to her current roles as Deputy Lieutenant and Trustee and Patron of several Charities, Anne's impact is felt far and wide. Anne's contributions extend beyond her official roles. She has been involved in supporting local charities and community groups, serving as Vice Chair of the Northamptonshire Community Foundation, running a Boxing Club in Northampton and Chairing Deep Roots Tall Trees, a successful choir and dance group in Corby. Currently, she is the Patron of Teamwork Trust, a Governor of St Andrew’s Hospital and a Trustee of Creative Oundle which provides a diverse range of cultural events in Oundle. "It is with great excitement and a sense of duty that I take on the position of Vice Lord-Lieutenant for Northamptonshire. “My aim is to support the Lord-Lieutenant in representing His Majesty in our county, while also shining a spotlight on the incredible work of our community groups and charities. I am committed to advocating for their recognition and support, as well as striving to secure national honours for those who have made a significant impact." Anne Burnett, Vice Lord Lieutenant for Northamptonshire The position of Vice Lord-Lieutenant plays a key role in supporting the Lord-Lieutenant, who acts as the representative of His Majesty across Northamptonshire. Working in tandem with over 30 Deputy Lieutenants, the Vice Lord Lieutenant serves as a vital liaison for the Lord-Lieutenant when carrying out duties on behalf of the King. In instances where the Lord Lieutenant may not be available, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant steps in to uphold the responsibilities of the office. "Anne Burnett's appointment as Vice Lord-Lieutenant is a testament to her dedication and exemplary service to Northamptonshire. We are thrilled to welcome her to this important role and look forward to the positive impact she will undoubtedly make." His Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, James Saunders Watson Esq To extend an invitation to the Lord Lieutenant or one of his representatives to an event, please e-mail [email protected] Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New safety features agreed for Northampton’s e-scooter scheme
May 08, 2024
New safety features agreed for Northampton’s e-scooter scheme
08 May 2024 New safety proposals for the Voi e-scooter trial in Northampton have been agreed by West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Cabinet at their meeting on Tuesday 7 May. The recommendations seek to address key concerns to ensure that the scheme continues to provide a sustainable and affordable mode of transport for people across Northampton. The recommendations which will be rolled out across the town include: Speed controls and restricted areas to be reviewed That new and emerging technology is assessed and a timescale set for implementation in regard to eliminating twin riding and pavement riding E-scooter safety is reviewed improving visibility at night An improved complaints and feedback procedure In January this year, WNC’s Place Overview and Scrutiny considered feedback from a public survey which sought to find out how people use the scheme and their views on its operation. The Department for Transport (DfT) has extended the trial period for the scheme by a further two years until 2026. WNC has agreed to extend the scheme in Northampton in line with the national two-year extension. “Following feedback from the public and key partners, we are pleased to have created a road map on how we can deliver improvements to the scheme which make it safer and more viable for all. “E-scooters provide a cost-effective travel solution for people, and it is important that we maintain this scheme for those who rely on it while ensuring that it meets the needs of our local community. “We will now work with VOI and the police to roll out these recommendations and continue to review the delivery of the scheme to ensure the safety of road users, riders and pedestrians.” Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways at WNC Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Major investment plans to support improvement of SEND services
May 03, 2024
Major investment plans to support improvement of SEND services
03 May 2024 Councillors will meet next week to consider plans to invest an extra £1.35 million into services for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and those in need of Alternative provision to help address a significant and ongoing rise in service demand. In just three years West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has seen a 40% increase in requests for Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) – an important document that sets out the specific educational needs of a youngster with SEND and the support they require. The rise in EHCP requests from 2,612 in April 2021 to 3,646 this month is considerably higher than that faced by other councils, continuing to put unprecedented pressure on the Council’s SEND team, and wider partnership impacting the ability to manage demand. At their meeting in Towcester next week (Tuesday, 7 May) the Council’s Cabinet will discuss proposed use of £1.35 million of Exceptional Financial Support funding from Government to invest in additional SEND staffing and resource to help achieve the following: Improving the timeliness and quality of providing EHCPs to families: more resources will support issuing plans in line with statutory timescales and reduce complaints and tribunals often leading to compensation or expensive provision being put in place. Slowing the demand and need for new EHCPs by investing in a SEND specialist teaching service, deployed into schools to work with academic colleagues to offer advice and support about developing and improving SEND curriculum and practice. Improving the commissioning and oversight of specialist provision: with additional capacity, the Council will be able to improve how the partnership commissions and quality assures specialist provision for children with SEND. These latest funding proposals come during the improvement journey underway within the wider SEND partnership, with organisations working hard to make much-needed improvements and implement change that will make a difference for children, young people and their families. It also comes on top of Council investment made in 2023/24 to bring in a team of educational psychologists to reduce the number of overdue EHCP assessments which is already making positive progress. “We recognise that we are very early on in our improvement journey with much work still to do, and that the impact from the actions we have taken are not yet being felt by families. However, there are signs of positive progress with the recent educational psychologist investment already improving the speed and accuracy of assessments which we are confident will continue. “The current experience of our services is not up to the standard that families expect, nor that we would like to be providing and because of this, there is a lot of frustration. The demand our teams are facing is presenting a significant challenge which is resulting in us not meeting the required deadlines and having an impact on children’s needs not being identified early enough nor being met in an effective way. This isn’t good enough and something that absolutely must change and that’s why this investment in our SEND team is so important. “Along with the work already underway, if approved, this funding will make an incredible difference to how the Council is able to respond and improve services to meet the increased demand and complexity coming through, resulting in a better experience and outcomes for our children, young people and their families.” Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education West Northants Voices in Partnership (WNVP), the local parent representative group have shared their full support for the proposed investment and if approved, will work alongside the Council to support delivery and recruitment to ensure investment makes the right difference to children and young people’s lives. "WNVP fully supports the proposed investment in SEND and Alternative Provision services by WNC. The significant increase in requests for Education, Health, and Care Plans (EHCPs) underscores the urgent need for additional resources to address the growing demand and ensure not only timely but also quality support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). “As representatives of parent carers in the community, WNVP is dedicated to collaborating with the Council to support the delivery of these investments and ensure that they make a meaningful difference in the lives of children and young people. Together, we will collectively work towards building a more inclusive and supportive environment for all." West Northants Voices in Partnership (WNVP) WNC’s Cabinet meeting will be held in the Council Chamber at The Forum, Towcester from 6pm on Tuesday, 7 May and will be streamed live on the Council’s YouTube channel View the cabinet paper and proposals on our website here Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Further steps taken in Northamptonshire towards Suicide Prevention
May 09, 2024
Further steps taken in Northamptonshire towards Suicide Prevention
09 May 2024 In Northamptonshire alone around 60 people take their own life each year, with the effects of suicide being devastating and the impact felt by many. In September 2022, a refreshed Northamptonshire Suicide Prevention Strategy for 2022-2025 and action plan was launched by a variety of health, social care, and voluntary sector organisations with the aim to reduce suicide and self-harm in Northamptonshire, through a whole-county, all-age approach. “As a partnership, we believe every death by suicide is one too many. Each of these deaths can potentially be prevented and that’s why we are working towards raising awareness of suicide prevention, making it a priority for everyone. The collaborative strategy really puts a focus on this, and the work that has been achieved in the first year is highly commendable, and truly shows the commitment and dedication from all those involved.” Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at West Northants Council As part of the group's commitment, the first review and updated action plan have been completed and are available to view online with details of the progress made since launching the strategy. This review provides an update on the actions achieved in the last 18-months since the launch for each of the seven key priorities and next steps. These include: A deep-dive audit on local suicide data to highlight local need has been completed with findings informing tailored interventions in the action plan. Seven local high-risk groups have been identified, including: those with substance and/or alcohol misuse, self-harm and/or previous suicide attempts, adverse events in childhood, relationship breakdown, those with a physical illness or mental illness and debt/financial problems. A package of support for educational establishments in Northamptonshire has been developed in the event of a suspected death by suicide in a school community. The package provides a protocol and information on postvention/bereavement support, prevention support, guidance for parents/carers, teachers and school leads and more. Developed a media reporting framework to support safe reporting of suicide in the county. A real-time surveillance system is in place, with an escalation protocol and links with safeguarding boards. Mapping of risk locations in Northamptonshire to highlight locations that may require safety interventions and liaising with relevant asset owners to mitigate suicide risk. Delivery of the ‘Take a Break’ sofa campaign across Northants for World Suicide Prevention Day, with West Northants Council (WNC), North Northants Council (NNC) and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) to raise awareness of Suicide Prevention and encourage residents to talk about how they are feeling. Development and delivery of the Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Training Framework to support those living and working in Northamptonshire to bring together training by a range of organisations to provide a coherent offer aimed at increasing understanding of, and aiding capacity to support mental health and wellbeing. Development of a pilot package to support call handlers, in the event of a customer in mental health crisis, to support resilience building and safe signposting. “Sadly suicide has far-reaching, and long-lasting effects, much wider even than the tragic loss of an individual’s life, which is why this work is so important. I particularly support the focus on reducing self-harm and supporting and improving the lives of people with mental health problems in our county. The first 18 months of the suicide prevention strategy has shown the incredible progress that can be made, when a whole system partnership approach is taken to the issue. I am confident this progress can continue, working together with the common goal of preventing the loss of life through suicide in Northamptonshire.” Cllr Gillian Mercer, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing The Strategy and Action Plan will continue to be reviewed to ensure continuous development and updated to ensure it aligns and follows local need and the published national guidance, Suicide prevention strategy for England 2023 to 2028 , with close monitoring from the steering group. “Suicide prevention is everyone’s concern and by working in partnership as health and care organisations in Northamptonshire we hope to make a real difference together. The breadth of activity that we have delivered during the first 18-months of our strategy really highlights our collaborative commitment to suicide prevention, but we know this is just the beginning as we continue our collective work in 2024.” Anne Rackham, Senior Responsible Officer for the Integrated Care Northamptonshire Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism Collaborative To view the Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action plan for 2022-2025 please visit: Suicide prevention in Northamptonshire | West Northamptonshire Council (westnorthants.gov.uk) . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Post 16 travel options to be rolled out for new school year
May 08, 2024
Post 16 travel options to be rolled out for new school year
08 May 2024 Changes to the Home to School Transport services for Post 16 students will be introduced across West Northamptonshire following approval from West Northamptonshire Council’s cabinet at their meeting on Tuesday 7 May. The post 16 travel options have been informed using feedback from residents and key stakeholders following the public consultation which took place this winter. Formal public consultation on the proposed changes to the policy commenced on 1 February 2024 and closed at midnight on Sunday 7 April 2024. There were 785 online responses to the questionnaire through the council’s consultation platform. The changes will help WNC to meet the increased demand and operating costs the service has experienced over the last two years, whilst providing flexible options for parents and supporting our young people’s independence. The changes help maintain consistency with the Council’s Home to School Transport Policy for children of compulsory school age and encourage sustainable travel options. The proposals will be implemented for the new school year in September 2024 and include: Increase the Cost of a Post 16 Bus Pass Increase use of personal travel budgets enabling parents to access funding for sustainable travel options Personal Travel Budget for Sole Transport Young Adults with an Education Health and Care Plan Undertaking Apprenticeships Define transport start and finish times in line with education providers providing a more uniform service across the area. “We want to make sure that we are providing the best, most cost-effective and sustainable service for residents and young people. “We have considered the views of parents, carers, and young people following feedback from the consultation and the changes seek to ensure the service continues to meet the needs of our community while offering flexible options for parents and young people alike.” Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways Parents and education providers will receive information regarding the changes over the coming weeks. More information about post 16 home to school transport can be found on our travel options pages Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Have your say on funding for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
May 09, 2024
Have your say on funding for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
09 May 2024 Local families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, as well as schools and academic colleagues are being encouraged to have their say on recommendations to change the way those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) are funded as part of a consultation. The proposed new funding framework will enable West Northants Council (WNC) to allocate funds to schools, colleges, resource units and early years settings in a fairer, more consistent, timely and transparent way which is based on the needs of children and young people. It has been developed with the help of a SEND Funding Steering Group, made up of representatives from schools, Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) and parent/carer forum groups. This final set of recommendations were also shaped by a public consultation held last autumn. The recommendations include improving application forms to making the process easier and faster, to ensure that support is available as early as possible. Funding processes, criteria and levels have also been reviewed, and it is recommended that an extra £2.8m is provided to support children and young people with SEND in early years setting and mainstream schools via the updated application processes. People across West Northamptonshire now have a final opportunity to have a say on them in a public consultation which will run until 2 June. Feedback from this consultation will be considered, summarised and presented at West Northamptonshire Schools Forum on 2 July, with any further adjustments to funding arrangements made ahead of implementation on 1 September. Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills at WNC said: “This is the final stage of the consultation and is important we hear the views of our parents, carers, schools and academic colleagues to really understand the impact of these changes. The proposals set out in the consultation have been developed following feedback and responses received during the first phase of the consultation last Autumn. “This new funding framework is important to enable us to allocate funds to schools, colleges, resource units and early years settings in a fairer, more consistent, timely and transparent way which is based on the needs of children and young people, therefore I do encourage all to complete this survey and feedback.” Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Market development plan given the green light
May 08, 2024
Market development plan given the green light
08 May 2024 Businesses across West Northamptonshire have a few days left to submit their expressions of interest to operate at Northampton’s revitalised market ahead of its opening this summer. New proposals aimed at shaping a vibrant future for Northampton’s markets were approved by West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) cabinet at their meeting on Tuesday, 7 May. The Markets Development Plan will drive forward the future viability of Northampton’s markets, setting out opportunities for further improvements, and plans to boost trade and support existing traders at the new-look site. Businesses keen to register their interest are urged to contact the Markets Team at [email protected] before the deadline on 17 May 2024. The future proposals for Northampton’s regenerated market square which will open to the public late this summer, set out plans to ensure high-quality stalls and establishing a fresh programme of events for shoppers. The development plan has been informed by the latest market and consumer trends as well as feedback from surveys asking local people what they would like to see at future markets. “It is really exciting that we are just a few months away from welcoming traders back to the newly regenerated Market Square and opening this rejuvenated space to the local community. “Northampton has one of Europe’s longest-running outdoor markets and the market development plan sets out our bold plans to ensure a high-quality and vibrant market for shoppers, visitors and local residents alike. The adoption of the development plan is an important first step in transitioning to Northampton’s reimagined market.” Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture & Leisure The development plan sets out the proposed tiered pricing structure for the flexible stalls and fixed units. To ensure a successful transition back to the ‘new’ market, WNC is providing bespoke support to help existing traders alongside BIPC Northamptonshire. This is further supported by the regular meetings with traders to keep them updated on the progress of the extensive transformation of the historic market square. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Residents encouraged to know the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
May 09, 2024
Residents encouraged to know the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
09 May 2024 West Northants Public Health Team are encouraging women over the age of 18 to speak to their GP if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of Ovarian Cancer to help diagnose and treat early. Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer among women in the UK with around 7,400 new cases diagnosed each year and it is getting more common in young people. Despite the numbers affected, many women are unaware of the symptoms, or the importance of early detection as the signs of Ovarian cancer can often be mistaken for other conditions. It is harder to diagnose than some other cancers, as the symptoms can be vague. The symptoms to look out for include persistent bloating, abdominal or pelvic pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly and changes in bowel or urinary habits. If any of these symptoms are present for more than three weeks, advice should be requested from a GP as soon as possible. Your GP will discuss the symptoms, examine, and make a referral if they have any concerns. By detecting this condition at an early stage with a blood test and/or a scan, means treatment can be arranged sooner and will have a greater likelihood of being successful. Women with a family history of Ovarian cancer are at higher risk of developing the condition and, as a precaution, may be offered regular screening. “I strongly encourage all women to be aware and know the symptoms of Ovarian cancer. We know that Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage when treatment options are limited, and the outcome is poor, which is why we are keen to raise awareness of the symptoms. If you think you do have some of the symptoms and concerned, it is worth getting checked out- there is no such thing as wasting your doctor’s time. Speak to your GP and help them detect the disease early, when it is more treatable with a better chance of treatment success.” Dr Annapurna Sen, Consultant in Health Protection for West Northamptonshire Council For more information about Ovarian cancer and screening programmes, visit NHS Ovarian cancer. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
The Director of Public Health Report for West Northamptonshire
May 09, 2024
The Director of Public Health Report for West Northamptonshire
09 May 2024 The Director of Public Health Report for West Northamptonshire (2023) is now available. You can watch a short video summarising the report below, or read the Director of Public Health Report for West Northamptonshire (2023) in full here Director of Public Health Report This report highlights how together with our local partners, we have embedded a place-based approach in the work we do across the Council to reduce health inequalities and improve life outcomes for our residents. Over the last year, it has been clear the power of collaboration with our system-wide partners and the impact we can make for the communities we serve when our aims and outcomes are properly aligned. This year’s report is full of brilliant examples of how the Council has worked together with our partners, voluntary sector and communities to start to embed our place-based and ‘asset-based’ approach, which has helped our communities and individuals to have hands on involvement in shaping services that best meet their needs. Exciting progress has been made within West Northamptonshire, particularly around a place-based plan to develop our Local Area Partnership approach. Great steps have been taken to work with our partners across each local area to help residents achieve our shared aim to ‘Live your best life’. Whilst we have made great strides in beginning to address the poor health outcomes in West Northants, health inequalities very much remain a big concern and it is clear there is still more to do. In this report and its accompanying video, you will see how some of the work has started to address this issue and how the idea of taking a place-based approach embodies this way of thinking. A big thank you to all our partners who continue to work with us on this important agenda and together, we can start to break down these health inequities so everyone in West Northamptonshire can live a long and healthy life. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
ChoirFest performers wow nation on Britain's Got Talent
May 01, 2024
ChoirFest performers wow nation on Britain's Got Talent
01 May 2024 The UK have been showing their support for Northamptonshire choir Northants Sings Out (NSO) following their showstopping audition on last weekend’s Britain’s Got Talent where judge Amanda Holden referred to them as the ‘best choir ever’. The choir, made up of local people aged 25 – 65 years old from all walks of life and careers from nurses and accountants to teachers, foster carers and adoptive families, recently performed alongside Royal Wedding conductor Karen Gibson MBE as part of West Northamptonshire Council's sell-out show ChoirFest at Northampton’s Royal and Derngate theatre. On Saturday (27 April), 66 members of the 200 strong choir performed a rendition of It Is Well with My Soul followed by 1990’s pop classic Show Me Love, led by Choir Director Gareth Fuller on Saturday night’s show. The Denim clad choir, dubbed a ‘gap advert’ by a member of the crowd, wowed all four judges with their showstopping vocal skills and performance, leading co-host Declan Donnelly to remark “Now that’s a choir!” in appreciation. And Northamptonshire agreed. Taking to Facebook, one person said “You were all fantastic. Just brilliant. Well done. Best choir to ever be on BGT (and there have been some good ones!)” Another fan wrote, “You were incredible, from NN7.” This followed, “you were AMAZING, super proud! Best wishes…from Rothwell NN14 – neighbours.” “I started my musical journey with training at Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT). Going on to teach adults and children across Northants the positive benefits of music and group singing, it’s a pleasure to now share my passion with the nation!” NSO founder and Choir Director Gareth Fuller “The Choir has meant everything to me. I thought I had learnt all there was to learn and had all the great experiences in life I needed until I started singing in one of Gareth’s choirs. I’ve been taught to believe in myself again through singing. It truly has been life changing.” NSO choir member You can show your support by following , liking and sharing NSO’s social media posts and pages, as well as liking and commenting on their YouTube audition video . And don’t forget to tune in to Britain’s Got Talent on ITV at 7.30pm on Saturdays and keep your eyes peeled for Northants Sings Out. Let’s get behind NSO and show the UK that Northamptonshire is proud of its home-grown musical talent, and hopefully we may see the county represented in the finals! Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Update on plans for opening of Sandy Lane
May 03, 2024
Update on plans for opening of Sandy Lane
03 May 2024 Vistry, Miller Homes and West Northamptonshire Council are working together to create a new route to link the southern part of Sandy Lane with the new section of the relief road which leads to the Berrywood Road/Roman Road junction. The proposed date for this route along Sandy Lane to reopen is by the end of June but there are still several factors to be resolved before this date can be committed to. The developers and West Northamptonshire Council are continuing to meet regularly to give this reopening the best chance of success. Cllr Phil Larratt, council Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste, said: “We’ve worked hard with everyone concerned to make sure this reopening takes place as soon as possible. “We’re confident that it will be possible to get the new section of road opened by the end of June, but at this stage we can’t totally exclude the possibility of a minor delay beyond 30 June due to the nature of post-construction checks necessary on all new roads. “Clearly this needs to happen as soon as possible to ease the traffic issues which have been experienced by the residents of Harpole and Duston.” Originally it was anticipated that a temporary link would make reopening possible, though following investigation this was not a viable option. The council is continuing positive discussions with Homes England, owner of the land surrounding the short stretch of relief road which will be the final part of the direct connection with the A4500. A spokesperson for Vistry and Miller Homes said: “We continue to apologise for any disruption the closure of Sandy Lane is having within the community, please be assured that collectively, Vistry, Miller Homes and West Northamptonshire Council are working tirelessly to reopen the road as soon as possible. “The multi-million-pound Sandy Lane Relief Road will provide a vastly improved transport infrastructure to the area and whilst we fully understand the short-term challenges imposed by the road closures, these are necessary precautions to enable works to be completed safely and deliver long term benefits to the community.” Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Communities across West Northants set to celebrate D-Day on 80th anniversary
May 03, 2024
Communities across West Northants set to celebrate D-Day on 80th anniversary
03 May 2024 Communities across West Northamptonshire will be joining the nation to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings this June. D-Day was the successful allied invasion of the beaches of Normandy on 6 June 1944. Codenamed Operation Neptune, the Normandy landings made up the largest seaborne invasion in history and played a crucial role in liberating Western Europe from Nazi occupation. From Beacon lightings and historical exhibitions to village parties and picnics, there are a range of events happening across West Northamptonshire to mark the occasion. Find your nearest event on our D-Day events page West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will be flying the official D-Day ‘Flag of Peace’ at each of its office buildings in Daventry and Towcester. A short flag raising event will also be held outside Sessions House in Northampton at 9am on Thursday 6 June, with members of the public invited to attend to show their respects. The Council’s One Angel Square offices in Northampton will also be lit up as part of the national Beacon lighting ceremony on 6 June. Northampton Museum and Art Gallery will be creating a commemorative exhibition in libraries at Brackley, Daventry, Towcester and Weston Favell, with each library hosting exhibition cabinets filled with Northamptonshire stories, objects and memories of D-Day and its immediate aftermath. The project wants to connect with local people and their family stories of D-Day. If you or anyone you know has a D-Day story or memorabilia, please email Northampton Museums & Art Gallery or find out more on the museum website . “We’re inviting residents from across West Northamptonshire to join in the celebrations and pay tribute to those who bravely fought for our freedom and lost their lives as a result. “Northamptonshire played a significant role in the Second World War with the Yeomanry serving in the two tank regiments: the 1st and 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry Regiments. They landed in France shortly after D Day and fought in the Normandy campaign Operation Overlord. “I encourage everyone to get involved in the many events taking place across the area as we mark this significant anniversary and if you have a story to share, please do get in touch with our museum service.” Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of WNC and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure If you would like to find out more about planning a D-Day 80 event, the King’s Pageantmaster Bruno Peek has produced this downloadable guide to planning a D-Day event , which covers beacon lightings, church bell ringing and the Lamp Light of Peace. Communities considering to close a road to celebrate D-Day may need to apply for a temporary road closure . Groups planning larger parties are also urged to let the Council know about the event to check issues such as licensing, safety and traffic management. Additionally, anyone hosting an event or activity to celebrate D-Day can share their plans with [email protected] to be included on our D-Day events page . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Major investment plans to support improvement of SEND and Alternative Provision services
May 03, 2024
Major investment plans to support improvement of SEND and Alternative Provision services
03 May 2024 Councillors will meet next week to consider plans to invest an extra £1.35 million into services for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and those in need of Alternative provision to help address a significant and ongoing rise in service demand. In just three years West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has seen a 40% increase in requests for Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) – an important document that sets out the specific educational needs of a youngster with SEND and the support they require. The rise in EHCP requests from 2,612 in April 2021 to 3,646 this month is considerably higher than that faced by other councils, continuing to put unprecedented pressure on the Council’s SEND team, and wider partnership impacting the ability to manage demand. At their meeting in Towcester next week (Tuesday, 7 May) the Council’s Cabinet will discuss proposed use of £1.35 million of Exceptional Financial Support funding from Government to invest in additional SEND staffing and resource to help achieve the following: Improving the timeliness and quality of providing EHCPs to families – more resources will support issuing plans in line with statutory timescales and reduce complaints and tribunals often leading to compensation or expensive provision being put in place. Slowing the demand and need for new EHCPs by investing in a SEND specialist teaching service, deployed into schools to work with academic colleagues to offer advice and support about developing and improving SEND curriculum and practice. Improving the commissioning and oversight of specialist provision – with additional capacity, the Council will be able to improve how the partnership commissions and quality assures specialist provision for children with SEND. These latest funding proposals come during the improvement journey underway within the wider SEND partnership, with organisations working hard to make much-needed improvements and implement change that will make a difference for children, young people and their families. It also comes on top of Council investment made in 2023/24 to bring in a team of educational psychologists to reduce the number of overdue EHCP assessments which is already making positive progress. “We recognise that we are very early on in our improvement journey with much work still to do, and that the impact from the actions we have taken are not yet being felt by families. However, there are signs of positive progress with the recent educational psychologist investment already improving the speed and accuracy of assessments which we are confident will continue. “The current experience of our services is not up to the standard that families expect, nor that we would like to be providing and because of this, there is a lot of frustration. The demand our teams are facing is presenting a significant challenge which is resulting in us not meeting the required deadlines and having an impact on children’s needs not being identified early enough nor being met in an effective way. This isn’t good enough and something that absolutely must change and that’s why this investment in our SEND team is so important. “Along with the work already underway, if approved, this funding will make an incredible difference to how the Council is able to respond and improve services to meet the increased demand and complexity coming through, resulting in a better experience and outcomes for our children, young people and their families.” Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education West Northants Voices in Partnership (WNVP), the local parent representative group have shared their full support for the proposed investment and if approved, will work alongside the Council to support delivery and recruitment to ensure investment makes the right difference to children and young people’s lives. "WNVP fully supports the proposed investment in SEND and Alternative Provision services by WNC. The significant increase in requests for Education, Health, and Care Plans (EHCPs) underscores the urgent need for additional resources to address the growing demand and ensure not only timely but also quality support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). “As representatives of parent carers in the community, WNVP is dedicated to collaborating with the Council to support the delivery of these investments and ensure that they make a meaningful difference in the lives of children and young people. Together, we will collectively work towards building a more inclusive and supportive environment for all." West Northants Voices in Partnership (WNVP) WNC’s Cabinet meeting will be held in the Council Chamber at The Forum, Towcester from 6pm on Tuesday, 7 May and will be streamed live on the Council’s Youtube channel . View the cabinet paper and proposals on our website here Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New weight management service “Gro Health” available for residents
May 02, 2024
New weight management service “Gro Health” available for residents
02 May 2024 Residents in West Northamptonshire who meet the eligible criteria can access a new service which provides personalised support to help people achieve their healthy weight goals. As part of a new partnership, West Northamptonshire Council is delighted to announce Gro Health as the new provider for residents to access a free, weight management service that will be focused on individual needs. Gro Health’s comprehensive 12-week weight management programme, with additional support for 12 months, offers either digital or in-person services depending on your eligibility, available in up to 22 languages. Developed together with NHS obesity specialists and including insights from over 20,000 Gro Health users, the programme emphasises an individualised approach to sustainable health changes. The new programme offers a range of resources and support from; customised educational resources, nutritious recipes, on-demand exercise classes, and both group and individual health coaching. These tools are crafted to help individuals set and achieve personal health goals while fostering long-term healthy habits. Making the new service as easy to access as possible, eligible residents can access this support directly via the West Northants GroHealth website or through a referral from their healthcare professional. Details on eligibility can be found on the website. "This is an exciting partnership with Gro Health and represents a crucial investment in our community’s health which aligns with our strategic goals to reduce health disparities across West Northamptonshire. Providing accessible and personalised services is recognised throughout our West Northamptonshire Health and Wellbeing Strategy and is a big step forward in helping residents to live fit, healthy and independent lives.” Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at West Northants Council Recent statistics from the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) highlight the urgency of accessible healthy weight services: in 2020/21, an estimated 69% of the local population was overweight or obese, surpassing the national average of 64%. Michaela de la Fosse, Operations Manager at DDM Health, stated, "At Gro Health, we focus on empowering residents and removing obstacles to health improvement. We are excited to launch this programme in West Northants and are eager to see the positive changes it will bring to the community." The effectiveness of Gro Health is backed by six peer-reviewed studies, demonstrating notable outcomes such as an average 6.5% weight loss at six months, an 8% improvement in quality of life, and significant reductions in stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Vice Lord-Lieutenant Morcea Walker announces retirement
May 03, 2024
Vice Lord-Lieutenant Morcea Walker announces retirement
03 May 2024 After seven years of dedicated service and unwavering commitment to the Lieutenancy of Northamptonshire, Mrs Morcea Walker, Vice Lord- Lieutenant, has announced her decision to retire, due to reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75 for Deputy Lieutenants (DL). Mrs Walker's journey with the Lieutenancy began with a surprise invitation: In a lifetime, you have a number of surprises that take your breath away after the initial reaction of having doubts that the information/request is real. When I received a letter inviting me to become a Deputy Lieutenant, I did ignore it believing it was 'not real' but a follow-up request meant I had to take the matter a bit more seriously. During her time in office, Morcea had numerous responsibilities, from attending ceremonial events to representing the Lieutenancy with dignity and grace to nominating people and organisations for various awards, garden parties and royal events. Reflecting on her tenure, Morcea shared: From the role of Deputy Lieutenant to that of Vice Lord Lieutenant, I have had a wonderful time. I never anticipated the privilege of serving as Vice Lord Lieutenant, but it has been a journey filled with both challenges and triumphs. Attending events as the representative of the Lord-Lieutenant and in turn that of the Queen was a real privilege. From chairing meetings to engaging with communities and hosting royal visits, every moment has been both frightening and inspiring. As Mrs Walker transitions into retirement, she looks forward to exploring new opportunities and continuing her passion for community engagement. Whether through involvement in local initiatives, pursuing personal interests, or spending quality time with family and friends, Morcea remains committed to making a positive impact in her community and beyond. Morcea Walker's dedication and passion for serving the people of Northamptonshire have been truly commendable. Over the years, Morcea’s contributions have been key in developing deeper connections between the Lieutenancy and various community organisations. Her efforts have significantly raised the profile of the Lieutenancy and enhanced its engagement with the residents of Northamptonshire. Morcea’s departure leaves behind a legacy of excellence, compassion, and unwavering dedication to community service. Her commitment to inclusivity and community involvement has left an indelible mark on the area. Her impact will be felt for years to come, serving as an inspiration for all those who follow in her steps. On behalf of the Lieutenancy, I extend our heartfelt thanks for her years of service and wish her the very best in her well-deserved retirement. His Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, James Saunders Watson Esq Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Share your thoughts on helping Towcester town centre to thrive
May 01, 2024
Share your thoughts on helping Towcester town centre to thrive
01 May 2024 The market town of Towcester boasts a long and fascinating history and features a variety of distinctive businesses, boutiques, eateries, and expansive green spaces. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is keen to establish a clear vision for building on Towcester’s strengths to ultimately enhance the community and sustainably grow the economy. Residents and visitors are being asked to share their ideas about enhancing Towcester Town Centre and any improvements they would like to see made. 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 Towcester can prosper. WNC’s Towcester Town Centre Manager has been working closely with local businesses, organisations, and Towcester Town Council to champion the local community, to harness the pride in the town and to establish opportunities to improve the Town Centre 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 Towcester Town Centre and how you’d like to see it 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 Towcester 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 We are aware that traffic is a key issue for many people in Towcester and there are currently projects underway to improve traffic flow including pedestrian and cycle routes, the Towcester Relief Road and National Highways improvements to the Town Centre, therefore we have not included any questions around this in the survey. “Towcester has a rich historical past and is an important part of our county’s heritage. The town also offers a wide variety of unique shops, cafes, attractions and small businesses which provide the perfect day out for visitors. “I encourage everyone with a view to take part in this survey and help us gather ideas to shape and develop Towcester town centre and provide an enhanced experience for all residents, visitors, businesses and investors.” 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, 9 June. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Help celebrate the Everdon Outdoor Learning Centre 50th Anniversary
May 01, 2024
Help celebrate the Everdon Outdoor Learning Centre 50th Anniversary
01 May 2024 People across West Northamptonshire are invited to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Everdon Outdoor Learning Centre, Daventry by joining two open days on 5th and 6th May from 1pm – 5pm. Everdon is marking 50 years since opening its doors as an Outdoor Learning Centre. To celebrate this significant milestone there will be two open days on 5th and 6th 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. The commemorative book that has been made specifically for the 50th anniversary detailing the history of this old Victorian building and how it has evolved over the years will be available to purchase on the day with lots of photographs and memories included. 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. “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 There will also be an opportunity to buy tea and homemade cakes at the Village Hall who are also celebrating their 50th anniversary. Find out more about the centre. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
ChoirFest performers wow the nation in ‘sensational’ Britain’s Got Talent performance, putting Northants on the map and making the county proud
May 01, 2024
ChoirFest performers wow the nation in ‘sensational’ Britain’s Got Talent performance, putting Northants on the map and making the county proud
01 May 2024 The UK have been showing their support for Northamptonshire choir Northants Sings Out (NSO) following their showstopping audition on last weekend’s Britain’s Got Talent where judge Amanda Holden referred to them as the ‘best choir ever’. The choir, made up of local people aged 25 – 65 years old from all walks of life and careers from nurses and accountants to teachers, foster carers and adoptive families, recently performed alongside Royal Wedding conductor Karen Gibson MBE as part of West Northamptonshire Council's (WNC) sell-out show ChoirFest at Northampton’s Royal and Derngate theatre. On Saturday (27 April), 66 members of the 200 strong choir performed a rendition of It Is Well with My Soul followed by 1990’s pop classic Show Me Love, led by Choir Director Gareth Fuller on Saturday night’s show. The Denim clad choir, dubbed a ‘gap advert’ by a member of the crowd, wowed all four judges with their showstopping vocal skills and performance, leading co-host Declan Donnelly to remark “Now that’s a choir!” in appreciation. And Northamptonshire agreed. Taking to Facebook, one person said “You were all fantastic. Just brilliant. Well done. Best choir to ever be on BGT (and there have been some good ones!)” Another fan wrote, “You were incredible, from NN7.” This followed, “you were AMAZING, super proud! Best wishes…from Rothwell NN14 – neighbours.” “I started my musical journey with training at Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT). Going on to teach adults and children across Northants the positive benefits of music and group singing, it’s a pleasure to now share my passion with the nation!” NSO founder and Choir Director Gareth Fuller “The Choir has meant everything to me. I thought I had learnt all there was to learn and had all the great experiences in life I needed until I started singing in one of Gareth’s choirs. I’ve been taught to believe in myself again through singing. It truly has been life changing.” NSO choir member You can show your support by following , liking and sharing NSO’s social media posts and pages, as well as liking and commenting on their YouTube audition video . And don’t forget to tune in to Britain’s Got Talent on ITV at 7.30pm on Saturdays and keep your eyes peeled for Northants Sings Out. Let’s get behind NSO and show the UK that Northamptonshire is proud of its home-grown musical talent, and hopefully we may see the county represented in the finals! Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Have your say on the (draft) West Northants Carer Strategy 2024-2029
May 01, 2024
Have your say on the (draft) West Northants Carer Strategy 2024-2029
01 May 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) are asking for local carers or someone supporting a carer to share their views and feedback on the newly drafted five-year Carer Strategy. The draft strategy is for all unpaid carers that live in, or care for someone that lives in West Northants, and has been developed together with local carers, ensuring their voices drive forward progress over the next few years to provide the right support and information for them. Chosen by our local carers, 17 priorities have been identified to focus on improving over the next five years as well as specific measurements to track progress which the Council would like to seek views on. Each priority has a set of actions that will support achieving the priority over the five year period. More details on each of the priorities and how they will be achieved can be found in the strategy. “Being a carer is a truly selfless role and many carers do not even recognise themselves as a carer – often putting the needs of a loved one before their own. Speaking to local carers, we have heard firsthand of the demand both on our carers themselves and care system – and they are set to continue to grow. “Carers play such an increasingly important role in our society and vital in supporting people to stay as healthy as they can be and live fulfilling lives, but we know carers need looking after too. Together with them and our partners, the Council is committed to improving the help and support available with this strategy aiming to take forward these improvements. That’s why it is so important we get it right and we can only do this by receiving feedback from as many local carers as possible. I really do encourage carers to please take the time to have their say – it will be listened too.” Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health Please tell us your views by completing this online questionnaire via the online consultation survey. The council will review all feedback with our group of local carers and make any necessary changes, before taking it to Cabinet for final approval. Your feedback will be part of reports with other people’s feedback, so you will not be personally identified. The survey will close at midnight on Thursday 30 May 2024. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Environmental Policy for Northampton Town Centre to be considered
May 01, 2024
Environmental Policy for Northampton Town Centre to be considered
01 May 2024 Northampton town centre could soon have a more pleasant environment thanks to a new policy which would deal with unsightly bin storage. The town is undergoing extensive regeneration with multi-million-pound projects taking shape including Market Square, and Abington and Fish Street, with further schemes set to start in the coming months. Businesses would need to make sure their bins are appropriately stored and put out only when they’re due to be collected, or face enforcement. The area covered would extend to the inner ring road, bounded by Mounts, Campbell Square, Broad Street, Horse Market, St Peter’s Way, Victoria Promenade, Cheyne Walk and York Road. The pilot might be extended to other areas of West Northamptonshire in due course. “The new policy reflects our commitment to creating a cleaner and more welcoming environment for those living and working in, or visiting Northampton town centre. “There is a huge amount of work going on to improve the centre of town, with a new-look Market Square, new street scenes and lots of high-quality residential properties. “It’s incredibly important that we deal with some of the inappropriate bin storage that goes on in the area, thereby improving the environment for everyone.” Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Regulatory Services The Northampton Town Centre Environmental Policy would, along with new leisure facilities and the current improvements, elevate the town centre's appeal encouraging more people to use it, as well as making the town centre safer to access for our residents and visitors. Key highlights of the proposed policy include: Timed waste collections: Designated waste collection windows to ensure bins are set out for collection only at specific times Business support: Guidance to help businesses adjust to the changes Clear labelling policy, identifying which bin belongs to which business Enforcement measures: following an initial education phase, enforcement action to ensure compliance with the policy. “To breathe new life into our town centres, it's essential for businesses, the community, and local authorities to collaborate. “Revamping areas into flourishing spaces by tackling issues like indiscriminate bin placement is a key aspect of this. “Regeneration isn't just about financial investment; it's about cultivating community pride and creating a distinct sense of belonging.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth The policy has undergone extensive consultation with stakeholders, including the Northampton Town Centre BID, Northampton Town Council, commercial waste providers and the Northampton Forward Board. More than 400 town centre businesses were engaged with directly during this time. “Ranks of bins on the street are a blight on the street scene. They are also a magnet for fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour. “A lot of taxpayer’s money is being invested in improving our town centre and these bins detract from the enhancements we are striving to deliver. “It’s vital that we do something about these bins to improve the town centre environment for our residents and visitors to Northampton.” Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste The implementation of this policy would align with the council's broader ambitions for a cleaner and greener environment, contributing to the wellbeing of the community and enhancing the overall quality of life in Northampton Town Centre. Cabinet will discuss the proposed policy on Tuesday 7 May and further details can be found in the report on the council website. If approved by Cabinet, work with businesses to help them comply will begin in June. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Grant scheme launched to help people develop skills and find employment in West Northants
May 01, 2024
Grant scheme launched to help people develop skills and find employment in West Northants
01 May 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has launched a new grant scheme which aims to support local people to develop their learning and skills and help them get into work. The Skills for Communities grant scheme is open to community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations that operate, or are prepared to operate, within the geographical area of West Northamptonshire and must be used to provide support to residents aged 16+ who are no longer in full-time education and who would like to develop existing or learn new skills. Local voluntary and community organisations including registered charities, community interest companies and social enterprises are invited to apply for the grants of between £10,000 and £300,000. Funded using £500,000 of UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF), a central part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda, this grant funding will be available over the 2024/25 financial year and will be awarded to organisations who address an identified local need by supporting people to enter the world of work, including voluntary work. Examples of how the grant can be used include: delivering training towards qualifications or building life skills improving communication skills and social skills increasing confidence, work experience, coaching or other support supporting literacy and digital skills The Skills for Communities grant scheme compliments WNC’s existing Multiply programme which is already delivering numeracy skills to local people. The grants cannot be used to fund activity already supported through other funding streams such as the Education and Skills Funding Agency. “The Skills for Communities grant scheme is one of many ways in which we are actively investing in local people and communities to make West Northants the perfect place to live, work, visit and thrive. “This grant funding will help to boost core skills and support those aged 16+ to progress in work whilst encouraging innovative approaches to reducing adult learning barriers, both of which will help more people into employment and support a thriving economy here in West Northants. “I encourage all eligible Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Organisations to submit an application for this funding.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth For more information email [email protected] The guidance document and application forms will then be sent to you electronically. The deadline for submitting your completed application to WNC is 5pm on Friday, 24 May 2024. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northants to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ community for IDAHOBIT
April 30, 2024
West Northants to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ community for IDAHOBIT
30 April 2024 West Northamptonshire residents are invited to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) to raise awareness of the work still needed to end discrimination towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) people. An event will take place at midday on Friday, 17 May, in the Guildhall Courtyard, Northampton, and will include speeches from the Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), Cllr John Shephard and the Co-Chair of West Northants LGBTQ+ and Allies Forum, Matthew Toresen MBE. The theme for the 2024 edition of IDAHOBIT is “No one left behind: equality, freedom and justice for all". The event will conclude with a ‘Minute of Noise’ to commemorate all those who have suffered LGBTQ hate and discrimination and for all those who cannot have their voices heard. The LGBTQ+ flag will also be raised at WNC’s office buildings in Daventry, Towcester and Northampton from 8am to 8pm. Q Space and The Lowdown charity will also be present to provide information and advice about the local LGBTQ+ services and support services they offer, and refreshments will be served in the Court room following the event. “Our LGBTQ+ residents are an important part of our West Northants communities and have a right to live happily and free from discrimination. “This important day reminds us that we must continue progressing towards a society where all residents feel safe, included and accepted, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or race, and reminds us of the importance of tolerance and respect. “Together, we can break down stigmas and create a safe and respectful community. I invite all residents to join us to make some noise as we stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ friends.” Cllr David Smith, West Northamptonshire Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement The date of May 17 was specifically chosen for IDAHOBIT to commemorate the World Health Organisation’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. “IDAHOBIT reminds us that equality isn't a given, and needs to be fought for and supported. We gather on this day to show LGBTQ+ and ally communities around the world that we know there is still much work to do.” Matthew Toresen MBE, Co-Chair of West Northants LGBTQ+ and Allies Forum People can help spread awareness about IDAHOBIT by sharing the social media hashtags #IDAHOBIT #IDAHOBIT24 #diversityandinclusion. The Lowdown charity offers support to anyone struggling including counselling, wellbeing and emotional support, sexual health and contraception. Find out more on the Lowdown website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Your guide to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Election on Thursday, 2 May
April 29, 2024
Your guide to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Election on Thursday, 2 May
29 April 2024 On Thursday, 2 May, voters across Northamptonshire will head to the polls to elect their Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC). The Police Fire and Crime Commissioner 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. Here's everything you need to know to take part in this important local election. The candidates are as follows: Voting Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm. The details of your polling station will be printed on your poll card. You do not need to take your poll card with you in order to vote, but you must bring a valid form of Voter ID . Accepted forms of Voter ID By law, you must present a valid form of photo ID at the polling station in order to vote. You can use an expired photo ID, as long as the image on the ID remains a good likeness to you. You only need to bring one of the documents to the polling station to vote in person, but it must be the original document. You can use: Passport (UK, EU/EEA, Commonwealth issued) Driving licence (including provisional licences) (UK, EU/EEA issued) Blue Badge Certain older/disabled people concessionary travel cards Identity card with PASS mark (Proof of Age Standards Scheme) Biometric Immigration document Defence identity card Certain national identity cards More information is available on our Voter ID page Returning your postal vote If you wish to hand in your postal vote to the Council Offices or the Polling Station you will now need to complete a Postal Vote Return form which will be provided to you when handing in your vote. If you post your postal vote through a council letter box, it will be rejected. This is due to a change in the law. For more information visit The Electoral Comission website. Results The votes will be counted from 1pm on Friday, 3 May, with the result posted on our X and Facebook pages as soon as they are announced. The result will also be posted on our Elections Results page Find out more More information about this election and the candidates can be found on the Choose My Police and Crime Commissioner website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Cabinet members set to discuss a further £2.4m funding package to help West Northants households facing hardship
April 29, 2024
Cabinet members set to discuss a further £2.4m funding package to help West Northants households facing hardship
29 April 2024 West Northamptonshire Councillors are set to discuss plans at next week’s Cabinet meeting regarding distribution of the £2.4 million funds to households in need of financial support. The Council has received £2,465,491.77 as part of the fifth tranche of the Household Support Fund (HSF) provided by the UK Government, following the Government’s announcement of a sixth month extension to the scheme, offering additional financial support to vulnerable households. The proposal builds upon the successful partnership with local voluntary and community organisations developed during previous HSF tranches to best support West Northants households who are facing financial hardship with daily living costs such as; food, clothing, and utility bills. This is in line with the work underway as part of the joint Anti-Poverty Strategy and looks to provide financial support to residents who are most in need and may not be identified through the benefits system. For the six-month extension period, from April 2024 to September 2024, the recommendation includes: Around 12,700 families with children will receive school meal vouchers over the summer holidays at the cost of £15 per child, per week. In addition, families will also be given a further £30 voucher to help towards school essentials such as uniforms. Continuing to work closely with our trusted partners to provide tailored support to residents from; debt and money advice, energy saving advice, practical energy saving measures and practical household support. Approx. £690,000 in the form of grants for voluntary and community organisations to apply for to increase the dedicated and tailored support that they offer to residents. To provide a longer-term offer of financial wellbeing, all awards and funding will be complimented by wrap around support schemes with the view to help transition households from crisis support to more sustainable support. “It is important we continue to work closely with our voluntary and community sector organisations following such an effective model of distribution during HSF4 to identify those individuals or households that may not otherwise receive support. During the last tranche of funding, a high percentage of funds allocated were successfully distributed to individuals and households by these organisations and we hope that we can continue to build on this method further. “We also know that supporting families with school meal vouchers is a really valued helpline and we are keen to continue this throughout the summer holidays, whilst providing a wider range of support and advice that will help these families longer term”. Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at WNC Following Cabinet approval, work will commence with working closely with community partners for distribution of the funds. To view the cabinet report please visit this Agenda for Cabinet Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council Tax refunds issued following systems error
April 29, 2024
Council Tax refunds issued following systems error
Council Tax 29 April 2024 Refunds have been issued to around 15,000 residents in the Northampton area today (Monday, 29 April) whose monthly Council Tax payment was taken out twice due to an automatic systems error. West Northamptonshire Council is urging those affected to check they have received the refund which will be in their bank account by the end of today. They should not try to cancel their direct debit instruction or claim the sum back via their banks as doing so could result in them having to repay the refund back to the Council. On Friday WNC were made aware of and took immediate action to address an automation error in the system hosted by its BACS supplier, meaning that monthly Council Tax payments would be taken twice from 15,558 bank accounts today (Monday, 29 April). A refund has been issued by the Council to all affected bank accounts, so residents whose payments were taken twice do not need to do anything except await the credit from WNC. We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience and distress this error may have caused residents affected. Residents affected by this error should see three entries going through their account today (Monday 29 April) – this is two entries taking the Council Tax payment and one entry providing a refund. The result of these three transactions means the correct payment will have been made to the Council. We would ask anyone who has been affected by this issue to check their account and wait for the refund to be paid, which will have happened by the end of the day. We can confirm there is no action residents need to take nor do they need to contact us but we thank them for bearing with us and for their patience and understanding whilst we resolve this issue. Martin Henry, Executive Director for Finance The error has affected 15,558 accounts, equating to around 8% of the 184,683 total number of Council Tax accounts across West Northamptonshire. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Cabinet to consider proposals to post 16 travel options
April 26, 2024
Cabinet to consider proposals to post 16 travel options
26 April 2024 On Tuesday, 7 May, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) cabinet will consider proposed changes to the Home to School Transport services for Post 16 students across West Northamptonshire which has been shaped using feedback from residents and key stakeholders following the public consultation which took place this winter. Formal public consultation on the proposed changes to the policy commenced on 1 February 2024 and closed at midnight on Sunday 7 April 2024. There were 785 online responses to the questionnaire through the council’s consultation platform. The changes being proposed are to help meet the increased demand and operating costs the service has experienced over the last two years, whilst at the same time attempting to create a fairer system and exploring opportunities to give greater flexibility for parents, support our young people’s independence and help to promote sustainable travel. The proposals will also help maintain consistency with the Council’s Home to School Transport Policy for children of statutory school age. The proposals include: Increase the Cost of a Post 16 Bus Pass Increase use of personal travel budgets Personal Travel Budget for Sole Transport Young Adults with an Education Health and Care Plan Undertaking Apprenticeships Redefine transport start and finish times in line with education providers. “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. “We have considered the views of parents, carers, and young people following feedback from the consultation and are putting forward recommendations which seek to ensure the service continues to meet the needs of our community.” Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste The outcomes of the cabinet meeting will be shared on the Council’s website. Click here to view the agenda and cabinet papers. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northamptonshire Council launches Stage Two consultation for Community Governance Review
April 26, 2024
West Northamptonshire Council launches Stage Two consultation for Community Governance Review
26 April 2024 Residents, parishes, and businesses in West Northants are invited to participate in shaping future electoral and governance arrangements for parishes across West Northamptonshire. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) are launching the Stage Two consultation for the Community Governance Review that will run until from today (26 April) until Sunday, 28 July 2024. This consultation aims to seek views from residents, parishes, and stakeholders regarding the proposals that emerged from Stage One of the review process. The proposals relate to the existing parish boundaries, the number of parish councillors, and potential changes to parish names. Before starting the consultation, the Council sought requests from parishes that wanted to make changes to their parish arrangements. The outcome of this pre-review consultation, in addition to the Local Government Boundary Review, has determined the identified parish areas for inclusion in the Stage One consultation that finished in January 2024. Proposals from the Stage One consultation have been reviewed in the light of comments received and the final proposals are now subject to comments through the Stage Two consultation. New parish arrangements resulting from this review will take effect at the May 2025 local elections, providing parish arrangements which better meet the needs of communities and ensure an efficient and effective governance structure. “Your continued engagement and input are essential as we progress through the Stage Two consultation of the Community Governance Review. “I encourage all residents to have your say through the consultation, as your input will contribute to building local parish and town council arrangements that best reflect your local community and that will stand the test of time.” Councillor Adam Brown, the Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council For more information, please visit the Community Governance Review webpage. You can submit your feedback online or you can request a paper form by contacting [email protected] . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Development plan for Northampton’s renewed market to be considered by cabinet
April 26, 2024
Development plan for Northampton’s renewed market to be considered by cabinet
26 April 2024 New proposals aimed at shaping a vibrant future for Northampton’s markets are set to be considered by councillors next month. Alongside the extensive renovation of the town’s historic Market Square opening this summer, a Markets Development Plan has been created to drive forward future improvements, boost trade and support existing traders at the new-look site. West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet will meet to consider the proposals at their meeting on Tuesday, 7 May, which range from attracting new and specialist markets into the town alongside an existing offer of quality stalls to establishing a fresh programme of events for shoppers. Key to the proposals includes providing bespoke support to help existing traders make a successful transition to the ‘new’ market. The development plan has been informed by the latest market and consumer trends as well as feedback from surveys asking local people what they would like to see at future markets. “The refurbishment of our Market Square is a core part of the regeneration of Northampton and a key catalyst for attracting future shoppers and investment into our town. “Northampton has one of Europe’s longest-running outdoor markets and the reimagined market square opening this summer will be a fitting home for it. It’s absolutely crucial that we build on this great work and set out plans for ensuring our markets and traders have a vibrant future ahead of them and this development plan is an important first step. Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth Cllr Lister added that discussions and meetings were under way with existing traders to ensure they received the right support during the transition back to the square ahead of the opening later this summer. The development plan will set out the proposed tiered pricing structure for the flexible stalls and fixed units, as well as the support available for existing traders during the transition back to the square. “We are also keen to hear from anyone who would like to trade at the new markets, which offers flexible stalls and fixed units. I’d encourage anyone who is interested - whether you have a great business or business idea and want to become part of our town’s rich heritage – to get in touch and learn more about the opportunities on offer and how we can support them.” Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth Businesses keen to register their interest are urged to contact the Markets Team at [email protected] before the deadline on 17 May 2024. Click here to view the Markets Development Plan as part of the agenda and papers for the cabinet meeting on 7 May. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Action taken to address Council Tax payment issue
April 26, 2024
Action taken to address Council Tax payment issue
26 April 2024 West Northamptonshire Council has taken urgent action to address an issue with Council Tax payments affecting a number of residents in the Northampton area. The Council has been alerted to an automated error in the system hosted by its BACS supplier, meaning that monthly Council Tax payments are due to be taken twice from 15,558 bank accounts on Monday (29 April). Immediate steps were taken today to refund all those affected, who will receive a credit into their accounts on Monday, the same day as the duplicated payment is due to be taken. “We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience and distress this error may have caused residents. “Whilst our supplier’s software system automatically duplicated payment files which was beyond our control, we’ve acted quickly to arrange for refunds to be made into those affected bank accounts. Residents affected by this error should see three entries going through their account. Two entries taking the Council Tax payment and one entry providing a refund. The net of these three transactions means the correct payment will have been made to the Council. “We would ask those residents to bear with us whilst we resolve this issue and thank them for their patience and understanding.” Martin Henry, Executive Director for Finance The error has affected 15,558 accounts, equating to around 8% of the 184,683 total number of Council Tax accounts across West Northamptonshire. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Vigil to be held for second anniversary of Knife Angel visit
April 25, 2024
Vigil to be held for second anniversary of Knife Angel visit
25 April 2024 A church service and vigil will be held in West Northamptonshire to mark the second anniversary of the Knife Angel visit and remember those who have died through knife crime and serious violence. A time of reflection will take place at All Saints Church in Northampton on Friday, 17 May at 7.30pm, led by Father Oliver Coss, and will be followed by a candle-lit vigil on the church plaza. Speakers at the event will include Cheri Curran, the mother of Louis-Ryan Menezes who was fatally stabbed in Northampton in 2018, and Detective Superintendent Andy Glenn, the force lead for Serious Violence. Local anti-knife crime ambassador Quinton Green will also perform a spoken word tribute ‘Where The Angels Walk’. The Knife Angel statue, the National Symbol Against Violence and Aggression, visited Northampton in 2022 as part of its nationwide tour to highlight the issue of knife crime in the UK. The 27-feet-tall statue has been created by using over 100,000 knives and blades confiscated by the UK’s 43 police forces. I invite people to join us as we stand side by side with all those who have suffered or lost loved ones due to knife crime. Let’s take this opportunity to come together as a community and not only reflect, but also educate people on the devastating impact of knife crime and serious violence. Together we can make a difference and make it clear that there is no place for violence in any form on the streets of West Northamptonshire. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement We take the issue of knife crime incredibly seriously and supporting events such as this vigil are vitally important, particularly for those directly impacted by knife crime. We have seen a significant reduction in knife crime in Northamptonshire in the last year, however we want to do more, which is why we’re working hard with other organisations as part of the Northamptonshire Serious Violence Prevention Partnership. This week we’ve joined together with police forces across the UK as part of Operation Sceptre, which is aimed at preventing knife crime and tackling those involved. This has included visiting schools, hosting knife amnesties, supporting young people at risk of becoming involved in this type of crime and using all of our resources to pursue those people we believe are involved in knife crime. Detective Superintendent Andy Glenn Police urge anyone with concerns to visit the knife crime pages of the Northants Police website Anti-knife crime charity Off The Streets and Meditech Global will be be holding a series of free Critical Bleed Training Sessions across Northamptonshire. Please email [email protected] to register or follow Off The Streets on social media for further information. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Community events to help shape the future of planning in West Northamptonshire
April 25, 2024
Community events to help shape the future of planning in West Northamptonshire
25 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. Colleagues from the planning service are hosting events across the area to engage the local community on the proposals. These will include: Brackley: The Old Fire Station Community Room, High Street, Brackley NN13 7D on Wednesday 1 May between 2 and 5pm Northampton: Grosvenor Centre, Gather Unit, 1st Floor, Northampton, NN1 2EW on Thursday 2 May between 12 and 5pm Towcester: West Northamptonshire Council, The Forum, Moat Lane, Towcester, NN12 6AD Wednesday 8 May between 2 and 6pm 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 . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Reminder to renew garden waste subscriptions
April 26, 2024
Reminder to renew garden waste subscriptions
26 April 2024 Residents across West Northamptonshire are reminded that they can sign up for optional, chargeable garden waste collections. The annual subscription charge for the fortnightly service is £58 per bin and can be made online . 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. 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 here. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Join our  Audit & Governance Committee
April 22, 2024
Join our Audit & Governance Committee
22 April 2024 People with a passion for governance, financial management, and risk assessment are invited to step forward and become independent co-opted members of the West Northants Audit & Governance Committee. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is seeking two dedicated individuals as independent co-opted members to join its Audit & Governance Committee. The independent members will play an essential role in promoting excellence in governance, risk management, financial reporting, and counter fraud. They will actively participate in Committee meetings and provide independent assurance to the Council's members, residents, and stakeholders. These non-voting members will assist in overseeing internal and external audit arrangements, reviewing financial statements and statutory accounts, and assessing the governance, risk management, and control arrangements of the Council. " We are excited to invite individuals who have strong knowledge and experience in financial management, accountancy, audit, governance, or risk management to join our Audit & Governance Committee. Your expertise will be critical in ensuring that our governance practices remain robust and effective for the benefit of our residents." Cllr Malcolm Longley, Cabinet Member for Finance The appointments will initially be for a four-year period, with the potential for extension. Successful candidates will receive an annual allowance of £500 and are expected to attend approximately six in-person Committee meetings per year. For further information and to download an application pack, please visit the WNC website . Applications should be submitted by Wednesday, 8 May 2024. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Car parking payment app to be introduced in Northampton
April 19, 2024
Car parking payment app to be introduced in Northampton
19 April 2024 From Tuesday 23 April visitors to Northampton Town Centre arriving by car will be able to use car parking payment app ‘Pay by Phone’ across all on and off-street parking spaces. West Northamptonshire Council will be starting a 12 month trial of Pay by Phone across all of its car park spaces in Northampton Town Centre from Tuesday 23 April. Pay by Phone offers a cashless parking solution for on-street parking greatly enhancing the cash only option currently available, as well as providing an additional option to the Councils non ANPR (auto-number plate recognition) off-street car parks. Signage will be clearly displayed at all locations under the scheme and options will remain where currently available to continue to pay using cash and cards. Pay by Phone will require a short sign up process for any visitors that do not already have the app, and then a ticketless, cashless parking experience. Pay by Phone offers visitors flexibility in their visit with optional reminders about parking time due to expire and the ability to remotely top up a parking stay. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
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
19 April 2024 With just over a week left to go, parents, carers and young people are being encouraged to have their say in a consultation to help shape and refresh the early help support offer in West Northants. The consultation asks families and young people on the use and experiences of early support services in West Northants, which includes local 0-19 (and/or up to 25 for young people with SEND) services for children and young people, as well as how they would like to access different forms of support in a way that best suits them and their needs such as; online, in-person and group settings to name a few. The consultation is open until midnight on 28 April via the link here and provides an opportunity for families, parents, carers and young people to share their thoughts and feedback anonymously. All responses will feed into the Council’s approach to early help support as well as how we commission our services for children and young people aged between 0-19 (25) together with other local organisations. Early help is a huge focus and priority for West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and together with other local organisations are keen to review and strengthen this offer further to ensure there is the right support available in a way that is accessible and meets the needs of children, young people and families locally. “When we talk about early help, we are referring to the support available to our children, young people and families that they can access themselves without a referral from a health or support professional. This support needs to be easily accessible and to offer information and guidance on a range of topics – this may be advice on newborn support and development, vaccinations for children, mental wellbeing advice for teenagers, and the list goes on. By ensuring people have access to the right early help can make a difference to their wellbeing, development, and ultimately their life experiences, so it is really important we get it right. “We can only do this by having the input and hearing feedback from our young people and families so I do encourage you to please take the time to complete the survey – whether it is all of it, or you complete the sections more relevant to you. All the feedback is incredibly valuable and shape our future direction.” Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills The consultation focuses on two essential topics of the early help offer, which includes: Establishing local Family Hubs in West Northants with the aim of ensuring all families with children aged between the years of 0-19 (25) 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 and 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. The 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?
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
18 April 2024 Low-income off-gas households with an annual income of £36,000 or less across West Northamptonshire are urged to find out if they could access essential funding to help them deliver energy efficiency upgrades and install clean heating systems. The funding is made possible through the Home Upgrade Grant Phase 2 funding bid secured by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC). Responding to feedback and a thorough review of the program, the Department of Energy and Sustainable Net Zero (DESNZ) has increased the household income threshold to £36,000, up from £31,000, to ensure that more families can benefit from this vital initiative. The expanded eligibility criteria are anticipated to increase the number of eligible households by approximately 19% nationally within the scheme. This means more families will have access to the support they need to improve energy efficiency, reduce fuel poverty, and contribute to the UK’s Net Zero commitment by 2050. 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. The home must also be heated by alternative fuels including electricity, oil, liquid propane gas, and solid fuels. The energy efficiency criteria will be determined by the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of the property and 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. The scheme allows funding per property to provide a range of energy and cost saving upgrades, depending on the specific circumstances such as the fuel source, energy efficiency and EPC rating of the home, with the most funding available for the least efficient homes heated by the most polluting fuel sources. “With energy costs continuing to place severe pressure on household budgets, this scheme is an important chance for local residents to improve their homes, save money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon emissions. I would encourage anyone who thinks they might be eligible to get in touch to find out more.” Cllr Adam Brown, Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure at West Northamptonshire Council How to Check Eligibility: You can check if your property has an EPC and learn about your SAP score by at Find an energy certificate - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) West Northamptonshire Council understands that energy efficiency needs may change over time. If work has been done on your property since your last EPC assessment, your SAP score may have improved. Our dedicated installers will be able to verify your eligibility during your assessment. You can access information and apply Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Statement regarding council leadership
April 19, 2024
Statement regarding council leadership
19 April 2024 West Northamptonshire Council has been informed by Cllr Jonathan Nunn that he has decided to stand down as Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member with immediate effect. Cllr Nunn has been Leader of the Council since May 2021. Election of the new Leader of the Council will take place at the West Northamptonshire Council’s Annual Council meeting on 16 May. Until this time the Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Adam Brown, will carry out the role of Leader alongside his current Cabinet duties for housing, culture and leisure. “I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to Jonathan for all his hard work and commitment as Leader during the crucial, formative years of our Council and the important role he has played in shaping the strong and effective organisation it is today. “We now look ahead to continue to build upon all the good work we are doing as a council to deliver services to residents across West Northamptonshire.” Cllr Adam Brown Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Twelve new firefighters welcomed to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service
April 18, 2024
Twelve new firefighters welcomed to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue has welcomed twelve new wholetime firefighters to the Service. The new firefighters have completed a two-week induction to the service where they were given the opportunity to learn about the organisation by spending time with different departments, including Prevention, Protection and Business Services. The new recruits have now gone to the Fire Service College in the Cotswolds, where they will spend eight weeks learning firefighting skills including how to use breathing apparatus, put out different types of fires, and deal with hazardous materials. Once they have finished the intensive training course at the College, they will have a Passing Out Parade before returning for three weeks further training in the county, where they will then be posted to a Watch at one of the stations across Northamptonshire. The new intake has been under the watchful eye of Station Commander Richard Walding, who looks after the Firefighter Development Programme for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service. He said: “It has been fantastic to work with our latest cohort of firefighters and help them settle into their new roles with us. “I am looking forward to seeing how they all progress during their time at the Fire Service College and learn the crucial practical skills needed to be a firefighter. “Being a firefighter is an extremely rewarding profession and I hope that they all have long and successful careers with us at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.” Tamas Fazekas, 31, decided he wanted to join the fire service after helping save a teenage boy from the water in June 2023. “After the incident, I decided I wanted a change of career and after driving past Corby Fire Station I noticed that they were recruiting firefighters, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.” Tamas has worked in warehouses previously but is looking forward to a change in career path. “Firefighting is a job that is bigger than all of us, so I really feel like I am serving a purpose and giving something back to the community.” “We have been provided with lots of information which has been really useful to give us a wider understanding of how the Service operates. “All 12 of us are really excited and looking forward to our time at the Fire Service College, it will be a great eight weeks.”
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?