16 May 2024

four WNC office buildings

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
 

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Fond farewell to popular firefighter and Mounts historian Steve ‘Korky’ Corcoran
June 16, 2024
Fond farewell to popular firefighter and Mounts historian Steve ‘Korky’ Corcoran
This week the Fire Service is bidding a fond farewell to Steve Corcoran, fondly known as Korky, who will be retiring after more than 35 years of sterling service. Steve (pictured centre above) is the third generation of firefighter in his family, with his grandfather Patrick Corcoran serving as a firefighter in London during the blitz, and his father Kevin Corcoran (Korky Senior) serving 27 years wholetime in Northamptonshire. His wife, Claire, is also a serving wholetime firefighter at The Mounts. Korky joined Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service in 1988, aged just 18, when he became an on-call firefighter at Towcester – going on to serve 13 years. In 1994 he started as a Ministry of Defence firefighter before leaving to join NFRS wholetime in November 2001. Having been on Blue Watch ever since, he originally started at Corby, and sandwiched between two stints at Wellingborough, Steve served for 18 years at The Mounts. During his time at The Mounts, Korky started to take a real interest in the building, becoming the official historian for the station (a role he will continue after retirement) and spearheading the campaign for it to become Grade II listed, a goal that was achieved in 2013 and helps to protect its future. Steve, aged 55, said: “My father served at The Mounts, and so I have been going to the station since I was five years old. It’s a remarkable historical building which I’m incredibly passionate about, and it’s been a great station to work at as it’s probably the busiest in the county. Next year will be its 90 th anniversary since opening, so I want the help make sure we celebrate that next summer.” Long standing colleagues gathered at The Mounts earlier this week to pay tribute to his long years of service ahead of what will be his final shift, at Wellingborough where he currently serves, this evening (June 14). Korky has also now agreed to become the official historian for Wellingborough Fire Station in addition to The Mounts. Wellingborough Station Commander Dave Wilson was on hand to present him with his leaving statuette at the ceremony, and in return Korky presented the station at Wellingborough with a display to feature about Hannah Sparke, who became a local hero during the Great Fire of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire in 1738 when she prevented the church from going up in flames. Reflecting on his decision to retire, Steve said: “I feel young at heart still but have to accept I’m at an age where it’s all becoming a bit more difficult. This is now an exciting time to step into a new chapter and spend more time with my family and do some travelling. “I have worked with some fantastic people on all the Watches I have served on. You spend so much time with these people, whether it’s around the mess table or on shouts, and I have formed fantastic friendships that I will hold dear for the rest of my life.” Commenting on his years of service, Chief Fire Officer Nikki Watson said: “Steve has dedicated so many years of his life to keeping our communities safe and embodies everything good about the Fire & Rescue Service. “Not just through his safety work, but through all the extra hours he has dedicated in his spare time to keeping our history alive and protecting our heritage. “On behalf of everyone at the Service, I want to thank him for everything he has done and achieved in his career, and we wish him all the best for the future in his well-earned retirement.”
Businesses are invited to join Council's catering framework
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Join us in celebrating Armed Forces Week
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New Northamptonshire Fire recruits celebrate Passing Out parade
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Candidates for the West Northants Parliamentary Constituencies have been announced 
June 07, 2024
Candidates for the West Northants Parliamentary Constituencies have been announced 
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More success for Northamptonshire firefighters in Challenge competition
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More success for Northamptonshire firefighters in Challenge competition
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service continued its recent run of winning medals at the Welsh Firefighter Challenge. Taking place in Swansea over the weekend (June 3), the Welsh Firefighter Challenge is a regional sporting event for serving and retired firefighters. The event raises both awareness of the skills that firefighters need to keep communities safe, but also helps raise much needed funds for The Fire Fighters Charity – which offers specialist lifelong support for current and retired members of the Fire family. The challenge sees firefighters test their skills and fitness to the maximum in several stages including running, carrying hoses and dragging dummies, and seeing who can complete the gruelling tasks in the quickest time. Firefighter Paul Webb won the Silver Medal in his age category (45-49), missing out on Gold by just two seconds, and Stef Douglas (who recently retired from NFRS as a Group Commander) went one better by winning Gold in his age category (50+). Stef is pictured in the middle below, wearing his gold medal. In the relay event, two teams competed on behalf of NFRS. One team – consisting of Dan Ireland, Henry Sleight, Paul Webb and Stef Douglas – were runners-up, while a second team – consisting of Dan Harding, Ronnie Sherratt, Ant Atkins and Lee Brown – came in fourth place. Dean Keeber also competed in the main challenge, but sadly had to pull out due to injury. Reflecting on taking part, Henry Sleight said: “It was a fantastic day with loads of people cheering us on, and it was an incredible atmosphere to be part of. “We had some individual success which was fantastic, but this was also the first time we sent two teams to compete in the relay, and we were really happy with how both teams finished. “Representing Northamptonshire is always something we are proud to do, but it’s also a fantastic way of maintaining the fitness that we need for our jobs, and it helps in terms of keeping our skills sharp for incidents as well.”
Employment opportunities at the upcoming General Election
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06 June 2024 Residents can do their bit for the democratic process while earning themselves up to £288 per day by taking up a role in the upcoming General Election. With the General Election scheduled for Thursday, 4 July, 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 and urban areas to greet voters and issue ballot papers at polling stations. People are also needed to count the votes cast after the close of poll. Find out more and view detailed job descriptions on our website. 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 activities, and not be campaigning for a candidate or party (this includes signing a nomination paper). “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 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 General Election in West Northamptonshire said: Find out more and view detailed job descriptions on the West Northamptonshire Council website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Britain’s Got Talent finalists to wow A Perfect Day
June 05, 2024
Britain’s Got Talent finalists to wow A Perfect Day
05 June 2024 Britain’s Got Talent sensations Northants Sings Out are gearing up to entertain the home crowd at this year’s A Perfect Day festival this month. The group made it all the way to the final of this year’s competition after wowing judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Bruno Tonioli throughout the competition. Their performance of Fatboy Slim’s Praise You during Sunday’s final raised the roof, prompting some amazing comments from the judges. Now visitors to A Perfect Day on Sunday 16 June will have a chance to hear just how good Northants Sings Out are when they perform a selection of songs. “The energy, the harmony, the joy, the choreography, the fact that in your VT you said you are ordinary people doing ordinary jobs, trying to hold it down, and then you come up here and you do a performance like that was insane." Amanda Holden, Britain's Got Talent judge “Wow, the power and the quality of that wall of sound, it was totally immersive. But you know what it is that is special? I really feel the love of the craft, the love of what you do.” Bruno Tonioli, Britain's Got Talent judge “It was just beautiful on all levels, congratulations, loved it.” Alesha Dixon, Britain's Got Talent judge “The harmony of the choir itself and the arrangement of the vocals were absolutely spot on. This is honestly what a great choir should sound like.” Simon Cowell, Britain's Got Talent judge Chart sensation James Arthur is headlining the festival, supported by local heroes Billy Lockett and Mae Stephens alongside Jalen Ngonda, ADMT, Dolores Forever, Andy Crofts, Charlotte Carpenter and Balter. Visit aperfectdayfestival.com for more details and to buy tickets. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council balances books despite financial challenges
June 03, 2024
Council balances books despite financial challenges
Finance 03 June 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has completed its latest financial year on budget, despite facing ongoing financial pressures and increased demand for services. Provisional year-end figures for 2023/24 show the Council managed to deliver services within its £383.5m revenue budget, the money it spends on the day-to-day running of services, with an underspend of £220,000. In the past 12 months WNC also continued its strong commitment towards making services more efficient whilst protecting and maintaining them for residents, by achieving its savings target of £32m. Cumulatively over the past 3 years £90m of savings have been released, despite making no cuts to services and work continues into 2024-25 to further modernise and use technology to improve services and productivity. Savings have included significant efficiencies in areas such as adult social care, reducing agency spend, reviewing contracts and office requirements and redesigning and restructuring services such as Planning, Revenues and Benefits and Corporate services. The latest financial report will be presented to Cabinet at its meeting next week Like other councils across the country we have continued to face significant financial challenges over the past financial year, due to factors like the ongoing rise in costs and demand for services supporting our most vulnerable residents, such as Children’s and Adult Social care and temporary accommodation. We have balanced the books and delivered the budget we promised to residents, that addresses the ongoing funding pressures whilst still protecting essential frontline services. This has been due to prudent financial planning and management, a thorough review of our revenue and capital programmes to ensure we are spending the money responsibly and making efficiencies that achieve savings yet deliver better outcomes for residents. We know another tough financial year lies ahead of us with continued funding pressures and we are not being complacent, with work already under way to plan ahead to ensure we are in the best position possible ahead of our next budget-setting period. We have now balanced the books over the last three years and controlled borrowing, meeting our commitment to residents to deliver robust resource management. Councillor Malcolm Longley, Cabinet Member for Finance Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Wheels in motion for additional multi-million-pound investment into West Northamptonshire's roads
June 03, 2024
Wheels in motion for additional multi-million-pound investment into West Northamptonshire's roads
03 June 2024 West Northamptonshire Council is set to invest up to £10 million additional investment into schemes aimed at improving roads across West Northamptonshire, subject to Cabinet approval next month. The investment will enable West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and its highways partner Kier to carry out works such as an extension to the surface dressing programme, the preventative maintenance works, an increased road resurfacing scheme and further surfacing of key paths. It will also be used to fund bridge maintenance schemes and an opportunity to trial an innovative surfacing technique (in-situ recycling) that reuses existing material to reduce both cost and overall carbon emissions leading to more sustainable repairs. The funding will come from the Council’s capital budget which pays for things like improving local infrastructure. West Northamptonshire, in common with local authorities across the country, is experiencing a decline in the condition of its highway network and it is currently estimated that in order to halt the decline in the condition of the highway network an additional £8 million is required each year above the current allocation. If approved, the additional funding will enable a programme that see improvement across many parts of the district. The additional investment will follow on from the £2.8 million investment which WNC made into purchasing new machinery in 2023, which has already made a significant improvement to repairs and increased the efficiency of the road maintenance across the area, while offering value for money. Cllr Adam Brown, Leader of the Council said: “We know that one of the things that bothers residents the most is the state of our roads. That’s why we’ve explored every possible avenue to be able to invest more in the Highway network. This is only possible now because of the previous investment in new technology and the hard work over the past three years to create a financially stable Council. “We hope that once the programme of works is concluded there will be a visible difference, and we will continue to explore ways to innovate and improve the way in which we maintain the Highway so we can do more of the same in the years ahead.” View the agenda and papers for the cabinet meeting on 11 June. To find out more about the Highways services across West Northamptonshire visit: www.westnorthants.gov.uk/highway s or visit @WNHighways on Facebook and Twitter. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Calling all West Northants entrepreneurs – win tickets to globally acclaimed Female Founders Summit this summer
June 03, 2024
Calling all West Northants entrepreneurs – win tickets to globally acclaimed Female Founders Summit this summer
03 June 2024 Local entrepreneurs have the chance to win exclusive tickets to the globally recognised Female Founders Summit 2024 being held in West Northamptonshire for the first time. Organised by accredited master coach Lucienne Shakir and Lucienne Coaching, the two-day event will take place on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 July, with well-known businesswoman, broadcaster, author and activist Mary Portas as the headline speaker. As part of its partnership and support, West Northamptonshire Council is now inviting new business owners to enter a raffle between 3 rd and 30 th June to win an exclusive ticket to the conference, with the winners being announced on 3rd July. There are three tickets being given away. To be eligible, entrants must have a business registered in West Northants which is under 12 months of trading. “We are thrilled to be supporting master accredited, Northampton-born coach, Lucienne Shakir and her Lucienne Coaching team on this event for business leaders and offering West Northants entrepreneurs an exclusive opportunity to win tickets to attend. “The council is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship and enabling local business growth, and this Summit is a fantastic example of West Northamptonshire as the perfect destination for business and investment, whilst simultaneously allowing us to be part of addressing a much larger issue which Lucienne Coaching is directly tackling. “We want West Northants to be a place where everyone can live their best lives and thrive, therefore we want to highlight the incredible success of being the chosen destination to host this prominent event and hope that by joining forces to champion entrepreneurship in our local area, we can create wide ranging opportunities for local businesses, people and communities.” Cllr Daniel Lister, WNC’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth The Female Founders Summit will also include deep learning and masterclasses from high-profile experts at a number of venues, including Northampton’s Royal Theatre, Delapré Abbey, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, Northampton Film House, and Vulcan Works. West Northamptonshire Council have partnered with Lucienne Coaching for this event to secure its relocation to Northampton. “To be bringing my highly acclaimed Female Founders Summit to Northampton for the first time is a really big deal and incredibly exciting for the local business community. “It will be an accessible, transformational and actionable live experience with celebrated and inspiring speakers all sharing their knowledge about what it means to be high performing businesswomen. During the seminars, lectures and workshops over the two days, speakers will be talking about scaling businesses, and giving insight and advice on real business issues such as improving confidence, overcoming burnout and how to market their services. The tickets are understandably in very high demand because the learning and takeaways will be off the scale. “By entering this raffle, local entrepreneurs have a brilliant opportunity to win one of only a handful of complementary tickets. It is fantastic.” Lucienne Shakir You can read full details about the event and the exclusive West Northamptonshire Council competition here . For more details on The Female Founders Summit, visit: https://thecew.luciennecoaching.com/female-founders-summit-2024 Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Pre-election period starts ahead of General Election
June 03, 2024
Pre-election period starts ahead of General Election
Electoral services 03 June 2024 The pre-election period for the General Election on Thursday 4 July starts today (Tuesday 4 June). 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. During this time, we might remove comments made on our social media channels that show support to a particular political party or candidate. We may also restrict comments on certain posts if we believe the subject matter could spark political debate. Find out more about the pre-election period and the effect it has on our communications activity West Northamptonshire Council will be administering the election for the Parliamentary Constituencies of Daventry, South Northamptonshire, Northampton North, and Northampton South, with voters in each constituency electing a Member of Parliament (MP). Find information about voting in the election, including the deadlines for registering to vote or arranging a postal vote, and the Voter ID requirements on our General Election checklist Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Great Big Green Week comes to West Northants
June 04, 2024
Great Big Green Week comes to West Northants
04 June 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), along with Towcester Women’s Institute, are taking part in the Great Big Green Week this June to highlight the need for urgent action on climate and nature. Taking place between 8 and 16 June 2024, the climate action campaign known as the Great Big Green Week will see thousands of people across the UK organising local festivals and events. Now in its fourth year, the campaign events will draw attention to climate change and destruction of the natural world, while also making a connection with these issues in local communities and highlighting the positive impact that local residents can have to help to create a better world, for us now and for the next generation. In Towcester, on Saturday 15 June, WNC are hosting an event in the afternoon aided by volunteers from Towcester WI, with climate action and environmental stalls set up in Whittons Lane from 1:30pm. There will also be two family-friendly wildlife theatre shows led by Laugh Out Loud Theatre Company. “Ranger Rita’s Animal Amble” will take people on a trail around the Watermeadows where they’ll meet various animal characters along the way and learn some fascinating wildlife facts. The shows are at 2pm and 3:30pm and will take roughly 45 minutes. Both shows will start and finish at Whittons Lane and people will need to register their spot with a volunteer from Towcester WI. There is no need to pre-book but do be aware that there is a limit of 50 adults plus children per show. Well-behaved dogs are allowed to join the walk but must be kept on the lead at all times and cannot disrupt the performance elements. The show is free to attend and has been sponsored by WNC and Towcester WI. Towcester Library will also be holding a Great Big Green Week Gardener’s Swap from 10am to 2pm alongside craft activities throughout the day. The Great Big Green Week is being organised by The Climate Coalition, the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action against climate change, whose members include the National Trust, WWF, Women's Institute, Oxfam, RSPB and more. “The environment is something that’s really close to my heart and the more we can do at a local level the better. “We’re delighted to be a part of the Great Big Green Week in our home county and promoting the wonderful green spaces that we’re so lucky to have here in Northamptonshire. ‘Ranger Rita’s Animal Amble’ is a fun, fact-filled, interactive, pantomime-style show for people of all ages to enjoy.” Emma Kendrick, director of Laugh Out Loud Theatre Company Towcester WI meets at the Sawpit Centre on the first Thursday of the month at 7:30pm. Get in touch by emailing [email protected] . For more information about Laugh Out Loud Theatre Company visit loltheatre.co.uk or find them on social media at facebook.com/LolTheatre. For further information about the Great Big Green Week, including details on how to get involved and take part, please visit greatbiggreenweek.com . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
D-Day ‘Flag of Peace’ to be raised at Council offices to mark 80th anniversary
June 03, 2024
D-Day ‘Flag of Peace’ to be raised at Council offices to mark 80th anniversary
03 June 2024 The D-Day ‘Flag of Peace’ will be raised at West Northamptonshire Council’s office buildings in Daventry and Towcester, and a short flag raising event will take place in Northampton to mark the 80th D-Day anniversary this week. The flag raising ceremony will begin at 9am on Thursday 6 June, outside Sessions House on George Row in Northampton, with members of the public invited to attend to show their respects. Air Vice-Marshal Christopher James Luck CB MBE CCMI FRSA DL will represent the Lord-Lieutenant and say a few words to open the event. The Council’s One Angel Square offices will also be lit up as part of the national Beacon lighting ceremony on 6 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, communities across West Northamptonshire will be joining the nation to celebrate with a range of events happening across West Northamptonshire to mark the occasion. Find your nearest event on the West Northamptonshire Council website. Northampton Museum and Art Gallery will also 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. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Thousands of homes and businesses to gain access to full fibre broadband in West Northamptonshire
June 03, 2024
Thousands of homes and businesses to gain access to full fibre broadband in West Northamptonshire
03 June 2024 Full fibre broadband is heading to a further seven exchange areas in Northamptonshire as part of a broadband upgrade by Openreach across the East Midlands. People living in West Haddon, Pattishall, Silverstone, Weston Favell and Middelton Cheney are next in line for full fibre in West Northamptonshire. The expansion of Openreach gives residents and businesses the opportunity to access superfast broadband services. Across Northamptonshire, a further 21,000 homes and business will have this gigabit-capable technology available to them. This infrastructure enhancement equates to an investment of over £6.3 million into the local economy taking Openreach’s Full Fibre investment to over £87.3 million in the county. “We welcome this investment as part of our broader vision to increase gigabit connectivity across our communities. This latest Openreach rollout is a crucial step in ensuring all communities in West Northamptonshire have the opportunity to access reliable superfast broadband.” Cllr Mike Hallam Cabinet Member for HR and Corporate Services For more information about the plans across the county visit Superfast Northamptonshire and to check the plans for your business visit Openreach’s map and postcode checker. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Crackdown on Blue Badge misuse in West Northants
May 31, 2024
Crackdown on Blue Badge misuse in West Northants
31 May 2024 West Northants Council’s Counter Fraud team in collaboration with Northants Police and NSL Parking Enforcement, took part in the national campaign for the second year running which targeted the misuse of the Blue Badge scheme. The aims of the initiative were to crack down on individuals in our community who abuse the Blue Badge system, ensuring it remains accessible for those who genuinely need it. The Blue Badge scheme plays a vital role in supporting residents with disabilities or mobility issues to access essential services in our town centres. On Friday, 24 May West Northants council joined 115 other councils nationwide, to tackle Blue Badge misuse head-on. Our team checked 80 Blue Badges throughout the day looking for counterfeits, lost or stolen badges. We will continue to carry out regular routine checks throughout the year in order to try and reduce the levels of misuse taking place. "The Blue Badge scheme is a lifeline for many in our community, and it's essential that we protect its integrity. “Our efforts extend beyond mere enforcement; we're actively combating third-party misuse, including the illicit use of badges without the holder's presence, the exploitation of badges belonging to people who have died, and the production or use of counterfeit badges. If you witness any misuse of the scheme, I urge you to report it promptly. “It's important for everyone to understand the legitimate uses of Blue Badges, particularly for those with genuine health needs, including hidden disabilities like mental health conditions. However, let's not forget the severe consequences of fraudulent use, which can lead to prosecution under the Fraud Act 2006, carrying penalties of up to 12 years' imprisonment and unlimited fines.” Councillor Adam Brown, the Leader of the West Northamptonshire Council For further information on the Blue Badge scheme and its guidelines, please visit the West Northamptonshire Council website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Fire crews deal with blaze in Bridge Street, Northampton
June 01, 2024
Fire crews deal with blaze in Bridge Street, Northampton
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is continuing to deal with a fire at Bridge Street in Northampton. Crews were called to the scene shortly after 5am this morning (May 31) and found a well developed fire at the site of the derelict Fat Cats building. [embedded content] At the height of the blaze, we have had seven fire engines on scene, but crews have worked hard to contain the fire and stop it from spreading. The number of appliances is now being scaled back, with crews now focusing on damping the scene down. A number of roads were closed in the early hours of the morning to allow firefighters to deal with the incident, but a number of these have since reopened – but the roads immediately surrounding One Angel Square remain closed to ensure public safety. Residents in the town centre are being advised to keep windows and doors closed if they can smell smoke, and we continue to thank residents and town centre businesses for their patience while we deal with the incident.
Grant scheme applications now open for community organisations to provide crisis support for residents
May 31, 2024
Grant scheme applications now open for community organisations to provide crisis support for residents
31 May 2024 Several grant schemes are now available for registered charities, not-for-profit and Voluntary Community and Social Enterprises (VCSE) organisations in West Northamptonshire, or who are prepared to operate within West Northants, to apply for funding to support vulnerable households most in need with the cost of living. Using funds from the fifth tranche of the Household Support Fund for West Northants, £ 583,216.77 has been allocated for grant funding to support those in financial hardship, with funding being available until the end of September 2024. To ensure funding can support as many residents as needed, three grant schemes are available for organisations to apply for. These include: £200,000 available for projects or services supporting the Food Aid Network £100,000 available for projects or services supporting identified vulnerable cohorts such as disabled people, care leavers, pensioners and those with caring responsibilities. £283,216.77 available for projects or services supporting vulnerable households struggling to afford household and wider essentials. All applications must demonstrate they can offer services that cater for immediate needs as well as providing support that has a long-term sustainable impact. Closing date for this funding is 5pm on Wednesday 26 June 2024. Further information and the full criteria for applications can be found on the WNC website and in the Council’s Community Funding Grants Framework. For an application form and guidance please email [email protected] More information on the Household Support Fund (HSF) can be found on the West Northamptonshire Council Website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northants residents recognised with British Empire Medal
May 31, 2024
West Northants residents recognised with British Empire Medal
31 May 2024 Two remarkable individuals from West Northants have been officially honoured with the British Empire Medal (BEM) for their outstanding service to the local community. Mrs. Roberta Vivian Lindsay Blyth BEM and Mr. Derek Bland BEM have been recognised as shining lights in their respective communities for their 'hands-on' approach to community activism. The British Empire Medal recipients were presented with their well-deserved medals by His Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, James Saunders Watson Esq. “I was astonished and very touched when I learned last November that I had been nominated for a British Empire Medal for services to the community in Roade. On New Year’s Day, I found out I had been recommended by committee members of Roade Local History Society, Roade Community Library, and Roade Women’s Institute.” “Roade is a great place to live, and there are many people here who deserve a medal. I am privileged to have worked with some of them and feel very grateful to receive such an honour on their behalf.” Roberta Vivian Lindsay Blyth, West Northamptonshire Resident and BEM recipient The second recipient of this prestigious accolade was Mr. Derek Bland, being recognised for his lifelong commitment to the Church & Chapel Brampton, Upper and Lower Harlestone, Holdenby and East Haddon community. His extensive involvement with the local church, parish council, and various community initiative all while maintaining a demanding career in London. "One thing leads to another. I reflected on why I should be deemed worthy of such an honour and can only think that it is not for doing what so many people have done over the years but perhaps for the length of time I had been involved in the community and the variety of roles." Derek Bland, West Northamptonshire Resident and BEM recipient Derek's journey of service began with the guidance of mentors and family, leading him to serve in various capacities within the church, local council, and community organisations. He credits his upbringing and the support of his community for his ability to serve tirelessly. “I could not have achieved over 40 years ‘service to the community’ without the assistance of the countless parishioners on both the ecclesiastical and civil councils, the contributors to and distributors of the Newsletter, which I produced for 50 years, in the Bramptons, Harlestone and East Haddon and the multitude of people who joined me in social activities, and of course my wife, Rosemarie.” Derek Bland, West Northamptonshire Resident and BEM recipient "It is with great pleasure that I present these British Empire Medals to Mrs. Roberta Vivian Lindsay Blyth and Mr. Derek Bland. We are immensely grateful for their invaluable service to the community. "Their tireless efforts and unwavering commitment serve as an inspiration to us all." James Saunders Watson Esq, Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Merged Futures- tech innovation showcase returns
May 31, 2024
Merged Futures- tech innovation showcase returns
31 May 2024 Digital Northants proudly announces the return of its flagship event, Merged Futures 6, set to captivate audiences on Friday, 14 June from 10 AM to 4 PM at the Learning Hub, Waterside Campus, University of Northampton. Following the resounding success of last year's event, Merged Futures 6 promises to elevate the excitement and engagement to unprecedented heights. With an array of dynamic sessions and a diverse lineup of exhibitors, this year's showcase is set to be an unforgettable experience for attendees from all walks of life. Attendees will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in groundbreaking discussions and hands-on experiences, exploring the intersection of technology and humanity. From virtual reality initiatives promoting independence in children with special educational needs to innovative solutions revolutionising healthcare and education, Merged Futures 6 will offer a glimpse into the transformative power of technology. Throughout the day, attendees can choose from a variety of captivating sessions tailored to their interests. They can dive into the remarkable advancements in virtual reality (VR) technology and its impact on culture, and heritage, explore the role of digital sustainability and AI, or discover how AI is reshaping education and digital marketing landscapes. Highlighting the agenda are keynote sessions featuring VR Therapies founder Rebecca Gill, alongside Nicola Holland from Billing Brook School and Pedro Santos from West Northamptonshire Council, showcasing the transformative power of technology in improving lives. In addition to thought-provoking talks, attendees will have the opportunity to interact with leading exhibitors, including Amazon AWS, Microsoft, the University of Northampton, Dr Mu Mu, Hublet, Iris IoT, Northampton Film Festival, RiVR and West Northamptonshire Council who will be showcasing the latest advancements in artificial intelligence, IoT, and digital marketing. “As we embrace the digital revolution, events like Merged Futures 6 play a critical role in showcasing the incredible potential of technology to drive positive change in our communities. “I am thrilled to see the innovative spirit of Northamptonshire come alive at this year’s showcase, and I encourage everyone to join us in celebrating the power of innovation and collaboration." Cllr Adam Brown, the Leader of the West Northamptonshire Council Don’t miss this opportunity to be at the forefront of innovation and connect with industry pioneers at Merged Futures 6. Admission is free, but registration is required. Secure your spot today and join us in shaping the future of technology. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Local businesses and partners join Northampton Pride 2024
May 29, 2024
Local businesses and partners join Northampton Pride 2024
29 May 2024 Northampton Town Council (NTC) have been announced as this year’s headline sponsor for the Northampton Pride festival, taking place on Saturday, 13 July, as the event returns for its seventh year bigger and better than ever before! This year, local firm GXO Logistics will be sponsoring the stall village where a range of products, food and drink will be available to buy on the day from local sellers including Beastly Boutique and Dam Good Dough. St John ambulance will also be on hand to provide firs aid support, funded by Northampton BID. The event, organised by the Northampton Pride Committee and West Northamptonshire Council’s LGBTQ+ and Allies Forum, will feature live performances, walkabout entertainers, stalls, food and much more for people to participate in while celebrating and standing in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community. This year’s event will once again take place at the University of Northampton’s Waterside Campus from midday to 6pm, with a programme of entertainment and activities, which last year, saw thousands of people attend from Northamptonshire and surrounding areas, creating an unforgettable buzz within the town. As well as the organised parade from the University campus through the town centre and back, led by a colourful float, this year Pride committee groups and entertainers are inviting everyone to join in the parade. Keep an eye out for the 'Follow Us to Pride' flags to see where to join the parade behind the official organised groups. If you are thinking of joining the parade, please let us know by registering to tell us you are coming! Follow @WNC on social media for further Pride announcements. “I am delighted that these local partners have chosen to support this year’s Northampton Pride event and contribute to what is set to be the biggest Pride festival in Northampton yet. “This event is about people coming together in celebration and to stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community, who are an important part of West Northamptonshire. “I encourage everyone to save the date and come along to enjoy this celebration of diversity and get involved in the many activities that will be on offer on the day.” Cllr David Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Communities “The town council is thrilled to be the lead sponsor of this year’s Northampton Pride Festival and we are really excited to see the event grow year on year. “We look forward to celebrating with LGBTQ+ communities and everyone is welcome come along and enjoy all the colourful entertainment on offer.” Cllr Jane Birch, Chair of the Community Services Committee at Northampton Town Council Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Are you ready for General Election on 4 July?
May 29, 2024
Are you ready for General Election on 4 July?
29 May 2024 Residents are being advised of some important deadlines in the run-up to the General Election on Thursday 4 July. West Northamptonshire Council will be administering the election for the Parliamentary Constituencies of Daventry, South Northamptonshire, Northampton North, and Northampton South, with voters in each constituency electing a Member of Parliament (MP). This election will use new constituency boundaries , after they were redrawn in 2023 to reflect population changes and to try to even out voter numbers in each area. This means some voters will be voting in a different constituency to previous elections. The new boundaries can be found by visiting the Boundary Commission for England . A Notice of Election will be published on Tuesday 4 June, and potential candidates will have until 4pm on Friday, 7 June to submit their nomination papers and pay their deposit. Anyone who is not yet registered to vote must do so by Tuesday, 18 June in order to take part in this election. You can register to vote on the gov.uk website. The last date to apply for a new postal vote is 5pm on Wednesday 19 June. This is also the deadline for those wishing to apply for a postal-proxy vote, and for those wishing to make changes to an existing postal or proxy vote. The deadline for submitting an application for a new proxy vote (when someone votes on your behalf) is 5pm on Wednesday 26 June. Postal and proxy votes can be arranged online. Anyone voting in person on Thursday 4 July will also need to present a valid form of photo ID. People are urged to check the list of acceptable forms of photo ID now to ensure they can vote. Those without an acceptable form of ID have until 5pm on Wednesday, 26 June to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. More information about the General Election can be found on the elections pages of the West Northamptonshire Council website . The publication of the Notice of Election on Tuesday 4 June will also mark the start of the pre-election period 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?
Electric Scooter users in Daventry warned over illegal misuse
May 30, 2024
Electric Scooter users in Daventry warned over illegal misuse
30 May 2024 An operation is due to begin in Daventry to educate and warn electric scooter users around safety and illegal misuse following a rise in e-scooters in the area. Electric scooters are subject to the same restrictions as motorcycles and other mechanically propelled vehicles and legally can only be ridden on private land with the permission of the landowner. Exceptions include Council and Government approved hire schemes, such as Voi in Northampton, but by law any privately owned scooter ridden in a public place must be registered with the DVLA, insured and roadworthy. The rider must also hold a driving licence entitling them to ride that category of vehicle. The law around electric scooter use and policing them is the same for motorcycles and any other mechanically propelled vehicle. Riders can be prosecuted for riding them without insurance, without an MOT, and otherwise in accordance with a licence on a public road, or in a public place. Not being DVLA registered can lead to prosecution. Police have powers to have e-scooters seized at the scene for no insurance under Section 165a of the Road Traffic Act. Police can also seize e-scooters under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act if it is suspected that a particular vehicle is being used in an anti-social manner or causing alarm harassment or annoyance to members of the public at that particular time, or any other time. Between now and mid-June 2024, scooter users in Daventry will be stopped and spoken to about the illegal use of scooters, with 2 targeted enforcement days a month carried out by the Neighbourhood Policing Team. E-scooters will be seized either for no insurance or for riders being underage. When there is failure to stop, intel will be gathered, and information will be shared with schools and parents. “Privately bought e-scooters are forbidden on any UK public road. Further to this, they are not toys and can be dangerous when used incorrectly. “The scheme that we use in Northampton, Voi, is designed to be a relatively inexpensive, speed limited method of transport, to be used by only one person. To use a Voi e-scooter, you must be age 18 and you need a driving licence. “Using a Government or Council approved scheme only, is a great concept, when used responsibly on roads, not pavements, and certainly by following the law. “At WNC, we are committed to working with the Police and our partners to ensure that e-scooters are ridden legally and do not put our residents at risk. The only e-scooters that we should see on our roads are Voi e-scooters.” Cllr David Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Communities “Private e-scooters are currently not legal to ride on the roads and are not covered by insurance companies. I would urge anyone thinking of buying one to reconsider and if you are caught riding one you could face points on your license, a fine, and the chance of your vehicle being seized and crushed. “As the popularity of e-scooters has increased, Northamptonshire Police has had a lot of contact from members of the public who have expressed concerns about private e-scooter riders driving dangerously around the county. “We want to reassure the local community that we are listening to their concerns and acting upon them and I hope this is demonstrated through this enforcement action.” Safer Roads Team Manager Matt O’Connell Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New grants scheme launched to promote arts and culture in West Northants
May 23, 2024
New grants scheme launched to promote arts and culture in West Northants
23 May 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has launched a new grants scheme to support the Voluntary and Community Sector to deliver arts and culture activities for local communities in West Northants. Grants of up to £5,000, are available for arts and culture projects or services that 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. To be eligible to apply for this new grant scheme organisations must operate or be prepared to operate within the geographical area of West Northamptonshire and meet two or more of the following requirements: Providing ongoing arts or culture activities for the local community Improving the well-being of vulnerable people Increasing the number of people accessing arts and culture Increasing the number of visitors to West Northamptonshire Increasing levels of physical activity through the use of arts and culture activities The funding is available for new or existing projects and is open to all Voluntary and Community Sector organisations, however priority for funding will be given to those who work with: Young people aged 0-16 Care leavers Carers Foster carers or adopters Older people People with disabilities People with mental health issues People from diverse communities “West Northants has a rich art and culture offering and we are thrilled to invite our local Voluntary and Community Sector organisations to apply for this funding to support their creative and cultural activities that engage and benefit our residents and communities. “This funding could be used for projects such as music events and festivals, and creative activities such as exhibitions, workshops, performances and more. “I encourage all interested organisations to get in touch and submit an application before the deadline.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture & Leisure Applications for this round of funding should be submitted before 5pm on Wednesday 26 June 2024. Interested 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?
Have your say on a local Healthwatch Service
May 24, 2024
Have your say on a local Healthwatch Service
24 May 2024 West Northamptonshire Council is inviting residents to share their views on the development of a local Healthwatch service. Healthwatch is an independent consumer champion for people who use health and social care services in the local area. Its job is to ensure local voices are heard and people’s views and experiences are used to improve existing services and to help shape services. Where issues are identified, Healthwatch will ensure that the NHS, local authorities and other decision makers listen and use feedback to improve local health and care services. Healthwatch’s role includes gathering residents' opinions on their experiences with healthcare and social care services, identifying areas needing improvement, and working with authorities to implement changes. Currently, our Healthwatch service operates across North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire. This model has been in place since 2013 and its current contract ends 31 March 2025. From April 2025, West Northamptonshire Council will commission its own local Healthwatch to represent the residents of West Northamptonshire, providing a more localised service. To help with this, the Council are seeking resident views to help develop a new Healthwatch service tailored to the specific needs of West Northamptonshire. The council aims to create a service that truly reflects the local community's requirements. By engaging in the survey, residents can help shape a Healthwatch that is representative of the local context, which will support in better health outcomes and service delivery in West Northamptonshire. Residents can participate in the survey, which is open until June 16, 2024. For more information and to participate in the survey, visit the West Northamptonshire Council's Citizen Space page . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New documentary shares real life stories of homelessness and recovery in Northampton
May 23, 2024
New documentary shares real life stories of homelessness and recovery in Northampton
23 May 2024 A documentary film sharing real life stories of homelessness and recovery in Northampton has been created alongside a Virtual Reality experience enabling people to see rough sleeping through the eyes of people with a lived experience. Streets of Change aims to raise awareness of homelessness by following people’s journey from sleeping on the streets to recovery and signposting to the support available for those who find themselves in a housing crisis. Film makers One to One Development Trust have been working closely with West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Outreach Team to document their work supporting people who are homeless, sleeping rough or struggling with addiction. Each day the Outreach Team, alongside colleagues from Change, Grow, Live, check up on rough sleepers in the town and help support with their specific needs with the aim of helping them to integrate back into the community. Judi Alston, Film Director of One to One Development Trust has been talking to people who are sleeping rough, living in in temporary accommodation and the workers that support them. She said: “There are a lot of preconceptions about people who are homeless. This project aims to address some of those stereotypes and bring more awareness to the stories of those affected by showing the importance of agencies working together to support this growing societal problem.” Homelessness is an escalating problem across the UK. In January 2024 there were 92 known people who were homeless in West Northamptonshire, and the numbers are rising with up to 5 new referrals every day. Mortality rates for the homeless are on average 30 years less than the national average according to national homeless charity Crisis. WNC works closely with many partner agencies including Northampton Hope Centre and Midland Heart as well as many dedicated voluntary groups, to support people in need. “Eradicating homelessness is a top priority for the Council and we are committed to working with partners to take a preventative approach when it comes to homelessness and rough sleeping. “Our Outreach Team already deliver exceptional work to support our most vulnerable residents including daily checks to ensure they are safe and well and signposting to support services for their individual needs. “This documentary film is testament to this work which has resulted in people moving off the streets and into secure accommodation where they have an opportunity to start fresh and live safely and well.” Cllr Adam Brown, Leader of WNC In addition to the documentary film, the One to One Development Trust have also produced an immersive Virtual Reality experience to give an insight into what it is like to be alone and homeless on the street at night. The Virtual Reality scene uses poetry and artwork created by people who are homeless to bring together an evocative experience that can be used in education and for awareness-raising. The documentary film and Virtual Reality experience will be launched in May, followed by a regional, and national tour of screenings at Film Festivals and events. People can view the documentary trailer here . To find out more about the council’s homelessness provision or if you are concerned about someone who is rough sleeping, please visit the WNC website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council showcases West Northants as a must-invest destination to over 13,000 delegates at UKREiiF
May 24, 2024
Council showcases West Northants as a must-invest destination to over 13,000 delegates at UKREiiF
24 May 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) joined forces with the Oxford to Cambridge pan-Regional Partnership at the UK’s Real Estate, Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) this week. Held in Leeds from 21 to 23 May, with over 13,000 delegates attending from across the UK and internationally, the conference focuses on connecting investors and developers with local places. WNC’s purpose for attending UKREiiF included promoting West Northamptonshire as an area for investment, to raise the profile of the place and the local offer, to collaborate with wider areas and partners, as well as to promote investible opportunities available through live and upcoming regeneration schemes, including the Greyfriars masterplan in Northampton town centre. The Council was inundated with meetings and discussions across the forum discussing the benefits of investing in the local area. In order to capitalise on the volume of potential investors at the forum, WNC hosted a panel event on fast-paced research and development and revolution in skills, providing a deep dive into the robust capabilities across West Northants and the wider region including the cluster of skills and abilities. The panel was attended by many interested parties to hear how they can invest in this area and heard from WNC’s Assistant Director of Place-Shaping, the Head of Sustainable Investment & Partnerships at Prologis, the Head of Business Sustainability & Partnerships at Silverstone Circuit and the Director of the Arc Universities Group. WNC offered panel attendees bespoke and custom-made chocolate formula 1 helmets, created by local chocolatier Racing Chocs. “We are thrilled to have been a part of UKREiiF this year, showcasing what West Northants has to offer, including why our area is so attractive for investment and how the public and private sector are collaborating to develop a thriving place that will achieve an inclusive and sustainable economy. “West Northants is home to high-tech innovation, multi-million-pound regeneration and advanced infrastructure as well as being the logistics powerhouse of the UK, all of these things make it the perfect place for investors and businesses to prosper. “It was fantastic to be part of the Oxford-Cambridge pavilion where we showcased the great assets and opportunities within West Northamptonshire to a national and international audience, raising our profile as a destination of excellence for business and investment.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture & Leisure “It’s abundantly clear that West Northamptonshire has a bright future. Using UKREiiF as a platform to champion their ambitions, there was a great deal of interest from investors who want to be involved in West Northamptonshire’s growth story. “We were delighted to work with the highly professional economic development team to present the business and development opportunities as we continue to profile the Oxford to Cambridge region as a science and innovation superpower.” Dr Richard Hutchins, Managing Director of the Oxford-Cambridge pan-Regional Partnership Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Support for the fine-tuned vision to amplify Greyfriars, Northampton
May 24, 2024
Support for the fine-tuned vision to amplify Greyfriars, Northampton
24 May 2024 The second round of engagement to invite local residents, businesses and visitors to help fine-tune the future of the vacant Greyfriars site in Northampton is well underway. Just two weeks since its launch, more than 575 people have shared their views on the proposals which seek to transform this part of town from an empty disused site into a vibrant space for people to live, play and connect. The 14-acre area is set to amplify a forgotten piece of the town into a new neighbourhood which will encompass multi-generational living, dedicated green space and entertaining space, while improving connectivity to the town centre with improved transport routes. Following on from the initial engagement in December 2023, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is now presenting the refined vision to the local community to help shape. So far, more than 60% of respondents have said that they think the proposals will make the town centre a better place to live and visit and have rated the have rated the vision statement 4 or 5 hearts out of 5! The initial comments reflect a positive response to every aspect of the proposals. When asked, the plans for the new Greyfriars Amphitheatre and reopening Emporium Way has been ranked as having the most positive impact. Closely followed by a new town park and a reinvented Corn Exchange. The vision presented will see Greyfriars become a new vibrant neighbourhood within Northampton town centre, that 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. “It is fantastic to hear from local residents, businesses and community groups as part of the second phase of engagement to fine tune our plans for Greyfriars. The plans will transfigure the empty 14,000 sqm site into a vivid community compromising of high-quality homes, 12 new bus stands and a new arts and performing hub. We look forward to speaking to residents about our vision at the in-person event at the Grosvenor Centre, Northampton on Saturday 1 June between 9am and 5pm.” Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture and Leisure The online engagement 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. This area will be enhanced by a new Greyfriars park running along Lady’s Lane with an outdoor amphitheatre and pedestrian-first public realm. A renewed Corn Exchange will act as a multi-use culture-led hub that welcomes performance, classes and showcase; while Belgrave House will be transformed into a creative, cultural and community building that celebrates the thinkers and makers of Northampton. The proposals have been crafted by a multi-disciplinary team led by Studio Egret West, who have been commissioned by West Northamptonshire Council to help shape the vision for the area. This team comprises urban designers, architects, landscape architects, and transport, commercial and sustainability experts. To keep up to date with regeneration across Northampton, visit www.wearenorthampton.com Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Taxi marshal service extends offering to make Northampton nights out safer
May 24, 2024
Taxi marshal service extends offering to make Northampton nights out safer
24 May 2024 West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) taxi marshal service will be extending its offering to cover additional busy weekends and continue keeping people safe on nights out in Northampton. As well as the usual weekends that coincide with most people's pay days, the service will cover extra dates expected to be busy during special events and holidays, including A Perfect Day Festival, Northampton Pride and Ibiza fest. The service, which launched in December to help people travel more safely during peak Night Time Economy (NTE) periods, sees marshals positioned at the taxi rank on Mercer’s Row in Northampton between 11pm and 5am on Friday and Saturday nights during pay weekends, bank holiday weekends and other busy periods. The marshals are responsible for making sure lone females, vulnerable people and those accompanied by children are safely supervised when using taxis as well as addressing any conflicts arising on the taxi rank and reporting any incidents to the Licensing Authority and Northamptonshire Police. The pilot scheme will run until September 2025 with the possibility to extend and has been funded using Safer Streets 5 funding led by the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC) and delivered by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC). View the full taxi marshal schedule on the WNC website . “So far, this innovative pilot has proved fantastic in helping us to improve the Night Time Economy in West Northamptonshire and make Northampton town centre a safer and more welcoming place to enjoy a night out. “I am pleased the service will be operating on even more dates and improving the safety of women, girls, and vulnerable people during peak Night Time Economy weekends alongside our other Safer Nights Out initiatives to make going out more enjoyable for everyone.” Cllr David Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Communities Other projects and improvements in the Night Time Economy funded via Safer Streets funding include taxi rank lighting upgrades, additional CCTV cameras and Safer Night’s Out routes and help points . In addition to this, Northants Police also staff permanent Operations around predatory behaviour in the town centre. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Stay off the pavement if you’re riding an e-scooter
May 24, 2024
Stay off the pavement if you’re riding an e-scooter
24 May 2024 E-scooter users in Northamptonshire are being urged to stick to the road and stay off the pavement when riding e-scooters. Northamptonshire Police, West Northamptonshire and North Northamptonshire Councils and scooter operator Voi are joining forces to remind riders of the rules. Rental e-scooters, such as those operated by Voi, can only be ridden on roads, cycle paths or shared use cycle/foot ways designed for use by bikes/scooters and pedestrians. They should never be ridden on pavements. Shared use cycle/foot ways are marked by blue circular signs with the symbol for a bike and pedestrians (an adult holding a child’s hand) in white. They sometimes, but not always, have a white line down the middle to segregate the path and they may have the cycle and pedestrian symbol painted in white on them. It is illegal to ride private e-scooters on any public land in the UK. Voi e-scooters can be parked on pavements, except for in no riding or no parking zones, but they should be wheeled on and off the pavement at the start and end of the journey. Voi will take action against users who ride on the pavement with a three strike policy which can ultimately result in a lifetime ban. Pavement riding by Voi riders can be reported by filling in an online form on report.voi.com or emailing [email protected] with details including date, time, exact location and if possible the scooter’s four-digit registration number. Northampton Police advise anyone who spots a private e-scooter being ridden to call them on 101 or report it online at www.northants.police.uk/ro. If caught, people risk a fine and having their e-scooters seized. “We are committed to working with our partners to ensure that the e-scooter scheme is safe for all. “Riding an e-scooter on the pavement is illegal and dangerous, and can cause significant consequences. We would like to remind all e-scooter riders to follow the rules on the road to help keep everyone safe.” Cllr Phil Larratt, Highways & Transport “Riding an e-scooter on the pavement can be exceptionally dangerous and that’s why it’s illegal to do so. “An e-scooter is a motorised vehicle and if one came into contact with a pedestrian, it could have serious, or even fatal, consequences. “Please respect the rules of the road and your fellow road-users when riding an e-scooter by leaving the pavement for pedestrian use only.” Matt O’Connell, Safer Roads Team Manager for Northamptonshire Police “Flagrant disregard for others by riding scooters on pavements is just not acceptable and I’d encourage residents to report this anti-social behaviour by contacting Voi. Sanctions will be taken against serial offenders. “Since e-scooters were introduced in North Northants, we have always worked hard with Northants Police and Voi to ensure that riders are aware of where scooters are permitted and we will continue to do so.” Cllr Matt Binley, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for Highways, Travel and Assets “The vast majority of our users follow the rules and don’t ride on the pavement, but stick to the road, cycle paths or shared use cycle/foot ways for safe riding." “E-scooters are a great way to get around - they’re safe, affordable and sustainable - but we don’t want our riders to cause an inconvenience to other members of the community." “We would urge all riders to be considerate to other people, especially pedestrians and stay off the pavement when riding.” James Bolton, general manager for Voi UK Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northamptonshire Council obtain Banning Order against rogue landlord
May 24, 2024
West Northamptonshire Council obtain Banning Order against rogue landlord
24 May 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has obtained a Banning Order against a rogue landlord preventing him from letting houses in England for 3 years. A First Tier Tribunal granted the Order against Stephen Cunningham of Cogenhoe, Northamptonshire, in May 2024, following a 3-year investigation which included convictions for 21 offences under the Housing Act 2004 as well as a fine of £115,181. Cunningham, who was the landlord of four properties in Northampton, was found guilty of offences including failure to licence properties as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and failure to maintain standards of safety in accordance with the Management Regulations. In progressing the case, WNC issued an Emergency Prohibition Order regarding a collapsed floor in one of the rented properties; undertook Emergency Remedial Action due to the lack of fire detection and alarm systems; and prohibited the use of a room that was being used as sleeping accommodation but had planning approval for a bin or bike store. As a result of the convictions in the Magistrates Court, the Council applied for a Banning Order which will remain in place from 17 June 2024 to 16 May 2027. The Order bans Mr Cunningham from letting houses in England or engaging in letting agency work or property management work in England. During the sentencing, which took place on Thursday 20 April 2023 at Northampton Magistrates Court, the District Judge remarked that the tenants were vulnerable and had a reasonable expectation that the landlord would provide a safe home, and in this case, nothing would have been done to improve their living conditions without the intervention of the Council. “This Banning Order sends out a strong message to all landlords across West Northamptonshire that the Council will utilise all its legal options to ensure that there is no place for criminal and rogue landlords operating in our private rented accommodation sector.” Cllr Rosie Herring, Cabinet Member for Housing Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Eight former councillors recognised for outstanding contributions 
May 24, 2024
Eight former councillors recognised for outstanding contributions 
24 May 2024 Eight former councillors have been honoured for their extraordinary contributions to the council and the local community. The title of Honorary Alderman, presented at the Extraordinary Full Council meeting, is the highest honour that can be offered to a former Councillor, for exceptional dedication and service to the Council and the people it represents. The recipients of the Honorary Alderman title are: Sandra Barnes MBE, with a career in public service spanning nearly three decades, characterised by exemplary leadership and tireless dedication to her community. Sandra was a council member in South Northamptonshire for twenty-six years and served in various leadership roles, including Chair of the Council and Leader for eleven years. Sandra was appointed to various committees, including the UK delegation to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities to the Council of Europe, where she was elected Leader and President of the Social Cohesion Committee. She was also involved in work with the Committee of the Regions at the EU Parliament and was a Director of the LGIB. In addition to her impressive portfolio of national and international engagements, Sandra remained actively involved in various local and regional bodies, including the East Midlands Cultural Consortium and the East Midlands Regional Assembly. Her contributions to the community also extended to health bodies, where she served as a board member and even chaired the Family Health Services Authority. In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the community and the NHS, Sandra was awarded an Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2010. Caryl Billingham MBE, a constant source of strength and compassion in the town of Brackley for over four decades, having served 31 years as a member of South Northamptonshire Council. Caryl’s roles as President of the Brackley Royal British Legion branch, President of the local amateur dramatic society, and Chairman of the Brackley & District Band showcase her diverse interests and unwavering support for community initiatives. From her exemplary service as Mayor to her dedication to numerous charitable organisations, Caryl's selfless contributions have touched the lives of countless individuals, earning her the utmost respect and admiration of her peers and constituents alike. In recognition of her exceptional dedication and service to the community of Brackley, Caryl was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday honours in 2016. Liz Griffin , who served as the Deputy Leader of the former Daventry District Council for sixteen years is being recognised for her commitment to promoting a thriving community. Liz’s dedication to service extended beyond administrative roles; Liz also served as Chairman in 2005, where she represented the council at various events and functions, all while raising funds for charitable causes. Liz is a passionate advocate for her constituents and worked tirelessly to achieve excellence in public service, her dedication and integrity have left a legacy of compassion and service. David Harries BEM has dedicated almost fifty years to serving the community of Bugbrooke, as a member of the Parish Council, often as Chair or Vice-Chair and the former South Northamptonshire Council, including periods as Chair of the Council and Chair of the Audit Committee. He is involved with several local organisations and charities, including many years as Chair of the Bugbrooke Millennium Green Trust and the Bugbrooke Sports and Community Centre Association. David is well known for his work with the County History Society and for his efforts to promote and develop the area. In 2016, he was awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to the community. Chris Millar served as the Leader of the former Daventry District Council (DDC) for over twenty years. Chris served the local community and wards of Brixworth and Long Buckby with distinction during this time and oversaw a well-respected and forward thinking local authority. He also became the 48th Chairman of the council in 2020. Chris was a County Councillor for 12 years representing Brixworth division and also mentored many councillors across the country helping to shape the next generation of community leaders. He also served on the Local Government Association National Executive for 6 years and on the East Midlands Executive Board for a number of years during his time as DDC Chairman, he raised funds for Time2Talk and Marie Curie while promoting Daventry District 257 square miles and its surrounding areas. Judy Shephard served for over twenty-four years as a County Councillor for Northamptonshire. During this time, she chaired the Development Control and Health, Adult Social Care and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee for two terms each, showcasing her exceptional leadership and commitment to addressing key community issues. Her tenure as County Council Chairman extended to two terms, from which she steered the Council with grace and effectiveness. In addition to her council duties, Judy shared her expertise with various organisations, serving as a member of the Northamptonshire Healthcare Trust, Cadet Force, and the East Anglia Flood Committee. Her dedication to community involvement is further evidenced by her forty-plus years of service as a Boughton Parish Council member, where she worked tirelessly to address the needs of residents and promote local initiatives raising over £26k for Cynthia Spencer Hospice. Suresh Patel ’s exemplary service as a councillor on both the Northamptonshire County Council and Northampton Borough Council has left an enduring legacy in our community. During his time in office, he held several positions, including Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Children's Services. He also served on various committees and represented East Hunsbury after the establishment of unitary authorities in 2021. Beyond his council duties, Suresh's commitment to community engagement was evident through his involvement in local parish councils, including Duston and East Hunsbury & Wootton. His hands-on approach to community involvement underscores his deep-rooted connection to the people he served. Prior to his retirement in 2023, Suresh also served on the Parish Councils of Duston and East Hunsbury and Wootton. The impact of his tireless advocacy and unwavering commitment to public service will be felt for years to come. Mary-Anne Sergison-Brooke served as a Councillor at the former South Northamptonshire Council for almost forty years. As Chairman of the Housing Committee, she played a major role in transferring the Council’s housing stock to the Grand Union Housing Association. The reason was that they had the money, which the Council did not, to modernise and improve the houses for the benefit of the tenants. She was a member of the Planning Committee for many years and supported the Housing Design Code for South Northamptonshire Council which has led to this area having the best-looking houses in the county. She was Chairman of Chipping Warden Primary School when it attained outstanding ratings from Ofsted. She, unsuccessfully, opposed HS2. She is still a Trustee of the Lady Blakenham Charity Trust which distributes money to various good causes and a member of the PPC for Edgcote Church. “These extraordinary individuals have dedicated their lives to serving our community with unwavering passion and dedication. Their contributions have touched the lives of countless residents, leaving an enduring legacy of service and compassion. We are privileged to honour their remarkable achievements and celebrate their impact on our community." Cllr John Shephard, West Northamptonshire Chairman The position of Honorary Alderman is a non-political honour presented to former Councillors in recognition of their exceptional service to the Council and the community. Recipients of this prestigious title are afforded several privileges, including the opportunity to attend Council meetings as observers, receive invitations to civic events, and wear the Badge of Office of Honorary Alderman on civic occasions. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Pilot West Hunsbury bus service to be introduced
May 22, 2024
Pilot West Hunsbury bus service to be introduced
22 May 2024 A new number 13 bus service between West Hunsbury and Northampton town centre will be piloted from next week, restoring links to Tesco Mereway. The pilot will run from Tuesday 28 May until spring 2025 and could be extended further, depending on usage by residents and additional funding becoming available. The 13 bus service will be delivered by Stagecoach and will provide connectivity to key local services and the town centre. The service is possible thanks to West Northamptonshire Council being awarded funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP+) to support the delivery of the service. We are delighted that Stagecoach will be operating the 13 bus service from 28 May. This service will provide easier access for local residents, as well as essential connectivity for shoppers and students. We look forward to it being reinstated from the end of this month. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport We are pleased to be running this trial on behalf of West Northamptonshire Council. We understand that the community in West Hunsbury is keen to see a service restored and it’s great that we’ll be able to play our part in making that happen. We look forward to welcoming passengers onboard. Mark Whitelocks, Managing Director, Stagecoach Midlands Local people deserve a modern, reliable, and affordable public transport system. I'm delighted to have worked alongside the local council and local MPs to give West Northamptonshire Council more than £1 million to boost its bus services. Introducing the new number 13 bus is great for local residents in Northamptonshire, who will now enjoy a brand new service so that they can reach West Hunsbury and Northampton town centre more easily and with greater peace of mind. Guy Opperman, Roads Minister Stay up-to-date with bus services in your area Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Moulton Leisure Centre to celebrate swimmers’ qualification for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games
May 21, 2024
Moulton Leisure Centre to celebrate swimmers’ qualification for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games
21 May 2024 Moulton Leisure Centre is set to stage a celebration event after four athletes from Northampton Swimming Club were named as part of ParalympicsGB’s squad for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. The centre, run by leading operator Everyone Active in partnership with West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), is keen to showcase the quartet’s fantastic achievement. Attending the Paralympic Games this summer will be multiple Paralympic, world, European and Commonwealth champion Maisie Summers-Newton, European medallist Eliza Humphrey, world medallist Scarlett Humphrey and European medallist Bruce Dee. A celebration event will be held at Moulton Leisure Centre on Saturday, June 15 from 9.15am-9.45am. It will see the public given the opportunity to meet the athletes, take photos, secure autographs, ask questions and wish them luck at the Paralympic Games. Maisie is an Elite athlete on Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions programme, a scheme which offers up-and-coming athletes much-needed support. The Sporting Champions programme has helped more than 5,000 athletes to achieve their sporting potential by providing free access to Everyone Active’s 230-plus leisure facilities, including Moulton Leisure Centre and Daventry Leisure Centre. Eliza and Scarlett are Sporting Champions on the scheme, meaning they get free access to the centres alongside valuable mentoring and guidance from an impressive panel of Elite athletes, including Maisie. The remainder of the panel comprises Jennifer and Jessica Gadirova, Lutalo Muhammad, Richard Kilty, Lauren Steadman and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, while hurdles legend Colin Jackson is an Ambassador for the programme. “We are so proud that no fewer than four athletes from Northampton Swimming Club are competing in Paris this year. “It has been great to play our part by providing them with the state-of-the-art facilities they need to be at the top of their game. “Our swim facilities cater for people across the local community, from children and adults who are just starting out to those competing at an international level. “We look forward to showcasing the amazing achievements of Maisie, Eliza, Scarlett and Bruce and inspiring people of all abilities to get active.” Andy Joy, Everyone Active’s general manager “We are delighted that four local athletes have been selected for this momentous sporting event and wish them the best of luck in Paris this summer. “As a council, we aim to do everything within our power to inspire people to live a more active and healthier lifestyle, and programmes such as Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions programme at our Moulton and Daventry leisure centres help to nurture our local sporting talent.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture & Leisure Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Home fire safety visits offered to people living with dementia
May 22, 2024
Home fire safety visits offered to people living with dementia
Feeling safe at home is something important to most people but, for those with dementia, achieving this has its own challenges. Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is supporting Dementia Action Week (20 th – 26 th May) by encouraging people to sign up for a free home fire safety visit, which can help those with dementia feel safer. The symptoms of dementia, such as memory problems, can make everyday fire risks around the home harder to deal with. There may be issues such as forgetting to turn electrical items on or off and there may be confusion around the use of appliances. Practical fire safety steps for those living with dementia can include shut-off devices which stop the gas supply if a cooker is left on, or a gas tap which can be turned off to prevent unsupervised cooking. Home Fire Safety Visits, carried out by NFRS, include personalised advice to address particular issues people may have in keeping safe at home. Tina Collett, of the NFRS Home Fire Safety Team, said: “Independent living can be a real concern for people who have dementia and for their families too. “Home fire safety visits can really help people with dementia as they can address some of the fire risk challenges people with this diagnosis face in their everyday lives. “Our staff offer friendly advice to address issues and can also fit free smoke alarms for vulnerable people. “It is very easy to request a visit and this can be done by the person who needs the home fire safety visit, or the referral can come from someone else such as a friend, relative or carer.” Requesting a Home Fire Safety Visit: Individual requests: If you have internet access, just click on the following link to book a visit for yourself: www.northantsfire.gov.uk/home-safety-checks/ Visits can also be requested by calling 01604 797000 Professional agency referrals: Online referrals can be made by completing the agency referral form: www.northantsfire.gov.uk/home-safety-checks/ On-Line Home Fire Safety Self-Checker: If you don’t want anyone to visit your home, but you want to carry out your own fire safety check, you can use our On-Line Portal: www.safelincs.co.uk/hfsc/?ref=NHFRS Fire safety advice in the home: Consider using a microwave instead of an oven. It can make cooking easier. It is important to check that your cooker is safe. For electric cookers, ask a qualified electrician to check it. For gas cookers, arrange a visit with a Gas Safe registered engineer If you have memory problems, you may worry that you will forget to turn off the oven or hob. ‘Shut off’ devices are available to stop the gas supply if you forget to turn off the cooker. You can also have a special gas tap fitted that friends and family can turn off when they leave your home. This does mean some loss of independence for someone with dementia but it may be the choice to make if safety and memory issues are concerns. Only buy furniture that is fire resistant. Never smoke in bed. Never leave lit candles unattended. Smoke alarms give an early warning of a fire, by detecting smoke and sounding an alarm and are best fitted in hallways and at the top of stairs. Smoke alarms should not be in the kitchen and bathroom as heat and vapour from cooking and bathing can set them off unnecessarily. Smoke alarms are run by batteries or by mains electricity. You should test the batteries in your alarms once a week by pressing the button until the alarm sounds. We have a quantity of Dementia Calendars still left to give out to anyone that feels they could benefit from one, please just email tcollett@northantsfire.gov.uk to request a calendar.
Vulcan Works celebrates a year supporting Northampton businesses
May 20, 2024
Vulcan Works celebrates a year supporting Northampton businesses
20 May 2024 Vulcan Works, providers of office space and business support for companies and individuals working in creative and digital industries, marked its first anniversary on Wednesday, May 15 with a VIP event. Officially launched in April 2023, Vulcan Works was created through transforming a Grade II listed former ironworks factory in Northampton town centre into a hub that provides office space, hot desking, meeting room hire and creative workspaces and workshops. The £14 million project was funded by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), which facilitated a Local Growth Fund contribution of £6.3 million, together with £3.06 million from the European Regional Development Fund. Oxford Innovation Space was appointed to manage the space. Over the last year, Vulcan Works has firmly established itself as a vital part of the local business community and economy, winning awards for innovation and its positive impact across Northamptonshire and providing a home to more than 30 different businesses. It has also nurtured 11 entrepreneurs through its fully-funded Vulcan Creatives programme. Other highlights include linking up with some trusted national partners, such as Barclays and Natwest, and local business support organisations like SEMLEP, The Marketing Meet Up, Northampton BID, NNBN and Digital Northants to offer practical business support, networking and workshops. Staff, customers, stakeholders and suppliers who have all helped to make the centre a success were treated to drinks, cupcakes and live music from local artist Jake Brown at the anniversary event. There was also an exhibition showcasing some of the businesses based at Vulcan Works or taking part in the Vulcan Creatives incubation programme. "There have been 75 jobs created through Vulcan Works and 33 businesses taking on space. Our coworking membership also sees a further 27 people regularly working out of the building. In addition to that, the first cohort of Vulcan Creatives have really brought something to the centre. At Oxford Innovation Space, the curation and animation of spaces such as the Vulcan Works Creative Hub is at the core of what we do and that is on evidence a year on from opening the Hub.” Tim Smith, Deputy Managing Director of Oxford Innovation Space “On behalf of West Northamptonshire Council, I would like to say how thrilled we are to have a place like Vulcan Works in the heart of Northampton, in the Cultural Quarter. What we have seen over the last year is businesses large and small choosing Vulcan Works as a place to work, which means they are also choosing Northampton as a place to do business. “We have also seen Vulcan Works win two awards, which really demonstrates how we have all succeeded in our vision and what we wanted to achieve with the centre. Now, rather than looking back, we want to look forward. We want to see this place attract more businesses who are choosing West Northamptonshire as a place to do business.” Cllr Daniel Lister, West Northamptonshire Council Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture and Leisure “This event is a celebration of Vulcan Works and what it means to the wider community. It is our chance to thank everyone who has done so much for the centre and, through the exhibition, showcase the wonderful things being created or provided at Vulcan Works on a daily basis. It is also an opportunity to recognise our key stakeholders and those who work in partnership with us to make our events, workshops and masterclasses possible. I also, personally, would like to take this opportunity to thank the team at Vulcan Works for making everything we have achieved over the last 12 months possible. Together we have managed to create something special and I look forward to seeing what the next year and beyond will bring.” Centre Manager Garrick Hurter Email [email protected] to find out more about Vulcan Works or request a tour. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northamptonshire Council welcomes new Chairman
May 20, 2024
West Northamptonshire Council welcomes new Chairman
20 May 2024 West Northamptonshire Council announces the appointment of Cllr Jo Gilford as its new Chairman. With over two decades of dedicated service to the public, Cllr Gilford brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to serving the residents of West Northamptonshire. Cllr Alison Eastwood, ward member for Silverstone was appointed as her Vice-Chairman. Watch a video of the new Chairman of the Council here: Chairman of the Council, for 2024/25, Cllr Jo Gilford Throughout her career, Cllr Gilford has demonstrated a tireless commitment to public welfare, balancing family responsibilities with professional excellence. With 25 years of experience in various sectors including public service, private enterprise, and healthcare management, Cllr Jo Gilford brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her new role. Her time as both an officer and a member of local councils, along with working in the NHS provided her with a rich understanding of the needs of the local community. Cllr Jo Gilford's dedication to public service is underscored by her family background, with her mother being a nurse and her son serving in the navy aboard the Navy’s flagship carrier the Prince of Wales. This legacy of service has imbued Cllr Jo Gilford with a deep sense of responsibility towards her community, evident in her tireless efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic as the Managing Partner of a medical practice which put her directly on the frontline. In her new capacity as Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Jo Gilford outlines her priorities for the upcoming year, focusing on enhancing civic pride and community engagement across West Northants. These priorities include attending civic and ceremonial functions across the Council's wards, hosting events to promote council interests and traditions, and ensuring the efficient conduct of council meetings. Cllr Gilford will also spotlight charitable initiatives, with two charities chosen to receive support throughout the year. Reflecting on her family's legacy of public service, she aims to support SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity and the Stop Hate UK through charitable activities. Stop Hate UK is a charity that Cllr Gilford has been working with to launch The Stop Hate Line in Northamptonshire. This line provides a safe and independent space for victims and witnesses of hate crimes and hate incidents to discuss their experiences and explore options for taking further action. The Stop Hate Line is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year on 0800 138 1625 . The helpline is also available by text message on 07717 989 025 and by email to [email protected] "I am deeply honoured to serve as Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council, especially as 2024 marks my 25th year of dedicated service to the residents of our area. “As I embark on this new chapter, I carry with me the stories of our residents, the challenges we've overcome, and the triumphs we've celebrated together. “My aim for the year ahead is simple yet profound: to bring our community closer, to celebrate our diversity, and to champion the causes that matter most to each and every one of us. Whether it's a local charity event, a neighbourhood gathering, or a community initiative, I would be delighted to offer you my support as we build a more vibrant future for West Northamptonshire.” Cllr Jo Gilford, Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council The role of the Chairman is a non-political, civic role, which involves representing the Council and West Northamptonshire at events and functions, as well as chairing Council meetings to ensure they are properly run in accordance with the Constitution. As part of the role, the Chairman is keen to meet and engage with local businesses, schools, community and voluntary groups and other organisations to help raise their profile – if you are organising an event, activity or function and would like the Chairman to attend, please contact the Chairman's Secretary at [email protected] . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
King appoints new High Sheriff for Northamptonshire
May 20, 2024
King appoints new High Sheriff for Northamptonshire
20 May 2024 The King has appointed Amy Crawfurd as the new High Sheriff of Northamptonshire. Amy Crawfurd's appointment as the 13th Lady High Sheriff marks a significant milestone in Northamptonshire's history. With a lineage dating back over 1000 years, the role of High Sheriff is the oldest secular royal appointment in the UK. The High Sheriff is supporting the judiciary, police, and emergency services, and now, in the 21st century, to extend that support to the voluntary sector. As a longstanding member of the Northamptonshire community, Amy has played a key role as a magistrate, volunteering her time and expertise within the justice system. Through her work, she has contributed significantly to local initiatives aimed at supporting young offenders, leaving a lasting impact that resonates on a national level. In her previous capacity as Chair of the Youth Panel, Amy supported initiatives that have not only earned national recognition but have also helped shape the future of youth justice in Northamptonshire. Beyond the courtroom, Amy's dedication extended to educating the youth about the justice system and the consequences of their actions. Her visits to primary and secondary schools as part of the Magistrates in the Community programme left an indelible mark on countless young minds, instilling in them a sense of responsibility and accountability, promoting a deeper understanding of the justice system and its implications. As High Sheriff Amy has the privilege of proclaiming the accession of a new Sovereign, together with other ceremonial duties. She also attends to the well-being of the High Court judges when they sit on criminal cases at Northampton Crown Court. Beyond her ceremonial duties, Amy's focus remains firmly set on championing causes that uplift and empower young people. The High Sheriff’s Initiative Fund, run by the Northamptonshire Community Foundation, supports projects in and around criminal justice, law and order, and is her chosen charity. “It is a great honour to be asked to be High Sheriff. It is a unique and ancient role and I am proud to represent the King in all I do. “We need to address the many challenges our young face today and nurture their potential. As a magistrate, a Trustee of Northamptonshire Music & Performing Arts Trust and a past Foundation Governor at my local primary school, I have seen first-hand the benefits music, outdoor activities and sports bring to children. These areas are where I will focus my efforts. Across the county, I want young people to celebrate positive role models and be inspired to lead.” Amy Crawfurd, the new High Sheriff of Northamptonshire As Amy steps into her new role, she carries with her the legacy of over 700 High Sheriffs who have shaped the course of Northamptonshire's history. From witnessing historic events to championing causes close to their hearts, each High Sheriff has left an indelible mark on the county's history. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
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?