20 May 2024

Head shot of new Chairman, Councillor Jo Gilford

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]. 

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Additional investment to improve roads across West Northants
July 22, 2024
Additional investment to improve roads across West Northants
22 July 2024 An additional £10 million will be invested into improving roads across West Northamptonshire. The extra funding will allow WNC and its highways partner Kier to extend the surface dressing programme for roads and paths across the area as well as carrying out bridge maintenance schemes and work to resolve drainage issues across the area. This will also provide the opportunity to trial an innovative road surfacing technique (called in-situ recycling) that produces a long-lasting repair and reuses existing material to reduce costs and carbon emissions, resulting in more sustainable repairs across our rural network. The additional funding (which was approved at Council on Thursday 18 July) is coming from the capital budget which is used for things like improving local infrastructure. This follows on from the £2.8 million investment into purchasing and operating new machinery in 2023, which has already increased the efficiency of road maintenance and repairs in our area. “We understand that the state of our roads is extremely important to residents and we’re keen to make sure we’re doing everything we can to maintain and improve them.” “This additional investment will allow us to carry out even more much needed resurfacing and repair works and explore innovative new technologies that will improve our service. We will continue to keep residents informed on the progress of works with the hope that once works have concluded there will be a visible difference.” Cllr Phil Larratt, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport To find out more about the Highways services across West Northamptonshire visit: Highways or visit @WNHighways on Facebook and X. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Apprentice firefighter jobs being recruited at Northamptonshire – apply now
July 21, 2024
Apprentice firefighter jobs being recruited at Northamptonshire – apply now
Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service is hiring a new cohort of apprentice firefighters to help keep our county safe. Firefighting is a rewarding career that involves so much more than fighting fires. Our firefighters play a vital role in promoting fire safety in their local communities through prevention and protection work and Home Fire Safety Visits with residents. They also respond to incidents ranging from road traffic collisions to flooding, chemical hazards and animal rescues. The recruitment portal is now open to anyone wishing to become an apprentice firefighter in Northamptonshire. The deadline for applications closes at noon on August 5. Our new recruits would join as wholetime firefighters, and over the next two years work towards achieving the Level 3 Operational Firefighter qualification from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. Our first ever cohort of apprentice firefighters all passed the course and were awarded their certificates only a few days ago , giving them a valuable transferable skill for the rest of their careers. One of those was Charlotte Cowley (pictured below), who joined in 2022 and now works wholetime on Blue Watch in Corby. She said: “The first year of study was intense, and I had to do that on top of my operational duties as a firefighter. But I never thought I would have been able to learn as much as I have. “It’s been a steep learning curve, but it’s been an incredibly fulfilling experience and I am so happy to have achieved it.” We welcome applications from wholetime and on-call firefighters from other services, and if you are already a Competent Firefighter, then you will not have to do the apprenticeship course. We are also welcoming applications from people who want to give back to their community and try a new career. Josh Block successfully applied to join last year, having previously been a self-employed electrician. He recently completed his training and in June was posted to Green Watch in Moulton. Josh, aged 33, is already loving his new job and said: “Being a self-employed electrician was not a long-term career and I was looking at doing something team related. “I went to a ‘Have A Go’ day in Corby last summer to get a bit of a feel for it and see if it’s something I would like. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and everyone was so welcoming.” Josh, pictured above, added: “Doing this job now allows me to give back to my community and I’m looking forward to the outreach it will have. I always remember when the Fire Service came to school or they were at the local fete – it was always amazing to see them, and hopefully I’ll now be able to help inspire the next generation of firefighters.” To become an apprentice wholetime firefighter, you must: have a full car driving licence valid for the UK (with no more than 3 points) be able to permanently live and work in the UK without any restrictions be aged 18 years old at the start of the training course in February Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service particularly wants to attract people from diverse backgrounds and walks of life to apply and help ensure the county’s Fire Service truly represents the people it serves. If you wish to find out more about the recruitment process, including the job description, then an information pack can be downloaded here . To apply to become an apprentice firefighter at Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service, please click here. You can also register to attend virtual Introduction and Q&A sessions that are being held on Microsoft Teams, and these take place on July 22 (7pm), July 25 (7pm), July 29 (7pm) and August 1 (2pm). Please click here to register .
Council celebrates achievements and sets course for the future in 2023/24 annual report
July 19, 2024
Council celebrates achievements and sets course for the future in 2023/24 annual report
19 July 2024 The leader of the council thanks residents, businesses, and partners as the council launches its Annual Report for 2023/24. Presented at last night's Council meeting, the report highlights key achievements, including significant progress in economic regeneration, enhancements in community services, and initiatives to promote sporting excellence across the region. It also outlines strategic priorities for the upcoming year, reflecting the Council's commitment to continuous improvement and sustainable development. This year, our commitment to supporting residents through the cost-of-living crisis remained a top priority. Working with community partners, we successfully distributed over £5 million in government funding. This included food and meal vouchers, hardship payments, and support for food banks and larders, all aimed at helping residents reduce their energy bills and meet essential needs. Despite economic pressures, we have maintained and protected essential services within budget. Our continued efforts toward our anti-poverty strategy led to the creation of 100 welcoming spaces, fostering community connections and support. We have continued to drive economic growth, transforming £45 million of grants into £350 million of private investment for major town centre regeneration schemes. This includes the new Sponne Arcade Car Park in Towcester and the development of a Masterplan for Daventry town centre. Our commitment to making West Northamptonshire a destination for sporting excellence, arts, and culture saw us successfully bid to host the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025. We also initiated plans for large-scale live music festivals, starting with a performance by James Arthur at Delapré Abbey, and celebrated the Coronation of King Charles III with thousands of residents. We worked hard to support and guide local businesses, and our efforts in broadband roll-out ensure that 93.8% of premises now have access to gigabit broadband, outpacing the national average. We also secured more than £5.4 million from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund to boost our local economy. Significant progress has been made in our improvement journey for children’s services. Our Children’s Trust fostering service was rated “Good “by Ofsted, and we developed new approaches for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Over 103,000 visits were made to our 88 welcoming spaces. Additionally, we supported around 12,000 adults to remain safe, well, and independent. Investments in technology have improved road maintenance, with the JCB Pothole Pro speeding up repairs fourfold. We also launched a Rural Business Grants programme to support local business. Our focus on environmental sustainability continued with various initiatives to support local businesses and protect our environment. Six of our green spaces retained the prestigious Green Flag Awards, highlighting our commitment to maintaining high-quality recreational areas. Our communities came together for over 30 varied events, including Pride, Diwali, International Women's Day, and Holocaust Memorial Day demonstrating our rich cultural diversity and community cohesion. The council has remained dedicated to its transformation plans, enhancing the services inherited from legacy councils, while developing and implementing new strategies aimed at creating sustainable communities and improving outcomes for local residents. Recognising that there is more work to be done, the council's priorities for the upcoming year reflect its ongoing mission to provide even better services that enable residents to lead their best lives. "The annual report showcases the dedication and resilience of West Northamptonshire Council in delivering services and meeting the needs of our communities. “I’m immensely proud of the progress we have made over the past year, and I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all residents, businesses, partners, and colleagues for their unwavering support. Their invaluable contributions, resilient spirit, generosity, and determination continue to play a fundamental role as our council strives to make West Northamptonshire a remarkable place to live, visit, work, and thrive. “We have made significant strides in this year, and while challenges undoubtedly lie ahead, we are confident in our ability to adapt and respond effectively, guided by the unwavering support of our community." Cllr Adam Brown, the Leader of West Northamptonshire Council For more information and to access the full annual report, please visit the West Northamptonshire Council website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council welcomes new Independent Members to the Audit and Governance Committee
July 19, 2024
Council welcomes new Independent Members to the Audit and Governance Committee
19 July 2024 Charles Davidson and Mark Jones have been appointed as Independent Members of the Audit and Governance Committee, with their appointments confirmed at last night's Council meeting. In their new roles, Charles and Mark will be vital in strengthening the Council's governance, risk management, financial reporting, and anti-fraud efforts. Their independent oversight will ensure the highest standards for the Council's members, residents, and stakeholders. As non-voting members with relevant expertise and knowledge, they will assist the committee in overseeing internal and external audit arrangements, reviewing financial statements and statutory accounts, and evaluating the Council’s governance, risk management, and control measures. Charles Davidson brings a wealth of experience from senior roles in central government, specialising in information technology and security. Charles is a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Cyber Security Professional, he has also been a dedicated school governor in Northampton for many years. I think West Northants Council has shown a real commitment to good governance by creating these new independent positions. I'm thrilled to join the committee and look forward to making a meaningful contribution to the community I've called home for over 34 years Charles Davidson Mark Jones is a partner with a global audit and accounting firm, leading a portfolio of over 20 outsourced internal audit clients across various sectors, including housing, emergency services, NHS, charity, and education. A qualified CIPFA accountant, Mark has previously served as the chief internal auditor for several local authorities. I am eager to give back to the community I live in by working as an Independent Member of the Council’s Audit and Governance Committee. I look forward to supporting the Council’s governance and risk management efforts and ensuring the highest standards of accountability Mark Jones We welcome Charles and Mark to the Audit and Governance Committee. Their expertise will be invaluable in ensuring that our governance, risk management, and financial oversight are of the highest standard. I am confident that their contributions will greatly benefit our community Cllr Malcolm Longley The Council is following recommended good practice by appointing independent members to its Audit and Governance Committee to provide impartial oversight and give assurance on the Council's operations. Their role includes assisting with the supervision of audit arrangements, the review of financial documents, and the assessment of governance and risk management frameworks. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Historic and cultural sites invited to take part in Northamptonshire’s Heritage Open Days 2024
July 19, 2024
Historic and cultural sites invited to take part in Northamptonshire’s Heritage Open Days 2024
19 July 2024 Historic and cultural sites across Northamptonshire are invited to take part in this year’s Heritage Open Days, which will take place between 6 and 15 September. Venues such as stately homes, buildings of historic interest, museums, places of worship, and archaeological sites can now register to participate in Heritage Open Days, which is England’s largest annual festival of history and culture. This year’s event will utilise the theme Routes, Networks & Connections to bring together the past and present with workshops, walks, talks, hidden spaces, and activities for all the family, and for the first time will include many offers from attractions across the whole of the county with the aim of making the heritage festival more diverse than ever before. The festival offers the public free entry to places which might normally be closed or have an entrance fee, and where admission is charged, venues will offer something new to see, with many connected by Northampton Transport Heritage buses’ free hop-on hop-off service. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is an official promoter of the event and a list of all participating attractions and events can be found on the Council website, which will be updated regularly as more attractions register. Events will include a film of Northampton’s evolving Market Square, a student showcase of Northampton’s rich heritage, and fun runners getting into the heritage spirit. More details will be revealed shortly on the WNC website together with details of where and when the heritage buses will be running. This year's Heritage Open Days is set to be bigger and better than ever before with events and attractions opening up across the whole of the county to provide something for everyone Northamptonshire boasts a wealth of historic and cultural sites – from Tudor manor houses and unique theatres to an Iron Age hill fort and Buddhist Meditation Centre – and Heritage Open Days provides the perfect opportunity to showcase this offering to visitors from far and wide This event not only promotes our rich heritage but also boosts local tourism and stimulates the local economy. We encourage local attractions to register now and join us in celebrating and sharing the unique history and culture that Northants has to offer Cllr Daniel Lister on Culture and Tourism Registration can be completed by emailing [email protected] . For more information, please visit the Heritage Open Days page. Sites can also register on the national Heritage Open Days website before 8 August 2024. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council joins national campaign to end domestic abuse and sexual violence
July 19, 2024
Council joins national campaign to end domestic abuse and sexual violence
19 July 2024 West Northamptonshire Council has joined a nationwide campaign aimed at ending domestic abuse and sexual violence as it continues to strengthen its commitment towards tackling these issues with partners. The UK Says No More Campaign (UKSNM) brings together organisations, businesses and communities across the country to actively take a stand against domestic violence and make positive changes. Signing up to the campaign enables the Council to join a national network of professionals and ambassadors working to achieve similar goals in ending domestic violence; draw upon a range of invaluable resources; and get involved in supporting, promoting, and expanding key community initiatives locally, such as the Safe Spaces and Online Safe Spaces schemes and Ask for ANI . WNC already delivers UKSNM awareness events including No More Week and 16 Days of Activism, and also now intends to draw upon the campaign’s Everyone’s Business initiative as it progresses work to strengthen its policies and support for victims of domestic abuse within the workplace. As well as pursuing initiatives within the UKSNM campaign, the Council is also continuing to move forward with a wide range of actions tackling domestic abuse through its work as part of the West Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership and Community Safety Partnership, with the development of a new strategy also under way for reducing violence and improving outcomes for residents. At last night’s Full Council meeting, WNC’s Leader Cllr Adam Brown updated members about the recent campaign sign-up and confirmed that the Council has the resource in place to deliver against the objectives of UK Says No More. We are totally committed to working with all our partners towards ending domestic abuse and violence of any kind, and ensuring victims are supported with the compassion they deserve, but we know people currently feel let down by us and we need to rebuild that trust. The only way we can do this is by fully demonstrating our commitment to how seriously we take these issues, by listening to our partners and residents and acting on their concerns. Signing up to the UK Says No More campaign is an important step in doing this, as it closely aligns with our priorities for working with partners to eradicate domestic abuse and sexual violence. It will provide us with invaluable professional support and resources to help us develop a future action plan with partners towards tackling these issues. Cllr Adam Brown, Leader of the Council A motion on the issue of domestic abuse was originally planned to be presented at council last night by Councillor Jonathan Harris, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in West Northamptonshire. Cllr Harris has regularly highlighted the need for the Council to take action on preventing domestic abuse and violence against women and girls and he welcomed the Council joining UKSNM, having initially proposed a similar sign-up to White Ribbon UK. WNC’s decision to sign up to this national campaign is an encouraging start, but there is still so much more to do and a long way to go to restore people’s faith. We must be much bolder in our approach, with tangible actions and outcomes that really make difference to people’s lives. Most importantly, all groups across the Council need to work together to make this happen and that includes ensuring our own staff and councillors will stand up and be counted. We cannot let the work to stamp out domestic abuse and sexual violence slip in any way and so opposition members will continue to hold the Council’s administration to account to ensure this does not happen. We will be looking for clear actions and timetables Cllr Jonathan Harris, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in West Northamptonshire Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northants put on heat-health alert as urgent weather warning issued
July 17, 2024
West Northants put on heat-health alert as urgent weather warning issued
17 July 2024 A Yellow Heat-Health Alert has been issued across the East Midlands from Thursday (18 July) to Saturday (20 July) by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office, with temperatures predicted to reach the high 20Cs. The warmer weather poses a much greater risk to the most vulnerable in our community, such as the very young and older people. Residents are advised to remain cautious and seek advice from 111 if non-emergency health advice is required. 999 services should be used in emergencies only. The top ways for staying safe in the heat are to: Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated; older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk. Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors. Use cool spaces if going outdoors. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol. Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children, vulnerable adults, or animals. Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest. If you have to go outside in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat. Avoid physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day. Make sure you take water with you if you are travelling. Stay up to date with by visiting our hot weather web pages. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Pupils' designs see willow sculpture crafted at Daventry Country Park to mark Children’s Mental Health
July 18, 2024
Pupils' designs see willow sculpture crafted at Daventry Country Park to mark Children’s Mental Health
18 July 2024 A willow sculpture (pictured) has been installed at Daventry Country Park based on two winning students designs to reflect Children’s Mental Health week. Hosted by Healthy Schools, Public Health team as part of a competition which took place last year to mark Children’s Mental Health Week 2023, students were invited to take part in an art competition on ‘what does good mental health look like’ to them. Schools who signed up, received a free willow weaving workshop during the week where students got involved and got to put their creativity to practice. Winning designs from two students at Barby Primary and East Hunsbury Primary in West Northants have now been crafted into one amazing willow sculpture by artist, Debs Jones and is located at Daventry Country Park which showcases how connecting with nature can support positive mental wellbeing in children and young people. The sculpture installation can be found by using google maps or using what three words: shortens.catching.liberty Suman Bedi, Headteacher at Barby CE Primary School, said: “This was a great opportunity for the pupils at Barby as we were really looking at wellbeing and mental health with our children and how we can help, how the children can help and what we can do to ensure we are always mentally healthy. Also, we have been discussing how we can communicate and support each other to ensure that we can always ensure that our actions don’t impact others negatively. The children loved doing this and we really loved the entries that came in. We are really proud of the winners as they can hopefully have long lasting impact on their school peers and now their local community.” Kathryn Pennington, Headteacher at East Hunsbury Primary School, said: “Here at East Hunsbury Primary, we know that school isn’t just about reading, maths and writing – for us, it is about educating the whole child and children’s mental and physical health is really important to us. Each year, we take part in Children’s Mental Health week and we jumped at the chance to participate in the: ‘What does good mental health look like?’ competition. Children across the school got involved and wonderful, important discussions were had. We were then thrilled to learn that one of our pupils had been selected to be the joint winner and were incredibly proud of them. We can’t wait to visit the sculpture and to continue our work on Mental Health.” Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Public Health and Regulatory Services at West Northamptonshire Council said: “This was a great idea from our Healthy Schools team to get our young people involved in a creative task whilst thinking about how connecting with nature benefits their mental wellbeing. “Talking about mental wellbeing is so important and this was an engaging way to start these conversations with students. A big well done and thank you to all who took part, there were many incredible entries – and the winning designs were truly well deserved as the final sculpture looks brilliant!” Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Innovation & Growth Roundtable event relocates to West Northants
July 17, 2024
Innovation & Growth Roundtable event relocates to West Northants
17 July 2024 Silverstone Technology Cluster (STC) held its annual showcase event in West Northamptonshire this week with an Innovation & Growth Roundtable. The sold-out conference event, which relocated from Milton Keynes to Northampton this year, provides attendees with an opportunity to listen to insightful presentations, debate with peers, share knowledge, and network with business leaders across the cluster. This year, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) joined forces with the South Midlands Growth Hub and Bucks Business First to sponsor the event and showcase its support for all businesses as well as its dedication to STC and the industries it represents. The Council, a founding member of the STC, joined exhibitors and speakers including experts from the Ministry of Defence, US Army DEVCOM and HCR Hewitsons, at the event on 16 July. “It’s a privilege to host the STC’s Innovation & Growth Roundtable event in West Northamptonshire and partner with the South Midlands Growth Hub and Bucks Business First to showcase our support for our local enterprises. “West Northants is an exceptional area for investment and growth and events like this demonstrate the diverse range of industries we support here, from advanced manufacturing and engineering to high-tech innovation and research & development, as a Council we strive to continue doing all we can to support local businesses and drive positive economic growth in our area.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture & “We enjoyed a fantastic event and we’d like to thank our supporters Silverstone Park, Jaltek, HCR and of course our friends at WNC for their help and support with this event. “WNC have been a great partner of the STC from the outset and we very much enjoy working with them. Their support to help us put together these types of events where we can bring the industry together and encourage collaboration are critical to foster and grow the advanced engineer ecosystem in the area.” Pim van Baarsen, CEO of STC In addition to supporting the STC, WNC has dedicated over £3million to supporting local businesses through Central Government’s Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) and UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) including growth, innovation, decarbonisation and more. Find out more about the Council’s free business support on the WNC website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Local government leaders unite in support of Universal’s transformative theme park and resort project proposed for Bedford
July 18, 2024
Local government leaders unite in support of Universal’s transformative theme park and resort project proposed for Bedford
18 July 2024 The leaders and chief executives of six local authorities have collectively endorsed Universal Destinations & Experiences’ potential theme park and resort project. In a letter sent to the Prime Minister, the region's leadership emphasised the transformative potential of this initiative. The project creates 20,000 jobs during construction, with an additional 20,000 jobs generated directly and, in the supply-chain during the resort’s operation. This significant job creation underscores the tangible economic impact the potential project will have on the region. Additionally, the project’s scale will help set England’s South Midlands as one of the foremost visitor destinations in Europe and the World. “As a Council, we fully endorse this project and want to show our full support and commitment to working with both our local authority partners and Universal Destinations & Experiences to maximise the benefits for local people and communities. “The South Midlands is extremely well connected and with West Northants situated just over 30 minutes from Bedford, this project presents an array of opportunities for our residents including jobs, economic growth and an enhanced visitor economy with tourists from far and wide coming into West Northamptonshire to enjoy everything we have to offer.” Cllr Adam Brown, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council “This is an exciting opportunity which will bring extraordinary economic benefits to the wider South Midlands area and locally here in West Northamptonshire, not only presenting us as a top destination for visitors from across the UK but also from around the world.” Anna Earnshaw, Chief Executive of West Northamptonshire Council “We know the importance of this Universal project getting the green light. Not only will the potential theme park and resort serve as a major draw for visitors, attracting millions of annual visitors, with many projected to come from Europe and overseas, it will help bolster the UK's profile as a leader in the creative industries, a must-see visitor destination, business investment hub and deliver growth.” Laura Church, Chief Executive of Bedford Borough Council The letter is signed by the chief executives and political leaders of Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire, Luton Borough, Milton Keynes City, North Northamptonshire, and West Northamptonshire councils, demonstrating strong regional support for the project. Universal continue to share updates as the project progresses on their website at universalukproject.co.uk Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Action already under way to progress Peer review recommendations
July 19, 2024
Action already under way to progress Peer review recommendations
19 July 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will be developing a compelling long-term plan for improving the area and working more strategically with partners in the months ahead as it progresses the recommendations of a recent independent review. Work is already under way by the Council on addressing the findings of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Corporate Peer Challenge in March, which looked in detail at how effective the authority is at providing services and delivering upon the vision to make West Northants a Great Place to Live, Visit, Work and Thrive. A feedback report from the review said that the Council had made a strong positive start as a new unitary authority with ‘much achieved at pace’ during its first three years, and now needed to look ‘outwards and explore with partners what it wants for West Northamptonshire.’ Having also described external partner organisations’ relationships with the Council as ‘the best they have ever been’, the review said the Council now needed to build on this by working with them more closely and strategically on shaping the future of the area. Within the report the Peers put forward eight recommendations from the review and the Council recently developed and published an action plan on how it plans to progress them, with work now under way. The action plan and timescales for progress can be viewed on the Council’s website . Alongside engaging more strategically with partners and producing a long-term vision, other recommendations included developing how the Council plans for its medium to longer term budget pressures, further development of overview and scrutiny and improving customer transactions and the Council’s website. The LGA review was undertaken during a four-day visit in March by a team of senior officers and members from other councils across the country who 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 will now return to the Council later this year with a follow-up visit to measure WNC’s progress against the recommendations it has been set. “The peer review was an excellent opportunity for us to invite in independent assessors as "critical friends" who could look into detail at how we work and let us know where we’re doing well and where we can improve. “They rightfully highlighted key challenges that we need to confront in the months and years ahead, such as improving some of our strategic relationships and developing "a compelling long-term vision for the area" – and I'm delighted to say work is already underway on these issues, as we seek to build on the foundations we've laid over the past three years as a new unitary council. “Three years in and after creating key joint strategies working with partners and residents, we will be bringing them together to create a new 5-year business plan that sets out how we will achieve the vision our stakeholders agreed when we started, to “make West Northants a great place to live, work, visit and thrive” and the actions we will be taking with our partners to deliver this vision. We will set out an area-wide strategic approach to housing and economic growth alongside partnership ambitions for improving services for children to help them get the best start in life and ensuring older residents age and live well.” Councillor Adam Brown, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council 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. You can read WNC’s Corporate Peer Challenge Feedback Report and the subsequent Action Plan on the Council’s website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Five parks across West Northants retain the prestigious Green Flag Award
July 18, 2024
Five parks across West Northants retain the prestigious Green Flag Award
18 July 2024 Green Flags are being raised at Five of West Northamptonshire Council’s parks as they’ve once again been awarded the coveted Green Flag status, which celebrates Britain’s greatest parks and green spaces. Abington Park, Bradlaugh Fields, Daventry Country Park, Delapre Park and Brixworth Country Park have all retained their Green Flag Awards - nationally recognised as the benchmark for the management of recreational outdoor spaces. Bradlaugh Fields in Northampton has retained the award for the fifth year running and Abington and Delapre parks, also in Northampton, retain their awards for the eleventh and twelfth years in a row respectively, in recognition for the hard work of community groups and volunteers to maintain these widely used open spaces. Daventry Country Park, which has seen improvements to its visitor facilities in recent years, achieves the award for the 25th time. The Green Health at Daventry project was also successful in achieving the Green Flag Community Award for the community garden run with support from Daventry Country Park’s rangers. It is fantastic news that five of our parks have retained their Green Flags for 2024/25. Our green spaces are essential to our residents wellbeing and provide vital environmental benefits for local wildlife. The coveted award recognises the brilliant work that our park rangers, community groups, volunteers, and residents continue to do to maintain and improve our open spaces. Cllr Rebecca Breese for Environment, Recycling and Waste To find out more about open spaces and parks across West Northamptonshire, visit our parks and open spaces page. The full list of winners can be viewed on the Green Flag Award website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council shortlisted for prestigious industry award
July 18, 2024
Council shortlisted for prestigious industry award
18 July 2024 West Northamptonshire Council has been shortlisted for the Community Engagement award as part of the annual National Building and Construction Awards in recognition of their use of extensive and innovative community involvement and focus on the value of local opinions as part of the Greyfriars Masterplan consultation. As the only Council shortlisted for this industry award, which celebrates excellence across construction and building, WNC is paving the way for community engagement in shaping transformational regeneration schemes. Through their ambitions to repurpose the 15-acreGreyfriars site, which has been derelict since the year 2015, the Council’s vision sets out their ambitions to transform it into a new vibrant neighbourhood, which can revitalise the town centre and act as a catalyst for the infusion of new life into 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 create the vision for the area. This team comprises urban designers, architects, landscape architects, and transport, commercial and sustainability experts. The community engagement and digital consultation platform were led by specialists Deetu, part of BWB Consulting. The Greyfriars consultation has allowed the council to be shortlisted for this award due to the fact that their bright vision for the Greyfriars area being an opportunity to drive positive change across the town of Northampton would not have been possible without involvement and engagement from the town’s lively and motivated community. Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture and Leisure at West Northamptonshire Council, said: “It is fantastic that the consultation and engagement for the vision of the future Greyfriars site has received national recognition. The prestigious industry awards bring together exemplars across the country and finest in their fields, and it is an honour that our Council is the only one to be recognised at this level. We look forward to the next stage and celebrating all the finalists in October.” Engagement and involvement from Northampton’s community was achieved through utilisation of digital collaboration opposed to reliance upon traditional surveys and town stalls. Instead, town residents were able to participate in much wider-reaching online surveys to which over 2,500 people gave their responses and additionally over 6,000 individual comments were received. The website recorded over 12,000 sessions and 20,000 page views from nearly 10,00 unique users revealing the high amount of interaction with the community that the council was able to achieve through their use of online methods of feedback and communication. In contrast to this, knowing that not all people have reliable access to the internet the Council also utilised methods which ensured that all town members could engage with the consultation regardless of how well they are able to access the internet. A clear example of one of these methods was an in-person event that was held at the Grosvenor Shopping centre on Saturday 1 June which was able to attract itself towards 680 people. A lot of these people that attended were unaware of the scheme previously meaning this event was a useful asset in introducing the Greyfriars scheme to more people. The winners will be announced at the annual awards ceremony on Thursday 24th October 2024. Click here to find out more about the regeneration schemes across Northampton. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
A Home for Harmony musical play comes to West Northants libraries
July 17, 2024
A Home for Harmony musical play comes to West Northants libraries
17 July 2024 Musical play A Home for Harmony will visit libraries in West Northamptonshire this August as part of its Summer 2024 Tour. Written by Renata Allen and produced by the People's Theatre Collective, the play is created specifically for young children and uses engaging music to inspire emotional resilience and confidence, ensuring families can enjoy the performance while recognising its valuable messages. The play follows the touching story of Sam, a disabled person, and their loyal assistance dog, Bouncer, whose home is disrupted when a stray cat named Harmony appears on their doorstep and is welcomed into their family. The play is designed with inclusivity in mind, featuring accessible elements for audiences with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), including sensory and musical components, Makaton sign language, and non-verbal storytelling to ensure that every child can enjoy and engage with the performance. "We are delighted to welcome this educational play which celebrates inclusion and people of different abilities to our libraries. “This free production is a wonderful opportunity for children and families to engage with stories that discuss disability and showcase diverse voices and perspectives. “As a Council we aim to foster a sense of understanding and community among our young audiences and invite everyone to join us for this enriching and entertaining experience." Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture and Leisure "I couldn't be more excited to work on this amazing project. This play is not only a fun and heartwarming experience for families, it also highlights the incredible impact assistance dogs have on people's lives.” Emma, People's Theatre Collective Project Manager For more information and to see the full list of tour dates and venues, visit the People's Theatre Collective's website. To find your local library and see a list of events, visit the WNC Libraries webpage . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Closure order obtained at Northampton property following drug related anti-social behaviour
July 17, 2024
Closure order obtained at Northampton property following drug related anti-social behaviour
17 July 2024 A property in Northampton has been issued with a full closure order following concerns around drug dealing and anti-social behaviour from members of the public. The 3-month order follows numerous complaints from local residents about a range of disruptive activities linked to the flat, located in Park Avenue in Abington, over the past six months. Since January 2024, there have been persistent reports of disturbances including frequent visitors to the flat throughout the night and early morning; noise from shouting, arguing, fighting, and swearing in communal areas; other residents' flat buzzers being rung in the early hours; and suspicious packages being exchanged, believed to be drugs, causing the community a high level of alarm and distress. Last week (10 July), West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Anti-Social Behaviour team and Northamptonshire Police successfully obtained a closure order to shut down the property under Part 4 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The Council and the police worked together to gather the evidence needed to obtain the closure order at Northampton Magistrates Court. The property will be secured and boarded to prevent entry. Any unauthorised person who enters the property will be committing a criminal offence. "We are pleased this full closure order has been obtained thanks to a strong partnership effort with Northamptonshire Police. “This Northampton property has been a source of persistent anti-social behaviour and criminal activity for months, making the lives of other residents miserable. “This decisive action reflects our commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our communities. By addressing this issue head-on, we are not only improving the quality of life for local residents but also sending a clear message that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated in our neighbourhoods." Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Planning and Communities at WNC Closure orders last for a period of 3 months and can be extended further if necessary. They are used when other approaches to tackling anti-social behaviour have been unsuccessful and aim to protect residents living in the neighbourhood by preventing criminal behaviour taking place in or around a property. “Northamptonshire Police is extremely pleased with the result of this full closure order, which is the culmination of excellent partnership work between the Northampton Neighbourhood Policing Team, the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit and West Northamptonshire Council. “I would like to give special mention to PCSO Dan Freeman who was diligent and determined, working with and supporting the residents impacted by the ASB and criminality from this problem address. Between all our partners we obtained all of the information and evidence required to take this matter to court and secure a successful outcome. “We fully recognise the detrimental effects behaviour like this has on people’s quality of life, and how communities can suffer as a result of those who fail to consider the impact of their actions. I’d like to pay tribute to this community, to those who have stood up and refused to be plagued by this behaviour; it is their evidence which has been instrumental to this outcome. “No-one should feel frightened in their own home. Cases like this demonstrate that police and local authorities will not tolerate such behaviour and illustrate how important it is for residents to let us know about issues in their area.” Inspector Lee Flavell, of Northampton Neighbourhood Policing Team If you are experiencing issues with anti-social behaviour or suspected criminality where you live, please report it to police on 101 or report online at www.northants.police.uk/RO . In an emergency, where a crime is in progress or life is at risk, always call 999. Non-emergency reports can also be made in confidence to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Reminder for school aged children and young people to get vaccinated ahead of summer holidays
July 16, 2024
Reminder for school aged children and young people to get vaccinated ahead of summer holidays
16 July 2024 West Northamptonshire Public Health are encouraging primary, secondary and further education students and their parents and guardians, to check their vaccination status, to ensure they are up to date. Increased mixing during the holidays means the risk of viruses spreading amongst children and young people is heightened. Some of the most common infections to circulate within our school aged population includes measles, mumps, and meningitis, which can cause severe complications, and in some cases require hospitalisation. Some children and young people may have missed out on getting their routine vaccinations or are newly eligible, and are therefore being reminded to get this protection. Vaccinations help to boost the immune system and protects against complications an infection can cause. Children and young people who attend school should have been offered vaccinations through their GP or the school immunisation programme. If your child has missed any doses of these vaccines or does not attend a school setting, please, contact your GP to arrange an appointment. “Across Northamptonshire we have seen a decline in the uptake of childhood and adolescent vaccinations. I am asking for parents and guardians to support in protecting their children and young people this summer by checking their child’s vaccination status, to ensure they have had all their recommended doses. Don’t let an avoidable infection spoil their summer break. “If your child has missed any vaccinations, please contact your child’s GP as soon as possible to discuss and arrange an appointment.” Dr Annapurna Sen, Health Protection Consultant for West Northamptonshire Public Health For further detail regarding any of these vaccinations, please check out the West Northamptonshire Council Immunisation page . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Car parks temporarily closed as regeneration work continues
July 16, 2024
Car parks temporarily closed as regeneration work continues
16 July 2024 Motorists are being advised of closures to two car parks in Northampton this month, as work on two exciting town centre regeneration projects take a step forward. The town’s Chalk Lane Car Park will be closed from the evening of Tuesday 16 July through to Thursday 25 July to allow for preparatory work on the new Marefair Heritage Park. The nearby Doddridge Street Car Park is closed for four weeks from 15 July while the Museum of London Archaeology carry out investigation as part of the delivery of the Four Waterside and Marefair development. Signage will be in place to notify motorists of the temporary closures, with people directed to use the nearby Marefair or Commercial Street Car Parks instead. Click here to view the council-owned car parks across Northampton. West Northamptonshire Council secured £1.6 million from the Government’s Towns Fund towards delivering the Heritage Park, which will provide new green space, trees, play areas, community gardens, pathways and lighting. Marefair and the surrounding area has a fascinating and important history as the site of the once famous Northampton Castle as well as other historic local buildings such as the Old Black Lion Pub, Hazelrigg House, Castle Hill United Reformed Church, St Peters Church and a former Saxon Palace. The park will tell this fascinating story on a heritage timeline of Corteen Steel poles which will be installed throughout the park. The project to improve a major gateway to Northampton will be complemented by the Four Waterside and Marefair development, which will see the vacant brownfield site along the River Nene transformed into high-quality office space, new homes, business space and a new hotel. This ambitious project is being delivered thanks to £1.7 million of funding from the Towns Fund, £7 million of investment from Northampton Enterprise Zone and investment from developers CityHeart. Wider construction works are expected to start in 2025. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Have your say on our draft Parks Development Strategy
July 15, 2024
Have your say on our draft Parks Development Strategy
15 July 2024 People are being asked to help shape a strategy setting out how West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) manages and develops its parks and green spaces. The Council manages around 150 parks and green open spaces across West Northants, including war memorials, and town and country parks. The new Parks Development Strategy will set out how the Council can protect, develop, and improve these areas in ways that not only enrich residents’ and visitors’ lives, but also the natural environment. The current version is very much in draft form as we are keen to engage with and hear the thoughts of park users, local businesses, community groups and other stakeholders in order to shape the final document. “We understand the importance that our parks and green spaces play in people’s lives. We are keen to hear the views of local residents, cyclists, dog walkers, volunteers and community organisations to help us to ensure that we set a suitably ambitious but achievable strategy; one which meets the needs and expectations of our residents and visitors. “We have identified a range of initiatives we believe would further improve and enhance our parks and green spaces for everyone in our communities to enjoy and it's really important that people tell us what they think of our proposals and let us know if we are focusing on the right things.” Cllr Rebecca Breese, Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Waste The Council would like to hear from anyone who has an interest in our parks and the development of this strategy. The consultation will be live until midnight on 8 September. Click here to view the draft strategy and have your say. All responses will be analysed and considered by the Council in developing the draft strategy further. The feedback provided will help WNC to develop an updated version of the Parks Development Strategy and accompanying action plan. Once finalised, these will be presented to the Council’s Cabinet in November 2024, with the final strategy to be published in 2025. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northampton car park temporarily closures
July 16, 2024
Northampton car park temporarily closures
16 July 2024 Motorists are being advised of closures to two car parks in Northampton this month, as work on two exciting town centre regeneration projects take a step forward. The town’s Chalk Lane Car Park will be closed from the evening of Tuesday 16 July through to Thursday 25 July to allow for preparatory work on the new Marefair Heritage Park. The nearby Doddridge Street Car Park is closed for four weeks from 15 July while the Museum of London Archaeology carry out investigation as part of the delivery of the Four Waterside and Marefair development. Signage will be in place to notify motorists of the temporary closures, with people directed to use the nearby Marefair or Commercial Street Car Parks instead. Click here to view the council-owned car parks across Northampton. West Northamptonshire Council secured £1.6 million from the Government’s Towns Fund towards delivering the Heritage Park, which will provide new green space, trees, play areas, community gardens, pathways and lighting. Marefair and the surrounding area has a fascinating and important history as the site of the once famous Northampton Castle as well as other historic local buildings such as the Old Black Lion Pub, Hazelrigg House, Castle Hill United Reformed Church, St Peters Church and a former Saxon Palace. The park will tell this fascinating story on a heritage timeline of Corteen Steel poles which will be installed throughout the park. The project to improve a major gateway to Northampton will be complemented by the Four Waterside and Marefair development, which will see the vacant brownfield site along the River Nene transformed into high-quality office space, new homes, business space and a new hotel. This ambitious project is being delivered thanks to £1.7 million of funding from the Towns Fund, £7 million of investment from Northampton Enterprise Zone and investment from developers CityHeart. Wider construction works are expected to start in 2025. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
More schools recognised for commitment to pupils' health and wellbeing
July 16, 2024
More schools recognised for commitment to pupils' health and wellbeing
16 July 2024 Schools across West Northamptonshire have received awards recognising their commitment to going above and beyond in improving the health and wellbeing of their pupils. A total of 40 schools across the area received the bronze and silver Healthy Schools Awards accreditation, which is presented by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC). This is the second wave of schools to receive the accolade following the launch of the awards in January this year, and each school was invited to a celebration event. The schools which have achieved the status have met the criteria for certain standards across areas including mental health and wellbeing, healthy eating, physical activity and PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education). The criteria has been specifically designed and tailored to Northamptonshire, which makes it unique compared to other healthy schools awards. The schools that achieved this prestigious award are: Silver award: Lumbertubs Primary Spring Lane Primary Falconers Hill Academy Billing Brook School On Track Education Croughton All Saints CofE Primary The Bliss Charity School Wootton Primary St James Primary Bronze award: Barby CE Primary Briar Hill Primary Bridgewater Primary Cedar Road Primary Crick Primary Eastfield Academy Gayton CE Primary Greenfields Specialist School for Communication Hardingstone Academy Headlands Primary Hopping Hill Primary Hospital and Outreach Hunsbury Park Primary Kingsthorpe Grove Primary Malcolm Arnold Preparatory Academy Queen Eleanor Academy Newnham Primary Northampton School for Girls Parklands Primary St Mary's Primary Standens Barn Primary Stoke Bruene CE Primary The Parker Academy - E-ACT Thomas Becket Catholic School Tiffield CE Primary Towcester Church of England Primary School Walgrave Academy Waynflete Infants’ Welton Academy Whittlebury CE Primary Yardley Gobian CE Primary. The majority of these schools have already signed up to start working towards either the Healthy Schools Silver or Gold Award following this achievement. Silver involves them focusing on a universal and targeted health priority in their setting and putting an intervention in place. Gold focuses on schools measuring the impact of their interventions and embedding it longer term into their school. People can visit our Healthy Schools Award Programme pages for more information The support and encouragement from the Healthy Schools Service was invaluable throughout the process. There were lots of things we already did that we could use, so it was not lots of additional work. It was good to acknowledge all we do in school that helps our staff and pupils to be healthy. Our children have been very proactive about supporting mental health initiatives. It also helped us to pinpoint where we could improve and what to work on next. Achieving the Bronze Award was a proud moment, that was celebrated by the whole school. We are looking forward to working on our Silver Award. Charlie Vickers. SENDCo at Hunsbury Park Primary School It is fantastic to see the second cohort of schools who have received the bronze level award as part of our healthy schools’ programme. Gaining this accreditation recognises their commitment to health and wellbeing and the ongoing work to improve the whole school’s wellbeing. Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education I am delighted that 40 of our schools have received this award that celebrates their commitment to keeping children across West Northamptonshire healthy. The number of schools who have participated in this scheme is so encouraging, and I am proud of West Northamptonshire Council’s continued effort to keeping our residents safe and well. Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Wellbeing and Health Integration Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northants SEND partnership responds to inspection report
July 11, 2024
West Northants SEND partnership responds to inspection report
Supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) 11 July 2024 Partners involved in providing SEND solutions across West Northamptonshire have today decided to publish an inspection report by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). All partners have a shared ambition that our children have the Best Start in Life, while recognising there is a lot of work to do to achieve this. This is why partners are working hard to progress a range of joint actions that will address significant concerns raised in the latest inspection of services for children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) in West Northamptonshire. In agreement with Ofsted and the CQC, West Northamptonshire Council, the NHS Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board and Northamptonshire Children’s Trust have published the inspection report to progress the action required. Priority work progresses at pace in response to the report, which can be found on our SEND pages . It identifies failings that must be urgently addressed by the West Northamptonshire Local Area SEND Partnership. The Partnership fully accepts the findings of the inspection and apologises to children, young people and their families where we have fallen short. The partnership also includes Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, schools and West Northants Voices in Partnership. Whilst finding that SEND services are not good enough, with many children and young people waiting too long for their needs to be assessed and for suitable provision, inspectors also recognised the “green shoots” of improvement and clear partnership commitment to making critical improvements to address this. They highlighted the ‘ambitious SEND strategy, co-produced with children and young people and parents, and acknowledged ‘it is too soon to see the impact’ of the work being done to improve outcomes. The local partnership has developed a Priority Action Plan (PAP) in line with the requirements from OFSTED, the Department for Education (DFE) and NHS England, and has been approved by Ofsted. The PAP is aligned with West Northamptonshire’s SEND & Alternative Provision Strategy and been developed with all partners represented at the SEND & Alternative Provision Partnership Improvement Board. The local area SEND partnership will now meet with DfE and NHSE at regular intervals during the next eighteen months to ensure the delivery of the action plan. Inspectors recognised how ‘parent voices and the views of children and young people with SEND, are now heard much more effectively’, with professionals across the Partnership ‘engaging positively’ to put in place the new SEND strategy. As well as this, inspectors highlighted where children and young people with SEND receive specialist support from the Northamptonshire Children’s Trust Disability Team, they receive timely assessment and appropriate advice to meet their needs. They also found that children and young people with SEND ‘benefit from early help services that provide support at home and in the community’, as well as ‘a strong emotional health and wellbeing offer’, and those with a visual or hearing impairment are well supported by a ‘strong, needs-led service’. The Partnership is now focusing on several priority actions that require urgent attention to address the findings of the report including: Improving the timeliness and quality of Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments so that children’s needs are fully identified, and the right support is provided at the earliest opportunity. At the end of last year, WNC commissioned a team of Educational Psychologists to support with overdue assessments with positive progress being made, setting a positive trajectory for improvement. To further support this, at WNC’s last cabinet meeting £1.35million of funding was approved to increase capacity in the Council’s SEND team to meet the increased demand being experienced – since April 2021 there has been 40 per cent increase in EHCP requests (an increase of over 1,000). Developing a partnership joint strategic needs assessment (JSNA) that informs a joint commissioning plan to ensure outcomes are informed based on evidence of local population need, and to support the best use of resources across the partnership. A working group has been set up to develop a JSNA for children and young people with SEND that includes data from across the partnership to inform local need, planning and outcomes. Addressing current waiting times for speech and language therapy, mental health services and neurodevelopmental assessments to support early identification for plans to be developed to support them. Additional staffing capacity has been agreed by the partnership for the Speech and Language Therapy service. Resources are being refocussed across specialist therapeutic pathways within child and adolescent mental health community services to increase access. Improved navigation tools for emotional wellbeing and mental health services are being developed for children and young people and professionals. A Community Paediatric Review has been undertaken to transform the early years and primary school neurodevelopmental assessment pathways. This will explore all opportunities to introduce extra capacity and innovative practice. Improving the partnership approach to speech, communication and language needs to embed recommendations swiftly . The partnership jointly commissioned a nationally recognised programme to analyse needs, and this has provided useful recommendations for improvement and future transformation. A working group has been set up to identify delivery options for earlier identification and support for children with speech, language and communication needs. The inspection outcome highlights failings within the service which we had previously identified and which we are working hard to remedy. We accept the findings of the OFSTED inspection and will continue to strive to do better for our SEND children, young people and families. I am absolutely committed to seeing this change happen and we have been working hard to build positive, strong foundations for this. We recognise the ongoing work which we need to carry out to address the concerns arising from complaints and feedback from our service users and we are incorporating this into our improvement plan which seeks to carry out continual development. We have recently welcomed three additional colleagues who will support with this work. Inspectors noted that some of the work we are doing is still quite new and it is too early to see the desired impact and we have been open in that. Unfortunately, due to the scale of transformation needed these changes will take time and they must be made working closely with schools, health colleagues, our Children’s Trust and most of all with families. Involvement from families, children and young people was recognised within the report and I would like to share thanks to all those who have been involved – their contribution has been so valuable, and we will continue to build on this engagement to ensure their voices remain at the heart of our planning, conversations and next steps. The £1.35million investment approved at Cabinet, will make a huge difference, enabling further capacity in our team to improve the quality and timeliness for ECP needs assessment. I am confident this will set a positive trajectory to make these critical changes and be a significant step forward for the service. Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills It is our absolute priority to make sure immediate action takes place to continue to drive the urgent improvements which are required as highlighted in this report. Some of this work is already underway and it is now critical that we continue to build momentum across our partnership in health, education and social care to improve services to these children, young people and families who have been let down. The priority action plan will outline specific actions for each of our organisations and we will make the critical changes outlined in this plan as quickly as possible to work towards achieving far better outcomes that the children, young people and families in this county deserve and expect. Chief Nursing Officer at Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board, Yvonne Higgins We are committed to working collaboratively with our partners to drive forward the priority plan to improve the experiences and outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Whilst it is reassuring that the inspectors saw that the Children’s Disability Team carry out timely assessments and give appropriate advice to meet the needs of children and young people most in need of social care support, we know that there is still a lot of work to do. Alongside our partners we want to ensure that all children, young people and families with SEND receive the best possible services and support. Julian Wooster, Chair of Northamptonshire Children’s Trust The result and findings of the Ofsted and CQC inspection align with the perspectives shared by our members and ourselves, which makes them unsurprising. As representatives of the Parent Carer community, we are deeply troubled by the findings of the recent Ofsted & CQC report highlighting widespread and systematic failings in SEND provision within our local area. We share the concerns expressed by families across the SEND community. West Northants Voices in Partnership are committed to advocating for the rights and interests of children and young people with SEND and their families. We stand in solidarity with all those affected by these failings and are committed to working collaboratively with the Local Authority, Education, Health, Social Care, and other stakeholders to address the issues identified and drive meaningful change. Our priority is to ensure that the voices of parent carers are heard and valued. We will actively engage with the local authority, schools, and relevant agencies to hold them accountable for addressing the failings highlighted in the report and to advocate for improved SEND provision across West Northamptonshire. We call for transparency, accountability, and swift action to remedy the failings identified in the report and to ensure that children and young people with SEND receive the support and resources they need to succeed. Together, we can work towards a future where every child, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, has the opportunity to reach their full potential. We look forward to the return of the inspectors in 18 months, where we hope the Local Area SEND Partnership leaders and stakeholders will demonstrate the effectiveness of the implemented measures with positive outcomes for children, young people with SEND, and their families. The West Northants Voices in Partnership team would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to everyone who contributed to our Padlet pages and reached out to us via email and allowing us to share with the inspectors directly. Statement from West Northamptonshire Voices in Partnership Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Wellbeing toolkit launched to support workplaces across West Northamptonshire
July 12, 2024
Wellbeing toolkit launched to support workplaces across West Northamptonshire
12 July 2024 Employers of any size across West Northamptonshire can now access a wellbeing toolkit designed to provide practical guidance on how to enhance wellbeing in the workplace and improve business outcomes. Research shows that a good workplace wellbeing programme can have a positive impact on employee happiness and engagement, increase productivity and improve customer service and business outcomes. The toolkit aims to encourage businesses to adopt an insight and data led approach to workplace wellbeing, improving the health and wellbeing of their employees and subsequently their business performance. West Northamptonshire Council has launched the free to use, self-service Workplace Wellbeing Toolkit that is available to all businesses across the area. It offers a step-by-step guide to workplace wellbeing. Providing an overview of what wellbeing is, how businesses can invest in it, how they can use existing data to enhance their wellbeing programmes. It helps employers to create an action plan across a wide range of wellbeing topics to support the specific needs of their employees. “We are pleased to be able to launch our workplace wellbeing toolkit which aims to support businesses with enhancing their employee wellbeing offer. It has been developed by our public health specialists in partnership with existing businesses to ensure that it meets the needs of businesses and their employees. “We will be continuing to develop the toolkit over the coming months and years based on the feedback from local businesses.” Cllr Matt Golby, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Public Health and Regulatory Services Northampton Community Foundation Trust are great exemplars of workplace wellbeing having won the Workplace Wellbeing Award in 2023. “We put wellbeing in the workplace at the heart of our HR policy. As a grant making charity which invests many funds into wellbeing across our communities, we think it is incredibly important that we lead from the front and promote good wellbeing for staff and volunteers. Staff that feel valued at work are more likely to thrive and achieve their best. This enhances staff retention and provides a more nourishing and rewarding work experience for building a positive team culture and for achieving our mission as the leading grant making charity in the county. Our commitment includes a flexible working policy, being living wage accredited, providing wellbeing activities, a menopause policy and investing in our work around equity, diversity and inclusion.” Rachel McGrath, Chief Executive To find out more about workplace wellbeing services across West Northamptonshire visit: Workplace Wellbeing Support Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Pride for first cohort of Northamptonshire firefighters to achieve apprentice qualification
July 12, 2024
Pride for first cohort of Northamptonshire firefighters to achieve apprentice qualification
A cohort of firefighters have become the first ever in Northamptonshire to receive an apprenticeship qualification with the Service. The 14 firefighters have received the Level 3 Operational Firefighter qualification from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, and demonstrates the Fire Service’s desire to develop our firefighters and equip them with skills and qualifications that will prove beneficial for the rest of their working lives. Our new apprentices were presented with their certificates at Fire HQ in Wellingborough yesterday (July 9) by Deputy Chief Fire Officer Simon Tuhill, and were also paid a visit by new Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Danielle Stone. Deputy CFO Simon Tuhill (pictured below right) said: “This is the first time ever that our firefighters have been able to achieve an accredited apprenticeship qualification through the Service, and this is a qualification that can not only help progress their career here in Northamptonshire Fire but is also a transferable qualification that can help them progress on whatever path they wish to follow. “It is important that we help to develop our staff and give them valuable skills, and I know they all found it a positive experience – so it’s important also to thank our training instructors who helped them on this journey.” The apprenticeship took two years for the cohort to complete and saw them undertake practical examinations to demonstrate their firefighting skills, as well as completing knowledge and understanding testing to showcase their understanding of the role and how they have helped with safety in the local community. The end point assessment involved them being assessed by experienced independent instructors from other Fire and Rescue Services who determined if they had met the required standards, and NFRS was delighted with the feedback that was received about all the apprentice firefighters. One of the firefighters to receive an apprenticeship is Charlotte Cowley (pictured below with DCFO Tuhill), who joined Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service two years ago and is currently wholetime on Blue Watch in Corby. She said: “The first year of study was pretty intense, and I had to do that on top of my operational duties as a firefighter. But I would say that compared to when I first joined, I never thought I would have been able to learn as much as I have. “It’s been a steep learning curve, but it’s been an incredibly fulfilling experience and I am so happy to have achieved it.” Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service will be recruiting for new apprentice firefighters in the near future – please keep an eye on our social media platforms and our News Page for an announcement soon.
West Northants to host stage of men's Tour of Britain
July 10, 2024
West Northants to host stage of men's Tour of Britain
Parks, sports and leisure 10 July 2024 West Northamptonshire will welcome Britain’s biggest professional cycle this September, as we play host to the penultimate stage of the Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Men. Taking place on Saturday 7 September, the stage will start in Northampton town centre and take in a route through West Northamptonshire of around 150 kilometres (93 miles), before heading back to the finish line in Northampton. We’re delighted to be bringing top-level racing and the joy of cycling to communities across the country in September, with six stages to showcase the very best of Britain’s character and terrain. We’re enormously thankful to the local partners who are supporting the delivery of this year’s race, as we look to build on the momentum of June’s successful Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Women. I’ve no doubt that their communities will be out in force to welcome the riders, and make it another memorable week of racing to cap off a huge summer of cycling. British Cycling Events Managing Director, Jonathan Day This area is no stranger to professional cycling, having held women’s Tours of Britain in 2014 and 2016, but this will mark the first occasion that the men’s event has come to the county. We are extremely excited to be hosting the world-class Tour of Britain race for the first time this September. Events like this play an important role in bringing communities together and inspiring people to take up sport and live a more active and healthier lifestyle. They also provide a significant boost to our local economy and showcase our wonderful area to a global audience. When previously hosting the Women’s Tour we saw a record number of spectators visiting West Northamptonshire and lining the route to show their support and we very much hope to witness that again this year as we celebrate all those taking part in the race. As a Council we are committed to providing opportunities to get involved in sports and physical activity and by hosting this international event showcasing prominent cyclists we hope to inspire the next generation of budding athletes right here in West Northants. Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture and Leisure The Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Men begins in the Scottish Borders on Tuesday 3 September, visiting the Tees Valley, and South Yorkshire over subsequent stages. Following the stage in West Northamptonshire the race concludes in Suffolk on Sunday 8 September after six stages of racing. More details of the Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Men, including the stage five route map, detailed stage timings, and competing teams will be announced in the coming weeks . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Council to procure provider for new homelessness support service
July 10, 2024
Council to procure provider for new homelessness support service
10 July 2024 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will undertake a competitive procurement process to seek a provider to deliver a new Multiple Complex and High Needs Support Service for people with a history of rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping. The service will be located at Broadmead Court in Northampton and will consist of 18 units (20 bedspaces) and specialist support to address gaps in the homelessness pathway to help increase residents’ resilience and equip them with the necessary tools to enable them to move on to sustainable and independent living. The proposed commissioned service will focus on preventing and reducing homelessness by delivering support which is person centred, trauma informed and seeks to break the cycle of homelessness, leading to move on into independent living and stable accommodation. As part of the commissioning process, which was approved by WNC’s Cabinet yesterday (9 July), engagement will take place in July and August 2024 with both internal and external stakeholders including local ward councillors and service users to inform the service specification and requirements and ensure delivery of a model that meets the current and future needs of the client group. Research commissioned around the health and housing needs of rough sleepers has identified that there are no dedicated specialist services or arrangements to support this cohort locally resulting in a significant unmet need in the higher intensity support provision. The service will commence following handover of the building due in Autumn 2025 and will be funded by the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP) and delivered through the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and Homes England. It will support the Council’s Single Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Pathway which aims to prevent homelessness and reduce rough sleeping in West Northamptonshire. “Evidence shows that people sleeping rough experience profound health inequalities and complex vulnerabilities which require specialist support and often have negative health, housing, social and wellbeing outcomes. “This service will effectively provide a wraparound service which not only addresses homelessness prevention but also aims to improve individuals’ wider personal circumstances and quality of life, ranging from physical health; mental health; employment; education; training; better sense of community; wellbeing; and access to support services. “To achieve this, we want to work with stakeholders and people with a lived experience of homelessness and rough sleeping to co-produce a service that meets the existing and future needs of users. Feedback from this engagement will form the specification and criteria used during the commissioning process, which we hope to begin later this year.” Cllr Rosie Herring, Cabinet Member for Housing Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northants libraries launch Summer Reading Challenge 2024
July 10, 2024
West Northants libraries launch Summer Reading Challenge 2024
10 July 2024 This summer, children aged 4-11 can visit any West Northamptonshire library from 20 July to join the 'Marvellous Makers' Summer Reading Challenge, firing up their imaginations through the power of reading and creative expression. In partnership with Create, a leading arts charity, and public libraries, this year's Challenge celebrates kids' creativity and storytelling abilities. Children will be encouraged to explore new books and stories while taking part in free activities, from arts and crafts to music, dance, and more: libraries will be offering a vibrant array of arts and crafts themed events for children over the Summer from ballet workshops, wind chime making, magic shows, decoupage, slime and much, much more! The bespoke Challenge artwork is illustrated by celebrated artist Natelle Quek, bringing the 'Marvellous Makers' theme vibrantly to life. Sign up to the challenge anytime at your local library from 6 July. For further information regarding the Summer Reading Challenge and events please ask in your local library branch or visit the West Northamptonshire Council Libraries webpage . Alongside the Summer Reading Challenge 2024 Marvellous Makers, delivered by libraries in partnership with the Reading Agency and Create, libraries are running a competition to celebrate what people love most about where they live. We would like young artists to create an artwork showcasing what they love about where they live; this could be a local park, shops, school, cafe or even the library. This competition is open to young artists aged 5-12 years old. They can submit one artwork in the form of a painting, drawing, photograph or model. Artists should use recycled or reused materials to make their models, submissions using high value materials such as Lego cannot be accepted. Artists can collaborate and submit an artwork as a group, or one that they have created for a school project. Full information and application forms can be obtained from any West Northamptonshire library. Northamptonshire artist and sculptor, Lisa Lovett of Earthly Arts Studio based at Chester House is the guest judge and will be touring library exhibitions to select a finalist from each to be part of an exhibition and grand final held at The Gathering Space in Northampton’s Grosvenor shopping centre on 28 September 2024. All artists who have had a piece selected will receive a prize, with the overall winner receiving a £50 Hobbycraft voucher and their image being featured on a limited run of library cards. “Summer is the perfect time to get lost in a good book and this year’s Summer Reading Challenge provides the perfect opportunity to explore the many amazing books available in our libraries while enjoying a variety of free arts and crafts, music and dance activities – and take part in a fantastic competition to be in with the chance of winning a prize! “By participating in the challenge, young people will have the opportunity to foster their creative skills over the summer break as well as explore new reading material, develop skills, and discover new interests. “It’s free to take part and I encourage families across West Northamptonshire to sign up and discover the many books and services available in our local libraries.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture and Leisure Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northants Partners with System C to Deliver New Cloud-Based Adult Social Care System
July 11, 2024
West Northants Partners with System C to Deliver New Cloud-Based Adult Social Care System
11 July 2024 West Northamptonshire Council has signed a new five-year contract with social care software specialist, System C, to implement its Liquidlogic case management application for adult social care in the region. The new cloud-based system is due to go live in February 2025, offering an integrated, comprehensive single view of individuals. It will incorporate a person’s GP data and provide residents with the ability to manage their own records through a dedicated customer-facing portal. Once live, the solution will be used daily by a council workforce of over 500 staff providing complex care and support to over 4,500 residents. More widely it will also be accessed by other users including social care providers, carers, and the voluntary sector. The new case management application will include a fully integrated finance system with the key benefit of streamlining assessment and payment processes. This integration will enable the council to enhance efficiencies and take a proactive approach in managing referrals for individuals requiring adult social care services. For residents, it will provide a dedicated portal where they can manage their account from one simple login, providing improved access for self-managing their records. “The implementation of System C represents an exciting milestone in our council's digital and technology innovation strategy. This move aligns with our vision to transform West Northamptonshire into a digitally inclusive community, where all residents can conveniently access council services. We chose System C because of the quality of its system and the exemplary standard of data it could provide, with a high level of importance focused on usability and seamless integration with the contract finance system. We wanted a platform that could provide a fully flexible and intuitive solution, and System C demonstrated it could meet that essential need.” Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Public Health and Regulatory Services at West Northamptonshire Council “We’re thrilled to be working with West Northamptonshire Council to support adult social care in the region. We cater to the diverse needs of numerous local government teams and the communities they serve. Understanding the constraints of council budgets, we are committed to developing innovative solutions that empower councils like West Northamptonshire to enable self-management for individuals while offering council staff the flexibility to adapt to local operational methods. “Our social care technology provides a holistic view of care records from a single platform, so teams can manage their workload, support vulnerable people and families and deliver statutory services as efficiently as possible. This approach simplifies the work of practitioners, enabling them to deliver enhanced support in a more streamlined way.” Nick Wilson, Chief Executive Officer at System C Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Partnership project provides free junior activity memberships to young people in Northampton
July 09, 2024
Partnership project provides free junior activity memberships to young people in Northampton
09 July 2024 Northampton East Local Area Partnership (LAP) has partnered with Trilogy Active at Lings Forum Leisure Centre to offer free Junior Memberships to children in the area who might not otherwise have access to them. The programme delivered by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and Trilogy Active will start just before the summer holidays, providing 75 six-month junior memberships. Three Primary Schools in close proximity to Lings Forum Leisure Centre are participating in the programme including Thorplands Primary, Standens Barn and Lumbertubs, with each school allocating 25 memberships to selected students. Students will be selected based on means testing for those on free school meals, with the schools selecting the students they feel would benefit most from the programme. Compared to West Northamptonshire and the national average, East Northampton faces higher levels of total crime and anti-social behaviour, unemployment and unemployment benefit claimants. This programme aims to eliminate the financial barriers to physical activity for local young people, in turn promoting healthier communities. The impact of the pilot will be monitored and evaluated to understand whether the removal of financial barriers increases physical activity, improves mental health and the wider determinants of health. The Junior Active Memberships will provide access to either a weekly lesson or club, including swimming, gymnastics or football. The membership will also give the students access to after school buzz clubzz, holiday activities, kids’ screenings at the Forum Cinema, swimming, term time Berzerk active play entry for under 10s, gym use for 11+, off peak racket sports, and roller skating. “This project is a fantastic opportunity for young people in Northampton to access a wide range of physical activities which they may not have otherwise had access to. “Through this exciting partnership project we hope to inspire young people to develop healthy habits, boost mental health and promote overall wellbeing in the community.” Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture and Leisure at WNC “We are genuinely really pleased to be a part of this important and empowering project. By providing 75 Junior Active Memberships to children across the East of Northampton we are ensuring they have the opportunity to have a weekly swimming, gymnastics or football lesson along with use our swimming pools, our cinema and after school and holiday activities such as roller skating, dodgeball and basketball. “We are making this investment of over £26,000 because we are passionate about the physical and emotional wellbeing of children from across the community that we serve. We look forward to welcoming them to our centres and are proud to work in partnership with West Northamptonshire Council on this exciting venture.” John Fletcher, Managing Director of Trilogy Active “We are really grateful to have been able to work in partnership with Trilogy Active to provide memberships for some of our pupils. “At our school, we are passionate about ensuring our children receive enriching active opportunities, and being able to offer free Junior Active Memberships certainly achieves that. “The families I have spoken to have been really grateful too, and the pupils are excited to start their memberships.” Beth Conroy, Thorplands Primary School Teacher Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Online resource launched for families across West Northamptonshire
July 09, 2024
Online resource launched for families across West Northamptonshire
09 July 2024 A new online resource focused on providing families with a wealth of resources and local service information has been launched today by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC). The Family Hubs website provides bespoke guidance to cater to the needs of families at every life stage; from conception and pregnancy, through to toddlers, school admissions and the teenage years. It offers a seamless experience, organising information by age range to facilitate easy access to relevant support. The website provides comprehensive guidance and local service details tailored to meet the specific needs of the local community, whether they’re expecting a child, raising a toddler, or navigating the teenage years. Currently in its initial phase, the Family Hubs website is set to evolve further with the addition of new features and expanded content over the coming months. WNC are also working closely with community organisations and partners to look at how it can extend this offer across all nine of our Local Area Partnerships (LAPs) in West Northants. West Northamptonshire Council is committed to continually enhancing this resource to better serve the community, ensuring families have access to up-to-date and pertinent information. Please do take the time to explore the Family Hubs website and discover the wealth of support available. Visit the Family Hubs in West Northamptonshire here: Family Hubs “We are pleased to be launching the family hubs which provides an online tool to support families and their children right from the start of planning their pregnancy, through to their teenage years. The dedicated website page provides practical guidance for children of all ages, as well as details of local services to support families. We look forward to working with parents and carers to continue to develop the resources available to ensure they meet the needs of our communities.” Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at WNC This website launch comes as part of a wider project focused on increasing early support and intervention for families and young people. Together with other local organisations, the Council is looking at the early help offer and how this can be strengthened to ensure there is the right, preventative support available including in-person Family Hubs, offering a place in local communities for families and young people to access. The first in-person Family Hub is set to open in Towcester later this year, with other locations in Northampton and Daventry to follow. Click here for more information and to visit the family hubs webpage. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Date confirmed for Northampton market to return to historic square
July 04, 2024
Date confirmed for Northampton market to return to historic square
04 July 2024 Northampton Market is set to return to the historic market square from 20 September, following the area undergoing extensive regeneration to provide a renewed space for residents, businesses, and traders. Northampton Town Centre is benefiting from ongoing large-scale investment in regeneration through £24 million worth of Government support through the Town's Fund grant. This providing a catalyst for further private sector investment and confidence in the town with more than £140 million being invested into the Four Waterside and Marefair Development and £8 million worth of private funding boosting the adjacent Market Walk scheme as well as significant opportunities and investment bringing the M&S and BHS buildings back to life after their closure. This will benefit residents, attract more visitors, and promote the area as a destination for all, creating a town centre of the future, bringing a better experience and more opportunities to all that want to live, work or spend their leisure time here. The town is home to one of the longest running outdoor markets in Europe and the reopening of the market from 20 September is a significant milestone in the transformation of the town, and forms part of the phased opening of the regeneration scheme. The wider rejuvenated market square, one of the largest in the UK, is anticipated to be fully open in October. As part of the extensive refurbishment traders will have access to bespoke, fixed stalls as well as pop up stalls. These modern fixed 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 wider 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, and to provide a catalyst for private sector investment into Northampton town centre. These improved facilities are also attracting a number of new businesses and by the time we open we will have an enhanced range of quality products as well as welcoming back the existing, valued market traders. "The refurbishment of our Market Square is a core part of the significant investment in, and regeneration of Northampton and we are delighted to be able to confirm that the market will reopen at the historic square from 20 September. “It has been fantastic to hear from local business owners and traders who would like to be a part of the reimagined market, which will offer a wide range of high-quality local produce and services. We are delighted to be able to welcome a diverse mix of stalls and traders when we reopen in just a few weeks’ time. Visitors will find an exciting range of goods and services on offer – come and prepare to be surprised. We are always keen to hear from local entrepreneurs who are looking to take the first step and showcase their business at Northampton’s market, so please do reach out if you’ve got an idea you’d like to discuss. “It is important to recognise the patience of traders and thank them for their support, while throughout the temporary relocation which has enabled us to carry out this vital regeneration and provide them with an enhanced space to trade from. Over the coming weeks we will be working with new and existing traders to ensure that they have everything they need ahead of reopening. “Stepnell and their development contractors will continue to finalise the project ahead of its full anticipated completion this October.” Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Culture and Leisure 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] National developer, STACK, is set to transform the vacant Market Walk shopping centre which sits on the Market Square into a vibrant new leisure, entertainment, and social community hub. This will be a vital part of expanding the night-time economy and amplifying the many reasons to visit the town. Meanwhile one of the town’s busiest shopping districts, Abington and Fish Street is undergoing extensive refurbishment which will lift the quality of the public spaces through high quality materials, increasing seating and planting, introducing new art and play opportunities along the street, as well as spaces for outdoor dining and community activity. The scheme is well underway and is set to be completed this winter, enhancing the reimagined Market Square. People across Northampton can continue to visit the market at its temporary location at Commercial Street Car Park before 20 September. Find out more about Northampton market Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Have your say on the West Northamptonshire Draft Tenancy Strategy
July 08, 2024
Have your say on the West Northamptonshire Draft Tenancy Strategy
08 July 2024 Residents are invited to have their say on West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Draft Tenancy Strategy which sets out the approach that Councils and Registered Providers of Social Housing need to consider when developing their own tenancy policies. Every UK local authority is required by law to have a tenancy strategy outlining: The types of tenancies The circumstances that different types of tenancies will be granted The length of fixed-term tenancies The circumstances where a further tenancy can be granted following a fixed-term let As well as aligning its objectives to support the Council’s Corporate plan and key housing-related strategies, the draft West Northamptonshire Tenancy Strategy seeks to: Set clear expectations of all social registered providers operating across West Northamptonshire in tenancy related matters Highlight the Council’s preferred approach to tenancy types offered Encourage social housing providers to offer greater tenancy support and tenancy sustainment Encourage social rent levels in new build homes Once adopted, the Tenancy Strategy will replace the existing tenancy strategies currently in place in West Northamptonshire. West Northamptonshire residents who hold a tenancy with a registered provider (otherwise known as a housing association), local tenant and resident groups, registered providers, and other interested parties and stakeholders are all encouraged to share their views in the survey. “Our tenants should be involved in shaping the housing services they receive. This consultation provides all interested parties with an opportunity to comment on the draft strategy and take part in decision-making to help shape housing provision in West Northamptonshire. “This strategy is about more than just council housing services – we want to work with residents, local partner organisations and groups and the wider community to create and deliver a shared long-term strategy that works for everyone.” Cllr Rosie Herring, Cabinet Member for Housing People can take part in the survey by visiting the West Northamptonshire Council consultation hub before midnight on Sunday 18 August. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Cost of living support on offer this summer
July 03, 2024
Cost of living support on offer this summer
Cost of living support 03 July 2024 A series of cost-of-living roadshow events and pop-up stalls will be held across West Northamptonshire this summer to highlight the support available to residents. People are encouraged to go along to speak to a range of organisations to find out what help is available to them and where to find it. Organised by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), the events will offer information on accessing grants, money and debt advice, wellbeing tips and much more. WNC's wellbeing service and community partners will be at: Woodford Halse Community Food Larder (The Nest, Woodford Halse Primary Academy, Scrivens Hill, NN11 3SU) on Tuesday 9 July from Midday to 2:30pm Duston Library Welcoming Space (Pendle Road, Duston, NN5 6DT) on Wednesday 17 July from 2pm to 4pm Albanian Cultural Association Welcoming Space (Leicester Street, Northampton, NN1 3RS) on Wednesday 24 July from 10am to 1:30pm Saints Community Trust Welcoming Space (St James Park, Churchill Way, Brackley, NN13 7EJ) on Wednesday 14 August from 10am - 12:30pm Towcester SNVB Community Larder (The Riverside Centre, Islington Road, Towcester, NN12 6AU) on Thursday 22 August from 10am to 11:15am The service will also have a presence at Moulton’s Community Mature Drive Roadshow, Kings Heath Community Funday, Southbrook Community Funday and Northampton Pride. For those who are unable to attend these events but are keen to find out more, our cost of living support hub is full of information and advice to help all residents find the support and help available to them. If someone is unable to access the internet, they can also call our customer services team from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday on 0300 126 7000 and speak to somebody directly about the support available. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northamptonshire to remember Srebrenica Genocide
July 04, 2024
West Northamptonshire to remember Srebrenica Genocide
04 July 2024 A ceremony of remembrance to honour the victims of the Srebrenica genocide on its 29th anniversary will take place on Thursday, 11 July, at 10.45am in the Guildhall courtyard on St Giles’ Square in Northampton. People are invited to join representatives from West Northamptonshire Council, the Lord-Lieutenants office, Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire Diverse Communities Forum and others, to hear speeches and observe a one-minute silence at 11am, in honour of the 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys who were massacred in Srebrenica, Bosnia, in July 1995. The service will be followed by refreshments served in the Court Room. The Srebrenica flag will also be raised at each of West Northamptonshire Council’s main offices in Daventry, Northampton and Towcester and candles of remembrance lit to mark the occasion. The day of remembrance is part of the Srebrenica Memorial Week, which runs from 12 to 19 July, with this year’s theme ‘I Am Because You Are’ underlining the importance of standing up against those who try to divide us and standing up for each other against hatred, discrimination, harassment or prejudice. It will also help empower everyone in our communities to understand the importance of interconnectedness to help build a safer, stronger, and more cohesive society for all. United Nations member states recently voted to declare 11 July an annual day of remembrance for victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. Northamptonshire Police is committed to challenging all forms of hatred, prejudice and intolerance within communities. Anyone who has experienced a hate crime or incident is encouraged to report it to the police by calling 101. More information about this year’s theme and the memorial week can be found on the Remembering Srebrenica website. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Plans in place to keep hundreds of thousands of race fans safe at British Grand Prix
July 04, 2024
Plans in place to keep hundreds of thousands of race fans safe at British Grand Prix
Work is continuing at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service to help keep hundreds of thousands of race fans safe at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this year. The four-day race weekend get underway on Thursday July 4 and is expected to see over 160,000 people in attendance on race day alone as the weekend culminates on Sunday July 7. Preparation for the event has been ongoing for the last nine months with a dedicated Silverstone Planning Team created within the Joint Operations Team, which works in partnership with Northamptonshire Police. The Team works with Silverstone Circuit and partners from Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire to understand and manage any potential risks that could occur during the event. The Service will also have a dedicated command team for the event which will oversee operational crews co-located with multi-agency partners onsite, whilst continuing to protect the communities of Northamptonshire. In addition, our Fire Protection Team have been working tirelessly over the months leading up to the Grand Prix with Silverstone and their contractors to offer advice in relation to safety plans and procedures. The work that the Fire Protection Team does covers a wide range of areas across the racing weekend. This includes safety within the temporary hospitality venues, crowd management at the on-site concerts and liaising with local hotels and accommodation to ensure all fire safety regulations are being followed. Members of the Fire Protection Team will also be visiting the campsites in and around the circuit, offering fire safety literature from our Prevention Team to provide campers with advice on how to stay safe from fire when at the event. Matt Butler, NFRS strategic commander for the British Grand Prix, said: “A huge amount of work goes on all year round to help make sure we are suitably prepared and able to respond to any type of incident whilst at attendance at the British Grand Prix.” Matt (pictured below left) added: “Planning for a major sporting event that will bring hundreds of thousands of people into the county is a big task that cannot be completed in isolation and I am confident that, alongside our multi-agency partners, we can ensure fans enjoy the event and go home safely.”
Food summer safety checklist
July 02, 2024
Food summer safety checklist
02 July 2024 Over the summer months many of us will be enjoying the warm weather and may be hosting family and friends. We’ve put together a simple checklist to help you make the most of your food and avoid becoming unwell because of poorly prepped or stored food and avoid food waste going in your bin. Step one - beforehand Check the number of people you’re cooking for if you’re hosting – check for any allergies or dietary needs Plan out your food to make the most of what you’re cooking and avoid waste Make the most out of offers or discounts to help save money where you can Step two – storing and preparing your food Store food in the right places, checking labels for storage instructions – make the most of fridge and freezers and store raw meat at the bottom of your fridge Check your fridge’s temperature, because the temperature of your fridge can rise when it's full, increasing the chance of food poisoning. Your fridge should be between 0-5°C Check for use by dates and stick to these, as tempting as it might be to go over a day or so Be sure to take any meat out to defrost the night or day before, defrost at the bottom of the fridge and ensure it is fully thawed before you begin cooking. Step three – cooking food Wash your hands before and throughout dinner preparations, especially after handling raw meat Use different chopping boards and utensils for raw and ready to eat/cooked food. Wash any equipment thoroughly in hot, soapy water between uses Make sure any meat is cooked through – there should be no visible pink meat, juices are running clear and use a food thermometer to check meat reaches 75°C in the thickest part Put leftovers in a sealed container inside the fridge within two hours of cooking, to be used within two days Split food into smaller portions to help speed up the cooling time. Step four – enjoying and leftovers Keep chilled foods out of the fridge for no longer than four hours / out of direct sunlight Eat food within two days of cooking or defrosting When reheating, only reheat once and ensure the food is steaming hot. To find out more about food safety and guidance visit the Food Standards Agency website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Voting in the general election this Thursday 4 July
July 01, 2024
Voting in the general election this Thursday 4 July
Electoral services 01 July 2024 Are you ready for the General Election this 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). The candidates standing in each of the four constituencies can be viewed here Read on to find out everything you need to know in order to have your say in this election. Voting at a polling station Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm on Thursday 4 July, so you can cast your vote. You can find details of your polling station on your poll card, which was sent to you in the run-up to the election. If you have misplaced your poll card don't worry. You don't need it to vote and you can check details of your polling station here Don't forget your photo ID When you arrive at the polling station please give your name and address to the staff inside the polling station. You will also need to show your photo ID to confirm your identity. You can use an expired photo ID, so long as the image on the ID remains a good likeness to you. However it must be the original document - a photocopy is not acceptable Any of the following is acceptable: 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. Please check the list of acceptable forms of photo ID to ensure you have one that allows you to vote. Returning your postal vote If you arranged a postal vote and have left it too late to post it back, you can still bring your postal vote to the council offices or your polling station. You will 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 Commission website New constituency boundaries 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 you may be voting in a different constituency to previous elections. The new boundaries can be found by visiting the Boundary Commission for England Election results The votes will be counted once polls have closed at 10pm on Thursday 4 July, with the results expected to be announced in the early hours of Friday morning. The results for each of the four constituencies in the West Northamptonshire area will be published on our X and Facebook pages as soon as they are declared. They will also be posted on our Elections Results page Find out more More information about this election can be found on our General Election 2024 page Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Charity honoured to receive prestigious King’s Award
July 01, 2024
Charity honoured to receive prestigious King’s Award
01 July 2024 A charity that works to alleviate hunger and provide for those in need across Northamptonshire has been awarded the King’s Award for Voluntary Service. The McCarthy-Dixon Foundation received the award from His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, James Saunders Watson, in recognition of the support it gives to people in need across the county. Equivalent to an MBE, the award is the highest that can be given to voluntary groups in the UK. The McCarthy-Dixon Foundation was established in 2020 in response to the pandemic and since then has provided invaluable aid to thousands of people. It has supported more than 83,000 people through distributing food parcels and supporting school children by providing breakfast boxes, school shoes, and technology to help them with their studies. It also tackles loneliness and improves wellbeing through a range of local clubs and groups as well as via its Doorstep Buddies programme, which provides regular home visits to people who are socially isolated. The charity works with a range of organisations including local schools, Community Mental Health Teams, Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service, Northamptonshire Children’s Trust, Northamptonshire Social Services, and Northamptonshire HM Prisons and Probation service. "We are so, so honoured to receive this award. Our amazing team of volunteers are the absolute heart of our charity, and we couldn’t do what we do without their amazing, continued support. It is a delight to have made such a significant impact in Northamptonshire, and for everybody’s hard work to be recognised in such a fantastic way. I want to say a huge thanks to all our volunteers, trustees, and donors - this wouldn’t have been possible without their support.” Teresa McCarthy-Dixon, Founder of The McCarthy-Dixon Foundation “It is wonderful that the McCarthy-Dixon Foundation has been recognised with the prestigious King’s Award for Voluntary Service. This award is much deserved and one that truly honours the incredible work the Foundation does and the impact it has on people’s lives across Northamptonshire every day. “The Foundation has grown considerably since it was originally established and the breadth of support they offer is remarkable, all achievable due to their magnificent volunteers that contribute their time to help others. A truly exceptional foundation.” James Saunders Watson, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire To find out more about the Foundation or how you can get involved, please visit the McCarthy-Dixon Foundation website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New Northamptonshire relief road opens to public
June 28, 2024
New Northamptonshire relief road opens to public
28 June 2024 The first section of a new relief road which has been created to support the delivery of new housing developments has now opened to the public in Northamptonshire. The road, which is the first section of the Sandy Lane Relief Road to be opened, has been built to connect residents at the new housing schemes and surrounding residential areas with the existing Sandy Lane road, opened to road users for the first time on Friday 28th June. Miller Homes and Vistry Group are delivering a significant number of new homes in this part of Northamptonshire and the existing route between the A4500 and Roman Road passing along Sandy Lane was temporarily closed as part of this. “We know in implementing much needed new housing developments there can be impact on residents but by working closely with the developers, we have sought to mitigate these as much as possible and address issues as they arose. “I would like to apologise to the residents of Harpole and Duston, and businesses in the area, who have had a difficult time while this closure has been in place, and we apologise for the inconvenience caused and thank them for their patience. “We’re very grateful to colleagues at Vistry Group and Miller Homes for working with us to deliver this link as soon as was possible. “We will continue our conversations with Homes England to get the whole relief road completed as soon as possible.” Stuart Timmiss, WNC Executive Director for Place and Economy The two developments – known as Western Gate, built by Vistry Group under its Linden Homes and Bovis Homes brands, and Norwood Quarter, built by Miller Homes – will provide almost 800 new homes between them close to the Harpole and Duston areas of Northampton. “We are pleased to have now opened this section of the Sandy Lane Relief Road for traffic to connect back onto Sandy Lane and between the new developments being built in this part of Northamptonshire. “We have worked closely with West Northamptonshire Council to complete the work on this section of the new relief road as quickly and efficiently as possible, ensuring safety was at the top of our priority list at all times. “We also appreciate the disruption this has caused while the road was being built and would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused, and now hope road users will benefit from the improved transport infrastructure for many years to come. “Miller Homes and Vistry Group remain committed to delivering quality new housing within Northamptonshire, as work continues on our respective developments nearby the newly opened relief road.” Spokesperson on behalf of the two developers While one part of the Sandy Lane Relief Road has now opened to the public, West Northamptonshire Council hope that construction to join up the newly opened road to the southern section of the road will commence soon. For further information about the developments being built by Miller Homes and Vistry Group, visit: Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northampton Heritage Buses to showcase in national Heritage Open Days 30th anniversary gallery
June 27, 2024
Northampton Heritage Buses to showcase in national Heritage Open Days 30th anniversary gallery
27 June 2024 Northampton Transport Heritage Buses have been selected to showcase in the national Heritage Open Days gallery to celebrate the festival’s 30th anniversary. The online gallery will feature 30 stories from across the UK covering the breadth of Heritage Open Days over the years and detailing the story behind each one to serve as an important record of the event’s history. From 1 July, the public will be able to vote for their favourite entries, with the winning 10 being featured in the final gallery and being awarded a small grant from the National Trust. The vintage bus service is a popular fixture in West Northamptonshire’s Heritage Open Days festival and was selected by the National Trust out of over 100 entries following an entry submitted by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC). The buses have been taking part in Northamptonshire’s Heritage Open Days event since 1994, offering a free hop-on-hop-off service between venues and attractions across the county during the 10-day event, delivered by a great team of volunteers. Over the years, Northampton Transport Heritage has also provided classic buses representing various operators nationwide, including United Counties and on occasion buses from further afield such as London Transport’s ubiquitous Routemaster. Heritage Open Days is England's largest community led festival of history and culture, involving thousands of local volunteers and organisations. Each year the event brings people together to celebrate their heritage, community and history with stories, traditions and histories all brought to life with free events and activities. This year’s Heritage Open Days event will take place between 6 and 15 September and will utilise the theme Routes, Networks & Connections to bring together the past and present with workshops, talks, hidden spaces, walks and activities for all the family. West Northamptonshire Council has again been co-ordinating this year’s local events programme which, for the first time, includes many offers from attractions across the whole of the county with the aim of making the heritage festival more diverse than ever before. This year’s events include a film of Northampton’s evolving Market Square, a student showcase of Northampton’s rich heritage and fun runners getting into the heritage spirit. More details will be revealed shortly on the WNC website together with details of where and when the heritage buses will be running. “We are once again thrilled and proud to be supporting Heritage Open Days with our partners at WNC. “Our vehicles have been a feature of the event since its inception 30 years ago when we started with one bus! Now we have anything up to ten buses at any given time. This event is a popular one in the calendar and is looked forward to by local people and visitors from across the country alike. “As well as the rich seam of history and historic buildings in Northamptonshire, people love the fact they can travel to them on a local heritage bus and they are, in this area, a key attraction in their own right. Our trustees and volunteers are looking forward to providing another fantastic event.” Graham Croucher, Chair of Northampton Transport Heritage Find out more about the festival and vote for your favourite stories in the 30th anniversary gallery on the Heritage Open Days website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Rainbows at the ready! Full line-up announced for Northampton Pride 2024
June 27, 2024
Rainbows at the ready! Full line-up announced for Northampton Pride 2024
27 June 2024 There is just two weeks to go until the popular Pride festival hits the streets of Northampton once again with a range of exciting activities and performances, hosted by Northampton Drag Queen Vanellope. The festival, which is organised by West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) LGBTQ and Allies Forum and the Northampton Pride Committee, will take place on Saturday, 13 July, giving residents in West Northants the opportunity to come together to show allegiance to, and celebrate our LGBTQ+ communities. 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. Entertainment on the day will include rainbow stilt walkers, hula hoopers, poetry and spoken word performances, a Drag Kings workshop, Drag story time and musical performances from Freya Rose, Phantom Isle, Afriene, and Leadley, with this year’s stage being sponsored by Northampton Town Council. NLive Radio have also joined this year’s event as official media partner. 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 first aid support, funded by Northampton BID. For the first time the event will also feature a small second stage located near the stall village where people can listen to Tent Talks with local LGBTQ speakers and a reading from local author Maddy T Thomas and take part in a 'mansformation', a workshop with Pecs Drag Kings to help you discover your inner drag king. The Northampton Pride Committee includes members from West Northants Council, the Northampton LGBTQ Forum, Northants Fire and Rescue Service, University of Northampton, The Lowdown, QSpace, NHFT, BID, NLive and Northampton Town Council. “Pride is about standing up to represent those who don’t feel they can speak out for themselves while having fun with friends, families, and allies in the process. “Pride is a party but it is also a protest to recognise that we have a long way to go to achieve true queer liberation and there are still places in the world that oppress and suppress LGBTQ+ people and communities. “A considerable amount of work has gone into the preparation of Northampton Pride and we hope everyone who comes along has a truly fun and memorable experience.” Northampton Pride Committee For more information about the event including stage timings on the day, please visit the Northampton Pride Facebook page. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Melanie Barnett to join West Northamptonshire Council as Director of Children’s Services
June 27, 2024
Melanie Barnett to join West Northamptonshire Council as Director of Children’s Services
27 June 2024 West Northamptonshire Council has appointed Melanie Barnett as its new Director of Children’s Services. Melanie, who will be taking up the position at WNC in August, is currently the Director for the All-age Disability Service at Worcestershire Children First, the organisation which provides children’s services countywide for the local authority. Her current role as Worcestershire County Council’s lead for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities means she will bring with her a proven track record towards delivering and improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND. Initially starting out on her career in children’s services nearly 20 years ago as a social worker, Melanie has extensive leadership experience and expertise across all aspects of the sector and a passion for driving changes to transform and improve local area systems, and was a member of the Executive Director team of Worcestershire Children First that achieved a Good overall Children's Services Ofsted outcome in May last year. Melanie joins West Northamptonshire as it embarks on the next chapter of its ongoing improvement journey for children’s services – with social care outcomes for youngsters continuing to make encouraging progress and receive growing positive feedback from Ofsted and where partners are working more closely together on a fresh strategy to improve outcomes for SEND families across the area. "I am really pleased to be joining West Northamptonshire Council and am looking forward to working collaboratively and in partnership with colleagues both inside and outside of the council, as well as children, young people and their families. I am excited to be a part of the continuing improvement journey and ultimately helping more children and young people to achieve better outcomes, and reach their potential, in West Northamptonshire" Melanie Barnett “I’m extremely pleased and excited to announce the appointment of Melanie Barnett into the key leadership role of Director for Children’s Services at WNC. Improving outcomes for our children and young people is a top priority for us and Melanie brings with her considerable experience in all aspects of these services, with specific expertise around SEND which is among our key focus areas”. “There was considerable interest in this role with a significant amount of experienced candidates wanting to join our West Northants team and Melanie performed exceptionally throughout the process. I look forward to working closely with her as we continue on our improvement journey for better outcomes for children and young people.” Anna Earnshaw, Chief Executive of West Northamptonshire Council Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Fond farewell to popular firefighter and Mounts historian Steve ‘Korky’ Corcoran
June 26, 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.”
Northamptonshire Firefighter takes centre stage to help influence future of animal rescue practices
June 26, 2024
Northamptonshire Firefighter takes centre stage to help influence future of animal rescue practices
A Northamptonshire firefighter took centre stage at an international conference demonstrating how the UK Fire Service can improve its rescue of animals from water. Mick Titcombe, a Command Training and Operational Assurance Team Manager at Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service, was a keynote speaker at the annual BARTA (British Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Association) conference in Glasgow last week. In his speech, Mick discussed the findings of his upcoming research paper, which focuses on improving the UK’s preparedness for climate emergencies for incidents involving animals. Responders, Vets, and emergency planners from 13 countries came together to form an international community of practice to tackle climate issues, from fires floods Earthquakes and other natural disasters. Mick was successful in securing a Churchill Fellowship grant to fund a research trip to Australia and the United States of America in October 2023 , where he was able to train with crews in both countries, study how they deal with animal rescues during climate emergencies and bring his learnings back to the UK. Mick said: “Australia and the USA have different types of climate related disasters, but the devastation is very similar. In those countries they have responders and systems in place to try and mitigate this, and the main aim of my research was mainly focused on the widescale floodings they have, and learning how they respond and join together the different disciplines of animal and water rescue. It was great to be joined by Dave King, State Emergency service New South Wales Australia, and Eric Thompson Animal Search and Rescue (ASAR) United States to join me with my talk.” Mick is hugely qualified in animal rescue, having been a long-serving firefighter at Wellingborough – where the Service’s Animal Rescue Unit is based, which is one of the busiest appliances in the county, with NFRS attending more than 80 animal rescues in the 2023/24 financial year. He also has a strong passion for agriculture, with his grandparents owning a farm, and with a smallholding of his own with several species of animals. That passion led to his involvement in animal rescue with Northamptonshire Fire, where for many years he has taught new recruits all about animal and water rescue. He is now bringing his learnings from abroad into his training in Northamptonshire, but the Conference allowed him to share his findings to a wider audience. Mick said: “It was a fantastic experience, and it has been great to share my learnings with the BARTA Conference, it is important that we share learning across the international community. “Climate change is bringing new risks with it to our communities, and so as a Fire Service we need to adapt to those changes. Much of the emergency response models for flooding are focused on human rescue with minimal awareness, equipment, knowledge and experience of rescuing animals from water. “I want to change this, and hopefully speaking at the conference has been a way of helping to influence the change we need in this country – whether it’s improving our pre-planning, our response, how we work with partners or enhancing the training we receive and the equipment we use.” Chief Fire Officer Nikki Watson added: “We are very proud of Mick and the work he is doing to improve our response to animal rescue in climate emergencies, not just here in Northamptonshire, but in helping the lead the way nationally. “We know Mick found his trip to Australia and the USA very informative, and he has already shared his learnings with the National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC). Along with his speech at this conference, he is helping to shape national policy for the future, and his passion for improving this area of work is an inspiration to us all.”
Flag to be raised at Council offices to mark Windrush Day
June 17, 2024
Flag to be raised at Council offices to mark Windrush Day
17 June 2024 Windrush Day will be celebrated this year with a flag-raising ceremony to mark 76 years since the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush. People are invited to attend the ceremony in front of The Sessions House, Northampton, on Saturday June 22. Anyone wishing to attend is asked to gather at 11.45am. Bishop Donavan Allen will welcome attendees at 11.55am and the flag will be raised at midday. The Windrush flag will also be flying that day across all West Northamptonshire Council buildings. Following the flag-raising, there will be a procession to the Royal & Derngate, where attendees can hear additional speeches and enjoy a musical performance. Windrush Day is celebrated on June 22 each year, commemorating the arrival in 1948 of several hundred passengers from the Caribbean at Tilbury Docks, London. Encouraged to migrate to rebuild post-war Britain, they became known as the Windrush generation. First started in 2018, the day celebrates the contributions and achievements of Caribbean migrants and their families. “Windrush Day is an opportunity for the community to come together to commemorate the incredible contributions of the Windrush Generation to British society, and to celebrate the rich cultural heritage they have brought to this country. “We honour their resilience, their sacrifices, and their determination in the face of adversity. As we Celebrate these heroes and sheroes, it is important that the second, third, fourth and fifth descendants see us recommit ourselves to building a more inclusive and equitable society, where everyone is valued and respected. “Today, we pledge to continue to support and uplift the Windrush Generations legacy for generations to come.” Janet Gordon, Co-Founder of Northampton Windrush Generation and Descendant UK Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Reminder to fully extinguish cigarettes following smoking related fires
June 26, 2024
Reminder to fully extinguish cigarettes following smoking related fires
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people to ensure their cigarettes are put right out – after attending three smoking related incidents that sparked outdoor fires yesterday (June 25). Just after 8am yesterday, firefighters had to use wildfire backpacks to extinguish an outdoor bin that had been set alight in St Katherine’s Street, Northampton. Shortly before 3pm, the Moulton crew had to put out a fire involving a number of tree cuttings in Wysall Road, Northampton – and at 5pm a 10-metre square patch of grass was ablaze at Westcott Way, Corby, which needed to be doused by the Corby crew. On all three occasions, the fires were caused by careless discarding of cigarettes, and thankfully did not spread much further. However, given the current heatwave, the potential for fires to spread and become largescale is higher than usual, and so Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service would urge everyone to make sure their cigarette is fully extinguished, and to make sure it is discarded properly and not carelessly. For more outdoor safety advice, please visit our Outdoor Safety section on the website.
Businesses are invited to join Council's catering framework
June 14, 2024
Businesses are invited to join Council's catering framework
14 June 2024 West Northamptonshire Council is looking to collaborate with a diverse range of caterers and suppliers to provide exceptional catering services tailored to a variety of events, including weddings, and corporate functions at Guildhall in Northampton. The refreshed framework is structured into multiple Lots, allowing caterers to bid for the specific services that align best with their offerings. There's no limit to the number of Lots businesses can apply for, ensuring flexibility and opportunity for all. Whether you excel in international cuisine, dietary-specific menus, or culturally influenced dishes, there's a Lot for every type of service you offer. Importantly, there's no limit to the number of Lots you can apply for, ensuring flexibility and opportunity for growth. In addition, we are looking to appoint a sole contractor for alcohol and bar services, who will work closely with all caterers within the framework. Interested caterers and suppliers can find more information and submit their bids through our procurement portal by 15 July 2024. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northampton technology conference biggest so far
June 17, 2024
Northampton technology conference biggest so far
17 June 2024 The sixth annual conference showcasing the innovation within local businesses, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and at the University of Northampton (UON) last week, was the biggest yet. Merged Futures 6 on Friday 14 June attracted a record 350 attendees who listened to 18 presentations across five rooms and browsed 20 exhibition stands all showing off local advances in virtual and mixed reality, AI and technology which can improve the lives of local people. In his opening speech, the University’s John Sinclair, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology said the theme for Merged Futures 6 was ‘technology for good’ and that exhibits included virtual reality for wellbeing, artificial intelligence in service delivery, gamification of learning, smart glasses for the partially sighted, and robo pets for the elderly. “Virtually everything you hear about today will involve local collaboration between individuals, businesses, West Northants Council and the University of Northampton. “But there are also national and international companies here as we strive to put our county ever more firmly on the map for digital innovation. “So, it’s great today to welcome global partners like Microsoft, Amazon and Jadu to Merged Futures and we want to welcome even more major players in the tech industry to Merged Futures going forward.” John Sinclair, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology “It’s been amazing to be involved with some of the initiatives going on in both special needs education and adult social care. “Emerging technology, including virtual reality and artificial intelligence and the way they can improve people’s lives, educate and transport them to new worlds, is incredible. “I think there are some fantastic people working in the sector, and many of them are local, which is even better. There are great prospects for us as a council to seize upon some of that technology and roll it out further, really helping improve the lives of all of our residents.” West Northamptonshire Council Chief Information Officer, Chris Wales Tyronne Leon-Fernandez was attending his second Merged Futures event for RiVR, the virtual reality education specialists which among many other initiatives supplies the blue-light services with training products. “It’s a really good group of guests who come here, they’re really engaged in virtual reality and extended reality and all these types of technologies, but we’re also here to show off what we do and show them something new they’ve never seen before.” Tyronne Leon-Fernandez, RiVR Merged Futures is organised by Digital Northants, a partnership between UON and WNC. To find out more, including free networking sessions at the Vulcan Works, visit the Digital Northants website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Residents urged to attend their Cervical Cancer Screening appointment
June 19, 2024
Residents urged to attend their Cervical Cancer Screening appointment
19 June 2024 Public Health in West Northants is urging those eligible to have their Cervical Cancer Screening to help identify those at risk of developing cervical cancer and to avoid a delay in diagnosis and treatment. This call comes after latest figures show 31% of those eligible in West Northants have yet to have had their cervical screening which is vital in helping to prevent the development of cancer. With local data showing a percentage of people not taking up a cervical screening test, the local Public Health team is advising residents between the age of 25 to 64, who are eligible for cervical cancer screening to make sure they attend their screening appointment and remain up to date with their screening. Cervical cancer is when abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix grow in an uncontrolled way and in time, form a growth also known as a tumour. If not caught early, cancer cells gradually grow into the surrounding tissues and may spread to other areas of the body which can be life threatening. The human papilloma virus (HPV) is a major cause of the main types of cervical cancer. Most sexually active people come into contact with HPV during their lifetime. Most are harmless but some cause genital warts, and others cause abnormal growth of cells that can develop into cancer. HPV can be passed on through close skin to skin contact, usually during sexual activity. However, the risk of developing this disease is heightened if you have unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex, have any skin-to-skin contact of the genital area or share sex toys. For a full list of those eligible for cervical cancer screening, please visit the NHS website . To help prevent the development of cancer, cervical screening is carried out to test for these abnormal HPV cells. Cervical screening is the best way to protect yourself from cervical cancer and genital warts. If you have not yet had your routine appointment or have missed your last appointment, please contact your GP to discuss further. “It is really important for those eligible to accept their appointment invitation and get their cervical screening test done to help early detection of abnormal cells and to protect from developing cervical cancer and its complications. If you have missed your last appointment, please take the time to call your GP and discuss booking an appointment”. “You can also help in protecting your children from the development of Cervical Cancer and Genital Warts by getting them vaccinated. Children aged 12 to 13 will be invited during Year 8 or Year 9 to receive the HPV (Human Papilloma virus) Vaccination. Parents are encouraged to consent and protect their children from these serious health issues.” Dr Annapurna Sen, Consultant in Health Protection for West Northamptonshire Council Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Bird keepers urged to register their flock
June 18, 2024
Bird keepers urged to register their flock
18 June 2024 West Northamptonshire Trading Standards Team are urging everyone who keeps poultry or captive birds to register with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Currently, anyone who keeps 50 or more birds it is compulsory to register their flock, however, those with fewer birds can voluntarily register. From 1 October, new requirements for all bird keepers who keep their poultry outdoors - regardless of the size of their flock – will come in which will require any who owns captive birds or poultry must officially register their birds. The new rules cover owners of backyard flocks, birds of prey and pigeon fanciers, but do not affect caged pet birds (excluding any poultry species) kept entirely inside a domestic dwelling, such as a parrot, canary or budgie, which never leaves the property other than to visit a vet or another short-term period. By registering their birds, keepers will ensure they receive important updates relevant to them, such as on any local avian disease outbreaks and information on biosecurity rules to help protect their flocks. This will help to manage potential disease outbreaks, such as avian influenza and Newcastle disease, and limit any spread. It also enables them to keep up to date with the latest national and regional guidance. “By registering keepers not only protect their own birds but contribute to the wider efforts to monitor and control avian diseases. I urge all keepers to register their flock to ensure the protection of all our bird populations ahead of the change in requirements coming into force from October.” Stuart Timmiss, Executive Director of Place at West Northamptonshire Council For all the latest information in relation to the spread of Avian Flu and information on how you can help to protect your birds please see this guidance on Avian influenza (bird flu) . Keepers can register their birds and poultry at Poultry and other captive birds: registration rules and forms-GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Northampton announced as Red Roses match venue for Women’s Rugby World Cup
June 25, 2024
Northampton announced as Red Roses match venue for Women’s Rugby World Cup
25 June 2024 Northampton’s Franklin’s Gardens stadium has been announced as the venue for an England Rugby match during the pool phase of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 tournament, with tickets for the opening match and final going on sale from September this year. The full match schedule and kick-off times will be announced in October with individual match tickets available to buy, enabling fans to start planning for what promises to be the biggest-ever global celebration of women’s rugby. Today, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 have revealed the pool matches and knockout phase locations, with six of the eight Host Locations including Northampton holding pool matches over three weekends. The Red Roses will play in Northampton and Brighton and Hove during the pool stage, with the potential to play their quarter-final match in Bristol should they progress. More than 400,000 tickets will be available for the 10th edition of the pinnacle women’s event which will take place across six weekends from 22 August to 27 September. Fans will have the chance to watch the world’s 16 best teams and the biggest stars of the game compete at eight locations across the length and breadth of the country, culminating in a grand finale at the world’s largest dedicated rugby union venue, Twickenham Stadium, London. Ticket prices will range from £5 to £95 across the tournament, with over 60 per cent of tickets under £25 and children’s prices available at every match. Accessible tickets will also be available for all matches and with 95 per cent of the population within two hours travel time to a venue, there are more opportunities than ever before for fans to attend from across the host nation. Fans can register for free online to enter the presale on 24 September to ensure they are among the first to secure their place at the opening match and the highly anticipated final at Twickenham Stadium. The tournament’s Worldwide Partner Mastercard also offer its cardholders access to a priority sale on 17 September, 2024 via the official Women’s RWC 2025 ticketing website. The Heart of the Game Watch the promotional trailer created by Northampton Film Festival and sixth form students with special educational needs at Northgate Academy : A promotional trailer for the Women's Rugby World Cup coming to Northampton “We are enormously excited to be announced as a host venue for England’s Red Roses during next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup and can’t wait to welcome rugby fans from around the world to experience everything West Northamptonshire has to offer. “This is set to be an unmissable event and we encourage everyone to register their interest online ahead of tickets for the opening match and final going on sale in September to avoid disappointment. We look forward to the full match schedule being revealed in October and can’t wait to see everyone come together to join us in this celebration of women’s rugby.” Jane Carr, Director of Communities & Opportunities at West Northamptonshire Council “This announcement marks an exciting milestone for the tournament and one that will enable fans to mark their diaries and make plans with their friends, families and teammates. “We are pleased that the tournament will not only be the most accessible Women’s Rugby World Cup geographically, but also matched with accessibility of entry price tickets ensuring more fans than ever will be able to attend this generational moment for rugby.” World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
West Northants put on heat-health alert as urgent weather warning issued
June 24, 2024
West Northants put on heat-health alert as urgent weather warning issued
24 June 2024 A Yellow Heat-Health Alert has been issued across the East Midlands today (Monday, 24 June) by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office. After a very warm and dry weekend, the hot weather is expected to continue across West Northants until Thursday with temperatures predicted to reach the high 20Cs. The warmer weather poses a much greater risk to the most vulnerable in our community, such as the very young and older people. Residents are advised to remain cautious and seek advice from 111 if non-emergency health advice is required. 999 services should be used in emergencies only. The top ways for staying safe in the heat are to: Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated; older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk. Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors. Use cool spaces if going outdoors. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol. Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children, vulnerable adults, or animals. Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest. If you have to go outside in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat. Avoid physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day. Make sure you take water with you if you are travelling. Stay up to date with by visiting our hot weather web pages. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Join us in celebrating Armed Forces Week
June 13, 2024
Join us in celebrating Armed Forces Week
13 June 2024 Residents across West Northants are invited to join in celebrations to mark Armed Forces Week. In the week leading up to Armed Forces Day (Saturday, 29 June) West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will be organising a series of events aimed at celebrating and supporting the local Armed Forces Community including veterans, serving personnel, reserve forces, cadets, and their families. To mark Armed Forces week WNC will host flag-raising events at Sessions House in Northampton, The Abbey in Daventry, and at the Forum in Towcester on Monday, 24 June from 10am. Each event will start with the opening remarks of a Deputy-Lieutenant, followed by a speech from the Chairman or a representative. Members of the Armed Forces Community can also access free guided tours of County Hall. The tours will take place on Monday, 24 June at 4 pm and on Wednesday, 26 June at 4 pm. Book a place on one of the County Hall Tours by emailing: [email protected] . Businesses can also show their support to the Armed Forces by signing the Covenant, for more information visit the Armed Forces Northants website for more details. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
Enter our competition to win VIP tickets to weekend festivals
June 13, 2024
Enter our competition to win VIP tickets to weekend festivals
Events 13 June 2024 We’ve teamed up with Indi Local and UK Live to offer free premium tickets to either A Perfect Day featuring James Arthur or Let’s Rock 80’s festival - both taking place at Delapré Park this weekend. The prize also features a night’s stay at the incredible trackside Hilton Hotel at Silverstone, and a year’s pass to the Silverstone Museum. To find out more about how to enter, visit Indi Local’s social media accounts which you’ll find links to at the bottom of its website front page . But don’t worry, even if you’re not successful and you fancy seeing some incredible acts, tickets will be on sale right up to the day, on the gate. Full details of the two events can be found on their respective websites as follows: At A Perfect Day on Sunday (June 16) James Arthur will be supported by local heroes Northants Sings Out – who wowed in the final of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent – Billy Lockett and Mae Stephens alongside Jalen Ngonda, ADMT, Dolores Forever, Andy Crofts, Charlotte Carpenter and Balter. And on Saturday, Billy Ocean will headline beside some other incredible acts including Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet), Jason Donovan, Go West, Heaven 17, the Boomtown Rats, T’Pau, Sonia and more. The competition ends this evening (Thursday 13 June), so don’t waste a minute, get your entry in now. Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
National Carers Week: what's on
June 13, 2024
National Carers Week: what's on
13 June 2024 This week is national Carers Week (10 -16 June) - the annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don't think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as Carers and access much-needed support. As part of the Council’s commitment to improving support for our local Carers, a new draft carers strategy that sets out our priorities over the next five years is in its final stages of development. The draft strategy that has been created together with local carers, ensuring their voices drive forward progress to provide the right support and information for them. Following the latest round of feedback, the strategy is now in its final stages of review, with responses being collated before being taken to the next Cabinet meeting. To help mark the week, our partners at Northamptonshire Carers have been sharing messages highlighting our carers and the valuable work they do, as well as promoting a range of events and activities that carers can get involved in. These include wellbeing events such as an online ukelele group, the 'Pawsivity' dog walking group, coffee mornings and more. There are also a range of activities to support those with health conditions and their carers, from Breathing Space Moulton, for those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, to dementia groups and sessions to support those suffering from long covid. All of the events can be viewed on the Northamptonshire Carers website Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
New Northamptonshire Fire recruits celebrate Passing Out parade
June 13, 2024
New Northamptonshire Fire recruits celebrate Passing Out parade
The latest intake of wholetime firefighters for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service have completed an intense period of training with their Passing Out parade at the Fire Service College. The 12 new apprentices had been welcomed to the Service back in April and underwent a two-week induction course in Northamptonshire before attending the College, which is in Moreton-in-Marsh. They have since been put through a comprehensive eight-week training package that tested them on the new skills they have learned, including how to use breathing apparatus, put out different types of fires and deal with hazardous materials. This culminated in their Passing Out parade on Thursday (June 6), where they were joined by family and friends to celebrate. Watching on and congratulating them on their achievements in person were new Chief Fire Officer Nikki Watson and new Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Danielle Stone. One of the recruits to graduate from the Fire Service College was Josh Block, who was also presented with the Silver Axe for ‘Best New Recruit’ as voted for by the College instructors. He is pictured below with Nikki Watson (left) and Danielle Stone (right). Josh, aged 33 from Desborough, attended a Have A Go Day at his local station in Corby last summer, and from there wanted to become a firefighter full-time, having been a self-employed electrician beforehand. He said: “The past eight weeks at the College have been absolutely fantastic and I’ve learned so much. It’s incredible to think I only met the rest of the group a few weeks ago, and how close we are now as a result of this experience – none of us would have reached this point without the help of all our colleagues. “The Passing Out parade was an immensely proud moment for me. It’s been a tough eight weeks and I’ve been away from my family throughout that, so there’s a real sense of achievement, and it was wonderful to have my family there at the parade.” Josh will now be posted to his new position on Green Watch at Moulton Fire Station in July and can’t wait to get started. He added: “I’m just looking forward to fully submerging myself in every aspect of the job. It’s all new to me, so I just want to get to the Station and learn from the people who have been doing the job and getting stuck into it all. “Being a firefighter allows me to give back to my local area and I’m looking forward to the community outreach it will have. I remember when the Fire Service came to school or they were at the local fete – it was always amazing to see them, and hopefully I’ll now be able to help inspire the next generation of firefighters.” For Chief Fire Officer Nikki Watson (pictured above), this was the first set of new recruits under her leadership. She said: “I’ve had a long career in the emergency services, and so I know from experience what a proud moment it is when you get your first posting. “This will be the next step for our new recruits following their training at the College. Having spoken to them I know they can’t wait to get started on their Watch, and what is clear is how passionate they are about helping people. “I’m sure they are going to make very valuable contributions in the communities in which they will serve, and I hope they all go on to have long and happy careers with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.” Danielle Stone, the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: “It’s really inspiring to come and visit the Fire Service College for the first time and see our new firefighters at their Passing Out Parade at the beginning of their career of public service. “The new recruits have put a lot of hard work in to reach this stage, and I’m sure they are going to find their new careers in keeping our residents safe very rewarding. I wish them all the best for the future.” The 12 firefighters to pass out at the College were Josh Block, Adam Cator, Lucy Craddock, Tamas Fazekas, Harry Lee-Smith, Ross Lyons, Selina Scott, Thomas Sheppard, Robert Shipman, Mitchell Sloan, Kirsty Smith and Fiona Vaughan. All 12 will now return to Northamptonshire where they will undergo three weeks further training before being posted to a Watch at one of the stations within the county. They will then continue to develop into competent firefighters over the next two years, following completion of their apprenticeship.
Candidates for the West Northants Parliamentary Constituencies have been announced 
June 07, 2024
Candidates for the West Northants Parliamentary Constituencies have been announced 
07 June 2024 Candidates for the Parliamentary Constituencies of Daventry, South Northamptonshire, Northampton North, and Northampton South have been announced today. The Council has published today a Statement of Persons Nominated listing all individuals who will be standing for the election. Daventry: Stuart Andrew - The Conservative Party Candidate Scott Ewen Cameron - Reform UK Jonathan William Harris - Liberal Democrats Marianne Kimani - Labour Party Clare Patricia Slater - Green Party Northampton North: Anthony Antoniou - Reform UK Eishar Kaur Bassan - Green Party Dan Bennett - The Conservative Party Candidate Paul Leslie Clark – Independent Christopher Gordon Leggett - Liberal Democrats Khalid Razzaq - Workers Party Lucy Rigby - Labour Party Northampton South: Jill Susan Hope - Liberal Democrats Andrew Iain Lewer - The Conservative Party Candidate Tony Owens - Reform UK Mike Reader - Labour Party Katie Simpson - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Simon Sneddon - Green Party Penelope Lucy Tollitt - Climate Party South Northamptonshire: Rufia Ashraf - Labour Party Sarah Bool - The Conservative Party Candidate Paul James Hogan - Reform UK Ian Alexander McCord – Independent Stuart Robert McCutcheon – Independent Mick Stott - Workers Party Stewart Tolley - Liberal Democrats Emmie Williamson - Green Party On Thursday, 4 July voters across West Northamptonshire will go to the polls to decide who they want to represent them in Parliament. Everyone who is eligible - and registered - gets to vote for one candidate to represent their local area, which is known in Parliament as a constituency. Once elected, MPs work both in your area - or their constituency - dealing with local matters, and in Parliament, where they vote and help shape law, alongside 649 other MPs. West Northamptonshire Council has four Parliamentary Constituencies, Daventry, Northampton North, Northampton South and South Northamptonshire. The election on 4 July will be using the new parliamentary boundaries following the Parliamentary Constituency Order 2023 - more information on these boundaries can be found by visiting Boundary Commission for England . Anyone who is not yet registered to vote should do so by Tuesday, 18 June in order to take part in this election. You can register to vote on the gov.uk website . People can apply for postal votes by 5pm on Wednesday, 19 June (this deadline is for NEW applications to vote by post or postal-proxy and those making changes to or cancelling their postal or postal-proxy votes) and those wishing to vote by proxy (when someone votes on your behalf) can also do this in advance of the deadline of 5pm on Wednesday, 26 June(not for postal-proxy or emergency proxy applications). Students have the option of registering at both their home and term-time addresses, they can vote only in one of their registered locations for this election. The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to produce acceptable photographic identification when voting in person at a polling station. This new requirement will apply to this election. Voters intending to vote in person are urged to ensure they have one of the acceptable forms of photo ID prior to attending their polling station. Residents without an acceptable form of ID have until 5pm on Wednesday, 26 June to apply for their Voter ID . For more information and to view the timetable of the election visit our website . Want the latest Council news delivered straight to your inbox?
More success for Northamptonshire firefighters in Challenge competition
June 07, 2024
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
June 06, 2024
Employment opportunities at the upcoming General Election
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?