Planning policy and heritage

22 June 2022

Graphic showing 4 West Northamptonshire Council offices around the county

Residents will be given the opportunity to help shape extra guidance for land allocated for business development in the south Northamptonshire area, under proposals going to councillors next week.

At its meeting next Tuesday (28 June), members of West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Planning Policy Committee will consider plans to seek people’s views on a new draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for employment land allocations, which would sit alongside the South Northamptonshire Local Plan Part 2 to help inform decision-making on planning applications.

The draft SPD aims to provide greater detail and certainty to the public and developers by setting out overarching design principles for the future development of the employment sites identified in the Local Plan, including guidance relating to size, scale and density of buildings.

At their meeting next week the Planning Policy Committee will decide whether to launch a six-week public consultation this summer to gauge people’s views on the draft SPD, which will include a series of local drop-in sessions where residents can find out more. 

Cllr Rebecca Breese, WNC's Cabinet Member for strategic planning, built environment and rural affairs, said: “These employment sites are extremely important for the continued economic development of the area, to provide jobs and prosperity which will allow people to continue living and working in West Northamptonshire rather than going elsewhere.

“But it is so important for us to have clear and robust planning guidance in place for the appropriate, future development of these sites. This SPD will go a long way towards supporting our existing planning policies with further detail and will be a material consideration in our future decision-making.”


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Celebrating Armed Forces Day
June 24, 2022
Celebrating Armed Forces Day
Culture and tourism 24 June 2022 Armed Forces Day 2022 Armed Forces Day takes place on Saturday 25 June. This annual, national event is a chance to show support for all those who make up the Armed Forces community, from serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets. West Northamptonshire Council has teamed up with Northampton Town Council to organise an event on Northampton Market Square from 11am – 4pm, to celebrate the ongoing contributions made by our Armed Forces communities. The event will begin with a flag-raising ceremony at 11am in front of Sessions House on George Row in Northampton, to be attended by the Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, the Vice-Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council, the Mayor of Northampton and representatives from the Royal British Legion. Stalls from various armed forces communities and charities, including the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes will be present on the Market Square, along with music from the RAF Cadets band until 4pm. Cllr Dennis Meredith, the Mayor of Northampton, said: “We are wholly supportive of this event that supports our Armed Forces and enables them to continue the charitable causes they carry out, not just in our community of Northampton but around the world.” Armed Forces Day celebrations began on Monday 20 June, with the Armed Forces Day flag raised on buildings and famous landmarks around the country. The flag is currently flying at each main council building in West Northamptonshire. Councillor André González De Savage, Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council, said: “Armed Forces Day gives an opportunity to honour the invaluable work that our armed forces do both here in the UK and overseas. We are flying the Armed Forces Day flag to show just how proud we are of our military personnel, both past and present.” For more information about the Armed Forces Day event, please email [email protected] .
West Northamptonshire Council to discuss recommendations to change its number of councillors
June 23, 2022
West Northamptonshire Council to discuss recommendations to change its number of councillors
23 June 2022 The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is currently carrying out a review of the council’s size, wards and boundaries ahead of the authority’s next elections in 2025. The last electoral review in Northamptonshire took place in 2013 and WNC’s current electoral arrangements are based on those of the previous county council, with 93 councillors serving across 31 wards. LGBCE is running its review in two stages, firstly looking at the number of councillors, and then looking at how many wards there will be, and the names of those wards. As part of the first stage, councillors have been invited to submit their recommendations for the future number of elected members. Their submission, which has been prepared by a cross-party working group and will be considered by Full Council next Thursday (30 June), recommends a new council size of between 77 and 82 councillors, to ensure the democratic needs of residents are served as effectively as possible. The outcome of this first stage of the review will be known in late August, with the Commission then moving on to Stage Two to determine the new ward boundaries, which will involve consultation with residents throughout this autumn. The review is expected to end in late 2023, once the LGBCE has made its recommendations to government and an Order is laid in Parliament to change the legislation and make the new electoral arrangements. Councillor Suresh Patel, Chair of the Council’s Democracy Standards Committee and the Local Boundary Review Working Group said: “Our current electoral arrangements were imposed by the Structural Changes Order which initially created our council in April last year and this is the opportunity for us to advise the LGBCE of our own assessment of the right number of councillors we need to effectively represent communities, deliver council business and provide efficient governance. We are recommending the proposed range of 77 to 82 councillors however the final decision rests with the LGBCE which they will make in August then move on to reviewing the ward boundary arrangements. “Members have worked together across the political parties to prepare our draft submission, which looks at the all aspects of this review and its potential impact on our council and its communities and examines a range of factors, including things like the need for effective governance requirements, robust scrutiny and effective community leadership. “As part of the process we have fed in the views of both members and also residents who recently took part in the Big Conversation, expressing ideas on the council’s role, responsibilities and structure which may also lead to further changes in the way local councillors are supported to engage with their communities. “There will of course be further opportunities for residents to shape the process by taking part in the Commission’s public consultation on stage two, which is due to begin in late August and we will keep them updated in the process.”
West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will meet next week to discuss recommendations to change its number of councillors as part of planned review into its future electoral arrangements.
June 23, 2022
West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will meet next week to discuss recommendations to change its number of councillors as part of planned review into its future electoral arrangements.
23 June 2022 The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is currently carrying out a review of the council’s size, wards and boundaries ahead of the authority’s next elections in 2025. The last electoral review in Northamptonshire took place in 2013 and WNC’s current electoral arrangements are based on those of the previous county council, with 93 councillors serving across 31 wards. LGBCE is running its review in two stages, firstly looking at the number of councillors, and then looking at how many wards there will be, and the names of those wards. As part of the first stage, councillors have been invited to submit their recommendations for the future number of elected members. Their submission, which has been prepared by a cross-party working group and will be considered by Full Council next Thursday (30 June), recommends a new council size of between 77 and 82 councillors, to ensure the democratic needs of residents are served as effectively as possible. The outcome of this first stage of the review will be known in late August, with the Commission then moving on to Stage Two to determine the new ward boundaries, which will involve consultation with residents throughout this autumn. The review is expected to end in late 2023, once the LGBCE has made its recommendations to government and an Order is laid in Parliament to change the legislation and make the new electoral arrangements. Councillor Suresh Patel, Chair of the Council’s Democracy Standards Committee and the Local Boundary Review Working Group said: “Our current electoral arrangements were imposed by the Structural Changes Order which initially created our council in April last year and this is the opportunity for us to advise the LGBCE of our own assessment of the right number of councillors we need to effectively represent communities, deliver council business and provide efficient governance. We are recommending the proposed range of 77 to 82 councillors however the final decision rests with the LGBCE which they will make in August then move on to reviewing the ward boundary arrangements. “Members have worked together across the political parties to prepare our draft submission, which looks at the all aspects of this review and its potential impact on our council and its communities and examines a range of factors, including things like the need for effective governance requirements, robust scrutiny and effective community leadership. “As part of the process we have fed in the views of both members and also residents who recently took part in the Big Conversation, expressing ideas on the council’s role, responsibilities and structure which may also lead to further changes in the way local councillors are supported to engage with their communities. “There will of course be further opportunities for residents to shape the process by taking part in the Commission’s public consultation on stage two, which is due to begin in late August and we will keep them updated in the process.”
Make LibraryPlus your destination this summer
June 22, 2022
Make LibraryPlus your destination this summer
22 June 2022 On Saturday 9 July, Northamptonshire LibraryPlus is launching two exciting challenges which everyone can join in with. Children aged 4-11 years old are being asked to sign up to read six books this summer as part of Gadgeteers, Summer Reading Challenge 2022. The Summer Reading Challenge, which is produced by The Reading Agency and delivered in partnership with libraries, asks children to read, or listen to six books over the summer. This year the Reading Agency have teamed up with Science Museum Group for a very special science-themed Challenge that will inspire children to use their imagination and creativity! To take part in Gadgeteers, all children need to do is sign up at their nearest library, where they will be given a collector’s poster to keep a record of their Summer Reading Challenge journey. As children read, or listen to, books they will receive special stickers, some with mysterious smells. By adding these stickers to their collectors poster, young readers will help the gadgeteers to understand the science behind a whole range of interests from fashion and technology to cooking and music. When they complete the challenge, they will receive a certificate and medal. There is also a whole programme of free, fun activities planned in libraries for families to take part in over the summer and you can book a place at your local library. But why should children have all the fun? Following the success of the award winning “For the Love of Books” adult reading challenge, LibraryPlus are also launching “For the Love of Books – Summer Six” on the 9 July. Adult readers can join the challenge to read six books over the summer, in LibraryPlus libraries, and if you want to broaden your reading horizons you can choose books from our six suggested categories. If you complete the challenge you can enter a prize draw to win a £20 voucher for bookshop.org which supports independent bookshops. It would be fantastic if teachers, parents and carers, and grandparents could take part in the Summer Six challenge and be reading role models for children taking part in Gadgeteers. As if this wasn’t enough, the second series of the LibraryPlus podcast “For the Love of Books – the LibraryPlus podcast” will run for the duration of the summer and is available from all major podcast platforms. There will be a new episode each month which celebrates books and reading, with guests who use books and reading in different ways. Guests this series include Read Easy, a national charity which provides free, confidential one-to-one reading coaching for adults, Hayley Barton, from the University of Northampton who is running an intergenerational reading project, and Northampton Association for the Blind. Cllr Helen Howell, North Northamptonshire Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “This year's theme - 'Gadgeteers' - will spark children's curiosity about the world around them, focusing on inspiring children to see the science and innovation behind everyday objects, showing that reading and science are for everyone. “The challenge and the accompanying book collection will show that imagination can unlock endless possibilities, and the local library is where this starts. “It’s also tremendously exciting that adults can now take part in the fun too. I look forward to hearing about just how many books our library goers get through in the coming months!” Cllr Adam Brown, West Northamptonshire Council's Deputy Leader, and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said: “Reading is both an essential skill and a fulfilling pastime, and activities like the Summer Reading Challenge aim to instil a love of books in people of all ages. “In the modern world it can be difficult to find time to sit down and get lost in a good book, however our LibraryPlus service offers a wide range of digital and audio books in addition to physical copies, ensuring that even more people are able to get involved with this fantastic challenge." Gadgeteers launches in libraries across Northamptonshire on Saturday 9 July, and runs until 17 September. For the Love of Books – Summer Six launches on 9 July and runs until 3 September.
New Northants firefighters enjoy passing out parade at Fire Service College
June 22, 2022
New Northants firefighters enjoy passing out parade at Fire Service College
Twelve new firefighters have made the grade after their passing out parade at the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh. The new recruits officially joined NFRS in April and were part of a cohort of 18 welcomed to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service at Darby House by Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold. Four of the new recruits have already been on-call for Northamptonshire and did not require training at the College, but the remaining fourteen have been put through their paces in the Cotswolds over the last eight weeks. Prior to that they been undergoing rigorous internal training under the watchful eyes of Tony Evans and Justin Abbott. On Friday (June 17) they were able to celebrate a key milestone in front of their friends and families as they culminated their two months of training at the College by officially becoming firefighters. The 12 recruits showed off their new skills by completing a drill simulating a fire on an oil rig, from which they had to rescue casualties and put out the fire. And after passing with flying colours, they were formally given their new epaulettes by Darren Dovey, watched by Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, before families were shown around the college. There was also a special award for Charlotte Cowley, who was presented with the Silver Axe for ‘Best New Recruit’ as voted for by her colleagues. Among those to pass out this month was Andy Roberts, who said: “It’s been amazing and one of the best times of my life and a real eye opener. We’ve pushed ourselves and our bodies to the limit, and it’s been everything I thought it would be and more. We’ve learned some really good life skills here as well. “I can’t wait now to go on the first call with my new watch and learn firsthand from them, it’s going to be amazing.” The 12 firefighters to ‘pass out’ on June 17 were Aaron Kelman, Alfie Pendred, Andy Roberts, Charlotte Cowley, Daniel Harding, Daniel Ireland, Daniel Nottage, David McBurnie, Dragan Stjepanovic, Kajetan Maczka, Kieran Davies and Michael Richardson-Moore. Ashley Lawrence and Charles Rock, meanwhile, will have their parade on July 1.
New planning guidance aims to help shape future employment sites
June 22, 2022
New planning guidance aims to help shape future employment sites
Planning policy and heritage 22 June 2022 Residents will be given the opportunity to help shape extra guidance for land allocated for business development in the south Northamptonshire area, under proposals going to councillors next week. At its meeting next Tuesday (28 June), members of West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Planning Policy Committee will consider plans to seek people’s views on a new draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for employment land allocations, which would sit alongside the South Northamptonshire Local Plan Part 2 to help inform decision-making on planning applications. The draft SPD aims to provide greater detail and certainty to the public and developers by setting out overarching design principles for the future development of the employment sites identified in the Local Plan, including guidance relating to size, scale and density of buildings. At their meeting next week the Planning Policy Committee will decide whether to launch a six-week public consultation this summer to gauge people’s views on the draft SPD, which will include a series of local drop-in sessions where residents can find out more. Cllr Rebecca Breese, WNC's Cabinet Member for strategic planning, built environment and rural affairs, said: “These employment sites are extremely important for the continued economic development of the area, to provide jobs and prosperity which will allow people to continue living and working in West Northamptonshire rather than going elsewhere. “But it is so important for us to have clear and robust planning guidance in place for the appropriate, future development of these sites. This SPD will go a long way towards supporting our existing planning policies with further detail and will be a material consideration in our future decision-making.”
West Northamptonshire Council launches a review into Northampton’s Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
June 21, 2022
West Northamptonshire Council launches a review into Northampton’s Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
21 June 2022 A review into the way the council deals with HMOs has been launched in response to concerns about the concentration of this type of housing in Northampton. HMOs are occupied by people who do not form a single household, who share facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms, and reside at the property as their main residence. Commonly, this including bedsits and shared houses. There are currently about 1,300 hundred registered HMOs in Northampton, which campaigners claim have a detrimental effect on the local community. Issues raised include general poor maintenance, rubbish being a fire hazard - and streets crammed with parked cars. Cllr Adam Brown, deputy leader of West Northamptonshire Council, said: “The aim of the Council’s Multiple Occupation (HMOs) review is to thoroughly investigate the issues concerning housing of this nature within West Northamptonshire. It will include a robust analysis of current policies concerning HMOs in Northampton, alongside looking at ways we can use best practice from elsewhere in the country. "As part of the review we will also be gathering comprehensive evidence and information from a range of stakeholders, including landlords; tenants; estate and letting agents; residents and residents associations; university and colleges; businesses; students; and key workers. "Once all this information has been gathered, a draft report will be prepared, with a further opportunity for stakeholders to then give their views. Recommendations will then be made to the Planning Policy Committee and we are expecting a conclusion in the Autumn." The review was originally announced last year and should have been completed in April. Cllr Adam Brown added: "We wanted to get the review started as quickly as possible, but we're also aware of the fact that it needs to be done as thoroughly and as well as it can possibly be done in order to deliver the results that will have the faith of the public. "There's never any point in rushing through an inadequate process and leaving people unsatisfied with the results at the end of it all."
Return of Merged Futures event showcases visionary digital technology
June 21, 2022
Return of Merged Futures event showcases visionary digital technology
Business support 21 June 2022 Becoming immersed in virtual reality, exploring competitive video gaming simulation racing, and getting a grip on how artificial intelligence is helping to improve road safety were just some of the digital delights on offer at the return of a showcase technology event. Merged Futures brought together experts in emerging technologies to explore the potential to further develop and innovate for the benefit of the county’s businesses, students and residents. The annual event was organised by Digital Northants, a collaboration between the University of Northampton, North and West Northamptonshire Councils and local businesses. A celebration of Northamptonshire’s innovators, creatives and entrepreneurs, Merged Futures brought together people from different sectors interested in digital, tech and innovation to share and spark ideas. The first in-person Merged Futures took place in 2019 on campus at the University of Northampton, moving online and attracting a global audience in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. This year’s event was once again held at the University of Northampton’s Waterside campus. Cllr David Howes, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive member for Rural Communities and Localism, said: “The digital economy is so important in terms of driving prosperity and connecting communities. I’m proud that this authority can play a part in supporting such a worthwhile initiative. “I’m delighted to see this flagship digital event taking place for the fourth year in a row – showcasing the digital talent on offer locally. “This is an excellent collaboration between the public and private sectors and an exciting way of stimulating connections to drive forward the economy and find creative solutions to a range of issues.” Cllr Daniel Lister, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth, said: “The pace of innovation and change is such that events like this are not a ‘nice to have.’ We’re in the midst of revolution in the way we communicate, work and play and if you’re not up to date you will be left behind. “That’s the same if you’re a business, an industry sector or economic region, and it’s up to us as local authorities and business leaders to provide a platform to showcase and share great ideas.” Experts were on hand to provide insight into how new technology, such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence, can enhance the work of different sectors, including business, healthcare and education. The event was also a valuable opportunity for connections between companies and educators with those interested in implementing digital transformation in their business or organisation. John Sinclair, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology, said: “The University is proud to have hosted the Digital Northants Merged Futures conference again this year, bringing together industry and academia to look at new applications of digital technologies in industry, transport, business, culture and more. “This year, we welcomed representatives from local businesses such as VR Therapies, Toru Digital and Spokes Education as well as being joined by international technology innovator, Sony. “In its fourth year, Merged Futures has gone from strength to strength, proving to be an invaluable opportunity not only to promote local but nationally important, innovative projects and initiatives taking place within the county.”
Employment park plans to proceed after Government review
June 21, 2022
Employment park plans to proceed after Government review
21 June 2022 Plans for a new employment park north-west of the A43 at Towcester will go ahead, after the Government decided not to examine them in more detail. The application for land to the east of Tiffield Road to the north west of the A43 Towcester (also known as AL3) was formally put on hold by the Secretary of State for further review in March this year. The move came after West Northamptonshire Council’s Strategic Planning Committee was minded to approve outstanding access and highways matters for the application, which had already been agreed in principle by planners at the former South Northants Council before the new unitary council was formed. On Thursday (16 June), following a wait of more than three months, the Council was finally notified by the Government that it had decided not to ‘call in’ the application for further review and examination, meaning that the decision to approve the scheme should now proceed and the council is obliged to issue the formal approval. In the letter to the Council, officials from the Government’s Planning Casework Unit said the Secretary of State had decided not to call in this application and ‘is content that it should be determined by the local planning authority.’ Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council, said: “Having taken over three months to come to a decision it is clear the government have been thorough in their consideration of the application. By deciding not to call in the application for examination, an option that was open to them, the Government has made it clear that we must now continue to proceed with the remaining stages of the planning approval process, with no other options now available. “We know there is much strong feeling surrounding this planning application and that many people have been waiting for the past three months whilst the Secretary of State considered it to find out the outcome. “Having inherited an application that the previous local authority had effectively granted permission on, a decision based on existing policies in the South Northants local plan, we continue to work with developers and residents to ensure we get appropriate development in the right places in the future, providing clarity and guidance that will assist all parties.”
Windrush Day 2022: When is it and how will it be marked in West Northamptonshire?
June 21, 2022
Windrush Day 2022: When is it and how will it be marked in West Northamptonshire?
21 June 2022 Windrush Day will be celebrated this year on June 22 with a flag raising ceremony at midday in front of the Guildhall. The national standard Windrush flag will be raised to mark 74 years since the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush in London - where the generation of Caribbean immigrants got their name. Invitees will see the Windrush Flag raised and hear from guest speakers including Bishop Donovan Allen. Later that day at 6pm there will be a service of Reflection, Prayer and Praise at the New Testament Church of God in Northampton. West Northamptonshire Council has teamed up with Northampton Town Council to organise the events to celebrate the contributions to society made by the Northampton’s Windrush generation and their descendants. Windrush Day is celebrated in the United Kingdom every year on June 22 to mark the arrival of Afro-Caribbean immigrants to the shores of Britain and honour the British Caribbean community. An estimated half a million people made their way to England after the Second World War. The Windrush carried several hundred Caribbean migrants, many of them veterans of the Second World War, who were encouraged to migrate to Britain to address shortages in the labour market. Many more followed suit from all over the Commonwealth after the war and became known as the Windrush generation. Councillor Dennis Meredith, Mayor of Northampton, will attend the event. He said: “It is so important we celebrate and acknowledge our Windrush generation, to honour the British Caribbean community here in Northampton and across the country for the contribution they and their descendants have made in rebuilding our society after the Second World War.” Leader of West Northamptonshire Council, Councillor Jonathan Nunn, said: “The legacy of the Windrush generation means so much to so many. I am delighted we are celebrating the fifth annual National Windrush Day on June 22nd this year in Northampton. It is extremely important to mark the outstanding contributions that the Windrush Generation and their descendants have made, and continue to make, to British Society, including West Northants.” If members of the public would like to attend either event, please email [email protected]
Are you West Northamptonshire’s Business of the Year?
June 20, 2022
Are you West Northamptonshire’s Business of the Year?
Business support 20 June 2022 In a bid to find the stand-out business of its area, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has sponsored a brand-new category in the 2022 Northants Business Awards. The awards, organised by the Northants Chamber of Commerce, are an annual celebration of the best businesses from throughout the county. This year, WNC has sponsored The West Northamptonshire Business of the Year Award. This award recognises businesses located in West Northamptonshire which have contributed to the local economy and demonstrated business growth. The judges are looking for business that have successfully implemented marketing and business strategy, business growth, community involvement, people development and exceptional customer service. Cllr Daniel Lister, WNC Cabinet Member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth, said: “This area is home to thousands of successful businesses, with local people willing to pour their heart and soul into their enterprise, delivering innovation and growth to create a prosperous society. “As a community leader I am proud to see WNC backing these awards to amplify the success of our home-grown business talent and raise awareness of the quality employers in our area.” Louise Wall, Interim CEO at the Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce said “These prestigious Northamptonshire Business Awards recognise and celebrate the very best of business from across our local community. “It’s vital we continue to shout and scream about the tremendous businesses we have in our region that continue to adapt, overcome and ultimately thrive. “This year is a very special year with the introduction of our new ‘West Northamptonshire Business of the Year Award’ and we are delighted that West Northamptonshire Council immediately welcomed the opportunity to sponsor this brand new category. “It’s great testimony for these awards to be supported by local government and demonstrates how importantly West Northamptonshire Council champion and promote local business engagement” Entries for the awards close on Friday 1 July. To review the categories and to enter the awards, visit the Northants Chamber Business Awards page.
Public asked to have their say on modifications to Northampton’s Local Plan
June 17, 2022
Public asked to have their say on modifications to Northampton’s Local Plan
Planning policy and heritage 17 June 2022 Examination of the Northampton Local Plan Part 2 continues as West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) prepares for a six-week public consultation on proposed modifications. The Local Plan Part 2 is a major planning policy document that will help guide planning decisions throughout Northampton up to 2029. Following public hearings in November 2021, the Government appointed Planning Inspectors have recommended some modifications, before the Plan can be adopted by WNC. A consultation on those modifications will start next month if Planning Policy Committee (28 June 2022) approves this next step. Only comments on the modifications to the Local Plan Part 2 and the associated Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessments can be considered. The modifications comprise: Main modifications – These are required to make the plan ‘sound’. They involve changes or insertions to policies and text that are essential to enable the plan to be adopted. Any comments on these will be considered by the Planning Inspectors. Additional Modifications – these are spelling, grammar, presentational changes and comments which will be considered by WNC. These do not affect the soundness of the plan. Changes to the maps – alterations including boundary changes and deallocations which will also be considered by WNC. These do not affect the soundness of the plan The Local Plan Part 2 is a major piece of work which started in May 2016 and is now nearing its final stages. For more information on the examination process, visit - Northampton Local Plan Part 2 Submission & Examination .
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner announces preferred candidate for Chief Fire Officer role
June 17, 2022
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner announces preferred candidate for Chief Fire Officer role
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has announced Mark Jones as his preferred candidate as Chief Fire Officer of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service. Mark Jones (pictured above) is currently Chief Fire Officer of the South Australian Country Fire Service. His appointment is now subject to confirmation by the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel, which will take place in the next few weeks. The announcement of Mark Jones as preferred candidate follows a challenging selection process. The candidates took part in two days of activities, where they presented to, and took questions from, senior members of partner organisations, before participating in a ‘question time’ event with firefighters and staff. The candidates then faced a formal interview panel, from which Stephen Mold has identified his preferred candidate. Stephen said: “I am delighted to announce that following this testing process, Mark Jones was unanimously the preferred candidate to take over the role of Chief Fire Officer of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service. Mark is an experienced and accomplished Chief Fire Officer and is an ideal choice to take our service forward. “Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has made great progress since 2019, improving its performance and the way it keeps the people of Northamptonshire safe beyond all recognition. I have no doubt that Mark Jones is the right person to take NFRS forward into the next stage of its development, creating a positive, welcoming culture, embracing change, and taking the undoubted skills of the firefighters and staff to build on the already significant work they do in the broader community safety arena. “The Police and Crime Panel will now consider whether or not to approve my preferred candidate and I look forward to taking my recommendation to them.” Mark Jones said: “Like all UK emergency services, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is in a period of evolutionary change and it is an exciting prospect to be part of a team that will continue to deliver top-quality safety services to the people of Northamptonshire. “The Fire Service has achieved much with tight resources over many years and that is testament to the professionalism of the men and women who dedicate themselves to their roles. My current service is fantastic and I know that the people I have met from NFRS show the same commitment, passion and dedication to public safety and public service. “I would like to thank the Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold and the members of the selection process for giving me the opportunity to lead Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and I would be honoured to serve the people of Northamptonshire.” If Mark Jones is confirmed as the next Chief Fire Officer, he will take over the reins when Darren Dovey retires from the post in October this year. About Mark Jones Mark joined Grampian Fire Brigade in 1985 and after working in various roles was appointed as Deputy Chief Fire Officer in Essex in 2005, and then became Chief Fire Officer of Buckinghamshire in 2010. After leaving Buckinghamshire in 2015, Mark moved to Australia and served as the ACT Emergency Services Agency’s ‘Director of Strategic Reform’ for two years. He served as the London Ambulance Service’s Head of Resilience and Specialist Assets in 2019 before returning to Australia, taking on the role of Chief Officer of the South Australian Country Fire Service. Among his achievements he commanded the response to the largest ever series of bushfires in South Australia’s history. Mark has worked in a wide range of senior operational and strategic leadership roles. He has managed large scale emergencies, events and terror related incidents, and his career has spanned roles in emergency planning and disaster management, operational Fire Command, Fire Safety and Training. Mark has shown a particular professional interest in the fields of fairness, equality, and diversity, and these were his key responsibilities as he served as an Inspector in Her Majesty’s Fire Service Inspectorate for Scotland in the early 2000s. He also worked on the ‘Women in Emergency Services’ project in Canberra, which saw a significant increase in the recruitment of women into the ACT’s Fire and Rescue Service.
West Northamptonshire to celebrate Refugee Week 2022
June 17, 2022
West Northamptonshire to celebrate Refugee Week 2022
Community, safety and emergencies 17 June 2022 West Northants will celebrate Refugee Week from Monday with a number of events to raise awareness of issues affecting asylum seekers and the local support available to them. Throughout the week of 20 to 26 June, events will take place at the University of Northampton, Delapre Abbey and online, with a full programme of speakers and presentations also planned at the Guildhall on Thursday, 23 June. The activities will showcase all the support available to refugees in West Northamptonshire, whose communities have welcomed hundreds of individuals and families fleeing persecution from places including the Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria. Recent resettlement schemes have included supporting the arrival and community care needs of nearly 400 Afghan nationals and more than 290 local people coming forward as sponsors for Ukrainian families as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Diverse Communities Forum will be hosting the event in the Guildhall alongside Town of Sanctuary, from 4pm to 6pm, with stalls from organisations including Red Cross, DWP and Quakers. There will also be a short film and a photo exhibition from L2L during the event and presentations and stories from refugees that have settled in Northants. Cllr David Smith, WNC Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement and regulatory Services, said: "West Northants is an incredibly welcoming place and we’re always astounded by people’s community spirit and their willingness to help others – something which has been particularly evident during the recent Afghan and Ukrainian resettlement Programmes. "Refugee Week provides an opportunity for us all to reflect upon the courage of refugees across the world who have been forced from their homes and countries to escape conflict, and to extend the hand of friendship to anyone in need. "I hope that people will join us for this important programme of events and take the opportunity to learn about the stories of refugees who have joined our communities." Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Founded in 1998 and held every year around World Refugee Day on the 20 June, Refugee Week is also a growing global movement. Through a programme of arts, cultural, sports and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns, Refugee Week enables people from different backgrounds to connect beyond labels, as well as encouraging understanding of why people are displaced, and the challenges they face when seeking safety. This Refugee Week explores the theme of ‘Healing’ and celebrates community, mutual care, and the human ability to start again through creativity and conversations.
Council publishes ‘specification’ for new special needs school in West Northamptonshire
June 16, 2022
Council publishes ‘specification’ for new special needs school in West Northamptonshire
Schools and education 16 June 2022 Proposals for a 250-place special needs school took a step forward this week after West Northants Council (WNC) published more details for academies who might bid to run it. The new school will be an ‘all-through SEND’ school, meaning it will cater for children of all ages with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Specifically, it will cater for pupils with autistic spectrum condition (ASC), speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), and severe learning difficulties (SLD). The old St John’s site in Tiffield has emerged as a possible location for the school and it is hoped it will see its first intake in September 2024. Cllr Fiona Baker, WNC’s Cabinet Member for children, families and education, said: “The pressure for SEND places is intense. “As they are, mainstream schools simply do not have the capacity to take on more SEND pupils and the private sector in the county has also reached its limit. “And sending children across county borders is not the best for them and in the longer term, not financially sustainable. “There’s a well-regulated process which we must now follow, but I would urge anyone with the necessary skills and experience to study these specifications and step forward to support your community.” The plan for a new special school is just one of two phases within WNC’s SEND sufficiency strategy which will also see the establishment of 259 places within SEND units attached to mainstream schools and extensions to existing special schools located within West Northants. The publication of the Proposed New Designated Free Special School Specification follows the start of the ‘free school presumption’ process in May 2022 during which the council gained broad support for the new from the special education sector in the region.
One month to go until the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay visits West Northants!
June 16, 2022
One month to go until the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay visits West Northants!
Community, safety and emergencies 16 June 2022 People wanting to cheer the Batonbearers as the Relay makes its way across the town during its final journey through England this summer now have the first glimpse of the route it will take. The Relay will begin at Marefair outside Sol Central at 8am, before travelling up Gold Street and on to George Row, then into St Giles Square before a photo shoot outside the Guildhall. The Baton will then travel down Guildhall Road, St Johns Street, Swan Street, across Victoria Promenade and on to Beckets Park, across the new pedestrian bridge and into the University of Northampton campus, ending at University Drive at approximately 8:30am. The West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) Active Lives Team are working alongside local partners to coordinate a celebration event following the baton relay to embrace the arrival of the Baton and experience the buzz of Birmingham 2022 in the community. The event will be a collaboration of local partners and community groups, which in turn will raise awareness of local services and activities for communities to access. Members of the public, schools and families are invited to get involved and join the celebration event which will take place at University Drive from 8am - midday. Some of the partners in attendance on the day include Public Health, Northampton Saints, Trilogy Leisure, Northampton Rowing Club, Peak Empower, Northamptonshire County Cricket Club and others. There will also be a range of activities planned for the day. Cllr Adam Brown, WNC’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for housing, culture and leisure, said: "We would like to invite people from across Northamptonshire to come and join us on Sunday, 10 July to celebrate the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay and give its Batonbearers an incredible welcome. "We’ve designed the route through the town centre to include plenty of space for people to come along and cheer on the Relay as it makes its journey to the University. "It is certainly not an event to miss and a chance for the people of Northamptonshire to be a part of this historic occasion." The Queen’s Baton Relay is set to travel the length and breadth of England for a total of 29 days, before culminating at the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 on July 28. The relay in England was kicked off last year on Thursday, 2 June when the Baton spent four days in London, coinciding with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend. The Baton then resumed its international journey across the Commonwealth, which began in Cyprus in October of last year, and returns to England on Monday, July 4 to start a 25-day tour of the regions. Thousands of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through England. Batonbearers were nominated in recognition of their contributions to their local community and being an inspiration to others.
Bike park plans On Track for completion this summer
June 15, 2022
Bike park plans On Track for completion this summer
Health, leisure and parks 15 June 2022 Contractor On Track has made great progress on the new Northampton Bike Park as we reach the halfway point of the build. The £725k project will deliver a range of facilities for all ranges of ability, from a skills area usable by children on balance bikes, right up to the most demanding trails for experts in the sport, all of them free to use. Mountain bike enthusiast and amateur competitor, Tony Skirrow, has been part of the project from the outset and he’s very excited by the plans. "I was really pleased when it was announced that we had the funding for a bike park and while I had an idea of what was needed, this is beyond my wildest dreams," he said. "This will allow people of all ages and abilities to take part in the sport and as well as being a fantastic facility for the people who live here, it will be a major draw for the area. "Mountain bikers currently have to travel around an hour and a half to reach the closest facility but soon they’ll have one of the best of its type in the country right on their doorstep." Completion is expected during August and, once complete, the new facility will comprise: A multi-user green trail – an easy, dual-direction cycle route across the site, connecting Houghton Hill to the underpass for the A45 Blue (moderate), red (difficult) and black (severe) off-road mountain bike trails for different abilities - dual tracks will allow head-to-head riding Five gathering spots where riders can meet to discuss the next section of track, and coaching can be provided A mountain bike skills area Cllr Adam Brown is Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure at West Northamptonshire Council. He said: “We’re so excited to be delivering a facility in partnership with Sport England and British Cycling that will benefit people of any age and ability, and which might one day produce some stars of the sport. "It’s incredibly important that we try and boost leisure opportunities for people in our area, and everyone in West Northamptonshire can benefit from this huge asset. "If the last couple of years have taught us anything, it’s how precious our physical and mental health are, so we need more developments of this type." The total budget is made up of £250,000 from Sport England, on behalf of the Places to Ride programme – a partnership between British Cycling, Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) – with the rest from the council.
Cost-of living support for West Northants’ most vulnerable residents receives the go ahead by councillors
June 15, 2022
Cost-of living support for West Northants’ most vulnerable residents receives the go ahead by councillors
Community, safety and emergencies 15 June 2022 In line with the council’s recently approved Anti-Poverty Strategy, pensioners, families facing financial hardship, and older people with disabilities in West Northamptonshire will benefit financially from a second tranche of the Household Support Fund. At West Northamptonshire Council's (WNC) Cabinet Meeting last night (14 June), councillors agreed how to best use the fund within the scope set out by government ministers. Previous funding has supported households with food, energy and water costs, and this extension will ensure that this support continues through to the end of September. The £2,599,628 from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be distributed by WNC and is earmarked to target the most vulnerable households and individuals in the area. A third of the funding is ring-fenced to support families with children, while another third is firmly dedicated to pensioners. This ensures the people who need it most will continue to receive vital support to meet essential household costs. WNC will work with more than 30 local voluntary and community groups and organisations to ensure the remaining third of the funding goes to those households in severe financial hardship and most need of help towards significantly rising living costs. The money will be distributed, via various packages, to families and individuals in specific financial hardship over the course of the summer period. Families who are eligible for free school meals are set to receive £20 per week food vouchers during the summer holiday and eligible households suffering severe financial hardship will get a £100 food voucher in a bid to offset the recent increases in food and fuel costs. Over 6,500 pensioners receiving Pension Credit will also receive £100, with an additional Pension Credit Top Up of £50 for pensioners with severe disabilities. The second allocation of the government’s Household Support Fund will be shared as follows: £20 per week food vouchers to go to 10,530 children, the intention being to cover the holiday period for children on school meals. School meal payments are expected to be made direct to parents via the schools a couple of weeks before the start of the holidays. £100 payment voucher for 6,500 residents who receive Pension Credit. Residents do not need to apply for this and will be advised by post during July using the Pension Credit system. Pension Credit Top Up for pensioners with severe disabilities - £50 payment for each registered recipient of this benefit. There is also no need to apply for this and those eligible will be advised by post in July using the Pension Credit system. The Council will partner up with over 30 local voluntary and community organisations to distribute approximately £865,000 of hardship payments to the most vulnerable households across West Northamptonshire this summer, as part of a wider approach to support communities with the cost of living crisis. Work is currently taking place to shape arrangements with the community and voluntary sector, and residents are encouraged to look out for further information in the coming weeks. Matt Golby, WNC's Cabinet Member for adult social care and public health, said: "Our vision at the council is for everyone to be able to live their best life, free from poverty and inequality. "The cost-of-living crisis is extremely challenging, and this further allocation of the Household Fund ensures the most vulnerable members of our community will continue to receive vital support to meet essential household costs. "We are working with a range of partners including schools and local voluntary organisations on arrangements to ensure this funding is received by those who need it most this summer. "Further details on these arrangements will be publicised in the coming weeks but pensioners, families facing financial hardship, and older people with disabilities will receive the financial support they need.”
Planning referendum taking place in Pitsford next week
June 14, 2022
Planning referendum taking place in Pitsford next week
Councillors and democracy 14 June 2022 Residents of Pitsford will go to the polls next week to decide whether they agree with proposed neighbourhood development plans for their area. The referendum in Pitsford on Thursday, 16 June will ask residents whether West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) should use their neighbourhood development plan to help decide future planning applications in their area. If more than 50 per cent of those who vote are in favour of the plan, then WNC is required to consider The Pitsford Neighbourhood Plan when deciding any future planning applications in the village. Cllr Rebecca Breese, WNC’s Cabinet Member for strategic planning, built environment and rural affairs, said: “A neighbourhood plan does not prevent development taking place, but it can give communities a stronger voice so that when development does come along, it meets the needs of existing, as well as new residents and businesses. "The Parish Council Working Party have carried out a huge amount of work, involved as many people as possible, leafletted every home, and nursed their plan through an independent examination. I would urge everyone registered to vote in Pitsford to support that hard work and make your voice heard during the referendum." Village residents can cast their vote at Pitsford Village Hall between 7am and 10pm on Thursday, 16 June. This development plan has been subject to public consultation before being reviewed by an independent examiner, who recommended that it goes to a referendum. For more details, including the public consultation and the examiner’s recommendation, visit Neighbourhood Development Plans (Daventry) .
Funds from Sixfields loan recovered
June 13, 2022
Funds from Sixfields loan recovered
13 June 2022 West Northamptonshire Council has recovered almost £466k by selling a property previously owned by Christina Cardoza , the wife of former Northampton Town Football Club Chairman David Cardoza. In 2013 Northampton Borough Council (NBC) loaned £10.25m to the club for construction of a new East Stand, but in 2014 it became apparent that most of the money had been misappropriated. Through its investigations, NBC traced some of the funds back to the Cardozas and in January 2019 High Court action enabled the council to register a charge against property owned by the family. Christina Cardoza was given until June 2021 to pay what she owed. In April 2021 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) became responsible for pursuing the funds as part of a merger of the former borough, district and county councils in Northamptonshire. Mrs Cardoza failed to make payment by the deadline and chose to leave the property in Eastbourne rather than incur the further expense of possession proceedings. WNC sold the property for £765k and to complete the sale in the buyer’s timeline and to avoid the risk of losing the sale – council Leader, Cllr Jonathan Nunn, used his executive powers to approve the sale. Following payment of just over £300k outstanding on the mortgage, WNC received almost £466k, which will be paid against the inherited Sixfields loan debt. Cllr Nunn said: “The situation with the property sale moved quickly and it was important that we acted to accept the offer and ensure the greatest level of return. “We certainly won’t be attempting to claim a big victory around this, as the appropriate governance should have been in place to ensure it never went missing in the first place, but I can assure people that much better governance and diligence is in place. “There have also been legal and other costs involved in recovering money, of course. Nevertheless, we hope that people will be glad to know that further public money has recently been recovered.” A report on the sale, which provides full details of the decision, will be brought to WNC’s Cabinet on Tuesday 14 June.
Grow your business with new e-commerce app
June 13, 2022
Grow your business with new e-commerce app
13 June 2022 Businesses across West Northamptonshire are encouraged to sign-up for a new e-commerce and tourism app to boost footfall, increase local spend, and shine a spotlight on everything our area has to offer. West Northamptonshire Council has worked with award-winning technology company Bubltown to create the new ExploreWN app. The app is set to be launched later this summer, but businesses are invited to sign-up to it for free now, so they can set up their profile on the app and be ready to engage with customers from day one. Funded by the Welcome Back Fund with the aim of helping businesses recover from the pandemic and return to growth, the platform offers a digital showcase for local businesses and attractions It is free for any West Northamptonshire business to join and use, and allows them to create a profile, raise their reputation, boost their brand and increase sales. The app will give residents easy access to local goods, services and discounts right on their doorstep and will include features to promote events, walking routes and local attractions. Councillor Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development & Town Centre Regeneration said: “This is a powerful platform which will provide businesses with the support they need to thrive in a more digital future as well as enhance the local quality of life, grow the local economy and support our vision of a thriving West Northamptonshire . “We are dedicated to supporting businesses to grow, create jobs and prosper in this area. West Northants has the perfect combination of rural and urban offers and ExploreWN is going to showcase every hidden gem and reason to visit, shop and spend in our area.” Businesses can find out more and sign up for free by visiting https://join.explorewn.co.uk
Huge boost for business, skills and communities
June 13, 2022
Huge boost for business, skills and communities
13 June 2022 West Northamptonshire Council has been allocated more than £7m in funding from the Government to boost the local economy over the next three years. The money will be used to improve people’s life chances, increase skills, create stronger communities, and support local businesses. It is made up of £5.4m from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the largest allocation in the South East Midlands, and a potential allocation of up to £1.9m in Multiply funding, which both replace previous strands of European social funding. The Shared Prosperity Fund is intended to: Boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector Spread opportunities and improve public services Restore a sense of community, local pride and belonging Empower local leaders and communities Multiply funding is specifically targeted at improving numeracy as better education in this area has been shown to improve people’s chances of progressing their careers. Its allocation is dependent on a robust business case. Its primary aims are to: Result in more adults achieving maths qualifications Improve outcomes for employers Increase general numeracy levels The council will work with partners and providers to develop proposals to deliver these funds which will have the greatest beneficial impact for West Northamptonshire and support the local community. Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “This money will help us ensure that residents, businesses and communities in West Northamptonshire have the support they need to grow and adapt to our changing economic landscape. “In collaboration with stakeholders, community groups and local partners, we will analyse the greatest needs for West Northamptonshire and develop proposals to best address the opportunities using these funding pots. “We are dedicated to supporting and growing the local economy, particularly as it recovers from the pandemic. It is the vision for WNC to deliver economic prosperity in this area, making it a place where everyone will thrive.”
New highways contract to deliver improvements from this autumn
June 13, 2022
New highways contract to deliver improvements from this autumn
Parking, roads and transport 13 June 2022 Residents should start seeing immediate improvements to roads and signage in West Northamptonshire when the new highways service launches this autumn, according to proposals set out by Council’s preferred contractor. Cleaning road signs, removing vegetation, replacing worn road markings and providing better updates and information to residents, parish councils and businesses are among the plans for the first few months of the new highways maintenance contract, agreed between the council and the contractor, when it starts this September. Under the new contract with Kier, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will deliver a brand new service with priorities and requirements specifically tailored to West Northamptonshire and a fresh flexibility to meet the changing priorities of the council and needs of its community. The Council is increasing investment to the service by more than £1million per year, and will also have greater control, putting in place its own contract management team to monitor performance, which will include clear, strong goals for improving customer focus and providing value for money. In the run-up this summer, WNC will be working with Kier on developing and agreeing a programme of work for the first 100 days of the service, which will then lay firm foundations for continuous improvements. The new contractor has also set a commitment to working with the Council on its sustainability goals to achieve net zero by 2030, including ensuring its fleet of vehicles are either ultra-low emissions or run using alternative fuels as well as plans to pilot future green solutions such as hydrogen. Kier has also pledged to create additional social value benefits equivalent to 30 per cent of the annual contract budget to benefit the wider West Northants community and economy, including ensuring at least 70 per cent of supply chain spending is with local businesses and SMEs by the end of the first year, employing 10 per cent of the workforce as local graduates and apprentices, providing work opportunities for young people not in employment, education or training and increasing the number of employees with disabilities year on year. The new contract will run for seven years, with the potential to extend to a maximum of 14 years, based on performance and quality of the service. The decision for West Northamptonshire was made under delegated authority by the Council’s Executive Director Place, Economy and Environment and Executive Director Finance, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste Services, and the Portfolio Holder for Finance, using a necessarily rigorous process. WNC has worked closely with NNC on the process for procuring the new highways contracts, which started in November 2020 and has involved several selection stages to narrow down and shortlist prospective suppliers. The highways contract will also be the subject for discussion at the forthcoming meeting on the WNC Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which will be held at 6pm on 28 June. Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Council Leader, said: "Procuring a highways contract is an extremely complex process and is heavily controlled and regulated as we must adhere to strict, procurement regulations. The process started over 18 months ago, with councillors setting and agreeing the way in which the procurement route would be undertaken, but then they are required to stand back as that process is strictly adhered to. The whole process is highly confidential to ensure the outcome cannot be pre-judged, with only myself and our Highways Cabinet Member being informed of the successful bidder on the same day of the decision, which was just a couple of hours before the result was then publicly announced. "However as soon as we were aware we immediately arranged for all elected members to be briefed on the process at the earliest opportunity, and also for our Scrutiny Committee to examine it as soon as they can, which will be 28th June. "Flexibility to change and address residents’ priorities with a positive attitude, stronger contract management, and more investment make this a better contract for West Northants than the previous contract, but we’ll be reporting the performance of the contract on a quarterly basis publicly at our Cabinet meetings. "And we want people to see a real difference when this new contract starts, so we’re working with Kier to come up with a plan that makes sure that they do."
Northampton Music Festival supporting new music
June 09, 2022
Northampton Music Festival supporting new music
Community, safety and emergencies 09 June 2022 The band Blackjack entertaining last year's festival crowd. Supporting new music and up and coming artists is at the heart of Northampton Music Festival which is set to bring a day of free live music to the town centre on Sunday, 19 June. The festival will see 61 acts perform across eight locations throughout the town centre, with genres from rock to opera, world music to jazz and more. Festival Director Graham Roberts said: "I’ve been a part of the music industry for more than 35 years as both a performer, teacher and as director of Northampton Music Festival for the past five year. I’m passionate that new artists should be supported and given professional practice through the experience of taking part in a festival, together with the challenge of playing to a large audience, possibly for the first time. "Feedback from previous festivals show that this free entry festival is of great benefit to both artists and the general public who may not otherwise be in a position to afford to attend a large live music event. "The increased footfall has also benefited the town centre, the whole purpose of the festival!" Kerrie Cosh, Presenter of BBC Music Introducing in Northampton, which was created to support unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar musicians, has worked with the festival to curate part of the line-up of the Main Stage on the Market Square. Kerrie said: "We are delighted to be working with Northampton Music Festival once again to showcase a wide range of talent from within our county. "Northampton is a melting pot of diverse and multi-talented artists - and we’re always discovering new musicians we're desperate to share with music lovers. "We can’t wait to bring that energy to the Market Square stage this year." Headlining the Main Stage will be Northampton-based band Sarpa Salpa – a band that has been championed by BBC Introducing. The band first performed at Northampton Music Festival on the BBC Introducing stage in 2018 and, with their current single ‘Dreaming’ receiving critical acclaim, they have now progressed to headlining the entire festival. Sarpa Salpa frontman Marcus Marooth said: "Having grown up in Northampton, I always used to look out for all the events we could try and get a slot for and festivals were always top of the list! "There are some fantastic festivals in Northampton that we’ve been lucky enough to play at, and to be invited to headline NMF22 is really great! "We can’t wait to get out there and give it everything we’ve got!” New and emerging talent will also be celebrated on the Student Showcase Stage in Element Courtyard on George’s Row with performances from students at Northampton College and the University of Northampton. Sarah Thursby, Curriculum Manager for Music and Performing Arts at Northampton College, said: "Being part of Northampton Music Festival is an important experience for our students and an insight into life in the music industry and the reality of a large-scale event. "We go through a rigorous audition process to select the acts who will perform on the day and for many of the students the festival will be their first professional and, importantly, their first paid gig. "For both Northampton College and the university students, the chance to collaborate and represent the growing talent in our town is essential. "Supporting the music community, events and profession in Northampton is at the heart of what we do." Northampton Music Festival takes place from 11.30am until 9pm on Sunday, 19 June, throughout the town centre. For more information, and to receive news and updates on the acts performing, follow #NMF22 on social media on Facebook @northamptonmusicfestival , Instagram @NNmusicfestival and Twitter @FestNN .
Cost-of living support for West Northants’ most vulnerable residents to be proposed at next week’s council meeting
June 09, 2022
Cost-of living support for West Northants’ most vulnerable residents to be proposed at next week’s council meeting
09 June 2022 In line with the council’s recently approved Anti-Poverty Strategy, pensioners, families facing financial hardship and older people with disabilities in West Northamptonshire are set to benefit from a second tranche of the Household Support Fund. The £2,599,628, from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), will be distributed by West Northamptonshire Council and is earmarked to continue to target the most vulnerable households and individuals in the authority, having helped thousands of families since its launch in September last year. Councillors will meet at a Cabinet Meeting on 14 June to determine how to best use the fund within the scope set out by government ministers. Previous funding has supported households with food, energy and water costs, and this extension will ensure that this support continues through to the end of September . A third of the funding is already ring-fenced to support families with children, while another third is firmly dedicated to pensioners. This ensures the people who need it most will continue to receive vital support to meet essential household costs. In line with its recently approved Anti-Poverty Strategy, West Northamptonshire Council is proposing to distribute the remainder of the money to those households in most need of help towards significantly rising living costs and households demonstrating severe financial hardship. Councillors will decide whether or not to back the proposal that the money will be distributed, via various packages, to families and individuals in specific financial hardship over the course of the summer period. If proposals are approved, families who are eligible for free school meals will receive £20 per week school vouchers during the summer holiday. Plans could also mean that eligible households will get a £100 food voucher in a bid to offset the recent increases in food and fuel costs. Over 6,500 pensioners receiving Pension Credit could also receive £100, with a proposed additional Pension Credit Top Up of £50 for pensioners with severe disabilities. The exact proposed allocation of the Household Support Fund (2) is as follows: £20 per week Food Vouchers to go to 10,530 children , the intention being to cover the holiday period for children on school meals. £100 payment for 6,500 residents who receive Pension Credit. Pension Credit Top Up for pensioners with severe disabilities - £50 payment for each recipient. Payments to Pensioners who are not on Pension Credit but suffering severe financial hardship and identified through appropriate voluntary agencies. A maximum of £100 food voucher to each eligible household to offset the recent increases in food and fuel. School meal payments are expected to be made a couple of weeks before the start of the holidays, with payments for pensioners planned to take place in July. Work continues on shaping arrangements with community organisations to distribute food vouchers to eligible households, with a view to this being ready from late July / early August. Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Public Health, said: “ I am proud to have been a part of signing up to an Anti-Poverty Strategy for West Northamptonshire and this Household Support Fund presents an opportunity to start to progress on some of the actions and priorities we have already outlined as a council. We know the pressures many are currently facing, especially pensioners, people with disabilities and families with children, which is why it is proposed that this fund targets support to these most vulnerable households across the county.” “Our Vision is for a fairer and more inclusive West Northamptonshire, where everyone is able to live their best life, prosperous and fulfilling, free from poverty and inequality.’ If the proposals are accepted, details of how to access the available funds will be publicised in the coming weeks.
West Northamptonshire comes together for a right Royal celebration
June 06, 2022
West Northamptonshire comes together for a right Royal celebration
Health, leisure and parks 06 June 2022 Thousands of people turned out to enjoy a bank holiday weekend of events and activities as communities across West Northamptonshire celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. From beacon lighting ceremonies to the countywide pageant, the Big Lunch at Delapré Abbey and the hundreds of street parties and community get-togethers that took place in honour of her Majesty, it was a weekend to remember. The festivities got underway on Thursday evening, when the Northampton Lift Tower was lit up in red, white and blue as part of a national event which also saw a number of other beacons simultaneously lit around West Northants, including in Brackley and Towcester. On Saturday the crowds turned out for a spectacular countywide pageant, which saw military and emergency services personnel, youth and community groups and businesses from across Northamptonshire parade through Northampton town centre. Then on Sunday hundreds of people braved the damp conditions to attend The Big Lunch at Delapré Abbey, enjoying picnics and a range of live music, performances, activities and stalls. Visitors to the free event were also treated to a special performance from local dance troupe Born To Perform, fresh from wowing the judges and the nation on their run to the semi-final of Britain's Got Talent. They were joined by a range of community acts celebrating the best of West Northants including African dance from the Power of the Mind Network, Step By Step dance school, Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust, the Queen Eleanor and Real Soul choirs, African Youth Arise and The Masque Theatre. It has been a wonderful weekend across the whole country but especially Northamptonshire. With so many local street parties and some really big events taking place, it really has been a true celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It was great to see thousands of people turn out to enjoy the celebrations across a spectacular bank holiday weekend. Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council It was great to see so many members of the community come out to connect and enjoy what has been a wonderful Jubilee weekend. I would like to say a big thank you to all the organisations who came along to perform or support the Big Lunch and it was great to see the grounds of Delapré filled with members of our community and used in such a great way. Thank you also to the rain for holding off! Richard Clinton, Chief Executive of Delapré Abbey
Increased investment for new highways contract will deliver an improved service across West Northants
June 01, 2022
Increased investment for new highways contract will deliver an improved service across West Northants
Parking, roads and transport 01 June 2022 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has announced Kier as its preferred contractor to deliver a new highways service with increased investment this autumn. Today’s announcement is the outcome of an 18-month competitive process to award a new maintenance contract as part of the £30m-a-year service, which includes maintaining local roads, footpaths, signage and drainage, repairing potholes and winter gritting. The current highways maintenance contract, currently delivered Northamptonshire-wide by Kier and WSP under arrangements inherited from the previous county council was procured over a decade ago and since the formation of WNC has lacked the flexibility required to meet the changing priorities of the council and its community. WNC’s new contract will deliver a brand new highways service with fresh priorities and requirements specifically tailored towards the needs of West Northamptonshire residents. Under the new contract with Kier the Council is increasing investment to the service by more than £1million per year, and will also have greater control, increasing its own resource to manage and monitor performance, which will include clear, strong goals for improving customer focus and providing value for money. The new contractor has also set its commitment to working with the Council on its sustainability goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2030, as well as increasing social value to the service to benefit the wider West Northants community and economy, such as supporting local disadvantaged groups and working with local sub-contractors. As the outcome of the process also saw North Northamptonshire Council appoint Kier as their preferred supplier, having the same contractor working on two separate neighbouring highways services will lead to some cost advantages for the two authorities, such as the ability to share some administrative functions and contract management roles. The new contract will run for seven years, with the potential to extend to a maximum of 14 years based on performance and quality of the service. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways, Transport and Waste Services at West Northamptonshire Council, said: "We are pleased to be able to appoint Kier as preferred contractor for our new highways service from September. I look forward to working with them, delivering our agenda and on our priorities. "It’s been over a decade since the previous countywide contract was awarded and we are starting afresh with new priorities and requirements specifically targeted to West Northamptonshire, that fully reflect the present-day needs of our communities. The condition of our roads, verges and signage is very important to our residents. It is important that our contractor is focused on the needs of our residents and delivers for them, dealing with their issues and concerns flexibly and positively, providing a high quality service. "We already have a strong, established relationship with Kier which we will now build upon further and I am confident this new contract will result in better, quality highways services where our contractor takes a flexible and pragmatic approach, exercising common sense and care for the environment in what they do across West Northamptonshire.” Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of the Council said: “Mending potholes and maintaining our local roads really matters to our residents, and they have been telling us that this important service needs to improve. Whilst they accept the need to spend more, they need to feel certain that we’re getting the best value and quality for their money. That’s why we have procured a truly flexible contract that will focus on the priorities of our residents as we know these can change over time. Alongside the flexibility, unlike the previous contract we are setting challenging performance measures for the work that’s done, and a strong Contract Management Team who ensure the monitoring of this performance. “We’ve also chosen a contractor that is leading the field in its commitment to supporting us in our work towards a more sustainable West Northants, whether it’s helping us reduce carbon emissions by 2030 or adding real social value to the services we provide for the benefit of our wider community, and I look forward to working closely with them in the years ahead." WNC has worked closely with NNC on the process for procuring the new highways contracts, which started in November 2020 and has involved several selection stages to narrow down and shortlist prospective suppliers. The decision for West Northamptonshire was made under delegated authority by the Council’s Executive Director Place, Economy and Environment and Executive Director Finance, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste Services, and the Portfolio Holder for Finance. The new contract will start in September, 2022.
Northampton firm lays foundations for a more diverse community with first Pride sponsorship
June 01, 2022
Northampton firm lays foundations for a more diverse community with first Pride sponsorship
Community, safety and emergencies 01 June 2022 Robin Miller - General Counsel and Company Secretary for Travis Perkins plc will be speaking at Pride Northampton on 26 June 2022. Lodge Farm based Travis Perkins plc have announced today Wednesday, 1 June, they will be sponsoring Pride Northampton, the first time the firm has taken the step. The Pride Parade on Sunday 26 June is organised by the Northampton Pride Committee and West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) LGBTQ+ and Allies Forum and aims to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and encourages acceptance and equality for all. Travis Perkins plc employs 20,000 people at home and abroad, and 1,600 people just in Northamptonshire. They will be supporting the Pride Parade while highlighting what they do to support members of the LGBTQ+ community they employ and serve. Cllr André González De Savage, Chairman of WNC, said: “When we use the word community, we don’t just mean neighbours, sports clubs and churches. We also mean businesses, especially those who employ thousands of people and pay salaries which are spent within the area. “It makes me very proud to see not only a household name based in Northampton stepping forward to support its community, but also to see an historic business demolish old norms, to break new ground and open doorways to the LGBTQ+ community." All 20,000 Travis Perkins plc colleagues are being encouraged to use Pride to educate themselves on what it means to become good allies to lesbian, gay, bi, trans and questioning (LGBTQ+) and will mark the celebrations by taking part in a range of activities, including training, talks and debates. They will also be encouraged to mark the occasion by wearing rainbow laces or dress brightly during June to show their support. Robin Miller, General Counsel & Company Secretary for Travis Perkins plc and sponsor of the Group’s LGBTQ+ network, said: “As one of the biggest employers in this area, we are delighted to sponsor this year’s Northampton Pride parade, which provides a great opportunity to celebrate diversity and support our colleagues and everyone from the local LGBTQ+ community. "We are committed to become a more inclusive business that attracts a more diverse range of talents and people, so we provide a work environment that better reflects the diversity of the communities where we live and work." As well as financial and marketing support for the parade, Travis Perkins plc will also be recruiting during the event. Performers, food vendors, stallholders, volunteers, and community groups are all lined up to take part in this year’s Northampton Pride which starts at the Market Square at 11am, with festivities continuing until 4pm. ENDS About Travis Perkins plc Travis Perkins is the UK's leading distributor of building materials to trade customers and has the ambition to be the leading partner to the construction industry. The Group operates market leading businesses, including Travis Perkins Builders’ Merchants, Toolstation and a number of specialists in the civils market (Keyline), heating and ventilation (BSS) and drylining and insulation (CCF), and many more. With annual revenues of £4.6bn, the Group employs over 20,000 colleagues across the UK, but also in France and Benelux through Toolstation. The company has a proud heritage that spans over 200 years. For more information, see Travis Perkins .
Nations sandwich maker set to nourish Jubilee Pageant participants
May 31, 2022
Nations sandwich maker set to nourish Jubilee Pageant participants
Community, safety and emergencies 31 May 2022 Greencore worker smiles as she helps prepare thousands of sandwiches for the Northampton Jubilee Pageant participants Thousands taking part in Northampton’s Jubilee Pageant on Saturday, 4 June will have their energies restored thanks to a donation of 2,000 pre-packed sandwiches from Moulton Park’s Greencore. As one of the country’s biggest food suppliers, Greencore produces 1.6 billion food items a year and supplies everyone from local convenience stores to all the major supermarkets. After the Pageant they will be feeding over 1,500 representatives from the county’s military and emergency services, youth groups, and the community and religious groups taking part. Councillor André González De Savage, Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council said: “If you’ve ever grabbed a sandwich on the go, there’s a good chance you’ve eaten a Greencore product. “They are just one of dozens of major UK companies who call Northampton a base of operations and employ hundreds of people in the area, if not thousands if you count the suppliers and services they work with. “I’m very pleased they have stepped forward to show their commitment to their community here in Northamptonshire and I’m looking forward to my cheese and salad sarnie to keep me going during my duties on the big day.” Tim Jackson, Site Director at Greencore Northampton, said: “We are proud of our long-standing history as a major employer in Northampton, and it is important to us that we play our role in the local community. This is why we are delighted to donate 2,000 sandwiches to those representatives that are taking part in Northampton’s Jubilee Pageant this weekend.” The spectacular pageant will take place in Northampton town centre on Saturday, 4 June starting at the top of Abington Street at 11am. It will then move west down Abington Street, along George Row, up The Drapery and onto the Market Square where a celebration service will take place. As well as the military, the Pageant will feature Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, Girlguiding Northamptonshire, the Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation, Northamptonshire County Federation of Women’s Institutes, Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council and the Siri Guru Singh Sabha Northampton. For a round-up of all the official Jubilee events in Northamptonshire and nationally, and to register to receive updates on local activities, visit our Platinum Jubilee page.
Nearly 130 road closures begin Thursday as West Northamptonshire prepares to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
May 31, 2022
Nearly 130 road closures begin Thursday as West Northamptonshire prepares to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
Roads and paths 31 May 2022 129 neighbourhoods will be closed over the four-day Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend as communities across West Northamptonshire celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years of service to the nation. From Willow Green, Old Stratford on the southern edge of West Northamptonshire, to School Lane, Naseby in the north, communities across the area will be wrapping their lampposts in bunting and putting out tables and chairs to enjoy the celebration with their neighbours. Cllr André González De Savage, Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council said: “It can be very easy sometimes to overlook the power of symbols. But in the post-war years we have seen a pace of change which few societies have ever experienced, and Her Majesty has been a constant symbol of duty, honour, and good grace. “Now, more than ever I think we need to come together to celebrate those shared ideals." Leading the way is the county town with more than 30 road closures in Northampton, followed by Brackley with 17 and Daventry with nine. Anyone needing to travel locally during the Jubilee weekend is encouraged to check the full list of closure before they set off. Other highlights of the celebration in West Northants include: the lighting of Jubilee Beacons on Thursday, the Jubilee Pageant through Northampton on Saturday, and the Big Lunch at Delapre Park on Sunday. For more details of the road closures, a round-up of national events, details of events and activities in West Northants, and other useful links, visit our Queen's Platinum Jubilee page.
National changes to bus lane enforcement to affect West Northamptonshire
May 31, 2022
National changes to bus lane enforcement to affect West Northamptonshire
Buses and transport 31 May 2022 Fines for the illegal use of bus lanes are set to increase from £60 to £70 as part of a change in national legislation, introduced by Government from this week. The increase, from May 31, affects all council areas (including West Northamptonshire) which issue Penalty Charge Notices for the contravention of traffic regulations in bus lanes. Additionally, the initial period during which the payment of fines is discounted has increased from 14 days to 21 days. Both changes bring the rules regarding bus lane contraventions into line with legislation regarding civil parking enforcement. Cllr Phil Larratt, WNC’s Cabinet Member for transport, highways and environment, said: "As a local authority we are obliged to comply with the rules nationally, but we welcome the extended discount period, people are busy and this gives them a better chance of not missing out on the discount, especially now it’s the same regime as postal parking fines. "But we have to remember bus lanes are there to reduce congestion and encourage people on to greener and more sustainable forms of transport. So, the best way to beat the traffic and avoid fines is to use the bus."
Transatlantic tree planting as county gets ready for a weekend of jubilee celebrations
May 31, 2022
Transatlantic tree planting as county gets ready for a weekend of jubilee celebrations
Culture and tourism 31 May 2022 Jubilee tree planting ceremony at Silverstone Circuit Excitement for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is spanning across the Atlantic as Northamptonshire gears up for four days of celebrations this weekend. Residents in Northamptonshire’s twin city of Indianapolis, USA are among those planning to mark Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne – and recently showed their support by joining our county for a twin tree-planting ceremony at Silverstone Circuit as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy Initiative. The special ceremony took place at Silverstone this month with former Indy Car and Formula 1 driver and Indianapolis 500 competitor Max Chilton joining Northamptonshire Queen’s Green Canopy Chairman Paul Parsons to plant an American Sweetgum tree at the world-famous motor circuit. Meanwhile at the same time in the USA, an English oak tree was being planted in Garfield Regional Park, Indianapolis by Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis Judith B Thomas, joined by Chris St. Paul, President of the Indianapolis-Northamptonshire Sister Cities Committee. Paul Parsons said: “We are delighted by Indianapolis’ enthusiasm to take part in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and hope that the English Oak they have planted thrives as does this American Gumtree, as enduring symbols of the friendship between our two nations and between the City of Indianapolis and the county of Northamptonshire. “Over one million trees have so far been planted across the country and I’m delighted to say that there has been great enthusiasm and participation for this initiative in all corners of our county. We are also very grateful to the Silverstone Circuit for providing this fine American Gumtree. “When I was tasked to lead this initiative in Northamptonshire, I saw its remit as stretching across its 900 or so square miles, but what I had not foreseen was an international element!” Northamptonshire became twinned with Indianapolis in 2009, when the then Mayor of Indianapolis sought to develop a relationship with Great Britain through the Sister Cities International Scheme, that would foster economic, cultural, and technological growth with another area that had a strong focus on the motorsports industry. The Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis, Judith B Thomas, said: “It is an honour for us to join with Northamptonshire in celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and to contribute in a small way to her Green Canopy Project. Toward that end, we’ve planted an English Oak at the historic Garfield Regional Park on the south side of Indianapolis. “We were excited to know that at the same moment, representatives of West and North Northamptonshire Councils and the Northamptonshire Queen’s Green Canopy Committee were at the Silverstone Circuit, planting a tree to represent our Sister City relationship.” Mr Bazire said: “At Silverstone, sustainability is very important to us, and the circuit aims to be Zero Carbon by 2030. We are therefore very pleased to help the environment by planting this tree and contributing to the legacy of the Queen’s Green Canopy, which will benefit generations to come. “We are also delighted that the BRDC member Max Chilton, who has such close links to Indianapolis through his racing career, could be a part of the planting ceremony.” The tree planting took place in the run-up a bank holiday of Jubilee celebrations being planned across Northamptonshire this weekend, including a countywide pageant of military and community groups through Northampton Town Centre on Saturday. Towns and parishes will also be lighting official Jubilee beacons this Thursday, with communities and neighbourhoods across the county holding street parties, alongside two major Jubilee Big Lunch events taking place at Northampton’s Delapre Abbey and Wicksteed Park in Kettering on Sunday. To find out more about the jubilee celebrations and how to get involved in the Queen’s Green Canopy tree-planting initiative, visit our J ubilee webpage .
Northampton Music Festival FULL line-up revealed
May 30, 2022
Northampton Music Festival FULL line-up revealed
Culture and tourism 30 May 2022 Clockwise from top: Sarpa Salpa, T Bone Afrika Allstars, Kate Coyle and Pop Spencer. The full line-up for Northampton Music Festival has been revealed, with 61 acts set to perform in eight locations throughout the town centre. The free music festival, which takes place on Sunday, 19 June, kicks off at 11:30am on the Main Stage in Market Square with Northamptonshire school children performing Katy Perry’s Fireworks in sign language and culminates with a homecoming headline set from Northampton-based band Sarpa Salpa, whose new single ‘Dreaming’ is receiving critical acclaim. The World Music stage, in the courtyard of The Guildhall, will see a headline performance from T Bone Afrika Allstars – formed just a few months ago, the band is already playing to packed audiences across the country conjuring up the sense and feel of Africa. Northampton’s own Ivor Johnson Band, rooted in soul and gospel music, will play an array of instruments from around the world. Sandeep Raval, curator of the World Music Stage, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for the Northampton community to experience world class talent on their doorstep for free.” Headlining the classical stage, in its new home at Northampton Museum’s Courtyard, will be esteemed musicians David Blackadder and Richard Holloway. David is one of the world’s finest trumpeters who was hand-picked to play at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Richard is one of Northamptonshire’s most respected and admired pianists who has dedicated much of his life to inspiring students at NMPAT. The Jazz Stage at the Guildhall Hotel will be headlined by the Alex Clarke Duo. One of the most in-demand and versatile young saxophonists on the British jazz scene, Alex won the Rising Star category of the 2019 British Jazz Awards and was a finalist in the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year competition in 2020. The New Boots stage at The Black Prince on Abington Square will see folk-rock flair for the headline performance from Northampton singer Aryah and her group. New and emerging talent will be celebrated on the Student Showcase Stage in Element Courtyard on George’s Row with performances from students at Northampton College and the University of Northampton. Two pop-up stages have been added to the line-up, both in memory of local musicians Pop Spencer and Kate Coyle who recently passed away. Gelda Spencer, Pop’s wife, said: “Music was such a big part of Pop’s life and he loved performing at the local festivals in Northampton. He would be so proud of this tribute to him at Northampton Music Festival.” Kate’s friend, Scott Walters, said: “Kate was an amazingly talented singer and ukulele player and her favourite places to play were The Black Prince, The Mailcoach and The Fish. Kate was loved by so many.” Pop-up curator Hannah Faulkner was determined to remember both much loved local performers during NMF22. The full line-up of the festival is: MARKET SQUARE – MAIN STAGE 11:30am: SIGNING Stars 12pm: Wellingborough Gospel Choir 1pm: Richard Exall’s Shooting Stars 2pm: Mystic Crew 3pm: Hana Brooks 3.30pm: Gabriel Halford and Dave Crawford 4pm: Sharmaine 5pm: Lay it Down 6pm: Phantom Isle 7pm: Pure Genius 8pm Sarpa Salpa GUILDHALL COURTYARD – WORLD MUSIC STAGE 1pm: Durgesh and Friends 2pm: Inta Africa 3pm: Paul Jackson 4pm: Brazilian Vibes 4:30pm: Plastic Visual 5pm: The Ivor Johnson Band 6pm: TBone Afrika Allstars (Followed by a spectacular finale featuring all acts) GUILDHALL HOTEL – JAZZ STAGE 1pm: Elle Delaney and Co 2pm: Dan Wyllie Quartet 3pm: The Krupa Connection 4pm: Day-Hood & Co 5pm: Wayne Matthews Trio 6pm: Alex Clarke Duo NORTHAMPTON MUSEUM COURTYARD – CLASSICAL STAGE 12:30pm: Joshua S Bell 1:30pm: Kay Warçaba 2:30pm: Wellingborough Gospel Choir 3:30pm: Rob Colley 4:30pm: David Blackadder and Richard Holloway THE BLACK PRINCE – NEW BOOTS STAGE 1pm: Chargr 2pm: Jasmine Burns 3pm: hazeyjane 4pm: In Atoms 5pm: Paul Ronney Angel 6pm: Aryah ELEMENT COURTYARD – STUDENT SHOWCASE STAGE 12:45pm: The Stencil Pencils 1pm: Tabitha Brown 1:20pm: Sophie & Daisy 1:40pm: Katakuris 2pm: Matt Jones 2:20pm: xtahc 2:40pm: New Age Jam 3:10pm: Plastic Visual 3:30pm: Thrifted 4pm: Back2Basics 4:30pm: Mitsäu 5pm: One Way Ticket 5:30pm: Our Condolences 6pm: Osmium_band_ 6:30pm: Worth a Shot POP-UP STAGE OUTSIDE V&B (ST GILES’ SQUARE) – A TRIBUTE TO POP SPENCER 12pm: Niamh Keating 12:50pm: Ant & Luke 1:40pm: Mae Stephens 2:30pm: Hannah Faulkner 3:20pm: Marc Checkley 4:10pm: Charlie Tarry 5:10pm: Jake Brown POP-UP STAGE ON FISH STREET – A TRIBUTE TO KATE COYLE 12pm: Andreas Rose 1pm: Michael Green 2pm: Scott Walters 3pm: Tom Cayton 4pm: Joseph Boyle 5pm: Ray Beck For more information, and to receive news and updates on the acts performing, follow #NMF22 on social media on Facebook @northamptonmusicfestival , Instagram @NNmusicfestival and Twitter @FestNN .
Moulton College students put through their paces with local firefighters
May 29, 2022
Moulton College students put through their paces with local firefighters
Public Service students from Moulton College have this week (24 May) been put through their paces during a visit to Moulton Fire Station as part of their firefighter experience day. Over the course of the day, around forty students joined White Watch crews from Moulton, Mereway and The Mounts, along with Youth Engagement Officer, Michelle Bates and Community Safety Officer, Jo Gouldson to get a flavour of life as a firefighter. They participated in job-related tests, which form part of the application process, running out hoses, moving ‘casualties’ and carrying equipment over a short distance. The students also got to experience the ‘smoke house,’ albeit with only a small amount of smoke, where firefighters practice their search techniques. Wearing firefighter protective clothing and breathing apparatus, they were paired up and had to find their way around a dark building using communication and teamwork to locate a casualty and safely exit the property. Helen Russell, Public Service Lecturer at Moulton College, who had organised the day with Watch Commander Aaron Childs said: “I was really impressed by the students’ engagement in the activities throughout the day. The Public Services course aims to provide the perfect stepping-stone to adjust to life working within the public service sector, learning practical and theoretical skills to improve employability. “Aaron and the crews involved in the day, gave a real insight into the vital work the fire service does to keep the county safe, and the day has certainly sparked interest from a number of our students.” In addition to the practical activities the students learnt about water safety. They were shown the best technique to use a throwline to provide potentially lifesaving help to someone in distress in water. Crews also offered a tour of the fire appliances including one of the Service’s Technical Rescue Vehicles and answered questions about careers in the Service. One student commented: “All the activities were fun and enjoyable, and they really opened my eyes to a role in the fire service.” Station Commander at Moulton Fire Station, Tom Hodson said: “We were delighted to host the firefighter experience day for the students from Moulton College and we are looking forward to working more closely with the College going forward. “Working in the fire service is a great career for anyone interested in supporting their community. It’s not just about putting out fires. We attend a wide range of incidents, including floods, animal rescues, road traffic collisions as well as providing support to other emergency services. A large part of the firefighter’s role is carrying out community engagement work to increase awareness of fire risk and to prevent incidents from occurring in the first place. “I am really pleased to hear that we have helped to focus some of the students’ minds on the fire service as a career and are always happy to talk more about the role with interested people.” Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service will be recruiting for firefighters in the Autumn. If you are interested in finding out more, fire stations around the county will be holding ‘Have a go’ days over the coming months. Please follow us on social media for updates and keep an eye on the Service’s website.
Get your neighbourhood Clean for the Queen 
May 27, 2022
Get your neighbourhood Clean for the Queen 
Environmental health 27 May 2022 Communities across West Northamptonshire are being encouraged to get their neighbourhoods clean for the Queen in readiness for the many street parties taking place across the long weekend of Platinum Jubilee celebrations from 2 -5 June. Litter picking kits, which include litter pickers, sacks and bag hoops are available to borrow from West Northamptonshire Council, along with a step-by-step guide to help plan a safe and effective litter pick. Anyone wishing to borrow a litter picking kit can find out more information on the council’s website , email [email protected] or call 0300 126 7000. All sacks of litter collected from public land will be picked up by the council. Councillor Phil Larratt, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste, said: “Over 100 neighbourhoods across West Northants are planning to hold street parties across the Jubilee bank holiday weekend, so this is an ideal time to organise a litter pick and make sure that your street or area is looking its best for the celebrations. “We really appreciate the great work of volunteers and groups such as the Litter Wombles who keep their communities clean and tidy and we want to do all we can to support their excellent work, as well as encourage other groups to join in.” West Northamptonshire Council has developed a litter charte r to ensure a coordinated approach to tackling litter across the whole council area and is working with Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District and Northampton Town Council to deliver long term anti-littering initiatives.
Beacons to light up West Northants for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
May 24, 2022
Beacons to light up West Northants for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
24 May 2022 West Northants will light up to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a number of Beacon Lighting Ceremonies kicking off the Bank Holiday Weekend. Beacons will be lit simultaneously across the county at 9.45pm on Thursday, 2 June in events organised by West Northants Council (WNC), Brackley Town Council and Towcester Town Council to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne. Northampton Lift Tower will be lit up in red, white and blue as part of a special ceremony taking place at the Northampton Saints Rugby Ground with a performance of the song for the Commonwealth, ‘A Life Lived with Grace’, sung by a local choir. In addition, Beacons will be lit in Brackley, Towcester and Daventry - with a Platinum Jubilee Festival taking place at Brackley Rugby Club and sustainable virtual lighting events planned at Towcester Recreation Ground and the Council Offices on Lodge Road, Daventry. The Beacons will be among over 2,022 being lit across the UK and the Commonwealth by charities, communities and faith groups, and form part of the official programme announced by Buckingham Palace for the Jubilee Weekend. A Principal Beacon lighting will also take place in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday evening which will take the form of a lighting installation with The Queen’s Green Canopy ’Tree of Trees’ sculpture and projections onto the front of Buckingham Palace. Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, Pageantmaster of The Queen’s Jubilee Platinum Beacons, said: “Building on a long tradition of lighting beacons to mark significant royal celebrations, thousands of beacons will be lit across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. They will enable local communities to join together to pay tribute to Her Majesty as part of the official programme of events.” HM Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, James Saunders Watson, said: “We are proud to be part of this momentous celebration and invite communities across Northamptonshire to join us in commemorating Her Majesty, The Queen’s 70th year as our Monarch and Head of the Commonwealth on her Platinum Jubilee. “It is only appropriate that we mark this unique milestone in history with beacons and music, and I am pleased that like Buckingham Palace, we have been able to incorporate innovative virtual events into our celebrations which reflect the Royal Family’s longstanding commitment to environmental causes and sustainability.” Find out more information on Platinum Jubilee events happening in West Northants .
Discover fantastic produce and services at Northampton Market
May 23, 2022
Discover fantastic produce and services at Northampton Market
Commercial 23 May 2022 We’re urging people to visit Northampton’s Market Square to discover the fantastic range of produce and services it has to offer. From fresh fruit and veg to fabulous flowers, toys and gadgets to expert services such as key cutting – Northampton Market has something for everyone. And with its locally-sourced produce and reduced reliance on packaging, it also offers a more sustainable way to shop. ‘The Talk of the Town’ The three-week ‘Love Your Local Market’ campaign – extended this year to run up to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on Sunday June 5 – aims to showcase the benefits of markets and trading opportunities across the UK and across the globe. And to mark the event, we’ve launched a new promotional campaign to showcase Northampton Market. ‘Northampton Market: The Talk of the Town’ celebrates the energy and vibrancy that makes this historic market such an important part of Northampton. And people across West Northamptonshire are urged to visit the Market to see for themselves the fantastic range of stalls it offers. You can also get behind the campaign by following us on social media Please share, like and comment on our posts to help spread the message, and get involved by telling us what you love about Northampton Market, using the hashtag #LYLM2022 Find out more information about Northampton Market
Signing stars to open Northampton Music Festival
May 23, 2022
Signing stars to open Northampton Music Festival
Health, leisure and parks 23 May 2022 This year’s Northampton Music Festival (NMF) will open with a special performance of two well-known songs with a twist – they will be performed in sign language. Children from across the county have been invited to take part in the signing of Firework by Katy Perry and Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World , which has been organised by Greenfields Specialist School for Communication. The performance will take place on Sunday 19 June at 11:30am on the Main Stage in the Market Square, and the school is encouraging everyone to view two specially made videos to learn the signed versions of the songs. Lisa Atack, Headteacher at Greenfields, said: “We have contacted all schools across the county inviting them to come along and watch our SIGNING Stars performance and join in with the signing to kick off the festival in style. Staff, pupils, young people and their families are all welcome to join in.” The signed versions for each song can be learned by watching two videos specially made for the event featuring Cathy Rideout, Greenfields Teaching Assistant and leader of the SIGNING Stars choir. Polly Wilson, Trustee of The Wilson Foundation, one of the key funders of NMF said: “We can’t wait to see the SIGNING Stars performance live on stage. As a charity established to give a helping hand to young people in Northamptonshire, it’s wonderful to see aspiring performers being given this once in a lifetime opportunity to shine.” A limited number of young people will also be invited to join Lisa on stage and take part in the performance. To express interest in performing, email Lisa at: [email protected] Northampton Music Festival will run from 11:30am until 9pm on Sunday 19 June. Entry is free.
More Homes for Ukraine sponsors needed in West Northants
May 20, 2022
More Homes for Ukraine sponsors needed in West Northants
Homes for Ukraine 20 May 2022 West Northamptonshire Council is seeking more sponsors to support families and individuals fleeing the war in Ukraine. One of the primary requirements is for accommodation to host those whose initial sponsorship didn’t work out for a variety of reasons. The Government’s original plea for sponsors was made several months ago and many people’s circumstances might now have changed. Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services, said: “There might well be people who were not in a position to offer accommodation at the time of the original appeal who might now be able to help. “There might also be people who signed up at that time and were not matched with refugees, and we’d like to hear from any who would still like to do their bit. “West Northamptonshire is an incredibly welcoming place, with many wonderful people who are willing to support those in need. “We’re extremely grateful for all of the help so far from the more than 250 sponsors who have come forward, yet we could do with some additional help. “This is certainly not something to go into lightly; welcoming people you don’t know into your home can be challenging, though it can also be exceedingly rewarding.” The £350 per month thank-you payment is still on offer for sponsors who are successfully matched to Ukrainian guests. We need some basic information to begin the process including: Name Address Who they would be able to accommodate (a family with children/couple/single female/single male) What accommodation they have available (including size and number of bedrooms) Contact details An indication of whether you have already registered your interest in becoming a sponsor on the government website . ​​​​​​​ Anyone who has space in their home, or an empty property that might be suitable can contact us at [email protected] and we will provide full details of the scheme.
André’s new role as Chairman of the 'board'
May 20, 2022
André’s new role as Chairman of the 'board'
Councillors and democracy 20 May 2022 WNC's new Chairman, Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage with his skateboard and Vice-Chairman, Cllr John Shephard West Northamptonshire Council’s new Chairman is skating into his role with 'wheel' enthusiasm in a bid to boost civic pride and better connect communities across the area. Cllr André Gonzalez De Sávage received the ceremonial chains of office from outgoing Chairman Cllr Ann Addison at the Council’s Annual Meeting in Northampton’s historic Guildhall last night (Thursday, 19 May). Cllr John Shephard, ward member for Moulton was appointed as his vice-chairman. It’s a little-known fact that André has been a keen skateboarder and BMXer for as long as he’s been a local councillor during the past 20 years – and he plans to be equally active and energetic in the year ahead as Chairman of West Northamptonshire Council, supporting local communities and businesses whilst also fundraising for his two chosen charities, The Air Ambulance and Northamptonshire Search and Rescue. André, a WNC councillor for Northampton’s East Hunsbury and Shelfleys Ward, said: "It’s an incredible honour and privilege to be Chairman and I’m really looking forward to doing everything I can in the coming year to further raise the profile of West Northamptonshire and the many great things our area has to offer. "It’s really important that our council fully supports and connects with our residents, businesses and community groups and I will be working hard to continue to build these links as well as helping to showcase their amazing achievements. He added: “I have chosen to help raise invaluable funds for the Air Ambulance and Northants Search and Rescue as I really admire the amazing work and heroic efforts of these two charities, sometimes in harrowing circumstances, to support our emergency services and make a difference to people’s daily lives." Originally from Barcelona and having previously lived in Switzerland, London and Bedfordshire, dad-of-three André moved to Northampton in 1987, immediately involving himself in local residents associations and serving as a parish councillor for the East and West Hunsbury areas, then later becoming a Northamptonshire County Councillor for 17 years where he also held a number of Cabinet roles around Customer and Communities and Public Protection. From bike chains to ceremonial chains, André is also Chairman of Northamptonshire BMX and skate park Adrenaline Alley as well as being heavily involved in promoting culture and heritage through Surprise Northamptonshire and Royal and Derngate Theatres and the Made in Northamptonshire initiative which celebrates the county’s food and drink creators, manufacturers and providers. He added: “We are at the heart of the country, with leading global industries including High Performance Technologies, Motorsports, Education and Public Protection and a superb and vibrant visitor economy – and we have the right aspirations of one of the UK’s most successful counties. "Let’s promote and encourage pride and prosperity, locally, nationally and globally in all we do and support the growth, of a safe and prosperous West Northamptonshire in this notable year of the Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee." The role of 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] .
Chief Fire Officer responds to Government’s White Paper on the future of the fire service
May 20, 2022
Chief Fire Officer responds to Government’s White Paper on the future of the fire service
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer has welcomed the launch of the Government’s White Paper on the future of the fire service. Darren Dovey said: “Firefighters are justifiably held in high esteem by the public they serve. I believe that is more likely to remain the case in the future if we play our part in shaping reform of the sector. “For a long time, I have lobbied with my colleagues in the National Fire Chiefs’ council for fundamental reform. The fire service is full of committed people who rush towards danger when others move away. They want to give their best to keep people safe and these proposals will support them with consistent standards of professional training and support. “A more flexible structure will allow us to attract and retain talented people from all backgrounds. The people in our organisation are the key to its success – they are the ones that keep the public safe, so the focus on leadership and development of fire services and the increased focus on equality, diversity and inclusion is very important. “The world has changed but the way the fire service is structured has not kept up. The white paper is an opportunity to ensure the fire service continues to play a central role in keeping the public safe.” At the centre of the Government’s Fire Reform White Paper are plans to deliver: Increased public safety: by improving the professionalism of the fire and rescue service through modern workforce practices and potentially establishing a College of Fire and Rescue Improved accountability: through the proposals to transfer fire governance to a single elected individual, overseeing delivery by operationally independent Chief Fire Officers Better engagement with the public: through the 10-week consultation the government will listen to the views of the public and stakeholders, after which it will finalise its reform programme Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has also welcomed the launch of the White Paper, saying that it gives a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform the sector. Stephen said: “I welcome this white paper as an opportunity to fundamentally reform the fire service so that the professional skills of those firefighters and staff who do such outstanding work to keep the community safe can be used to their fullest extent within a structure fit for the risks we face today. “As one of just four Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners, I am directly elected to the public and am accountable to them. Under my governance and away from the old county council, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has been given financial stability and has been able to plan to modernise and develop as an organisation. “The Chief Fire Officer and his team have the stability and autonomy they need, and our fire service is better equipped, prepared and able to respond when called on to do so. Our shared approach to buildings and professional services with the police has resulted in closer collaboration that makes sense to the public and can only result in better outcomes. “But it takes more than response to deal with the changing risks that face our communities – prevention, protection, community resilience are all vital to public safety. We saw this clearly during the pandemic, when firefighters stepped up to carry out a variety of roles to keep people safe and keep public services moving. “That must be the catalyst for reform and to ensure our fire service is able to meet the challenges that face communities today and tomorrow. I welcome this opportunity to make changes that will enable firefighters to reach the highest professional standards, to have the most rewarding career path and to play the strongest role in community safety.”
Town's pride continues to shine despite city bid announcement
May 20, 2022
Town's pride continues to shine despite city bid announcement
Culture and tourism 20 May 2022 Northampton will always be a city at heart despite losing out in the recent Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours competition, say civic leaders. Although the town has today learnt it has not been successful in its bid for city status, exciting and ambitious plans to improve Northampton will continue to gather pace. The town’s bid faced tough competition from nearly 40 other locations, including Milton Keynes, Colchester, Doncaster, Dunfermline, Bangor, the Falkland Island's Stanley and Douglas in the Isle of Man, which were today announced as the successful bidders. Obviously the news that we have not been awarded city status will come as a great disappointment to the people of Northampton and everyone who supported and worked on our bid, however we remain extremely proud of our town and the bright future we have ahead of us. We will always be a city at heart. Our bid was a celebration of everything Northampton has to be proud of – our amazing people, our heritage, culture and communities – as well as raising the wider profile of West Northamptonshire and bringing residents closer together after the challenges of the pandemic and during our first year as a new authority. We would like to thank everyone who helped and supported us throughout this process, as your views, thoughts and opinions helped us to form our tribute to our beloved town. A special mention goes to the late Mike Ingram, whose expert historical knowledge of our town was insightful, and invaluable. Thanks also to all residents who sent in beautiful photos that helped us to encapsulate in our bid what we love about Northampton, and those who took part in videos demonstrating our fantastic town. I would like to offer my congratulations to Milton Keynes, Colchester, Doncaster, Dunfermline, Stanley, Bangor and Douglas that have been granted this prestigious title and wish them well in their new status.” Councillor Jonathan Nunn Leader of West Northamptonshire Council Today’s news is of course disappointing but doesn’t detract from all the great things about Northampton and its rich history. We are immensely proud of Northampton and will continue be so, whatever status it holds. Councillor Gareth Eales, of West Northamptonshire Council’s Labour Group
Progress continues on Council Tax energy rebates
May 18, 2022
Progress continues on Council Tax energy rebates
Council Tax 18 May 2022 Work on distributing £150 Council Tax energy rebates across West Northamptonshire is making good progress. The rebate, which is being paid to help with the rise in the cost of living, applies to around 143,000 homes in Council Tax Bands A to D across the area and the sum will not need to be repaid. The majority of those who pay their Council Tax by direct debit should have now received the rebate and this week West Northamptonshire Council is writing to the remaining 42,000 homes who do not pay by direct debit encouraging them to confirm their bank details so payment can be made. The letter will include a unique passcode enabling residents to apply online, plus a paper application for those residents unable to access the internet. The government payments are being administered by West Northamptonshire Council’s Revenues and Benefits Service which has been working tirelessly to put new processes in place and distribute the payments as quickly as possible. Malcolm Longley, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “We are only too aware of the cost-of-living increases people are facing and we are doing everything we can to make these payments as soon as possible. “The Government stipulation is that councils need to make a payment rather than simply crediting Council Tax accounts, which has resulted in both significant additional work for our staff and the need for changes to our IT systems. “However we are making good progress and have now issued payments to the majority of direct debit payers, with around 6,000 due to receive theirs once final eligibility checks have been completed in line with Government fraud guidance. Households who don’t pay by direct debit should look out for a letter including details on how to apply on line in order receive their payment as soon as possible. “Those unable to apply online will be able to make a paper application which will be sent with the letter they receive, although this process is likely to take slightly longer to verify and approve." All claims received by the Council will be validated and, if no issues are raised, payment will be made. Based on the volumes of claims we are expecting and depending on how quickly applications are returned, we would expect to start making payments for non-direct debit payers towards the end of May. To ensure that all eligible residents receive the rebate, any residents that have not made an application, online or by post, by 31 July 2022 and for whom bank account details are not known will have their Council Tax account credited with the £150 payment. The Council also has a discretionary scheme to help those in Bands E-H and non-Council Taxpayers who are deemed vulnerable. Further information about this will be published shortly. If you are unsure of your council tax band, check via your printed council tax bill or at www.gov.uk . For further information visit our Council Tax energy rebate page. Advice and support for anyone struggling financially is available from Citizens Advice .
Firefighters support National Sprinkler Week
May 18, 2022
Firefighters support National Sprinkler Week
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) 2022 National Sprinkler Campaign. The campaign runs from 16 th – 22 nd May and will help raise awareness of the benefits of sprinkler systems in keeping people and buildings safe from fire. Fire sprinklers are widely recognised as the single most effective method for fighting the spread of fires in their early stages. In 2017 and 2019, the NFCC and National Fire Sprinkler Network (NFSN) carried out research to investigate the effectiveness and reliability of sprinkler systems. They found that sprinkler systems operate on 94% of occasions demonstrating very high reliability and when they do operate, they extinguish or contain the fire on 99% of occasions. It was also demonstrated that in both converted and purpose-built flats, sprinklers are 100% effective in controlling fires. Legislation in Wales and Scotland is stricter across many building types resulting in their communities having more fire protection than those of England and Northern Ireland. The NFCC is calling on government to remove the disparity in sprinkler regulations as fire does not discriminate and is just as dangerous in England and Northern Ireland as it is in the rest of the UK. Jonathan Dyson NFCC Lead for Sprinklers, said : “The evidence speaks for itself; our research proves that sprinklers are very effective and provide strong fire safety protections as part of a fire safety package. Wales and Scotland recognise this and have implemented measures to make their communities safer from fire; we want to see these same changes in England and Northern Ireland as matter of urgency.” To find out more about the campaign follow #ThinkSprinkler on social media. Follow the Fire Protection Team on Twitter: @NFRSBizSafety
Four new fire engines on the run for Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service
May 18, 2022
Four new fire engines on the run for Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service
Four new fire engines are now ready for the run in Northamptonshire, giving firefighters more capacity, access to the latest technology and modernising an ageing fleet, some of which is 20 years old. The generation Type B SCANIA appliances were officially launched at The Mounts on May 17 and will now be ready to use at The Mounts, Moulton, Kettering and Mereway respectively. They mark the first new fire engines for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service in more than a decade. Three of the engines at the wholetime stations which are being replaced will now replace older appliances at the on-call stations at Guilsborough, Woodford Halse and Rothwell, giving these crews access to ultra-high-pressure capabilities for the first time. The new fire engines – which each cost £350,000 and have been under construction in Scotland since last year – have been designed by the service’s Fleet team with crew welfare, diversity and futureproofing at the forefront of their thinking, as well as public safety. Major new additions include a clean cab design, with a separate locker for Breathing Apparatus sets that will also be able to hold clean spare fire kit and house contaminated kit away from the cab. Other enhancements include air conditioning for the cab to help after exposure to high temperatures, new cutting equipment for road traffic collisions, and bigger hoses and fuel tanks to help firefighting capability. The engines will also be easier to handle on the road thanks to the addition of new tyres and full air suspension, while new front and rear sensors will alert crews to any pedestrians nearby, while there is also a CCTV camera for reversing. The new-look cab will include USB ports, night lighting, fold down tables and a lockable compartment for personal belongings and can effectively be used as a mobile office for crews while they undertake community work. Lem Freezer, Head of Joint Transport and Logistics for Northamptonshire Police & Fire, said: “We’re really excited to have been able to finally update our fleet and to get these appliances out and about. There are a lot of new features and we hope the upgraded design will help firefighters in their day-to-day activities.” Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey said: “It’s been a long time since we were able to invest in new fire engines for our crews, and I’m delighted that they are going to be getting some exciting new state-of-the-art equipment. Not only will this really help in terms of the quality of protection we can offer to our residents, but it’s also vastly enhancing the working conditions and welfare of our staff.” Work remains ongoing on four other Type B appliances that will be added to the fleet in the coming months, as well as a new aerial appliance for Moulton which will reach a height of 42.3 metres – a significant upgrade on the current 28 metre capability. Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold added: “When I took over governance of NFRS from the county council, the aim was to get us into a position where we could stabilise our finances and then be able to invest. “We lobbied the Government extensively to ensure we got additional funding for the fire service. And we are on a really positive journey, which is why we’ve been able to not only invest in recruiting more firefighters into the organisation, but we’ve also been able to purchase these new engines to give them the best possible kit to ensure they are well trained and well-equipped to keep the county safe.”
Northamptonshire councils set out funding commitment to help victims of domestic abuse
May 18, 2022
Northamptonshire councils set out funding commitment to help victims of domestic abuse
18 May 2022 Services helping domestic abuse victims find safer accommodation across West and North Northamptonshire will receive extra funding of over £273,000 this year. West and North Northamptonshire Councils have set out plans to boost the funding provided to the Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service (NDAS) and eve, Domestic Violence & Abuse support services. It means the two organisations will share in total just over £700,000 in 2022/23 to help them meet an increasing demand for services. It also ensures that grant funding to NDAS for their Specialist Drug and Alcohol Refuge continues. The funding is distributed by the two councils from the Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The move reaffirms the councils’ commitment to supporting victims of domestic abuse and moving forward the actions of the countywide Domestic Abuse Strategy for 2022-25. As part of the new strategy, NNC and WNC will work alongside community and voluntary sector partners and other local organisations to form the multi-agency Domestic Abuse Local Partnership Board, which will support the provision of a Safe Accommodation Pathway to extend the range of help and support available to victims of domestic abuse. The Board objectives include: • Providing inclusive and culturally appropriate, high-quality domestic abuse safe accommodation support services across Northamptonshire that survivors can easily and safely access; • Co-ordinating and delivering a personalised package of support for all people coming into refuge, ensuring continuity of support on entry, during and on leaving; • Delivering evidence-based interventions that are inclusive of risk management, secure information sharing, and safety planning; • Providing support that builds capacity and resilience in the lives of survivors and their children; • Providing services to support children to recover from the impact of domestic abuse; • Evaluate and report to Commissioners on performance about clients and their outcomes. Following the enactment of the Domestic Abuse Act last year, DLUHC will be providing annual funding to ensure all tier one local authorities can respond to the levels of need in their areas and provide accommodation-based support for all victims of domestic abuse and their children - including those who come from outside of the area. Additionally, the Ministry of Justice closed a consultation last month as part of development towards a landmark “Victims Law”, which will build on the Victims’ Code to improve victims’ experiences nationally, with community-based services for domestic abuse forming part of this. Cllr David Smith, WNC Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Engagement and Regulatory Services, said: “The Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Strategy sets out an agreed vision, to enable families in West Northants to live safely and prosper. “Our approach to domestic abuse includes the provision of a range of safe accommodation options and the development of a managed Safe Accommodation Pathway which supports victims - and where possible - keeps them safe in their own homes using a range of interventions or alternative housing options such as social housing and refuge. “Domestic abuse, in all forms, is completely unacceptable and alongside our partners we are committed to preventing abuse from happening and supporting victims in any way we can.” Cllr Helen Harrison, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing said: “Domestic abuse is an abhorrent crime that has the most devastating impact on the lives of the victims and their families. "We must do all that we can to stop it from happening. We are working with our partners to both prevent it from happening and to offer support to victims. “We very much welcome this additional funding which will help with the delivery of our strategy – the blueprint of how we will work together to use a variety of methods to tackle domestic abuse.” The Domestic Abuse Strategy is available to view on the WNC website, here and NNC website, here .
Museum appeal to find missing Lockgate paintings 
May 17, 2022
Museum appeal to find missing Lockgate paintings 
Culture and tourism 17 May 2022 Lockkeeper's House, top lock, near Gayton - one of the two missing paintings by John McGowan Northampton Museum and Art Gallery is asking the public to help them trace the whereabouts of two paintings created by local artist John McGowan, in the hope that they can be included in an exhibition of his work at the museum in early 2023. In 1980, McGowan created two paintings depicting scenes from Northamptonshire’s canals. The first work is a 5ft square acrylic on canvas showing the Lockkeepers House the top lock near Gayton, which was gifted to Mereway Upper School in Northampton and was last seen at the school in 2005, before it was demolished. The second is a multi-frame oil on canvas measuring 20 inches square portraying lock gate 11 near Rothersthorpe which was sold at the 1980 Art Teacher’s Exhibition at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said: “We need the public’s help to try and locate these delightful paintings, as the museum, the Canal and River Trust and Mr McGowan would love to include them in the upcoming exhibition. “The exhibition will showcase his long career, with a particular focus on his works which depict the Northamptonshire canal network, so the paintings are also an interesting piece of local history.” John McGowan has been making prints for over 50 years and after his retirement from teaching art at Oundle School he became a full-time printmaker. His works make up a distinctive part of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery’s print collection, with his views of Northamptonshire canals forming a key part of the art collection’s local scenes. Other works reflect his interests in buildings, landscapes and industry, with a focus on his local area of Northborough near Market Deeping, as well as South Lincolnshire, Rotherhithe and Oundle. Anyone with information on the location of these works is invited to contact Victoria Davies, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery’s Exhibitions Officer at [email protected] or 01604 837632.
Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay to visit Northampton as full England route revealed
May 16, 2022
Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay to visit Northampton as full England route revealed
Community, safety and emergencies 16 May 2022 The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay is confirmed to visit Northampton on Sunday, 10 July during its final journey through England this summer, as the full route is revealed. Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16 th official Queen’s Baton Relay – a journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games. In England, the Queen’s Baton Relay will provide the opportunity for communities to experience the excitement for Birmingham 2022, as the 11 days of showstopping sport nears ever closer. The Queen’s Baton Relay is set to travel the length and breadth of England for a total of 29 days, before culminating at the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 on 28 July 2022. Kicking off on Thursday 2 June , the Baton will spend four days in London, coinciding with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend. The Baton will then resume the international journey and return to England on Monday 4 July to commence a 25-day tour of the regions. On Sunday, 10 July , Northampton will officially welcome the Baton. A busy schedule of activities and events are planned for the Queen’s Baton Relay, with opportunities to highlight untold stories from Batonbearers who are striving for change in their community. Starting at Marefair outside Sol Central, the Relay will travel up Gold Street and on to George Row, then into Giles Square before a photo shoot outside the Guildhall. The Relay will then travel down Guildhall Road, St Johns Street, Swan Street, across Victoria Promenade and on to Beckets Park, across the new pedestrian bridge and into the University of Northampton campus, ending at University Way. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is coordinating local partners to build awareness of the event and to create activities that will generate atmosphere and engagement during and after the Relay.Members of the public are encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, taking the opportunity to experience the buzz of Birmingham 2022 in their community. The Birmingham 2022 website will be updated with information over the coming months, with detail on the events and where to line the route. Cllr Adam Brown, WNC’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for housing, culture and leisure, said: “In the aftermath of Covid-19, the Commonwealth Games have an even more important role than usual in bringing people together to enjoy themselves and celebrate sporting heroes. “The eyes of people from around the world will be on the build-up to the Games, and with our immense history and bold ambitions, I’m very proud that Northampton and West Northamptonshire has a place in the Relay. Between 40 and 130 Batonbearers will carry the Baton each day, and the Relay will reach hundreds of villages, towns and cities during its tour of the country. Travelling via land, air and sea, more than 180 communities in England will experience the Queen’s Baton on a route spanning 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometres). From energetic cities and historic market towns, to rolling countryside and rugged coastline, the Baton will head as far south as Cornwall and as far north as Northumberland. Since its inaugural appearance at the Cardiff 1958 Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton Relay has been a tradition for the Commonwealth Games. The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay began at Buckingham Palace on 7 October 2021, when The Queen placed Her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton and passed it to four-time Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox, who had the honour of being the first of thousands of Batonbearers to carry the Baton. Since then, the Baton has visited Commonwealth nations and territories in Europe, Africa, Oceania. It still has further destinations in the Caribbean, the Americas, and more countries in Europe, including the Home Nations consisting of five days in Scotland , four in Northern Ireland and five in Wales , where it will finish on Sunday 3 July, before returning to England in summer for the final countdown to the Commonwealth Games. The dates of when the Baton visits each region are: 4 July – 5 July: South West 6 July – 7 July: South East 8 July – 9 July: East of England 10 July – 11 July: East Midlands 12 July – 13 July: Yorkshire and the Humber 14 July – 15 July: North East 16 July – 17 July: North West 18 July – 28 July: West Midlands Phil Batty, Director of Ceremonies, Culture & Queen's Baton Relay, said: “Whilst the Baton has been travelling across the Commonwealth, we have worked closely with Local Authorities in England to devise a route that engages with hundreds of communities, passing sport venues, historic sites, local schools and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. “Yet the Queen’s Baton Relay is far more than just a journey. It symbolises connecting people from every corner of the Commonwealth, celebrates Batonbearers who take on challenges, and marks the countdown the biggest sporting event in West Midlands history. “And by the time the Baton returns to England for the final leg, 71 nations and territories will have already experienced the magic that comes with it. “We hope that communities across the country join the excitement, attend events near them, line the streets to cheer on our incredible Batonbearers and celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games." Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin DBE said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay symbolises hope, solidarity and collaboration across the Commonwealth at a time when it is needed most. “It continues to inspire people wherever it goes and creates huge excitement for Birmingham 2022 as it journeys towards the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on July 28.” Throughout May, the Queen’s Baton Relay continues its journey through the Caribbean and the Americas, with visits to St Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Bermuda and Canada, amongst others. The Queen’s Baton The Queen’s Baton for Birmingham 2022 was created in a West Midlands collaboration that fused art, technology and science. Made from copper, aluminium and steel, the Baton also features a platinum strand in homage to The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year. It is also equipped with cutting-edge technology; 360-degree camera, heart rate monitor, atmospheric sensors and LED lighting. For more information on Queens Baton Relay, visit The Commonwealth Games website.
West Northamptonshire Council to fund market move
May 13, 2022
West Northamptonshire Council to fund market move
Business support 13 May 2022 How the revamped market could look Traders will not be charged pitch fees during their two-year relocation to Commercial Street car park in Northampton while Market Square undergoes its planned transformation. As we enter Love Your Local Market, running from today (13 May) to 5 June, we’re encouraging people to head to Market Square and discover great produce and services like fresh fruit and veg, beautiful flowers, clothing and key cutting. Market Square redevelopment Work on Market Square is due to start by this winter and will include resurfacing, a major new water feature, additional trees, new public seating, redesigned market stalls and a new lighting scheme. The relocation is necessary as construction work, additional traffic, noise, dust and disturbance make it impractical to keep the market on the square during the redevelopment. It would cause significant implications on the phasing of work, adding more than £800k to the project cost and delaying completion. Once the work is complete, there will be scope for Market Square to be used for a variety of events as well as being a catalyst in attracting new businesses and opportunities to the town. We’ve just asked what people would like to see there, and results of that survey will be made public soon. The relocation A number of potential options for moving the market were considered, including a variety of locations in Abington Street, Wood Hill, the Grosvenor Shopping centre. Commercial Street was the only option which allowed the entire market to remain together as splitting it up would have resulted in lower footfall to the separate sites, which we believe may have impacted on the long-term sustainability of the market. “Council colleagues have been meeting with the traders at least once a week since the beginning of the year, and prior to that we met with them monthly, to look at alternative sites, so we know this is not the solution they would have preferred. “Nevertheless, we honestly believe that there is an opportunity for traders in temporarily moving to a new location which offers high visibility and should bring their wares to the attention of a much wider audience. “Of course, we know that the traders have many loyal customers, and we hope those customers will continue to support the market once it moves. In fact, we’re looking at a number of ways we might be able to help on that front. “We’ll be working with traders to ensure we have a comprehensive marketing plan around the new location, and we’re working with bus service providers to locate a stop close by. “The whole purpose of moving the market is so we can improve the square, delivering a much better experience for visitors to our town centre, and that includes a much better market for both visitors and for the traders themselves.” Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council We will continue to help promote the market in the lead-up to its move to Commercial Street this autumn or winter. The size of the market has diminished over the years and it now costs taxpayers £180k per year to run, rather than turning a profit. The Market Square redevelopment is an opportunity to also build a market that attracts a much wider audience. Traders will be moved to Commercial Street during the coming autumn or winter so work can begin on development of a new-look Market Square.
Partnership reinforces resilience for search and rescue across Northamptonshire
May 13, 2022
Partnership reinforces resilience for search and rescue across Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) and Northants Search and Rescue (NSAR) have signed an agreement that will strengthen search and rescue capability in the county. The new agreement reinforces the already cohesive partnership between the two organisations, which has been built over the last five years. It provides a framework to improve joint operational activity and will increase response capacity when attending incidents, such as water rescues and large-scale searches. NSAR, a charitable organisation run by volunteers, has been in operation since 2013 and was originally set up to assist the police in locating vulnerable or high-risk missing persons. This resulted in a similar framework being agreed with Northamptonshire Police. As NSAR’s expertise has grown and resources improved, NSAR volunteers have been increasingly involved in supporting NFRS at a variety of incidents across the county. Chief Fire Officer at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, Darren Dovey, said: “I am delighted that we have reinforced our relationship with Northamptonshire Search and Rescue. As demands on the fire service change, we want to embed collaborative and partnership working into our operations to ensure we can effectively meet the emerging challenges across the county and use all resources available to us efficiently and effectively. “Collaboration provides us with an opportunity to build greater innovation into our response, promotes a more integrated approach and a broader skills base so we can continue to deliver the highest quality service to the public.” Both organisations benefit from this new agreement with improved sharing of intelligence and specialist equipment, including incident support and welfare vehicles, as well as further specialist skills, such as swift water and flood rescue expertise, drone operatives and trained lowland search technicians. NSAR Search Manager, Neil Balderson said: “The agreement with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is testament to the professionalism and dedication of our team of volunteers. We have been working hard to make sure all our capabilities meet the rigorous standards set by the police initially and now by the fire service. “We look forward to working and training more closely with colleagues in the fire service, supporting them and the people of Northamptonshire whenever the need arises.” Supporting the new agreement Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Mold said: “I recently attended a scenario-based training exercise with Northants Search and Rescue, involving two missing persons and saw first-hand the volunteers’ expertise and professionalism in managing a challenging situation. “There is already a strong co-operation between NSAR and the fire service, but I fully support a greater collaboration between the agencies to maximise resources and skills, and ultimately provide even better protection to communities across the county.” As part of the agreement, NFRS and NSAR will carry out more joint training exercises to develop and maintain skills and competence and ensure that both organisations are fully prepared when faced with a live multi-agency incident.
Cabinet and committees announcement set for next week
May 12, 2022
Cabinet and committees announcement set for next week
Councillors and democracy 12 May 2022 West Northamptonshire Council has set out its Leadership Team for the forthcoming year, ahead of its annual meeting next week. At the meeting on Thursday (19 May), the council will receive notification of Cabinet posts for 2022/23, as well as agreeing all other committee memberships. The new Cabinet will see Councillor Jonathan Nunn continue as Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Strategy, with Councillor Adam Brown as Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure. Cllr Dan Lister is set to take on the role of Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, taking on the reins from Councillor Lizzy Bowen who has driven forward the Council’s ambitious economic agenda during its first year as a new authority. Other proposed Cabinet appointments for the year ahead are as follows: Councillor Malcolm Longley – Cabinet Member for Finance Councillor Phil Larratt – Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste Councillor David Smith – Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Engagement, and Regulatory Services Councillor Rebecca Breese – Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, Built Environment & Rural Affairs Councillor Matt Golby – Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Wellbeing, and Health Integration Councillor Mike Hallam – Cabinet Member for HR & Corporate Services Councillor Fiona Baker – Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education Commenting on the arrangement changes, Leader of the Council Jonathan Nunn, said: “I would like to thank Lizzy Bowen for the immense energy, drive and enthusiasm she has given to the economic and regeneration portfolio in our first year as a new council. "She has played an instrumental role in the excellent progress we have been making in our plans towards improving and revitalising Northampton town centre and driving investment into our other towns and wider West Northants. "Lizzy passes over a very robust portfolio to Dan, who was previously Assistant Cabinet Member for Education, supporting Cllr Baker’s role. I’m sure Dan will do us proud in continuing Lizzy’s great work while stamping his own mark." Councillor Lizzy Bowen said: “It has been a pleasure over the last year to work on these projects and see our plans take shape, but I’m stepping back to focus more on family and my personal life. "I’d like to wish Dan all the best in his future role, I’ve no doubt he’ll do great things, based on the fantastic developments and exciting plans I know we have coming up." At next week’s meeting members will also consider committee memberships for 2022/23, with the following chairs proposed: Councillor Rebecca Breese – Chair, Planning Policy Committee Councillor Andrew Kilbride – Chair, Alcohol and Gambling Licensing Committee & Taxi and General Licensing Committee Councillor Phil Bignell – Chair, Strategic Planning Committee Councillor Ian McCord – Chair, Corporate Scrutiny Committee Councillor Rosie Herring – Chair, People Scrutiny Committee Councillor Dermot Bambridge – Chair, Place Scrutiny Committee Councillor Jonathan Nunn – Chair, Senior Appointments Committee Councillor Cecile Irving-Swift – Chair, Audit and Governance Committee Councillor Suresh Patel – Chair, Democracy and Standards Committee Councillor Kevin Parker – Chair, Daventry Area Planning Committee Councillor Jamie Lane – Chair, Northampton Area Planning Committee Councillor Stephen Clarke – Chair, South Northants Area Planning Committee Councillor Malcolm Longley – Chair, Pensions Committee & Investment SubCommittee For the full list of committee memberships is available on the agenda along with reports for the Annual meeting of the Council on Thursday, 19 May.
Deadline extended: Get crafty for the Queen of Arts Platinum Jubilee Activity
May 11, 2022
Deadline extended: Get crafty for the Queen of Arts Platinum Jubilee Activity
11 May 2022 The deadline for children and young people in Northamptonshire to display their creative skills and take part in the countywide Queen of Arts Jubilee Activity has been extended to Monday, 30 May . With the dual aims of including as many people as possible and having a minimal impact on the environment, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) are challenging everyone to up-cycle household items by decorating them in honour of Her Majesty. WNC Chairman Cllr Ann Addison, said: “The possibilities are endless: old t-shirts, tea towels, old sheets, scrap wood, you’re limited only by your imagination. “Instead of clicking on the internet to have some plastic bunting shipped around the world to be used once, make your own. Paint a picture, create a collage, express what the Queen means to you with a personalised t-shirt, hat or poster. “Being Northamptonshire I expect we’ll see plenty of old shoes and boots given new life, and I really hope our embroiderers and lacemakers are already busy. “And if you’re not creative with your hands, write a poem or a song.” The councils will display all entries in a digital Jubilee exhibition which will tour the county’s libraries, starting in the west before moving on to the north. North Northamptonshire Council’s Chair, Cllr Paul Bell said: “In rapidly changing times, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has been an icon of stability and I hope this summer our street parties and events will be filled with colourful displays of what she means to them. “I would encourage everyone to get involved and I look forward to seeing all the entries displayed at libraries across Northamptonshire.” Judges will select their favourite entry and the winner will be invited to attend the Big Lunch at Delapre Abbey as a special guest on Sunday, 5 June. There will also be some arty prizes for runners up. Please send a picture of your entry to [email protected] and include your name, age and a couple of lines stating ‘what the Queen means to you’ by Monday 30 May 2022 .
Meal vouchers for May half-term announced for children in West Northamptonshire
May 11, 2022
Meal vouchers for May half-term announced for children in West Northamptonshire
Children and families 11 May 2022 The most vulnerable children in West Northamptonshire will receive lunch vouchers during the coming May half-term. The announcement comes after the Government funding for Free School Meals during the pandemic came to an end, but West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has been able to tap into the Household Support Fund to pay for the vouchers. The scheme will support 9,500 families by providing them with a £15 meal voucher per child to pay for lunch during the week-long school holiday. Cllr Fiona Baker, WNC Cabinet member for children, families and education said: “We might feel that the pandemic is over, but the cost of living is putting immense pressure on household budgets. "It cannot go on forever, but we will do as much as we can to shield children from the impact of those increasing costs." Schools are currently being asked to provide lists of eligible families from which WNC will generate individual pupil vouchers that will be returned to schools for distribution. Schools with the largest number of eligible pupils will receive the vouchers first and the rest in descending order in time for the start of the school holidays later this month.
Have you applied for home to school transport for September 2022?
May 10, 2022
Have you applied for home to school transport for September 2022?
10 May 2022 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) offers travel assistance schemes for children who are not entitled to free home to school transport and for those who are entering Post 16 education. If your child is of statutory school age but not entitled to free home to school transport or will be moving into Post 16 education in September, they may be eligible for a bus pass or alternative help with travel. The deadline for applications for the new academic year (starting in September 2022) is Tuesday 31st May. If your application is not received on or before this date, we cannot guarantee that a seat will be available for your child. Any applications received after the deadline may not be processed until the October half term and will be dependent on spare capacity being available. This means parents or carers would need to make alternative arrangements to ensure their child can attend their education setting. Councillor Fiona Baker, WNC’s Cabinet Member for children, families, and education, said: “I would encourage parents who are applying for school travel assistance to submit their applications in good time and ahead of the deadline to avoid disappointment. “We try our best to offer assistance to families wherever we can, however spaces are limited and offered on a first come first served basis. “It is also important for parents and carers to be aware that Non-Entitled and Post 16 school transport applications only cover one academic year and therefore a new application will need to be submitted each year.” School transport can only be provided at the normal start and finish times published by the chosen educational setting and unfortunately cannot take individual course timetables into account. Applications submitted on or before the deadline will receive email confirmation, while applications submitted after the deadline will be contacted once all applications have been processed. Find out more about available schemes and submit an application .
Prosecutions brought for fly-tipping
May 06, 2022
Prosecutions brought for fly-tipping
06 May 2022 Two people have paid the price for dumping their rubbish in their local community following successful prosecutions by West Northamptonshire Council. At Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday last week (26 April) were Jeffrey Gent and Sandors Kozlovskis, who were each ordered to pay more than £1,000 in fines and court costs after admitting to separate charges of fly-tipping in Thorplands, Northampton. Both men had originally been issued with £400 fixed penalty notices by the Council’s Neighbourhood Wardens, but found themselves in court after failing to pay. Gent (56) admitted fly-tipping after household waste including a mattress and old carpeting belonging to him was found dumped near his home in Sidebrook Court last March. Magistrates ordered him to pay a £400 fine, costs of £620, plus a £40 victim surcharge. Kozlovskis (20), of Nicholls Court was originally issued with his fixed penalty notice after a shopping trolley full of waste was found abandoned in Far Meadow Court in October last year. He was fined £400 by Magistrates, and ordered to pay costs of £600 plus a £40 victim surcharge. People shouldn’t have to put up with these anti-social offences taking place in their communities, and I would like to thank the Neighbourhood Wardens whose diligence led to the offenders paying the price for their actions. Our Council does not tolerate fly-tipping, and successful prosecutions such as these should send out a clear message that we will take strong action against offenders, including through the courts if necessary. Councillor David Smith, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services
£150 Council Tax energy rebate due to be paid in coming weeks
May 05, 2022
£150 Council Tax energy rebate due to be paid in coming weeks
Finance 05 May 2022 Eligible households in West Northamptonshire are due to receive the Government’s £150 Council Tax energy rebate in the coming weeks. The rebate, which is being paid to help with the rise in the cost of living, applies to households in Council Tax Bands A to D, of which there about 147,000 in West Northants. The sum will not need to be repaid. Direct Debit payers For the 99,000 homes in Bands A to D which pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit it is hoped that the first payments will be made to residents by the end of May. If any bank accounts require any further information or validation this will be done as soon as possible. Non-Direct Debit payers For around 48,000 Council Taxpayers in Bands A to D who don’t pay by Direct Debit, we are currently identifying eligible households, and will write to them in the week beginning 16 May. An application process is required to confirm bank account details to enable payment to be made and as part of the Council’s work on the prevention of fraud and error. The letters will invite people to make claims online using a secure pin number, and paper application forms will also be enclosed for those without Internet access. The claims received will then be validated and, as long as no issues are raised, payment will be made. Based on the volumes of claims we are expecting and depending on how quickly applications are returned, we would expect to start making payments in June. To ensure that all eligible residents receive the rebate, any residents that have not made an application by 31 July 2022 and for whom bank account details are not known will have their Council Tax account credited with the £150 payment. Discretionary Scheme The Council also has a discretionary scheme to help those in Bands E-H and non-Council Taxpayers who are deemed vulnerable. Further information about this will be published in the coming weeks. If you are unsure of your council tax band, check via your printed council tax bill or at www.gov.uk . For further information visit our Council Tax energy rebate page. Malcolm Longley, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “The cost of living increases due to rising energy bills and inflation are a serious concern for many of us and we are doing all we can as a council to ease the financial pressure for residents. "We appreciate that the timeline has slipped slightly on this and thank residents for their patience. Many local authorities have faced challenges regarding the required software and licensing arrangements. "This has been a huge undertaking but we have to make sure we get it right for our residents and I believe we are now ready.”
Applications open for Chief Fire Officer role in Northamptonshire
May 06, 2022
Applications open for Chief Fire Officer role in Northamptonshire
A new opportunity has arrived to become the Chief Fire Officer for Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service – with applications now open for the job. This is an exciting time to join the Fire and Rescue Service in Northamptonshire, with the Chief Fire Officer leading the delivery of a modern, responsive and partnership-focussed Service. Reporting directly to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, the Chief Fire Officer will be central in ensuring that the Service fully discharges its statutory duties in line with the National Fire and Rescue Framework, supporting the outcomes of Northamptonshire’s Delivery Plan. The Chief Fire Officer will be given the autonomy needed to build on our successes and help transform NFRS to ‘outstanding’ under the HMICFRS inspection process. Experience in running a comparably scaled operational business will help you ensure that you provide the best possible outcomes for all those who live in, work in or visit the county. Fire Service experience would be helpful, but it is not essential. What is key is your ability to inclusively lead change as you remain focussed on outcomes. A track record of driving innovation, transformation and modernisation in a large, operational business will also be key. The closing date for applications is on Monday May 30 at 8am, with short listing taking place on June 3 and a final panel being held on June 9 and 10. To apply, please visit the Gatenby Sanderson website on the following link: https://www.gatenbysanderson.com/job/GSe84785/Chief-Fire-Officer-/ If you have any questions about any aspect of the job, would like additional information or an informal and confidential discussion, then please contact Nicci Marzec at Northamptonshire OPFCC on 07979 911 950 or Peter Buffoni at Gatenby Sanderson on 07964 877 654.
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager Named Inspiring Leader
May 06, 2022
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager Named Inspiring Leader
(Photo L-R Tina Collett, Prevention Team Leader & Stefan Douglas, Group Manager) Stefan Douglas, a Group Manager for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) has been named Runner-up of the ‘Dany Cotton Inspiring Leader Award’ in the Women in the Fire Service Awards 2022. Stefan, who joined NFRS in 2019 in the Operational Assurance Team, was nominated in the national awards for remarkable contributions to the Fire Service. The ‘Dany Cotton Inspiring Leader Award’ category recognises individuals who champion equality and diversity, deliver real change, inspire the fire service community and bring out the best in the people they work with. About Stefan Stefan is the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead for the Service. The nomination described Stefan as an incredible leader, paving the way to building and developing a diverse workforce. It said he was always there at the forefront of recruitment campaigns, positive action days and recently helped support a women only Aspiring Leader’s day. The nomination detailed how Stefan led by example, calling out discrimination and bullying, and giving support and strength to those who experienced discrimination. Stefan’s nominator stated how he worked tirelessly, creating contacts throughout Northants’ diverse community, supporting minority groups, and nurturing those relationships day in and day out. They said he was passionate about neurodiversity, educating the service to understand more about its neurodivergent workforce and how they could all support one another. The award submission explained how Stefan saw great value in the vast array of positive attributes individual differences can bring to the service. Darren Dovey, Chief Fire Officer at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “I am extremely pleased to hear that Stefan has been named as runner up in the Dany Cotton Inspiring Leader Award. It is testament to his passion and dedication in leading our EDI strategy across the Service. Stefan has been instrumental in our journey of cultural change, inspiring inclusivity, valuing diversity, and ensuring we are a fair and equal place to work. “I would also like to congratulate everyone who was nominated in these awards. They recognise exemplary individuals who are committed to making a difference to communities and colleagues everyday.” Speaking on the notification of his award, Stefan said: “I have worked with Women in the Fire Service for 20 years and I actively support their mission to promote equality of opportunity for women in Service. It’s humbling to be nominated for this award and I am very grateful to my nominator and the panel for considering me.” In total, four members of staff from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, including Group Commander Stefan Douglas, were nominated for an award. Crew Manager, Lauren Fitzgerald and Training Instructor, Rebecca Meachin were nominated for a Firefighter Rising Star Award. And Station Commander, Ashley Tugby was nominated for a Bright Light Award. Ashley was described as an outstanding ally. He has not only championed and mentored women, but worked tirelessly on positive action campaigns, even helping produce some films for national campaigns encouraging women to apply for on-call firefighter positions. An active member of the Women in the Fire Service Facebook page and the National Fire Chief’s Council’s Workplace Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group, Ashley goes out of his way to help and encourage people. Lauren was described as setting consistently high standards for her and her Watch and is an amazing role model for current and future firefighters. She leads the Service’s Women’s Network with passion and empathy and has created a group that is both supportive and an effective agent of change. Rebecca was described as someone who sets the highest standards and a great role model for women in the service and those thinking of joining. Active in the Service’s Women’s Network and leadership development programme, she has also been integral in recruitment campaigns. Rebecca is a keen athlete and uses her profile in competitions to promote the role of women in the fire service. Women in the Fire Service UK is a not-for-profit organisation who work in partnership with its corporate members to advance equality in the sector. WFS Chair, Jules King QFSM, said: “Stefan’s dedication and commitment to champion and foster equality and diversity, to collaborate, and to support and inspire colleagues and communities shone through from the entries. So huge congratulations to Stef, a truly Inspiring Leader.” Category sponsors of the Dany Cotton Inspiring Leader Award were Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS). Winners and runners-up receive prizes, as well as an invitation to attend a special award ceremony in June. There were a total of sixty nominations across five categories from twenty-five Fire Services. 8 nominations in the Young Person Role Model Award 18 nominations in the Bright Light Award 9 nominations in the Firefighter Rising Star Award 17 nominations in the Dany Cotton Inspiring Leader Award 8 nominations in the Exceptional Allies Award About Women in the Fire Service UK Women in the Fire Service UK is a volunteer-led, not-for-profit organisation which exists to advance equality, addressing gender imbalance in the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS). Women are vastly underrepresented in firefighting. Government figures (2021) show just 7.5% of firefighters in England are women. For more information about Women in the Fire Service, visit: www.wfs.org.uk
Residents reminded to recycle batteries after bin crew saves lorry from fire
May 06, 2022
Residents reminded to recycle batteries after bin crew saves lorry from fire
Bins, recycling and street cleaning 06 May 2022 Quick thinking bin crew, left to right, Leighton Cousins, Sean Clayton and Ian O'Driscoll based at the Tove Depot in Towcester. A quick acting waste and recycling crew averted an expensive and messy clean-up after a battery nearly set fire to a bin lorry this week. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is now reminding residents of the dangers of throwing batteries into their general waste and the fact that residents have a kerbside battery recycling collection. The first sign of danger was spotted by loader Leighton Cousins who saw flames as he emptied a black wheelie bin in Middleton Cheney and raised the alarm. Driver Ian O’Driscoll immediately turned off the lorry and grabbed an extinguisher on his way to the rear of the vehicle. After discharging the extinguisher both could see the smouldering battery and removed it. Cllr Phil Larratt, WNC Cabinet Member for environment, transport, highways and waste, said: “It might not seem like much, but if that fire had taken hold, they might have been forced to eject their load or risk losing a very expensive bit of equipment, not to mention the risk of injury or worse. “Then there’s the call out to the fire service, a hazardous clean-up, and a lorry out of action which has a knock-on effect on workloads and overtime costs. “I’ll give the resident the benefit of the doubt and say it was a momentary lapse that, had it not been for a quick-thinking crew, could have cost the tax-payer tens of thousands of pounds.” The battery is thought to have been from a cordless vacuum cleaner. Excluding car batteries, WNC will collect all types of household battery if placed in a bag on top or next to the recycling bin. In a second incident on the same day a crew driving behind another bin lorry noticed smoke coming from it and again a fire extinguisher had to be used to put out the fire which was thought to be caused by hot ashes. Cllr Larratt added: “It might be a bumper weekend for barbecues, and I want everyone to remember they need to be very certain ashes are fully extinguished and cold throughout before they go anywhere near a wheelie bin.” For more information on what goes where, visit our waste and recycling pages.
Mid May payment rollout for £150 Council Tax energy rebate
May 05, 2022
Mid May payment rollout for £150 Council Tax energy rebate
Finance 05 May 2022 Eligible households in West Northamptonshire are due to receive the Government’s £150 Council Tax energy rebate in the coming weeks. The rebate, which is being paid to help with the rise in the cost of living, applies to households in Council Tax Bands A to D, of which there about 147,000 in West Northants. The sum will not need to be repaid. Direct Debit payers For the 99,000 homes in Bands A to D which pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit it is hoped that the first payments will be made to residents by the end of May. If any bank accounts require any further information or validation this will be done as soon as possible. Non-Direct Debit payers For around 48,000 Council Taxpayers in Bands A to D who don’t pay by Direct Debit, we are currently identifying eligible households, and will write to them in the week beginning 16 May. An application process is required to confirm bank account details to enable payment to be made and as part of the Council’s work on the prevention of fraud and error. The letters will invite people to make claims online using a secure pin number, and paper application forms will also be enclosed for those without Internet access. The claims received will then be validated and, as long as no issues are raised, payment will be made. Based on the volumes of claims we are expecting and depending on how quickly applications are returned, we would expect to start making payments in June. To ensure that all eligible residents receive the rebate, any residents that have not made an application by 31 July 2022 and for whom bank account details are not known will have their Council Tax account credited with the £150 payment. Discretionary Scheme The Council also has a discretionary scheme to help those in Bands E-H and non-Council Taxpayers who are deemed vulnerable. Further information about this will be published in the coming weeks. If you are unsure of your council tax band, check via your printed council tax bill or at www.gov.uk . For further information visit our Council Tax energy rebate page. Malcolm Longley, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “The cost of living increases due to rising energy bills and inflation are a serious concern for many of us and we are doing all we can as a council to ease the financial pressure for residents. "We appreciate that the timeline has slipped slightly on this and thank residents for their patience. Many local authorities have faced challenges regarding the required software and licensing arrangements. "This has been a huge undertaking but we have to make sure we get it right for our residents and I believe we are now ready.”
Cabinet approves consultation on £1.1million expansion of special education at Hunsbury Park Primary
May 04, 2022
Cabinet approves consultation on £1.1million expansion of special education at Hunsbury Park Primary
Children and families 04 May 2022 With the number of children on the autistic spectrum expected to increase by 40 per cent over the next three years, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has given the go ahead for 50 new specialist places at Hunsbury Park Primary School. The move is part of a larger strategy to create 500 new specialist places by 2024 and will see work take place over the summer ready for the new intake of pupils in September this year. Cllr Fiona Baker, WNC’s Cabinet Member for children, families and education, said: “We have a longer-term plan to address the pressure on specialist education places, but work must take place in the short term as well. “A shortage of places is not a challenge unique to West Northamptonshire, but I am determined we will be able to cater for every child in the best possible way we can.” To provide the additional capacity Hunsbury Park Primary School and WNC officers have worked collaboratively to develop plans to establish a new Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) unit at the school for a significant period of time and the school meets all of the necessary criteria. The school already successfully operates a smaller SEND unit and its Senior Leadership contains significant experience of working within specialist settings. The greatest amount of current and future demand for SEND places in West Northants arises from Northampton town, in which the school is located. Being located to the south of the town also means the school is more accessible than other existing provisions to residents of South Northants, which will reduce home to school travel times for any pupil residing in this area that may access the provision. After a four-week consultation starting later this month, responses will be analysed and presented to the WNC Cabinet for a final decision in July.
Views sought as council prepares to boost number of special needs school places by a further 250
May 04, 2022
Views sought as council prepares to boost number of special needs school places by a further 250
Children and families 04 May 2022 With a forecast 25 per cent increase in the number of children needing specialist education by 2025, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is taking the first step towards commissioning a new special school. The proposed special school will provide 250 places for those on the autistic spectrum, with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and with severe learning difficulties (SLD). It will be ‘all through’, with places from reception to year 13 (4 to 18 years). Cllr Fiona Baker, WNC Cabinet Member for children, families and education, said: “Every child deserves the chance to learn and become a valued member of our community in a safe, caring, and healthy school environment. “There is a presumption that this is a free school, independent from the council once established, and we are inviting academy trusts to consider whether they would like to bid to provide the school.” This consultation opened today, Wednesday 4 May 2022, and closes on Friday 10 June. The council’s cabinet will discuss the outcome of the consultation at its meeting on Tuesday, 14 June and, if it approves, the full free special school specification will be published for prospective sponsors. It is proposed that the school will open for its first entry of pupils in September 2024. To take part in the consultation visit the WNC Citizen Space - westnorthants.citizenspace.com - and search for “new special free school” or by scrolling through the list of open consultations. If you are unable to complete the online consultation, a response form can also be requested via email – [email protected] with the subject line ‘FAO new special free school presumption.’ Hard copies of the consultation are available on request by calling 0300 126 7000 . Any printed submissions should be posted to: New special free school presumption, West Northamptonshire council, One Angel Square, NN1 1ED.
Local business owners invited to apply for £2,000 'Kick Start' grants
May 03, 2022
Local business owners invited to apply for £2,000 'Kick Start' grants
Libraries 03 May 2022 Entrepreneurs in Northamptonshire with a great idea or a business less than 12 months old are invited to apply for grants and free expert advice by Friday, 15 July this year as part of the Kick Start Small Business Grants initiative. After a Dragon’s Den style grant panel session in September for shortlisted applicants, winners will receive: a £2,000 grant for business expenses, a year’s free membership with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), and ongoing support from the BIPC Northamptonshire team. Cllr Adam Brown, West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Deputy Leader and member responsible for the BIPC, said: “The last few years have been incredibly challenging for businesses of all sizes, but we continue to see entrepreneurs and new companies coming forward to make their mark on our local economy. “Despite the challenging economic environment, those who can find success now may well go on to flourish and develop into incredibly successful enterprises. “As local authorities we want to do everything in our power to nurture start-ups and give them the very best start we can.” Cllr David Brackenbury, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for growth and regeneration, said: “We know life has been tough for so many businesses and want to help as many as possible. “Throughout the pandemic, we have seen small businesses being set up across Northamptonshire and this initiative is designed to help those just starting out. “I would urge anyone who thinks they qualify to check the eligibility and apply before Friday, 15 July.” The Kick Start initiative is supported by BIPC Northamptonshire, which is part of the British Library’s National Network of Business & IP Centres which supports small businesses by hosting free events, such as networking, workshops, seminars and webinars. The Network recently expanded to over 100 regional and local libraries across England, thanks to £13million in central government funding. The Library Plus service also provides information and access to database subscription resources for market research, as well as business mentoring and one-to-one advice sessions on self-employment, starting up a business, business planning, and intellectual property. Further details on how to apply, including eligibility criteria, are available on the BIPC Northamptonshire website.
Busting the myths of council procurement
April 28, 2022
Busting the myths of council procurement
Schools library service 28 April 2022 Suppliers wanting to do business with West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) are being invited to events which will explain the procurement process, dispel myths, and provide tips on how to win contracts. The WNC Suppliers’ Event is free to attend and takes place between 9am and noon at the Icon Centre in Daventry on Monday, 9 May and at The Holiday Inn at Grange Park in Northampton on Wednesday, 18 May. Cllr Lizzy Bowen, WNC’s Cabinet Member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth, said: “There are lots of misconceptions about the way the council goes about procuring goods and services needed to support its work. “Council procurement is one of the most highly scrutinised things we do and it’s not just about the lowest bidder, we are obliged to find the very best value for money for the taxpayer. “So being local doesn’t guarantee you the business but understanding our processes and our obligations can help get your foot in the door." In addition to WNC Leader Cllr Jonathan Nunn, attendees will be able to hear from those who manage the following council services: Adult care services (specifically facilitators of local community support groups that provide a neighbourhood service) Property services Agency staff organisations The event will also be an opportunity to hear from other support agencies such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses. Reserve a place via Eventbrite:
In a museum not far away…
April 27, 2022
In a museum not far away…
Culture and tourism 27 April 2022 One of the UK's finest collections of vintage Star Wars toys and original cinema posters is going on display at Northampton Museum & Art Gallery from Saturday, 30 April. ‘May the Toys Be With You’ features toys and collectibles never exhibited before and is a celebration of the highly collectable vintage toy line and the iconic design work and art of the Star Wars movies. For little kids and big kids alike, this is an unmissable opportunity to view rarely seen treasures such as the fantastical designs of X-Wing Fighters and lightsabers, which have fired imaginations and stamped their place on the cultural landscape. Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said: “Star Wars is an enduring cultural phenomenon. The trilogy has stood the test of time and continues to capture the imagination of children and adults alike. “The exhibition has already broken visitor attendance records at a host of museums around the country and we’re very excited to be bringing it to Northampton. We anticipate that it will be one of the most popular exhibitions at the museum since its reopening.” When the movie Star Wars broke box office records in 1977, no one could have predicted that the merchandising would go on to earn even more than the film itself. From 1977 to 1985 an estimated 300 million action figures were sold, allowing children to re-enact the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo. Collection owner and exhibition curator Matt Fox said: “A wise man once said, ‘collecting is a sickness and sharing it is the only cure’. If that’s true, then I’ve been infected with the Star Wars bug for nearly all of my life. I encountered the film as a wide-eyed five-year-old and purchased my first figure, Darth Vader, soon after. “I’m very pleased and honoured to be able to share my collection at Northampton Museum this summer, it’s an amazing venue and the exhibition is going to be unmissable for fans of the movies!” Matt Fox will be at the museum on Saturday, 30 April to mark the opening day of the exhibition by giving a talk on the untold story of how Star Wars was made, while sharing trivia and his collecting secrets. ‘Mint in the Box’ will take place from 3-4pm and tickets can be purchased from the Northampton Museum’s website. More information about the exhibition and the accompanying programme of Star Wars events and activities can be found on the museum’s website and social media channels @NorthamptonMuseum (Facebook) @NorthamptonShoe (Twitter / Instagram) May The Toys Be With You runs until 4 September. Entry is free.
West Northamptonshire businesses congratulated on Queen’s Award for Enterprise
April 26, 2022
West Northamptonshire businesses congratulated on Queen’s Award for Enterprise
Business support 26 April 2022 The team at Diamond Hard Surfaces based at Caswell Park near Towcester celebrate their 2022 Queen Award for Enterprise. A West Northants business on the cutting edge of materials technology and a second providing parents with eco-friendly options, have both received a 2022 Queens Awards for Enterprise. Diamond Hard Surfaces at Caswell Park just outside Towcester produces high performance, high endurance diamond-based engineering materials and coatings for the aerospace and electronics sector. They have received an award in the International Trade category. Chris H Walker, CEO and Director, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised for exceptional growth over a three-year period which has been significantly challenging given the background. “We have put international trade at the heart of our business from its inception and are proud that our small team have built up a ‘blue chip’ customer base in over 20 countries." An award in the Sustainable Development category was won by Bambino Mio in Brixworth, which is reducing single-use plastic waste through making reusable nappies the first choice for parents, through accessibility and education. The award citation said Bambino Mio has grown from a local, family run initiative in 1997, to one that now employs 103 people, serves 50 countries and is “a truly industry-leading company." Cllr Lizzy Bowen, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth, said: “West Northants has a wonderfully strategic location, but as always it is the people that make it truly special. "It’s businesses like these that drive our economy forward by providing salaries which are spent locally, and by employing nearby suppliers and services. "But most of all they are a demonstration of what success looks like and can be a driver for others to achieve the same. "I congratulate both companies, you are an asset to our area, and I am thrilled to see that both winners in the county were from West Northamptonshire." Now in its 56th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards Emblem for the next five years. The 2023 Awards will open for applications on 1 May 2022.
Businesses urged to join in Jubilee celebrations
April 26, 2022
Businesses urged to join in Jubilee celebrations
Business support 26 April 2022 Businesses across West Northamptonshire are being encouraged to play a key role in supporting local celebrations to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this summer. Plans are under way to organise a packed weekend of activities across West Northamptonshire on the extended bank holiday from 2 to 5 June, including a showcase Big Lunch event at Delaprè Abbey on the Sunday from 11am - 4pm. The free event, which will feature live music and arts performances and the chance to watch the national jubilee celebrations live on a big screen, promises to be the place to be for families to enjoy the festivities – and businesses are encouraged to get involved through a range of fantastic sponsorship opportunities. West Northamptonshire Council has put together a range of packages to help businesses wishing to promote their product or brand, network with potential customers, or secure high-quality product placement opportunities at the event. To find out more about the sponsorship opportunities, visit our Big Lunch sponsorship page. Councillor Lizzy Bowen, WNC’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “The Big Lunch at Delaprè offers an amazing opportunity for residents across the whole of West Northants to come together and mark Her Majesty’s jubilee and we’re pleased to invite our local businesses to work in partnership with us to celebrate this high-profile event. “We are dedicated to working with our business community and creating opportunities to showcase the incredible employers we have in West Northamptonshire as much as possible.” All 5000 tickets for the Big Jubilee Lunch event have now been allocated, so a large turnout is expected. A brass band, the Step-By-Step Dance School and a host of other performers from across West Northamptonshire will take to the stage during the event, while the Jubilee Pageant taking place in London is set to be broadcast live on a big screen. Audiences will also be entertained by The Masque Theatre and Living History re-enactment group who are set to give performances in the gardens of the abbey, plus the ever-popular Silent Disco will add to the party atmosphere!
Northampton Bike Park On Track for development
April 25, 2022
Northampton Bike Park On Track for development
Health, leisure and parks 25 April 2022 How part of Northampton Bike Park might look once complete Specialist bike trail contractor On Track starts work this week to create the Northampton Bike Park, providing mountain bike enthusiasts of all levels with an amazing new facility. Vegetation clearance has already taken place at the former Hardingstone Nine golf course west of Brackmills Industrial Estate and work on the main development began today (Monday 25 April). Once complete, the new free-to-use facility will comprise of: A multi-user green trail – an easy, dual-direction cycle route across the site, connecting Houghton Hill to the underpass for the A45 Blue (moderate), red (difficult) and black (severe) off-road mountain bike trails for different abilities - dual tracks will allow head-to-head riding Five gathering spots where riders can meet to discuss the next section of track, and coaching can be provided A mountain bike skills area Cllr Lizzy Bowen, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “This will be an outstanding facility and we know there are many people in the local area and the mountain biking community who can’t wait to see it up and running. “On Track is highly experienced in delivering mountain bike parks and we’re really looking forward seeing what they’re going to deliver for us all. “We’ve worked closely with British Cycling and Sport England to ensure this project is the best it possibly can be on the land we have available, and we’re really excited to get our contractors on site. “This project continues our work to make Northampton a city fit for the 21st century, with opportunities for everyone in the area to live their best lives.” The new bike park will be created on the former golf course, which was part of Delapré Golf Centre until around six years ago. Work is expected to be complete by late summer. The site also includes almost 13 hectares of wildlife habitats which will be maintained as part of the council’s ongoing approach to sustainability . British Cycling Head of Business Planning and Transformation, Andy Farr, said: “We’re incredibly excited by the plans in place for the Northampton Bike Park, which will provide first-class trails and facilities for mountain bikers of all abilities. “Facilities like this are vital to sustaining the huge growth we’ve seen in mountain biking over recent years, and we’re incredibly thankful to our local partners in Northampton and the team at On Track who share our passion for getting more people on bikes.” Charles Johnston, Property Director, Sport England, said: “Sport England are delighted to see this project moving forward and that there will soon be opportunities for people of all ages and abilities from the local area to use the cycling facilities. “Supported by funding through the Places to Ride Programme , this work will be instrumental in improving cycling facilities throughout England.” Parking would be at the nearby golf centre and the site is easily accessible by bike via the Norbital cycle route.
West Northamptonshire’s new highways contract set to be awarded soon
April 22, 2022
West Northamptonshire’s new highways contract set to be awarded soon
Parking, roads and transport 22 April 2022 Work on shaping an innovative new highways service for West Northamptonshire is nearing completion, with the Council on course to appoint its new contractor next month. At their meeting on Tuesday, 3 May, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet members will be updated on the final stages of an 18-month process to obtain a new supplier for the service, which includes things like maintaining local roads and footpaths and their signage and drainage, repairing potholes and winter gritting. Highways maintenance is currently delivered Northamptonshire-wide under arrangements inherited from the previous county council and the new plans will instead see WNC and neighbouring North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) run their own separate contracts and services. The final three bidders have now submitted their tenders for the West Northants contract which, at approximately £30m a year, will be one of the highest value awarded by the Council and is set to run for seven years, with the potential to extend to a maximum of 14 years. At the forefront of the Council’s priorities is to appoint a contractor that will not only achieve greater value for money but work innovatively, tackle climate change, communicate effectively with the public and add social value, such as things that will collectively benefit the wider community. Cllr Phil Larratt, WNC’s Cabinet Member for environment, transport, highways & waste, said: “Maintaining our local roads is one of the largest, most essential services we provide to the public so it’s absolutely crucial that we shape and award a contract that delivers upon our priorities for making future improvements. "We’ve considered and placed the needs of our residents at the heart of this procurement process, whilst also balancing the desire for high quality services alongside the future cost of this. "It’s important that our new highways partner also shares our vision for a more sustainable West Northants and works with us to protect and improve our environment, economy and society for future generations. "It’s been a long, technical and often complicated process but I’m really pleased that we’re now nearing contract completion, with a view to the new service being in place from this autumn." WNC has worked closely with NNC on the process for procuring the new highways contracts, which started in November 2020 and has involved several selection stages to narrow down and shortlist prospective suppliers. At their meeting next week WNC Cabinet members will consider whether to delegate authority to award the contract to the Council’s Executive Directors for Place and Finance, in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Highways and Finance. The meeting takes place on Tuesday, 3 May from 6pm at the Forum in Towcester and can be viewed live on the Council’s Youtube channel.
Fresh round of Community Grants opens this month in West Northamptonshire
April 22, 2022
Fresh round of Community Grants opens this month in West Northamptonshire
Community, safety and emergencies 22 April 2022 Local community and voluntary groups who deliver important services in West Northamptonshire have another chance to apply for grants of up to £15,000.​ West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has announced a fresh round of Community Funding Grants opened for applications today, Friday, 22 April 2022. Applications for this round of funding should be submitted no later than Sunday, 15 May. Councillor David Smith, WNC's Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement, and regulatory services, said: “There’s so much community spirit and good will in West Northamptonshire, people are willing to reach out and help those most in need. “Community and voluntary groups are small, highly connected and can react quickly to specific needs. They are an important partner and I’m really looking forward to see the creative ways they’ve come up with to support the council’s corporate plan priorities." The grant scheme is open to community and voluntary sector organisations, registered charities and not-for-profit organisations, for projects that support one or more of the council’s corporate plan priorities. The six corporate plan priorities are: Green and clean: environment and wellbeing Improved life chances: health, social care and families Connected communities: transport and connectivity Thriving villages and towns: place shaping and homes Economic development: growth and prosperity Robust resource management: transparency and financial probity You can find out more about the criteria and who can apply for a grant on the WNC website and in the council’s Community Funding Grant Policy . If you are interested in applying for a Community Funding Grant, you will need to complete an Expression Of Interest Form, which is available on the WNC website. If you would like to speak to the Community Funding Officer Peter Worth message him via our online contact form , or call Customer Services on 0300 126 7000. Further rounds of grants of up to £5,000 will be announced in the summer, autumn, and winter on our Community Grants page.
'It Only Takes One' campaign to tackle violence against women
April 21, 2022
'It Only Takes One' campaign to tackle violence against women
Community, safety and emergencies 21 April 2022 Organisations across Northamptonshire have come together to say “it only takes one community to say enough is enough” to violence against women. A partnership led by West Northamptonshire Council and Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, with Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire Rape Crisis and Northampton BID has come together to create a network of measures to make women safer at night by improving physical safety and security, tackling perpetrators, and starting a conversation that helps people call-out abuse. The programme of work carried out has included measures to make licensed venues safer, and a ground-breaking programme to train venue staff to recognise and tackle predatory behaviour. Central to the programme is a new communications campaign that will raise awareness of all forms of harassment and violence against women and highlight that it only takes one person to say enough is enough to challenge the attitudes and inappropriate behaviours of some men. Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and West Northamptonshire Council together were awarded more than £800,000 in Home Office funding to invest in the safety of women in the night-time economy. What work has been carried out? The programme of work was developed in consultation with groups representing women and local communities, and has included: £180,000 investment for new, monitored CCTV and further investment for help points on the Racecourse, Becket’s Park, All Saints Plaza and Abington Street in a first for Northampton. These allow someone to buzz for help and speak instantly to CCTV operators, while the camera zooms in on their location Funding to bring the Shout Up programme to Northampton, to train and accredit bar staff in identifying and challenging harassing behaviour in their premises ANPR cameras and other safety improvements in the Racecourse car park and a well-lit and signed safer walking route across Becket’s Park to the town centre Funding for licensed premises to take part in the Licensing Safety and Vulnerability Initiative (LSavi) so that they can reassure their customers they take security seriously Support for a special police operation that is targeting perpetrators who prey on women in the night-time economy The communications campaign will include advertising, social media, and billboards in the first phase, to highlight the different forms of harassment and encourage bystanders to offer support safely and appropriately. A new website – it only takes one – will provide information, signpost to agencies that offer support and encourage men to have a conversation about attitudes towards women and the impact harassment and abuse has on their lives. And the wider programme of work will continue to expand and be developed in the coming months and years and rolled out across the county. Campaign Launch West Northamptonshire Council Leader Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety Cllr David Smith and Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold visited the Picturedrome, near the Racecourse, where staff have taken part in the first round of Shout Up training. Suzy Keeping, is owner and director of two town centre venues, the Picturedrome and the Old White Hart, whose staff have all completed the Shout Up training. Suzy said: “I don’t think I know a woman who hasn’t experienced something nasty - let’s not pretend it doesn’t happen to every woman, it does. We think that’s how it is. But I am 100% up for helping to make a change and that is why our staff have taken part in Shout Up.” Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold praised the businesses and organisations that have come together. He said: “Enough really is enough: it only takes one person to reach out, offer support, tell a friend to cut out the inappropriate comments. Together we can put a stop to sexual harassment, and that can only make the whole community safer. “What makes our campaign unique is that partners have truly acknowledged that women’s safety is everyone’s responsibility and committed themselves to making a change and start a conversation about respect for women.” Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council, said: “Everyone deserves to feel safe in their home and their area. Through this partnership initiative our goal is to prevent problems before they occur and increase people’s feelings of safety, and we want residents to be proud of West Northants and to move around it freely and without fear.” Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Engagement and Regulatory Services, added: “Women and girls are disproportionately affected by crimes like harassment in public places. It really does only take one person to say enough is enough and challenge inappropriate behaviour, and I hope these improvements will help people to feel confident, safe and secure whatever the time of day.” Northamptonshire Rape Crisis have delivered Shout Up training to 3 pilot venues and been consultants on the awareness campaign. Chief Executive Officer Dawn Thomas said: “The response to Shout-Up! has been extremely positive with pubs and venues enthusiastic to be involved in the scheme and promote it to others. “We all want the same thing; that our pubs and clubs are a safe place for everyone to go. Northamptonshire Rape Crisis will be delivering Shout-Up! training to venues across Northampton and Kettering and we hope to roll the scheme out county wide later in the year. “We’re delighted that some of the most well-recognised Northampton venues have come forward to get involved at this early stage, and that they are determined to be the best premises they can be. “Shout-Up! training also enables pubs and venues to understand how they can intervene for their staff too, as too often harassment of staff is normalised. We look forward to working with venues in the coming months to protect their staff and patrons from harassment.” Northamptonshire Police have been running Operation Kayak to actively pursue predators who target and prey on women in the night-time economy. Detective Superintendent Joe Banfield said: “We are really pleased to be part of this programme to make Northampton safer, and fully support the It Only Takes One campaign. Things will only change for women if we all do the right thing. We need to be upstanding as a community to challenge and condemn harassment and stop this kind of abuse. “Misogyny, sexism and discrimination should be called out by everyone, so perpetrators understand this won’t be tolerated. Left unchallenged, this type of behaviour can escalate and in some cases lead to serious crime and violence against women and girls. Women are harassed and abused every day, and it needs to stop.” Northampton Town Centre BID is committed to making Northampton a safe and attractive place to visit and do business and strongly supports the new campaign. BID Operations Manager Mark Mullen said: “We want everyone to feel confident they can enjoy a night out in Northampton without the fear of violence or harassment, so we wholeheartedly welcome this campaign. By working together we can create an environment where every women feels safe, respected and valued. Information and support can be found at it only takes one .
Free specialist advice on offer at One Stop Shop
April 22, 2022
Free specialist advice on offer at One Stop Shop
Your council 22 April 2022 Free, independent, confidential and specialist legal advice is being offered to Northamptonshire’s residents by Community Law Service (Northampton and County). The service can offer help with housing repossession and eviction, welfare benefits, debt, immigration, energy efficiency advice and fuel poverty. Sessions can be accessed via the Community Law Service reception desk in the One Stop Shop at the Guildhall in Northampton, which is open between 9.30am and 12.30pm, Monday to Thursday. The following sessions are available: Monday 10am to Midday: Immigration – free initial consultations (drop-in session) Tuesday 10am to Midday: Welfare Benefit /Energy Advice (drop -in session) Wednesday 10am to Midday: Debt (drop-in session) Thursday 10am to Midday: Housing (pre-booked appointments only) For pre-booked appointments, please call 01604 621038 in advance, visit the reception at The Guildhall or visit the Community Law Service office at 49-53 Hazelwood Road, Northampton. Residents can also receive advice by email, telephone, Zoom or a home visit. For more information visit Community Law Service . The service is currently funded by: West Northamptonshire Council North Northamptonshire Council Legal Aid Agency Community Justice Fund Money and Pensions Service Northamptonshire Carers British Gas Energy Trust National Grid Warm Homes Fund Self-funded Immigration Advice Service The National Lottery Community Fund
Get your tickets for the Big Jubilee Lunch celebration
April 22, 2022
Get your tickets for the Big Jubilee Lunch celebration
Culture and tourism 22 April 2022 Free tickets are now available for the Big Jubilee Lunch event taking place in the grounds of the historic Delapré Abbey in Northampton on Sunday, 5 June from 11am – 4pm. The Big Lunch is the perfect chance for residents from across West Northamptonshire to come together and celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, while enjoying a range of live music, performances, activities and stalls, along with a traditional English picnic. A brass band, the Step-By-Step Dance School and a host of other performers from across West Northamptonshire will take to the stage during the event, while the Jubilee Pageant taking place in London is set to be broadcast live on a big screen. Audiences will also be entertained by The Masque Theatre and Living History re-enactment group who are set to give performances in the gardens of the abbey, plus the ever-popular Silent Disco will add to the party atmosphere! Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet member for Housing, Leisure and Culture, said: “We’re inviting residents from across West Northamptonshire to join us in celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, by sharing friendship, food and fun at one of the area’s most majestic destinations. “We’re delighted to be working with Delapré Abbey, the Royal & Derngate and Stageright Productions to deliver this event, which is set to be a great experience for people of all ages, so please make sure you get your free tickets as soon as possible so you can be part of this historic day.” Anyone looking for a souvenir from the day can browse a selection of unique hand-made items on sale in the Vintage Guru Craft Makers Market, plus a variety of food and drink stalls will be on site, along with the award-winning Orangery Café, for those who don’t want to bring their own picnic. Richard Clinton, Chief Executive of Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust, said: “We’re delighted to host The Big Lunch here at the Abbey, bringing together communities and partners from across West Northamptonshire for a truly memorable celebration.” Tickets are available from the Royal & Derngate . Entry is free but by ticket only. More information about the Big Lunch will be shared on social media @WestNorthants and @DelapreAbbey over the coming weeks. A countywide pageant is also set to parade through the streets of Northampton Town Centre on Saturday, 4 June at 11am, with representatives from the military, emergency services, youth and community groups.
St James Library set to reopen at new location
April 21, 2022
St James Library set to reopen at new location
Schools library service 21 April 2022 A Northampton library forced to shut indefinitely during the Covid pandemic could soon be looking forward to a bright new chapter as plans to secure a new operator continue to move forward. St James’ Library may soon be able to reopen after the Council received a viable bid to move the library from its current location in St James Square, to new operators. Sixfields Councillors Cllr Imran Chowdhury BEM, Cllr Brian Sargeant, and Cllr Nick Sturges-Alex have been working hard to evaluate bidders to run the services and working with council officers to progress to the best outcome for the residents of St James. A business case has now been developed and proposals for funding the necessary IT infrastructure are due to go the Council’s Cabinet, with further information on the new operators set to be announced once a decision has been made. Following this decision work to transfer the library expected to start shortly afterwards. Cllr Chowdhury said: “We felt that the bid was very strong, we need to unite the community,” with Cllr Sargeant adding: “Libraries provide many services other than lending books, and that they are an essential element to a thriving community." Cllr Sturges-Alex explained: “In recent history libraries have always helped the disadvantaged to access education and the concept is just as relevant today, and bringing this library into a building that is already run for the local community, by a group that is dedicated to this purpose, is a perfect fit." Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and cabinet member for Housing, Culture & Leisure said: “I am delighted that we now have an acceptable offer accompanied with a viable business case to reinstate a community library in St James. Local ward members and the community have stepped up to ensure that a valuable resource won’t be lost, and I commend everyone involved on their hard work.”
Towcester Rock Snake given new home
April 20, 2022
Towcester Rock Snake given new home
Community, safety and emergencies 20 April 2022 Caption: (Right to left) Ralph (on lead), Anna Earnshaw, mural artist Sarah Hodgkins of Charlotte Designs Potterspury, Karyna Clifford and daughter Katheryne. The organic display of community spirit which emerged during the Covid-lockdown and became known as the Towcester Rock Snake, has been given a new home. Before lockdown ‘Love Rocks’ was a common pastime throughout the country which saw children decorate stones, sometimes with greetings, which they would then hide for someone else to find, photograph, share on Facebook and then re-hide. During the Covid-lockdown that morphed into the Towcester Rock Snake, with messages dedicated to the NHS and support for the wider community, designs of favourite animals and superheroes, and messages to lost loved-ones. Around 1,600 stones were decorated and placed along the spiral walkway around Bury Mount, the remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle in the centre of Towcester. So many the Snake reached the top and began to loop back on itself. However, the stones were not fixed in place and began to be moved around so the decision was made to clear them and store them away until a permanent home could be found. Potterspury mural artist Sarah Hodgkins was commissioned to design and install the snake and a selection of stones have now been cemented into place on the Towcester Watermeadows, a short distance from Bury Mount. Towcester resident Karyna Clifford took charge of the stones after they were cleared and worked with West Northamptonshire Council’s Communities Team to find a location and funding. Mrs Clifford said: “Joan Tear has to be credited for bringing ‘Love Rocks’ to Towcester and has been instrumental to the Rock Snake. “During lockdown, when my little ones were missing their friends and family, we painted some rocks of encouragement and placed them at the Mount with an unpretentious handmade sign to see if anyone else would engage. And it helped us all to feel connected to the community. “As each day passed, we walked through the snake of rocks climbing up Bury Mount on our hour of exercise and found more reassurance that we were all, as a community, hopeful and waiting for better days when the world would make sense again.” WNC Chief Executive Anna Earnshaw visited with her dog Ralph after the installation and said: “There were no meetings, no press releases, one child thought it would be a good idea and the Rock Snake just grew from there. “I’m very pleased the council was able to help find a home for this poignant display of togetherness that I know exists within all our communities in West Northamptonshire.”
Update on arrangements for Ukrainian guests
April 19, 2022
Update on arrangements for Ukrainian guests
Homes for Ukraine 19 April 2022 West Northamptonshire Council is continuing to shape arrangements for providing every Ukrainian guest with a £200 payment, as recently announced by the Government. Under the Government’s Homes for Ukraine initiative, the payment will be given to each guest to cover the cost of immediate essentials, such as food, clothing and toiletries, before universal credit is made available. The Council is predominantly a ‘cashless organisation’ – meaning it cannot generally conduct physical cash transactions in a timely or low risk way, which also helps prevent vulnerable people from being targeted or taken advantage of. It has opted to initially distribute the payments using a voucher system that has already successfully been in place for several months to help Afghan nationals resettling in West Northants. The vouchers can be redeemed either in store or online at a wide range of outlets. Following recent feedback, the Council is also looking at other options for making payments, including the possibility of a pre-paid card, and will update guests and host families in the coming days if this alternative can work with its existing systems. Councillor David Smith, WNC’s Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement and regulatory services, said: “Our arrangements for supporting Ukrainian refugees are only a few weeks old and the situation is changing rapidly. “We’ve put in place the voucher scheme which has worked really well for seven months as part of our Afghan Resettlement Scheme, recognised as having some of the best provision across the whole of the UK. “We’ve recently received feedback that we need to look at alternatives, so we’re looking at this and hope to have news on this in the coming days. For example we are considering a pre-paid card which can be used like a debit card, but we have to look at what is workable in distributing the Government payments quickly and effectively."
Thousands of pupils allocated primary school places across West Northamptonshire – for September 2022
April 19, 2022
Thousands of pupils allocated primary school places across West Northamptonshire – for September 2022
School admissions 19 April 2022 More than 4,595 reception places at primary school have been allocated to pupils across West Northamptonshire today. This year, 94.4 per cent of applicants secured a place at their first preference school, up slightly from 94.3 per cent in 2021 for the whole of Northamptonshire under Northants County Council. While the number of families being offered a place at one of their preferred schools is 99.5 per cent, up from 98.9 per cent in 2021. Cllr Fiona Baker, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for children, families, and education, said: “The first day at school is an exciting day for all families and an important milestone in everyone’s life. It’s been a difficult year for many which is why I’m particularly glad we are still able to show consistent improvements meaning more families get their first choice." Parents/carers who applied for their primary school place online and within the deadline are able to check their school offer online. Additionally, the number of pupils obtaining their first preference for junior school (Year 3) places was 95.2 per cent (99.5 per cent last year). For those who were not successful in gaining a place at their preferred school, parents have the right to appeal through the independent admission appeals process. The next round of primary school place allocations (for late applicants) will take place in May.
West Northamptonshire Council to mark Stephen Lawrence Day
April 19, 2022
West Northamptonshire Council to mark Stephen Lawrence Day
19 April 2022 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will be marking Stephen Lawrence Day on Friday, 22 April to commemorate the life of the 18-year-old who was killed in an unprovoked racist attack almost 30 years ago. The event will take place at the Guildhall, Northampton, from 12-1pm and will be attended by local organisations and community representatives. The ceremony will begin with an introduction from WNC’S Assistant Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Anna King, followed by speeches from various speakers including Northamptonshire Police’s Superintendent Richard Tompkins. The event will conclude with a poem played through a speaker for everyone to hear with a printed version available for people to take home with them for reflection, and the lighting of a candle. A yellow rose will also be offered to everyone in attendance to acknowledge Stephen’s Jamaican heritage. Councillor Anna King, WNC’s Assistant Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “The story of Stephen Lawrence is a deeply tragic one and I hope that people will join us in observing this day and reflecting upon Stephen’s legacy. “I am pleased that West Northamptonshire Council has chosen to recognise this event and build a foundation to commemorate the life of Stephen, and continue to pave the way for a greater understanding of discrimination, equality and cultural change across West Northamptonshire.” Northamptonshire Police’s Superintendent Richard Tompkins, said: “The loss of Stephen Lawrence and the subsequent findings of the MacPherson enquiry was a wake-up call to police forces across the country and indeed to the country as a whole. “In supporting Stephen Lawrence Day, Northamptonshire Police continues to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to ensure fair and unbiased policing is at the core of everything we do. “We welcome people from all cultures and faiths into our force, so that we can meet the aim of representing all of the communities we serve in our wonderfully diverse county.” Social media users can help spread awareness about Stephen Lawrence Day by using the hashtags: #SLDay22 #BecauseOfStephen #ALegacyOfChange.
Stay safe in and around the water this Bank Holiday weekend
April 15, 2022
Stay safe in and around the water this Bank Holiday weekend
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) will be out and about at popular waterside spots this Bank Holiday Weekend to encourage people to safely enjoy themselves in and around the water. With an extended weekend coming up alongside warmer weather, more people may be thinking of heading to water beauty spots across the county. And in recent weeks the Fire Service has been made aware of young people choosing to swim in spots of open water such as at Pitsford Reservoir and other areas in Northamptonshire. NFRS is reminding people of the dangers that open water swimming can pose and the need to keep yourself safe. Even in warm weather, open water can be extremely cold and dangerous. While the sun may be out, water can still be below 15 degrees Celsius, and this can be enough to put your body into cold water shock and increase the risks of drowning. Here are some tips on how to stay safe while swimming in the open water and avoid any incidents: Get to know where you are swimming and check the condition before going in Make sure you are properly equipped and beware of the cold Make sure someone knows where you have gone and why, and that you have the means to call for help, especially in remote locations Take note of local safety advice and respect the countryside, landowners and other users Download the what3words app on your phone so you can give specific location advice to emergency services if you get into trouble If you get stuck in the water with cold body shock, try and float on your back in a star shape and allow the shock to pass. Do not try and fight against it If you see another person or animal in the water, you should NOT enter water yourself to rescue them. Call 999 and ask for the fire service immediately In most cases an animal will make it back to safety, sadly this is not always the case for an owner Try and throw a floating device such as a throw line or an inflatable to help any people who are struggling in the water [embedded content] Darren Carson, Prevention Team Leader at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The weather is looking like it will be nice at the weekend, but taking part in unsupervised open water swimming is not worth the risk that it can potentially cause. There are plenty of supervised open water locations in the county that are safer to use, and these can be found online. “Our crews will be out and about this weekend at some of the known open water swimming spots in Northamptonshire to promote water safety. And our Prevention Team is also heading to local schools and colleges to educate young people about the pitfalls of swimming in open water when unsupervised, and we hope that this will help to prevent any serious incidents occurring.” The Prevention Team have also been working hard recently to deliver Waterside Responder training to waterside hospitality venues – allowing them to help in the safe rescue of people who are troubled in the water. If your business is interested in taking part, then please email DCarson@northantsfire.gov.uk For even more water safety tips, head to our dedicated section at www.northantsfire.gov.uk/safety/waterandboatsafety
Fire safety warning following illegal tobacco seizure
April 14, 2022
Fire safety warning following illegal tobacco seizure
Trading Standards 14 April 2022 The dangers of illegal tobacco have been highlighted after hundreds of packets of illicit cigarettes were uncovered during an inspection at a Northampton shop. Officers from Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards team and HM Revenue and Customs seized the cigarettes together with a number of tobacco pouches after finding them in an electronic hide during a visit to UK Monopol in St Leonard’s Road, Far Cotton, on 3 March 2020. Many of the items falsely carried the names and logos of well-known brands, while hundreds of others carried no English-language health warnings, as is required by law. It was also discovered that a number of the cigarettes were not made with fire-safe paper, meaning they would be more likely to cause fires if left unattended. At Northampton Magistrates’ Court today (14 April) the shop’s owner Xoshawi Kalend pleaded guilty to five offences following a successful prosecution by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC). The charges included: possessing with intent to sell 86 packets of cigarettes carrying false branding; possessing 239 packets and four tobacco pouches that were not labelled with the proper warnings; and failing to act with due care to ensure that 36 packets of cigarettes complied with safety requirements. Magistrates fined Mr Kalend £6,388 which included a contribution to prosecution costs and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £189. Mr Kalend had pleaded guilty to five similar charges in July 2019 and received a financial penalty of £3,000 including a contribution to prosecution costs. Tina Collett, Prevention Team Leader for the Home Fire Safety Team at Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: "Some illegal cigarettes are not self-extinguishable and burn at higher temperatures, making them a much higher fire risk. "Tragically three people have died in Northamptonshire as a result of smoking related fires over the last four years. If smoking, ensure cigarettes are put right out, never smoke in bed and use a proper ashtray to extinguish a cigarette, never a wastepaper basket." Councillor David Smith, WNC's Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement, and regulatory services, said: “The import and sale of illegal tobacco causes serious harm in our communities, undermining public health, facilitating the supply of tobacco to young people, and damaging legitimate businesses which are unable to compete. "It also deprives the UK of vital revenue which could be used to fund essential public services. "The Trading Standards team at West Northamptonshire Council take a very tough stance on the issue, and I hope this prosecution sends a strong message that if shopkeepers deal in illegal tobacco, they should expect to face legal action." People can help stop the harm caused by illegal tobacco by reporting its sale to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.
Call for residents to help shape future housing strategy
April 14, 2022
Call for residents to help shape future housing strategy
Housing 14 April 2022 With the population of West Northamptonshire set to grow by seven per cent by 2030, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is consulting on core themes of a new Housing Strategy. The strategy will be the first encompassing the whole of West Northamptonshire and will replace the housing strategies agreed by the former district and borough councils. Proposals for the four core themes of the strategy are: delivering homes people need and can afford, to improve the quality of housing services, to allow residents to live safe, independent and active lives, and to support the growth of sustainable communities. Cllr Adam Brown, WNC’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for housing, culture and leisure, said: “Housing is one of the most important political issues in the country right now, and we recognise just how vital it is to put together a Housing strategy that will enable residents of West Northamptonshire to find the homes they want and need. “It’s not just about building new houses and making sure people aren’t homeless, having a safe and stable home impacts education, health, employment, and life chances. Good housing is an essential part of a happy and cohesive society and it is a key priority of West Northamptonshire Council" For each of the core themes residents are being asked: if they think the right draft themes have been identified, their suggested priorities, and whether the council is missing anything out. Results of the consultation will feed into the drafting of the new Housing Strategy. To take part on the consultation, visit the WNC Citizen Space .
Weedon Road bus lane officially changed to morning rush hour enforcement
April 14, 2022
Weedon Road bus lane officially changed to morning rush hour enforcement
Buses and transport 14 April 2022 After the 24-hour bus lane camera in Weedon Road, St James was switched off in December 2021, a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) has now been passed changing its operational hours to the morning rush hour. Motorists can now only be fined if they use the bus lane between the hours of 7:30am and 9:30am, Monday to Saturday. Cllr Phil Larratt, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for environment, transport, highways and waste, said: "We need to make sure the way is clear for public transport, now more than ever. "But I think it is a sign of strength that this council was able to listen, admit something wasn’t quite right, and make changes accordingly." The new TRO follows a public consultation on the scheme last autumn which received a total of 2,752 responses from residents, businesses, and local organisations. The feedback received showed that half of all respondents were in favour of the Weedon Road/St James’ Road bus lane continuing to be enforced to some degree, but nearly two-thirds of those thought it should be limited to morning peak times. Motorist are reminded they must inform DVLA if they change address, failure to do so could mean they do not receive or respond to enforcement correspondence, which in turn could lead to instructions being issued to collection agents / bailiffs. Anyone who feels they received a fine unfairly should make use of the appeals procedure promptly.
Digital talent showcased at fourth annual Merged Futures event
April 08, 2022
Digital talent showcased at fourth annual Merged Futures event
Business support 08 April 2022 Get ready to meet a delivery robot, try out an e-scooter and swim with dolphins in Virtual Reality at Merged Futures 4, the fourth annual tech innovation showcase event organised by Digital Northants. Merged Futures returns to the award-winning Learning Hub at the University of Northampton’s Waterside Campus on Friday 17 June 2022 and, as with all Digital Northants events, it’s free to attend. A celebration of Northamptonshire's innovators, educators and entrepreneurs, the event brings together people from different sectors interested in digital, tech and innovation to share and spark ideas. It’s also an opportunity for the business community to discover some of the University of Northampton's innovative teaching methods, the skills developed by students and the potential to partner and collaborate with the University in different fields. Cllr David Brackenbury, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive member for Growth and Regeneration, said: “I’m delighted to see this flagship digital event taking place for the fourth year in a row – showcasing the digital talent on offer locally. “This is an excellent collaboration between the public and private sectors and an exciting way of stimulating connections to drive forward the economy and find creative solutions to a range of issues.” Cllr David Howes, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive member for Rural Communities and Localism, said: “The digital economy is so important for rural areas both in terms of driving prosperity and connecting communities. I’m proud that this authority can play a part in supporting such a worthwhile initiative.” Cllr Lizzy Bowen, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth, said: “Our central location within the UK has made Northamptonshire a place to innovate and do business throughout the ages. “We’re well connected, home to inventors and entrepreneurs and events like these bring them together to ensure Northamptonshire remains at the heart of the UK economy for decades to come.” John Sinclair, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology, said: “The experiences of the past two years have shown the value of digital connectivity to all of our working and private lives. "The University is proud to host the Digital Northampton Merged Futures conference again this year, bringing together industry and academia to look at new applications of digital technologies in industry, transport, business, culture and more. We look forward to wide-ranging presentations and demonstrations from University and industry colleagues across a range of disciplines." In the exhibition space, a wide range of local organisations will demonstrate their work, from the use of Virtual Reality technology in healthcare to how the Internet of Things can boost wellbeing. There will be an advice hub for business owners to explore how they can translate the technology on display into their own organisations. There will be plenty to inspire the next generation of digital and tech talent, including 20 sessions taking place throughout the day on topics as varied as setting up a new games design company, how to get ahead in digital marketing and the Chester House Estate's future plans to bring their Roman Town to life. It all takes place on Friday 17 June 2022 from 10am to 3:30pm and includes a buffet lunch.
Digital talent showcased at fourth annual Merged Future event
April 08, 2022
Digital talent showcased at fourth annual Merged Future event
Business support 08 April 2022 Get ready to meet a delivery robot, try out an e-scooter and swim with dolphins in Virtual Reality at Merged Futures 4, the fourth annual tech innovation showcase event organised by Digital Northants. Merged Futures returns to the award-winning Learning Hub at the University of Northampton’s Waterside Campus on Friday 17 June 2022 and, as with all Digital Northants events, it’s free to attend. A celebration of Northamptonshire's innovators, educators and entrepreneurs, the event brings together people from different sectors interested in digital, tech and innovation to share and spark ideas. It’s also an opportunity for the business community to discover some of the University of Northampton's innovative teaching methods, the skills developed by students and the potential to partner and collaborate with the University in different fields. Cllr David Brackenbury, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive member for Growth and Regeneration, said: “I’m delighted to see this flagship digital event taking place for the fourth year in a row – showcasing the digital talent on offer locally. “This is an excellent collaboration between the public and private sectors and an exciting way of stimulating connections to drive forward the economy and find creative solutions to a range of issues.” Cllr David Howes, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive member for Rural Communities and Localism, said: “The digital economy is so important for rural areas both in terms of driving prosperity and connecting communities. I’m proud that this authority can play a part in supporting such a worthwhile initiative.” Cllr Lizzy Bowen, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth, said: “Our central location within the UK has made Northamptonshire a place to innovate and do business throughout the ages. “We’re well connected, home to inventors and entrepreneurs and events like these bring them together to ensure Northamptonshire remains at the heart of the UK economy for decades to come.” John Sinclair, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology, said: “The experiences of the past two years have shown the value of digital connectivity to all of our working and private lives. "The University is proud to host the Digital Northampton Merged Futures conference again this year, bringing together industry and academia to look at new applications of digital technologies in industry, transport, business, culture and more. We look forward to wide-ranging presentations and demonstrations from University and industry colleagues across a range of disciplines." In the exhibition space, a wide range of local organisations will demonstrate their work, from the use of Virtual Reality technology in healthcare to how the Internet of Things can boost wellbeing. There will be an advice hub for business owners to explore how they can translate the technology on display into their own organisations. There will be plenty to inspire the next generation of digital and tech talent, including 20 sessions taking place throughout the day on topics as varied as setting up a new games design company, how to get ahead in digital marketing and the Chester House Estate's future plans to bring their Roman Town to life. It all takes place on Friday 17 June 2022 from 10am to 3.30pm and includes a buffet lunch.
New recruits join Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service
April 08, 2022
New recruits join Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service
18 new firefighters have been welcomed to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service after a successful recruitment campaign at the end of 2021. The new recruits were formally welcomed to the organisation on their first day this week by Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, and were given a tour of the new Darby House headquarters in Wellingborough. Four of the new recruits are already familiar faces to Northamptonshire, having been on-call firefighters with the Service who successfully applied to make the role full-time. Having already undergone firefighter training, they will be assigned to their stations – Mereway, Rushden, Moulton and Corby – from Monday April 18. The remaining 14 firefighters are new to firefighting altogether and will undergo an eight-week training session in the Cotswolds at the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh. They will then return to Northamptonshire for a further two-week course before being ready to join their respective stations. For Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey, this will be the last set of wholetime firefighters he welcomes to the Service before retiring in October, and he believes it shows the positive place the Service is on in its journey under the governance of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. [embedded content] Mr Dovey said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome these new recruits to Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service. “They will of course play a big part in enhancing our operational responses, whether that is putting out fires, carrying out rescues or doing some preventative work in the Home Fire Safety Checks that our crews will regularly carry out. “We had a really positive response to our recruitment campaign and that shows us that people view us as an exciting place to come and work. That is testament to the hard work everyone has put in over the last few years to improve us as an organisation, and I’m really confident that the upward trajectory is going to continue thanks to the new talent that we are attracting to join us.” Stephen Mold, the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, added: “It was fantastic to come and meet our new firefighters at Darby House and have a chat with them about the exciting journey we are on. “I’m proud that since taking on the governance of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, I have been able to support recruitment and investment in ensuring firefighters have the right kit to carry out the job of keeping the public safe. That investment is thanks to additional government funding and also the support of local people through their council tax. “This investment is both modernising the service so that firefighters can do more to help prevent fires and in wider community safety, and it’s also ensuring that Northamptonshire is a safer place to live.” Among those joining the Service is 19-year-old Harry Warren, who has been on-call at Rushden since July and is now joining as wholetime. He said: “I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter and since I joined on-call it’s been amazing. The crew have been great, and we get on really well and have become close friends. It’s good fun going out in that truck with them.” Meanwhile Kieran Davies, aged 23, is entering firefighting for the first time having been a physio assistant in the mental health sector in his hometown of Northampton. Kieran said: “I know I wanted to help people and it’s great to be given the opportunity to do that and to stay active as well. I saw a lot of the posts on social media where firefighters had said that if they could do it then I could do it, and that really stuck with me.”
There’s still time to subscribe to garden waste service
April 08, 2022
There’s still time to subscribe to garden waste service
Bins, recycling and street cleaning 08 April 2022 More than 55,000 households have signed-up to our garden waste subscription service for the forthcoming year. And residents who are yet to sign-up are being reminded that it is not too late to do so. How to subscribe The annual subscription charge for the fortnightly service to April 2023 is £42 per bin, and this can be paid via debit or credit card at www.westnorthants.gov.uk/gardenwaste Those who are unable to get online can subscribe to the service by phoning the council on 0300 126 7000. Collection crews have a record of which households have subscribed for the service as they make their rounds, so you will be able to put your bin out on your next collection day as soon as you have paid, without the need to wait for their sticker to arrive. The garden waste subscription service has been running successfully in the Northampton and Daventry areas for some time, but is new to the South Northants area, where more than 16,500 homes have subscribed to the new service to date. We have been pleased with the response to the garden waste subscription service so far, but while the new subscription period launched on Monday, it’s important to remember that it’s not too late to sign-up. Due to the large demand, there are times when the website and phone lines can be busy, and we are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause people. However we would ask anyone who experiences difficulties paying their subscription online to please be patient and try again later. If you can’t access the internet or don’t feel confident to do so then you can always phone us on our main number or pop along to our offices, where we’ll be happy to guide you through the process. Cllr Phil Larratt, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Highways, Transport and Waste Other options If you do not wish to sign up to the service, you have the option of home composting, with the chance to buy a discounted composter bin for £10 at getcomposting.com You can also recycle garden waste at any of our household waste recycling centres . If you would like us to remove your unused garden waste bin you will be able to request this, and details of how will be published later in the spring. Find out more information about the service, including a comprehensive list of FAQs
Cabinet to discuss bus improvement plans
April 08, 2022
Cabinet to discuss bus improvement plans
Parking, roads and transport 08 April 2022 A plan underlining our commitment to improving public transport and connecting rural communities is set to be discussed by Cabinet. The Enhanced Bus Partnership Plan (EPP) sets out the high level vision and objectives for bus services over the next three years, showing how we will work with partner organisations to ensure they are delivered reliably, efficiently, and affordably. Building on our existing Bus Service Improvement Plan published last October, the EPP would put in place binding commitments on the Council and our partners to provide the necessary improvements to make buses more attractive and easier to use. Shaped by feedback from a public consultation held last September, its aims include: Faster and more reliable journey times The introduction of newer, cleaner, more environmentally-friendly buses Simpler fares and smart ticketing Improvements to networks, including links to visitor attractions Better real-time information to make it easier for passengers to plan and use the network. Cabinet will decide whether to introduce the plan at their meeting next Tuesday, 12 April . As part of the on-going work to implement the bus service improvement plan, we will also consider our approach to bus subsidies over the coming months. Buses have a big role to play in providing people with an alternative option to the car, but in order to encourage people to take the bus, we must provide a reliable, efficient and affordable network that meets the needs of our communities and that can be easily used by everyone – whether they are regular bus users or not. The Enhanced Bus Partnership Plan sets out how we plan to work with our partners to deliver that for the people of West Northamptonshire, and would play a big part in our plans to improve public transport across the area. Cllr Phil Larratt, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Transport, Highways, and Waste Services
Parking restrictions to start at charging bays
April 08, 2022
Parking restrictions to start at charging bays
Parking, roads and transport 08 April 2022 Parking restrictions and enforcement are being introduced at the new on-street electric vehicle charging bays in Northampton, to ensure they are available for people to use them. In January 2022, on-street electric vehicle charging points were installed at seven locations across Northampton as part of West Northamptonshire Council’s partnership with the Virgin Park and Charge (VPACH2) project. Each location has four parking bays. To minimise the impact on parking availability in the short term, two bays are for electric vehicles only while two bays can accommodate either electric or non-electric vehicles. The enforcement will be for the electric only bays – marked ‘Electric Vehicles Only’ - and will start on April 11 at: St James' Park Road NN5 5EL Upper Thrift Street NN1 5HR Ardington Road NN1 5NE Barry Road NN1 5HU Oakwood Rd NN1 4SX Semilong Road NN2 6BU Vicarage Road NN5 7AX To give residents time to adjust to the new parking arrangements, drivers who flout the parking restrictions during the first two weeks following enforcement will be issued with warnings, rather than penalty charge notices. Full Penalty Charge Notices will be issued from Monday 25 April. Having the right infrastructure in place is a crucial part of making electric vehicles more accessible to our residents. The aim of this initiative was to improve electric vehicle charging facilities in residential areas, but that only works if people with electric vehicles can get access to the charge points, so this is an important next step in the project. Cllr Phil Larratt, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Transport, Highways, and Waste Services
Northampton regeneration set to continue at pace
April 07, 2022
Northampton regeneration set to continue at pace
Delivering growth 07 April 2022 Our Cabinet will meet next week (Tuesday, 12 April) to consider two reports which could help maintain the momentum of Northampton town centre’s regeneration. The first of these seeks approval for an outline business case for the former M&S and BHS sites in Abington Street, and the second proposes appointment of an operator for the Vulcan Works Creative Hub. Abington Street Properties Proposals for the Abington Street properties, which also incorporate a derelict property at the rear of the Grosvenor Shopping centre, involve conversion to residential. Cllr Lizzy Bowen, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “It’s vital that if we are to breathe life back into our ailing town centres, we introduce more people who will be ready-made customers for the fantastic businesses we have. “A significant part of our strategy for the revitalisation of Northampton town centre is to introduce significant amounts of new residential development above ground level. “We can then have catering and retail uses on the ground floor, and these will be supported by all of the new people living there. “Town centres are suffering as a result of people’s changing shopping habits and we must evolve with the times.” Vulcan Works Creative Hub The Vulcan Works Creative Hub, a series of managed workspaces for creative businesses, is nearing completion and after a competitive process, a preferred operator has been identified. At its meeting on Tuesday 12 April, Cabinet will consider whether to award this contract, which would see the company contracted for an initial three years, with an option to extend by two years. Cllr Bowen said: “The Vulcan Works Creative Hub is an absolutely top-notch facility, and we need a high calibre operator to run it. “The preferred bidder already operates a number of successful co-working spaces across the country, so would bring a huge amount of knowledge and expertise to the task. “The vision behind Vulcan Works is that small businesses will be located in a cutting-edge facility, with shared spaces that allow them to collaborate and support each other.” View the Cabinet papers and background material here
Anti-Poverty Strategy to be considered by Cabinet
April 07, 2022
Anti-Poverty Strategy to be considered by Cabinet
Children and families 07 April 2022 Our Cabinet is set to consider whether to adopt a draft Anti-Poverty Strategy at its meeting next week. The strategy, which will be considered by members at their meeting on Tuesday (12 April) , is designed to tackle poverty and deprivation and is particularly important in the context of current financial pressures facing households. It would also form part of our bold new approach to improve social, environmental and economic sustainability, which will help protect communities for future generations. We are all facing incredible pressure from the effects of inflation, which is pushing up the cost of living on so many fronts. The COVID pandemic has also played a huge part, damaging the economy and forcing people out of work. It means everything costs more, including the cost of our services, and it’s extremely important that we look to help those who are most affected. Our approach is summed up in three overarching priorities, which are in turn built on some key principles aimed at helping people to live the best life possible. Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Wellbeing and Health Integration The strategy identified ten underlying principles recognising that people need: The best start in life Access to the best available education and learning Opportunity to be fit, well and independent Employment that keeps them and their families out of poverty Housing that is affordable, safe and sustainable in places which are clean and green To feel safe in their homes and when out and about Connected to their families and friends The chance for a fresh start when things go wrong Access to health and social care when they need it To be accepted and valued simply for who they are. In order to provide these opportunities for people, it will be necessary for us to work with a range of partners. The three governing principles behind this approach are: Supporting people who are struggling in poverty now Preventing people falling into poverty in the first place Influencing the Government and other national organisations to get the best deal for the people of West Northamptonshire. The strategy has been developed with cross-party support and its aims include improving health and wellbeing, increasing average household income, reducing reliance on benefits, lowering the cost of rented and social housing, improving outcomes for young people and tackling fuel poverty. View the full Cabinet report and the draft strategy
Children and young people asked to get crafty for Queen of Arts Platinum Jubilee Activity
April 06, 2022
Children and young people asked to get crafty for Queen of Arts Platinum Jubilee Activity
Community, safety and emergencies 06 April 2022 Children and young people in Northamptonshire are being asked to display their creative skills ahead of the Platinum Jubilee in June by taking part in the countywide Queen of Arts Activity. With the dual aims of including as many people as possible and having a minimal impact on the environment, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) and North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) are challenging everyone to up-cycle household items by decorating them in honour of Her Majesty. WNC Chairman Cllr Ann Addison, said: “The possibilities are endless: old t-shirts, tea towels, old sheets, scrap wood, you’re limited only by your imagination. “Instead of clicking on the internet to have some plastic bunting shipped around the world to be used once, make your own. Paint a picture, create a collage, express what the Queen means to you with a personalised t-shirt, hat or poster. “Being Northamptonshire I expect we’ll see plenty of old shoes and boots given new life, and I really hope our embroiderers and lacemakers are already busy. “And if you’re not creative with your hands, write a poem or a song." North Northamptonshire Council’s Chair, Cllr Paul Bell said: “In rapidly changing times, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has been an icon of stability and I hope this summer our street parties and events will be filled with colourful displays of what she means to them. “I would encourage everyone to get involved and I look forward to seeing all the entries displayed at libraries across Northamptonshire." The councils will display all entries in a digital Jubilee exhibition which will tour the county’s libraries, starting in the west before moving on to the north. Judges will select their favourite and the winning entrant will be invited to attend the Big Lunch as a special guest on Sunday, 5 June. Entries must be sent to [email protected] by Friday, 13 May and include the entrant’s name, age and a couple of lines stating ‘what the Queen means to you.’
Platinum Jubilee Pageant to take place in Northampton on Saturday 4 June
April 06, 2022
Platinum Jubilee Pageant to take place in Northampton on Saturday 4 June
Culture and tourism 06 April 2022 The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee long weekend will be marked with a spectacular countywide pageant through Northampton town centre on Saturday, 4 June. Participants, including military and emergency services personnel, youth and community groups and businesses from across Northamptonshire will parade through the town centre, starting at 11am and finishing around 1pm. The pageant will begin at the top of Abington Street and follow a route down the street, along George Row, up The Drapery and onto the Market Square, where a celebration service will take place. On Sunday 5 June, Delapré Abbey will host a community Big Lunch between 11am and 4pm, where visitors will be able to bring their own picnic while enjoying on-stage live music and entertainment. Further details about both events will soon be available on the council’s website and social media channels @WestNorthants.
Historic and cultural sites invited to take part in Heritage Open Days
April 06, 2022
Historic and cultural sites invited to take part in Heritage Open Days
06 April 2022 Historic and cultural sites across the west of the county are invited to take part in this year’s Heritage Open Days, which will take place between 9 - 18 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. The festival offers the public free entry to places which might normally be closed, or have an entrance fee, and many venues taking part will be connected by Northampton Transport Heritage buses, offering a free hop-on hop-off service. West Northamptonshire Council is producing a Heritage Open Days brochure, which will list all participating attractions and events, to promote the festival and boost visitor numbers. Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said: “West Northamptonshire has a wealth of historic and cultural sites and Heritage Open Days are a brilliant opportunity to showcase them to visitors from all over the country. “The event has taken place in Northampton for over 25 years, so it is already extremely popular, and we are now looking to make it even bigger and better, by inviting venues from across West Northamptonshire to take part.” Councillor Lizzy Bowen, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, added: “With increased numbers of people expected in town centres during the week-long festival, businesses in the Brackley, Daventry, Towcester and Northampton areas also have a great opportunity to promote themselves and show visitors what they have to offer.” Brochure registration is open until 6 May and can be completed by emailing [email protected] . For more information, please visit the Heritage Open Days page on this website. Please note that sites will still be able to register on the national Heritage Open Days website after this date but they will not be featured in the event brochure, due to production timescales.
‘Countless opportunities’ during 40-year-long career caring for others
April 06, 2022
‘Countless opportunities’ during 40-year-long career caring for others
Adult social services 06 April 2022 Jeanette Davies (front centre) flanked by colleagues past and present, her family and service users celebrating her retirement after 40 years. A manager of young adult day services has described an exciting care career filled with opportunities as she retired after 40 years of public service. Jeanette Davies recently said a fond farewell to service users and colleagues past and present and is keen to see a new generation of care workers enjoy an equally long and rewarding career with West Northamptonshire Council. Having started her career at Cotswold House, Duston in 1981, she quickly became relief assistant deputy, before leaving to become a caseworker at Eleanor Lodge in Delapre. Jeanette said one of proudest achievements was bidding for, and winning, catering and hospitality tenders for John Dryden House and County Hall. That gave 12 adults with learning difficulties gainful employment even before the opening for two more cafes in Northampton – The Kingsley Coffee Spot and Allison Gardens. And throughout these years Jeanette completed three degrees including social working and counselling qualifications. But her career highlight was her involvement in the setting up of Olympus Care Service which led to the Olympus Chief Executive Fiona Seymour nominating and presenting Jeanette with an outstanding achievement award. Jeanette retired on Thursday, 31 March after enjoying a celebration at the Gladstone Resource Centre in Northampton which included colleagues past and present, family and service users. She said: “I always thought that joining the Council was a job for life and for me it has been, with opportunities to grow and develop all the way along. “It is so large there are countless opportunities for development or to have a change of setting. “Terms and conditions are fair, for me the wage was enough, I did not work purely for money. “The Council has been supportive to me. The Council does care when you are unwell or have a crisis to respond to. Clearly in 40 years I have suffered all of these and still managed to work effectively and rarely be away from work because of the flexibility I have been afforded to remain at work. “The training opportunities are second to none and the code of conduct is clear for all." And some final advice for anyone just starting out in a public service career, Jeanette said: “Care about the role you are in and your colleagues will respect you. And most of all, be reliable and join us because you genuinely want to work in an organisation that cares and supports others." WNC Chief Executive Anna Earnshaw said: “The world moves so fast these days someone reaching 40 years’ service in one place is an exceptional achievement, especially in the highly challenging care sector. “Just think about the legislation changes, the new ways of working and ever-changing budgets Jeanette has seen. To remain relevant, qualified, and passionate throughout that the time I think is an inspiration to us all. “On behalf of the individuals, families and communities who you have helped, thank you Jeanette and we all hope you have the enjoyable retirement you deserve." For more stories about the rewarding work available within social care in West Northamptonshire and to view the latest vacancies throughout the council, visit our Jobs and Careers page.
Northampton’s archaeological collections find a new home 
April 06, 2022
Northampton’s archaeological collections find a new home 
06 April 2022 A large collection of archaeological objects owned by the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery has moved to the new state-of-the-art, publicly accessible Archaeological Resources Centre (ARC) at the Chester House Estate near Wellingborough. The collections and archives include excavated objects from Northampton’s medieval streets such as building materials from religious houses, jewellery, costume fittings and ancient pots, which were previously spread across two stores in Northampton and Daventry. The ARC has a dedicated curator who can provide access by appointment to researchers, members of the public and school groups, allowing them to view material excavated from Northampton and across the county. Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said: “We are really pleased that the museum’s archaeological archive is now accessible to members of the public, thanks to the hard work of dedicated volunteers who have spent months planning and undertaking the move. “The ARC is bringing collections together from across the county, so Northamptonshire’s archaeology can be studied without having to visit different venues. “We anticipate that researchers from universities and organisations across the world will use the collections and we look forward to what they might uncover using this new research facility.” The move was supported by 21 volunteers from the museum and the Chester House Estate, who gave over 300 hours of time across two weeks to photograph the boxes being moved, label crates and repack boxes. In total, 9114 boxes and 153 crates of stone objects were moved in 23 lorry loads, including quern stones used 1400 years ago to grind grains at Hunsbury Hillfort and painted plaster from Roman Villas. Councillor Helen Howell, Deputy Leader of NNC and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism said: “It is great that this collection of archaeological items has a new home at the ARC on the Chester House Estate. “Research into the archive will help contribute to the story of people across Northamptonshire from the earliest times through to the present day. I can’t wait to visit and hope that residents will enjoy this collection and the history it brings with it.” The ARC offers unique access to the archaeology of the county and collections can be viewed during tours aimed to inspire the next generation of archaeologists. To find out more and to book a visit, see the Chester House website.
Litterer pays a heavy price following prosecution
April 06, 2022
Litterer pays a heavy price following prosecution
Environmental health 06 April 2022 A woman who dumped nine sacks of rubbish and two carrier bags of used fireworks by the side of a road has been ordered to pay more than £1,300 in fines and court costs. A Neighbourhood Warden from West Northamptonshire Council found the rubbish piled on a grass verge next to a zebra crossing in Holmecross Road in Thorplands, Northampton on 8 November last year. Following an investigation, the Warden served a fixed penalty notice of £150 on Tanya Dawes (35), of Arbour View Court, Thorplands. However after failing to pay the penalty notice or make any contact with the Council, she was prosecuted. And at Wellingborough Magistrates Court on Tuesday 29 March, Dawes was found guilty in her absence of littering. She was fined £200 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,125, plus a victim surcharge of £34. A 28-day collection order was made for the total sum of £1,359. The message is clear - we will not hesitate to take action against those who think they can dump their rubbish wherever they want. There is simply no excuse for littering, and offenders will face the consequences of their actions. Cllr David Smith, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services
Discover West Northamptonshire’s history during Heritage Open Days
April 04, 2022
Discover West Northamptonshire’s history during Heritage Open Days
04 April 2022 Historic buildings, churches and venues across West Northamptonshire will be open to the public for free from Friday 9 to Sunday 18 September, as part of the national Heritage Open Days event, including exciting events and new campaigns. The initiative is a once-a-year opportunity to explore some of the area’s unique historic buildings and sites, many of which are usually restricted access or charge for entry, finding out about West Northamptonshire’s vibrant culture and heritage like never before. Register your site for the Heritage Open Days Brochure If you want to register your historic site or event for Heritage Open Days and feature in West Northamptonshire Council's promotional printed brochure for free, please email [email protected] for more information. The deadline for registrations is 6 May 2022. We will circulate copies far and wide to promote all that is taking place in the area for residents and visitors to enjoy. Attending attractions and events Look out for the brochure which will be available this summer - among the sites that have taken part in the past are Northampton's Guildhall and Holy Sepulchre Church, Blisworth's Canal Museum and Daventry Museum. Many participating venues will be linked up by the much-loved Heritage Bus Service, so visitors can enjoy a free ride on a classic bus, with buses departing from George Row in the town centre. Watch this space for more information as we plan this exciting campaign. Find out what's happening nationwide on the Heritage Open Days website .
Electrical items recycling service extended to Daventry area
April 04, 2022
Electrical items recycling service extended to Daventry area
Bins, recycling and street cleaning 04 April 2022 Residents in the Daventry area of West Northants are now able to recycle small electrical items and batteries as part of their kerbside collections. Under the scheme, people can place old electrical items no bigger than the volume of a plastic carrier bag on top of their black general waste bin for collection every three weeks. Household batteries and any small item with a plug or battery can be recycled, including hairdryers, kettles, toasters, hair straighteners, power tools, electrical toys, phones, remote controls, radios, clippers and shavers. All the items collected are then separated into different components for reuse, recycling or safe disposal. The new service brings Daventry area into line with Northampton and South Northants, where these collections are already offered. The kerbside collection of small electrical items and batteries has proven very popular in the Northampton and South Northants areas, so we’re very pleased to be able to extend this service to our residents across the Daventry area. Many of us have broken or older unwanted items to dispose of, but these items contain valuable plastics and metals that can be recovered or recycled for use in new products. There are a finite amount of precious materials on the planet, so it’s very important we reuse as many of them as we can. I’m always impressed by how quickly our residents embrace new methods of recycling, and I’m sure the people of the Daventry area will make very good use of this new service. Cllr Phil Larratt, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Highways, Transport and Waste Larger electrical items such as washing machines and fridges should be taken to household waste recycling centres or can be collected through the council’s bulky waste collection service. Car batteries and industrial batteries can be also taken to the household waste recycling centres. Find out more information about waste and recycling services across West Northamptonshire
Meet the Vikings at Abington Park Museum this Sunday  
April 01, 2022
Meet the Vikings at Abington Park Museum this Sunday  
Culture and tourism 01 April 2022 The Bifrost Guard in action Viking fans can experience life in the ‘Dark Ages’ this Sunday, 3 April, when the Bifrost Guard Viking re-enactment group set up camp at Abington Park Museum in Northampton. The group will be on site between 11am and 3pm in their Viking encampment, demonstrating striking coins, leather stamping, whittling and necklace making, as well as giving combat demonstrations at 12, 1 and 2pm. Children’s crafts, including Viking finger puppet, shield or axe making, along with dressing up and talks about Viking life, will also take place inside the museum on the day. The Bifrost Guard are known for their authentic re-enactments and knowledge, so this is a great opportunity to learn about the Viking’s ancient culture, traditions and crafts. Admission to the ‘Viking Mania’ day is free, with a small charge for craft activities. This event is taking place alongside the Valhalla Viking exhibition at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, which runs until 18 April.
Hundreds of trees planted in March to mark Queen’s Jubilee
April 01, 2022
Hundreds of trees planted in March to mark Queen’s Jubilee
Culture and tourism 01 April 2022 Community tree planting at Upton Hundreds of trees were planted across West Northamptonshire in March as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Residents, community groups and parish councillors from Upton and St Crispin’s in Northampton planted over 400 trees across the weekend of 26- 27 March in St Crispin’s Park and Upton Country Park, with the help of the Land Trust and IdVerde. Oak, Crab Apple, Birch and Rowan trees were among the sapling varieties planted, which were positioned to create thick tree canopies in future years. The parish council has also planted four mature cherry trees in each corner of Upton Square, which will be marked with special Jubilee plaques. We were keen to get involved in honouring the Queen’s reign and leaving something for future generations. Parish councils are at the heart of the community, and after the two years of Covid restrictions we’ve all endured, what better way to build back our sense of togetherness than by planting trees and getting out into nature. We’re looking forward to seeing the trees grow over many years and giving our residents something to look back on and cherish. We are thrilled to be part of the Queen’s Green Canopy and take a small place in the history of a once in a lifetime event. Cllr Nick Sturges-Alex, of Upton Parish Council Several scout groups from across Daventry have also been busy planting trees at Daventry Country Park and on the 20 March, to mark the Jubilee, they created an avenue of 24 cherry trees leading to the existing orchards. The avenue is just part of the planting work undertaken at the park by the scouts, who have already planted almost 300 trees, including Hawthorn, Hazel and Silver Birch, and 4000 spring bulbs during their monthly volunteering sessions, with the support of the park ranger and the Friends of Daventry Country Park. Commemorative oak trees have also been planted at the Northampton Army Reserve Centre by the 103rd Battalion of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and at Abington Park by the Friends of the Park, while the wellbeing garden at St Crispin’s Retirement Village now has 12 new trees to mark the Queen’s Jubilee. It's fantastic that so many community groups, organisations, businesses and residents have given their time and contributed to marking the very special occasion of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, while also enhancing the natural environment of West Northamptonshire. The next tree planting season starts in October 2022, so there is still time to make the Queen’s Green Canopy even bigger during the jubilee year and add to the thousands of trees already planted across the country. Cllr Pinder Chauhan, heading up the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative at West Northamptonshire Council Anyone planting trees can pin their location, along with a photo and their name on the Queen’s Green Canopy interactive map , which provides a permanent digital record of the Jubilee tree planting projects. Find out more information about the Queen's Green Canopy and Platinum Jubilee events taking place across West Northamptonshire during the Bank Holiday Weekend of 2 - 5 June.