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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.Councillor David Smith, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services
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.
(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.
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
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.