Schools library service

21 April 2022

Graphic showing 4 West Northamptonshire Council offices around the county

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.”

School admissions

19 April 2022

Children running in to school

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.

Homes for Ukraine

19 April 2022

Image of the Ukrainian flag flying outside the Guildhall in Northampton

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."

Community, safety and emergencies

20 April 2022

Those behind the Towcester Rocksnake pose at the installation with WNC Cheif Executive and her dog RalphCaption: (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.”

19 April 2022

Stephen Lawrence

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.

More Local News from Revolution Radio

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Firefighters support National Sprinkler Week
May 18, 2022
Firefighters support National Sprinkler Week
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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.
Incredible response to appeal for Ukraine support
April 01, 2022
Incredible response to appeal for Ukraine support
Community, safety and emergencies 01 April 2022 An incredible £23,000 has already been donated to an appeal just launched to help people fleeing war-torn Ukraine start building a new life in Northamptonshire. The appeal, co-ordinated by the Northamptonshire Community Foundation (NCF), which was set up to support disadvantaged people and communities, was launched just this week. And there are many other ways people can help with the resettlement process, by offering support through the form launched by West Northamptonshire Council yesterday (31 March). “We welcome the care, concern and generosity of local people and donors at this time. “These funds are so urgently and desperately needed to support the resettlement response on the ground and enable charities to provide a safety net in resettlement. ‘We have been working with community foundation colleagues across Europe including the Ukraine. “We have seen the response on the ground by community foundations in the Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania and how they have mobilised volunteers and collected funds to provide immediate relief and to aid refugees. “Community Foundations in the UK are also playing their part in that emergency response and that is why we are launching our Welcome Fund appeal to ensure community groups and charities preparing to welcome Ukrainian refugees have access to funds and resources to ensure families and individuals fleeing the conflict and violence are made to feel welcome, safe and well.” NCF Deputy CEO, Rachel McGrath, who is co-ordinating the newly launched appeal “The response so far to this appeal demonstrates the amazing heart and community spirit we have in this county. “At a time when people are already struggling with the increasing cost of living, for them to open their homes and their hearts to people even worse off than them is awe-inspiring. “We’re working closely with our partners, drawing on the invaluable experience we gained during the Afghan resettlement programme, to ensure we meet the needs of these arrivals. “We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the necessary services are in place for families as they begin to settle in with their hosts.” Cllr David Smith, Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services Local authorities have been tasked with co-ordinating the Government’s activity, particularly around the Homes for Ukraine scheme. Council staff in west Northamptonshire are in the process of contacting sponsors, who will be hosting Ukrainian visitors, about necessary property and security checks. The council is currently: Training staff to carry out initial property checks Seeking to recruit resettlement support workers to help Ukrainians and their households access services and navigate systems Setting up a dedicated Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) process to carry out the necessary security checks If anyone would like further information about how to sign up for the Homes for Ukraine scheme, we would currently direct them to the Government’s website in the first instance .
Hundreds of trees planted in March to mark Queen’s Jubile
April 01, 2022
Hundreds of trees planted in March to mark Queen’s Jubile
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.
Have your say on what your future Market Square should host
March 31, 2022
Have your say on what your future Market Square should host
Business support 31 March 2022 We are inviting people to give their views on what events and other features Northampton Market Square should host following its redevelopment. A key part of the project is to help create a large public space which can be used for a variety of purposes, and we would like to hear what people want to see there . It could be anything from musical or theatrical events to big screens for major sports fixtures, plus individual ideas. We would also like to hear what features, in addition to the existing market stalls, would bring visitors into the town centre, such as specialist markets and wide-ranging leisure activities. Cllr Lizzy Bowen, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “As part of our wider strategy for Northampton town centre, we’re going to deliver an amazing events space in Market Square. “It’s a key civic space and one of the historic locations we’ve highlighted in our City Status bid, as it is the second largest market square in the country and has stood since 1235. “We already have some great ideas about what we can do with it, including some of the hugely popular events we already host like Diwali and the Christmas lights switch-on. “The way people use town centres has changed drastically, they’re no longer primarily about retail, people now want to experience fantastic leisure and cultural events too. “ Many of you responded to our previous consultation on the future of Market Square, which resulted in our outline plans. “Now, we want to hear some of the fantastic ideas you have, as this is your Market Square and should host the kinds of things you want to see here.” Views can be given in an online survey which should take no more than a few minutes to fill in, so people are encouraged to take some time to share their ideas. The survey opens today (Thursday 31 March) and will run until the end of April, and team representatives will be in the town centre with a street survey from Thursday 7 to Saturday 9 April. There will also be a display at the Grosvenor Shopping centre from 7 April to 4 May outlining the latest plans for how Market Square look once redevelopment completes in 2024.
Council’s first birthday: a year of challenges and achievements
March 31, 2022
Council’s first birthday: a year of challenges and achievements
Councillors and democracy 31 March 2022 West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is turning a year old this week, with bold first birthday resolutions for improving local services and communities in the years ahead. The unitary authority replaced the previous district, borough and county councils on 1 April last year and has since been making good progress on its fresh start to deliver better local public services across Daventry, Northampton and South Northants areas. Born from the biggest restructure of local government in Northamptonshire in over 40 years, the Council, having guided communities through the challenges of the Covid pandemic, now heads into its second year with a balanced budget and additional investment in services ahead. Future transformation plans are also taking shape, including: progressing work to join up health and social care services and working collaboratively to help people live their best lives work on our Anti-Poverty plans and skills agenda an ambitious new approach to making West Northants a more sustainable and environmentally friendly place to live and work, to protect and improve the local environment, economy and society for future generations Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council, said: "Despite the significant challenges of shaping our new Council during a global pandemic, we are really proud of everything that’s been achieved in our first year, as well as the great spirit and resilience of our communities and their continued support along the way. "We’ve worked hard to shape a fresh vision for our area and have made good progress towards our priorities for making the West Northants a great place to live, work, visit and thrive. We know we’re still near the beginning of our journey and there’s much more work to be done. "We have recently launched our Big Conversation too as the next steps in our journey are not just about delivering against our existing corporate plan but making sure that we are addressing the things that matter most to residents and getting their input to what works and what needs to change. "But we have had a great start to our life as a new Council and we’re committed to building on that for the benefit of residents and businesses in the year ahead." What WNC has been doing during its first year Since last April the Council has delivered a broad range of services, projects and activities as part of its six top priorities for making the area a great place to live, work visit and thrive – here are just a few of the highlights: Priority: Improved Life Chances Supporting and guiding residents and businesses through the Covid pandemic Continuing the improvement journey in children’s services as recognised by Ofsted Progressing plans to join up health and social care services Helping the most vulnerable including free school meals, funds to help households with food and energy bills, resettling Afghan families and beginning to co-ordinate the Government’s Ukraine response locally Developing our Anti-Poverty Strategy with partner organisations and charities Continuing to build high quality council homes Council Tax reduction scheme and improving financial support for care leavers Allocating school places and proposals for a new secondary school Proposal for Moulton Staging a range of events to celebrate our communities, equality and diversity – including the Male Role Model & Inspirational Women awards Awareness and commemoration days and events – IDAHOBIT, Pride, Armed Forces Day, International Day of Disabilities and Black History Month Developing the Armed Forces Covenant and establishing new armed forces hubs New customer experience strategy to improve how residents access our services Priority: Green and Clean places Shaping our new sustainability goals - to net zero the Council’s own emissions by 2030 and those of residents and businesses by 2045 Retaining Green Flag awards for our high-quality parks Improving Towcester Watermeadows and encouraging community tree planting £6.2m community flood protection scheme Installing new electric charge points across West Northants Crackdowns and prosecutions on environmental offenders, from fly-tipping and food safety to Trading Standards New litter charter and community litter-picking initiatives Grants for landowners to tackle fly tipping Priority: Economic Development Submitting a bid for city status for Northampton Securing £37m funding for regenerating Northampton town centre and Market Square Delivering Daventry's new cinema complex Redeveloping Brackley Library and delivering our award-winning ‘For the Love of Books’ reading challenge to over a thousand residents Consulting on shaping our Strategic Plan Supporting businesses and start-ups with funding, advice and support Priority: Connected Communities Embarking on a major roads improvement programme Making plans and funding bids to improve bus services Extending Northampton's public e-scooter scheme Shaping and progressing our future highways maintenance service and transport infrastructure Priority: Thriving villages and towns Providing accommodation and support for rough sleepers Localising planning arrangements and simplified, more effective planning enforcement Investing in a host of initiatives to make communities safer Distributing grant funding for community and voluntary groups Re-opening the refurbished and extended Northampton Museum and Art Gallery Showcasing our heritage with open days and supporting the Go Northamptonshire destination campaign Redevelopment of Avenue campus into 170 new homes Working with parishes on Neighbourhood development plans and conservation area appraisals Priority: Robust Resource Management Capping Council Tax rises at £99 per year On target deliver our first year on budget, and setting a balanced budget for the year ahead and making robust plans to tackle financial challenges Working to join up local services across the whole West Northants area, to make them better and more cost-effective Read more about the Council’s Vision, Corporate Plan and priorities .
Get involved in the Great British Spring Clean 
March 30, 2022
Get involved in the Great British Spring Clean 
Bins, recycling and street cleaning 30 March 2022 Daventry litter pickers in action Communities across West Northamptonshire are being encouraged to get involved in the Great British Spring Clean, which runs until Sunday, 10 April. 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, effective and well-supported event. Community litter picks have already kicked off in Daventry, with local residents and volunteers from the Town Council and the Tesco staff team cleaning up the Grange Estate and the town centre on Saturday 26 March. Councillor Phil Larratt, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste, said: “The forthcoming Easter school break is an ideal time to get out and spring clean your neighbourhood, so please do get in touch with us if you would like to borrow a litter picking kit. “We really appreciate the great work of volunteers 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 them. “By working together and maintaining community spirit, we send a strong message that littering is not acceptable.” Anyone wishing to borrow a litter picking kit can find out more information on the council’s website , or email [email protected] . All sacks of litter collected from public land will be picked up by the council. In Northampton, the Town Centre BID has organised a tidy day on Monday, 4 April, when business owners will team up with volunteers and the Mayor of Northampton, to help clean up the town centre. Mark Mullen, Northampton Town Centre BID operations manager, said: “We always want to make sure Northampton is looking its very best and The Great British Spring Clean is the perfect opportunity to get everyone involved and playing their part in a town centre tidy up. “If everyone makes a concerted effort to dispose of their rubbish in the right way our town centres can stay looking their best.” Daventry Town Council organise monthly community litter picks and the dates can be found on their website . Litter picking volunteers are encouraged to post photos of themselves and the bags of litter they collect on social media and tag in the Council @WestNorthants, so we can share and celebrate their great work.
Pledge your support for a more Sustainable West Northants 
March 30, 2022
Pledge your support for a more Sustainable West Northants 
Your council 30 March 2022 We are encouraging residents and businesses to make personal pledges on how they will do their bit to make West Northants a more sustainable place to live and work. This week saw the launch of Sustainable West Northants – an ambitious new approach towards protecting and improving the local environment, economy and society for future generations. Working together The initiative, which is being spearheaded by West Northamptonshire Council and partners across the area, aims to ensure everyone is working towards the same objectives and targets for developing sustainability, which are being mapped against global goals set by the United Nations. With local people playing a key role in future plans, we are asking residents and businesses across West Northants to share your own steps and ideas to help make a difference, by making a Sustainability Pledge and inspiring others to get involved. How to make your pledge You can make your sustainability pledges online at sustainable.westnorthants.gov.uk - which will help the Council to measure efforts taking place across the area to protect and enhance West Northants. Our sustainability pledges We have also this week unveiled three key Sustainability Pledges – our primary commitments alongside the beginnings of a bold new strategy for steering forward resources and actions – with more pledges expected to be developed in the future. They are to: Net Zero the Council’s own emissions by 2030 and those of residents and businesses by 2045 Take a community leadership role for Sustainability in West Northants Ensure all Council strategies and policies are aligned to and contribute to the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Being sustainable is all about living in a way that protects our natural resources, improves our environment, society and economy and provides opportunities for future generations. We are embarking on a bold new approach to make West Northamptonshire a more sustainable place to live and work, but this will only happen if all individuals, businesses and organisations team up for change. Becoming more sustainable does not happen in isolation. If we work together, we will achieve together. We all act sustainably from time to time, whether walking to the shops, donating clothes or repairing instead of replacing something, and if we commit to making these actions and sharing our ideas, then we can really make a difference. I would encourage residents, businesses and other organisations to visit our website and pledge what they will be doing towards a more sustainable lifestyle, and inspire others to come on this journey too.” Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council We recently signed up to the UK100 Net Zero pledge , focusing on tackling the climate emergency and reducing carbon emissions. To make your sustainability pledge and find out more about how to get involved, visit sustainable.westnorthants.gov.uk
West Northants Council to provide over £1,000,000 support to help those most in need
March 30, 2022
West Northants Council to provide over £1,000,000 support to help those most in need
Community, safety and emergencies 30 March 2022 West Northants Council will be providing those most in need with immediate financial help in the form of vouchers that can be redeemed against shopping costs in a range of supermarkets. With the recent and ongoing rises in the cost of living, it is often the most vulnerable and disadvantaged that have the hardest choices to make, sometimes as stark as “heating” or “eating," Using a grant provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), West Northants Council will be providing a one-off payment in the form of vouchers. All previous recipients of the Household Support Fund fuel voucher scheme which has operated from December 2021 will receive a payment of up to £80. All house owner/renter recipients of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTR), both working and non- working and including pensioners will receive a voucher payment of £50. The vouchers can be redeemed against shopping costs at a range of supermarkets but must be redeemed by 30th April 2022. All eligible recipients will start to receive a notification together with the voucher(s) from 30th March 2022. Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council said “We are all seeing our cost-of-living rise, but for some this can mean having to decide if they are going to eat or heat their home and have hot water or have electricity or gas to cook with. “In total, we will be providing support to 20, 060 individuals. We are issuing these vouchers to those people who are most in need, hopefully helping to alleviate the financial pressures they are experiencing in meeting their increased fuel, heating and food bills.” Ends Note to editors The Government’s Household Support Fund was set up to support those most in need during the winter period. West Northamptonshire’s allocation of this grant funding was £2,599,628 and the DWP gave local authorities a wide discretion on how these funds should be used, primarily to support households in the most need with food, energy and water bills, as well as essential costs related to those items and with wider essential costs.
Fire Service warns of consequences following a spate of deliberate fires
March 28, 2022
Fire Service warns of consequences following a spate of deliberate fires
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service are warning people that deliberately lighting fires could result in police taking action, following a spate of arsons this month. During the first three weeks of March, Northamptonshire firefighters responded to 18 deliberately lit fires in Corby and Wellingborough alone. This anti-social behaviour impacts communities, costs money, pollutes the environment and could lead to a criminal record for anyone involved – as well as being potentially life threatening. Intentional fire setting is dangerous and as the warmer and dryer weather approaches, the risks of fire increase. Even a small outdoor fire can spread quickly and become a serious risk to life. Andy Evans, Arson Reduction Officer for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Our firefighters spend hours trying to stop deliberate fires throughout the year. “Last year we saw a steep rise in deliberate fire setting as we moved into warmer months and approached the school holidays. We’ve been working hard in schools and communities to educate people and raise awareness not only of the dangers of fire setting, but the potential impact on an individual’s future and job prospects if they have a criminal record for arson. “Attending deliberately lit fires also affects our ability to respond to more serious and possibly life-threatening incidents such as house fires or road traffic accidents. Arson is a crime, and the consequences can be severe for those involved.” FireStoppers provides an anonymous way to report anything you know about deliberate firesetting. It’s managed by the independent charity CrimeStoppers. Reports of arson passed to FireStoppers will be investigated. Call 0800 169 5558 or complete the online form at www.firestoppersreport.co.uk if you have any information about deliberate fire setting. If an incident requires an emergency response, please call 999.
Celebrate Mother's Day in a Covid-safe way, public health directors urge
March 25, 2022
Celebrate Mother's Day in a Covid-safe way, public health directors urge
Coronavirus (COVID-19) 25 March 2022 'Celebrate Mother’s Day Covid-safely and make sure you don’t give more than flowers and chocolate' is the message from Northamptonshire’s interim Directors of Public Health as numbers rise for the fourth consecutive week and a further 6,020 residents test positive As cases continue on an upward trajectory and rise by a further 14% this week, Public Health officials are keen to remind local residents to continue to practice Covid-safe behaviours, particularly on Mother’s Day as people will be mixing closely. They are issuing a reminder to residents to Lateral Flow Test before meeting up, meet outdoors in the sunshine if possible and to remember to wash their hands to protect against the virus. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic many residents will be sadly missing their mothers this Sunday, a day which will be very difficult. The virus is unfortunately still rapidly circulating in our community, and we must now do all we can to protect our dear ones. Whilst vaccination continues to offer protection, people are still getting sick, being hospitalised and dying. If you are meeting up this weekend, make sure you take a lateral flow test beforehand and practise good hand hygiene to help reduce the chance of passing Covid-19 on to others. This week marks two years on from the first lockdown. Since that time 1,811 residents in Northamptonshire have died due to the coronavirus. We would love to say that Covid-19 is no longer a problem, but we are still seeing hospitalisations and this week 12 residents died within 28 days of a positive COVID -19 test. It has not gone away. With the virus still in circulation it’s vitally important that we do what we can to protect ourselves and those we around us. Let's all stay Covid-cautious on Mother’s Day and every other day and keep looking out for one another. Sally Burns and John Ashton - Interim Directors of Public Health for West and North Northamptonshire Councils Covid-19 in the county this week Analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 14 - 20 March 2022, shows: 6,020 residents tested positive for Covid-19 this week. Of this number, 636 were reinfection cases. Last week’s number was 5,300 with 586 reinfection cases. ‘Reinfections’ are a new measurement now appearing in the county’s weekly data surveillance report and are defined as, ‘an infection of COVID- 19 from any of the variants after 90 days from the date of the last positive test.’ Northamptonshire’s infection rate per 100,000 population is 801.2 – up from last week’s number of 607.1 and similar to the national average of 807.7, which is also up on last week, when it was 544.6 West Northamptonshire’s rate per 100,000 population is 777.4. The highest rates locally are South Northamptonshire (919.7) and East Northamptonshire (915.1) 12 people died in Northamptonshire within 28 days of a positive test, a slight decrease from last week. More females than males tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 28 days The 30–39-year-old age group had the most positive cases and experienced the most reinfections Over the last 4-week period the number of cases amongst people aged 60+ increased by 8.7%, from 3307 to 3596 The latest data shows a total of 128 COVID-19 patients occupied hospital beds in Northamptonshire on 22 March 2022, which is a 35% increase in the number of Covid-19 patients in the previous week (95 on 15 March 2022). View the weekly Covid-19 Surveillance Report .
Joining forces to celebrate neurodiversity – Part 3
March 25, 2022
Joining forces to celebrate neurodiversity – Part 3
Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service have released a short series of films to coincide with Neurodiversity Celebration Week which runs from 21-27 March. The next video in our series of films for Neurodiversity Celebration Week focuses on Autism and features neurodivergent firefighters, police officers and staff talking about their personal journeys, reflecting on their strengths – problem solving, profound empathy and how valuable this is to the emergency services and to the communities they serve. For Police recruitment opportunities, visit www.northants.police.uk/careers For information on careers in the Fire Service, visit the Careers section on Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service – Making Northamptonshire Safer for all (northantsfire.gov.uk) You can learn more about Neurodiversity Celebration Week and get you and/or your organisation involved here www.neurodiversityweek.com
Cadets scheme helping young people to forge career in fire service
March 25, 2022
Cadets scheme helping young people to forge career in fire service
The question of working out what you want to do for a living in life can often be a difficult one to address – but for young people considering joining the fire service the excellent Cadet scheme can help set them on their way. The Northamptonshire Emergency Services Cadets helps to arm young people aged between 13 and 18 with some of the key skills they would need to join any of the emergency services – whether it’s as a firefighter, a police officer or a paramedic. Cadets attend weekly sessions in term time to learn the skills of the trade, as well as volunteering within their local community to make a positive impact and take part in events and parades. When cadets turn 16 they can then specialise in one of the three emergency services. [embedded content] Michelle Bates is the Youth Engagement Officer for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and is the Unit Commander for the specialist Fire Cadets. “I base the skills they learn on the on-call firefighter curriculum with a bit of a twist, because of course some things we can’t do for health and safety,” says Michelle. “They will learn basic hose skills, getting water on in the drill yard, they will put up ladders and build dams, knots and lines. They have also been to Chelveston to our fire training centre where they have worn breathing apparatus and they have studied water rescue and road safety. “All of the prevention messages that we like to get out into the community are instilled into our cadets, and hopefully they go away and tell their friends, colleagues and family about some of the things they have done and spread those safety messages.” Michelle puts the cadets through their paces with the help of a small but dedicated team. There are ten volunteer leaders, nine Operational Youth Instructors and the fire service Prevention Team staff who help to assist. But it is helping young people develop their skillset which is of more importance than necessarily finding new recruits for the Fire Service. She said: “There are a few in the current cohort that are interested in the emergency services and some of them currently have application forms in. But we can give them transferable skills which they can take into any working career. Things like team building and first aid for example, whichever job you choose to do you will need those types of skills. So, it’s hopefully something they can take away with them into their career, whether it’s in the emergency services or not.” One cadet who does want to become a firefighter though is 18-year-old Bradley Roberts, from Kettering. Now in his second year specialising in fire, he says the cadet scheme gives young people like himself more confidence to take into their general lives. He said: “I have done a lot of volunteering and have done training on animal rescue, water rescue and a drill yard supervision. “I chose fire specialism because I have always wanted to be a firefighter. I want to help people on their worst days and be there for people when they need us. I just wanted to make sure that it was the right career and now I know it’s perfect for me.” Asked whether he would tell other young people to sign up as a Cadet, he said: “Go for it. It’s amazing and you get lots of opportunities. It really boosts your confidence in every single way and you can continue to go along that career path if you want to.” It’s a sentiment echoed by Michelle Bates, who adds: “I may be biased but I think it’s a great opportunity for young people to do something different. I think the Cadets themselves enjoy the experience of doing something out of the norm, not just sitting on a games console for hours at a time. It’s really good fun, active and sociable – and we would love to see anybody new come along and find out whether it’s for them.” To find out more about the Emergency Services Cadets, whether it’s signing up as a Cadet or becoming an adult volunteer leader within the scheme, please visit www.nescadets.co.uk
Homes for Ukraine scheme co-ordination in Northants
March 25, 2022
Homes for Ukraine scheme co-ordination in Northants
Community, safety and emergencies 25 March 2022 West and North Northamptonshire Councils are supporting the Government in its efforts to help resettle refugees from Ukraine . Some of the details are still being worked through but it has been confirmed that once refugees have been matched with host families, they can begin the visa application process. The Government is carrying out the visa checks and once these are cleared, applicants will be given leave to travel to the UK. Local authorities are being provided with £10,500 per person relocated to their area, from which they will be required to cover a number of things including: Assessing the host properties Carrying out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks on hosts – enhanced checks will be required for homes which will be hosting children or vulnerable adults Providing immediate financial assistance, potentially until access to benefits and work entitlement is arranged Continuing to support the household over the first 12 months and help with access to services and integration into UK systems and processes Partner agencies are gearing up to help support on a number of other fronts such as access to health services, social care, and education. “Our communities have an amazing track record in welcoming and supporting new people to the area, and this is no exception. “I’m astounded by the kindness and generosity everyone is showing and I would urge people to think carefully about the commitment they are making in registering for the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme. “Many of us can only imagine the huge toll the war in Ukraine will be taking on its people, many of whom have been displaced by fierce fighting. “Everyone who relocates here will have immediate needs which have to be met, and many will also have long-term support requirements as a result of their experiences. “We and our partners will do all we can to help refugees through this extremely traumatic and distressing time.” Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services “We’ve all seen the images on the news of the devastation and chaos which is being wreaked on Ukraine, so it’s only right that we do what we can to support people seeking solace here in the UK. “In times such as these the people of North Northants show tremendous generosity and kindness and the people from Ukraine will be made to feel very welcome. “Of course, this resettlement will need to be done properly and in a co-ordinated way and that’s where we play a role in ensuring that both short-term requirements and long-term needs are met.” Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of North Northamptonshire Council
Applications now open to be part of Northampton Pride 2022
March 24, 2022
Applications now open to be part of Northampton Pride 2022
Community, safety and emergencies 24 March 2022 Performers, food vendors, stallholders, volunteers, and community groups are invited to take part in this year’s Northampton Pride which will take place in the Market Square on Sunday, 26 June from 11am to 4pm. The event which is organised by the Northampton Pride Committee and West Northants Council’s LGBTQ+ and Allies Forum, celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and encourages acceptance and equality for all. Previous celebrations have seen organisations such as Q Space, The Lowdown, Outlaws and Kinky Boots, Northampton Leisure Trust and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust taking part by holding pop-up shops. The Pride Parade, which has become a central part of the celebrations, will also be taking place as part of this year’s event, starting in the Market Square at 11am and finishing back in the Market Square, where live performances will be held. Cllr David Smith, West Northamptonshire Council's Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement said: “Northampton Pride is a time to come together to celebrate and embrace diversity and inclusion across West Northants. “We value the contribution all communities make to our county and having a local Pride festival sends a strong message that diversity doesn’t just exist in West Northants – it’s actively celebrated. “It also sends an important signal that prejudice will not be tolerated. As a local authority we will continue to fight against all forms of discrimination and lead the way in promoting equality for everyone." The event, now in its 5th year, offers local groups, organisations and performers the chance to show their commitment to creating a tolerant and fair society for all. Cllr Smith went onto say: “Northampton Pride and its supporters have grown year on year, and I am looking forward to seeing lots of new faces getting involved this year." Local bands, performers, small businesses, and residents who would like to take part in this year’s event can register their interest by emailing [email protected] . Northampton Pride is a free event that relies on the generous support of groups and organisations. Sponsorship opportunities are available to anyone who wants to support the event and demonstrate their commitment to inclusion for everyone. For more details on what sponsorship packages are available, please email [email protected] .
Joining forces to celebrate neurodiversity – Part 2
March 24, 2022
Joining forces to celebrate neurodiversity – Part 2
Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service have released a short series of films to coincide with Neurodiversity Celebration Week which runs from 21-27 March. The next video in our series of films for Neurodiversity Celebration Week focuses on Dyslexia and features neurodivergent firefighters, police officers and staff talking about their personal journeys, reflecting on their strengths – problem solving, profound empathy and how valuable this is to the emergency services and to the communities they serve. For Police recruitment opportunities, visit www.northants.police.uk/careers For information on careers in the Fire Service, visit the Careers section on Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service – Making Northamptonshire Safer for all (northantsfire.gov.uk) You can learn more about Neurodiversity Celebration Week and get you and/or your organisation involved here www.neurodiversityweek.com
West Northamptonshire Council finalises its budget for maintained nursery schools
March 24, 2022
West Northamptonshire Council finalises its budget for maintained nursery schools
Schools and education 24 March 2022 Following a consultation with its five maintained nursery schools (MNS), West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has now finalised its budget settlement for MNSs for the financial year 2022 -23. All five MNSs participated in the consultation and with their input a funding formula based mainly on pupil hours but also taking account of deprivation, based in the index of deprivation (IMD) in catchment areas was used to set the budgets. Cllr Fiona Baker, WNC’s Cabinet member for children, families and education, said: “I would like to thank all the heads and chairs of governors who took part in the consultation and for their very helpful feedback. It has been a challenging and complex process and I am pleased that we have now reached agreement on a final budget settlement. “As part of the budget settlement, all five MNSs within West Northants benefit from a £718,000 funding supplement provided by the government through the Dedicated Schools Grant. At present, Camrose Nursery School receives £259,000 from this grant, some of which is used to provide valued services to its local community outside normal curriculum hours. This has been agreed thanks to the generosity of the head teachers at the other three nursery schools (Parklands is federated with Camrose). “WNC aims to achieve a more equitable and representative sharing of the subsidy funding across all MNSs over the next three years, requiring the Camrose Nursery School’s supplement to be reduced over time to help deliver this. “There will be further discussions with all MNSs during the 2022/23 financial year about the formula to be used from 2023/24 and beyond and the council will continue to seek external funding in order that as many children as possible in all deprived areas can benefit from ‘wrap-around-services’.” To enable Camrose Nursery School to plan its reductions to its future years’ budgets, WNC has allocated it £95,000 as a one-off contribution from a central underspend of the Dedicated Schools Grant. The head teachers and chairs of governors from Gloucester, Wallace Road and Whitehills nursery schools, who have participated in the consultation on the budget, have acknowledged the plans to move to more equitable funding and have commented: “We are happy with the three-year timescale for the implementation of the maintained nursery school formula in full, as we recognise the difficulties that would be caused to Camrose if it had been immediate. The head teacher and chair of governors of Camrose nursery school said: “We understand fully the need for the grant to be distributed in a way that is fair to all maintained nursery schools, and are grateful to our colleagues for their generosity in agreeing to spread the budget reduction that Camrose will experience over three years. “We are also grateful to the council for allocating a one-off grant to assist us in the first year of the transition. However, we want to protect the additional services we currently offer and will be seeking to work as a nursery, and with the council, to identify possible additional sources of funding to continue to provide these.”
New vehicle maintenance contract agreed for South Northants Area
March 24, 2022
New vehicle maintenance contract agreed for South Northants Area
Bins, recycling and street cleaning 24 March 2022 Bin lorries, street sweepers, and other environmental services vehicles in the South Northants area of West Northamptonshire will be looked after by Cherwell District Council mechanics under a new partnership arrangement. Cherwell’s mechanics will be looking after a fleet which includes 22 heavy goods vehicles, one road sweeper and 10 smaller vehicles, serving around 41,000 households and 600 businesses. The vehicles are similar to Cherwell’s own fleet, and so are familiar to their maintenance staff. The decision to award the three-year contract to Cherwell was made by our Cabinet in December . It marks the resumption of a relationship that goes back to 2014, when Cherwell’s environmental services team went into partnership with South Northamptonshire Council. The length of the contract means it will be up for renewal at the same time as the contract in the Daventry area with West Northamptonshire Norse. This will allow an opportunity to look at the future provision of services in the Daventry and South Northants areas at that stage. A wider West Northamptonshire contract can only be looked at when the Veolia contract in Northampton comes up for renewal in 2027/28.
Celebrating English Tourism Week in West Northamptonshire
March 23, 2022
Celebrating English Tourism Week in West Northamptonshire
23 March 2022 People are being encouraged to explore some of West Northamptonshire’s fabulous attractions during English Tourism Week (and all year round). Running through to this Sunday, 27 March, the national campaign aims to celebrate England’s vibrant, exciting tourism sector. The theme for this year’s English Tourism Week is ‘You’re Welcome’, and we want to encourage visitors and residents alike to experience all West Northamptonshire it has to offer. From historic homes and landmarks, to parks and gardens, museums, galleries and theatres, and award-winning restaurants, this area offers a fantastic variety of attractions for everyone to explore. We are showcasing a selection of those attractions on our social media channels this week, and would also urge you to visit our Culture and Tourism pages for a host of ideas for great days out. The aim of English Tourism Week is to send a message that our tourism industry is ready to welcome visitors and provide an outstanding experience. That is certainly true of West Northamptonshire, so we want to take this opportunity to promote this our area as a wonderful place to stay and visit, and I would encourage people to come and explore what we have to offer. This area is a hidden gem of a staycation destination in the country and you’re welcome here all year round. It’s important to always think local and support local businesses. Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Housing, Culture and Leisure You can follow our Instagram , TikTok , Facebook and Twitter channels for more ideas, and show your support for your favourite local attractions using the hashtag #EnglishTourismWeek22. Please tag the Council @westnorthants in your posts so we can share them. We would also love to see your photos of your favourite local attractions. Please send them to [email protected] , so we can share them with others on social media.
Update following fire in Rectory Farm, Northampton
March 22, 2022
Update following fire in Rectory Farm, Northampton
**Correction: In our previous message we said that the man who had died was 29. We would like to apologise as we now know that he is in his 30s.** A man has died following a fire at a domestic property in Rectory Farm, Northampton yesterday (March 20). Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to reports of a fire at Olden Road at 1.34pm. The first fire engine arrived shortly afterwards and found the property well alight, with smoke billowing from a further three neighbouring properties. Initially two hose reels, two 45mm jets and two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were deployed to tackle the blaze. Orders were made for further pumps to attend, while police and ambulance were also called as well as the electrical and gas boards. All properties were searched and evacuated. Sadly however a 29-year-old man was confirmed to have died having been discovered outside one of the properties, and the coroner has been informed. Efforts by firefighters meant that the fire had been extinguished by 3pm with crews then damping down the area and the aerial appliance from Moulton removing a number of roof tiles to secure the safety of the scene. After damping down had been completed, and gas and electrics had been isolated to the property, firefighters continued to monitor any hotspots using thermal imaging cameras. The cameras identified a small pocket of fire in one of the roof spaces that had restarted later on, but this was quickly extinguished using a hose reel jet just before 7pm. Fire crews remained at the scene until just after midnight, with Northamptonshire Police then providing a scene guard overnight. Overall two appliances from Moulton attended the incident, as well as fire engines from The Mounts, Mereway, Wellingborough, Rushden, Brixworth and Rothwell. Initial investigations to determine the cause of the blaze were started last night, and this morning firefighters returned to the scene alongside colleagues from Northamptonshire Police to continue those investigations. Station Manager Ronnie Rochester, who attended the fire, said: “Our immediate thoughts are with the family and friends of the gentleman who sadly died at the scene. “This was a very harrowing incident for both our firefighters and the members of public who witnessed this. We will be offering welfare support to our firefighters and will also do our best to help anyone else who witnessed it. “We would like to extend our thanks to those members of public who quickly alerted our control room and provided us with important information which informed our response.”
Joining forces to celebrate neurodiversity
March 22, 2022
Joining forces to celebrate neurodiversity
Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service have released a short series of films to coincide with Neurodiversity Celebration Week which runs from 21-27 March. The three films feature neurodivergent police officers, firefighters and staff talking about their personal journeys, their observations, and the strengths their unique perspectives bring to the organisations and to the communities they serve. Neurodiversity Week is a worldwide initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences. It aims to transform how neurodivergent individuals are perceived and supported through education and employment. The Week is about raising awareness, increasing acceptance, and understanding of neurodiversity and celebrating neurodivergent people. The term neurodiversity refers to the diversity of all people but is particularly connected to neurological and developmental conditions such as Dyslexia, DCD (Dyspraxia), Dyscalculia, Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The three films produced by the Police and Fire Service explore ADHD, Autism and Dyslexia and provide a real-life insight into how each condition brings different strengths and talents into the workforce. Today, the first of the short series of videos being released focuses on Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorder (ADHD). Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Mold said: “The first challenge for any organisation lies in breaking the stigma that neurodiversity is a disability, rather it provides an opportunity to see things from difference perspectives. It’s important to me that both the Police Force and Fire Service value individual differences, nurturing strengths, abilities and talents to enable the individual to flourish and both organisations to benefit from diversity of thought and perspective. “I am very grateful to those people who have participated in these films and hope that through them we are able to elevate discussions, raise awareness and develop a deeper understanding of neurodiversity in the workplace. In doing this, I believe we will be able to better respond to the challenges we face in protecting people and communities now and in the future.” In the Police, Fire and Crime Plan 2021 – 2026, the Commissioner has asked Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service to ensure that they welcome people from diverse backgrounds and that they reflect the diverse communities they serve. For Police recruitment opportunities, visit www.northants.police.uk/careers For information on careers in the Fire Service, visit the Careers section on Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service – Making Northamptonshire Safer for all (northantsfire.gov.uk) You can learn more about Neurodiversity Celebration Week and get you and/or your organisation involved here www.neurodiversityweek.com
Warning over unlicensed waste carriers following prosecution
March 21, 2022
Warning over unlicensed waste carriers following prosecution
Environmental health 21 March 2022 A woman who paid someone £70 to take her old fridge away has been ordered to pay more than £2,000 in fines and court costs after it was fly-tipped. Neighbourhood Wardens from West Northamptonshire Council traced the fridge, together with a number of other household items, back to Farhiya Amir after they were found dumped in shrubbery near her home in Melbury Lane, Northampton last May. Miss Amir (34) admitted she had paid two boys £70 to take the rubbish away and was issued with a £400 fixed penalty notice. But after ignoring the notice she was brought before Wellingborough Magistrates last Tuesday, where she pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the domestic waste duty of care requirements, and was fined £400 and ordered to pay court costs of £1,700 plus a £40 victim surcharge. Under the duty of care, anyone paying someone to dispose of waste must ensure they use a reputable business with a waste carriers’ licence and documentation to prove it. We’re doing all we can to target fly-tippers, however residents can play a role in this too, by ensuring they only use licensed, responsible operators to take away their rubbish. Please be on your guard against unlicensed waste operators offering to take away unwanted items on the cheap. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s likely they are not paying for the waste to be properly disposed of, and will simply dump it instead. Do not be left paying the price. Please protect yourself by making sure that anyone you pay to take your rubbish away is properly licensed to do so. Cllr David Smith, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services Also fined by the Court last Tuesday was Lola Declemente (21) of Broughton Place in Eastfield, Northampton, who was found guilty in her absence of littering and fined £250 and ordered to pay £1,300 in legal costs plus a £34 victim surcharge. The court heard that Miss Declemente had ignored a £150 littering fine issued to her by Neighbourhood Wardens after she dumped two black sacks of rubbish in Eastfield last September.
Please remain Covid-cautious, say interim Public Health Directors
March 18, 2022
Please remain Covid-cautious, say interim Public Health Directors
Coronavirus (COVID-19) 18 March 2022 'Remain ‘COVID-cautious’ in your daily lives as infections are on the rise once again,' - that’s the message from Northamptonshire’s interim Directors of Public Health as a further 5,300 residents test positive. As numbers go up by 51% this week, Public Health officials locally are reiterating current Government guidance in a bid to reduce the risk of catching and passing on COVID-19 by encouraging residents to: Get vaccinated Let fresh air in if meeting indoors, or meeting outside Wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, especially where you come into contact with people you do not usually meet, when rates of transmission are high Try to stay at home if you are unwell Take a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms, and staying at home and avoiding contact with other people if you test positive Wash your hands and following advice to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.’ Also, while there is no longer a legal requirement for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) infection to self-isolate, if you have any of the main symptoms or a positive test result, the local and national public health advice is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. With COVID-19 still in circulation it’s vitally important that we do what we can to protect ourselves and those around us. This week’s rates are clear evidence that the pandemic has not ended. Let's all stay COVID cautious and keep looking out for one another. We are encouraging people in our community to get their lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, practise good hand hygiene and to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive. All this helps reduce the chance of passing COVID-19 on to others. The rising case rates over recent weeks and particularly this week at 51%, are an important reminder that, although legal restrictions have ended, COVID-19 has not gone away. We urge people to remain cautious in their day to day lives and to get vaccinated and have the booster or fourth dose when invited. Employers can also help by promoting ventilation, facilitating outdoor or well-spaced working areas, encouraging the use of face coverings, and supporting sick staff to stay at home. Sally Burns and John Ashton - Interim Directors of Public Health for West and North Northamptonshire Councils To book a booster or fourth dose, those who are eligible should visit the NHS website or call 119. Alternatively, people can visit a local drop-in clinic Covid-19 in the county this week An analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 7 - 13 March 2022, shows: 5,300 residents tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Of this number, 586 were reinfection cases. Last week’s number was 3,486 with 369 reinfection cases. Northamptonshire’s infection rate per 100,000 population is 607.1 – up from last’ week’s number of 389.2 and significantly higher than the national average of 544.6. West Northamptonshire’s rate per 100,000 population is 626.3. The highest rates locally are South Northamptonshire (731.3) and Kettering (653.4) 11 people died in Northamptonshire within 28 days of a positive test, an increase from last week. More women than men tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 28 days. The age group with the most positive cases was 30-39. 30–39-year-old women are the group with the most reinfections, followed by 40–49-year-old women. A total of 95 COVID-19 patients occupied hospital beds in Northamptonshire on 15 March 2022, which is a 6% increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in the previous week (90 on 8 March 2022). View the weekly Covid-19 Surveillance Report
Life-saving water training delivered to Billing Aquadrome staff
March 18, 2022
Life-saving water training delivered to Billing Aquadrome staff
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue (NFRS) has delivered life-saving training to staff at Billing Aquadrome on rescuing someone in difficulty in the water. The team from NFRS, in partnership with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), visited ‘The Venue’ at Billing Aquadrome on Friday 11 th March to equip their staff with both the knowledge and practical skills needed in an emergency. The scheme gives staff the skills to be a first responder should an incident occur and offers preventative training to help them stop people going into the water in the first place. The training also covers effective communication with the emergency services and how to rescue someone using a throw line. Darren Carson, Prevention Team Leader at NFRS, said: “It was great to come to Billing Aquadrome to teach them the key techniques needed to keep people safe in the water. The enthusiasm that the staff had to learn was fantastic and they are already talking about how they can further practice their skills.” Billing Aquadrome’s Operations Manager Steve Bonifas said that he and the team of ten staff that completed the course found the training valuable. He said: “It was brilliant to be able to learn the skills needed to help keep people safe around water and we had great support from the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue team. “We have large amounts of people on site during peak times and being part of something like this gives great safety awareness to the park.” [embedded content] Nick Gayton, Station Commander for the Joint Operations Team, was keen to highlight the importance of the partnership between NFRS and Billing Aquadrome after the flooding in 2020. He said: “Between us, we carry out lots of work and have staff in place to keep residents, visitors and staff safe when they are here and both parties are equipped to give the best safety response possible.” To express an interest in your bar, restaurant or business receiving Waterside Responder training, please email Darren Carson on DCarson@northantsfire.gov.uk
West Northants Primary Schools to take part in e-safety workshops
March 17, 2022
West Northants Primary Schools to take part in e-safety workshops
17 March 2022 A still from the film ‘Do You Accept’ featuring actor Jess Lloyd-Jones Primary Schools in West Northants are being invited to take part in interactive online workshops on the subject of e-safety following funding from West Northamptonshire Council. The workshops will take place throughout June and July 2022, and will be delivered by local theatre group Cherwell Theatre Company to Year 5 and Year 6 students. Students will take part in activities and watch ‘Do You Accept’, a film created with and for young people exploring cyberbullying and e-safety through an engaging fantasy story. The film was produced by Cherwell Theatre Company in partnership with Arts council England, Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire Community Foundation and Cherwell District Council and has now been seen by over 2,000 children. The company will deliver webinars and technical support to teachers before the virtual workshops and provide further activities including a quiz and resource pack which can be completed following the sessions. West Northamptonshire Council Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, Cllr Fiona Baker, said: “I am delighted that students in West Northants will benefit from these workshops and learn about all aspects of internet safety. “Being online plays a huge part in many children and young people’s lives, particularly over the last two years through the pandemic, so it is vital they know how to keep themselves and others safe. “Whether you are a young person, parent, carer, school or organisation, we can all take positive actions to help make the internet a safer place.” Cherwell Theatre Company Artistic Director, Tristan Jackson-Pate, said: “We’re grateful to West Northants Council for supporting this vital work. “We estimate over 1,000 local children will benefit from the project, taking part in practical drama workshops led by the film’s actors. “We aim to help children express their feelings about all aspects of life online and start positive conversations amongst their peers and wider community.”
Museum to host spring fashion show
March 17, 2022
Museum to host spring fashion show
Culture and tourism 17 March 2022 Ladieswear from some of Europe’s leading designers will be showcased during a special event at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery on Monday 21 March at 7pm. The free fashion show is a unique collaboration between West Northamptonshire Council and Northampton clothing boutiques Voni Blu and Bonsoire and will raise funds for the Northampton Hope Centre through a charity raffle. Along with displays of the latest day, evening and occasion wear, hairdressers Finn & Co are set to give a styling demonstration, while visitors will receive a complimentary drink and goody bag on arrival. Councillor Lizzy Bowen, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “This is a great opportunity to discover what’s on offer from some of Northampton’s leading independent fashion boutiques and enjoy an evening in the impressive surroundings of the recently refurbished museum and art gallery. “This event is one of several initiatives being delivered in West Northamptonshire as a result of the Welcome Back Fund, which is aimed at encouraging people to get back into their local town centres and support independent businesses.” Tickets can be collected from Voni Blu in Castilian Street, Bonsoire on the Market Square, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery in Guildhall Road or online at Eventbrite. The event is free, but places are limited so booking is essential.
New litter picking equipment available to communities
March 15, 2022
New litter picking equipment available to communities
Bins, recycling and street cleaning 15 March 2022 People are being urged to come together to give their communities a Great British Spring Clean with support from the Council. We have used Welcome Back Funding to buy hundreds of litter picking sets for community groups to borrow. Our officers will be using the new equipment when they support a community litter pick being organised by Daventry Town Council in support of the Great British Spring Clean on Saturday 26 March. However, we encourage other groups across West Northants to use the sets to organise community litter picks throughout March. Booking the litter picking equipment Each kit includes litter pickers, sacks and bag hoops to assist with litter picking, as well as a step-by-step guide for holding a litter pick, to help you plan a safe, effective and well supported event. We can also pick up and dispose of sacks of litter that have been collected from public land. Find out more information on borrowing the equipment and booking a litter collection You can also email [email protected] It is appalling that some people show such little regard for the environment and their local community that they drop litter wherever they like. We’re committed to tackling this issue, and it is always heartening to see the great work of volunteers who work so hard to keep their communities clean and tidy. We want to do all we can to support their excellent work, as well as encourage and assist other groups to join them. By working together, we send a strong message to offenders that their actions are not acceptable and will not be tolerated. If you would like support to hold litter pick in your community, please get in touch with us. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Climate, Transport, Highways and Waste The Welcome Back Fund provides councils across England a share of £56 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to support the safe return to high streets and help build back better from the pandemic. The Welcome Back Fund forms part of a wider package of support that government is providing in order to help communities and businesses bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic. Making our streets and open spaces as clean, tidy and as welcoming as possible is a big part of that, so I wholeheartedly support the use of funds for this purpose. Cllr Lizzy Bowen, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth
Daventry to Banbury bus service set to continue
March 15, 2022
Daventry to Banbury bus service set to continue
Parking, roads and transport 15 March 2022 A rural bus route linking Daventry with Banbury is set to continue through the summer after West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) reached a deal with its operator. Stagecoach West announced last month that its 200 bus service would cease on 2 April due to low passenger numbers. However WNC and Oxfordshire County Council have now jointly made arrangements with Stagecoach West to fund the service on its current timetable until 27 August. This will give WNC time to carry out a comprehensive review of bus services across West Northamptonshire, in order to determine how best to support public transport across the network in future. The 200 service runs from about 7am until 6.25pm on weekdays and between 8am and 6:25pm on Saturdays, providing a link between Daventry and Banbury and stopping at a number of villages including Chipping Warden, Byfield, Woodford Halse, Charwelton and Badby. We understand the financial pressures on bus operators, particularly during the pandemic when passenger numbers were understandably lower. However bus services such as this offer a lifeline to people in our rural communities, so we are pleased to work alongside Oxfordshire County Council in order to step in and offer this support, allowing this important route to continue running during the summer. This will give us time to carry out a wide-ranging review of bus services right across West Northamptonshire, in order to find solutions that will offer the best possible outcomes for our communities. Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste
Subscriptions for West Northants garden waste service
March 14, 2022
Subscriptions for West Northants garden waste service
Bins, recycling and street cleaning 14 March 2022 Residents across West Northamptonshire are being reminded they can sign up for the forthcoming year of optional, chargeable garden waste collections which begin next month. The garden waste subscription service has been running successfully in the Northampton and Daventry areas for some time, but is new to households in the South Northants area. How to sign-up The annual subscription charge for the fortnightly service from 4 April 2022 to the end of March 2023 is £42 per bin and can be paid online via debit or credit card Those who are unable to get online can subscribe to the service by phoning the council on 0300 126 7000. You can sign up any time, and once payment is processed, you will receive your new 2022/23 garden waste permit for sticking onto your bin so it will be collected. Home composting 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 www.getcomposting.com by typing in your postcode. You can also recycle garden waste at any of our household waste recycling centres. More information If you live in South Northants and decide not to sign up to the service then you will receive your final garden waste collection in the week beginning either 21 or 28 March. After the service launch, further details will be available on returning your unused garden waste bins, should you wish to do so. View a list of FAQs, tailored to households living in each area of West Northants Find out more information on our garden waste pages I would encourage residents to remember to subscribe if they wish to receive garden waste collections for the year ahead. The quickest and most popular way to sign up is on our website using a debit or credit card, but if they can’t access the internet or don’t feel confident to do so then they can also phone us on our main number or pop along to our offices where we’ll be happy to guide them through the process. Due to large demand there are times that the website and phone lines can be particularly busy, but there’s still plenty of time to subscribe so I would encourage residents to try again later if this happens. Extending the service across the whole of West Northamptonshire is a further step towards ensuring that all of our residents receive fair and equal services no matter where they live. We realise this is a change for our South Northants area residents, but we are doing everything we can to make the transition as smooth as possible. Cllr Phil Larratt, Portfolio Holder for Climate, Transport, Highways and Waste
Families of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) are invited to take part in a Peer Review
March 14, 2022
Families of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) are invited to take part in a Peer Review
14 March 2022 Families and industry experts are being invited to be part of West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) drive to provide the best possible SEND services. Senior officers from other authorities in the East Midlands and Eastern England across education, health, social care and parent carers groups will work with the council and its partners to assess how they identify and meet the needs of children and young people 0-25 years without an Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP). Cllr Fiona Baker, WNC’s Cabinet Member for children, families, and education, said “SEND services are for some of the most vulnerable members of our community and it is up to us to ensure they have the best possible opportunities in life." "I, and the team around me, passionately feel that the children and young people of West Northamptonshire deserve the very best and that is why we are not afraid to open our doors and invite industry experts and the people who use the service to tell us what they think." The SEND Peer Review will be on Wednesday, 30 March. West Northants has focused on the following four areas: Early Identification How effective was the identification of your child’s additional needs when they first went to nursery, school, or college, or by the health visitor or other specialists your child saw. Was it early enough? Did they make an accurate identification? Provision and Support What was the experience of the support and provision that your child received? What worked well, what did not work and what could have been better? Training Needs How could training improve the support your child received? What are the training needs that should be put in place for professionals and parent/carers? Good practice Where is the best practice in identifying children and young people with SEND and how can we share this effectively across the region? WNC is keen to involve all parents, carers, young people, and professional partners in a transparent approach to highlighting its strengths, areas of development, and how it moves forward in this vital area. If anyone would like to take part in the Peer Review or share experiences electronically of how the council and its partners identify the needs of children in West Northamptonshire, and how this could be improved, please email the Local Offer team via - [email protected] .
Farthinghoe recycling centre to reopen following refurbishment
March 14, 2022
Farthinghoe recycling centre to reopen following refurbishment
Bins, recycling and street cleaning 14 March 2022 Farthinghoe’s popular reuse and recycling centre is set to reopen under new management this weekend. The facility, off the A422 Banbury Road, between Brackley and Middleton Cheney, will open its doors at 9am on Saturday 19 March following refurbishment by West Northamptonshire Council. Run by Northamptonshire-based Ace Reuse Recycling, the centre will open five days a week in line with other household waste and recycling centres across the county. Its closure days will be Wednesday and Thursday - traditionally the centre’s quietest days. Ace Reuse Recycling, which operates a number of successful reuse shops across the county, will be improving the centre’s shop with new racking and card payment facilities. Open from 9am to 5pm, the site will continue to accept the same range of materials for recycling and reuse as previously. The Council took swift action to secure the future of the centre back in January, when the former operator decided to retire. Its closure during February allowed time to appoint the new operator and carry out refurbishment work including improving surfaces, fixing perimeter fencing and replacing signage. The contract with the new operator runs to 2025, aligning it with the operating contract for the other Household Waste and Recycling Centres across West Northants, and allowing for a wider review of how best to operate them from that date. We’re delighted to be reopen this excellent facility, which recycles more than 800 tonnes of material each year as well as offering a really popular reuse shop selling a range of items, including furniture, books and toys. The previous operator did a fantastic job of running the centre, and Ace Reuse Recycling is set to improve its offering still further. Having the contract run until 2025 also offers us a great opportunity to look at how we can further improve all of our household waste recycling centres for the benefit of residents across West Northamptonshire. Cllr Phil Larratt, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Highways, Transport and Waste
Housing and community safety issues tackled in Semilong
March 14, 2022
Housing and community safety issues tackled in Semilong
Housing 14 March 2022 Poor housing conditions, unlicensed HMOs, fly-tipping and fire safety were among the issues tackled during three days of action in Semilong in Northampton. The multi-agency operation earlier this month saw officers from West Northamptonshire Council’s Housing Enforcement Team join forces with Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue to identify and address a range of concerns. The Council’s housing enforcement officers identified 50 properties that they believe could be operating as unlicensed HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation), and will now carry out further investigations and visits to ensure they meet acceptable standards and the licence requirements. They also issued three emergency prohibition orders on homes where conditions were so dangerous that they risked the safety of their tenants. Alternative accommodation was found for the occupants. Ten empty properties were identified, and the team will now work to identify the owners in an attempt to bring them back into use. The Fire Service issued a Prohibition Notice on one HMO due to it not being fitted with smoke detectors. This was later lifted after the landlord addressed the issue, and an Enforcement Notice with Action Plan served to ensure compliance in the future. Additionally, a number of referrals were made to the Prevention Team for Home Fire Safety checks requested by residents, and two referrals for joining the Fire Service as firefighters. A referral was also made to the Council’s Licensing Team due to possible breaches of licensing conditions by a shop in the area, and Northamptonshire Highways was alerted to issues with poor parking and vehicles driving the wrong way down Salisbury Street. The council’s waste contractor Veolia also removed a number of piles of fly tipping from streets in the area. People in rented accommodation deserve to live in safe and properly managed homes. Whilst most landlords in West Northamptonshire take their responsibilities seriously, there are those who do not, and we are committed to identifying those landlords and taking action where appropriate. Working with our partners on operations such as these offers an important opportunity to improve conditions for residents, and to speak to people about any issues they may be facing so that we can work together to tackle them. Cllr Adam Brown - Portfolio Holder for Housing on West Northamptonshire Council These days of action were a really great opportunity to learn more about local concerns and to gather intelligence. One of the really positive things that came out of it was hearing from the community that things have gotten much better recently, in terms of crime levels and the amount of anti-social behaviour they are seeing. This was really heartening to hear as it shows that we are making a difference. I hope it reassures people that we are out and about, showing a police presence in their local area, and that they will feel more empowered in the future to report things to us as a result. PC Polly Egerton-Scott Fire Protection Officers used this opportunity to provide residents and landlords with fire safety advice and support, as well as reinforcing fire safety legislation. A number of premises were flagged as falling short of fire safety regulations and action was taken to address these. We want to work with businesses and landlords to ensure that people are safe and properties are protected, but we will also use our authority to issue notices when fire standards pose a serious risk to life. Scott Richards, Head of Protection at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service
'Be sure to grab a jab ahead of Mothering Sunday'
March 11, 2022
'Be sure to grab a jab ahead of Mothering Sunday'
Coronavirus (COVID-19) 11 March 2022 'Grab a jab before you meet up with Granny' is this week’s message from West Northamptonshire’s interim Director of Public Health, as a further 3,486 residents test positive In two weeks’ time families will be meeting up in restaurants, pubs and homes all over Northamptonshire with loved ones to celebrate Mothering Sunday. However, with COVID-19 still in circulation it’s vitally important that we do what we can to protect those we love. As the COVID-19 vaccination takes around two weeks to take effect, this weekend (or early next week) is the ideal time to get a jab for you or your youngsters if you’ve been putting off getting it. The school vaccination programme has been running since September, with second jabs offered since January. However, we are aware that some youngsters have missed out on their jabs. If your youngster is aged 12-15 and hasn’t yet had their first, or missed out on their second, dose of the vaccination why not pop in to one of the many vaccination sites across the county? These are drop ins, so there’s no need to book ahead. Vaccinating children can help stop the spread of COVID-19 to other people so it’s important to make it a priority if they’re meeting up with their grandparents in a couple of weeks. Vaccination drop-in sites in West Northamptonshire Northampton Kings Heath Vaccination Centre , North Oval, NN5 7LN (ages 12+) Tuesday 15 March - 10am to 2pm Ramgarhia Sikh Temple , Cromwell Street, NN1 2TE (ages 16+) Sunday 13 March - 2pm to 6pm ​ Regent Pharmacy , 10-11 Regent Square, NN1 2NQ (ages 16+) Friday 11 March - 10am to 6pm Monday 14 March - 10am to 6pm Tuesday 15 March - 10am to 6pm St Michael and All Angels' Church , Perry Street, NN1 4HL (ages 12+) Friday 11 March - 9am to 6pm Saturday 12 March - 9am to 6pm Unidrugs Pharmacy , Camp Hill Local Centre, Hunsbury Hill Road NN4 9UW (ages 12+) Saturday 12 March - 9:30am to 12pm West Chemist , Kingsley Park Terrace, NN2 7HG (ages 12+) Friday 11 March - 10am to 4pm Saturday 12 March - 10am to 3pm Monday 14 March - 10am to 4pm Tuesday 15 March - 10am to 4pm Whitefields Surgery , Hunsbury Hill Road, Camp Hill, NN4 9UW (ages 12+) ​ Sunday 13 March - 9am to 12:30pm Find drop-in sessions available without an appointment . Please check eligibility criteria before attending a drop-in session. It’s really important to get youngsters vaccinated even if they have already had COVID-19 as we’re seeing more re-infections in this age group than others which often then translates into household transmission. This age group has to wait twelve weeks (84 days) after infection with COVID-19 so its possible they have missed out on the opportunity to have their jabs at school. Our drop in sites provide the quickest and easiest way to get them vaccinated, and several are open this weekend. Children do not need to be registered with a GP or have an NHS number to be vaccinated. Sally Burns, Interim Director of Public Health for West Northamptonshire Council Covid-19 in the county this week An analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 28 February to 6 March 2022, shows: 3,486 residents tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Of this number, 369 were reinfection cases. ‘Reinfections’ are a new measurement now appearing in the county’s weekly data surveillance report and are defined as, ‘an infection of COVID- 19 from any of the variants after 90 days from the date of the last positive test. Northamptonshire’s infection rate per 100,000 population is 389.2. West Northamptonshire’s rate per 100,000 population is 417. Both are statistically significantly higher than the national average (332.1). The highest rates locally are Northampton (427.4) and Kettering (412.7). Five people died in Northamptonshire within 28 days of a positive test. Overall, more women than men tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 28 days. The age group with the most positive cases was 30-39. 10-19-year-olds had the most reinfections, likely due to school environments. View the weekly Covid-19 Surveillance Report
The Knife Angel is coming to Northampton
March 11, 2022
The Knife Angel is coming to Northampton
Community, safety and emergencies 11 March 2022 The iconic 27-feet-tall statue will be visiting Northampton as part of its nationwide tour to highlight the issue of knife crime in the UK. The statue, which was designed by Alfie Bradley at the British Ironwork Centre (BIC) in Oswestry, has been created from over 100,000 knives and blades confiscated by the UK’s 43 police forces. The Knife Angel will be on display at the All Saints’ Church plaza in Northampton town centre for two weeks from Friday, 29 April to Friday, 13 May. First unveiled in 2017, it travels around the country in a bid to help reduce violent crime. Councillor David Smith, cabinet member for community engagement and safety at West Northamptonshire Council, said: “Having the knife angel in Northampton gives us the opportunity to highlight the blight that is knife crime is. "All violent crime is abhorrent, the devastation left by knife crime is simply not acceptable and this initiative will raise awareness across the whole of West Northamptonshire. “We are delighted to welcome the angel to West Northamptonshire, and I very much encourage everyone to visit the town to experience this sculpture, and the activities we are running alongside this important initiative." The Explore Northampton app (downloadable for free from the App Store) will offer an interactive experience with the option to view the Knife Angel in augmented reality along with other activities. Angie Kennedy, CEO of C2C Social Action said: “I can't believe that after nearly 3 years of planning, the Knife Angel will be visiting Northampton this May. I hope that its presence will bring unity across the county, highlight all the amazing work that is already being done by CIRV, Eve, Sunflower Centre, Police, NN off the Streets, and so many more voluntary sector organisations, including churches, to make this county a safer place to live. “The Knife Angel campaign is looking for 10,000 people across the county to sign up to be ‘Anti Violence Ambassadors’, with a pledge to turn away from violence and aggression as a solution to disagreements and conflicts." There will a service and vigil at All Saints’ Church on Saturday, 30 April at 7.30pm to mark the Knife Angels visit to the town. Following the service candles will be lit around the sculpture as a symbol of light against darkness. There will be a range of events supporting the Knife Angel throughout its stay, including school workshops aimed at giving pupils from across West Northants an understanding of the statue’s message. A march against knife crime is also planned through Northampton town centre on Saturday 7 May, followed by a series of performances organised by local charity Off the Streets. The Northamptonshire Emergency Cadets and the WNC Community Safety Team will be in the town centre giving emergency first aid training and safety demonstrations on Saturday, 30 April, Sunday, 1 May, Saturday, 7 May and Sunday, 8 May. Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Mold said; “Knife crime is a serious issue, and one that is high on my agenda. I am pleased to have provided funding towards hosting this remarkable sculpture that is a striking visual reminder of the devastating affects knife crime can have on individuals and families. “Whilst the sculpture is in the county, we will be working with key partners to help raise awareness of and educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives and the lasting impact it can have on their lives." A knife amnesty will also be taking place, with anyone able to dispose of blades with no questions asked and no fear of reprisals. The Knife Angel has been brought to the town by West Northants Council (WNC), C2C Social Action and the Office of Northamptonshire Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner (OFPCC).
Queen’s Jubilee marked with tree planting in popular Northampton park 
March 10, 2022
Queen’s Jubilee marked with tree planting in popular Northampton park 
Culture and tourism 10 March 2022 A commemorative oak tree was planted in Abington Park on Wednesday 9 March, as part of West Northamptonshire Council’s activities to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year, through the Queen’s Green Canopy tree planting initiative. The Friends of Abington Park, the council’s grounds maintenance contractors Idverde and the park’s rangers arranged the planting close to the park’s aviary and were joined by Councillor Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste. Residents, schools, businesses and community groups across the United Kingdom are being encouraged to mark the Platinum Jubilee by planting trees, which can then be pinned on the Queen’s Green Canopy interactive map , providing a digital record of the Jubilee tree planting projects, along with a photo of the trees and the names of those who planted them. Councillor Pinder Chauhan, who is helping to coordinate the Queen’s Green Canopy planting efforts in West Northamptonshire, said: “Abington Park is extremely popular and is steeped in history – it opened to the public in June 1897 in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria - so it was fitting to plant the oak at the park in commemoration of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. “The current tree planting season finishes at the end of March, so there is still time for people to take part in the Queen’s Green Canopy and plant their trees. And if you’re short of time this month, the planting season starts again in October, through until the end of the year.” Towns, parishes and communities are also being invited to get involved in this year’s Jubilee celebrations across the 2 – 5 June bank holiday weekend, from lighting beacons to hosting street parties and big lunches. West Northamptonshire Council is organising a packed weekend of activities, including official beacon-lighting ceremonies on the Bank Holiday Thursday, a countywide jubilee pageant through Northampton on the Saturday and a Big Lunch at Delapre Abbey on the Sunday. See Jubilee arrangements and the Queen’s Green Canopy for more information.
Starship Technologies extends robot delivery service in Northampton
March 10, 2022
Starship Technologies extends robot delivery service in Northampton
Community, safety and emergencies 10 March 2022 Over 80,000 households across Northampton can now benefit from on-demand robot grocery delivery thanks to extension of an innovative scheme. Starship Technologies , the world’s leading provider of autonomous delivery services, and the Co-op have announced an additional 20,000 households in Northampton are now able to receive convenient, on-demand grocery delivery via robots. A further five Co-op stores across the town are now offering delivery through a fleet of Starship robots, bringing the total number of households across Northampton able to access Starship’s service in the area to over 80,000. Orders are made through the Starship food delivery app, which is available for download on iOS and Android , with groceries picked fresh in local Co-op stores and delivered quickly and conveniently in as little as one hour or less. Since first launching the service in Northampton in November 2020, Starship, working with the support of West Northamptonshire Council, has continued to expand its footprint and offer the ease and convenience of autonomous delivery to more local residents. Today’s announcement means local communities in Blackthorn, Far Cotton, Grange Park, Southfields and Thornton Park will now be able to benefit from on demand grocery delivery from Starship’s robots, which are powered by zero carbon electricity. They will join local residents across Abington, Boothville, Duston, East Hunsbury, Great Billing, Hardingstone, Hopping Hill, Kingsthorpe, Spinney Hill, Upton, Weston Favell and Wootton who can also access Starship’s service via 11 Co-op stores across Northampton. Cllr Phil Larratt, West Northamptonshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, Highways, Transport and Waste, said: “We’re delighted that the Starship robots have been rolled out to thousands more homes in Northampton, offering our residents a convenient, carbon-free way to get their groceries. Harnessing the latest technology and innovative schemes like this will play an increasingly important role as we look at ways of cutting emissions and making West Northants a more sustainable place to live for the future.” Andrew Curtis, UK Operations Manager at Starship Technologies, added: “Local residents in Northampton have embraced the benefits of contactless delivery over the last 18+ months and we are very happy to be able to offer our service to even more communities across the town from today. The environmental benefits of autonomous delivery are clear, and it has also been very encouraging to see how much the robots have been welcomed and integrated as part of the local community in Northampton.” Chris Conway, Co-op’s Head of eCommerce, said: “Co-op is committed to exploring new and innovative ways to increase access to our products and services. Our members and our customers lead busy lives and ease, speed and convenience is at the heart of our approach. Co-op stores are well placed, close to our customers, to serve shoppers locally. Orders are picked locally, in store, and a key part of our strategy is to use our physical footprint to also offer same-day, rapid, home deliveries. As a convenience retailer, the ability to come into stores is important to customers, but shoppers also increasingly want flexible options online - our focus is on getting closer to our customers and to provide what they need, conveniently, however they choose to shop with us.” Northampton residents can choose from a range of over 2,000 grocery items, schedule their delivery, then drop a pin where they want their delivery to be sent. They can watch in real-time via an interactive map as the robot makes its journey to them. Once the robot arrives, they receive an alert, and can meet and unlock it through the app. Starship Technologies operates commercially on a daily basis around the world. Its zero-emission robots make more than 100,000 road crossings every day and have completed more than three million commercial deliveries globally, more than any other autonomous delivery provider. The robots use a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to travel on pavements and navigate around any obstacles, while computer vision-based navigation helps them map their environment to the nearest inch. Starship recently announced a new $42m Series B funding round to help the company further scale its service and meet increasing demand for its autonomous delivery service. Some of this funding is immediately going to support people by donating directly to the Red Cross in Ukraine.
Cabinet opts to accept bid for Sixfields land
March 09, 2022
Cabinet opts to accept bid for Sixfields land
Finance 09 March 2022 West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet has voted to accept a £2.05m bid from County Developments (Northampton) Limited (CDNL) for land at Sixfields in Northampton. As part of the bid, CDNL – which is owned by Northampton Town Football Club – has pledged that it will complete the East Stand at Sixfields Stadium. The running track site to the east of the stadium will transfer to the football club and, if work on the stand is not competed to the council’s satisfaction within five years, the council will be able to buy the site back for £1. The section of land being sold is broadly bounded by the Sixfields Stadium to the west, Walter Tull Way to the north, Tweed Road to the east and Edgar Mobbs Way to the south. It also includes the car park adjacent to the household waste recycling centre. If any of this land is sold within five years without any investment being made to ready it for development, the council will receive a proportion of the profit. An alternative £3m bid from development company Cildara was not recommended to members as the professional assessment of best consideration recommended the CDNL offer for financial reasons as stated in the report . Cllr Malcolm Longley, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “Following comments we received from colleagues at a Full Council meeting last month, we’ve given this issue a great deal of further consideration. “In that time, we received revised bids from both parties, and we have had officers give them due consideration. Based on their advice, along with additional specialist advice we commissioned, we have decided that the CDNL bid is the most prudent of the two options." The council will retain the freehold of the household waste recycling centre and ancillary land.
Celebrating the inspirational women of West Northants
March 08, 2022
Celebrating the inspirational women of West Northants
Community, safety and emergencies 08 March 2022 Women from across West Northants were celebrated at the 10th Inspirational Women’s Awards which took place on Saturday (5 March). Organised by the Women’s Forum at West Northants Council, the awards aim to publicly recognise and promote those women who inspire and have a real impact on the lives of others in the community or the workplace. The judges had a difficult task again this year, with so many deserving nominations. We are delighted to announce the winners of this year's awards are: Special Recognition Award – Maisie Summers-Newton Business Award – Jo Burns-Russell Community Award – Angie Kennedy There can’t be many people in the county who have not heard of Maisie following her success in the Paralympics last year winning Gold in the S6 200m Individual Medley and the 100m Breaststroke. She was awarded an MBE in the 2022 New Year Honours for services to swimming. Maisie is also investing in the next generation, currently studying to be a teacher at Northampton University and has made time to visit local schools with her medals to inspire the next generation to dream big. Maisie said: “I am honoured to be awarded the Special Recognition Award at the Inspirational Women Awards. It is so inspiring to see so many other women achieving amazing things too across West Northants." Jo founded her own business, Amplitude in 2011, and grew it from a one-woman-business to now employing 12 people. Five per cent of the company’s profit is pledged to environmental causes and last year donated of over £1,500 to the Your Plant Choice campaign for clearing the ocean of plastic. Jo also created the Catapult Sessions in 2020 inviting local businesses affected by Covid to apply for month-long marketing boosters and has delivered over £14,000 of free marketing support to date. Commenting on the award Jo said: “I'm overwhelmed to have received this award. It makes me incredibly proud of the success of my business and our values of supporting people and the planet, which are at the heart of everything we do. "I have an incredible team working alongside me. Their faith in me and commitment to what we do inspires me every single day. I firmly believe every business has the opportunity and responsibility to drive equality and fairness, and not put profit before people. "I hope these awards help to inspire the next generation of female leaders to go out and shake things up too!” Angie founded Baby Basics in Northampton which she ran for seven years. She is now the Chief Executive of C2C Social Action which helps women offenders to build a life away from crime as well as women who are homeless or suffering mental health challenges. Angie said: “This award is really for all the women I work with and for the many inspirational women who have supported, mentored and walked with me in my life. “Every woman deserves the chance to reach their full potential, whatever that looks like, and we need to be in the position of encouragement wherever we find ourselves." Cllr David Smith, WNC's Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement, and regulatory services, said: " We are extremely proud to host these awards. Congratulations to the winners and to all the inspiring women who were nominated. "It really is a tough task for our judges as there are so many worthy winners who are doing remarkable work and really making a difference to others all across West Northants. "These awards allow us to shine a light on some of the many women who are doing exceptional things and also paving the way for the women of tomorrow.”
Mental health-themed art installation goes on display
March 08, 2022
Mental health-themed art installation goes on display
Libraries 08 March 2022 An art installation created as part of Northamptonshire's Mental Health Awareness Day has been unveiled at Northampton Central Library. Pupils from Abington Vale Primary School were joined for the official unveiling by Portfolio Holder for Libraries at North Northamptonshire Council Councillor Helen Howell and John Farndon from the Northamptonshire TaMHS Programme Based on the theme of 'It's the inside that matters' the installation was the brainchild of a group of young people from Northamptonshire involved in the Northamptonshire Talk out Loud Programme, to help get across the message that sometimes how we look on the outside isn’t how we are feeling inside. In these boxes there are over 20,000 feelings, gathered from children and young people across Northamptonshire, and brought together to create this installation, as part of Northamptonshire Mental Health Awareness Day 2022. Whilst we can see through the boxes that these feelings are there; we cannot see what they are and that is why it’s important to really think about how people are feeling. Because it’s the inside that matters. We would like to thank the 84 schools who took part in this initiative and of course Northamptonshire Libraries for their commitment to this ongoing reminder about the importance of looking after our mental health. Programme Manager Tessa Parkinson The installation will remain on display at Northampton Central Library until 31 March, before touring libraries across the rest of the county: Wellingborough - April 6 to 25 Towcester - April 28 to May 26 Corby - June 1 to 20 Daventry - June 23 to July 24 Rushden - July 27 to August 15 Brackley - August 18 to September 11 Kettering - September 14 to October 10 Weston Favell - October 13 to November 6 I am particularly moved by the fact that so many youngsters took part in sharing their feelings and am delighted that this installation will be touring the County’s libraries. I hope that ‘it’s the inside that matters’ continues to prove a starting point for conversations about mental health among all ages, but particularly our young people and their peers. I strongly believe that every young person across the county should have the opportunity to achieve good mental health and wellbeing. Northamptonshire youngsters have dealt with a series of changes for nearly two years — to their education, leisure time, to their ability to socialise with their peers or see extended family. This was evidenced in last month’s Talk Out Loud survey where a third said they were less happy than last year, citing school stresses and lockdown as key reasons. Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health Northamptonshire Poor mental health affects not only our youngster's social well-being, but can also impact on their physical health, which is why Public Health Northamptonshire is committed to a range of sources of help for young people. As well as The Talk Out Loud programme which runs in the county’s schools, young people can access additional support services, including counselling, through the Reach Partnership .
West and North councils to honour social care workers in Covid-19 Remembrance and Reflection Service at Abington park
March 07, 2022
West and North councils to honour social care workers in Covid-19 Remembrance and Reflection Service at Abington park
Adult social services 07 March 2022 Right click on the image, save and print. Then colour in and bring it with you to our Remembrance and Reflection Service at Abington Park on 17 March West and North Northamptonshire Councils are joining together in leading a service to mark the national Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection at Abington Park on 17 March. The day will mark two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when despite overwhelming and unprecedented pressures, all those working across social care in our county continued to show incredible dedication, skill, and tenacity in supporting those who draw on social care and support services. The purpose of the Abington Park service of remembrance and reflection is to offer thanks to those social care workers who provided crucial care and support during these tough times, and to remember those workers who sadly lost their lives to coronavirus. All residents are invited to join the 45-minute service which will include one minute’s silence, tributes led by school children and social care staff, In My Life, Beatles Song, sung by West Northamptonshire Council staff member and school children, a memorial book to sign, a 'Thank You Wall with stories and tributes from social care staff and family members and tulip planting and laying of flowers. The Registered Managers Network in Northamptonshire, a group who deliver adult social care in our county, have settled on the tulip as a representative symbol of the day and a local artist has designed the accompanying PDF printable picture. The councils are encouraging adults and children to colour in the tulip, add a personal message on the back and to display in their windows at home or at school. For school classes they are also urging teachers to perhaps even complete a mini art project around the theme of the tulip; remembering those we lost and thanking those who cared for our loved ones. West Northamptonshire Council’s Stuart Lackenby, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director for Adults, Communities and Wellbeing said: “Everyone living through the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years will know only too well how care staff, together with key workers, have been vital to providing the ongoing care and support of the most vulnerable people in our communities. "Their extraordinary hard work, dedication and care will never be forgotten. “The service is an opportunity for us to all come together to pay our respects to the colleagues we lost to the pandemic and to thank all social care workers in our county for their continued work. "We hope residents can attend on the day, and we look forward to gathering together. Please bring a bunch of tulips with you if you can!” Cllr Helen Harrison, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing said: “This county-wide service is a chance for us all to come together to honour those who have worked so hard to support our vulnerable residents during what has been an extremely difficult two years. “Care workers were very much on the front line of efforts and their dedication has been wonderful. "It is also gives us the opportunity to remember those colleagues who have sadly died as a result of Covid-19 – they will forever be remembered." A number of commemorative assets will be created at the Millennium Green, adjacent to Beech Close residential home in Desborough. These include the creation of a remembrance garden containing white tulips and a commemorative plaque as well as a wooden bench that can be used as a place of reflection. Staff will work with local primary schools in the area to create some tulip artwork that can be displayed. North Northamptonshire Council will also be running a poem competition for all social care staff and adult social care customers with the winners announced at a commemorative ceremony in Desborough on March 17. Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection Memorial Service 17 March Venue: Abington Park, Northampton Arrival: 10:30am for 10:45am Start - 11:15am Finish To include one minute’s silence, tributes led by school children and social care staff, In My Life, Beatles Song, sung by West Northamptonshire Council staff member and school children, a memorial book to sign, a 'Thank You Wall with stories and tributes from social care staff and family members and tulip planting and laying of flowers. We hope you can attend on the day, and we look forward to gathering together. If you would like to read out a personal tribute at the service please contact [email protected] . Please bring a bunch of tulips with you on the day if you can!
'Covid-19 vaccination remains the best line of defence'
March 04, 2022
'Covid-19 vaccination remains the best line of defence'
Coronavirus (COVID-19) 04 March 2022 'Vaccination remains our best line of defence', is the message from Northamptonshire’s Director of Public Health. It comes as a further 2,639 residents in Northamptonshire test positive in the last week and fresh research reinforces findings on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy. Pregnant mothers urged to get vaccinated The local Public Health team is urging pregnant mothers to come forward for the COVID-19 vaccine as the latest data released from The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows further evidence of the safety of vaccines for pregnant mothers and their children. Data shows that vaccinated women who gave birth between January and October 2021 had a very similar low risk of stillbirth, low birthweight and premature birth compared to women who were not vaccinated in pregnancy. Previous studies have shown the risk of being severely ill with coronavirus (COVID-19) is higher for unvaccinated women. Out of 235 pregnant women who were admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 between January and September 2021, none had received two doses of vaccine. The latest analysis also shows that women who had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine during their pregnancy and gave birth between April and October 2021 were more likely to give birth without any of the reported adverse outcomes than women who had not been vaccinated in pregnancy (92.9% compared with 91.6%). This difference was more apparent in those aged 30 years and older. Further findings are below: The stillbirth rate for vaccinated women who gave birth was approximately 3.6 per 1,000, a similar rate for women who were not vaccinated in pregnancy (3.9 per 1,000). The proportion of vaccinated women giving birth to babies with low birthweight (5.01%) was lower than the proportion for women who were not vaccinated in pregnancy (5.33%). The proportion of premature births was 5.97% for vaccinated women, similar to the 5.88% in women who were not vaccinated in pregnancy. Covid remains a dangerous disease, particularly if you haven’t been vaccinated. Vaccination remains our best line of defence against COVID-19 and latest data released from The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows further evidence of the safety of vaccines for pregnant mothers and their unborn babies. It's strongly recommended that you get vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19) if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. You're at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 if you're pregnant and if you get COVID-19 late in your pregnancy, your baby could also be at risk. If you have not had a COVID-19 vaccine yet, it's recommended to get your first 2 doses as soon as possible. You do not need to delay vaccination until after you have given birth. It's preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. This is because these vaccines have been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and no safety concerns have been identified. If you've already had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for your 1st dose and did not have any serious side effects, you should have it again for your 2nd dose. If you had a 2nd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least three months ago, you can get a booster dose. You'll be able to discuss having a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy at your vaccination appointment. You can also speak to a GP or your maternity team for advice. Remember, it is scientifically proven that the vaccines cannot give you or your baby COVID-19. Lucy Wightman - Joint Director of Public Health, North and West Northamptonshire Councils There is no longer a legal requirement for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) infection to self-isolate, however if you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive test result, the local and national public health advice is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. Covid-19 in the county this week This week's analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 21 to 27 February 2022, shows: 2,639 residents tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Of this number, 277 were reinfection cases. ‘Reinfections’ are a new measurement now appearing in the county’s weekly data surveillance report and are defined as, ‘an infection of COVID- 19 from any of the variants after 90 days from the date of the last positive test.’ Northamptonshire’s infection rate per 100,000 population is 413.5. West Northamptonshire’s rate is 442.9. Both are significantly higher than the national average (333.5). The highest rates locally are Northampton (458.6) and South Northamptonshire (440.3). Eight people died in Northamptonshire within 28 days of a positive test. Overall, more women than men tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 28 days. The age group with the most positive cases was 30-39. 10-19-year-olds had the most reinfections, likely due to school environments. View the weekly Covid-19 Surveillance Report
West Northants rallies to help Ukrainian refugees
March 04, 2022
West Northants rallies to help Ukrainian refugees
Your council 04 March 2022 Organisations across our patch have stepped up to the mark since news that hundreds of thousands of people had been displaced from their homes in Ukraine. One of the effects of the Russian invasion has been that around a million people have now been forced to seek asylum outside their country. Many, including families with young children, had to leave their homes with little more than the clothes they were wearing. So a wide range of items are needed to help ensure they can at least look after themselves as they find safety from the effects of the war. Local appeals My 1st Years, a baby equipment company based in Northampton, has launched an open-ended appeal for items. Food Examples of the types of food donations you can make: Tinned goods Pasta Rice Chocolate spread Peanut butter Jam Nutrition bars Chocolate Sweets Cup soups or dried pot meals like noodles Coffee Tea Sugar First aid A list of the first aid items that you can donate: Bandages Cotton wool Antiseptic wipes Plasters First aid kits Paracetamol/aspirin Antibacterial hand gel Hygiene Examples of hygiene products you can donate: Baby wipes Toilet paper Toothpaste Toothbrushes Shampoo Shower gel Deodorant Nappies Packs of tissues Soap dispensers Its offices at 4 Cheaney Drive, Grange Park NN4 5FB are open from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, for people to drop off donations. Anyone who might struggle to take donations there, or who has bulk items to donate, should contact [email protected] or call 07599912721. In a statement, the company’s co-founders, Daniel Price and Jonny Sitton, said: “"We have been shocked and saddened to see the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine. “My 1st Years have been working with Goods for Good and donating our products to help vulnerable families in need for the past five years. “It was important for us to continue our support with their new Rescue Project in Ukraine by opening our warehouse in Northampton as a ‘drop-off hub’ for donations of food and essential items. “As a brand, My 1st Years are here to celebrate all of little ones' milestones and our thoughts are with all the families and children affected by this terrible conflict." Northampton Saints also launched an appeal earlier this week , with today as the deadline, and a comprehensive list of requirements. National and international appeals It’s amazing the number of appeals which have been launched to help people fleeing from this terrible situation. We’re keen raise awareness of these appeals and to encourage people to give whatever they can, in whichever way they’re most comfortable, to support people who are now even without some of the basics we all take for granted. As always, the people of West Northants are responding with huge compassion through the support they’re already offering, and all we can hope is that the war in Ukraine is short lived and people will be able to begin building their lives there again. Council Leader Jonathan Nunn For more information on supporting the relief effort, please visit the Government’s website .
Prosecutions brought over fly-tipping and littering offences
March 04, 2022
Prosecutions brought over fly-tipping and littering offences
Environmental health 04 March 2022 Three people have been ordered to pay fines for fly-tipping and littering offences following successful prosecutions by West Northamptonshire Council. The cases were heard at Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (March 2) following investigations by the Council’s Neighbourhood Warden and Park Ranger teams. Marius Petreniciuc (36) of Brocade Close, Northampton was fined £292 and ordered to pay costs of £800 plus a £34 victim surcharge after he admitted to fly-tipping items from a kitchen he had been replacing. The Wardens had originally issued Petreniciuc with a £400 fixed penalty notice after finding the items in a car park in Lumbertubs in October last year, but he was brought before the court after failing to pay. Diana Otiwaa (44) of Beaufort Close in Duston was fined £310 and ordered to pay legal costs of £1,272.50 plus a £34 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to dumping a large number of cardboard boxes from her business in Wellingborough Road on 7 June last year. And Razvan Cristea, of Louise Road, Northampton, was fined £660 and ordered to pay £800 in costs plus a £66 victim surcharge for leaving a large amount of waste at the Bailiff Street entrance to the Racecourse last August. Magistrates found the case proved in his absence. There is no excuse for littering or fly-tipping and I hope these prosecutions and the fines imposed send out a clear message that we will not hesitate to take action against offenders whenever there is evidence to do so. Cllr David Smith, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services
Work begins on Northampton North-West Relief Road
March 04, 2022
Work begins on Northampton North-West Relief Road
Parking, roads and transport 04 March 2022 This week marks the beginning of work to create the Northampton North-West Relief Road (NNWRR). Once complete, the project will link the A428 Harlestone Road to the A5199 Welford Road. The scheme is supported by SEMLEP, the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership and benefits from £7.93 million of Local Growth funding.The first section of the relief road has already been constructed as part of the Harlestone Manor development, while the developers of the Dallington Grange housing estate will construct the second section to Grange Farm, just south of the railway line. West Northamptonshire Council is responsible for building the final section across the railway line to the Welford Road. Early works starting will include a site compound being set up off Sandy Lane at the Northern end of the scheme, utility works, preparation of access routes, archaeological excavations and environmental surveys. The construction of the NNWRR will follow. The majority of this initial work will take place off-highway and impacts on road users are expected to be minimal. “This road is only part of the infrastructure required to facilitate development to the north of Northampton, with the Northern Orbital Road, a priority of West Northamptonshire Council, being the most important. "Motorists passing the site will see some activity starting to take place as initial work begins but it will not significantly affect their journey." Cllr Phil Larratt, Portfolio Holder for Climate, Transport, Highways and Waste Services The Design and Build contractor Balfour Beatty has been appointed, with works expected to complete in spring 2024. More information about the NNWR can be found on the Northamptonshire Highways website and updates will also be posted on the @nnhighways account on Twitter. Roadwork information can be viewed at one.network .
Decision is to be made on the offers for land at Sixfields
March 04, 2022
Decision is to be made on the offers for land at Sixfields
Business and licensing 04 March 2022 Our Cabinet on Tuesday 8 March will consider the merits of two updated bids for land at Sixfields in Northampton. The discussion was deferred from a special Cabinet meeting on Monday this week (28 February) as several issues remained to be resolved as two bidders – County Developments (Northampton) Limited (CDNL) which is owned by Northampton Town Football Club (NTFC), and a private development firm called Cildara – had submitted improved offers. The section of land now under discussion is broadly bounded by the Sixfields Stadium to the west, Walter Tull Way to the north, Tweed Road to the east and Edgar Mobbs Way to the south. It also includes the car park adjacent to the household waste recycling centre. Key points from the latest offers are as follows: Cildara Purchase price of £2.05m Does not include the running track site Cildara have included in their offer to indemnify the council from any costs associated with breaking the main lease, required to free up the land for development, and the council would be obliged to co-operate with this CDNL Purchase price of £2.05m Includes the running track site (to be transferred NTFC for the future benefit of the club) - CDNL surrenders the running track and main site leases to the council, and the NTFC lease is reduced to cover the stadium only The council will be able to buy back the running track for £1 if the East Stand is not completed to its reasonable satisfaction within five years If any part of the main site land is sold within five years without having had investment to remediate it, the council will receive a proportion of the profit on that sale In both cases the council would retain the freehold of the household waste recycling centre and ancillary land “Both offers are being considered, based on extensive professional advice, and officers are recommending that we accept the offer from CDNL. “As I’ve said previously, land and lease ownership in this area is complex and it’s really important that we factor this into our thinking.” Cllr Malcolm Longley, Cabinet Member for Finance