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Latest News

Northamptonshire councils given extra year to perfect new structure

Councils in Northamptonshire have been given an extra year to prepare for the biggest shake-up of local government since the 1970s.

Today, James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) gave his thumbs up to proposals which will see the number of councils providing services to the district reduced from eight to two. More »

South Northamptonshire Council (SNC), Daventry District Council, Northampton Borough Council and (half of) Northants County Council will form a new authority serving the west of the county. It will now take charge in April 2021 rather than 2020 as originally proposed.

Cllr Ian McCord, Leader of SNC said: "I welcome the decision from Government at long last. Ministers have taken twice as long to read and decide on the proposal as they gave us to put the bid together. The election of the shadow council and a 2021 start date was something I asked MHCLG to consider a year ago, so I cannot now claim disappointment.

We will now use the time wisely to prepare the four councils for the new unitary structure in the West. Our experience with Cherwell and South Northants integration tells us that the best way to do this is by bringing everyone with you.We have been developing a plan for this scenario over the past few weeks and we will be ready. We now must seize the opportunities that a new council will present to us.

The reasons for this decision are well known and today is about looking forward and ensuring that our residents get the best possible local government available."

The announcement includes confirmation that the elections to run the new bodies will take place in May 2020, alongside the delayed Parish and Town Council elections. Those elected in 2020 will form the Shadow Authority for its final year of planning, and then move over to run the new council proper.

The announcement also paves the way for Kettering Borough Council, The Borough Council of Wellingborough, East Northants Council, Corby Borough Council and (the other half of) Northants County Council to form a new local authority serving the north of the county.

The formation of the authorities is still subject to Parliamentary approval. The Government will also be establishing a Children's Trust to take over responsibility for children's social care across the authority.

Today's announcement also confirmed that elections for the new West Northants council (and its shadow council) will be on the basis of three members per existing County Council ward, totalling 93 across the 31 Wards in the West Northants area. » Less

Posted: Tue, 14 May 2019 16:34 by Helen du Bois

Local job opportunity at Blackpits (Material Change) - closing date Friday 17th May

Weighbridge Operator / Administrator

A position has arisen at Material Change for a Weighbridge Operator to join our team. Based from our Helmdon Composting facility near Brackley (NN13 5QD) you will report to the Site Manager and will be responsible for the operation and administration of the site weighbridge. Duties will include but are not limited to: More »

• Weighbridge operation and administration

• Site Health & Safety inductions

• Daily Health & Safety reporting

• Traffic Management

• Data entry

• Site Diary Management

• Weather reporting

• General office duties

• General site and composting duties

Employment type: Permanent Hours of Work: 07:00am to 17:00pm Monday – Friday Weekend and Bank Holiday work may be requested from time to time.

The ideal applicant will be computer literate hard working and flexible. You are required to have a good understanding of written and spoken English. Knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel is required. Experience working in a waste environment would be advantageous but not essential.

Salary commensurate with experience.

Applicants should submit their CVs to Diana Trickett, Material Change Ltd, The Amphenol Procom Building, 46-50 Rutherford Drive, Wellingborough, NN8 6AX. Or e-mail to: diana@material-change.com

Material Change Limited is an equal opportunities employer. Closing date 17th May 2019. » Less

Posted: Tue, 14 May 2019 11:47 by Helen du Bois

Annual Parish Meeting - A Quick Review

Annual Parish Meeting - A Quick Review

The Helmdon Annual Parish Meeting (APM) was held on Wednesday 24th April 2019 in the Reading Room on Church Street. Approximately 15 members of the public were in attendance and the meeting was chaired Cllr Danny Moody. Light refreshments were provided to give everyone a chance to chat and circulate before the business got underway. More »

The evening opened up with apologies of absence and the Chairman's report, kindly read by Danny. In his report, John shared many of the projects Helmdon had worked on over the past 12 months. These included the new village website, plans for a potential new village hall, installation of dog waste bins and many more. He also welcomed our two latest members of the Parish Council, Andrea and Emma, and said he was pleased to see some female councillors on the team. John thanked all the councillors for their hard work and commitment throughout the past year. We then received the financial statement from Clerk Helen DuBois, which will be available to download from the village website.

Our first guest speaker of the evening was Rebecca Breakwell from Northants ACRE. Rebecca shared with us the Rural Wellbeing Service project which ACRE worked on and discussed ways in which Helmdon may benefit for from setting up their own scheme. More information about the Rural Wellbeing service can be found on the ACRE website. https://www.northantsacre.org.uk/rural-wellbeing-service

Danny then shared with the village the success of the new radar project which has recently been setup and put into operation. Due to John's absence, Danny was unable to provide the latest information on the radar, however this will be available soon.

Steve Wheeler gave a report about the future of the village lighting and gave feedback on potential ideas regarding the possibility of changing bulbs of whole units. Steve discussed both the pro's and con's of the different possibilities. Since visiting a workshop,

Steve fed back his ideas to the council and we have decided to install two new bulbs into two units in the village. More information can be found below:

Across the country Parish Councils are upgrading their street lights to new LED units to save both electricity and cost. The orange glow of Helmdon's street lights is produced by a sodium light bulb which is outdated and no longer manufactured. Rather than jump straight into replacing the entire lanterns, the Council has decided to trial switching the old sodium bulbs with a new LED bulb from TrueForce. These new bulbs work in our existing street lights but use more than 50% less electricity and have a much longer lifespan so they will help to reduce our impact on the environment and save ££.

We have replaced the bulbs in two street lights so far: one in the street light at the top of Shortlands Close and the other in the street light at the edge of the village on the Wappenham Road. At the same time the lanterns themselves have been given a much needed spring clean.

Danny then welcomed SNC district councillor Paul Wiltshire to speak, followed by SNC County Councillor Ian Morris. They both gave reports about their councils and what changes have occurred over the past year. Both councillors have agreed to provide a report following the meeting. Issues discussed involved loss of the county bus service, the road surface at Radstone estate, a Unitary Authority update from South Northants Council as well as many other topics. More information will become available in the meeting minutes.

The meeting closed with questions and comments from members of the public, and Danny kindly thanked the evening's speakers, members of the parish council and the public for attending. Overall, it was felt the evening was successful and informative and kept villagers up to date with the villages they live in. » Less

Posted: Mon, 13 May 2019 20:11 by Robert Duncombe



Within the national Walking for Health scheme, run locally by South Northants Council, the Helmdon Health Walks Group has been active since March 2009. We have Thursday afternoon walks of up to three miles throughout the year, starting at 1.45 pm from the Reading Room in Church Street. More »

In addition we organize longer walks on summer evenings, and for 2019 we will begin on Monday 20th May and continue until 12th August. We'll start from 'The Fat Landlord' in Church Street at 7pm and will cover between five and six miles in two hours, returning before dusk for a pint!

No dogs please, and children under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Stout footwear is required for walking field paths and of course suitable clothing in case of a shower.

For details contact Roger Miles (01295 768964) or David Mico (01280 702173). » Less

Posted: Mon, 13 May 2019 15:09 by Helen du Bois

The Astwell Pie Challenge is coming to the Reading Room this Saturday

The Astwell Pie Challenge is coming to the Reading Room this Saturday

The Astwell Pie Challenge takes place at Helmdon Reading Room, 20 Church Street NN13 5QJ, Saturday 11th May at 7:15pm. Includes licensed bar & pie making demonstration. Proceeds to Astwell Benefice. More »

Please click on poster (twice) for more information (use 'back' button to exit).

£5 for pie entrants £10 for spectators. Tickets available from Sheena Warren (see poster) or Bill Elkington. Tickets also available on the door. » Less

Posted: Tue, 07 May 2019 14:20 by Richard

The early birds can save money on holiday activities

Parents and guardians will have just six days to take advantage of a 10 per cent discount on the May half-term holiday activity programme for children run by South Northamptonshire Council.

Once again the programme, which is tailored for five to 15-year-olds, will take place at Magdalen College School in Brackley and the Towcester Centre for Leisure and includes a mixture of sports, arts, crafts and games. More »

The programme takes place between Tuesday, 28 and Friday, 31 May 2019.

Full day sessions cost £19.80 and run from 8:45am until 5pm while the half day sessions end at 3pm and cost £15.60.

Booking lines open on Tuesday, 7 May and the 10 per cent early bird discounts ends Sunday, 12 May.

Session can be booked online at any time via www.southnorthants.gov.uk » Less

Posted: Thu, 02 May 2019 14:06 by Helen du Bois

Unitary Authority update from South Northants Council

Local Government Reorganisation – Update from Peter Holt: Interim Assistant Director, Communications and Local Government Reorganisation

We are now within shouting distance of the post-Easter anticipated announcement from the Government giving the thumbs up to the two proposed new unitaries for Northamptonshire, to be followed by the Statutory Change Orders being laid before and considered by Parliament. More »

Our behind the scenes preparation has continued apace, and we in the West have now had the first meeting of the Joint Committee, pooling a tightly-limited amount of powers amongst SNC, Daventry, Northampton Borough and Northamptonshire County Councils, sufficient to prepare for the establishment of the West Northants Shadow Authority, the first meeting of which would be required within a couple of weeks of the completion of the Parliamentary approval process.

All this work notwithstanding, our long-held assumptions about the timing for the proposed new West Northants Council to go live – April 2020 – is now subject to rumour and speculation as to whether the Government when they make their announcement (still hoped for soon after Easter) will instead announce a longer preparation period, and a new go-live date of April 2021 – but with elections to the Shadow Authority in May 2020 (which would then automatically carry over into membership of the new council itself a year later).

Should this rumour turn into reality when we hear the announcement from the Secretary of State, then I am pleased that our existing contingency planning is already largely on top of the implications for us. This eventuality would presumably include an announcement from the Government that currently elected SNC members would see their four-year term of office extended not just to a fifth year, but actually to a sixth-year.

If this delay were realised, and these Shadow Authority elections held, we anticipate that the Parish elections could be held alongside them. If the term of office for those elected in May 2020 to the shadow authority were to run for 5 years (one year in shadow, 4 years in the authority proper) then it would perhaps mean that to remain aligned, and continue to keep down the costs of holding Parish elections, that those Parish elections would also in the first instance need to be for 5 year terms too.

We would then see the current sovereign councils continue through until 2021, with the Shadow Authority running alongside it for rather longer than the previously anticipated 6-9 months. With an extra year until abolition, SNC would therefore have to revert to preparing another year's budget, for 2020/21 – but this would be relatively straightforward (albeit no smaller a task than any other year) because for us it is 'business as usual'. We would though have to cope with various other implications associated with an extra year – such as managing down any growth in costs having separated from Cherwell and for running a cross-council LGR team alongside existing councils' management teams for an extra 12 months.

To summarise therefore, this possible year's additional delay would be complicated, and not without costs and challenges, but would overall represent a valuable opportunity to do a lot more in-depth transformation (and even wider public sector reform, working with colleagues across health, criminal justice and educational sectors) before West Northants went live in 2021, than the more limited transition work we were in most cases likely to be limited to in the time running up to the original assumed go-live date in 2020. The extra year would also give us the chance to begin to implement joint working arrangements with one or more of our neighbouring Northants councils even sooner. » Less

Posted: Thu, 02 May 2019 14:04 by Helen du Bois

Dates for the democratic diary

Residents in South Northamptonshire are being urged to take note of important deadlines ahead of the European Parliamentary Elections on Thursday, 23 May 2019. Anyone who has changed their address, name or nationality must register in order to vote and the deadline is 11:59pm on Tuesday, 7 May. Richard Ellis, Local Returning Officer for South Northamptonshire, said: "It only takes a few minutes to secure your democratic right to vote by registering online via www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, you just need your National Insurance Number." More »

Those whose details have not changed since the last time they voted in an election will not need to register and will automatically receive a Polling Card.

Citizens of European Union countries (other than the UK, Republic of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus) will be sent a form they must complete and returned by Tuesday, 7 May to opt in to vote in the UK rather than their home country at these elections.

Forms are also available from the Your Vote Matters website - www.yourvotematters.co.uk. Anyone who knows they cannot get to a Polling Station on 23 May for any reason can apply to vote in advance by post or for a proxy vote where someone they trust votes on their behalf. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday, 8 May and the deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on Wednesday, 15 May. Visit - http://bit.ly/SNCWaysToVote.

A list of candidates has also been published on the council's website at - http://bit.ly/EUElection2019SNC » Less

Posted: Thu, 02 May 2019 14:02 by Helen du Bois

Tickets NOW ON SALE!

Tickets NOW ON SALE!

Tickets for the Bridge Players summer performance are NOW ON SALE!

Adults £8, Children £5.
Contact Dave Bridger (01295) 760232
or Rachel Marland 07976 309958

Posted: Wed, 01 May 2019 22:18 by Robert Duncombe

200 Club results - April 28th Draw

See "200 Club" page under Helmdon Groups for latest draw results...

Posted: Tue, 30 Apr 2019 17:04 by Ross Vicars

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