East Northamptonshire Council Officer is the First Inspector in England to Receive Leading Qualification

Licensing Compliance Officer at East Northamptonshire Council, Emma Matthews, has been awarded the animal establishment inspector training certificate by the Pet Industry Federation (PIF).

Emma Matthews

Emma Matthews

Building on the knowledge and training Emma obtained after successfully passing her initial exam with 93% she completed a five day course at Heathrow Animal Reception Centre in March 2019 this year and the supporting assessments, Emma received the accreditation in September the same year.


The new Licensing of Activities Involving Animals regulations (AAL), which came into force on 1 October 2018, requires those carrying out inspections to be appropriately trained.


Emma joined the enforcement team in April 2018 and became the first officer to obtain this qualification. Until October 2021, officers with more than 12 months experience of inspecting animal premises can continue effectively with Grandfather Rights.


On passing her course, Emma commented: “I have loved every minute of this training – the five days at Heathrow Animal Reception Centre gave me a wealth of knowledge, and I have learnt so much through my own personal development, and considered things in my animal licensing work that I hadn’t considered before.


“The more licensing officers who achieve the certificate can only be positive as it directly benefits the standardisation of the regulations across the country, thereby instilling more confidence in licensed businesses.”


Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Steven North added: “Following the changes in legislation in October 2018, it is important that East Northamptonshire Council ensures we continue to upskill our officers so that they hold the relevant qualifications.


“Emma worked really hard to achieve this qualification and we are all proud of her for being the first inspector in the country to be awarded the certificate.”


Further details about the Professional Programme in Inspecting Licensable Activities Involving Animals course and qualification, including course dates and registration, can be found in the Education section of the Pet Industry Federation website: www.petfederation.co.uk; by calling 01234 273933, or emailing education@petfederation.co.uk



Councils Work in Partnership to Adopt Neighbourhood Plan for Neighbouring Parishes

East Northamptonshire and Rutland Councils worked with the parishes of Wakerley and Barrowden to successfully adopt the Barrowden and Wakerley Neighbourhood Plan.


The successful adoption of the Barrowden and Wakerley Neighbourhood Plan, (covering 2016 – 36) celebrates partnership working between neighbouring parishes and local planning authorities.


In December 2014, Barrowden Parish Council and Wakerley Parish Meeting jointly contacted Rutland County Council and East Northamptonshire Council, with a view to preparing a joint Neighbourhood Plan for the two parishes.


On 17 October 2019 the Barrowden and Wakerley Neighbourhood Plan 2016-2036 was passed at referendum.  The Plan was formally “made” on 9 December, once East Northamptonshire Council had passed the resolution, for the Parish of Wakerley; and following the referendum under delegated powers by Rutland County Council, for the Parish of Barrowden.


Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Steven North, said: “We worked with Rutland County Council to successfully adopt the joint neighbourhood plan for two adjacent parishes.


“Although initially this raised concerns about whether it would be possible to prepare a single Neighbourhood Plan that covers two local authority areas, we worked collaboratively to adhere to the relevant legislation and we’re pleased that both councils have adopted the plan.


“The plan will benefit both parishes and we look forward to continuing to work with Barrowden, Wakerley and Rutland councils.”


Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council, said: “Barrowden and Wakerley are only separated by a short distance. However, the communities being located in different local authority areas creates an added level of complexity when preparing a joint Neighbourhood Plan.


“The most important consideration throughout this process has been needs of the local residents on both sides of the boarder, for whom a single Neighbourhood Plan makes sense. I’m therefore pleased that Rutland County Council, East Northamptonshire Council, Barrowden Parish Council and Wakerley Parish Meeting have been able to work so effectively together, and that the final Plan was met with overwhelming approval by both communities.”


The Barrowden and Wakerley Neighbourhood Plan is one of very few Neighbourhood Plans that cover more than one local authority area and must have regard to two sets of strategic Local Plan policies; those of the 2011 Rutland Core Strategy and 2016 North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy.


Despite these challenges, the Neighbourhood Plan was submitted for examination in November 2018, which was successfully passed on 17 October 2019; with 88% in favour, on a 39% turnout.


Further information about the Barrowden and Wakerley Neighbourhood Plan, or Neighbourhood Planning in general, is available through the following links:

East Northamptonshire Council Crack Down on Illegal Alcohol Sales

The Licensing Enforcement team from East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) has been working with Northamptonshire Police Licensing department to cut down on illegal alcohol age-restricted product sales across East Northamptonshire by conducting test purchasing.

cheers-alcohol sales

A test purchase is when the Police, local authority or Trading Standards employs a child aged between 15 and 16 to visit a bar or shop and tries to purchase age-restricted goods, in this case alcohol, to check that the law is being complied with. Test purchases can happen at any time that a premises is open and if a business fails a test purchase, it is likely they’ll receive another within three months.


Between 15 April and 30 October 2019, 28 test purchases were conducted across East Northamptonshire, with nine businesses failing. All the sellers who failed were issued with a Penalty Notice for Disorder fine for £90.


This operation has also resulted in three reviews of premises licences and one premises surrendering its licence prior to formal action being taken, meaning no alcohol sales can take place and conditions being added to the licence.


Cllr Steven North, Leader of East Northamptonshire Council said:

“These figures show, sadly, how common illegal alcohol age-restricted sales are in East Northamptonshire and we will continue to work with Northamptonshire Police to keep residents and, in particular, young people, safe.


“Unfortunately if a seller is found to have sold an age-restricted product to an underage customer, the individual is fined and may have to appear in court, rather than the business owner.”


PC David Bryan, Northamptonshire Police Licensing Officer added:

“We would always recommend that Challenge 21 or 25 is adopted by businesses – this means that if the customer does not look 21 or 25, then the seller must ask for a valid form of ID to prove the person is over 18.


“In addition it is always useful to have an ID policy, detailing which ID you and your employees are going to accept. Typical ID accepted includes photo driving licences, passports, HM Forces ID cards and ID cards with the PASS hologram.”


To find out more about licensing in East Northamptonshire and to report any illegal activity, please contact East Northamptonshire Council’s Licensing Enforcement Officer, Rita Groves on 01832 742241 or rgroves@east-northamptonshire.gov.uk

Local Law Firm spreads Christmas Cheer at Kettering General Hospital

Christmas came a week early for children on the Skylark Ward at Kettering General Hospital thanks to a toy donation drive led by local law firm, Bray & Bray.

Bray & Bray’s Natalie Aldrich and Andrew Hitchon with a selection of the toys and gifts.

Bray & Bray’s Natalie Aldrich and Andrew Hitchon with a selection of the toys and gifts.

Staff at Bray & Bray’s offices in Hinckley, Market Harborough and Corby and clients of the firm donated new toys and gifts to children on the Ward, in response to a wishlist of items compiled by staff and children and released last month.


The Skylark Ward is the purpose-built Children’s Ward at Kettering General Hospital and provides modern and comfortable facilities for children and their parents or carers.


This week, Andrew Hitchon, Partner and Head of the Wills, Trusts and Probate Department at Bray & Bray visited the Skylark Ward to hand deliver the Christmas gifts to the children, amongst them games, puzzles, colouring books, soft toys, arts and crafts supplies and Lego.


“We really wanted to support our local community and help spread some cheer this festive season,” explains Andrew Hitchon. “Thanks to the generosity of the Bray & Bray team and our clients, we were able to donate toys and gifts to the Skylark Ward. We hope the toys will bring joy to the children and a little Christmas cheer at what is a difficult time for them.”


Trisha Bridgen, Play Coordinator at the Skylark Ward added: “At this time of year, the Skylark Ward is extremely busy and so we appreciate each and every donation from our local community. The kindness of amazing donors like Bray & Bray means that every child on the Ward, from newborns to teenagers, will receive a gift this Christmas.”


For more information about Bray & Bray, visit: www.braybray.co.uk

Christmas Presents Sorted – Animal Magnetism for Doggy Mad Mates

Thrapston based healing company AmbaScarlett has got a huge selection of wellbeing products for you and your pets.  Cats, Dogs, Horses and more can all benefit from the healing power of magnets.

Ideal for anxious or over exuberant animals, and equally good for joint pain, arthritis and general aches and pains.

Suitable for all humans too!  Just take a look at what symptoms magnets can help with;

magnetix thrapston helen dawson

Here is some of the Christmas Animal Selection;

Magnetic Pet Mat, washable, £56

Magnetic Pet Mat, washable, £56

Magnetic Pet Brush, Silicone (pink or blue)  £24

Magnetic Pet Brush, Silicone (pink or blue) £24


Water Bowl Magnet, magnetise your pets water for good health, £37

Water Bowl Magnet, magnetise your pets water for good health, £37

Water Bowl Magnet, magnetise your pets water for good health, £33 small

Water Bowl Magnet, magnetise your pets water for good health, £33 small


Dog Tag, can be engraved, £37

Dog Tag, can be engraved, £37


Dog Tag, can be engraved, £37

Dog Tag, can be engraved, £37

and for humans who want the healing benefits too….

Magnetic Anklet £37

Magnetic Anklet £37

Magnetic Bangle £37

Magnetic Bangle £37

Water Stick, enjoy cleaner water £33

Water Stick, enjoy cleaner water £33

Orders can be placed with AmbaScarlett Holistic Health based in Thrapston.  They will be delivered FREE charge to Thrapston and surrounding areas.  If you want to see the full range go to https://magnetix-wellness.com/en/

then to claim FREE deleivery order by emailing helen@aspengirl.co.uk – pay when you receive your items.

Follow AmbaScarlett Holistic Health on Facebook www.facebook.com/AmbaScarlett

magnetix thrapston helen dawson

Government lays Unitary Legislation before Parliament

Government legislation required to create two new unitary councils in Northamptonshire has been laid before Parliament.

The document, known as the Northamptonshire Structural Changes Order 2019 (SCO), sets out how the two new unitary authorities will be formed to replace the existing eight councils on 1 April 2021.

The Draft Order will now be considered and debated by both Houses of Parliament and if approved, should become legislation by the end of the year.


The Structural Changes Order confirms the following details:

  • The names of the new unitary authorities will be North Northamptonshire Council (covering Corby, East Northants, Kettering and Wellingborough) and West Northamptonshire Council (covering Northampton, Daventry District and South Northants areas)
  • The existing eight councils will be wound up and abolished on 1 April 2021 when the two new unitary councils come into effect
  • Two temporary Shadow Authorities – one each for the North and West – will be formed in May 2020 with responsibility for delivering the new unitary councils and setting their first budgets and council tax.  Until then, the joint committees currently in place in the North and West will continue to take responsibility for putting unitary plans in place.
  • Elections for the unitary councils will be held in May 2020 – councillors will serve a five-year term, with their first year on the shadow authorities. There will be 78 councillors elected for the North and 93 for the West.
  • Parish council elections will go ahead in May 2020 too but the district and borough elections will not take place so current members will serve until their existing councils are abolished.

The draft Order also makes it clear that future governance arrangements, including overview and scrutiny, will be for the new councils to decide once they go live on 1 April 2021.

To view the full Order visit http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2019/9780111190968/contents


Northamptonshire’s county, district and borough councils are working together with partners on a programme to ensure the two new unitary authorities are delivered on 1 April 2021 with better quality, integrated services for residents across the county.

The Future Northants programme involves councillors and staff from all eight authorities working together to prepare for the new unitary councils and ensure the transformation of public services across the county.

To find out more about and keep up-to-date on Northamptonshire’s unitary preparations, visit futurenorthantsnorth.org or futurenorthantswest.org


Bounce Your Way to Fitness in the New Year

Stuck for what to get a loved one for Christmas?  As you know, I love to discover more ways to be healthy and I’ve recently taken up …. Bouncing!!!rebounding benefits nene local

Yep like Joey the Kangaroo I’ve been bouncing around, on my rebounder.

Why I hear you cry?  Why not just run around the park? I’ll give you some great reasons below and maybe you’ll want to bounce yourself….

What is rebounding? A rebounder is a small mini trampoline, around one meter in dimeter, sometimes with handles to steady you and sometimes without, they are ideal for home use and can store away nicely.  Use in the house or garden in the summer.

The Benefits

  1. Rebounding is god for your digestion and ….err.. elimination! Helping you feel less bloated.
  2. Stimulates your metabolism – so you burn more calories, even when your are at rest
  3. Rebounding can help lower cholesterol
  4. Helping a stagnant lymphatic system, rebounding can help with cellulite
  5. Helps prevent emotional eating, rebounding actually can help you feel happier and less likely to reach for the biscuits
  6. It can help you increase your stamina for other exercises and chores
  7. Helps lower your blood sugar and helps insulin work better
  8. It burns loads of calories!!!
  9. Rebounding can help slim your tummy
  10. It pairs will with HIIT training, I’m doing this – Warm up, then 1 minute ‘go for it’ then 2 minutes less energetic then repeat. Doing the HIIT for 1minutes each morning and evening at the moment, I’ll get to 30 minutes each time.
  11. As well as helping drain the lymphatic system (immune system) it is also anti-inflammatory
  12. Increases self-confidence and make you feel better about yourself
  13. Strengthens the heart
  14. Helps oxygenate the body
  15. Gives your body a G Force – thereby strengthening muscles
  16. Increases lung capacity
  17. Lowers blood pressure
  18. Increases endurance
  19. Improves the immune system
  20. Improves the effects of other exercises you may do
  21. Reduces your risk of chronic disease
  22. Improves sleep quality
  23. Fights fatigue
  24. Reduces risk of developing dementia
  25. Reduces the risk of falls and improves balance
  26. Improves the memory
  27. Improves posture
  28. Easy on the joints
  29. FUN!!


The ideal is to rebound for around 15-30 minutes each morning and evening, easier said than done as it does wear you out!!


For more information on the benefits of rebounding click the link https://liveboldandbloom.com/07/health/rebounding-benefits

rebounding benefits nene local






Councils to Crack Down on Unlicensed HMOs

Councils in North Northamptonshire will be taking action to tackle private landlords whose properties are not licensed, following recent changes in legislation to a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), which came into effect on 1 October 2018.


The legislation now requires any privately rented property occupied by five or more people living as two or more households to be licensed under the mandatory HMO scheme.


Since the legislation came into force, councils in North Northamptonshire have been working with landlords to make sure that their properties are correctly licensed. Teams have aligned HMO standards and processes to make it easier for landlords to comply if they have properties across district boundaries.


Private Sector Housing Officers are now pursuing landlords and managers that fail to licence their properties. Landlords operating an illegal HMO could face prosecution and an unlimited fine or a penalty of up to £30,000. Tenants or the council can also apply to have up to 12 months rent repaid to them if their rented property should be licensed, but the landlord has not made an application.


Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Steven North, said: “Changes to the way we license HMO properties came into effect last year in order to provide further assurance and protection to private tenants.


“We have been working with our neighbouring councils to provide landlords with the information they need to ensure their properties meets the new legislation but will now take action to prosecute those that do not responsibly license their private lets.”


Tenants can check if their property is licenced by looking on the Public Register at: https://lipublicaccess.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/online-licensing


To report an unlicensed property you can email licensingunit@east-northamptonshire.gov.uk or call the team on 01832 742102.


Northamptonshire Traditional English Country Pub Scoops Top Food and Drink Award

A family-run pub known for its outdoor dining and welcoming atmosphere has won a major award, recognising its excellent service and high-quality menu.

 The Brampton Halt, located in Chapel Brampton, has scooped the Food and Drink prize at the prestigious Northamptonshire Business Awards (NBA).

The glittering ceremony was hosted by comedian Stephen K. Amos and took place on Thursday, November 7, at Northampton’s County Ground.

 The pub, part of the McManus Pub Company, was purchased in 2003. It fast became popular for its outdoor space and beautiful views, which prompted the McManus family to inject more than £1m into restoring and renovating the venue.the brampton halt

It has been run by husband and wife team Tim and Donna Leah for more than 15 years.

 Landlord Tim said: “We’re hugely honoured to have picked up the Food and Drink Award at the NBAs this year. But running a public house is truly a team effort and we would not have been winners without every single person who works here, either front of house or out the back.

“Over the years we’ve really grown the business into a place that caters for all ages. In the day we’re a family-run pub that welcomes kids of all ages. In the evenings we get lots of young people visiting, keen to meet their mates and have a few pints, as well as older people who might seek a quiet corner and a read of the paper.

“We’ve also become a popular venue for weddings and parties after we had our outdoor kitchen fitted. Our newly renovated patio has opened the space up, so we can cater for even more people who wish to visit us over the course of the summer. If you haven’t been to visit us before, then you’re missing out!”

More than 50 people are employed at the Brampton Halt and many of them have been extensively trained to ensure customer service goes above and beyond.

Gary McManus, who has been at the helm of the family business since 1989, added: “The Brampton Halt represents the epitome of traditional English country pubs. We have a passion for excellence, coupled with constant investment. We pride ourselves in serving quality, locally-sourced food and beverages, combined with first-class service.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure in the winter months, the Halt is the go-to public house to visit because of its cosy interior, which we’ve recently renovated. In the summer, we throw open the windows and crank up the BBQ as thousands flock to us, happy to take advantage of the country views, the beautiful lake and the huge outdoor patio space we’ve created.

“This award is hugely deserved for the Brampton Halt team and we will continue to ensure it remains one of the most popular pubs in the county during all seasons.”

The NBAs are an annual awards programme which recognises exceptional businesses and business people across the county. All the winners are determined by an independent judging panel and they are scored against set criteria and marked through a bespoke software-based scoring system. On the night a total of 12 trophies were handed out.

Steeped in history, the Brampton Halt is located on the Brampton Way, the old railway line which ran through Northampton. The building is the former old stationmaster’s house and provides the perfect setting for fabulous BBQs, fireworks and family events.

The McManus Pub Company owns an estate of traditional pubs, country inns, sport bars and gastro pub restaurants in Northampton, Middlesex and Leigh-on-Sea.

Council teams up to tackle drugs in East Northants

Illegal drugs in East Northamptonshire have been sniffed out during an operation by East Northamptonshire Council, Northamptonshire Police and Alpha K9 Security Services.


On Friday 8 November 2019, ENC ran their most recent drug dog operation and a suspected Class A substance was recovered from one premises. During the evening, the team visited 15 licensed premises in total across the district and 11 stop searches were carried out by Northamptonshire Police of people who had been identified by the drugs dog. The majority of these searches confirmed drugs had been used by the individuals in the hours prior to being searched.


A Council spokesperson said: “We are proud to have joined up with Northamptonshire Police and Alpha K9 Security Services on these successful operations. Everyone involved has worked hard to ensure this was a success and a special mention should go to Raunds Town Council who funded the operation and are clearly taking proactive steps to keep their residents safe.


“The success we had wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the local community. This is an example of community engagement at its finest. We would like to thank local residents for the large amount of intelligence we have received concerning drugs and to those who were supportive whilst our staff were on the operation.”


DC Jane Manning of the East Northants Neighbourhood Policing Team, who led the operation, said: “By increasing both our visibility and visits to licensed premises, we are making it harder for those involved in the supply of drugs in our towns and villages.


“Having the resources of Alpha K9 Security Services available to us was invaluable to the operation, and we must thank Raunds Town Council for their support in providing the funding for the specialist drugs dog and handler.


“As a result of being able to take the dog into the licensed premises, we spoke to a number of people who confirmed they had used drugs earlier that evening, and enquiries are on-going into the possession of a suspected Class A drug.


“Detecting and preventing the use and sale of illegal drugs in our communities is a key part of our work, and it was great to speak with people during this operation to explain what we were doing and why – the general feedback we had from the public, patrons and landlords were positive.

“We will continue to work in partnership with Licensing Officer Rita Groves and her team at East Northamptonshire District Council, and the night time economy to provide a safe environment for visitors of all ages to enjoy.”


If you suspect drug activity in your area, and would like to report it, please contact Northamptonshire Police on 101.