avery

Council Tax frozen for 2014/15

East Northamptonshire Council has agreed to freeze its element of the Council Tax for the second year running.

This means that the Band D charge attributable to East Northamptonshire Council will remain at £123.65 a year, the equivalent of £2.38 per week, the same as it was in 2012/13.

 

Despite central government continuing to reduce the funding it pays to local authorities to support service provision, the council has made significant financial savings and efficiencies including sharing services and reducing leisure contributions through capital investment.

Council leader, Steven North, said: “We know that many residents are struggling with the high cost of living so we have committed to freezing Council Tax for the second year running.

“Due to the hard work by staff and members, we are not using any reserves to balance the budget, and the proposed budget is lower than last years. We also hold a healthy earmarked reserve of over £5 million and we can still deliver community projects out of some of the New Homes Bonus.

“All councils face some tough decisions over the next few years as public sector funding continues to be squeezed. With good financial planning we will be able to focus on front line services and finding more efficient ways of delivering services.”

East Northamptonshire Council currently has the lowest Council Tax of any council in Northamptonshire, and one of the lowest in the country.

Councillors also approved the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2014/15-2017/18, the budget for 2014/15, the Capital Programme for 2014/15, levels of reserves, the Treasury Management Strategy and the Fees and Charges policy.

 

East Northamptonshire Council Revokes Shop Licence

A Rushden off-licence will no longer be able to sell alcohol after having its licence revoked by East Northamptonshire Council.

 

Northamptonshire Police requested a review of the licence of Higham Superstore on Higham Road in Rushden, following persistent sales of alcohol to underage people.

 

East Northamptonshire Council’s Licensing Panel revoked the premises’ licence on 24 February 2014 and, subject to an appeal, the shop will be forced to stop selling alcohol in 21 days.

 

The panel agreed that the actions of the premises licence holder Mr Rajaratnam undermined the licensing objective of the protection of children from harm, making this a very serious matter. They concluded that they had no option but to revoke the licence.

 

Chair of the Licensing Panel and Deputy Leader, Councillor Glenn Harwood MBE, said: “Based on the evidence presented by the Police, Trading Standards and the ENC Licensing Enforcement Officer, it was clear that despite proof of under-aged sales having taken place and the Licence Holder subsequently receiving advice about that, a further incident of under aged sales took place and this time, the licence holder himself was the seller.

 

“These offences were serious and persistent, so the panel felt it would not be appropriate just to suspend the licence for a period of time, especially as there had already been plenty of opportunity to improve.  So, the decision to revoke the license was made.

 

“We’re committed to working with businesses so that we have high standards of alcohol retailing in East Northamptonshire, and I’m pleased to be able to say the vast majority of licence holders co-operate fully with us to achieve that aim.

 

“However; those who fail to comply with  their licensing conditions can endanger the health and wellbeing of our residents, and in particular, our children.  The action we have just taken demonstrates the council’s intent not to just sit back and ignore these sorts of offences.

 

“The panel’s decision has been taken in the best interests of the public, and in particular, our young people.”

 

The licence holder has a right to appeal the decision and so the revocation will not have effect until the time period for appeal has expired and any appeal has been determined.

 

If anyone has any concerns regarding licensed premises within East Northamptonshire, they should contact the Council’s licensing enforcement officer on 01832 742241.

 

Not all Nest Boxes are the Same!

Keep an eye on nest boxes in your garden this month, as birds can begin nesting anytime from February onwards. Blue tits and great tits tend to nest in late March / early April but will spend many weeks making exploratory visits checking out suitable nest sites.

So it could be a good time to get your nest box ready for action, if you don’t already have one try the RSPB guide to making a nestbox.

blue tit_040

If you want to encourage actual use by birds, we don’t recommend buying a nest box from a gift shop, you know the brightly coloured pretty ones, unless you just want decoration.  They are usually not suitable for actual birds sadly.  Buying one from a reputable lace such as the RSPB is a much better option if you want to attract wild birds (rather than admiring looks from the neighbours). Or take a look in Thrapston Farm & Garden for one.

Each bird box will be different depending on the species you hope to attract, entrance holes will need to be sized accordingly;

  • 25 mm for blue, coal and marsh tits
  • 28 mm for great tits, tree sparrows and pied flycatchers
  • 32 mm for house sparrows and nuthatches
  • 45 mm for starlings

The small box with 100 mm high open front may attract robins or pied wagtails. A wren would need a 140 mm high front panel, while spotted flycatchers prefer a low 60 mm front to the box.  Who knew!?

gret tit_043

Plus, most birds won’t thank you for a little perch outside the box, the young don’t need to sit on a perch to see outside, when they are ready to fly they’ll sit on the entrance hole edge and fly from there, if they are encouraged to sit on a perch then predators can easily attack!

bird

We’ve some garden bird images courtesy of www.suesnews.co.uk that you may be able to encourage into your won Thrapston garden!

su3

DSC06110

 

 

 

bullfinch_44

 

 

housesparrow_72

Ministers meet regarding A45 between Stanwick and Thrapston

MP Andy Sawford [East Northamptosnhire] and Leader of East Northants council, Cllr Steven North, have met with the Minister for Roads to discuss the case for the dualling of the A45 between Stanwick and Thrapston.

They are both campaigning the road improvements to reduce journey time for local residents and further  boost the local economy by improving links across the county.

Mr Sawford commented: “Dualling the A45 is a high priority in the East Northamptonshire area to support the economy and improve journey times for local residents. There is often congestion in this area and I know from that the high lorry usage means that journeys are often slow and also can be dangerous when people overtake along this narrow stretch of road.

“I told the Minister that the roundabouts have already been improved and that now is the time to make this crucial investment.

“I’m pleased that Cllr Steven North, Conservative Leader of East Northamptonshire, are working together in a cross-party effort to make sure the government and the Highways Agency know how important this is to our area”.

Image courtesy of ITV.com

The A45, which is already dual-carriageway from Northampton to Stanwick carries a high volume of traffic but congestion is frequently seen on the single carriageway stretch between Stanwick and the much-used A14 at Thrapston – which is also under scrutiny by the Department of Transport.

The impact on local growth was highlighted such as new distribution companies, new housing and potential new retail at Rushden Lakes, which makes the dualling of the road even more critical.

Councillor North and Andy Sawford MP agreed to take the matter to county level with the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership which has a role in determining priorities for improvement in local roads.

Andy Sawford MP can be contacted on Twitter with your views.

Don’t break a loved one’s heart this Valentine’s Day

 

A Northamptonshire charity has warned of the dangers of taking so-called ‘legal highs’ – urging users not to risk breaking their family’s hearts this Valentine’s Day.

According to the latest figures provided by the Office for National Statistics, New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) – commonly known as legal highs – led to 52 deaths in England and Wales in 2012.

There have also been a number of cases across the country where the use of such substances has resulted in frothing at the mouth, blurred vision and even heart attacks.

Northamptonshire-based Solve It has chosen Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to raise awareness of the potential dangers associated with the increasing use of ‘legal highs’.

Solve It chairman Kevin Shapland, said: “Government, law enforcement agencies and health professionals face real challenges because producers of these drugs are able to make small changes to the chemical compounds each a time a new psychoactive substance is controlled.

“With a pending government review due in the spring we believe education of the dangers associated with these so called ‘legal highs’ is the only effective way of reducing harm.”

Deborah Clarke, Business Manager at Solve It said: “These substances can be readily purchased over the internet or in so called ‘Head Shops’ and are often labelled as ‘research chemicals’, ‘herbal incense’ or ‘not for human consumption.  They may claim to be legal but they are not safe, they can kill or cause long term health consequences.”

With the support of funds provided by Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Solve It will shortly be launching an educational campaign that will help give information to both young people and their parents about the dangers of using so-called legal highs.

The campaign will also provide the ability to download a free smartphone app as well as a new website, while you can follow the charity on Twitter @SolveItVSA.

Flood Alert – Where to find out more…

  • Flood WarningThe EA for this area say “Flooding is possible. Be prepared.” using their Amber Warning

    Thrapston is on the Middle Nene

    Rainfall over the last few days has caused water levels in the River Nene to rise. River levels are expected to remain high for the next few days with further rainfall forecast today and into the weekend. The EA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.

    If you want to look up your postcode to see what river levels are like near you – click the Environment Agency link or the Amber warning above.

Corby Company nominated as a finalist for Housewares Innovation Awards!

Corby based Creative Tops Ltd, one of the UK’s leading tableware organisations, is pleased to announce that the Katie Alice Cottage Flower Vintage Cookware collection has been nominated as a finalist in the Housewares and Innovation Awards!

 SHOT 10-KATIE ALICE PCW

Exciting news for Katie Alice! The fabulous Cottage Flower Vintage Cookware collection has been nominated as a finalist in the Housewares Innovation Awards in the Best Cookware and Bakeware category!

Inspired by Katie’s passion and love of home baking, this range pays homage to the nation’s favourite past-time! With its delicate, vintage colour palette and intricate floral design, this range is a truly stunning addition to any kitchen! Due to its immense popularity, the Cottage Flower was expanded from a table top collection into the wonderful range we have today that includes cookware, bakeware and kitchen accessories such as rolling pins, jelly moulds, butter dishes and pudding bowls.

More information can be found at www.creative-tops.com.

Keirayne Sweets – Maybe they keep flu at bay?

Keirayne Sweets on Huntingdon Road are open every weekday afternoon, just in time for hungry school children to be satisfied with a sweet treat.  The sweets are made on the premises using age old recipes and the jars that fill the shelves evoke traditional memories!

We love to enter the shop and smell the delicious recipes cooking in the back, plus we’ve even been privy to seeing some of the lemon sherberts being made!  The fragrance is quite over whelming!sweets

Ask the proprietor if you can see the large copper drums, and the photos of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, as they starred in the film!  Drop in for sweets and a chat about sweet making, you will be amazed!

There are hundreds of flavours in the store, many you will never have heard of.  Our current favourites are Maple and Ginger boiled sweets.  As they are made traditionally, they are able to use real Ginger in the recipe rather than a chemically made flavouring…. we are sure that this daily Ginger hit in the Nene Local offices is keeping away the cold and flu germs!  Well that’s what we believe anyway….. they are so tasty it gives us a good excuse to munch away!

ginger

Rushden Lakes decision delayed

East Northamptonshire Council has been informed by the Department of Communities and Local Government that “the Secretary of State will not be in a position to reach a decision on the Rushden Lakes application by 13 February 2014.”

The notification does not state when a decision will be made.rushden

In October 2012, East Northamptonshire Councillors voted unanimously to grant planning permission for the old Skew Bridge Country Club and dry ski slope on the edge of Rushden to be developed into retail units, restaurants and a lakeside visitor centre, along with a hotel, leisure club and boat house.

Under planning rules, the application was referred to the Secretary of State who determined that the decision should be reviewed at a public inquiry which took place in June 2013. The planning inspector’s recommendation is now being considered by the Secretary of State.

Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Steven North, says: “We’re very disappointed that a decision won’t be announced this week but understand that DCLG have other more pressing matters to deal with at the moment around flooding. 

“This development has the potential to provide local people with a better retail offer on their doorstep as well as new jobs and a regenerated site that has become a blot on the landscape. We hope that a new announcement date comes soon.”

Full details of the planning application can be found on the East Northamptonshire Council’s planning site, www.eastnorthamptonshire.gov.uk/planning; simply key in application number 12/00010/FUL.

 

Valentine’s Day – Do you celebrate like a Red Kite?

Thrapston is looking very romantic this week as Valentines Day approaches, how do you celebrate?

You could find a romantic looking gift at Frocks…

valentines frocks…cards are available from Forget Me Not Cards, T James Newsagent, with some lovely assistants to help you with your purchase…

dog copy

Don’t forget the flowers from Karen’s Florist though, she’s helpfully put some prices on Facebook, and they begin at only £5.00

karens

If anyone spots any unusual Valentines Gifts or Offers here in Thrapston, then you can email pictures to our Newsdesk and we’ll add them online.

And as every news story on the BBC has to end with an “and finally” we’ll do the same here.  And finally….

Rarely a day goes by in Thrapston, without seeing the magnificent Red Kite, our bird of prey gracefully gliding overhead. Watch out this Valentine’s Day as courting couples fly together at speed, twisting and turning acrobatically. Often they will pass little parcels of food to each other in mid-air… how romantic!

redkitef_146

red kite