East Northants Reporter

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Beware of Covid scams POLICE are warning the public to beware of fraudulent calls and text messages falsely offering the COVID-19 vaccination. Since the vaccine was rolled out, reports have been made of people receiving fraudulent phone calls where they are asked to press a number on their keypad or send a text message to confirm they wish to receive the vaccine. Doing so is likely to result in a charge being applied to their phone bill. In other cases, callers are offering the vaccine for a fee or asking for bank details. People are warned to be alert to these scams. The vaccine is free and your surgery or the NHS will never ask you for money or your bank details. They will also not call you and ask you to press any numbers on your keypad or send them any text messages. The vaccine is only available from the NHS and your GP surgery will contact you when it is your turn. At present, appointments are


only being offered to: n Some people aged 80 and over who already have a hospital appointment in the next few weeks.

Police encouraging owner of ‘discarded items’ to come forward

n People who live or work in care homes

n Health care workers at high risk. You will also need to be registered with a GP surgery in England. You can register with a GP if you do not have one. The vaccine will be offered more widely, and at other locations, as soon as possible. The NHS will never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text asking you to confirm you want the vaccine. It will also never ask for payment for the vaccine or for your bank details. If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. If you require consumer advice contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

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POLICE officers are appealing for the owner of the items pictured to come forward and speak to them. On Saturday, January 9, neighbourhood officers conducting foot patrols in Wellingborough saw what looked to be a drug deal in Olympic Way. At the sight of our officers, the group dispersed with one male discarding a number of items as he ran away, including drugs, a large quantity of cash, cannabis grinders and some personal belongings. Neighbourhood Policing Sgt Chris Stevens, said: “We’re really

disappointed that the owner of these items ran away from us and didn’t feel like he wanted to stick around and talk to us. “We’d really like him to come to a police station of his choice at his earliest convenience to try and have that conversation with us in the warm. “We know he must be be missing his property – especially the cash!” If you are the person who dropped these items, police would love you to get in touch either in person or on the phone via 101.

New technology is rolled out STAGECOACH – Britain’s biggest bus operator – has revealed it will become the first bus operator in the country to invest in the national roll-out of new bridge alert technology across its fleet of vehicles. The £4m project will strengthen existing measures in place to prevent bridge strikes and build on Stagecoach’s industry-leading use of the GreenRoad driver safety and fuel efficiency system. GreenRoad’s core safety system is installed on all of

Stagecoach’s 8.000 buses in England, Scotland and Wales. The technology also serves professional drivers from companies across Europe, the Middle East, America, Australia and New Zealand. Stagecoach has been in discussions with GreenRoad over the past eight months on how to extend the telematics technology. This will further improve safety for its fleet – including 3,800 double-decker buses – around low bridges.

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Finedon man who brutally attacked two pensioners is locked up for five years A MAN who brutally attacked two vulnerable Northamptonshire pensioners at different addresses on the same day has been locked up for five years. Ian Courtney Moore, (pictured, below), was jailed at Northampton Crown Court on December 23 after he was convicted of two counts of grievous bodily harm against the two men, one aged 79 and the other 68. The court was told how 47-year-old Moore had attended two addresses in Finedon on June 29, 2020, and assaulted the occupants, inflicting serious injuries. During the attacks, in Thrapston Road and Allen Road, Moore subjected his victims to terrifying violence, with one of the victims sustaining a broken jaw in the attack. The crime spree was believed to be moneyrelated, but Moore only pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.

Speaking after sentence was passed, Det Con Ryan Smedley, of Northamptonshire Police, said: “Moore is an extremely violent and dangerous man who has been locked up for two attacks which were entirely unprovoked and wholly terrifying for the victims, one of whom has had to leave the area altogether. “Due to some excellent work, Northamptonshire Police has been able to safeguard the public from a very violent individual.” Moore, of Thrapston Road, Finedon, has been on remand since his arrest in June. He was told he posed such a danger to the public that it would be up to the Probation Service to determine if he was safe for release upon completion of his sentence. Remember, sign up for your daily digest of local East Northamptonshire news at rosettapublishing.com/reporter/sign-up/


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‘Shower gel’ sent to prison inmates contained £40,000 worth of Spice

A COUNTY man has been jailed after disguising £40,000 worth of Spice as shower gel and mailing it into prison. Jay Jeffery Coles, (pictured, right), was arrested at his Northampton home after the four plastic bottles arrived at the postroom of HMP Wayland in Norfolk in September last year. When the illicit contents were discovered, an investigation was launched. CCTV footage and postal tracking numbers ultimately proved Coles’ involvement. The 26-year-old, previously pleaded guilty to sending a prohibited article into prison. At Northampton Crown Court,

on Tuesday January 5, he was jailed for two years. Det Insp Jim Heggs, from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “When the four bottles arrived at the prison, they looked innocuous enough. They were in branded bottles and the yellow liquid inside looked like the pineapple and lemon zest soap. “But on further inspection the gel was found to be of a runnier consistency, Suffice to say, following tests, the bottles were found to contain drugs worth up to £41,500. Mind-altering drugs that, had they made it into the prison population, could have seriously compromised the security of inmates and staff alike.”



Council countdown begins

delivery in the services to residents and businesses. A programme of continuous service improvement will remain in place and will remain a priority moving forwards. Leader of North Northamptonshire Shadow Authority Russell Roberts said: “Clearly we are all living in very challenging times. “The continuity of public services has never been so important. “Providing vital services to our local residents will remain our number one priority. We do have a real opportunity to do things in a way that makes an even bigger difference in the future.” For more information, visit futurenorthantsnorth.org/


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THERE are less than three months to go before the creation of the new North Northamptonshire Council, with vesting day on April 1. The new authority will take over responsibility for the services currently delivered by the Borough Council of Wellingborough, Corby Borough Council, East Northamptonshire Council, Kettering Borough Council and many of the services provided by Northamptonshire County Council. Local authorities in the area are working closely to ensure a smooth transition to the new North Northamptonshire Council. The focus for day one will be to provide continuity and efficient


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Call for clarity over council elections by Local Democracy Reporter

A COUNCIL leader is calling for clarity on whether May elections will continue – with new information appearing to conflict guarantees he had had only hours before. Councillor Ian McCord, the leader of the West Northamptonshire shadow council, told members of his executive committee that the Thursday, May 6, date would remain unaltered despite a third lockdown being confirmed earlier this week by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In some parts of the county, council elections have not been held since 2015. Votes have been postponed for two consecutive years in the county, the first due to the impending reorganisation of local government in 2019, (which has since been delayed until April 1 this year), and then cancelled again due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Speaking at a shadow executive meeting online, Councillor McCord – who is also the existing leader of South Northamptonshire Council – said: “I had a call earlier today where it was asked if there were any doubts about elections. “The minister I spoke with was very clear that there were no plans at all to change elections and they will still be carrying on for May. “That was confirmed in a ministerial call earlier, so at least that gives us a bit of clarity that there are no plans whatsoever to change the date.” However, those comments appeared to already be out of date only hours later after the Prime Minister said this afternoon that the date would be kept ‘under review’, with the BBC reporting local leaders in Manchester had discussed the possibility of delaying the elections until June, or possibly even the autumn. Meanwhile, the County Councils Network officially called on the Government to provide urgent clarity on the local elections scheduled for May, and for a swift decision on whether they will take place in the spring.

Councillor McCord also backed that call, but said he did not want to see ‘the undemocratic elastic in this county stretched any thinner’. He said: “We just need clarity now. If it’s going to be in May then we should crack on, but if it’s not then call it early. “My concern is we end up with another situation where they hold off when it could have been called earlier.” Speaking about the call with ministers he had had before, the Conservative councillor said they were ‘adamant’ the elections would be held in May. He said: “They were telling us they had made provisions within the rules to allow you to exercise your vote and go to a polling station. “They might have been wrong, but they were certainly not in doubt.”

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Town Mayor opens new timber trail


Legislation enabling the lockdown runs until March 31, just over a month before the planned the vote, but the Government initially hoped to start easing lockdown in mid-February, by which time it hopes to have vaccinated 13 million ‘at risk’ people. It is expected that lockdowns will be ended on a regional basis back into the four existing tiers. Although the introduction and rollout of the PfizerBioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines is expected to help bring back a semblance of normality, it remains to be seen whether the UK will see a large increase in ballots being cast in the post, as was the case in the recent Presidential election in the USA. In South Northamptonshire, Daventry and Northampton, residents will be voting for candidates for the new West Northamptonshire unitary council. This will replace the existing district and borough councils, as well as the county council, on April 1. Meanwhile a second unitary authority, known as North Northamptonshire, will replace the councils in Wellingborough, Kettering, East Northamptonshire and Corby.

HIGHAM Ferrers Mayor Tina Reavey has officially opened an exciting new facility for the town. The Mayor of Higham Ferrers, formally opened the Timber Trail at Castle Fields on a beautiful cold frosty morning. Chairman of East Northamptonshire Council Hlene Howell also attended the socially distanced ceremony to hand over a plaque, as the project had been funded by a Community Facilities grant of £7,500 from East Northamptonshire Council. For several years, the council and the residents of Higham Ferrers had had an

aspiration to improve the facilities on Castle Fields. As it is a Scheduled Ancient Monument this had not been straightforward and after some negotiation Historic England agreed to a low level timber trail. On behalf of the town council, Cllr Reavey thanked East Northamptonshire Council for the funding. She said: "I know that the facility is already being enjoyed by many children from Higham Ferrers and particularly during these difficult times. “It is important that there are opportunities to exercise and play outside."

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Shocking footage released by police shows moment armed officers confronted a knife-wielding man SHOCKING body-worn-video footage released by Northamptonshire Police shows the moment armed police officers confronted and disarmed a man armed with a knife in an Asda supermarket. At about 9pm on November 19, 2020, a number of 999 calls began coming into the Force’s Control Room from terrified members of the public who had been threatened at knifepoint by 22-year-old Mantas Auryla, (right), at the store in Raunds. Our call handlers took the calls as they always do in the face of panic – calmly, reassuringly, measured, but always with that hope in the back of their heads for a good outcome. Specially trained armed officers were immediately deployed and the store was evacuated. Video footage released by police today shows the moment officers entered the empty store on the hunt for Auryla. They swiftly located him, disarmed and arrested him, before he was subsequently charged with two counts of having a blade/article which was sharply pointed in

public place and public affray. This month he was sentenced to eighteen months in prison. No one was injured during the incident. Following the arrest, officers can be seen doing a sweep of the supermarket to make sure there were no other offenders or potential threats present. Lead investigator, Det Con Katy Tyrrell said: “This was a terrifying experience for the staff and customers at Asda as it was unclear what motives Auryla had. “I would like to pay tribute to the staff at Asda in particular for the way they ensured their customers were evacuated and kept safe throughout the incident. “This was a great response by my uniformed colleagues and those in the force control room. “I’m really pleased it has concluded with Auryla sentenced to 18 months in prison – showing the gravity and seriousness of his offence.” Chief Constable Nick Adderley said: “As this video footage shows, this was a very

dramatic incident and is an excellent example of the bravery our police officers show every day when they walk towards danger, into unknown situations, to protect the public. “An incident of this nature is exceptionally rare, however I hope the level of response we provided at the time, including our ability to quickly deploy specially trained firearms officers, reassures the community that we are always ready and equipped to react to a variety of scenarios in order to keep them safe. “We have the bravest police officers in the world in this country and I am proud to lead a force that consistently demonstrates courage, dedication and commitment of the highest level. “Finally, I want to take this opportunity to commend Det Con Katy Tyrrell for a thorough investigation which gave Auryla no choice but to plead guilty to the offences at court.” You can see the footage at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTixLIC GSpQ&feature=youtu.be or at The Reporter’s website at rosettapublishing.com/reporter/

New line and platform promise improved services for passengers

WORK to give passengers in the East Midlands and Bedfordshire access to faster journeys with more seats available on board more environmentally friendly trains has taken another step forward. On Sunday, December 20, 2020, the new fourth track between Bedford and Kettering and the new platform at Wellingborough station were brought into use. These are the latest completed improvements as part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade, which will deliver a brand new, improved timetable for passengers in 2021. Route director for Network Rail’s East Midlands Route Gary Walsh said: “This is a really exciting time for all passengers using the Midland Main Line as we start to see the benefits of many years hard work by hundreds of people across the rail industry. “We’re now working with our colleagues at East Midlands Railway to support driver training and the introduction of electric powered trains on the route, as well as carrying out final testing and assurance with the Office of Rail and Road, (ORR). “We’re well on track to deliver significant improvements for passengers next year. We’ll also be able to transport even more freight

by rail, keeping lorries off the roads and supporting our economy to ‘build back better’.” At Wellingborough station as well as building platform four, the existing platforms have been extended and improved to reduce stepping distance onto trains. The historic canopies have been refurbished, with The Railway Heritage Trust contributing a significant heritage grant to this part of the scheme. New waiting shelters, lighting, CCTV and fencing have also been installed and the footbridge has been extended to platform four. Stanton Cross Developments LLP contributed to the footbridge extension as part of development. Transition and projects director at East Midlands Railway Lisa Angus said: “The Midland Main Line Upgrade has been made possible by the skill and hard work of so many people, right across the rail industry. “As such, these latest milestones are an incredibly proud moment for all of us. “However, we still have a huge amount of work in front of us to deliver on this investment and introduce the major timetable enhancements in 2021. “Pleasingly, despite the huge challenges Covid has created for

all of us, that is also on track.” Operations director for Bovis Homes Lee Barrett said: “Our investment in Wellingborough station is key to the strategic vision for Stanton Cross.” There is more news about your train services on page 12.




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Covid-19 – ‘Stay at home’ message continues to be hammered home as NHS battles pandemic MEMBERS of the public are being thanked for playing their part in following the latest lockdown restrictions which came into force last month. The vast majority of people in Northamptonshire are following the guidance put in place by the Government in order to help stop the spread of Covid-19. Assistant Chief Constable Simon Blatchly, from Northamptonshire Police, said: “We know the vast majority of people are following the rules and we thank them for that. “No one wants to be in another

lockdown, however, as infection rates increase across the county, it’s vital that we all do our part to stop the spread of coronavirus. “It is clear the NHS is under immense pressure, with both of our acute hospitals busier now than they were last spring – we must all continue to pull together to help ease this pressure. “We all have a personal responsibility to follow the rules, bringing the infection rate down is not the responsibility of other people, each and every one of us has to do the right thing.” It was revealed Northampton-

Higham Ferrers Town Council

The Town Hall, Market Square Higham Ferrers NN10 8BT Tel/Fax: 01933 312075 info@highamferrers-tc.gov.uk www.highamferrers-tc.gov.uk

ForthCoMinG MEEtinGS

All meetings are currently Via Zoom

Tuesday 9th February, 6.30pm PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING Tuesday 9th February, 7.30pm POLICY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE MEETING Tuesday 23rd February, 7.30pm STATUTORY COUNCIL MEETING Saturday 27th February, 9am–1pm

FARMERS MARKET how to ContaCt your CounCillor Cllr Mrs A. Gardner Email: Redley.ang4@gmail.com Cllr N. Brown Tel: 01933 384875 Cllr R.D. Hamblin Cllr H.L. Jackson* Tel; 01933 314963 Cllr D.C. Lawson MBE Tel: 01933 397760 Cllr Mrs S.A. Mantle Tel: 01933 356838 Cllr C. O’Rourke Deputy Mayor Tel: 01933 411472 Cllr V.K. Paul Tel: 07850 723504

Cllr B.A. Prigmore Tel: 01933 386225 Cllr A.M.T. Reading Tel: 01933 411361 Cllr Mrs C. Reavey Mayor Tel 01933 413173 Cllr Mrs A.M. Sauntson Cllr J. Smithers** Tel: 07779 137081 Cllr B. Spencer Tel: 07976 570865 Cllr P. Tomas* Tel: 01933 359688 Cllr Mrs P.H. Whiting Tel: 01933 356717

* District Councillor – East Northamptonshire Council ** County Councillor - Northamptonshire County Council

Town Clerk – Mrs Sandra Mitcham BA (Hons), FILCM Assistant Town Clerk – Alicia Schofield Administration/Communication/Finance Officer – Donna Anderson Administration/Communication Officer – Emily Arrow Parks and Open Spaces Wardens – Chris Spring & Chris Butcher Mayor’s Sergeant – Mr David Wicks

shire Police issued 848 Fixed Penalty Notices between March and December 2020, this number will have risen to more than 1,000 since the New Year and is expected to rise further following an increase in patrols. ACC Blatchly said: “Policing across the UK has been asked to be even more proactive in tackling those people who are not complying with the law, and that it what we’re doing. “Our Neighbourhood Teams are completing covid patrols, focussing on our town centres, public transport, parks, country parks and supermarkets, in order to engage and offer reassurance to the public. “Social distancing measures and the need to wear a face mask in shops and on public transport have been the law for six months, there is no excuse for not knowing the rules. “Likewise, people know they shouldn’t be having visitors to their homes, other than those who are in their support bubble, and then only when absolutely necessary. “The more people mix, the higher the risk of the virus spreading. “My officers will continue to respond to reported breaches of Covid legislation and issue fines of up to £10,000 to anyone hosting a gathering and £200 fines to those people in attendance.” Reports of breaches, which are received in the Force Control Room, can be made via https://www.northants.police.uk/tu a/tell-us-about/c19/v7/tell-usabout-a-possible-breach-of-coron-

Life saving defibrillator installed at Hall Park

A NEW defibrillator has been installed in Rushden. The town council announced on its website: “We are pleased to announce that a new defibrillator has been installed at Hall Park and is located at the new accessible toilet, next door to Rushden Museum. “Defibrillators are medical devices that help and support a rescue for a patient in cardiac arrest, working to restore their heart rhythm before emergency services arrive and improving the patient's survival rate. "If a defibrillator is used within three to five minutes of cardiac arrest, survival rates jump from six per cent to 74 per cent." Last year, Rushden Town Council installed defibrillators at Spencer Park Pavilion, Jubilee Park Pavilion and also plans to install three more defibrillators in locations across the town. The potentially life-saving defibrillators have been partly funded by East Northamptonshire Council's Councillor Empowerment Fund, along with member contributions towards the installation costs, and a kind donation of £100 from the Independent Wesleyan Church, Rushden.

avirus-covid-19-measures/ During lockdown people are advised to: n Stay at home n Only leave home for food, medical reasons, exercise or work n Work from home, unless you’re unable to do so n Do not travel unless necessary, stay local, including for exercise n Wear face coverings in shops and on public transport n Maintain good hygiene practices, wash/sanitise hands regularly.

Play your part in the fight against the disease THE Bedford College Group is in the process of rolling out a mass COVID-19 testing programme for staff and students across our Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire campuses (Bedford, Biggleswade, Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough). The organisation is looking to develop a bank workforce, of up to 60 people, who can support the delivery of tests at our campuses across a range of different roles, which will include tasks, such as: n Ensuring the safe and effective distribution of COVID-19 tests to users n Ensuring the testing process is completed by users correctly and efficiently n Ensuring that administration tasks are completely to a high level of accuracy (i.e. recording of test results and booking in processes) n Providing customer service to users, assisting the

full testing process from booking on, receiving test through to storage and completion and disposal inline with company policy and legislation n Undertaking all mandatory training relevant to the safe performance of the role. Existing staff will be eligible to apply, but there will be some places among the 60 posts, for external candidates who will need to demonstrate excellent customer service, alongside the ability: n To work well as part of a co-ordinated team n To communicate effectively with those being tested and to colleagues • to work in a highly confidential manner, respecting the privacy of staff and students. For external persons who may be interested, a CV submission will be required from rprince@bedford.ac.uk.

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Stark police warning issued over online shopping scams AS the popularity of internet shopping and online auctions grows, so the number of complaints about transactions is increasing. Police said some of the most common complaints involved: Buyers receiving goods late, or not at all Sellers not receiving payment Buyers receiving goods that are either less valuable than those advertised or significantly different from the original description Failure to disclose relevant information about a product or the terms of sale. If you are a victim of shopping or auction fraud, the most immediate problem is that you have no real prospect of returning the goods or having your money refunded. After this, there is a risk that your identity details could be compromised. Fraudsters could steal your identity and use it to access your personal finances or obtain goods or finance from alternative sources. Police have now asked – are you a victim of shopping and auction fraud? You’ve bought goods from an online seller that are either late in arriving or don’t arrive at all. You’ve received goods from an online seller which does not match the original description. You’ve given identity details or personal financial

information to an online seller who has used them in criminal ways.


If the seller has misrepresented the goods you have bought, report the fraud to Action Fraud. Keep all evidence of the offence, including goods and correspondence. If there is a business dispute over the nature of the transaction, contact the website involved. Or, you can alert Consumer Direct by phone on 08454 04 05 06. Protect yourself against shopping and auction fraud Make sure you understand how the website’s feedback function works. Feedback will give you useful information about

recent transactions other buyers have made. Check the item's description carefully – ask the seller questions if you’re not sure of something. Beware of people offering you a deal below the current bid or reserve price, especially if they contact you direct. Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Be extremely careful when buying things from people with little or no selling history. Be aware of phishing emails that look like they come from the online auction or payment site you are registered with, asking you to update your account details or re-enter them because your account has been suspended. Check the URL in the web browser.

A tactic often used by fraudsters is to change the address very slightly, (if they’re spoofing an eBay site, for instance, they may have an address such as ‘. . . @ebayz.com’ whereas the real site is ‘. . . @ebay.com’) Read the terms and conditions carefully, including those relating to any dispute resolution procedures the site offers. If you bid for an item unsuccessfully, do not be tempted to trade off-site if another seller approaches you with a similar item. As a buyer you should – Try to avoid paying by money transfers – they aren’t secure. Be careful when using direct banking transactions to pay for goods. Make sure transactions are secure. Don’t send confidential personal or financial information by email. Use an online payment option such as PayPal, which helps to protect you. As a seller you should: Be wary of accepting payment by cheque. Even though it may clear, you are still liable if the cheque is forged or stolen. Don’t accept a cheque for a higher amount and refund the difference. This is a common fraud that only comes to light when the buyers’ cheque turns out to be stolen or forged. If fraud has been committed, report it to Action Fraud at https://reporting.actionfraud.police.uk/login

Help catch abusers AS part of a month-long domestic abuse campaign to lock up the county’s most prolific domestic abuse offenders, Northamptonshire Police have released names and photos of five of the county’s most wanted offenders. Police made 330 arrests for domestic abuse offences during the month-long campaign, which involved intense policing activity to clampdown on those wanted for domestic violence, stalking and harassment. Arrests are sought for these men – they should not be approached. Anyone who sees them or knows of their whereabouts, should call Northamptonshire Police on 101, quoting the reference numbers below. Top row, left to right: Otis Wallace, aged 24 – Last known address was in Northampton. 20000294135. Perry O’Boyle, aged 28 – Last known addresses were in Burton Latimer and Wellingborough. 20000570442. Bottom row, left to right: Stuart Doyle, aged 37 – Known to frequent Brixworth, South Northamptonshire and Cosgrove, Milton Keynes. 20000270139. Machi O'Brien, aged 26, whose last known address was in Wellingborough. He also frequents Kettering. 20000514183.

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Employment park awarded planning permission COUNCILLORS have agreed to approve a planning application for a large new employment park. The application, on the outskirts of Towcester, was determined by councillors on South Northamptonshire Council’s plan last month, is essentially a ‘hybrid’ application made up of two separate schemes. The first is for outline permission for an employment park with industrial and warehouse uses, ancillary offices and small standalone office space. It also proposes a car showroom and petrol filling station uses, and/or retail and restaurant uses. Awarding outline permission essentially grants permission in principle for such a scheme, but issues such as the design and layout of buildings would be included in a full application at a later date. The second part of the scheme is seeking full planning permission for a new roundabout access from the A43 and a spine road for the development. The Tiffield Lane/A43 junction would be altered to enable left in and left out turnings only. Plans for the 34 hectare site, which neighbours the A43 and is just to the south of the village of Tiffield, had been met with strong opposition from some local residents and parish councils. Almost 140 households had made representations to date objecting against the scheme, while Tiffield Parish Council wrote in its objection: “There is a lack of clarity about the exact nature of the development which means that the impacts of the development cannot be fully understood.

“The new Hulcote turn roundabout would result in making Northampton Road a rat run and increase traffic congestion in Towcester which in turn would exacerbate air pollution. Proposed pedestrian and cycle links between Towcester and Tiffield and Bell Plantation are inconvenient and potentially dangerous and could result in congestion on the A43. “Suggestions are made for a footbridge which could provide a safe and practical green corridor connecting Towcester to Northampton.” Eaton Neston Parish Council added to the objections, saying there was ‘unsubstantiated demand’ for such an employment park, adding: “Such a large development goes beyond that consistent with a ‘rural service centre’ with no justification of the availability of a local workforce to fill the jobs created and no evidence of a demand for the proposed uses in the area.” Planning officers had recommended the scheme be delegated to the council’s assistant director for planning and economy to grant permission. The majority chose to follow that advice. One of the committee members, Councillor Paul Wiltshire, said: “We’re in the position where we have a simple choice. We can either refuse the application, or we created the Local Plan. “Everything has been worked in accordance with that and we can approve the application that lets the officers carry on to work the fine details.”

Help develop and shape your council’s new website look

FROM April 1, two new unitary authorities, North and West Northamptonshire Council, will replace the eight existing councils in the county. Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough will join to form North Northamponshire Council, and Daventry, Northampton and South Northants will join to form West Northamptonshire Council. Many services currently delivered by the county council will be split between the two new councils. In preparation for this change,

officers are developing a new website for North Northamptonshire Council and are seeking your views on some preliminary ideas, to help improve the design and ensure that it meets the needs of our residents. If you are interested in taking part in this exciting opportunity, please register your interest by completing this short form at the East Northamptonshire Council website. Remember, sign up to get your own daily update of local news https://rosettapublishing.com/re porter/sign-up/

Schools spread misinformation about Hinduism, report suggests

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A REPORT published by the INSIGHT UK group has revealed pupils leave school with an incorrect and sparse understanding of Hinduism. INSIGHT UK is an organisation that aims to address the concerns of the British Hindu and British Indian communities. The document titled Report on the state of Hinduism in Religious Education in UK Schools, includes claims of bullying and inferiority complex issues experienced by British Hindus because of the inaccurate teaching of Hinduism in RE. It stated some disturbing findings, including parents highlighting misinformation spread by UK schools, for example linking gender disparity in education in India to Hinduism and linking social issues from South Asia to Hinduism.

A teaching book even suggested Hindus were turning to terrorism. The report also provided evidence that the subject is not available for most students taking GCSE exams, despite Hindus being the third-largest religious group in the UK. The project by was supported and guided by major Hindu organisations in the UK. INSIGHT UK carried out consultations and research with SACRE members, academics, teachers, and parents followed by a national survey, which is being described as one of the most successful Hindu surveys in the UK. Data captured showed the majority of British Hindus were dissatisfied with the teaching of Hinduism in UK schools and unhappy with teachers' knowledge of the subject.

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Jailed after deliberately crashing car into house A MAN who drunkenly and deliberately drove his car into a house before assaulting the woman inside it has been sentenced to seven years in prison. Shaun Patrick Gorman, 65, previously of Irthlingborough, was driving a grey Mitsubishi Shogun on the night of December 21, 2019, when he crashed through the garden fence of a property in Westfield Road, Wellingborough, and into the rear of the house, causing it significant damage. He then got out of the car, armed with two knives, and assaulted the 24-year-old woman inside by punching her multiple times. She suffered a fractured eye-socket as a result but thankfully made a full recovery following the incident. At Northampton Crown Court this week,

Gorman was sentenced to seven years in prison. He was also disqualified from driving for four years and six months. In her sentencing remarks, Her Honour Judge Crane, said: “You had been drinking whiskey and were two times over the drink drive limit. “You drove round in a rage armed with two knives and drove deliberately though this woman’s fence and then into the house, being reckless as to the injury you might cause. “Having driven through the wall, you then grabbed her around the throat and repeatedly punched her. “This was done in front of her son. “She was frightened for herself and her children.”

Det Sgt Ryan Catling said: “This was an exceptionally dangerous and reckless act and Gorman is lucky he did not kill anyone when he drove into this house that day. “This was a very well-put-together case by the investigative team led by DC Norton and I am pleased that their work has concluded with a sevenyear sentence. “By getting into that car, two times over the drink drive limit, and filled with rage and frustration, Gorman showed no regard for life, and I hope this is something he reflects on during his spell in prison. “Finally, I want to commend the victim in this case who shown a lot of courage by giving evidence in court and supporting our investigation throughout.”

Joan celebrates her 100th Stolen puppies are returned DETECTIVES investigating an incident where five bulldog puppies were stolen from a Wellingborough home are pleased to confirm the dogs have been returned safe and well. But the police are still hunting for the cuplrites to determine why they took the puppies in the first place and to clear up the mystery.


The incident happened in Windermere Drive, Wellingborough, on Monday, January 18, between 4.20pm and 4.35pm, when three males entered the address and threatened the occupants with weapons before making off with the puppies. A plea was made by police officers for the puppies to be returned and thankfully they were yesterday evening. Det Insp Johnny Campbell, said: “We are very

pleased to confirm that these puppies are back with their rightful owners and I would thank the people who stole them for having some humanity and doing the right thing by giving them back. “As an organisation with dogs on our team, we know how important and cherished they are to their owners, how they are part of the family. “So I would like to thank everyone who shared our appeal and helped get these puppies back. “We would still encourage whoever did this to come forward and speak to us about why you did this in the first place so we can put the matter to rest.” Detectives from CID are continuing to investigate this incident and witnesses or anyone with information is still encouraged to call police on 101. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. The incident number is 2100004200.

WE HAVE MOVED: 7 WEST STREET RUSHDEN NN10 0RT JOAN Howlett is all smiles as she gets set to celebrate her 100th birthday. Born in Wellingborough on March 7, 2021, Joan lived in the town all her life. She applied to join the forces twice but unable to due to a weak heart. So instead worked as a short hand typist. She was married to Ronald for 74 years and told The Reporter: “If you find someone you love cherish them like I did. Hold on to the memories.” Joan’s son lives in Canada, however has regular contact via calls and visits when able. She has lived at Darsdale in Raunds for seven years and says she is very happy here. It is her home and residents have all become a big family. On asking Joan what her secret to living 100 is, she said: “Be interested in everything, love your family and cherish every moment together. “Look fondly back onto memories, but also look forward to the future to make more.” All staff and residents are Darsdale care home would like to wish Joan a wonderful happy 100th birthday.

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THE NSPCC is warning about the devastating mental health impact of the pandemic on children as new figures reveal Childline has seen an increase in the number of counselling sessions about mental and emotional health with children aged 11 and under since lockdown measures were first introduced – with the monthly average rising by 16 per cent. The latest data from the NSPCC – also showed the service has now delivered a total of 54,926 counselling sessions to children of all ages on this issue from April to the end of December against the backdrop of the pandemic. The monthly average number of counselling sessions on mental health where children spoke about loneliness also rose by 10 per cent compared to the pre-lockdown period from January to March.

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More than 50,000 children reach out to Childline charity Childline counselling is delivered by volunteers and in response to these latest worrying figures and with COVID restrictions continuing, the service is urgently appealing to those who can spare four hours one evening a week or at the weekend to volunteer, so Childline can be here for children when they need us the most.


With schools closed to the majority of pupils until at least the middel of this month and the whole of the UK in lockdown, Childline has never been more important as a source of support for young people who are struggling. Now more than ever, it is essential that children are not left isolated, alone and unsupported.

Over the past ten months, the NSPCC-run service’s trained counsellors have heard first-hand the devastating impact the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic have had on young people’s mental health.

Children who contacted Childline’s trained counsellors about their mental health spoke about concerns including loneliness, low mood, low selfesteem, depression and anxiety.

Some have been feeling isolated and overwhelmed due to concerns about family members catching the virus, or school closures and cancelled exams – while others have felt cut off from support networks and are missing family and friends.

A spokesman for the charity said: “As we move from

crisis to recovery, at the NSPCC we’re still here for children. “Today, the shockwaves of the coronavirus pandemic are being felt in every community of the UK and Channel Islands. “It’s time for us to all work together – to rebuild our society so it’s better for our children, to continue to adapt how we work on the frontline of child protection, and to go further. “All of this is only possible with your support. You helped us be here before the pandemic, you helped us be here on the frontline throughout, and now we need your help so we can still be here, for every child.” If you can help, visit www.nspcc.org.uk/supportus/ways-to-give/donate/

Second half of £1m funding pot to help communities battle Covid-19 ALMOST a year ago, Anglian Water launched plans to establish a new £1m community support fund to provide a cash boost for local communities to meet emerging needs arising from the pandemic. Last year, half of the company’s Positive Difference Fund, (PDF), was made available to help front-line organisations in the immediate response to the pandemic. Today, the water company is announcing the remaining funds are to be made available to help communities meet emerging needs and adapt following almost a year of Covid impact. Anglian Water will continue working with 15 Community Foundations – including in Northamptonshire – in the East of England and Hartlepool to allocate the fund. The money will help local charitable organisations deal with issues in the community as a result of the continuing threat of coronavirus.

Organisations like food banks, outreach programmes and those helping the most vulnerable can ask for continuing support from the Positive Difference Fund via the Community Foundations to help those experiencing financial hardship, potential for hunger, lack of shelter, access to education, further exacerbation of health issues, loneliness and isolation. Over last summer, the first £500,000 distributed from the fund, helped more than 88,000 people via 124 community organisations. The second phase will help to meet emerging needs resulting from the ongoing pandemic and help groups and communities to adapt and re-build. Full details and eligibility criteria can be found on the Community Foundations website. Anglian Water’s chief executive Peter Simpson, said: “No one would have believed a year ago, what a different world we’d be living in by 2021. “All our lives have been affected by the pandemic

in some way. “As one of the biggest businesses in the East of England, we made a commitment to continue offering support to our local communities as their needs change.

“We sincerely hope this second tranche of funding will help continue some of the incredible work that’s already been started and support recovery in the longer term. “I’m proud we’ve been able to make even a small difference to so many people already. “But our work is not done. Alongside the Positive Difference Fund, we’ll keep working to support our customers in the best way we know how – by keeping taps running and toilets flushing, because access to water for health and hygiene has never been more important.”


CEO of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation Michael O’Toole has been co-ordinating the fund on behalf of the local foundations covering the Anglian Water region. He said: “The first phase of the Anglian Water Positive Difference Fund provided emergency support to thousands of people in vulnerable circumstances across the East of England. “We’re delighted to support the roll out of the second phase which will provide equally critical support to those most vulnerable at this time. “Support for our communities and charities through this incredible difficult period has never been more needed, or more welcomed. “On behalf of all the Community Foundations and most importantly, all of the vital projects this fund is enabling, I am so grateful for Anglian Water’s support.” Other support includes discounted tariffs.

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Unpaid carers to share their experiences after pandemic CHANGES to health, care and support services during the pandemic will have affected those who provide unpaid care to family and friends. Healthwatch Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire Carers and Carers’ Voice Northamptonshire are working together to find out more about the experiences of unpaid carers at this time. When Healthwatch Northamptonshire asked people to tell them about their experiences of health and care services during the coronavirus pandemic earlier in 2020 they became aware of some of the extra difficulties and challenges faced by those who provide unpaid or informal care for their loved ones. To find out more about these challenges, as well as what is working well, they have launched a new survey asking about the experiences of those who have been providing unpaid care since March, 2020. There are two versions of the surveys, one for those age 18 and over, (anyone younger than 18 can answer this longer survey if they wish), and one for young people age 11 to 17. These surveys are intended for unpaid carers (sometimes referred to as ‘informal’ or ‘family’ carers). This means someone who provides unpaid care or support for a relative, friend or neighbour. This person can be an adult or child and the care is as a result of additional needs due to a disability, mental illness or a long term health condition. This excludes people providing care as part of paid work – for example working in a care home, hospital or care agency but does include people providing care for a loved one who is in


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receipt of Carers Allowance or a Direct Payment. The findings of the survey will be shared with the local organisations which plan and provide health and care services in the county to inform their work and help them to continue to deliver good quality care and support carers at this time. The survey is available online at https://bit.ly/carerscovid (where it can be read in other languages by those using a computer), or paper copies can be sent to groups or individuals in the post. Anyone needing help to complete it or who would like to complete it over the phone can call 0300 002 0010, or ask for a call back. The survey is particularly keen to hear from groups who can help share this survey with their members. The survey will be open until the end of February. Healthwatch Northamptonshire will be working with Northamptonshire Carers and other partners to also hold a virtual engagement event for carers to highlight their concerns during the coronavirus pandemic and what services they want in the future. The event will take place as part of Northamptonshire Carers’ Annual General Meeting, mirroring a successful event in 2019 attended by nearly 100 carers which helped shape a local Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. This will take place on Tuesday February 23, 10am to noon and you can register in advance for this meeting at us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtceqorT0pGd2C6Avv8c7pkYNHd-mwCzK7.

CEO of Northamptonshire Mark Major said: “Unpaid (informal) carers are playing a greater role than ever before in supporting people with their care needs. “The changing priorities of health and care services during the coronavirus pandemic has had a big impact on both them and those they care for. “Carers have valuable insight into how well services are working and we encourage them to have their say so that services can be improved for all carers.” CEO of Healthwatch Northamptonshire Kate Holt said: “As part of our role to speak up for the people who use health and social care services and those that care for them, we are asking you to tell us more about your experiences as an unpaid carer during the pandemic. “Your feedback can help Northamptonshire’s health and care providers to understand what could be improved as they work hard to provide the best possible care during these difficult times.” For more information, to help share the survey or for help completing the survey contact Healthwatch Northamptonshire on 0300 002 0010 or email enquiries@healthwatchnorthamptonshire.co.uk If you need more support as a carer, contact Northamptonshire Carers on 01933 677907 or email carers@northamptonshire-carers.org If you would like to regularly give your views and get involved in shaping carers service, find out more about Carers’ Voice Northamptonshire at https://www.connectedtogether.co.uk/carersvoice/ or you can telephone the service on 07856 875132 for further details.

Probe launched into flooding by Local Democracy Reporter

A ‘PROPER investigation’ is underway to find out what is contributing to flooding issues in the county. Northampton Borough Council deputy leader Councillor Phil Larratt has said that a ‘significant’ flooding issue has arisen that is affecting the rear of properties in High Street and Water Lane, Collingtree, land which is owned by Northamptonshire County Council. Now Councillor Larratt has said the borough’s counterparts at County Hall will be undertaking an investigation into finding out the root cause. Speaking at the latest full council meeting of the borough he said: “It is strange. “It’s a very unusual issue that we have there. “Originally there were thoughts that it was coming from the devel-

Lead investigator, Det Con Gareth Askew, from Northamptonshire Police's Serious and Organised Crime Team, said: “This was a complex and lengthy investigation that I am really pleased has resulted in this hefty sentence. “This incident involved the firing of a gun into a crowded pub which was an exceptionally dangerous and reckless thing to do. “Protecting the public is of paramount importance to us so I hope the work that has gone into this investigation in order to bring the offender to justice reassures people that Northamptonshire Police has zero-tolerance towards such unashamed displays of violence. “I am glad that Cox has been brought to justice with a substantial prison sentence.” Following the sentence, His Honour Judge Herbert commended DC Askew for his good work and thorough investigation into this incident on behalf of Northamptonshire Police.

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n About 4,000 people in 2020 missed a free liver scan as the charities Love Your Liver Roadshow had to be cancelled.

n An analysis of previous years data indicates 650 of those would have shown signs of possible liver damage. n 28 per cent of people admitted to drinking more during lockdown.

n 42 per cent have gained weight during the past year. The British Liver Trust is urging people to take its ‘At Risk’ screening tool: https://www.british livertrust.org.uk/love-your-liverscreener

The charity is also launching a free new diet fact sheet which is packed full of tips on what to eat to improve your liver health: n Most liver disease can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes.


n More than 90 per cent is due to three main risk factors: obesity, alcohol and viral hepatitis. The British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign focuses on

three simple steps to improve your liver health: n Drink less than 14 units of alcohol and have three consecutive days off alcohol every week n Eat a healthy diet and take more exercise n Know the risk factors for viral hepatitis and get tested or vaccinated if at risk. There are now highly effective cures for hepatitis Director of policy and communications at the British Liver Trust Vanessa Hebditch said: “In early 2020, our Love Your Liver health screening roadshow was ready to tour the nation, offering free liver health checks to the general public at high streets up and down the county. “Unfortunately, Covid-19 forced us to postpone the roadshow. “That meant about 4,000 people will have missed out on a free liver health check. “If we look at the statistics from previous Roadshows, about 650 of those would have shown signs of

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Pandemic could lead to big jump in liver disease

THE British Liver Trust is calling for every person in the UK to consider their liver health and take a simple quiz to assess their risk after adults across the UK admit to making unhealthy lifestyle choices in 2020. More than a million adults in the UK may currently have the early stages of liver disease but are unaware and have no symptoms. Worryingly, rising rates of obesity means 150,000 children could also have non-alcohol related fatty liver disease. Many people have increased their alcohol consumption and gained weight during lockdown – the two biggest risk factors for developing liver disease. The British Liver Trust has issued the stark warning after: n One in five adults are thought to be at risk due to either being overweight or drinking too much alcohol.

opment or was caused by the development of the Rail Freight Interchange on the other side of the motorway. “But the contractor in that, WinVic, has been really positive and helpful and it has undertaken significant investigation of the work it is doing, and it is adamant what they are doing is not having an impact.” Labour councillor Jane Birch questioned whether the cause was down to new developments. However, Councillor Larratt outlined a new possible cause could be due to maintenance works being carried out on the M1 motorway. However, Councillor Larratt outlined that a new possible cause could be due to maintenance works being carried out on the M1 motorway.


15 years jail for his part in shooting incident A 23-YEAR-old man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison following an incident in 2018 where several shots were fired through the window of a pub. Samuel Cox took part in the incident during the early hours of January 13, 2018, where multiple shots were fired from a shotgun through the window and doors of the King David PH in Newnham Road, Northampton. The escape vehicle was a Fiat 500 which was then set on fire. Cox was found guilty at Northampton Crown Court in December for conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm, possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, arson, and perverting the course of public justice. He was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court last month to 36 years in total for all the offences, to run concurrently, resulting in a stay in prison of fifteen years.

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possible liver damage. “We are very concerned that while thousands will have missed out on valuable liver health advice, some of those people will already have undiagnosed liver disease. “It won’t show symptoms until the very late stages when treatment options are limited.

Beth came to a Love Your Liver roadshow in 2019. She said: “I wasn't sure what state my liver would be. “It has always concerned me as I have often used alcohol to relieve stress throughout my life. “I was nervous going in for the test when I saw the roadshow. “But knew that I needed to know the truth of what I was doing to my liver. “It does take guts to have a liver scan and it was good to know the result. “It gave me a chance to reflect and take some steps in my life to be stronger willed in making much more healthier choices.”


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Urgent appeal from health chiefs – please return community healthcare equipment AN URGENT appeal has been issued for healthcare equipment to be returned. The county council and NHS Northamptonshire CCG has made the appeal for people to return items such as community beds, mattresses, commodes, bath lifts, shower chairs, toilet surrounds, crutches and walking frames, patient turning equipment, hoists and slings. This equipment is loaned out when people leave hospital or after a period of illness to help them stay safe at home and retain their independence. Throughout the coronavirus outbreak the county council and health partners have experienced shortages of this equipment so they are appealing to people to call Millbrook on 0330 124 1219 as soon as possible to arrange a free of

charge collection of any items they no longer need. Collections will be arranged for a convenient time, and will be contactless; where possible equipment can be picked up from outside the home to help ensure everyone stays safe. Alternatively people can deliver to the following covid-safe collection points: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 137 Harlestone Road, Northampton NN5 6AA, Tuesdays, 3pm to 7pm, Thursdays, 9am to 12 noon. Or, Millbrook Healthcare Depot 9A North Portway Close, Round Spinney Industrial Estate, Northampton NN3 8RQ Mondays to Fridays between 9am and 5pm. Collected equipment will be fully tested, refurbished and thoroughly cleaned before

being reused. Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for adult social care Councillor Ian Morris said: “Coronavirus has caused a significant increase in the need for vital community equipment, so if anyone has these items that they no longer require please can they make arrangements to return them as soon as possible. “We would ask everyone to also please share this message with your contacts and communities and help us spread the word that this equipment is urgently needed.” The Integrated Community Equipment Service is jointly funded by Northamptonshire County Council and NHS Northamptonshire CCG, and is provided on their behalf by Millbrook Healthcare.

Train timetable changes have come into effect

NEW train timetable changes have come into force. The changes are in line with national lockdown restrictions and Government guidance urging everyone who can to ‘stay at home’. In addition and like the rest of the country, EMR is seeing an increase in staff unavailability due to coronavirus and is taking proactive steps to reduce unplanned or short notice service cancellations. EMR’s Intercity services are operatingoperate with a reduced capacity, as shorter trains with fewer carriages will run many services. There have also beensome very minor changes to the timetable.

A new timetable has beenintroduced on EMR Regional services with some off-peak and less popular services temporarily removed from the timetable. These changes are expected to only be in place alongside the current Government guidance on staying at home. these restrictions When relaxed, EMR expects to be able to quickly reintroduce the removed services. Passengers can find all the changes to services by visiting EMR’s website. As well as keeping a safe distance from other passengers and EMR staff, passengers are reminded they must wear a face covering

at all times when on the train and inside stations and should also avoid travelling at the busiest times of the day if possible. Passengers should also aim to keep a safe and sensible distance from staff and other customers and absolutely not travel if they have any coronavirus symptoms or are generally feeling unwell. As part of the industry’s safer travel pledge, EMR has put in many measures so passengers can travel with confidence, including employing the most cleaners in its history, sourcing powerful disinfectant products, and purchasing new specialist cleaning equipment. Managing director of East Midlands Railway Will Rogers

said: “Working with our partners across the railway industry, we have taken the logical step to temporarily reduce our capacity and timetable. “During these unprecedented times, everyone who can do so is urged to stay at home. “For those who need to continue to travel we will continue to protect those services which we know are relied upon. “We all have a role to play and I would urge those who are still travelling to follow the rules in place to keep us all safe.” Full details and timetables are available at www.eastmidlands railway.co.uk

Battle grants are on offer to help

BATLLE grants for Rushden groups are on offer. Rushden Town Council annually allocates a sum of money to help local organisations to support the local community by way of Community Grants. However, because of Covid-19, it understands many local charities and organisations are now struggling to meet their day-to-day running costs. In response to this, we are offering emergency 'battle fund' grants to help local groups continue their invaluable work through these very difficult times.

The one-off grants will be up to £500 per good cause. They are for bona fide charities and constituted organisations but not for individuals. There is a simple application form and grants will be released as quickly as possible to ensure effective support for the applicants. Grants will be awarded on a first come first served basis. Rushden Town Council grants are for Rushden-based groups which operate for the benefit of Rushden residents. Contact the council on info@rushdentowncouncil.gov.uk

You can also contact the council on 01933 316216.

Meanwhile, The Recovery Through Enterprise economic recovery programme is designed to support small to medium sized businesses in the East Northamptonshire area. Whether you are considering starting a business, recently started up or are well established the programme offers help and support which is tailored to suit your needs.Contact enterprising@east-northamptonshire.gov.uk for more details, or contact 07515 191798.


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Peter shows the way in gaining a career in the countryside

PETER Lickorish, (pictured), achieved a Royal Horticultural Society Master of Horticulture with a Distinction at the young age of 23. His success should act as example to those who seek to pursue a professional career which supports the environment. Many courses leading to careers in the countryside are available via the world-renowned Shuttleworth College in rural Bedfordshire, where Peter works part-time. As part of his dissertation Peter pioneered a sponsored experiment to see if plants respond positively to sounds. He won £500 to support his experiment as part of his Masters. He said: “Thanks to the wonderful news that I had won the Fred Roche Foundation Study Award. “I was able to assemble enough high-tech equipment to put the notion that sound can enhance plant growth – an idea firmly entrenched in the ‘myths’ zone for most gardeners – to the test. “Thanks to their support, and that of The Parks Trust, the Milton Keynes Community Foundation and Shuttleworth College, I am able to reflect upon what I have found and answer the question that I posed: can sound really aid plant propagation? “The simple answer is yes. “Through two experiments measuring seed germination in response to sound, and one establishing whether the rooting of stem cuttings is enhanced, I have generated clear evidence that particular sound frequencies can

make a profound difference. “However, that profound difference varies markedly depending on species. “Take Penstemon, for example. “These are among my favourite plants as I am regularly able to coax them to carry on flowering even up until Christmas, and their nodding heads of colour-soaked flowers are a pilgrimage for the local bee population. “My experiments have shown that 1 kilohertz sound – a steady hum – can increase germination by up to 400 per ecnt relative to the rate without sound treatment, also shortening the average time taken to germinate by ten days. “So sound is a win for the Penstemons. My experiments have shown that sound is definitely worth researching further. “It is surprising how quickly time has flown during the conducting of these experiments, but also how much more rapid seed germination was of some species in my latest experiment. Also, with the health of cuttings improved, these observations potentially have positive implications for the production of plants. The next step in measuring whether sound can do plant producers a useful service is to see whether sound can go beyond the current improvements to propagation achieved by applying these hormones synthetically. If it can, then it really does sound as though I’m on to something.” For more on Peter’s progress go to - View from the Garden: Peter Lickorish’s Horticulture Blog (wordpress.com)

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Drink drive

POLICE have released court results regarding those who were charged with drink or drug driving and named as part of a month-long campaign to tackle offending over the Christmas and New Year period. The following people have appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court charged with driving while over the prescribed limit of alcohol: n  Martin Thornton, aged 50, of Diamond Drive, Irthlingborough, was given a 12 month driving disqualification disqualified and ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £211. n  Ghenadie Bejan, aged 36, of Harefield Road, Northampton, was given a 17 month driving disqualification and ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £239.

n  Clince Joy, aged 26, of Talbot Road, Northampton, was given a 14 month driving disqualification and ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £199.

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Learn to sing and help raise money

THE Male Voice Choir is challenging the men of Northamptonshire to join them and soprano, Emily Haig and ‘The Tenor’ Joshua Daniel in a concert in Northampton to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK. To launch this challenge, the choir is holding two online open evenings on Monday, February 15 and Monday, February 22. You will be invited to learn to sing two songs over an eight-week period with the help of training by our charismatic musical director, Stephen Bell. At the end of the eight weeks you will be ready to take to the stage with Northampton Male Voice Choir and perform these songs at one of the highprofile concerts, by which time it hopes to have raised in excess of

£20,000 in aid of Prostate Cancer UK. Northampton Male Voice Choir is a registered charity with a long tradition of raising money for local charities. More than £100,000 has been raised in the last five years, so it is very appropriate that a male voice choir should be raising money for Prostate Cancer UK. Singing in a choir is great for your health with many benefits and positive effects including reducing the risk of heart disease, improved breathing, a positive effect on your immune system plus the mental benefits gained through the wonderful camaraderie that can be enjoyed through the training and beyond. If you think you might be inter-

ested, why not register for one of the online open evenings to meet Stephen Bell and members of the choir via Zoom, where you can find out more about this fantastic opportunity. To secure your place at the open evening of your choice get in touch with project co-ordinator Marc Bentley on 07999 942390 or marc.bentley23@gmail.com The choir was formed in 1946 and was originally known as the Northampton Men’s Own Male Voice Choir. Its name was changed in 1980 when it was granted the privilege of wearing the Northampton Coat of Arms badge. Visit www.nmvc.co.uk for more details and how to get involved in the choir.

n  Nathan Leigh, aged 35, of Rectory Road, Rushden, was given an 18 month driving disqualification and ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £205.

n  Iulian Zavragiu, aged 25, of Western Road, Milton Keynes, was given a 12 month driving disqualification and ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £239.

Covid tests

POLICE and staff in Northamptonshire are some of the first in the country to be offered lateral flow testing for Covid-19. Working in partnership with Public Health Northamptonshire, the force launched a pilot to trial the testing of front line officers and staff last month. Assistant Chief Constable Simon Blatchly said: "By the very nature of their jobs, our police officers and staff come into close contact with members of the public, and although they are taking every precaution possible, at times it is impossible for social distancing to take place.”

Rough sleepers

RUSHDEN Town Council has activated its Severe Weather Scheme for rough sleepers. This is put into place when conditions reach below freezing for three consecutive nights or period of adverse weather. Contact the council's housing options team on 0345 600 50 50 for details. Meanwhile, a former care home in Northampton is set to be converted into a 27-room accommodation offering a roof over the head for rough sleepers. The former Kingsley Nursing Home, based at 18-20 Kingsley Road, has been earmarked by Keystage Housing to offer 24-hour intensive supported accommodation to individuals who are currently rough sleeping, at risk of rough sleeping or who are living in unsuitable or unstable accommodations.

Census time

HOUSEHOLDS across East Northamptonshire will soon be asked to take part in the next census. People will receive a letter with a unique access code in the post, allowing them to complete their questionnaire online. Census day is Sunday, March 21.

Home schooling again? Here’s how...

MANY parents enjoyed teaching their children at home during the first lockdown, but for others, the prospect of having to dust off their teaching skills again fills them with dread. What programme of work should they follow? Should the children guide the learning or should it be imposed, with the parent in the role of a conventional teacher? How can they keep their child engaged in learning? What should they do when concentration fades? A group of former primary school teachers have come to the rescue with Learn at Home Packs.

Each one contains eight lessons with teacher-led teaching input videos, parent-friendly friendly lesson plans, slideshow presentations and printable worksheets. Oli Ryan of educational resource gurus PlanBee, said: “We hope these packs will take some of the pressure off parents who are new to home schooling. “They’re designed specifically for mums and dads, so there’s no educational jargon. “Educating your children at home can seem a pretty daunting prospect, but with these packs, we think we’re helping with the heavy lifting.”

The packs cover interesting and unusual topics such as forensic science, Italian culture, women's suffrage and even include simple easy-to-follow cookery lessons. He said: “We wanted to make sure that the lesson packs were educational, but interesting and fun, too. “We've made sure they cover topics that children are unlikely to have learnt about in school previously – hopefully it'll all be new to them.” Visit the website planbee.com for more information and further educational resources for both children and their parents.

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By Canon George Burgon

AFTER the birth of Jesus, the wise men “left for their own country,”.(Matthew 2:12). Likewise “the Shepherds returned” to the hills near Bethlehem, (Luke 2:20), and Joseph made a new home for his wife and child “in a town called Nazareth,” (Matthew 2:23). Everyone was trying to get back to normal but that was no longer possible. What had happened at that first Christmas would change the world for good - for better and forever. The shepherds, those at the bottom of

the social heap and marginalised by society, were the first to hear the message of the angels that in the birth of the babe of Bethlehem there was a saviour for everyone. No one could from then on silence the heavenly truth that in God’s eyes every life matters. Christmas makes us think,. “Mary treasured these words and pondered them in her heart,” (Luke 2 :19). She is an important symbol of our questioning humanity when we are faced with life shattering events. She encourages us to find answers as we try to make sense of ‘the meaning of life’ in an everchanging world.

The Christmas truths cannot be put away for another year like the decorations! The shepherds were not going to keep what they saw to themselves. The wise men had the wisdom to see through the evil in Herod and give him a wide berth when they returned to their own country, (Matthew 2:12). Jesus was born into a political world far removed from the truth that those who rule must serve the common good. He would set in motion the concept of service in public life, (Luke 22:27). Life would also never be the same again for Joseph. He appears to be in the background of

the Christmas story, but we cannot forget that he was the one who bore the burden of finding shelter for his pregnant wife and their baby in Bethlehem and in Nazareth, (Matthew 2:19-23). The task of providing for one’s family never goes away. We can discover from the stories surrounding the events of the first Christmas much in our common human experiences of how things can never return to normal when a great event has taken place. As we enter a new year we will not return to where we were because of the effects of the current pandemic. Will we find a new understanding of

how we should treat one another as God expects of us? With the benefits of the new vaccine we will be changed people who will no longer take for granted what was once familiar. We will expect even better altruism in public life. We have lost loved ones and opportunities. We are all grieving because our capacity to love must find a home. May that love enable us to find new insights about ourselves to face change with courage. What we discover in the message of Christmas helps make for a happy New Year.

Hamper competition winner revealed County rehab centre closed down by council due to breaches in planning law

RUSHDEN Town Council festive hamper winner was Anne-Marie Smith. Her guess was the closest at £358 – the actual total value was £359.17. Mayor Melanie Coleman presented Anne-Marie the hamper outside Rushden Hall. Anne-Marie told the mayor she was also celebrating her 41st birthday and was very surprised and happy to win. The council thanked everyone else who entered, more than 100 people guessed from £80 to £800.

by Local Democracy Reporter

A REHAB centre for addicts has been forced to close down because of a breach of planning law. South Northamptonshire Council issued a planning enforcement notice to Asana Lodge in Yardley Gobion for the unauthorised use of premises at Moorend Road as a rehabilitation centre. The council served an enforcement notice to the owners of the property who have been operating a rehabilitation centre without the correct planning permission. Councillor Phil Bignell, portfolio holder for planning at the authority, explained why. He said: “The council has taken action as the owners have changed the use of the property from a nursing home to a rehabilitation centre focussed on addictions without the correct planning permission. “This unauthorised change of use of the building is unacceptable in this rural location due to the detrimen-

tal impact on neighbouring properties and residents from noise and disturbance and the potential for antisocial behaviour. “It is our responsibility to ensure that all planning breaches are actively dealt with.” On its website, Asan Lodge states the Yardley Gobion site is located in ‘a tranquil setting of outstanding natural beauty’. It adds: “Set against the beautiful backdrop of Yardley Gobion, clients can enjoy stunning views and rural daily walks. “An on-site chef prepares a delicious selection of meals, created from locally sourced ingredients. Facilities are exceptional, creating an environment that is safe and comfortable for healing and recovery.” Now however, the owners will be required to stop using the premises as a rehabilitation centre and return the building to its previous condition within three months from when the notice takes effect.

Times past

from the Eric Fowell collection


Thomas Stapleton with horse and dray and Frederick William Clark, Company Motor Carriers in the yard at 68 Higham Road. Thomas had served in the Royal Artillery

during the 1914-18 war and this was his first job after demobilisation. Fred Clark had by 1921 bought his first lorry and also ran a 32 seater bus which The Rushden Old Boys’

Football Club used for their away matches. They also used the garage for changing rooms as they played home games on the Rushden Spencer Park pitches.

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gardening with Milton Ernest Garden Centre

A plant that can flower all year


by Maureen Catlin

SK me “What is your favourite plant” and my reply is CLEMATIS. Why? Well within this plant genus there is a variety that will be in flower every week of the year. They come in all the rainbow colours and flower prolifically.

Many have a lovely scent, grow as ground cover over an obelisk in a pot on the patio climb up walls or pergolas scramble over other plants or eyesores or as a perennial plant in the herbaceous border. In January we see Clematis clarkeana Winter Beauty an evergreen variety with creamy lime green buds in December followed by sparkling snow white bell flowers with a tremendous scent in January to March. Plant it next to your front door enjoy it whenever you return home. Clematis cartmannii Joe is a delightful small evergreen to grow on a small obelisk in a pot on the patio. It has fern like foliage and is covered in pearly white scented flowers from February to April. Clematis Alpina and Clematis Macropetala greet spring in March and flower until May. Both species have an abundance of harebell flowers and varieties of various colours from creamy white to pink to lilac and blue. Recommendations are Clematis Alpina Columbine, blue, and Clematis Macropetela Markham’s Pink. In April we see the rampant evergreen Clematis Armandii Apple Blossom or Snowdrift which will quickly cover a pergola while May heralds Clematis Montana equally as vigorous. Varieties like Miss


tine, pearly white, and Freda, bright pink which will hide a garden shed with its profusion of sweetly scented flowers. Most hybrid Clematis will flower from June onwards throughout summer. The list is endless but a couple of recommendations are Lincoln Star, pink and white, Lady Northcliff, blue, Rhapsody, purple, and Olympia, mauve, which is excellent in a pot on the patio. In July we are treated in the herbaceous border to the long blue clusters of Clematis Heracleifolia Stans and on a sunny fence Clematis florida Sieboldia with gorgeous purple centres. Clematis jouiniana Praecox is ideal ground cover when planted in a bed of bush roses. The delightful bluish flowers appear before the second flowering of the roses. In September as autumn approaches so do the brilliant yellow flowers of Clematis Golden Tiara, Tangutica and Orientalis Bill Mackenzie which continues to flower into October. In November and December Clematis cirrhosa Freckles and Advent Bells are a delight to see in the dark dank winter months with cream bell shaped flowers with maroon markings. There are varieties suitable for sunny and shady situations and patio tubs. Climbing Clematis need support to scramble on which can be wires, trellis, pergolas or other plants. If you

are growing a patio variety in a tub use a metal or willow obelisk which makes a decorative feature. Varieties that do well in containers are Cezanne, blue, Chantilly, white, Ohh La La, pink with a darker pink stripe, and Rebecca red. Here are some cultural tips to help you grow Clematis well. The summer flowering Hybrid Clematis are the varieties that need some special attention when planted. Cut the top growth back by half before planting. Dig a hole three times the volume of the container in which it is growing and twice the depth. Remove the pot and place the clematis in the hole. Fill with a planting compost containing lots of peat. This will bury the lower part of the stem and protect it from surface damage which can cause the plant to wilt. Hybrid Clematis like lots of water about 5 litres every few days and regular feeding with liquid tomato food to promote flowering. Check the pruning

regime on the label provided with your plant. They are available in a vast range of colours with flowers the size and shape of dinner plates to discreet small stars. The specie and herbaceous varieties are easier to grow and only require to be planted in rich peaty soil. Details of how to prune different types of Clematis is posted on the Milton Ernest Garden Centre Web Site. There are so many wonderful varieties within the Clematis genus this is just a taste to encourage you to grow my most favourite plant in your garden.

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Football club pays touching tribute to photographer AFC Rushden & Diamonds has paid a touching tribute to club photographer Mal Swinden.

In a statement on its website, it said: “The club was deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Mal Swinden over the weekend. “Mal was the club photographer for both Rushden & Diamonds FC and AFC Rushden & Diamonds and, though he had recently retired, his photos charted the highs, and lows, of our football journey. “Mal was well-known at the club. “He generously donated the photos that adorn the walls of Dale’s Bar and gave his time to the new club without hesitation.



“He was a valued member of our volunteer team and had previously won the Volunteer of the Year award.” Club chairman Ralph Burditt, paid tribute to Mal this morning: “It’s difficult to encapsulate Mal’s immense contribution to Rushden & Diamonds, both FC and AFC, in just a few short sentences. “A quick internet search for Mal’s work brings up image after image from across our history – from Quincy Shorunmu doing a drag-back to Billy Sharp scoring ‘that’ goal. “I knew Mal personally for the latter part of his time volunteering for the club and found him to be someone who was perpetually calm and focused on the job at hand, whatever the situation. “Mal is well-known to Diamonds fans and was very well-liked. “ He was often to be found in the corner of a clubhouse in some far-flung corner of the UK preparing his equipment for a game or sending off some images before a publication deadline. “He was always ready for a chat, with a warm smile and had an infectious chuckle when something amused him. “Mal will be greatly missed and our thoughts go out to his friends and family at this very sad time.” Club secretary Stacey Hawkins said: “The club has lost a friend and true gentleman. “Mal stayed loyal to the new club, giving his time voluntarily

and without question. “On a personal level, he watched as my children grew up from youngsters on the Peter De Banke at Nene Park; taking photos of them as they enjoyed matchday mascot experiences and then, over the last couple of years, offering advice and support to Matt as his interest in photography developed. “I will be forever grateful to him for that support and encouragement.” You can read more on the club’s website at https:/ /www.afcdiamonds.com/malswinden, where you can also view some his stunning pictures, like the one featured below.

Grant secured to help people get active


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NORTHAMPTONSHIRE Sport has teamed up with Mencap to help people with learning difficulties get active. They have joined Team BEDS&LUTON and Northamptonshire Sport to secure £10,000 of funding to deliver the Sport England funded, Round the World Challenge, (RTWC), programme. This will be available to help people with learning disabilities across the two counties get more active by participating in their Round the World Challenge, (RTWC), programme. The RTWC is open to anyone with a learning disability aged 16plus and provides them with an opportunity to travel virtually around the world by converting activity hours into miles which are stamped on to a passport. The more activity they do, the further they go in an attempt to firstly make it around the United Kingdom, which is achieved by doing 20 hours, then Europe in 40 and finally the world in 100 for those who wish to. Participants will receive regular rewards throughout the challenge in the form of t-shirts, postcards for reaching each stage along a route, certificates for completing passports and opportunities to build up volunteering hours. Any form of physical activity counts towards the challenge and given the nature of the current pandemic they can take place virtually, or in person within social distancing guidelines that adhere to Covid regulations. Organisations which support

people with learning disabilities in Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire are currently being sought to participate in the RTWC. They can apply for some of the funding available to help provide activities whether that’s for purchasing equipment, hiring facilities, or anything else they may need. Johnathan from team BEDS&LUTON said: “This is a fantastic opportunity that’s been presented to us by Mencap thanks to funding from Sport England! “We know that sadly people with learning disabilities are currently some of the least active in society, so I hope that the Round the World Challenge provides opportunities in our county for them to get involved, find something they enjoy and want to do more of which will help to readdress the situation.” For more information about the programme visit the Mencap website, and if your organisation is interested in being involved then email the organisation on Jon.Stonebridge@mencap.org.uk or phone 07970 965649 fo further details.

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