Wollaston Parish Council

News

News is published both within this page and in the WASNAV (Wollaston and Strixton News and Views) publication.  

Visit the following section of the site for news relating to Neighbourhood Planning.


Parish Council WASNAV Report July 2014

The Parish Council meets every month to go through the various business that crops up, including planning applications, police, finance, reports, correspondence and many other matters. We hope that everything we do is for the benefit of the village and have an open meeting at the start so that members of the public can come along and air any problem that may be affecting them. We would hope that if we cannot solve every problem we can at least, point someone in the right direction for a solution.

As well as the monthly meetings each parish councillor is on a working party or committee which looks after a particular area of village life. These cover such
areas as the Cemetery, Playgrounds, Street Lighting, Footpaths, Sand & Gravel, Environment & Highways, Village Hall, Sports Association, Pocket Park, Community Safety and the Youth Project.

The council has been quite busy over the past term and has carried out many projects on behalf of the village and hopefully make it a better place for us all to live. My particular interests are in the street lighting and playing fields within the village. Over many years the council had been gradually improving the village lamps to get them up to the required standard for County Council adoption. This had gone well and we were in a situation where most of the lamps have been taken over by the County Council. This relieved the Parish Council of the large bill that we used to have for lighting energy and maintenance costs, giving us more money to spend within the village. Unfortunately in recent years the County Council had decided it has to save money and could no longer afford to have all the street lights on. This resulted in almost a half of all the village lights being turned off, causing many problems, particularly in the autumn and winter months. However I would like to report that the Council did manage to get some of these lights turned back on for the previous autumn/winter period to hopefully make certain village streets better lit again. Balfour Beatty who now administer the lights for the County Council are upgrading all the lights in Northamptonshire and many villagers will have seen nearby lamps upgraded recently with new energy saving white lights, although there are still some to be done, hopefully in the not-too-distant future.

We regularly check the lamps, but if a light near you that should be on is out or giving problems please either call me on 01933-665209, Balfour Beatty on 0800–0850–257 or email.

If there are other things you would like to report, for example: - pot-holes, blocked drains, broken kerbs, damaged signs, etc - of which we have plenty within the village. Then you should contact Northamptonshire County Council on 0300–126–1000 or via the website. If you report something to Street Doctor, you will be given a reference number which can be used to check the progress on your particular problem and chase up if necessary. So rather than complain about this and that needs repairing or why doesn’t the council fix the other, be proactive and report it yourself.

I am also on the Playing Fields Committee and the village has been well served over the years by various people who have presided over and provided us with this wonderful asset for now and future generations. The sports clubs are thriving in the village at the moment, especially in the youth sections and a big thank you to all coaches and helpers who are helping to make this possible and enthusing the young. The village teams should be well served in future generations from this influx. 

However we are still concerned at the amount of irresponsible dog owners who allow their dogs to foul on the field and do not bother to clear it up. It is after all a playing field with many children about and sports being played, not a dog exercise area. We realise that many owners are responsible, but as in many walks of life, they are let down by the irresponsible few. This could also apply to the village as a whole and there is no excuse now as the Council has had many dog bins put up recently.  We also oversee the Pocket Park and have had work done on many of the trees there to make them safe following a report that we had commissioned. This park is maintained by a small, but dedicated team who keep it in order on behalf of the village. A big thank you to them for many years of hard work and if you are a gardener with a few hours to spare, then I am sure that they would be glad of your help. Please contact our clerk Angela Young and she will put you in touch with the team. If you have not visited our Pocket Park, then please pay it a visit, it is at the top of Bell End, behind the wall. It is a tranquil place away from the busy world outside and home to many plants and wildlife.

The playground in St. Marys Road is also looked after by the Committee and over the years we have upgraded the equipment/safety surfaces when necessary to provide a safe and fun environment for children 12 and under. However recently we had problems as overage children seem to think they can fit into and use the toddler swings or get as many as can fit on the flying saucer swing. This can result in undue strain on cables and chains and as well as being dangerous can cost the council (i.e. ALL of us), a lot of money. If you see any damage being done then please report it to the council, as we may be able to make the culprits pay rather than all of us. The number of outdated posters on telegraph poles is also a problem throughout the village. I am sure that no one minds event organisers putting up posters to advertise, but please take down as soon as possible when the event is over. These posters get very wet and bedraggled over time and cause the village to look untidy.

If you need to contact the Council for any reason then please call our clerk Angela Young on 01933 – 667722 at the office or visit the Scott Bader Innovation Centre, Bryson Building, Office 1. The usual office hours are:- Monday 9am – 3pm, Wednesday 9am – 3pm and Thursday 9am – 12noon. You could also contact the council via email or check out our website for the latest information.

We hope to see you at the next Council meeting perhaps, they are held on the third Thursday of each month starting at 7.00pm. The open meeting is at the very start, so you can air any problem and then leave soon after if you wish.

Terry Savage.

 

Lunch now free for all children in Reception, Year 1 & Year 2
It’s true - government has made lunch at school free for ALL children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, starting this September term.

Why?

To improve the nutrition, health, and wellbeing of children across the country.

The School Food Plan has recommended that children eat a school meal for lunch. This is because school meals:

  • are good quality
  • meet tough nutrition standards
  • introduce children to new foods and food education
  • teach children table manners and to sit down to a meal together as a social activity

Areas that have piloted free school meals for everyone have even reported improved attainment and attention in afternoon lessons.

Of course, there’s also the added benefit of savings passed directly on to families.

How do I order?

Most primary schools in the county use catering provider Nourish, which is taking online orders now.

Find out if you can order online

If your child’s school does not use Nourish, speak to them directly about how to sign up for school meals.

Free School Meals for older children

School meals are free for children in any year group if you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit. Even if your child is in Year 2 or below and would receive a free meal anyway, please apply through Free School Meals as your child’s school will receive additional funding.

Find out if you’re eligible for Free School Meals

 

WASNAV news (June 2014)

Improvements within Wollaston

With the onset of summer a a new financial year we have been taking a good look at our village and ways in which we can make it better.  Refurbishing bus shelters and benches is on the list of aesthetic improvements along with purchasing more rubbish bins.  We are also looking to re-paint the black and white Victorian signs around the centre of the village.  The playing field and parks committee are currently looking at ways to improve their facilities and these include purchasing new benches and bins as well as ongoing work to the tennis courts.  As well as these works, the County Council has agreed to tidy up the open space in the conservation area near the Church.  Please let a member of the Council or the Clerk know if there are any improvements you feel our village would benefit from.

War graves

You may have noticed a new sign on the wall outside the Cobbs Lane cemetery which reads: "At this location there are Commonwealth War Graves".  There are 7 war graves in our cemetery and with the advent of the 100th anniversary of the Great War, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is looking to raise awareness of its work.  The maintenance of the cemetery is now being undertaken by Wellingborough Norse, in partnership with the Borough Council of Wellingborough but you can still contact the Parish Council if you would like to bring anything to our attention.

Wollaston Youth Group

The Parish Council is delighted to announce that it has re-started the Wollaston Youth Group.  We have signed a 1 year contract with Service Six, a well-established Northants youth organisation, who will be running the Group for the village.  During the year, Service Six will be looking for youth leader volunteers from Wollaston who will receive all the necessary training to continue running the Group in Year 2, so that it can be self-sustaining in the future.  The Youth Group is open to 13-19 year olds and is at The Oasis on Thursdays (all year round) from 7-9pm.  The subs are 50p and the Club provides a range of activities, including WII, pool table, table tennis, tuck shop and games.  Service Six are drawing up an activity plan for the next 3 months which will be advertised in due course.  The Group will also be organising fund-raising activities to help buy new equipment and fund trips or expeditions.  They would welcome new members and the support from Wollaston villagers to make the new Youth Group a roaring success.

Street lamps

You may well have received communication through your door from Balfour Beatty regarding the upgrading of street lamps in your road. The upgrades are ahead of schedule and we are hopeful that over the course of the next few months the whole village will have had the new lamps installed. To find out when work is scheduled for your area follow the link: www.lightingnorthamptonshire.com

Superfast fibre optic broadband - Wollaston expects!

Following 18 months of lobbying, the Parish Council received  notification from Northamptonshire County Council on May 9th confirming that Wollaston has been reclassified as a WHITE AREA for the purposes of the proposed new Intervention Area map and therefore eligible to receive State aid through the Superfast Northamptonshire project.

Residents may know that the village was not part of the initial roll out that is currently underway and due to be complete by 2015, but following a further Open Market Review with the commercial market concluded in May 2014 Wollaston will now be within scope of  the Next Generation  phase 2 of the programme.

This means that Wollaston will be part of the area which the County Council will put forward to suppliers in its forthcoming procurement - bidders will be invited to respond with their proposals to extend superfast broadband as far as possible within the Intervention Area for the public sector gap funding available. Areas of high demand, including Wollaston which is top of the demand "top ten" countywide, will be promoted through the procurement process as key local priorities, as will business connectivity. The procurement should be concluded by the Autumn and this is when the geography of the phase 2 roll out and expected timescales will be known.

The County Council's target is to secure access to superfast broadband to all parts of the county by the end of 2017 and this next procurement will be a major step towards this.
 
Given the history and lobbying that has taken place, we in Wollaston can be quietly optimistic about the timing to become a front runner for this phase 2 of the NCC Next Generation Project.

Next stages:
•    NCC has issued a State aid Public Consultation that will close on June 9th. Following this consultation the revised Intervention Area will then be formally confirmed.
•    A procurement process will then follow and invitations to tender to be concluded by the Autumn of 2014.  
•    The related deployment plans and timing should also be announced in the Autumn - these plans will be dependent on the outcome of on-site planning and survey work which will follow. This process is explained on the Superfast Northamptonshire project website.

Well done and thank you to all residents who took the trouble to complete the broadband survey and a special thank you to over 80 businesses that completed the business survey, this expression of interest has been very influential.

Also the Parish Council is very grateful for the work and behind the scenes lobbying on our behalf by our County Councillor Sue Homer. We must also thank the NCC Superfast Project team for their patience listening to our case and ensuring Wollaston will receive fibre optic superfast broadband at the earliest opportunity.