Friday brief: ‘I don’t want this to be just a mission statement.’
Our regular roundup of news from Northamptonshire plus some things to do this sunny weekend
Our Friday brief this week has news about a call for more tree planting and plenty of other news from across the week.
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Calls have been made for more tree planting in local neighbourhoods across the North of the county.
North Northamptonshire Council’s executive advisory panel for climate change- which makes recommendations to the ruling Conservative executive - put forward a series of suggestions yesterday afternoon after discussing the pollinator strategy put together by officers.
Cllr Kevin Watt called on the authority to do mass tree planting on its own land as well as providing more trees in local neighbourhoods to create shaded areas for residents, as temperatures rise with climate change.
The pollinator strategy - which advocates leaving more long grass meadow areas to boost wildlife habitats, reducing pesticide use and supporting projects that will increase bee numbers - is being put together ahead of a more comprehensive tree strategy which will map out a long term plan.
Senior tree management officer Brian Ogden told the councillors the first stage was about understanding what trees the new authority is responsible for across all of its areas and bringing in a consistent approach of management. A more comprehensive five to ten year plan mapping out any areas of new planting, setting canopy cover targets and also creating new orchards would then be written.
He said: “I don’t want this to be just a mission statement. I want it to be something that results in real action on the ground.”
Green Party Cllr Dez Dell, who is one of the founders of the Save Weekley Hall Wood campaign, had a number of questions and stressed the importance of aftercare, education and local communications. He gave the example of watching contractors laying cable pulling up newly planted trees because they have been unaware of the them. He also said trees needed three years of aftercare and suggested communities should be involved with that.
News in brief
A teenager was convicted of the manslaughter of Dylan Holliday at Coventry Crown Court this week. The 17 year old, who cannot be named for legal reasons due to his age, will be sentenced in early September for stabbing Dylan, 16, to death in an underpass on the Queensway estate, Wellingborough, exactly a year ago today.
The boy and another 17 year old boy were both found not guilty of murdering Dylan, but convicted of grievous bodily harm against a friend of Dylan’s and possession of a knife.
During the trial it emerged the boy who killed Dylan had been under the care of the local authority at the time and had been dropped off by social workers in Wellingborough on the day of Dylan’s fatal stabbing, with the knife concealed on his person.
The Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership is now carrying out a review into what happened and what lessons can be learned by the authorities. Its findings will be made public.
Read the BBC’s interview with Dylan’s mum Davinia Walsh here.
Care watchdog the Care Quality Commission has rated a home run by St Mathew’s Healthcare as inadequate.
In an unannounced visit in May inspectors found St Matthew’s Unit in Kingsley, Northampton, had not improved since the previous visit in April 2021 and that patients were at risk from physical interventions by staff as well as being put at risk by a lack of fire safety measures, with some fire doors blocked. It also found that not all staff were properly trained.
The unit is now in special measures and will be under review, with immediate requirements required.
This is the second inadequate rating given to a facility run by mental health specialists St Matthew’s healthcare this year after Kingsthorpe Grange was put into special measures.
Its chief executive is psychiatrist Dr Imran Malik who took over from Sean Sidhu-Brar in June.
The funeral of popular local councillor Mick Scrimshaw will be held next week. Mick, 59, who was a former Kettering Borough and county councillor, died at home on July 27 after becoming ill with cancer.
The popular Labour councillor, who unsuccessfully ran against Philip Hollobone in the 2017 general election, was instrumental in exposing the multitude of failings of the former county council in the months after its 2018 financial collapse and was appointed as chair of the scrutiny committee. During his time there his committee compiled reports into the lack of social workers at the authority and also dug into the funding of Chester Farm.
His funeral will take place at Kettering Crematorium in Rothwell Road on Thursday, August 11 at 3pm and afterwards mourners are invited to go along to the Kino Lounge in Market Place, Kettering to have a drink in his memory.
Saxby’s Cider Farm in Farndish is hosting a summer BBQ on Saturday from 1pm. There’ll be acoustic music and food and tickets cost £5 with under 5s free.
There will be bands playing at the Pleasure Park in Kettering on Sunday between 2 - 4pm.
Stevie Jones is playing a 60s - 90s acoustic set at Chilli Village on Wellingborough Road in Northampton on Saturday night between 7 - 9pm.
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