Friday Brief: New plan to tackle poverty in some of the county’s biggest towns afoot

Plus our regular features Westminster Watch, Independent business of the week, NN Culture and a roundup of some news from the last seven days

North Northamptonshire Council is proposing to launch a new project to look at ways of alleviating poverty in its major towns of Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough.

Evidence from residents who are experiencing hardship will be at the centre of the plans for the Poverty Truth Commission, which aims to raise the profile of poverty in the area and devise local anti-poverty policies.

The council’s executive is asked to approve the adoption of a PTC for North Northamptonshire at its meeting next Thursday and if agreed it will be coordinated by Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire supported by national charity Poverty Truth Network.

According to the report 37,400 residents in the area experience some form of income deprivation, with 11,530 households in fuel poverty. The area’s three largest towns of Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough are in the 20 percent most deprived parts of the country according to the 2019 national index of multiple deprivation.

The project will hear from those experiencing deprivation and will help provide an evidence base for the newly established scrutiny panel on Levelling Up, which is focusing on the three officially left behind areas in the county in the wards of Kingswood/Hazel Leys, Queensway and Avondale Grange.

The commission will also focus on the impact local decisions have on individuals. It will also be used to provide commissioners of services with knowledge of local factors that can be taken into account when planning and delivering services.

News In Brief

  • The Weetabix workers’ dispute rumbles on with the general secretary of Unite saying they have “irrefutable evidence” that the company is using ‘fire and rehire’ tactics. This comes as engineers at factories in Corby and Burton Latimer are out on strike four days a week. Stuart Branch, group people and IT director at Weetabix insisted last week that claims of ‘fire and rehire’ were irrelevant to the ongoing dispute. He said:

    “We have repeatedly reassured our engineering team and their union representatives that no individual is at risk of dismissal, and that roles exist for all thanks to our ongoing investment in our UK factories. The current discussions with our team focus on a request for compensation for a change in shift patterns.”

  • The Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund has awarded £300,000 to the police and crime commissioner’s office for projects that will aim to prevent violence in the night-time economy in Northampton. It comes after several young people in the town have reported being spiked while on a night out. Funding will go towards training for staff in licenced premises to help them spot criminal behaviour and work will also be carried out with university students to devise schemes that make females safer when on a night out.

  • Two more teenagers were stabbed on the streets of Northamptonshire this week in separate incidents. A 15 year-old boy was stabbed in Rushden on Sunday evening while a 16 year-old was stabbed on the Kingswood estate in Corby earlier that same day. Neither suffered life threatening injuries.

    Northamptonshire Police says 118 knives have been handed in during the first month of its knife crime campaign. The force has been holding various events including knife amnesties across the county. 

Westminster Watch

The Westminster sleaze scandal shows no sign of dying down with the spotlight now firmly on MPs outside earnings. There are lots of reports that Conservative backbenchers are furious with the government’s handling of the Owen Paterson case because of how it is now impacting them. 

According to reports from the Guardian’s political correspondent Aubrey Allegretti, the representative for South Northamptonshire Andrea Leadsom, whose amendment led to so much controversy, has now written to Tory MPs to apologise for the debacle.

If you missed our report on Northampton South MP Andrew Lewer’s earnings from consultancy work, you can read it here:

NN Journal
Northampton South MP making thousands in extra cash from consultancy work
We regularly cover local politics and so if that’s what you’re interested in, sign up to our news service today. Free and paid subscriptions available. By Sarah Ward Andrew Lewer, the Conservative MP for Northampton South has earned just under £50,000 to work as a consultant while also carrying out his parliamentarian role…
Read more

Independent of the Week

Shoots and Spoors, a new mushroom farm and shop has opened at Nene Court at Wellingborough’s embankment.

Dom Gara is growing and selling on site a range of mushrooms from several varieties of oyster to the newly popular Lion’s mane mushroom.

Dom says business is going well and is hoping to start selling into local restaurants soon.

NN Culture

🎵 A fundraiser is being held at the Kettering Arts Centre in aid of the Save Weekley Hall Wood  campaign tomorrow evening. There will be poetry, art and music and tickets cost £10.

🎨 An exhibition of work from local artist Dan Brodie opens at the Marefair Gallery in Northampton this week and runs until December 9.

💃Strictly Northampton is back for the tenth year tonight at the Derngate in Northampton. Tickets are still available.

🎄If you like to get a head start on your Christmas shopping there is a festive craft fayre at the United Reformed Church in Daventry on Saturday from 1.30pm. All products are handmade and there will also be refreshments available.

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