Friday brief: What’s in a name?
Kettering town council calls on North unitary to scrap the name of a new arts complex plus an update on the human bones discovery and much more.
It’s been a pretty full on news week, with lots happening across the county. Our story about how Northamptonshire’s MPs have dropped the regular weekly surgery received lots of reaction and we’ll be following up with another exclusive story looking at further aspect of our MPs’ activities in the near future.
Today also sees the launch of our podcast series for young people which has been commissioned by charity C2C Social Action to raise awareness of knife crime in the county and spark conversation. It can be listened to here.
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NN Friday focus
Kettering Town Council wants the name of the town’s new cultural complex to be ditched and for the matter to go out to consultation.
Cornerstone was decided upon by the councillor responsible for heritage Cllr Helen Howell, as the title for the £3m gallery, library and museum revamp project.
The name was devised after Market Deeping based branding company Productive Designs held some workshops with council staff. But now members of Kettering’s arts community and the town council want it to be ditched and consulted on.
At a town council meeting last week the authority decided to write to the new unitary council, led by Cllr Jason Smithers, to urge it to retract the decision and instead choose one that reflected the heritage of the town. The letter will also complain about the lack of community consultation about such an important part of the town’s heritage.
The former gallery was called Alfred East after the Kettering born fine artist who was knighted by Edward VII and is known for his romantic landscapes.
At the meeting, members of the public, including representatives from the Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Kettering District Art Society, pointed out that the name Cornerstone had no local connection with Kettering and was already used by several other towns already for similar initiatives.
A press release issued last month just ahead of the decision being approved said: “The name – Cornerstone – was considered to be particularly apt for the development as the meaning of the name highlights that ‘it is an important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends or is based and that it is a thing of prime importance.”
The release contained a quote from Howell which said: “I’m delighted to introduce the new brand of Cornerstone – I do think it’s a fitting moniker for this flagship project which will breathe new life into this quarter of Kettering town centre, a major town within North Northamptonshire.”
News in brief
Northamptonshire Police have confirmed that bones found in a garden on Beechwood Drive in Northampton last week are human as they continue to carry out work with forensic archaeologists at the property. The most recent update from the force says:
“This is not a criminal investigation however the items are believed to be of archaeological interest. Once the bones have been recovered, further tests and examinations will be carried out by a forensic pathologist to determine the age of the human remains.”
This week the councillor in charge of overseeing child protection services in the West of the county, Cllr Fiona Baker ‘ thanked god’ that a heating engineer stepped in after finding a young baby with her hands taped together with wire. The family were already known to health visiting and social services but no action had been taken to safeguard the child who went on to suffer physical and developmental damage.
Our paying members may have already read this article - but it can now be viewed by everyone here
The Labour group on the North unitary has elected Cllr John McGhee as its new leader. Cllr McGhee will take over from the role from fellow Corby councillor Jean Addison.
North Northamptonshire Council will face large protests again this Thursday as the planning application for Weekley Hall Woods goes before the planning committee and is recommended for approval. The new plans will see the trees saved but the wildflower meadow and popular walking routes lost. The land belongs to Boughton House owner the Duke of Buccleuch. Campaign group Save Weekley Hall Wood are planning a ‘March for the Meadow’ followed by a public forum to answer any questions at Kettering Market Place on Sunday, which will start at Meadow Road Park at 1pm.
Read our story from last year about the campaign group and what’s under threat.
The 27ft high Knife Angel - a statue made up of 27,000 confiscated bladed weapons - arrives in Northamptonshire today. It will be hoisted into place at the All Saints Plaza in Northampton and stay there until it moves to a community event at the Old Grammarian Fields in Wellingborough on Saturday, May 14 before heading to Corporation Street in Corby where it will remain until Sunday, May 29.
NN Journal has been involved in creating a podcast as part of the series of events to promote the visit and spark conversation about the knife crime issue. Involving young people from our county’s left behind neighbourhoods the podcast is available for schools to use. It can be listened to here and there is also a teaching aid available which can be accessed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Next week our more adult version looking at the county’s knife crime issue will be published.
The government’s chief whip and MP for Daventry Chris Heaton-Harris has said the alleged case of a Tory MP watching pornography in the Houses of Commons will be referred to the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS).
This comes following a meeting on Tuesday night when Tory MPs are said to have heard complaints from around 12 women about sexist behaviour.
According to the Sunday Times 56 MPs are currently under investigation by the ICGS over allegations of sexual misconduct. The parliamentary watchdog also deals with claims of bullying and harassment.
A spokesperson for Heaton-Harris said: “Upon the conclusion of any ICGS investigation the chief whip will take appropriate action”.
🎤The Raunds music festival kicked off yesterday and runs until Sunday. More information about the lineup and tickets can be found here
🕺🏽 DJs from Inspiration FM are playing at the Barratts Sports Bar in Northampton on Sunday from 2pm.
🦅 There’s a falconry day at Chester House on Saturday. More details here https://chesterhouseestate.org/discover-falconry-day/
🥗 The popular street food festival Bite Street is back at the County Cricket Club in Northampton this weekend. Tickets are available here
Enjoy your bank holiday weekend. We’ll be back in your inbox on Tuesday.
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