Your money will support veterans

I’ve distributed hundreds of poppy boxes to shops and businesses in Northampton, stood for countless hours collecting money for poppies, just finished collecting the boxes that I gave out and now I think I can safely say that my poppy appeal is done for another year.

Now to get back to the real work of helping the people that the money was collected for in the first place.

Thank you Northampton for such generous donations again this year, you never fail to surpass my expectations.

Dean Griffin,

Poppy Appeal Collector and Voluntary Welfare Caseworker, Royal British Legion, Northampton.

infrastructure bill

Rates delay hits firms

At short notice, the Growth and Infrastructure Bill has included a clause to postpone the 2015 rating revaluation until 2017. 

This will affect Northampton businesses whom I represent and advise in these matters in two ways.  Firstly the reductions in rates charges will be deferred by two years.  Secondly, the valuation date will be deferred from a date which would reflect the current state of the property market to a date at which it may have begun to recover.  A single case will illustrate the point.

S W Wreford (Transport) Limited has taken a lease of a warehouse in Harvey Reeves Road, Northampton.  The rent payable under this lease (in terms of rateable value) is £22,500 per annum.  The current rates bill is £18,205.50 so Wrefords is paying almost as much in rates as in rent.

A revaluation in 2015 would produce a rateable value of approx £22,500. Allowing for some upward adjustment in the rate in £, the rating liability would fall to £11,500. 

The effect on my client of deferring the rating revaluation will be an immediate additional charge of £14,000.  It is also likely that the rateable value fixed to a later valuation date will be some 10 per cent higher, producing additional rates charges over the following five years.  In total, the cost of the deferral to my client is likely to be over £30,000.

Commercial property values in Northampton have been seriously adversely affected by the economic downturn. 

The effect of postponing the rating revaluation on the local Northampton economy will be very significant and harmful. 

On behalf of my clients who are already suffering rates charges based on pre-recessionary values, I would urge local MPs to vote against this clause.

Andrew Boulter FRICS,

Partner, Underwoods LLP Chartered Surveyors.

police commissioner

Making our county safer

Now I am Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

As Police and Crime Commissioner, I will be the representative of all our people; whatever race, sex or social standing; rich or poor, young or old. I promise too unreservedly to lead from the front, not to duck the hard choices or avoid the challenges that will most certainly come.

My campaign has always been about Making Northamptonshire the Safest Place in England . . . this journey and campaign continues- to reduce crime at all levels; to put victims at the heart of our criminal justice system-to challenge the criminal justice system to do better.

This campaign has never been about me, but about those who are unable to speak up for themselves and for those who have felt let down.

I want to thank everyone who supported me through the campaign and with their vote.

Some people continue to rubbish these elections and the idea of a police and crime commissioner.

Those of us who want to look ahead and not back will move on, whoever we voted for and whatever we think. Together we can make this all happen. I am determined to make a difference.

Adam Simmonds,

Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire

youth concert

Amazing musicians

On Sunday evening 46 six members of Northampton Rotary Club attended the 27th Annual Youth in Concert at Derngate.

We are one of the sponsors of the Northamptonshire
Performing Arts School Trust and enjoyed a wonderful

It was a truly life enhancing evening and we were all 
enthralled and amazed by the quality and diversity of the music performed by the young people.

How fortunate the young 
musicians are to receive such a superb musical education from Peter Smalley, the new head of service and his colleagues.

The esteem and affection for the tutors was plain for everyone to see.

Many of the young people go on to become professional musicians and others have a rewarding hobby for life.

Warmest thanks and congratulations to all

David George,

Northampton Rotary Club.

student flats

No reason for plans

I refer to your recent article regarding the proposed student development in Bective Road.

Well, we should have no worries then!

The university faculty will work with the police to ensure there is no anti-social behaviour.

Who are they kidding? Once it is up and occupied, you are more likely to see the Pope shopping in Waitrose than staff on site.

The amount of rubbish currently left on the Number 19 bus by the students on their way to and from the campus is reason enough to worry about the proposed development.

The amount of noise late in the evening outside the takeaways and no doubt increase in rubbish strewn around will be difficult to manage and is something we should not have to tolerate.

How will the faculty deal with this?

There are only two public houses in the immediate area around the development, so an increase in student numbers will doubtlessly cause problems in these venues at the weekends.

Currently we have a quiet village, with little in the way of trouble. Can anyone honestly say this will be the case when 300+ students are using the shopping centre, takeaways and pubs?

Then there is the problem of parking. Another unworkable promise is that the students will not be allowed cars, how do you stop them?

Many will look for part-time work, taking many of the low paid jobs available to the detriment of local people, particularly those leaving school.

Why is it when something is settled, some stripe-suited bureaucrat has to impose change? The development was rejected once on several points, a small reduction in capacity is no reason to re-apply for planning permission.

Dr Kevin Corcoran,

Julian Way, Kingsthorpe, Northampton.

tree of light

Remember the departed

This year’s Tree of Eternal Light service will be held at St Michael and All Angel’s Church, Bugbrooke, at 7pm on Thursday, December 6.

The service offers a quiet hour, when we remember family members and friends who are no longer with us.

A Christmas tree covered in lights will shine in the church every day throughout the Christmas period. Each light represents the life of someone dear to us, people from all walks of life, some closely connected to the church during their lifetime, many with no connection at all but whose families and friends find the Tree of Light a fitting way to remember them at Christmas.

There is an opportunity to leave a message on the tree after the service. It is a focus for the deep feelings people face at Christmas time, beautiful music, a few carols, the names of our loved ones read out one by one, and a book of remembrance which can be viewed after the service and throughout the Christmas period.

Afterwards, if you wish, coffee and mince pies and the opportunity to talk to someone if you need to.

All we ask is for a donation for each person remembered. This year donations will be distributed equally among the following recipients: British Heart Foundation, Alzheimer’s Society, Northampton, and Bugbrooke Church.

Names and donations please to the Benefice Office, Sunday School Building, Church Lane (Northampton 830373), or to me by November 29 (cheques made payable to Bugbrooke PCC).

Lynne Clayson,

Orchard Way, The Paddocks, Bugbrooke (tel Northampton 830480).

Cat killers

Yobs lowest of the low

I refer to the article printed on page 5 of the Chronicle & Echo last week about a cat killed by some loathsome, sickening, repugnant, detestable yobs, who are a poor excuse for human beings.

Their disgusting behaviour is a total disgrace and they are the lowest of the low. They are a total disgrace and should be utterly ashamed of themselves for what they have done. Disgraceful. I hope readers will join me in sending our 
condolences to the people 
that have lost part of their family.

My thoughts are totally with them at this time.

G Bowles,

The Mounts, Northampton.

parish polls

Useless elections

Along with the excitement of the Corby by-election and the debacle of the PCC elections, some areas had a referendum on whether to become a parish. These attracted even less interest than the PCC election, with just 308 voting in St James. As with Parklands, there was little more than a handful of voters wanting parish status.

Parishes do get extra facilities: Geddington, for instance, funds full street lighting. We must remember that this is paid for by a precept on the council tax, which Jim Hacker and his fellow denizens can readily afford. I suspect many in St James would struggle to pay the precept.

Why are we being asked to vote on parish status? No doubt this is all part of the Government’s localism agenda and Councillor Harker’s desire for a countywide unitary authority.

As a further downside, voting is based on the new borough ward boundaries. Thus some of my fellow Eastfield residents were asked if they wanted to be part of a Parklands parish. Well of course not; they live in Eastfield.

As a footnote to the elections, Nick Clegg’s activities are bizarre, but what sort of democracy is it when hard-working guys like Paul Varnsverry (Jill Hope also suffered) pay the price for another’s actions.

Colin Bricher,

Broadmead Avenue,

sugar and spice

Fayre was a big success

The Sugar & Spice Ladies Club in Duston held its annual autumn fair recently at Duston Community Centre and raised the magnificent sum of £1,339.53 (less the costs for the hire of the hall).

After months of preparation, the day’s work began at 10am with sorting and distributing to the various stalls. It is amazing how it all takes place and is ready to open at 2pm.

With a throng of enthusiastic customers, we soon sold out on various stalls and we ended with the Big Raffle, which had 42 prizes, exhausted but pleased with another superb effort.

We were also joined by The Boy’s Challenge who were selling goods towards their much needed funds.

The money we raised will be donated to the haematology department at NGH, The Boy’s Challenge and Megan’s Flutterby Fund at our AGM in February 2013.

May we please therefore thank everyone so very much for their support in helping us raise this money. We know that it will be very much appreciated when we hand over the well-deserved funds.

If anyone is interested in joining us, please come along to any of our club meetings, which are held every second and fourth Tuesday of the month (except December, January and August) at Duston Community Centre starting at 7.45 pm. Many thanks once again.’

Mary Meredith,

Chairwoman, Sugar & Spice Ladies Club, Duston,

batman and robin

Dynamic Duo for town

At last Northampton has its call to fame, in the form of bringing back the legends of the old law enforcers of the past, Batman and Robin. Yes, we have our own Dynamic Duo, who else but Tony “Batman” Clarke and accomplice John “Robin” Dickie.

I do not know what Batman Clarke and Robin Dickie will do about transport, as the last sign of the Batmobile was being loaded on to the back of a lorry in Edith Street last year (owing to a tax mistake).

And we have Councillor Jim Harker taking on the role of The Butler and Chron columnist Aufona as The Joker.

Then of course, Lee Barron, The Invisible Man.

N R Sharp,

King Edward Road, Abington, Northampton.