Category Archives: News

Every ten years, the census provides a unique snapshot of our society

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capture

 

The next census is happening in March 2021. By taking part and encouraging others to do the same, you’ll help make sure your community is counted in decisions on services and funding.

 

For the first time ever Census 2021 is digital first.  This means householders will be invited to complete their Census form using a digital device.  If this concerns you, don’t worry, there will be the option to ask for a paperbased form too.

We’ll start to see some national advertising about the Census towards the end of January, and then each household will receive a postcard in February.  Then in early March each household will be sent an information pack including a unique digital access code.

CENSUS DAY is 21 March 2021 – but that just means the date by which we must have completed our census submissions.  As soon as you receive your pack, you can complete your census.

Look out for your information pack through the post!

 

COVID-19 vaccination phishing SMS text message

phishing

phishing

There has been an increasing trend of COVID-19 phishing and SMS text message scams.

This short article tells you more about the scams and how you could protect yourself and your family

 

As it stands, there are five key trends:
 Fake URL links claiming to redirect you to GOV.UK website to claim relief payments.
 Lockdown fines suggesting you have breached government regulations.
 Offers of health supplements that will prevent you from being infected.
 Financial support that appears to be from your bank.
 Fake text messages claiming to be from the NHS advising individuals that they are eligible to apply for vaccine, but requiring sensitive data such as financial information to make a payment.

 

To protect yourself and those close to you:
 Keep abreast of the news: As awful as it may seem, knowledge of attack methods and techniques will hone the ability to separate fact from fiction.
 Never click links within emails or text messages: Links take you to fake websites.
 Never call back using an unrecognised SMS phone number: This could lead you to speaking directly with a criminal or criminal organisation.
 Use official channels: For example, use GOV.UK to find relevant information about COVID support and support services. Once the official communication channels are known you can verify information and find out what the next steps are.
 Guard your data: A legitimate organisation won’t make unsolicited requests for sensitive information or payments. For example, the vaccine is only available on the NHS for free to people in priority groups. Use the official NHS app only available from Google Play or Apple Store for more.
 Don’t give into pressure: If someone tries to coerce you into giving them sensitive information, end the conversation.
 Watch your digital footprint. Cyber criminals will use social media accounts and relevant websites to research you and make their scams more effective. Request the removal of unnecessary information and check your privacy settings for every account.

 

Reporting
Please report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online.
Forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk.
Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).

All Change for Councils in Northamptonshire

 

cake three levels

cake three levels

Local government in Northamptonshire is changing. The existing system, which has been in place since the 1970s, is like a three-tier cake. The bottom layer is parish and town councils which typically cover one village or town. The middle layer is borough and district councils, which are responsible for things like planning applications, collecting the bins, tourism, and dealing with benefits. The top layer is the county council, which is responsible for things like social services, education, and highways.

 

From 1 April 2021 the top two layers of the cake are being replaced with one layer, known as unitary councils. There will be two in Northamptonshire: North Northamptonshire Council, and West Northamptonshire Council. Parish and town councils remain as they are.
West Northamptonshire Council will cover the area currently covered by Daventry District Council, Northampton Borough Council, and South Northamptonshire Council. The area contains the towns of Northampton, Daventry, Towcester and Brackley and nearly two hundred villages and hamlets. West Northamptonshire Council will be one of the larger unitary
councils in England. It will be responsible for all the services currently being provided in the area by the district, borough, and county councils.

The main reason for replacing the district, borough and county councils with unitary councils is to save money. Northamptonshire County Council had well-publicised financial issues in 2017 and 2018, which led to a government inspection of the council. The inspector’s report recommended that creating unitary councils was the best solution. Most people will not notice any difference, certainly in the first few years of the unitary councils. In fact, great efforts are being made to ensure that is the case. For example, the lorry collecting the rubbish might have a different logo on it, but the bins will still be collected. Council services will continue as normal, and any changes will be gradual.

From 2021 you will see three lines on your council tax bill. You will pay an amount for the parish or town council that looks after your village or town, an amount for Northamptonshire Police, and an amount for West Northamptonshire Council for all the council services it provides. The amount you pay to each body is set by that body.

West Northamptonshire Council will have 93 councillors, who will be chosen at the local elections on 6 May 2021. Some will be people who have been district, borough, and county councillors before; others will be new. Anyone over 18 and living in West Northamptonshire can put themselves forward to be a councillor. The councillors elected in 2021 will serve a four-year term of office and may seek re-election in 2025.  Council meetings are held in public, and all the information, reports, and papers for the meetings are published on the council’s web site. Councils are open and democratic bodies and are accountable to the people they serve.

If you are interested to find out more about the changes happening to local government in
Northamptonshire please visit https://futurenorthantswest.org/.

The Great Oxendon Neighbourhood Plan

What is neighbourhood planning?

Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. They are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and industrial units to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided.

Why is this important to us now?

Great Oxendon Parish Council has agreed that a Neighbourhood Plan lodged with our local authority would best serve the wishes of the local community and provide some protection from undesirable development in our pleasant rural location.

What are the benefits to a community of developing a neighbourhood plan?

Neighbourhood planning enables communities to play a much stronger role in shaping the areas in which they live and work and in supporting new development proposals.

Neighbourhood planning provides the opportunity for communities to set out a positive vision for how they want their community to develop over the next 10, 15, 20 years in ways that meet identified local needs and make sense for local people

What will be needed from you?

We would like to form a small separate advisory group of eager volunteers to help drive the project to success.

Imaginative help will be needed to engage with our local community and tapping into your creative skills and ideas will be so valuable. We have many talented residents who have so much to offer.

The Neighbourhood Plan project will probably run for approximately 18 months and will involve presentations to the community to collect wishes and carry out a final referendum with residents, before the plan is ‘made’ with the local authority.

It is anticipated that we will appoint consultants to assist with the Plan draft and give us advice on key points to include in any submission. A grant is available from Central Government to assist with these costs.

If you feel you would like to help shape the future of our community in any possible way, we would like to hear from you.

To find out more and hopefully offer to help, please contact us at:

parishcouncil@greatoxendon.org

or telephone 07920 483553

Great Oxendon Waste and recycling collections

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Collections will continue to take place as usual over the Christmas and New Year period, except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day:

  • If your collection is due on Christmas Day (Friday, 25 December) it will instead take place on Sunday, 27 December
  • If your collection is due on New Year’s Day (Friday, 1 January) it will instead take place the following day on Saturday, 2 January

 

Extra recycling collection

During the week beginning Monday 28 December, all households will get an extra collection of their blue-lidded bin on their usual collection day.

Extra recycling will also be collected if it cannot fit into the blue-lidded bin. Please put these items in clear or white bags and place them next to your bin.

Food waste collections

Food waste bins will continue to be collected on their usual weekly schedule. Please remember you can recycle leftover raw and cooked foods, including veg peelings, egg shells, out-of-date food, plate scrapings, solid fats, meat and fish bones. Please do not put any liquids in the caddy.

Garden waste collections

Those subscribed to the service are advised there will a short break in collections during the week beginning 28 December, to allow crews to focus on the extra seasonal recycling.

General waste collections

Black bins containing general waste will continue to be collected as normal on their three-weekly cycle. Please make sure you recycle as much as possible and make use of the extra blue-lidded recycling bin collection, as black bins with raised lids or bags of rubbish left next to your bin will not be collected.

Real Christmas trees

If you have a real Christmas tree you can put it out for collection in the week beginning Monday 11 January.

It should be placed next to your bins on your normal collection day. Those subscribed to the garden waste service can cut the tree up and place it in their garden waste bins if they prefer.

There are no communal collection points for real Christmas trees, but they can be taken to your local household waste recycling centre: https://www.daventrydc.gov.uk/living/waste-and-recycling/where-is-the-nearest-recycling-centre/

Road Closure!!

Be aware of a road closure on 30 November 2020

Northamptonshire Highways are intending on carrying out urgent carriageway repairs along the lane between Great Oxendon and East Farndon.   To undertake these works safely will require that the road is closed on the 30th November 2020 for one day at off peak times.

 

The closure and diversion can be viewed here https://one.network/?tm=119744824

Director of Public Health Issues Plea

Director of Public Health Issues Plea
This week’s surveillance report, an analysis of the recent Coronavirus cases and rates over the period 9 – 15 November, shows that 1,642 residents have tested positive in the county since last week and that Northamptonshire’s total cases in the last week are nearly nine times higher than the weekly averages seen last month.

 

Northamptonshire’s Director of Public Health, Lucy Wightman, issued a letter to all residents on Tuesday saying “We are currently seeing the largest rise in cases in Northamptonshire since the first national lockdown. Positive cases range across all age groups, but significantly are largest in the age groups from 10-59.”  The letter goes on to say “We all need to work hard to ensure that case numbers reduce in our local area, to ensure that we keep the people we love safe, and so that we can return to a more normal way of living as soon as possible when the national measures come to an end.

The full text of the letter is at https://www.northantscalc.com/news/2020/11/a-message-from-the-director-of-public-health

 

 

The Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme

Reflections in the lens of a small round metal magnifying glass for visual enlargement over a light grey background

 

Important information if you are in receipt of The Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (sometimes known as Council Tax Support)

 

 

What is The Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (LCTRS)?

Council Tax Support helps people on low income pay their Council Tax and was introduced in April 2013 when Council Tax Benefit was abolished and replaced by locally agreed schemes.

What is changing?

On 1st April 2021 there will be a new council called West Northamptonshire, replacing the County Council, Northampton Borough Council, Daventry District Council and South Northamptonshire Council.  This means that four different Council Tax Support schemes will be harmonized into one scheme for the new authority

Consultation on these changes.

The four existing Councils have been working together on draft proposals for a new West Northamptonshire Council. They have opened a consultation period to hear the views of residents who could be affected by these changes in Daventry District, Northampton Borough or South Northants District council areas.

How could we be affected by these changes?

Each of the current councils have a different scheme for working age people.  Because of the current arrangements in Daventry, if you receive LCTRS you might be worse off under the new arrangements.

Great Oxendon Parish Council have submitted their concerns about this directly to the West Northamptonshire consultation.  As a Council we are keen to ensure that all our residents are aware of the changes being proposed too.

What can you do if you are worried about these proposals?

There is an information page explaining how these changes may affect you, and the opportunity to submit your views as part of a consultation.  The consultation will run for six weeks from 2nd November 2020 to 13th December 2020.  Please feel free to also submit your own views or ideas through this consultation.  The more feedback the new Authority receives about their proposed changes, the better the decision they can make.

The information page can be found here:

https://futurenorthants.citizenspace.com/lctrs-west/2021-22/

If you know of any friends or neighbours who pay be affected by this, pleas encourage them to look at the website so they can understand clearly how things may change.

Vacancy – Parish Clerk & Responsible Financial Officer – 4 hours per week

 

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Salary is in accordance with the National Salary Scales dependant on experience and qualification. This is currently £10.68 per hour. (Under review) A weekly home working allowance of £4 per week is also paid. (This is paid on a quarterly basis)

The Clerk is the proper officer of the Council.

The Clerk works from home and is responsible for –

  • Preparing Agenda for the monthly meeting
  • Recording minutes of the meetings
  • Maintaining financial records including budget setting and monitoring
  • Data Protection
  • Maintaining the Parish Councils website and its Twitter and Facebook accounts
  • Keeping the Parish Council noticeboard up to date and relevant
  • Organising any day to day admin tasks including correspondence.

The applicant must have good organisational skills, numeracy, communication and IT skills. Knowledge of local government would be an advantage.

The appointed person will be expected to manage confidentiality of information in an independent objective and professional manner.

The successful applicant will receive relevant training from the Northants County Association of Local Councils.

Applicants should send a CV and covering letter setting out evidence of the relevant skills and experience to the Chairman of the Great Oxendon Parish Council – rosiesteedman@outlook.com

The closing date for applications is 9th August 2020.

For further details or questions please email the current clerk at parish.council@greatoxendon.org