The Saints Alive magazine issued by the Benefice includes more village news and can be viewed on the Benefice website.
May Parish Council Meeting
The Annual meeting of the Parish Council was held in May this year. Returning Councillors welcomed new Councillor Mrs Carol Hughes. Councillors elected Mr Peter Bird was elected chairman. The Council will be co-opting one further councillor at the June meeting to complete the number. Anyone elector interested in being considered for co-option should contact the clerk preferably by email by 8th June saying why they would like to be considered for inclusion on the agenda. The first meeting for the newly co-opted member will be on 20th July.
Planning Applications for a side extension at 47 Highfield and a dropped kerb at 3 Thrapston Road were discussed. There were no objections to either application .
The Fair is hoping to revisit Woodford Village Green again this year as part of Woodford Feast, after an absence of two years. Thanks were offered to the fifteen residents who took part in the recent litter pick. We were unable to run this event last year and this year there was significantly less litter than on previous occasions.
On a separate note. There has been an increase in the use of domestic CCTV, either in the form of dedicated systems, or products such as video doorbells / security lights with web enabled cameras etc. Please note that when commissioning your system you should restrict the vision / recording range, to your property boundaries. Viewing and recording images of areas beyond your boundaries means you are classed as a “Data Controller” resulting in responsibilities concerning data security and obligations to passers-by who might activate your system. Further information can be found on the Information Commissioners Website. https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/domestic-cctv-systems-guidance-for-people-using-cctv/ or search for “ICO Domestic CCTV”.
April Parish Council Meeting 2021
At the final meeting of the current Council, members discussed the feasibility of a village wide litter pick. This is now scheduled for 10am on 15th May 2021 meeting in the Sports Club Car Park when the aim will be to visit parts of Woodford not on our litter pickers normal schedule. Due to Covid there are some slightly different “rules” this year. You must pre-register with the Clerk (email is best- details below) and you must also bring your own gloves. Equipment will be sanitised before the event but gloves cannot be provided this year. There will be limited spaces – so book early!
A discussion was held regarding the recent new fencing installed by the farmer restricting access to the river. Sadly this is as a result of a group of youths having an illegal gathering during Covid lockdown and leaving an amount of litter behind which would have been dangerous to stock in the field. The Council will be discussing the matter with the farmer / landowner, however, in the meantime it should be noted that the access enjoyed by villagers for many years was not classed as legal right of way. Only anglers and boat owners using the Friends of the Nene mooring within the terms of their respective agreements had any legal access . The towpath for the Nene at this point is on the Ringstead / Denford side of the river. When walking our many local footpaths it is worth remembering the words of Chief Seattle (whom the city was named after) “Take only memories, leave only footprints”. Please do drop litter which not only spoils the environment for others, but could prove fatal to wildlife and farm animals
The recent better weather has enabled Parish Councillor Neil Chapman to complete the repainting of the exterior of the telephone box. Grateful thanks for this voluntary work were extended to him.
Lastly there will be no Parish Council election in Woodford on May 6th as there were insufficient nominations. Thanks were extended to those who would not be standing for the next term.
There will be a Police, Crime and Fire Commissioner election and also an election for councillors to the new North Northants Unitary Council on that day. Woodford is part of the Irthlingborough Ward and you will be able to vote for up to three Councillors. You should already have received your Poll Card confirming that the Polling Station will be in the Baptist Chapel, Rose Terrace. When you attend, if there is a queue you may be asked to wait, socially distanced, outside, rather than inside the building. Please also note that your Poll Card advises you should take your own pen or pencil this year.
Parish Council Article for April Saints Alive
Parish Council elections take place alongside elections for North Northamptonshire Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections on 6th May. However, nominations close on 8th April and any member of the public wishing to be considered should complete Nomination Forms. The easiest way to find these is to follow the links on www.woodfordpc.co.uk.
Woodford Parish Council employs a litter picker who visits all areas of the village at least once a month, whereas areas such as the High Street and Children’s Playground are visited more frequently. Several bags of litter are picked each month but if you are aware of any long term accumulations of litter in the village which appear to have been missed, please contact email@example.com who will alert our employee.
Lastly, a grant application has now been submitted to fund seating and replacement fencing for the green space in Paddock Road / Windmill Close. The grant process operates on a quarterly basis so the result of the application should be known in early June.
Parish Council Article for March Saints Alive
There’s no Parish Council article this month as a meeting wasn’t held due to Covid-19 restrictions, but there are a couple of issues that have been raised with the Council, which have now been referred to the appropriate authorities.
The first concerns car parking. With the exception of Newtown, all roads with pavements in the village meet minimum width requirements for “on road parking”, so there is no need to park on the pavements. Pavement parking has recently become a major issue in Rose Terrace, and as a result residents from the sheltered accommodation are being forced to walk on the road. Woodford’s pavements are not strong enough to take the weight of vehicles so inconsiderate parking is causing the pavement sub structure to collapse, causing the surface to sink.
Complaints have also been received regarding the number of vehicles which park in the High Street near the village green. Whilst the green is technically private land the surface of the whole area between Eady’s Row, Club Lane and Addington Road, bordered by pavements is classed as “highway”. This means all vehicle parked in this area, must be taxed, insured and MOT’d (if appropriate) to be legal. A vehicle with a SORN declaration should not be parked within these boundaries.
Secondly, due to the wet December and January the fields are very muddy, so many dogs are being exercised around the streets. Please clean up after your pets and use the dog waste bins provided. The fines if you are caught not doing so, are not cheap!
The planning appeal against the refusal of the application for kennels in Addington Road was allowed by the Planning Inspectorate.
Lastly, it is with sadness that the death of one of Woodford’s longstanding business owners has died. Greg Boast, proprietor of the Fish and Chip Shop passed away suddenly, at the age of 58 years. Greg had run the business for about thirty years
December Parish Council
At the December Parish Council meeting Councillors agreed to freeze next year’s overall budget, and also the amount required from the Precept (Council Tax). The main expense next year will continue to be the upgrading of street lamps, replacing the soon to be obsolete orange sodium lamps with new style LED lamps. This will be an ongoing project over the next three or four years. All savings made from the reduced power usage are being used to increase the number of lamp conversions. In order to make the greatest impact, both in the number of lamps converted, and reduced power use, the cheapest conversions are being upgraded first.
The Council also agreed to carry out the verge cutting within the 30mph zone next year on behalf of the County Council. This means the verges will be cut monthly throughout the growing season instead of only three cuts if carried out by the County Council.
Lastly, the Council is looking at alternatives to the fence around the grassed area between Paddock Road and Windmill Close. If you live nearby and have strong views in retaining the fence the Council would be delighted to hear from you. The cost will need to be grant funded and the more local support we have to back our application, the better!
Woodford General Charity
Trustees agreed at a meeting in December, to postpone the delivery of Christmas grants until the “Covid” situation improves, in order to ensure there was no chance of anyone catching or spreading the virus between households.
All new and previous applicants on record at the time of that meeting will receive their grant later in 2021.
As the books for this year’s awards are now closed, any other resident wishing to apply for future awards should look out for entitlement details and how to apply next autumn
NHS England and NHS Improvement has launched the next phase of the latest ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign which focuses on the NHS 111 service as a new way to access A&E.
If you have an urgent but not life-threatening medical need, make sure you contact NHS 111 first rather than going straight to A&E. If you do need urgent care, then NHS 111 can now book you in to be seen quickly and safely in A&E.
As well as this, NHS 111 is also able to direct to or book an appointment at Urgent Treatment Centres, access to Out of Hours GP Services, pharmacies, emergency dental services and walk-in clinics.
Contacting 111 first will also help the NHS to keep you safe by maintaining social distancing and ensure that you receive the right care in the right place, in a more timely and safe way.
If you or your loved one have a life-threatening illness or injury then you should always use 999 and if you do arrive at A&E without contacting NHS 111 you will still receive medical care, with emergency treatments prioritised.
Just think 111 first. When you think you need A&E, contact NHS 111 by phone or online at https://111.nhs.uk/
Further information about NHS 111 First is available at www.northamptonshireccg.nhs.uk
I am writing to you directly, as we enter the winter period, to inform you of the current situation relating to COVID-19 in Northamptonshire and specifically the areas in which you live. I’m also going to share some key tips to help you and your families stay safe during the winter period and how to access support if you need to self-isolate, if you become unwell, or if you require help with shopping, medication or loneliness.
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. We know that these age groups are amongst the most sociable, go to school, university or work, and may be involved in the care of others, children and/or older people.
Worryingly, we are also seeing a rise in cases amongst those aged over 60. This age group is the group that are most likely to become severely unwell should they get COVID-19, they may need to stay in hospital and sadly, as we are starting to see once again, more of this age group are likely to die from the virus.
Transmission can easily spread within families, especially where children and parents mix with grandparents and particularly in indoor settings. Whilst we recognise the importance of social interaction, we would recommend that if you have to work with or care for someone who is older or more vulnerable, or if you ordinarily mix with grandparents, that you consider reducing your social contacts elsewhere, or move your interactions with those older, more vulnerable contacts to an online format where possible during the winter period.
The introduction of recent national lockdown guidance will help us to reduce community transmission of the virus. Community transmission is where the virus spreads in households with people mixing in indoor spaces, in particular. We would recommend that where anyone enters your home, or you theirs, for example for childcare purposes, that everyone wears a face covering, maintains a two metre social distance, and keeps interactions as short as possible. Continue to wash your hands regularly and clean any surfaces or contact points such as door handles, cupboard handles and taps.
If you have any concerns about whether you may have COVID-19, need to get a test, need more support for someone who is vulnerable or need to check the current guidance and what you can and cannot do, visit Northamptonshire County Council website www.northamptonshire.gov.uk
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. We are all in this together and all of our actions contribute to the outcomes we face. Let’s continue to work together, to wash our hands regularly, to wear our face coverings and to keep two metres from others.
Director of Public Health, Northamptonshire County Council
October 2020 Parish Council
At the October Parish Council meeting amongst matters discussed was the tree works in Woodford Shrubbery. Tree felling is now completed, and the next stage will be the planting of 1,500 new trees later in the winter.
An appeal has been lodged by the “Wellidogs Charity” against the refusal of planning permission for their proposed kennels in Addington Road. Further information regarding the appeals process can be found on the Parish Council website. Following a generous donation from the Woodford Jubilee Committee, work has now commenced on the refurbishment of the telephone box on the village green. A new door has been purchased and fitted to replace the old rotten one, and painting is underway. The work is being carried out voluntarily by a Parish Councillor and gratitude is expressed to both Mr Chapman and the Jubilee Committee for their contribution to this project.
More street lamps will be changed to LED over the next couple of months in Highfield and part of Mill Road. Savings are already evident and these funds are being put towards the cost of upgrading yet more lamps.
From time to time the availability of allotments is requested. The allotments are owned by Drayton Estate and the Estate Office can help with you enquiries. Please call 01832 238110.
Any Widows or Pensioners resident in Woodford wishing to claim a Christmas Grant should write to the Woodford General Charity Trustees c/o Mr. P J Bird, 32 Church Street, Woodford. Letters should include the applicant’s date of birth and be signed. The deadline for applications this year is Monday 30th November. Previous recipients need not reapply.
September Parish Council 2020
Woodford Parish Council met in September for a brief meeting observing the latest Government guidelines. The main points discussed included the fence around the grass play area in Paddock Road. The fence is showing serious signs of decay and prices are to be obtained regarding both the repair, which will be an ongoing matter as many of the wooden posts are nearing the end of their lives, or the replacement with a new fence, or complete removal. Any local residents with a strong view either way are encouraged to write to the Clerk (details below). Whilst the repair might be met from the Council’s existing budget, replacement would be dependant upon obtaining a grant to cover the cost.
The other issue discussed was dog fouling, especially in Bakers Lane and Newtown Street together with the lanes, alleys and roads in that area. A request for the dog warden to attend has been made, so please remember if you are caught not clearing up after our pet you may be in receipt of a fine. There are number of dog waste bins across the whole of the village. Please use them.
The Clerk was asked to write to a number of residents who have hedges which are growing either over pavements or into the road. Please check your hedges to ensure they are not causing an obstruction.
August Parish Council 2020
Woodford Parish Council met briefly on Tuesday evening and received an update regarding the recent “paint attack” on equipment in the children’s playground. The act was reported to the Police and is being followed up.
Quotations are being sought for repairs to the fence around the grass area between Paddock Road and Windmill Close. Renovation of the telephone box on the village green will commence shortly, and a new door will be fitted.
A request for a “Dog waste bin” in Church Street is being considered and consultation of local residents will take place.
Further street lamps in Highfield are to be upgraded, followed, if funds permit by lamps in Mill Road.
Lastly, it is understood the three caravans at “General’s Corner” are being dealt with by the “County Traveller Unit”.
March Parish Council 2020
The March Meeting of the Council went ahead as planned and brief discussions took place as to how future meetings could be held. It was agreed that the next meeting in April would take place if a quorum could be achieved, unless direct instruction to the contrary was received.
Other matters discussed included the large number of cars which park in Thrapston Road, the need for improved access from Mill Road to the footpath to Twywell, and it was agreed to use some of the unspent budget from the financial year to improve a further set of street lights.
It was reported that the County Council are exploring all avenues to find a replacement to Diamond Coaches to ensure a bus service continues after 25th April
February Parish Council 2020
At the February Parish Council meeting Councillors agreed to
hold the 6th Annual Village wide Litter pick at 10am on 4th
April. If you would like to assist please contact either David
Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Bird,
email@example.com or 01832 734329.
A number of planning applications were discussed and no objections raised other than an application for the removal of a front wall in the High Street to create two parking spaces. Councillors agreed that as this property was within the conservation area an objection should be lodged. Additionally whilst two off road spaces would be created once visibility splays were factored in three parking spaces would be lost from the road itself. Further details can be seen at www.woodfordpc.co.uk/planning.htm.
The Council has agreed once again to be responsible for
mowing all verges within the 30mph zone. These verges will be
cut once per month from March to October. (If the council did
not take on this responsibility the verges would be cut three
times only over the same period by the County Council) All other
verge maintenance issues remain the responsibility of NCC and
defects should be reported through street doctor.
The second batch of lamps in the village to be changed to LED have now been upgraded. A further batch of lamps will be upgraded in the new financial year.
The Council is still seeking volunteers to assist with the Community Speedwatch Scheme. If you think speeding is a problem in the village and wish to help combat the problem please contact the Clerk (details above).
January Parish Council 2020
At the January Parish Council meeting Councillors discussed a planning application for the conversion to domestic dwelling of former commercial premises at 8 Pound Lane. There were no objections so long as windows overlooking neighbouring properties were either obscure glass, or high enough to provide privacy.
Flooding in Addington Road at the double bend was raised with the County Council again for an update. It is believed a blocked culvert beneath the road could be causing the ditch to overflow.
It was also believed a broken drain from the outflow of Mill Road gullies was contributing to the flooding in Windmill Close. This was being investigated further by the County Council.
Road markers and chevron signs in Addington Road were reported as being missing or damaged and this matter would be reported to the “Street Doctor Service”
A discussion took place regarding another new warehouse development at Stanion and in particular the traffic implications especially between the A14 at Thrapston and Corby.
The Council is still looking for volunteers to assist with the “Speedwatch” initiative. If you are interested in assisting, please contact the Clerk, Mr P Bird
December Parish Council 2019
At the December meeting Woodford Parish Council discussed next years budget and the Precept which is the amount of money the Council received from the Council Tax. A small increase was agreed which will equate to about £1.00 per year if you live in a Band D property.
Following the upgrade of some of the streetlamps in Highfield a further five lamps owned by the Council in the Rose Terrace area of Woodford will be upgraded.
The other major talking point was the revised entrance for the proposed kennels in Addington Road. The latest proposal is for an entrance direct to the site at the top of the small dip about 200 metres outside the 30mph area. The Parish Council agreed to object based upon the poor visibility on this part of the road and the number of accidents that have been recorded in the vicinity.
The decision whether to compile a Neighbourhood Plan was deferred to a future meeting.
Lastly the Council would like to participate in the Community Speedwatch Scheme, but in order to do so further volunteers are needed. If you would be willing to assist please see the link from our website, or contact the Clerk as soon as possible.
November Parish Council 2019
At the November meeting of the Parish Council Councillors had a briefing on the benefits of a Neighbourhood Plan and the process involved. The Council will discuss the merits of creating a Neighbourhood Plan at a future meeting.
A discussion took place regarding using some of the allotments in Newtown as a village car park. The idea was eventually dismissed, due to the cost involved in creating a parking area, administering a parking scheme, policing the area, and above all the poor access through Newtown.
A number of street lamps have recently been reported as defective. If you see a lamp which is not working please ring the Clerk on 01832 734329 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have the "what3words" app on your phone? "What3words" have created a grid of 3x3 metre squares across the whole of the country and allocated three words to each square (e.g. Woodford War Memorial is fruitcake.sounding.flushes). Your location on this grid at any time can be accessed automatically through the app using your phone's GPS. If you need to call an emergency service give them the three words relating to your location and they will be able to pinpoint your location to within a couple of metres - anywhere in the country. Northamptonshire Emergency Services already use this scheme routinely and many others are signing up. Check out www.what3words.com for more details.
October Parish Council 2019
The Parish Council meeting for October was brief. Councillors discussed the refurbishment of the telephone box and agreed to obtain a price for the work. A planning application for an extension at 12 Highfield was discussed and it was agreed that no objections would be raised. East Northants Council advised that they have tried to obtain funding to solve the flooding problems at Windmill Close, but without success and now suggested options that the Parish Council might be able to take. Both options were long term options and Councillors discussed a further option in response.
Parking in the village was once again discussed. A meeting had taken place with Drayton Estate, owners of the village green who were not against the installation of bollards around the village greens to prevent misuse. The Estate also suggested there was the possibility of land being made available for a village car park. Councillors agreed this may be beneficial, and the idea would be discussed again at the November meeting.
Diamond coaches have taken over the bus service previously operated by Centrebus, and have cut some of the services. The Council is to write to the coach company requesting that they consider including Woodford on all the services between Thrapston and Kettering, and also improve the service to Thrapston.
September Parish Council 2019
At the Parish Council Meeting in September councillors heard that the planning application for the proposed kennels for upto 40 dogs in Addington Road is still open for consultation Any comments should be forwarded to East Northamptonshire Council. The Planning Application reference is 19/01238/FUL and details can be found at www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk or by following the link from www.woodfordpc.co.uk
When Councillors set this years budget for lighting last December it was agreed that new LED lamps would be installed across the village. As there are over seventy lamps to upgrade this will be carried out in a phased approach over a number of years, however the decision was made to start with lamps in Highfield and West Street and should be completed within the next couple of months. Further upgrades will take place as funds become available.
A number of hedges around Woodford were mentioned which are now growing out significantly onto pavements and roads. Permission is not required (even in conservation areas) for trimming hedges. Please check your hedges / shrubs are not growing out over the footpath/roadside, and if so consider trimming them back to your boundary.
Lastly, it was reported that the contractors who cut our verges have said that they are unable to cut verges within two metres of parked cars due to the chance that stones may be flicked up and damage the vehicles. If you are aware of contractors cutting the verges – usually the first week of the month please try to park away from the verge whilst the cut takes place.
August Parish Council 2019
The Parish Council meeting in August was dominated by the Planning Application for an exercise barn and two kennel blocks of twenty kennels per block in Addington Road. A large number of residents present raised comments and objections predominantly about the potential noise of dogs barking upwind of Woodford. The present site is downwind of nearest village of Grendon and also over three times more distant, than the proposed site at Woodford. Comments were also raised regarding storm water runoff / effluent, night security, access, emergency vehicle access. Mitigating responses were provided by representatives of the Wellidog Charity. Ultimately, when Councillors debated the matter there was agreement that the Parish Council would object to the application. .
Other matters discussed included the use of the footpath to the Greenway by cyclists. Cyclists are reminded that this is a public footpath, not a bridleway, so cycles should not be ridden. It is also a busy farm track, consequently for your own safety please walk. Accidents on farmland have not reduced over recent years, mainly due to more people visiting the countryside and having a lack of respect to the fact that it is not parkland, it is a working environment with dangerous machinery.
Speeding in Mill Road was discussed and Councillors were advised that the County Council had no funds available for Speed Control. The Parish Council had been advised of a potential resource which may provide funding for improved road marking, signage and a "village gateway" and this will be followed up.
The future of the fair was discussed and representations are to be initially made to the Showmen's Guild.
The Clerk reported that the County Council were readvertsing the Service 16 bus service following the decision by Centrebus to close their operations at Corby at the end of October.
Councillors also agreed to review streetlighting with a view to implementing a replacement plan of the obsolete lamps within the village.
July Parish Council 2019
At the July Woodford Parish Council meeting, one of the items discussed was the "non arrival" of the Fair this year. Notification that the Fair would not be attending Woodford due to an unavoidable clash of dates was received just ten days before the scheduled arrival. The Council was most disappointed, especially following last year's poor showing, after which the village was promised a "bigger and better" fair this year. Various alternatives are now being explored for next year but if you have any strong views regarding what you would like to see please contact the Clerk.
Parking in the High Street was once again a well debated item. Residents parking schemes have been discussed in the past however Woodford does not meet many of the criteria laid down for such a scheme. The main "failing" being that too many properties actually have access to off road parking. Cars which park wholly on the village green rather than parking on the roadside was also discussed and the viability of bollards around the two "island greens" is to be evaluated. Additionally, the "formalisation" of parking on the "road-side" of the trees in the High Street is to be investigated as another option.
Over the past month the Council has received complaints about the alleged inappropriate use of anti-climb paint. There are no enforcement procedures against the use or misuse of the paint and Parish Council received advice that "Whilst the use of the paint below a height of two metres is not against the law, it does not follow good practice, and anyone suffering damage when walking past it, can choose to take civil action against the householder".
Mrs Ruth Hancock was co-opted to the Council to fill the vacancy left by Mr Andy Sharkey.
June Parish Council 2019
Councillors discussed a variety of issues at the June Parish Council Meeting. Speeding vehicles through the village and also inconsiderate parking especially in the High Street were discussed. The number of vehicles parking around the green has increased dramatically over the past six months, sometimes being parked quite inconsiderately. If you are fortunate enough to have off road parking please make use of it to reduce the burden on the streets. Alternatively, if you have off road parking which you don't use have you considered allowing a neighbour or a friend the opportunity to use the space?
52% of vehicles coming into Woodford passing the Paddock Road junction were exceeding the speed limit, the highest speed being recorded was 66mph. This location is over 250 metres inside the 30mph zone. The data has been forwarded to the Police and action requested.
Councillors learned that East Northants Council had approved the retrospective planning application for replacement windows at the Post Office.
The June verge cutting was discussed and concerns will be raised with the contractor over the standard of the cut. The verges are contracted to be cut once per month between March and October (inclusive) and the cut will normally take place around the second week of the month dependent upon weather conditions.
Lastly following the resignation of Mr Andy Sharkey at the May Council meeting, the Parish Council will be looking to co-opt a new councillor at the July meeting. Any elector interested in being considered should contact the Clerk in writing, or email, by 11th July, giving their name and address. A short paragraph (max 100 words) detailing why they would like to be considered may also be included. This will be circulated to Parish Councillors prior to the meeting when the co-option process will take place.
Former Resident's World War One Diary
Long standing residents of the village will no doubt remember the late Rector - Rev L E P De Casabianca (Rector of Woodford and Twywell 1957 -1980), but possibly less well recalled are Mrs De Casabianca's mother and step father who lived their twilight years in the bungalow at the west end of Church Street. Hubert Brown had fought in the First World War from the start of hostilities until 1916 when he was injured at the Somme. His war diaries have now been published online. The diaries are somewhat vague in the early days but once mobilised become more descriptive.
Mr Hubert Brown and his wife Florence, were laid to rest in Woodford Churchyard in 1962.