Northampton Borough Councillor
This is mainly family housing in terraced streets, with a mix of shops on Wellingborough Road and Kettering Road itself. Local services are offered by agencies such as Open Door, the Churches and the Mosques. It is an area that borders the Racecourse Some of the issues affecting this area are:-
This is an area of mainly social housing with some leaseholders who have purchased their property. It is a self- contained estate near to the town centre and is well looked after by the local residents association. It has a community centre and a play area. It is also bordered on one side by Exeter Green, that locals are campaigning to have protected by designation as a Town Green.
It is a source of great frustration to the residents that St Edmunds hospital buildings on the estate are in private ownership and have been left to decay. Plans for redevelopment including a sheltered housing complex have not yet come to fruition.
Some of the issues affecting Exeter Place:-
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This is an area of mainly terraced housing within easy reach of the town centre. It is a mix of home ownership and privately rented. A recent residents’ survey revealed a disproportionate number of houses in multiple occupation. The newly formed Residents Association is working with residents and local partners to improve the area. Suggestions so far are- Create a new pocket park on the St Edmunds churchyard site, develop a play strategy for the area, work with local traders to improve the aspect at the back of the shops, monitor the impact of the HIMOS. The RA has a website - www.stedmundsra.blogspot.co.uk
The area is served by Vernon Terrace School and Vernon Terrace Community Centre.
Victoria Church is very active in the locality
Some of the issues affecting St Edmunds: -
This is an area of mixed housing with lots of terraces, some flats and a mix of home ownership and privately rented property. There are a number of long term empty housing units in the area. Part of the Mounts is in the Boot Conservation area. Because of the rented sector there is quite a lot of transience with people moving in and out.
The Residents Associations provide stability and continuity and a point of reference for local people. The RAs help keep an eye on the area and meet regularly with borough officers and the police to help maintain the integrity of the area. Some of the issues in the area are :-
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This is an area of dense social housing- mainly flats. The ageing population need adapted housing units and supported housing. The area is changing and there is more need for family units and less demand for one bed flats. Growing families are finding that they are stuck where they are with little possibility of being able to move to larger accommodation. This puts intense pressure on households with little or no play space for children, nowhere for older children to do homework, have friends round and so on. The area is culturally diverse with many languages spoken in the neighbourhood. This is an area earmarked for regeneration. Plans for development will be supported by a neighbourhood forum made up of local people. There are some concerns in the area centring on anti- social behaviour and these are being looked at by cross agency teams.
There are important agencies in Spring Boroughs offering local services to local people.
Spring Lane School is highly thought of by local parents and with the excellent
Spring Lane Childrens Centre provides a focal point for all the community.
The Springs Family Centre in Tower Street offers a range of services for all the community including parents and toddlers group, charity shop, jobsclub, junior and senior youth clubs and detached outreach work. The building is also used by other community groups.'
Castle Hill Church employs a community minister who is available to support local people. The church runs a film club for older people and a holiday play scheme for children.
The local police, neighbourhood wardens and PCSOs are all well know figures in the area and have built up good relationships with residents and agencies.
The Spring Boroughs Residents Association and the Spring Boroughs Gardening Club support the area and have regular meetings that all residents are able to attend.
Some of the needs of the area are :-
We have had disappointing news from Legal and General, dragging their feet over the Grosvenor Centre redevelopment. Tesco has pulled out of the development of the Barrack Road site with the promise of 400 jobs gone. Other developers are interested and now that the site has approval for retail use it has become more desirable -we hope.
Local people opposed the redevelopment of the bus centre. The bus users group continues to work with the borough to improve the plans for the new interchange.
The University is going ahead with the redevelopment of St Johns with the construction of student flats on a prime town centre site. This development effectively privatises the land and creates a barrier between the town centre and the waterside. It was fiercely opposed by local residents. The residents made representation to the borough, the university and the county. The consolation is their suggestions helped produce improved plans for the area and improved Highway plans.
It is good news for the town and for the ward that the plan to improve Castle station is going ahead.
The Plough Inn in the middle of town is planning to modernise and extend its conference facilities to attract new businesses in. There are plans for additional town centre hotels hoping to do the same. Businesses in the town centre are working together through an organisation called BID to make the town more attractive to shoppers, market traders and businesses.
We need the borough to have a more people friendly approach to travel to the town:-
Free or cheap parking would take the pressure off the surrounding areas plagued by drivers clogging their streets. Cheaper bus fares would do the same. We need more traffic calming measures, (lower speed limits?) cycle routes and the borough should reconsider a park and ride scheme.
There are several distinct areas in this ward, each with its own character and issues
There are several Residents associations for the areas
There are plans to form a Town Centre RA.
The Central Area Board is the forum that brings all the groups together with Borough officers to coordinate the activity of the RAs and use their expertise for community engagement and community empowerment along with other local groups and agencies.
There are major issues.
The ward is affected, like everywhere else, by the economic down turn. This means in the town centre and in the local areas, shops and small business are struggling putting services and jobs at risk. More town centre shops have closed. Regeneration plans are made more difficult to implement.