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Monday 21 July 2014

Remembering Northampton's Prime Minister

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, joined Brian Binley MP and Michael Ellis MP for a ceremony in Parliament to unveil a plaque to mark the spot where former Prime Minister and Northampton MP, Spencer Perceval, was assassinated in 1812.

The plaque was unveiled by The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, and commemorates the location of the only ever assassination of a British Prime Minister.

Cllr David Mackintosh said, "In Northampton we have a statue of Spencer Perceval in the entrance of The Guildhall and a portrait in The Great Hall but there was nothing in Parliament to mark the site of the former Prime Minister's assassination and death so I was pleased to be able to attend the ceremony today and that, from now on, this location will be marked."

Monday 21 July 2014

Commemorating the start of the First World War

Cllr David Mackintosh attended the raising of the Armed Forces Day flag outside The Guildhall in June 2014

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, has today outlined plans in Northampton to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

A moving exhibition will signal the start of an important weekend of civic events in Northampton at the beginning of August that mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.

‘A Shoemaker goes to War’ opens at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery on Saturday 2nd August. The First World War was Britain’s first war in Europe in 100 years. The loss of lives of those who served in the Northamptonshire Regiment and Northamptonshire Yeomanry, particularly the large number who died in the battles of Auber’s Ridge and Gallipoli, had a massive impact on the borough of Northampton.  Through personal accounts, letters home, family memories and military memorabilia, the exhibition aims to bring to life the stories of local people who served in battle and on the Home Front.
 
On Sunday 3rd August at 2pm there will be a Service of Commemoration at All Saints’ Church which is open to everyone. The Mayor of Northampton and the Leader of Northampton Borough Council will join the service along with councillors, town dignitaries, members of the Royal British Legion and others. Members of the public are welcome along but are kindly asked to be seated by 1.45pm.
 
On Monday 4th August at 10pm the town will be joining the nation for a Lights Out moment of reflection at All Saints’ Church portico. Across the country people are being encouraged to turn off their lights between 10pm and 11pm on Monday, leaving only a single light or candle for a symbolic act of reflection and hope. The Royal British Legion is hoping “to light one million candles across the UK to remember each and every one of those service men and women who gave their lives in the war to end all wars.” In Northampton lights will be turned out at the Guildhall, All Saints’ Church and All Saints’ memorial garden for one hour starting at 10pm when candles will be lit and prayers said.  Members of the public are invited to bring along a candle and join the vigil.
 
Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said "We owe a huge debt to those who served in the First World War which is why events such as these are so important.  I do hope members of the public will take the time to visit the exhibition and join us in remembering those service men and women who lost their lives by coming along to the Sunday service and Lights Out event on Monday.”

Sunday 20 July 2014

Alive at Delapre a great success

Cllr David Mackintosh with Ronan Keating and Keith Duffy from Boyzone

Cllr David Mackintosh with Rick Astley

The Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Cllr David Mackintosh, has hailed the second year of the Alive at Delapre music concerts a great success after welcoming Simple Minds, a host of 80s stars including Rick Astley and Bananarama, and Boyzone to Northampton.

Cllr David Mackintosh said, "For a second year running, Alive at Delapre brought three fantastic nights of live music to Northampton. Delapre Park is an amazing location and we were lucky again to enjoy some world class entertainment and with some big names in live music and a great mix for everyone."

Thursday 17 July 2014

Crime figures down by 22%

Cllr David Mackintosh with Brian Binley MP, Cllr Mary Markham and representatives from Northamptonshire Police and the local community at the opening of a new Community Hub in Spring Boroughs in June 2014

David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, has welcomed news that crime is falling. Latest figures from the independent Office for National Statistics show that since 2010 recorded crime in Northamptonshire has fallen by 22%.

The Government is following an action plan to tackle crime by:

1. Freeing the police to fight crime by cutting red tape and scrapping unnecessary targets
2. Giving criminals tougher sentences so communities are protected and justice is done
3. Giving the police the powers they need to tackle criminals, using the latest tools and techniques
4. Stopping people from becoming criminals by tackling the root causes of crime
5. Making the police answer to the community to help drive down crime in your area

David Mackintosh said, “We’re making Britain an even safer place to live, work, and raise a family with our action plan to tackle crime. Recorded crime is down by 22% in Northamptonshire thanks to our plan, and the hard work of police officers. Families are safer and more secure – and Northampton can enjoy a better, brighter future.”

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Unemployment falls again in Northampton South

Cllr David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, has welcomed new figures showing that 781 fewer people are relying on Jobseeker’s Allowance in Northampton South compared to this time last year, with the number of people in work in the East Midlands up by 133,000 since 2010.

Since 2010 the number of people on unemployment benefits is down by 940 – a 30% drop. Jobs are being created in Northampton South in places like Cosworth, Carlsberg and Church’s Shoes.  

David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, said, “It’s excellent news that since 2010 there are 940 fewer people in Northampton South relying on Jobseeker’s Allowance. That means more people with the prospect of a better and brighter future ahead of them. As these figures show the Conservatives’ long-term economic plan is working, backing businesses like Cosworth, Carlsberg and Church’s Shoes to create more jobs. We need to stick to that plan. It’s the only way to ensure that we keep growing the economy and creating jobs, so that more families in Northampton South can have the security of a job and a regular pay packet.” 

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Launching the Cycle CoNNect Bike Hire Scheme

County Council Leader, Cllr Jim Harker, with Cllr David Mackintosh launching the Cycle CoNNect scheme

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, and Cllr Jim Harker, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, today launched Cycle CoNNect - Northampton’s very own bicycle hire scheme creating a low cost, convenient and sustainable way to travel about the town.

The scheme was set up by Northamptonshire County Council and highways service provider MGWSP in partnership with Northampton Borough Council, Brackmills Estate and the University of Northampton, to provide 50 bikes for public hire from 10 docking sites around Northampton.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said "We have docking stations at various points across the town including the town centre, Beckets Park, the University of Northampton Park and Avenue campuses and Brackmills Industrial Estate, making it an effective way of getting around. With 30 minutes free, it’s definitely worth hopping on for a short trip, so why not try them out."

The first 30 minutes of cycling are free, with every additional hour of use costing £1 up to a maximum of £5 per day.

Registration is free, though on registration, users will have to add an initial £3 of credit to their account, which will remain in place until they use it for rentals.

The bicycles are fully-adjustable for size and comfort, and designed for casual and more experienced cyclists. The hire system is entirely automatic and the bicycles will be available to hire at any time of the day, seven days a week.

‘Cycle CoNNect’ was chosen as the name for the initiative through a competition, which attracted more than 500 entries from across the county, including many schoolchildren.

The name represents the network of connecting locations, from which the bicycles can be hired in a simple, quick and low-cost way. The ‘NN’ establishes the scheme as unique to the town and signifies the postcode of the county, easily recognisable to people living, travelling and visiting in Northamptonshire.

Monday 14 July 2014

Development agreement with Legal & General terminated

David Mackintosh outside Greyfriars Bus Station ahead of demolition

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, has today announced that Northampton Borough Council and Legal & General have agreed to terminate the development agreement that commits them to jointly redevelop the Greyfriars site which was signed by the Liberal Democrats in 2009 and following years of delays.

The Borough Council will now take forward the Greyfriars development, and has today unveiled ambitious plans to create a major retail and leisure scheme on this four-acre, town centre site.

Demolition of the old bus station and office complex is well underway and the site will be levelled and ready to market to developers and retailers by the beginning of December 2014.

Northampton Borough Council will now continue with the demolition of Greyfriars and will prepare the four-acre site for development, while seeking a developer to draw up plans for a major retail and leisure scheme.  It is hoped that planning permission could be obtained and work ready to start on the site in autumn 2015.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said "I am pleased the Borough Council is now able to move forward with this development on our own. It is time to deliver the improvements that people have been waiting for many years to see, which will strengthen Northampton’s retail offer and keep more spend in the town. Legal & General will remain an important partner for us because of their ownership of the Grosvenor Centre but we have agreed to move forward separately. This is an exciting time for Northampton. The Northampton Alive programme of regeneration is changing the face of the town, creating opportunity, jobs and prosperity.  Greyfriars is a great site and gives us a really exciting opportunity to move forward very quickly with a retail and leisure development, which will create additional jobs in construction and retail and add to the great mix of business, culture, heritage and retail that we already have as a town."

Thursday 10 July 2014

Northampton Museum plans to go ahead after statue sale

Artist impression of the Museum expansion

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, has confirmed plans for a major new extension of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery will go ahead following the sale of the Sekhemka statue at auction by Christie’s of London tonight for £15,762,500.

Northampton Borough Council will retain around £8million (55% of the proceeds), while the remainder will be remitted to Lord Northampton (around £6million).

The money will be invested in a major extension of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, which will double the size of the exhibition space and create new galleries, teaching facilities and commercial space.

Work has already begun on drawing up detailed plans for the extension, which will underpin the growth of Northampton’s Cultural Quarter. The Borough Council is in the process of developing a funding package to take the extension forward, including putting together a bid for support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Council is also continuing to talk to the Arts Council about museum accreditation.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said "This money will allow us to realise our exciting plans for the future of the Museum Service. Every penny is ring-fenced for the Museum Service and we will now make our museum redevelopment plans a reality."

The plans will see an imposing new entrance gallery created to the museum on Guildhall Road, along with new galleries, an education suite and a retail area. The new development will position Northampton as a leading regional museum focussed on history, art and Northampton’s footwear heritage.

There will also be a major refurbishment of Abington Park museum, which will focus on the building’s connection with William Shakespeare and on the history of the Northamptonshire Regiments. The Borough Council will also explore how some parts of the building, known as Abington Manor, can be used for other purposes such as conferences or weddings.

These significant developments at the museum will underpin the growth of Northampton’s Cultural Quarter.

Wednesday 09 July 2014

Plans to protect an historic battlefield

Cllr Tim Hadland and Cllr David Mackintosh at Delapre Abbey

The Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Cllr David Mackintosh, and the Cabinet at Northampton Borough Council have tonight agreed plans to recognise and protect the site of a battle that shaped the destiny of the English Crown.

In 1460 Northampton witnessed one of the major conflicts in the War of the Roses. Within the grounds of Delapre Abbey lies the site of the Battle of Northampton. For centuries the battlefield has stood largely undisturbed. Exciting new plans to celebrate and protect this important site were agreed by Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet.
 
The battle is seen as a significant event in the War of the Roses, and many historians believe this was the first time artillery had been used in conflict on English soil.
 
Earlier this year people were asked to comment on Borough Council's proposals to preserve and recognise this historic location. The consultation findings will be discussed, and the Council’s Cabinet will consider options for future action.
 
Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said "Almost 650 years ago the armies of the House of York and House of Lancaster fought each other in Northampton, and the outcome of that battle helped determine the future rulers of England. These really are exciting proposals that will not just preserve the battlefield, but make a feature of it so we can better tell the story of Northampton to visitors and future generations."
 
To find out more about the plans to conserve and protect the site of the Battle of Northampton visit www.northampton.gov.uk/battle1460.

Monday 07 July 2014

Northampton to benefit from Government funding

David Mackintosh with Local Growth Minister, Kris Hopkins MP, at Cosworth earlier this year

The Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Cllr David Mackintosh, has welcomed news that Northampton is set to benefit from even more Government investment.

The South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) has been awarded Local Growth Deal investment of £64.4 million.

As part of the announcement, the Government also provisionally earmarked £20.6 million for road infrastructure improvements, including the St James Mill Road link.

This project would provide the industrial area with a direct connection to Towcester Road, transforming it from a cul-de-sac into a through road, with improved access to the M1 and A45.

And via Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), Northamptonshire County Council has been awarded more than £20 million.

This money will pay for schemes including improvements to the A43 between Northampton and Kettering, easing congestion and improving transport via north Northamptonshire.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said "The St James link road is vital for the continued development of our Enterprise Zone and, whilst we welcome the funding announced today, we would like to deliver this sooner than 2016, so we will continue to seek funding for this and to lobby Network Rail to ensure a stretch of rail line which obstructs this development is decommissioned and transferred."

"Many businesses in the St James Mill Road area rely on the transport network to take delivery of materials and distribute their products. They are currently forced to head west for access to the M1, but this new road would offer an alternative, plus easier connection to routes east via the A45, while improvements to the A43 will improve traffic flows to the north of the borough."

As part of its award, SEMLEP has also received £6.5m to fund a purpose-built Northampton College campus in Daventry town centre which will focus on vocational facilities and a curriculum that meets the needs of local employers.

Friday 04 July 2014

Visiting the Middle East

David Mackintosh at the Israel-Lebanon border on a visit to the Middle East

David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, joined a visit to the Middle East organised by the Conservative Friends of Israel for a briefing on the politics in the region.

The programme included meetings with Israeli and Palestinian politicians and advisers and visits to Israel, Palestine and the borders with Lebanon and Syria.

The visit came at a time of political unrest in the region and heightened tension.

David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, said, "The security of our country is a fundamental role of government and it is important that members of Parliament, or those like me who hope to become an MP, have an in-depth understanding of the Middle East and the impact it has on our country. The visit to the Middle East was an enormously helpful insight into the issues facing the region at the moment and how important it is to our own security in the UK."

The visit was funded privately and not by the taxpayer.