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Wednesday 27 August 2014

Labour's slap in the face with £54,000 benefits increase plans

Cllr David Mackintosh speaking at an event helping get people into work

Cllr David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, has slammed Labour’s plans for a welfare system that could see people in London getting benefit handouts of up to £54,000 – paid for by hardworking taxpayers in Northampton.

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, has said he will scrap the Conservatives’ benefit cap in favour of a new system that ‘properly reflects local housings costs’ that are ‘higher’ in London.

New analysis of independent figures show that under this system, people in London could get benefit handouts of up to £54,000. This would be more than double the current limit.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, commented: “Four years ago the Conservatives inherited a welfare system from Labour that had utterly failed – with 1.4 million people in our country spending almost a decade living on out-of-work benefits.”

“That’s why the Conservatives made fixing welfare a key part of our long-term economic plan. We want to end the culture of dependency and reward the willingness to work. So we capped benefits, meaning no one can claim more than the average family earns by going out to work.”

“But Labour haven’t learnt their lesson. They would take us back to the days of unjustified benefit handouts by scrapping our cap, and increasing payments by up to £54,000 in London. That’s a slap in the face for the hardworking taxpayers in Northampton who would have to pay for it. Only by sticking to our plan will we end the cycle of welfare dependency and secure a brighter future for Britain.”

Friday 22 August 2014

Helping young people in to work

Cllr David Mackintosh meeting with apprentices at Cosworth with Kris Hopkins MP, Local Growth Minister

Cllr David Mackintosh, Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, has welcomed new figures showing that 18,000 more young people in the East Midlands are now in employment, education or training - a 22.5% increase since the election.

Jobs are being created for young people in Northampton South through schemes like Challenge 2016, which by June this year, had helped reduce the number of unemployed young people in Northamptonshire by 39%.

Across the UK as a whole, there are 184,000 fewer young people not in work, education or training – a 12 per cent fall since the election.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, said, “It’s great news that there are 18,000 fewer young people out of work, education or training here in the East Midlands since 2010. These aren’t just numbers on a government graph – every young person taken off the dole is someone with new self-respect, new confidence and new security for the future.”

“This hasn’t happened by accident. It’s happened because the Government has a long-term plan to build a healthier economy in Britain – helping businesses to create more jobs – as they are locally at Cosworth - and ensuring more young people have the skills they need to get a job or succeed in further study.”

“These figures show that the Government’s long-term economic plan is working - securing a brighter future for young people in Northampton South - now we’ve got to stick to it.”

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Helping local businesses to grow

Cllr David Mackintosh meeting with local businesses

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, has welcomed news that a scheme to make it easier to do business in Northampton has attracted more than £1m in private investment, and created over 50 new jobs.
In April Northampton Borough Council launched a new Business Incentive Scheme to make it easier for entrepreneurs and businesses to find new premises or expand. Through the scheme, grants and incentives are available to help businesses take on empty or vacant units.
So far the scheme has awarded almost £200,000 in grants, which has unlocked more than £1.2m in private investment. 
This month even more businesses have been helped by the scheme. In the town centre, £9,000 in grant funding has been awarded to improve the appearance and shopfront of Chanse Leather Goods in Abington Street and businesses in Bridge Street.

Three town centre grants worth more than £16,000 have been awarded to Café Creperie, Action Support and The Courtyard Café to take on previously vacant units.
The Business Improvement Scheme is also supporting the creation of a new boutique hotel in Guildhall Road and a grant has been awarded to refurbish 13 Guildhall Road into a new hotel, restaurant and café within the Cultural Quarter.
Three more growing businesses Northampton Hope Centre, Uber Shop Ltd and MJB Accountants will all be expanding existing facilities or relocating to new bigger premises thanks to grants.
Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said "When people come to Northampton we want them to see a vibrant and attractive town centre that is busy with shoppers and alive with enterprise. Improving shopfronts and helping to fill empty units is an important part of our work to support businesses, increase footfall and stimulate the local economy."

"Across Northampton the Business Incentive Scheme is making it easier for local businesses to grow and expand. Not only are we seeing more jobs being created, but we are helping to encourage investment with more than £1.2m coming into Northampton as a result of the £200,000 awarded through the Business Incentive Scheme."

"With so many positives coming from the scheme I would encourage any local business or entrepreneur with an idea to talk to us and see what the Borough Council can do to help."

Monday 18 August 2014

Waterways Festival announced for 2015

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, has today announced exciting plans for Northampton Borough Council to work with the Inland Waterways Association to mark the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Northampton Arm of the River Nene which will be celebrated with a major waterways event next year.

The Inland Waterways Association has announced that it plans to hold a major waterways event on the River Nene over the August bank holiday weekend in 2015.

The Northampton Festival of Water will take place on Saturday 29th August until Monday 31st August and will be centred around the waterfront at Becket’s Park.

The Northampton Festival of Water is being organised jointly by IWA Events Team and IWA Northampton Branch, with the full support of Northampton Borough Council, the Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust.

The main aim of the event will be to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the opening of the Northampton Arm in 1815, which connected the Grand Union Canal to the River Nene in Northampton.

The Festival of Water also aims to promote Northampton’s riverside, to recognise the value of the waterway to the town and its people and to encourage more people to use the river for boating recreation and leisure.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said "For generations the Nene was a source of wealth as our town’s industries imported materials and exported products along the canal network. Today our riverside is a wonderful place to relax and the Northampton Festival of Water is set to be a wonderful celebration of our town’s connection with the Nene. The festival is set to be a fantastic event with something for all ages, and well worth a visit to Northampton."

The Festival of Water will have an array of attractions on and off the water providing a fun day out for all the family. Up to 200 boats, including leisure, trade, heritage and working narrowboats, are expected in the marina and along the river front as well as a wealth of smaller craft such as canoes, rowing boats, sailboats, windsurfers and ribs.

There will also be opportunities for visitors to get afloat on board trip boats and water taxis.

There will be no admission charge although visitors will be encouraged to make a donation.

There will be a market and fundraising stalls and the events team would like to hear from boaters, charities and local groups who are interested in having a stall and fundraising for their chosen cause and IWA. More information is available on IWA’s website at

Friday 15 August 2014

Protecting leaseholders from unfair bills

Cllr David Mackintosh with Cllr Mary Markham, Cabinet member for Housing at Northampton Borough Council

Cllr David Mackintosh, Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, has welcomed a new law that will cap the amount councils can charge leaseholders for future repairs to their homes.

This change was prompted by examples of councils issuing excessive and unfair repair bills to people who lease their home. In one case, Labour Newham London Borough Council charged a 93 year old woman £50,000 for repairs to her roof which she could not afford and which were later shown to be totally unnecessary. This new law will mean that councils like Newham won’t be able to get away with such appalling behaviour in the future.

Councils and housing associations will now have to limit the amount they charge leaseholders for future major repair, maintenance or improvement work to £10,000 over a five year period. In addition, councils will now have to make clear what help is available for leaseholders who have to pay repair bills and offer affordable ways to pay these bills.

These changes are part of our wider plan to give greater protection to people who lease which includes requiring managing agents to join a redress scheme so people can get their complaints addressed; providing more information to people about what being a leaseholder involves; making it easier to find out the decisions made by Tribunals in housing disputes; and ensuring landlords give leaseholders realistic estimates of the cost of buying the freehold of their property.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, said, “For too long councils in some parts of the country were able to charge their residents who lease their home excessive and unfair fees for repair work which, in some cases, wasn’t even needed. Whilst I'm not aware of this happening in Northampton, this has caused distress, worry and hardship in other parts of the country which no one should ever have to endure, especially the elderly and vulnerable and this new law gives them an extra level of protection.”

“This new law will ensure in the future that this cannot happen and will mean people in Northampton who lease their home from Northampton Borough Council, or the ALMO Northampton Partnership Homes from next year, will be able to plan for their future knowing that they are protected from massive, unfair bills for repairs to their home.”

“Giving people greater financial security and peace of mind is a central part of this government’s long-term economic plan that is creating more jobs, delivering more homes and is securing a better and brighter future for Britain.”

Friday 15 August 2014

Economy starting to improve

Cllr David Mackintosh talking to local businesses

Cllr David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, has welcomed news that the United Kingdom now has the fastest growing employment rate in the G7 countries. This comes alongside new figures from the Office for National Statistics which show that unemployment has had its largest annual fall in 25 years, with youth unemployment seeing its steepest annual fall since records began 30 years ago. That’s more people than ever with the security of a job and the confidence to make plans for the future

The UK has also seen the best growth since the end of 2007 and the Office for National Statistics has revised their growth estimate for the year to June 2014 up to 3.2% - further evidence that, thanks to the hard work and determination of the British people, a stronger, healthier economy is being built.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, said, "It is good to see positive signs about the economy after people have been struggling for so long. The Conservative have a Long Term Economic Plan for this country to rebuild the wrecked economy we inherited from Labour. These announcements show that we are now heading in the right direction."

Friday 15 August 2014

Government infrastructure funding for new housing

Cllr David Mackintosh looking at proposals for Dallington Grange

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, has today welcomed news that the Dallington Grange development in Northampton, to help deliver 3,400 homes, has been announced on a shortlist of 36 large-scale housing projects in line to receive a share of £850million of funding to get work going onsite and housebuilding started.

The Secretary of State fro Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, today announced the first wave of projects to benefit from a £1billion scheme that will unlock or accelerate the delivery of over 200,000 new homes across the country.

Mr Pickles said these projects were critical in getting Britain building, maintaining momentum that has already led to the highest levels of housebuilding since 2007.

The £850 million of funding for shortlisted projects announced today forms part of the Government’s £1 billion, five year Large Sites Infrastructure Programme, and will be used to build the infrastructure needed to deliver schemes of at least 1,500 homes. The money will go towards the building of road improvement, schools and parks to support the extra homes being planned.

Housing is a key part of the Government’s long term economic plan. The 36 projects announced today will go through a final rigorous due diligence process before receiving the funding.

Eric Pickles MP said, "This Government's long-term economic plan is getting Britain building again. Residential construction is now at its highest level since 2007 and continuing to rise, and 216,000 new homes were given planning permission last year. We are supporting locally-led development, and this £1 billion programme will help unlock or accelerate over 200,000 new homes across the country. This is part of our wider package of housing programmes to support home ownership, increase investment in the private rented sector and further increase house building.”

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said "Today’s announcement is welcome news as it will help provide funding for the infrastructure needed by the future neighbourhoods and communities of Dallington Grange. With any new development a key requirement is that the infrastructure is in place to ensure new residents can access the services they need, and this funding will help the developers provide that. This will free up the developers to progress their plans to create new neighbourhoods at Dallington Grange.”

Wednesday 13 August 2014

New employment figures show bright future for Northampton

Cllr David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, has welcomed new figures showing that 961 fewer people in Northampton South are relying on Jobseeker’s Allowance since 2010, a 31% drop. This is 209 more people in work since the last figures were released in June this year.

More people are getting off benefits and into work since the last election.  

Jobs are being created in Northampton in places like Carlsberg, Cosworth and Church’s Shoes. 

Cllr David Mackintosh said, “It’s excellent news that since 2010 there are 961 fewer people relying on Jobseeker’s Allowance in Northampton South. That means many more local people with a better and brighter future ahead of them and their families.”

“We’ve been backing businesses locally with the Borough Council’s Business Incentive Scheme to help create more jobs as part of the Conservatives’ long-term economic plan.”

“As these figures show that the plan is working. We need to stick to it. It’s the only way to keep the economy growing, and keep businesses creating jobs, so that we keep moving towards our target for full employment, and more families in Northampton get the security of a real job and a regular pay packet.”

Monday 04 August 2014

100 year anniversary of the First World War

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, took part in ceremonies in Northampton to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

Cllr Mackintosh visited the moving ‘A Shoemaker goes to War’ exhibition at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery which signalled 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. The exhibition runs until 9th November 2014.

On Sunday 3rd August, Cllr Mackintosh attended a Service of Commemoration at All Saints’ Church and, on Monday 4th August, Cllr Mackintosh lit a solitary candle at The Guildhall as part of the Lights Out act of reflection and hope organised by The Royal British Legion. Cllr Mackintosh then joined a congregation at All Saints’ Church portico for a candle lit vigil of prayers and remembrance.
Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said "The ceremonies in Northampton were very moving and it was an honour to light a candle at The Guildhall to remember Northampton's fallen. These ceremonies help us to remember that we owe a huge debt to those who served in the First World War and I am pleased that so many members of the public attended.”