WNC News – September newsletter

On this page you can view the latest news from West Northamptonshire Council. Visit their website at: https://www.westnorthants.gov.uk/

WNC Town & Parish Briefing – Monthly Comprehensive Newsletter

WNC News Releases – highlighted by East Farndon Parish Council

July 17th 2023 – Cabinet approves plans to seek public’s views on social housing allocations in West Northants

Bench Under the Beech Tree

New Footpath Warden for the East Farndon Parish

After many years of excellent work, Alan Langley is standing down as the Footpath Warden for the East Farndon Parish. Huge thanks to Alan for giving his time to walk our large network of paths identifying issues that need to be rectified in order that everyone can enjoy our stunning rural community at all times of the year. We are pleased to announce that Jonny Dargie is taking over from Alan and will officially become our new Footpath Warden from September 1st 2023. If you have any questions or need to report any problems with our footpaths, please email our Parish Clerk, Caroline Burton and she will pass the details to Jonny. Thank you Alan and welcome Jonny!

Harborough Housing Petition – say NO to district taking Leicester’s overspill – decision delayed

Latest Update from Neil O’Brien – Sept 19th 2023

Thanks to the 2,125 of you (and counting) who have signed my petition against Harborough District agreeing to a one quarter increase in our local house building target.

Your support has now made the council at least *delay* the vote. The council has decided to defer the decision to the 6 November.

Sadly, everything we have heard from the council in recent days suggests they are still bent on signing up to this unfair target in November.

However, the more residents sign up to the petition, the more likely it is that the local council leader WILL change his mind and drop this huge, unfair increase.

You can see more details about all this on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/neil4harborough/


  1. Please spread the word.  People can sign up to the petition by just emailing their details to this address neil4harborough@gmail.com – so please do encourage friends to sign and I will present a final total to councillors ahead of Monday’s council meeting, so they know the strength of local feeling on this.
  1. Contact your local councillor to ask them not to vote for this huge increase.  Their email addresses can be found here: https://www.harborough.gov.uk/councillors/search

Many thanks for signing the petition – and here’s hoping we can still change the mind of the council.


Neil O’Brien MP

Initial Communication

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien is spearheading a petition which calls on Harborough District council not to sign up to accept a large amount of overspill housing from the City of Leicester.

On September 18th 2023, Harborough’s local councillors will vote on whether or not sign up to the so called “statement of common ground”. Accepting the proposal would mean that instead of meeting the housing need of Leicester city by building homes within the city, surrounding areas like Harborough District would build homes on behalf of Leicester.

Neil said:

“The proposal our councillors will vote on would mean the target number of houses to be built here in Harborough would be increased by a quarter, above our own housing need, and this new target would be in force between now and 2036.

Lib-Dem led Harborough council is currently planning to vote for this proposal on the on 18 September.  But if enough local residents show they are concerned about this by signing the petition, I think we can get the council to stop and have a rethink.

I believe this proposal is unfair.  Harborough is already one of the fastest growing areas in the country, and has delivered homes much faster than the national average.  Accepting Leicester’s overspill housing in addition would mean going even faster, outpacing the ability of local infrastructure to cope.

Leicester accounts for more than a third of the population of the county (34.1%) but is only planning to take just over a fifth of the new houses (22.6%), instead making surrounding districts like Harborough take on its housing need. The city is not taking its fair share.

Instead of sprawling outwards, Leicester should meet its own housing need through regeneration of the many brownfield and underused sites in the city. This would be better for the environment, and would mean less growth in commuting, fewer traffic jams, and less pollution.

It is fairer for the city to meet its own housing needs locally, rather than dump it onto surrounding districts. There is no legal requirement for Harborough District to agree to this increase.

Leaflets allowing residents to sign up to the petition are being delivered to local homes, but people can also email neil4harborough@gmail.com or write to 24 Nelson Street, Market Harborough.”

Macmillan Coffee Morning – Friday 29th Sept 2023 – Village Hall – 10.30am

The next Coffee Morning get together will be on Friday 29th September 2023, from 10.30am to 12.00pm. At this event we will be fundraising for the Macmillan Nurses.  As well as being a sociable get together of friends and neighbours past and present, the gatherings raise valuable funds for East Farndon charities and other causes through the sale of refreshments, books and raffles. Everyone is welcome and entry is free.

Reopening the Northampton to Market Harborough Railway – Sept 30th – have your say

The English Regional Transport Association will be holding a meeting in Northampton on the 30th September 2023 with a discussion due to take place on the re-opening of the Northampton to Market Harborough railway line. The meeting will be held in Quaker House, Wellington Street, Northampton. 2pm to 4pm, 30th September. 

The line closed in 1981 and has since been used as a cycle way and footpath as well as by the Northampton Lamport Steam Railway. The ERTA believes that reopening the line will confer many benefits to those living in the region including improved passenger links to Leicester, Nottingham and the North, as well as a reduction in road haulage traffic. 

Significant public support will be required to lobby local and national government to request a feasibility study be conducted on reopening the former line. The meeting will provide an opportunity to ask questions related to this plan as well as to learn more about the ERTAs activities nationwide.

For more information you can visit the ERTAs events page at https://ertarail.co.uk/events/

Read more on this story by clicking this link: https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/arts-and-culture/reopening-the-northampton-to-market-harborough-railway-4275948

In Memoriam – Dr Mark Biggin

Dr Mark Biggin

18th May 1935 to 14th August 2023

It is with great sadness that the family of Dr Mark Biggin announces his death at the age of 88. Moving to East Farndon in 1965, Mark was resident here for 58 years and made many friends in the village.

Born in Leeds in 1935, Mark trained at Guy’s Hospital as a Doctor later working in Burton-upon-Trent and various places in England. He moved to Market Harborough in 1964, working initially at Bowden House on the Northampton Road and then at Market Harborough Medical Centre on the Coventry Road.

Mark met Shirley at Guy’s when she was training as a Nurse. They went on to have 3 children: Andrew, Alison and Helen; and 6 grandchildren: Oliver, Duncan, Ashleigh, Ella, Oscar and Matias. As well as enjoying campervan holidays, Mark loved photography, woodturning and growing sweet peas.

A Service of Thanksgiving will be held on Friday, 1st September at 2.30pm at St John the Baptist’s Church, East Farndon. This will be followed by refreshments at the Village Hall. All are welcome.

East Farndon Community Speedwatch 2023 now underway

East Farndon is participating in Community Speedwatch for a 4 week period from Saturday August 19th 2023. You will see our volunteers out monitoring speeds at a number of locations within the village and at varying times during the day and early evening. In addition, please be aware that the Police will also be visiting East Farndon on a regular basis and they will be carrying out their own roadside checks and issuing fixed penalties or advice where appropriate.

There is still an opportunity to get involved as a Speeedwatch volunteer. If you are interested, or have any queries, please email Bernie Fallon at bfallon.efpc@gmail.com

Bench Under the Beech Tree

Warning – Police will ticket vehicles that obstruct pavements in East Farndon

Despite repeated requests and warnings, the issue of parking on pavements in East Farndon continues to be a problem. Our local Police are now going to keep a close watch and everyone should be aware that they will ticket vehices if they are found to be parking in a manner that obstructs pavements. The Police will follow a 2 step process,

Step 1 – a leaflet / letter will be left on the offending vehicle(s) warning drivers not to obstruct / park on pavement.

Step 2 – if no improvement – Fixed Penalty Notice by post AND removal of the vehicle (not one or the other).

The Parish Council has previously contacted the Police to resolve this issue which obstructs pedestrians, in particular buggies and mobility scooters. The Police advised that streets in East Farndon have no parking restrictions so vehicles can park on the road, but in any event, a space 1 METRE WIDE on the pavement should be left so people can get past safely. In addition, if a vehicle is parked on the road, especially on Main Street / Harborough Road, drivers must ensure that it is not parked on a blind bend so that traffic has good visibility in both directions. Thank you everyone!

If you have any questions, please email our Parish Clerk, Caroline Burton