Harlestone Manor Parish Council Takes Ownership of the Loxton Fields Public Open Space From David Wilson Homes

We are very pleased to announce that at the end of April, the ownership and management of the green space at the edge of the Loxton Fields estate was legally transferred to the Parish Council, representing a significant achievement for the parish.

The sum of £40,000 was paid to the Parish Council as part of the agreement, which will be used for the ongoing maintenance of the area including grass cutting, boundary treatment, future planting, and management of the balancing pond. The transfer followed 18 months of negotiation with DWH, Daventry District Council (now West Northamptonshire council) and residents. This ensured that prior to the handover, the land was transferred in line with our expectations and those of the residents immediately overlooking the area, including general tidying of the site, and replacement of trees and shrubs which had died.

Over this period, we also took the opportunity to consider how the site could be used for the benefit of all residents of the parish going forwards. At the council meeting on 16 July 2021, it was agreed that for the time being, and out of respect for the natural environment, the site would be retained as an area for wildlife, ensuring that the many species currently using the land could continue to do so. We will of course be opening up the site for everyone to enjoy, and plan to install some seating areas so people can make the most of this beautiful area. As we approach the summer months, we’re sure you’ll agree, that this will be a wonderful space for children and families to enjoy and will be a great addition to our existing parish facilities.

The Parish Council will shortly be undertaking a risk assessment and making plans for the maintenance of the site, in preparation for the grand opening over the Bank Holiday weekend in June. Creating harmony between people and wildlife using the space will be our priority in the short term, and to this end, some of our residents have expressed a wish to form a small group to look after the area, maybe plant some wildflowers, and generally monitor the area so that our other feathered and furry residents continue to visit us.

If you would like to get involved and have a bit of time to spare, please contact cllr.russburke@harlestonemanorpc.org.uk for more information. We very much hope you will take some time to visit the park over the Jubilee weekend and take a look at what it has to offer. We are sure that you won’t be disappointed!

Harlestone Manor Parish – The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations 2022 

Harlestone Manor Parish Council are delighted to bring a number of events for residents over the Jubilee weekend.

Thursday 2nd June

9:pm:   Tommy Lights Switch On.

9:45pm:     Residents asked to place a lit candle in their window.

 Friday 3rd June

10am:    Opening and naming of the Jubilee Wildlife Park and unveiling of the Jubilee Statues at Loxton Fields with Kathryn from St.Andrews Church.

4pm:     Service at St.Andrews.

 Saturday 4th June

10am:    Jubilee Quiz gets underway!

Sunday 5th June

Midday: Best Dressed Houses ready for judging.

12-2pm: Harlestone Manor Big Jubilee Lunch, children’s entertainer, Kings and Queens parade, bring your own picnic.

Watch this space for more updates!

Harlestone Manor Parish Council and Harpole Parish Council Public Planning Meeting

Harlestone Manor Parish Council and Harpole Parish Council would like to invite it’s residents to a Public Planning Meeting.

Date: Saturday 23rd April
Time: 10am to 12 midday
Venue: Harpole Bowls Club, NN7 4DF

There will be a presentation on the Bloors West SUE development by Harpole’s Planning Officer.

All welcome.

For more information about this meeting, please email: clerk@harlestonemanorpc.org.uk

Parish Precept

Parish Precept

This year’s Parish Council precept has been set at 8.8%, representing a 2.8% increase on the percentage uplift of 6% applied in 2021. When considered in monetary terms, this increase represents an additional £2,475 in income for the Parish Council for the coming year (approximately £10 per household per year, or 19p per week). This additional income has been allocated to specific budget pots including installation of a defibrillator, pay award increases, and parish council projects. In addition, the parish council has planned ahead for inflationary increases during 2022/23 across key areas of expenditure, in line with current economic trends affecting the whole country.  Councillors opted to increase, rather than ‘freeze’ the precept at last year’s position, to avoid the potential for significant rises in future years. The 8% increase is also in line with the rates applied in neighbouring parishes. Note that the additional precept is for expenditure anticipated during the coming year and has not been set to recover any costs from previous financial years: all costs incurred in 2021/22 have been appropriately managed within available budgets.

The annual precept for the parish is set over a 3-month period with all decisions transparent across the Minutes of the 3 full council meetings. The process starts in Oct/Nov each year, with the Clerk circulating a draft budget for all proposed expenditure and estimated expenditure for the forth coming year which includes for example: projects, training, subscriptions, planned purchases and the management of the parish and it’s needs. Discussions and decisions are then had at the December meeting.

Budgets are always an appendix to the agendas, and the budget spend is proposed on the agendas, all decisions are then fully transparent through the Minutes including the agreed budget and precept approved at the January meeting. The precept is paid to the council in April and September, the council has no other generated income. However, we will receive a commuted sum from David Wilson Homes for the initial management of the Loxton Fields Public Open Space once the transfer of the land is complete.

Find out more about our plans for a Sculpture Trail to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Jubilee Sculptures

  1. The Parish Council has an important role to play in maintaining and improving local services and facilities, including the management of Public Open Spaces and support for the arts. In June 2021, a working group was established to plan for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, and to consider how we as a parish could help commemorate this historic event. Parish Councillors felt it appropriate to mark the occasion with an event which would celebrate the fact that in 2022, the Loxton Fields green space was to pass to Parish Council ownership, with the potential to create a lasting memorial for the occasion.
  2. The Jubilee Project commenced with a working group which included representatives from the Parish Council, Community Group, and St. Andrew’s Church. We have also had input from one of our residents who expressed an interest in tree planting as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy. This has therefore, been a collaboration from a range of people across the parish.
  3. Following discussion, the Jubilee Working Group came up with the idea of installing a permanent reminder of the Platinum Jubilee in the form of natural sculptures, to form part of a sculpture trail around the parish. Precedent had already been set a few years ago with the installation of our Tommy Statue at the entrance to Harlestone Manor, and this could be followed by other sculptures in future years to mark specific events or special occasions. As a parish made up of mainly new housing estates and no other local infrastructure, the working group and council all agreed this would help to create an identity for the parish for everyone to enjoy and to enhance the quality of our local green space.
  4. The Jubilee Working Group collectively agreed the theme for the sculptures to be local wildlife, as this matched the similar views of the residents who attended parish council meetings who had expressed a wish that the Loxton Fields green space be dedicated to preserving local wildlife (a matter which was subsequently voted on by the Parish Council). Two specialist wood carvers have been sourced to create the sculptures to an agreed design and cost. Following discussion and advice from the sculptors, the Working Group recommended that three sculptures be created: a carved bench, an owl, and a fox. The bench and an owl will be installed on the appropriately named “Jubilee Wildlife Park”, set to be opened on Loxton Fields over the Jubilee weekend in June. To ensure equity across the two estates, it was also recommended that a sculpture be installed on green space in Harlestone Manor. Following further research, the Working Group identified a suitable spot next to the balancing pond at the edge of the Harlestone Manor estate.
  5. The carved bench will depict a range of local wildlife and enable anyone using the Park to sit and enjoy the area. The owl was selected to commemorate a local resident from Duston who supported the parish and passed away during the Pandemic, and who had a particular love of owls and actively supported their conservation. The fox was identified from a selection of animals by a child from Harlestone Manor estate. All animals chosen for the sculptures are reflective of animals that we see and hear every day, given our proximity to Harlestone Firs, the rural parts of Harlestone and the wider neighbourhood.
  6. The working group spent 5 months exploring options for the sculptures and it was not until this point that the cost of them could be determined. At the Parish Council meeting in November, quotes for the sculptures as provided by the sculptors were discussed. The council agreed that subject to other outgoings anticipated before the end of the financial year, there would be budget available to purchase the sculptures. However, the budget would not be allocated until costings had been approved for the purchase of a Vehicle Activated Sign for the Road Safety project, which was designated to be the priority. Later, once the costs of the sign had been obtained, it was determined that there would be approximately £3,200 remaining which could be allocated to pay for the sculptures. This is a maximum budget for all three items, not the actual cost of the items themselves. All sculpted pieces will be hand made and as they are bespoke, the exact costs will not be available until the finished item has been approved and handed over to the Parish Council. Formal quotes for the bench and fox are awaited but it is envisaged that the cost for both items will be in the region of £2,000 – £2,500. A quote for the owl has been received and is approximated to be £400, including installation. The bench will be paid from the Community Infrastructure Levy budget pot (known as CIL) that was handed to the Council from the local authority from the development of HM and LF and must be spent within 5 years or will be required to be returned ( 3 years have already elapsed). The remaining costs will be taken from the council’s revenue budget for 2021/22.
  7. As the council do not own the green space on Harlestone Manor, HMPC approached Greenbelt for permission to site the Harlestone Manor sculpture on the edge of the balancing pond. The council also sought the views of all residents who overlook the pond to ensure they were happy with our approach; no negative feedback has been received. The Council were planning to communicate these plans to all residents in their Spring newsletter, in the run up to the Jubilee Period. We had no prior warning that Greenbelt were intending to issue a letter to residents regarding our request and their letter pre-empted our own communications. We appreciate that the arrival of the letter to Harlestone Manor residents, without any other communication from the Council, has understandably caused concern for some residents on the estate. The Parish Council would like to reassure residents that this was not their intention, that we fully respect the views of all our residents and are happy to receive any feedback on this project at any point. Permission to site the sculpture is still being discussed with the management company. Should it be determined that Greenbelt require any payment for the installation or maintenance of the area around the sculpture, consideration will be given to siting that sculpture on the Jubilee Wildlife Park instead, where no costs would be incurred. The council is committed to ensuring that there will be no impact to residents on the management fee charged by Greenbelt arising from installation of the sculptures.
  8. All decisions and spending regarding the Jubilee preparations, including the creation of the sculpture trail, have been discussed at monthly meetings of the Working Group and at Parish Council meetings, which any member of the public can attend. Decisions reached are fully transparent and are audited. Minutes of these meetings are displayed on the notice board in Harlestone Manor and can be downloaded from the HMPC website (insert link).

We hope this communication has helped to provide the background to the sculpture project. Should you have any further questions or comments, please contact the clerk in the first instance.

Armed Forces Day 2021

Northampton — 26 June 2021 – 10:00 am to 4:30 pm


Northampton Armed Forces Day event will recognise and celebrate everything the Armed Forces personnel has done for this country. This event will also look to educate the general public regarding multiple aspects of the armed forces.

There will be stalls and Information stands from a variety of armed services which will offer support and guidance to Service Personnel and Veterans, some of which will include; RBL, SAFFA, Discounts for Troops, Help for Heroes and the Nene Clinical Commissioning Group.

The event area on the Market Square will be used to create an information village for charities and other organisations to provide help and support for veterans who will be able to register their details for further information and follow up support. The event provides opportunity for the general public to show their appreciation for all the Armed Services personnel present and past for their Services to Queen & Country. The event also will educate the general public of the number of Serving and ex personnel within the Borough boundary and the needs they have.

We understand that there is huge uncertainty regarding the level of restrictions that will be in place by this time, however, we will be looking to celebrate this event either in public, virtually or both (COVID restrictions dependant). The event will be planned with COVID secure contingency’s


Summer Reading Challenge

Every year Northamptonshire Libraries deliver the Summer Reading Challenge, which challenges children to read 6 books during the summer holidays.

It has been proven that children who don’t continue reading during the summer have a lower reading age when they return to school in September than that before the summer.

You can find out more about the challenge on the webpage: www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/src or on the facebook page: www.facebook.com/NorthamptonshireSRC

The challenge starts on the 10th July and runs until September, when children return to school.

Unitary Elections 6th May 2021

Unitary and Parish elections – 6 May 2021

Standing in the elections on 6 May

On 6 May this year residents in West Northamptonshire will be able to elect councillors to serve on the new West Northamptonshire Council.

A total of 93 councillors will be elected to the new Council, which replaces the existing district, borough and county councils across the west Northamptonshire area on 1 April 2021.

Elections are also due to take place that day to elect representatives for up to 117 town/parish councils across West Northamptonshire.

Please note that due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the way we handle your nominations to stand as candidates in the above elections will be different this year.

Candidates and agents briefing

An online briefing session was held on 3 March to give candidates and agents an overview of the nominations process, key electoral information, dates and deadlines as well as setting out important details about the Covid safety measures being planned for candidates and agents.

If you missed it, you can watch a recording of the candidates and agents briefing here

Nomination forms

To stand in the elections on 6 May you will need to complete and submit a nomination form. Nomination forms for these elections will be made available from 3 March, via the following means:

Daventry: Daventry District Council – Elections – nominations (daventrydc.gov.uk)

Northampton: Standing as a candidate | West Northamptonshire Council Unitary Elections | Northampton Borough Council

South Northants: Becoming a Councillor | Elections in progress | South Northamptonshire Council (southnorthants.gov.uk)

Elections all set for 6 May

With local elections confirmed as going ahead on 6 May, Harlestone Manor Parish Council has created a dedicated web area providing information on voting and standing for election.

For these elections, special measures have been put in place to make the process as Covid-safe as possible for voters. Electors will be able to vote in person, by post, and by proxy.

Please visit our Election page  to see the election timetable, details on how to register to vote (a process that takes only 5 minutes) and how to stand for election.

We have also put together some FAQs so you can find out more about what being a councillor involves. Find out more about the election.

Daventry District Council useful Websites & Contacts to Help the Community

Daventry District Council useful Websites and Contacts



For more     details: https://chamberlaindunn.co.uk/projects/socialprescribingawards/          The contact at the award organisers: ali@chamberdunn.co.uk


  • Futures Housing Group have a new product brochure, attached, this is for use by all external partners, stakeholders, frontline workers (such as adult care staff, care co-ordinators, hospital discharge teams and volunteers). It has been designed to help understand more about the products and services that are on offer to anyone living within Daventry District and Northamptonshire regardless of tenure type or age.  There are also hard copies if anyone would prefer please contact Riley@futureshg.co.ukwho can arrange this for you


  • Get On Board CIC is all about improving the lives of people with learning disabilities, they provide training to organisations and help them to improve their services, attached is their latest newsletter, for further information https://www.getonboarduk.com/aboutor email Info@getonboarduk.com


  • Daventry MIND – for referrals please contact 01327 879416, lines are open 10am – 2pm Tuesday’s to Friday’s or you can email enquiries@northamptonshiremind.org.uk Their Crisis Cafe is still open in Daventry from 5pm – 9pm on Wednesday evenings