The council is celebrating a number of achievements, successes and milestones it has accomplished in 2019.
These were achieved through a range of initiatives, strategies and collaborative working with partner organisations to provide high-quality services for residents and businesses.
The council committed £2.7 million to purchase temporary homes, and has bought 13 properties so far and this is expected to increase in 2020. The team has worked with residents facing homelessness to dramatically reduce the number of people in temporary accommodation from 91 at 31 December 2017 to 42 as at 31 August 2019 (to a three year low), supported by the recruitment of three new employees. Tackling homelessness and rough sleeping is one of the council’s key priorities for 2020.
The council has also worked in partnership with the Northants Warm Homes partnership to secure nearly £4 million as part of a countywide project to provide fully-funded central heating for homes that don’t already have it and is underway with providing this support.
It has been a fantastic year for growth in the borough and the planning team has completed 100% of minor, household and major planning applications within Government set targets and currently, it is ranked 14 out of 342 local authorities in the country for timely decisions and is in the top 5% nationally.
Furthermore, the planning department is working with developers to deliver 7,000 much needed homes and Wellingborough became the first council in Northamptonshire to adopt its Local Plan. One of the benefits of having an adopted local plan is that the council can better protect its local villages from unwanted character changing over-development.
Local land charges and Gazetteer have a lot to celebrate after achieving gold status for the land and property gazetteer and completed 100% of all searches within four working days again this year.
Officers have worked with partners to address anti-social behaviour to introduce new anti-social behaviour working groups to improve multi agency working, including the Hate and Anti-Social Behaviour Action group (HASBAG) and Cuckooing Forum. As well as increased the visibility of the Community Protection Enforcement Officers in the town.
It has also been another successful year for events in the town with a record-breaking 6,000 participants attending the Waendel Walk, a successful Christmas light switch-on, party weekend and the beach event this summer. To support the borough’s community groups the council has awarded £90,000 community capital grants and celebrated the opening of the town’s first 3G all-weather pitch at Redwell Leisure Centre.
The Resources Committee on 17 December recommended that community funding of £300,000 be allocated for voluntary grants (£100k), health and wellbeing (£50k), community support (£50k)and homeless prevention (£100k).
The Castle Theatre, which is now being managed by Parkwood, is going from strength to strength benefitting from seating upgrades, and sound equipment. The new front of house offer and revised programme provides something for everyone. The theatre is fully engaging with local schools, community groups and young people to make sure that residents have a place to nurture and develop their talent.
There have been a number of exciting improvements to the town centre, including the rebuild and transformation of Wellingborough’s Tresham College campus which will boast a revitalised curriculum for students and adults across the borough.
The council continues to improve the town’s heritage building including The Hind Hotel and the shop front improvement project that will benefits the town’s shops.
Wellingborough’ s urban extensions Stanton Cross to the East and Glenvale Park to the North are really taking shape and they provide more than just housing, but local facilities and much used open spaces for residents. In the final meeting of the council in 2019 the Planning Committee approved the exciting plans for the country park at Stanton Cross that completes the green corridor for the town.
The new state-of-the-art Wellingborough Prison is already providing employment for residents ahead of its planned opening in 2021.
Don’t forget to check the news section on the website to keep up to date on all the latest information from the Borough Council of Wellingborough at www.wellingborough.gov.uk/news