Author Archive: Peter Rowbotham

Covid 19 – Pitsford Water Remains Closed

Anglian Water know that their leisure attractions are loved by many but the health and safety of their colleagues and visitors remains a top priority. Therefore, Pitsford Water will remain closed over the bank holiday and during half term, and they are asking everyone to respect this difficult decision.

In preparation for the potential influx of people attempting to visit Pitsford Water this weekend, they have worked with the local Highways teams to install temporary signage on access routes to Pitsford, warning drivers that the site is closed to the public.

Balancing the needs and wishes of communities is always a challenge and AW are keen to get back to some sense of normality. They are working on plans to reopen the parks as soon as they are confident that it can do so safely. As a tourism venue, AW have additional factors to consider, (unlike a regular park)  and they  must be certain that it meets all the guidance on social distancing.

Protecting staff has been at the forefront since the lockdown began, even though hundreds are out working every day to keep essential services flowing.  AW don’t want colleagues to face abuse as has sadly been the case recently.

It’s also very important to make sure that park staff are not being expected to police visitors or manage social distancing with crowds either.



As of Tuesday 19 May, Northamptonshire County Council has opened the car parks at each of its country parks.

Drivers will now be able to park at the Council’s five country parks in the county, which so far have only been accessible on foot.

Those who do visit country parks are asked to observe correct social distancing measures and show respect for other park users and staff. Dog walkers must also keep their dogs on a lead where other people are present, in order to ensure two metre distances are maintained.

Public toilets at the parks are currently closed, and play areas and cafes will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Cllr Sandra Naden-Horley, county council cabinet member for corporate and community services said: “We understand that members of the public are keen to get outdoors again and we have been busy devising a strategy to make it safe for people to visit our country parks.

“We are likely to experience long queues in the first weekend of re-opening and visitors will be expected to abide by social distancing guidance, taking extra care around their own hygiene and respecting the safety of others.

“Keeping visitors, staff and local communities safe as lockdown restrictions evolve is our top priority, and this means we need to continue social distancing, avoid creating hotspots, and discourage gatherings in line with central government guidance.”

Normal parking charges are in operation at Northamptonshire country parks and the money raised will go back into maintaining the sites.

Season tickets can also be displayed for up to two months after the expiry date and season ticket holders are discouraged from trying to amend the ticket themselves, as this will invalidate the ticket.

In line with Public Health England guidance, residents who are vulnerable, or who are showing symptoms which may indicate coronavirus, should not visit country parks at all.

Residents are advised to check the council’s website for additional details. Please visit


From Monday May 18, Northamptonshire County Council will re-open its Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) for the residents of Northamptonshire to dispose of essential household waste.

In line with guidance from DEFRA the council is asking that only essential journeys to HWRCs be made, and only if waste or recycling cannot be stored safely at home without causing injury, harm or risk to health.

 If waste can be temporarily stored in a way that does not pose a risk, then the council is asking people to keep it at home and not to make the journey to a HWRC.

Additionally – and in line with Public Health England guidance – residents who are vulnerable, or who are showing symptoms which may indicate coronavirus, should not visit household recycling centres.

Cllr Jason Smithers, county council cabinet member for highways and place, said: “We have been advised by the Government that Northamptonshire’s recycling centres can re-open.

“It’s important that while social distancing rules are still in place we do this in a co-ordinated way and as such we have a robust plan in place to help residents dispose of household waste whilst ensuring the safety of themselves and council staff.

“Because the demand for the centres is likely to initially be very high we would ask members of the public to only use the service if it is absolutely necessary.

“It’s also important that if they do go that they keep to social distancing rules for the safety of both themselves and the staff.”

The council is expecting the sites to be very busy and as they will be operating at reduced capacity to comply with social distancing rules, long queues are expected.

Social distancing measures also mean that unfortunately site staff will not be able to assist members of the public with carrying any waste, as they usually would do.

The social distancing measures will also apply for members of the public, which will mean that the number of vehicles on site at any one time will be restricted. It will also mean that usual parking bays may not be available, and each HWRC will have one-way systems in place for vehicles and pedestrians. On entering the site, council staff will give clear instructions.

With the anticipated traffic queues, officers will be on hand to help marshal traffic to ensure that no obstructions are caused.

As is usual at busy times, sites may have to close temporarily throughout the day if demand becomes too high, to enable safe operations and allow traffic to disperse from the highway.

Residents are advised to check the council’s website for details of what days and times their local HWRC will be open.

Please visit

Have you renewed your garden waste collections yet?

Residents have just a few weeks left to ensure they have renewed their garden waste collections for the year ahead.

The annual charge for the fortnightly service from the start of June 2020 until the end of May 2021 is £37 per bin. Households wishing to continue with the service must ensure they have renewed their subscription by Friday, 15 May to ensure no disruption to their collections cycle.

Residents can renew or sign up for the service using their credit or debit card or by direct debit by following the link here.

Those who sign up will then receive a permit sticker to place on their bin or it won’t be emptied. Residents who do not wish to renew the service for 2020/21 will receive their last garden waste collections during the week beginning 25 May 2020.

The service is not paid for by Council Tax and was made optional and self-funding so it could continue for only those who want it

Anglian Water Priority Services

Anglian Water (AW) are advertising that some residents, including those people who are self-isolating due to Coronavirus can register for free, additional practical support from AW’s Priority Services.

Some of the ways being on the Priority Services Register could help include help with reading the water meter, a knock and wait service where AW will wait longer for the door to be answered when visiting, and a scheme to protect people from bogus callers and scams.  Registration is quick and easy!

To find out more about Priority Services and to sign up call Anglian Water on: 0800 919 155 or visit

Alongside Anglian Water, other Water and Energy providers offer a Priority Service.

If you think you may need extra help during an interruption to supply or a power cut due to being medically dependent on electricity, elderly or disabled or if you have specific communication needs, contact your provider to find out how they can assist you.