Think NHS 111 First

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NHS England and NHS Improvement has launched the next phase of the latest ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign which focuses on the NHS 111 service as a new way to access A&E.

If you have an urgent but not life-threatening medical need, make sure you contact NHS 111 first rather than going straight to A&E. If you do need urgent care, then NHS 111 can now book you in to be seen quickly and safely in A&E.

As well as this, NHS 111 is also able to direct to or book an appointment at Urgent Treatment Centres, access to Out of Hours GP Services, pharmacies, emergency dental services and walk-in clinics.

Contacting 111 first will also help the NHS to keep you safe by maintaining social distancing and ensure that you receive the right care in the right place, in a more timely and safe way.

If you or your loved one have a life-threatening illness or injury then you should always use 999 and if you do arrive at A&E without contacting NHS 111 you will still receive medical care, with emergency treatments prioritised.

Just think 111 first. When you think you need A&E, contact NHS 111 by phone or online at

Further information about NHS 111 First is available at

All Change for Councils in Northamptonshire

Local government in Northamptonshire is changing.

The existing system, which has been in place since the 1970s, is like a three-tier cake.

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The bottom layer is parish and town councils which typically cover one village or town.  The middle layer is borough and district councils, which are responsible for things like planning applications, collecting the bins, tourism, and dealing with benefits.  The top layer is the county council, which is responsible for things like social services, education, and highways.

From 1 April 2021 the top two layers of the cake are being replaced with one layer, known as unitary councils.  There will be two in Northamptonshire: North Northamptonshire Council, and West Northamptonshire Council.  Parish and town councils, including Brixworth Parish Council, remain as they are.

West Northamptonshire Council will cover the area currently covered by Daventry District Council, Northampton Borough Council, and South Northamptonshire Council.  The area contains the towns of Northampton, Daventry, Towcester and Brackley and nearly two hundred villages and hamlets.  West Northamptonshire Council, including Brixworth, will be one of the larger unitary councils in England.  It will be responsible for all the services currently being provided in the area by the district, borough, and county councils.

The main reason for replacing the district, borough and county councils with unitary councils is to save money.  Northamptonshire County Council had well-publicised financial issues in 2017 and 2018, which led to a government inspection of the council.  The inspector’s report recommended that creating unitary councils was the best solution.

Most people will not notice any difference, certainly in the first few years of the unitary councils.  In fact, great efforts are being made to ensure that is the case.  For example, the lorry collecting the rubbish might have a different logo on it, but the bins will still be collected.  Council services will continue as normal, and any changes will be gradual.

From 2021 you will see three lines on your council tax bill.  You will pay an amount for the Brixworth Parish Council, an amount for the Northamptonshire Police & Fire Services, and an amount for West Northamptonshire Council for all the council services it provides.  The amount you pay to each body is set by that body.

west northantsWest Northamptonshire Council will have 93 councillors, who will be chosen at the local elections on 6 May 2021.  Some will be people who have been district, borough, and county councillors before; others will be new.  Anyone over 18 and living in West Northamptonshire can put themselves forward to be a councillor.   The councillors elected in 2021 will serve a four-year term of office and may seek re-election in 2025.

Council meetings are held in public, and all the information, reports, and papers for the meetings are published on the council’s web site. Councils are open and democratic bodies and are accountable to the people they serve.

If you are interested to find out more about the changes happening to local government in Northamptonshire please visit

Active at Home


An  ‘Active at Home’ booklet has been produced to provide practical guidance to older adults on home-based activities to maintain their strength and balance.

It follows concerns that low levels of physical activity in older adults will lead to reduced fitness resulting in loss of independence and need for care in the future. 

View the booklet here

Red Lion – Appeal Allowed

The Planning Inspector, appointed by the Secretary of State, has allowed the planning appeal in favour of the Cooperative Group. Planning permission has now been granted for the demolition of the public house and the construction of a new retail unit.

The decision letter stated that the loss of the Red Lion, a non designated heritage asset, would not meaningfully diminish the significance of the Conservation Area. The Planning Inspector also thought that the proposed replacement building would have a positive effect that would enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.

You can read the full decision letter here.

You can read how the planning system works here.