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Bullying and sexual harassment are both abhorrent. We can all agree to that.

We need to understand however that the two things need to be separated as resolution is controlled in different ways . 

Bullying happens over time and is victimisation by way of differences, which could be anything from where a person lives to the size of their feet.   

Sexual Harassment is defined as unwanted sexualised behaviour that offends, humiliates or intimidates a person and targets a victim on the basis of a characteristic such as gender, race or ethnicity. 

Bullying and sexual harassment need to be separated because they have access to different remedies.

Workplace bullying is a health and safety issue but is not a legal term.  Health and Safety Rules demand that employers have a duty to provide a safe work place for employees to work in even if a victim does not complain.  Bullying is not a legal term but Health & Safety Rules places responsibility on employers to stop the bullying happening again.

However, Sexual harassment  is a legal term and it is against the law.  Sexual harassment is discrimination against an individual - particularly towards girls and women and the LGBT community.  Sexual harassment complaints are remedied by law because it is controlled by the Equality Act 2010.  The Equality Act 2010 tries to resolve the complainant’s issue by taking their viewpoint and trying to keep them in their job.

Bullying and sexual harassment therefore need to have appropriate and separate complaint procedures as they stem from different issues.  To recognise this is to protect victims and make them confident in coming forward when problems occur, knowing that they will be listened to and also for the smooth operation of the day to day running of the council. Northampton Borough council needs a policy on sexual harassment because sexual harassment  will be affecting their Councillors and their staff. Only with a specific policy will victims dare to come forward.


We need a sexual violence policy

Bullying and sexual harassment are both abhorrent. We can all agree to that. We need to understand however that the two things need to be separated as resolution is controlled...

Dissatisfaction around the service from Northgate Bus Station has been well  reported and documented over the past four years.

Talking to drivers and regular users it is simply not big enough. There are 12 departure bays in the bus station and a further 8 for southbound journeys in the Drapery. This means that two thirds of the passengers have to wait in the Drapery for their bus. These departure points are not reasonably protected from adverse weather conditions Many of our residents using the buses are elderly with reduced mobility, or young families with buggies and small children. It is not right that they wait for buses in the open.

During the peak hours of 12noon to 1pm there are approximately 100 departures. From 7am to 6 pm there are on average 80-100 departures an hour. 1,200 is a huge number of traffic movements per day . The subsequent congestion and gridlock in Bradshaw Street and Greyfriars regularly brings traffic to a standstill. There has been a series of collisions involving cars and buses on surrounding roads and it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.

The design of the bus station -DIRO (Drive in Reverse out) is ill suited to such high level frequency services, resulting in hazardous tailbacks. Manouvering space is required for vehicles entering and leaving. Wide spaces are needed  and the drivers' view is that the bays are only marginally wider than the buses. Reversing is tight with little space before the run through where buses wait for a vacated bay.

I believe that  Northgate is not sufficiently large to this to happen safely

With all this traffic comes dangerously high levels of pollution which has been found to be 25%higher than the legal limits. The EU upper limit for nitrogen dioxide is 40 micrograms per cubic metre. Around the bus station 53 micrograms per cubic metre has been found. NBC pollution monitors have recorded illegal limits 80% of the time. In Northampton 6.1% of fatalities every year are believed to be premature deaths caused by air pollution. This is a Public Health emergency. Who would want to shop, or work in such an environment.

Declaring a single AQMA for the town centre is a move to monitor air quality but will not tackle the inherent problem of high traffic along the Drapery and the bus station. A Low Emissions Strategy will take a long time to make a difference to this area.

We ask for an independent and comprehensive  Health and Safety inspection of the movement of traffic in and around the bus station and  the levels of pollution. Then we need to look at ways to reduce the traffic, to ban illegal traffic along the Drapery, and  perhaps consider re-locating part of the bus station to another part of town.

Northgate- An Independent Health Audit Needed

Dissatisfaction around the service from Northgate Bus Station has been well  reported and documented over the past four years. Talking to drivers and regular users it is simply not big...

Northampton -a Unitary Authority.

This Council has agreed that a Northampton Unitary Authority is the way forward and a goal to aim for in the near future. The leader of the administration says there are discussions with other districts and boroughs and in fact Northampton is the chair of those meetings.  I know that we have had an update from this administration, that this council is determined to enter a bid to become a Unitary Authority and what that might mean.  I know as well that combining the 7 districts and boroughs might save the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government billions of pounds. And it is my opinion that this would still be catastrophic for the residents of Northampton.

It is clear discussions about Northampton becoming a Unitary Authority have been going on for some time with no obvious progress.  Given that a meeting with Deloittes is tomorrow, I thought it essential to remind the administration that:

  • becoming a Unitary Authority is a vital step, making one accountable Nothampton Council responsible to our electorate. It should also lead to greater proactive, efficient, transparent  and accountable decision-making processes.  Joined-up decisions means doing away with expensive duplication of services
  • our determination to make Unitary happen. We need to express our determination and show our the residents of Northampton we are serious about regenerating services.  This will come through building for need (schools, a new hospital, houses), providing high quality jobs, income generation and making sure people have money in their pockets to spends in the town.

Recent statistics show people who live in the borough of Northampton are amongst the lowest wages earners in the country and not surprisingly, Northampton has the highest personal debt in the country.  This shocking situation explains why hard-working families find themselves in working poverty, standing in food bank queues and struggling to pay their way.  We, the Labour Group, need to remind people this would not happen under a Labour government and administration.  We need to take our and their future inhouse and bring about sustainable development for our town.  It can be done with vision and innovation.  Which brings me onto the implosion of the Tory run County Council.  I know colleagues will say that the problems encountered by the County Council are, in the main, due to the 50 percent cut in Tory Government funding to local authorities over the last 8 years.  I know borough colleagues will say they are doing everything they can to achieve the Unitary goal, but we are where we are.  So, lets think about Ella. 

Ella is a charming, bright and clever 12 year-old sassy young woman who attends a local school and who wants to go to Oxford to read Law.  Ella’s aspiration doesn’t end there.  She wants what we all want.  Access to world class education and a good career, excellent job opportunities which will mean she can afford to live in her home town, access to proper healthcare free at the point of delivery and to own her own home.  Also, if the time is right and its right for her, to nurture and encourage her own family in the way her mum and dad are doing for her right now.  We must create a town where each and every resident of Northampton can fulfil their personal aims and aspirations and achieve the priorities in their lives because those priorities should be our priorities.  That’s what we have been elected to do.

Unfortunately some things just don’t charge – we are still the largest town in the country with the grubbiest, litter-strewn streets, poor street lighting, crumbling social housing stock which suffers from a cavalier attitude to the environment and maintenance of those estates. We are still owed tens of millions of pounds because of poor due diligence and decision- making processes.  We still have clogged roads and streets with poor and at times, illegal air quality.  There are still small business and shops closing around the borough.  In my ward alone there are 10 empty shops; a worrying rise in serious acquisitive crime and a substantial number of asset rich, cash poor older people who are struggling to pay a massive increase in council tax.

Being a unitary authority will enable this Council to make good the hopes and dreams of our residents and to give each one a decent home to live in and the means to pay for it.  However, there must also be a framework to achieve good Unitary based decisions:

  • Innovative and focused, adaptable and flexible cost effective financial structures that will allow Northampton to continue to grow decades into the future
  • Recognising and responding to the needs of the people of Northampton, one of the fastest growing regions in the country
  • Recognising our town’s borders need to change so that we are not subject to rushed, ill thought through planning decisions which means revenue generation schemes such as new housing and developments are on the wrong side of our boundary, but we are left to deal with increased traffic congestion and everything that means
  • Open, clear and transparent decision-making processes which means the Council will never again find itself being owed millions of pounds

Labour can and will make a success of building a strong, vibrant, solid Unitary authority with resilient and cohesive communities, wealth creating commercial opportunities and empowering individuals to achieve and contribute to their society.

An Extended Unitary Northampton

Northampton -a Unitary Authority. This Council has agreed that a Northampton Unitary Authority is the way forward and a goal to aim for in the near future. The leader of...

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