Rural Villages Identified For New Housing

South Northamptonshire Council is considering changes to the way in which it deals with planning applications for new housing in its villages. This follows two planning appeals in Potterspury and Cosgrove where development was allowed for housing on land previously considered to be unacceptable under existing planning policy. The Policy sets out those services and facilities that are considered to be ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ to a village. Scores were then applied to these facilities that produced a ranking for each village. In those villages considered to be most sustainable i.e. those with the highest scores, the Statement proposes that new housing development on suitable sites currently considered to be outside the village could be considered more favourably than in the past. The villages identified as being suitable for some additional housing development are: Blisworth, Bugbrooke, Deanshanger, Greens Norton, Hackleton, Hartwell, Kislingbury, Middleton Cheney, Nether Heyford, Old Stratford, Paulerspury, Potterspury, Roade, Silverstone, Yardley Gobion and Yardley Hastings The use of this Interim Policy is intended to be short term. It will be replaced by the emerging Local Development Framework or when it becomes clear that the Council has an appropriate amount of available land for housing to meet Government targets. Councillor John Townsend, portfolio holder responsible for Environmental Policy said: “It is critical that the Council reacts to these recent appeal decisions. The Council needs to control speculative planning applications coming forward randomly, particularly in unsustainable locations. “By considering this new approach it is hoped that new development required in the villages can be properly planned and directed to those villages most to accommodate some limited growth. If no action is taken, there are likely to be increasing numbers of appeals for housing development in villages within South Northamptonshire that will increase uncertainty for local communities.” The full document is available on the Council’s website at . The consultation ends on Saturday, 30 May 2009.


Lamb Death by Dog Bite?

 Notice affixed to a stile on the Abthorpe to Slapton public footpath

Notice affixed to a stile on the Abthorpe to Slapton public footpath

Lamb death. “Due to lamb death following dog bite please keep dogs on a lead.” That was the printed message posted alongside a stile on the Abthorpe to Slapton public footpath. Barbara Smith of Slapton Manor Farm explained that a large well looked after lamb had been found dead in the field with a largish bite that she believed was too big for a fox. As people find it difficult to realise that the pet dogs that they love can cause expensive damage to a farmer’s stock, Barbara was asking for dogs to be kept on leads for the immediate future. The potential value of the lamb was between £65 and £85.

John Riches

Grand National Winner to be Star at Towcester Races

Mon Mome at Aintree last week courtesy of Gavin James -

Mon Mome at Aintree last week courtesy of Gavin James -

GRAND National winner Mon Mome will be the star attraction for a bumper Bank Holiday crowd at Towcester on Sunday when the action gets underway at 2.10pm.

Mon Mome’s trainer Venetia Williams could already lay claim to being the ‘first lady’ of Towcester. Now though, her soaring reputation has been given even greater momentum after the nine year-old French bred became the first 100/1 winner of the Aintree showpiece in 42 years in the hands of jockey Liam Treadwell.

As well as parading Mon Mome, the Herefordshire handler will be keen to send out more winners at the Northants course on Sunday. More successful at Towcester than any other yard during the course of the past ten seasons, she has notched a total of 45 scorers going back to the start of the 1999/2000 campaign.

That puts her ahead of the likes of Jonjo O’Neill (41), Henry Daly (28) and Nigel Twiston-Davies (27) so she was never going to disappoint her legion of Northamptonshire followers in the wake of last weekend’s triumph.

Fittingly, given the pedigree of Mon Mome, who was second to Kilbeggan Blade in a 3mnovices’ hurdle at Towcester in January, the first entry on the list is aptly named A French Horse who has been second on his last two starts at Uttoxeter and Doncaster.

However, the trainer may also field runners with solid course form and experience under their belts, such as Pterodactyl , successful here in a 2m novices’ hurdle at Towcester’s last meeting on March 26th, and Pliny, a winner of a National Hunt Flat race here on Boxing Day under Will Biddick.

National winning jockey Liam Treadwell is also no stranger to the winner’s enclosure as he has ridden three winners on the track this season, while in 2007/08 he was on board the 33/1 winner Taran Tregarth here.

General Admission is £10.00 to over 16’s – FREE parking. Gates open at 12.00 – First race 2.10pm

Do you know Bernard…

A local business in Towcester is calling out to the people of Northants to ask if they know a very generous customer who visited them last week.

Towcester Tearooms is fundraising for both The Alzheimer’s Society and MacMillan Cancer Support this year, culminating in this summer’s challenge where 8 local men, including the Tearooms owner, Tony McMurray will attempt to cycle the full length of the British Isles, from Lands End to John-O-Groats.

Last Wednesday a customer approached Tony’s wife, Sharon McMurray, and offered the services of his band for free as part of this year’s fundraising efforts.

Sharon said, “We are often complimented on the various charitable events we run and on this occasion the gentlemen kindly offered the services of his band for an event of our choice. He wrote down his details but during what was a very busy day in the Tearooms these details were misplaced and we are now very keen to contact him through the local press”

The details of this kind Samaritan are as follows:

  • His name is Bernard
  • He is from Northampton
  • He was in Towcester on Wednesday April 1st and was joined at the Tearooms by a female colleague
  • He is part of a four piece band
  • Bernard told Sharon that his band had done charitable work in the past.

If you recognise Bernard or the band from the description given you are encouraged to contact Sharon at the Towcester Tearooms on 01327 358200 or

Tony added, “The LEJOG team (Lands End to John-O-Groats) met last week and we all agreed that we would invite Bernard’s band to perform at a final fundraising event to be held locally. It would be a great way to close off our year of fundraising and a final opportunity to add to our total funds raised”

PSP Awareness Week

Afternoon Tea For PSP
National PSP Awareness Week occurs 4th-11th April 2009. Whether you organise ‘An Afternoon Tea for PSP’ or something very different, National PSP Awareness Week represents an opportunity to raise awareness of PSP and CBD nationally and internationally.

2009 ‘Afternoon Tea for PSP’

If you are planning to organise a Tea Party, you can download a 2009 Tea Party Pack, which is designed to help you with your organisation and provide some ideas for increasing awareness of PSP and CBD. Alternatively, you can complete a Tea Party Order Form and receive everything for your Tea Party through the post.

We would like to thank everyone in advance for their support of this awareness and fundraising initiative. We know that many of you have been planning your 2009 Tea Party for months, whilst others would like to hold a Tea Party but for varying reasons cannot do this. There are many other supporters who prefer to do something very different at a date that is convenient for them later in the year. Whatever you do, whatever your reason, The PSP Association is appreciative of all your support.

2008 National PSP Awareness Week

‘Afternoon Tea for PSP’ was first launched in 2008, when nearly 2,000 of our supporters were asked to hold an ‘Afternoon Tea for PSP’ and drink Tea for Treatment or Coffee for Care. Funds raised were attributed to research (to find a treatment), or to the ongoing costs of our Care & Support Services.

All were sent a Tea Party Pack, which included pre- and post-party Press Releases and information on ‘People Special to your Patch’ with the overall objective of inviting local dignitaries and other well-known or important people living locally. Supporters were told that even if their invitation was declined they would have achieved our objective of increasing awareness.

The result was that more than 1,000,000 new people heard about PSP and CBD on the television, the radio or in their local newspaper and over £40,000 was raised.

In addition, many supporters who could not hold a tea party during Awareness Week organised their own ‘awareness raising event’ at a later date. The enthusiasm and commitment of our supporters has been extraordinary with many already planning their 2009 ‘Afternoon Tea for PSP’.

Magnolia Day

Our annual Magnolia Day (8th April) falls in National PSP Awareness Week. The Magnolia was the favourite flower of Sara Koe who was a co-founder of The PSP Association. Sara died of PSP early in 1995; on 8th April 1995 a memorial service was held for her and later this date became known as ‘Magnolia Day’.

The Magnolia has since become the emblem of The PSP Association and in 2008 the Royal Horticultural Society named a Magnolia ‘Sara Koe’. This is a tremendous honour for our charity.

Damp Track Does Not Deter Button

Button does it again

Button does it again


Brawn GP’s Jenson Button continued his perfect start to the 2009 Formula One season as he took his second successive Grand Prix victory today when the Malaysian Grand Prix was stopped after 31 laps following a torrential downpour. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello also had a strong race to bring his Brawn-Mercedes car home in fifth position.

Jenson had a good start from pole but was unable to prevent the cars on the other side of the grid overtaking down into the first corner and was running third by the end of lap one. He took full advantage of his heavier fuel load to put in some quick laps when the cars ahead pitted and took the lead on emerging from his first pit stop on lap 19. Rubens had a good start from eighth on the grid, battling through to make up six places and to be running in second position by his first stop on lap 20.

The race became increasingly hectic as rain threatened and the field dived into the pits. Jenson and Rubens pitted on lap 22 for wet tyres but the downpour was less than expected and they came back in for intermediates on lap 28 for Rubens and lap 29 for Jenson.

When the rain did arrive, it was so torrential that the wet weather tyres which the drivers fitted on lap 31 were not enough to allow the race to safely continue. After a lengthy delay on the grid, the race was declared over and half-points awarded.

After two rounds, Brawn GP lead the Constructors’ Championship with 25 points and Jenson leads the Drivers’ Championship with 15 points with Rubens in second position with 10 points.


Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Race Result / Fastest Lap
Jenson Button 22 BGP 001-02 P1 01:36.641
Rubens Barrichello 23 BGP 001-01 P5 01:37.484

Weather Dry start with heavy rain halfway through the race
Temperatures Air: 24-30°C Track: 27-37°C

“What a crazy race! It was really exciting out there and I’m delighted that we came out on top today. I didn’t have the best of starts and was surprised at the lack of grip on my side of the grid. I went in deep at turn one and got a big snap of oversteer which dropped me to fourth but I was able to get past Alonso at the end of lap one and overtake Trulli and Rosberg at the first pit stops. I was happy with the car and our pace was good but the weather really threw the race wide open. Choosing the tyres was difficult but we made the right calls at the right time, particularly when it started raining so hard and so quickly. I have to say a massive thank you to my engineer Andrew Shovlin who was on the podium with me today and the whole team for their work on the strategy and in the pits. Last weekend we said that we had a fairytale start to the season and I am so proud that has continued here.”

“It was a great race today and I was really happy with how the car was performing in the dry in the first stint of the race. After a good start, I felt that I had the pace to catch up with the front-runners and score some good points. Unfortunately once the conditions started to deteriorate, we lost a little too much time on my side of the garage with the pit stops which cost me a few places. However the important thing is that the car is going great and we have proved that it is competitive at different types of track. Congratulations to Jenson and the team for maintaining our fantastic start to the season and I look forward to continuing the challenge in Shanghai.”

“A fantastic team performance today and a thoroughly deserved second victory of the season for Jenson and the team. It was an eventful race to say the least and I am pleased with how quickly we were able to react to the changing conditions to maintain the lead that Jenson had achieved in the first stint of the race. However it was not perfect as we could have had both cars in the top three if we had been a little bolder in bringing the drivers in for their third stops for intermediate tyres. We are delighted to have had such a successful start to the season with two pole positions and two victories in the opening races. You can’t ask for more than that and it is a credit to the talent, attitude and dedication of our team that we have been able to achieve such results.”

Button Takes Pole Again!

Jenson Button took his second successive pole position today in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit maintaining his and the Brawn GP team’s perfect start to the 2009 Formula One season.

Team-mate Rubens Barrichello qualified in fourth having battled with understeer with his car throughout qualifying. Rubens will incur a five-place grid penalty ahead of tomorrow’s 56-lap race after a gearbox change.

The Brawn-Mercedes drivers topped the times in all three qualifying sessions with Rubens going quickest at the end of Q1 on the soft option tyre and Jenson posting the fastest lap of Q2 on his first set of options having used the harder prime tyre for his previous runs. Both drivers completed two runs in Q3 with Jenson coming out on top to secure his second pole of the season.


Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Free Practice Qualifying 1 Qualifying 2 Qualifying 3
Jenson Button 22 BGP 001-02 P10 P7 01:35.058 P1 01:33.784 P1 01:35.181
Rubens Barrichello 23 BGP 001-01 P9 P1 01:34.681 P6 01:34.387 P4 01:35.651

Weather Hot and humid
Temperatures Air: 29-30°C Track: 36-40°C

“Achieving pole position today in Malaysia is possibly even more special than last week in Australia. It’s not easy to get one pole but two successive poles is just fantastic and it’s a first for me in my Formula One career. It’s a great feeling and proves that our car works well on different types of circuit. We were really struggling with the balance yesterday and I had a lot of rear locking however we made some changes to the car overnight which really improved it for today and it felt really good throughout qualifying. It’s a big turnaround and I have to say thank you to the team for their hard work in such tough conditions. They did a fantastic job. We are hoping that the rain stays away tomorrow but you just never know at this circuit and we will be working hard tonight to make sure we are prepared for all eventualities.”

“It was a good qualifying session for the team today and well done to Jenson once again as he had the pace to put the car on pole. Unfortunately on my side of the garage, the car developed understeer in qualifying and we were not able to resolve the problem. However we know the performance of the car in race conditions is strong and I will be aiming to score as many points as possible tomorrow before I can start chasing for my own pole position and wins.”

“It was a great qualifying performance from Jenson and the team today particularly as we had some issues with the balance of the car in yesterday’s practice sessions. At the start of qualifying, there was a distinct possibility of rain so we went out early in Q1 to bank some dry running and from there it was a busy session with the track evolving incredibly quickly. Rubens was struggling for grip under braking which resulted in understeer and he was never completely happy with the balance of his car. With the replacement of his gearbox, this puts him further back on the grid than we would have hoped, however his experience will stand him in good stead in the race. Jenson was much happier with the balance which reflects in his second pole of the season after an excellent lap. It was an incredibly close session and with the prospect of rain in the race tomorrow, we should be in for a very eventful and exciting Malaysian Grand Prix.”