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Press Release


Date: 29 May 2015

Issue: SNCPR3114

For Immediate Release


New council Chairman is giving something back

After a successful business career the new Chairman of South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) has said it is time to give something back to the community he is honoured to represent.

During their Annual Council meeting on Wednesday, 20 May members of SNC elected Councillor Roger Clarke as their Chairman.

He said: “I am proud of my county, and the district I live in, and through my duties as Chairman I plan to promote the whole of south Northamptonshire as best I can.

“This area has been confirmed as one of the top ten places to live in the country and with further job creation at Silverstone and Grange Park, the attraction will grow."

Cllr Clarke will be supported by Deputy Chairman Councillor Caryl Billingham in leading full Council meetings and representing the district at civic events over the coming year.

Cllr Clarke was the middle of five children in a military family and was always taught to think good of others.
He moved to Pattishall from Hitchin, Hertfordshire with his wife Trudy 42 years ago and has two children, and four grandchildren.

Cllr Clarke started his first livestock marketing business in 1982 and oversaw a period of major change in the UK food supply chain.

He later went into landscape design and construction and worked on a broad range of projects in and around south Northants, from small back gardens to restoring the grounds of a manorial home.

Cllr Clarke is a trustee for several charities, and has been an active Rotarian and Parish Councillor for 30 years.

He became SNC member for Blakesley and Cote in 2010 and since then has served as a member of the Council’s Moat Lane regeneration board, the Organisational Change and Relocation Committee, now sits on the budget and financial strategy committee and served as Deputy Chairman during the last municipal year.

During his year as Chairman Cllr Clarke has chosen to support the Disability Inclusive Sports Club which provides disabled children and adults access to a range of sports, and the PSP Association which supports people with a degenerative brain condition.


Library Supporters


Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

People nationwide are receiving cold calls and are being persuaded to invest in 'Fine Art'.

Concerns around this include:
• How the commodity is being offered, such as how the cold callers persuade victims to part with their money.
• Hidden costs charged to the victims to view the product, shipping costs or additional fees to store the item.

How to protect yourself:

  •  If the investment sounds too good to be true it probably is.
  •  Hang-up on investment cold calls. Legitimate companies will not ring-up and offer you an investment out of the blue.
  •  Do not give out personal financial information to cold callers
  • Check whether the art dealer is a member of a trade association, such as The Society of London Art Dealers (SLAD), The Association of Art and Antique Dealers (LAPADA), The British Art Dealers Association (BADA) or Confederation of International Dealers in Art Work (CINOA).
  •  Request copies of old receipts, invoices and question the history of the previous owner of the art investment, to check if the product is genuine before investing.

Press Release

Date: 22 May 2015

Issue: SNCPR3103

For Immediate Release


Community building cafe serving fresh local food now open

A cafe based in South Northamptonshire’s new community building, The Forum, will be opening next week, selling homemade food using fresh local produce.

The Forum Café, on the ground floor of the new building in Moat Lane, Towcester, will be serving full breakfasts, light lunches and a range of hot drinks from Tuesday (May 26th) onwards.  The café will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 3pm and Saturday from 9am to 1pm. 

Fresh fruit and vegetables, where possible grown across the district, will be supplied by Northampton based company Browns, which was based in Towcester for more than 30 years. 

SNC Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Regeneration, Cllr Stephen Clarke, said: “This is another great step in the regeneration of Moat Lane, drawing visitors into the wonderful new community facility. I am delighted that we can support the growth of the local economy by employing local people and using local suppliers.
“We hope that people visiting the new building to use our self-service kiosks or the library will make use of the café and that it will become a hub for people in the community to get together." 

Manager, Anne Jenkin, who has run a range of catering facilities in the district, said: “People will love the beautiful setting, looking straight out onto the river and Watermeadows.”

Regular customers will be able to make use of the café’s loyalty card scheme – buy seven meals or hot drinks get the eighth one free. There is also a meal deal and customers will benefit from a 20% discount on their first order. Just call into the café and ask for a coupon. More information and a full menu is available at

For further information please contact Amy McCormack on 01327 322091 or by e-mail



Press Release


Date: 21 May 2015

Issue: SNCPR3098

For Immediate Release


New Leader and Cabinet at South Northamptonshire Council

A new Council Leader was appointed and a new Cabinet was announced at South Northamptonshire Council’s (SNC) Annual Meeting on Tuesday 20 May. 

Councillor Ian McCord was appointed to replace Councillor Mary Clarke as Leader after she decided not to seek re-election. Both are members of the Conservative Party.

Councillor Clarke was Leader of SNC from 2010, and has been ward member for Old Stratford for four years before which she represented Towcester. She said: “Serving as Council Leader has been a great honour and something that I will always be proud to look back on.  I am indebted to the public for electing me to the Council and to the members for electing and supporting me as Leader."

Councillor Clarke had also served as director of the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, and chaired the West Northants Joint Strategic Planning Committee.  She has also represented the Council as a director of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), a role which she will retain in a private sector capacity.

Councillor McCord has been a member of SNC’s Cabinet since 2010, most recently as portfolio holder for resources, and has represented Cosgrove and Grafton since 2007 He said: “This is a great district with greater potential, constantly rated as one of the best places to live in the UK.

“But we won’t just sit back and enjoy it. Whilst I welcome the return of a Conservative majority Government I have no doubt that the challenges that lie ahead will be no less that those we have faced in the past.

“I will continue with partnership working and extend that to be wider and deeper and ensure that the Council has as sound and secure future."

At the Annual Meeting, Councillor Phil Bignell was appointed Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for transformation and governance, and a new Cabinet was announced by Councillor McCord consisting of a further two new Cabinet members and three previous Cabinet members.

Councillor Rosie Herring remains as portfolio holder for community engagement and wellbeing, Councillor Rebecca Breese remains as portfolio holder for planning and environment, Councillor Dermot Bambridge stays on the Cabinet and takes over the portfolio for environmental services.

New to the Cabinet are Councillor Stephen Clarke who takes over the portfolio for economic development, regeneration and housing, and Councillor Peter Rawlinson who takes over as portfolio holder for finance and procurement.”