Community is a vital element for those living and working in rural areas and it is important that rural communities have a strong voice to ensure they are heard in matters that particularly affect them. Our aim is to provide local communities with the support and knowledge to achieve that voice. We strive to provide a voice for rural communities, representing their interests to government at local, regional and national level.
We want to help communities identify their own needs and develop the skills, resources and expertise necessary to achieve a thriving and sustainable future. Much of our work focuses on supporting community issues and helping communities become more sustainable. We do this by engaging communities, bringing people together and helping communities to work together to achieve their aims.
Our community support covers a range of topics:
The village hall or community centre can be the most valuable asset of any community. A properly maintained building of adequate size, well kept and well managed, can provide facilities for social, educational and recreational activities for all ages. Getting the right advice and support to help run the facility is vital. We run an excellent Community Facilities Advisory Service for members, providing quality support and benefits to run a village hall or centre effectively.
This covers all the forms of local planning that a community might be interested in including Parish Plans, Village Design Statements and now Neighbourhood Plans. Community planning is all part of the overall Planning Framework.
Issues surrounding the number and affordability of the housing stock in rural areas are well known and the impact on village communities can be great. Find out more about the situation with affordable housing in rural communities.
Find out about the government’s Superfast Broadband rollout programme, which aims to deliver broadband speeds greater than 24Mbps across the country by 2017.
Since September 2012 we have been running the community website project. The main aim of the project is to provide FREE website design training to any community group who would like to set up their own website or update an old one. The project is funded by Northamptonshire County Council and the training is provided by library staff at libraries around the county.
The latest countywide Community Speed Watch programme restarted in 2013 after a two year break. It is as much about educating and encouraging drivers to drive sensibly through villages as about catching people who are speeding. New villages are welcome to join the programme for next year.