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The Friday Five 10.03.23

Published on: 10 Mar 2023

It's the Friday Five! This week, great planning jobs in Horsham, Ripley, Worcester, Warrington and Scunthorpe; and tale of England's most English place, officially.


Location: Horsham, West Sussex

The job: “Horsham District Council has an exciting opportunity for a senior planning officer in our development and building control department

“As senior planning officer in the applications team, you have demonstrable experience in managing a varied caseload, taking ownership of the full applications process for complex minor development schemes from pre-applications discussions, through the application process, attending planning committees and defending the council at appeal.

“We are seeking a motivated individual who has experience of dealing with complex cases, has a willingness to learn and is adaptable to change.”

Bandstand in Carfax, Horsham [square]Fun fact: Step into etymology corner for a moment. In the centre of Horsham is a pedestrianised square simply called Carfax. Its name has nothing to do with combustion engined vehicles (well, not quite) or Ceefax, which you may remember if you were around in the ’80s.

Carfax, in fact, is thought to be of Norman origin: quatre voies (‘four ways’) or carrefour, a place where four roads meet. Makes sense.

Two further observations: first, Carrefour is also, of course, the name of a chain of French hypermarkets, grocery stores and convenience shops. The company, now the world’s eighth largest retailer, actually opened several hypermarkets in the UK in the 1970s but they are, sadly, all gone now.

Second, Carfax in Horsham was also once known as known as Scarfoulkes, which sounds remarkably like Scarfolk, the satirical fictional town in the North West that is stuck in the 1970s. Coincidence? We think not.

Two other places in England have a Carfax: Oxford and Winchester.

Find out more and apply


Location: Ripley, Derbyshire/Hybrid

The job: “We have two exciting opportunities to join a busy development management unit within a varied and interesting borough, which benefits from the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and various sites to attract investment and regeneration and new homes.

“You will require:

  • an ability to manage and motivate staff through effective communication and excellent time management skills

  • sound knowledge of legislation, policy and practice in respect of development management, including in relation to planning enforcement and heritage

  • at least two years’ experience working in development management at a senior level

  • experience of and confidence in operating at the political/management interface

Butterfly train in Ripley, Derbyshire [square]Fun fact: In 2006, researchers at University College London concluded that Ripley in Derbyshire is the most English town in England. By this they meant that Ripley had the highest proportion of residents with English ethnic origins – 88.6 per cent. 

The researchers reached this conclusion after analysing the surnames of 44 million people in England who were eligible to vote and dividing them into around 200 ethnic groups.

Ripley, followed by nearby Heanor, was the place with the highest proportion of people with ethnic English surnames. Southall in West London had the lowest concentration of the English gene pool, with just 17.8 per cent of residents being of English ethnic origin.

The researchers were actually studying immigration patterns and looking at how different ethnic groups were faring socio-economically. They drew some very interesting conclusions: Armenian immigrants were found to be the most financially and socially prosperous ethnic group, for example; and a disproportionately high number of recent immigrants were in medicine, business and law (those from north India are 10 times more likely to be doctors than the population as a whole).

As for the ethnically English, they were found to be the “least commercially minded” of ethnic groups in the UK. Good luck with that, Ripley.

Find out more and apply


Location: Worcester, Worcestershire

The job: “Are you an experienced policy planner and team leader looking to make your next career move?

“As the planning policy manager, you will lead on the full range of planning policy matters within the planning policy function of the city council including the South Worcestershire Development Plan Review. The role includes direct line management responsibility for the planning policy team.

“You will be expected to ensure high standards in the provision of advice and written reports to council committees, elected members and other stakeholders. You will contribute to the wider south Worcestershire partnership including Wychavon and Malvern Hills District Councils, lead in the preparation of evidence and act for the council as the expert planning policy witness in local plan examinations. You will also work with other service areas across the city council and generally support the head of planning in the preparation, implementation and monitoring of a wide range of planning policy work.”

Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce [square]Fun fact: Worcestershire sauce was, of course, invented in Worcester by – of course – Mr Lea and Mr Perrins, some time in the first half of the 19th century. Although its provenance is clear, the actual story of its origin is less so, mainly because the company itself promotes two unverifiable origin stories.

One claim is that "Lord Marcus Sandys, ex-Governor of Bengal" encountered the sauce while in India with the East India Company in the 1830s. Returning home, he commissioned the local pharmacists (the partnership of John Wheeley Lea and William Perrins) to recreate it. According to Wikpedia, though, Lord Marcus Sandys was never a governor of Bengal, nor had he ever visited India.

The second story is that having first mixed the recipe, Lea and Perrins found it so strong as to be inedible. So they simply left it in a barrel in their basement. Encountering the barrel some years later, they decided to try it again and found that the long-fermented sauce had milder, more palatable flavour.

In any case, the first bottles of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce were released to the public in 1838.

On the recipe, it’s worth noting that a fermented fish sauce called garum was a staple of Greco-Roman cuisine, and anchovy-based fermented sauces had been in use in Europe since at least the 17th century.

Find out more and apply


Location: Warrington, Cheshire

The job: “We are looking for a planning advisor to join the Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire (GMMC) Sustainable Places team. You will be on the frontline engaging with local planning authorities, developers, and consultants to ensure that the large amounts of growth and regeneration planned over the next 15 years are delivered in a way which protects and enhances the environment for future generations.

“In GMMC we have some of the biggest environmental challenges: multiple main rivers, a large coastline, and a lot of historically contaminated land. We need a highly motivated, enthusiastic person to take on these challenges and deliver positive outcomes for the environment.

“The successful candidates will have a sound understanding of the planning system and goals around sustainable growth. They will be clear and effective at communicating and building relationships. In turn these planning advisors will be integral to a diverse, exciting portfolio of work.

"Accountabilities will include responding to local plan and development management work for a number of local planning authorities; participating in internal projects / working groups; and engaging and influencing our local planning decision makers around growth and infrastructure.”

Steel cable [square]Fun fact: Warrington is the home of wire. Yes, wire. But not just the kind of wire you might be thinking of. We’re talking industrial wire ropes and cables, the kind used to pull lifts up mining shafts, keep suspension bridges in suspension and haul goods on and off ships; the stuff of major industry and Victorian world-building. Plus the smaller things, like wire for nails and fencing.

Wire making arrived in the town in the 18th century and by the mid-19th, Warrington’s numerous wire manufacturers and wire weavers were supplying the world with woven wire ropes and cabling. The town’s prosperity was built on the industry and it became so synonymous with Warrington that the local rugby league club was nicknamed The Wire.

The industry continued at scale for the best part of 170 years, only declining towards the latter part of the 20th century. Wire-making no longer happens in the town, although it has retained its place as a centre for wire-weaving.

Nowadays, woven wire has a very wide range of commercial and industrial uses and can be found used at various stages of paper-making, flour-milling and grading sand and in products as varied as heat shields and architectural mesh.

Find out more and apply


Location: Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire

The jobs:

Development Management Lead
“We have an opportunity for someone with leadership skills and vision to shape and lead our development management team. You would lead the discharge of all the council’s statutory duties as the local planning authority and act as an expert advisor to the council and its planning committee.

“The role would suit a dedicated planning professional with management experience who is ready in their career to lead a high-quality development management function.”

Senior Planning Officer
“This is a career graded post and therefore applications are invited from both experienced practitioners, as well as from graduates of all ages looking to progress with a career in development management and a willingness to undertake further appropriate study to move up through the career graded system.”

Duty Officer
“North Lincolnshire Council also has a permanent role available for a duty officer within the development management function who will provide high-quality, front-line customer service, information and advice on planning issues. This post presents an opportunity for someone with experience of working within a planning environment or for someone who would like to develop a career in planning and has a willingness to learn.

“Significant infrastructure, housing and regeneration investment is taking place within North Lincolnshire enabled by funding success through the Town’s Deal, Future High Street Fund and Levelling Up Round 2. Forming part of the Humber Energy Estuary, the area is embarking on significant projects at the forefront of energy related transformation and port-centric related activity through the development of the Humber Freeport and decarbonisation projects. These are exciting times for the area and provide the backdrop for the opportunities currently available within our development management function.”

Scunthorpe FC [square]Fun fact: Sports team nicknames often offer strong clues to the history, character and economic activities of towns. Just as Warrington’s rugby league team are The Wire, Scunthorpe United FC are nicknamed The Iron, and for much the same reason.

Until the mid 1800s, Scunthorpe was a sparsely populated rural area. Then someone (actually a Conservative MP, aristocrat and landowner, Roland Winn) discovered ironstone on his estate near the town and the wheels of heavy industry rolled into motion. 

From the 1860s on, the growth of the town paralleled the growth of the iron and steel smelting and manufacturing industries. In 1852, the population of Scunthorpe was 1,245;  in 1901 it was 11,167; and in 1941 it had reached 45,840. Now it’s 81,576. As late as the 2010s steel was still the town’s biggest employer.

The industry itself has been in a state of constant ebb and flow. By the 1930s there were three main firms operating in Scunthrope. In 1967 these were consolidated and nationalised as British steel. In 1988 British Steel was privatised and later became Corus. This in turn was bought by Tata Steel in 2007, who then sold it to Greybull Capital in 2016. In 2019 British Steel Limited entered insolvency. It was bought up by the Chinese Jingye Group with the promise of heavy investment. But it’s not looking too healthy at the moment.

Find out more and apply

Image credits |  Glen Symes, Shutterstock; Electric Egg, Shutterstock; darksoul72, Shutterstock; Nordroden, Shutterstock; Michael715, Shutterstock