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Harborough District News.

News and features from Harborough District Council -  December 2023


Phil Knowles
Leader of Harborough District Council

The festivities have got off to a cracking start with the Christmas lights switch-on event in Market Harborough on 18 November which also coincided with the popular Food and Drink Festival, and there's lots more to come!

Free parking on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas in both Lutterworth and Market Harborough aims to help residents to shop locally and support our super local shops and businesses. By shopping locally we can boost the economy in Harborough district and avoid delivery miles incurred from shopping online. 

With the cost of living we take time to think of those who may be struggling. Please remember there are foodbanks and hygiene banks in our district. If you can support them it would be greatly appreciated and if you need to use one or have any worries about the cost of living please find help and signposting below and on our support pages.  

There are a few surveys and consultations at the moment including a call for rural funded EV charging points, your views on proposed changes to the NHS services at Feilding Palmer Hospital in Lutterworth, accessibility of our polling stations and your thoughts on rural crime. Please do take the opportunity to share your views. 

Lutterworth Job Club is being held on Friday 1 December with training providers, careers advisers and local employers in attendance. You don't need an appointment - just drop-in to The Wycliffe Rooms in Lutterworth, anytime between 1pm - 3pm. 

Also find information about Christmas bin collections and recycling advice. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year!



Shop locally this Christmas 


We can all take steps to a more sustainable Christmas by trying to avoid purchasing single-use plastic where possible. Many independent shops, markets and supermarkets now sell recyclable wrapping paper and paper tape.

As the challenge of the cost of living continues there's no need to overspend on gifts this year. There are a wide-range of local independent businesses, talented artisans, crafters, market traders, and food businesses in Harborough district. Let's support local businesses and boost the the Harborough economy rather than buying online from mainstream brands which require miles of travel for deliveries.

Don't panic buy, consider purchasing vouchers for local activities or treats to look forward to in the months to come, and don't forget the huge range of charity shops in our region which support both local and national charities.

Not sure what you can recycle at home? Find guidance about what can be recycled in your blue-lidded wheeled bin.

A reminder that free weekend parking in the run up to Christmas in council-owned car parks in Lutterworth and Market Harborough is on offer this year! 

Free parking will be available on Saturday 2, 9, 16 and 23 December 2023.

Shoppers can park for free for up to four hours in short stay car parks, and all day in long stay car parks in Market Harborough and Lutterworth.

Drivers will still need to register their stay and can simply do this through the Pay by Phone App or by getting a free ticket from the pay and display machines. Drivers must still enter their vehicle registration and are able to benefit from one free parking period per day.

Find a list of carparks here

Christmas opening hours at Harborough District Council 

All our festive information – including Christmas bin collections, recycling advice, Council and market opening hours, severe weather guidance, business support and lots more is available via our dedicated webpage

Harborough District Council will be open until 4pm on Friday 22 December 2023 and will re-open again on Tuesday 2 January 2024. 

The Council's normal out-of-hours service will be operating for emergencies only between these dates.

Residents can continue to access a range of Council information via our website.

If you need urgent NHS mental health support for you or someone else, please call the Mental Health Central Access Point on: 0808 800 3302

This is a free helpline for people of all ages in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Foodbanks and hygiene banks


We understand residents may be concerned about the cost of living so we have put together some information with useful links to a range of different agencies, which may be able to help those needing further support on our cost of living pages.

Foodbanks can supply food parcels to people in need. They are often run by churches, charities and other community groups and are dependent on support from volunteers to provide help with food parcels.

Non-perishable in-date food is donated by the public at a range of places, such as schools, churches and businesses, as well as supermarket collection points. It is then sorted into boxes by volunteers, to be given to people in need.

If you are able to make a donation to a foodbank or hygiene hub you can find local drop off points and items currently needed online. Local foodbanks are listed on our webpage.

Alternatively please find details on how to get support from a foodbank or hygiene bank

Cost of living support

Garden waste collection service updates

Following inclement weather conditions experienced in March 2023, residents who were subscribed to the 2022/2023 garden waste subscription service and who are on the Yellow collection calendar will be receiving a replacement garden waste collection during week commencing 4 December 2023.

If you are unsure of which calendar you are on, you can use our postcode lookup tool online 

If you are on the blue calendar your garden waste collections were not affected. Your last collection before Christmas will be during week commencing 27 November 2023.

As per the terms and conditions of our garden waste collection service, there are no collections during the months of December, January, and February.

We have previously offered a one-off Christmas tree collection in January, however the take up of this service was very low and not feasible to run.

Local charities are working on a Christmas tree collection service which we will support and promote on our web pages and across our social media channels as soon as they have confirmed collection dates.

You could also take your real or artificial Christmas tree to your local tip or compost your cut tree.

Alternatively, you can dispose of your real tree by cutting off the branches and putting it in your garden waste bin for collection in March 2024.

Subscribe to the garden waste collection service in 2024


The Garden Waste collection subscription service will be open from February 2024.

As part of service improvements you no longer need an account or password to sign up to the service and recurring payments are no longer taken automatically.

To get the best value for your subscription please ensure you sign up by 22 March 2024, before the 2024/2025 collection season begins in April 2024.

You can put grass cuttings, leaves, flowers, weeds, twigs and small branches in your green wheeled bin which is collected fortnightly from the kerbside outside your home.

Read more

Share your views on polling stations in Harborough district


As part of a review of polling stations across Harborough district we are interested in residents' views about the current arrangements.

We welcome your views on the suitability and accessibility of our current polling stations and we want to hear people’s views and suggestions. For example, did you find getting into the building difficult or was parking a problem for you on polling day?

Do you find your local polling station accessible and welcoming, or can you suggest a more suitable polling venue in your area?

Please submit your views before 11 December 2023. 

Read more and share your thoughts

Health services review in Lutterworth


The NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland would like to hear from local people in Lutterworth and surrounding areas, and anyone else with an interest, about proposals to maximise access to health services.

To respond to the changing needs of people, the NHS propose to significantly expand the number of health services available in Feilding Palmer Hospital by changing the way space is used in the Hospital.  

The consultation is your chance to find out more about what is being proposed and have your say about important health services in Lutterworth. Feedback will help the NHS to understand what the proposed changes would mean for you and your family and help them to make a final decision.

Find out more

Toys on the Table needs your donations 


The Toys on the Table appeal has launched again this year at Harborough Market.

Local radio station HFM is asking listeners to drop off their new toys at the indoor market, General Hall in Northampton Road, Market Harborough, which will serve as a collection point for the appeal.

Toys for babies, children and teenagers, aged up to 16, can be donated and must be new and unwrapped. For older children, it can also be a gift such as new books, clothing, gloves, hats, toiletries, etc.

Please do not send money or vouchers. 

You can drop off new and unwrapped items to Harborough Market during their opening hours of 8am - 4pm Tuesday - Saturday and 10am - 3pm on Sundays. The collection point is in the general hall near the Northampton Rd entrance and next to Squish Delish (trader).

Toys on the Table is a charity working in Leicestershire which has enabled thousands of disadvantaged children to receive gifts during the festive period.

The charity distributes toys via referrals from social service, foodbanks, schools, and women's aid groups. 

Harborough Market

Make your voice heard


This year’s crime and anti-social behaviour survey for Leicestershire produced by the Violence Reduction Network is now open.

As with previous years we will be using the data for Harborough district from this survey to help shape our Community Safety Action Plan for the district.    

We are interested to get your input wherever you live in the district and want to hear your thoughts good or bad, including if you do not experience any crime or anti-social behaviour.

Take this opportunity to have your say and provide feedback which will affect how services are developed locally. 

The survey closes on 17 December 2023. 

Take the survey

JUST physical activity programme for women to launch in January 


JUST is a physical activity programme that provides the opportunity for women of all ages and abilities to get involved in a range of physical activity sessions across South Leicestershire.

In 2024, JUST will run for 9 weeks, launching on 15 January 2024 .  During this time, there will be a variety of activities and local classes to choose from, with everything from joga to badminton!

Most of our Harborough-based instructors will be offering 3 free sessions or at a minimum one free session. It is a wonderful opportunity to enter a non-intimidating environment that is also welcoming and focuses on supporting women to get active.

Tell your friends and keep an eye out on our social media channels for more information coming in the next few weeks.

Let's make the start to 2024 an active one!

Support for cold homes in Harborough district 


Now it is getting colder and we all think about turning the heating on, the price of energy is a big concern. There are lots of things that can help you stay warm - have a look at Energy Trust's advice for your home 

There are a number of schemes out there for those with the coldest homes, but the different schemes can be confusing. Harborough District Council is working with all of the other councils in Leicestershire as part of the Green Living Leicestershire Partnership and signposts to the most suitable scheme for individual household needs. You can contact them for advice and support. 

The Government’s Home Upgrade Grant supports households that do not have mains gas as a primary heating system such as those with electric, heating oil, LPG or solid fuel heating. Households that only use gas for cooking or secondary room heating can still apply.

Find information on the grants including eligibility criteria or to apply, go online or telephone the project delivery partner YES Energy Solutions on 0330 912 6199, who can support residents with their applications.

We have gathered together some information, and useful links to a range of different agencies, which may be able to help those needing further support with the cost of living.

Cost of living support

Electric vehicle chargers for rural villages


Do you live in a village in rural Harborough district?

We’re looking for sites for new, funded electric vehicle (EV) charging points that could help boost village economy and bring income generation from the chargers for community groups.

Parish councils, community groups and organisations are encouraged to come forward if they think they may have a suitable site for EV chargers. The sites must be accessible to the public (preferably 24/7) and have access to the electricity grid. The applicant must be the site owner or have permission from the owner. 

Installation of the EV charging points will be funded by the council. The ownership will then be handed over to successful organisations to maintain and operate.

This is an ideal opportunity for areas where there are no public EV chargers nearby, or where there are a lot of houses without off street parking & for areas with passing traffic or destination locations such as community sports clubs.

Interested? Find out more today!

Read more

Drop-in workspaces for your business needs


The Harborough Innovation Centre (HIC) is a friendly and professional office hub which offers drop-in rooms that are the perfect place if you need a private workspace for the day.  

The HIC provides:

  • A professional reception team to welcome you and a meet and greet service for any visitors

  • An experienced management team to support you with your flexi-workspace requirements.  

  • High speed Wi-Fi and internet.  

  • On-site café, serving hot and cold drinks and fresh food made daily.  

  • Free on-site car park with (paid) electric vehicle charging points and bike racks. 

Whether you would like a break from working at home or somewhere to concentrate to finish a business plan or university paper, or you need a professional space for small meetings or for interviews, contact our team today for an office tour or to discuss your requirements.

Harborough Innovation Centre

Find career advice at Lutterworth Job Club 


The last job club of the year is being held on Friday 1 December at The Wycliffe Rooms in Lutterworth.

Professional careers advisers will be on hand to provide support in creating CVs, sharing tips on how to prepare for an interview and providing advice about how to find a job that matches your skill set and career goals.

You can also chat with employers who have vacancies on offer locally, and training providers who can help you indentify training opportunities to reach your next step.

No appointment needed - please just pop any time between 1pm - 3pm on Friday 1 December to set you on the best path for 2024!

If you are an employer who would like to book a free space or would like to register your interest for other recruitment events please email

Find out more

Dates for your diary

  • 30 November: Women's Wellbeing Event in Broughton Astley 

  • 1 December: Lutterworth Job Club, The Wycliffe Rooms in Lutterworth

  • 1 December: Market Harborough Christmas Fair 

  • 2 December: Broughton Astley Christmas Fair

  • 2 December: Vegan Market, TheSquare in Market Harborough

  • 7 December: Farmers Market, The Square in Market Harborough

  • 8 December: Women's Wellbeing Event in Market Harborough

  • 9 December: Artisan Fair, The Square in Market Harborough 

  • 16 December: Artisan Fair, The Square in Market Harborough

  • 21 December: Farmers Market, The Square in Market Harborough

Find more events across Harborough district
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