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News and Features from Harborough District Council - January 2021
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Councillor Phil King
Leader of Harborough District Council
A tough start to new year but we can get through it
Happy new year and welcome to our first residents' newsletter of 2021. It's fair to say it hasn't been the start to the year many of us would have hoped for with another national lockdown in place due to the spread of coronavirus. 

Cases of Covid-19 have risen rapidly and we find ourselves once again being told to stay at home. 

We also need to follow the three simple rules - washing hands several times a day for at least 20 seconds, wearing face coverings if you can where required, and maintaining 2 metres physical distance between ourselves and those outside of our bubble. 

These simple rules make it extremely difficult for the virus to spread between people, and are effective in keeping infection rates down. 

I fully understand that it is a difficult time but it is important we also look after our mental, as well as physical, well-being - and there is free support and advice available - see below.

It is also important to remain positive that staying at home now will greatly improve things as we move forward in the year. Vaccines are being rapidly rolled out by the NHS which will also help break the spread and impact of this dreadful disease.

We all need to do our bit and protect our family, friends and the people around us. 

You must follow the rules; it's down to us. Please stay safe, and look out for each other.

Cllr Phil King
Community hub is still here to help vulnerable
The community hub, set up by the Council earlier this year to support residents during the coronavirus pandemic, is continuing to help people who are struggling due to Covid-19.

With the country once again in national lockdown and cases of Covid-19 still prevalent, vital support is being given to those who need it across the Harborough district.

Whilst many people have been able to establish support networks since the first lockdown, residents can still refer themselves, a family member, or someone in the community who needs help to the community hub
Support is being delivered directly by Harborough District Council or voluntary and community partners, with priority given to people who are most vulnerable and in urgent need of help and support, such as those over the age of 70; people with underlying health conditions; and families who are struggling to cope.

To refer yourself or someone you are concerned about visit: 

If you cannot use the online forms please email: or call 01858 821 232 9am-5pm
It is crucial we protect each other during lockdown to help save lives
As we enter our second week of national lockdown, following the announcement by the Government, due to the spread of coronavirus, the message is stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives.

Most Council services are continuing as normal but some services are affected and you can get the latest information on this on our website.

The Government guidelines for Harborough District, and the rest of the UK, are as follows:

Meeting friends and family
  • You must not leave or be outside your home except where necessary
  • You may only leave the home for a limited number of reasons - including shopping for necessities, going to work (if you cannot do so from home), seeking medical assistance, or avoiding domestic abuse
  • If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work
  • You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with
  • You may exercise outdoors on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once a day, and you should stay in your local area
  • You should stay two metres apart from anyone not in your household, or one metre with precautions (such as a face covering)
  • Some support groups can continue with up to 15 participants - but they must not take place in a private home
  • The police can fine you up to £10,000 for taking part in illegal gatherings
Going to work
  • You may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home
  • If your job involves working in other people's homes - for instance, as a cleaner, a tradesman or a childminder - you can continue to do so
  • Schools and nurseries
  • Primary schools, secondary schools and colleges will closed to most pupils until February half-term, although they will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of key workers
  • Nurseries and childminders can carry on operating
  • Only a limited number of students will return to university or college for face-to-face teaching before mid-February. These include those studying medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, teacher-training, or social
Leisure time
  • Pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes are closed. Delivery and takeaway of food and non-alcoholic drinks can continue until 23:00 each evening
  • Alcoholic drinks can continue to be delivered but can no longer be sold as takeaway from pubs or bars.
  • Indoor gyms and sports facilities remain closed
  • Outdoor facilities, including gyms, tennis courts and lidos must also close
  • Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is allowed to continue
  • All indoor entertainment venues including theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, are closed
  • Outdoor playgrounds may stay open
  • Animal attractions such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves must close
  • Hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for a limited number of reasons - for instance, where guests are unable to return to their main home, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing
  • All non-essential shops must close, although they may operate click-and-collect and delivery services
  • Close contact services, such as hairdressing, tanning, nail and beauty salons must close, along with tattoo parlours, spas, and massage parlours - these services should not be provided in other people's homes
  • Shops that can remain open include supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and off-licences
  • Petrol stations, automatic car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops and taxi firms may remain open
  • Moving house will still be allowed, and you will still be able to view properties, while following Covid guidelines
  • Places of worship remain open for communal services
  • Funerals can take place with a maximum of 30 people - wakes or other ceremonial events are allowed with a maximum of six people
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can only take place in exceptional circumstances (for example, where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover) and only six people can attend
  • You are not allowed to travel abroad, unless for exceptional reasons.
  • Visits to care homes can take place with social distancing arrangements in place. Close-contact indoor visits are not allowed
You must wear a face covering in those areas where this is mandated unless you have an exemption. We recommend that the use of reusable face coverings, but if you use disposable face masks please ensure they are disposed of safely and appropriately in a bin.

Symptoms and booking a test

The main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
  • Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
  • You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
  • Anyone in your support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started
To book a Covid-19 test visit or telephone: 119.

It's really important that we all play our part in reducing the spread. Please remember:
  • HANDS - Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
  • FACE - Cover your face in enclosed spaces, especially where social distancing may be difficult
  • SPACE - Stay two metres apart where possible, or one metre with extra precautions in place
Coronavirus and mental well-being

Many of us are struggling with how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting ourselves and our loved ones. Those who are already living with mental health problems are facing extra challenges too. 
You find reliable information and tips to help you cope during this time via the website below.

Test and trace isolation payment scheme

Remember, if your earnings earnings are affected by having to self-isolate, where eligible, residents can apply for a test and trace support payment of £500 for the period of isolation at

Beware vaccine scams

Remember, the Covid-19 vaccine is only available on the NHS and is free of charge. If you receive an email, text message or phone call purporting to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details, or pay for the vaccine, this is a scam. Read advice about this here.
Keep supporting local traders and businesses online during lockdown
Despite many businesses being forced to temporarily close due to the national lockdown, our Shop Local campaign continues to champion local businesses who are passionate about what they do.

It is still possible to continue to support your favourite local businesses across various platforms.

Find out what services businesses across the Harborough district are providing online, ready to accommodate the needs of each of their customers.

Visit our Shop Local webpage at to discover what is available in our main towns Lutterworth and Market Harborough as well as the local villages.

A reminder that Harborough Market is also open for food and essentials only.

You can also follow our social media pages, for a day-to-day look at local businesses which are running restricted services such as local delivery, click and collect and takeaway, throughout lockdown.

Follow us!
Twitter: @HarboroughVisit
Facebook: Visit Harborough District
Instagram: @VisitHarboroughDistrict, follow the #visitharborough hashtag for even more from local businesses.
Man caught red-handed on CCTV illegally dumping tyres in district  
A man, who dumped some old tyres in a country lane in the Harborough district, has been fined after being caught in the act on covert CCTV cameras.

The man, from Ullesthorpe, has been ordered to pay £400 by Harborough District Council after a number of mismatched used tyres were dumped in a lane to the north of Market Harborough on 2 December 2020.

The man claimed that someone had borrowed his car to dispose of the waste, but he was fined as it is the 'registered keeper' of the vehicle who is liable.

In last month's newsletter we featured an article about a fly-tipper who was caught red-handed by a police helicopter, and later fined £400 by the Council.

The Council's successful anti-fly-tipping campaign 'Tip Off' is also up for two awards this month at the National Recycling Awards.

Councillor Jonathan Bateman' Harborough District Council's Cabinet lead for environment and waste, said: "We have said it before, and we'll say it again, if you fly-tip in this district you never know who is watching. We deploy mobile CCTV cameras at fly-tipping hot-spots and also get tip offs from the public about incidents which have resulted in a number of fines over the previous few months. Huge credit to our enviro-crime team for securing another fine."

Householders are responsible for any waste produced on their property and its legal disposal.

There are several ways to dispose of the waste that cannot go into wheeled bins:
  • Take large waste items to your local recycling and waste site (tip)
  • Use a licensed waste carrier to remove your waste - it is a legal requirement to use a licensed waste carrier (you can also check if someone has a licence on the Environment Agency website)
  • Our large waste items for collection service allows for up to three large household items or 12 sacks of waste to be collected for a charge of £35.04.
Find out more at
You could save £££s on energy bills with the Big Community Switch 
Hundreds of Harborough district residents have already saved money on their energy bills and you could start 2021 by doing the same.
Energy switching is not a new concept; however, many people have not switched in the last three years. This means your supplier is likely to have defaulted you on to a 'Standard Variable Tariff', which typically is the most expensive on offer.
Collective energy switching, through the Big Community Switch, uses the bargaining power of the number of people in our community to get a competitive offer for you.

The service is free, and there is no obligation to switch to the winning supplier once you receive your personal offer.
The last auction successfully helped more than 600 Harborough district households switch energy providers to save money on their bills.
All of the tariffs secured are now 100% renewable electricity and over 400 households in Harborough district have already signed up for the current auction.
Don't miss out - register online by completing the simple registration form which takes less than five minutes.

For more details visit or telephone 0800 048 8285 Mon-Fri 8:00am - 5:30pm
The actual auction itself will take place on 9 February 2021 and people who have signed up will start to receive their offer from 22 February 2021.

You will have until 23 March 2021 to accept your offer.
More prizes to be won
You're in with a chance of winning some extra add-on prizes next month if you play the popular Harborough Lotto.

The Harborough Lotto is a great way to support local good causes of your choosing, and win some cash prizes too.

You could also win 1 of 5 £100 gift vouchers for Etsy, which supports independent sellers (look out for the hashtag #standwithsmall) and £100 for your supported good cause in the national draw on the 27 February 2021. 

Remember, there are also weekly cash prizes up to £25,000.

For every £1 lotto ticket sold 60p goes directly to local charities, voluntary organisations and other good causes.

Players who buy a lottery ticket online will be able to nominate which good cause they would like to support.
Buy tickets, or register a good cause at

Not online? Call 01858 405050 to get tickets or register a cause.

Players must be 16 years old or over.
Don't put up with hate
No-one should be subjected to hate, hostility or prejudice which is why we are reminding people how to report it.

A hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim, or anybody else, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone's:
  • race
  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity
  • disability
These are known as 'protected characteristics'. A hate crime can include verbal or online abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and damage to property.

A hate incident is behaviour which isn't a crime but which is perceived by the victim, or anybody else, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on the above characteristics.

You can report a hate crime to police on 101 or if the crime is happening or someone is in immediate danger call 999.

You can also report hate crimes or hate incidents online at
Boost activity in 2021
Despite being in lockdown, there are still ways to get active in 2021.

Be sure to check out the website of your local Sports Alliance, Active Harborough District at
There you will find information about indoor and outdoor activities as well as information on groups and clubs for after lockdown ends.

There is a comprehensive self-help section with information to help support your mental and physical health and wellbeing
Whilst exercising, be sure to stick to the social distancing guidelines – keep an eye on the Government website for up to date information. If you have Covid symptoms, don't leave your home to exercise.
If you missed it, you can also catch up with our countdown of the Active Harborough Heroes 2020 – recognising a large cross section of young people, teams, clubs, coaches and members of the public who went the extra mile in the Harborough District to help people keep physically active, raise money for the NHS and much much more.
For more information, contact
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