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News & Features from Harborough District Council - December 2020
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Report flytipping
Councillor Phil King
Leader of Harborough District Council
'We must all do our bit to keep infections rate down'  
The announcement in the last few days about a coronavirus vaccine being rolled out shortly is good news, so it is understandable that Leicestershire, and Harborough district, moving into tier 3 of restrictions is very disappointing.

When the Government took that decision, the local rate was well above the national average; it is still a serious situation and we  need to continue to work together to keep these figures down.

The Government has said there will be a 'meaningful review' of the tiers on 16 Dec so we have an opportunity to move ourselves out of tier 3 - but only if we continue to do our bit and remember 'hands - face - space'.

I am pleased shops and other businesses which have been forced to close during the national lockdown can reopen and we are doing all we can to support them in the busy run up to Christmas and beyond. 

It's fair to say that Christmas will be different this year, but hopefully still restful and enjoyable for residents across the district.

I take this opportunity to wish everyone a peaceful and safe festive season. 

Thank you.

Cllr Phil King 
Do you need support from our local hub?
If you, or someone you know, is vulnerable or self-isolating, and does not have a local support network, you can contact Harborough District Council's Community Hub if you:
  • need immediate help with supplies of essential food
  • are feeling lonely or would like a friendly phone call or text message
  • would like to connect with a local community group
  • need transport to medical appointments
  • would like advice about staying active and exercising
To refer yourself or someone you are concerned about please visit:
If you cannot use the online forms please email: including contact details and support required or call
01858 821 232 from 9am-5pm.
Leicestershire moves into top tier of coronavirus restrictions
Last week, the Government announced that Leicestershire will move into Tier 3 on 2 December after the national lockdown ends.
The latest coronavirus rates show progress but there's still work to do to drive down rates, says Mike Sandys, Leicestershire County Council's Director of Public Health.
He said: "Whatever the level, it's still vital we all do the right thing. There could be tough times ahead in January so let's not undo the good work so far."
On Wednesday 2 December 2020, Leicestershire moved to Tier 3 restrictions, meaning people are not able to meet indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble.
Pubs, cafes and restaurants will have to stay closed.
Non-essential shops are allowed to re-open along with gyms and leisure centres.
The restrictions mean:
  • you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, including private gardens or at most outdoor venues
  • rule of six applies to some outdoor public spaces, including parks, countryside accessible to the public and public gardens
  • essential and non-essential shops will be open
  • gyms and leisure centres will be open
  • pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed unless they are offering takeaway, click-and-collect or delivery services
Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus – including high temperature, cough, loss or change in normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia) – should visit or call 119 to book a test.

A reminder that you can also book and take a test at weekends too. 

Testing site opens at Lutterworth Sport Centre

A temporary coronavirus mobile testing unit has opened this week at Lutterworth Sports Centre car park.
Unlike the Market Harborough walk-through site, this will be a drive through unit. As is standard process, tests will be offered by appointment only, so that the queues to the site are limited.

If you show symptoms of coronavirus, book a test at or call 119.

Town centres reopen 

With non-essential shops and businesses able to reopen from 2 December 2020, measures have been put in place to create a safe and enjoyable shopping experience in the run up to Christmas. 

We are encouraging people to 'shop local' and to visit shops and businesses in a safe way by observing the guidances 'hands, face, space'.
Re-stencilling of town centre has taken place allowing members of the public to queue safely outside shops.

Businesses are also displaying Covid safety posters in their windows and around their stores.

We have also been helping provide Government grants which have been made available to businesses to help offset the impact of the second national coronavirus lockdown.
We're supporting local businesses as town centres reopen to shoppers
Free parking on Saturdays in December
Shoppers are once again set to benefit from free parking on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas in all council-owned car parks in the Harborough district.

The free parking will be available every Saturday on 5, 12, and 19 December 2020.

Read more here.

Shop Local / 25 days of Christmas countdown
Every day in December we will be highlighting a business in the Harborough district as part of our Shop Local campaign.

We are still encouraging businesses to diversify the way they engage with their customers, with the end of the second national lockdown, and have been working with them and sharing online support to help businesses develop a digital presence.

Look out for the 25 Days of Christmas on our Visit Harborough social media page.

Small Business Saturday 
Now in its eighth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday has grown significantly each year with an estimated £800m spent in small businesses across the UK on 2019's Small Business Saturday, with a record turnout of 17.6 million people choosing to shop small on the day.

It takes place on Saturday 5 December 2020 and we are encouraging businesses to register and access the free toolkit and marketing pack to support this campaign.

EU Exit - Time is running out to prepare 

After officially leaving the EU earlier this year, Britain's transition period officially ends on January 1, 2021, bringing with it a raft of new rules that will apply to businesses from that date. 

Businesses should complete the checklist at, to understand what they need to do to be prepared.

The 'time is running out' call comes after only eight per cent of the county's businesses identified EU Exit as a major obstacle on their horizon in a recent phone survey organised by Leicestershire County Council.
Fly-tippers fined after being caught in the act by 'eye in the sky'
A man who illegally dumped rubbish in a country road was caught red-handed – by a police helicopter.

The National Police Air Service (NPAS) were returning from a routine job on 3 November 2020 when they spotted the man disposing of rubbish from his car on the A47 in Tugby.

They followed his vehicle nearly 20 miles via the air, before radioing traffic police on the ground who caught up with the fly-tipper in Queniborough.

The man, who is in his late 20s and from Birmingham, admitted to the fly-tipping offence immediately. His vehicle was also seized by police.

The case was then passed to Harborough District Council's enviro-crime team who fined the culprit £400.

The man told council investigators he had been disposing of household waste for his mother.
Inspector Siobhan Gorman, commander for Harborough and Wigston neighbourhood policing area, said: "This case demonstrates an excellent example of the clear and important communication between our officers and our colleagues at the National Police Air Service (NPAS) and just goes to show that whether NPAS are directly responding to an incident or not, they are alert to criminality activity on the ground. We are pleased to have helped Harborough District Council, through the evidence we gathered, to secure this fine."

Cllr Jonathan Bateman, Harborough District Council' Cabinet lead for Environment & Waste said: "What a fantastic result this is and a great example of partnership working. This sends out a strong warning to potential fly-tippers that you never know who's watching!"

The success comes just a few weeks after a woman from Corby and a woman from Leicester were fined by Harborough District Council for paying someone to remove rubbish which was later fly-tipped.

Cllr Bateman added: "I'd like to praise the actions of Leicestershire Police for being an 'eye in the sky' and helping track down the offender, and our council officers for another successful outcome."

Householders are legally responsible for any waste produced on their property. They have a duty of care to check that any person or business disposing of their waste is legally allowed to do so.

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
School children take part in 'council meeting' to decide on class pet
Children from a school in the Harborough district were given an opportunity to hold a 'council meeting' and put questions to the Chairman of the Council.

Councillor Stephen Bilbie took part in a virtual meeting with Year 6 pupils of Hallaton Primary School, along with their teacher Mrs Elspeth Smith.    

The children have recently been studying Democracy in class and were keen to learn more.
During the meeting Councillor Bilbie talked about his role both as Chairman and as a ward Councillor for Harborough District Council. The pupils then debated, in a Council meeting setting, chaired by Councillor Bilbie, the topic of whether to introduce a pet into their school.  

The meeting heard proposals both 'for' and 'against' and then a vote was taken. The children were then given the opportunity to ask questions.
Although during these unprecedented times it is not possible for schools to visit the Council offices in person, the Chairman said he was delighted to be able to welcome and meet with them virtually.  

Similar meetings are planned with some of the other primary schools in the district over the coming weeks and months.
Toys donations needed to give disadvantaged children festive joy 
This is a photo taken just days in to the launch of the Toys on the Table appeal.
People have already begun dropping off toys at the collection point at Harborough Market.
Toys on the Table is a charity working in the Leicester and Leicestershire area which has enabled thousands of disadvantaged children to receive gifts during the festive period.
Harborough Market, owned by the Council, is serving as an alternative collection point for the appeal as HFM was unable to host the appeal this year due to coronavirus restrictions.
Toys for babies to children aged up to 16 must be new and unwrapped and can be dropped off during the lockdown period with market door staff from Tuesday to Saturday 8am to 3pm, and in the general hall once lockdown ends.
Any age appropriate gifts are also acceptable – not just toys – so books, toiletry sets, hats/gloves etc are all fine, as they specifically struggle for presents in the 14-16 boys age group.
The last day for toys to be dropped off at the market is Christmas Eve before 3pm.
Help shape planning guidance reviews 
People are being invited to have their say on three planning consultations being launched on 11 December.   

We are looking to create clearer guidance for residents, developers and others, on what is acceptable development in the Harborough district and what to submit with a planning application. The Council is also looking to review its guidance for developer contributions to ensure new housing brings improved community facilities and infrastructure.

The three consultations will seek views on Development Management Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), Local Validation List, and Guidance on Planning Obligations.

Have your say on our consultations page from 11 Dec.
Online information for armed forces families
The Armed Forces community across Harborough district are now able to access a range of help and support thanks to improved online resources.

We have updated our website to include new support information for all sectors of the Armed Forces community, including serving Army, Navy and RAF regulars and reservists, veterans and their families.

You'll find information on health, finance, housing, education, support organisations, discounts, offers and more, is available at the click of a mouse.

The new web pages come in response to a military survey held last year which saw the armed forces community share how support could be enhanced and improved.
Comedy festival set to bring back smiles
Calling all venues and comedy performers!

The Leicester Comedy Festival BIG Weekend is returning to the Harborough District in February 2021, albeit with a slightly different feel to previous years.

Whilst the last two years have seen acts performing in venues across the district, Government restrictions may mean that the 2021 event sees less live acts, and more online activities and community engagement.

We now want to hear from comedy acts (amateur or professional), businesses, venues, community groups, schools, and older people's homes, who may wish to be involved.

Contact Sairah Butt by emailing  
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