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News and Features from Harborough District Council - February 2021
Harborough District News
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Councillor Phil King
Leader of Harborough District Council 
We will get through these challenging times together
We are living in very uncertain times; as Leader of the Council I am acutely aware of the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on people and the challenges it is creating for residents, businesses and for the Council.

At this time of year we, as a Council, are required to put forward proposals for a balanced budget. We are facing a significant funding gap of £4million which is partly, but not wholly, a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but also of the increasing costs of delivering our services and reductions in Government funding. 

Having frozen our share of the Council tax last year, and in a number of previous years, we are having to make the difficult decision to ask for an increase in our share of the bill. 

We want to continue to provide the highest quality services and are asking for your views on this. 

Finally, I would like to thank everyone for continuing to follow the lockdown rules and doing all you can to prevent the spread of coronavirus. We are in difficult times, but we can meet the challenges we face, and overcome them, together.

Cllr Phil King
A say on planning
A reminder you have just a few more days to share your views on our three planning consultations.

We are looking to create clearer guidance on what is acceptable development and what to submit with a planning application. 

The three consultations are on the Development Management Supplementary Planning Document (which provides guidance on what is acceptable in planning), the 
Local Validation List (a checklist of what to submit as part of a planning application), and Planning Obligations (or Section 106) guidance which sets out how the Council secures community infrastructure and affordable housing through developer contributions.

Find out more and have your say before 5 February 2021 at
Have your say on Council's budget priorities for challenging year ahead
You have until Monday 1 February 2021 to have your say on Harborough District Council's budget proposals.
The Council has set out its budget priorities for 2021/22 as it looks to address an annual budget gap of around £4million.
The £4million gap has resulted from the ever-increasing demand for services, reductions in Government grant, and unavoidable cost increases.
On top of this, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has meant the Council has lost significant revenue and had to provide services in new and innovative ways, with a cost to the Council of approximately £2.3m. Whilst this cost has been partly met by direct government support, it still leaves a deficit to the Council of nearly £1million (£976k).
To address these challenges, in 2020 the Council launched Budget Challenge 2025 (BC25) which aims to 'transform' services, and ensuring that sufficient financial resources are allocated to key priority areas.
Savings have been, and are continuing to be, identified in all Council service areas. The Council will also look at opportunities to provide long-term income to boost financial sustainability and resilience.
Proposals have also been put forward to increase Harborough District Council's share of the Council tax by £5 a year, per Band D household, in the Harborough district. This is currently the maximum amount permitted by Government.
People can have their say on the proposals until Monday 1 February 2021.
Share your views at 
We must continue to work together to reduce coronavirus rates locally
As you may have seen in the media recently, the Government has extended the national lockdown period until at least 8 March 2021.

Rates of Covid-19 remain high and it is crucial that we all follow the national lockdown rules of not leaving our homes unless necessary.

We should also remember hands-face-space and to wash our hands thoroughly and regularly, wear a face mask in public indoor spaces and keep at least two metres physical distance between ourselves and anyone outside of our bubble.

We understand this can be a worrying time, and spending time in lockdown is challenging at the best of times.

It is important to look after our mental well-being and there is free support available.

The NHS Every Mind Matters campaign provides excellent resources to help those people in the district who might be struggling. 

You can get online support with coping with loneliness, money worries, mental well-being while staying at home, being more physically active, and helping look after children and young people's mental health.
More than £2million handed to local businesses affected by shutdown
During the national lockdown, we have continued to work hard to get grants to businesses in the Harborough district affected by the restrictions. 

We have so far paid out £2.246m to 333 local businesses.

We received the allocation from Government on Friday 15 January and started making payments on Monday 18 January. 
  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG-closed) (Tier 3 Restrictions payments) - £219k to 252 businesses 
  • Christmas Support Payment for Wet-Led Pubs - £44k to 44 businesses 
  • ARG – discretionary grant - £255k to 195 businesses  
We are also distributing daily test and trace support payments and have started the Tier 4 payments (for the period 31 December to 4 January) so far totalling £55k to 189 businesses.

Find out more about Covid-19 business grants on our website.
Restored shop sign in high street offers glimpse into the town's past
Above: the eye-catching restored sign and, below, as it was before the restoration project
The past has been brought to life by a charity shop in Market Harborough town centre with the restoration of an historic sign.
British Heart Foundation, in the High Street, has carefully repainted the former Freeman Hardy Willis sign on the Coventry Road side of its building which had faded over time.

The building was formerly a Freeman Hardy Willis shop (see how the building used to look on this website of old photographs).
Harborough District Council's conservation team, which were consulted, gave the project the thumbs up and have praised the finished work.
John O'Reilly, BHF's Regional Manager, said: "At the British Heart Foundation we believe that so many things deserve a second chance to be appreciated, so it's fantastic to see this historic sign restored to its former glory.
"In line with Government guidelines, our High Street store is currently closed to protect the public from the spread of Covid-19. However, we are really looking forward to when we can welcome customers back through our doors to continue raising vital funds for research into heart and circulatory diseases."
Freeman Hardy Willis specialised in boots and shoes and was established, as a company, in 1875, opening stores across the country. Its stores closed nationally in the mid-1990s.

British Heart Foundation opened its Market Harborough branch in 1992.
Cllr Jonathan Bateman, the Council's Cabinet lead on heritage and conservation, said: "This is a welcome restoration project which adds to the heritage of the historical town of Market Harborough. We have similar signs in the district – most notably in Market Harborough on the side of the Monks store next to the River Welland in Northampton Road – but it is great that this sign has been restored to complement the town centre's other historical points of interest such as the Old Grammar School and St Dionysius' Church."
Do you have any memories of Freeman Hardy Willis in the town? Let us know by emailing
Council wins coveted national award for fly-tipping campaign success
Harborough District Council has won a coveted National Recycling Award for a successful campaign dedicated to tackling fly-tipping.
The results of the National Recycling Awards were revealed on 27 January 2021 during a virtual ceremony where the recycling sector's leading lights gathered online to celebrate the industry's achievements.
Harborough District Council has won in the Campaign of the Year (up to £20k) category for its Tip Off campaign and was praised by the National Recycling Awards expert judging panel.
The judging panel said the campaign "demonstrated direct intervention into a critical issue, had a big impact and showed value for money in an effective campaign. It is a good example of taking on a challenging issue and getting the community involved."
The Tip Off campaign aims to increase awareness of fly-tipping, and encourage reporting, and has significantly reduced incidents in the Harborough district and led to a number of prosecutions and fines for culprits.

In 2018/19 there were 728 incidents of fly-tipping reported in the Harborough district. Following the re-launch of Tip Off that figure fell dramatically in 2019/20 to 484 incidents. And currently, for the 2020/21 period (up to December), the number has fallen further to 381 incidents.

The Council works closely with its contractor FCC Environment around evidence-gathering from fly-tips and has taken a proactive approach to removing fly-tips quickly where possible. There has also been an extensive campaign on social media and in newsletters and updates when people are fined or convicted of fly-tipping offences.

In the 'Campaign of the Year' category, Harborough District Council had tough competition from Ansa Environmental Services, Bristol Waste Company, Binn Group and Speak, Viridor, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Western Civic Amenity Site Board, Isle of Wight Council, TRAID, Veolia, New West End Company and Westminster City Council.
Boundary changes
Changes to parish boundaries in the Harborough district will now take place after public feedback.
All parishes in the Harborough district have been reviewed as part of a Community Governance Review to ensure they continue to best meet the needs of the local community.
The changes will be in place for the next parish council elections due in 2023.
The changes include making alterations to the parish boundaries between Lubenham and Market Harborough, Kibworth Beauchamp and Kibworth Harcourt, Fleckney and Saddington, removing the parish warding in Thurnby and Bushby and increasing the number of parish councillors for Claybrooke Magna and Husbands Bosworth.

Read more about the changes on our website.

Tackling rural crime 
If you have concerns about rural crime you can register to attend an event looking at tackling issues in the district.

Themes at the Rural Crime Event will include hare coursing, footpath misuse, and stack fires as well as a presentation from Crimestoppers. 

It takes place on Monday 1 February 2021.Register in advance by emailing Kay Aitkin at 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting.
Help to be safe online
You can join a free webinar on 9 Feb or 11 Feb to get tips on being safe online as part of Safer Internet Day. Learn how to protect your accounts, use social media safely, online banking and shopping, keeping children safe online, and fraud and scams.

Reaching out to help local farmers 
Did you know that farmers and those working in agriculture can get useful support and advice in the current challenging times. 

The volunteer-led charity Farming Community Network (FCN) - established 25 years ago - works Government, NFU and other organisations to raise awareness about farming issues and concerns.

It also offers comprehensive information, via the Farmwell section of its website, at to help farmers with business resilience and advice on retirement and succession, animal welfare and subsidies, or offer advice on physical or mental well-being. 

To find out more about the charity, how to access support for farming friends or family, or if you are interested in volunteering for the network or making a donation, please contact
Green bin collections 
From 1 February 2021, you can sign up to have your garden waste collected by the Council.

The popular garden waste collections operate from March to December each year, with a one-off Christmas tree collection for subscribers in January.

The service runs every fortnight during the spring, summer and autumn months.

The green wheeled bin can be used to dispose of loose green waste, grass cutting, leaves, flowers, weeds, clippings, twigs, small branches without the need for residents to take these items to the tip.

The new subscription charge will be £55 per year per bin.

There will be no bin sticker this time; due to new in-cab technology.

Sign up at:
Kickstart into workplace
Thanks to a fantastic response by local employers, more than 30 unemployed young people across the Harborough district are set to gain valuable experience in the workplace thanks to a new initiative.

In November 2020, Harborough District Council invited businesses to apply for the national Kickstart scheme which provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit.

After a brilliant response from businesses, more than 30 work experience placements will be created across the Harborough district, giving young people valuable skills.

Young people, nationally, have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, as it impacts on the UK economy.

We will be submitting further applications in the future, so any local employers interested in the scheme, should visit our dedicated webpage at or email
Ready, steady, census
The decennial census is almost upon us.

Households across Harborough district will soon be asked to take part in the nationwide survey of housing and the population.

It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

Information from the digital-first census will help decide how services are planned and funded in your local area.

This could mean things like doctors' surgeries, housing or new bus routes.

Households will receive a letter with a unique access code in the post, allowing them to complete their questionnaire online.

Census day is 21 March 2021.

Follow @Census2021 more information, visit
Making sure you're a priority customer when it comes to energy & water
Did you know you can sign up for a priority service by utility companies?

A Priority Services Register is a free scheme offered by your gas, electricity and water suppliers giving you additional support and special services from each of your suppliers.

Once registered, your supplier tailors their services to meet your needs, for example by providing you with extra help in using your meter. 

Once registered, your supplier tailors their services to meet your needs, for example by providing you with extra help in using your meter. 
You can be added to a Priority Service Register if you are:
  • Pensionable age
  • Disabled
  • Chronically sick
  • Blind or partially sighted
  • Deaf or hearing impaired
  • If you're an expectant mother or have a young child.
  • Temporarily incapacitated due to an illness, circumstance or lifestyle change
  • If you're self-isolating due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
If your supplier knows you have health issues or medical equipment in your home you will be prioritised in the event of a break to your supply.

How your supplier can help you:

The services on offer to you vary depending on your supplier, but may include the following:
  • Providing you with notice if your supply is going to be interrupted
  • Priority reconnection if your supply is interrupted
  • Knock and wait service – the supplier will wait at your address for longer than usual if you need extra time to answer the door
  • Help with reading your meter
  • Supply of bottled water in the event of a disruption to service.
  • Bills sent to a relative, carer or friend to help you check them
  • Free advice on being more energy-efficient
  • Protection from cold callers with a password protection scheme to keep you safe
  • Your bills and meter readings in alternative accessible format.
Register for priority service:

If you wish to sign up for the service you need to contact each of your suppliers as they each hold their customer list. If you change your gas or electric supplier you will have to re-register with the new companies.

You can sign a relative or friend up to this service if you feel they need extra support. You will need their consent and full address to add them to the list.
Next Steps:

Water suppliers: To register you will need to know who your water provider is. To find this out you can put your postcode into this water provider search engine 

Most households in Harborough district are serviced by Severn Trent or Anglian Water.

Sign up here:Or call:
  • Anglian Water: 0800 232 1951
  • Severn Trent: 08457 500 500
Priority Services Registers for your energy supply

Energy suppliers are responsible for distributing electricity or gas across the region.
These service providers also have their own Priority Services Registers.
If you're not sure who your network operator is - you can find out here.
Most households in Harborough district are serviced by the following providers. Click the links to sign up to the Priority Service Register here:Or call:
Cadent gas: 0800 389 8000
Western Power Distribution: 0800 096 3080
UK Power Networks: 0800 3163 105  
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