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News and Features from Harborough District Council - April 2021
Harborough District News
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Councillor Phil King
Leader of Harborough District Council
We will work with you to take cautious steps to normality 
Just recently, we marked the milestone of one year since the first day of the coronavirus lockdown.

Undoubtedly, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on everybody's lives. I know that some people sadly have lost loved ones. Some people have been furloughed or lost their jobs.

It has been an extremely difficult and challenging time. I thank everyone who has done their bit to support their community during this time.

A year since the pandemic first started to affect all our lives, it is important that we look forward.

Over half of adult Harborough residents have now received the Covid-19 vaccination, which is an excellent achievement for all involved – health staff and volunteers.  Thank you to residents who have taken up the offer of a vaccination when they have been called.
I have now had my first Covid-19 vaccine jab and I encourage everyone to get the vaccination when invited to do so.

Whilst the road to recovery may be steady, and in some ways a cautious one, as we all follow the Government's roadmap for exiting lockdown, Harborough District Council will do everything we can to help our residents and businesses to get back to normality.
Census workers set to go door to door
Following Census Day on Sunday 21 March, Census Officers recruited by the Office for National Statistics are now working across the district, knocking on doors to follow up non-responders and helping the public with queries.
All officers will carry official identification cards which will have a photograph and the officer's name.

The officers will work through the day but will not call before 9am or after 8pm.
If you are concerned that somebody is not a Census Officer, you can call the number on the critical workers letter that the officer can show you. Census officers will never ask for any money or bank details.
Visit for further information.
Huge cash boost for exciting projects as grants shared across district 
A diverse range of community projects have received a welcome financial boost – totalling more than £130,000.

Harborough District Council agreed, on 23 March 2021, to allocate the funding to a number of exciting projects across the Harborough district.

The projects are benefiting from Section 106 money which is provided by developers for community projects and social infrastructure in locations where development has taken place.

Those projects which have successfully applied for funding are:
  • Claybrooke Joint Burial Board – £31,775.74 for land adjacent to the cemetery to provide future burial space
  • Fleckney Parish Council – £6,800 to seek planning advice for a new modern sporting facility which could also host theatre, drama and dance groups in the village, as well as plays, shows and cinema nights
  • Fleckney Parish Council – £18,287.86 for a secure storage unit for the local football club
  • Great Bowden Parish Council – £62, 895.76 to enhance a recently-purchased recreation ground with full wheelchair accessibility, new play equipment and eco-friendly LED lighting
  • Fleckney Parish Council on behalf of the allotment association – £2,135 for path improvements for allotment plots
  • South Kilworth Village Hall Committee – £21,156.00 for improvements to multi-purpose changing rooms, Bowls Club room and toilet facilities
  • Lutterworth Town Council – £2,031.37 for improved security gate and fencing at the allotments site
  • Lutterworth Town Council – £2,475.00for security shutters for the pavilion on Coventry Road park
  • Lutterworth Town Council – £3,951.04 for improvements to the Memorial Garden including seating and refurbishment of memorial.
  • South Kilworth Village Hall Committee – £10,931.09 to refit the kitchen in the Village Hall and bar improvements 
Cllr Simon Whelband, Harborough District Council's Cabinet lead for Wellbeing, Communities & Housing said: "This is a significant amount of money for some really exciting projects across the district at a time when funding is often hard to come by. These projects will provide much-needed activities, facilities and infrastructure to benefit residents in both the short and longer term."

Organisations from areas with Section 106 funding are invited to submit grant applications. Details of these areas are available on the council's website at        
Next steps in Government's road map as easing of lockdown continues
From 29 March, outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households will be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
The 'stay at home' rule will end on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.

Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme. The government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel which will report on 12 April.
Step 2, which will be no earlier than 12 April, will see the opening of non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons; and public buildings, including libraries and community centres.

Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms will also reopen (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups); as will most outdoor attractions and settings including outdoor hospitality venues, zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas.
Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.

Hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors at Step 2 and there will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew, although customers must order, eat and drink while seated ('table service'). Wider social contact rules will apply in all these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households.
While funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners, the number of people able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15.
Read about the proposed next steps in the Government's roadmap.
Call for over 50s to book Covid vaccination

The NHS is now inviting people aged 50 and above to book their Covid vaccination.
You can book online at or call 119 free of charge between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.
Additional locations, include hospitals in Leicester and Feilding Palmer Hospital in Lutterworth, are now available. To book an appointment at one of these please visit and click on 'Coronavirus vaccinations'. Alternatively you can wait for your GP to contact you.
If you are not eligible yet please wait to be contacted. The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine.
Customer services reopens for appointments

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have continued to provide help, support and advice to our customers through our website, by email and by telephone. Like other councils, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a change in how our customers access our services. For example, when we opened the face-to-face service last year during July and November, we had 27 appointments in total, most of which were customers who needed specialist help to resolve complex enquiries. We also saw an increase in emails to customer services mailbox, a reduction in telephone calls to our contact centre and an increase in visits to our website.  
To support our planning to come out of lockdown, the Council is working in line with the Government's 'road-map' and we are hoping to open our customer service appointment service from week commencing 12 April 2021 (dependent on Covid-19 rates).
Unfortunately, anyone dropping-in to the Council offices without an appointment will not be seen, unless they need urgent help or support, such as homelessness, facing eviction etc. 

Appointments will be offered on Mondays and Wednesdays between 10am and 12noon and between 1pm and 4pm. You can book an appointment online at or by calling our contact centre on 01858 828282, which is open Monday to Friday: 8.45am-5pm, except for Wednesday: 9:30am-5pm.  Appointments will not be made for payments only; these should be completed online, by telephone or through the post office or direct debit if this is available.
We want to make sure that vulnerable people can get the help and support they need. If you, or someone you know, needs help with essential food or support and do not have family members, friends or neighbours who can help they can contact the Community Hub to see how we can help at
Keep updated on the Council's services at 
Inaugural jobs event aiming to get people into work and increase skills  
We have had a great response to our first ever Harborough Jobs Week, which is currently underway and running until Sunday 28 March 2021 across the Council's website and social media platforms.

Job seekers can get involved and search for local vacancies, free employment support opportunities and a series of webinars aiming to identify your skills, job searching, CV skills and Interview skills.

The week is part of the Council's ongoing support to help residents and local businesses recovering from the effects of the pandemic restrictions.

We are working with a range of partners, including local Job Centre Plus, Department for Work and Pensions,  local Work and Skills Forum, and local businesses, to deliver the week.

Visit the jobs week webpage now:
'Waste warrior' Daisy tackling litter and keeping environment clean  
When most children write to Father Christmas they ask for the latest toy – but not Daisy French-Hewitt – she asked for a litter picker!

She even told Father Christmas, in person, that she wanted a litter picker when she met him in his grotto whilst visiting the Buttercups Tearoom in Billesdon.

The four-year old is so passionate about collecting litter and helping clean up the environment she has earned the nickname 'Waste Warrior'.

Daisy is often seen with her family on litter picks close to her home in Thurnby, and has even encouraged some of her friends to help.

Her family has also been linking up with Harborough District Council when Daisy spotted a large and heavy discarded piece of plastic, which she was concerned may harm wildlife, so officers attended to quickly remove it.
Daisy's proud mum Sophie said: "Daisy told Santa she wanted to go litter picking on Christmas Day but as I'm a key worker I had to work part of Christmas Day, so we weren't able to go. However, I did promise I would take her on Boxing Day and we did just that when she managed to fill a whole bin bag full of pizza boxes, cans, plastic bottles, balloons and face masks. This is where Daisy's Waste Warrior journey began. Now, every time we go out Daisy will point out litter and shout 'Mum, look, rubbish!'"

Since her first, Daisy has done lots more litter picks, including some at the local doctors, pub, park and care home. She also collected litter at a local school and the headteacher wrote her a thank you card. Sophie said that her daughter has had "lovely support and encouragement" from family, friends and especially her pre-school.

Her pre-school surprised Daisy with a personal hi-vis jacket. Not only did it have her name and 'Keeping the future Clean' on but it was sparkly all over!
She's also been given a reusable litter picking bag, just the perfect size for a four year old.

Cllr Jonathan Bateman, Harborough District Council's Cabinet lead for Environment and Waste said: "What an inspiration Daisy is; she is clearly passionate about the environment and keeping our beautiful district tidy. Sadly people drop litter, but thankfully people like Daisy are showing that they care for the environment and are leading by example; well done!"

In Daisy's own words, she says: "I love people being proud of me and I love litter picking."
He mum said: "We are all so very proud of her and I can't wait to watch her change the world one litter pick at a time."

Harborough District Council works with its contractor FCC Environment to carry out regular litter picks across all 230 square miles of the Harborough district.
We also support volunteer groups with litter picks; although due to current demand on resources we ask that any collected litter is placed in the appropriate domestic bins if possible.  
Time to think how to make your vote count at forthcoming elections
It's now just over a month until the Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner election, Leicestershire County Council elections, District Council by-election for Little Bowden Ward, and Neighbourhood Planning Referendums for Fleckney and Husbands Bosworth – all taking place on Thursday 6 May 2021.

We are working hard to ensure that these elections go ahead in a Covid-secure way.

Voters who attend a polling station will be asked to observe the Covid-19 guidelines in place at the time, as well as the advice given by our poll staff.

Please make sure you wear a face covering during your visit to the polling station and bring your own pen or pencil to mark your ballot paper.

If you would prefer to vote by post or proxy (someone voting on your behalf), and have not already got an absent vote in place, it is not too early to apply.  
Application forms are available from the Electoral Commissions Website at or by contacting Elections Team by email at

You can also call 01858 821372. The deadline for applying to vote by post is 20 April 2021 and for a proxy vote its 27 April 2021.

You need to be on the electoral register to vote in these elections. To register visit or contact the Elections Team. The deadline to register to vote is 19 April 2021.

If you are interested in standing as a candidate at any of these elections or would like more information visit our website
Winning big while helping good causes as fourth lotto player scoops £2k 
We recently we celebrated our fourth supporter winning £2,000 on the Harborough Lotto. This time, the winner was supporting Market Harborough Rugby Club.

We caught up with them and asked what encouraged them to play the Lotto leading to their win.

They said: "When I heard about the Harborough Lotto from one of the volunteers at the rugby club, it sounded such a great idea, because by spending as little as a £1 a week we can have the chance to win prizes but also the good cause I support gets some much-needed funds and other good causes do too. Unlike many other lotteries, with this one I know all the money is staying local."
"I chose the rugby club as my good cause because it is run almost entirely by volunteers from our community and thanks to these volunteers it provides its services cheaply to local people, giving children the chance to get active, learn the sport, form friendships and develop through sport, then as adults they can continue playing and staying fit, enjoying the game and socialising with their mates, but it has costs and relies largely on sponsors and fundraising to operate."

"Particularly due to Covid, all our sports clubs will need people to support them if they still want to use them as many will have lost income and with the sponsors in some cases also struggling, who knows what the future will bring financially…but it is likely to be more difficult. Now more than ever, I would encourage people to get behind the good causes in our district."

"The Harborough Lotto is a great way of giving money back to the cause of your choice whilst also having the chance to win, as happened to me. As the website says, play the lottery, support Harborough District - it's that simple! I didn't expect to win when I bought my tickets for the Harborough Lotto, really I was supporting a good cause but to win too makes it even better."

To be in with a chance of winning up to £25k while supporting a good cause in your local area, or to register a good cause, please visit: or call 01858 405050.
If you're serving food to the public - remember you must be registered
Did you know that anyone providing food to the public, or to another business, must be registered with the relevant council where the food is produced or handled?
To be a food business you don't need to 'sell' food, just provide it. All food businesses must be registered, whether-or-not they are charging for the food. This is to ensure food handling is managed safely and consumers are protected from food poisoning and food borne illness. It covers businesses of any size and includes all food products, whether open or sealed, from sweets, cakes, and afternoon teas to roast dinners, takeaways and meat products.

Over the past year the number of people selling food products has seen a sharp increase, and it's really important that these businesses are registered so that they can trade legally and hygienically.

The good news is that registration is very simple do to and is free online at

Once successfully registered you will receive a confirmation email for your records. If you are based in Harborough district, a food hygiene visit will be made by an officer from Harborough District Council's Food Safety team, and where relevant a food hygiene rating will be awarded. Ratings range from 0 to 5 and you can check out a food businesses food hygiene rating at: 
To get started you can download our food business starter pack here 

This gives you further information and advice to help ensure you are legally compliant.
For more information on setting up your own food business in Harborough district, please visit:

As a new business, you might also find it useful to visit  

This website provides details about how to contact our specialist Harborough district Economic Development team to discuss your business needs and discover how we can assist you overcome your business challenges to reach your goals. Support includes advice on identifying local suppliers, locating potential premises, help with business expansion plans, exploring funding opportunities and signposting to relevant local business networks.
New county website will have info on everything from A-roads to Zebras!
Leicestershire County Council has launched a new website – Leicestershire Highways: A Roads to Zebras – to provide residents and communities with key information and enable them to make informed decisions about potential solutions that would benefit their community. 
The county council's highway's team receives a high number of enquiries about a variety of road-related issues, many of which relate to parking, speeding and pedestrian safety. This new website has been designed to be easy to use ad provides residents with information about traffic calming measures, crossings, HGV weight limits and restrictions, parking and school parking.
Visit the website at
The website is still in development and the county council is inviting residents to send their feedback and suggestions to
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