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News and Features from Harborough District Council - May 2021
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Use your vote on election day - 6 May 2021
On Thursday 6 May, you will be able to vote in the Leicestershire County Council elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections.
On election day, 55 councillors (7 in the Harborough district) will be elected to represent their local communities on the County Council for the next four years.

You can view the election notices – including who is standing in the PCC elections – in full here: Election notices 2021 | Harborough District Council.

You can find the list of candidates for the upcoming local elections on the Council's website here
On 6 May, there will also be two neighbourhood plan referendums in the villages of Fleckney and Husbands Bosworth. There will also be a by-election in Little Bowden.
The deadlines to register to vote or apply to vote by post or proxy have now passed.

For those who plan to vote at the polling stations, we are working hard to put measures in place to ensure voting can go ahead in a Covid-secure way.

Voters who attend a polling station are being asked to observe the Covid-19 guidelines in place at the time, as well as the advice given by our poll staff.
Face coverings should be worn when visiting the polling station (unless medically exempt) and voters should bring their own pen or pencil to mark their ballot paper.

Watch a video featuring the Leicestershire's director of public health as he takes a walk through a Covid-secure polling station

The local count for the County Council elections will take place on Friday 7 May and the count for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections will take place on Saturday 8 May. The results will be declared accordingly when known.
Full information is available on our website at
Polling stations with a difference 
This year, many Leicestershire residents will be heading to some rather unusual venues to vote.

Across the county, pubs, churches, libraries, a fire station and even a carpet shop are to be used as polling stations on election day.
Traditionally schools have often been used as voting venues, but this year, returning officers across the country have been urged to find alternative locations where possible in a bid to minimise disruption for pupils who have already missed much time off school due to the pandemic.

Among the unlikely places where votes will be cast this year are the 14th century All Saints Church in Kirkby Mallory; Wigston Fire Station and Keith's Discount Carpet shop in Oadby Road.
Pubs being used as polling stations include The Nags Head at Saltby; the Wheel Inn at Branston; The Crown at Tur Langton and the restaurant of the Dog and Gun in Kilby.
Celebrating 800 years of market as events planned to mark occasion
Whilst Harborough Market traders are celebrating returning to the General Hall, following a four-month closure due to the coronavirus, there is also another reason for celebration for the much-loved town market.

This year marks the 800th anniversary of a Tuesday market being held in Market Harborough.

While King John granted a royal market charter to the town of Market Harborough in 1204, the Tuesday market didn't begin until 1221, when the market day was changed from Monday to Tuesday by King Henry III as a result of a rival market being held in Rothwell on the same day.

King Henry III ordered the Sherriff of Northamptonshire to cease the Monday Rothwell Market, but this didn't happen, leading the King to change the Harborough Market day to Tuesday in 1221.

When medieval townsfolk first began buying and selling produce at that Tuesday market, few would have envisaged that 800 years later, the market would still be at the heart of the town and essential to its very identity.

Eight centuries later the market is operated by Harborough District Council, which acknowledges the key role that the market continues to play in the town.

Sairah Butt, Harborough Market manager, said: "Market Harborough has a proud history, and the market is integral to that. We are honoured to be the current custodians of a long history of markets in the town, from the market through the town's streets in 1221, to the sheep market on the Square, the Butchers Shambles where the Town Hall stands, to the cloth market, the Butter Market under the Grammar School, the 1938 indoor market, and the current indoor market in St Mary's Place. The market through the ages has been a place to buy, to sell, a place for entrepreneurs, and for business start-ups, but at its heart, it is a place for the community to come together."

The indoor market continues to thrive. There are between 100 to 150 businesses trading at the indoor market each week, including several eateries, and a weekly Antiques and Craft Market.

Over recent years the market has hosted the BIG Weekend comedy shows, has seen dinosaurs roaming the halls, held Easter bonnet competitions, regularly hosts school visits, and has won numerous retailer awards including Britain's Best Small Indoor Market in 2016.

A series of celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of the market are planned for later in the year when it safe to do so, so visitors are advised to look for further details on the Market social media.

Harborough Market is currently open Tuesday to Saturday 8am to 4pm, with a monthly Farmers Market on the town Square on the first Thursday of the month.
Boost as shops and eateries reopen but reminders to follow guidelines
As shops, pubs, cafes, restaurants and other businesses across the Harborough district welcome back customers, we are encouraging people to 'shop local'.  

We are also reminding people, as our journey out of lockdown continues, to maintain social distancing, wear face coverings if you are able and to use contactless payment where possible.

During this time, we're also supporting the ShopKind campaign which is uniting the retail sector to tackle violence and abuse against shopworkers by asking people to ShopKind when in stores.

ShopKind aims to encourage positive behaviours in shops, acknowledge the important role of shopworkers, and highlight the scale and impact of violence and abuse against shopworkers.

Harborough Leisure Centre and Lutterworth Sports Centre have reopened selected indoor facilities and are providing opportunities for people to improve their physical health and wellbeing with a host of activities on offer.

Over 40s able to get Covid jab

Text messages are being sent out urging people aged 40 and 41 to book their vaccine appointments, as the rollout extends to all over-40s in England.
The extension of the rollout comes just days after vaccinations were opened to 42-year-olds in England.
And 90% of over-45s have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, he said.
Since the vaccination programme began in December, about 34 million people have had at least one dose in the UK - nearly two-thirds of the adult population.

Appointments can be booked via the national booking website:, via invitations from your GP practice or at

Public urged to get second dose of vaccine
It is also vitally important that anyone who is scheduled to have their second dose of the vaccine in the coming days and weeks attend their appointments to ensure they receive maximum protection possible from the virus.

Vaccinations – new videos in different languages
Videos are available in several community languages to help residents understand public health advice around the Covid-19 vaccine. Languages include Bengali, Hindi, Polish, Romanian, British Sign Language and others. The website also hosts radio messages in six different languages to be broadcasted on community radio stations, as well as guidance and advice in many different languages.

How to get a rapid (lateral flow) covid test
A reminder that rapid flow tests are available to all eligible people who don't have symptoms.Red travel list
The full list of 'red list' countries (from which entry to the UK is banned) can be found on the Government's website here.  
Views sought on proposed powers to deal with 'laughing gas' misuse
From 7 May 2021, Harborough residents will be asked to have their say on the introduction of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for use of psychoactive substances, such as nitrous oxide, linked to anti-social behaviour.

Concerns have been raised by the Police and Council about an increase in calls about drug paraphernalia linked to psychoactive substance misuse - in particular the little silver nitrous oxide canisters, often left behind en masse in parks and other public open spaces.
The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 introduced legislation to deal with substances, often referred to as 'legal highs'.
This legislation, though, only made it a criminal offence to supply or be in possession with intent to supply psychoactive substances such as nitrous oxide (sometimes known as 'laughing gas') and made no provision to deal with possession and recreational use.

A PSPO is an order that can prohibit a specified issue from affecting a public place and provides police and local authorities with an appropriate sanction. We already have two PSPOs in operation across the Harborough District, one for dog fouling and alcohol related antisocial behaviour in Market Harborough and Lutterworth Town centres.

Fixed penalty notices of £150, or fines of up to £2,500 if it goes to court, can already be issued for littering offences.

Inspector Siobhan Gorman of Harborough and Wigston Neighbourhood Policing Area said: "Psychoactive substances are not illegal - for example nitrous oxide can be used for other legitimate reasons such as cake decorating - however misusing them can be very dangerous to the individual and have serious consequences to your health and wellbeing. The new order would provide new powers to deal with people misusing these substances in public places and for other activities that cause damage to the environment such as the discarding of nitrous oxide gas cannisters. Littering associated with nitrous oxide use causes concern in the community and is dangerous to wildlife, especially when left in large quantities."

The consultation on the new order will go live on Friday 7 May 2021 and will be open for comments until 18 June 2021. The survey, and information about the PSPO, will be available at www.harborough,
Jobs and skills initiative set to return after success of inaugural event 
Following on from the inaugural Jobs Week, hosted by the Council in partnership with Job Centre Plus in March, plans are underway to run the initiative again.

The first Harborough Jobs Week saw over 50 local jobs shared, along with several apprenticeship vacancies and free support for job seekers.

Two webinars were also delivered by the National Careers Service to help those searching for employment improve their CV, interview and job searching skills. The week received positive feedback from employers and job seekers!

Work is now underway with a view to running the initiative again so keep a look out for future support coming up over the summer to help local people find work and improve their skills.
Unmasking stalking - campaign highlights issue and how to report it
Stalking can have a serious impact on victims and we have been working with partners to raise awareness of how to report incidents.

Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted behaviour that causes you to feel distressed or scared. it can be perpetrated by men or women. 

It can happen with or without a fear of violence. This means that if you are receiving persistent unwanted contact that is causing you distress but the person has never threatened you, this is still stalking and is not acceptable. 

Stalking often has a huge emotional impact on those it affects. It can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder. It can be a psychological as well as a physical crime.

Following on from National Stalking Awareness Week 2021, hosted by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which took place in April, we are helping raise awareness of how people can seek help if they have been affected.  
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, there has been a notable a rise in cyber elements. It is predicted that these changes will continue to shape stalking behaviours post the pandemic.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust has gathered data, via an online survey, on the changes in perpetrator behaviour since the pandemic, the impact on the victim, and their experience with the criminal justice system. A full copy of the report can be found at online at  

The report showed an increase in stalking behaviour due to the pandemic with almost half of respondents report an increase in online stalking.
We have been showing our support for the campaign through our social media channels. 

If you are a victim of stalking, contact police by phoning 101, or report at

There is also a national helpline for victims on 08088 020 300.
Big ambitions to create first ever 'compassionate community' in region 
Lending an ear, making a cup of tea, picking up someone's shopping; during periods of crisis or loss, it's often the small things that make the biggest difference.

We're teaming up with LOROS and the Market Harborough and the Bowden's Charity to encourage people to come forward and help create the first ever 'Compassionate Community' in the East Midlands.

A 'Compassionate Community' complements the work of professional healthcare services to provide support to those who are seriously ill, ageing, acting as caregivers and those experiencing loss. They have been successfully set up in areas across the country, including the city of Plymouth, and Frome in Somerset.

Compassionate Communities recognise the role each member of society has to play in looking out for one another, whether that be providing support to someone facing terminal illness, picking up a neighbour's prescription, or simply asking a stranger if they're OK.

There are opportunities to be a 'Compassionate Friend' who has made a pledge to consciously provide support to others in their local area. All you need to do to be a Compassionate Friend is attend one of our Compassionate Friend Awareness Sessions and make a pledge, stating how you will use your skills.

Or you can be a 'Compassionate Neighbour' who can provide simple but valuable emotional and practical support for patients, their carers and loved ones, with activities such as keeping a patient company whilst their carer takes a break, chatting over lunch in a local café, or perhaps just having a phone call.

We are encouraging as many residents as possible to get involved so that, together, we can work to prevent isolation, loneliness and ensure everyone has access to support.

LOROS will be offering free training to members of the community to create a network of 'Compassionate Friends' and 'Compassionate Neighbours' who will form the basis of the Compassionate Community.

If you are a business or a school looking to get involved, email
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