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News and Features from Harborough District Council - October 2021
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Councillor Phil King
Leader of Harborough District Council
Royal visit great for district
It's been another busy month - which included a Royal visit! We were delighted and honoured to welcome the Earl and Countess of Wessex who we invited as part of our celebrations marking 800 years of the market in Market Harborough.

We were blessed with fantastic weather on the day, and whilst we were governed by strict royal protocols in terms of announcing the visit, it was great to see the crowds, including lots of local school children who'd come along to see the Royal visitors. What a great occasion for the district.

Speaking of great occasions, I must congratulate British tennis star Emma Raducanu on winning the US Open in style. This isn't the first time I've talked about inspirational sportspeople and I hope her achievement encourages young people to take up the game, and sport in general. 

Finally, it is so positive to see our success in providing affordable homes for people in the district who need them. Getting people on the housing ladder or helping them find a place they can rent, by negotiating affordable properties on new developments is vitally important, particularly to young people, and we will continue to work hard to do this on behalf of our residents.
New powers given go-head in district
New powers have been introduced to tackle the use of psychoactive substances and 'legal highs', such as nitrous oxide, linked to anti-social behaviour.

In a joint initiative, Harborough District Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council have introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) prohibiting the use of psychoactive substances in public places. Breaking the order would be a criminal offence, and could result in a fixed penalty notice of £100 or prosecution.
Read more here 
Royal visitors delight crowds and join 800 years of market celebrations 
The Earl and Countess of Wessex meet pupils and tour the market before unveiling a plaque
Their Royal Highnesses, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, visited Market Harborough on 8 September 2021, on a whistle-stop tour to honour the town market's 800-year history.

The Royal couple were guided through Harborough Indoor Market to meet traders who have worked tirelessly to support their community throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

They also spoke to members of the public and local school children, as well as visiting Harborough Museum and unveiling a special plaque commemorating 800 years of the market in Market Harborough. 

Read more and see a few more photos on our Facebook page.
Major success in helping deliver much-needed affordable housing 
A significant number of affordable homes have been provided in the Harborough district in the past five years – with nearly 1,000 delivered since 2015.

Affordable housing is that which can be rented or purchased at a lower rate than housing on the open market. Providing affordable homes is crucial in helping local people get on the housing ladder or find a property to rent within their budget.
The Council's Local Plan requires developers to provide at least 40 per cent affordable housing on all sites, in the district on new developments of more than 10 properties. On occasion, our Registered Provider partners (housing associations) have negotiated additional purchases of affordable homes above our Local Plan requirement.

We have been taking a more proactive approach with developers and housing associations which is yielding results with affordable schemes being negotiated and agreed at much earlier stages through the planning process. 
Ambitious vision for Lutterworth shaped by local residents unveiled 
New meeting spaces, innovative artwork or statues, and the creation of a public plaza are just a few of the proposals being put forward as part of an ambitious vision for Lutterworth town centre.

The Lutterworth Town Centre Masterplan, produced by Harborough District Council with consultants TEP, aims to help strengthen the viability and vitality of Lutterworth's historic town centre, and set out how the town can thrive as a destination for retail, leisure, and community events.

Ideas and proposals set out within the masterplan include new community spaces, improved walking and cycling access, characterful designs linked to heritage, and vehicle speed reductions in key areas – all with a view to "redefining the heart of the town and marketplace" and "redressing the balance between pedestrians and vehicles".

Read more here and view the masterplan 
Make sure you celebrate safely as seasonal festivities get underway 
With Hallowe'en on the way, the Celebrate Safely campaign is offering some important advice to ensure people have fun whilst respecting others:
  • If trick or treating, only visit places you know won't mind a visit, and respect the 'No trick or treaters signs'
  • Be considerate to others 
  • Ensure children are always with an adult
  • Keep to well-lit areas, wear reflective clothing and carry a torch
If you don't want trick and treaters at your door you can download a 'Trick or Treaters No Thanks' poster here.
Blooming marvellous result for town as floral displays scoop gold
Market Harborough has won gold in the East Midlands In Bloom competition.
The town was handed the top accolade in the Large Town category an awards ceremony on 22 September 2021.

It is the tenth consecutive year the team have won gold.
Harborough District Council Chairman Cllr Stephen Bilbie escorted the East Midlands in Bloom judges around when they visited the town (pictured top).
The town was also handed special awards for the Council's wildflower area project in Welland Park (pictured), crowned the best in the East Midlands and for displays at St Luke's Hospital which were supported by Council contractor FCC Environment.
The accolades acknowledge the dedication and hard work of Harborough District Council, FCC Environment, and the Harborough in Bloom volunteers in preparing floral displays in the park and around the town.
There was also success for Lubenham In Bloom, winning a silver award in the large village category of the competition.
First ever vegan market offering food and produce set to come to town 
The first ever Market Harborough Vegan Market will take over The Square, right in the heart of the town, on Sunday 31 October 2021 from 10.30am to 4pm.  

The event will feature a variety of vegan street food, artisan bakes, craft cheeses, handmade cosmetics, ethical clothing and jewellery, arts and crafts and charity stalls. All created by a handpicked selection of talented, ethical and sustainable businesses.

Lewis Beresford, Vegan Market Co's founder said; "We are so excited to be in Market Harborough for the first time. We work hard to find the country's leading vegan producers, from street food vendors and bakers to ethical clothing and cosmetic producers. We also work with many local businesses and can't wait to give all of these fantastic producers the platform they deserve."

The Vegan Market Co ran its first event in 2016 and have grown to cover over 40 locations across the UK. They showcase the country's best ethical and sustainable producers and aim to make veganism accessible and inclusive.

They are also tackling the climate crisis by promoting sustainable lifestyle choices through their events and supporting tree planting and conservation projects around the world.

Exciting projects across district to benefit from a share of over £400k
More than £400,000 is set to help more local projects get off the ground.

Harborough District Council has agreed to allocate the funding to a number of projects – all benefiting from Section 106 money, provided by developers for community and social infrastructure where development has taken place.

The successful projects are:
  • Kilworth Sports Club – £40,079.64 to upgrade changing facilities to meet FA standards
  • Houghton Field Association – £350,000 for a new pavilion in Houghton on the Hill 
  • Houghton Tennis Club – £13,010.24 to resurface the tennis courts 
It comes just a few months after more than £925,000 of Section 106 funding was allocated to local projects by the Council. 
Mental health support provided over a cuppa at new Crisis Café  
The Market Harborough Crisis Café is now open offering mental health support to local people.

Whether you're feeling lonely, anxious, or are finding it hard to manage difficult feelings, the new drop-in service will offer a safe space for those who are struggling, as well as one-to-one sessions.

Provided in partnership between Turning Point and the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, the Crisis Café will be open without appointments from 12noon–8pm every Wednesday at The Symington Building, in Adam and Eve Street in Market Harborough.

The Crisis Café will have trained crisis intervention workers who will provide out-of-hours mental health support in a trusted and secure space. Support can also be provided via telephone or a video call for those who are unable to attend in person.

Find out more at
More businesses urged to apply for grants to help lockdown recovery
Thousands of pounds in grants have already been handed to local businesses which are recovering from the Covid pandemic – and more are being encouraged to apply for funding.
In August, Harborough District Council launched four new Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) schemes, to boost business recovery and growth, and encourage them look to the future in an innovative, greener, and more digitally connected manner.
The second round of grants starts on Friday 1 October 2021, for businesses looking to get investment ready, reach new markets, increase customer base or boost resilience. Applications will close on Monday 13 December 2021.

Read more about the grants 
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