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News and Features from Harborough District Council - November 2021
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Cllr Phil King
Leader of Harborough District Council
Looking forward to
the festive season 
Well it seems that seasonal events are coming around faster than expected. 

We're delighted to announce that our Christmas lights switch on in November will coincide with a three-day Christmas food and drink fair in Market Harborough.

There will also be other Christmas events across the district to look out for. Please 'shop local' and support local independent shops and traders this year.

Whilst the pandemic has made organising public events difficult, we work hard behind the scenes to host events that bring visitors into our retail centres, and also provide fun and memorable occasions for all to enjoy.

I hope people come along to support events and visit the local shops to help them benefit. I would also remind and encourage people to enjoy themselves safely and responsibly.

We have some advice about fireworks safety and about how to keep pets safe. We also ask residents to observe the new coronavirus information signs and remember the basics to ensure we keep levels of Covid-19 at low levels in our district.
Funding to benefit forces community 
Extra funding has been secured to help launch an exciting new project to support the Armed Forces community.

Harborough District Council, in partnership with Rutland County Council and South Kesteven District Council, has received £25,000 to continue work with the Armed Forces community.

The funding has been secured through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust charity, which supports work creating real change to Armed Forces communities across the UK, as well as those organisations, such as Harborough District Council, which have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant.

It will be used to fund a 12-month project entitled 'Making Our Covenant Count' to strengthen support for serving units and veterans. 
People invited to step up and join forum to help shape future of town
Could you help create a planning vision for Market Harborough that "genuinely represents the range of wants and needs in the town."?

If so, we are inviting residents, who live or work in Market Harborough, to join a forum to develop a Neighbourhood Plan to shape their neighbourhoods and guide future development in the town. 

Neighbourhood planning is a way for communities to help decide the future of the places where they live and work. Communities can use a Neighbourhood Plan to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, In an area that does not have a town or parish council, such as Market Harborough, a neighbourhood forum must be established to produce a neighbourhood plan. The neighbourhood forum, once established, is the legal qualifying body for the production of the plan.

The production of the Plan then follows a statutory process of designation, public consultation, independent examination, and referendum.

Read more and get involved here 
...and we're creating housing opportunities and community benefits...
Thanks to positive engagement with residents, communities and developers we're continuing to provide housing and infrastructure where it is needed.

Over the past year, more than £1.5million of section 106 planning obligations have been secured, from developers, for community infrastructure such as recreational and health facilities, policing and affordable housing in the district. The figure was announced in the Council's Infrastructure Funding Statement, a summary of all financial and non-financial developer contributions, considered by the Cabinet on 11 October 2021.

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, over 1,000 homes have been built across the Harborough district in 2020/21 – including 207 'affordable houses', which are marketed at a lower rate, to help those people struggling to find a property to buy or rent within their budgets.

The Council has also reaffirmed its strong planning position with the publication of its latest Government-required 'five year housing supply' which identifies specific deliverable sites (ie. land) for development to meet housing requirements over five years. The Council continued to exceed the required five-year housing supply, with a 7.49 year housing supply.

Read full details here 
Enjoy firework night fun, but please respect others and keep pets safe
With Fireworks Night on the way, the Celebrate Safely campaign is offering some important tips and advice to ensure people have fun whilst respecting others, and keep pets safe.

To reduce disturbance for people and animals, and to prevent firework night incidents and accidents, we would strongly advise you to attend an organised firework display. 

Remember it is illegal to possess a firework if you're under 18 years old, set off fireworks after midnight on 5 November, or set off fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or public place. Breaking these laws can result in an on the spot fine of £90.
Save the dates as festive activities provide good reasons to be jolly
'Tis soon the season to be jolly, and we have a host of festive delights lined up for all to enjoy.

In collaboration with local shops and business, we're hosting our Christmas lights switch on event in The Square in Market Harborough on Friday 19 November 2021. The Christmas tree, which will lit up on the night, is once again being kindly provided by Market Harborough Building Society.

The shops will also be opening late that night and a 
Christmas food and drink market will be running in The Square and Commons car park on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 19, 20, 21 November 2021.

Lutterworth's Christmas lights switch on event, run by Lutterworth Town Council, will take place on Friday 26 November.

Look out for full details soon on the Council website.
Lockdowns contribute to third year of improved air quality in town
Air quality has continued to improve in Lutterworth for the third year running, with the coronavirus lockdowns noted as a significant factor.

The Air Quality – Annual Status Report 2021 shows that, in the Air Quality Management Area in Lutterworth, there was no exceedance in the annual average levels of nitrogen dioxide in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Fewer cars on the road, due to national coronavirus lockdowns, has been a cited as a contributing factor. Other factors include the success of the HGV gating system, which allows a greater free flow of lorries through Lutterworth by controlling traffic lights.
Read more here.
Our wildflower ideas are growing and set to bloom across the district
Following the popularity and success of the award-winning wildflower area in Welland Park, plans are underway to expand the project to Lutterworth and elsewhere.

In last month's newsletter, we reported that Market Harborough had scooped a Gold award in the annual East Midlands in Bloom competition – including a special award for our popular wildflower area in Welland Park, Market Harborough.

Now, plans are underway, in collaboration with Lutterworth Town Council, to create a similar wildflower space at Lutterworth Country Park next year. Discussions are ongoing about what seeds are best suited to environment in the popular park.

The Welland Park wildflower area contains more than 25 different species of wildflower and was designed to nurture biodiversity and attract bees, butterflies, birds, as well as other insects and pollinators.

We are also exploring the possibility of introducing more wildflower areas along the river bank in Market Harborough to the Commons car park.

We'll keep you posted as the projects develop and grow!
Job club to become regular event in Lutterworth to get people into work
Earlier this year, we teamed up with the National Careers Service to host two Job Clubs in Lutterworth.

The outcome was very positive, with residents benefitting from professional support to help them on to the next stage of their job search.

One customer said: "The work they have been doing is amazing and is really making me aware of all the opportunities that are available."

Due to this success, Job Club will now take place on the first Friday of every month from 12.30pm-4pm at The Wycliffe Rooms in Lutterworth town centre.
  • Friday 5 November 2021
  • Friday 3 December 2021
  • Friday 7 January 2022
  • Friday 4 February 2022
  • Friday 4 March 2022
The sessions are open to anyone whether they are unemployed, employed and looking for new opportunities, a school leaver or graduate, on universal credit or not.
First ever vegan market set to bring delicious food and ethical goods  
A reminder that our first ever Vegan Market will be bringing tasty treats and ethical and sustainable produce to the Harborough district on Sunday 31 October 2021.

The inaugural 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.

Pop along to the market in The Square in Market Harborough from 10.30am to 4pm. 
New signs encouraging residents to stay safe and 'enjoy being back'
Signage reminding residents and visitors to protect themselves and others whilst Covid-19 rates remain high has been installed on lampposts across the Harborough district.
The new signage encourages people to 'Enjoy being back' following the lifting of most restrictions over the summer, whilst reminding them to get tested regularly, get themselves fully vaccinated, wash their hands regularly and wear a face covering where encouraged.
For the latest information about Covid-19, including testing and vaccinations, visit:
For information about support from the Harborough Community Hub and support for businesses, visit: 
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