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News and Features from Harborough District Council - February 2022
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Councillor Phil King
Leader of Harborough District Council
Much to celebrate in 2022 
We're well and truly into the new year now and we have lots to look forward to, now we have moved from Plan B to Plan A in terms of Government Covid restrictions.

Firstly, I was delighted to see former Market Harborough man Aaron Shrive, awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen's New Year Honours list for his work creating face shields for frontline health staff workers during the pandemic.

Also, congratulations to Tokyo gold medalists Dylan Fletcher and Laura Sugar who were given MBEs for their Olympic and Paralympic achievements, as well as Amelia Collins-Patel on her MBE for voluntary work.
They are all great examples of what people from our district can achieve.

Speaking of achievements, plans are continuing to mark Her Majesty The Queen's 70th year on the throne later this year. This will be a real celebration, and there'll be more on this in future editions of this newsletter.

Something else to celebrate is the return of the BIG Weekend comedy event, from 10-14 February, offering lots of top stand-up comedians and acts for all the family at venues all over the district. There is lots to be excited about; we'll keep you posted about these, and other forthcoming events, through this newsletter.

Cllr Phil King
Share views soon
You have until Monday (31 January 2022) to tell us what your aspirations and priorities are for the Harborough district.

We've already had more than 380 responses to our survey asking for comments on a wide range of topics with the aim of improving facilities and wellbeing, and creating more opportunities across the Harborough district. 

The survey is also being shared directly with youth and community groups, parishes, and disability groups.

Feedback gathered from the survey will help to identify what is most important to residents to help the Council focus its priorities over the next few years.

Share your views and complete the survey here before Monday 31 January 2022.

The findings will be published on the Council's website.
BIG Weekend of comedy is back bringing the laughs across the district
Pictured: clockwise - Seann Walsh, Howerd's End and Kids Comedy Cabaret Club
The hugely popular BIG Weekend of comedy is back – and we're inviting people from all over the district to get ready for some laughter, chuckles, guffaws and giggles.

Tickets are already selling fast for this year's shows, which are part of the Leicester Comedy Festival, with the BIG Weekend taking place in Harborough district from Thursday 10 February to Monday 14 February 2022.

Some of the country's best comedy acts and entertainers are heading to the Harborough district - with something for all the family.

There'll be stand-up shows, comedy movie nights, kids' entertainment, author events, variety shows, plays and much more – culminating on Monday 14 February at 7pm with the Live at the Market Hall comedy night at Market Harborough's indoor market featuring Seann Walsh (Live at the Apollo, 8 out of 10 cats, Stand Up Central), and Aaron Simmonds (The Russell Howard Hour, The Stand Up Sketch Show).

Read full details about the BIG Weekend on our website here.

The event is being supported by the Welcome Back Fund.
Time to have your say on budget and council tax proposals for 2022/23
You have until Sunday 6 February 2022 to have your say on our budget proposals as the Council looks to deliver its 'vision for the future'.

Harborough District Council has set out its budget priorities for 2022/23 as it continues to tackle significant financial challenges, as well as invest in frontline services.

Last year, to help to close a budget gap of £4million, the Council undertook a budget review programme, called Budget Challenge 2025 (BC25). Every Council service was reviewed and by 2024/25 the annual saving will be £3.1m.

The Council has also responded to the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in significant loss of revenue, by providing services in new and innovative ways.

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. The consultation also asks for your views on the key activity areas in our draft corporate plan.

Have your say here 
Projects to boost 'place and wellbeing' welcome share of nearly £25k
An exciting range of projects, to improve community spaces and mental health across the district, have received a welcome financial boost.

Harborough District Council agreed, on 26 January 2022, to allocate the funding from its Community Fund which, this year, was looking for projects which will improve spaces and places, as well as support young people aged 11 years old, or over, with diversionary activities or around anxiety, self-image, or childhood inactivity.

Funding was given to projects in Great Easton, Kibworth, Claybrooke Parva, Billesdon, Fleckney, Market Harborough, Houghton on the Hill, Broughton Astley, Glooston, Arnesby, Burton Overy and Lutterworth. 

Read full details on the successful funding bids here.
More charge-up points on way in response to climate emergency 
There will soon be more places to top up electric vehicles with the installation of more charge-up points making the Harborough district 'cleaner and greener'.

Ten more electric vehicle charging points, with associated bays, will be introduced over the coming weeks after Harborough District Council was successful in securing Government funding to assist residents without off-street parking.

The charge points will be installed, in partnership with EB Charging, in Doddridge Road, St Mary's West, and Angel Street car parks in Market Harborough – all chosen as they are a short distance from homes without off-street parking. Overnight parking is free at Council-owned car parks from 6pm to 7am.

75 per cent of the funding for the £73,000 project is from Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), with the rest coming from the Council and partners, including nearly £12,000 from EB Charging.
Take the pledge and help improve the wellbeing of your workforce
It's time to take the pledge – and commit to improving the wellbeing of workforces across the Harborough district.

Harborough District Council has become the latest employer to sign the Wellbeing at Work Charter, designed to promote employee health and wellbeing based on their needs, values and beliefs.

And it's now encouraging others to sign up too.

By signing the pledge, organisations can – once approved – access and share a range of free resources covering everything from mental health to physical activity.

Cllr Simon Whelband (pictured), from Harborough District Council has signed the pledge on behalf of the Council. 

Employees spend 25 per cent of their time at work, wherever they are working.
The pledge highlights the importance of supporting people with long-term health conditions by encouraging a workforce culture that values employee health and wellbeing. 
How you're helping trees initiative make planet 'cleaner and greener' 
Car park users in the Harborough district have contributed to a donation of 105 trees - part of 51,770 trees nationally - to mangrove projects in Madagascar.

Harborough District Council took part in Green Christmas, an annual initiative from its cashless parking payment provider, PayByPhone. The project will support reforestation and also provide food and medicine to villagers on the island country in the Indian Ocean.

Green Christmas sees PayByPhone turn parking transactions into trees. For every 100 parking transactions processed in December, PayByPhone plants one tree in Madagascar, through its partner, Eden Reforestation Projects, an NGO that preserves the world's rapidly disappearing forests.

For more information about Green Christmas, visit 
Beware you may be losing more than your heart to your 'Valentine'
Valentine's Day may be getting close, but we're asking people in the Harborough district to be aware of 'romance scams' which can involve people being duped into sending money to criminals who go to great lengths to gain their trust and convince them that they are in a genuine relationship.

They use language to manipulate, persuade and exploit so that requests for money do not raise alarm bells. These requests might be highly emotive, such as criminals claiming they need money for emergency medical care, or to pay for transport costs to visit the victim if they are overseas.

Scammers will often build a relationship with their victims over time. Read how to stay safe.
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