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Harborough District News
News and features from Harborough District Council - June 2022
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Councillor Phil King 
Happy and glorious as we celebrate 70 years service
This month we celebrate 70 years of Her Majesty The Queen on the throne. 

The Platinum Jubilee is a hugely significant and momentous occasion; The Queen is our nation's longest ever serving monarch and we will all celebrate in our own way over the bank holiday weekend. 

Not only do we have a fantastic Jubilee art project, created by young people, going on display locally, we have helped plant trees across the district. We have also made £700,000 available so communities can apply for grants to help secure or develop significant capital assets across the district, as a lasting commemoration to the Jubilee. 

Whether it's a street party or simply raising a glass to Her Majesty, I am sure this historic and memorable occasion will capture the amazing community spirit we have in the district, and I hope people enjoy it. 

Speaking of community spirit, as we approach Volunteers Week, I would like to pay tribute to, and thank, all the wonderful volunteers from across our communities who generously and selflessly give up their spare time to help and benefit others. This was crucial during the pandemic, and continues to be, with volunteers making a positive difference to people's lives on a daily basis.

If you would like to volunteer yourself, there are plenty of diverse opportunities to help others; you can get more information about local organisations where your help will be gratefully received on our website.

Cllr Phil King
It's time to support your local markets
Whether you live in Lutterworth, Market Harborough, or elsewhere - it's officially time to 'Love Your Local Market'.

The national campaign is currently running and encouraging people to shop locally and support traders at their local market, by buying locally-sourced produce.

Lutterworth market is held every Thursday in the town centre, and Harborough's indoor market is open Tuesday to Saturday, with an antiques market on Sundays. 

On Friday, local MP Neil O'Brien, Council Leader Cllr Phil King and President of the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) Cllr Mick Barker visited Harborough Market to meet traders and promote the Love Your Local Market campaign.

There will also be a Jubilee themed Farmers' Market on The Square in Market Harborough on Thursday 2 June 2022. 

Look out for more activities on the Harborough Market Twitter page and the Council's social media channels, with the hashtag #LYLM2022
Preparations for Jubilee celebrations to mark historic 70 years reign
To commemorate and celebrate The Queen's Platinum Jubilee a host of activities will be taking place across the Harborough district.

As well as street parties, and village events, we are very excited to launch our Jubilee art project created by young people and reproduced on special banners (pictured) set to go on display over the bank holiday period at:
  • Harborough Market Hall, Market Harborough – Thursday 2 June – Saturday 4 June, then from Tuesday 7 June for a few weeks (TBC)
  • Lutterworth Pavilion – Thursday 2 June – Sunday 5 June
  • St Mary's Church, Broughton Astley – Thursday 2 June – Sunday 5 June
In Lutterworth, the town council are organising a series of events including a beacon lighting at the Coventry Road recreation ground at 8pm on Thursday 2 June, and Picnic in the Park (also the recreation ground) on Sunday 5 June from 12.30pm. 

A reminder there is still time to apply for our Jubilee capital grants of up to £70,000 to secure or develop significant capital assets as a lasting commemoration.
Remember to tell us what you're doing on social media using the hashtag #JubileeHarborough or share your photos or memories of seeing or meeting The Queen.

Find out more at
New Chairman says he is 'honoured' to represent Council in civic role
Councillor Neil Bannister has been appointed as the chairman of Harborough District Council for 2022/23.

Cllr Bannister received the chains of office from outgoing chairman Cllr Stephen Bilbie.

The Chairman, whose role is ceremonial, represents the Council at civic functions and at local events around the district.

Cllr Bannister said: "I am greatly honoured to be elected Chairman of the Harborough District Council. I will do my best to represent the Council as its First Citizen in all parts of the district with humility on my part and pride in the wonderful place that we live."

His chosen charity for the year will be Motor Neurone Disease Association. The new Chairman announced that he would be inviting representatives from multiple faiths to speak at the start of each Council meeting to reflect the diversity of the community.

The Vice Chairman will be Cllr Rani Mahal, ward councillor for the Glen ward.

Outgoing Chairman Cllr Stephen Bilbie presented a cheque for £2,938.11 to sight-loss charity Vista, his chosen charity for his term in office.

(Photos courtesy of Andrew Carpenter)
Local gold medallists honoured for achievements at special ceremony 
Pictured: Centre, Cllr Stephen Bilbie presents Freedom of the District scrolls to, from left, gold medalist Laura Sugar and Dylan Fletcher-Scott's parents Jane and Graham Fletcher, with Sarah Wright whose husband Chris Wright was Dylan's first coach who inspired him to compete.

(Photo courtesy of Andrew Carpenter)
Gold medallists Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Laura Sugar have been granted the Freedom of the District for their amazing sporting achievements.

Olympian sailor Dylan Fletcher-Scott, a former Robert Smyth student from Market Harborough, who won a gold medal for Team GB in the Men's 49er at the Tokyo  2020 Olympics, and Paralympian canoeist Laura Sugar, from Billesdon, who also won Gold for Team GB in the women's KL3 Paracanoe in Tokyo2020, have each received the honour.

Laura accepted her honorary scroll at Harborough District Council's Annual Council meeting on 23 May 2022.  Dylan's proud parents Jane and Graham Fletcher, from Desborough, were delighted to accept the scroll on his behalf, due to him attending a training camp. 

The Freedom of the District is granted to "persons of distinction" who have "rendered eminent services" and have a strong association with the Harborough district.
Families encouraged to join new walking trail in honour of local saint
People are being invited to join together for an extraordinary 'pilgrimage' between two communities in honour of a Leicestershire saint.

On Wednesday 1 June 2022, a guide group will officially open the route and set off from the village of Wistow on a four-mile countryside walk to Wigston following the historical route of the martyred Prince Wistan. It follows the route dedicated to the saint and named after him.

The route is classed as 'easy to medium', so families looking for something to do outdoors, for free, can just turn up and do the walk at any time during the day. A map and way-finder posts will be along the route too. 
Inspired by the BBC2 television programme, 'Pilgrimage', where celebrities of differing faiths and beliefs embark on a journey of religious and spiritual awakening in recognition of the life and legacy of an ancient saint, this walk will be following in the footsteps of pilgrims and hearing the legend of the county's very own saint.

Harborough District Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council are teaming up with local churches to organise the event, at a time when making connections around meaning and value are more important than ever.

Get involved, and find out more, here.
...and we're supporting a new Walking Festival and local heritage trails
We are very excited to be supporting a new walking festival, running until 29 May 2022, and 11 heritage trails, encouraging people to get out and about, and delve into local history at the same time.

Whether you're a seasoned hiker, power walker or prefer a gentle amble, there's something for everyone. 

The Harborough District Walking Festival, features seven guided walks, through beautiful countryside, over four days. Walks are just £7 each or, for anyone who wants to do them all, a festival discount pass is available. Children under 13 years old can take part for free.

Find out more at 
More than 20k households in district have received £150 energy rebate 
We are pleased to confirm that 20,539 eligible households across the district, who paid Council tax by direct debit, have now received their £150 energy rebate from the Council.

There will be instances where we have not been able to make a direct payment because, for example, the name on the direct debit does not match exactly with the liable person for Council Tax. If this is the case, you will be sent a unique bar-coded letter within the next three weeks with details of how to collect your payment from the Post Office. 

If you have not received your payment direct into your account by the first week in June, or you do not pay by direct debit, it is safe to assume that your payment will be made through the Post Office. 

For those households who need help with their energy bills but are not eligible for the main energy rebate payment, the details of the discretionary scheme will be published shortly. Please keep an eye on the energy rebate page on our website for further updates, which includes Frequently Asked Questions, rather than telephoning.

Advice and support for anyone struggling financially is available from Citizens Advice and Money Saving Expert.
Partnership takes proactive approach to keep district safe place to live
Pictured (top) Attendees at the Community Safety Partnership event hear about some of the ongoing work across the district helping to keep crime low and communities safe.
And the virtual reality sessions on road safety.
An action plan was officially launched this week to promote safety in the community over the next year.

The multi-agency Harborough District Community Safety Partnership held an event at Harborough Innovation Centre on Wednesday to showcase its successes over the past year and what initiatives it will be focusing on over the coming 12 months. 

Although there has been an overall increase in crime during 2021/22 of 15.6 per cent, there had been a large decrease in the previous year due to Covid. However, anti-social behaviour has fallen in the last year by -26 per cent.

The newly-launched action plan will focus on domestic abuse, exploitation, racial hate crime, serious violent crime, anti-social behaviour, illegal drug use, violence linked to the night-time economy, road safety, rural crime, acquisitive crime (theft), cyber crime, and scams.

Successful initiatives over the past year include recruiting a  link worker to work with agencies to support victims of domestic abuse, also our school roadshows which involved talking to pupils about their concerns and promoting safer and more responsible behaviour.

A new Public Spaces Protection Order was put in place to prohibit the use of psychoactive substances in public places - such as nitrous oxide ('laughing gas') which is linked to littering with the associated silver canisters. We also held a successful rural crime event, and the Safer Streets initiative, in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner, has seen security improvements to nearly 470 Lutterworth homes including 155 vehicle/bike security packs.

There has also been a number of campaigns on cyber crime, scams, 'lock it or lose it', anti-slavery and exploitation, and 'Ask For Angela' where people can seek help from bar staff if they need it.

Read more about the Community Safety Partnership.
Job Club back to help people find new career or training opportunities
Our next Job Club, on Friday 10 June 2022 from 12:30pm to 4pm at The Wycliffe Rooms in Lutterworth town centre, welcomes anyone whether you are unemployed, employed but looking for new opportunities, returning to work after a break or if you are considering becoming self-employed.

You don't need an appointment, just drop in for 
help with your CV, interview skills, setting up a business, or advice on returning to the workplace, and more.
Work Live Leicestershire will also be on hand to support residents who are unemployed and would like help tackling any barriers that are keeping them out of work. Jobcentre Plus also attends each Job Club to provide advice abut the local jobs market.
Find out more at 
Bike clinics encouraging people hop on their cycle for fitter lifestyle
We've been running cycle workshops at leisure centres across the district in the lead up to Bike Week.

With our partners Active Together, Choose How You Move and Everyone Active, we've hosted the events at Harborough Leisure Centre (pictured), and Lutterworth Sports Centre, and we'll be at Broughton Astley Leisure Centre on the morning of Wednesday 1 June 2022.

The bike clinics include e-bike demos, bike doctor, security markings, pledge board to help people set personal goals, and promotion of active travel and the BetterPoints app which motivates people to behave more healthily and sustainably, by walking, cycling, and eating better.
Free webinar: stand for what you believe in - become a councillor
Are you passionate about your local community? If so, have you considered standing as a councillor?

Councillors can make a huge difference to the quality of life of local people and how issues are dealt with.

A free webinar, funded by Government and taking place on Tuesday 7 June 2022, from 10am-11.30am, will explain what councils and councillors do, what you will need to do to take your first steps and the support you can expect.

An experienced panel of councillor speakers will share their journeys in local government and offer practical advice for those looking to represent their community.

Being a councillor is highly rewarding. The role gives you a chance to make a huge difference to the quality of life of people in your local area and to influence the way issues are dealt with locally.

Register to join the virtual Zoom webinar here.
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