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News and Features from Harborough District Council - October 2020
Harborough District News
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Councillor Phil King
Leader of Harborough District Council
It's down to us all to keep rate of coronavirus down
The recent surge in cases of Covid-19 across the country, and in some parts of the county, is a stark reminder that we must all continue to work together to battle this pandemic.

We must act now; this means washing our hands for 20 seconds, using hand sanitiser, wearing a mask when visiting shops and indoor public spaces, and social distancing when out and about, including at the school drop off and pick up.

We are continuing to work with other councils to look at trends and areas of concern, as well as sharing messages about the Government guidelines that have been introduced to stave off the predicted second wave of coronavirus, as we move into autumn and the winter months.  

We all want a return to normality - particularly as we move rapidly towards the pre-Christmas period when we want to be out shopping for our loved ones. We want our schools, shops, businesses, cafes, pubs and entertainment venues to stay open. But to do this requires a concerted effort from each and every one of us.

Thank you to everyone who is doing their bit and helping keep themselves and others safe at this critical time. 

We owe it to our family, friends, work colleagues, and local businesses to keep the rate of infections down. 

I am certain the people of the Harborough district have the will, and ability, to do this.

Thank you.

Cllr Phil King 
Share views on crime and community safety
A new Community Safety Survey has launched to provide residents with the opportunity to share their views on and experiences of crime and anti-social behaviour in their local area.

Anyone aged 16 or over who lives in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland can complete the short questionnaire here:

The survey should take you no longer than 15 minutes to complete.

The Community Safety Survey has been developed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in partnership with the Violence Reduction Network and Community Safety Partnerships across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The findings will be used to improve local responses to crime and anti-social behaviour.
App, survey, spot checks, and village hall grants to help keep us safe
We are continuing to work with our communities to keep cases of coronavirus as low as possible. 

NHS Covid19 app

Many of you have already downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app, which is helping people check if they are at risk from coronavirus and protect your loved ones and community.

The app asks users who have been near someone with a positive coronavirus test result to self-isolate for two weeks. You can also use it to check-in to pubs, restaurants or other venues by scanning a QR code. You will then get an alert telling you to self-isolated if other visitors at the same time are found to have been infected

You can download it on the NHS website.

Coronavirus survey
We are set to launch our coronavirus public survey in the first week of October to get the views of residents and local businesses about their experiences during the coronavirus lockdown. This will help us understand how people have been accessing information and services during this time, and what they think of the council's response to the crisis. This will form a review of how council services can improve communication with residents and businesses going forward, to provide the best support across the whole of the Harborough district.

Spot checks
As well as our usual work with local businesses and licensed premises, further spot checks are being carried out at businesses across the Harborough district to ensure they are complying with Covid-19 guidelines. We are working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to contact businesses, in all sectors, to provide advice and guidance to manage risk, and protect workers, customers and visitors. 

Public messages
You may have seen our localised public health messages on the theme of 'It's down to us' to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Look out for these on social media and share using the hashtag #ItsDownToUsLLR

Village Halls

We have given out nearly £9,000 from our Community Fund to help villages halls across the Harborough district to reopen.

To ensure they were Covid-secure, village halls were able to apply for funding for plastic screens, line marking, outdoor seating, PPE, additional cleaning products, and temperature checking devices.

This has helped important community facilities reopen to allow residents to continue to enjoy activities at their local village hall in a safe environment.

Local restrictions
New restrictions have been introduced for Oadby and Wigston in Leicestershire with residents told not to meet with others outside their support bubbles. These restrictions do not apply to the Harborough district.

New fines for those breaching self-isolation rules will start at £1,000 - but could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and for the most serious breaches. Those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result will be supported by a payment of £500 via councils

Beware Covid-19 scams
Leicestershire Trading Standards are warning residents to remain vigilant and stay safe from scams and criminals exploiting the Covid-19 situation.
You can read about just a few of the various scams currently circulating to be aware of on our website.


The Government has updated its Frequently Asked Questions which can be viewed via the link below: 

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do
Action on air quality reaps encouraging results for second year running
Air quality has significantly improved in Lutterworth, for the second year running, according to annual data just published.

The Air Quality – Annual Status Report, published by Harborough District Council, shows that, for the second time since 2001 when an Air Quality Management Area was declared in Lutterworth, there has been no exceedance in the annual average levels of nitrogen dioxide in 2018 and 2019.

Air quality monitoring across Lutterworth (pictured) has shown levels of nitrogen dioxide at relevant receptors meet national objectives for the second year running.

It follows a number of actions carried out by Harborough District Council, working closely with Leicestershire County Council and air quality consultants, including a 'gating system' for lorries which allows for a better flow of heavy goods vehicles through the town, with less stopping and starting, by controlling the traffic light sequencing in the high street.

Read the full article here - Action on air quality reaps encouraging results for second year
Local projects across district share windfall of more than £235,000
A diverse range of community projects across the Harborough district are set to benefit from a share of over £235,000 thanks to the district council.

More than £185,000 of that funding is going to projects in the Lutterworth area.

Harborough District Council agreed to allocate the funding, on 16 September 2020.

The projects are benefiting from Section 106 money which is provided by developers for community projects and social infrastructure in locations where development has taken place.

Read which projects have been successful in seeking funding 
Chairman gets on his bike for sight loss charity – and needs your help!
Council Chairman Cllr Stephen Bilbie has thanked those who have so far sponsored his recent cycling challenge to raise money for people with sight loss – but hopes others may be able to add to his total.

Cllr Bilbie cycled 61 miles 'virtually' [on his static bike] around the Harborough District, starting from and finishing at The Old Grammar School, Market Harborough without ever leaving his home.

On Saturday 19 September (which also happened to be his birthday!) the Chairman started cycling at 9am and 'virtually' reached Fleckney (his home and ward, which was also approximately half way), just after midday.

He completed the route, cycling the 61.1 miles (nearly 100km) before 3pm (14:49 to be precise).

He has so far raised over £350 for his chosen charity Vista, which works with people with sight loss and their families in Leicestershire.

That figure is fantastic; however he is making another appeal to anyone who would like to donate some money to this very worthwhile cause to help him reach his target of £500.

Please visit his JustGiving page here: 
Woman fined after household rubbish later dumped in country lane
A woman has been fined after she paid someone to dispose of rubbish which was later fly-tipped in a country lane.

The Corby resident has been ordered to pay £300 by Harborough District Council after failing to check whether the person was registered to carry and dispose of her waste.

The man, who she paid to take away her waste in August 2020, later dumped the household rubbish on Welham Lane, Great Bowden (pictured) – but the Council's enviro-crime team traced the fly-tip to a resident in Corby.

The woman, in her 50s, admitted transferring her waste to an unlicensed carrier without making any 'duty of care' checks.

An investigation is ongoing to trace the man responsible for the fly-tip.   

Householders are legally responsible for any waste produced on their property. They have a duty of care to check that any person or business disposing of their waste is legally allowed to do so.

Councillor Jonathan Bateman, Harborough District Council's Cabinet lead for environment and waste, said: "Whilst this is another successful outcome for our investigative team, it also serves as a reminder that residents and businesses must dispose of their waste in the correct and legal manner. It is crucial, if you are using a third party to dispose of your rubbish, that you ensure they are registered by asking to see their valid waste carriers licence."

There are several ways to dispose of the waste that cannot go into wheeled bins:
  • Take large waste items to your local recycling and waste site (tip)
  • Use a licensed waste carrier to remove your waste - it is a legal requirement to use a licensed waste carrier (you can also check if someone has a licence on the Environment Agency website)
  • Our large waste items for collection service allows for up to three large household items or 12 sacks of waste to be collected for a charge of £35.04.
Find out more at 
Time to 'Shop Local'
We are continuing to promote our 'Shop Local' campaign and work with town centre businesses to help them boost sales.

Church Street and Adam and Eve Street in Market Harborough have now reopened to traffic following a period of closure.

Measures put in place in Church Street in Lutterworth to widen the pavement with barriers have also been removed.

The roads were temporarily closed to traffic in June to encourage social distancing after the Government lifted town centre lockdown restrictions.

A protected cordoned area into the road has been introduced outside the Post Office and GI's Barbers in Adam and Eve Street in Market Harborough to allow safe queueing.

We will continue to review the local and national situation around Covid-19 cases.

A decision was taken to reopen the roads following a public survey, local observations and feedback from businesses.
Views on planning
Thank you to everyone in the Harborough district who took part in the Government's consultation on the planning system.

In last month's 'Harborough District News' we encouraged people to share their views on two Government consultations - 'Planning for the Future' which is looking to 'streamline and modernise' the planning process in the future as part of a Government White Paper, and another consultation on 'Changes to the Current Planning System' which focuses on the existing planning system ahead of proposals made in the Planning White Paper.

The 'Planning for the Future' consultation and 'Changes to the Current Planning System' consultation are now closed. 

Harborough District Council has submitted its own responses to both consultations, and we thank those residents who have also contributed. 

There is currently no firm timetable for implementation of any Government changes to the planning system.
Parish proposals
We would like your views on proposed changes to parish boundaries and arrangements in the Harborough district.

We are reviewing all parishes in the Harborough district as part of a Community Governance Review to ensure they continue to best meet the needs of the local community.

Existing parish councils and parish meetings have already been consulted along with other stakeholders including local residents, local community groups and organisations who have put forward their views and suggestions.   

These have been considered and draft recommendations have been approved for further consultation.

We now want to gather your views before the consultation deadline of Monday 30 November 2020.

More about the proposals, and information on how you can submit comments, is available on the Council's website at
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