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Harborough District News
 
News and features from Harborough District Council - May 2022
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Report flytipping
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Councillor Phil King
Leader of Harborough District Council 
 
Sense of community making positive difference to district
When we have spoken to our residents or parish councils in the past, one of the recurring concerns raised was fly-tipping. That is why, a few years ago, we launched our Tip Off campaign to crackdown on the issue. So I am delighted to report that fly-tipping has fallen in the Harborough district for the third year in a row. This is contrary to the situation nationally which has seen fly-tipping massively increase. 

I'd like to thank you - our residents - for embracing the Tip Off initiative and for continuing to be our eyes and ears in the community. Also, a big thank you to all the litter volunteers who give up their spare time to help make our district cleaner and greener. 

The Government's £150 energy bill rebate will be administered from May which is good news for anyone struggling with the rising cost of living. There is more advice on this below. 

Finally, we've had a hugely positive response locally to the plight of Ukrainian refugees with many people pledging support through donations or with offers of accommodation through the Government's Home for Ukraine scheme.

The generosity and compassion shown by people in the district is always extraordinary; we have a dedicated 'Support Ukraine' page on the Council's website which explains more about what you can do to help.

Cllr Phil King 
 
Grants of £70k for Platinum Jubilee
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A share of £700,000 is available to help local organisations secure or develop capital assets, across the district, as a lasting commemoration of Her Majesty The Queen's historic 70 year reign.

As part of our Platinum Jubilee Community Capital Fund, grants of £70,000 per project will be available for ideas that are new, creative, have a long-lasting legacy of the Jubilee, enhance the local place, and have clear public benefit for local residents.

Jubilee grant applications must be received before 31 July 2022. Successful applications will be announced in October 2022.

View full details here. 
Council's tough campaign and public help leads to big fall in fly-tipping 
 
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Fly-tipping has significantly reduced across Harborough district, for the third year in a row.

We've achieved one of our largest ever yearly reductions in incidents of fly-tipping, continuing a three-year successive reduction, and bucking the national trend.

From April 2021 to April 2022, there were 322 fly-tips in the Harborough district, down from 469 the previous year (2020/21) – a reduction of nearly a third (31%).

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste; it can be dangerous to human and animal health, and can pollute land or waterways. It is also expensive to clear.

According to information released by DEFRA, this week, local authorities have dealt with 1.13million fly-tipping incidents in 2020/21, up by 16% from 2019/20.

But locally, since our anti-fly-tipping campaign, Tip Off, launched in 2018/19, the Council, with support from the public, has helped reduce fly tipping by 59 per cent across the Harborough district. This has been helped by close working with police, parish councils, National Farmers' Union, and the Environment Agency. 

Read how we did it here. 
 
Award for street cleaner helping keep Lutterworth clean and tidy
 
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"I just really enjoy what I do" says the street cleaner who is garnering huge praise from residents and businesses for his efforts in keeping a town in the district clean and tidy.

Andrew Walton, an Environmental Operative whose role is funded by Harborough District Council and its recycling and waste contractor FCC Environment, can regularly be seen out and about in all weather in Lutterworth, diligently sweeping the streets. He is well known for his dedication and going above and beyond; you might even find him out on Sundays cleaning around the local church.

And he was just won an FCC Environment Achievement Award for his dedication.

Andrew said: "I really enjoy it and take a lot of pride in it; I love the social side and it's great chatting to people when I'm doing my rounds and hearing nice feedback."

John Whitup, from FCC Environment, said: "Because of Andrew's passion for the job he gets praise from both businesses and the public. He is often seen taking on extra work to help clean up known litter hotspots. He rides his bike 3.5 miles to work, in all weathers, and is totally reliable."

Following his award win, Andrew will now be entered into FCC Environment's Outstanding Achievement Awards, being announced in June, with the overall winner in line for a £2,000 grand prize.

Cllr Jonathan Bateman, Harborough District Council's Cabinet lead for environment and waste said: "We're so lucky to have someone like Andrew who is so dedicated to keeping Lutterworth looking so nice. He's a credit to himself, FCC Environment and the district, and I'd like to congratulate him on his award, and wish him best of luck for the next stage."
 
Partners band together to support Ukrainian refugees fleeing war zone
 
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Families and children fleeing Ukraine are starting to arrive in Leicestershire as organisations team up to provide vital support and a safe place to live.

Based on the data provided by the Government, the area is currently planning to welcome around 500 refugees who, over the next few months, are due to live with people who have offered space in their houses through the Home for Ukraine scheme.

Read more here – Partners band together to support Ukrainian refugees

We also have a dedicated 'Support Ukraine' webpage explaining what you can do to help –  www.harborough.gov.uk/support-ukraine
 
Get money management help thanks to new step-by-step programme
 
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The rising cost of living has left lots of people with new money worries - but help is on hand.

If you're concerned by higher bills and payments, or uncertain about your income or job, then MoneyHelper's brand-new 'Couch to Financial Fitness plan' could help you manage your money. 

The plan takes inspiration from the popular step-by-step training app 'Couch to 5K', and is a free, step-by-step programme, guiding you through three simple activities per week, over four weeks, to help you master the money essentials, followed by a five-week extension focused on life's money milestones. 

More information can be found here couchtofinancialfitness.moneyhelper.org.uk

Get advice on paying your council tax bill, and the Government's £150 energy rebate being administered from May 2022 at www.harborough.gov.uk/council-tax-pay
 
Energy rebate to help residents with increased home energy costs
 
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The Government has provided a support package to help households with the increase in energy costs. These measures include a one-off £150 non-repayable rebate for households in England in council tax bands A – D. 
 
If you currently live in a property that meets the eligibility criteria for this scheme and you pay your Council Tax by Direct Debit, and the name(s) of the bank account you pay your council tax from matches the name(s) on the council tax bill, no action is required from you. A payment of £150 will be made direct to the bank account that is held on your Council Tax account in May.
 
For those that do not pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit, we will be using the Post Office Payout Voucher Scheme to make the payment. The person named on the council tax account will receive a letter with a barcode that enables them to pick up the cash payment from any Post Office branch, with appropriate identification. Letters will be posted in May 2022. There is no need to apply for this or to hand over any bank account information, it will be sent automatically to all eligible households. 
 
Please be on the alert for scammers who might pretend to be from the council and ask for your bank details. We will never ask for bank details by text, phone or email.
 
You can keep up to date with the latest information on the Energy rebate scheme on our website.
 
'Park and stride' scheme encouraging walking to school to boost health
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Choosing to walk, wheel or scoot to school has never been easier!

We're delighted to be supporting the 'Park and Stride' initiative launched recently at Lutterworth Sports Centre.

It's run by Leicestershire County Council in partnership with Everyone Active and encourages parents to park their vehicle and walk to school with their children which has great health benefits and reduces congestion outside schools.

There was a fantastic turnout at Lutterworth Sports Centre for the launch, with pupils from Sherrier Primary School in Lutterworth who were joined by Spike, the School Games mascot.

Park and Stride is a simple idea for families who live far away, to enjoy the benefits of walking to school.

If families drive, they can park, and complete their journey on foot, which is good if there are a shortage of places to park around the school. 

Any school interested in setting up a Park and Stride scheme can find out more on Choose How You Move's Twitter and Instagram.
 
Joining together to bring free and renewable energy to your homes
 
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Harborough District Council is joining other councils in Leicestershire to offer residents and businesses the opportunity to join together to buy solar panels and get the best price.

Solar Together Leicestershire offers a hassle-free way to get renewable energy for your home, with support throughout the process. With lots of people acting together it ensures that you can also achieve a great price.

The process is straightforward – just register your interest from 9 May 2022 via www.harborough.gov.uk/solar-together and before 14 June; you will then receive a personal recommendation from 4 July and can decide whether, or not, to accept it, with no obligation.

A solar PV (photovoltaics) system will allow you to generate clean, free energy for your home. If you decide to link it to a battery system, it can save you even more.

The Government has also reduced VAT on solar systems, so there couldn't be a better time to think about getting one installed.
 
Feedback on school roadshows aiming to tackle anti-social behaviour  
 
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We've been getting some excellent feedback from students during our ongoing school roadshows where we have been talking to young people and listening to their concerns about keeping safe and anti-social behaviour.

The roadshows have been calling in on secondary schools with a view to promoting safety and reducing problematic behaviour in the district.

You can read a selection of the students' comments below:

"I learnt about important issues in an engaging way, and because it was enjoyable, I have retained lots of the information"

"They taught so much in so little time"

"I learnt about many new things and how to keep my friends and myself safe"

"It was really engaging and interactive which made the whole experience FUN!"

"Because they clearly explained everything and if you asked a question they would answer with everything you need to know. They also had things to inform you on substances and a board of things, also they had activities that you can do and leaflets on things you might need to know about"

"It worked because I learnt more about how dangerous some things are"

"I learned information that would be helpful in a serious situation."
 
Inspiring and innovative offices already proving popular for business
 
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Harborough Innovation Centre has some brand-new drop-in workspaces which are all uniquely designed and sure to impress.

Each room is fully adaptable to any technical needs with optional standing desks, access to superfast Wi-Fi and bookable audio-visual and conferencing equipment. The vibrant drop-in workspaces - available from just £35 a day - offer an alternative to working from home, and provide a quiet place to conduct your business, or an inspiring place to host a team meeting. 

Read what people are saying here.
 
Reminder that help is at hand if you're struggling with mental health 
 
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If you're struggling with your mental health, or feeling lonely, anxious, or are finding it hard to manage difficult feelings, help and support is available.

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 10 to 15 May 2022 and if you feel you would benefit from mental health support the Market Harborough Crisis Cafe offers a drop-in service at The Symington Building every Wednesday from 12noon to8pm.

Find out what other support is available at  
www.harborough.gov.uk/mental-health

 
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