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Have say on council’s ambitious plans for future

Published Monday 8 January 2018

Ambitious plans are being set out to ensure the Harborough district is an enterprising and vibrant place with healthy residents and a strong sense of community.

Harborough District Council has set out its new priorities for the next three years with a commitment to providing innovative, proactive and efficient services which meet the needs of residents and businesses.

From 16 January 2018 the public are being given an opportunity to comment on the proposals as part of a budget consultation.

The Council said it is continuing to respond proactively to further reductions of nearly a quarter of a million pounds in Central Government funding in 2018/19 alongside other reductions in external funding. This is on top of £1.9million of reduced funding from Central Government since 2014/15.

Despite reductions in funding, the Council plans further investment in the services residents want and will recommend savings and income generation of more than £660,000 over the coming year.

Harborough District Council is proposing an increase of 1.5 per cent for 2018/19 for its share of Council Tax. This is still less than that paid by Harborough district residents in 2011/12 and half of the 3 per cent that the Government would allow without need for a local referendum.

Council Tax is made up of a number of charges made by separate authorities including Leicestershire County Council, Combined Fire Authority, Police and Crime Commissioner, Harborough District Council and Parish Councils.

Harborough Councillors say the proposed increase in its share still represents excellent value for money with improvements planned to online services to help residents order and pay for services outside of business hours.

Cllr James Hallam, Harborough District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Finance and Assets, said: “We’re investing in the services that our residents and businesses value – with investment and prudent financial planning in challenging times. We are the only District Council shortlisted for efficiency in the LGC national awards and this is a reflection of the sound financial planning of recent years and why it has been possible to recommend an increase in Council Tax of just 1.5 per cent.”

The Council is planning major investment in the Council’s leisure assets with a new leisure centre in Market Harborough – replacing the existing building – and a refurbishment of Lutterworth Sports Centre. There will also be £500,000 for disabled facilities grants to allow people to remain in their homes and further development of much-needed housing on the Council’s vacant garage sites.  

Work also continues towards an adopted Local Plan later this year which will manage future development in the district until 2031.

Cllr Hallam added: “Our ambition is to improve the quality of life for those who live and work in Harborough District. I would encourage residents and businesses to respond to our consultation to help inform next year’s budget and priorities.”

The consultation closes on 11 February 2018.