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Decisions made at Full Council meeting – 18 September 2017

Published Tuesday 19 September 2017

The outcomes of items considered at Harborough District Council’s Full Council Meeting on Monday 18 September 2017 are as follows:

Councillors gave the go-ahead to publish the Local Plan for formal consultation prior to submission to the Secretary of State for Examination. Feedback from the public will be invited from 9am on 22 September 2017 until 5pm on 3 November 2017. The new Local Plan will set out planning policies in the district up to 2031. It will make sure development meets strategic priorities for housing, employment, community facilities, transport and other infrastructure needed to support development. It also aims to protect heritage and the natural environment. More information will follow on the council’s website.

Councillors approved the recommendations of the Executive that Harborough District Council invests £16.6million to fund a new leisure centre to replace the existing, out-dated leisure centre in Market Harborough and to reconfigure Lutterworth Sports Centre to increase and improve services and attract more users. Councillors said the investment is the most cost-effective long-term option to maximise the use of the council’s existing leisure assets and ensure they are ‘fit for the future’. Following a conditions survey, the delivery of a new leisure centre in Market Harborough has been assessed as the best option. This is due to the current facility being out dated by modern standards and a new centre will provide facilities meeting customer expectations which should increase use and financial returns. It will also support the council’s vision for health by improving facilities and encouraging more physical activity. It was also recommended that a further £5million be set aside for possible ‘desirable additions’ to the leisure centres at Market Harborough and Lutterworth (eg. café, health suite, bowls hall, squash courts, soft play area, etc) – with particular focus on facilities which could obtain a financial return for the taxpayer. In addition, the proposed contract will explore the opportunity of delivering an out-reach service ensuring residents in all parts of the district benefit from an improved leisure service. This follows a public consultation on the future of leisure facilities which saw more than 2,300 responses.

Councillors approved the Harborough District Council Equality Plan 2017/20 which demonstrates the council’s continuous development in this area. Under legislation, the council is required to have ‘due regard’ to the need to:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
  • To foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not

The nine protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.  The new plan will help ensure the council is able to fulfil its responsibility and respond to changes in legislation.