'Leicestershire is one of the fastest-growing areas of the entire country - so we urgently needs new Government funding' says council leader

The council chief spoke out after the latest census statistics showed that the number of people living in both Leicestershire and Harborough has soared in the last decade

Cllr Phil Knowles, the leader of Harborough District Council’s Liberal Democrats, has already warned that fast-growing Harborough is at “breaking point”.
Cllr Phil Knowles, the leader of Harborough District Council’s Liberal Democrats, has already warned that fast-growing Harborough is at “breaking point”.

New Government funding has to be urgently ploughed into Leicestershire because it’s one of the fastest-growing areas of the entire country.

The call is coming from Cllr Nick Rushton, who leads the county council, as he warned that a bigger population is piling new pressure on to already over-stretched services.

The council chief spoke out after the latest census statistics showed that the number of people living in both Leicestershire and Harborough has soared in the last decade.

“The 2021 census data shows a 9.5 per cent increase to the county’s population over the last 10 years.

“This confirms we are one of the fastest-growing areas in the country in terms of economic growth and in population,” said Cllr Rushton.

“This will place added pressures on already overstretched budgets, whether it’s providing adults and children’s social care, planning new school places, new road networks or waste management, we must be able to finance these growth pressures.

“What this census data does do is allow us to plan ahead and to make better decisions for our communities.

“But the rise in the county's population also means that a fairer funding solution for us is needed now more than ever.”

Leicestershire’s population has climbed from 650,489 in the 2011 national census to 712,300 in the 2021 census (rounded up to the nearest 100).

This is broken down by sex, with 351,700 men (49.4 per cent of the population) and 360,600 women (50.6 per cent of the population) living in the county.

The number of households in the county has risen by 11 per cent from 267,434 in the 2011 census to 296,400 in the 2021 census (to the nearest 100).

More detailed information from the 2021 census, including information on ethnic groups, education, labour, transport, and health, will be released later in the year by the Office for National Statistics.

The full information released from the 2021 census for Leicestershire can be found on the ONS page here:

Population and household estimates, England and Wales: Census 2021 - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)

Cllr Phil Knowles, the leader of Harborough District Council’s Liberal Democrats, has already warned that fast-growing Harborough is at “breaking point”.

He issued his warning as it emerged that 97,600 people were living in Harborough district on census day.

That’s up by 14 per cent from 85,382 in 2011 when the last census was carried out.

This is the 17th highest spike in the country.

The population density has climbed to 165 residents per square kilometre, up from 144 in 2011.

“These figures are a real eye-opener,” said Cllr Knowles, who leads the Liberal Democrats on Harborough District Council.

Market Harborough, especially, is creaking.

“The town, as well as the entire Harborough district, is close to breaking point. Enough is enough.

“I’ve been warning for some time now that we can’t go on like this."

You can read the full story featuring Cllr Knowles’s warning on the Harborough Mail website here: ‘Harborough’s at breaking point’, warns councillor after census shows a population boom in the district