Residents unite behind campaigner who received abusive emails after fighting to take over part of a Harborough estate

"We haven’t received any toxic emails since the story appeared in the Harborough Mail. In fact, people have been very supportive after they have read your article – and really got behind me"

Monday, 15th March 2021, 4:50 pm
Lara Raffaelli

A woman sent a string of abusive emails after fighting to take over part of her Market Harborough estate is saluting horrified people who have rushed to get behind her.

Lara Raffaelli, 54, has spoken after issuing an emotive plea through the Harborough Mail last month begging people to stop sending her “horrible abuse”.

The battling campaigner, who now helps to run part of Farndon Fields estate, said: “We haven’t received any toxic emails since the story appeared in the Mail.

“In fact, people have been very supportive after they have read your article – and really got behind me.

“They just could not believe that I have been subjected to such awful bullying rants accusing me of all sorts of things.

“I’m very grateful to them for talking the time and trouble to let me know that they understand my deep hurt and are on my side.”

The hard-working online editor added: “I haven’t heard a peep from the people who were being negative and attacking me.

“They are lying low.

“This sort of ugly abuse aimed at a woman like me – especially at a tough time like this – is just not acceptable.

“It has no place in a civilised society.”

Lara, of Angell Drive, bravely took on managing a big slice of the fast-growing Farndon Fields estate last spring after masterminding a campaign to elbow out under-fire Chamonix Estates.

“This estate was a mess.

“People were shelling out far too much in fleeceholding charges and getting very little back.

“Alongside my fellow director I have devoted myself ever since to doing my very best for the people who live here in our little community in Market Harborough.

“We’ve been accused of taking people’s money, short-changing them or not doing the work that we should be,” she said.

“It’s all total nonsense and very upsetting.

“I have a full-time job and look after my family too.

“But I also spend some part of every day running our estate agency,” stressed Lara.

“I speak to accountants, lawyers, conveyancing solicitors, liability insurers and estate agents.

“As well as arranging to bring in local workmen and women to do vital jobs such as keeping our gardens tidy, fixing broken paving and replacing light bulbs.

“It’s non-stop.

“Paying bills, processing cheques, working on health and safety issues, sorting our fire and health and safety audits – and staying on top of data protection.

“There’s so much to think about my head spins at times.

“But it is all worth it because Chamonix Estates – who left this place upside down – were hopeless and charged scores of residents here exorbitant fees for doing nothing.

“What would I say to householders on Farndon Fields who attack us?

“I’d tell them to come and see what we do.

“I’d tell them to come and walk a mile in our shoes.

“I’d tell them to back off and get behind us as we fight to do our best for them every day of the year.”

Lara is also calling on Harborough council to spell out why people pay Council Tax in top of estate management fees.

“I realise that the council doesn’t have much money to spare as this Covid pandemic still goes on.

“But we’d appreciate any support they can give us, what ever form it takes.

“We are also forced to fork out £300 a pop to talk to a lawyer,” said Lara.

“So we’d love to hear from anyone on Farndon Fields – or in Market Harborough – who can give us vital legal advice when we need it.”

Last month Cllr Phil King, the leader of Harborough council, told the Mail: “We will do what ever we can to help Lara.

“We could perhaps look at working with Lara to issue a joint statement to residents explaining exactly what they are paying for.

“But there is no question that they have to pay their dues to her management company as well as paying their Council Tax.

“And I can categorically reassure them that they are not paying twice for the same service.”