Review of 2014: July to September

Three Saurus dinosaur creatures roamed Harborough's streets during Arts Fresco in September
Three Saurus dinosaur creatures roamed Harborough's streets during Arts Fresco in September

A total of £9.2million was to be spent tackling broadband blackspots in rural areas of the district, but some villagers were still voicing concerns in July about being left out in the cold.

The extra investment was on top of £18.6m already committed by County Hall and BT for super-fast broadband in the county.

Meanwhile, Harborough District Council said 2015-16 would be its toughest financial year yet and it might need to make cuts of £1.6m.

Council leader Blake Pain issued a stark warning, saying: “It’s going to be the most challenging budget we’ve ever had to face.”

August

Just two police officers were left to cover the entire Harborough district as well as the towns of Oadby and Wigston during a night shift in August, a police whistleblower claimed.

Meanwhile, Harborough Council was under pressure over housing targets after new figures said it needed to ensure 638 homes a year were built for the next five years.

September

The return of Arts Fresco brought thousands of people onto traffic-free streets in Market Harborough in September.

And it was undoubtedly the Saurus dinosaur creatures that were the stars of the show as the three beasts – actually Dutch stiltwalkers Close Act – roamed the High Street.

It was the first time Arts Fresco had been back on the streets for four years and the first Fresco event of any kind for two years. A re-energised new committee had been working hard since August 2013 to bring the event back to the town.

Other highlights included the PC Gone Mad troupe, percussion due Bang On! and high-octane jugglers.

It will be returning on Sunday, September 6, 2015.

Traders were expressing an interest in salvaging this year’s Late Night Shopping event after an announcement in September that it will not be going ahead.

The chamber of trade and others said they would step in to help save it if enough support was out there.

In triumphant news, Market Harborough was celebrating after winning the East Midlands in Bloom contest for the first time in nearly a decade.

The town had not tasted glory in the contest since 2005.