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See below the latest news for Harrogate with local news and information in your area. Find out what’s happening in Harrogate at the Harrogate Guide covering districts around Harrogate, Boroughbridge, Knaresborough, Masham, Pateley Bridge & Ripon.

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Consultation is now under way on £31m proposals to transform the gateways to three North Yorkshire towns.

Transforming cities fund graphic

New entrances to railway stations, new public spaces linking stations to town centres and better access to education and employment sites are among options for Harrogate, Selby and Skipton after a partnership of local authorities succeeded in a bid to the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF).

The TCF aims to make it easier, safer and quicker for people to travel on foot, by bike and by public transport. Transformational projects in the three towns will be delivered by a partnership of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, North Yorkshire County Council, Craven District Council, Harrogate Borough Council and Selby District Council and are scheduled to be completed by 2023.

Public consultations on the proposals for each town run until 24 March 2021. People can read more about the proposals and complete the surveys.

In addition, a series of online public events begins next week, enabling people to hear more about the projects and to ask questions before completing the survey. The events are:

  • Harrogate project: 3 and 10 March
  • Skipton project: 2 and 11 March
  • Selby project: 4 and 12 March.

All will start at 6pm. Find out how to join the online public events.

Proposals include:

  • In Harrogate, improved railway station frontage with better access for walking and cycling; improved facilities for walking and cycling in the town centre; and improvements to public spaces.
  • In Selby, improved station frontage and links to the town centre, Abbey and bus station; improved walking and cycling links to major redevelopment sites, including a new cycle and footbridge over the River Ouse to the Olympia Park site.
  • In Skipton, improved access for walking and cycling from the railway station to the bus station; improved railway station frontage and improved access to education and employment sites.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “It is estimated TCF schemes will improve journeys by bus, rail, bike and on foot for up to 1.5 million people, and take up to 12 million car trips per year off our roads. Our region deserves a transport system which fills people with pride, with optimism and, above all, with the confidence we have a clear direction of travel towards future prosperity for all, while helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.”

North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “Improving the gateways to these towns will not only make them more attractive, but will also provide infrastructure for sustainable travel. We have looked at barriers to people accessing public transport, cycling and walking and devised schemes to address these. I hope people will have their say through the consultation and take advantage of the online events to learn more and to ask questions.”

Councillor Simon Myers, Craven District Council’s Lead Member for Enterprising Craven, said:

“These proposals will make walking, cycling and public transport more attractive for our residents, which is good news both for the environment and for the health and wellbeing of our communities. The scheme also aims to attract younger people and families to Craven, and improve access to employment and training opportunities. We are keen to hear your views as we develop and finesse these plans, to help us provide the best possible environment for our residents, businesses and visitors.”

Councillor Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for carbon reduction and sustainability, said: “Through the Harrogate Congestion Study, it was clear the community wanted to see improvements to walking, cycling and public transport prioritised. The TCF project is the first step to delivering this and I’m pleased that the hard work and determination of council officers has paid off, and helped secure around £8million for the Harrogate bid.”

Cllr David Buckle, Lead Executive Member for Communities and Economic Development at Selby District Council, said: “This is a once in a generation chance to totally re-design this part of Selby town centre. Selby district is the fastest-growing in North Yorkshire and we’re seeing lots of new investment in Selby town centre. Setting out bold and ambitious plans like this is a way in which the District Council can support this new investment and continue this transformation.”

Public feedback will help to shape the next stage of the project plans.

Schools in North Yorkshire have plans in place to ensure all pupils can enjoy a safe return to school next month, including the testing of all secondary school aged students for coronavirus.

Children taking the covid test

Students attending secondary school, college and special schools will be provided with quick swab tests in school before they fully return to the classroom, designed to identify asymptomatic cases of coronavirus and provide additional reassure for pupils, parents and staff.

Following the Government announcement on Monday (February 22) schools and colleges have been updating their risk assessments and safety measures, based on the latest Government guidance.

Primary schools will reopen to all children from March 8, while students attending secondary and special schools and colleges will have a staggered return over that week to allow students to be tested at least once for coronavirus. Some secondary schools may begin testing prior to March 8.

After three initial onsite tests, it is anticipated that students in Year 7 and above will be provided with home testing kits for coronavirus tests to be carried out at home twice a week. Further Government guidance is expected on this.

The quick swab tests are voluntary and no young person will be tested without informed consent from their parent or carer. The swab tests are designed to limit the spread of the virus by helping identify asymptomatic cases, as almost a third of all positive coronavirus cases include people without symptoms.

Younger, primary-aged pupils will not be tested, but primary and secondary school staff will be provided with kits to carry out twice weekly coronavirus tests at home.

Stuart Carlton, Corporate Director of Children and Young People’s Services said: “We really welcome the news that pupils can return to school from March 8.

“For secondary school pupils, it will be a phased return the week of March 8 because there is the expectation that schools will test all pupils at least once before they return to school. How, and when, that happens depends on several factors and will vary depending on the size of the school, the different available spaces for testing and the transport arrangements they have for getting children in and out of school for the tests.

“Children and young people will not be given the coronavirus swab tests without the consent of their parents or carers. They are voluntary, and pupils will not be prevented from receiving face-to-face education if they are not tested, but the tests should provide families, pupils and staff with added reassurance as students return to school.

“Parents will hear from their school over the coming days about the date that their child can return to school and schools will prioritise children in terms of vulnerable pupils, children of critical workers and then year groups. But all children should be back at school by March 15 at the very latest.”

Schools in North Yorkshire have been carrying out lateral flow swab testing since January term for secondary aged students who have continued to attend school either due to their parents being key workers, or because they are vulnerable students.

Julia Polley, Headteacher of The Wensleydale School and Sixth Form, based in Leyburn, said: “The tests are painless, they are really quick and very effective. We have been carrying out Lateral Flow Testing since January. We have about 40 students in school and none of our students have had any problems with the tests at all.

“It’s not intrusive; students come into our testing bays, they’re asked to blow their nose and sanitise their hands and are than passed a swab to use on their nose and throat. It takes less than 30 seconds. They then have to sit for 30 minutes for the results to come through and then parents are instantly sent a text to let them know the test has been completed.

“The tests are just another layer of protection which should help reassure parents and pupils. We want all the students back in school again, feeling happy and supported and this is one of the many measures which helps us do that.”

Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health, said: “The lateral flow tests are an additional means for schools to continue their work in keeping pupils and staff safe and to provide extra reassurance to staff, pupils and their families.”

By March 8, each school in North Yorkshire will have updated its own detailed risk assessments based on the most recent Government guidance. The risk assessments are regularly updated and takes into account each school’s unique circumstances such as building layouts and pupil numbers. The rapid swab tests add to existing safety measures already in place in schools, such as teaching children in bubbles, good ventilation, social distancing and frequent hand washing.

New Government guidance also recommends that students of secondary school-age and above wear face coverings in lessons, as well as communal spaces, but this will not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example PE lessons.

The Government will be reviewing this guidance, along with other measures, at Easter.

Home to school transport will also resume on March 8, with schools making their own individual arrangements for transporting students into school for swab testing. Wrap-around care – in the form of after-school and before-school clubs – are also expected to resume, with schools in talks with providers about resuming the childcare.

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Both incidents happened in Ripon on 13 January 2021. The first incident involved the men entering a convenience store in Elm Road together. One of the men distracted the staff member at the till while the other removed eight bottles of gin from the shelf and placed them in a shopping bag that he had

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North Yorkshire Rotters are on a mission to tackle food waste and its impact on climate change during Food Waste Action Week (March 1 to 7).

Jeff Coates

The Rotters are offering virtual talks on preventing food waste and home composting, and a campaign is being launched on the County Council’s social media accounts throughout the week.

Volunteer Coordinator Jeff Coates has come up with a list of top tips to combat food waste. These include:

  1. Optimising storage – know how to store different foods to prolong their shelf life;
  2. Portion planning – know how much of certain foods to serve as a portion to avoid cooking too much;
  3. Compl-eat-ing – and using up every last bit of certain foods;
  4. Freezing and defrosting safely – knowing what can be frozen and how to defrost it safely;
  5. Fridge optimisation – setting the right temperature and using the correct shelving to prolong the life of food;
  6. Understanding date labels – understanding ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ to ensure you’re not throwing away good food; and
  7. Using up leftovers – getting creative and finding inspiration for using up leftovers.

County Councillor Andrew Lee, Executive Member for Waste Management, said: “We are pleased to get behind Food Waste Action Week which is a great way to raise awareness and encourage people to think about the food they are wasting.

“Before the pandemic our Rotters would attend events, schools, workshops and talks in the community so they have done really well in adapting to the more virtual ways of communicating with the public.

“I would encourage everybody to check out our social media pages throughout the week as we have some great tips which include getting more out of the food you buy and how best to store it.”

For more information please visit Love Food Hate Waste. If your group would like to book a talk with the Rotters on home composting, Love Food Hate Waste campaign or Reduce, Reuse, Recycle please contact Jeff Coates on 01609 797212 or email nyrotters@northyorks.gov.uk

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North Yorkshire Police is appealing for witnesses and information about a Residential Burglary that occurred in Marton-le-Moor, Harrogate . It happened between 1pm and 1.30pm yesterday (23 February) while the occupants were in the garden .

The suspect entered through an open garage into a door leading into the house. They took a black jewellery box, about four to six inches in size, from the bedroom drawer with jewellery inside.

We are requesting the public’s assistance to help establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident.

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for Elizabeth Estensen . You can also email elizabeth.estensen@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12210065212. Contact details: – Elizabeth ESTENSEN – #0795 –    elizabeth.estensen@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk | 101 – 0795  – Incident reference:  12210065212

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A more child centred approach which might appear unorthodox, has been helping a North Yorkshire primary school, its pupils and their families, continue to cope with the demands of home schooling.

Matthew Kelly

Hutton Rudby primary school is looking forward to welcoming children back to the classroom next month but has found that a more relaxed approach to home schooling by removing deadlines and enabling youngsters to influence their own pace of learning, has helped everybody to pull through this challenging period.

While some might expect schools to exert tighter control over children’s workloads while they are away from the classroom, Hutton Rudby Primary School has taken the opposite approach by letting children have more control over their own learning.  This has proved successful with both children and the adults supervising them.

The school has left more challenging new topics to be covered for when normal classes return in March, helping children and families feel more relaxed and lessening anxiety about the work they have had to do during lockdown.

While the school has found the use of online teaching methods such as maths.co.uk, Zoom, Class Dojo and the School website beneficial, head teacher Matthew Kelly said: “We’ve found that letting the children decide which bits they do has helped with engagement.”

The school’s approach to ‘handing in’ work may also sound unusual, by removing deadlines, but this too has been found to work.

“We’ve had days when children have sent lots of work that has been completed over the course of a few days, and days when not so much is sent at all.”

Matthew Kelly said: “I think that not demanding the work back by a specific deadline (or at all) gives the children more ownership over what they are doing and when they do it.”

The flexible approach to deadlines was also adopted to help parents, as it means they have better control over their own commitments such as juggling work with home education – with the ability to upload or send in work when the opportunity is available. That can mean parents submit several items at once but any burden that creates for the school is offset by the knowledge that it has helped to reduce  stress in pupils’ homes.

Matthew Kelly said: “It has been critically important that we listen and work with all our parents. As a parent myself, I know how difficult the balancing act of home-schooling and working from home has been for many of our parents.”

Understanding the needs of the children and working flexibly with parents is essential to create an effective home-learning provision.

“Giving the children work they can complete independently has also helped with this,” said Matthew Kelly.

“This might mean that we are spending time going over stuff that has been previously taught at times rather than broaching difficult new topics, to make sure the children can access the work.” That means the more challenging new topics can be covered when schools return to normal classes.

Live lessons have also proved successful, but the length of each has been capped at 30 minutes and each starts with a strong focus on children seeing their classmates – helping to address the isolation of the coronavirus lockdown.  Depending on the age of pupils, they have between one and three lessons each day. “The parents have loved it and the staff, who have continued to amaze me each day, have actually enjoyed doing it. Having undertaken a parent survey of our home-learning provision, teachers are also making one to one zoom calls with those children and parents who need it the most at home.”

Meticulous planning has also helped ensure success, with sessions organised carefully to avoid clashes between siblings. That approach has also helped with sharing devices. Live lessons are also uploaded on the school website so they can be revisited later.

This supplements the pre-recorded lessons teachers have created themselves, tailored specifically to the needs of the children at Hutton Rudby. This blended approach of home-learning has meant that engagement in home-learning throughout the current lockdown has been 98%.

“Regarding feedback, it is all about positivity for us,” Matthew Kelly said.

“Parents are not teachers and many who are helping at home do not need to be criticised via teacher feedback in a negative way. We acknowledge what children do and we go for the positives. Working together for the children is always the most important thing.”

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North Yorkshire’s social care leaders are once more appealing to all frontline social care workers across the county to get vaccinated in the fight against Covid-19.

Covid-19 Vaccine

“It is worth all of us remembering that for every 20 people vaccinated who work and live in a care setting, one life will be saved,” said Rachel Bowes, the County Council’s assistant director for care and support.  She has urged staff across the care sector to use the national vaccine booking system which the Government has opened up for social care workers, initially for two weeks, a deadline which expires at the end of this week. Although the take-up rate of vaccination among care staff is higher in North Yorkshire than nationally, County Council leaders want all frontline care staff to be vaccinated – including those working for private providers, day services, domiciliary care and as personal assistants.

“We have been working hard to support frontline social care workers across the county to access the Covid 19 vaccine roll-out and we are making good progress, but we need all staff to be vaccinated and we must keep going to meet the deadline on the booking service”, said Rachel Bowes.

“Frontline care workers are a priority group for vaccination and it is essential we do all we can to keep ourselves, our families, and those we care for as safe as possible and getting vaccinated is one way of doing that.” “If you are a frontline social care worker and you have not yet had your vaccine or do not have an appointment to be vaccinated I would urge you to arrange a vaccination booking as soon as possible.”

Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group said: “We fully support North Yorkshire County Council in urging care staff to have the vaccination. We understand that people might be worried about things like side effects, for example, but I feel the benefits far outweigh any such concerns. “We are seeing the immediate benefit from the vaccination programme, with infection and death rates from Covid-19 coming down across the country and it is vital that we keep up that momentum so that those we care for can get back to normal life as quickly as we can.

“For the health and safety of our clients, colleagues and our families, I urge everyone eligible to have the vaccine.”

County Councillor Michael Harrison, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Adult Services and Health Integration said: “It could not be more critical that care staff take up this opportunity to get a vaccine.  We know that care staff want to do the very best for the people they look after and the best way of caring for them right now is to use the booking system and get a vaccine. Our message is loud and clear.  There is support to help you get a vaccine easily and quickly. Don’t delay.  You could be saving a life.”

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North Yorkshire welcomes today’s announcement that the Government will begin to consult on new models of local government for the county.

Stronger together

The Government has said North Yorkshire’s two-tier councils must end to make way for unitary local government, which will unlock the door to a devolution deal.

The Government has begun an eight-week consultation on how vital services such as adult social care, children’s services, roads and transport, planning and waste collection and recycling will be delivered across the county.

The Government is consulting on two options:

  • The county council is proposing a single council for the whole county, building on the county’s strengths and identity to give people a powerful voice, speaking up regionally and nationally for North Yorkshire. This would work alongside City of York Council, as an existing unitary authority, building on an already close relationship. This option is supported by City of York Council;
  • Some of the district councils have proposed splitting the county in two – West North Yorkshire and East North Yorkshire including York. City of York Council does not support this proposal.

“We welcome the beginning of the consultation,” said Cllr Carl Les, the County Council’s Leader.  “Local government reorganisation for North Yorkshire comes at a critical time when we are mapping our route out of the Covid-19 pandemic and when, more than ever, we need a strong, dynamic council to support our communities and businesses to recover and move forward to make the most of opportunities that will surely come via devolution.

“North Yorkshire is a county like no other due to its rurality and sparse populations.  A single council would provide the critical mass, scale and financial sustainability, which are essential to deliver outstanding services while also retaining the resilience to tackle the challenges facing the whole county after the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our proposal will unite the best of all council services. It would also save as much as £260m over five years. No other bid can deliver this scale of savings within this timeframe.

“Like many people and businesses, we have grave concerns about the proposal that would break  the county into east and west North Yorkshire.  Dismantling the already unitary City of York, breaking up outstanding countywide services and setting up two completely new councils would be the most complex reorganisation ever undertaken. Combined with the need to drive rapid and lasting economic recovery post-pandemic we maintain the district council proposal would deliver uncertainly, seismic disruption and delay recovery.”

Cllr Les has called on the county’s residents and businesses to engage with the consultation and to consider what the county council believes are the key issues.

The county council’s proposal will:

  • be a strong voice in the North, speaking out nationally for rural and coastal communities;
  • bring together the best services for residents and businesses, make them even better and save money by reducing duplication;
  • keep the county and nationally acclaimed services together at a critical time rather than breaking them in two, causing seismic disruption;
  • unite North Yorkshire to operate at scale and sustainably, driving recovery from the pandemic, rather than creating two competing councils;
  • create a revolution in localism so communities have the funding and power to take action on what matters to them most in their area;
  • protect and build on the strong identity and global brand of North Yorkshire and what makes our county so great.

Cllr Les said that the county’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic during the past year had demonstrated the importance of a strong council.

“The last year has shown that we need a strong council, not only to help with global crises like the pandemic, but local challenges like extreme winter weather and everyday issues like protecting our vulnerable residents, working with volunteers, the NHS and through our social care and public health teams.

“Our role has been as coordinator, organiser and enabler of the tremendous work they are doing.

“We also understand the needs of business through the pandemic and, for example, have created our online Buy Local platform, bringing together businesses and customers. We believe that what businesses want is the strongest possible council to fight their corner regionally and nationally and to help them make the journey to economic renewal.

“Taken together, this is a great model for how a single council for North Yorkshire can use its strength and scale to operate across the area, at the same time using local knowledge and understanding to tailor help to where it is needed at the most local level.”

Offering power and influence at a local level is central to the county council’s vision of the future of local services.

Cllr Les said: “With a single council we can have the best of both worlds – strong services and a council that is locally responsive. We are proposing a revolution in localism, with local accountability, local access and local action.”

Several elements would combine to achieve this:

  • A main office in each district would provide access to locally based staff with the expertise to help people to resolve any issues or questions they may have.
  • These would be supplemented with 30 community access points for people to visit to talk about the services or matters they need to discuss.
  • 25 community networks serving market town areas will bring together local people and businesses with the voluntary sector and agencies like the police, fire and NHS and local people to decide on their priorities and drive service innovation and local improvements.
  • Six powerful local area committees to make sure local priorities are at the heart of decision-making and hold the new council to account.
  • Town and parish councils would be offered new powers and money, if they want them, to take on some local services. We have worked with 25 representatives from across the county to develop our offer to town and parish councils to ensure they are right.

Cllr Les added: “Our proposal for a single unitary council will unite and strengthen our county, create a rural powerhouse for the North, but also empower our local people where they live. It maps out an exciting future for everybody in our county.”

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A man has been jailed for more than five years for dealing drugs on the streets of Harrogate.

Andrew Paul Christian Brown, 46, was arrested in the Montpellier Hill area of the town on 17 September 2020 by officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Operation Expedite team.

He was subsequently charged with supplying heroin on dates in 2019 and 2020, as well as possessing criminal property – namely more than £700 found in his underwear following a search by officers.

Brown pleaded guilty, and on 19 February 2021 at York Crown Court he was jailed for a total of five years and seven months. In addition, the court ordered that £716 be confiscated from him, and he must also pay a victim surcharge.

DC Tom Barker, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Brown’s conviction and prison sentence should send a very clear message to anyone who is involved in county lines drug dealing in our area: North Yorkshire Police will target you and make it extremely difficult for you carry out your criminal activity.

“Harrogate is one of the safest places in the country, and officers here are working hard to keep it that way. We urge anyone who has any information about drug dealing to contact the police or Crimestoppers anonymously.”

Tackling county lines drug dealing is a priority for North Yorkshire Police, and our Expedite teams work proactively to prevent and detect drug dealing and associated offences. They also safeguard and protect those who are vulnerable and targeted by organised crime networks.

Your information is vital in helping us to do this. To find out more about how you can help and what to look out for, visit northyorkshire.police.uk/what-we-do/tackling-crime/county-lines-drug-dealing/.

Anyone who has any information about drug dealing in their area is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101. If you prefer not to speak to the police and remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Almost 40 motorists in North Yorkshire were arrested on suspicion of drink driving during the first month of the current lockdown, despite no pubs or bars being open to drinkers.

Senior police and fire officers have issued a joint warning that those who drink at home are just as likely to kill someone if they get behind the wheel.

Between 4 January, when the current lockdown began, and 4 February, 39 motorists were arrested in connection with drink driving offences. This includes several who failed to provide a sample.

A further 51 have been arrested in connection with drug driving offences in the same period.

Superintendent Emma Aldred, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “I am truly shocked and astounded at the number of people found to be under the influence of alcohol despite pubs and bars being closed to drinkers under the lockdown rules.

“This is a stark reminder that having a few alcoholic drinks at home could lead you to still being over the limit the following morning and being unfit to drive.

“It genuinely is not worth running the risk of causing harm to yourself and others and positive action will be taken against those found committing these offences.

“Drinking at home can mean you easily lose track of how much you have had, there are no measures or as much cost to drinking from home which is clearly appealing to most.

“Either way, the consequences are the same. You’re just as likely to be arrested, charged and end up with a driving ban and criminal record. And you’re just as likely kill someone if you crash.

“There are no excuses, no second chances. It’s that simple.”

North Yorkshire Police runs several operations and campaigns every year to focus on drink and drug driving.

There are some signs of progress – the number of people arrested for drink driving in recent years has fallen from 1,000 in 2016 to 871 in 2020.

However, during 2020, emergency services in North Yorkshire dealt with a number of fatal and serious-injury collisions where drivers provided samples that were over the alcohol limit.

And in December alone, they dealt with 29 collisions where a driver was arrested on drink or drug driving offences.

Group Manager Dave Winspear, from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Every year, we as a fire service, see the consequences of drink driving at incidents we attend.

“The impact it has is not only be on those involved but also on the emergency services who are called to assist.

“Please don’t be tempted to have a few drinks at home and then get behind the wheel, and remember that you can still be over the limit the following morning.”

>> If you know someone who drink or drug drives, you can report it to North Yorkshire Police by calling 101 and selecting option 1. If it’s in progress, call 999.

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New entrances to railway stations, new public spaces linking stations to town centres and better access to education and employment sites are included in £31m proposals to transform the gateways to three North Yorkshire towns.

Harrogate Station Parade

A partnership of local authorities has succeeded in a bid to secure a total of £31m for three separate projects in Harrogate, Selby and Skipton town centres from the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF).

Now, the public, businesses and organisations are to be invited to have their say on the proposals.

The TCF aims to make it easier, safer and quicker for people to travel on foot, by bike and by public transport by funding improved transport connections. In each of the three towns, a major package of investment will improve opportunities for sustainable travel and link transport hubs with centres of education and employment.

These transformational projects will be delivered in partnership by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, North Yorkshire County Council, Craven District Council, Harrogate Borough Council and Selby District Council and are scheduled to be completed by 2023.

The proposals include:

  • In Skipton, improved access for walking and cycling from the railway station to the bus station; improved railway station frontage and improved access to education and employment sites.
  • In Harrogate, improved railway station frontage with better access for walking and cycling; improved facilities for walking and cycling in the town centre; and improvements to public spaces in the town.
  • In Selby, improved station frontage and links to the town centre, Abbey and nearby bus station; improved walking and cycling links to major redevelopment sites, including a new cycle and footbridge over the River Ouse to the Olympia Park site.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We’re delighted to be working with our local authority partners across North Yorkshire on these important schemes, which will make it easier to travel on foot, by bike and by public transport, connecting more people to job, training and education opportunities.

“It is estimated TCF schemes will improve journeys by bus, rail, bike and on foot for up to 1.5 million people, and take up to 12 million car trips per year off our roads.

“Our region deserves a transport system which fills people with pride, with optimism and, above all, with the confidence we have a clear direction of travel towards future prosperity for all, while helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.”

North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “Improving the gateways to Skipton, Selby and Harrogate will not only make the towns more attractive, but will also provide infrastructure for sustainable travel. We have looked at barriers to people accessing public transport, cycling and walking and devised schemes to address these. This is a tremendous opportunity to work towards our sustainable transport goals and improve access to employment and education.

“This investment is now more important than ever to boost North Yorkshire’s economic recovery and to help get the county back on track after the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Councillor Simon Myers, Craven District Council’s Lead Member for Enterprising Craven, said: “This is an important scheme, which aims to encourage investment in Skipton and Craven, promote economic growth, and make the area more attractive for businesses and employees.

“These proposals will make walking, cycling and public transport more attractive for our residents, which is good news both for the environment and for the health and wellbeing of our communities.

“The scheme also aims to attract younger people and families to Craven, and improve access to employment and training opportunities.

“We are keen to hear your views as we develop and finesse these plans, to help us provide the best possible environment for our residents, businesses and visitors.”

Councillor Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for carbon reduction and sustainability, said: “Through the Harrogate Congestion Study, it was clear the community wanted to see improvements to walking, cycling and public transport prioritised.

“The TCF project is the first step to delivering this and I’m pleased that the hard work and determination of council officers has paid off, and helped secure around £8million for the Harrogate bid.

“This funding will allow communities across the region to easily access a transport network which is hassle-free and offers realistic sustainable alternatives to the car. It will also deliver a 21st century travel network that is vital if we want to ensure economic growth around the region.”

“This is a once in a generation chance to totally re-design this part of Selby town centre,” explained Cllr David Buckle, Lead Executive Member for Communities and Economic Development at Selby District Council. “We want to create a new link between the station and our beautiful Abbey. We want a new footbridge over the River Ouse to the Olympia Park site to open up this area and we also want to improve links to the station from big new development sites, to make it easier for people to cycle and walk to the station.

“We’re really excited to share this vision for how this part of the town can be transformed.  Selby district is the fastest-growing in North Yorkshire and we’re seeing lots of new investment in Selby town centre.  Setting out bold and ambitious plans like this is a way in which the District Council can support this new investment and continue this transformation.”

Public consultations on the proposals for each of the three towns will be launched on 24 February. The authorities encourage as many people, businesses and organisations as possible to give their views by completing an online survey. From 24 February, people can read more about the proposals at and complete the surveys.

The authorities will host a series of online events at which people can hear more and ask questions before completing the survey. Events will be held about the Harrogate project on 3 and 10 March; the Skipton project on 2 and 11 March; and the Selby project on 4 and 12 March. All will start at 6pm. Find more details of the online events.

Cllr Mackenzie added: “This is your chance to have a say on major improvements to town centre environments in three of our North Yorkshire towns. The proposals are at an early stage and your feedback will help to shape the next stage of the project plans, which are due to be completed in autumn this year.”

The consultation will be open until 24 March 2021.

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An innovative project which provides the opportunity to put family fun into exercise is in line for a major expansion in the months ahead with plans to extend it to assist communities worst affected by coronavirus in North Yorkshire.

Discoveries on Your Doorstep has been operating in Scarborough and Selby successfully, having grown out of a scheme, funded by Public Health and working with partners, to encourage people to use public rights of way.

The scheme encourages people to make the most of the outdoors in their local area by offering a series of planned walking routes which take in heritage, cultural and natural landmarks.

They range from castles to canal towpaths but offer a fascinating glimpse at parts of communities which residents might otherwise overlook.

A partnership between the County Council and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust is now expected to see that idea replicated at many more locations in the months ahead and the intention is to target future schemes at communities most affected by coronavirus.

One scheme, featuring wetlands walks, is due to be launched soon in Ripon and has involved Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, with the focus on nature rather than the heritage theme of the two existing options.

A co-ordinator, Josh Wood, has just been appointed and will be in place for the next 15 months to help oversee the development of new Discoveries on Your Doorstep trails over that period.

In Scarborough and Selby the routes, designed to cover a variety of distances and categorised for their suitability for different users, have been put together with help from a variety of sources and it is expected various organisations will be involved in future schemes to help make each project as successful as possible.

Josh said one objective was to provide opportunities for families to enjoy each other’s’ company outdoors, while getting exercise as a secondary benefit.

He said research suggested that for some people “motivation for wanting to be outside and exercising was driven by discovering the local area, rather than wanting to be outdoors for health.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic struck, data has been compiled which suggests some communities are more affected than others by a lack of physical activity. “We think it is most appropriate to target the communities which have missed out most,” he said.

That could include areas with large numbers of children, who have missed PE lessons and the chance to burn off energy at school play times, those with long-term health conditions and the elderly, who may have seen many of their tradition activities ended because of lockdown restrictions.

“We want to be creative in the way we promote these projects,” he said.

The aim is to move away from exercise as the principle benefit, but instead to “leave people with fond memories of being outdoors while exercising and being active without that being the main reason for being outdoors.”

Cllr Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, said: “Discoveries on Your Doorstep has been a great success in both Scarborough and Selby and it is wonderful that the idea will now be repeated elsewhere.

“The trails offer people the opportunity to go out and get some exercise while learning something new about the neighbourhood where they live.”

Details of the Scarborough and Selby schemes are already available online and research suggests they have been highly popular, with measures of footfall levels showing spectacular increases on some routes after the Discoveries on Your Doorstep routes were devised and promoted.

For more information about Discoveries on Your Doorstep go to:

https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/selbytrails

https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/scarboroughtrails

Pictures show: Josh Wood on the Scarborough Mere trail – a three mile trail taking in Oliver’s Mount and the war memorial, the Mere and the Dell

Video shows : Josh Wood talking about discoveries on Your Doorstep and the Mere Trail https://youtu.be/4l1IOa7nwNY

An innovative project which provides the opportunity to put family fun into exercise is in line for a major expansion in the months ahead with plans to extend it to assist communities worst affected by coronavirus in North Yorkshire.

Discoveries on Your Doorstep has been operating in Scarborough and Selby successfully, having grown out of a scheme, funded by Public Health and working with partners, to encourage people to use public rights of way.

The scheme encourages people to make the most of the outdoors in their local area by offering a series of planned walking routes which take in heritage, cultural and natural landmarks.

They range from castles to canal towpaths but offer a fascinating glimpse at parts of communities which residents might otherwise overlook.

A partnership between the County Council and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust is now expected to see that idea replicated at many more locations in the months ahead and the intention is to target future schemes at communities most affected by coronavirus.

One scheme, featuring wetlands walks, is due to be launched soon in Ripon and has involved Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, with the focus on nature rather than the heritage theme of the two existing options.

A co-ordinator, Josh Wood, has just been appointed and will be in place for the next 15 months to help oversee the development of new Discoveries on Your Doorstep trails over that period.

In Scarborough and Selby the routes, designed to cover a variety of distances and categorised for their suitability for different users, have been put together with help from a variety of sources and it is expected various organisations will be involved in future schemes to help make each project as successful as possible.

Josh said one objective was to provide opportunities for families to enjoy each other’s’ company outdoors, while getting exercise as a secondary benefit.

He said research suggested that for some people “motivation for wanting to be outside and exercising was driven by discovering the local area, rather than wanting to be outdoors for health.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic struck, data has been compiled which suggests some communities are more affected than others by a lack of physical activity. “We think it is most appropriate to target the communities which have missed out most,” he said.

That could include areas with large numbers of children, who have missed PE lessons and the chance to burn off energy at school play times, those with long-term health conditions and the elderly, who may have seen many of their tradition activities ended because of lockdown restrictions.

“We want to be creative in the way we promote these projects,” he said.

The aim is to move away from exercise as the principle benefit, but instead to “leave people with fond memories of being outdoors while exercising and being active without that being the main reason for being outdoors.”

Cllr Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, said: “Discoveries on Your Doorstep has been a great success in both Scarborough and Selby and it is wonderful that the idea will now be repeated elsewhere.

“The trails offer people the opportunity to go out and get some exercise while learning something new about the neighbourhood where they live.”

Details of the Scarborough and Selby schemes are already available online and research suggests they have been highly popular, with measures of footfall levels showing spectacular increases on some routes after the Discoveries on Your Doorstep routes were devised and promoted.

For more information about Discoveries on Your Doorstep go to:

https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/selbytrails

https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/scarboroughtrails

Pictures show: Josh Wood on the Scarborough Mere trail – a three mile trail taking in Oliver’s Mount and the war memorial, the Mere and the Dell

Video shows : Josh Wood talking about discoveries on Your Doorstep and the Mere Trail https://youtu.be/4l1IOa7nwNY

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