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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 Harrogate, Boroughbridge, Knaresborough, Masham, Pateley Bridge & Ripon.

The News below has been gathered from the Internet and from various agencies that send us news updates daily. Should you find any errors, anything I might have missed or indeed anything I can include please email info@harrogateguide.co.uk

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Harrogate residents are being urged to take extra steps to protect their vehicles, after a recent spate of thefts in the town.

Over the last week, a number of parked cars have been entered, and items stolen from inside. In most cases, the cars had been left locked and secure, and no damage was caused when entering them. It appears high-value vehicles such as BMWs and Audis have been particularly targeted.

Enquiries into the thefts is ongoing. Incidents include:

A pair of sunglasses and cash were stolen from cars parked at properties in the Kent Road area on 17 January and 20 January.

Overnight between 20 and 21 January, a car parked on a drive in the Woodlands area of Harrogate was broken into, and items moved about inside. It is not believed anything was taken.

Overnight between 21 and 22 January, sunglasses and other items were reported stolen from a car parked in The Oval.

In the Rossett area of Harrogate, overnight between 21 and 22 January, three cars were entered. In a handbag containing numerous items including bank cards was stolen from inside one. Jewellery and coins were stolen from another. Nothing was stolen and no damage was caused to a third, but items had been moved around.

Overnight between 22 and 23 January, in the Rossett area of Harrogate, two cars were broken into. An iPod was stolen from one, and a quantity of cash, in coins, was stolen from another.

Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to phone North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference number 12210034761. Or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Motorists in Harrogate are being urged to follow secure advice and take extra measures to protect their vehicles:

  • Make sure you have locked your vehicle and your windows are closed too, even for short stops.
  • Use your garage or park in well-lit, well-populated and overlooked areas.
  • Remove your valuables. Even bags, jackets, cases and toys have a value to thief.  A jacket could contain cash or cigarettes that may encourage them.
  • Remove loose change from view. Its presence may tip the scales in any decision on whether to attempt to break in.
  • Remove electronics such as sat-navs. You should also remove any holders or chargers and wipe clear suction cup marks.  Any evidence could encourage a thief to look further.
  • Keep your vehicle tidy. Clutter in the foot wells could make a thief feel it’s worth a look whilst envelopes left on seats could contain something worth stealing.
  • Keep ID badges on your person. Criminals know that they may be with electronic passes to buildings.  They may also be attractive to fraudsters.

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Please keep an eye out for this mountain bike. It was stolen from a garage in Harrogate last week.

Harrogate: Appeal after mountain bike stolen from garage

It happened at Hookstone Grange Way between 5pm on Tuesday 19 January and 8am on Wednesday 20 January 2021.

Someone has entered an attached garage and stolen a mountain bike.

We are requesting the public’s assistance to help look for this bike and possibly the suspects of the burglary.

It is an orange and black Whyte T130-C carbon framed with a brand new Vittoria front tyre.

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for Nick Harrison. You can also email nicholas.harrison@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 12210031576. – Contact details: Nicholas Harrison – #0847  nicholas.harrison@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk | 30847 – Incident reference: 12210031576

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North Yorkshire is proposing a budget which recognises the financial difficulties that many residents are facing because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but which also seeks to protect vital front line services.  The Budget for 2021/22 to be considered by the County Council’s Executive next week, includes use of one-off emergency government funding and use of just over £8m of the Council’s own internal funds next year.

Councillors will hear that North Yorkshire faces a projected cash shortfall of £59m by 2023/24 and that while use of reserves is not sustainable, it is necessary next year due to major uncertainties and a squeezed savings programme as a direct result of Covid. This comes on the back of an extra £82m of spending in response to Covid in the last year alone. Cllr Carl Les, North Yorkshire’s Leader said: “We hope to be clearer later in the year about the legacy of Covid, the Government’s decision on local government reorganisation in North Yorkshire and the future of council funding beyond 2022.

“The times have never been so uncertain, and given these uncertainties it is critical that the Council maintains as much flexibility as possible in order to protect vital services whilst being able to respond to further potential shocks. “We understand that residents are facing many difficulties in the light of Covid.  We also understand just how vital some of the council’s services are to the most vulnerable in society.”

For this reason the council says it is trying “to get the balance right” by setting adult social care precept at 1.5% rather than the 3% permitted by Government. The Executive is recommended to agree that a general council tax increase of 1.99% is supplemented with a 1.5% social care precept leading to a total council tax increase of 3.49 per cent. “We think it is right that we use reserves at this point,” said Cllr Les, “so we can avoid rushing into savings that may be at the expense of services to some of our most vulnerable residents.

“We are also making sure that we can find extra money to support those residents who find themselves in the greatest financial difficulty eg initiatives such as the Local Assistance Fund and the support provided to Community Support Organisations. “We cannot rule out the possibility that the council may need to set a further budget later in the year once we are clearer about key issues.

“In the meantime, it is important that we all focus on doing the right things to deal with Covid, support people in our communities, help colleagues in the NHS to deliver the vaccination programme and prepare for the recovery in the wake of Covid.”

A council tax increase of 3.49 per cent would lead to an average Band D council tax level of £1,411.05 for 2021/22

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Village Halls Week 2021 will recognise the contribution England’s 10,000+ halls have made to rural communities since the 1920s.

The national campaign week – now in its fourth year – is set to take place 25 to 29 January and will feature online events, videos, podcasts, and blogs showcasing the history of village halls and the benefits they have derived for rural communities over the years.

The initiative is being championed locally by Community First Yorkshire, a charity that provides support and advice to 971 village halls found across York, North, South and West Yorkshire. David Sharp, Chairman of Community First Yorkshire Board of Trustees said; “This year has seen the marking of the Centenary of the establishment of the first rural community counci(as the forerunners to the ACRE Network were originally called) in Oxfordshire, which was followed soon after by several others – with Yorkshire just a few short years behind. This was as a result of a new initiative by the Government of the day to support rural communities to get back on their feet after the devastation they suffered with the loss of so many of their young men in the First World War and presumably also the impact of the Spanish Flu epidemic which followed in 1919/20.

”100 years on and Coronavirus has had a massive impact on our local halls and community buildings, with many having to close, or partially close and lose vital funds. The hall committees have had to continually keep updated with the ever changing guidance and restrictions, and put new policies and procedures in place for their halls, this has taken its toll on many of our members, so this chance to celebrate the great work that they do, the vitalness of halls to local communities and to showcase the history of the halls is a very welcome opportunity to shout about their importance.” Community First Yorkshire support community buildings and village halls across York, North, South and West Yorkshire more information can be found on their website www.communityfirstyorkshire.org.uk. We also have a peer support group on Facebook for any committee member of a community building or village hall, which offers many valuable insights, tips and information on anything from funding to advice on insurance and hire agreements, as well as lots of coronavirus guidance at the moment. Managed by volunteers, England’s 10,000+ village and community halls support a diverse range of community activities from exercise classes to coffee mornings and are routinely hired out for private parties and weddings. Some host community shops and post offices.

In a survey undertaken by national charity Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) last year, it was found that 60% of village halls provide the only meeting space in the local community. An estimated 50,000 individuals are also reliant on the use of village halls to make a living.

Phillip Vincent, Public Affairs and Communications Manager for ACRE said, “The current national lockdown means we are having to do things differently for Village Halls Week 2021. This will be an online affair but there’s still good opportunity for village halls to get involved and join us in celebrating all the work they do. We’ve published a programme that invites people to join online events, share stories on social media and sign a ‘doomsday book’ which will be a record of village halls in their centenary year.”

 Information about Village Halls Week is available from ACRE’s website www.acre.org.uk.

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FREE MEDIATION FOR COUPLES IN HARROGATE 

This week is Family Mediation Week – an initiative that aims to raise awareness of mediation and how it can help separating families manage their issues collaboratively and productively.

One Harrogate law firm is offering a free mediation session to anyone struggling with relationship issues.

Rachel Spencer Robb is a partner and head of LCF Barber Titleys’s  Family Law team. She has more than 20 years’ experience dealing exclusively with family law issues and is a qualified mediator, as well as an Accredited Specialist of Resolution.

She said: “A recent survey has revealed that children who witness their recently divorced parents arguing are more likely to suffer from mental health issues. With divorce rates in the UK on the rise, it’s essential parents consider counselling services mediation and get specialist legal advice on the practical and emotional consequences of divorcing from an early stage to protect all parties – especially the children.”

The aim of family mediation is to encourage separating couples to sit down together and work out solutions to the financial and family-based issues that can be part of separation or divorce. The goal is for both partners to come to an amicable agreement which suits everyone involved, avoiding the costs – literally and figuratively – of bitter battles in court.

Rachel added: “Mediation can help to secure a far better outcome for couples and children – it tends to be quicker, less costly and less combative than resolving issues through court or solicitors. Many couples going through a separation or divorce don’t know that family mediation is an option for them or are unaware of the advantages of mediation over its alternatives.

“The lockdowns are being blamed for the increase in divorce, but we have found that if relationships were in difficulty anyway, then the lockdowns have simply magnified the problems. The additional pressures of home-schooling children, financial worries and so on, have brought forward what in all likelihood would have occurred in any event. What’s important is that people are made award of the benefits of family mediation. We would encourage separating couples to consider family mediation as a way of helping them take control, make decisions together and build a more collaborative future for their family, which is why we are offering these free sessions.”

To arrange a free virtual half-hour consultation with trained family mediator Rachel Spencer Robb call 01943 885 790, email rspencerrobb@lcf.co.uk or visit www.lcf.co.uk

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Harrogate Bus Co – Temporary Timetables

The new national lockdown means fewer people are traveling, so from Sunday 10 January we’ll be using temporary timetables – built around the needs of key workers, based on your feedback throughout the last year.

All our routes will continue to run, just a little less often on some routes around shopping hours, so we can still make sure key workers can get to work and your essential journeys can be made.

We will still be running over 80% of our usual journeys and first and last bus times remain the same.

Here in Harrogate, we have changes to the 1, 2A, 2B, 3, 6, X6, 7 and The 36 as below. The 8, 21 and 24 timetables are staying as they are now, and you can check those times here or on our app Transdev Go.

New times from 10 January

The 1 Harrogate to Knaresborough

Monday to Friday – every 10 minutes in the day and 20 minutes in the evening
Saturdays – every 20 minutes in the day and 30 minutes in the evening
Sundays – every 30 minutes in the day and every hour in the evening

On a Saturday evening and all day on Sundays, buses will show the number 1, and run along a route through Knaresborough which combines Aspin, Eastfield and Carmires. You can check a map here.

2A Harrogate – Bilton

Monday to Friday – two buses an hour through the day, and one bus an your on an evening
Saturdays and Sundays – every hour

2B Harrogate – Harrogate 

Monday to Friday – ever hour
Saturdays and Sundays – every hour

Harrogate to Jennyfield

Monday to Friday – every 20 minutes in the day and every hour in the evening
Saturdays – every 30 minutes
Sundays – every hour

Harrogate to Pannal Ash

Monday to Friday – every 45 minutes in the day, no evening journeys. X6 is running to the normal times.
Saturdays – every 45 minutes
Sundays – every hour

Our Harrogate Electrics Sunday Freeway promotion will be paused during the lockdown. Thank you to everyone that travelled on our free buses in December. With the support of our friends at Harrogate BID we hope to be back with the Sunday Freeway in the Spring.

Harrogate to Wetherby then Leeds

Monday to Friday – every 30 minutes to Wetherby and hour to Leeds in the daytime, every hour in the evening
Saturdays and Sundays – every hour

The 36 Ripon & Harrogate to Leeds

Monday to Friday – every 15 minutes to Leeds and 30 minutes to Ripon in the day, every 30 minutes in the evening
Saturdays – every 15 minutes to Leeds and 30 minutes to Ripon in the day, every hour in the evening
Sundays – every 30 minutes to Leeds and every 60 minutes to Ripon

What to do if you can’t use your ticket due to lockdown 

If you have purchased a ticket that you will no longer use because of the lockdown, please send us an email on marketing@transdevplc.co.uk and we will pause your ticket, so you can use it when you start travelling again.

Let us know if the timetables don’t work for you

If the journey you need to make is difficult or not possible using our new temporary timetables, please let us know by emailing keyworker@transdevbus.co.uk and we’ll do our best to help.

Keep up to date with the latest news

Remember you can follow us on Twitter @Harrogatebus or Facebook for the very latest news.

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HBC Collections Delayed 

Due to the current weather conditions, waste and recycling collections will now be a day later*.

Collections due

  • Thursday 7 January or Friday 8 January will be collected on Monday 11 January
  • Monday 11 January will be collected on Tuesday 12 January
  • Tuesday 12 January will be collected on Wednesday 13 January
  • Wednesday 13 January will be collected on Thursday 14 January
  • Thursday 14 January will be collected on Friday 15 January
  • Friday 15 January will be collected on Saturday 16 January

*This schedule may change if the adverse weather continues.

https://www.harrogate.gov.uk/bins-recycling-waste…

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Appeal for information following RTC which damaged Ripon building

Between 4am and 4.15am on Wednesday 30 December 2020, a blue BMW collided with a commercial property on Duck Hill in Ripon.

The collision caused structural damage to the business and as a result it has had to close pending building works. The vehicle failed to stop and it is believed that it was being driven by a man with another man in the passenger seat at the time of the collision.

North Yorkshire Police is appealing for witnesses to the collision or anyone who recalls seeing the vehicle prior to the collision to get in touch as soon as possible to assist the investigation. If you can help, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for Alastair Graham-Merrett. You can also email alastair.graham-merrett@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number: 12200247651

Contact details: Alastair Graham-Merrett – #3537

alastair.graham-merrett@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk | 48305

Incident reference: – NYP-30122020-0278

News From Harrogate Community Radio.

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We would say that we are glad to see the back of 2020. It was a terrible year for many – not one to remember fondly. But, there were some good points to the year; babies were born, people got married and folk fell in love. Let’s rise above the situation we find ourselves in.

As I type, the bad situation continues; we are still in lock down. There won’t be a magic wand to fix everything, just the weight of the people who want to turn this year in to a good year.

And, you’ll be pleased to hear that some of these amazing folk have a radio show starting!

Saturdays at midday sees Mrs Moons with a new show called Altern80s – a look back at the darker side of the 1980s. If you miss androgynous boys with cheekbones & eyeliner then this is for you.

Sunday at 2pm sees radio gold with Open Country’s new series of audio walks and Karen Thornton’s Sunday Shorts. We call the audio walks #OutThereTogether. They were originally made for Open Country, the charity that enables everyone to enjoy the countryside. For more on Open Country click HERE. If you are a fan of slow media, like myself, this is amazing. It helps bring the outdoors to you, in lock down. Join Tom for half an hour….

Sunday Shorts is a reading of a short story by Karen Thornton. Karen has chosen a range of short stories that are all out of copyright for us to plough in to on the first Sunday of the month.

Speaking of amazing; Claire Adams has a show that debuts on Tuesdays at 8pm, just after Mama’s Talk. Claire’s show is called Deep Breath and it is a themed show – promises big things and I reckon it’ll deliver….
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Following the Government’s announcement on Wednesday, December 30, all primary schools will be open from the first day of term week commencing January 4. However, the start of the school term for secondary and college students has been staggered.

Secondary schools will welcome back vulnerable children and the children of key workers to face-to-face teaching from the week beginning January 4 and this includes students attending special schools, or Pupil Referral Services. Children in exam years 11 and 13 who do not fall into this group will be prioritised for remote learning during this week.

From 11 January all pupils in exam years – Years 11 and 13 – will also return to school with other children receiving remote learning. From January 18 all children will return to school.

Secondary schools and colleges in North Yorkshire will have the option of setting up coronavirus testing, providing free covid-19 tests to staff and students during the new term. The provision of coronavirus testing in secondary schools is optional and down to individual schools on whether they take part.

The Government also announced on Wednesday, that primary school teachers will have coronavirus testing made available to them later in January.

Since the Government’s announcements that the return to school in January would be staggered, the County Council’s Children and Young People’s Services have been planning how best to support schools with an initial webinar to take place with all secondary and special schools on January 4, which will cover the latest Government announcements on coronavirus testing and the staggered return.

The above plans may be subject to change, dependent on government review.

Corporate Director of Children and Young People’s Services, Stuart Carlton, said: “North Yorkshire’s schools have had arrangements in place for several months to allow teaching to take place online. This was put in place as part of their response to the pandemic and this will be used for those affected secondary school and college year groups from the start of term, until face-to-face teaching can resume.

“North Yorkshire’s schools and children’s services are working hard to minimise disruption to pupils’ education and to take care of their mental and emotional wellbeing throughout this time.

“Some secondary schools and colleges will be offering staff and students coronavirus testing during the new term, which will build on the extensive measures already in place to ensure schools remain safe places to be.”

Summary:

  • Week beginning January 4 – Secondary schools will be open to children of critical workers and vulnerable students. Remote education will be prioritised for Years 11 and 13. Most schools have an inset day on January 4, making Tuesday, January 5 the first day of term.
  • January 11 – Secondary schools will be open to exam year groups, Years 11 and 13, as well as children of critical workers and vulnerable students.
  • January 18 – Face-to-face teaching begins for all students in secondary schools.

Primary schools will return as usual at the start of the school term, on January 4, or January 5 for those with inset days.

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Update 8.40pm Thursday 31 December2020

Police are now able to confirm that there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths of the elderly couple.

The man died of natural causes and the woman’s death is at the moment unexplained.

Enquiries are ongoing to trace the next of kin for the man and the woman.

Police were called to a property near Pateley Bridge shortly after 1.30pm on 30 December 2020, following a report from a concerned member of the public.

Officers attended the scene at Blazefield and upon arrival sadly found the bodies of a man and a woman inside the property. Both the man and woman were aged in their seventies.

Enquiries are being conducted and specially trained officers remain working at the scene, in order to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident.

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Cyclists and walkers in the Yorkshire Dales are being warned against ignoring the road closure at Cogden South bridge.

North Yorkshire County Council highways team are carrying out permanent repairs to the bridge on the C106 near Grinton Moor

North Yorkshire County Council highways team are carrying out permanent repairs to the bridge on the C106 near Grinton Moor, which was destroyed during catastrophic flooding in 2019. The new bridge is on schedule to open by January 25, 2021.

County Councillor Yvonne Peacock, member for the Upper Dales, said: “As we have reached the stage where the shell of the bridge is up, we are finding that cyclists and walkers are moving safety fencing and crossing the bridge.

“I would like to remind the public that the site is not safe and by going beyond the barriers they are trespassing. We understand the closure is an inconvenience but the measures are in place for your safety. We are very much looking forward to the bridge reopening in the New Year.”

The masonry arch bridge has been constructed with just the remaining stone walls left to be built. The temporary road and steel pipes that once gave access over the beck for the past year due to flooding are due to be removed.

The upstream embankment and re-profiling works are still to be completed, along with drainage works, kerb and verge works, road surfacing and reinstatement of the land.

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Primary school children in North Yorkshire have brought their Christmas music concerts to parents and carers, after covid forced the cancellation of the festive tradition in many schools this year.

School children performing as part of the Christmas concert

The pandemic has meant primary schools’ traditional Christmas concerts have proved difficult, if not impossible, to hold before a live audience in school.

But rather than deprive pupils of their chance to perform Christmas carols and festive music before an audience of families and carers,   North Yorkshire County Council’s music service set about creating a festive music video to showcase their new skills.

The video features Christmas tunes created by pupils in primary schools across North Yorkshire and links have been sent to families and carers.

Head of Music Services, Ian Bangay, said: “Sadly, many schools have had to cancel Christmas events this year, so we thought it would be nice to show some of the things children have been working on with us and created this video.

“Part of our role is to deliver whole-class instrumental lessons to primary schools, to give children a chance to try out different instruments and music. “We’ve spent the last few weeks learning Christmas tunes, so we’ve recorded performances of this work in the classrooms and bubbles they are currently being taught in.”

The Music Service provides instrumental lessons to more than 90 per cent of schools in North Yorkshire, including whole class lessons at primary schools, as well as individual tuition.

During lockdown, music teachers with the service provided online instrumental lessons, delivering more than 1,000 a week. They also offered free lessons and resources to schools which remained open for key worker children during the first lockdown.

Ian said: “During the first lockdown, we were able to quickly move our lessons online. Being able to offer individual lessons in real time over Skype or Zoom meant we could do much of the teaching we would normally – we could even help pupils tune violins and other instruments online.

“We know lockdown was isolating and difficult for many children and families and being able to support them by continuing music lessons was particularly important.

“We received a lot of emails from parents who wanted to let us know how much they appreciated the service during lockdown. Some of them told us that the music tutors were the only adult their children saw all week who wasn’t a parent. It was great to know we could help through such trying times.”

Cllr Patrick Mulligan, Executive Member for Education and Skills said: “With all the disruption children and families have experienced due to the pandemic, it has been great to be able to continue offering children in North Yorkshire the chance to learn an instrument and get involved in music lessons.

“We hope families and carers enjoy seeing the results of some of this work on the uplifting Christmas video created by the music service.”

For more information on the Music Service and how to start instrumental lessons go to; www.northyorkshiremusichub.co.uk

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Police are appealing for information after damage was caused to a Harrogate primary school.

It happened at Richard Taylor Primary School in Bilton at some point on Sunday 20 December when damaged was caused to the school pavilion and a classroom window.

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

In particular, we are appealing for information about persons who have been seen in the school premises whilst the school has been closed.

The school has recently suffered a number of incidents of anti-social behaviour, all of which has caused alarm to the school community.

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for Geeta Maharjan. You can also email geeta.maharjan2@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 12200241866.

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North Yorkshire welcomes extra £10.8m Covid funding but faces huge challenges

We have received an additional £10.8m to tackle the cost pressures of Covid-19 next year as part of a range of measures in the Local Government Funding Settlement for 2021/22, announced yesterday.

calculator and money

However, in this year alone the County Council has spent over £80m extra in response to Covid as it has led on public health, support for care homes and supporting communities through the pandemic.

The Settlement has also provided a welcome Income Guarantee Fund. This sees the Government compensating councils for 75% of the reductions in council tax and business rates income due to the impacts of Covid.

The announcement also set out that councils can increase council tax by up to 2%. But councils who provide social care, like the County Council, can consider increasing council tax by up to a further 3% to reflect the financial challenges of delivering social care.

County Council leader Cllr Carl Les said:  “We are grateful that the Government has recognised that financial pressures will still continue into next year as we respond to the Covid pandemic.

“We are also really pleased to see that the Government has introduced the Income Guarantee Fund as this is absolutely critical for the finances of the County Council.

“Nevertheless, we still face significant challenges as we predict there will be a shortfall of funding of £75m over the next three years.”

“We will also have to consider levels of council tax and balance the need to fund essential services through this critical period whilst also recognising the increased pressure that this will put on the tax payers of North Yorkshire at such a difficult time.

“At some point Government is going to have to confront the longer term funding solution for social care and local tax payers should not be expected to meet the gap as has been the case in recent times.

“The long-term pressures we face, particularly in adult social care and in children’s special educational needs, continue to increase at a rate greater than everybody anticipated and we need a long-term solution to address those pressures.

Cllr Gareth Dadd, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Finance added: “Though we understand the difficulties Westminster faces in making changes to the financial planning system, we continue to feel aggrieved that residents in this county pay too much council tax particularly in comparison to London.

“We urgently need the Government to address the issue of fairer funding for rural and shire counties which face the largest funding gap and have been historically underfunded and for North Yorkshire’s residents who pay more council tax than their urban counterparts.”

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