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18 charged following major county lines drug dealing operation in Harrogate and Bradford

Drugs and human trafficking charges following Harrogate’s Operation Jackal

18 people are due to appear in court charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs in connection with Operation Jackal, an investigation into county lines drug dealing between Bradford and Harrogate. Four of the 18 have also been charged with human trafficking of young people.

They are due to appear at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court on 7 and 21 October 2021.

The charges follow a major policing operation in Bradford and Harrogate during 2020 involving North Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Police, the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, the National Crime Agency and the National County Lines Coordination Centre.


Lockdown gave Duchess of York time and space to write first adult novel

For one of the guest speakers at this month’s Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival, ‘lockdown’ gave her the time and space to tell a story she had wanted to write for 15 years.

Whilst Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, has written many best-selling children’s books, and several works of non-fiction, she has just had her debut adult novel published.

Co-written with historical romance author, Marguerite Kaye, Her Heart for a Compass is a fictional account of the life of the Duchess’s great-great-aunt, Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas-Scott.

Other speakers at the four-day event – being held in The Crown Hotel from Thursday October 21 until Sunday, October 24 – include former Labour leader Ed Miliband, former CPS prosecutor Nazir Afzal,  BBC Newsnight Presenter Gavin Esler, Costa Book of the Year Winner Monique Roffey, and Channel 5’s ‘Dogfather’ Graeme Hall.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, and Marguerite Kaye, will be taking to the Raworths Harrogate Literature stage at 2.30pm on Friday, October 22, and will be interviewed by the BBC’s Mark Lawson.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, said: “It’s been an ambition of mine to write this story for the last 15 years. In the end it was about assembling the right team around me to make it happen and having the time to do it.

“Working with my collaborator Marguerite Kaye, and everyone at Harper Collins and Mills & Boon, I’ve finally done it and become a first-time novelist at the age of 61 and I am so proud.

“The coronavirus pandemic, when like everyone else I was locked down with my family, gave me the time to buckle down and write the book.

“There are some obvious parallels between me and my heroine, my great-great aunt, Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas-Scott: she’s a redhead; she is determined to make her own way in life; and like me she can be headstrong.

“She also takes up a career in writing, and works really hard for the charitable causes she cares so passionately about.

“But ultimatelyHer Heart for a Compassis a work of fiction, not an autobiography. It’s a coming of age story charting the journey of a strong woman who strains against the confines of 1860s society, when women were so controlled. I think the challenges Margaret faces will resonate with today’s readers.”

She added: “The main message I would like readers to take away from Margaret’s story is that no matter whether you make mistakes or get it all wrong, you keep going and fight for what you believe is your truth.

You have to lead with your heart.Personally, I feel more robust, authentic, confident in myself and who I am and where I’m going than ever, and that feeling is very much reflected at the end of Margaret’s journey inHer Heart for a Compass.”


Call it in Harrogate MP plea on Pannal flats proposal

An application to demolish a semi-rural office building and build a taller apartment block in its place using permitted development rights has been criticised by Harrogate’s MP Andrew Jones.

The application is to demolish the old Dunlopillo building in Pannal and replace it with a taller apartment block.  The application is made under permitted development rights – these rights mean that the conversion of empty offices to residential can be done quickly, the issues that can be considered when deciding whether to grant planning permission are reduced and, because of the short timeframe for a decision, potentially without going to a meeting of the council’s planning committee.

If a decision on the application isn’t made within 56 days then planning permission is automatically granted.

Local MP Andrew Jones has criticised this attempt to use permitted development rights to get a large housing development through the planning process and is asking Harrogate Council to call an extraordinary meeting of its Planning Committee to ensure that professional council planners can put the issues before elected councillors and so the public can have their say.

Mr Jones said: “Permitted development rights are to enable positive development and apply in specific circumstances to achieve a specific goal.  I do not believe that these rights were introduced for the situation in respect of this development in a semi-rural location.

“Such a significant proposal should go through the normal planning process, be thoroughly appraised by council officers and scrutinised by the councillors at a committee meeting where the public can also have their say.”

Mr Jones has written to the Council’s Chief Executive making him aware of his concerns asking that a special planning committee is called before the end of the permitted development time limit for this scheme.  He has also written to Rt Hon Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling up, Housing and Communities asking him to intervene should the council’s local planning powers not be sufficient to enable full scrutiny of the application.


Anyone for table tennis Harrogate BID opens town centre pop-up ping pong parlour

A pop-up ping-pong parlour in Harrogate town centre is being officially opened on Tuesday (September 21) by a number of sporting celebrities.

Former Republic of Ireland international and Leeds United Manager, David O’Leary, will be joined by Leeds Rhinos RFC & Leeds Tykes RUFC director, Gary Hetherington, Leeds Tykes Captain Jake Brady, and England Table Tennis Head Performance Coach, Matt Stanforth, will be the first to take to the tables within Harrogate BID’s new indoor sports venue, located in Victoria Shopping Centre. The pop-up ping-pong parlour, which will be open seven days a week during retail hours, boasts four tables for public use. As bats and balls will be provided, all that players need to do is bring an opponent.

The ping-pong parlour is the brainchild of BID board member and hotelier & restaurateur Bokmun Chan, who admits to ‘playing a bit and coaching a bit’ (of table tennis). Bokmun said: “Thanks to Harrogate BID, a dream of mine to have a ping-pong parlour in Harrogate town centre is becoming a reality; it’s something I’ve been wanting to achieve for a number of years.

“I’m delighted that David, Gary, Jake and Matthew are officially opening the parlour for us, and I can’t wait to have a game against them. We also have two local table tennis players from Harrogate Racquets Club and Harrogate Spa Table Tennis Club also joining us on the day.

“Table tennis is a great sport and anyone can play it, no matter how young or how old. Whilst I’ve not played for a few years, table tennis is a game that I absolutely love. I played at University level, and when my daughter was in her teens, she played for England.

“This parlour is for the public to use, free of charge. All we ask is that if there are a lot of people wanting to play, then please be sensible and don’t hog the tables too long. Give others a chance.”

Harrogate BID Manager Matthew Chapman said: “This is another initiative of ours to bring people into Harrogate town centre, and one that also has a health benefit.

“In the school summer holidays we staged our first Harrogate Lego model trail, which was a huge success. This week, we are sponsoring Harrogate Beer Week, and now we are opening a pop-up ping-pong parlour, all aimed at attracting different audiences.

“The ping-pong parlour is also bringing an empty shop unit back to life and will be in situ until Christmas.”

James White, Victoria Shopping Centre Manager, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this pop-up ping-pong parlour. In addition to shopping, eating and drinking, playing a game of table tennis is another great reason to come into Harrogate town centre. “Working with the BID on another fantastic promotion is proof that working together with other stakeholders can make a real difference. “I am grateful to Bokmun Chan and Matthew Chapman for their work on this project and all of the other things the BID have done to make a marked difference in the town centre.”

Further information about Harrogate BID is available from its website, – http://harrogatebid.co.uk/


North Yorkshire steps up the fight against climate change

Residents are being urged to take action to protect our environment through better recycling habits during Recycle Week (September 20 to 26).Our waste management service has teamed up with Recycle Now to remind residents what can be recycled at its 20 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs).

This includes textiles, fluorescent tubes, low energy lightbulbs, all types of batteries and broken electrical items such as TVs, hairdryers, toasters and vacuum cleaners.

Every site now has a signed container for reusable items which are taken to the not-for-profit organisation The Recycle Project in York to be upcycled, refurbished, used for community projects or sold on in their new shop located on Yorvale Business Park.

County Councillor Derek Bastiman, Executive Member for Waste Management, said: “This year Recycle Week is focussed on how recycling can help fight climate change and limit the pressure we put on the planet through our use of natural resources.

“Here in North Yorkshire it’s no different – more of us are recycling but there are some items that you might not have realised that you can recycle at all of our HWRCs. We are using this week to highlight the threat of climate change and remind people that recycling is one of the easiest ways to tackle it.”

The North Yorkshire Rotters will be promoting recycling, home composting and food waste prevention on:

Wednesday, September 22, at Northallerton Market from 9am to 2pm

Friday, September 24, at Skipton Market from 9am to 4pm

The Rotters are also offering Zoom talks on home composting. To book a talk for your group either virtually or in person please contact Jeff Coates the Volunteer Coordinator on 01609 797212 or email nyrotters@northyorks.gov.uk

See more information on the Rotters and what volunteering opportunities are available.

Find out more about Recycle Week.



Harrogate Town

Town couldn’t maintain their 100% start to the season as ten man Exeter City rescued a late point at The EnviroVent Stadium.

Jack Muldoon put his side ahead from the penalty spot minutes before half time after Harry Kite had been shown a second yellow card in conceding the penalty for a foul on Alex Pattison.

Despite going the majority of the half without threatening Mark Oxley’s goal, the visitors found an equaliser in the 79th minute through Josh Key’s close range finish.

Both sides had chances to win it late on, but had to settle for a share of the points in a result that moves Town up to second, two points behind early leaders Forest Green with a game in hand.

Simon Weaver selected the same squad that collected all three points from Leyton Orient on Tuesday night, with Lewis Page and Rory McArdle lining up against their former club.

Town were forced into some early defending with Exeter having the majority of the ball early on, a well timed sliding challenge from Josh Falkingham blocked Josh Key’s effort.

Weaver’s side’s first sight of goal came in the ninth minute as Jack Muldoon controlled a long Oxley pass and fed Pattison, whose effort deflected over for a corner.

Padraig Amond first showed glimpses of the quality that saw him find the net for Newport against Town last season as he glanced a header a foot wide of the post from a hopeful cross into the box.

City’s number 11 then created his side’s best chance of the half, floating a cross towards Timothee Dieng, who should have done better than heading off target on the half hour mark.

Oxley was then called into action five minutes later, getting down well to keep out Alex Hartridge’s header as the visitors began to create a consistent stream of chances.

The contest swung in Town’s favour three minutes before half time as, for the second time, Kite brought Pattison to the ground with the midfielder racing towards goal, this time conceding a penalty and being shown a second yellow card that would see his side down to ten men for the remainder of the tie.

Muldoon stepped up and beat Cameron Dawson from 12 yards to claim his first goal of the season, despite the visiting stopper guessing the right way.

Amond went close to equalising in first half stoppage time, meeting a left wing cross with his head, but again Oxley denied the hosts getting on the score sheet.

Pattison picked up where he left off after the break, pulling the strings from midfield, firstly finding Page whose low cross almost found Luke Armstrong, then releasing substitute Simon Power who was only denied by Hartridge’s last ditch tackle.

Town looked the more threatening with the man advantage, but despite Muldoon and Thomson both seeing goalbound efforts deflect away, couldn’t find a second goal that would surely have sealed all three points.

Only an ambitious long range effort from Jake Caprice posed any threat to Town’s goal in the second half, up until the 79th minute when Exeter got themselves back on level terms.

Substitute Sam Nombe broke down the right and crossed low into the box, where the ball fell to Key and despite Pattison’s best efforts to clear, the Exeter man was able to fire into the roof of the net from a few yards out.

Both sides had chances to take all three points in the final ten minutes with Thomson and Armstrong going close for Town and Owura Edwards causing problems for the visitors, but both would leave with a share of the points.

Town: Oxley, Page, Falkingham, Burrell (Fallowfield 81), Thomson, Pattison, Kerry, (Power 59) Muldoon, Hall, McArdle, Armstrong

Subs not used: Smith, Martin, Orsi, Cracknell

Goals: Muldoon 43 (p)

Booked: Page

Exeter City: Dawson, Caprice, Ray, Jay, Amond (Nombe 65), Key, Dieng (Edwards 65), Brown, Sweeney, Kite, Hartridge,

Subs not used: Lee, Rowe, Grounds, Dodd, Seymour

Goals: Key 79

Booked: Kite

Sent off: Kite

Referee: S Stockbridge


Harrogate police take down another drug deal phone line

Police in Harrogate have shut down another drug dealing phone line that plied local addicts with illegal drugs. On 25 August 2021, officers applied to Newcastle County Court for a Drug Dealing Telecommunications Restriction Order (DDTRO) on a “county lines” drug line known as the “Danny” line. The line operated from Leeds and Bradford in West Yorkshire, advertising crack cocaine and cocaine for sale in Harrogate.


The order was granted by the court, it came into effect yesterday and the line was taken down today (27 August 2021) just after 10am.

These civil orders allow police officers to take over a phone line and gives them the power to have it disconnected on a specified date and time. The order also prevents the phone number and therefore its associated contacts from being transferred to any other device. These valuable, protected and often branded phone lines allow out-of-town heroin and cocaine dealers to send mass text messages advertising their drugs for sale and when and where they can be picked up. Taking the lines out means no adverts, no sales and no profit for drug dealers. The handset has also been disabled so it cannot be used again.

Inspector Penny Taylor of North Yorkshire Police, said: “These orders are a helpful disruption tactic to interrupt the flow of drugs. Police regularly seize mobile phones from suspected drug dealers, but the numbers and associated contacts can be reactivated within hours. The orders allow us to take down the line and remove the phone number from circulation permanently, meaning it cannot ever be reactivated on another device, depriving the dealers of the key means to sell their drugs.

“Drug dealing and the associated exploitation of vulnerable people is a foremost priority for North Yorkshire Police and we will continue to target dealers who prey on the vulnerable and cause misery in our communities.”

Today’s action is part of a wider Harrogate-based investigation into drugs supply known as Operation Network and has seen 18 people arrested since August 2020. Criminal proceedings are still in progress, therefore for legal reasons, no further details can be provided at this stage.

County lines is the term given to a form of drug dealing in which dealers based in larger towns and cities, recruit vulnerable people including children and other drug addicts to sell their drugs in smaller towns and cities. They often use violence and intimidation to control their recruits. If you are affected by drug addiction, for free, confidential help with any drug or alcohol misuse related matter call:

North Yorkshire Horizons, adult drug and alcohol service for North Yorkshire on 08000 14 14 80 or visit www.nyhorizons.org.uk

If you are worried about a young person or you are under 18, North Yorkshire Young Peoples Drug and Alcohol Service can be contacted on 08000 14 14 80 (option 2)

Members of the public can help to inform our action by reporting information about drug dealing in their neighbourhood.

Please look out for:

Signs your neighbour or someone you know might be exploited in what is known as “cuckooing”

Increased callers at a property

Increase in cars pulling up for short periods of time

• Different accents at a property

• Increased antisocial behaviour at a property

• Not seeing the resident for long periods of time

• Unfamiliar vehicles at the property

• Windows covered or curtains closed for long periods

• Communal doors propped open

Please also look out for the signs that a young person you know might be exploited by drug dealers:

Persistently going missing from school or home and / or being found out-of-area;

Unexplained money, clothes, or mobile phones

• Excessive receipt of texts / phone calls

• Relationships with controlling / older individuals or groups

• Leaving home / care without explanation

• Suspicion of physical assault / unexplained injuries

• Carrying weapons

• Significant decline in school results / performance

• Gang association or isolation from peers or social networks

• Self-harm or significant changes in emotional well-being

To report drug dealing in your area of if you suspect someone is being exploited, call North Yorkshire Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 in an emergency.


Alfie Boe: 3 September 2021, to book https://www.vivolive.co.uk/harewood

 Opening the Picnic Proms - a three-day live music extravaganza at Harewood House - is the vocal dynamo, Alfie Boe.Alfie Boe knocks it out of the park with his stirring, powerhouse of a voice. 

 The West End sensation has performed in some of the world's greatest venues, with lead roles in Les Misérables and La bohème. For guaranteed goosebumps, Alfie Boe will bring his band and Special Guests – fellow West End stars, Louise Dearman & Sophie Evans - on Friday 3 September, followed by a spellbinding silent firework display.

 Be blown away by the Broadway star in the majestic outdoor setting of the Harewood estate.

 The Great Yorkshire Proms: 4 September 2021 To book https://www.vivolive.co.uk/harewood If there was a roof, it would be raised! Enjoy a midsummer evening under the stars with a starry classical line-up in the picturesque grounds of Harewood House.

 Surrender to the soulful, stirring powerful baritone bass voice of the globally-acclaimed, Sir Willard White. The night is hosted by Aled Jones and also features sopranos Sophie Evans and Peyee Chen, and the 'Rat Pack of Opera' – Tenors Unlimited. Stand up, clap wildly and join in a programme packed with belting Proms tunes!   See promotional film https://youtu.be/5GQvtv9tsDw

 Queen Symphonic: 5 September 2021 To book https://www.vivolive.co.uk/harewood

 It's a Kind of Magic, as Queen Symphonic – the rock and orchestra spectacular performs Queen's greatest hits in the uplifting outdoor setting of Harewood House. Get ready to clap in time, as they promise, We Will Rock You! The world's greatest homage to Queen features a 40-piece strong Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra for added oomph!

 Experience the joy of unstoppable hit after hit, with tracks including Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Don't Stop Me Now and Bohemian Rhapsody.

 The Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra: A Glorious Return!

 The stars of the Great Yorkshire Proms and Queen Symphonic will be supported by the newly revived Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, specifically created to support Northern musicians hit hard by the pandemic. The Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra was disbanded in 1955, and its return is backed by literary legend, Alan Bennett. It's been a long time coming, and Yorkshire deserves its own orchestra now more than ever. This is your chance to join in a historic night, as they make their debut 74 years after the orchestra first formed. Support our local talent!

 "When I was a boy in the '40s I was a fan of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, going to concerts sometimes twice a week. A lifetime later I am happy to be its Honorary Patron. Orchestras need fans. Come and listen." – Alan Bennett


Our Gate is a new exciting immersive show with Harrogate and its citizens at its core.  If you’re looking for a different kind of night out, this is the show for you!

Our Gate will begin at The Wesley Centre and will travel between indoor and outdoor locations through the town and isn’t fixed on the stage like a traditional theatre show. The cast will guide you through the streets of Harrogate to three different spaces. Here you will meet and interact with the characters from the show and the story will unfold. After the performance, there will be pop up food and drink stalls where you can enjoy some refreshments.

 So welcome to Our Gate, the show which puts you the audience member at the heart of the action! The town is in crisis - a group of children have gone missing, an unidentified yellow residue is spreading across the buildings and the H2 Flow campaign has drastic plans for our water.  

 The town has fractured into three groups; SPA Collective, Women Against Water Theft, and H2 Flow, but who’s side are you on? When water is a weapon who has your best interests at heart?

 Join us for an emergency meeting at The Wesley Centre and get ready to watch the story unfold around you in this unique theatrical performance.

Our Gate is written by Rachael Halliwell, who grew up in Harrogate and is best known to our audiences for Connection, Deirdre and Me, and Project Juno. We caught up with her backstage to find out more about this incredible show:

Our Gate gives audiences the opportunity to experience theatre in a new way that blurs fiction and reality. It is a unique live interactive experience where the audience is immersed within the performance. Our characters welcome the audience into the world of the show and invite them to have their say on plans for a fictional new project which would have a huge impact on the town we know and love.

The show is informed by true events in that it explores the divisions that have arisen over recent years with Brexit and local environmental issues - what happens when people are faced with a yes or no decision and the unrest that can cause. Working with a community cast has been the most rewarding and inspiring process I have ever been involved in. It’s a pleasure to come to work and create with such a generous cast.”

Our Gate FAQs


Harrogate Autumn Flower Show is moving to a spectacular new location at Newby Hall & Gardens, near Ripon, this year.

Set in the grounds of one of England’s finest stately homes, the show takes place from 17 – 19 September and admission to Newby’s award-winning gardens and adventure park is all included in the ticket price.

The show will feature favourites like garden installations, plant nurseries, a world-famous giant veg competition, live demos and Britain’s biggest display of autumn blooms. New for 2021 is a series of stunning floral art exhibits inspired by the beautiful interior of the stately home. Newby as Nature will take visitors on an amazing journey through a series of ground-floor rooms before emerging into the hall’s fabulous gardens.

The show is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm and tickets are available to purchase online at www.flowershow.org.uk. Prices: Adult £22, Child (5-15 years) £8, Child (under 5) free, Preferential Parking £8 per car, General Parking free. There is a *£2.50 discount on all adult tickets purchased by 31 August 2021. *A £1 admin fee per order applies.

Location: North of England Horticultural Society 6 The Stables Newby Hall Ripon HG4 5AE - Phone: 01423 648212


Latest update on incident at Bilsdale mast

An update on our efforts to restore services following the incident at the Bilsdale mastLater today (17/08), we expect to return digital radio services from SDL and D1 from Eston Nab, providing digital radio on those multiplexes for much of Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and the coast to Hartlepool. We continue to be in constant dialogue with all our broadcaster customers, Freeview and our regulator Ofcom regarding our plans, and updating MPs to keep them informe

As per our previous update, we now expect to have completed the improvement of TV coverage from Eston Nab, and also the installation of a further 15m mast at a site in Arncliffe Wood by the weekend. These two developments should deliver a significant improvement in TV coverage for viewers in the areas including Darlington, Stockton, Catterick, Leyburn, Masham and Ripon. We will update viewers on any action they need to take with further updates later this week. Work on phase 2 of the recovery plan continues. We still anticipate the temporary mast to be effective by 28 August.For further help and advice please contact Freeview at https://www.freeview.co.uk/bilsdale-transmitter


Bilsdale Mast update 16th August

Over the weekend work has continued at both our Eston Nab site and Bilsdale itself in efforts to recover services for more people. The Fire Service were able to access the base of the mast for the first time since the fire broke out and we are now able to begin the process of assessing the condition of the mast itself. There are no findings to report at this stage and we will update as soon as we are able. As reported last week, some television multiplexes (a multiplex is a bundle of digital channels) are now broadcasting from Eston Nab.

We are currently undertaking additional works at the Eston Nab site to allow us to extend the coverage area of the signal to cover parts of Darlington, Richmond and Barnard Castle among others which we expect to be complete this week.

We are grateful to our landowners who continue to provide access to their lands to allow this critical work to take place.



Crime gang and Harrogate landlady sent to jail after sophisticated cannabis growing found at three properties

A Harrogate property landlady and six members of a crime gang from London have been jailed for a total of 28 years and 11 months after cannabis farms were found in three Harrogate rental properties.

The sentences follow a complex investigation after police in Harrogate were called to a disturbance in Alexandra Road on 26 September when vehicles left a trail of cannabis debris in the street.

Two of the vehicles involved, including one loaded with cannabis, were tracked heading south and was intercepted by Hertfordshire Police. A search of the vehicle resulted in officers seizing around £300,000 worth of cannabis.

At the same time, police officers in Harrogate searched a house in Alexandra Road that turned out to be owned by Yoko Banks, a 73-year-old Harrogate property landlady. Inside they found an established cannabis grow along with equipment including an electrical wiring and security system.

A search of further properties owned by Banks revealed two more cannabis farms in Woodlands Road and Somerset Road . In total police seized cannabis with a street value of up to £240,000 from the three properties.

The houses had been rented out to a third party who then sub-let them to the organised crime gang, with Banks expecting to make thousands of pounds from the arrangement.

Albanian nationals Visar Sellaj, 33, of Newnham Road, London and the ring-leader of the gang, was jailed for six years and nine months; Kujtim Brahaj, 50, of Wellington Road, Enfield, was jailed for three years and two months, Indrit Brahaj, 27, of Whitings Road, Barnet was jailed for four years and four months; Bledar Elezaj, 36, of no fixed address was jailed for three years, Erblin Elezaj, aged in his 30s, also of no fixed address was jailed for five years and two months. All five were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on Friday 13 August. Andi Kokaj, 23, of no fixed address, was jailed for three years on Monday 16 August.


Police called to Pateley Bridge on Saturday after a group of men were fighting on the High Street. The incident happened early evening on Saturday 14 August 2021. Members of the public of the public saw a group of men fighting in the street. One man suffered head injuries that needed treatment.

A 22-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident. He has since been released under investigation while enquiries continue. Members of the public used smartphones to take images of what happened. Police are keen to see images of the incident and are particularly interested in finding out how the incident started and what happened initially.If you have any information about this incident or have any images please call 101, choose option 2 and dial 30820.


14.8.21 Rob Hunters post match thoughts following our win over Hemsworth BY KNARESBOROUGH TOWN AFC - CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO


New report shows air quality has improved across the Harrogate district

While monitoring results have been improving for a number of years, this is the first year that all four air quality management areas in Bond End and York Place Knaresborough, Skellgate Ripon and Woodlands Junction in Harrogate have reduced to below the nitrogen dioxide national air quality objectives set by the government.

This year the borough council have:

  • carried out a trial of low cost sensors in AQMA’s
  • introduced a car club in Harrogate town centre
  • worked on the implementation of the Ultra-Low Emissions (ULEV) Strategy, with phase one funding secured

The report, which has been sent to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for approval, will be published on the council’s website in due course.

Councillor Phil Ireland, the cabinet member for carbon reduction and sustainability, said: “It’s positive that annual reading for nitrogen dioxide is below the national air quality objectives.

“We’re keen to remain at this level, or better still continue to improve, and have a number of actions as part of our air quality action plan.

“These include working with HGV, bus, and taxi providers to improve the quality of their fleet, our ultra-low emission vehicle strategy as well as air quality campaigns and education. We will also continue to trial our low cost automatic sensors.

“We are optimistic that the improvements in air quality will continue post Covid, as many people have embraced a hybrid model of working at home and in the office.

“We will also continue working with our transport planners, fleet manager, and our colleagues in North Yorkshire County Council’s public health and highways teams to monitoring air quality and tailor our action plan accordingly.”

Local authorities have a statutory duty under the Environment Act 1995, Part IV to produce an annual air quality status report


Harrogate Theatre Safety Update

As capacity restrictions are lifted, and more events are starting to take place, Harrogate Theatre wants to ensure our audience members feel secure and comfortable attending performances.

We currently work alongside The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) & UK Theatre’s “See it Safely” campaign guidelines and offer sanitiser, temperature checks and the opportunity, if you wish, to check into the venue with an NHS QR code.

We also request using e-tickets wherever possible to reduce physical contact.

Moving forward, Harrogate Theatre is updating its Terms and Conditions, not only to protect customers but also our staff. We are therefore requesting the following for all performances:

• We ask that all audience members bring with them proof of double-vaccination OR a recent negative lateral flow test OR natural immunity via an Antibodies Test.

• Proof of full vaccination should you have received both doses at least 14 days prior to your performance time. You can present this certification via the NHS COVID Pass within the NHS App, or internationally recognised equivalent. If you do not have a smart phone, please click here for details of how to request an NHS COVID Pass letter. Your vaccination card will also be sufficient.

• Present proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test via the NHS COVID App or a text message or email from the NHS Test and Trace. This test must be taken within 48 hours of your performance time.

• Should you have natural immunity based on a positive PCR test taken within 180 days of the performance, please present this proof via the NHS COVID Pass within the NHS App.

Please note that this only applies to audience members aged 18 and over. Attendees under the age of 18 will be asked for verbal confirmation (by them or by a parent or guardian on their behalf) that they have not received a positive test for COVID-19 and are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

We also request that face coverings are worn, unless exempt, whilst entering our venues, whilst moving around the venues, toilets and bars, but whilst seated face coverings may be removed.

Harrogate Theatre will continue to monitor the situation and updated information can be found on our website click here.


Work starts on new single Council

Work is beginning towards the creation of a new single council to provide all local services for everyone in North Yorkshire.

The Government has given the go-ahead for the existing eight councils – the county, district and borough councils – to be replaced from spring 2023 by one council, bringing together all services, from planning, roads and housing to health, leisure, culture and more, enriching lives and offering opportunities.

So what will this mean for you?

The single council will be easier for everyone – residents and businesses – with all local services joined up and delivered by one dedicated team, bringing together the best of county and districts.

People will be able to find any information they need from a single website.

They will be able to call a single number with any issues.

And they will have a single councillor to whom they can take their concerns.

All of this will be available where they live, as the single council will put local decision-making and local delivery of services at the heart of the county with:

  • a main office in each former district area, offering face-to-face expertise and advice on a broad range of public services as well as meeting space to support local decision-making and democracy.
  • a supporting network of 30 additional customer access sites, which will offer people the opportunity to get advice and support in, or as close as possible to, where they live or work.
  • 25 community networks based around market town areas with the voluntary sector, community members and partners like the police, fire and NHS coming together to drive local change, enterprise and solutions.
  • greater powers and funding passing to parish and town councils, for those that would welcome it.
  • six powerful area constituency committees providing greater transparency, holding the new North Yorkshire council to account, and using delegated powers to make decisions in areas including local planning, licensing, public rights of way, highways and potentially others.

County council leader Cllr Carl Les has shared his views on the wide-ranging ways in which everyone can benefit. He says:

“In North Yorkshire, we are famous for our straight talking so I want to be clear on what an opportunity we have before us.

“Government has given the green light for a new single council, which will deliver all local services to every household in the county from spring 2023. Not in itself perhaps the most exciting line on earth – but the benefits this approach will bring are real and must not be underestimated.

“Put simply, that’s eight councils, with a wealth of dedicated and skilled staff between them, coming together to form one focused workforce, joining up all those services that will make life easier for everyone.

“Aligning things like planning, broadband, highways and housing to build stronger communities. Joining up job opportunities with education and skills. Support for families with health, leisure and cultural offers.

“The chance to enrich and improve the lives of very many people here and offer residents everywhere a fairer future.

“It will also save tens of millions that can be ploughed back into strengthening public services and empowering communities to drive and deliver on what matter most to them.

“So we are rolling up our sleeves because alongside all the essential business as usual priorities, we will be continuing our good work with town and parish councils and community groups.

“We will be pursuing the benefits of devolution to ensure that our great county can play its full role as a rural powerhouse, punching its weight nationally and regionally and flying the flag for our county, a place we are all proud to call our home.

“So, whatever your view on the timing of, detail or context for big changes to how services are future-proofed here, please come together as one to help deliver the very best for every single person in the county. Team North Yorkshire is resilient, caring and focused. Let’s show the nation what we can do. Thank you.”

Find out more about the single council.


Olympic double gold medallist Adam Peaty to make splash with young swimmers at Ashville

Swimming superstar and soon-to-be Strictly Come Dancing 2021 contestant, Adam Peaty MBE, will be swapping the Olympic pool in Tokyo for one in Harrogate where he will be inspiring the next generation of world-beating athletes.

Adam Peaty, who claimed Team GB’s first gold medal in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and went on to win another gold and a silver, making him the most successful British swimmer in more than a century, is bringing his Race Clinic to Ashville College on Monday, August 23.

The sell-out event, which is being staged in the College’s Sports Centre, is one of ten taking place across the UK, and the only one in Yorkshire.

Being held for swimmers aged eight to 17, Adam and his team have created the ultimate inspirational day, bringing together support for both athletes and parents to have the best experience possible on their swimming journey.

Adam Peaty won the gold medal in the 100m breaststroke at the 2016 Summer Olympics and made history last month by becoming the first British swimmer ever to retain an Olympic title. He is also an eight-time World Champion, a 16-time European Champion, and a three-time Commonwealth Champion.

Adam Peaty’s appearance at Ashville College comes just weeks after one of the biggest names in world ballet, Wayne Sleep, also visited the independent school which was hosting the Yorkshire Ballet Seminars.

The Adam Peaty Race Clinic features three ‘swim stations’:

  • Station 1: ‘Breaststroke technique station & Pull Out’ station led by Adam Peaty and Edward Baxter, a British swimming champion and record holder.


  • Station 2: A ‘Land’ session led by Robert Norman, who is Adam Peaty’s gym coach. There will be a heavy focus on injury prevention.


  • Station 3: The ‘Racing Edge’ Station led by Tim Shuttleworth, who competed in the men’s 1500m freestyle event at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He will give insights on how to gain the mental edge necessary to compete successfully.

After the practical training sessions of each swim clinic, Adam enjoys sharing his lessons, wins, losses, and biggest learning experiences with the course participants. The day normally finishes with a Q&A session.

The aim of the Race Clinics is to “make it something that people had never seen before and do something that is often missed out in the swimming world… teaching young swimmers how to race”.

Duncan Archer, Head of Swimming, Athletics and Sports Development at Ashville, said: “Adam is a national hero, one of our greatest ever Olympians, and an inspiration for young swimmers keen to emulate his success in the pool.

“A few short weeks ago, he was in the Olympic pool, in Tokyo, and soon he’ll be in our pool!”

Anna Rakusen-Guy, Ashville’s Events and Lettings Manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Adam and his team have chosen Ashville for one of their ten race clinics, and the only one in Yorkshire.

“Our sports facility, which includes a heated 30m swimming pool, are used by a variety of different sports clubs and individuals throughout the year.

“Over the years, they have been home to a number of different sport camps, including the Andrew Flintoff Cricket Academy, the Louis Smith Gymnastics Academy, plus others coaching rugby, netball and hockey.”

For more information about Ashville College, please visit www.ashville.co.uk or call 01423 566358.

Founded in 1877, Ashville College is a leading independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged two to 18 years. It is located in the North Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate, and consists of Ashville Acorns Pre-Prep and Ashville’s Prep School, Senior School and Sixth Form. Ashville College is a member of the HMCBSAISC, and NEASC, and an associate member of the Methodist Independent Schools Trust.




Harrogate street to trial Cycling active travel measures

A pioneering trial to enhance Harrogate’s vision for sustainable transport is to be introduced on Victoria Road.

As part of the upcoming Otley Road cycle route, North Yorkshire County Council highways team is to implement an 18-month trial for a one-way filter lane on Victoria Road.

The proposal recognises sustainable travel links to the town centre from the West of Harrogate, along with the schemes on Victoria Avenue and Harrogate town centre, to be delivered through the Active Travel Fund and Transforming Cities Fund early next year.

“This addition to the existing active travel schemes in Harrogate demonstrates our commitment to encouraging s

................................................................ustainable transport to ease congestion and to improve air quality,” said County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access.


“Like the trial on Beech Grove, we look forward to receiving the views of residents during the course of this experimental order. Those views will be taken into account as part of an ongoing review of the scheme.”

The proposal is intended to simplify traffic movements at the junction between Victoria Road and Otley Road and to improve safety. Vehicles will be prevented from leaving Victoria Road on to Otley Road.

Existing parking restrictions in the area will remain, a barrier will be placed at the junction, and one-way only and no entry signs will be installed.

Victoria Road will continue to be accessible to residents, their visitors, deliveries, emergency vehicles, refuse collections and taxi / private hire vehicles.

Local member Councillor Richard Cooper said: “A large proportion of greenhouse gases come from transport which is why I support measures such as active travel schemes that encourage or persuade people to leave their cars at home more often.

“Residents’ feedback must be listened to, alongside that from Beech Grove, and I look forward to seeing the effect of the proposals on traffic levels in conjunction with the new cycleway on Otley Road. That feedback needs to be taken over a sensible period once motorists have had chance to get used to the new road priorities.”

A consultation with residents started today (August 13), with a view to the trial beginning in September.

As this is an experimental scheme the public will have a six-month period to share their views. The County Council will then consider whether to make it permanent, extend the experiment or set it aside.

Any comments should be emailed to area6.boroughbridge@northyorks.gov.uk


Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity - Have you got your tickets for our Summer BBQ? - FLASH SALE


Purchase your tickets before midnight Wednesday 18 August and you could win 2 x Castle Howard Proms 2021 tickets – Saturday 21 August 2021!

Purchase your tickets by clicking on the button below or emailing: hdft.hhcc@nhs.net

If you are looking for an event for you, your friends and family to come together, have fun, relax and celebrate whilst supporting a fantastic local charity - then we have the perfect event for you! Join us for our very special Summer BBQ, Sunday 29 August 2021 at Harrogate Railway Athletic F.C, 12 noon – till late. We have an incredible live music event programme giving a festival vibe, a licensed bar, donkey rides, face painting, an ice cream van and much more! We hope you can join us for a lovely fun filled summers day!