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Business: Harrogate Daily News

Location: Harrogate & districts

Phone: 01423 206910

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See below the latest news for Harrogate & Districts 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.

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

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North Yorkshire saves millions as LED street light programme completes

An ambitious carbon reduction programme to replace 50,400 streetlights across North Yorkshire with energy-saving LED lamps has been completed more quickly and at a lower cost than expected.

North Yorkshire County Council’s street lighting engineers have pulled out all the stops to complete the LED programme substantially within three years across the country’s largest highways network, rather than the five years it was originally estimated to take.

What’s more, the in-house street lighting team has managed to finish the job significantly below cost. The programme was expected to cost nearly £13m but through procurement, the team has brought that cost down to just over £8m. 

Therefore with capital costs reduced by over £4m and as energy and maintenance savings of £1.285m are projected from 2021/2022, anticipated payback has dropped from over 12 years to under 8 years.

“Against a backdrop of spiralling energy costs and ever-rising inflationary pressures, modernising our streetlights had become essential,” said County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access

“When the decision was taken to make a substantial investment in converting all the county council’s street lights from incandescent to LED, we were confident of getting a 100 per cent return within ten years. However, our street lighting team and our highway maintenance contractor, Ringway, made such rapid progress that we are realising the benefits of this project much sooner as we delivered the programme early and under budget.”

Completion of the programme means improved lighting quality, a reduction in defects and standardisation of the street lighting estate and a significantly reduced carbon footprint with lower energy usage.

The County Council is also working with many parish and town councils to convert their streetlights to LED lighting.

Not only is this of great benefit to taxpayers, but it is of great environmental benefit as well,” said Cllr Mackenzie. “This programme, combined with the fact we also turn off many of our street lights for part of the night – between midnight and 5am - will lead to marked reductions in our carbon footprint, in fact the biggest single factor so far to securing the Council’s ambition of achieving carbon neutral status by 2030.”

The County Council’s LED project was also fundamental to North Yorkshire’s two national parks  - the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors - achieving International Dark Sky Reserve status last December - one of the largest areas in Europe to be simultaneously designated.

The Council’s street lighting engineers had agreed that, as part of their street lights replacement programme, they would replace lights across the national parks with warmer tone LED lights (3000 kelvin) rather than the cooler tone LED lights (4,000 kelvin) they were installing elsewhere.

Paul Gilmore, the County Council’s electrical engineering manager who leads the street lighting team is a keen amateur astronomer and was totally behind the bid for dark sky status and keen to help.

He said: “It was an easy thing for us to do and as there were no extra costs associated with the warmer tone lights we were happy to get on board and do our bit to help the national parks.”

The fact the light fittings are installed with a light shield to direct the light beam downwards to reduce light pollution, was also critical to achieving dark sky status.

The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors are home to some of the darkest skies in the country, with large areas of unpolluted night sky where it is possible to see thousands of stars, the Milky Way, meteors and even the Northern Lights.

“Without that agreement with the County Council in place” said Mike Hawtin, Head of Polyhalite Projects for the North York Moors National Park Authority, “we could not demonstrate to the International Dark-Sky Association that we were in control of lighting across the National Parks and that would have been a major mark against our dark sky reserve application.”

What started out as a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between Paul and Mike a couple of years ago, has now been written into the County Council’s street lighting asset management plan and the Council has written to both National Parks to say it will continue to support the dark skies initiative through its lighting programmes.

“This brings benefits to the county in so many ways” said Mike Hawtin. “Part of my job is to preserve and improve tranquillity in the National Park and dark skies are part of that and it benefits the visitor economy as well as benefiting wildlife.

“We attract people into the National Parks in the depths of winter for the Dark Skies Festival with all the knock-on income from accommodation and hospitality bookings.

“But reduced light pollution and dark skies status is also of benefit to creatures like bats, birds and moths as it protects their foraging, mating and pollinating behaviour.”

Paul Gilmore and his team are only too aware of these issues.  It is partly to protect bats that the county council does not floodlight its historic bridges and it has also agreed with the National Parks that where there is housing development planned for areas where there has been no lighting, it will allow such development to go ahead without lighting.

“In the past,” said Paul, “we would stipulate that housing development should have street lights but we won’t be doing that in future.   I have spent the last 30 years as a street lighting engineer putting lights in and now I am spending my time turning them off or dimming them or making them less bright. But my team buys into that. The more we understand about the impact of artificial light, the more it makes sense.”  

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The first Makenfield Hall lecture this year is by Gary Bankhead
Wed 21 April at 7:30pm £8


Star of the television series River Hunters, Gary has been swimming in the moat at the 700 hundred years old Medieval, Markenfield Hall, near Ripon, filmed last summer. 
His current role is to coordinate the wider research of the River Wear in Durham.
Gary is an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University.
book online for the lecture at www.markenfield.com

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Ninety-five percent of families (94.91% percent) of primary age children in North Yorkshire have secured their first choice of school for their child.

School craft materials

Of all families in the county who requested a primary school place for their child this September, just over 98 per cent (98.29 percent) received an offer from one of their top three preferences of school.

Corporate Director of Children and Young People’s Services, Stuart Carlton, said: “This is very good news for North Yorkshire families.

“We are pleased that so many families continue to gain the first preference from their choice of schools and that the percentage remains consistently high.

“As a local authority we work hard with all North Yorkshire schools to ensure they deliver the highest standards of education so that families who are not given first preferences can still send their children to good schools.

“We wish all children starting primary school in September all the best and hope they experience a happy and exciting start in their new schools.”

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North Yorkshire Police is appealing for witnesses and information after a car was stolen in Harrogate.

It happened on Hutton Gate between 10pm on Monday 12 April and 2am on Tuesday 13 April when an electric blue Volvo V40 estate was stolen from a driveway.

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

In particular, we are appealing for information about the vehicle’s movements and whereabouts, and if any suspicious activity was noticed during this time period in the area. The vehicle is believed to have traveled towards Leeds.

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for Kayleigh Corcoran. You can also email kayleigh.corcoran@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 12210096907.

Contact details: - Kayleigh Corcoran - #0502 - Kayleigh.Corcoran@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk | 30502 - Incident reference: - 12210096907

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Escape’ is the theme of the latest Ripon Grammar School Hullah Poetry Competition, which has been running since 2014 and attracts hundreds of entries every year.

Judge Dr Paul Hullah, a past pupil of the school and now professor of poetry at Tokyo’s Meiji Gakuin University explained his choice of theme: “The last year has been difficult for all of us. We’ve had to work out new ways to live. We’ve all done our best, but enforced isolation, our new 'indoor existence', has not been easy for many of us.

“A lockdown limbo land of restrictions on movement has been a psychological as well as a physical challenge we have all had to try to overcome.

“In such stressful, testing times, it’s important to find ways actively to reduce anxiety. Art — of which poetry is a fundamental form — can represent a welcome escape from the prosaic reality of our situation.

“Whether we’re producers of art, or consumers, or both, creativity stimulates the imagination and exercises the mind, inspires and elevates us.

“Whether it’s a Netflix binge watch, a video game, a fantasy manga, a favourite tune, a musical, a ballet, a book… or a poem, art offers us a meaningful exit route — dramatic, fantastical, and joyous — from the daily actualities in which we find ourselves, a temporary respite from the workaday mundanities that give life a regularity but are lacking in emotional release.

“Art is a medicine that soothes and liberates: ‘Go anywhere, without leaving your chair’, as the song says...

“So, this year, the task is to write a poem of fourteen or more lines that somehow connects to the (very vague: interpret it as freely as you like!) concept of ‘Escape’. Any poetic form, rhyme scheme or narrator is allowed.”

*Please submit your poem via email by Friday, July 16, 2021 to Mrs Mars at marsh@ripongrammar.com

Category One: pupils of RGS only (trophy and book token prize).

Category Two: staff, Old Rips, inhabitants of Ripon, and friends of the school (book token prize).

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We are excited to announce the launch of our late development Category 4 EFL Academy, allowing 16-18 year olds the opportunity to train full time with the club.

Subject to approval from the EFL, the Academy will provide talented young footballers with the opportunity to develop under our UEFA licensed coaches with a view of progressing into the first team set up.

The Academy will be headed up by Paul Stansfield, former Town player and current Knaresborough Town Manager. Paul will be supported by PDP Coach Ross McKay, while Phil Priestley will act as Goalkeeper Coach and Josh Walsh Academy Secretary. Lee Barraclough takes the role of Head of Recruitment, with a full time physio and part time doctor to be appointed.

The Academy will be based at West Riding FA along with the current first team and compete in the EFL Youth Alliance North East, allowing regular competitive fixtures and a clear pathway and progression through the ranks.

“It’s vital that we launch our own academy, it’s a massive step in the right direction for the club in terms of fulfilling the vision of where we started and what we foresee being our future.” Explained First Team Manager Simon Weaver

“The goal at this club has always been to produce youngsters from the first stage in our Player Development Centre to the youth teams and see them move into the first team and beyond so this is hugely important for us.

“There’s a lot of local talent, but by having an academy we are able to spread the net farther and wider in the hope that we produce some really good talented youngsters.

“I always thought that as a supporter to see one of the local players breakthrough just brought that bit more pride so it’s exciting already to see so many enthusiastic youngsters attend trials.

“We’re going to go for people that we think are honest lads and are very respectful so they’ll tick the boxes of all we believe in and allow us to know every team representing the club is taking to the field wearing the shirt with pride.”

Our U19s, U17s and U19 Alliance teams will continue to run and compete in their respective leagues, alongside the newly established Academy.

For news regarding the progress of our Academy, including our first ever squad announcement, make sure you follow @HarrogateYouth on Twitter.

We remain on the lookout for host families and a physiotherapist for our 16–18 year olds, suitable families would be interviewed by the club and would receive a CRB check, in line with current regulations.

For more information please contact daveriley@harrogatetownafc.com

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Leaders from organisations which fund, promote and support sport and physical activity across Yorkshire are wanting to hear from people in North Yorkshire about how everyone can be supported to be more active and as part of recovery from the pandemic.

Two people running

There is less than  one week left for people and organisations with an interest in the benefits of physical activity to give their views in a call for evidence launched in March by Yorkshire’s think-tank, Policy Yorkshire. Among organisations taking part are North Yorkshire Sport and North Yorkshire County Council.

The feedback from the call for evidence will be used to put forward recommendations about how sport and physical activity can play a full part towards in helping communities to be healthy, prosperous and connected across Yorkshire and the Humber.

The aim is to bring about a fundamental shift in the level of physical activity across the region. 

Richard Webb, North Yorkshire County Council’s  Director of Health and Adult Services, who is a member of the coalition of organisations that are leading this work, said: “We want to know what has helped people be active during the pandemic and, also, what are the barriers to taking part as well as the opportunities in our region.  So we want people’s ideas for the future, so we can take practical steps that make a difference.”

Research has shown that many people are already physically active in Yorkshire and the Humber and that, before the pandemic, levels of activity were increasing. However, Policy Yorkshire has stated there is evidence that people on low incomes and disabled people can find it difficult to be active on a regular basis.

Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health said: “There is a great deal of evidence to show that a good level of physical activity boosts mental and physical well-being and we want to help people to lead more active lives, especially as we come out of the pandemic.”

With obesity a clear risk factor in contracting COVID-19 and lockdown having caused significant mental health problems, there has never been a more important time to be active according to the think-tank.

Richard Webb said: “This is about all of us moving more, in ways that we can, and feeling better for it”

David Watson, Chief Executive of North Yorkshire Sport, who is also a member of the working group, said: “There has never been a more important time for citizens of North Yorkshire to develop or maintain good physical and mental wellbeing, as we seek to recover from the effects of COVID 19.”

North Yorkshire Sport works across North Yorkshire using sport and physical activity to drive positive change and help build stronger communities. David Watson said:  “We regularly see the significant social, physical, and mental benefits of physical activity through the numerous programmes we manage, input into or run for those in most need, including those with dementia or who suffer chronic pain and limited movement, and the pandemic has certainly heightened inequalities.

“We would urge anyone with an interest in developing physical activity levels across the region to submit their views and responses, to help us shape and influence the messages and policies at the highest levels of government”.

The group is keen to hear from respondents on the following key points:

  • What works well and not so well now in Yorkshire and The Humber in supporting and encouraging physical activity?
  • What opportunities are there to re-shape our physical, social and economic environment to better improve levels of physical activity?
  • How might we describe and measure future success in achieving these policies in Yorkshire and Humber?
  • What are the policies that matter most to support people in Yorkshire and The Humber to be as active as they can be?

Policy Yorkshire is seeking written submissions in response to these questions of no longer than 2,000 words by 5pm on Friday 16th April.

Submissions should be sent to admin@policyyorkshire.org or can be made online at policyyorkshire.org.

Policy Yorkshire will develop a series of proposals for the region’s local authorities and Mayors along with central government.

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This is a special edition of Residents’ News.From Harrogate Borough Council

We’re sending this to mark the most significant change to date in the lockdown rules.

From today (12 April) non-essential retailers and a host of other businesses are permitted to open for the first time in several months.

We suspect you may be torn between heading to a beer garden for your first pub pint for many weeks or trying to arrange to have your hair cut.

In this special edition, you’ll also find out about:

  • The reopening of our pools and Brimhams fitness centres
  • How to book yourself a rejuvenating treatment at Turkish Baths Harrogate
  • Why you should have your say on changes to council services

Coronavirus: non-essential retail is open again

Today (12 April) is the date we’ve all had in our dairies for weeks.

From this morning, non-essential retailers, ‘personal care’ premises (hairdressers, barber shops, nail bars) many public buildings and leisure centres opened again.

Hospitality businesses are also allowed to serve customers in outdoor settings.  Food and drink must be ordered and consumed when you are seated.

You can now book and stay at self-contained accommodation, such as campsites and holiday lets, provided indoor facilities are not shared with other households.

However, despite the fact the lockdown restrictions have eased further today, Covid-19 hasn’t gone away.

Please continue – like you have been doing all along – to follow the rules to do your bit to minimise the spread of the virus in your local community and across the district.

Remember ‘hands, face and space’ and a new message about fresh air.  Even indoors, you should consider how to keep fresh air circulating.

Please wear a face covering where you are required to and maintain social distancing even when you are outdoors.

Don’t forget that meeting people you do not live with inside your house is still not allowed.


Our gyms and two of our pools are open again

Swimmers in pool

We welcomed back our first customers at the Hydro in Harrogate and at Ripon and Nidderdale leisure centres this morning.

You can now enjoy lane swimming and family fun sessions in our pools at the Hydro and at Nidderdale leisure centre.

Our Brimhams fitness centres at the Hydro and at Ripon and Nidderdale leisure centres are now open again to existing members.

All swim and gym sessions must be pre-booked in advance.

Please note that you must wear a face covering in all communal areas of our buildings.

We are putting plans in place to open our three other pools in the coming weeks and months.  We are working on the basis that Ripon Spa Baths will be next to open.

We are waiting for the government to publish guidance on future social distancing rules which will dictate how quickly we can reopen Starbeck baths.

Regrettably, the filtration equipment at Knaresborough pool is still broken.

We had been waiting for the arrival from Spain of specialist contractors to carry out repairs.

However, with a third wave of the coronavirus currently gripping many countries in Europe, including Spain, it is highly unlikely the engineers will be given permission to travel any time soon.

We have consulted pool specialists in the UK and are working up plans to completely replace the faulty equipment at Knaresborough.

This is likely to be a more costly solution, but we are keen to ensure our residents in the east of the district have easy access to a pool as soon as possible.

We will keep you posted on progress in future editions of Residents’ News.


Could you be a new Brimhams team member?

Two women exercising in a gym

As we continue with our phased reopening of our gyms and pools, we’re recruiting new team members.

Right now, we need lifeguards to help ensure swimmers enjoy their time in the water safely.

We’ll soon be advertising openings for fitness staff and other roles.

Please take a look at the jobs page on our website for the latest opportunities.

We look forward to receiving your application.


Turkish Baths Harrogate is ready to welcome you back

Customer being given a treatment at Turkish Baths Harrogate

After months of lockdown, we’re sure you definitely deserve a pampering with one of the many treatments available at the Turkish Baths.

To secure your personal relaxation and rejuvenation session, all you need to do is make an online booking via the Turkish Baths website.

You can also call our friendly reservations team on 01423 55676.  Please mention that you saw this story in Residents’ News.

Although we are now able to offer treatments once more, the Turkish Baths remain closed until further notice.


Knaresborough and Ripon markets

Ripon market trader

During lockdown, the markets in Knaresborough and Ripon were restricted to the sale of essential goods only.

From Wednesday this week in Knaresborough and Thursday in Ripon, we will welcome back all of our fantastic traders.

As well as locally sourced goods and quality products, our traders are experts in their own rights and will be delighted to offer any advice you need.

We look forward to welcoming you back too.


Customer services open for pre-booked appointments

Civic centre, Harrogate

Now that public buildings are permitted to open again, we’re able to offer a limited face-to-face service at civic centre in Harrogate if you need to see us in person.

However, to ensure we follow social distancing rules and regulate the number of people in the building at once, you’ll need to make an appointment to come in.

Please give us a call on 01423 500600 to make the arrangements.


Your local council services are changing

Public survey

If you’re not a first-time reader of Residents’ News, you may recall from previous editions how we told you about the reorganisation of local government in North Yorkshire.

The government is consulting on changes to the way local services are provided.

Instead of responsibility being split between two, separate, councils the government has suggested two unitary authorities to each run all services in their respective areas.

Six of the seven district and borough councils – including us – have proposed an east and west model with the county split roughly either side of the A1(M).

The west side would be formed of the current Craven, Richmondshire and Hambleton districts and the borough of Harrogate.

The east side would be formed of the current city of York area, the districts of Selby and Ryedale and the borough of Scarborough.

You’ll find the business case for the east/west model on this special website.

North Yorkshire County Council is suggesting one unitary council would cover the entire county with a second, smaller unitary to run the city of York as is the case now.

The government consultation is your chance to shape the way local council services are organised and provided in your community.

That’s why we encourage you to take part and add your views.

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Corporate lawyers and support staff from Harrogate-based LCF Law have raised over £800 for cancer charity, Macmillan by taking part in the Mighty Miles challenge.

Twelve members of the corporate and employment team challenged themselves to keep active whilst fundraising for Macmillan. The team set themselves a target of raising £500 by walking, running or cycling the distance from Leeds to Paris, which is 769km, over a four-week period.

Partner, Cathy Cook, from LCF Law’s corporate department, said: “We all understand how valuable the work of Macmillan is. The charity works tirelessly to ensure people with cancer get the support they need, and by joining the Mighty Miles challenge, we can do a small bit to help.

“We chose to complete the distance between Leeds and Paris because many of us are hoping to get away this year, so Paris felt like a nice aim. As well as the obvious benefit of raising money for Macmillan, it has also been a valuable team building exercise that has helped to motivate us to keep active outdoors during lockdown despite the weather!”

Its takes £31 to fund a nurse for one hour, £217 to run a small Macmillan cancer information and support centre for one day and £372 to run Macmillan’s online community forum for the day. Money donated to Macmillan helps the charity to create new services, adapt old ones and speak up on behalf of people living with cancer.

Cathy added: “It’s such an accessible fundraising initiative that is easy to set up and really inclusive. It also helps promote positive mental and physical health. Some of the team are keen runners and cyclists, and others were non-runners, who started and finished the couch to 5km challenge during the month. Several even completed their first ever 10km as part of the Mighty Miles challenge. Ohers enjoyed walking either on our own or with our four-legged friends. We are proud to have come together and achieved our goal and of course we are very grateful for the support our families, friends and colleagues have shown us with their donations.”

The LCF Law team exceeded their original target of £500. Anyone still wanting to sponsor the team can do so via this link: https://mightymiles.macmillan.org.uk/fundraising/lcf-miles-for-macmillan

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Hospice 100 challenge - Time: - throughout May - Venue – Your community

Cost – Free - Register - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hospice-100-challenge-tickets-146783339921

Join Saint Michael’s  Hospice 100 event for a feel-good, flexible fitness challenge this spring.

The Hospice 100 challenge is an easy way for everyone to get motivated, get outside, get fit and make a difference - one step at a time!

Walk/jog/run/cycle/swim/scoot and raise £100 to support hospice services. You could walk or run 100 miles, or 100km, keep active for 100 minutes a day, or try 100 push-ups, star jumps -or whatever you fancy with a 100-theme. 

Entry is free and all participants will receive a special Saint Michael's T-shirt to proudly show your commitment to supporting local families living with terminal illness and bereavement. as well as a participant pack full of ideas and inspiration. 

We ask that every participant aims to raise £100 which will go directly to help provide our vital services.

 Sign up here today https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hospice-100-challenge-tickets-146783339921 - Or www.saintmichaelshospice.org

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The Crown Plaza Harrogate Image

The sun is shining, the drinks are flowing and you're finally outside of those same four walls! Sound good? Well, that could be you this time next week. Sipping a glass of fizz with family, or enjoying a well deserved dinner and drinks with friends.

Our outdoor seating area opens on 12th April. Join us for a relaxed bite to eat, catch up with friends over a cocktail, or wind down with a beer after a week of zoom calls. Whatever the occasion, come rain or shine, we can't wait to welcome you back.

So, let's go Al Fresco!

Booking is recommended.

Call 01423 849 988 to book now!


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Library staff and volunteers around North Yorkshire are looking forward to welcoming customers back into branches following confirmation of the next step in the easing of lockdown.

Person in library

Most libraries in the county expect to reopen on or shortly after Monday, 12 April, to enable customers to browse and to choose their own books to borrow.