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Sunday Email: Issue 25

Hello and welcome to the 25th issue of this regular Sunday email.

The news on the coronavirus front seems to be rapidly going from bad to worse. Yesterday, it was reported that ministers are considering tough new coronavirus restrictions after Boris Johnson said the long-feared the second wave of the pandemic has arrived in the UK. With new cases of the disease in England estimated to have doubled over the past week, the Prime Minister said the government is keeping “everything under review”. The government is thought to be looking at new temporary restrictions, with new controls across England in an attempt to break the chain of transmission and prevent a new spike in the disease. The move could see hospitality and leisure venues forced to close their doors again, while socialising between households could be banned. Feels like March all over again!

I hope you find the contents interesting and informative. As usual, get in touch with me if you have any news or information that you think Topcliffe and Asenby village residents might like to hear about.


07785 223707

New restrictions for the north-east England

Following significant increases in virus cases, almost two million people in seven local authority areas in the north-east England are now banned from mixing with other households and in those areas pubs will close early.

It means those residents are not able to mix with people outside their households and support bubbles, restaurants will only be able to offer table service and restaurants, and bars and pubs will have to close at 10pm. In recent weeks, the North East has seen a marked increase in the amount of testing being done, which has contributed to an increase in infection being detected. A government spokesperson said: “The community testing done in the early part of September shows that the proportion of tests returning a positive result has gone up and whilst that is the case for much of the country, in the North East the number of positive cases in hospitals has also started rising. That is different and worrying.”

Major incident declared in North Yorkshire

Last Thursday a major incident was declared by officials in North Yorkshire following "a surge" in coronavirus cases in the past fortnight. North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum (NYLRF) said it was reinstating "full emergency mode". The body, which is made up of representatives from the police and local authorities, said Harrogate and Selby were of particular concern, but parts of Craven and Scarborough have also seen a sharp rise in cases.

The county’s director of public health, said there were one to two new cases per day at the end of July, but now there are about 20 new cases per day. "We have escalated our concerns nationally and we are targeting our local testing facilities towards the communities and people in greatest need," he said.

County Chief Executive Richard Flinton, who chairs NYLRF, said: "In North Yorkshire we have remained at a high level of alert since the lockdown eased and we have monitored and managed outbreaks where they have happened very successfully with test-and-trace. However, we are seeing community transmission of the virus now and a worrying rise in cases in a number of areas. We know how quickly infection rates can change and we are calling on the whole county to act now with us in response."

Concerns about infections in care homes, and testing capacity have also been raised. NYLRF said it was "stepping up support" for care homes, with some being told to reintroduce visitor restrictions. Other measures include people being encouraged to wear face masks whenever they leave home, and dedicated police patrols targeting those breaking social distancing rules.

A major incident was first declared at the start of the pandemic, but was subsequently lifted. The new major incident will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Coronavirus, Cold or Flu?

There has been a lot of confusion about symptoms and a tendency on many peoples’ part to think that anything that makes you feel unwell might be Covid-19. And that’s partly why the testing systems is under strain. So how do you tell the difference?

The problem is that colds, flu and Covid-19 are caused by different viruses, but can have similar symptoms. It can be hard to judge which one you may have. Most people who feel ill with coronavirus will have at least one of the key symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste

So what do you need to know about other things you may catch in the coming months? Here’s a quick and simple guide.

Does a fever mean you have coronavirus?

A high temperature is 37.8C or above. A fever like this can happen when the body is fighting off any infection – not just coronavirus. It is best to use a thermometer to take a measure. But if you don’t have one, check if you, or the person you are worried about, feels hot to the touch on the chest or back. Although fever is a key coronavirus symptom, it could be flu or a different infection. A high temperature is unlikely with a cold. If you have a fever, arrange a coronavirus test – you can use the NHS 111 coronavirus service online.

Does a cough mean you have coronavirus?

If you have a cold or flu you may well have a cough, along with other symptoms. Flu usually comes on suddenly and sufferers will often experience muscle aches, chills, headaches, tiredness, a sore throat and a runny or stuffed nose, along with the cough. It feels worse than a heavy cold. Colds tend to develop more gradually and are less severe, although they do still make you feel unwell. Along with a cough, there may be sneezing and a sore throat and runny nose. Fever, chills, muscle aches and headaches are rare. A coronavirus cough means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing fits or "episodes" in 24 hours. If you usually have a cough because of a long-standing medical condition like COPD, it may be worse than usual. You should get tested for coronavirus if you develop a new, continuous cough.

What do loss or change to smell or taste mean?

These are key symptoms of coronavirus and mean you should get a test. It could still be that you have a simple cold. But you need to check, even if you don’t feel unwell, to avoid the risk of spreading the virus.

Does sneezing mean I’ve got coronavirus?

Sneezing is not a symptom of coronavirus, and unless you also have a fever, cough or loss of smell and taste, you do not need a test. Sneeze droplets can spread infections though, so catch them in a tissue, put it in the bin and then wash your hands.

How about a runny or blocked nose?

As we head into winter and with children back to school and more workplaces open, lots of people will be getting colds. A runny nose on its own is not a reason to get tested for coronavirus.

If you are really feeling very unwell?

People with coronavirus have a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, although some will have none at all, but can still be infectious. Symptoms may appear up to two weeks after exposure to coronavirus, but usually around day five. Feeling breathless can be a sign of a more serious coronavirus infection. If you are having trouble breathing, contact your doctor online or over the phone, or the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you are very worried about sudden shortness of breath ring 999. The NHS advises that if your child seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there’s something seriously wrong, you should call 999. You shouldn’t delay getting help if you’re worried. Trust your instincts.

Hands. Face. Space

Remember Hands. Face. Space to help stop the spread of coronavirus and other illnesses:

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Use a face covering when social distancing is not possible
  • Try to keep your distance from those not in your household

Book a Coronavirus test locally

Testing sites in North Yorkshire are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. North Yorkshire County Council tries to help by promoting the Mobile Testing Site locations and hosting information on how people with symptoms can book a test via the national government portal. However, they do not manage the national booking system or laboratory testing process.

North Yorkshire County Council is aware of the current issues regards the availability of tests and laboratory capacity and it has raised its concerns at a national level. The Department of Health and Social Care is asking the public only to get a test if they are directed to do so by NHS Test and Trace or other NHS services – OR – if they have symptoms. This is important to ensure that those people who need tests the most can be prioritised.

Testing sites operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care will be running at the following locations over the coming days between 11am and 3pm:

  • Monday 21 September – Skipton – Coach Street, Skipton, BD23 1LH
  • Monday 21 September – Northallerton – Newby Wiske Hall, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 9HA
  • Monday 21 September – Whitby – Whitby Park and Ride, Whitby, YO21 1TL
  • Tuesday 22 September – Sherburn in Elmet – White Rose Sports Club, The Recreation Ground, Tadcaster Road, Sherburn in Elmet, LS25 6EL
  • Tuesday 22 September – Harrogate – Dragon Road Car Park, Dragon Road, Harrogate, HG1 5DB
  • Wednesday 23 September – Scarborough – Scarborough Park & Ride, Seamer Road, Scarborough YO12 4LW
  • Wednesday 23 September – Thornton Le Dale – National Trust Car Park, No.5. Chestnut Avenue, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 7RR

Before you attend you must book a test. Tests can be booked from 8pm the night before. If test sites are fully booked they will not appear on the government’s website. To book a test visit:

In certain cases, home test kits can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves and their family without leaving the house. There’s a link on the North Yorkshire County Council website to request a home test –

A reminder of the ‘Rule of Six’

• Social gatherings of more than six people in England will not be allowed in law (it was previously a maximum of 30 from two households or 6 from multiple households to meet outdoors)

• The new rule applies to people in private homes, indoors and outdoors, and places such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and public outdoor spaces.

• It applies to all ages.

• The rule does not apply to schools and workplaces.

• There’s a range of other exemptions including households or support bubbles that are larger than six; where gatherings are for work or education purposes; weddings and funerals; and team sports organised in a way limiting the spread of coronavirus. If you live in a household of more than six you can gather in public or private. However, you will not be able to join with anyone from outside of your household.

• Gatherings of more than 6 people can be broken up by police and those who ignore police instructions could be fined £100 – doubling with each offence to a maximum of £3,200.

Massive fines for isolation offenders

Just so nobody underestimates how important self-isolation is for those testing positive for the virus, the government has now introduced new legislation which will mean you are legally obliged to self-isolate if you have the virus or have been asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace. People who choose to ignore the rules will face significant fines of £1,000 – up to £10,000 for the worst offenders – if they fail to do so. This includes those who test positive and those identified as close contacts of confirmed cases It also includes employers who force staff to ignore an order to self-isolate. NHS Test and Trace will make regular contact with those isolating to check compliance. The measures apply from 28 September and will be enforced by police and local authorities.

Isolation benefit

Those in receipt of benefits or on low income and who cannot work from home may receive a £500 one-off payment if self-isolating

Protect your loved ones. Test the app

Without a vaccine or treatment, the government states that we need to do all we can to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Their new NHS app is an important part of the current recovery programme, which is why they’re asking everyone to use it, test it and help improve it before it’s launched nationwide on 24 September. By downloading and using the app, you’ll be helping protect those around you – friends, family, colleagues and local communities. You’ll also be helping us all get back to the things we love. Download the app here:

The Milk Churn Farm Shop

Here are the opening hours for the Milk Churn farm shop at 81 Long Street in Topcliffe. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday – 9am to 5pm. Thursday 9am to -1pm (half day closing) and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

Village Hall Committee & AGM

The Village Hall Committee will be holding a meeting online via Zoom at 7pm on Thursday 1 October. The committee meeting will be preceded by the AGM for 2020, which would normally have been staged in May, but was delayed because of the pandemic. By law the public must be made aware of and invited to be present at the AGM so the Village Hall Committee is inviting anyone who wishes to attend virtually to get in touch and register their interest. Just send your contact details (name and email address) to Andrew Eckersley, Chairman of the Village Hall Committee – – by 5.00pm on Monday 28 September. You will be sent an agenda and an invitation link to join the meeting a few days before it is scheduled. If you have used Zoom before then it will already be downloaded on your system. If you have not used Zoom before, it is recommended that you click the link about 15 minutes before the meeting is due to start so that the system can set you up and Andrew can give you access to the virtual meeting.

Road Safety and Enforcement Survey

North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner is encouraging residents across the county to have their say on road safety and enforcement. Julia Mulligan is supporting a national survey from the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners which will help form the response to the government’s review of roads policing, including looking at what the future of traffic law enforcement may look like. In 2018, 1,784 people were killed on Britain’s roads – this included 456 pedestrians and 48 children. In addition, 25,511 people were seriously injured.

The 60-second poll can be completed until Wednesday 30 September at

Lost and found….but still not claimed

The bronze effect charm bracelet found on the roadside along Park Lane, between Rainton Road and Queen Mary’s School entrance on 18 August has still not been claimed. Eric and Chris Moss who found it are still hoping to return it to its rightful owner. If it is yours please contact

Get fit for Christmas

There’s a quick and simple way of getting in trim for Christmas so why not give yourself an early present and get fitter, healthier and more energetic? The classes at Dalton Village Hall are a twelve week challenge that could see you feeling better in body and mind, whilst having fun at the same time. The 45 minute weekly sessions offer carefully planned body weight exercises combined with great music and great company. They are on

Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 6.15 – 7am and there’s a bonus group run at some point during the course. You can pay as you go each week – 1st class = £4, 2nd class = £2.50 and 3rd class = £1.50 or if you would like to make sure that you stick to the plan and save some money you can pay in advance 4 weeks = £30 (12 sessions); 8 weeks = £55 ( 24 sessions) or 12 weeks = £80 ( 36 sessions). All fitness levels are welcome, classes will take place within government health and safety guidelines. Contact Mariola James Fitness at for more information.

Bags 2 School recycling event

The village ‘Bags 2 School’ recycling event is being held tomorrow (Monday 21 September) at the front of the Village Hall. This is a great opportunity to have a big clear out whilst also raising funds for the Village Hall and Topcliffe Scout groups. We won’t be delivering bags to households – please just use black bags. On the day please deliver your bags between 9am and 12 noon. If you are elderly or have a disability and are unable to deliver bags yourself the organisers may be able to provide a home collection service – ring Doug Allan on 07785 223707 to request a pick up.

Any of the following item will be welcomed: – Men’s, Ladies’ and Children’s clothing – paired shoes (tied together or elastic band around) – handbags – hats – bags – scarves and ties – jewellery – lingerie – socks – belts – soft toys – household linen – household curtains – household towels – household bedding (bed sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers). Please note that we are unable to accept duvets and blankets, pillows and cushions, carpets, rugs and mats (including bath, shower and toilet mats), soiled, painted, ripped or wet clothing, school uniforms, corporate clothing and workwear or textile off cuts, yarns or threaded material.

The Angel at Topcliffe

Booking a table in the restaurant is highly recommended any day of the week as it has been very busy, especially at weekends. The garden is still operating on first come first basis for food and drinks. To book email or call01845 578000. Bookings are now being taken for Christmas meals and for a New Year’s Eve event to raise cash for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Check out the website at

The Swan

The Swan serves food every day of the week at socially distanced tables and reservations are necessary. Takeaway meals to order. Times are: 5 to 8:30pm Monday to Saturday and 12 noon to 4pm on Sunday. Telephone 01845 595185.

St. Columba’s Parochial Church Council

There’s no news yet about a date for reopening the church for Sunday services. The PCC would also consider opening the church during the week if volunteers came forward to open and close the church. If you can help call John Phillips on 01845 577034.

Topcliffe Snooker Club

The annual membership fee of £25 is due and should be paid to Dave Bowman as soon as possible. Anyone not intending to keep their membership is asked to return their door key to Dave.

Latest email scam

North Yorkshire Police have received many reports of a new scam email in circulation purporting to be from HM Courts & Tribunal Service informing the recipient they have been using their vehicle on a road subject to a charging scheme and have failed to pay the appropriate charge.(See attachment which shows the scam letter). The recipient is informed there is a £25 fine increasing to £50 if not paid within 14 days and £100 if not paid within 28 days. The recipient is encouraged to click on a link in the email in order to pay the fine. This is a scam!. There are a number of indicators in the email that it is a scam

1. The senders email address does not correspond to HM Courts & Tribunal Service.

2. It is not personally addressed.

3. It does not state where your vehicle was seen nor any details of your vehicle.

4. The email encourages you to click on a link to make payment (all this will do is harvest your bank account details).

Remember all suspicious emails can be forwarded to If you have already responded to the scam and lost money, contact your bank and report the crime to North Yorkshire Police on 101 or alternatively Action Fraud on 0330 123 2040 or online at

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

• Recycling and green bins – Thursdays, 24 September and 8 October.

• Refuse – Mondays 28 September and 12 October.

Harrogate (Asenby)

• Refuse – Mondays, 21 September and 5 October.

• Garden waste – Thursdays, 24 September and 8 October.

• Recycling – Mondays 28 September and 12 October.

That’s all until next Sunday. Stay alert, keep safe and keep well.