Posted on

Sunday Email: Issue 51

Hello and welcome to the 51st issue of this regular Sunday email. I hope you find this email’s contents interesting and informative. As usual, do get in touch with me if you have any news or information that you think Topcliffe and Asenby residents might like to hear about.

Doug (07785 223707)

The week’s Covid statistics

• The R number – which takes into account cases, hospitalisations and deaths – is now between 0.7 and 0.9.

• Nearly 30 million people have now had a first dose vaccination. And the number of second doses administered now exceeds 3.3 million.

• There have been more than 4.33 million confirmed cases of Covid in the UK. Yesterday 4,715 cases were confirmed.

• 8.4 million Covid tests were conducted last week. An average of 1.2 million each day.

• 363 people were admitted to hospital on a daily basis (2,704 in the week). Those figures are 20% down on the previous week. The number of Covid patients in hospital dropped again, week on week,

to a new low of 4560 (6,162 last week).

• Yesterday 58 UK deaths were reported. There were 451 in the seven-day period to Saturday. Deaths from Covid have fallen by 31% in a week.

• The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at over 126,573. Worldwide, the number of deaths is now almost 2.8 million.

The Roadmap out of Lockdown

Tomorrow we set out on the second part of the roadmap leading us out of lockdown. From 29 March the following applies:

• The ‘Rule of 6’ is back, meaning six people from different households can meet outdoors. There’s also a new measure allowing two households totalling more than six people to meet outdoors – giving

greater flexibility for friends and families. Getting together outdoors will be good for our mental health and wellbeing, but it is important that we do so safely. Follow the rules, maintain social distance and

hand hygiene and wear face coverings where required.

• There can be no household mixing indoors.

• Outdoor sport and leisure facilities to reopen. Organised outdoor sport allowed with any number of people (children and adults).

• We are advised to continue to minimise travel. No holidays yet.

• Formally organised outdoor parent and child groups with up to 15 parents can operate. Children under five will not be counted.

People will no longer be legally required to Stay at Home. Many of the lockdown restrictions, however, will remain in place. Unless an exemption already applies, it will not be possible to meet people from other households indoors and many business premises will remain shut.

The next date for further easing of restrictions is 12 April. As long as the four tests continue to be met the following will apply:

• All retail shops allowed to open. Restaurants and pub gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors, including alcohol. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table

service’) will remain.

• Indoor leisure, including gyms and spas, can reopen for use individually or within household groups.

• Hairdressers, beauty salons and other ‘close contact services’ can reopen.

• Domestic holidays and overnight stays in the UK permitted, with self-contained accommodation able to reopen for use by members of the same household.

• Children allowed to attend indoor play activities, with up to 15 parents or guardians allowed to join them.

• Libraries, community centres, outdoor attractions, theme parks, zoos and drive-in cinemas can reopen.

• Funerals (30 attendees), wakes, weddings and receptions (15 attendees) can take place.

Social contact rules in England will not change further at this point. The ‘rule of 6’ or two households mixing outdoors will still apply… and still no household mixing indoors. People should continue to work from home where they can, we are asked to minimise domestic travel and international holidays are not allowed at this stage.

The complete roadmap – Details of the complete roadmap are shown in the attachment.

Are we facing a third wave of Covid?

Lockdown is, step-by-step, beginning to ease across the UK. But with infection rates rising in Europe, the British public is also being warned of the risk of a third wave. The Prime Minister says it is only a matter of time before the wave from Europe washes up on our shores. But with more than half of adults vaccinated, what would that look like?

There’s a number of issues that will be crucial in determining exactly what happens from here. As well as protecting those vaccinated, the vaccine programme will also help slow transmission. Early evidence suggests the AstraZeneca jab could stop two-thirds of people who are vaccinated from passing it on. On top of that those who have already been infected – estimated to be about a quarter of the population – will have some immunity. Secondly, seasonality could help. Respiratory viruses tend to thrive in the winter but are less likely to spread in the spring and summer. UK chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty says it is possible a significant rise may not actually come until the winter, giving more time for the vaccination programme to rollout. He said the UK should be confident the "path from here does look better", but we should still expect "bumps and twists" along the way. The most immediate problem, he said, was likely to be local outbreaks – and variation in uptake between different areas leaves some places particularly vulnerable.

The initial reaction of most people as the easing of restrictions happens will be to think everything will be fine, says Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, a Cambridge University expert in understanding risk. He says that it is obvious that we will want to start enjoying ourselves again. But we should not trust our intuition on this, he says, and we should take each step very cautiously. He said: "The government is determined not to go backwards, so that could mean taking longer to take steps forward. The aim, of course, is to balance the need to open society while trying to control the virus. While some people have called for a ‘zero Covid’ approach, the government and its advisers are clear this cannot be achieved given the nature of the virus, which can spread without people being aware they are infected. This week, chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said there was basically ‘zero chance’ of zero Covid.

So how bad could a third wave get? Modelling done for the government has suggested if there is a third wave that as many as 30,000 people could die by the summer of 2022, even with a gradual reopening and good vaccine rollout. That is four times fewer than the number of deaths we have seen over the past year. And while it sounds high, it is worth noting that in a bad winter, 25,000 people can die from flu. But the toll could be much higher if things do not go as well as assumed, the modelling suggested. There are, of course, as always caveats around these models. But they should act as a warning – while the UK may be in a strong position, nothing should be taken for granted with this virus.

Progress with vaccination programme

Almost 30 million people – that’s well over half the UK’s adult population – have now received a first dose of a vaccine and more than 3.3 million people have had a second jab. Priority groups 1-9 of the first phase of the vaccination programme is nearly complete, with only 2 million left to do and two weeks in which to achieve it. Phase two – groups 10 to 12 – covers all adults aged between 18 and 49 and they will be offered a first dose by the end of July. Before then most people in phase one will have been called for that all-important second dose.

Booster jabs

The over-70s could begin getting booster vaccines to protect them against new coronavirus variants in September under plans for the future of the rollout. The first booster doses would go to the top four priority groups, including care home staff, NHS workers, the clinically extremely vulnerable and over 70s. The government is expecting up to eight different jabs to be available by the autumn, including one protecting against three different variants in a single dose. A number will reportedly be manufactured in the UK, which could ease the pressure on supplies amid tensions with the European Union as it faces shortages from AstraZeneca.

The Covid Testing Regime

Tests for people with symptoms

Testing sites in North Yorkshire are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care/NHS and private contractors employed by them. People who don’t have access to the internet, or who have difficulty with the digital portals, can ring the 119 service to book their test. The permanent testing sites are open every day for between 8am and 11:30am. The nearest permanent testing sites are:

• Harrogate – Dragon Road Car Park, Dragon Road, Harrogate, HG1 5DB

• Northallerton – The Forum, Bullamore Road, Northallerton, DL6 1LP

A full list of NHS Mobile testing sites can be viewed on the county council’s website at Mobile sites are open for testing from 8am to 8pm. Before you attend at either a permanent or mobile site 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: There’s a link on the North Yorkshire County Council website to request a home test –

Tests if you live or work with a nursery/school/college student

If you live, work or are in a support bubble with nursery, primary or secondary school pupils or college students you should carry out lateral flow device tests at home twice a week. Testing kits can be collected from the two permanent sites listed above every day between 1pm and 8pm.

Did you remember to put your clocks forward an hour before you went to bed? If not, do it now!

Bags2School textile recycling

Topcliffe Village Hall and the Scouting Association have joined forces to organise another ‘Bags2School’ recycling event. Everyone is encouraged to have a cupboard and wardrobe sort out and bring unwanted items in black bags to the village hall garden on Friday 23 April 2021 between 8.30am and 12 noon. The proceeds of the event will be shared between the Village Hall and Scouts’ Association.

The following items are 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). 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 or yarns.

Dalton 49 planning application – ACT NOW!

Last week’s email presented information about the outline planning application for a major industrial development at Dalton. The 43-acre site, known as ‘Dalton 49 Thirsk’, is adjacent to Eldmire Lane, just over Dalton Bridge. The application has been lodged with Hambleton District Council and comments are now being invited. Whilst recognising that the development will provide a range of job opportunities and a huge boost to the local economy, new developments on this scale potentially create increased traffic through Topcliffe and Asenby. Our two villages already experience significant problems with HGVs ignoring weight restrictions and passing through the villages and over Topcliffe bridge. The problem is already bad and new development will only exacerbate the situation unless appropriate measures are taken to protect our villages. It is strongly felt that whilst the planning application (and developer’s pre-planning consultation) identified the need to protect Dalton village from through traffic, it failed to adequately address the needs of both Topcliffe and Asenby. It is therefore crucially important that residents of both villages collectively make their voices heard to ensure that our concerns are addressed and acted upon.

That’s why our two Parish Councils and a number of individuals are keen to encourage all villagers to comment on the planning application. There is a limited time in which views can be expressed so if you want your voice to be heard, now is the time to do something about it. You can add your views to the planning application at: This link will take you straight to the planning application. But if for any reason it doesn’t work for you, simply go to Hambleton Council’s website, look for ‘Planning’ and ‘Applications’, and follow the instructions on how to find an individual application. The reference number for ‘Dalton 49 Thirsk’ is 21/00331/HYB, which can be inserted in the search box.

It is vital that as many people as possible add their comments to the application. It’s really important that councillors understand the concern locally. We must make it clear that our villages must be protected from existing illegal lorry movements and from the threat of increased heavy traffic. It’s the quantity and quality of comments from individuals that can make all the difference so please comment in your own words – but use this checklist to ensure you make all the key points:

• Welcome the development of new jobs and employment opportunities.

• Welcome the intention to protect Dalton from the HGVs, general traffic, noise, odour and light pollution impacts of the development.

• Seek equal commitment and proposals to protect Topcliffe village and Conservation Area and Asenby from the potential negative impacts.

• Flag up concerns about additional HGV traffic in our villages, noting this is already a problem from the current Dalton site and that the road signage and weight limit enforcement is poor. The developer’s

assumptions that traffic will all use the A168 for access and egress, and not come through our two villages, is not our reality.

• Refer to concerns about additional general light traffic, again due to poor signage, and potential 24/7 operations being proposed.

• Add reference to concerns about potential additional noise and odours as this development is very close to Topcliffe, and food production odours are already a problem in Topcliffe.

• Request that the developer and HDC Planners work closely with Topcliffe and Asenby Parish Councils in progressing this application and any future development.

Reporting speeding vehicles

Many people are concerned about the speed that some vehicles are doing when they pass through Topcliffe. It’s incredible how fast some drivers seem to think is acceptable and they seem oblivious of the dangers to pedestrians and other road users. There is now a page on North Yorkshire County Council’s website where reports of speeding can be lodged. Here’s the link:

Apparently, the police say that the more reports they receive, the more likely it is that they will take follow-up action, such as bringing a mobile camera van to the village

Census 2021 – It’s not too late to submit your form

Census day has come and gone and millions of people have completed their questionnaires and left their mark in history. If you haven’t yet completed your census form, you should do so as soon as possible.

The information collected will ensure that our future services accurately reflect the needs of each locality. Uniquely, it will also record how life in England & Wales was affected by a pandemic. You will be able to complete the questionnaire on your tablet, smartphone or computer. This shouldn’t be difficult and everything has been made as straightforward as possible. If you are not confident online you can still

request a paper questionnaire. Over the coming days and weeks census staff will be visiting any households who haven’t completed their forms and will be able to help you. All staff will have ID badges and full personal protective equipment (PPE) and will remain socially distanced at all times. They will not ask to enter your house and you should never pay for help. Help is available by phoning 0800 141 2021 or visiting NOTE: I have been informed that the census telephone help lines have been extremely busy and some people are still awaiting the paper questionnaires that they have ordered. This may be causing some anxiety for some people, especially the elderly. If you are having any difficulty, please be aware that the fines for not completing the census questionnaire will only apply to people who have actively refused to participate – and that won’t happen for some months.

Another thank you for Jake and Amelia

In last week’s email it was reported that Jake and Amelia Pearson (and dad John) had cleaned up the church steps and pathway. Today John Phillips, who is closely involved with parish affairs, wants to add his thanks. He said: “On behalf of the Parochial Church Council I would like to express our thanks for their work. I noticed last Sunday as I walked up to church how beautifully tidy and clean the steps and paths were. I was very impressed and rather overwhelmed that someone had taken the initiative to kindly do this themselves, and Jake and Amelia really did a beautiful job. It is lovely to see many people enjoying the churchyard as a village ‘green space’ and we shall be looking to organise a spring working party to tidy up the whole area, but the work on the steps and path meanwhile was a tremendous help.”

Parish Council meetings

• The next Topcliffe Parish Council meeting will be held at online at 7pm on Thursday 1st April 2021. Any members of the public wishing to join the meeting should contact the clerk for log in details by mid-

day on the day of the meeting by email to topcliffeparishcouncil There is a period of 10 minutes at the beginning of each meeting set aside to receive questions and comments from members

of the public. More information is available at

• Asenby Parish Council’s AGM will be held at 7.30pm on 19 May 2021. It’s uncertain at present whether this will be a Zoom or face to face meeting. An announcement will be made nearer the date. Check

out more information on asenbypc

Local Government Reorganisation

The consultation about the reorganisation of local authority areas in North Yorkshire is now well underway. There are basically two proposals – one based on the whole county and another based on an east/west split. The closing date for receipt of comments is 19 April 2021. You can express a view at

May Election

The Police and Crime Commissioner election will take place on 6 May 2021. The Village Hall will be the Polling Station in Topcliffe. Asenby residents will have to travel to Rainton Village Hall to vote.

Postal Voting

The deadline to apply for a postal vote for the elections on 6 May 2021 is 5pm on Tuesday 20 April.

• Write to Electoral Registration, Hambleton District Council, Civic Centre, Stone Cross, Northallerton DL6 2UU – elecreg or call 01609 779977 or print off a form from

• Write to Electoral Registration, Harrogate Borough Council, Civic Centre, St Luke’s Avenue, Harrogate HG1 2AE – call 01423 500600 or apply using the online form at

Services at St Columba’s Church

• Wednesday, 31 March at 7pm – Compline (or Night Prayers, a short evening service (approx. 15 minutes) of prayers, readings and responses, providing a simple and peaceful way to close the day).

• Saturday Easter Eve, 3 April 7.30pm – Easter Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter (with choir accompaniment). Rev Terry Dyer will lead the service. Celebrated organist Matthew Atherton will be playing at this

service, which will be a real treat.

• Sunday, 11 April, 10.45am – Holy Communion (Rev Terry Dyer)

• Sunday, 18 April, 10.45am – Matins

• Sunday, 25 April, 10.45am – Holy Communion – (Rev Terry Dyer)

The PCC continually assesses the Covid risks and it operates ‘track and trace’ arrangement. All the usual precautions apply – please bring a face covering with you – and we will provide hand sanitiser for use before and after each service. Most importantly, for everyone’s sake, if you have any suspicion you might have contracted Covid, please don’t join us on that particular occasion.

Easter Chuckle

There is an interesting comment in the latest edition of the church newsletter, CrossTalk. It is: ‘Church notice: This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs Cusworth to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.’ Apologies to the editor but I did, for just a moment, think of sending this lovely statement to the BBC’s comedy programme ‘I’m sorry I haven’t a clue’.

The Angel at Topcliffe

The Angel is now taking bookings for outdoor dining and drinking from 15 April. Tables are available for up to six people and there’ll be marquees erected over each table to protect customers from inclement weather. There’s limited space, so you’re advised to book early. Call 01845 578000 (phones are only monitored Wednesday to Saturday 3.30-8pm and 11am-6pm on Sundays). Don’t forget your coat or your blanket. Garden dining will see a limited food menu including burgers, skewers, steak pies etc as well as lunchtime sandwiches, sharers and daily specials. Temporary openings times will be: Wednesday – Thursday 12 noon – 9pm (food served 12 noon – 2.30pm and 5 – 8pm); Friday 12 noon – 10.30pm (food served 12 noon – 2.30pm and 5 – 8pm); Saturday 12 noon to 10.30pm (food served 12 noon – 8pm); Sunday 12 noon – 9pm (food served 12 noon – 7pm). Closed Mondays and Tuesdays until 16 May. The regular ‘Dine at Home’ takeaway service menu has been changed. See attachment. It’s also on the The Angel website. Take away times are Wednesday to Saturday, 4.30-8pm, with orders taken from 3.30pm, and Sundays 12-6pm, with orders taken from 11am. Call 01845 578000 to place an order or book a time slot in advance. Check out the details at or follow The Angel on Facebook to get regular updates.

Local traders

• Topcliffe Post Office – Opening hours are: Shop – weekdays 7am to 5pm and Saturday 7 to 11.30am. Post Office – weekdays 8.30am to 5pm and Saturday 8.30 to 11.30am. Both closed on Sundays.

Chip ‘n Dales – The Fish & Chip van is in Topcliffe on Fridays between 5 and 7pm.

The Elm Gallery – The gallery remains closed, though it looks forward to reopening mid-April. In the meantime, Liz and Dave continue to promote items on the gallery’s Facebook page and website.

Collection of purchases at the gallery door can be arranged. More information can be found on their website at and they can be contacted on 01845 577316 or 07709 223920.

The Milk Churn Farm Shop – Current opening times are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9-5pm. Thursday and Saturday 9-1pm. Once lockdown has been lifted, Saturday openings will return to

9 to 5pm. The shop is still operating a one out, one in system to protect customers and staff. Ring 01845 400446. Takeaway teas and coffees with cake have

resumed. Why not enjoy a walk and call in for a freshly made hot chocolate or other hot drinks…or for an ice cream?

The Swan – The Swan remains closed for now but is planning to reopen on Monday 14 April. George, Jane and their staff look forward to welcoming everyone.

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

• Refuse – Mondays 29 March and 12 & 26 April.

• Recycling & green waste – Friday 9 April (one day later than normal due to Bank Holiday) and Thursday 22 April.

Harrogate (Asenby):

• Refuse – Tuesday 6 April (one day later than normal due to Bank Holiday) and Monday 19 April.

• Garden waste – Friday 9 April (one day later than normal due to Bank Holiday) and Thursday 22 April.

• Recycling – Mondays 12 and 26 April.

Green waste will only be collected if you have paid the subscription for April 2021 to March 2022. (this is the last time this information will be included in the Sunday Email)

• A Hambleton licence for the year will cost £40 per bin. To subscribe or for further information please visit

• A licence from Harrogate will cost £41 per bin. To subscribe or for more information go to

That’s all for this week. Keep safe and remain well.

The government’s roadmap out of lockdown Feb 2021.docx