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Sunday Email: Issue 56

Welcome to the 56th issue of this regular Sunday Email.

In recent Sunday emails, a lot of detail has been provided about the planning application for a major development on Dalton Industrial Estate. Yes, it is great that around 1,000 new jobs will come with this development but so will a lot of traffic, including lots of heavy lorries. Our villages already have great concern about the number of HGVs ignoring the weight limits on local roads. Your parish councils have done a brilliant job of raising safety concerns and other issues with our district and county councils and, of course, they have been speaking on our behalf.

The Dalton planning application will be considered by Hambleton District Council and it is clear that local concerns will carry more weight if more of us raised our concerns. It’s easy enough to do. Details of how to set about it are shown further down this email. And if anyone would like to voice their opinion but maybe need a bit of help with the IT, please do give me a call and I’ll try to help.

As a community we might be supportive of the new economic opportunities, but this is our only chance to make sure that if approved the planning permission includes conditions on the developer about mitigating all the identified negative impacts on our villages not only traffic but other issues such as noise and pollution.

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.


07785 223707

The week’s Covid statistics

• 34.5 million people have now had a first dose vaccination. The number of second doses is almost 15 million.

• There have been more than 4.5 million confirmed cases of Covid in the UK. The daily average number of new cases last week was 1,907. Nearly 7 million Covid tests were conducted last week.

• 160 people were admitted to hospital with Covid yesterday (994 in the week). Hospital admissions continue to fall week on week.

• There were 7 deaths reported in the UK yesterday. There were 107 in the seven-day period to Saturday.

• The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at over 127,524. Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have been over 152,000 deaths

registered in the UK where Covid was mentioned on the death certificate. Worldwide, the global death toll from Covid is almost 3.2 million.

The Roadmap out of Lockdown

Most of us will know what we can and can’t do at this point in the roadmap, but just as a reminder these are the current rules:

• We can meet outdoors with up to five other people from different households (that’s the Rule of 6), and two households totalling more than six people are also able to meet outdoors. We’re still not

allowed to meet others indoors.

• Outdoor sport and leisure can operate with any number of children and adults allowed to participate. Indoor leisure, including gyms and spas, can now open for use individually or within household groups.

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

• All retail shops and ‘close contact services’ are now allowed to open. Restaurants and pub gardens are allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors.

• Domestic holidays and overnight stays in the UK are now permitted, with self-contained accommodation able to reopen for use by members of the same household. The advice is to minimise domestic

travel…it’s a matter of personal judgment what is reasonable! International travel and holidays are still not allowed at this stage.

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

• Funerals (30 attendees), wakes, weddings and receptions (15 attendees) are able to take place.

• People should continue to work from home where they can.

• We should maintain social distance, exercise hand hygiene and wear face coverings where required.

The next key set of relaxations to the restrictions will take place on 17 May. There’ll be more on the details in next week’s email.

A single dose of vaccine halves transmission

A Public Health England study has shown that a single dose of a coronavirus vaccine can reduce household transmission of the virus by up to half. Those given a first dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines – and who became infected three weeks later – were between 38% and 49% less likely to pass the virus on than unvaccinated people. This is the latest piece of evidence to indicate that vaccines are slowing the transmission of the virus as well as saving lives. Households are among the most likely places for infection to spread, so these sets of results are particularly encouraging. It’s expected similar results would be found in other high-risk settings, such as shared accommodation and prisons. All this bodes well for the continued easing of restrictions, especially as the vaccination campaign is making good progress into younger age groups who are more likely to spread the virus. And it also gives further reassurance to those concerned about the fact that children will not be vaccinated – and so might bring infection into households.

A cause for concern, though, is whether newer variants of the virus, which might be more resistant to vaccines, might cause a new surge in infections. But the expert opinion is that the current vaccines will provide a significant degree of protection, especially against severe illness.

First vaccines are now being offered to people aged 40 and above in England.

The rules on social interaction post-vaccination

Now that so many of us have received vaccines, it raises questions about whether we can ignore some of the rules on social interactions, and how we should behave around unvaccinated friends and family… Here is an experts’ guide to etiquette for the newly vaccinated.

  • Don’t assume you’re protected until you’ve received both doses. Even once you’ve had two doses, you’re not invincible. You can still get the disease and you can still transmit it.
  • Just because your older relatives have been jabbed, doesn’t mean you don’t need to be. Younger people are less susceptible to serious illness but can sill get it.
  • Hugging another vaccinated person is unlikely to kill you – but it may lengthen the pandemic. Some experts advise that it is safe for two fully vaccinated people to hug, but others advise caution.
  • If you do hug, be mindful of local infection rates. Close physical contact is likely to be safer if the number of infections in our local area are low…and they are low at the moment. But it’s also worth considering where you’ve been and who you’ve seen in recent days.
  • Don’t assume your peers have been vaccinated as well. Often people that you would assume would be vaccinated have reservations and have declined the vaccination.
  • Indoor family reunions, which are allowed from 17 May, should be treated with caution. If you’re confident that everyone has been fully vaccinated, a small group of you could gather indoors with relative impunity. However, you should be more careful when mixing with unvaccinated family members or friends.
  • When indoor public gatherings are allowed again, physical distancing and masks will still be essential. With larger crowds, the risks of transmission are amplified so it will be important that people mask up and keep physically distanced in indoors.
  • Outdoors is still safest but wear a mask if it’s busy. Even fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks at crowded outdoor events such as live performances, parades, or sports events.
  • International travel will be risky for everyone. Trips to many places will have to be treated with serious caution, as this brings with it the risk of importing new coronavirus variants into the UK.

The Covid Testing

A full list of NHS testing sites can be viewed at

Lateral Flow Testing Kits – these tests are available free of charge to everyone. Seen as a significant step forward, the test kits can be obtained to use twice a week. One in three people with Covid do not experience any symptoms and may be spreading the virus unwittingly. Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately. You can order here:

Dalton development

In the coming week, parish councillors are having meetings with the developers and then afterwards with Hambleton District Council planners to look at responses to the consultation and how the issues raised should be addressed. So clearly to have maximum impact on what happens to the plans and to our villages there is a ‘time’ imperative to express views as soon as possible. You can add your views to the planning application at: Insert the reference number 21/00331/HYB in the search box. You might want to use the key points listed in the attached “Make sure your voice is heard” to construct your comment.

Roadworks underway on main route into Thirsk

Now that Sowerby Gateway is well underway, the developers are fulfilling a requirement to undertake road improvement works within the town centre of Thirsk. These works include the widening of Topcliffe Road to provide additional parking capacity, the widening of the Castlegate/Kirkgate junction to provide a dedicated right-hand turn lane to ease congestion, and widening of the lanes at the Town End

roundabout to increase capacity. This work has started and it is anticipated it will take until the end of July to be completed. During this time, traffic management will be in operation and there’s likely to be delays and some inconvenience.

World of James Herriot

Thirsk’s famous museum in Kirkgate reopens on Monday 17 May. It will have a fascinating new All Creatures Great and Small Exhibition. The TV programme All Creatures Great and Small was originally screened by the BBC in the 1980s and it remained on our screens for 12 years. The new Channel 5 series is bringing a whole new audience to discover the timeless stories that Alf Wight (James Herriot) penned about life as a rural vet, making him the world’s most famous vet.

Parish Council meetings

• Topcliffe Parish Council – the AGM will be held online on Thursday, 6 May 2021. Check out the website at

• Asenby Parish Council – the Annual Meeting will be held at 7.30pm on 19 May 2021 in the Village Hall. Covid safety arrangements will be in place. For more information go to

Parish clerk vacancy

After many years of dedicated service, Alex Little, the clerk to Topcliffe Parish Council has submitted her resignation. The salaried position is now open for applications. Anyone who would like to know more can get in touch with Alex and she’ll explain what the job entails. Alex can be contacted at: topcliffeparishcouncil

Election of Police & Crime Commissioner

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

Plans to reopen the Village Hall

Plans are well in hand to reopen the Village Hall to existing hirers (those that were hiring sessions prior to the pandemic) from Monday 17 May. New bookings for events such as parties will not be possible until 21 June. The use of the hall for polling purposes on 6 May is a special one-off booking. The Committee has been in touch with all existing hirers to check their plans for restarting their activities and to advise them about the Covid safety arrangements that will be in place when activities recommence.

St Columba’s Church

Services planned are:

• Sunday, 2 May, 6.30pm – Choral Evensong sung to settings by Thomas Tallis and also including the glorious evening anthem ‘Abendlied’by Josef Rheinberger.

• Sunday, 9 May, 10.45am – Holy Communion will be led by the Rev’d Canon Adrian Botwright.

• Sunday, 16 May, 10.45am – Sung Matins

• Whit Sunday (Pentecost), 23 May, 10.45am – Holy Communion

• Trinity Sunday, 30 May – As is usual, there will be no service on the fifth Sunday of the month.

The PCC continually assesses the Covid risks and it operates a ‘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.

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.

Studio 18 Hairstylist – unisex hairdressing salon run by Nicola James at 18 Long Street (opposite the surgery). Open Monday to Saturday. Male and female adults as well as children. Only one customer at a time can be in the salon so business will be a little slower than normal. For an appointment call Nicola on 07851 034815.

The Elm Gallery – opening times: Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 5.30pm; Sunday, 12noon to 5.30pm; Monday and Tuesday – closed. Covid safety arrangements are in place. Call 01845 577316 or 07709 223920 or check out the website at:

The Milk Churn Farm Shop – open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9-5pm. Thursday and Saturday 9-1pm. Covid safety arrangements are in place. There are many new lines in fresh and frozen foods. Takeaway teas and coffees with cake have resumed. Why not enjoy a walk and call in for a freshly made hot chocolate, other hot drink or an ice cream? Or order in advance on 01845 400446.

The Thirsk Food Bank now has a collection point at the Milk Churn Farm Shop. The following foodstuffs are welcomed: tins, pasta, rice, biscuits, cereals, jars, crisps, juices, bottled products, soups, crisp breads, anything in packets. But please, no fresh products as there’s a risk they will go to waste.

The Swan – now open for drinks and food in an outdoor setting. There’s a reduced menu available and the take-away service is again on offer.

John Aston Flooring Ltd – operating from The Old Hatchery in Asenby. There’s a large selection of carpets and flooring to suit all tastes. Appointment only. 01845 421111 – info

The Angel at Topcliffe – The Angel’s garden is taking bookings for outdoor dining and drinking. Tables are available for up to six people and there are marquees over each table to protect customers from inclement weather. Don’t forget your coat or your blanket. Check out full details at or follow The Angel on Facebook to get regular updates.

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

• Recycling & green waste – Friday 7 May (one day later than usual because of the early May Bank Holiday) and Thursday 20 May

• Refuse – Mondays 10 and 24 May.

Harrogate (Asenby):

• Garden waste – Friday 7 May (one day later than usual because of the early May Bank Holiday) and Thursday 20 May

• Refuse – Tuesday 4 May (one day later than usual because of the early May Bank Holiday) and Monday 17 May

• Recycling – Mondays 10 and 24 May

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

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