View more tweets

Everything will get longer

Well most things!

Those worried about the length of their hair may also been wondering about the length of the grass on the lawn.

Enforced isolation may provide the opportunity for a best trimmed hedge and manicured lawn competition is some neighbourhoods.

But where will the green waste go?

The York Council is scheduled to recommence green bin emptying at the beginning of April. Other Councils have suspended this garden waste system, so it is a little surprising that there has been no announcement from West Offices yet.

Green waste may already be building up.

We did hear from the Council a few days ago that DIY was being “discouraged” if it added waste to the collection streams (the household waste sites have been closed).

One option would be to make a delivery – using perhaps local taxis – of a composting container to any household that wants one. Subject to supply of course. Maybe many would continue to compost even after the current crisis is over. So, a win, win for everyone.

The City needs a “no personal contact” collection and delivery system for prescriptions and food supplies. With many “click and collect” services suspended at local stores there is a gaping hole in the City’s food chain system.

Time to get that fixed, with the Council taking the lead.

Corona Virus update – 25th March 2020

Scam warning from Police

The Economic Crime Unit at North Yorkshire Police receive regular updates from Action Fraud, The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, National Trading Standards and other organisations highlighting new scams we are seeing which are preying on resident’s fear in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. I would draw your attention to a press release from National Trading Standards which summarises the current scams we are seeing ( ). I have also attached a postcard from National Trading Standards which is a handy easy reference guide for you to print off or to circulate amongst your family and friends.

I would encourage readers of this email to visit the ‘Friends Against Scams’   website where you can sign up to become a Friend Against Scams. It is an online training session which will take around 20 minutes to complete. It will raise your awareness of fraud and give you valuable tips and tools to prevent you becoming a victim.

In addition I am doing a Facebook Live session tomorrow on the North Yorkshire Police Facebook page to advice residents as to the latest scams we are seeing here in North Yorkshire and how to stay safe. This will start at 4pm Thursday 26th March and I understand this is the first one of its kind by North Yorkshire Police. I hope you can watch.

Stay safe.

Andy Fox

Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer

Economic Crime Unit, North Yorkshire Police

Taxis can continue to operate – Government advice

Taxis and private hire vehicles can continue to work. But the advice is absolutely clear – people should stay at home if possible. That is the way to save lives and protect our NHS.

The public should avoid travel unless absolutely essential.

The only reasons to leave our houses are set out in the government guidance<>.

Clearly if absolutely necessary to travel by taxi or private hire vehicle, best efforts should be used to follow the guidance as far as is practically possible, including washing your hands as soon as you get home.

Critical Worker Status

Taxi and private hire drivers should not generally be considered Critical Workers. Those undertaking Home to School transport or the transport of ‘extremely vulnerable<>’ people may be considered Critical Workers on a case-by-case basis. Critical Workers should also whenever possible make suitable arrangements for their children to stay at home; requests for children to attend school<> should be discussed with the school.”

Off licenses can open

Off-licences have been added to the Government’s list of businesses essential to keep the country running during thecoronavirus crisis. With pubs and bars ordered to close to stem the spread of Covid-19, off-licences were added to the list of shops allowed to stay open on Wednesday.

Licensed shops selling alcohol, including those in breweries, also made the updated list of stores exempted from mass closures in the retail sector.

Corner shops, pharmacies, supermarkets, hardware stores, banks, petrol stations and bike shops can also stay open during the pandemic.

MOTs postponed

Vehicle owners in Britain will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

All cars, vans and motorcycles will be exempted from needing a test from March 30.

This will allow people to carry on with essential travel during the coronavirus pandemic, the DfT said.

New takeaway service from Golf Club

T he chef at Pike Hills Golf Club is offering a takeaway/ delivery service as the golf course has closed He is offering main courses for fixed £6.50 and desserts at £3.00 Good English food freshly sourced each day. Ring him or text on 07949550884 E Mail

Report symptoms app launched

You can supply information and help to track changes in the pandemic using this App.

Volunteer NHS responder

NHS Volunteer Responder scheme. Quick, easy, just upload passport/driving licence and they do DB check in 72 hours. You can sign up here:

The health secretary has announced the government is seeking 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak.

The NHS has said the volunteers will support the 1.5m vulnerable people who have been asked to “shield” themselves from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Here’s everything you need to know if you want to become an NHS volunteer responder.

How do I sign up?

Those who want to help can register by visiting the following NHS website:

Potential volunteers are asked to fill in a form with their details.

Checks are then carried out before successful applicants are given login details for the “GoodSAM” Responder app.

Volunteers can then switch the app to “on duty” to find tasks to pick from nearby.

What kind of tasks will the responders carry out?

Four types of volunteers are listed on the NHS page which allows people to register.

They are:

  • Community response volunteers: This role involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating. The volunteer would also deliver these supplies to their home.
  • Patient transport volunteer: This position supports the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge, and ensuring they are settled safely back in to their home.
  • NHS transport volunteer: This role involves transporting equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites. It may also involve assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.
  • Check-in and chat volunteer: These volunteers will provide short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.

Who should sign up to be a volunteer?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said “if you are well and able to do so safely, I would urge you to sign up today”.

Volunteers must be 18 or over, and fit and well with no symptoms.

Those in higher-risk groups (including those over 70, those who are pregnant or with underlying medical conditions) will be able to offer support by telephone.

The majority of tasks can be undertaken while social distancing and volunteers will receive guidance through a “getting started pack”. Those who become ill can pause their volunteering.

Council supports Coronavirus Community Fund

City of York Council is urging anyone who wants to offer financial support to others affected by Covid 19, to support the Coronavirus Community Fund, set up by Two Ridings Community Foundation

The fund has been set up to offer local charitable or community organisations emergency funding to deal with emerging issues as a result of the continuing threat of Coronavirus.

Any funds received will be used to help local charitable and  community organisations support the people who need it the most. It will also work to assist people and organisations where there are no current suitable services, in order to maintain some level of viability through these uncertain times.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:

“In such unprecedented times, I am encouraged by the incredible response from our communities to support those most in need, whether that is through formal volunteering opportunities, or simply by helping their immediate friends and neighbours.

“Many people have asked how they might be able to support others at a time when so many are faced with great financial uncertainty. In response, the council has worked closely with the Two Ridings Community Foundation, who in the past have supported the city’s response to flooding, and I’m pleased that they have set up the Coronavirus Community Fund to support those most in need.

“I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in donating, or any group who feel they may be eligible for support, to find out more online.”

To donate please visit: and to apply to the fund please, visit

Jan Garrill, Chief Executive of Two Ridings Community Fund, said: “We will work to make sure the fund reaches the communities that need the most support. We are in touch with local charity umbrella bodies and front-line organisations to see what’s needed and how funds can be spent.

“From our 20 years’ plus experience, we know a lot of these organisations and so will quickly be able to assist them. We expect the first wave of funding will go to organisations working with older and vulnerable people who are likely to be most seriously affected by social isolation and illness caused by the virus.”

For more information on how to volunteer in York visit


or phone: 01904 551550.

If you do not have any support, but need it because of the impact of COVID-19, we may be able to help you through this difficult time.  To get help, please contact us by:


Phone: 01904 551550

Corona virus update – 24th March 2020

York Wheels/Dial a Ride stopping

York wheels/dial and ride will close on Friday

“We haven’t taken the decision lightly but with elderly drivers (over 30 volunteers) we have to respect their decision to isolate. Carrying elderly on the bus for shopping at dial and ride is important but going everyday is not good for elderly this is not how to isolate.

If required we have 3 mini buses and volunteers who can help any groups who need buses. 

York hospital visiting stopped

Hospital visiting cancelled York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust sites. This includes York, Scarborough, Malton, Bridlington, St Monica’s Easingwold, and Selby hospitals, as well as St Helen’s and White Cross Court rehabilitation units.

BT caps call charges from landlines

BT is telling its land line customers that they will not have to pay more than £5 a month for calls to other UK landlines or mobiles.

York Minster services on line

Stations of the Cross 2020

This year’s Stations of the Cross will be coming to you online.

Join us through Lent for prayer & meditations written by Canon Chris Collingwood, based on Jerry Scott’s Stations of the Cross drawings. The services are led by Canons Chris Collingwood and Maggie McLean, with music performed by Ben Morris.

A new Station will be uploaded daily (excluding Sundays) and will be available as text, audio, or as a video with the visual aid of the relevant Station (recommended)


The First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death
Biblical Reading: Mark 15:15
Music: Herzliebster Jesu, Op 122 No 2 – Johannes Brahms

Updated daily as video & audio links via >>

York RSPCA appeal for funds

As a result of the Coronavirus, from Tuesday the 24th March the animal home will close to the public and all rehoming activity will stop.

Front line animal staff will still be working in the home to look after our current residents and accepting animals brought in by the RSPCA inspectors. During this time we will be reducing the number of staff working at the branch so will be unable to respond to general queries regarding fostering, adoptions or volunteering.

During this time we will not be able to accept animals from the general public during this time, this includes injured wild animals. We will only be accepting donations of food, but ask that members of the public do not break lockdown to deliver these donations themselves.

In the last week we have seen 90% of our income disappear. We rely almost entirely on self generated income and unlike other businesses we cannot close down to save costs. The branch costs around £60,000 a month to operate and we are today launching an emergency appeal to try and secure some of the funding we need to run. We desperately need your support at this time.

Click here to donate >>

Job vacancies near York

Nigel Upson

If you know of anyone who is looking for work, please let them know that we are recruiting staff to help keep up with demand for our chicken as the Coronavirus crisis deepens.

We anticipate that we will temporarily lose up to 50% of our team as a result of Covid-19 self-isolation and are recruiting in all areas of the business to ensure continuity of supply.

Our Managing Director, Nigel Upson said: “Independent retailers in our area have done an amazing job of providing fresh produce to our communities when the supermarkets couldn’t. We have taken the decision to keep production at full tilt to continue to feed Yorkshire through this network of butchers and farm shops, but we need your help. At the peak of this crisis we anticipate that more than 50% of our staff will not be available for work so we need to boost numbers now to maintain throughput. 

“We seek some specialist skills like accounts staff, fork lift drivers, lorry drivers and also need a strong contingent of people willing to do whatever it takes including warehouse staff, packing boxes and cleaning the factory overnight.”

Please send an e mail to giving details of what work you normally do and what you are prepared to do. Everyone will have the opportunity to visit the site for a tour before committing but will have to agree to a screening for symptoms of illness before being allowed into the building.

Morrisons essentials delivered in a box

Confirmation of link to Morrisons essentials delivery boxes launched yesterday . Proving to be very popular.

Visit York list of takeaways

Visit York have published a list of 30 takeaways that are still operating. mostly city centre.

Freecycle suspended

Freecycle, the surplus goods exchange service, has suspended its operations

Newspaper deliveries stopping

Although newsagents are specifically exempted from the government instruction to close, we understand that several have decided – for the safety of their staff – to suspend home deliveries

Good time to take out an “on line” subscription maybe? (unless you only rad the sports results, then maybe not!)

York Market only open for fresh food sales now

Make it York say the market is now closed but special provision will be made for those traders supplying fresh food, with social distancing measures put in place.

Opening hours are set to be 10am until 5pm and any further updates will be shared on the Shambles Market Facebook and Twitter accounts.

All measures are under continuous review, and Make It York will follow the advice given from local and national government over the coming days.

Stay at home

Government instructions available via this link (click)

Many shops now closed

All non-essential shops are closing including clothes stores, department store chains, electronics and computer stores.

However, the list excludes food shops, pharmacies, corner shops, hardware stores, petrol stations, pet shops, post offices, banks, newsagents and shops inside hospitals.

Many parks will stay open, but gyms including outdoor gyms, play-parks and all places of worship, except for funerals, will close.

Jobs with the York Council

Times are tough at the moment for everyone and we want to help. If you need a job we could help you. We need HGV drivers and loaders. More at the links below or call Work With York.…/

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor, possible text that says 'YORK WE NEED YOU! Drivers and loaders wanted for waste services If you need a temporary job contact Work With Work 01904 554234'

Free parking for NHS staff

Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has announced that from today (Tuesday) , all staff car parking charges will be suspended with immediate effect at York, Bridlington and Scarborough hospitals until further notice, ‘in a move to support staff getting to and from work for the duration of the outbreak.’

It tweeted; “From 1 April payroll deductions for parking will be stopped, and pay and display machines will be switched off this evening. Staff with parking permits can park on any site for free.

“We hope these small gestures will enable to you stay healthy and feel supported during what are challenging and increasingly difficult times. Thank you.”

Move to help self employed through crisis

City of York Council, Make It York and other cultural leaders in York have written to Oliver Dowden MP, Secretary of State to ensure that those who are self-employed are not forgotten.

There are approximately 12,000 self employed people in the city currently who will be needed during the economic recovery and should be included in the Governments plans.

In addition, York is recognised across the world as a city rich with a diverse culture. In 2019 the EU’s Cultural and Creative Cities monitor awarded York the most “culturally vibrant” city in the UK, and seventh best in Europe for medium size cities.

Cllr Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities at City of York Council, said:

“The cultural, creative and voluntary sectors are the life-blood of our communities. Across York, they support our wellbeing, enrich our lives and have vast economic benefits to our city.

That’s why along with Make It York and York Museums Trust and other city leaders, I have written to Oliver Dowden MP.  We have welcomed the positive measures announced by the Government which go a large way to ensuring we get through this pandemic.  However, a third of the UK’s creative workforce is self-employed, and the artists and creative practitioners in those sectors will be seriously affected by loss of income due to the pandemic.”

Nationally, the creative industries contributed £111.7bn to the UK economy in 2018, and grew five times faster than the wider economy.  It is important that moving forward, the Government works quickly to provide reassurance and support to these sectors, so that they are able to bounce back once this crisis has passed.”

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, added:

“It is of some reassurance the government has recognised the need to support small and medium businesses during this crisis, and the new Government loans will go some way to alleviate short term cash flow issues.

However, supporting our self-employed residents is essential to our local economy.  We don’t know yet what the full implications of COVID-19 will be, but we do know that more assistance must be provided to the self-employed, so that they are supported during this difficult time.”

For more information visit

When are York food stores open?

With a little help from MinsterFM, we’ve put together a matrix showing the priority shopping arrangements and opening hours for York food supermarkets. The opening hours are subject to change at short notice.

We’ll update it as and when information become available. To download please click here

Links to individual store information is as follows (click for link)















Marks and Spencers






The Food Warehouse

Corona virus update – 23rd March 2020

Morrisons offer food in a box for a week

The discount supermarket chain has just launched a new initiative of special food boxes, aimed at getting foods to people who are struggling to place orders online.

According to their website, each box includes ‘a selection of everyday items’ dependent on current availability of food and household goods .

There are two options: vegetarian or meat.

Elderly or vulnerable customers – such as those with underlying health issues who have been ordered to remain indoors – will be prioritised.

The boxes are fairly affordable at £30, with a £5 delivery fee on top (so £35 in total) and will feed two adults for one week.

As an example, the vegetarian box might contain canned baked beans, soup, dairy products, rice and pasta (yes, really), carrots and more.

Meanwhile, in the meat version, you also get chicken or beef.

But if you’re allergic, be careful as no guarantees can be made for specific requirements – so read the label before you dig in.

Housing reform proposals get mixed response in York

The government have published proposals which could see significant changes in the way that homes are planned and delivered in York. click

Government paper March 2020

The proposals include plans to make better use of brownfield (previously developed) land and a requirement for all local authorities to have an approved Local Plan.

One aspect, that has attracted local criticism, is the paragraph covering the introduction of “new rules to encourage building upwards, increasing density in line with local character and make the most of local infrastructure”. Permitted development rights (PDR) would be extended to allow residential blocks to be increased by up to two storeys. Some have claimed that this might affect views of The Minster. Indeed, it might, particularly if the proposals are applied to conservation areas and local PDRs have not already been restricted by the local Council.

That does need to be clarified before changes are published later in the year.

But the White Paper also includes some positive messages.

March 2020
Barbican development site

As well as plans to make better use of brownfield land, the paper says it will ensure land allocated for housing is built on. That will ring a bell with some who regularly walk past derelict sites like that next the Barbican. It has had planning permission for homes for over 5 years.

Many will also feel sympathy for the proposal to improve security for tenants by abolishing the use of ‘no fault evictions’. The papers says, “that tenants can put down roots in their communities and plan for their long-term future”.

Local amenity organisations will surely welcome proposals to revise the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to embed the principles of good design and placemaking – “this will make clear that high-quality buildings and places must be considered throughout the planning process”?

Another commitment is for urban tree planting and giving communities a greater opportunity to influence design standards in their area. “This will put tree lined streets at the centre of future plans, so that they become the norm not the exception”

The government plans to give local authorities the ability to ensure that new homes conform to “local residents’ ideas of beauty” through the planning system. “Using the National Model Design Code, we will set out clear parameters for promoting the design and style of homes and neighbourhoods local people want to see. We will ask local places to produce their own design guides and codes, informed by listening to local people and considering local context”.

There is more than a whiff of centralised control about the paper and, of course, the actual implementation of ideas often proves illusive.

The world and the City may in any event look very different in 6 months time.

But there is still something to be positive about in the White Paper