Your at-a-glance guide to what’s new in your council

Go-ahead for transformation of leisure services.

Councillors have given the go-ahead for a new leisure service which will see a greater focus on health and well-being, providing more opportunities for people to participate and be active and focus on addressing inequalities.

Leisure centres will be transformed into active well-being hubs operating alongside more locally based services and activities and there will be increased support for community-based sport.

Currently our leisure portfolio, which includes 19 leisure centres, 16 swimming pools, three well-being hubs, a nursery and Harrogate’s Turkish Baths, are run by five different operators.

Those arrangements will be moved to the single in-house model in a phased way – with the aim of the service being fully integrated and transformed by 2028.

A lady swimming

Community lottery to help good causes

A community lottery for people across the Harrogate area is championing a charity that provides essential support for anyone diagnosed with dementia and their families.

The Local Lotto is a community lottery established by the former Harrogate Borough Council and now manged by us.

Established in Harrogate in 2012, Dementia Forward currently supports approximately 9,000 people across the area. The charity operates a helpline Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm.

By taking part in The Local Lotto, you directly contribute to Dementia Forward's mission. The funds raised not only allow the charity to continue its invaluable services, but also offer you a chance to win fantastic prizes.

A total of 50 pence from every £1 ticket goes directly to the local causes chosen to be supported by the player on a monthly basis. Draws take place every Saturday. As well as a £25,000 jackpot, there are also smaller weekly prizes to be won.

A further 10 pence goes into a local fund, which provides an opportunity twice a year for any community groups in the Harrogate area to bid for grants.

Since the lottery’s launch, more than 120 groups have signed up and over £287,000 has been raised for local causes.

Tickets for The Local Lotto are available The Local Lotton website. Contact Dementia Forward online.

A person playing the piano

Have your say on new autism strategy

Views are being sought during a three-month long consultation on a new strategy to tackle issues faced by autistic people.

The public are being urged to have their say at open days which are being arranged during a three-month long consultation on the new strategy.

The events are being staged alongside a survey and online seminars on North Yorkshire’s draft all-age autism strategy.

The draft plan has been developed by autistic people, their carers and families, alongside representatives from the community and voluntary sectors, ourselves, heath services, North Yorkshire Police, the Probation Service, education and employment partners.

The document aims to reflect the ambitions and priorities of communities across the county. About 6,150 autistic people live in North Yorkshire based on the 2021 Census.

The consultation builds on previous work and will glean the public’s response to key areas including education and preparing for adulthood, employment, housing and carers as well as assessment, diagnosis and support, health and care, adult and youth justice and inclusive communities.

Executive member for health and adult services, Cllr Michael Harrison, said: “Many different organisations across North Yorkshire have a part to play, working together with autistic people of all ages and their families and it is important that we reflect all this in our strategy by encouraging as many people as possible to take part.”

The consultation will run until March. A series of meetings have already been held, and further events are taking place on:

  • February 1: 3pm to 5pm, Mencap, Northallerton.
  • February 9: 10am to noon, Brayton Community Centre, Selby.
  • February 12: 7pm to 9pm, online.
  • February 28: 10am to noon, Friends Meeting House, Malton.
  • March 4: 10.30am to 12.30pm, Skipton Town Hall.
  • March 7: 2pm to 4pm, Friends Meeting House, Scarborough.
  • March 15: 2pm to 4pm, online.

See details of the autism strategy consultation including all events and information about the online and paper surveys, which include versions for children, young people and adults and are in other formats such as easy read or large print.

Feedback from the consultation will be used to formulate the final draft strategy which is then due to be considered by councillors at an executive meeting later this year.

Scarborough beach front

New visitor guide for North Yorkshire

The first ever North Yorkshire Visitor Guide is being launched. A total of 80,000 copies will be distributed around the county to key tourist information points and geographical areas, showcasing our county to thousands of potential visitors, and providing inspiration for days out, places to stay, and top food and drink recommendations. View the online visitor guide for North Yorkshire and look out for the guides popping up at popular visitor attractions soon.

Discover new places to visit, from the rolling dales and dramatic moors of our two National Parks to picturesque villages and bustling market towns. Explore stunning landscapes with lush valleys and dales, brooding moorland, spectacular castles and abbeys, and almost 100 miles of rugged coastline that’s packed with vibrant resorts and charming coastal villages. When it’s time to recharge, indulge your senses in award-winning cafés, pubs and restaurants that serve up local produce with a touch of independent spirit.

Find out for yourself how easy it could be to fill a weekend, a week or longer exploring this special part of the country.