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Issue No. 49 [Back Issues]
21st June 2005

This Week - [Schools' Carnival - Linton Festival] [Bishopswood Flower Show - JKHS Summer Ball - Y-Zone]
[Lea Primary School - Real Nappies - Topical Photography - Nature Watch] [A Tribute to Mum, Norma Evelyn Wood]

Bishopswood Church Flower Show

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Above and below: Some photographs I took last Saturday at the All Saints, Bishopswood flower display. As well as just flower arrangements the display included other attractions such as a fine exhibition of old photographs and post cards belonging to collectors, Dennis Morgan and Margaret Wilce.

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John Kyrle High School Summer Ball a Great Success

John Kyrle High School celebrated it's 25th anniversary with a reunion Summer Ball on Saturday 11th June. The evening began with a champagne reception followed by a sumptuous four course dinner.

There was a lovely atmosphere in the main hall, which was beautifully laid out and decorated with lots of balloons. Old school photographs and photos of events were projected on to a large screen for all to see. Throughout dinner, guests were entertained by a pianist, pupil Chris Mason who played beautifully.

Later in the evening presentations were made by Chair of Governors Karen Frost, to the longest serving staff and to Joyce Thomas, a great friend to the school for many years.

Guests then danced the rest of the night away to the excellent staff and pupil band "Joint Venture" and to Paul Nicholls Pink Panther Disco. A great time was had by all.

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ROSSYUG Campaign - Save Our Y-Zone

The ROSSYUG campaign had to be arranged at the very last minute as nobody was aware that the Y-zone in Hill Street was to close. A spokesman told us, 'We had heard rumours, but in such a small town as Ross that is hardly unusual.

The first official notification we had was in the shape of a letter from Herefordshire County Council (HCC) on the 23rd of March informing us that the building would be changing but nothing would happen very quickly as the money had to be raised and this process would take some time. I believe Elaine Clark signed this letter but I am not certain, as I do not have a copy of the letter to hand.

The next notification came at the beginning of May when all the user groups received an eviction notice. No group was informed that a public meeting was planned for the 11th May. We had to wait until The Ross Gazette was published on the 9th May to discover that. At that meeting we were told what would be happening to the building and when it was due to happen. All the groups were categorically told that no one could be offered any guarantee that they could return to the building after the changes had been made. HCC did not enter into any consultation or dialogue with any of the groups that use the building. They did not talk to any group prior to making the decision with the trust that was set up to run the building. At county level, none of the county councillors were informed of the change of use of the building. As far as we are aware no planning permission or building permission has been sought. It goes without saying that the councillors are furious at the lack of consultation and the way that a public building has been handed over to a third party without any formalities apparently having being undertaken.

So far the groups that have been evicted are as follows: Two badminton groups, Tudorville Amateur Boxing Club, Ross Shotokan Karate Club, 5-a-side football, Skate club, Youth drop in, possibly part of the Basement Trust, Kick Start - mothers and toddlers, Ross Women's Institute and Ross Baptist Church Youth Group. There may be more, but that is all that I currently know of.

Since the start of May, ROSSYUG got together and devised the campaign strategy. We started with a press release, which The Ross Gazette printed. In the piece, Mr Jon Ralph, Community Youth Services Manager openly made a statement that was not true. He stated that HCC had actively helped the user groups find alternative accommodation. No one from HCC has ever approached any of the groups that form ROSSYUG at any time. The county councillors were then lobbied. It was after sending them emails informing them of the situation that the official wheels went into motion.

We followed up the first press release with another, stating that a petition would be conducted on the 18th of June. To date, and some of the signatures remain to be counted, the total stands at over 2,500 and we expect the final number to be somewhere between 2,800 and 3,000. The petition will be delivered to the Ross Area Forum meeting at John Kyrle High School. We are now confident that a breathing space has been achieved and an opportunity for consultation will be firmly grasped. It looks likely that ROSSYUG will remain as a group and will lobby hard for the inclusion of all the groups interests.'

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