place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
News - The Weekly News Magazine for
No. 160 - Wednesday, 15th August 2007
HEREFORDSHIRE COUNTY NEWS
Still time to enter 40th Anniversary Poster Competition
There is still time for artistic youngsters to put their
talents to work in a special competition to help celebrate
40 years of policing in Herefordshire. West Mercia Constabulary
is 40 years old this year and as part of the celebrations
is asking young people to produce posters to promote a variety
of aspects of police work, with prizes for the best entries
up for grabs.
closing date for the competition is Saturday, 25th August,
so there is still time for youngsters to put their thinking
caps on before putting pen, paintbrush or pencil to paper.
If you are between 3 and 11 years old then you can enter
one of the categories. We
are looking for some original designs about the following
and Communities Together (PACT) - the process by which
the police and its partners engage with communities directly
to solve problems for local people.
Past and Present.
posters can be in paints, pencils, felt-tips or crayons
but should be no bigger than an A4 size of paper. Prizes
will be awarded in three age categories: 3 - 5 years, 6
- 8 years and 9 - 11 years. Put
your name, age, address and a contact number on the back
and post them to the address below to arrive no later than
Saturday, 25th August.
it’s not just 40 years of local policing which is being
celebrated by the competition, but the opening of Leominster’s
new police station on Enterprise Way, offering a unique
opportunity to look round an operational police station.
The best entries from the poster competition will be displayed
during the activity-packed Open Day, which takes place on
Saturday, 8th September from 10.30am to 4pm, when the lucky
winners will be announced and prizes awarded on the day.
should be sent direct to the event organizers: Eden Solutions,
Flat 1, 329 Kings Acre Road, Hereford, HR4 0SL.
PC Jennifer Richards and PC Alan Tobey watch as Caitlin Clarke and
Henry James Turner prepare their entries to the competition.
Trading Standards Save Customers from Rogue Trader
Officers from Herefordshire Council's trading standards
service have responded to complaints about a rogue trader
operating in the Ledbury area and saved consumers paying
out more than £10,000 for shoddy work.
consumer contacted trading standards after entering into
a £5,000 contract with itinerant workers to carry out block
paving works. She said she had no money to pay and was told
she had a month to find the cash. However, the workers then
demanded she paid the full amount in cash the next day.
back up from the police, officers of the trading standards
service visited the consumer and were able to arrest five
individuals, four adults and one 14 year old, in Ledbury's
High Street. During the arrests, an 82 year old man approached
trading standards officers. He had just collected £2,800
in cash from the bank to pay the same itinerant workers
and was advised not to pay. Officers
also found out the same workers had carried out poor quality
work for an 86 year old in another part of Ledbury but in
this case, the bill had already been paid.
van belonging to the workers was seized and a contract was
found for £2,700 for some work to be carried out in Leominster.
The customer had not paid the bill and was advised not to.
Two of the men arrested were released on police bail, another
was wanted by police as he had failed to answer bail for
theft and the other man and boy were released.
Tector, Herefordshire Council's head of environmental health
and trading standards, said: 'Unfortunately we still get
rogue traders operating in the area and we would reiterate
our advice to people to only use workmen they either know
or who have been recommended to them. In this instance we
have saved householders from paying out £10,500 for shoddy
work and I would stress residents should never pay for any
work until they are fully satisfied with the quality of
it. If anyone has any similar problems, they should contact
trading standards officers for advice.'
Special officer says goodbye after 36 years
man in charge of Herefordshire’s Special Constabulary is
hanging up his hat and taking a well-earned retirement -
after almost 36 years of service.
Len Dykes first joined the Specials in October 1971 at the
old Gaol Street police station in Hereford. He had previously
served with the Auxiliary Fire Service working on the ‘Green
Goddesses’ until the service was disbanded in 1968. The
Specials provided another way for Len to continue his public
can still recall that first day, arriving at the station
to be greeted by the Sergeant and invited in,' said Len,
whose years of service have seen him standing in floodwaters
on Belmont roundabout directing traffic, organizing the
policing of the Mayfair and Remembrance Sunday parades,
as well as being actively engaged with Neighbourhood Watch.
'I also have many happy memories from the years we were
based at South Wye Police Station, working with the late
Sergeant Bob Wilson'.
has worked his way up the ranks in the Special Constabulary
over the years, being promoted to Section Officer in 1981
and then Sub-Divisional Officer in 1987 before becoming
Commandant for Herefordshire in 2000. In
his ‘day job’ he worked at Herefordshire College of Technology
for some 31 years.
Len; 'The police service has changed tremendously over the
years and I am pleased now that specials are just as much
seen as part of front-line policing as regular officers.
We are there to support and provide back up to regular officers
and not to replace them, but we have just the same powers
as regulars and can often bring some extra knowledge and
experience from our other work outside of the police.'
the ranks of the specials proves a very rewarding experience
for many people and opens up all sorts of opportunities.
Over the last three years we have seen 18 officers leave
the specials and join the regulars, both for this Force
and others - so we must be doing something right!' he joked.
his dedication to the Special Constabulary, Len is a past
winner of the High Sheriff’s Trophy, with his nomination
citing him as a 'focal point for younger specials, providing
advice and support wherever necessary. Always smartly turned
out, he is a good example to all specials and portrays an
excellent image to the public.'
won’t however be leaving the police behind entirely when
he hands back his uniform - he is continuing to work as
a handyperson for the Division and could last week be seen
helping staff move equipment to the new Leominster Police
Ancient Book Nominated for Modern Technology Prize
An historic Herefordshire treasure has been short listed
in a prestigious national competition after being nominated
by the county's libraries service. The British Library's
'Hidden Treasures Brought To Life' competition asked public
libraries to nominate books from their area to be digitized
using the British Library's Turning the Pages 2.0 software.
Herefordshire Libraries nominated a 13th century legal manuscript
from Hereford Cathedral which has numerous beautiful and
fantastic illustrations. The book is one of ten to have
been chosen for the England short list There will be one
winner from each of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern
Ireland, which will be announced at an awards ceremony at
the British Library in London on Tuesday, 4th September.
If the Herefordshire entry wins, high quality images of
selected pages, together with explanatory text, will be
made available via the Herefordshire Libraries website.
A diverse range of items have been chosen for the short
list, including one of the most substantial collections
of Old English poetry and a Dorset Women's Institute record
book from the Second World War. The manuscript chosen was
given to Hereford Cathedral in the late 15th century and
has been part of the famous library ever since. It was part
of a bequest from Owen Lloyd, a priest who it is supposed
gave his books because he had neglected his cathedral duties
while he was alive.
Anthony, Principal Libraries Officer for Herefordshire Council,
said, 'Being chosen for the short list is wonderful news
for Herefordshire. This is one of the many treasures both
modern and ancient to be discovered in libraries around
the county and a great example of the benefits of public
libraries working closely with other organizations.'
Baker, Hereford Cathedral Librarian, said: 'I am delighted
that one of the Library's medieval manuscripts has been
short listed for this competition. The Cathedral is committed
to increasing access to its historic collections and if
we win, many across the county will be able to discover
more about this wonderful treasure.'
New green courier service for files
Herefordshire Council's Modern Records Unit is trialling
the use of a new green courier service. The team of cyclists
who run Hereford Pedicabs taxi service, now have Pedicargo
vehicles, which Herefordshire Council will be using throughout
August and September to transport planning files requested
by members of the public. This will mean any member of the
public contacting the council to request a planning file
will be able to view the information the same day, as long
as they call before 10.30am each weekday morning.
one of their routes, Pedicargo vehicles will take planning
files twice a day between the Modern Records Unit, the Hereford
Centre at Garrick House and Planning Services at Blueschool
House in Hereford. Planning officers in Blueschool House
can also have files delivered the same day or can send current
files for viewing at the Hereford Centre.
. . .
Herefordshire Council's Head of Highways and Transportation, Will
Vaughan from Hereford Pedicargo and Anthony Sawyer, Senior Archivist
from Herefordshire Council's Modern Records Unit, by one of the
Vaughan and Ben Matthews, who run the Pedicargo business,
are aiming to provide a sustainable, pedal powered, zero
emission cargo service to businesses and the local authority
in Herefordshire, which will operate under their core values
of keeping things fun, green and honest. Supported by Herefordshire
Council's Integrated Transport Team, there are plans for
the Pedicargo service to be extended to other businesses
in Hereford. The Pedicargo service is offering free trials
for Hereford businesses during August and September.
the backing of Herefordshire Council's sustainable transport
team, the Pedicabs will also be advertising the council
on their Pedicargo vehicles, which will have a secure container
for transporting boxes of documents. Pedicargo riders are
able to haul up to a quarter of a ton on their specialist
bikes. The cycle networks allow quick and efficient access
to council buildings and many industrial estates, enabling
them to bypass the problems of road congestion in Hereford.
Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet
member for highways and transportation, said, 'In Hereford
we have a good network of cycle routes and if the Pedicargo
service can take advantage of some of these then it will
not only make their journeys quicker but also be kinder
to the environment. We will be looking at this trial carefully
and hoping the service can then be extended to other council
Herefordshire Council is trailling this scheme, it is hoped
other Hereford-based companies will use the Pedicargo service,
which is not only a cost effective same day courier service
but also helps the environment by reducing carbon emissions.
Will Vaughan said, 'Not only can we do quick, efficient,
same-day delivery, but we can reduce the cost to a business
of sending a member of staff across town with a parcel,
thus increasing productivity while providing an environmentally
friendly way of transporting goods.' The Pedicargo service
is now offering free trials to businesses in Hereford. Any
companies interested are asked to contact Will Vaughan on
07718320195 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. No money
or valuables will be carried on the Pedicargo vehicles.
Pedicargo operator Will Vaughan.
Council Makes Light Work of Car Park Improvements
Motorists visiting Hereford City centre will benefit from
new lighting which is about to be installed in the car park
beneath the Maylord Shopping Centre. The work, which is
being carried out by local contractors Melcon, will take
approximately three months to complete.
is good news for shoppers, particularly as the work will
be completed in time for Christmas shopping,' said Councillor
Wilcox, cabinet member for highways and transportation.
'This will be the first total refurbishment of the car park
lighting system since it was opened 20 years ago, in October
1987. To make sure that the lighting improvements create
the minimum disruption to car park users, I've arranged
for the work to take place between 6pm and 6am.'
Work was due to begin on Monday, 13th August.
Saturday Crafts return to Hereford High Town
Following the success of the first Saturday Craft Market
in Hereford High Town, buyers at the next market on Saturday,
8th September will have even more hand made crafts to choose
from. Organized by Herefordshire Council's Cultural Services,
this second of a series of four Saturday markets will see
the number of stall-holders expand to more than twenty,
offering a broad range of affordable, unique and original
work from local craft makers.
coincide with Herefordshire Art Week's h.Art Open Exhibition
at the Museum & Art Gallery in Broad Street, and the Hereford
Cathedral Festival of Flowers, this Saturday Market will
see the city a vibrant and colourful cultural centre.
Steve Boffy, the market co-ordinator, said, 'I am really
pleased to see this market doing so well. I've spoken to
so many nice people and met some really interesting artists,
it's great to work with such high quality and do something
that will make a difference'.
pre-Christmas and Valentine market are also in the planning,
making High Town, Hereford a gallery for county talent.
So, whether it's a one-off piece of jewellery, a gorgeous
piece of hand blown glass, or a carefully stitched and textured
rug - perhaps a piece of ironwork for the garden, or a hand
carved wooden bowl; whatever your taste, you can browse,
chat, commission or purchase hand made craft in the heart
of the city all day, from 9am until 5pm.
you would like more information you can call Steve Boffy
on (01886) 880125, or e-mail email@example.com
Temporary Road Closures
As part of works being carried out to create a 20mph zone
outside St Thomas Cantilupe School in Hereford, temporary
road closures on the city's Widemarsh Street and Coningsby
Street are to be enforced.
temporary road closures will ensure road resurfacing can
be carried out safely and the contractors will be working
on several evenings in Coningsby Street and on one Sunday
in Widemarsh Street. Widemarsh Street will be closed from
its junction with Blackfriars Street to its junction with
Newmarket / Blueschool Street.
road closure Order will come into force on Sunday, 19th
August 2007 and will remain for a period of five days. However,
it is expected that the Order will only remain operative
on Sunday, 19th August for a period of one day between the
hours of 8am and 4pm.
road closure Order for Coningsby Street will come into force
on Monday, 20th August 2007 and will remain for a maximum
period of five days. However, it is expected that the Order
will only be operative for a period of four days between
the hours of 6pm and 11pm.
with any queries about the temporary road closures should
call Herefordshire Council's help line on 01432 261800.
Work started on the school's 20 mph zone in Widemarsh Street
and Coningsby Street on 23rd July 2007.
Big Annual Book Sale
Council's libraries service is holding its big annual book
sale on Saturday, 18th August at the Shirehall, Hereford,
from 9.30am until 1pm.
for sale will include ex library non-fiction, fiction, large
print and children's books together with spoken word tapes,
CDs, videos and DVDs. Volunteers from the Hereford Library
User Group will be helping at the sale. Money raised from
the annual book sale will be used to improve the book stock
at the county's libraries.
Huckfield, senior stock librarian, said, 'This annual book
sale is always popular with the public, enabling them to
stock up on some bargains as well as helping the libraries
make room for new stock which will improve the range of
new books on offer in the future.'
Council to Take Action on Racecourse Earth Barriers
Council is to take action against Hereford City Sports Club
to remove earth bunds that the club had built without authority
around football pitches on Hereford racecourse. However,
the council acknowledges that the cost of the removal could
become a barrier to the work being carried out, so it has
announced it is willing to cover the initial cost of the
work and will seek to recover these costs from Hereford
City Sports Club over several years.
unauthorized bunds first appeared on the racecourse in 2005.
The club applied for retrospective planning permission for
the earth barriers, but this was turned down,' said Malcolm
MacAskill, Head of Asset Management and Property Services
at Herefordshire Council. The club appealed against that
decision, which was considered by an independent Inspector.
However, the council learned on Friday that the inspector
has rejected the club's appeal.
written to the club announcing our intention to enforce
planning regulations, which will mean the removal of the
bunds,' said Malcolm. 'We're aware of the important role
the club plays in the city and we realize that the cost
of removing the barriers could cause the club financial
difficulties. As a result, we've offered to carry out the
work on the club's behalf and allow the club to pay us the
costs over the next few years.'
Herefordshire's Plans for a Public Service Trust Under Scrutiny
meeting of Herefordshire Council's health scrutiny committee
took place on Tuesday, 14th August and they welcomed the
principle of further exploration of the creation of a public
service trust, which aims to improve services, provide better
value for money and safeguard services locally in Herefordshire.
views of the committee are a key part of the democratic
process surrounding the innovative proposal to bring together
the way local services are planned and purchased. Its role
includes helping to ensure the accountability and transparency
of any decisions taken by the council. Senior
officers from the primary care trust and the council faced
over two and a half hours of focussed and robust questions
at the hands of the committee, chaired by recently elected
Councillor Dr Kay Swinburne.
committee endorsed further integration of how the primary
care trust and the council work together so that they may
more effectively deliver better services for the citizens
of the county. They supported the appointment of a single
chief executive for both organizations, stressing the need
for a rigorous selection process to get the best possible
candidate. The new chief executive's first task should be
to deliver integrated services as a priority, said the committee.
committee also wants to review the structure of the public
service trust as it develops and has recommended external
assessment of the financial implications and a robust financial
model to be developed. They were reassured on the compatibility
of information technology and recommended a joint accommodation
strategy to bring the two organization together. However,
the timetable for the creation of the public service trust
was viewed to be 'optimistic and over ambitious' in the
light of: the need to accommodate staff, changing legislation
nationally, the various reviews into health and local government
funding and the need for more clarity in how health services
are purchased and provided.
committee heard that a public consultation into the proposals
for new public service trust arrangements has resulted in
57 per cent of responses being in favour of new public service
trust arrangements, with 40 per cent against. There were
218 separate submissions of views, many from voluntary organization
and community groups representing patients and customers,
as well as interested individuals. The health scrutiny committee
noted the extensive public consultation and the helpful
comments of organization but regretted that there was not
wider engagement from the public.
committee's recommendations are to be submitted to the primary
care trust board and the council's cabinet, which together
will make a final decision on the public service trust proposals
in September. They will also consider how the new arrangements
could be financed, managed and implemented and will take
into account the results of the public consultation.
of the health scrutiny committee Councillor Dr Kay Swinburne
said: 'I am grateful to my colleagues on the committee for
the way they structured their questions and probed and teased
out the key concerns we had about the proposals. I would
also thank senior officers from the primary care trust and
the council for the positive way they responded to our questions.
This enabled us to put forward some strong and clear recommendations
for how we move towards more integrated public services
for the benefit of the people of Herefordshire.'
impetus to consider developing an enhanced partnership between
the two organization began early in 2006 after the government
proposed reorganizing primary care trusts in England. Herefordshire
was to retain a primary care trust on the understanding
that it and the council would work together to achieve a
more integrated approach to public services. A key aim is
to achieve better value for money and ensure efficiencies
are reinvested directly in local services and safeguard
the future of those services in the county.
proposals to create new public service trust arrangements,
working more closely with the voluntary sector, have been
discussed in the public domain since October 2006 and a
public consultation took place from 12th June 2007 to 31st
further information, please call Herefordshire Council on
Police Warn Residents After Two Distraction Burglaries
Police in Herefordshire are appealing for information following
two distraction burglaries in the county and repeating their
advice to householders to always check for proper identification
before letting doorstep callers into homes.
two burglaries happened in Ledbury and Hereford during the
afternoon of Monday, 13th August, in which bogus callers
posing as ‘water board’ officials called at the homes of
elderly people and carried out searches of the premises
while the householders were distracted. On both occasions
the men claimed that they were conducting work in the area.
the Hereford incident, which took place at a house in Brampton
Road, the elderly householders heard a noise and found a
man standing at the rear of the property. He said he was
from the water board investigating a burst pipe and needed
to check the water supply for discolouration. He spent some
time checking taps in the kitchen and bathroom before the
victims discovered a second man in the living room, apparently
making a search. Both men were asked to leave and ran away
through the back garden.
same afternoon in Queensway in Ledbury, a man called at
a house and again claimed to be from the water board and
carrying work out in the area. Access was granted to the
house and the man made a play at checking the stopcock,
before inviting the elderly householder into the back garden
where he claimed a trench would need to be dug.
After around 15 minutes the victim saw a second man standing
by the kitchen door. When challenged, he said he was ‘looking
for his work mate’ and the two men left. The victim then
discovered that the house had been searched and a substantial
amount of cash stolen.
are linking the two incidents, although it is unclear at
this stage whether the same offenders carried out both.
In the Hereford burglary, the men were said to be white
and wearing fleece jackets and woolly beanie hats. One of
the men had a goatee and the other wore fawn coloured workman’s
boots. The only description of the men from the Ledbury
incident is that they were white and were wearing dark coloured
clothes. They may also have been using in a white van.
Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen these
men on Monday afternoon or who has had similar doorstep
callers in recent days.
Charles Naylor, Herefordshire Division’s Crime Risk Manager,
said: 'It is important that people remember that there is
no such thing as the ‘water board’ and that all officials
from utility companies carry proper identification. This
should always be checked properly before letting any unannounced
callers into your home. Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, for example,
issues its staff with identity cards bearing their Bogus
Caller Helpline number. Anyone wishing to verify the identity
of the caller claiming to be from Welsh Water should telephone
0800 281 141 to check with this helpline and make sure the
caller is who they say they are.
Water, in common with many utility companies, also operates
a password system, whereby its customers can choose a special
password which will be given to staff when they need to
visit, offering an additional measure of protection.' For
its part, West Mercia Police is doing all it can to raise
awareness of the simple steps people can take to avoid becoming
a victim of bogus callers through its ‘Knock Knock’ campaign.
Tips to keep you safe are available from the force website,
while a crime prevention leaflet has also been produced
for distribution to vulnerable members of the community.
Naylor added: 'People should not be afraid to ask callers
for identification. If they are not convinced the caller
is genuine they should call and check with the company concerned.
A legitimate caller will not mind waiting outside while
you check their identification out properly. If you are
in any doubt do not let them into your home.'
the following advice in mind, it could help to reduce the
chance of a distraction burglary happening to you or others
in your neighbourhood:
keep large sums of money in your home Keep an eye on people
calling in the area or acting suspiciously. Encourage vulnerable
neighbours to keep their door on a chain and to check a
caller’s identity card carefully.
Trust your instincts. If you have any doubt about a caller’s
identity don’t let them in.
Call 08457 444888 to provide information to the police about
suspicious people, activity or vehicles however insignificant
it may seem.
If a distraction burglary has taken place or been attempted,
encourage the victim to report it as quickly as possible.
Bogus callers and ‘rogue traders’ should also be reported
to Herefordshire Council’s Trading Standards department
on 01432 260761.
further information about preventing distraction burglaries
and West Mercia’ Knock Knock campaign please visit the force
website www.westmercia.police.uk. Anyone interested in obtaining
an ‘In doubt? - Keep them out!’ advice leaflet or requiring
an Additional Services Pack to register for the password
scheme can call the Dwr Cymru Welsh Water freephone publications
helpline number on 0800 052 0138.
about either of the distraction burglaries in Hereford or
Ledbury or details of similar incidents in the county, should
be reported to officers at the Volume Crime Unit in Hereford
CID on 08457 444888.
YOU HAVE A STORY FOR WYENOT NEWS?
you have a local news item or story you can submit
call Alan or Tina on 01989 763217
is no charge for publishing either news items or What's
This is a Free Service for
the local community!
News, 1, Hillview Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. HR9
email or to: 'Wyenot.com,' 1, Hillview Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire,
HR9 7EY. Tel: 01989 763217