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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 173 - Wednesday, 14th November 2007
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Page 1 [Phil Rickman opens Library - Cash for CIN - Agricultural Lessons - More affordable housing - Tina invitation]
Page 2 [WNTV: We will remember them]
Page 3 [A Premiere Performance - Happy surprise 50th Birthday, what's 'is name? - Pay problem solved]

Page 4

[Two choirs click - Presentation to Library - In Memory of my grandfather - Local crime - Christmas menus]
Page 5 [The fruit and veg of their labours - Whitchurch - Champion helps local girls - Shopmobility - Rugby - Weather]
Page 6 [News from around Herefordshire]

Appeal for Help in Tracing Kate Prout
(added after publication date)

Due to the importance of finding Kate, this article has been added to every page of this week's news, after the initial publication date, in order to give the matter maximum exposure.

Police are growing increasingly concerned for the welfare of missing Forest of Dean woman Kathleen Prout.

The 55-year-old, known as Kate, has not been seen since she left her home address in Redmarley on Monday, 5th November.

Mrs Prout is white, 5ft 6 tall and of medium build. Described as having a pale complexion, she has blue eyes and red, shoulder-length straight hair. She was wearing jeans and a black v-neck top when she was last seen.

Members of the public are being urged to assist in the search for Kate by reporting any sightings of her straightaway.

If you think you may have seen her, please contact Gloucestershire Constabulary on 0845 090 1234, quoting incident number 229 of 10th November.

Herefordshire childcare workers celebrate quality awards

Children in Herefordshire can expect to continue receiving good quality childcare thanks to a further 24 childcare providers achieving quality assurance awards. Childminders, nurseries, after school clubs, early years education providers all came together to celebrate their quality assurance and training achievements at an awards ceremony held at Hereford Shire Hall on 2nd November.

Over 70 guests attended the evening and received the following awards:

  • Growing Together Quality Assurance Gold Award - Golden Valley Pre-school
  • Silver Award - Bargates Children's Centre and St Paul's Nursery
  • Bronze Award - Mucky Pups Pre-school, Withington Extended Care, Credenhill Pre-school, Fownhope Pre-school, Holmer Pre-school, Norton House School, Oakhouse Nursery School and Walford Pre-school
  • Bronze Award Reaccreditation - Merry-Go-Round
  • Childminders Children Come First Awards - Alison Jackson, Victoria Hudson-Lloyd and Denise Stevens Diploma in Home-Based Childcare Level 3. Sally Camden, Cheryl Harley, Sally Heggie, Sharon Hill, Victoria Hudson-Lloyd, Jennifer Jones, Helen Rees and Denise Stevens CACHE level 3
  • Certificate in Childminding Practice Elizabeth McAteer

'Childcare providers have incredible responsibilities for some of the most important people in our society - our children,' said Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children and young people. To achieve a quality assurance award takes a lot of work and dedication, often from people who volunteer their time to help run groups. It is absolutely fitting therefore that we recognize their work and celebrate their success. I was also delighted to see that for the first time childminders who work in their own homes have had the opportunity of achieving a recognized national qualification showing their commitment to delivering high quality services.'

Childcare providers who received their quality assurance award.

New Leaflet to Help Parents Make Nappy Decision

Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire County Council have produced a new leaflet that will help parents make informed decisions about whether or not to use real nappies. The leaflet has been put together to outline all the benefits of real nappies, not just for waste prevention, but for their babies too.

Not only do disposable nappies take decades to break down after they've been taken to landfill, it is also increasingly costly for the council to pay for such disposal, a cost that's passed on to the council taxpayer. Real nappies have seen huge leaps in development over the years and according to campaigners are light years away from the grey Terry towelling nappies soaking in a bucket that many people will remember.

More and more parents that switch from disposable to real nappies say that their babies seem happier in those that can be reused. Herefordshire Council has helped spread the word of real nappies through its highly successful Nappaccino Mornings, held in Hereford.

Parents can drop in for a chat with other families already using real nappies to talk about their experiences - and enjoy a great cup of coffee into the bargain. There is also a real nappy advisor on hand to demonstrate a whole range of nappies and answer any questions people may have.

The new leaflet carries details of these events, along with information on the changes in real nappy technology, such as the introduction of Velcro fasteners instead of safety pins. They are available at libraries, Hubs or by visiting or by calling Mission Impossible on 01905 766883.

Laura Preece, Herefordshire Council's recycling officer, said, 'The word is certainly getting out in the county about real nappies and more and more parents are waking up to not only the benefits for baby, but also the benefits for them. By using real nappies, they can save money, as well as play a part in helping to prevent waste.

What is clear is that the message about how different real nappies are now to how they were is finally getting through. Some people may dismiss real nappies out of hand, but those that look at the alternative are very surprised when they see a real nappy in the 21st century.'

Included in the leaflet are details of a scheme that allows parents to claim £30 cashback when they buy £50 worth of real nappies, or claim a free pack of pre fold nappies. The scheme, run with social enterprise group Green Nappies, has been running since March.

Each child can use up to 6,000 disposable nappies in their lifetime and eight million disposable nappies are thrown away every day in the UK. More than 90 per cent of disposable nappies are disposed of in landfill and may take up to 500 years to decompose. The average spend on disposable nappies can be as much as £922.74 per child over two and a half years. Real nappies can be used again and again and on your next child, saving more money.

Further information about Nappaccino Mornings is available by calling the Mission Impossible team on 01905 766883.

Feedback on Preferred Option for Masters House, Ledbury

A preferred option on the future of the Masters House will be presented at a public meeting on Wednesday, 21st November, beginning at 4pm.

Herefordshire Council has considered the consultation that has taken place and assessment of facilities in Ledbury during the year, to come to a decision on a preferred option for the development of the Masters House. The option has been strongly influenced by the Business Plan produced by the Ledbury and Area Development Trust, funded by the Town Council and the Civic Society of Ledbury.

The drop in session at the Burgage Hall, Church Street, Ledbury has been arranged to run between 4pm and 5:30pm, to enable members of the public to talk to councillors and officers of Herefordshire Council about the preferred scheme in an informal way. From 5.30pm, there will be a short presentation followed by an opportunity to ask questions and make comments.

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for economic development and community services said, 'This is an opportunity to share with the Ledbury community our thoughts so far on the options for developing the Masters House and the surrounding site, as well as looking at other facilities in Ledbury such as the tourist information centre. We have considered all the research that has been undertaken, as well as the viability of any scheme, including cost and use of this historic site.'

People of all ages, including children are invited to come to the drop in session and the public meeting in the early evening.

Hassle Free Christmas Shopping in Hereford

Free and easy parking is on the cards again this Christmas as the council's successful Christmas Saturday Park and Ride service returns. The environmentally friendly service saves shoppers the stress of searching for a parking spot and driving through congested streets, by delivering commuters from the car park straight to the shops.

Shoppers can choose free parking at two sites, North and South of Hereford city centre and enjoy a comfortable bus ride for a nominal fare right to the heart of the busy city centre.

If you are coming from North of the city, you can use the A49 Holmer Road park and ride site at the ex Denco car park, where modern low floor buses will take you directly to the Shire Hall. Coming from the south of Hereford you can use the A49 Ross Road site at Grafton, where buses take you straight through to Broad Street.

Park and Ride 2007 will operate every Saturday from 17th November until 22nd December, with buses running every 15 minutes, from 9am. The last bus returning to the southern Grafton car park leaves Broad Street at 5.50pm. From Shire Hall the last bus for the Denco northern car park leaves slightly later at 5.55pm leaving ample time for you do all your Christmas shopping in Hereford.

Fares are £1.50 per adult, with a maximum fare of £3 per car. Children go free and parking is free for park and ride users. The park and ride dates are November 17, 24 and December 1, 8,15, 22. Private security staff will patrol both sites on the six days to ensure cars are secure.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said, 'We hope to encourage as many people as possible to park and ride as it saves petrol costs and time spent looking for parking spaces. It's less hassle, much easier and cheaper to simply park the car and be transported to the shopping centre. Park and ride is an important part of the council's sustainable transport initiatives aimed at tackling traffic congestion.'

Bookstart Bear to Tour Herefordshire

Bookstart Bear will be touring the county in mid November, visiting libraries, nurseries and children's centres with his goodie bags and lots of cuddles. He will be joining in with story times and rhyme time sessions and help to promote the gifting of free Bookstart packs for children under five and the Book Crawl reward scheme running in all of the counties libraries.

Bookstart Bear's tour will run as follows:

Leominster Baby Bounce - Thursday, 15th November - 10.30am
Ledbury Storytime - Thursday, 15th November - 2.15pm
Bromyard Storytime - Friday, 16th November - 10.30am
Ross Storytime - Friday, 16th November - 2.15pm
Hereford Storytime - Wednesday, 21st November - 10.15am
Hereford Baby Bounce - Wednesday, 21st November - 11.15am

Julia Radburn, principal learning officer, said, 'The Bookstart Bear is always popular with children and is also a great way to encourage more youngsters to get into reading. Parents or carers are invited to drop in at any of these sessions and find out more about the scheme.'

Council are Positive Employers of Disabled People

Herefordshire Council has been awarded for another year the prestigious 'two ticks' mark for being a positive employer of disabled people, committed to their employment, retention, training and career development. The symbol is awarded by Jobcentre Plus to private and public sector organizations that agree to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum requirements for a vacancy, will work to develop and use the abilities of disabled employees to the full, and help staff who become disabled to stay in work.

Herefordshire Council, which was first awarded the 'two ticks' symbol in 2002, is assessed each year by Jobcentre Plus to ensure its commitment to employing and retaining disabled people remains strong. Councillor June French, cabinet member with responsibility for human resources, said, 'Of course the council, like every other employer, has a legal obligation to ensure equality of opportunity for disabled people. But we feel it is important to go much beyond that to challenge discrimination and take account of the needs of disabled people in everything we do, whether we are providing services for the community or employing people.'

Herefordshire Council also ensures that all employees are trained to be aware of the requirements of disabled customers and colleagues, and regularly reviews ways in which it can improve as an employer of disabled people.

First Values Education Conference for Herefordshire School Children

Herefordshire Council is organizing a conference for primary and secondary aged school children on values education. Values education is about helping children become thinking, confident, responsible and caring citizens. For those schools who embrace the concept, positive core values such as respect and responsibility become the focus of the school with role modelling, discussion, debate and reflection being used to encourage positive behaviour, confidence and self-esteem.

To celebrate the work undertaken in schools so far and the county's recent Leading Aspect Award, a one day conference has been organized specifically for the children from the schools who are part of the Values Steering Group. More than 60 children will be taking part at the event at Whitecross High School and Specialist Sports College on Wednesday, 14th November.

Throughout the day, children will get involved in a range of activities involving music and drama, and hear from a number of local inspirational speakers including Colin Jarvens about their own personal experiences. The theme of the day will be unity. Children will be required to go back to school and share what they have learned with their friends by participating in their own values assembly at school.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children and young people, said, 'Values education is absolutely essential if we want our children to grow to be confident young people who respect themselves and others. All our schools work hard to make sure our children get a range of experiences and understanding of the world around them, as well as the core reading and writing skills.

Our children deserve the best possible start in life, and it has been proved that threading core values throughout all school activities gives children and their families confidence and respect that stays with them for life. I hope the children enjoy the conference and are able to share what they learn with their schools.'

Herefordshire Healthy Schools Ahead of Targets

Herefordshire children are enjoying healthier lifestyles thanks to the county's schools exceeding national healthy schools targets. The government target is for 75 per cent of all schools to have National Healthy School Status and 100 per cent to be participating in the programme by December 2009. A progress report issued by the national team last week indicated that around 70 per cent of Herefordshire's schools have already achieved this status and a further 24 per cent are working towards it. This compares with a national average of 50 per cent having achieved the status to date .

The Herefordshire Healthy Schools Programme is a partnership between the Council and the Primary Care Trust, and works with all Herefordshire schools, parents and whole school communities, to develop a healthier living and learning environment for children. In particular, the programme focuses on healthy eating, personal social and health education, physical activity and emotional health and well-being. Schools that show they meet the all the criteria in these areas are awarded National Healthy School Status.

Since the programme began, Herefordshire children have benefited by getting more physically active through extended sports programmes, walking or cycling to school and a wide range of physical activities appropriate to their age and needs. They have also learned about nutrition and how improving their diets by eating and drinking better at school and home adds to feeling better and working better. Children have also learned about who is there to support them in developing positive relationships, responsible behaviour and being happy.

'This is excellent news! Congratulations to our schools and the healthy schools team for achieving so much two years ahead of target,' said Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children and young people. 'The Healthy Schools Programme is at the core of everything we do and the council works closely with the police, voluntary sector and other agencies to make sure schools can access the support they need. Most schools already do many of the things they need to do to achieve the status, but our healthy schools team provides additional support for those who need it. As well as helping the schools through the process of achieving the status, they offer advice on a range of issues including race equality, drug education and teenage pregnancy.'

Herefordshire schools have embraced the healthy schools ethos so well that a special gold award system has been set up for children to nominate their school for being a 'healthy school and more'. Eight schools have now achieved a gold award for fully embracing the concept of healthy schools throughout the whole school community.

Council was Right to Grant Planning Permission for Madley Plant
Judicial review finds Herefordshire Council acted properly

Herefordshire Council was right to grant planning permission for an innovative waste treatment and recycling plant in Madley according to a judicial review, which took place on Friday, 9th November in the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Mr Justice Simon ruled that there 'was no factual or other basis for concluding that the council had acted improperly' and awarded costs to the council.

The council originally granted planning permission in March 2004. Herefordshire Waste Watchers, a local pressure group, started proceedings to judicially review and quash the decision, and the claim was lodged in February 2007 by Public Interest Lawyers acting on their behalf. Permission for the application for the judicial review was, however, refused by the High Court in May. Waste Watchers sought a further review of that decision, which was heard today at the Strand courtrooms.

Waste Watchers had claimed that the council had neglected to give full consideration of alternative sites and all the environmental issues and argued there was insufficient consideration of the emissions from a chimney stack at the proposed plant. It was found, however, that the council had given full and proper consideration to alternative sites and the chimney stack is one for a gas boiler, performing a similar function to an ordinary domestic gas boiler flue.

'We were confident at the time that a full and thorough enquiry into the planning merits, siting and environmental impact was carried out in order to inform a final decision on the planning application for the waste plant. We also imposed planning conditions to minimize any damage to the environment and protect the amenity of local residents,' said Kevin O'Keefe, the council's legal practice manager. 'We are pleased that the judge agreed that the council had acted properly.'

Herefordshire's Very Own 'Poet Lorry-Art'

It's a case of poetry in motion for local writer Brenda Read-Brown, who has had one of her poems published…on the side of a refuse collection lorry. Her poem about rubbish is set to bring smiles to onlookers when the lorry is used across the county.

Brenda's poem, along with five others, have been put on the sides of six spare refuse lorries as part of 'Throwaway Lines,' an Arts Council funded project organized jointly between Herefordshire libraries, Poetry on Loan - a joined up promotion by West Midland Library authorities - and contractors Focsa, which collect refuse on behalf of the council.

'Nothing escapes the pen of a poet, so there's no reason they shouldn't write one about recycling and waste disposal,' said Anne-Marie Dossett, the council's reader development librarian. 'As well as being amusing and entertaining, these poems also reinforce the important message that recycling is something we can all do locally to make a difference globally.'

Brenda's light-hearted poem sheds some light on a day in the life of a refuse lorry:

When refuse lorries start the day
Their breakfast's what we've thrown away
When refuse lorries want some fun
They go recycling in the sun
When refuse lorries feel like lunch
Bin bags are always what they munch
When refuse lorries go to sleep
They count tin cans instead of sheep.

The project invited poets in the West Midlands region to submit poems of up to eight lines in length. Any longer and they wouldn't fit on the side of a refuse collection lorry. Representatives from Focsa and the waste management committee have chosen six poems which are to go on the side of a handful of spare lorries. These are used when lorries in the fleet are off the road for servicing so there will always be a refuse collection lorry with poetry on its side out and about in the county.

Paul Morris, contract manager at Focsa Services (UK) Ltd, the contractor to Herefordshire Council for the refuse collection, took on the idea when it was presented to him about 12 months ago. 'It's a good idea to raise awareness for recycling in Herefordshire and this is something different that will hopefully get members of the public talking to each other about the particular poems they have seen on our various vehicles with an important message relayed in a light hearted way,' he said.'

County's Young People Encouraged to Aim High

School pupils and students in Herefordshire are being encouraged to set their sights higher at a national Aimhigher roadshow visiting the county this month.

The Aimhigher campaign is funded by the government as part of a drive to increase the percentage of 18 to 30 year olds who attend university or undertake some form of higher education. Over half of young people progress to higher education in some parts of Herefordshire but this drops to less than one in four in other parts of the county. The reasons vary, but include young people's assumptions about not being clever enough and financial restrictions.

Aimhigher aims to redress this situation by providing accurate and relevant information that enables learners to make informed choices about their educational progression and help them achieve their aspirations and goals. The 27 foot state of the art trailer will visit Aylestone High School on Thursday, 22nd November, the Minster College Leominster on Friday, 23rd November and Wyebridge Sports College on Monday, 26th November.

Run by graduates and using a wide range of media, pupils and students will be encouraged to think about the benefits and opportunities of higher education, especially young people from families with no tradition of studying at this level. Evidence suggests that graduates can expect to earn more in a lifetime than those leaving school with A levels alone. Having a degree or higher education qualification widens the choice of careers young people can access and makes it easier to get promotion when they eventually become employed.

The Aimhigher roadshows use case studies and DVDs to show the range of options available to young people. There are 50,000 courses to choose from, including vocational degrees and the roadshow includes information about vocational and other non A level routes into higher education. Those attending will also be able to get to grips with financial arrangements, particularly the help available for young people from lower income households.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children and young people said, 'Higher education is no longer only about subjects such as medicine, dentistry, chartered engineering and other traditional academic subjects. Many young people don't realize that progression to higher education is a realistic option for them and that help is available if they are struggling financially. We want all our young people to reach their full potential so that they can make career choices and enjoy fulfilled lives. These roadshows will help them realize that university could be a very real option for them all.'


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