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WYENOT NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 182 - Wednesday, 23rd January 2008
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IN THIS ISSUE
Page 1 [WNTV NEWS - Let's stick together - Kings Caple rap for MP - Brampton Concerned for Children - Review recalled]
Page 2 [Cannot relax on closures - Controlled explosion at Doward - Astroturf - Successful shop - Pride of Herefordshire]
Page 3 [Flood Water, high and low, Jack Baldus - Threats - Letters - Hereford United v Cardiff Warning]

Page 4

[Exhibition and WNTV - Nature Watch - Two bands at the Prince - Dennis is back - Rugby - Weather]
Page 5 [Concern for missing Clehonger Woman - News from Around Herefordshire]
WNTV TELEVISION NEWS
Presented by Tina Jones

This programme has been removed to conserve space on the web server but can still be obtained from WNTV NEWS on DVD.

The White Lion Inn, Wilton.
Morris Bricknell, Chartered Surveyors, Stroud House, 30, Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. HR9 5LE.

STROUD HOUSE
30 GLOUCESTER ROAD
ROSS-ON-WYE, HEREFORDSHIRE HR9 5LE

-Tel: 01989 768320

Please, Let's Stick Together

In the wake of Herefordshire Council's proposals to amalgamate several schools in the county, ten of which are located within the John Kyrle catchment area, many meetings and discussions have been taking place. At Weston-Under-Penyard School's meeting, over two hundred people packed into the village hall to find out exactly what was happening and to discuss possible courses of action. There were not only parents of pupils in attendance, however. Many of the residents of Weston went along to give their support, as the school is an integral part of the community, as is the case with all rural schools.

The meeting was also attended by elected ward member, Councillor Harry Bramer and Parliamentary candidates, Jesse Norman and Sarah Carr. It was rather shocking to discover that the latter three knew absolutely nothing of the proposals until after the county's head teachers had been informed. Mr. Bird's thought provoking address was brilliant. He explained how closing the school would have a knock on effect on the whole village. The meeting is featured in this week's edition of WNTV News.


Head Teacher of Weston-Under-Penyard School delivers an excellent address at the meeting. Ref: DSC_3976


Concerned parents and villagers turn up to hear what Mr. Bird has to say. Ref: DSC_3978

Councillors and Parliamentary candidates turn up in support of the school. Ref: DSC_3979

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Kings Caple Primary School Rap for MP

WNTV News was invited along to Kings Caple Primary School on Friday to talk with them about their feelings on the proposed amalgamation of several primary schools in Herefordshire. One of the pupils there is so concerned that she wrote a long poem about it. Part of this poem has been transformed into a rap, which the children were practising in readiness for Monday, when MP Paul Keetch was due to visit.

In a written statement, Chair of Governors at the school, Mr. David Greenhough said, 'The governors of Kings Caple Primary oppose the proposed changes countywide and those for Kings Caple School. The closure of the village school would disrupt the education of our children for the period leading up to the closure and for several years after.

Kings Caple Primary is an excellent school with a gold 'Healthy Schools' award and a wonderful, inclusive atmosphere. The closures seem ill considered and the council has proved unable or unwilling to give us any detailed costings.'

You can watch our visit to Kings Caple School in this week's edition of WNTV News.


The pupils of Kings Caple Primary getting ready to rap for their school. Ref: DSC_3987


Brampton Abbotts Concerned for the Children

Brampton Abbotts Primary School held a meeting on Monday, where Chair of Governors Rick Stevenson addressed parent, urging them to write to councillors, in particular Councillor Jenny Hyde, Cabinet Member for Children' and Young People. Head Teacher, Mrs. Lynn Potter then spoke to parents, asking them to reassure their children. You can view the proceedings in this week's edition of WNTV News..


Chair of Governors, Rick Stevenson addressed the meeting at Brampton Abbotts. Ref: DSC_4025


Concerned parents attend Monday's meeting at Brampton Abbotts School. Ref: DSC_4026

Head Teacher, Lynn Potter, Chair of Governors, Rick Stevenson with Laura Dobbs and Sally Burns who were nominated at the meeting to represent the parents of children at Brampton Abbotts School. . Ref: DSC_4027

Now for some better news . . . Council Recalls Review

The leader of Herefordshire Council announced on Monday the immediate recall of draft proposals for a review of schools in response to government requirements to reduce surplus school places.

The move, which is as a result of discussions between councillors and senior officers before the weekend, is designed to allow more consultation with communities, more detailed research and independent and external verification before proposals are redrafted for final consideration in September.

'The Conservative group made it clear that it could not support draft proposals that could see 37 of the county's schools merged or closed,' said Councillor Roger Phillips. 'Instead, elected members want more time to involve all schools and their communities in detailed discussions. We also need external, independent and objective advice and verified evidence of the finances and the population projections, as well as a greater understanding of the effect of any mergers on rural communities and school journey times.'

'The council's cabinet recognizes that education officers face a tough challenge in addressing the problem of falling numbers of pupils in Herefordshire's schools. If we do not satisfy Government that we are taking action, it has the power to cut our funding in education. But we also recognize the strong feelings in our community, and time has to be given to enable those views to be taken fully into account when we set policy for education.'

Chief Executive of the council, Chris Bull added, 'It is important that we respond clearly to concerns raised by a number of schools and their communities during this initial part of the consultation. Local communities and elected members have said they want more time and we want to ensure that everyone has the greatest opportunity to put their views forward.

We have listened and we have taken action. We have suspended the consultation process now. In the meantime we will proceed with previously agreed plans to bring in external verification of statistics, figures and finances, share those findings with everyone, and listen further to school communities before we redraft proposals for further consideration.'

Herefordshire, like most authorities nation-wide, is required by government to set out strategic plans for the future - taking into account capacity, future pupil numbers, value for money, quality of education and building programmes.

The way government funding is calculated means that Herefordshire remains the third worst funded county in England and the council has pledged to continue lobbying central government for fairer funding. A significant proportion of costs involved in educating children are fixed, including a high proportion of staffing costs, yet the funding provided by the government is calculated by the number of pupils on roll. Even that funding is under threat if the county does not take action on falling rolls. If the council can ensure spare school capacity doesn't exceed 10 per cent, there is the potential for significant capital investment from the government. Half of Herefordshire's schools could be refurbished and five new schools could be built in addition to the proposed Wyebridge Academy and the Minster College.

Neighbouring authorities Shropshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Powys are already going through the same process. Many schools in Herefordshire have supported the schools review and several head teachers have stated that firm action needs to be taken to safeguard standards of education.

.'We have already said that the review is necessary and it presents to Herefordshire the biggest challenge to education standards for decade,' said Councillor Phillips. 'It is therefore essential that we give a clear message to children, parents and schools that we want to listen fully to what they have to say and we want to take a measured, open and considered approach in order to secure the best education provision for the county for the future.'



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