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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 185 - Wednesday, 13th February 2008
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Page 1 [WNTV NEWS - Footage on DVD - Saturday at the Prince with 'Torn' - Total Lunar Eclipse - Planning Applications]
Page 2 [Chinese New Year - Letters - Car Crash - Art Surgery - Unironed Curtain - Work Experience - Guides - Photo]
Page 3 [Concert - Making Hearts - Symonds Yat East - Rowtop - Ross Lions wish list - Rugby - Weather Station]

Page 4

[The news from around Herefordshire]

National Scams Awareness Month

As part of SCAM awareness month, Herefordshire Trading Standards Service is taking part in a national campaign led by the Office of Fair Trading ( OFT) called 'SCAMNESTRY' to highlight the growing problem of SCAMS and to help prevent local residents, especially the elderly and vulnerable, from being conned - potentially out of £000's of pounds!!

Every year an estimated three million UK consumers fall victim to scams sent by post, email, text, the phone and internet. One of the main themes of this year's campaign is to highlight the hidden misery of thousands of elderly and vulnerable consumers who repeatedly fall victim to scams such as bogus lotteries, deceptive prize draw and sweepstakes, fake psychics and 'miracle' health cures..

Anyone can fall for a scam but the elderly are often hit hardest. OFT research shows that older victims are likely to lose nearly twice as much per scam as others. Victims are often socially isolated, over-trusting or afflicted by illnesses such as dementia and can be repeatedly targeted by the scammers. Many lose their life savings and suffer depression and ill health as a result.

A tragic example of this locally, relates to an elderly gentlemen living alone in Herefordshire who lost in excess of £50,000 over a two year period to repeated mail shots. He frequently received two full mail sacks of such post each week..

During the month of February, Herefordshire Trading Standards Service is providing a number of mail boxes at libraries and info shops throughout the county for people to deposit any such unsolicited mail shots, leaflets or flyers. Details of such scams are to be collated to ascertain the top ten that are operating both locally and nationally.

Mike Pigrem Herefordshire Council's trading standards manager, said, 'Scams can come in many different guises and once you have responded, you're more likely to get targeted again and again.

People who get caught by these scammers are often the most vulnerable within our society and may be unable to protect themselves or unaware of their rights.. I would urge you that If you know of someone who may be vulnerable, please check that they are not being targeted. The aim of this 'Scamnestry' is make people think twice before they respond to such schemes and hopefully to prevent them from being conned.'

Jeanette Davies, consumer adviser / enforcement officer with Herefordshire Council's trading standards service, with one of the boxes for people to post their junk mail in. This box is at the council's reception in Bath Street. The boxes will be at libraries, reception areas in council buildings throughout the county and Info shops. Leaflets on how to avoid being a victim of scams are also available at the same outlets.

A Treat for Trad Jazz Fans at Hereford College for the Blind

Fans of Traditional jazz are in for a treat on Monday 10th and Tuesday, 11th March. Rod Mason and his Hot Five are to appear at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford.

Rod Masonís Hot Five are critically acclaimed as Europeís No1 traditional jazz band and are back in the UK, playing just a handful of venues including two nights at the College.

Their broad repertoire is firmly rooted in classic jazz, featuring Masonís original arrangements from Louis Armstrongís Hot Five and Seven, King Oliverís Creole Band and Jelly Roll Mortonís Red Hot Peppers, plus a wide selection of material from other, sometimes unexpected, sources.

The doors will open at 7pm for a 7:30 start. Tickets cost £10 and can be obtained by either telephoning RNC Fundraising on 01432 376371, e-mailing or from The Outback, Church Street, Hereford.

Ministers Comments on School Closures Hypocritical
says Jesse Norman

Local candidate and SchoolsFirst campaigner Jesse Norman has described the government as 'breathtakingly hypocritical' on schools closures.

Schools minister Jim Knight MP was recently reported as writing to all local authorities in England to remind them that they should not close rural schools, after a huge campaign in Herefordshire to prevent school closures.

However, Jesse has now unearthed 'Every Child Matters: The Primary Capital Programme.' This is the Government paper that instructs local education authorities to prioritise the removal of surplus places, due to falling birth rates. Both documents are on the SchoolsFirst website

'Jim Knight's comments are astonishing,' said Jesse. 'On one hand the Government is bullying councils such as ours to close or merge schools against their will. On the other it is writing pious letters instructing councils not to close schools. Its actions are breathtakingly hypocritical.'

PACT Meeting Hears of Progress on Local Concerns

Leominsterís new look PACT Meeting has heard about the progress made to deal with the issues and concerns of the local community.

The PACT meeting, held on the evening of Tuesday, 5th February at Green Lane Methodist Church Hall, saw around 30 people turn out to meet with members of the Local Policing Teams for the Leominster Town North, South and Rural areas, together with representatives from Herefordshire Council, Leominster Town Council and local parish councils - all members within the Herefordshire Partnership.

PACT Meetings,- which are the new name for the previous Community Forum events, allow the public to discuss matters of concern to their local community and to hear how the partner agencies will work to resolve them.

The meeting, independently chaired by Wendy Coombey, saw around 30 members of the public attending to be given an update on issues including speeding vehicles and parking problems within areas of the town centre. .

These issues had been raised by a combination of points made by those attending the previous Community Forum meeting, PACT surgeries and face-to-face surveys held by Local Policing Team members, as well as PACT postcard surveys - many of which had been deposited in the special PACT post-boxes in Kingsland, Orleton and Leintwardine.

'PACT Meetings given local people a chance to have a proper say in how the issues in the area are dealt with, making sure that the partner agencies are able to take action on the issues that are important to the local community,' said Sergeant Mike Doolan from Leominster Police Station.

'The PACT process is still evolving, but it was very pleasing to see so many members of the community attending the meeting or getting involved with the process to bring their concerns to the forum. While we canít promise to resolve every issue to everyoneís satisfaction on every occasion, by working together the partners can prioritise action to those areas that are most important to a local community and address them as best as possible.'

Issues raised as priorities at the meeting included:

Speeding vehicles in Luston, Wigmore and Leintwardine.
An increase in the amount of litter on the streets of Leominster
Adults and youths cycling carelessly on footpaths in Leominster
Flooding of roads and properties around Silurian Close in Leominster, Eyton Lane and the Bircher to Yarpole road.

Full details about Local Policing - including how to find out contact details for Local Policing Teams in your area, as well as details of past and forthcoming PACT meetings - are available from the West Mercia Constabulary website at

Further Success Against Antisocial Behaviour in Leominster

A 15 year old from Leominster has had an Asbo imposed on him by the courts for two years, as police begin a new campaign to highlight their work in the town to combat antisocial behaviour.

Daniel Thomas Lannigan was made the subject of the Antisocial Behaviour Order for a period of two years by magistrates in Hereford on Friday. Under the order, he is prohibited from:

Being in the following streets of Leominster between 5pm and 6am Monday to Friday and at any time on Saturday and Sunday unless accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult - Broad St, High St, New St, Burgess St, Rainbow St, West St, South St, Church St, The Priory, School Rd, Pinsley Rd, The Grange Park, Etnam St, Falconer Place, Dishley St, Cursneh Rd, Westbury St or any public place within those streets.

Associating in any way in a public place, including but not limited to congregating, talking or walking with Daniel Jenkins, Jamie Jenkins, Nathaniel Singleton, Kieran Singleton, Tristan Singleton, Josh Norton, Steven Ryder, Jamie Hartshorn, Donald Tisdale and Jacob Davies, except for the purposes of education or employment. .

Consuming or being in possession of an open container of alcohol in a public place. .

Entering, congregating or being in the premises or grounds of Minster College unless legitimately attending the school as agreed by either the head teacher or member of staff.

Causing, encouraging or associating with any person committing harassment, alarm or distress to any person in a public place including but not limited to using abusive language or behaviour, shouting, intimidating any person or littering.

The order is for two years and will expire on midnight on 28 Jan 2010.

The Asbo was imposed to improve the quality of life for everyone in Leominster and in particular those who have had their lives affected by antisocial behaviour and comes as police begin the 4000+ Safer Communities Campaign in Leominster to highlight some of the work which has helped to improve the quality of life for local residents..

'The decision of the court to impose this Order should underline that police are determined to take action against those individuals who commit antisocial behaviour,' said Leominster Local Policing Sergeant Mike Doolan.

'The Local Policing Teams in Leominster have worked hard to address peopleís concerns about antisocial behaviour in the town over the past 12 months. This Order is just the latest in a series of actions which have helped to dramatically reduce both the levels of recorded antisocial behaviour and the seriousness of the behaviour itself.

Measures have included using a Section 30 order to help disperse gangs of youths in the town centre, as well as the introduction of alcohol free zones. Police officers have also been engaging with the local youth centre and schools to help highlight both the problems and also work to find solutions with young people, as well as running a campaign with shops and licensees to combat underage alcohol sales.

In addition, the individuals who were identified as being responsible for the bulk of complaints have been dealt with using powers under the antisocial behaviour laws, resulting in Asbos or Acceptable Behaviour Contracts being imposed. One youth has also been prosecuted for a breach of his Asbo and given a custodial sentence.

All of these measures have resulted in a wide-scale reduction of antisocial behaviour in the town centre.'

Over the coming months the Local Policing Team is taking further action to combat antisocial behaviour as well as further explaining how their actions have resulted in on-the-ground improvements. The 4000+ Safer Communities Campaign will culminate in March with a public engagement evening and a survey of local residents.

In the meantime, the public is urged to continue reporting any incidents of antisocial behaviour and, if they believe the terms of an Asbo are being broken, report it to police on 08457 444 888.

Herefordshire Council to Demolish Welsh Newton Building

Herefordshire Council is to use its enforcement powers to demolish a building which was erected at Welsh Newton, without planning permission.

Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for environment and strategic housing, said 'We have resolved to use the powers available to us to enter the land, demolish the offending building ourselves and then recover reasonable expenses. We are taking this action to ensure the building is removed and uphold our well established and lawful planning policy.'

Andrew Ashcroft, Herefordshire Council's head of planning services, said, 'There is a long and complicated history on this site going back to 2002. The council has exhausted all the more traditional enforcement processes at its disposal. The council has a duty to protect the appearance of the countryside and the demolition of the building is the only option now available.'

The demolition work will start on Monday, 18th February and is expected to take three to four days. All of the material will be stored securely at the site for a week to give the owner an opportunity to claim and remove any or all of it.

On Monday, 25th February, Herefordshire Council will enter the site again to remove and dispose of whatever material remains.

In 2002, planning permission was granted for the conversion of a barn to residential use. In carrying out the work, however, the whole building was reconstructed as new build.

In June 2005 planning permission for the retention of the building was refused.

In July 2005, an enforcement notice was served requiring the demolition of the building. Appeals against both decisions were dismissed in March 2006 but these were quashed by the High Court in June 2007.

The appeals were reheard but were again both dismissed on October 30th, 2007.

The enforcement notice required the building to be demolished by January 29, 2008 but the owner did not comply. Herefordshire Council is now taking the necessary action to ensure that the notice is complied with.

Baby Car Seats Help Young Parents' Group

Young parents from across the county can benefit from parenting advice and meet other young mums and dads thanks to the council and primary care trust working together.

Recently the government announced that local authorities needed to do more to reduce teenage pregnancies. In Herefordshire, where teenage pregnancies are relatively low, support is given to young parents to help them give their children a good start in life.

The county's rural nature can make young parents feel very isolated at a time when they need lots of support, both in terms of continuing their education and in terms of learning how to bring up their baby.

Thanks to funding from the Learning and Skills Council and the PCT, YMTB - Young Mums To Be - course has been running at the Greencroft Children's Centre in Hereford since April 2006.

Managed by Connexions, units of the course are led by midwives from Hereford Hospitals NHS Trust, Connexions, the Youth Service, health visitors, SHYPP and Hollybush Family Centre.

This enables the teenagers to work towards their NCFE (an equivalent NVQ level 1) award in Skills for Life Competence, while learning about pregnancy, birth, parenthood, healthy lifestyle, money management, IT and craft skills, as well as planning for their education, training and employment in the future.

Once the babies are born, the young parents continue to meet, networking and learning about their babies' development and needs.

The postnatal group is also run from Greencroft, and is run by health visitors and family support workers

The courses have been very popular, but it has been extremely difficult for young parents outside Hereford to get to the Greencroft Centre where the group meets.

Although pregnant teenagers have accessed the group using public transport, transporting babies with their parents has been a problem. As a result, Herefordshire Council has purchased eight 0-4 year old car seats for Community First, which means that young parents from all over the county will be able to travel safely to Hereford with their babies for the cost of a local bus ride.

'The postnatal group meets once a week in Hereford and the young people who attend learn a great deal from each other as well as from the health visitors,' said the council's teenage pregnancy co-ordinator Jan Coppinger.

'Some of our young parents are very isolated and it's good for them to be able to get together with other young mums and dads and share ideas and concerns. It's good for the babies too as the well being of parents has a direct effect on their child.

Herefordshire has relatively few young parents and as they are scattered across the county, it's difficult to get them together. The council and primary care trust have come up with a simple solution that will help bring mums, babies and dads together once a week.'

It is anticipated the car seats can also be used to transport parents and babies to parent support groups held around the county's children's centres.

Schools' Proposals are off the Table Says Council

In a successful motion to full council, the leader of Herefordshire Council confirmed again on Friday, 8th February 2008 that the council has formally rejected draft proposals for the county's review of schools.

Speaking at a packed meeting, Councillor Roger Phillips promised that no closures or major organizations of high schools would be considered during the lifetime of the current administration. The next local elections are scheduled for May 2011. He also reaffirmed that the council would continue to apply the existing Small Schools Policy for primary schools. He confirmed that no closures would happen outside of that policy.

'Any future drafting of any changes affecting Herefordshire schools will involve heads, governors, parents, the local community and local ward councillors,' said Councillor Phillips. 'These groups will examine and exhaust every opportunity to ensure the continued protection of our schools.'

More creative solutions will be encouraged, examining opportunities for sharing resources among schools and with the community and the federation option.

'Any discussions will be held in public and recorded,' added Councillor Phillips, 'with all documentation made available on the council's website. All statistics used will be independently verified. The council will continue to lobby the government for fairer funding for our children and young people in Herefordshire.'

The motion to take the school review proposals off the table, confirm no closures to high schools during the administration and confirm no closures of primary schools outside of the council's existing small schools policy, was backed by 34 councillors, with 17 voting against and with five abstentions.

Young Musicians' Showcase Concert

Outstanding young musicians from across the county have been selected to take part in this year's Young Musicians' Showcase at The Courtyard in Hereford on Friday 22nd February.

During the afternoon, more than 100 young musicians will perform to a jam-packed auditorium of 300 primary school children. In the evening, BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4 presenter, Tommy Pearson will introduce the showcase, which is performed by some of the county's most talented young musicians, to the public.

This year the music service received more than 70 entries for the event and the standards were the highest yet. It took two full days of auditions to decide who would be selected for the big concert. French musical specialist Roger Nichols from Kington and Brian Hawkins, retired head of strings at the Royal College of Music in London, judged the auditions.

The concert itself is non-competitive, though a member of the audition panel will offer comments at the end. Fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Allen from John Masefield High School will be amongst the performers. Elizabeth plays for the Herefordshire Youth Orchestra and has just got into the National Youth Orchestra with her clarinet playing. Also performing is 13-year-old harpist Glenda Allaway from Lady Hawkins High School in Kington.

The showcase exhibits music in a rich variety of forms and styles, including the Bishops Blues Band and Cathedral School choir - so there will be something interesting for all musical tastes.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children and young people, said 'We have some incredible talent in Herefordshire and the council's music service does a superb job offering support to schools and helping our young people reach their full potential. Once again, this year promises to be an excellent event.'

Full programme information is available by telephoning 01432 260840. Tickets for the evening concert can be purchased from the Courtyard online or on 0870 1122330 at £7 (concessions available).

Planning Applications in Herefordshire

Four Homes Approved at Clehonger

Planning permission for four homes at Yew Tree Farm, Poplar Road, Clehonger, has been approved by members of the southern area planning sub-committee at their meeting on Wednesday, February 6.

This was a reserved matters application following the granting of planning permission in May 2005.

Clehonger Parish Council supported the application.

Three letters of representation were received from local residents concerned at loss of privacy and water drainage.

Two letters of support were received.


S & A Properties Fail to Win Injunction Against Herefordshire Council.

S & A Property Limited has failed in a bid to get an injunction at the High Court of Justice in Birmingham seeking to stop enforcement action against buildings at Brierley Court Farm, near Leominster, from going ahead.

The injunction related to enforcement notices requiring the removal of an amenity building and related infrastructure at Brierley Court Farm which were erected without planning permission. The enforcement notice required this to be done by January 10, 2008, but this has not been done.

S & A Property Limited were seeking an interim injunction to preserve the status quo at the site pending determination of applications the firm is making to the European Court of Human Rights.

His Honour Judge Brown, in turning down the application for an injunction which was made at the High Court in Birmingham on Thursday, February 7, said, 'This is a fanciful claim and misconceived. Quite frankly the claimants applied to the wrong court and used the wrong procedure.'

Costs of £6,852.40 were awarded to Herefordshire Council.

S & A Property Limited then sought leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal but His Honour Judge Brown turned down this request.

Mr Tim Young QC, representing S & A Property Limited, said the company would still be looking to appeal this decision and sought an undertaking from Herefordshire Council not to start enforcement proceedings for a 14-day period. Herefordshire Council agreed to give this undertaking.

Councillor Roger Phillips, leader of Herefordshire Council, said: 'This decision shows we have acted properly throughout the planning process and we are pleased the judge's ruling has confirmed this. We will now have to wait for a decision on the appeal before deciding what further action we should take.'

Courts Quash Madley's Appeal Against Waste Plant Decision

Herefordshire Council has won another legal victory following the granting of planning permission for an innovative waste treatment and recycling plant in Madley. Herefordshire Waste Watchers, a local pressure group, took further court action in January to appeal against the ruling of a judicial review in favour of the council, which took place in November last year in the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

On Monday, 4th February, 2008, the council received an order from the court of appeal, made by Lord Justice Dyson, which confirmed that the Herefordshire Waste Watchers' appeal had been refused.

The move upholds the ruling of the judicial review that there 'was no factual or other basis for concluding that the council had acted improperly'. Costs were then awarded to the council.

The council originally granted planning permission in March 2004 and Herefordshire Waste Watchers started proceedings to judicially review and quash the decision. That 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 in November 2007 at the Strand courtrooms.

'The council is pleased that again its original decision has been upheld,' said Kevin O'Keefe, the council's legal practice manager.

We have always maintained that we gave full consideration of alternative sites to the application for a waste treatment facility and assessed thoroughly the environmental issues and impact. We also imposed planning conditions to minimize any damage to the environment and protect the amenity of local residents'

Young People Invited to Design Cover of New Plan

Children and young people across the county are being invited to enter a competition to design the cover of a new children and young people's plan for Herefordshire.

The plan has been put together by Herefordshire's Children's Trust and spells out how the services children and young people receive are to be run over the next three years. Included in the plan is the work undertaken by schools, health services, the council, police, youth offending services, Connexions and other community and voluntary groups who provide children's services. The aim is to work in partnership to address key priorities that are seen as critical for children and young people in Herefordshire.

The priorities are based around the themes of being healthy, staying safe, enjoying life, doing well at school or college and being a good citizen. They include ways of tackling obesity, proposals to improve the county's poor dental health record, ways of dealing with e-safety and cyber bullying, improving access to activities using community transport and continuing to improve educational performance.

A draft plan has been published for consultation which is available on the council's website, Members of the public, together with all the groups and organizations that work with children and young people are invited to comment on the plan by Monday, 3rd March 2008.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said, 'This plan is an important piece of work because it spells out how the county's organizations will work together to make sure that services are provided around the individual child or young person. We included the views and ideas of young people when we put the draft plan together and are keen for them to respond to the consultation as well.

Once approved, the plan will be widely circulated around the county, so getting the cover right is important - it needs to be easily recognizable as well as embrace the themes within the plan.

We are inviting children and young people of all ages to be creative and have a go at designing a front cover. There are some great prizes to be won, including vouchers and money, with a first prize of £100. We hope that we get a good response to our competition, and that children and young people will look at our plans and tell us what they think of them.'

The deadline for applications is Friday, 29th February 2008. A panel of judges consisting of members of the Children's Trust Shadow Board (a board of young people) and Councillor Jenny Hyde will announce the winners during April. A prize-giving event will be held in early June where all the winning entries will be exhibited.


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