place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
News - The Weekly News Magazine for
No. 213 - Wednesday, 27th August 2008
NEWS - Major Breakthrough for Flood Alleviation Scheme - What Happened
to Peach - Post Office Closure]
Performers - Bayliss Reunion - Vintage Road Run for Macmillan -
Wyenot Supporters - Sk8 Park Opening]
Today - Thousands speak out about phone box closures - A great night
at the White Lion]
Tunnels Approved - River Wye Levels - Conservatives and Lib Dems
on Post Offices - New Roles for Disadvantaged People - Learn to
research your family - Successful Regatta - Raising Olympic Flag
issue warning over stolen artillery part and the rest of the news
from around the region]
for Hom Green Polytunnels Approved
Members of the southern area planning subcommittee meeting
on Wednesday, 20th August, were minded to approve planning
permission to continue to erect and re-erect polytunnels
at Homme Farm, Hom Green, Ross-on-Wye.
in consultation with the chairman, have been given delegated
powers to approve the application, subject to this scheme
being advertised as a departure to the UDP and no significant
new material planning considerations being raised.
whole of the application site, which extends to 377 hectares,
is within the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
(AONB). The application is for the erection of Spanish polytunnels
to be used for soft fruit growing and they will be rotated
around the holding. The frames are covered with clear polythene
during the harvesting period and the polythene is removed
from November to January. A Landscape and Visual Assessment
said the plans would have a high impact on the character
of the AONB but this would be mitigated by mature vegetation,
including woodlands, on the site.
to 450 seasonal workers are employed at the soft fruit farm
for picking and packing with another 33 full time employees
and according to supporting information, the firm's business
impact on the local economy is £26 million. A document containing
81 letters of support from customers and suppliers was submitted.
The applicant carried out a public consultation in March
2008 when 86 people visited the exhibition and 76 made written
comments to the committee.
Environment Agency and Natural England originally made objections
but following consultation, these were withdrawn subject
to conditions being imposed.
Council's public rights of way manager had no objection
but wanted no polytunnels to be erected within two metres
of public footpaths.
Council's building conservation officer said the application
had largely addressed the scheme's impact on listed buildings
within the site and the only serious conflict surrounds
the area north of Goodrich Castle but additional planting
will, over time, go some way to resolving this. The meeting
also heard that English Heritage had no formal objection
to the application.
Herefordshire Council's landscape officer could not support
the development because it would cause harm to the ANOB.
However, if permission was granted a condition was recommended
requiring the submission of a ten-year landscape management
Parish Council, Ross-on-Wye Town Council and had no objection,
however, Marstow Parish Council objected to the application
because of the effect of polytunnels on landscape and tourism.
five letters of objection were received concerned at the
plans causing harm to the ANOB, polytunnels are highly intrusive,
the adverse impact on Goodrich Castle, adverse impact on
walkers using the public rights of way in the area and adverse
impact on tourism.
hundred and one letters of support were received, recognizing
the importance of polytunnels to farmers and the structures
are uncovered for much of the year. Four letters of a mixed
response were received requesting conditions limiting the
extend of polytunnels and length of time in situ.
Wye Valley AONB Partnership expressed concern about the
scale and landscape impact of the scheme. The Ramblers Association
said the proposals did attempt to minimize the impact of
polytunnels the ANOB. CPRE Herefordshire objected saying
it was contrary to national and local planning policy.
Wye Valley ANOB Society objected because the scheme would
have a damaging effect on the landscape and was contrary
to policy LA1 in the UDP. Ross-on-Wye and District Civic
Society recognized the problems posed by polytunnels but
also acknowledged the economic case. Wye Valley Tourism
Association urged refusal.
County Land and Business Association supported the application,
saying the business produces a high quality product. The
National Farmers Union supported the application saying
the continued viability of the farm is dependent on its
soft fruit growing enterprise.
For those of you who hadn't noticed, it has been August
for the past few weeks. For much of the time, it has seemed
more like March, with gale force winds and heavy rain. So
much for the 'Dog Days', when Sirius - the 'Dog Star' is
overhead and the weather is supposedly guaranteed to be
have not suffered serious flooding in Ross so far this year,
as we did last, with flash floods in June and unpresedented
high river levels in July, but river levels have certainly
been high for summer months. I took the photos below on
Wednesday and Thursday.
Wednesday morning. Ref: DSC_DSC_5654
Thursday afternoon. Ref: DSC_DSC_5654
New Plan to Support Post Offices
In the week that the government has announced it will close
11 Herefordshire Post Offices and scale back many others,
local parliamentary candidate Jesse Norman has helped to
develop new Conservative proposals which support Post Offices
and help families with soaring energy bills.
Conservatives have pledged to retain and extend Post Office
Card Accounts, which have been under threat under Labour.
This maintains an important public service, and allows many
more families without bank accounts to benefit from the
lower energy and water tariffs offered to customers who
pay by direct debit.
new proposals could cut the energy bills of up to 4 million
Post Office Card Account (POCA) holders by up to £100 a
year, including an estimated 8,000-10,000 people in Herefordshire.
There are 8 million people in the UK who do not have a bank
account or are effectively without a bank. Many of them
use the Post Office Card Account instead. But because they
cannot pay their bills by direct debit, they face higher
prices for gas, electricity and water.
Under a Conservative Government, Post Office Card Accounts
will be used for the first time to pay utility bills by
direct debit. This proposal, which is supported by leading
utility companies, will bring significant savings to energy
companies through lower collection costs, which can be passed
onto consumers in the form of lower bills. In addition,
because state benefits are automatically paid into Card
Accounts each week, customers will gain from a far more
convenient way to manage their finances and paying their
This policy could also generate up to £20 million a year
in additional revenue for Post Offices, which could help
keep Post Offices from going to the wall as a result of
Labour cuts. By contrast, the Labour Party is planning to
take the Card Account away from Post Offices, which will
lead to more Post Office closures.
on the new proposals, Jesse explained, 'The government has
taken many sources of income away from Post Offices, and
is now closing Post Offices in Herefordshire because they
are unprofitable! You couldn't make it up. These new proposals
will help people struggling with rising household bills
by letting them use their Post Office Card Account to pay
their utility bills. They will bring in more revenue for
Post Offices, helping to maintain the network and prevent
a further round of closures. They will also help many of
the poorest households in Herefordshire, who end up paying
more for their energy and water bills because they do not
have bank accounts and cannot pay by direct debit.
a time when the cost of living is rising so fast, we badly
need new ideas and new thinking.'
Carr to Lead Day of Protest Over Post Office Closures
Sarah Carr is urging all local communities to rise up in
protest should their local post office appear on the closure
hit list on Wednesday 27th August.
Carr has condemned the secrecy surrounding the consultation
on the future of Herefordshire post offices with sub-postmasters
and mistresses and Members of Parliament having had to agree
to confidentiality agreements that they will not tell anyone
about the closures in advance of this date.
said, 'It is ridiculous that sub-postmasters and mistresses
have been banned from telling their local community that
they are going to be shut and that even their local MP has
been banned from disclosing which communities are on the
hit list. Having spent the last 10 days with a team of volunteers
delivering thousands of leaflets across South Herefordshire
alerting local residents to the forthcoming consultation,
I am also aware that there is huge distrust and cynicism
that the consultation is a sham and that despite local protest
the closures are set in stone.
am urging that the government and Post Office Ltd listen
not only to the pleas, but to the arguments that will be
put to them to save our local post offices, which are based
on facts, statistics and detail. If they do not listen there
will be disastrous consequences on rural and urban communities
soon the list is announced I will lead a day of protest
against the closures, where I will visit every post office
affected and listen to the views of local residents. It
is very important to have the local community and its postmaster
be seen to be pulling together to save their post office.
The post office is a vital part of the local community and
we must all fight tooth and nail to prevent its closure.'
roles for disadvantaged people
The disabled people of Ross are paving the way in a new
venture which will help smash any misconceptions of the
past. Mr. Dennis Humble is heading and overseeing the project,
that will soon see a second hand book shop, in Cantilupe
Road totally run by the volunteer disabled people from the
local area. The
venture is a big step towards engaging disabled people into
mainstream working and to use their skills at running a
Book Shop has already been running for ten years, and the
general public are using it to good effect. At present there
are numerous disabled volunteers helping out. Mr Humble
has a good enthusiastic team behind him, helping to take
this new direction off the ground, whilst the volunteer
disabled people themselves are quickly pursuing and adapting
to running the shop by themselves.
visit to the second hand bookshop will see you looking at
well categorised titles in abundance, ranging from Murder
Mysteries to Love and Romance stories, well know Auto-Biography
books and even medical advancement literature, and there
are memorabilia books on many subjects. Importantly as well,
there is a good selection of books for toddlers, and pre-school
infants. There is also a very good selection of children's
books available including stories for girls as well as action
packed adventure stories for boys, in fact, all types of
books that would be of interest throughout their school
years and beyond.
It is a policy of the group running the bookshop that all
books are in a tidy condition, so a proper and stringent
examination of each book is undertaken in the new premises
below in Henry Street. The people with learning disabilities
sort through the books, to see if they are deemed satisfactory
to sell, then all the books are colour coded. This colour
coding of the books helps to keep books in there correct
category in the book shop itself, and for the people with
learning disabilities the codes make it easier for helping
the public find what they are looking for. Only these books
that pass the scrutiny test, find there way onto the categorised
shelves at the Cantilupe Road book swap shop.
group are looking forward to this project being a successful
venture, and are always very grateful for the general public's
help. The shop volunteers express their thanks, especially
to those who so regularly and kindly donate books that they
have finished with, and wish for them to go to the new premises
on Henry Street below the book shop, where volunteers will
gratefully accept donated books. They are hoping, that the
public at large will continue the valued support of the
venture, taking books from the second hand bookshop and
monetary donations in the box provided is all that it takes.
is also run from the Book Swap Shop premises, and for those
that find walking around the shops too difficult, there
are battery operated scooters available. To be a member
of the Ross Shopmobility scheme, just call into the book
swap shop in Cantilupe Road, where help and information
can be obtained.
to Research Your Family Tree at Ross Library
Herefordshire Libraries are running a series of local studies
events as part of the National Year of Reading, and are
hoping that these events which are being held at Ross, Leominster
and Hereford libraries will inspire county residents to
make more use of their library for carrying out research
into their own families and the area they live in.
and Heather Bufton from Herefordshire Family History Society
are giving a talk on Starting you Family Tree at Ross Library
on Wednesday, 10th September from 6pm to 7pm. Tickets are
available at £3 in advance from Ross Library by telephoning
historian and author Duncan James will be giving an illustrated
presentation on timber framed buildings of North Herefordshire
at Leominster Library on Friday, 19th September from 7.30pm
until 9pm. Tickets at £3 are available in advance from Leominster
Library on 01432 383290.
at Hereford Library on Wednesday, 24th September, local
historian and author Heather Hurley will be giving an illustrated
presentation on Barges, barrels and bark - river navigation
on the Wye from Hereford to Ross. This will be held at the
Woolhope Room, Hereford Library from 7.30pm until 9pm. Tickets
cost £3 and are available in advance from Hereford Library
on 01432 383600.
Adrian Blackshaw, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member
for community services and economic development, said, 'Researching
your family tree and looking into local history are both
popular pastimes and I am sure these events will prove to
be popular. Our libraries stock a wealth of books on all
imaginable topics, including local history, and I would
encourage people to make full use of this valuable resource.
wanting help with tracing their family tree can also access
the internet for free at libraries and staff are also on
hand to offer advice and help.'
Weekend Unprecedented Success
Rowing Club won an incredible 21 events over the four regattas
which took place at the Rowing Club this weekend and the
event was even blessed with great weather as the Ross club
continued to dazzle on and off the water. This
incredible performance resulted in the club taking a clean
sweep in the Junior Victor Ludourm Competitions.
Club teamed up with Gloucester Regatta held on Saturday
and Sunday. Firstly The Brian Nelson / Doc Budd Challenge
Trophy for the most successful Junior squad which the club
won beating its closest rivals from Reading Rowing Club.
This result was testament to the depth and strength of the
second competition that is run again with Gloucester was
for the most successful club overall and the prize this
time was a brand new sculling boat. It was somewhat surprising
for the local club to win this bigger event as it restricts
the entry of its members at its own regatta which means
is has much less chance of being successful. Nevertheless
the Clubs incredible performance at Gloucester regatta and
its own Junior Veteran, supplemented by 4 the wonderful
wins at its senior regatta resulted in it piping Llandaff
and Dart Totnes to the title.
the Herefordshire Olympic Flag at Ross Regatta
Junior Veteran regatta at Ross Rowing Regatta on Sunday
was honoured to host the Olympic Flag Raising ceremony,
in combination with over 400 concurrent events around the
country. The club event was the official Herefordshire ceremony
and was attended by hundreds of rowers and many Councillors,
Officials and members of the sporting community from Hereford
ceremony was supported by Olympic athlete Charles Wiggin
(Bronze Medal / Moscow 1980) who presented an inspirational
speech about the meaning of the Olympics. The ceremony was
crowned with the flag raising itself with Councillor John
Stone Chairman of Herefordshire council along with Louise
McQueen one of the areas high performance athletes targeted
to achieve well in London 2012 in Judo. They were supported
by Ed Surman and Ellie Blackwood, who are two members of
the Clubs High Performance squad.
Captain Ian Howell commented 'It is a great honour to host
this ceremony and the club is proud to represent Herefordshire.
It is clear that if we are to make the most of 2012 then
we must seize the opportunity today to get involved - We
can all be part of it'. Overall,
the regatta was an unprecedented success. With record entries
and record visitor attendance especially on Bank Holiday
Chairman Bryn Hughes added, 'The success of the regatta
is due to the tremendous teamwork and support that exists
at the club. I wish to express my sincere thanks to all
members, who spent the weekend supporting the event. You
are a credit to the Club and the community of Ross making
Ross Regatta again the Henley of the West'.
Weather Station Readings
for week commencing Monday, 18th August 2008
Temperature at 10cm Depth (°F)
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