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Ashfield Care Agency have been providing nursing homes with excellent relief care staff for over twenty years and now offer a care in the home service, which enables those who need care to stay in their own home, rather than go into a care home. To help this already well established service to continue to operate smoothly, Proprietor, Rosemary Hemingway has enlisted the services of Jude Turner, RGN.

Ashfield Care has a reputation for employing only caring, capable and friendly staff who are well trained in their field. They will not only provide clients with a personal care service, they also operate home help domestic services within Ross-on-Wye, the Forest of Dean and Monmouth.

Jude Turner enjoys helping the elderly to stay in their own homes and we wish her well for her future with Ashfield Care.

Rosemary Hemingway welcomes Jude Turner to Ashfield Care.


Tel: 01989 567946


With temperatures due to plummet well below freezing later today, the message to motorists in Herefordshire is 'Don't make the journey unless you have to.' The county's emergency services, along with Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire, are meeting regularly to review the situation and make plans to ensure key services are maintained and communities supported throughout the spell of wintery weather.

'The key message today is that people should seriously consider whether they have to venture out on the county's roads,' said Superintendent Kevin Purcell, of West Mercia Police. 'Temperatures have been hovering around zero this morning and are due to fall well below freezing this afternoon. Road conditions will become treacherous and we don't want people putting themselves at risk of having an accident when it's avoidable. Our message is to stay at home if possible and only go out if it's an urgent journey. Don't get caught out even on short journeys. If you have to travel, then make sure you take plenty of warm clothing, food and hot drinks.'

The West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust has backed this call, warning that iced-up, untreated roads and pavements will be very slippery so people should take care to avoid the risk of slips, trips and falls if they have to venture out on foot. The Trust is also urging people to only use 999 if a situation is life-threatening. Anybody requiring medical treatment should consider using parts of the NHS other than A&E and the 999 service. People can get advice on their condition from their local pharmacist or GP and should also consider calling NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or visiting it on-line at

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is advising homeowners to take care when using portable electric heaters. 'The prolonged cold spell is forcing many people, who wouldn't ordinarily use an electric heater, to dig them out and plug them in. Care should be taken and we're also advising that people check their smoke alarms. It only takes a few seconds, but can save lives,' said a spokesman.

Residents are also being advised to check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be more vulnerable to cold weather, which is especially dangerous for older people or people with serious illnesses. People with heart or respiratory (breathing) problems may have worse symptoms during a cold spell and for several days after temperatures return to normal. To keep warm and well during the current snowy weather:

Keep curtains drawn and doors closed to block out draughts.
Have regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day if possible. Eating regularly helps keep energy levels up during winter.
Wear several light layers of warm clothes (rather than one chunky layer).
Keep as active as possible.
Wrap up warm if you need to go outside on cold days.

Keep your home at the recommended temperature of 18-21C (64-70F). If you can't heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and the bedroom just before you go to sleep.

With the freezing weather predicted to continue, Herefordshire Council has asked county schools to consider whether they will open tomorrow, Thursday, 7th January and to make a decision at the earliest opportunity. The assumption is that schools will be closed tomorrow, however, each school has responsibility for informing local radio stations and the council, updating their school's website and implementing their processes for contacting parents / carers. As the weather forecast remains uncertain, schools are considering their local circumstances on a daily basis and will inform the council and local media when they are due to reopen.

Herefordshire Council's emergency information line for residents to use is up and running. For the latest updates, please telephone 0844 939 6101.


December is an extremely busy time for Santa Claus but, despite his commitments, he still had time to visit the Pengethley Garden Centre's Grotto and Restaurant to maintain his pledge to help the Ross Lions raise funds for local charitable causes. The number of young children visiting the Grotto is increasing year on year. Over 500 visited in 2009 raising a grand total of 1,500 for the Lions Charity Funds which will be spent on local causes.

Approximately 184 people had breakfast with Santa in the Restaurant; a good number of them being young children. All the children not only had a chat with Santa in his Grotto, but received a present which went down very well. It was a delight to see the look of wonder on the faces of the children when they were ushered into the presence of Father Christmas, but mums, dads and grandparents seemed to enjoy it even more, knowing that their offspring were really excited and happy. One parent said they had taken their children to a Grotto in the Forest but it turned out to be a lady Santa and the children wanted to see a real Santa. To placate the children they continued on to Pengethley, where their wish came true.

The 'Breakfast with Santa' is proving very popular as Santa visits all the tables, talking to the children and handing them presents. At one of the breakfasts there were three little Japanese girls, visiting their grandparents, who had never seen Santa before, and the look of sheer delight and wonder on their faces had to be seen to be believed. The youngest guest was not a visitor, but Honor, the daughter of Becky Watts, the Restaurant owner. Honor is about a year old, and was dressed up as a Reindeer. She went to three breakfasts and captivated everyone who saw her.

The Ross Lions Club is very grateful to Santa for including them in his very busy schedule and also Chris Taylor of the Pengethley Garden Centre who, with his staff, organized and provided the Grotto.

A happy family standing in front of the Santa's Band after visiting the Grotto.


Police have issued a warning following the theft of a quantity of drugs used on horses which could prove very dangerous, possibly fatal, if ingested by a human. The theft happened between 6pm on Thursday, 24th and 4pm on Saturday, 26th December 2009 when a shed in the village of Brinsop was broken into.

The thieves rifled through cupboards and shelves, ignoring expensive tack and other equipment in the shed and found a tin from which they stole 10 x 1g sachets of Equipalazone, which contains the anti-inflammatory drug Phenylbutazone (also know as Bute) and is used on horses for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis. The 1g sachets are normally given to a 500kg horse twice a day so one sachet given to a human weighing 70-80kgs could have serious consequences. An overdose of Phenylbutazone can cause haemorrhaging, liver damage, kidney failure and death.

Police urge anybody who comes across the stolen sachets to hand them in to a police station or contact 0300 333 3000 without delay. Anybody with any information on the burglary should contact Matt Clayton in the Public Service Desk at Hereford Police Station on the same number or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


Refuse collections across Herefordshire have been suspended today, Wednesday, 6th January due to the snow. Collections were called off late yesterday morning due to the weather. Residents are being asked to keep hold of their refuse which was due for collection today and put it out next Wednesday for collection. The recycling will be collected in a fortnight's time, if conditions allow.

Herefordshire Council and its partners will assess the conditions tomorrow morning prior to deciding on whether we can safely carry out Thursday's collections. Look out for further updates on the council's website and by tuning in to your local radio station. All Herefordshire household waste sites are closed today.


Herefordshire Police are appealing for information after thieves stole two bronze deer, valued at 3,000, from the gardens of a country estate near Hereford.

The two bronze statues, one of a buck, the other of a doe, were taken between Saturday, 19th and Saturday, 26th December 2009 from the large gardens of a country estate on the outskirts of Hereford. The buck is around 1.25 metres (4') in height and the doe around 1 metre tall (3' 4"). Each bronze can be lifted by one person but a vehicle would have been necessary to remove the items from the gardens.

Police are looking at two possibilities in the enquiry - firstly, that the deer have been stolen for their scrap value, as the price of copper (a constituent of bronze) has increased greatly in price recently and secondly that they will be put into the specialized antique / collectibles market and sold for their artistic value.

Police would like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious vehicles or persons around the perimeters of any country estates in their area recently. Similarly, they would also wish to speak to anyone who has seen the bronzes or may know of their current whereabouts. Anybody with any information should contact Shirley Knox in the Public Service Desk at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 as soon as possible.

Stolen deer - buck.

Stolen deer - doe.


Herefordshire Council is adding its voice to calls to close the funding gap between rural and urban schools. At present, pupils in urban areas get double the funding of those who live in the countryside. On Monday, 4th January, the Rural Services Network (RSN) - which comprises over 250 public and private sector service providers - has launched a call to action for all political parties to give a fair deal to those living in rural areas like Herefordshire.

The RSN has published the Rural Services Manifesto to influence the debate over the future of rural areas and acknowledge the difficulty rural people face accessing vital services. The Manifesto focuses on key themes, including safeguarding rural schools, affordable housing, rural transport, flood defences, health and social care, rural economies and overcoming fuel poverty in rural areas.

Leader of Herefordshire Council, Councillor Roger Phillips is supporting the manifesto. He said, 'For too long, metropolitan policy makers have failed to understand that the needs of the countryside are often very different to those of the city. Particularly in a time of public spending restraint, policy makers need to be reminded that, due to the failure of the funding formulae to recognize the costs of providing services across rural areas, many services survive on a shoestring, which means that even small cuts can seriously undermine them.

The countryside is not just a retreat for well off or retired people. Herefordshire is a living, working and integral part of the country, where a diverse range of people go to live, work, and raise a family. The value which rural communities bring to the British economy, society, and culture should not be underestimated by anyone.'


Hereford Police are appealing for information after an arsonist set fire to property at the rear of a Hereford city pub, endangering the lives of those living there. The incident occurred in the rear compound of the Victory public house in St. Owen Street, Hereford, between 3am and 4am on Saturday, 2nd January.

The rear compound is enclosed by 8' walls and a 6' high side gate which was secured. The offender climbed into the compound, which contained a number of gas cylinders and other flammable objects, including a highly varnished wooden bar unit, stored some two feet from the property. The offender then set fire to the bar, which resulted in fire damage to items at the rear of the pub, with smoke spreading to the main building causing internal and external damage to the rear wall and roof. The fire proved extremely fierce and had not the alarm been quickly raised and the fire station quite literally across the road, the fire could have quickly engulfed the whole building with possible loss of life to those living in the flats above the pub / brewery premises.

Police are anxious to speak to anyone who saw any suspicious activity, persons or vehicles in the vicinity of the Victory in the early hours of Saturday morning. Anyone with information should contact PC Becky Colcombe at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 as soon as possible.


Almost one thousand years ago the builders of Hereford Cathedral took their ideas from Charlemagne's Imperial Cathedral in Aachen, Germany and today architects are revisiting that inspiration in remodelling Hereford's new streetscape.

Herefordshire Council has appointed a local contractor - Alun Griffiths Ltd of Abergavenny - after competitive tender, to refurbish one of the city's premier shopping streets. Widemarsh Street is to be refurbished to a high quality, reflecting the special role of this elegant street as a key entrance and link to the city centre. Drawing on the best examples from cities like Aachen and others in the UK, the scheme will create a lively, civilized street that encourages pedestrian activity, whilst accommodating low-speed traffic movement, helping to link the new and historic elements of the town.

The pedestrian friendly principles for the scheme have been inspired by the traffic and urban design specialist, Ben Hamilton-Baillie, who is advising the council on the design of Widemarsh Street, as well as the city's new streetscape strategy, which will help repair Blueschool and Newmarket Street. Similar schemes have been introduced in Kensington High Street and Oxford Circus in London, as well as in Aachen. The plans for Widesmarsh Street have been consulted on and well received by local businesses and residents. Construction will start in late January and is likely to take around 40 weeks and cost 1.3 million. The contractors are appointing a community liaison specialist to ensure that traders and shoppers are kept informed during the works and disruption is minimized. Herefordshire Council will manage the work with its service delivery partner, Amey Herefordshire, and is also including Maylord Street, in the refurbishment programme.

Councillor Brian Wilcox said, 'Our aim is to support the local economy by making this important shopping street as welcoming as possible and encouraging shoppers and tourists to move easily between the historic core of the city and the new leisure and retail offerings to be provided by the ESG development. Hereford is going through one of its most important regeneration phases since the building of its cathedral and we are ensuring we put into practice an approach that is not only innovative but works for people as well as our streets.'

Peter Evans, regional management with Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd. said, 'We are pleased to have been awarded this prestigious contract and continue our association with Herefordshire Council, and to work in partnership with Amey Herefordshire to deliver this key milestone in the regeneration of Hereford city centre.'

Ben Hamilton-Baillie added, 'Widemarsh Street represents an important step in restoring quality and civility to the historic streets of Hereford. The scheme reflects the vital significance of public space to Hereford's economic vitality, and the need to cope with the practical realities of access and movement. For a town so pressurized by traffic volumes, a strong vision is emerging of a low-speed, shared environment, free from barriers and clutter.'

The initial plans for Blueschool / Newmarket Street include the removal of 'physical and psychological barriers' to entice visitors, tourists and shoppers to and from the historic core of the city and the exciting new attractions proposed for the old livestock market site, which is subject to a 650-million redevelopment. The solution for the inner ring road involves providing safe access to pedestrians as traffic is reduced with the building of a new link road from Edgar Street to Commercial Street.

The City of Aachen has overcome the barrier formed by a busy inner ring road by creating a low speed civic space that highlights the clear pedestrian and bicycle routes into the town centre, demonstrating the potential for shared space principles. Other programmes being worked on by Herefordshire Council, such as a city wide transport strategy, more park and ride and a proposed bypass and second river crossing, all aim to contribute to making Hereford more attractive and accessible for shoppers, tourists and residents.

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