place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
FROM ROSS-ON-WYE AND AROUND THE REGION
SOULS OF THE FIRE DRAGON BY ROSS-ON-WYE AUTHOR, JOHN WRIEDEN
you like to lose yourself in a good fantasy novel, then
buy yourself a copy of 'Souls of the Fire Dragon' written
by local author, John Wrieden? Souls of the Fire Dragon
introduces you to lovers, Fate and Chance, twins, Life and
Death, dragons and magicians, tyrants and heroes, characters
who are cleverly woven into a web of dark fantasy coupled
with a good deal of humour.
story is set in an Orwellian society which is controlled
by the Patrician and the Watchmen via CCTV and where freedom
of speech and magic are forbidden. One word out of place
was punishable by death, not only for the offender, but
his entire family too.
Hero of the story is Akea, who, with the help of dragons,
magic and friends endeavours to fight the tyranny of the
state, discovering many things along the way, including
powerful magic, love and his true self.
idea for this story came from a dream he had, the details
of which he wrote down, later adding scenes from his imagination.
leaving school with no qualifications, John later discovered
that he is dyslexic, which spurred a turning point in his
life. John has, apparently, been able to solder since before
he could walk, often taking apart toys, then rebuilding
them. He went on to obtain a degree in electronics, inventing
his own cable analyser which could point to an underground
cable fault to within 10cm.
novel, Souls of the Fire Dragon, is currently available
on Amazon, Tesco.com and Book 24, priced at £8.99
and will soon be available online from Waterstones and W.H.
Wrieden on Saturday with his newly published novel.
RADICAL REWARD SCHEME TO HELP HEREFORDSHIRE SMOKERS TO QUIT
NHS Herefordshire is to help smokers kick the habit with
a radical new scheme that provides practical help and support
and rewards local people who quit for good.
Stub Buddies campaign was launched today, Wednesday, 24th
February and aims to encourage smokers to make use of free
and effective NHS services. Everyone who signs up and manages
to stay off cigarettes will be rewarded with either a free
spa treatment, a healthy food hamper, or vouchers for physical
activities of their choice. There will also be a prize draw
for an even bigger prize.
are 12 million smokers in the UK, a number the NHS aims
to cut by half over the next ten years. Research shows smokers
are four times more likely to give up if they have the support
of their local health service and are twice as likely to
maintain cessation if they have a 'buddy' to give up with.
A Stub Buddy could be a GP, a pharmacist or another stop
smoking expert at a pharmacy, GP's surgery or local leisure
centre. People are encouraged to get together with friends,
neighbours or work colleagues who are smokers and are keen
to quit forever and a Stub Buddy will be made available
by NHS Herefordshire to work with them as a group.
director of public health, Akeem Ali said, 'People are more
likely to give up smoking if they feel good, not guilty.
Scare tactics do not work as well as support and reward
- and rewarding quitters works out much cheaper than treating
chronic health problems. This is absolutely in tune with
the national policy and we hope local smokers will find
this innovative approach a breath of fresh air.'
a quarter of people living in Herefordshire smoke and almost
three out of four of these say they want to quit. Over half
(57%) say they want 2010 to be the year they succeed. Smoking
is the main cause of chronic lung disease, lung cancer,
other cancers and circulatory diseases. In fact, patients
hospitalized for circulatory diseases in Herefordshire alone
last year cost £7 million.
quitters in Herefordshire are asked to visit the unique
website, www.HerefordshireStubBuddies.co.uk , where they
can choose a quit date, take a quiz to identify their ideal
Stub Buddy and get all the help, support and motivation
they need. They can also use an Ash Cash Calculator to work
out how much money they'll save. There are tips and true-life
success stories and plenty of information. The whole Stub
Buddy campaign uses humour, honesty and healthy rewards
to help people quit for good.
stop-smoking guru, Professor Robert West, of the Health
Behaviour Research Centre at University College London says,
'A stop-smoking specialist gives practical advice on how
to deal with the powerful urge to smoke that can strike
a quitter at any time. We know that it is much better to
do something active, even just tensing and relaxing the
muscles, than just trying to wait it out. Specialists can
also devise ways of changing a smoker's routine so they
are not exposed to the triggers that set off the cravings.
This might involve taking an alternative route to work,
sitting in a different chair, changing their tea-break routine
or avoiding the local pub garden.'
PAINTING AFRICAN TEE SHIRTS AT ROSS HERITAGE CENTRE
Heritage Centre was busy on Wednesday morning, during half
term when lots of local children spent the afternoon with
Kenyan artist, Gakonga, designing and painting their own
African influenced tee shirts.
dancing with Gakonga at the Heritage Centre.
NEW JOBS HOPE FOR HEREFORDSHIRE'S YOUNG UNEMPLOYED
There is good news for young unemployed people in the county
after Herefordshire Council has secured funding for new
jobs. The funding comes from a new Future Jobs fund developed
by the Department of Work and Pensions in a bid to help
unemployed people between 18 and 24 years of age gain employment.
Funding under the scheme was due to finish at the end of
March, but the council has secured funding which means the
scheme can run for a further 12 months. The criteria for
the funding stipulates that applicants must be aged 18 to
24 years old who have been unemployed for six months. The
council has been working with local employers in both the
private, public and voluntary sector, to identify possible
job opportunities. As a result, a diverse range of jobs
are on offer, including work in horticulture, leisure, health,
caring professions and construction. All posts will be advertised
through Job Centre Plus and financial support may be available
to help with travel and training costs.
Adrian Blackshaw, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member
for economic development and community services said, 'We're
delighted to be able to offer some of the county's young
people hope in the current economic climate. We understand
how difficult it can be for young people beginning their
working lives. Employers want to see evidence of experience,
which makes it very difficult for some to get their first
the posts are temporary, the six month contracts will help
many get a foot on the employment ladder by providing them
with valuable experience, boosting their skills and helping
them decide on future career prospects. I hope those invited
to apply will do so and make the most of this great opportunity.'
council is keen to hear from employers who may want to take
someone on for six months under the scheme. 'The salary,
plus any other associated costs, are covered by the grant.
We're particularly looking for companies which work to benefit
their local community,' said Melvyn Davies, the council's
employment placement officer for the scheme.
interested in taking part in the scheme can contact Melvyn
on 01432 261606.
HAVE FUN DURING FAIR TRADE FORTNIGHT IN ROSS-ON-WYE
Trade Fortnight began on Monday, 22nd February and Ross
Fair Trade Steering Group are running a series of Fair Trade
events in the town during this period.
Friday, 19th February the Ross-on-Wye Fair Trade Treasure
Hunt was launched and the forms are available from local
retailers. When completed these should be handed in or posted
to Ross Town Council offices at The Corn Exchange, High
Street by Friday, 5th March. The prize is a hamper full
of Fair Trade goodies.
Saturday, 27th February, Christ Church in Edde Cross Street
will be hosting a Fair Trade coffee morning.
Monday, 1st March visitors to Court House, Archenfield Road
will have the opportunity to see some of the ETHOS range
of Fair Trade products during their coffee morning, which
will take place between 11am and 2pm. There will also be
a collection for the children of the Shakti Orphanage in
Nepal, which is supported by ETHOS.
Sinclair-Powell of Ross Heritage Centre will be entertaining
visitors to the Friends Meeting House, Brampton Street with
some 'Tales of Old Ross' on Wednesday, 3rd March from 7pm.
Entrance to the event costs £3.50 in advance or £4
on the door, which will go towards the Mayor's charity,
Macmillan Cancer Support and the Fair Trade group. Fair
Trade refreshments will be provided.
Saturday, 6th March a coffee morning will be held at the
Friends Meeting House from 10am until 12 Noon, then from
2pm until 4pm there will be a Strictly Fair Trade Tea Circle
Dance. All are welcome to try out Circle Dances from around
the world and enjoy some Fair Trade snacks and treats.
For further information on Fair Trade Fortnight, please
contact Jane Roberts on 01989 563299, 07931 561553 or by
email at firstname.lastname@example.org
of the children from the Shakti orphanage.
mother spinning at the Shakti orphanage in Nepal.
WOMAN SERIOUSLY INJURED IN COLLISION NEAR BRAMPTON BRYAN
Herefordshire Police are appealing for witnesses following
a three vehicle road traffic collision which left one driver
seriously injured. The incident happened on the A4113 Leintwardine
to Kington road near Brampton Bryan at 3.20pm on Monday,
22nd February. A silver Peugeot 206 travelling towards Knighton
was in collision with a silver Ford Transit travelling in
the opposite direction and a red VW Golf also travelling
driver of the Peugeot, an 81-year old lady from Knighton,
received serious injuries in the collision and was flown
by air ambulance to Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham where
her condition this morning is described as serious but not
life-threatening. The road was closed for several hours
whilst police collision investigators examined the scene
and recovery experts removed the crashed vehicles.
would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the collision
or saw any of the vehicles on the A4113 immediately before
the crash. Anyone with information should contact PC Adrian
Davies of the Roads Policing Team at Hereford Police Station
on 0300 333 3000.
BAYWATCH RETURNS TO HEREFORDSHIRE
Herefordshire Council is urging people to respect parking
bays for blue badge users and is reviving its successful
Baywatch campaign to get this message across.
a campaign to raise awareness of parking issues for disabled
people, ran throughout February and March last year. Its
main objectives were to stop people parking illegally in
disabled parking bays, reduce Blue Badge fraud, eliminate
stereotypes of disabled people and reduce abuse received
by Blue Badge users. The campaign was such a big success
that the council has decided to run it again during March
this year. For thousands of people living in Herefordshire,
blue badges and disabled parking bays are vital facilities
which improve the quality of their day-to-day lives.
Council's diversity officer, Harriet Yellin, commented,
'An important part of the Baywatch message is to try to
reduce the fraudulent use of badges. Carers, family members
and friends of a Blue Badge holder may feel that a badge
is associated with a vehicle, and that the vehicle is the
badge holder; this is not the case. All Blue Badges are
issued purely for the use of the person named on the badge,
and anyone who condones the misuse of the scheme is depriving
legitimate badge holders of vital parking spaces.'
Baywatch message will be spread across the county using
bus advertising, Herefordshire Matters, leaflets and free
car stickers! Community Enforcement Officers will be particularly
vigilant at this time, checking to see whether people using
Blue Badges are the legitimate holders.
who would like further information is welcome to telephone
01432 260216 or visit the website at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/baywatch.
SPORTS COACHES URGED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF COURSES
All sport coaches in the county are being urged by Herefordshire
Council to take advantage of three courses aimed at ensuring
they are aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding
children and that they can also deal with emergencies.
courses, being run by Herefordshire Sports Development and
the Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire,
25th March - Safeguarding and Protecting Children
Wednesday, 19th May - Emergency First Aid
Thursday, 8th July 8 - Safeguarding and Protecting Children
All three courses are being held at Hereford Rowing Club,
with a 6.30pm start, lasting three hours. If you would like
to book a place on any of these courses, please visit www.morethansport.com/courses
or ring Georgina Fenton at the Sports Partnership on 01905
Perridge, Herefordshire Council's senior sports development
officer said, 'It is extremely important that everyone who
has regular contact with children is aware of their responsibilities
in safeguarding and protecting children. Qualified coaches
are required to attend safeguarding courses every three
years and the first one is best suited for people who have
not attended one before.
who have already completed the first workshop may prefer
to reinforce and strengthen their understanding of safeguarding
without repeating the first workshop by attending the Safeguarding
and Protecting Children 2 Reflecting on Practice course.
This differs from its predecessor in that it deliberately
builds upon the practical experience people have already
gained in their day-to-day role as a coach, giving them
a chance to reflect upon as well as learn from other coaches'
experiences. Coaches must have attended the Safeguarding
and Protecting Children course before attending this course.'
Coach UK, the course provider, delivers a whole range of
other courses. Details of these can be found on the Herefordshire
Sport website at www.herefordshiresport.co.uk. If there
is enough demand for any of these courses (at least 15 people
interested in booking), then more courses could be put on
further information, please contact Amy Jenkins, sports
development officer, on 01432 261539.
SARAH CARR TAKES VINCE CABLE TO VISIT HEREFORDSHIRE TRADERS
Carr, Liberal Democrat Prospective MP for Hereford, Ross
and South Herefordshire welcomed Vince Cable MP, the Liberal
Democrat party Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor to Herefordshire
on Thursday, 18th February.
first took Dr. Cable to Ross-on-Wye to meet members of the
Association of Ross Traders who are actively promoting Ross-on-Wye.
In visiting many of the retailers Vince congratulated them
and spoke of the importance of what they are doing in ‘ground
Vince and Paul Keetch, MP then visited Hereford's home grown
business, Taylor Lane Timber Frame Ltd. based at Rotherwas,
Hereford which employs more than 100 people. Vince, Sarah
and Paul met staff members and went onto the factory floor
to see the house frames being constructed. Commenting on
the visit Sarah said, 'I am delighted that Dr. Vince Cable,
MP came to Herefordshire to hear first hand from local businesses
on how they are working through the recession and the particular
challenges they are facing.
was very impressed by the businesses he met and their action
in working together to promote Ross. The Liberal Democrats
are also determined to help people with affordable housing.
I have been impressed by Taylor Lane and I wanted to show
Vince how a local company is providing housing that is environmentally
sustainable and affordable.
Cable is widely respected across all political parties and
I am honoured to have his support in my campaign to be the
next Member of Parliament for Hereford, Ross and South Herefordshire.'
Carr and Vince Cable MP with Lib Dem Councillors and some Ross Residents
JESSE WELCOMES TORY PLANS FOR CO-OPS TO IMPROVE PUBLIC SERVICES
MP for Hereford, Ross and South Herefordshire, Jesse Norman
has welcomed new Conservative plans for employee-owned co-ops
to improve public services. Under the bold new proposals,
public sector workers would be given the right to form employee-owned
co-operatives to take over the services they deliver, potentially
empowering thousands of public sector workers across Herefordshire.
new co-op right will apply throughout the vast majority
of the public sector, including JobCentre Plus offices,
community nursing teams and primary schools. Employee-owned
co-operatives would continue to be funded by the state so
long as they meet national standards, but would be freed
from much of the present Whitehall bureaucracy, red tape
and political micro-management. They would be voluntary
sector, not-for-profit organizations able to decide on management
structures, innovate to cut costs and improve the quality
of service. Any financial surpluses would be reinvested
into the service and the staff who work there, rather than
be distributed to external shareholders.
candidate Jesse Norman founded the Conservative Co-operative
Movement in 2007. Pictured here at a co-op book launch with
David Cameron, he has been widely credited in the national
newspapers with pushing the Conservatives to embrace co-ops
as a means to improve public services. He said, 'Co-ops
are often extraordinary organizations, which empower their
employee-owners and release terrific energy. They are particularly
appropriate to the public services, because employee ownership
gives them a natural human scale, as well as great flexibility
could mark a huge shift of power away from government to
people -- something we very badly need, both in Herefordshire
and in the UK as a whole.'
launches his Food Co-op Book with David Cameron.
RECORD NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE SIGN UP TO D OF E AWARD SCHEME
More than 400 young people in Herefordshire have signed
up to start a Duke of Edinburgh's Award programme this year
and the country as whole has seen a 20 per cent increase
in the number of young people taking part over the last
two years. Herefordshire has been part of this increase
with record numbers signing up for the Award which is managed
by Herefordshire Council's youth service.
Mason of Herefordshire Council said, 'Each of the three
levels of the Award recognize commitment, initiative and
teamwork, exactly the qualities employers are looking for.
We all know the job market is extremely competitive at the
moment, and as well as qualifications, any activities which
can set you apart from the next applicant is very beneficial.
I have even heard of employers saying they always look for
candidates with a Duke of Edinburgh Award when they are
well as giving young people a great qualification and many
experiences to add to their curriculum vitae, the Duke of
Edinburgh Award is fun to do and anyone can join. You don't
need any qualifications to start and training and guidance
are provided for you all along the way. To give young people
the opportunity to find out more and talk to some of the
Award's local leaders, the council is holding an open event
at the Hereford Canoe Centre between 3pm and 7pm on Wednesday,
call in or email email@example.com for further information.
OVER £15.7 MILLION FOR ENGLAND'S HISTORIC PLACES OF WORSHIP
Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund have announced more
than £15.7 million to support urgent repair work to 154
Grade I and II listed places of worship across England -
with more than £1.9 million to 28 places of worship in the
Grade I listed Church of St John the Evangelist has been
offered up to £682,000 - the largest amount for 2010 across
England under the organisations' joint Repair Grants for
Places of Worship scheme.
Thursday, 18th February, at the Church of St John the Evangelist,
Shobdon, Herefordshire, English Heritage and the Heritage
Lottery Fund announced grants totalling £1,919,000 to help
repair eight listed churches in Herefordshire, seven in
Warwickshire, six in Shropshire, four in Worcestershire
and three in the West Midlands conurbation. Nationally,
since 2002, £123 million in grants have been awarded to
almost 1,300 Grade I and II* historic places of worship
through the partnership scheme, which is the largest single
source of funds to help congregations to care for historic
churches, chapels, synagogues and other historic places
enchanting building in Shobdon is one of the most notable
Rococo Gothick churches in the country and was built in
1756 by the Hon Richard Bateman of Shobdon, Bateman rebuilt
his estate church with only the original church's fourteenth
century tower incorporated into the new building, but now
without additional structural support, it faces an immediate
risk of partial collapse. Initial attempts at restoration
work have revealed that the unique building faces complex
repair challenges. The striking blue and white ornate interior
finish is judged to be of greater historic importance than
the structure that supports it. However, unlike many churches,
most of its structural timbers are buried behind interior
plasterwork and ornamental arches. As a result, repairs
have to be carried out from the outside so as not to disturb
initial grant of £25,000 has been awarded by English Heritage
to carry out project development works in order to identify
what is involved in the entire restoration. This will be
followed by a maximum of £657,000 to complete the extensive
repair works. The total cost of the repair works is estimated
to be in the region of a maximum of £1 million.
on the repairs to the church is expected to start in 2011.
Tim Johnston, Regional Director for English Heritage in
the West Midlands said: 'Places of worship form a priceless
part of our region's heritage and are of great significance
to many local communities. Unfortunately the maintenance
of this legacy poses some tough challenges, so these grants
are vital in boosting fundraising efforts to ensure we all
continue to enjoy these remarkable buildings.'
Jenkins, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in the West Midlands,
said: 'The West Midlands is home to some of the country's
most important and precious places of worship but sustaining
them is always a big challenge. We are delighted, in partnership
with English Heritage, to be able to offer grant support
to twenty-eight of these wonderful structures from all corners
of the region, helping to ensure that these magnificent
buildings are safeguarded for the future.'
Penny Corbett, speaking on behalf of Shobdon Parochial Church
Council, said: 'We are delighted that English Heritage and
the Heritage Lottery Fund are able to provide essential
support for the repair works of our historic church at Shobdon,
and that we have been allocated the scheme's largest amount
of funding in England for 2010! The church forms a very
important centre for our community and it is vital that
we carry out the major and urgent restoration work to secure
the future of this unique Grade I listed building.'
DOG ATTACKS PUPPY ON BROMYARD DOWNS
Bromyard Police are asking for the assistance of the public
to trace the owners of a Staffordshire Bull terrier which
attacked a Border Collie puppy on Bromyard Downs, leaving
the puppy's owners with a vet's bill of £200.
incident happened at approximately 2.40pm on Monday, 15th
February when Dylan, a four-month old Border Collie puppy
and his owner were walking across the Downs. Without warning,
the puppy was attacked around the throat by a brindle coloured
Staffordshire Bull terrier, called Druid, who was accompanied
by two women who also had three lurchers with them.
took a while to get the terrier off the puppy and in the
owner's rush to get the blood-covered pup to the vets, he
did not take any details of Druid's owner. The vet managed
to stitch the wounds in the neck but the pup lost three
teeth in the attack. The owner was also given a tetanus
shot at Worcester A&E as he sustained minor cuts in trying
to stop the attack. Local police in Bromyard and Dylan's
owner have expressed concern that Druid might again attack
another dog or even a small child, if not properly supervised.
are anxious to trace Druid's owner who is described as a
white female in her 20's. She was accompanied by another
young woman. Police would like to hear from Druid's owner
or from anyone who may know who his owner is, so that they
can ascertain whether the animal is a danger to other dogs
or people or not.
with information is urged to contact PC Jill Richardson
at Bromyard Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers
on 0800 555111.
CHAMPAGNE AND SHAMBLES AT HAMPTON COURT
The libraries service is seeking to encourage more people
to share their love of reading by joining a book group.
Local writer and historian Catherine Beale will be giving
an illustrated talk about her very readable book Champagne
and Shambles at Hampton Court on Saturday, 13th March 3pm
book tells the story of the Arkwright family who owned Hampton
Court, which once was the largest estate in Herefordshire.
The story shows how the landed gentry went into decline,
and the details about life in Herefordshire, particularly
in Leominster in the 19th century, are absolutely fascinating.
Tickets cost £5 and are available on the door. There will
also be signed copies of the book and tea and cakes for
book is being read by a number of book groups in the county
and Anne-Marie Dossett, Herefordshire Council's reader development
librarian says, 'This is a good book for readers' groups.
There is much to discuss and it has been so brilliantly
researched. After the talk there will be time to ask questions
and have an informal discussion in the beautiful setting
of the library at Hampton Court. This would be a perfect
afternoon out for a book group.'
and Shambles is available to borrow as a 15 copy readers'
group set from Herefordshire libraries. To find out more
about the service for readers' groups go to www.herefordshire.gov.uk/readersgroups
or contact Anne-Marie Dossett on email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you are welcome to telephone 01432 260646.
CHANGE YOUR LIFE WITH FREE Wii FIT SESSION
Getting fit and active doesn't have to be boring or tedious;
it can be great fun and NHS Herefordshire intends to prove
the point by inviting families to a free Wii fit session
at Whitecross Sports College.
balance, skiing, snow boarding, boxing, running; whatever
you fancy having a go at, the Wii fit can do it all so NHS
staff are keen to encourage people to have a go as part
of the Change4Life programme. The session will take place
on Tuesday, 9th March from 6.30 until 7.30pm at Whitecross
Specialist Sports College and High School. Children aged
two to eleven are invited to bring their families along
to an hour of fun trying out new types of exercise to help
them move more. More exercise combined with eating well
will help Herefordshire families to live longer too.
Purslow, healthy lifestyle co-ordinator said, 'This is one
type of computer game the health officials approve of as
it requires active participation rather than passive gaming.
We will have a number of Wii fit stations up and running
so anyone can just call in and have a go. We don't expect
everyone to like all types of exercise, but the Wii fit
is great fun and gives people options to try: and of course
there's a bit of healthy inter-family competition involved
too. Mums and carers at Green Croft Children's Centre have
already tried out the new Wii fit plus consoles and had
a great time.'
Wii fit exercise session is one of many events being organized
by NHS Herefordshire to help local families change the way
they live their lives. Full details of all events together
with Top Tips on how to make small, meaningful changes to
benefit health and well being are available on www.herefordshirechange4life.org
COUNCIL ON TRACK TO BALANCE BUDGET FOR SEVENTH YEAR RUNNING
Herefordshire Council is on track to bring in its finances
within budget at the end of the financial year, balancing
its books for the seventh year running. The council's cabinet
heard that the council will not overspend this year, despite
another year of severe financial pressure, as a result of
the escalating costs of providing social care for the county's
growing older population, safeguarding children and keeping
primary routes open during the recent extreme weather.
Director of Resources David Powell reported that the finance
team were confident that the budget would balance by 31
March 2010. The position is in contrast to many other local
authorities across the country, which are announcing major
overspends, swingeing cuts to public services and job cuts.
The cabinet heard that there was a projected overspend of
£2.7 million for social care and £0.6 million for children's
services. But recovery plans and spending controls in other
directorates, the use of social care contingency funds and
reductions on borrowing costs will achieve a balanced budget
budget report also showed that over 10,000 tonnes of grit
have been used on Herefordshire's roads this winter so far,
mostly during the first two weeks of January. This has put
pressure on the winter maintenance budget of £1.1 million
and cabinet approved the transfer of £500,000 from reserves.
ROTHERWAS GETS HIGH SPEED BROADBAND
on Hereford's Rotherwas estate will soon be able to enjoy
the benefits of super fast high speed broadband. Thanks
to the Rotherwas Futures project, a £20m joint venture between
Herefordshire Council and Advantage West Midlands, an agreement
has been reached with wireless broadband provider Airband
Community Internet Ltd.
company is to provide 4M8, 8Mb and 20Mb broadband services
to the whole of the estate. This is good news as most businesses
on the estate have had to put up with low broadband speeds
for years. A previous wireless service was withdrawn in
2008 because it was unsustainable with the number of users
it had, which meant that businesses had to install more
expensive leased lines to keep up with the digital economy.
The new service will make WiFi available to the whole estate
for mobile devices and residential users within reach will
also be able to use the service.
Adrian Blackshaw, the council's cabinet member for economic
development and community services said, 'At last Herefordshire
businesses have access to the sort of broadband service
that metropolitan businesses take for granted! This new
service is crucial to attracting new businesses and new
jobs to Hereford, and promotes Rotherwas to the premier
league of business parks.'
Peel, managing director of Airband said, 'We're delighted
to be back at Rotherwas and old customers are keen to sign
up to our much faster service. This will give Rotherwas
businesses the fastest broadband available in Herefordshire.
Part of our agreement with the council is to promote our
broadband service more, and this time round we hope more
Rotherwas businesses will recognize how good a deal we are
offering and the benefits and time savings they can get
from a 4Mb, and faster, services.'
Ian Edwards, Team Leader at Advantage West Midlands' Rural
Regeneration Zone, added his support. He said, 'Giving growing
businesses access to high speed broadband is a must if we
are to drive the rural economy forward and this introduction
marks an important stage in the development of a longer
term vision for Rotherwas.'
wanting further information about the Airband service should
visit www.airband.ltd.uk, or ring 0800 0350025.
CABINET APPROVES PLANS TO SAVE £5.4M PER YEAR BY SHARING
Herefordshire Council have approved business proposals to
share more of its central functions with the primary care
trust and the county hospital. The cabinet, who met on Thursday,
18th February, supported the move, which could save up to
£5.4 million a year to be invested in protecting services
for the most vulnerable members of the community. The
boards of the primary care trust and the hospital trust
are also to consider the proposals during February and March.
The aim of this move is to avoid the scale of cuts in public
services seen in other parts of the country by sharing central
functions and making them more efficient. These administrative
savings could then be reinvested in essential health and
social care services. Herefordshire Council, NHS Herefordshire
and Hereford Hospitals Trust started work on a business
case in April last year and proposals include the three
organizations either setting up their own joint venture,
or outsourcing many corporate functions to the private sector,
or one of the three organizations providing the services
for the other two.
the cabinet has given the green light, negotiations will
continue between the three organizations and a formal report,
seeking a formal decision will be presented soon. Herefordshire's
unique approach to public services partnership, which is
increasingly being seen as a model for other local authorities
and trusts in the UK, means that many corporate functions
and costs can be shared. These comprise information technology,
finance, procurement, human resources, payroll and expenses,
communications, internal audit, legal, transport, estates,
printing and emergency planning across the three organizations
move is prompted by the need to protect services to the
most vulnerable members of the community, including Herefordshire's
ageing population, disabled people and children looked after
by the local authority. Local government and health will
also focus on how together they can manage contracts, purchase
goods and services and achieve further economies of scale
across the three organizations