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Ross Town Mayor, Councillor John Edwards was delighted to welcome a record number of residents to the Annual Town Meeting at the Larruperz Centre last Wednesday.

Mayor Edwards informed the meeting of the work Ross Town Council had been doing throughout the year to help to keep Ross-on-Wye a good place to live for its residents as well as promoting the town as a tourist attraction. He said that one of the problems facing the town was that there are too many empty shops and an abundance of charity outlets, however, in an effort to get local retailers to help themselves, the council encouraged the formation of the Association of Ross Traders, known as ART. The association has been very successful in promoting the retail outlets in the town as well as the town itself. For example, the introduction of the attractive, energy efficient Christmas Lights by the council was boosted by ART encouraging traders to have their own lights. They staged a special shopping festival which greatly improved the festive spirit over the Christmas shopping period which was praised by residents and visitors alike.

The Mayor was also pleased to announce that Ross Town Council had chosen to forego any rise in the tax precept for the year April 2010 to March 2011 and that they have also set aside 25,000 to help implement any short term measures included in the Ross-on-Wye Town Plan, if adopted by the council.

Mayor Edwards then announced that the Community Award, given to a citizen of Ross who worked for the good of the town on a voluntary basis, was to be presented to Mrs. Iris Price. As the Mayor said, Iris seems to pop up everywhere; helping Ross Town Carnival, raising funds for Ross Pre School Playgroup, sitting on various committees. Iris quietly does so much work for various organizations and her award is well deserved. Unfortunately, Iris did not attend the meeting, so it was decided to present her with her award at the forthcoming Mayor Making Ceremony on 10th May.

The Chairmen of Ross Town Council's four committees then introduced themselves to the public and explained what they do. Members of the public who are listed on the town's Register of Electors were then invited to put questions to the chair of each committee.

Next on the agenda was the presentation of the Ross-on-Wye Town Plan, which was funded by Ross Town and Herefordshire Councils, Awards for All and the Lottery Fund. The plan is designed to shape the future of Ross-on-Wye and was drawn up by a steering group of Ross Residents who spent a lot of time consulting with the public on their views of how they would like to see Ross-on-Wye grow. A copy of the plan can be obtained from the Town Clerk and the Corn Exchange or by visiting the RoWToP website.

Town Clerk, Denise Mason with chairmen of the four committees of Ross Town Council on Wednesday.

The meeting was well attended.
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