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Our congratulations go to Richard and Kelly Bailey of Orles Barn whose restaurant won the title of Restaurant of the Year in the Flavours of Herefordshire 2010 Awards last Friday. Their restaurant was also highly commended for the delicious breakfasts that their guests regularly enjoy.

We telephoned Orles Barn to congratulate Richard and Kelly on their success. Richard said, 'We are absolutely delighted to win Restaurant of the Year. As 'New kids on the block' we thought that to be selected as finalists alongside some of the long established restaurants in the area was great but to be voted winners was absolutely fantastic!'

Restaurants in Ross-on-Wye are renowned for their success in this annual competition. Last year, the winner was Wilton Court Restaurant with Rooms, who were very highly commended this year and went on to win Silver in the Heart of England Awards in 2009. The Bridge at Wilton also boasts many successes in the Flavours competition, both in the Herefordshire Awards and the regional finals.

The Flavours of Herefordshire is organized to recognize the best use and promotion of local produce, and continues to be one of the most popular competitions of its kind in the Heart of England. Flavours of Herefordshire has also been recognize for raising the standards of quality and service throughout the county since its inception eleven years ago. The guests of honour, presenting the Flavours of Herefordshire awards on Friday evening were TV chefs, The Hairy Bikers. >>>

The Hairy Bikers with the winners of the Flavours of Herefordshire Awards.

The winner in the Breakfast category was: The Old Rectory, Cradley, Nr. Malvern and Orles Barn were Highly Commended. Commended were: Little Treaddow Farmhouse, St Owen's Cross and the Crown Inn Woolhope, and Ross-on-Wye's Wilton Court and Glewstone Court along with Somerville House in Hereford were finalists.

Winner of the Cider & Perry category was Oliver's Cider & Perry The Old Hop Kilns, Moorhouse Farm, Ocle Pychard. Highly Commended was Once Upon A Tree and Lyne Down Cider And Perry was Commended.

Wye Valley Brewery of Stoke Lacy won the Drinks Producer award with Jus' Single Variety Apple Juice being Highly Commended and Monkhide Wines, Commended.

The Tea Room award went to Warren Farms, Bringsty. Highly Commended was Mrs Muffins of Ledbury and Walford Court Tea Room of Leintwardine was Commended.

Restaurants in and around Ross-on-Wye did very well in the Restaurant Awards with Orles Barn voted Restaurant of the Year, Wilton Court being Highly Commended and The Mill Race, Commended along with The Riverside Inn at Leominster. Glewstone Court and The Wellington were finalists.

Another Ross-on-Wye business had success at the awards on Friday, as Pengethley Farm Shop was voted Retailer of the Year. Court Farm of Tillington were Highly Commended and Glyn Slade Jones of Kington and Neil Powell, Master Butchers of Hereford were commended.

The best Pubs were The Three Horse Shoes of Bromyard, The Sun Inn, Winforton, (Highly Commended), the Red Lion Inn, Stiffords Bridge (Highly Commended) and the Crown Inn Woolhope, (Commended).

The award for best Co-operative Venture went to Herefordshire Farmers Market Group whilst the best Food Producer award went to court Farm Tillington. Just Rachel's Quality Desserts were Highly Commended and Country Flavours of Preston-on-Wye were commended.

The Outstanding Achievement Award went to Walford Court of Leintwardine and the Outstanding Newcomer Award went to Monkhide Wines of Canon Pyon.

Herefordshire Food Champion was Rachel Hicks and the Young Chef in Industry award went to Rachel Williams of Wilton Court Hotel. The Young Chef in College award went to Katie Lewis.

Congratulations to you all.


A fraud case which is being investigated by Herefordshire Police featured on Crimewatch last night, Tuesday, 26th October in the hope of gleaning further information to help in their endeavour to solve the crime, the details of which are published below.

At approximately 3.20pm on 20th May, a smartly dressed man entered the JD Sports store in Hereford. He chose a selection of clothes which he paid for with a stolen bank card. Twenty minutes later the man returned to the store and bought three pairs of shoes using the same card. In total he spent more than £400 there.

Police believe the card was stolen earlier in the day from an office in the town. The offender fraudulently obtained the victim’s PIN number by calling her office, claiming to be from her bank. He made several cash withdrawals and purchases around the town before the victim alerted he bank. In total he obtained cash and goods worth more than £2,000.

If you can help the police with their enquiries, please contact PC Wayne White on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

27th October 2010 A WARM WELCOME AT THE Y-ZONE....

The Y-Zone, Ross-on-Wye appears to stand quietly on the corner of Hill Street and Crofts Lane, with not much going on. However, appearances can be very deceptive, as we discovered after being invited to an Open Day which took place on Tuesday.

Once through the doors there is an impressive range of facilities for the young people of Ross aged 11 years and over to enjoy. There is an IT suite, A music suite, a pool table, a fitted kitchen, meeting space and, the latest addition to the YZone, cinema seating. Ross Youth Forum, who meet regularly at the YZone worked hard, not only applying for funding but holding many of their own fund raising activities to provide a cinema facility for the young people of Ross-on-Wye. They managed to obtain a projector and screen and it is hoped that they will be showing two films per month for the younger generation of Ross. Their hard work deserves our congratulations.

The YZone works in partnership with the Basement Youth Trust who provide a range of activities for the youths of the town. From rapping, dancing and band practice to IT courses, drama, circus skills and Tai Kwon Do. The young people can also learn a variety of life skills such as cookery and money management and can also do their homework there.

Visitors to the Open Day saw some fine examples of what goes on behind those doors and went away very impressed with the things they had witnessed.

The YZone is not just open during term time. Young people can also use the drop in facility during the school holidays. They don't have to 'join' just simply turn up. On Mondays, the YZone is a girls only zone and on Monday evening the girls busied themselves making some delicious refreshments for their next day guests to enjoy. And we did enjoy them.

After looking round and learning of some of the work going on at the YZone, visitors were entertained by 15 years old Dan who performed a 6 minute rap, easily getting his audience to join in.

Thank you for inviting us to the open day. The work that you and the young people you work with do deserves to be applauded.

Chairman of the Basement Youth Trust, Bernard Fowkes with Jon Ralph, Community Youth Service Manager,
Sue Wilden, Basement Youth Trust co-ordinator and Councillor Chris Bartrum at the Y-Zone Open Day on Tuesday.

Dan keeps the audience very entertained with his 6 minute rap.

27th October 2010 ROSS LIONS HELP TO FLOAT S.A.R.As NEW BOAT....

SARA is the Lifeboat and Mountain Rescue Organization which covers the areas of the rivers Severn, Usk, Wye and Avon plus the land surrounding the rivers including the Forest of Dean. In emergencies this can be extended to Barry and Weston-super-Mare. SARA consists of 4 rescue stations based at Beachley (Chepstow), Sharpness, Wyre Forest and Tewkesbury and the crews, all voluntary, respond to calls at all times of day and in a wide range of weather conditions to come to the aid of the community in our region.

The Lifeboats obviously have a vital role to play and their upkeep is essential. One of the oldest Lifeboats (SARA3) is now 15 years old and requires replacing. Extensive fund raising by the team over many, many months has enabled the crew to get extremely close to their target. They are now in a position to place an order to replace SARA3 the cost of which is approximately £25,000. This boat will be called 'Swift n Bold' and hopefully will be in action in the next few months.

The new boat will come fully fitted with Land Search & Rescue Radio, First Aid equipment, Echo Sounder, position location and navigation aids, navigation lights and EPIB (Emergency Position Indicator Beacons). The new engine is being sponsored by the First Battalion Rifles, based at Beachley. Ross Lion, Martin King presented a cheque of £500 to Mervyn Fleming (Chairman of Beachley Lifeboat & Rescue Station) and some of the crew.

Both SARA and the Ross Lions would like to thank the generosity of the general public who, despite the current difficult financial climate, continue to contribute to the causes supported by Ross Lions and thus support those most in need.

You can contact Ross Lions on 0845 833 5786 or via the web site:

Ross Lion, Martin King presents a cheque to the SARA crew.


Congratulations go to Amber Pottie who last week won the 'Young Carer' award at the Pide of Herefordshire Awards which too place last week. Amber, aged thirteen, is described as having a caring nature and is a 'ray of sunshine' for her mother Paula Wade. She helped nurse Paula after a major operation and gives her constant support, encouragement and help. Amber also looks out for her brother, friends and rescue animals.

The overall winner of the Pride of Herefordshire Awards which took place on Wednesday, 20th October is the Royal National College for the Blind. The college was rewarded for hosting the 2010 World Blind Football Championships in August, an event which attracted thousands of spectators both at the stadium and on the website as well as receiving national and international television coverage. This coverage included BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5's popular Fighting Talk, BBC World Service, GMTV, Chanel 4, Futbol Mondial, Fuji TV (Japan), TYCSport (Argentina), CNN and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Councillor Roger Phillips, leader of Herefordshire Council said 'The overall winner goes to a person or organizations responsible for raising pride in the county and I don't think anyone could fail to be proud of this event and how it raised the county's profile. I attended some of the matches and, even though the England team didn't lift the cup, the team did us proud. The whole event was a superb showcase for the best of the county.'

Tony Larkin, head of events at RNCB, accepted the award on behalf of the college. The overall award winner was sponsored by Hereford Futures.

Last year's winner Josie Pearce, Tony Larkin from the RNCB and Jonathan Bretherton, Chief Executive of Hereford Futures who sponsored the overall award.


Frankie Martin is on a mission - to tour 265 pubs in 365 days. This is not a drink as much beer as you can mission, however, for Frankie is a singer and he is well on track to have performed at 365 pubs in as many days.

Frankie set out with the hope of raising £50 per day from his tour to raise £18,500 for Help for Heroes. A third of the way into his tour however, the sum raised was already approaching £33,000, so a new target was set at £100,000. Frankie passed the £50,000 mark just before reaching the half way stage of his tour, so the target looks well within his reach.

Frankie is due to appear at the Hope & Anchor on Thursday evening (28th October) and his performance will begin at approximately 8:30pm. Why not go along and contribute to his goal of £100,000 for Help for Heroes?

If you fancy a bit of Hallowe'en fun on Friday evening, why not pay the Hope & Anchor another visit as they are holding their monthly Karaoke night and most of the regulars will be in fancy dress.


Chalky Robertshaw presents Liam Parry with the signed match ball for his hat trick at the recent charity football match.


Herefordshire Council's archive service is holding one of its regular sales to give history buffs a rare chance to acquire a part of the county's past.

Surplus original Ordnance Survey maps dating from 1904 to 1925 will be offered for sale at the Record Office in Harold Street, from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday, 6th November. The maps are on the old scale 25-inch-to- the- mile, each locality having its own sheet. Prices will be up to £10 per sheet, depending on condition. A wide range of second hand books on local and general history will also be for sale.

Rhys Griffith, senior archivist said, 'Maps are such an evocative way of showing how a place has changed over time. We are fortunate to have so many spare to make available for sale. Having an original map showing where you live is a great thrill; it also makes a great Christmas gift.'


Jesse Norman MP has expressed his delight at the announcement that the county has been awarded one of the three Superfast Broadband Pilots. The pilot promises to give a massive boost to digital connectivity in rural areas of South Herefordshire.

The announcement, by George Osborne in Monday's Comprehensive Spending Review, comes after a sustained three year campaign to promote broadband by Jesse, in collaboration with Herefordshire Council. An early milestone in the campaign was the publication in May 2008 of 'Wireless Herefordshire,' a policy document laying out the potential and funding options for wireless broadband across the county.

Most recently, in August of this year, Jesse hosted a Broadband Summit which brought together local businesses and community leaders with the Council, and national as well as specialist telecoms companies. Communications Minister Ed Vaizey was the keynote speaker. After the summit Jesse worked closely with Herefordshire Council and fellow MP Bill Wiggin to put forward a bid for the pilot programme, and to persuade government of the social and economic importance of broadband in rural areas.

Speaking after the Chancellor’s announcement Jesse said, 'I am absolutely thrilled at the news. This could be the greatest thing for Herefordshire since the invention of cider! This has long been the Forgotten County. I said at the General Election that my goal was to try to get a fair deal for Herefordshire, and this is one small early step towards that goal. It really shows that the Coalition government takes rural areas seriously.

This win is the result of a lot of hard work by Councillors, Council Officers, AWM and my own team, and I would particularly like to pay tribute to the bid team, including Alan Ronald, Natalia Silver, Andrew Abraham, Clem Attwood and Phil Wells. They have done a terrific job.'

Jesse with Ed Vaizey at the Broadband Summit.


Herefordshire patients who wish to access new cancer drugs are being given a boost as a new fund has become available this month which will help provide access to new treatments.

The fund, which is being managed by the Strategic Health Authority (NHS West Midlands), is intended to act as a stop gap until the government's planned national Cancer Drugs Fund for England is up and running by April 2011. The fund is cash-limited: the West Midlands has been allocated £5.4 million, and is to pay for additional treatments which the NHS does not currently commission.

Providing all other avenues for accessing cancer drug funding at a local level have been tried, funding requests can be made by NHS cancer specialists on behalf of patients, to NHS Herefordshire. This means that a doctor will make an application on the patient's behalf. The main reason for this is that treatments need to be clinically appropriate and supported. NHS Herefordshire will then ask a clinical panel of cancer specialists representing all 17 Primary Care Trusts in the West Midlands, to consider the application and make decisions on funding within three working days of receiving the application.

Paul Edwards of NHS Herefordshire said, 'We have been working closely with local hospitals and cancer specialists to set up systems to deal with the new fund to ensure that Herefordshire patients are given the opportunity to access the cancer fund as quickly as possible.'

Details of the new fund are available at


The county archaeology team linked up with Channel 4's Time Team last summer to get to grips with a hill top enigma. Banks and ditches of the right scale for an Iron Age hill fort were rediscovered during survey of woodland on the Hampton Court estate near Leominster and were found to define a massive 43 acre enclosure.

Exploratory excavations involving Tony Robinson, Phil Harding, Francis Pryor and the Time Team regulars were carried out to better understand the site, supported by archaeologists from Herefordshire Council. The findings of the mini-project are now to be broadcast on Channel 4 on Sunday, 7th November at 5.25pm.

Herefordshire's County Archaeologist, Dr Keith Ray said, 'On the second day, the joint team had to cope with one of the worst July deluges we've seen in recent years, but the picture that emerges in the programme is of a site with a number of surprises in store for the excavators. There are a number of remaining puzzles leading us to question yet again exactly what these massive hill top enclosures were all about.'

David Stevens, the social history collections officer for Herefordshire Council's heritage services team, also helped Time Team with their exploration of the county by taking artefacts from the county's collection out to the dig site. These artefacts included finds from Sutton Walls and Croft Ambrey, both Iron Age hill forts in Herefordshire, as well as a Roman sword found near the River Lugg, all designed to illustrate what life might have been like in the county when the hill top structure at Dinmore was built.

Ian Bapty, County Archaeologist), Time Team presenter, Tony Robinson and Neil Rimmington, the council's countryside adviser at the site of the dig.


Visitors to Hereford racecourse on Saturday, 30th October can expect another spectacular firework display from Hereford Round Table in partnership this year with the housing and care provider Sanctuary Group.

To ensure children young and old are wowed by the very best display possible, Hereford Round Table are once again working with Kimbolton Fireworks, an international award winning company who provide firework displays for many prestigious events including the Hogmanay celebrations in the City of Edinburgh. They will also be illuminating the London Eye later this year.

To keep the whole family entertained for what promises to an evening not to be missed, there will be fairground rides and refreshments before the fireworks, so beat the queues and arrive early . All proceeds from the event are used by Hereford Round Table for the benefit of good causes locally, so by buying a ticket you'll not only enjoy a wonderful evening, you'll also know that you're supporting individuals and groups within your own community.

Tickets on the gate cost £10 per person and children under the age of 16 accompanied by a paying adult can enter for free. The gates will open at 5:30pm and the bonfire will be lit at 6:30pm.

Tickets are available on the gate, or in advance. For further information, please telephone 07792-032921 or email - hfdroundtable@gmailcom


The repair work to Meeks Well Lane, Symonds Yat West is making good progress, which is very good news for residents and visitors to the area.

Meeks Well Lane had been eroded over a period of time and required a significant repair to return to an acceptable state. However, the initial design could not take into account the large outcrop of rock later found to be next to the repair works. The amended design included large gabion baskets (structures filled with stones used to fill gaps and weighing approximately 4.5 tonnes each) which were used to fill the eroded areas. They are secured to the rock face by stainless steel pins inserted into pre-drilled holes at 500mm spacings. Works are expected to take a further six or seven weeks to complete and local residents are eagerly look forward to completion.

Chris Howell, Network Engineering Manager for Amey said, 'This particular scheme has been on our to do list for some time, but because of land negotiations and planning permissions for parking bays and storage sheds we have had to wait before we could actually start the works on site. The highways team at Amey has a wealth of experience in gabion basket type land stabilization works but this scheme differs from the norm in that access to the site is restricted to small vehicles and only small volumes of material can be stored on site at any one time.

Taking this into account, good progress is being made and indications are that the works will be completed in line with programme.

The ongoing works at Meeks Well Lane.


For those of you who would like to have a say in the development of the county's transport strategy over the next 15 years, Herefordshire Council's consultation on its draft Local Transport Plan runs until Friday, 19th November. Views on top priorities for transport were sought in January this year and the results, which included the need for a relief road for Hereford, investment in public transport, walking and cycling, and tackling school travel, have been put into the latest local transport plan.

The council wants to ensure that the long term strategy reflects local needs. The strategy areas include: Hereford, the market towns and rural communities, road safety and managing the highways. Copies of the draft plan can be obtained in local libraries and customer service centres. People can also access the document at the council's website - (refer to the 'Spotlight' section on the home page and click the link to the 'Local Transport Plan 3 Strategy Consultation', which will provide more information on how to take part).

For further information contact the council's transportation planning team on 01432 261817.


A local GP has scooped an award for his outstanding partnership work to improve efficiency in the NHS at the inaugural West Midlands Leadership Awards.

Dr Andy Watts, GP at Sarum House surgery has been driving forward significant changes in Herefordshire so that more patients can be treated by their own GP or community based staff, making it easier for them to access services and reducing the number of hospital admissions every year. NHS Herefordshire works in partnership with local GPs and maximizes their clinical expertise to develop new services and to trial schemes that after evaluation, are rolled out to the wider community.

Dr Watts has been a driving force in this approach, taking all other GPs from across the county with him. He has led a GP Practices executive forum to harness a range of clinicians' views and interests, whilst influencing and helping to develop a range of services so that patients can be provided with the care they need closer to home. For example, several initiatives have resulted in patient care in care homes being improved so that there is less need for frail elderly patients to have to visit hospital. Dr. Watts has also managed the treatment of deep vein thrombosis so that care can be started and finished at a patient's local surgery and has been involved in a range of pilot schemes to redesign services for people with diabetes, musculoskeletal problems and those in need of physiotherapy.

Jo Newton, chair of NHS Herefordshire said, 'The Partnership Award recognizes individuals who make an outstanding contribution to enhancing partnership working across different agencies or parts of the service. Andy has delivered this, pulling together resources, inciting support and bringing GPs and service providers together to make life easier for patients and save the local health and social care services much needed resources.

NHS Herefordshire would like to extend its congratulations to Andy for his positive contribution to improving health services in Herefordshire. Given the direction of travel in the forthcoming NHS White Paper, this should give confidence in our evolving partnership working with GPs.'

From left to right are: Ian Cumming OBE, Dr. Andy Watts and Elisabeth Buggins CBE DL.

27th October 2010


A West Mercia Police operation designed to keep up the pressure on house burglars and reassure the public took place in Herefordshire last week. As the nights draw in and the clocks are soon to go back, the operation involved action to disrupt the activities of burglars while offering advice to people in the county on how to keep their homes secure.

Operation Protect coincided with the launch of the force’s ‘Lighten Up, Mark it Up!’ campaign, combining reassurance about low crime levels with the provision of home security advice for the darker autumn and winter months. Local Policing Teams distributed hundreds of ‘Lighten Up!’ leaflets over the week to residents in all the county’s towns and villages. The campaign was backed up by an advertising van which toured the county last Tuesday, 19th October, advising people to Lighten Up their homes to make them more safe and secure.

Meanwhile, officers arrested three people on Tuesday in relation to three separate burglaries, two in Hereford and one in Ross-on-Wye. One man was charged and has appeared in court, while one man and one teenage boy have been released on bail pending further investigations.

Acting Detective Inspector Ross Jones, who is leading the campaign in Herefordshire said, 'Historically, there is a rise in the number of burglaries across Britain at this time of year because when it is dark, unlit houses can be a target for thieves. Herefordshire has a very low rate of burglary, with less than one a day taking place on average across the county. We are determined to keep it that way and have been taking action against burglary suspects in the county.

As well as the three arrests last week, we have also made 12 further arrests for burglary and six for handling stolen goods so far this month. We are urging local people to help us and help themselves at this time of year by making their homes more secure and using timer switches to turn lights on while they are out; a well lit house gives the impression that someone is home and will deter a burglar.'

The ‘Mark it Up!’ part of the campaign is about promoting the security marking of valuable possessions to act as a deterrent to house burglars and other thieves. West Mercia Police is advising residents that their property can be registered online for free at Acting DI Jones added, 'Using the website is very easy and if an item is stolen and later recovered, not only will it help us return it to its owner, it will also help us to detect burglary and handling stolen goods offences and bring prosecutions against thieves. If residents can lighten up their homes, mark up their valuables and of course keep their home secure at all times, then it will be huge help in our battle with the burglars.'

‘Lighten Up, Mark it Up!’ advice includes simple precautions that can significantly reduce the chance of homes being burgled. This includes: Using timer switches to turn lights on while you are out. Low-energy or dusk to dawn sensor bulbs can be used to save energy and costs. A low-energy light bulb costs less than 2p per day to run, if left on for four hours. Invest in external lighting. Property mark your valuables and then make the details viewable to the police by registering them on Immobilize – – a national website where you can register valuables for free.

You can register property such as mobile phones, iPods, bicycles, cameras and laptops. Registering your property will improve your chances of getting it back if it is lost or stolen. Further home security advice is available on the force website


The decision to end production of Her Majesty the Queen's favourite bottled water in Colwall has been 'sudden and brutal', according to the leader of Herefordshire Council. Coca Cola, which owns the Malvern Water brand, has announced that it will close the site in November and sell it to property developers. The move ends 150 years of history and 17 local jobs are under threat.

'I don't think Malvern's American owners have really understood the power of smaller, niche brands and they have failed to capitalize on the opportunities of an established and well-regarded product,' said Councillor Roger Phillips. 'Perhaps it would have been better if Coca Cola had been less acquisitive and more perceptive. Certainly the decision to close down production has been sudden and brutal.'

Last weekend the council supported local food and drink producers with the Flavours of Herefordshire awards, which celebrated successful local brands. 'Herefordshire has a reputation for producing high quality food and drink and its success has been achieved by local people who care about how they source and market their product,' continued Councillor Phillips. 'The council has been approached by entrepreneurs who have ideas on how bottled water at Malvern could continue and the council would be pleased to work with them to see if their ideas can be realized.'


Herefordshire Council has been working with EnviroAbility and Alupro to set up special recycling bins for aluminium foil in supermarkets and at household waste sites. The foil will be collected by people with learning difficulties that are being supported by staff from the St. Owen's Centre, part of the council's adult social care team. EnviroAbility will collect and transport the foil to reprocessors and receive the income which will help keep the scheme running at supermarkets in Hereford and at all the household waste sites in Herefordshire.

Councillor John Jarvis of Herefordshire Council said, 'I am delighted we have been able to work together and offer this new service for the county. Aluminium foil cannot be collected through our existing recycling scheme but I am aware residents do want this service. By working with EnviroAbility, we are not only filling a gap in our recycling provision but are also supporting adults with learning difficulties so they can gain meaningful work as well as saving more items from going to landfill. I am also very pleased to have fulfilled a promise we made to EnviroAbility to keep working with them after the Blue Box scheme in Ross ended.'

Anthony Lowther of EnviroAbility said, 'This scheme will be a real boost and enrich the lives of people with learning disabilities as they are able to provide a much-needed service for the community as well as helping the environment.'

Julie Meeks from Alupro, who are donating the collection bins said, 'Residents in Herefordshire will not only be able to recycle their clean foil in these distinctive yellow and black foil banks, they will be saving energy. Recycling aluminium takes only five per cent of the energy needed to make it from its raw material, bauxite and more than 75 per cent of aluminium ever produced is still in use. I would urge recyclers to use the new foil banks in and around Hereford.'

Foil, which needs to be clean, can be recycled at the new banks at supermarkets in Hereford and at household waste sites throughout the county.

St Owen Centre worker Jane Edwards, Matthew Buckley, St Owen Centre worker Karen Baynham, Mark Davies and Isobel Clark and
St Owen Centre development worker Kate Evans with the new foil bin at Sainsbury's in Hereford.


Shopkeepers vow that the Hereford fire will not stop the resurgence in the city's fortunes, which have been underlined by a series of market studies. Hereford is now off the critical list for empty shops and according to the latest Shop Vacancy Report by Local Data Company (LDC), Hereford no longer features in the list of towns and cities that have to worry about retail vacancy rates.

Apart from the shops most affected by the fire in High Town last week, several new shops are opening up across the city, with Hereford showing real growth despite the uncertain economic conditions. Other research by market research specialists Experian, says that the city is in the top 10 most economically resilient areas in the UK and according to another study by leading market research company CACI, the city has the potential to leap into the top 10 shopping destinations in the region.

In September, The Entertainer, a national chain of toy shops, took over 6,000 square feet of trading and storage space at the old Chadds department store, in Commercial Street. Manager, Daisy Allam confirmed, 'There's a really good feeling in Hereford, with empty shops filling up with new traders, which helps bring more people into the city centre. We are really looking forward to Christmas this year in Hereford.' National clothes retailer Peacocks also opened up in the old Woolworths store in Eign Gate. Many new shops like ladies fashion store East, the Wedding Shop, Evangeline's Emporium and 4 Your Convenience have recently started trading.

Hereford no longer has enough empty shops to register in the 20 towns and cities on the LDC league table in the West Midlands, where numbers in other towns and cities are increasing. At its worst, Hereford was reporting several months ago that 8.4 per cent of shops were empty - or 1 in 12. But even then, this was still far healthier that many other centres in the region - including Wolverhampton at 23.8 per cent, Birmingham at 17.9 per cent, Kidderminster 13.8 per cent or Shrewsbury at 13.3 per cent.

Herefordshire Council is continuing with its plans to revitalize the historic city core of Hereford, with its £1.2 million refurbishment of premier shopping street Widemarsh Street almost complete, a development competition launched for the landmark Butter Market and the creation of the successful Shop Hereford reward scheme, which now has 70 independent retailers using the scheme. Now, with developer Stanhope announcing the coming of a multiplex cinema to the city, and expectations of a high quality food retailer, a department store and 20 further shops following afterwards, the fortunes of Hereford are turning.

'Hereford has the potential to move into the top 10 West Midlands shopping destinations,' explained cabinet member for economic development, Councillor Adrian Blackshaw. 'As Hereford's regeneration continues, more of our county residents will see the city as their shopping destination of choice, instead of going to Worcester, Cheltenham, Gloucester or Cardiff.

Currently we are classed as an 'average regional town' in terms of our retail economy but this is changing and our ambition is to lift the city to be a 'quality major centre' in the next few years. Anything and everything is possible, as long as we all continue to have faith in our city's future, use its terrific range of independent shops and vibrant markets, and talk its prospects up across the region.'


Hallowe'en is almost upon us and for those worried about people 'trick or treating' at their door, help is at hand with the West Mercia Police 'No Trick or Treat' campaign. Herefordshire Council and Safer Herefordshire are proud to be working together with West Mercia Police to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Hallowe'en across the county.

Superintendent Charles Hill of West Mercia Police said, 'Although Herefordshire is one of the safest counties to live in, communities may be worried about possible antisocial behaviour at this time of year and we are particularly concerned with elderly or vulnerable residents feeling intimidated by unwanted trick or treating.'

West Mercia would like to remind residents of a few simple steps for staying safe:

You have the right to say no to trick or treaters.
Always engage your safety chain before opening the door.
Always ask for identification from official callers.
Do not let anyone in your house until you are happy with their identity.
Do not deal with doorstep sales people unless you are sure they are genuine.
If you need goods or services, only buy from reputable suppliers or by recommendation.

Parents taking their children out trick or treating are asked to show respect and consideration to residents and to move on if they see the yellow Hallowe'en poster displayed in a home.

So for those who prefer not to be disturbed this Hallowe'en, simply pick up a specially designed 'No Trick or Treat' poster from a Police Station or Local Policing Team or download the poster below and clearly display it in a window or on a door.

Please feel free to download this poster to print out and stick in your window this Hallowe'en.
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