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Local fund raisers, Steve 'Ozzy' Bond, Garry Davies, friends and family have, over the last 11 months raised a staggering amount of money for Acorns Children's Hospice by staging a whole host of events to boost the charities funds. This group of people deserve everybody's congratulations for their hard work. However, they say that they couldn't have done all of this without the help of a few people who lent their support to their endeavours and on Tuesday, 16th November the group made a few presentations at the Man of Ross Inn to say, 'Thank you.'

The Ross-on-Wye unit of the St. John Ambulance were presented with a cheque for £180 for being in attendance at the recent charity football match between Ross All Stars and Aston Villa Veterans, amongst others events and the team are grateful for their support.

Alan Wood (whoever that is ;) ) was presented by Ross Town Mayor, Councillor Jo Lane with a cheque for £77 to thank him for publicizing and covering all of the events. We really enjoyed covering these fun events guys. There really was no need for you to do that but we appreciate it very much and are looking forward to your next event, a quiz at the Man of Ross on Sunday, 12th December.

Geof Jones was presented with a certificate for producing the programme for the football match and for publicity and, Mark Hazelwood, aka Powie received a certificate for allowing the group to hold most of their events at the Man of Ross.

The team have enjoyed their fund raising for Acorns so much that they already have a whole range of fun ideas to raise even more money next year. Keep reading Wyenot News for details of what is happening and when.

Derek Phillips presents a representative from the St. John Ambulance with a cheque.

Ross Town Mayor, Councillor Jo Lane presents Alan with a cheque.

Rebecca Edney presents a certificate to Geof Jones for his help with printing etc.

Carole Crowe presents the groups favourite host, Powie, with a certificate for allowing many of their fund raising activities to take place at the Man of Ross.

24th November 2010 WYENOT GET TOGETHERY...............

Plans to put on an event showcasing Ross-on-Wye's businesses and talented people are now well underway and there has been a lot of interest from people wanting to take part. A provisional date has been set as Saturday, 25th June 2011, although this has yet to be confirmed.

Local food and drink producers, shop keepers, dance groups, charities, crafts people, bands etc. are all invited to contact me if interested in having a stall, performing, assisting with the smooth running or sponsoring this event which is being organized to show the world what Ross-on-Wye and the surrounding area has to offer. Pitches will be available at very reasonable rates.

As mentioned in a previous issue of Wyenot News, this event is not designed to replace JAMSTAND. The work Jack Baldus and his team did was fantastic and nothing could replace the brilliant events they put on for the town for three great years. What we are hoping to do is to provide a great day out for everybody, with lots of entertainment going, including live music from the very best of local bands.

If you are interested in taking part in or helping with this event, please email me as soon as possible at

Thank you.


Jesse Norman, MP highlighted the 'serious and growing problem' of lack of sheltered housing in Herefordshire in a debate in the House of Commons last week.

Jesse said, 'We have a large elderly population that is increasing as a share of the population, and it includes an increasing number of frail people. The removal of the warden service from sheltered accommodation is a serious local issue, on which I have campaigned for three years. The warden service is vital, not only for its early warning service, but for the human touch that it provides for those in sheltered accommodation. There has been more than one case in which a resident has been discovered several days after they have passed away because of the lack of a regular on-site warden. All too often, sheltered accommodation is used for families who do not require it and to accommodate people with mental illness, who would be better accommodated in specialist dwellings designed for their needs.'

Jesse also praised the work of the Sheltered Housing Tenants Umbrella Group in campaigning on this issue. He told the House that with his assistance, SHTUG had brought a legal suit to force Herefordshire Housing to restore the Warden service that had been removed, which failed on a technicality of law. He paid particular tribute to Shirley Baldwin, who ran SHTUG at the time, and to Lil Jones and Nancy Evans, in whose names the group received legal aid to pursue the case. Finally, he called for more vigorous enforcement of tenants' rights by statutory agencies, better treatment for those with mental illness, and for more sheltered accommodation to be constructed as part of a wider national renewal in housing.

The debate can be found online at

24th November 2010 CHRISTMAS IS COMING.........................

We suddenly realized that Christmas is almost upon us when there was knock at the door, followed by a polite request of 'Alan, could we borrow your ladder, please? The request came from Kieran Evans-Baldwin who lives next door. Every year Kieran, aged 15, along with his brothers John, 18 and Ben, 16, put Christmas lights up on the outside of their house, contributing to the bright spectacle that Three Crosses Road makes from early December each year. The boys have always done the work themselves, with no other help and they do such a brilliant job, we thought that they deserved a special mention.

Thanks for brightening up the street every year boys and thank you for reminding us that Christmas is nearly here. We'd better get our skates on.

John Evans-Baldwin holds the ladder steady whilst his brother, Kieran fixes up the lights.

Testing in the dark.


Refuse collectors have been working longer hours today to make up for lost time due to a number of batteries being stolen from refuse collection lorries over the weekend.

The thefts, which occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning, delayed crews leaving the depot in Hereford on Monday while new batteries and wiring were secured for 22 vehicles during the morning. Returning crews were dispatched to cover other rounds and Focsa, the council's refuse collection contractor, believes virtually all the collections due to take place today will have been collected by later this evening. However, if anyone has missed their collection, they are being asked to either telephone 01432 260051 or email and the council will arrange collection as soon as possible.

Police are now investigating the thefts and anyone with information should contact West Mercia Police on 0300 333 3000.


The council's healthy schools adviser checked out the standard of school dinners at Goodrich CE School during National School Meals week as the Goodrich School Meals Association celebrated 30 years of providing hot lunches.

School governors and friends of the school were all invited to join the children for lunch on Tuesday, 9th November and given the opportunity to sample a delicious roast turkey dinner and fruit pudding. The empty plates were a testament to the good quality of the food, although guests had been warned from the outset that dirty plates would be unacceptable!

Most of the county's schools offer their pupils a two course hot meal. At an average cost of 2 per day, the meals represent good value for money and are packed with healthy nutritious food to aid physical development, enhance learning and boost concentration levels in the classroom. The council works with kitchen staff and catering companies to make sure that food standards are complied with. All meals have to be 75 per cent freshly prepared, 50 per cent local produce and 30 per cent organic in line with the national Food for Life criteria.

Goodrich CE School, just outside Ross-on-Wye has always provided hot lunches for its pupils and, thanks to parent power thirty years ago, refused to relinquish its kitchen when many schools were converting kitchen space into classrooms. The school's children are served fresh food from Kate's kitchen every day. Kate Winter is a previous pupil at the school and now manages the daily task of providing around 80 hot lunches and healthy puddings a day.

'We have always enjoyed hot meals at Goodrich,' said Rose Buchanan of the Goodrich School Meals Association. 'When many schools closed their kitchens to provide extra classroom space, parents fought to hang on to our kitchen because they realized the benefits of providing a hot lunch and the boost it could give to children's concentration levels, health and well being. Sitting down and enjoying food together also provides other benefits. Friends can sometimes be far more persuasive when it comes to trying new flavours than parents. We're also very much aware that not all children get the opportunity to sit down at a table to eat, but enjoying food collectively allows this to happen.'

Ian Doody of Herefordshire Council said, 'The days of lumpy mash and stewed cabbage are long gone and turkey twizzlers are banned following a nation-wide campaign to make school dinner healthier. Food in schools now includes breakfast clubs, healthy tuck shops, packed lunches, after school clubs and school fund-raising events as well as hot lunches. The council works with schools and catering companies to make sure menus are exciting and varied, and promotes the healthy eating message to pupils across the county.'

For thirty years children have enjoyed a cooked lunch at Goodrich School.


Herefordshire's young people are taking a campaign on the road to tackle the challenge of alcohol abuse amongst teenagers during the build up to Christmas. Alcohol abuse is one of the biggest teenage problems in the eyes of young people locally and nationally. Together with underage and binge drinking, alcohol abuse can cause a whole range of health and social problems, often leading to loss of control and antisocial behaviour.

Young people from the Herefordshire Children's Trust Shadow Board, and Herefordshire Youth Council's Stay Safe at Christmas group, have joined forces to run an intense pre-Christmas campaign. The young campaigners have put together an alcohol awareness pack containing information and lots of free goodies which will be distributed from a campaign trailer which is being taken around the county. Young people can visit the trailer, pick up their packs, try out beer goggles, take part in a quiz and explore some hard-hitting facts about the affects of alcohol. Funding for the campaign has come from the Herefordshire Children's Trust, a partnership of organizations including Herefordshire Council, NHS Herefordshire, the police and voluntary groups: the topic was chosen by the young people themselves.

Last year nationally, almost 5000 young people were hospitalised from drinking and 9000 young people received treatment for alcohol abuse at the roadside. In Herefordshire, the number of people admitted to hospital as a result of alcohol or alcohol related injuries was 638 and 18 of these were under 18. The young people spearheading Herefordshire's campaign are also concerned about the effects of alcohol and how it can lead to altered decision making, particularly in relation to sexual behaviour.

As Alexandra Lennon-Mills from the Shadow Board explains, 'We aren't trying to tell teenagers to stop drinking all together. We are giving them the facts about what drinking does to you and what the dangers are, and leaving them to decide what to do. We have worked hard to come up with fun activities rather than a boring lecture where you can find out facts and have fun at the same time.'

David Sanders, Chair of Herefordshire Children's Trust said, 'This project demonstrates the maturity of many of our young people in Herefordshire. They see an issue around irresponsible or uninformed behaviour by people of their own age and want to do something about it. Their approach is different as they believe that messages are likely to have a greater impact if they come from people of their own age range. They have talked to professionals from Safer Herefordshire and are determined to help other young people by tackling the issues head on.'

The campaign trailer will be visiting the following venues:

Ross on Wye, Market Hall on Saturday, 27th November from 10am until 4pm
Hereford, High Town on Saturday, 4th December from 11am until 3pm
Kington, Lady Hawkins High School on Thursday, 9th December from 1.20 until 2.15pm
Leominster, Corn Square on Saturday, 11th December from 11am until 3pm
Bromyard, Queen Elizabeth High School Thursday, 16th December from 12 Noon until 1.30pm and Ledbury, Market Place on Saturday, 18th December from 11am until 3pm.


To complement the Christmas events that are being held in Ross-on-Wye in December, a Local Author event will be taking place at Ross Heritage Centre from Friday, 3rd until Sunday, 5th December and local authors and publishers have been invited to display their local books to sell. In fact, if you have published a book and you would like to take part in the event, why not telephone Ross Heritage Centre for further information and an application form? You may well sell a few copies.

Heather Hurley's new book, 'Green Lanes of Herefordshire' will also be launched that weekend and there will be opportunities to get your own signed copy hot off the press.' There will also be the opportunity to purchase the new Civic Society 'Aspects of Ross' book and 'The History of Lea School' both of which have been launched in the past few weeks.

Visitors to the Heritage Centre will also have the opportunity to buy some new novels and biographies written by local people, amongst lots of other titles and topics, all of which will make ideal Christmas gifts, especially if, as hoped, some of the authors will be available to sign copies during the weekend.

Charity Christmas Card shop, 'Cards for good causes' will also be open and there will be plenty of local crafts and cards, which are very reasonably priced with unique designs. June Barker, a local artist, will also be holding her annual exhibition and sale of art at the same time.

All in all there will be the opportunity to support local people with your gift buying this year, all under one roof. The weekend will provide an opportunity for visitors to buy stocking fillers and other bargains before the Heritage Centre closes for a refit in the New Year.

If you would like to attend the event, the Heritage Centre will be open from 10:30am until 4:30pm daily, Tuesdays to Sundays. The Heritage Centre can be contacted on 01432 260675 or just call in during opening hours.


Children at Llangrove CE Primary School really enjoy their lessons in the woods as the school embraces its new Forest School learning. Class teacher Isobel Parkinson explains: 'The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals through positive outdoor experiences. The children love getting dressed up in their wellies and waterproofs; they have so much fun learning in the woodland setting, which helps them to become more confident.'

Pupils are often joined by pre-school children from Leapfrogs nursery, also based at the school, and enjoy a variety of activities including: cooking, story time in the log circle, climbing trees, den making, learning to tie different knots and digging in a muddy discovery area.

A Local Authority Review in September was very complimentary about the Early Years Foundation Stage (4 - 7 years) provision at Llangrove. It reported that: 'Children have settled into school routines quickly due to the welcoming atmosphere and calm manner of the staff . Positive relationships with parents / carers are encouraged by staff.

Early Years Foundation Stage provides an interesting and stimulating environment both indoors and outdoors. Children seem happy and relaxed and were confident and motivated.'

Llangrove CE Primary School children enjoying story-time and the soup they prepared and cooked outside in their forest area.

24th November 2010 PLEASE ONLY USE A & E IN AN EMERGENCYY.....

NHS Herefordshire and Hereford Hospitals NHS Trust are urging people to seek medical help from the most appropriate source as there is mounting pressure for beds at the County Hospital and the county's community hospitals.

Although the annually expected winter increase in the number of hospital beds needed has arrived, with 42 emergency admissions on Sunday and a further 54 on Monday, there is growing pressure on hospital beds across Herefordshire. The organizations have advised county GPs that they should consider other options rather than a hospital admission for patients where appropriate and county residents are being urged to consider whether a trip to the County Hospital Emergency Department is the most appropriate option.

Tim Tomlinson, interim director of nursing and operations at Hereford Hospitals NHS Trust, said that many minor symptoms and ailments presented at hospital could be treated quickly and easily by accessing other NHS services. 'People can get advice on their condition from a variety of sources, including their local pharmacist, GP or the GP Walk in Centre at Asda in Hereford and other Minor Injury Units across the county,' he said. 'Many illnesses and injuries can be treated at home by using medicines from your local pharmacy, shop or supermarket. Your local pharmacist can give advice and help you choose what medicines you need. It's important to look out for elderly neighbours and relatives as winter approaches as it is important to maintain a high fluid intake and stay warm.'

Those with toothache or gum problems are being advised to visit their local dentist or one of the county's dental access centres - details of the centre's can be obtained by telephoning 01432 363971.

'This is the time of year when many people catch a cold or suffer from the flu,' said Sue Doheny, director of clinical leadership and quality at NHS Herefordshire. Our advice under these circumstances is to use NHS Direct which can offer health advice over the telephone 24 hours a day. Contact NHS Direct if you feel ill, are injured or have any questions about your health. NHS Direct can be contacted by telephoning 0330 123 9303 or by visiting'

NHS Herefordshire, Herefordshire Council and the Hereford Hospitals Trust have plans to cope with pressures on beds and they are currently working together. These plans include transferring patients to nursing homes where appropriate.

24th November 2010 WALK THIS WYE BOOK LAUNCHED.....................

The Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) recently launched a new edition of the 'Walk this Wye' book at Brockweir Village Shop.

The book contains twelve new walks to enjoy in the Forest of Dean, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire, from a gentle stroll to a healthy ten mile stride through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Wye Valley. This edition is different to many walk books in that it provides walks which can all be sourced by public transport.

Nikki Moore, Wye Valley AONB Information Officer was positive about the emphasis on the use of local buses and trains to access the countryside and said, 'We need to promote and encourage the use of public transport as the ever increasing number of cars on our small, narrow roads impacts on our environment and on the landscape. Transport officers from both England and Wales have always been very supportive in the production of the book and we hope to encourage more walkers to use these services.'

Walk this Wye is also unique in that many of the walks have been researched and produced by volunteer walkers who have committed their ideas and a huge amount of time and energy to the project. Bridget Vine, a volunteer contributor commented, 'It's really rewarding to see all our walks in print and surely is a good way to promote the Wye Valley area.'

Ashley Thomas, Wye Valley AONB Joint Advisory Chairman spoke at length about the importance of recognizing a superb landscape and the encouragement of getting people out to enjoy the views. It was also great news that at the launch of this book the news broke that the River Wye had been voted best UK river by the Our Rivers campaign to celebrate the nations' rivers and highlight threats to wildlife. The Wye beat the Thames, Dart and Great Ouse to first position. The awards, backed by WWF Cymru, RSPB, Angling Trust and the Salmon and Trout Association, were launched in August and thousands of people cast their votes online for the rivers they love, and for those which need urgent attention.

The Wye was described as 'magical and timeless. It is a stunning river which captures the imagination of everyone who visits it.' Those who live and work in the Wye Valley have always known it has a special quality and books like Walk this Wye will promote the enjoyment and knowledge of the river valley to all. Together with comprehensive tourism and travel information this is a real gem of information for visitors and local walkers and will be available from local Tourist Information Centres, bookshops and retailers as well as online from the Wye Valley AONB office at Hadnock Road, Monmouth.

Any retailers who wish to sell copies, please contact the Wye Valley AONB. Beautifully illustrated, with detailed walk maps, tourism and transport information and retailing at 2.60 per copy including postage and packaging it provides really good value and would make a great Christmas stocking filler.

To order your copy please contact Nikki Moore on 01600 710846 or email

Celebrating the launch of 'Walk This Wye.'


A special poster competition has been launched by Herefordshire Council for the county's youngsters and the winning design will be seen on refuse and recycling collection lorries as the travel throughout the county. To take part in the competition, youngsters must design a poster to encourage Herefordshire residents to think about the 3 Rs; Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

The competition has two categories; one for primary schools and one for high schools. The winner in each category will receive a 100 prize for their school, whilst runners-up will get prizes such as compost bins, reusable bags and pencils made from recycled products.

Councillor John Jarvis, of Herefordshire Council said, 'There are 2,044 miles of roads in the county so the winning designs will certainly be seen far and wide and I'm sure pupils will have great fun in coming up with creative ideas. Recycling rates continue to rise in the county but we can all do more and I am hoping pupils will come up with some eye-catching designs to help us get the message across.

As part of our commitment to reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill, we encourage residents to reduce the amount of waste they produce by only buying the food they need, reusing items where possible or donating them to charity shops, and recycle using their wheeled bins or sack collection. If we all work together to promote the 3 Rs, this will reduce the impact our activities have on the environment and help to reduce global warming.'

Designs for posters need to be in A3 landscape format, two dimensional and full colour. Text should be bold and simple and include the 3 Rs. Only one entry is allowed per child and the artist's name, age and school need to be written on the back of each poster design.

The deadline for entries is Friday, 21st January. Please send them to Laura Blackwell, Waste Management, PO Box 167, Plough Lane, Hereford, HR4 OWY.


Shoppers across Herefordshire are being reminded that they can take advantage of free parking on council-owned car parks in Hereford city during late night shopping in the run up to Christmas.

Free car parking will again be allowed in Hereford on car parks Herefordshire Council runs after 4pm on Wednesdays. A number of city centre shops will stay open late next Wednesday, 24th November, with more shops joining in the following week and running until Wednesday, 22nd December.

These concessions do not apply to any of the private car parks within Hereford.


The final stage of an ideas competition managed by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will be going on public display in Hereford Butter Market from Monday, 29th November until Friday, 10th December.

Visitors to the exhibition will have an opportunity to examine the finalists' ideas and give their comments. The exhibition will also be available to view on the internet by visiting Len Tawn, chairman of the Hereford Butter Market Independent Traders Association, encouraged as many people as possible to get along and have their say. 'This is an ideal opportunity for everyone to express their views on the future theme of the Butter Market,' he said.

Jonathan Bretherton, Hereford Futures chief executive said, 'This much loved market stands at the heart of the Hereford retail and tourism experience. Judging by the imaginative and inventive ideas which have been short listed, we envisage very exciting times ahead. These are proposals which would put the market firmly at the centre of the planned enhanced retail and tourism offer in Hereford.'

Councillor Adrian Blackshaw said getting the design right is crucial in order to create a market which benefits existing retailers, producers and businesses and this competition will help to inform that process. 'The concept is for a high quality landmark facility for our established market retailers which is devoted to the best that Herefordshire has to offer, ' he said. 'The Butter Market will become a must see destination for tourists or anyone visiting the county or the city.'

To deliver the refurbishment of the Butter Market, Hereford Futures is seeking a preferred developer which will work in partnership with Herefordshire Council on this important project. Both the winner of the RIBA competition and the preferred developer will be announced in March next year when a design, reflecting elements of the winning idea, will be produced.

An impression of how the Butter Market might look.


After a major revamp, one of Hereford's premier shopping streets is to be officially reopened, right on schedule for Christmas. Widemarsh Street, Hereford has been dramatically refurbished as part of the council's promotion of the city centre as a shopping and tourist destination. Work has been completed on schedule after improvements started at the beginning of the year.

The official reopening will take place on Saturday, 4th December at 4pm by Councillor John Stone, chairman of the council, as part of a festive celebration, which includes a dusk parade of lanterns by local children. On the same day, workshops run by the council's heritage services will involve youngsters in making lanterns at Hereford Museum and Art Gallery from 1pm. They will also listen to stories at the historic Old House and create a timeline of Hereford at the Butter Market in High Town.

Youngsters will then be taking their lanterns and meeting outside the Old House at 3.45pm to join a lantern-lit procession through High Town and down Widemarsh Street. The procession will include the chairman of Herefordshire Council, the Mayor of Hereford, Councillor Anna Toon and a town crier, to meet Councillor Brian Wilcox ready for the official opening ceremony at 4pm. There will be refreshments in Widemarsh Street, brief speeches, then a ribbon cutting and an unveiling of a plaque to celebrate the refurbishment. The formal event ends at 4.30pm after 15 minutes of communal Christmas singing led by the choir - the Golden Valley Singers.

From Sunday, 5th December until Monday, 3rd January the festivities continue with two traditional fairground rides; a reconditioned wooden horse carousel and a helter skelter ride, surrounded by real Christmas trees in Widemarsh Street. This means that Widemarsh Street, while remaining open for deliveries and taxis, will reopen for general traffic on Tuesday, 4th January.

Councillor Wilcox said, 'The reaction to the new look Widemarsh Street has been extremely positive from local people and the businesses operating in the city centre. The investment in this important gateway to High Town is all part of our vision to promote Hereford as the destination of choice for shoppers within the county and from other parts of the West Midlands and Wales, which in turn benefits our local economy.

I am grateful for the patience and support of local retailers and pedestrians while the necessary construction work was undertaken and I am delighted that we now have a very attractive landmark street, with an innovative streetscape design that was finished on time and within budget.'


Herefordshire Council has been asked by the Department for Education to host an event to showcase the council's groundbreaking approach to helping families across the county.

The government is interested in the work that the council, health professionals and other agencies are doing to support families who have multiple problems, particularly those who have children on the edge of care and who are difficult to connect with. Around 140,000 families in the UK experience multiple disadvantages (five or more selected disadvantages). Analysis suggests they contribute almost two thirds of permanent school exclusion, one in five youth offences, over a third have children subject to child protection proceedings whilst their parents are 34 times more likely to need drug treatment and eight times more likely to need alcohol treatment.

Because these families experience, and contribute to, such a wide range of social problems they can be can be targeted by anything up to 20 overlapping, programmes, funding streams and agencies. This has been shown to be both ineffective and cost local services up to 250,000 to 330,000 per family per year, compared to an average cost of family intervention at around 8,000 to 14,000 per family.

Family intervention quite literally places the family first, with a dedicated worker engaging directly with family members and helping them cope with the sometimes bewildering challenges they face. A recent evaluation of projects across the country reported:

A halving of offending and antisocial behaviour, a reduction in family violence by 70 per cent, an improvement in financial stability from 23 per cent to 51 per cent, attendance issues halved, and the group considered to be high risk, i.e. attending less than 50 per cent of the time, reduced two thirds. Young carers in families have been reduced by more than a third.

As the coalition government is keen to encourage local authorities and partner organizations to share good practice and experiences, the Department for Education asked the council to host this exciting event and showcase some of the work done to date. Senior managers, cabinet members and professionals from other local authorities in the West Midlands and from other neighbouring authorities are being invited to the event which will take place at the Freedom Centre, Hereford on Friday, 26th November. Funded and promoted by the Department for Education, families expert, Wendy Weal will be representing the Department for Education.

The event will begin with some creative performances from a group of young people who have written and produced their own music and dance presentations to impress the audience. Following introductions a number of workshops are being organized for delegates to choose from. The day is also about networking and sharing ideas, so a market place environment will be created where people can enjoy refreshments, talk about case studies and exchange contact details.

The event is open to anyone who has an interest in providing support for children and families, and although it is free, bookings need to be made on the Department for Education's web site:

'Our approach to providing families with help has already produced excellent results in Bromyard,' said David Sanders, interim director of children's services for Herefordshire Council. 'Families spend less time telling their story to different professionals, and don't have to travel to different venues in the county to get help. In addition, holding one regular meeting of professionals to discuss a number of families at a time reduces costs, and makes information sharing and planning for support much easier and effective. We have also developed this model in Ledbury, Mortimer and Leominster, Woebley and Kingon, Hereford, Golden Valley and Kingstone and Ross-on-Wye areas.

We are delighted that the Department for Education has asked us to host this event as it gives us an opportunity to establish links with colleagues in other local authorities and raise the profile of some of the innovative work we are doing in Herefordshire locally and regionally.'

24th November 2010 THE HAFTA AWARDS............................

Rehearsals are in full swing as Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire prepare to celebrate the achievements of the county's looked after children. The county currently has 206 children who are looked after by the council, around 60 more than last year, and the number continues to increase. Last year more than 200 people attended the SHINE awards, and this year's event scheduled for later this month, promises to be even bigger.

The event has been aptly named the HAFTAs (Herefordshire's Awards for Top Achievers) by the young people themselves and 17 year old Mark Jones has also produced a logo which features in all the invitations and programmes to be issued on the night. As always, the evening promises to be a veritable feast of entertainment.

Hereford's Music Pool, with funding from the national charity Sing Up, has been working with children in care, providing workshops for all ages: the youngest participant is just one year old and the oldest is fourteen. To showcase what they have learned, the children have just recorded their own album and will give a premiere performance of some of the tracks from their album at the HAFTAS. In addition, Voices2Bheard, a group of 14-17 year olds who have got together specially for the annual event, will be performing their own unique version of Sweet Child of Mine, I'll Be There for You and Soul Sister, amongst others. There will also be lots of movement, excitement and energy as some of the young people show off their dancing skills.

The main part of the evening will be the award ceremony attended by Herefordshire Council Cabinet members Jenny Hyde and Philip Price. Nominations for awards are invited from teachers, social workers and foster carers and can be for a wide range of achievements including academic performance, personal development, or for acts of kindness.

Councillor Jenny Hyde said, 'We are incredibly proud of all our children and young people. Herefordshire Council takes its corporate parenting role very seriously and like all parents and carers, wants to celebrate the successes and accomplishments of its children and young people. They all make significant achievements throughout the year and the HAFTAs is a fantastic opportunity to come together and celebrate these achievements.

I am really looking forward to this event. Our children and young people have been through so much in their lives and it is very important that we take time to reward them and celebrate when we can.'

Mark Jones who designed the logo for the HAFTAs.


Plans to share corporate functions with the Primary Care Trust and the County Hospital, thereby save millions of pounds were approved at the council's Full Council meeting which took place on Friday, 19th November.

The move, which was earlier agreed by Hereford Hospitals NHS Trust and NHS Herefordshire, will save the county 33 million over the next ten years. It means a new joint venture company could be set up in Herefordshire by April 2011. This will be the first of its kind in the UK and an innovative response to the government's spending review.

The savings secured by sharing information technology, finance, human resources, procurement, expenses and payroll, revenues and benefits will be reinvested in protecting essential public services in Herefordshire. The move is prompted by the need to protect services for the most vulnerable members of the community, including Herefordshire's ageing population and children looked after by the local authority.

A shadow board will be set up with senior representatives from each of the organizations to oversee the development of the new operation. 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.


Herefordshire Council has agreed in principle to carry out a poll on a relief road for Hereford, and officers will be asked to advise on the practicalities, legal issues, possible date and costs. Councillors supported a motion by leader of Herefordshire Council, Councillor Roger Phillips, to poll people in Herefordshire with a question on the construction of a road around the city. All group leaders will be consulted on the proposals for a poll.

Previous consultations have shown that nearly 80 per cent of residents would support a relief road, together with a range of other transport improvements. Earlier this year over 5,000 people participated in the Shaping Our Place consultation and generally supported a blueprint package to create more communities, affordable housing, better paid jobs, enterprise and an improved transport infrastructure for the city. Public meetings and exhibitions have been undertaken since then with parish councils and local groups. The deadline for views on these plans for Hereford had been extended to the date of the full council meeting, Friday, 19th November.

According to the council, a relief road is just part of a wide range of measures designed to support economic growth, prosperity and quality of life. But the road has long been regarded as a priority by residents if Hereford is to avoid a future of gridlock misery. In September 2009, a study jointly commissioned by the Highways Agency and Herefordshire Council concluded that many key road junctions would grind to a halt without a relief road, which would work successfully whether it ran to the east or the west of the city.

A relief road will enable the re-routing of commercial and longer distance traffic, which does not need to access the centre of the city, and enable a step change in sustainable transport journeys, which can be provided within the existing highway network. Other benefits include a reduction of problems with air quality and afford the council more control in managing the existing transport network.

24th November 2010 BELMONT GOLF COURSE BURGLEDY.........

Herefordshire Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a Herefordshire golf club was burgled in the early hours of Sunday, 14th November.

At approximately 3am a vehicle, possibly a 4x4, was seen driving onto the site of the Belmont Golf Course near Belmont, Hereford, and leaving soon after. In the intervening minutes, an equipment shed was broken into and two leaf blowers stolen. Both were marked with the letters 'BGC'.

PC Dean Wall, who is investigating the burglary said, 'These two items were expensive and useful pieces of equipment and we are doing our best to retrieve them for the Belmont Golf Course. Both are easily recognisable because they are marked with the initials of the club, so if anyone has seen these blowers, or been offered them for sale, then please contact me. I would also like to speak to anyone who may have seen a 4x4 acting suspiciously in the Belmont area.'

PC Wall can be contacted at Hereford Police Station via the West Mercia Police non-emergency line, 0300 333 3000. Information can also be passed on anonymously via the 0800 555 111 Crimestoppers number.

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