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If you are wondering what on earth to do once Christmas Day is over, the left over turkey is eaten and the new games and presents tried out, why not go along to the White Lion Inn at Wilton on Boxing Night?

Dave and Jacqui Newman, Landlords of the White Lion are having a fun night at their lovely riverside inn where you can enjoy a game or two of bingo or 'Play Your Cards Right.' The pub usually holds a quiz on Sunday evenings but it was decided to host a fun evening to which all are welcome.

The evening begins at 7:30, so get yourself down there early to find yourself a seat by the lovely log fire. Grab yourself a pint of good real ale or glass of Dave's special mulled wine, a mere snip at £2.70 per glass, before you set your eyes down to cross off those numbers. After the bingo there will be the popular TV game 'Play Your Cards Right,' which promises to be a whole lot of fun. Go along and watch those dollies do their dealing.

All are welcome to attend and Dave and Jacqui look forward to welcoming you.

Merry Christmas.

22nd December 2010


The pupils of Llangrove School at work.

Llangrove CE Primary School is celebrating changes to the future management of the school from January 2011.

Peter Box and Paul Whitcombe (joint Head Teachers of the Herefordshire Marches Foundation group of schools) will take over as joint Executive Head Teachers at Llangrove from January and will work with the existing staff to quickly take the school forward.

The Herefordshire Marches Foundation (HMF) which comprises Lord Scudamore Primary School in Hereford, Sutton Primary School and Kings Caple Primary School, is already extremely successful and in a very short time has established itself as dynamic and high performing.

The Governors at Llangrove CE Primary School are working towards the school becoming the fourth and final school in the partnership. The Federation or partnering of schools in this way provides a progressive and sustainable new model of education for the future and the HMF is blazing a trail in this respect. Therefore with their help the future looks very bright for Llangrove CE Primary School and they are looking forward to the New Year with great optimism.

Chair of Governors at Llangrove, Janet Taylor said, 'I am delighted that we can look forward to a settled and prosperous future. With the help and support of our partner schools we can build on Llangrove's success whilst retaining the unique character of our lovely village school. The opportunities for teachers and staff liaison and development are tremendous, as they are for children to find new friends and to enjoy combined and new educational experiences.

We welcome Peter Box and Paul Whitcombe to lead the school into a bright future.'


Do you have any good ideas for measures that would benefit Ross-on-Wye? If so, you are most welcome to attend a special open house meeting of the RoWToP Progress Group on Thursday, 6th January to consider suggestions from any resident of Ross on how best to implement the 32 proposals listed in the Town Plan.

Following publication of the Ross Town Plan, and its adoption by the Town Council, the RoWToP group responsible for the production of the Plan has been changed to a progress group to monitor the implementation of its proposals. The group wants more input from residents who identified what they wanted and are willing to help make things happen. Secretary of the new group, Councillor Caroline Utting points out that the implementation of proposals contained in the Town Plan is just as important as the production of the Plan.

The time is ripe. The Government is pushing for more control of local affairs to be delegated to town and parish councils. Meanwhile, Herefordshire Council has confirmed that the Ross Town Plan will form additional planning guidance in future planning issues. The Town Council has started to act on a number of proposals which can be activated in the short term before a new Council is elected in May. It has included a sum of money in its annual budget to fund proposals in the Town Plan.

A special subcommittee is looking at the development of a riverside picnic site, and the provision of more allotments. Because of a dearth of land available for allotments the development of community gardens is also being investigated. It is proposed that the Town Council sets up a database to bring gardens and gardeners together on a land share basis.

Meanwhile the Ross Sports and Leisure Federation continues to work on plans to improve the town’s sporting facilities, particularly the Wilton Sports Centre. It is looking at plans to introduce outdoor tennis tables at selected sites and the development of petanque (boules) 'pistes' for public use. The Federation is also working on the launch of a cinema club to help meet the strong demand for a local cinema expressed in the Town Plan questionnaire.

Councillor John Edwards, chairman of the Sports Federation and treasurer of the Progress Group said the Federation was making good progress behind the scenes. He was, for example, very happy with the help they had provided in the formation of the new Tudorville Community Association. The transfer of ownership of the Tudorville Centre by the Herefordshire Council to the Association had set a good precedent for other developments within Ross.

One of the topics to be raised at the meeting on 6th January will be possible changes to the current one-way system. However the meeting at the Larruperz Centre, which will start at 7.l5 p.m., will provide an opportunity to discuss the whole range of proposals aimed at improving the future for Ross.


Herefordshire's Trading Standards Team has announced worrying results after two underage sales operations across the county. The underage sales operations were a joint initiative with West Mercia Police and saw the organizations working with teenage volunteers who entered local pubs, clubs and off-licences to attempt to purchase alcohol.

During this month, 25 different premises were visited by the volunteers with 15 premises correctly challenging for identification. Worryingly, however, the volunteers were sold alcohol in 10 of the licensed premises. On a more positive note, the earlier part of the operation carried out in August and September, revealed less of a problem with only three out of the 53 off-licences visited selling alcohol to the underage volunteers.

Leah Wilson, trading standards officer said, 'Antisocial behaviour incidents and admissions to A&E are often fuelled by alcohol. Statistics show that children as young as 13 are ending up at A&E sometimes during the early hours of Saturdays and Sundays. We're aiming to reduce such incidents by ensuring young people are unable to illegally purchase alcohol.'

Although the Christmas and New Year period is a busy time for licensed premises, they are still urged to carefully check identification to ensure their customers are over 18 and legally allowed to purchase and consume alcohol. To report illegal trading or request further advice and information, contact Leah Wilson via 01432 261761 or

22nd December 2010


Anabel Roberts with CSO Dick Alford, Headteacher, Dorrie Coates and
PC Jo Ellis.

Christmas may be just around the corner, but one young girl from West Herefordshire is still celebrating Halloween after she won a colouring in competition used by West Mercia Police to promote safety messages at Halloween.

Primary school children were asked to colour in their own versions of the 'Have a Safe Halloween' poster produced by West Mercia Police, which passes on messages about staying safe and respecting people's privacy when out trick-or-treating. In total, 223 children sent in their posters and a winner was chosen by Deputy Chief Constable David Shaw for each policing area - Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire.

Anabel Roberts, aged 8, of Brilley, near the Welsh border, was selected as the winner for Herefordshire. She received a visit at Almeley Primary School from her local policing team and was given her prize of a £20 book token.

Local policing officer for the Kington Rural area, PC Jo Ellis said, 'The colouring in competition was a very useful tool for getting young children to take notice of our trick-or-treating messages, such as always going with an adult, not talking to strangers and not bothering those households where there is a sign saying 'No Trick or treat'.

It was great to see so many young people took part and we received many excellent and very colourful entries. I was really pleased to see a child from my patch had won and it was a pleasure to meet Anabel and hand over her prize. She was thrilled to have won.'


Herefordshire Council is encouraging local communities to tap into European funding which can be used for a variety of projects, which includes improving the quality of life, making services easier to access and enhancing the distinctiveness of an area. The money will come from the Herefordshire LEADER programme which is funded from European Union and Defra coffers via the Rural Development Programme for England. .

Under the scheme, funds are available to help to:

· Enable local communities to develop and implement actions to improve the quality of life of those living and working in rural Herefordshire.
· Enable local communities to develop and access the services they need in their area.
· Support and improve local democratic structures to meet the needs of local communities.
· Training local people to meet identified skill gaps and encourage enterprise.
· Enhance and maintain the distinctiveness of the countryside, including cultural, historic and natural environment.

The funding is limited, but the scheme offers up to 70 per cent of the total eligible project costs, up to a maximum of £5,000. It is expected that successful projects will contain a level of public, voluntary and private match funding, either cash or in kind.

Proposed projects need to meet certain criteria to be successful. The council's LEADER programme team are happy to give advice and help people to fill in the forms. Projects need to be community led and come from community groups, voluntary organizations or social enterprises with a written constitution and a bank account - parish councils can apply, but private individuals or businesses cannot.

Eligible projects will:

· Take place in and benefit the people of Herefordshire (excluding Hereford City).
· Demonstrate good value for money.
· Come from and involve the community.
· Be new and not duplicate existing services.
· Not be for statutory activities or promote political or religious activities.

'These grants can make vital differences to the quality of life and services available in our many varied communities across the county,' said Wendy Coombey, Chair of the Herefordshire LEADER Local Action Group. 'For example, the grants could be used to support social enterprise opportunities, supporting the development of wildlife areas or enhancing public spaces for community use.

These grants have been used so far to help improve facilities at a farm used as a training resource, support community transport schemes and to increase opportunities for young people in very isolated rural areas.'

Communities interested in finding out further information on the scheme should contact Dawn Turner at Herefordshire Council on 01432 383023, or via e-mail: The deadline for applications is 4.30pm on 21st February 2011.

22nd December 2010 MAKING YOUR EXPERIENCE COUNT.....................

Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire take pride in offering visitors who call in to their offices and buildings a warm and friendly welcome. The two organizations also aim to answer telephones quickly and deal with inquiries in a courteous and helpful manner.

A new customer charter which lays down what people can expect has been launched, which explains how staff will deal with people who visit one of the buildings, whether they contact them by telephone or e-mail, or when they write to them. The charter also states how the council and PCT will handle complaints.

'People are at the heart of what we are about,' said Lesley Hack, Herefordshire Council's customer services manager. 'We're committed to delivering efficient and excellent services to our residents, visitors and those involved in local businesses. To make sure people know what to expect, we've set out a set of standards in our new customer charter which demonstrates the level of service people can expect from us.'

The new charter states that staff will be professional and courteous, give a welcoming and helpful service, respect customer confidentiality and treat everyone openly, honestly and with respect.

Visitors to public buildings can expect to be seen promptly and telephone calls will be answered within 15 seconds. E-mails and letters will be acknowledged within three working days and responses, where appropriate, will be sent within ten working days.

'In response, we would ask that customers treat our staff politely and courteously and do not cause a nuisance or disturbance,' added Lesley. 'We are always striving to improve the way we do things, so we actively encourage people to well us when we get it wrong, but also to tell us when they have received excellent service.'

Customer services manager Lesley Hack, and customer service officers Emma Addison, Hayley McCormack and Emma Wright at Garrick House.

22nd December 2010 DAREN LOADERS KILLERS JAILEDY......................

Two men have been jailed for their part in the killing of teenager Daren Loader in Hereford last year.

Virunas Kalasnikovas, who had previously pleaded guilty to murder and Grievous Bodily Harm at an earlier hearing was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison for killing Daren and seven years concurrent for wounding a female in the same incident. Andrej Mackevic, a Lithuanian national of no fixed abode, was found guilty of manslaughter after a second trial at Worcester Crown Court. The jury in the first trial earlier this year failed to reach a verdict. They also found him guilty of injuring a female who was with Daren at the time he was attacked.

Mackevic has been jailed for a total of ten years. He was sentenced to ten years minimum for manslaughter and four years for the attack on the female, to run concurrently.

Daren, aged 17, died in March 2009 after being struck by a wooden pole in Western Way, Hereford. His Honour Judge McCreath sitting at Worcester Crown Court carried out the sentencing of both men on Monday, 20th December.


Police are trying to trace two women who left Dusk night club in Commercial Road, Hereford, just before 3am on Saturday, 18th December. The women, who were in the company of two men, stopped to speak to another woman sitting on the night club steps. They showed concern for the lone female who was later sexually assaulted.

Detective Constable Paul Matthews who is investigating the incident said, 'We are keen to trace two women who left Dusk night club just before the club closed in the early hours of Saturday morning at around 3am. These women are not in trouble but we think they may have important information they can pass on to us. They stopped to speak to a woman who was sitting alone on the steps of the club.'

Anyone who has information for police at Hereford should call 0300 333 3000 or Crimestoppers 0800 555111.


Staff, pupils and parents at one of Herefordshire Council's pupil referral units, the Aconbury Centre, have said a sad farewell to Eleanor Christopher, their head teacher, who retires this Christmas.

The Aconbury Centre offers support for secondary school students who are struggling to maintain their place in mainstream schools. During her time at the centre, Eleanor has worked tirelessly to support and care for these young people. Her commitment and vision have led to the centre receiving an outstanding Ofsted Inspection and a recent confirmation of category one status.

Many pupils and their families will remember Mrs Christopher as the person who believed in them and helped them to turn their lives around. She will be remembered by all who know her for her dedication to helping young people and leaves behind a thriving and highly respected Centre. Staff and pupils will hold a special morning on the last day of term, where they will present her with farewell gifts.

In her long teaching career Eleanor also taught at Madley Primary School, was deputy head teacher at Ashfield Park Primary School and worked with the behaviour team.

Eleanor said, 'I will really miss working with the staff team, the parents, and the pupils at the Aconbury.'

Dennis Longmore, of Herefordshire Council said, 'Eleanor has transformed the Aconbury Centre into a truly outstanding Pupil Referral Unit which has helped many students back onto the right path by always put the needs of the students first. She has been a excellent leader of an excellent team. I will miss her both personally and professionally.'

Eleanor Christopher, retiring Head of the Aconbury Centre.


Herefordshire Council has had to move to a more constrained winter weather service due to the impact of the recent bad weather and the effects of what is lining up to be the coldest December for 100 years.

Extremely cold temperatures over the weekend, with some places in Herefordshire reaching as low as -14.5 degrees, mean the council has to be prudent with its salt stocks to ensure priority routes can remain open. In line with its winter service plan, the council has now moved to a constrained level of service focusing on the priority routes. Snow clearance will still be carried out on secondary routes and other places as well.

So far this winter, the council has used 6,000 tonnes of salt and has delivered more than 28,000 miles of gritting. On Monday, 20th December, the council had 1,500 tonnes of salt in stock with a further 420 tonnes being delivered later this week. Regular stocks will continue to arrive from the council's normal supplier and a further 3,000 tonnes of imported salt, which was ordered at the beginning of December, is due to arrive in January. In addition to this the council has put in its bid for some salt from the strategic stockpile held by the Department for Transport, to ensure our resilience throughout.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation said, 'We are monitoring the salt stocks on a daily basis and the extremely cold temperatures over the weekend mean we have to move to the more constrained level of service. Fortunately, the schools have now broken up for Christmas but we will ensure priority routes are gritted. This will ensure our salt stocks will last over the Christmas period and then we will have more salt arriving in January to replenish them.

I would like to thank all in the highway service team who have planned well for winter and have, once again, been working around the clock through the bad weather to keep essential routes open and minimize the risk of accidents on the roads. With more snow and freezing temperatures forecast, I would urge drivers to ensure they plan their routes carefully and log onto and click on the Winter Gritting box for details of our priority routes for treatment. They should also drive according to the conditions, remembering it takes a lot longer to brake in snow and ice.'

Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire said, 'I would like to add my thanks to the gritting teams for all the work they have been doing and will be doing over Christmas and New Year to keep our roads safe and passable.'

Anyone with any particular problems to report with gritting should telephone Streetscene on 01432 261800 or email

22nd December 2010 HUGE HAUL OF ILLEGAL CIGARETTES SEIZEDY............

A recent joint operation between West Mercia Police, HM Revenue & Customs and Herefordshire Council's Trading Standards Service resulted in a massive haul of 300,000 illegal, non duty paid, foreign cigarettes being seized from a small retailer on Eign Street, Hereford. This was a record haul for the county which follows similar successful raids back in September. In addition, a lorry load of non UK duty paid alcohol was seized from the same premises.

Another retailer in Commercial Road, Hereford was also targeted, where officers found illegal cigarettes cunningly hidden in a cavity behind false panels by the counter, ready to sell to regular customers.

Herefordshire Council's regulatory services manager Mike Pigrem said after the raid, 'This is yet another example of excellent partnership working within Herefordshire. The sale of non duty paid or smuggled tobacco and alcohol not only causes severe economic detriment to legitimate local retailers and huge losses in tax revenue to the government, but also makes it more difficult for people wanting to kick the smoking habit.

These non duty paid cigarettes are easily identifiable as they do not carry any of the relevant health warnings on the packet, which is also criminal offence in its own right. Anyone with information on illegal tobacco supplies can contact us in the strictest confidence on 0845 8941008.'

If you would like help and assistance to stop smoking, please contact Herefordshire NHS Stop Smoking Service on 01432 383567.


Westfield Special School in Leominster is celebrating double good news this month, for the school has been awarded a green flag for the third consecutive year at the same time as receiving a positive Ofsted inspection report.

Westfield provides education for children aged 4 to 19 years who have severe learning disabilities. The school has a very strong community ethos and takes pride in its whole school approach to looking after the environment. All the children are actively involved in some aspect of the school's eco culture and they recycle with a passion, grow, cook and eat their own vegetables, and persuade their families to adopt greener practices at home.

Obtaining a green flag is the ultimate accolade and is awarded for specific project work. For this year's flag bid, the children and staff have been working on projects to install new fruit bushes in their garden, spruce up their sensory area and build a greenhouse that promises to take recycling to another level. It is made out of plastic bottles.

Over 1500 plastic bottles have been collected over the last few months and with help from students at neighbouring Wigmore School, the children from Westfield Special School have been busy cutting off the bottoms of bottles and stacking them in preparation for building their green house. Once assembled, seven foot canes are inserted through the bottles to make pillars. Then columns of bottles are secured together to make a greenhouse structure that can be used to grow fruit and vegetables in.

Nicki Gilbert, acting head teacher said, 'We are very excited about our greenhouse project and are looking forward to enjoying some of the fruits we grow a little earlier next year. We are thrilled to receive the green flag for the third year on the run. The testing is quite rigorous and to meet the required standard means lots of hard work and dedication from children, families and staff.

The Ofsted inspector was clearly impressed with our eco work too. She was particularly interested in the students' level of commitment to maintaining the sensory garden all year round and commented on the very positive attitude of the school and the outstanding behaviour of our students. She acknowledged that the school is improving and identified areas where further improvement is needed. We already have plans in place to broaden the range of qualifications our pupils can take and extend their expectations in practical subject areas.

The published report recognizes the commitment, belief and high expectations that are the very fabric of this school. We have a team of highly skilled people who provide high quality care for all of our students and will accept only the best for them.'

The students of Westfield School with their green flag.

22nd December 2010 FLU CASES ON THE INCREASEY...........................

NHS Herefordshire has confirmed that there has been an increase in the number of people visiting their GP with flu type symptoms over the last couple of weeks. As the cold weather is set to continue, the situation is anticipated to escalate further in the coming weeks.

With more than twenty confirmed or probable cases of swine flu recorded across the West Midlands, it is important that anyone suffering flu symptoms should stay at home, take paracetamol if appropriate, keep well hydrated and contact their GP by telephone or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 if symptoms persist or get worse.

Dr Arif Mahmood, Consultant in Public Health at NHS Herefordshire said, 'Most patients visiting their GP are experiencing mild illness and not requiring hospital admission or any specialist treatment. However, for those individuals in at risk categories, such as the elderly, the chronically ill, immuno-compromised, and pregnant women, the flu virus can be serious.

It is too soon to say whether the increase in those presenting flu symptoms is a direct result of the seasonal flu vaccine uptake being lower this year. But in Herefordshire the overall uptake of the vaccine is 40.8 per cent, which is well below the national uptake (47.5 percent). We would remind those people eligible for the seasonal flu immunization to make sure they have their vaccine.

This year's flu jab is a combination vaccine protecting against three flu strains, including include swine flu and influenza B. The NHS in Herefordshire is well prepared for the influenza season but it is important that people do everything they can to reduce the incidence and spread of this infection. This means everybody who needs to be immunized gets their free jab, which this year includes pregnant women.'

For those who would like to be immunized, but are not in an in at risk category, and therefore not eligible for a free flu jab, please speak to your local pharmacist. With the weather forecast predicting snow and ice as the week goes on, people are advised to make sure their medicine cabinets and store cupboards are well stocked.


The first analysis of the government's finance settlement for Herefordshire is worse than had been expected with no recognition of the extra costs involved in providing services in a rural area. While Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire have already merged some services and are working together in a unique partnership to save money, news that the council faces a 13 per cent cut in its grant means further savings will have to be found.

'We've been preparing ourselves for some time, starting with the previous year's budget, but the figures are worse than anticipated due to changes to the way government calculates how much we need to provide services across the county,' said Councillor Roger Phillips, leader of the council. 'I'm particularly disappointed that, at a time when rural families are suffering from increased costs of energy, transport and general living expenses, the challenges of rural communities and the delivery of services in rural areas has not been recognized.'

The headline figure is a cut of 13 per cent in real terms for the next financial year with a reduction of over £10 million of government funding this year and a further £6 million less in 2012. 'Despite the bad news, we will do all we can to ensure that we protect our core services and our most vulnerable citizens. That's a priority,' added Councillor Phillips.

He warned that the figures were very complex and that officers are still analysing the details with additional detail still being released. 'For some time we've been lobbying to protect the interests of the community through this funding system but we fear the settlement will badly affect areas such as concessionary fares. However, there is some good news. Thanks to a council tax grant, we have the capacity to freeze council tax for next year at current levels.'

Recently Herefordshire Council announced it had a five point plan to cut costs and prepare itself for the challenge of a tougher financial future. This includes reducing management posts, sharing corporate functions with health trusts, cutting purchasing, rationalizing premises and slashing red tape.

'We're focusing on operating more cost effectively and making the most of partnership working. This still means we have to make difficult decisions, and there will be job losses, unfortunately,' added councillor Phillips. 'But if we and the community work together, we can protect the health and social care services that people depend on.'

Further information on the council's grant settlement is being released on a daily basis and officers are still working through the details. Once these are known, Herefordshire Council will undertake public consultation and engagement as it draws up its budget for the next financial year. Further details will be made available as they are known.


A group of county farmers was recently given the opportunity to take a look at the work in progress on Herefordshire's new livestock market, which is currently still under construction.

Councillor Roger Phillips, leader of the council welcomed the farmers to the site off Roman Road and took them round the huge, steel framed structure which will be able to handle around 9,500 sheep and 500 cattle a day. The roof is now on the penning area and cladding work has begun along with works on the drainage system. Now that the roof is on workmen have begun mechanical and electrical works.

'Workmen moved onto the site during spring this year so it's great to see the building taking shape and the progress they've made so far,' said Councillor Phillips. 'It was particularly pleasing to be able to take around some local farmers who will be using the new market when it opens in the spring next year. We all agree our current cattle market in the centre of Hereford is not satisfactory. It's come to the end of its life and causes traffic problems due to its location in the city centre.

While many farmers will have fond memories of the old cattle market, we're all of the opinion that it's time for change. The new market provides a 21st century facility for the county's livestock sector which plays a crucial role in Herefordshire's economy. I can't wait for the day the first cattle and sheep pass through the new market.'

Richard Hyde, co-chairman and director of Hereford Market Auctioneers Ltd, said the new market is an issue close to his heart. 'It's wonderful to see it taking shape after 25 years of discussion since I joined the Company in 1986, so we're very grateful for the opportunity to view the site together with some of our local farmers.

As I'm in daily contact with the project it was easy for me to 'paint the picture' as to where everything will be as we basically have the frame, roof and walls only. Our greatest complaint at Hereford Market is lack of parking and the congestion that people using the facility have to face, especially in the busy autumn period. It's wonderful that our local farmers will now have an out of town site which is easily accessible and will have a large, market dedicated, car park right next to the market building.

We're very fortunate that we have very loyal farmers who have put up with congestion over many years and we are very pleased that we will soon be able to offer them a vastly improved facility for the 21st century. We're aiming to move in during April or May of 2011 and we will literally be on the current site one week and at the new premises one week later.'

Councillor Phillips, left, and Richard Hyde in front with local farmers being given a first glimpse inside Hereford's new livestock market.


Herefordshire Council is appealing to home owners and landlords of privately rented properties to check they have sufficient house insurance to cover damage to their properties during the current cold spell of weather. The authority's private sector housing team has received many calls from residents coping with burst water pipes, leaks, broken gas boilers and heating systems which have failed due to the cold weather.

'These are issues home owners and landlords must resolve with their insurance companies, not the local authority,' said Denise Bradley-Lloyd, private sector housing manager. 'It's important, particularly with another bout of freezing weather and snow on the way, that home owners and landlords of privately rented properties ensure they have adequate house insurance. The council has limited resources available to help in an emergency, so we advise members of the public to take responsibility for the upkeep of their homes and rented properties.'

To help prevent homes being left without heating or drinking water, the advice is:

· Know where your water stopcock is
· Make sure water pipes are lagged
· Pay particular attention to outdoor taps. Make sure they are insulated
· Insulate water pipes in your loft
· Ensure that your gas boiler is serviced annually.

Denise added, 'In addition, landlords have a legal obligation to provide interim heating and safe water supplies to tenants. This could be expensive, so take precautions now.'

22nd December 2010 NEW SPEED ENFORCEMENT SITESY......................

The Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia has introduced new mobile speed enforcement sites on the A438 at Bartestree and Lugwardine in a bid to slow drivers down and improve the safety of the road following requests from local residents and the Parish Council.

The dangers posed by speeding drivers using the A438 through Bartestree and Lugwardine have been raised at PACT (Partners and Communities Together) meetings and previous action has been taken by the local policing team. Despite the presence of speed indicator devices along the stretch of road, drivers have not slowed down sufficiently and speeds are still causing concern among the local community.

The new mobile speed enforcement sites form part of the Safer Roads Partnership's 'Community Concern' site programme which was launched last year. Data collected by the Partnership shows that there is a definite speed problem which supports the need for enforcement. The data shows that in Bartestree for example, 73% of drivers exceed the 30mph speed limit and 15% travel above 38.6mph. The sites will be operational for an initial period of six months and data will be collected during this time to assess the impact of enforcement on speeds and driver behaviour. A speed camera van commenced enforcement last week.

Katy Jenkins of the West Mercia Safer Roads Partnership said, 'There is a high level of concern from local people about the speeds of vehicles using this road. The aim of introducing mobile speed enforcement at these sites is to slow drivers down and to send the message to all road users that speeding through Bartestree and Lugwardine is not acceptable. Speeding traffic affects people's quality of life and we would urge drivers to slow down and observe the 30mph limit.'

The Chairman of Bartestree with Lugwardine Group Parish Council said, 'We have been very concerned about the speed of vehicles through the two villages for some considerable time. Introduction of the 30 mph limit and then the speed indicator devices (at a cost to residents) have failed to reduce speeds sufficiently to alleviate the concerns amongst the local community. It is hoped that the introduction of the Safer Roads Partnership's speed camera vans will get across the message that speeding does not pay and it is unacceptable to place people's lives at risk in villages with a junior and senior school close to the road not to mention the playing fields and St Michael's Hospice.'

The Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia is made up of 13 partner agencies including Herefordshire Council and West Mercia Police. The aim of the Partnership is to reduce the number of casualties and make the roads safer for all users in West Mercia through speed enforcement and by seeking to change attitudes and behaviour.

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