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2nd February 2011 GET YOUR FRYING PANS READY FOR PANCAKE RACES ....

Due to the success of last year's Ross-on-Wye Pancake Races, the Association of Ross Traders, (ART) have planned to repeat the experience on Shrove Tuesday, 8th March and all are welcome to join in the fun!

Everyone can get involved, and the organizers hope that all sections of the Community will respond and join in the special races for: hairdressers, estate agents, pub and hotel staff, 4 different age group races for children and even a mobility scooter race!

Pancakes will be sponsored by Field Fayre ' the organic shop' in Broad Street, however, entrants must supply their own frying pan and wear suitable shoes. Those aged under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult.

Entry forms are available from Essential Sewing Services, little chic, the Market House and Tudor Sweets. Early booking is advised to ensure a place. The entrance fee is 1.00 in advance or 3.00 on the day.

For further information, please contact Helen Kiddy at esssewing@aol.com or on 07971 603656.


Ross Pancake Races.

2nd February 2011 MARKET HOUSE VISITOR CENTRE NOW OPEN ....

Ross Heritage Centre closed its doors to the public shortly before Christmas 2010 in order for a major refurbishment to take place and reopened on Monday 31st January as the Market House Visitor Centre.

According to Herefordshire Council, the newly refitted centre will now combine the very best of the services formerly provided by the Heritage and Tourist Information Centres, with an array of information and services available from old photograph archives, to accommodation in the area and information on the town from its earliest Bronze Age roots to the present day. The team at the centre would be delighted to welcome you to visit anytime.

The opening times are as follows:

April to October, Monday to Sunday 10.30am to 4.30pm (Closed Tuesdays).
November to March, Monday to Saturday, 10.30am to 4.30 (closed Tuesdays), Sunday 10.30 to 4pm.

Alexia Clark, Herefordshire Council's visitor services officer said, 'Please come in to visit the new centre and see what we can offer you. If you have any suggestions for other services or information we could provide we would be very pleased to hear them.'


2nd February 2011 ROSS REGISTRATION OFFICEY....................

In a bid to save money, Herefordshire Council have relocated many local services from Swan House to share facilities with others in Ross-on-Wye.

The council's Info service is moving into the library building and Ross TiC has merged with heritage services and opened at Ross Market House, now known as Ross Market House Visitor Centre. Now Herefordshire Council are moving social workers from Swan House into The Old Chapel in Cantilupe Road, which was a previous home to them and the current location of Ross Registration Office. However, the registry office will still operate from there.

Fiona Nicholls, Herefordshire Council's registration services manager said, 'I want to assure people that the register office is staying in The Old Chapel and will be fully available for people wanting to book weddings or civil partnerships. It is a wonderful place for a ceremony and I would urge people to get in touch for more information.'

Anyone wanting to register a birth, death or give notice of marriage or civil partnership should telephone the Hereford office on 01432 260565 during the opening times of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am until 4.30pm and 9am until 4pm on Fridays.


2nd February 2011 MAN DRIVES INTO SPAR SHOPY........................

A man from the Hom Green area of Ross-on-Wye has been charged with providing a positive breath test following a road traffic collision.

The collision occurred on High Street, Ross, on Saturday, 29th January shortly after 8pm which caused minor damage to the shop front of the Spar store. No other vehicles were involved.

After failing the road side breath test, the 24 year old man was arrested and subsequently bailed to attend Hereford Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, 9th February.


2nd February 2011 DANCE AWAY WINTER BLUES WITH THE JIVEOHOLICS ....

Forget the weather, forget the cuts, forget financial insolvency, just come along to the Queens Head, Monmouth this Sunday, 6th February and dance away those winter blues to the fabulous sound of top local band, The Jiveoholics.

The Jiveoholics have taken time out of their busy national schedule to give an impromptu performance at the Wye Valley's top music venue in a valiant attempt to cheer everyone up. Keyboard wizard Chris McGowen said, 'People are so miserable at this time of year; we thought we should try and do something to lift their spirits and a free gig at the 'Queens' seemed to fit the bill. We play all over the country at the moment so it will be good for us as well, to be back on our home turf with a local audience'.

The six piece band, which is fast becoming a firm favourite on the British festival circuit, present an eclectic blend of jive, swing and vintage rock 'n roll along with a large helping of off the cuff humour. So prepare yourselves for a great evening as these guys are guaranteed to set the room on fire no matter how cold it is outside.

The performance starts at 9:00pm although it is advisable to get there early and admission is free.

For further information contact The Queens Head on 01600 712767 or visit www.jiveoholics.co.uk


The fabulous Jiveoholics.

2nd February 2011 TWO ROSS MEN FINED AFTER ADMITTING FLY TIPPINGY.....

Two Ross men were each fined 65 after admitting fly tipping at two county sites - one in Dinedor and one in Hoarwithy - when they appeared at Hereford Magistrates Court on Friday, 28th January.

Kerry Anthony Stevens, aged 31, of 41, Woodedge, Ross, and David John Marsh, aged 31, of 1A Sutton Barn, Hope Mansell, Ross, both admitted an offence of fly tipping under section 33 of the Environment Protection Act 1990 and were each also ordered to pay 50 costs and a 15 victim surcharge.

Mike Jones, prosecuting on behalf of Herefordshire Council, told the court the two defendants had been engaged by a shop in Evesham to remove waste items and were given 50 to take the items to a household waste site. However, the items from the shop were discovered dumped at two sites in the county, one at the entrance to Netherwood, Dinedor, and one at Hoarwithy. The waste included cardboard boxes, light fittings, suitcases, electrical items and furniture.

Neil Coulson, for the defendants, said his clients had no understanding of the consequences of their actions and took a rash decision to dump the waste. He said they had asked for additional payment as they didn't realize they would have to pay to deposit trade waste at a household waste site but this was refused.

Shane Hancock, Herefordshire Council's regulatory services manager said after the court case, 'We have suffered a lot of fly tipping incidents in the Ross area and this prosecution shows we take these cases seriously and track down the offenders. We are fortunate to live in a beautiful county and cannot allow people to create blots on the landscape by their illegal actions.

These two men might not have known all about how to dispose of trade or controlled waste but I'm sure they realized it was wrong to dump these items in the countryside.'


2nd February 2011 JESSE TO LEAD COUNTY DELEGATION TO MINISTERS ....

Jesse Norman, MP has won a meeting with Ministers for a delegation from Herefordshire to discuss rural transport. Jesse put the vital issue of maintaining proper transport services and access for those in rural areas during recent questions on Sustainable Transport in the House of Commons. The Parliamentary Under-secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker MP, immediately agreed to meet a representative group from Herefordshire led by Jesse.

Speaking afterwards, Jesse said, 'Rural transport is a vital lifeline for those living in remote areas, especially for students, the elderly and those on limited incomes. So I am delighted that the Under-secretary of State has agreed to meet with us to discuss this important local issue.'

Our local MP also had the chance to ask the Prime Minister about a crucial local and national issue last week at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. Jesse called for a full inquiry into the Private Finance Initiative, the government infrastructure programme which has been repeatedly found to be wasteful, poor value for money and very expensive to taxpayers.

In Hereford, the PFI was used to fund the County Hospital under an expensive and inflexible contract to which Jesse first drew public attention in July of last year. In reply, the Prime Minister praised the cross party Public Accounts Committee, and highlighted the role of Labour leader Ed Miliband and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls in setting economic policy during the last government, including on PFI.

Jesse is Chair of the cross-party parliamentary PFI Rebate campaign of 62 MPs who have been calling for the PFI companies to give back 500 million of their gains. He said afterwards, ' "The PFI is little known to the general public, but has cost the taxpayer a fortune over the last ten years. But we are making real progress in highlighting the issue, and this is one further step along the way.'


2nd February 2011 NHS TO HELP AMEY STAFF GIVE UP SMOKING ....

NHS Herefordshire is helping a group of street cleansing operatives and office based staff give up smoking once and for all. Working with Herefordshire Council's contracting partner, Amey, local NHS professionals are helping employees who want to quit.

NHS Herefordshire employs a group of health professionals who deliver stop smoking programmes around the county. They will be spending time with Amey's quitters to find out what motivates and drives them to make changes to their lives. Together they'll develop a quit programme specifically for each individual and, by liaising with GPs, they'll also help them get the best medication to ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Amey is backing the scheme by allowing workers who wish to quit, to attend weekly meetings in works time, so that they can get their programme set up, and receive regular check-ups on progress.

Sarah Aitken, interim director of public health said, 'Amey has really got behind this campaign, pledging to support individuals who wish to quit for as long as it takes. The company has also offered to pay prescription costs for the first two weeks to help employees manage their withdrawal symptoms. Finding time to get to the doctors can be difficult for people who work shift patterns, so getting the support at work makes more sense. Giving up smoking is challenging, but the health benefits are immediate and a typical 20-a-day smoker can save more than 2,000 a year.'

The first meeting has already taken place with eight signing up for the programme. Amey's Michelle Morgan quit smoking at the beginning of this year. She has been the driving force behind the campaign, persuading others to join in her quest to ditch the tobacco.

'It's early days yet, but I feel so much better already. I've been using one of the recommended medications to help me and can honestly say I haven't had any cravings at all. It's just a case of getting used to not smoking,' said Michelle. 'The medication takes the cravings away leaving you to deal with the habitual stuff. It's much easier to keep off the tobacco nowadays because the smoking ban in pubs and restaurants has helped take temptation away.'

NHS Herefordshire's stop smoking service is training people from a range of professions to be able to support smokers who wish to quit, so that the Amey project can be replicated in other parts of the county. In the meantime, the project is being monitored with interest by the Department of Health who are looking for case studies to include in a tobacco control plan which will set out the government's intentions for tobacco control over the coming years.


2nd February 2011 TEENAGER JAILED OVER FATAL COLLISION....

An 18-year-old man from the Ludlow area has been jailed for causing death by dangerous driving in relation to a fatal road traffic collision in Herefordshire in September.

Mathew Thomas, of Bromfield near Ludlow, was sentenced at Hereford Crown Court on Friday, 28th January to two and a half years imprisonment for causing a crash on the A49 in the early hours of 19th September. James Fox, aged 18 of Orleton, Herefordshire, was killed in the collision.

At around 2.45am, Mr. Thomas was driving a Ford Focus along the A49 from Hereford towards Leominster. Witnesses said he was travelling at excessive speed. As he drove down Dinmore Hill, he overtook another vehicle, crossing double white lines. At the bottom of the hill he lost control of the car, went across the carriageway into the crash barrier and hit a signpost and a bridge parapet. This caused the car to somersault over the edge of the bridge and land on its roof adjacent to an underpass under the A49.

The car caught fire and Mr Thomas and a front seat passenger crawled out of the car. Meanwhile, James Fox, who had been a passenger in the rear of the car was thrown out of the vehicle and found nearby by members of the public. They helped to pull him away from the fire, but when emergency services attended and despite the efforts of paramedics, he was declared dead at the scene.

PC Kevin Carter who investigated the incident said, 'Once again we have a situation caused by a young man over confident with his driving ability. In this incident it has had the worst possible consequences with the death of a young man and a family left distraught.'


2nd February 2011

MAN SERVED WITH CONVICTION RELATED ASBO


Dean Sandford

Police would like residents of Ross-on-Wye to be aware that a local man has been served with a criminal conviction related, antisocial behaviour order (CRASBO).

Dean Sandford, aged 20 of Edgar Street, Hereford was served with the CRASBO at Hereford Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, 26th January. The order is in relation to a number of convictions between 16th August and 15th October 2010 which include public order offences, criminal damage and assaulting a police officer. The CRASBO will run for two years, ending on 18th January 2013.

The restrictions placed on Sandford ban him from:
being in Ross-on-Wye town centre between 6pm and 6am,
having an open vessel of alcohol in a public place anywhere in Herefordshire,
being drunk in a public place anywhere in Herefordshire,
associating with certain named individuals.

Jim Lucas, antisocial behaviour co-ordinator for Herefordshire said, 'West Mercia Police will not tolerate unruly, drunken and antisocial behaviour in Ross-on-Wye or anywhere in Herefordshire. Recently, a small group of people have been getting drunk and causing trouble in Ross town centre. Dean Sandford was one of them, so we have taken this action against him as we attempt to bring an end to this disorder.

We now need the public, businesses and licensees to support the police so we can prevent further issues. If you see Dean in Ross town centre at night or see him drunk or drinking anywhere in the county, contact us straight away on 0300 333 3000 and we can take action.'


2nd February 2011 COUNCIL WILL SUPPORT ANTI BULLYING CONFERENCE....

Herefordshire Council is pledging support for an anti bulling conference being held at the Courtyard, Hereford next month. The conference, which is free, has been organized by the Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board in association with Action for Children and focuses on online safety and anti bullying. Aimed at people who work with children and young people, the conference will take place on Wednesday, 2nd February from 9am until 4:15pm.

Every day, hundreds of thousands of children and young people are going through the pain and humiliation of being bullied. Horrifyingly, some children will even choose to kill themselves to escape their pain and torment. Organizations across the county are united in wanting all the county's children and young people to be safe.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children's services said, 'Safeguarding is everyone's business and I am hoping to see a wide range of people attending this very important conference. In this day of ever changing technology, teachers, childcare workers and parents alike all need to be aware of the dangers of online or 'cyber' bullying. The conference will equip delegates with information to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities.'

Chaired by Maggie Blyth from the Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board, speakers at the conference include Martin Lakeman, head of public protection with West Mercia Police, Charlotte Anysley, director of practice with the national organization, Beat Bullying and John Carr, international consultant on internet safety.


2nd February 2011 NEW PLAY PARK FOR DISABLED CHILDREN....

Herefordshire Council is pleased to announce that Park Leisure has been awarded a contract to enhance the play park at King George V Playing Fields in Hereford, by adding a new play facility for disabled children.

The council and Herefordshire Carers Support successfully bid for a 100,000 cash boost from the Aiming High fund to develop the new play park and after consulting with local groups, four professional designs were prepared that took into account the needs of families with disabled children and young people. Comments, ideas and suggestions were encouraged in October and the chosen design went out to tender to several companies. Park Leisure has been awarded the contract for their exciting and creative design that got the thumbs up from parents, carers, community groups and professionals working with disabled families.

Included in the design will be a bespoke climbing unit with a 360 degree raised pathway, the first one in the UK. Herefordshire Council's play service completed in depth research as to what works within a play area for disabled children, and worked closely with Park Leisure in all aspects of design after listening to what people wanted. The new equipment will be wide enough for and accessible to wheelchair users, and provide definite reference points for the visually impaired. It is hoped that the play park will also evolve over time with feedback from those that use the park.

Councillor Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children's services said, 'The winning design is exciting and innovative and embraces all the experiences children should be able to enjoy when playing outside. There are combinations of smooth, bumpy and bouncy areas, sensory zones, climb, wobble, twist, spin and balance and there are a couple of swings and a slide which can be accessed by children of all ages and abilities.

Although this has been developed with disabled children in mind, it's suitable for all ages and abilities which means families can enjoy a visit to the park together and share happy experiences.'

Now that Park Leisure has been awarded the contract, it is anticipated work will begin on the 1st February with the newly installed equipment ready for fun on 31st March.


2nd February 2011 POLICE WARN OF DIRECTIONS SCAM..........

Police have issued a warning following two 'directions' scams' which have taken place recently. The first incident took place in Evesham on Wednesday, 26th January outside B&Q in Four Pools Lane at around midday.

As a woman left the store, she placed her purse on the passenger seat as she got into her car. At this point a man holding a map tapped on the window and asked her for directions to Sheffield. She got out of her car to help the man. She then got back into her car and drove off when she realized her purse was open and her bank card was missing. The woman cancelled her card and no money was taken form her account.

A similar incident took place outside Morrisons in Commercial Road, Hereford, between 14:00 and 14:25 the following day. A woman returned to her car after doing some shopping and as she sat in the drivers' seat, she noticed a man with a map beckoning her over to him. She went over to him and he asked the woman for directions to Manchester and Shrewsbury. She helped him and got back into her car. She later realized that her handbag had been opened and three bank cards were missing from her purse. No money was taken from her account.

A police spokesperson said, 'We want people to be aware of this scam and under no circumstances leave their car unlocked if asked to give directions under these circumstances or if they are distracted. We would also advise people not to leave their purses or bags on display in the car at any time.'

Anyone who has any information on the first incident should call police on 0300 333 3000, quoting 245/S/260111, or quote 374/S/270111 for the second.


2nd February 2011 COUNCIL GETS GREEN LIGHT FOR FLOOD DEFENCE...

A new flood alleviation scheme, which will bring peace of mind to scores of homes and businesses, will go ahead after a public inquiry found it was in the public interest and 'fundamental to the vitality and viability of Hereford city centre'.

The 4 million Yazor Brook scheme, which won planning permission in October 2009, will save nearly 3 million a year in repairing damage to property and is essential to plans to develop the old livestock market, which will contain a new urban village, retail and leisure attractions, including a multiplex cinema, and the promise of over 1,000 new jobs.

Herefordshire Council sought the compulsory purchase of land at Credenhill and rights to carry out the scheme, after negotiations with some landowners were inconclusive. Five objections to the order were initially raised but three were withdrawn at the start of the public inquiry, held in August last year. An independent planning inspector considered the proposal and has recommended that the compulsory purchase order be confirmed. The Secretary of State has now ruled that there is a 'compelling case' for the order and that the scheme will bring significant protection from flooding.

The scheme is funded by regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, and once implemented, will end flooding misery for residents around Millbrook Street, Nolan Road and Edgar Street and for users of the Merton Meadow car park. Agricultural land and scattered properties up stream of the flood alleviation scheme will also benefit. Many areas currently used to annual flooding would see their risk of flooding transformed to 'once in a thousand years'.

The engineering project comprises a buried culvert which will follow the natural contours of the landscape and divert water from Yazor Brook at Credenhill to the River Wye, when water levels reach a trigger point. The water will travel through the mile long culvert before joining the River Wye south east of Old Weir Farm. Once complete it will blend into the local landscape.

Leader of Herefordshire Council, Roger Phillips said, 'The council has worked hard to ensure that the city is as well protected as possible from the miseries that flooding can bring to homes and businesses. The new scheme demonstrates the council's further commitment to protect Hereford from flooding following the recent 5.5 million flood defences on the Wye, which, with a new riverside barrier and raised roundabout at Belmont have, on several occasions now, held the swollen river at bay and safeguarded 200 households and made fear of flooding a thing of the past.'

Chief executive of the council's regeneration company Hereford Futures, Jonathan Bretherton said, 'The ever present threat of flooding is a major worry for many households in the city and also inhibits ambitions to restore Hereford as a major economic centre for the county and the region. The Secretary of State's ruling will provide welcome peace of mind, and the confirmed funding from Advantage West Midlands underpins the proposals to revitalize key areas of the city centre, bringing new jobs, new leisure and retail offerings and a new urban village with affordable homes for many.'


2nd February 2011 AMEY WORKER FINED FOR ILLEGAL WASTE DISPOSAL....

Two Hereford men have been fined after admitting illegally depositing trade waste at the Rotherwas household waste site in a prosecution brought by Herefordshire Council.

John Speake, aged 50, of 10 Belvoir Court, Belmont, Hereford, was fined 200 and ordered to pay 310.95 in costs and a 15 victim surcharge by Hereford Magistrates court on Friday, 28th January. His co-accused, Siva Thilagasingam, aged 33, of 41 St Martins Street, Hereford, was fined 215 and ordered to pay costs of 310.95 and a 15 victim surcharge.

Mr Mike Jones, prosecuting for Herefordshire Council, told the court that Speake is an operative with Amey and works emptying public waste bins outside shops. He told the court that Speake provided Streetscene bags to Thilagasingam, who is the manager of Moor Farm Stores in Hereford, and Thilagasingam turned them inside out and used them for disposing of trade waste from his shop premises. In doing so the waste was being presented as other than trade waste and without cost to Thilagasingam. Speake then collected the bags and took them to the Rotherwas household waste site and, in return, he was given bottles of pop from the shop, Mr Jones added.

The offences, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, took place between 12th July and 24th September 2010. Mr Jones added that Thilagasingam had been visited by the council's Community Protection Team in August 2010 and he did buy orange sacks to correctly dispose of the trade waste from his shop. However, he continued with his old arrangement, knowing he was, through Speake, depositing of the waste illegally. Speake apologized to the court for being so stupid and said it wouldn't happen again and Thilagasingam also apologized for what he had done.

Shane Hancock, Herefordshire Council's regulatory services manager said after the court case, 'All traders have a duty of care to ensure their trade waste is disposed of correctly. In this case Mr Thilagasingam failed in that duty and came to an unlawful arrangement with Speake that was of mutual benefit to them both. For his part Mr Speake clearly used his position inappropriately for what was in fact very little gain.'

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