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23rd February 2011 ROSS ROCKS - SO LETS CELEBRATEY.....

A brand new festival called 'Ross Rocks' is to be staged in Ross-on-Wye this summer. “Ross Rocks” is to feature the very best in local musical and other creative talent and will take place around the bandstand from 11am to 11pm on Saturday, 25th June. An organizing committee of volunteers has been set up and it is hoped all kinds of local groups will step forward to take part.

Bands from Ross will form the backbone of the day’s entertainment, but Ross Rocks aims to showcase all the many other creative activities in the town, hopefully providing a platform to theatre groups, youth organizations, dancers, comedians and also cooks, flower-arrangers, crafters and businesses – indeed, anybody from the area who wants to take part and show people what they can do.

'There is such a lot going on in Ross this summer,' said Tina Jones, Ross Rocks publicity officer, 'and we want to involve as much local talent as possible so everyone can see what a vibrant and lively place this is and that Ross-on-Wye really does rock.'

Ross Rocks will be a free event suitable for all the family, staged by and for the people of Ross. If you or your group would like to take part please contact Melvin at oaklydokly@gmail.com or drop into Ross Old Books in the High Street.

The committee would like to thank Dave and Jacqui Newman of the White Lion for allowing them to hold their meeting in their lovely riverside inn.

Keep reading Wyenot News for all the up to date information.


23rd February 2011 JOHN KYRLE OFFICIALLY OPENS VISITOR CENTRE.... . . . .

The new Ross Market House Visitor Centre was officially opened by the 'Man of Ross', John Kyrle, in the guise of Brian Jackson on Thursday, 17th April. Brian was joined by wife Judy, dressed as Kyrle's housekeeper Miss Jude, for the official opening and his opening speech gave people an insight into the historical uses this prominent building has had. The building is now the Market House Visitor Centre and will offer residents and visitors a combination of heritage services, exhibitions and tourist information.

Brian said the 13th century Market House, where the new Visitor Centre is based, is the heart of Ross and a source of pride for the town. 'This centre will give the building a new lease of life as a focal point for visitors to the town,' he added.

Ward Councillors, Anne Gray, Phil Cutter and Gordon Lucas also attended the opening and thanked officers at Herefordshire Council for their work in setting up the new centre which will provide a one-stop shop for visitors.

Councillor Cutter said that many towns have lost some of their facilities and despite some services being moved and merged with others, the people of Ross are very fortuante to have retained theirs. 'Ross still has tourist information, a visitor centre, library and an information centre, which will help ensure the town gets as many visitors as possible.'

Councillor Gray added, 'I would like to thank councillors and officers for working together to ensure we keep these services in Ross.'

Clare O'Reilly and her team are pleased to welcome all to sample what is a new and exciting venture for the town, its local history and local businesses.


John Kyrle aka Brian Jackson gives an informative speech before officially opening Ross Market House Visitor Centre.

Miss Jude, John Kyrle's Housekeeper joins the Man of Ross at the opening.

Ward Councillors Lucas, Cutter and Gray, Miss Jude (Judy Jackson), John Kyrle (Brian Jackson) and Clare O'Reilly (Visitor Centre supervisor).

23rd February 2011 TUDORVILLE DCC DISCO FOR YOUNG PEOPLEY.. . . . . . ....

The Tudorville and District Community Centre committee have recently opened their doors to the public and already are getting lots of bookings in. This coming Friday, 25th February a disco for young people is being held at the centre.

The disco will be split into two sessions. The first, from 6pm until 7pm will be for those aged six years and under, who must be accompanied by an adult. From 7:15pm until 8:15pm the disco will cater for those aged from 7 to 11 years, no adults needed.

Entrance is £1 per person.


23rd February 2011 AONB TO CELEBRATE 40TH ANNIVERSARY IN ROSSY.. . ...

The Wye Valley AONB are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and as part of their celebration, a fantastic event with a Georgian theme has been arranged to take place in Ross-on-Wye on Saturday, 18th June.

In 1971 Edward Heath was PM, decimalisation came in and free school milk went out. We wore hot pants, platform shoes and T shirts and bounced on space hoppers. Britain launched its first and only satellite Prospero, Greenpeace was born and the video recorder was launched. In the midst of these iconic events the Wye Valley was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and forty years on, the Wye Valley AONB unit is planning four events to mark this special year. It will also be celebrating the finish of the Heritage Lottery Funded partnership project, Overlooking the Wye, which will mark the successful culmination of work on forty sites throughout the Wye Valley and will reflect its four themes of hidden industry, viewpoints, river connections and hill forts.

The Ross-on-Wye event will feature an historical progression through the town with notable Georgian celebrities such as John Kyrle, Coleridge and Nelson, led by local historian and author, Heather Hurley. They will progress down to the River Wye where Nelson's trip down the Wye in 1802 will be reconstructed. A Georgian jamboree will be held on Ross Riverside with re enactors demonstrating various aspects of Georgian life and will feature musket and sword demonstrations by the Worcester Yeomanry and Cavalry, 18th century life highwaymen, vagabonds and thief takers from The Rose and Thistle, Georgian rope making and boat building plus a look at Georgian costume, food, wine and music. Children will be entertained by Punch and Judy, face painting and a variety of games. There are also plans to a charity sedan race with teams from local organizations taking part.

The first of these special events, however, is a Hands on History event which will take place at the Old Station, Tintern, on Sunday, 17th April, where there will be exhibitions and demonstrations about the industry of the area. Also featuring will be Sir William Pennyman's Regiment of Foote from the Civil War Society, who will demonstrate 17th century life including weaponry, food and metalworking. This will be followed by an event on Sunday, 22nd May looking at the Iron Age and Roman occupation with an Iron Age Rampage at the Yat Rock Hill Fort, Symonds Yat.

The final event will be a Medieval Mayhem event at Chepstow Castle on Sunday, 18th September. In partnership in with the European Heritage Open Doors Project, this event will feature medieval re re-enactments

All events are free and will be a great family day out. For further information, please log onto the website www.wyevalleyaonb.org.uk or contact Information Officer Nikki Moore by emailing information@wyevalleyaonb.org.uk or telephoning 01600710846.


23rd February 2011 CAFE 13 OPENS AT THE RYEFIELD CENTRE.... . . . . . . . . .

Ross-on-Wye's Ryefield Centre can now offer users and visitors a refreshing break after a new café opened for business recently. Cafe 13 is no ordinary cafe though; it has a dual role of helping people with learning disability gain vital skills to help them find future work and provides users and visitors at the centre a venue to meet for a coffee or something to eat.

The Ryefield Centre is well known in Ross-on-Wye as it offers community rooms which local groups and charities can hire as well as housing the town's children's centre.

Centre Manager, Carl Rees said, 'This is a very exciting time for the Ryefield Centre and the people who come here. We are now able to support people with a learning disability in the fundamentals of work ethics and practices that they will find as and when they enter the work place. Cafe 13 has to be profitable for it to continue into the future so the responsibility for providing a positive customer experience sits with the café's staff.

The centre is bursting at the seams with groups, children's centre users and various teams based at the centre. It seemed logical to me that a cafe would fit nicely and would provide a complete package to all users of the centre. Having it run by people with a learning disability, supported by our staff, again seemed logical.'

The centre worked closely with Herefordshire Council and sought funds from the learning disability development fund to cover the costs of setting up the café.

'The Ryefield Centre has looked to diversify its service provision for people with a learning disability and offer unique projects based on people's wishes and needs,' added Carl.

Cafe 13 opened it doors for the first time last month. The opening times are 9.30am until 2.30pm, Monday to Friday and it is open to the public as well as users of the centre.


Jan Harris, Michala Davis, Mel Farr, Chris Barnard, Hannah Carpenter and Michelle Foldvary.

23rd February 2011 GREEN LIGHT FOR COUNTYS FIRST SOLAR FARM... . . . . .

Herefordshire Council has granted planning permission for the county's first solar panel 'farm' to harness the power of the sun and save more than 60,000 tonnes of carbon emissions during the next 25 years.

The free-standing solar panels at Prothither Farm, near Hoarwithy, will generate up to 5MW of renewable electricity for export to the grid while allowing sheep to graze the land beneath them. This is the first application of its kind in the county. Only a handful of representations were received, and of those the majority expressed support for the project. The local and neighbouring councillors were engaged as part of the application and are both were content with the proposal subject to a satisfactory traffic management plan.

The panels, which will be located in a 10ha field, will be non-reflective matt black and any ancillary buildings will have to be painted to blend in with the local area. Last year the applicant, Mr Andrew Bower, held a public meeting at Little Dewchurch village hall to ensure local people were aware of his proposals and given the chance to air their views. This is in line with policy to encourage community involvement at an early stage.

Little Dewchurch parish council supports the proposal in principle and would like to explore possibilities with the applicant for future community involvement in the project if it is successful. The solar farm will be sited near an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but the AONB Officer confirmed it will have 'negligible impact' on the AONB as views of the site are limited to the south and east. Cables to transfer the electricity to the national grid will be hidden underground.

The site has been chosen both to take advantage of a south facing aspect and to sit within an inconspicuous part of the wider landscape. Planning permission has been granted subject to a satisfactory transportation plan being provided; this will ensure deliveries and disruption are kept to a minimum during construction. The use of the field for a solar farm is temporary and reversible as the application is to run it for 25 years; the field would continue to produce food, through grazing sheep throughout the period.

While there have been a number of applications for solar farms in the south of the UK, Herefordshire is almost on the northern edge of viability due to level of sunlight experienced in the county. Due to this factor, and changes in Government subsidies, it is not anticipated that many other suitable sites will come forward. Requirements to achieve viability mean that site selection is critical.


23rd February 2011 SENIOR POLICE OFFICERS WELCOMED TO HEREFORDSHIRE.

The Herefordshire Policing Board has welcomed the appointment of three Chief Inspectors to Herefordshire Territorial Policing Unit.

Chair of the Policing Board, Councillor Bernard Hunt said, 'We welcome the three Chief Inspectors to Herefordshire and trust they will enjoy their new challenging roles in making people in Herefordshire safe and feel safe.'

Effective from February 1st 2011, Chief Inspector Mark Travis has responsibility for all policing activity, both local and response policing within Hereford, including Hereford Urban, Hereford Rural and Hereford High Town. Chief Inspector Adam Thomas, who has returned to Herefordshire, has responsibility for all policing activity in the remaining areas of the county. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Hughes is responsible for criminal investigations.

The appointments are part of the West Mercia Police 'Making the Difference' programme; a programme that will deliver £9.8 million of efficiency savings over the next three years and result in a streamlined organization that will operate with greater flexibility, allowing West Mercia Police to cope better with future funding challenges.

The Herefordshire Policing Board, which is made up of West Mercia Police Authority Members Councillor Bernard Hunt, Councillor Richard Smith and Peter Dunford, meets regularly with the Territorial Commander to monitor delivery of the West Mercia Policing Plan in Herefordshire.


23rd February 2011 CAMPAIGN TO IMPROVE LUNG CANCER SURVIVAL RATE....

NHS Herefordshire and the Three Counties Cancer Network have launched a campaign to encourage residents to know the symptoms and signs of lung cancer with the aim of improving the survival rate of sufferers. Approximately 110 people are affected by lung cancer in Herefordshire every year and not all sufferers are smokers.

Running alongside a national campaign, the message to Herefordshire's residents is to go and see your GP if you've had a cough that doesn't go away after three weeks. Other signs and symptoms that need to be checked out by a doctor include:

A cough that has got worse or changes (after three weeks)
Constant chest infections
Coughing blood
Unexplained persistent breathlessness
Unexplained persistent tiredness or lack of energy
Unexplained persistent weight loss
Persistent pain in your chest and / or shoulder.

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in England and Wales' and the most common cause of cancer related death in both men and women. The risk of lung cancer increases with age, but being diagnosed with it doesn't mean there's no hope. Survival rates can be significantly increased, if detected early.

Dr Heal from Sarum House Surgery, Hereford said, 'Early detection increases the chances of being offered curative treatment, so making people aware of the symptoms and signs and encouraging them to see their doctor quickly could save lives.'

Over the next few weeks, members of the public will begin to see adverts in the local press, posters in public buildings and health promotions teams out and about with leaflets and 'for life bags' promoting this message.


23rd February 2011 CHILDRENS CENTRE WITH MULTI SENSORY PERCEPTION....

South Meadow Children's Centre is helping parents and toddlers get in touch with their senses with a programme of activities that have a multi sensory approach underpinning them. Users of the South Wye centre have been enjoying their first 12 months in a newly decorated and refurbished venue.

Firmly established in the local community with around 200 regular visitors, the centre aims to use multi sensory techniques to help children aged five and under to develop expression, interaction, play and social skills. Starting with the youngest visitors, baby massage sessions are on offer in five week blocks. Lead by children's centre staff, parents and carers learn lots of helpful techniques which can help bonding, relieve infant pain and discomfort from colic and have a calming effect on restless babies. The hour long sessions are usually followed by an informal parent and carer get together for a cuppa and a chat. There are spaces available on the next session which begins on March 8th.

The new centre also has a fantastic sensory room where children can experience a range of sounds, bubble tubes, bright colours, vision tunnels and lots of other stimulating and calming influences. A few minutes in the room helps stimulate physical and mental development. The sensory room is used mainly by those under the age of five years, but is also great for children with special needs. Pre and post operative children can really benefit from the experiences of the sensory room too. The centre has a soft play room where toddlers can get physical learning to get fit and active at a very early age. Wiggles and giggles is a group run every Thursday morning with a professional health trainer. It kicks off with dancing and music, then after a healthy snack, free play is on offer in the soft play area.

Kim Gristy, children's centre manager said, 'Sensory environments help young children learn to interact, discover and communicate. They can stimulate a child's mental and physical development and provide calm and relaxation for others. We do everything we can to encourage our children and families to enjoy the multi sensory facilities we have at South Meadow. Our families have told us how much they enjoy using the sensory room at the centre and how much their children are benefiting as a result.'

All the multi sensory sessions run at the centre are free to families with children aged under five. Further information is available by calling 01432) 260540.


Mums enjoy some time in the sensory room with toddlers Alexander, Harriet and Olivia.

23rd February 2011 MASTERS HOUSE TO BECOME HUB FOR PUBLIC SERVICES....

Representatives on the Ledbury Localities Working Group were understanding of Herefordshire Council's decision to no longer proceed with a new build library due to the changes in public sector finances. The working group supported the principle of using the historic Master's House as a hub for council services, including a library and work will continue with local charities to see if a joint venture can be achieved.

Councillor Roger Phillips, leader of Herefordshire Council said, 'Repairs will now begin on the Master's House under the clear understanding it will be the centre of public services. We are committed to protecting public services in the county and it was agreed at the annual budget meeting to put £2.4 million aside for Ledbury as part of our plan for localities working.'

Councillor Phillips has agreed to attend the next Ledbury Town Council meeting on 10th March to explain the latest position.


23rd February 2011 FAIRTRADE EVENT IN HEREFORD CITY CENTRE.. . . . . . . .

To celebrate Fairtrade fortnight, Hereford City is hosting a Busy Bees Honey Day in High Town on Friday 4th March between 10am and 3pm. There will be lots of fun for adults and children to enjoy, whether it’s making your very own mini bee, or taking part in The Big Quiz.

Why not go along to the Herefordshire Fairtrade stall and sample some mouth-watering Fairtrade Chilean honey and other scrumptious Fairtrade goodies, discover how Fairtrade are working with Chilean honey bee farmers and take part in The Big Quiz to be in with a chance of winning a Fairtrade Gift Basket full of delicious treats?

Herefordshire Nature Trust will be supporting Fairtrade and their art workers will be on hand to help little fingers make a mini bee using recycled material or a bee home for the garden! The Trust will offer advice on how to help support the English Honey Bee and give tips on how to make bee nest boxes at home as well as other Wild Play ideas to keep children entertained. Children will also have the chance to take home a picture to colour in and enter a Busy Bee colouring competition, the winner of which will receive a bumper bag of Fairtrade yummies! Ethos Trading will also have a stall at the event, selling a range of ethical Fairtrade goods and natural products, perfect as gifts or as a little treat to yourself!

Glenda Young, from Herefordshire Fairtrade said, 'We are really looking forward to working with the Herefordshire Nature Trust on the 4th. We all share the same passion for protecting bees and this is a good way of introducing children to the importance of making their environment welcoming to the bee population.'

For further information about the Busy Bee Honey Day, contact Shelagh Callaghan, Hereford City’s Events Officer on 07837 641857 or by email at herefordcityevents@hotmail.co.uk


23rd February 2011 CELEBRATING WHAT YOUTH HAVE DONE FOR COUNTYY.....

Herefordshire Council is supporting an event organized by young people to celebrate a scheme which has brought £700,000 into the county for youth projects.

The Youth Opportunity and Youth Capital funds were set up five years ago to encourage young people to get involved in making a difference to the lives of other young people. Youngsters were encouraged to work together, create ideas and bid for funds to turn their ideas into reality. During the lifetime of the fund, a panel of 12 young people has approved 320 applications to fund positive activities for young people across the county. The projects funded range from the large and well known skate park on Holmer Road, Hereford to many smaller projects such as first aid training for young parents and young carers.

To celebrate this success, a showcase event has been organized, which will take place on Wednesday, 23rd February from 4pm until 7pm in the Main Hall at the Royal National College for The Blind in Hereford. The organizers expect to see young people enjoying performances from 2faced Dance, DJ Lofty and the Hereford Youth Theatre, to name a few. Herefordshire's very own Bush Tucker Trials will be there to tempt adventurous appetites and a whole range of activities, projects and other beneficiaries will be there with photos, displays and presentations to show the audience where the money has been spent and how young people have benefited as a result. There even promises to be a Tug of War battle before awards and speeches at the end of the show.

'I am looking forward to meeting representatives from all the projects,' said Councillor Jenny Hyde, Cabinet Members for Children's Services. 'The young people have worked tirelessly to organize activities for other young people and we've seen some incredible benefits as a result. We are sad to see the fund come to an end but want to celebrate all that has been achieved. Not only has it brought much needed cash to youth projects in Herefordshire, but it has empowered our young people to have a say in activities they want to see in Herefordshire, and to get involved in providing them too.'


23rd February 2011

£500 REWARD FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO CONVICTION


CCTV image of suspected thief.

A Herefordshire store is offering a reward of £500 to anyone who can help find the person who stole £5,000 worth of jewellery from them.

On Sunday, 5th December, five gold rings were stolen from the Oakchurch Farm Shop at Staunton-on-Wye. They were designed by the well known Welsh jewellery maker, Clogau and were worth approximately £1,000 each. The managers of the shop are offering the reward to anyone who provides information that leads to the conviction of the thief or the recovery of the stolen rings.

Last month, West Mercia Police released CCTV images of a man they want to question in connection with the theft, but so far he has not been traced. He is 6ft tall, in his late 20s, is well built and at the time was wearing a quilted jacket and a deer stalker type hat.

Tony Bryan, General Manager of Oakchurch Farm Shop said, 'We are determined that we will not be targeted again in this way by thieves. We are working with the police and have introduced security measures, including CCTV. We are offering a £500 reward because we want to send out the message that people can't steal from here and we are doing all we can to stop this happening. I would ask anyone who knows who is responsible to get in touch with the police.'

PC Sara Miles, who is investigating the incident said, 'If anyone can help Oakchurch Farm Shop in their appeal, then we would very much like to hear from them. I would also ask that if you recognize the man in the CCTV images, please contact me because I would very much like to know who he is. I would also be interested if anyone has been offered the stolen rings for sale. They are quite distinctive and bear the word 'Cariad' on the inside of each one. They were all stolen in their boxes.'

Anybody with information is asked to contact PC Miles via the West Mercia Police non emergency number, 0300 333 3000. You can also pass on information anonymously via the Crimestoppers number, 0800 555 111.


Tony Bryan at Oakchurch, outside the store.

23rd February 2011 HERITAGE SERVICE NEEDS YOUR CINE AND VIDEO FILM .

Do you have old reels of film gathering dust in your attic? If so, Herefordshire Council's heritage services team is interested in films of Herefordshire on any topic. These could include family picnics, farm footage, carnivals - anything which shows life over the last century up to recent times.

Elizabeth Pimblett, Herefordshire Council's community heritage officer said, 'We are collecting films on behalf of the West Midlands film archive MACE, who will discuss making copies with the owner, with the future potential of showing them to the community. I would urge people, don't throw away those old cine camera films or videos. Even footage of you as a child in your parents' back garden could be important to say something about how children played in the past.'

The Full Circle project will run for three years. If you would like further information or wish to offer film for MACE, please contact the Community Heritage Officers Elizabeth Pimblett and Sarah Skelton on 01432 383599.


23rd February 2011 GP LED COMMISSIONING CONSORTIUM ELECTIONS BEGINY

Herefordshire GP practices are this month nominating and electing four GPs and a practice manager to the new GP-led commissioning consortium (GPCC). All twenty four GP practices, along with the walk in centre at ASDA, have been asked to nominate representatives to the consortium that they feel are best placed to serve the county. The vote will take place over the next fortnight and the results will be announced in March.

Dr Ian Williams, director of integrated commissioning at NHS Herefordshire said, 'As Herefordshire's GP-led commissioning group has been awarded pathfinder status, we are keen to build momentum and create the consortium so that we can begin implementing this new way of working. The consortium will continue to work closely with NHS Herefordshire this year, building on the work of the primary care trust to commission excellent services for our patients, before taking up full commissioning responsibilities in 2012/13.'

For further information on GP led commissioning, including frequently asked questions that answer some of the myths around the scheme, please visit www.herefordshire.nhs.uk and follow the link on the home page.


23rd February 2011

YOUNG PEOPLE WARNED ABOUT MISUSE OF ID . . . . . . . .


Jim Mooney with just some of the false IDs confiscated from young people in Herefordshire.

West Mercia Police are concerned about the continual misuse of identity cards by underage drinkers attempting to gain entry into pubs and clubs in Herefordshire.

In October 2010, new mandatory licensing conditions were introduced regarding age verification to purchase alcohol. The only acceptable type of identity item is a hologram photograph, ideally a driving licence or passport. Shops and other licensed premises are expected to ask for proof of identity and will refuse sales where there is doubt over someone's age or ID is not produced. They are held to account if they fail to make the checks and sell alcohol to underage people.

Jim Mooney, Police Licensing Officer for Herefordshire said, 'I have seen an increase in the number of young people attempting to gain entry into licensed premises using false ID. It is a problem both locally and nationally. It has become a trend that young people will 'borrow' someone else's ID, using other people's driving licences and passports.

Using another person's ID with or without their knowledge is illegal. Both the owner and the person using the item are committing offences under the Identity Act of 2006. Other young people are altering their own cards to say they are over 18 or creating fake ID using resources from the web to try and con bar staff into serving them. Again, this is a crime.

Police in Herefordshire regularly receive large amounts of driving licences, passports and other cards that have been confiscated from young people by licensees and bar staff. In most cases the items are returned to the owner with a warning letter, however passports are the property of the UK government and will not be returned. They are sent back to the UK Passport Office, which results in a big expense to the owner as they have to reapply for a new passport.

West Mercia Police is working with both the licensing trade and the council's Licensing Authority to raise awareness about the need for appropriate ID and we will deal with those who misuse it in a robust manner. We are also working hard to make sure licensed premises do the necessary checks and to ensure that their staff are trained to make checks and challenges.

Recent test purchase operations in the county revealed that checks are not being made in all premises and inadequate training is provided to staff. Those licensed premises who fall foul of test purchasing failures or fail to comply with age verification requirements may find themselves subject to licence reviews or prosecution.


23rd February 2011 NOISE BUSTERS HIT LEOMINSTER CLOCK HOUSEY.. . . ....

A Leominster man has been fined £250 for breach of a noise abatement notice which was served by Herefordshire Council.

Mr Mark Crichton of Clock House flat, Churchill Avenue, Leominster was found guilty of breaking the terms of the notice and as well as being fined, he was also ordered to pay £240 towards court costs. As a consequence of Mr Crichton's continual non compliance, the officers then seized the noisy equipment from his flat.

Marc Willimont, Herefordshire Council's regulatory services manager said, 'This person has caused severe nuisance to many neighbours and we are pleased that we have been able to put a stop to the noise. We will be keeping a close eye on the situation to ensure that the problems at Clock House Flats do not recur.'

Environmental health officers have powers to abate noise nuisance by serving a notice on those who continue to cause excessive noise. A breach of such a notice will normally lead to a fine at the local magistrates court and can often result in the seizure of the offending equipment. Environmental health and trading standards can be contacted on 01432 261761 or via info@herefordshire.gov.uk


23rd February 2011 YOUNG POEPLE FROM BROMYARD TO REVAMP PARKY.....

Students from Queen Elizabeth's High School in Bromyard have organized a big revamp of their local park thanks to a joint venture between the school, Herefordshire Council, Amey and the Kempson Players Committee. With help and support from the council's youth workers, a group of seven year nine students from the school decided on a project to improve their local community. The revamp is one of a number of projects organized by the youth service which aim to help a targeted group of young people develop personal and social skills.

The local playground is an area used by a wide range of age groups. Last year it benefited from some fantastic new play equipment funded by the Playbuilder project, but the play equipment that was already there is in desperate need of a facelift. The young people wanted to make sure that the old equipment doesn't go to waste by getting it repaired and sprucing it up with a lick of paint. As a result, they contacted the council's contractors, Amey as well as the Kempson Players Committee who have volunteered to help them give the park a make over.

Youth worker, Sabrina Howley said, 'The young people felt strongly that something needed to be done to the playground at the Kempton Players and by working together, the school and youth service have helped them to bring this big clean up project together. It's a great way to encourage young people to become actively involved in the local community. As well as improving facilities locally, getting involved helps young people build their self esteem and teaches them lots of skills around project planning too.'

The young people will be getting out their overalls on Wednesday, 2nd March and working with Amey to make the area more inviting. They will be joined by the park's committee, the Mayor of Bromyard and Herefordshire Council youth workers to embark on a huge litter pick too.

Members of the local community are more than welcome to join in the big clean up which starts at 9am.


23rd February 2011 CARS STOLEN IN LEOMINSTER CRIME SERIES . . . . . . .. . .

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward and are reminding residents in Herefordshire of the importance of keeping their home secure after two cars were stolen in a burglary which took place North of Leominster. The burglary was one of three vehicle related crimes that occurred in the same area of the county overnight on Monday, 21st and Tuesday, 22nd February.

Offenders gained entry to a house in Moreton Eye via an unlocked backdoor, stole car keys and drove off with a dark blue Ford Focus, registration S145CPP, and a blue VW Golf, registration N984 VPD. A wallet with £250 cash and some bank cards were also stolen. At 5.30am on Tuesday, there was an attempt to steal a convertible BMW 120 in neighbouring Luston by cutting through the soft top roof. They stole a purse from inside but were scared off when the car's alarm went off. Also some time overnight, at a house in the nearby village of Bircher, there was another failed attempt to steal a Vauxhall Monterey 4x4.

Detective Sergeant Gareth Mussell of the Herefordshire Burglary Investigation Team said, 'We believe these three crimes were committed by the same offenders, who were seemingly travelling around the countryside north of Leominster. We would like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious activity along the A49-B4361 corridor or who saw the stolen Ford Focus and VW Golf, perhaps being driven erratically.

We want to take this opportunity to remind local residents that they need to keep their properties secure. The cars were stolen because the backdoor of the house was left unlocked overnight and the car keys were on display in the kitchen. It is important to remember to keep your doors and windows locked, especially over night. It's sometimes the small steps that are the most effective.'

Any witnesses, or those with information about the incidents, are asked to contact DS Mussell on the West Mercia Police non-emergency number, 0300 333 3000. You can also pass on information anonymously via the Crimestoppers number, 0800 555 111.


23rd February 2011 RESIDENTS INVITED TO HAVE SAY ON SAFER JUNCTION....

Herefordshire Council is inviting residents to make their views known about plans to provide a safer junction and for places for pedestrians to cross at Venns Lane, Old School Lane and College Road. Two options are being considered as a means of reducing speed within the area near the Royal National College for the Blind and both would be supported by the introduction of a 20mph speed limit to reduce traffic speeds along the busy route which also includes a primary school and children's play area.

Option A would provide a double traffic controlled junction, while Option B provides a double mini roundabout. Plans for both options will be on display in the conference room at Point4, Royal National College for the Blind, Venns Lane, Hereford on Tuesday, 1st and Wednesday, 2nd March. The displays will be manned between 10am and 6pm on the Tuesday and 2pm and 8pm on the Wednesday, when members of the public can come along and discuss the options with staff from the council's managing agents Amey and comment on which they prefer. Outside of these times, people will be able to make comments through a leaflet which will be made available at the college.

Councillor Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation said, 'We have been working closely with the college to provide a safer environment for pedestrians and particularly their vulnerable students. This is a busy road with an awkward junction, where the flow of traffic often makes it difficult for people to cross the road safely. Both of these schemes will provide safer crossing points for pedestrians as well as reducing traffic speeds and minimizing the risk of traffic accidents. I hope residents will take the opportunity to see the options for themselves because their views are important to us and will help inform the way forward.'

People can also have their say by filling in the questionnaire and returning it to Amey Watchman Team, Unit 3, Thorn Business Park, Rotherwas, Hereford, HR2 6JT. Anybody requiring a form should telephone Streetscene on 01432 261800 or email streets@herefordshire.gov.uk

Responses to the consultation need to be returned by Wednesday, 23rd March.


Option A provides a double traffic controlled junction.

Option B provides a double mini roundabout.

23rd February 2011 YOUNG PEOPLE WANTED FOR NEW WRITING GROUPSY.....

The Library service is calling on all young writers between ages 8 and 12 years to become part of a new, creative writing group for the county.

Herefordshire Libraries and Writing West Midlands are looking for up to 20 children to join a new 'Write On! Writing Squad.' The group will meet once a month at Hereford Library and will be led by professional writer Brenda Read-Brown. The first session will be on the morning of Saturday, 26th March from 11am until 1pm, with further sessions being held on 30th April, 28th May and 11th June. The fee to participate is £20 and it is hoped the group will continue throughout 2011 and beyond.

For further information or to reserve a place, please contact Joanne Penn on 0121 246 2774 or joanne@birminghambookfestival.org You can also speak to Anne-Marie Dossett at Herefordshire Libraries on 01432 260646.

The 'Write On! Writing Squad' for Herefordshire is one of ten new writing groups for young people being organized by Writing West Midlands and is partly funded by Arts Council England. For more information log onto www.writingwestmidlands.org


23rd February 2011 COUNCIL TO CONSULT PUBLIC ABOUT CITY WALLSY. . .....

Herefordshire Council is to consult with the public over a new Hereford City Walls conservation management plan between Monday, 28th February and Sunday, 22nd May 2011.

For the last two years, an archaeologist from Herefordshire Council, with funding from English Heritage, has been studying the city walls and preparing a plan for their future. The plan addresses the issues on the physical condition of the walls and their maintenance, the need for improved public access and the use of the walls as an historic asset for enhancing civic pride and sustaining the economic development of the city as a whole.

Herefordshire Council welcomes your views upon the plan, prior to making its recommendations which will include setting in motion urgent repairs to some sections of the walls, providing better public access and the creation of a signage scheme for interpreting the walls as well as a self guided city walls walk. The city walls are a Scheduled Ancient Monument and have appeared on the English Heritage 'at risk' register for a number of years.

Peter Yates, Planning Policy Manager for Herefordshire Council said, 'The walls formed part of the city's defences and are generally regarded as being of national significance because they incorporate rare and extremely well preserved defences dating back to before the Norman Conquest. These walls are one of Hereford's key heritage assets and, together with the Cathedral, make a great contribution to the city's identity, so it is only right that local people have a say over their future. The walls also have a role to play in increasing annual visitor numbers which will, in turn, boost the city's economy.'

The plan can be found on Herefordshire Council's website www.herefordshire.gov.uk/conservation or www.herefordshire.gov.uk/htt and any comments people wish to make should be sent to the following address or email before 22nd May 2011. City Walls consultation Planning Policy Herefordshire Council PO Box 4 Plough Lane Hereford HR4 0XH Email: citywalls@herefordshire.gov.uk


23rd February 2011 SECURITY GUARD THREATENED WITH USED SYRINGEY.....

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a suspected shoplifter threatened a security guard with a syringe at a Leominster supermarket on Saturday, 19th February.

At approximately 12.35pm at the Morrisons store on Baron's Cross Road, a man was stopped by a security guard after leaving the store when it was believed he had stolen goods, two bottles of whisky and a joint of beef on his person. The man pulled out a used syringe with hypodermic needle and threatened to stab the guard. He removed the whisky and beef from his clothing and made off.

The offender is described as white, in his 50s, about 5ft 11ins tall and slim. He is bald with short, light ginger coloured hair on the sides. He had a large bruise covering much of the right side of his face, including his eye. He was wearing a long-sleeved, hooded fleece jacket with a large picture of a wolf on the back. He was also wearing light blue jeans and green Wellingtons.

PC Adele Loney from Leominster Police Station said, 'For this man to carry a used syringe on him and threaten a security guard with it is quite disturbing and we would like to trace him. I believe there is a possibility he is from the Ludlow area. I am hoping people will recognize the description, which is distinctive, especially the wolf print jacket and the large facial bruise. If you do, please get in touch. I would also like to hear from anyone who witnessed this incident outside the Barons Cross Morrisons.'

PC Loney can be contacted via the West Mercia Police non-emergency number, 0300 333 3000. You can also pass on information anonymously via the Crimestoppers number, 0800 555 111.

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