place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
RYAN GREEN IS YOUNG LIONS AMBASSADOR FOR BRITAIN.
Congratulations go to Ryan Green, a member of Ross-on-Wye
LEO Club who has recently been selected as the Lions Young
Ambassador for Great Britain and Ireland. Facing stiff competition
from 12 other fantastic young people from all parts of Britain
and Ireland, Ryan had to tell the judges just what he did
and how he helped in the community.
studying for his 'A' levels at John Kyrle High School, Ryan
still found time for Sea Cadets, acts as secretary for the
Ross LEO Club and has carried out charitable work for Macmillan
Cancer Support and St. Michael's Hospice. Ryan's greatest
involvement, however is with Hope Support Services, where
Ryan acts the Youth Chairman. Hope
Support Services is a Ross based charity whose aim is to
support young people who have a close family member diagnosed
with a life threatening illness. No other organization does
truly remarkable young man, Ryan fully deserves the accolade
of being awarded the title of 'Lions Young Ambassador for
2011.' As well as bringing home four magnificent trophies
(two for Ross Lions as sponsoring Lions Club), Ryan receives
a generous bursary from Lions Clubs International towards
his main project, Hope Support Services. The attached photo
shows Ryan at the Lions Convention in Fishguard with District
Governor Lion Colin Duncan, Ross-on-Wye Lion President Trevor
Smith (with wife Barbara), and four other Ross Lions - and
the four trophies!
Ryan Green at the Lions Convention in Fishguard with District Governor,
Lion Colin Duncan, Ross-on-Wye Lions' President, Trevor Smith (with
wife Barbara), four other Ross Lions and the four trophies.
VODAFONE APPEAL FOR TUDORVILLE MAST DISMISSED...
There is good news for the residents of Tudorville. Vodafone's
appeal against a decision refusing planning permission to
erect a 15m high telecommunications pole on the verge at
has been dismissed.
people in the area were concerned that the mast would have
a detrimental effect on the health and well being of themselves
and their children as a childrens' play park is situated
adjacent to the proposed site. However, the appeal was not
dismissed on these grounds but due to the fact that the
mast would appear as 'a jarring and incongruous feature
in the street scene' and that 'the sizeable equipment cabinets,
unscreened by landscaping would [in my assessment] add to
this harmful visual impact.'
the reasons, the residents of Tudorville have cause to celebrate.
MP Jesse Norman is delighted at this news as he has been
working with local residents to fight the plans from the
outset. Jesse said, 'I am delighted that this proposal has
been rejected. We badly need better mobile coverage in Ross
and surrounding areas But this proposal was totally inappropriate
for a busy location, and would have been visible from much
of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
wrote to the Planning Inspectorate and Eric Pickles, the
Secretary of State, in December last year to outline the
reasons for my objection. In the event the Planning Inspectorate
agreed with me that the mast would cause ‘significant harm
to the character and appearance of the surrounding environment’.
way is open for Vodafone to come back to the table but to
do so it must respect and work with, and not against, the
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JACQUI IAN AND JANET...
Our special Happy Birthday greetings go to three special
people this week. Yesterday, Jacqui Newman of the White
Lion Inn celebrated her special day. Jacqui unfortunately
injured her leg last week but has still somehow managed
to work and greet visitors to the lovely riverside inn,
despite having to use crutches. We hope you enjoyed your
Sackville is 20 years old today. Ian works at the White
Lion but is taking a very well earned day off to celebrate.
Don't have too many Ian. (Oh... go on then!)
birthday greetings also go to Janet Wood, Alan's sister.
Jan has suffered very much with her health but always seems
to manage to see the brighter side of things. We love you
Jan and hope you enjoy your birthday.
BLAKE GARDENS MAKEOVER FOR GOLDEN JUBILEE
In the year 2012, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II will be
celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of her reign and people
are working on ideas to mark this special occasion. Councillor
Caroline Utting though it would be a lovely idea if a group
was formed to 'do up' The Thomas Blake Memorial Gardens
Street, Ross-on-Wye so that they are back to their former
glory by the time of the Jubilee.
proposal has met with a great response from local residents,
businesses and organizations and on Sunday, 13th March no
less than 19 people turned up to begin the tidying up process.
Ross-in-Bloom are helping with the organization of the project
and have volunteered the use of their bank account and constitution
to get it off the ground. The project has been registered
through RiB with the Royal Horticultural Society’s 'It’s
Your Neighbourhood' scheme and the results will be included
in the Heart of England In Bloom judging in the summer.
and Glynn at Ross
Garden Store regularly make generous donations to causes
of this nature and will be taking a major role in this project
by bringing in professional help and expertise and by donating
lots of goods. Amey Herefordshire are also keen to assist
by removing waste and helping out when they can.
Utting hopes that many of the residents living near to the
gardens, will also get involved. She has also applied for
a grant from Herefordshire Housing to help the project on
Thomas Blake Memorial Gardens used to look so beautiful.
It will be wonderful to see them restored.
Making a start on the Thomas Blake Memorial Gardens.
The youngsters' turn to take a breather.
JESSE WELCOMES NEW RAPE VICTIM SUPPORT CENTRE
Local MP Jesse Norman has warmly welcomed the Government's
announcement that one of four new specialist Rape Victim
Support Centres will be established in Hereford. The announcement
was made by Justice Minister Crispin Blunt on the 100th
anniversary of International Women’s Day as part of a series
of measures to improve the support available to victims
Blunt said, 'Rape and sexual violence are devastating crimes
which ruin lives. By providing long term funding for new
rape support centres, the Government is demonstrating its
commitment to ensure that every victim receives the specialist
support they need to rebuild their lives.'
Jesse Norman said, 'The Government’s decision to invest
£150,000 in the next twelve months to establish the centre
and to guarantee funding until at least 2014 is very welcome
news. At a time when public spending is necessarily constrained,
it is very good to have this support for local victims of
GOVERNMENT FUNDING UNFAIR FOR RURAL AREAS
Rural residents are bearing the brunt of budget cuts that
are forcing the withdrawal of vital public services. The
Rural Services Network issued the warning following an in
depth analysis of the government’s funding settlement for
local authorities. Local authorities face an average reduction
of 18.5% in funding from central government over two years.
Services Network Chief Officer Graham Biggs said the settlement
was a step too far for England’s most sparsely populated
areas. Although the situation was also bad for urban areas,
it was particular unfair on people living in the countryside,
said Mr Biggs. 'Rural authorities receive a lot less funding
per capita than urban authorities even though it costs more
to deliver services in the countryside,' he said.
extra £10m in government funding to compensate for the loss
of concessionary fares funding did nothing to alter the
imbalance. This was because the £10m was shared between
town and country.
Biggs added, 'The gulf in per capita funding between town
and country remains. Some urban authorities might have done
worse than their rural counterparts, but they would have
done so from a much better position. Rural residents are
continuing to pay more in council tax than their urban neighbours
and clearly getting less service expenditure in return.'
analysis comes as councils and other service providers set
their budgets for the coming year and government cuts begin
PANCAKE DAY EVENT HELPS SHOPPERS REDUCE BILLS
Herefordshire Council's waste management team cooked up
a Pancake Day treat in Hereford's High Town to show families
how they can save up to £480 a year on their shopping bills
if they stopped wasting food.
Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent, was the last day for
people to indulge themselves and to use up foods people
should not eat during Lent such as fat, butter and eggs.
Pancakes were a way to use up all of these items before
Lent started and the event in High Town aimed to show how
all residents can use up leftovers and fridge staples to
make tasty meals and help reduce their shopping bills. The
campaign also aims to ensure people buy food wisely, taking
note of use by dates and only buying what they need by planning
John Jarvis, of Herefordshire Council said, 'We chose today
to launch our campaign because of the symbolic link to Shrove
Tuesday to highlight the fact people can save up to £480
per year if they stop wasting food. Many people came to
our stand in High Town where we were able to show them how
a few staple items from fridges such as eggs, milk and butter
can be made into a tasty treat and, when combined with leftovers,
can be made into a nourishing meal.
hope these people will now join in with the spirit of the
campaign and see how leftovers and items they already have
in their larders and fridges can be used to make meals rather
than throwing them away. Using up such items also prevents
the food waste from ending up in landfill where it rots
and releases methane, a damaging greenhouse gas and also
costs the council money which ultimately comes from local
council taxpayers. If we stopped wasting food which could
have been eaten, it would have the same environmental impact
as taking one in four cars off the road.'
further information on the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign,
log onto www.lovefoodhatewaste.com This website also contains
lots of recipes and ideas for using up leftovers. For more
local issues and events log on to www.letswasteless.com
Councillor John Jarvis getting the Love Food Hate Waste message
across in High Town on Tuesday.
GOVERNMENT CUTS FORCE REDUCTIONS IN FARES SCHEME
Herefordshire Council has been forced to reduce the hours
of its concessionary fares scheme after significant Government
cuts to its funding for public transport. With such a large
reduction in funding, the council has been forced to reduce
the period of free concessionary travel to the statutory
requirement of 9.30am until 11pm Monday to Friday, and all
day at weekends and bank holidays. These changes will come
into effect on 28th March 2011 and bring Herefordshire into
line with decisions taken by all neighbouring English authorities.
it is acknowledged that concessionary pass holders will
be impacted by this change, the Council does not feel that
variations on the operating times would be workable. Those
pass holders who wish to travel before 9.30am and after
11pm will have to pay for this element of their journey
but many will be able to re-time journeys to still travel
council has not taken this decision lightly, but it has
to consider all elements of discretionary expenditure given
the scale of government funding reductions. It has identified
funding from its reserves to help protect bus services into
the next financial year but this has not allowed for the
retention of free travel before 9.30am and after 11pm on
weekdays. The council is maintaining free travel for companions
of disabled people and it is honouring free travel into
Wales, within the revised operating times, and these are
important enhancements to the statutory minimum service.
and posters informing bus users of the changes to the operating
times for concessionary travel have been printed and are
being distributed with the support of the bus operating
companies and parish councils. The leaflets also highlight
the need to review all bus services over the summer 2011
but assure users that no major reduction in services is
planned. More details of this review and the consultation
will be issued in early summer.
JESSE WELCOMES TREASURY INVESTIGATION INTO PFI
Jesse Norman, MP, has warmly welcomed the news that the
Treasury Select Committee is to investigate the Private
Finance Initiative. The
investigation comes at the urging of Mr Norman, who sits
on the Committee, and who has conducted a sustained campaign
to claw back a £500 million rebate on PFI contracts. Over
60 MPs from all the major parties have joined the campaign.
Jesse said, 'This is excellent news. It shows that Parliament
is taking this issue seriously at the highest level. Far
too many PFI contracts are expensive, non-transparent and
inflexible. Over the past few weeks the Treasury has published
new interim guidance for managing PFI contracts, the MOD
has announced that it is opening up three of its contracts,
and the Cabinet Office is taking a forensic look at the
£835m contract at the Queen's Hospital in Romford. Now the
Treasury Committee has cleared the way for a full evaluation
of the strengths and weaknesses of the PFI.
need to know what went wrong in the past and how to correct
it. And we need a new approach to procurement which is inexpensive,
effective and properly accountable to the taxpayer. This
will be a major step in the right direction.'
LIBRARIES AND BBC JOIN FORCES TO GET PEOPLE ONLINE.
The Library service is working with the BBC to get more
people online, using computers and the Internet through
its First Click programme.
Library, working with the BBC and the council's Community
Learning and Employability team, has been offering 10-hour
beginner sessions in using the Internet which have already
attracted 16 learners. There is also a waiting list for
people to attend the course at Colwall so the course will
be running again in the summer and a new course will be
starting at Hereford Library on Thursday, 7th April. A follow-on
course organized by Community Learning and Employability
will also be running in March and April for the present
learners at Colwall.
Chedgzoy of Herefordshire Council said, 'The course at Colwall
has proved to be a great success with many people wanting
to learn basic computer skills so they can use email and
the Internet and we are now setting up a follow on course
as well as starting a new course at Hereford Library. For
some learners, it will mean they can now email family in
other parts of the country or world and for others it will
give them access to information about their interests.'
Pat Turner, aged 88 said, 'I have family in Thailand, France
and Luxembourg and would love to be able to communicate
with them by email so this course is wonderful and I will
be attending the follow-on course as well.' Her friend Doris
Collings, aged 89 said she had never used a computer before
and wanted to get more familiar with using a keyboard and
being able to write documents and letters. She said, 'I
felt so stupid not being able to use a computer because
all the younger generation can.'
First Click computer course for beginners at Hereford Library
starts on Thursday, 7th April and will run from 9.30 until
11.30am. For further information and to book your place,
please telephone 01432 383600.
First Click learners at Colwall Library.
OPEN DAYS FOR POTENTIAL FOSTER CARERS. . .
. . . ......
Council is currently recruiting special people who want
to make a difference to a child's life by becoming a foster
council has seen a steady growth in the number of people
making enquiries about becoming foster carers in the county,
but still needs to boost the number of fostering households
from the current 75 to 90 in order to make sure Herefordshire
children are looked after by Herefordshire carers. The fostering
team is also looking for caring people who have a spare
room or annexe to offer a young person aged 16 or over who
needs some support to make the transition from foster care
you are interested in becoming a foster carer, you are invited
to attend one of two information sessions which are being
organized for Saturday, 2nd April and Monday. 11th April
from 11am at Moor House in Hereford. (Tea and coffee available).
team of fostering social workers and foster carers will
be at each event to chat to people interested in fostering
about the pros and cons, the process involved in applying
and the opportunities available.
foster carers recruited by the council receive comprehensive
training. Once a child is placed with them, they receive
a fostering fee together with allowances for clothing, holidays
and reimbursements for travel expenses. Support and help
is available through direct contact with a supervising social
worker and carers have access to a range of supporting events
through a network of around 120 other Herefordshire carers.
Walwin, assistant fostering team manager said, 'We are looking
for a wide range of foster carers from all walks of life
and we welcome the diversity of our community. We'd love
to see as many people as possible who really want to make
a difference to a child's life.'
who thinks they have got what it takes to become a foster
carer is encourage to contact the fostering team and sign
up to attend one of the information days. Please telephone
01432 383243 for further information.'
HUGE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES AT REGENERATION SITE
prestigious regeneration of Hereford's old livestock market
is set to bring massive training opportunities which will
leave a lasting legacy of employment and improved job prospects
for scores of local people. Following negotiations with
developer, Stanhope, Hereford Futures can announce that
the Hereford Skills Academy for Construction (HSAfC) is
to be created.
the academy, local people will be given opportunities to
take up gaps in the workforce during the construction phase
on the old livestock market site and, importantly, locals
will be offered opportunities to gain experience and qualifications
in a range of construction disciplines through the proposed
establishment of a quality apprenticeship programme.
is great news for the county and has come about after discussion
and negotiations between Herefordshire Council, Hereford
Futures and the scheme's developer, Stanhope,' said Councillor
Roger Phillips, Leader of Herefordshire council. 'We envisage
that a full range of trades will be represented on site;
bricklayers, plasterers, carpenters, plumbers and more highly
specialized skills that will be needed on a site of this
size and complexity. Where there are gaps in the workforce,
the academy will work with the developer to fill these vacancies
with local people where possible. This is a very exciting
project for the city which brings with it the added bonus
of jobs and training for locals.'
Bretherton, chief executive of Hereford Futures added, 'Due
to the large scale of the work programme, there will be
huge scope for training and up-skilling opportunities. These
will leave local people with the relevant experience, skills
and confidence to obtain further work well into the future
after the development is complete. This is a once in a lifetime
opportunity for Hereford city, Herefordshire and local residents
and we expect a lot of interest from local people in the
opportunities that will become available.'
Shaw, from Stanhope said, 'We're incredibly proud to be
associated with Hereford Skills Academy for Future Construction
and we are sure that the time and expertise which we are
investing in the city will equip a number of local people
with the skills necessary to succeed in the construction
industry. Over the course of the last 25 years, Stanhope
has sought to engage and include the public in numerous
projects which we have worked on throughout the country,
ensuring that local communities share in the fruits of development.
Since being appointed to the old livestock market scheme
in 2007, we have thrown ourselves wholeheartedly into this
process and now, as we hopefully near the start of the construction
phase, we look forward to working even more closely with
the local community.'
Hereford Skills Academy for Construction is aligned to the
National Skills Academies, which are supported by the Sector
Skills Council for Construction. They ensure that training
and qualifications gained through various schemes are relevant
to the industry sector that they support, in this case,
construction. National Skills Academies already operate
in a range of key sectors of the economy, including financial
services, construction and manufacturing.
academies are also active across many other sectors, for
example engineering, logistics and environmental technologies.
Plans are also being worked on for training in hospitality
and retail in readiness for the cinema, shops and restaurants
opening. The HSAfC will be responsible directly to the Delivery
Group that has been assembled to support it. This group
has members whose skills, experience and expertise will
be crucial in making sure every opportunity is taken to
boost jobs and training opportunities throughout the work
programme on the old livestock market site.
members comprise Herefordshire Council, developer Stanhope
and principal contractor representatives, Hereford Futures,
Jobcentre Plus (JCP), Cskills, local contractor representative,
Hereford Group Training Assn (HGTA), Hereford College of
Technology (HCT) and the South Wye Regeneration Partnership
(SWRP). All the partners fully support the aims and objectives
of the HSAfC in its efforts to bring quality and sustainable
jobs and training opportunities to the communities of Herefordshire
throughout the project.