place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
News - The Weekly News Magazine for
No. 156 - Wednesday, 18th July 2007
HEREFORDSHIRE COUNTY NEWS
the Big Wild Read
from Stoke Prior primary school launched the Big Wild Read
in Herefordshire at Queenswood Country Park, where they
took part in a nature bingo competition and enjoyed two
story times As part of the nature bingo, pupils had to correctly
identify a number of trees, all signed by numbers as well
as names, hence the bingo name. Herefordshire
Council's principal countryside officer James Bisset was
on hand to tell the youngsters more about the wide variety
of trees in the arboretum.
a full house first by finding all of the trees were pupils
Megan Alice Hanson-Green and Lucy Nicolson-James. All of
the Class 2 pupils then enjoyed lunch in the arboretum around
a special tent, kindly donated by Millets of Hereford, and
then had staff from Herefordshire libraries put on story
times, one being a ghost story read out under the spooky
setting of the arboretum's canopy of red cedar trees.
. . .
2 from Stoke Prior Primary School with the Big Wild Read tent.
Dossett, Herefordshire Council's reader development librarian,
said, 'With the summer reading challenge having a nature
theme this year, it was a wonderful opportunity to launch
the Big Wild Read in the great outdoors. The pupils enjoyed
the nature trail and listening to the stories and hopefully
they and many other youngsters in the county will now go
on to complete this summer's reading challenge.'
taking part in the Big Wild Read are challenged to read
any six books from the library over the summer, keeping
track of them in a special folder. For every book read,
youngsters can stick a tree token in their folder and, at
the end of the challenge, all the tree tokens will go towards
planting real trees thanks to the Woodland Trust's Tree
for All campaign. The aim is to plant 20,000 new trees this
well as reading books, youngsters will find out about endangered
animals and ways to help the environment. There are also
some great scratch and sniff stickers to collect along the
way. To take part, youngsters should go to their local library
to pick up a folder and get started. There are book collections
for libraries devised specifically to support The Big Wild
Read, including books around the theme of nature and the
environment, and books that are just great summer reads.
Children who complete the Big Wild Read by reading six or
more books will receive a medal and/or certificate.
materials are free from libraries and The Big Wild Read
is open to children aged four to 11 during the school summer
bingo winners Megan Alice Hanson-Green and Lucy Nicolson-James.
New Crematorium to Offer Green Alternative
Hereford's new state-of-the-art crematorium in Westfaling
Street has now been granted planning permission. The new
facility has been carefully designed to reduce its impact
on the environment and the developers, Thomas Vale Ltd have
also been asked to include measures which will minimize
the carbon footprint of the scheme and maximize the sustainability
of the development.
way suggested to achieve this is through the creation of
a travel plan which promotes alternative sustainable means
of transport for visitors and staff to the site. A spokesman
for Thomas Vale Ltd said: 'We are delighted to have been
given the go ahead to build the state of the art crematorium
and will now be working in close co-operation with Herefordshire
Council to ensure the building is as environmentally friendly
sustainable measures included in the plan are a dedicated
area for green burials and the equipment to be installed
has also been specially chosen to reduce the facility's
impact on the environment. Green burials use a coffin made
from biodegradable materials such as willow or cardboard
and the extended cemetery will incorporate an area which
will be kept as wild and natural as possible. Memorials
and headstones are generally not permitted but often trees
can be planted to mark the grave.
at the planned Westfaling Street facility, which will cost
£3.1 million to build, will be one of the most up to date
ones available to purchase at the present time and incorporate
many features designed to reduce carbon emissions and energy
John Jarvis, cabinet member for the environment and strategic
housing, said: 'I'm really pleased the new crematorium will
not only provide a state of the art facility for the county's
residents but will also be kind to the environment by reducing
energy consumption and emissions. Thomas Vale are to be
congratulated on the work they have done to ensure our new
facility will be one of the best in the whole of the West
new cremators will be fitted with around 66 per cent of
the thermal burner input of cremators supplied some ten
years ago and this, together with improved levels of thermal
insulation, will greatly reduce the amount of fuel needed
to operate them. All equipment for the crematorium will
also meet DEFRA guidelines on mercury filtration and the
level of carbon monoxide emissions.
childminder achieves new status
Herefordshire childminder is the first childcare practitioner
in the county to gain the government's Early Years Professional
Status. Set up by the government in 2006 to promote good
practice amongst childcare workers, the Early Years Professional
Status raises the profile of childcare workers and is equal
to qualified teacher status.
McAteer, a quality assured network childminder from Ledbury
has just learned she has achieved the status. Criteria for
entry is a relevant degree plus experience of working with
children aged up to 5 years. Lizzie had to go through a
robust assessment process ending with a final full day assessment
in her childminding setting.
. . .
McAteer pictured with Christine Gilbert, HM Chief Executive, Ofsted.
January 2005, when Lizzie became a registered childminder
she has become an approved network childminder, gained a
level 3 childcare qualification by distance learning, achieved
an outstanding Ofsted inspection, given birth to her fourth
baby and run her wonderful childminding business for children
of all ages. As well as providing high quality care and
education for children under five years of age, Lizzie provides
care before and after school and during school holidays
for school children at Ledbury Primary School and surrounding
area. She is very supportive of other childminders, children
and parents in her area and organizes outings and visits
to places such as Eastnor Pottery and local farms for her
area, all of which goes towards making Lizzie's setting
a very happy one for children.
Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children and young people,
said, 'This is fantastic news. The council's childminding
team and mentor teachers provide incredible support to the
county's childminders, helping to raise the profile of childcare
across the county and transform the children's workforce.
Lizzie is obviously an amazing women with tireless energy.
I am sure she will use her new status to support other childminders
in her area, as well as continuing to provide excellent
care for the children she looks after will continue to benefit
from her enthusiasm and dedication. Congratulations Lizzie
and the team who have supported her.
Herefordshire Council's childminding team and the network
mentor teacher have supported Lizzie in gaining her award
and are looking forward to using her experience and expertise
to support other childminders in her area. In the words
of Jane Haywood, Chief Executive of the Children's Workforce
Development Council 'We look forward to working with you
to transform the children's workforce'.
Stay Safe at Summer Festivals
As the annual round of summer festivals returns to the county,
Herefordshire Community Safety and Drugs Partnership is
urging revellers to remember some important safety messages
while they have fun.
with overall county crime rates, the number of offences
committed at Herefordshire festivals is low compared to
national figures, making them some of the safest events
in the country. However, last year there were a total of
148 crimes recorded by the police.
of this year's events will be well attended by West Mercia
Constabulary and some organizers will be providing extra
security facilities such as secure lockups to store valuables
in, However, the Partnership is reminding festival goers
that there are also some simple precautions they can take
to reduce their chances of becoming victims crime.
Personal safety: Stay with friends or people you
trust. You are a less vulnerable target to thieves as a
group. Avoid dark areas as much as possible, especially
if you are alone. Stay in the well lit, main areas of the
event. Move away from any dangerous or antisocial behaviour
and alert security if they are not already in the immediate
vicinity. Look after yourself and those around you, even
people you don't know. If you suspect somebody is unwell
take them to the first aid tent.
and tent security: Only take what you can afford to
lose. Don't take your most expensive possessions and camping
equipment and don't leave valuables unattended. Carry money,
credit cards, mobile phones and cameras with you at all
times or use secure lockups. Empty and lock your vehicles,
taking any valuables with you. Leave the glove compartment
open and conspicuously empty. Mark your tent and property
with your name and postcode. Thieves don't want marked property
and it will significantly reduce the risk of items being
stolen. Leave your tent untidy. Don't make it easy for thieves
to grab a bag with everything in it.
matters: Don't carry too much money and empty your purse
or wallet of everything you don't need before leaving. Don't
keep all your cash and valuables together; spread them around
in different pockets or use secure lockups if they are available.
If you use cash machines after dark, don't go alone. Only
take the credit cards you need. Make a note of the credit
card numbers and leave it at home, plus the number to call
if they are mislaid.
Hughes, Chair of Herefordshire Community Safety and Drugs
Partnership, said: 'For most people, these events are all
about enjoying the performances and soaking up the atmosphere.
Unfortunately, there are a few people who deliberately take
the opportunity to commit offences. We want people to enjoy
themselves as much as possible and by taking a few sensible
precautions, they can avoid their experience being ruined.
Community Safety and Drugs Partnership looks at how to reduce
crime rates and increase the safety of all our local communities,
including temporary communities. There can be up to 30,000
people at a festival, which is actually a higher number
of people than the population of some of our market towns.'
firm signs up to Rotherwas Travel Plan
firm Thomas and Green has become one of the latest companies
to sign up to the Rotherwas Travel Plan, a cost-cutting
and environmentally friendly scheme promoted by Herefordshire
firm, which manufactures food packaging and food-related
consumables such as coffee filters, filter papers and absorbent
pads, first brought in a compressed working week which not
only reduces congestion but also provides economic savings.
Instead of working five days a week, most people at the
company now work the same hours over four days a week, a
move which not only saves travelling costs for employees
but also reduces congestion because fewer workers are travelling
into Rotherwas on a Friday, one of the busiest days of the
compressed week has also reduced the firm's utility bills
because lights, heating and computers do not need to be
Kirsz, operations manager for Thomas and Green, said: 'We
are always eager to reduce the impact our activities have
on the environment and after introducing our compressed
working week, I was reading about the Rotherwas Travel Plan
in the Association of Rotherwas Enterprises Newsletter and
decided the firm's next logical step was to sign up for
McGivern, Herefordshire Council's Rotherwas Travel Plan
co-ordinator, is delighted that T&G have joined the group
of forty firms on the estate which have benefited from S.M.A.R.T.
@ Rotherwas initiatives. She said: 'T & G has shown that
travel plans make good business sense and that eco warriors
wear suits too! I am looking forward to working with all
the T&G people to help them keep healthy hearts and wallets.'
A recent workplace survey showed that the majority of T&G's
sixty employees used cars to travel to work despite the
fact they live in Hereford. Following the introduction of
a number of incentive schemes to encourage cycling, some
workers have swapped their cars for bikes. 'Leaving the
car at home even for just a day or two a week has not only
reduced the impact our workers have on the environment but
has also boosted their health and even those who cannot
cycle in because they live too far away have taken the importance
of fitness on board and set up a weekly walking club,' said
next step for T & G is to improve facilities for pedestrians
and cyclists and Herefordshire Council's Travel Fund Grant
may be able to help them to do this. If you want to Save
Money and Reduce Traffic at Rotherwas then why not contact
Paula by calling 07792 880349 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
George (left), machine assistant, and Christopher Hoare, serviceman,
on their cycles
outside the Rotherwas offices of Thomas and Green.
Don't get caught out by rogue traders
From decking to damp proofing, gardening to guttering, Herefordshire
Council's trading standards department is working in partnership
with Consumer Direct West Midlands and has some top tips
to help the county's residents avoid getting caught out
by the dodgy builder, the problematic plumber and the range
of people that may call at your door to offer to do the
work at a bargain price.
it is repairs to your property due to flood damage or general
home and garden maintenance, Consumer Direct can offer people
clear, practical, consumer advice. Top tips include:
Optional: Before organizing any repairs people should
contact their insurance company. Some insurance companies
may arrange approved traders to repair damage on your behalf,
but people organizing repairs need to check what will be
The 3-quote rule: Don't rush into anything! If seriously
considering having any work done on homes or gardens, people
should get three quotes in writing before making your decision.
This should clearly set out the cost of the work to be done
and what is and isn't included.
How to find a Trader: In Herefordshire the Private Sector
Housing section of the council holds a list of tradesmen
which is available to the public. Consumer Direct can't
recommend a particular tradesperson or company although
in some areas there may be a trader scheme, usually run
by trading standards, where traders are working to agreed
minimum standards. Consumer Direct can tell you how to get
Ask around: Try to use a company/tradesperson that has
been recommended or used by people in your area. This won't
guarantee the work as standards may vary. However, people
may be able to get a feel as to whether they are one of
the more reputable companies.
Check the contact details: Leaflets, flyers and advertisements
in local newspapers will advertise a range of home and gardening
services. If you have to rely on an advertisement people
should ensure they have the trader's full name, address
and telephone number. Be aware that unsolicited doorstep
callers often appear to have these details but they are
often found to be untraceable as the information is bogus.
The staged approach: Don't pay for all of the work upfront.
Unscrupulous tradesmen may never be seen again once people
have parted with their money. People should make sure they
have a written agreement to pay in stages as the work progresses.
7. Get a receipt: Consumers should ensure they get
a receipt in case of dispute related to payment. This will
also by useful if people have to pursue a claim against
8. Your rights: If the work being done is costing
more than £100, people should ask if they can pay by credit
card. By paying this way people may gain extra protection.
In some cases they may be able to claim through the credit
card company if things go wrong.
you called Consumer Direct? Consumer Direct is working
in partnership with Herefordshire Trading Standards. If
anyone is concerned about the activities of doorstep callers
operating in their area, unhappy with the work that has
been done or are worried about elderly or vulnerable neighbours
being targeted, they can contact Consumer Direct by telephoning
08454 040506. Consumer Direct would advise you to use their
1. Did you get 3 quotes in writing?
2. Have you got a receipt?
there a registered Trader scheme in your area?
4. Is the work costing over £100? If so can you pay
by credit card? Have you agreed payment in instalments?
there is a problem have you called Consumer Direct?
Is there anyone you can talk to that has had work done by
the trader? Are there enough contact details for the
tradesperson if there is a problem?
Direct is available from 0800-1830 Monday to Friday, and
0900-1300 Saturday, excluding bank and public holidays.
Calls cost a maximum of 4 pence per minute from a BT land
line Calls from mobiles or other networks may vary. Your
service provider may charge a minimum cost per call. The
advice and information given is free and confidential.
girls win National Futsal Championships
across the county are developing their football skills the
Brazilian way thanks to a huge boost in futsal training
funded by the Football Association and managed by Herefordshire
Mary's High School under 16s team did the county proud last
week by coming away from Sheffield's Ponds Forge as the
girls' under 16s FA National Futsal champions. On the way
to the title they defeated teams from Shropshire, Manchester,
Middlesex and Sheffield, scoring six goals (Emily Lovelock,
Leya Latham and Anna Mulderrig) and conceding only one throughout
the whole tournament. The
strong squad of seven earned their place in the finals by
winning the Herefordshire FA Secondary Schools futsal league
council's girls' and women's football development officer
also took teams in the under 10s, under 12s and under 14s
age groups, together with Hereford Pegasus Ladies football
club. The under 10s squad consisted of players from Ross
Rockets who are currently using futsal as a vehicle to get
local children into sport. Ross Rockets recognize that futsal
provides added benefits for young players including movement,
balance and co-ordination, which are deemed essential to
all round participation in sport.
under 12s and Whitecross under 14s finished 3rd in their
respective age groups with strong performances by both squads
throughout the day. Hereford Pegasus Ladies FC, having qualified
from the local qualifying league also took centre stage
at Ponds Forge in the first ever women's futsal finals.
A strong field saw Pegasus come up against Watford LFC,
Salford College and the British Muslim futsal team in the
group stages and after finishing second, they met Sheffield
LFC in the quarter finals narrowly missing out on a semi-final
place with a 5-1 defeat. The eventual winner's were Watford
mention to Simone Quinn who scored 10 of Pegasus's 20 goals
and Marcella Furness who only conceded 13 goals in her final
appearance for the club.
often known as Brazilian football, is increasingly being
recognized as the alternative to traditional 5-a-side, especially
in schools, and is recognized for developing ball skills,
which can be adopted by all ages and transferred into the
11-a-side game. Around 20 schools are actively involved
in promoting futsal as an alternative to five-a-side football.
From September this is expected to increase to around 40
schools thanks to the county's football development team
who offer futsal coaching courses and create competition
opportunities with schools and clubs.
further information contact Alexis Lunn (01432) 261977,
Mary's RC High School From left to right: Rebecca Lovelock, Emily
Leya Latham, Lisa Francis, Ella Langford, Danielle Jones and Anna
'Herefordshire will not be overlooked!' says Councillor Phillips
The newly appointed Minister of the West Midlands, Liam
Byrne MP, has been invited to Herefordshire to see first
hand the key issues affecting the county. The invitation
came about during a meeting between the minister and councillor
Roger Phillips, Leader of Herefordshire Council.
was a very positive meeting, during which I had the opportunity
to raise a number of important issues which are specific
to Herefordshire and which differentiate us from the Birmingham
conurbation,' said Councillor Phillips. 'We discussed the
huge rise in costs we're facing as we cope with the significant
increase in the number of older people in the county, the
poor road network we have in Herefordshire and also the
growing gap between low average wage levels and rising house
prices. I also made him aware of the extra costs we face
as we have to deliver services over a large geographical
area and that we have a relatively weak local economy.'
the meeting Councillor Phillips invited the minister to
visit the county. 'I'm delighted that he accepted my offer
and is due to visit Herefordshire in the autumn, during
which he will be able to see these issues first hand,' added
Councillor Phillips. This was an important meeting. It's
very easy for Herefordshire to be overlooked and we need
to take these opportunities to put Herefordshire on the
map to ensure we get a fair deal for the people of the county.'
Herefordshire Schools Scoop Award for 'Values Education'
Herefordshire Council has received another award for its
values education programme. The Leading Aspect Award recognizes
leading practice that exists in schools and services for
children and families.
by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, applicants
have to evidence eight criteria that demonstrate examples
of effective activities in leadership and management, teaching
and learning and the sharing of good practice. Herefordshire
Council has received an award for empowering school improvement
in Herefordshire through values education.
education offers a framework to help children become thinking,
confident, self-responsible and caring citizens. Positive
core values such as respect and responsibility become the
focus of the school with role modelling, discussion, debate
and reflection being used to encourage positive behaviour,
confidence and self-esteem. The framework offers a practical
way to bring about real and sustainable whole school change
and there is a growing body of evidence which suggests it
has a positive impact on families and communities.
Herefordshire the approach is being used across primary,
secondary and special schools and more recently in early
years settings and children's centres. The local authority
applied for the Leading Aspects Award on behalf of all the
schools involved in values education.
had to illustrate the work schools have been doing and the
impact this has had on leadership, management, teaching
and learning,' said Bridget Knight, primary school improvement
manager. 'We also had to show how good practice has been
shared when our assessor visited us in May and talked to
pupils, head teachers and local authority officers,' she
continued. 'The majority of schools in Herefordshire have
become involved in delivering values education. It is marvellous
to be able to have this award on behalf of all the schools
who exemplify the principles of values education to such
a high standard.'
Jenny Hyde, cabinet member for children and young people,
said: 'Our children deserve the best possible start in life,
and it has been proved that threading core values throughout
curriculum and non-curriculum activities, gives children
and their families confidence and respect that stays with
them for life. Congratulations to all our schools who have
been involved in delivering this incredibly successful initiative.'
Cadbury Fined £1m for Breach of Food and Hygiene Regulations
Cadbury Ltd was fined a total of £1 million by Birmingham
Crown Court on Monday, 16th July 2007 after pleading guilty
to offences under food and hygiene regulations. There were
six specific charges from Herefordshire Council against
prosecution was the culmination of a 12 month investigation
by environmental health officers. The investigation began
last June after the Food Standards Agency informed the council
that salmonella had been found in some Cadbury products.
Cadbury's Marlbrook factory, near Leominster, produces the
crumb that is later turned into the finished product.
Tector, Herefordshire Council's head of environmental health
and trading standards service, said: 'The safety of the
consumer is our major concern and the court's sentence reflects
this. All of the food and hygiene issues, which led us to
take court action in the first place, have since been addressed
by us working in close collaboration with Cadbury. We are
now confident the factory at Marlbrook is operating within
food and hygiene regulations and will continue to work with
Cadbury to ensure this remains the case and consumers can
be confident the firm's products are safe to eat.'
six offences related to the cleaning and disinfection of
certain equipment, (two offences), the state of repair of
parts of the premise,s (two offences), the layout of the
factory and the provision of drainage facilities. Each of
the six offences attracted a fine of £50,000, making a total
of £300,000, with costs of £100,000 awarded.
offences took place or were discovered between February
2006 and November 2006. Each offence carried a maximum penalty
of an unlimited fine and / or two years imprisonment. Charges
brought by Birmingham City Council received a fine of £700,000
and costs of £52,000.
Kitchen waste could be composting gold, says Herefordshire Council
Herefordshire Council has set a weekend challenge for residents
to look at the amount of fruit and vegetable peelings they
produce and to consider composting these scraps instead
of throwing them in their household bin. Organic
material can form up to a third of households' weekly waste,
but if it's put into the bin, it goes straight to landfill.
Residents that have material left over from BBQs, parties
or Sunday lunch, such as uncooked fruit or vegetable peelings
could use this as compost, which is good for the garden
and as well as good for the environment. Those who already
have a compost bin could be missing out on the great ingredients
in kitchen waste, so officers from the Waste Management
Team are reminding people that it will help to produce a
great compost. Residents
who do not yet have a compost bin are encouraged to consider
buying one. They are available from as little as £8.
Preece, Herefordshire Council's recycling officer, said:
'It really surprises me how many vegetable peelings are
produced when I cook a meal, particularly if it is a Sunday
roast for the whole family. I'd urge residents to actually
take a look at the amount of peelings that they produce
and to consider composting them instead of putting them
in their household bin. I think they will be quite astounded
at the amount that they produce.
is a great example of recycling and is something that you
can do at home. It's like magic. You put in lots of organic
kitchen waste and green garden waste and after a year or
so you get a new and useful product that you can use in
your garden or in pots. It really is amazing.'
and vegetable peelings are not the only household waste
that can be composted; toilet roll tubes, cardboard egg
boxes, egg shells, shredded confidential letters, tea bags
and coffee grinds will all help to make the perfect compost.
Not everything can be composted however, so those looking
for further information on home composting can go to www.wastemissionimpossible.org.uk
or call the Mission Impossible hotline on 01905 766883.
County road resurfacing programme to begin
Herefordshire Council and its partner Herefordshire Jarvis
Services are currently carrying out this year's main surface
dressing programme to the county's roads.
dressing is a cost effective way of restoring and preserving
road surfaces. It involves a coating of bitumen being sprayed
onto the road surface followed by one or more layers of
hard stone chippings. As the bitumen sets, the chippings
stick to the road surface and are further embedded by rolling
process is rapid, compared to many other surfacing techniques
and avoids lengthy closures and disruption to road users,
however drivers do need to travel very slowly on the newly
laid surface to prevent chippings being dislodged.
drivers travelling above the recommended speed cause chippings
to be thrown up, which can damage vehicles, property and
most importantly, people.
Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for
highways and transportation, said: 'This work is a necessary
and essential part of our annual road maintenance programme
and I would ask motorists to be patient when travelling
along roads where surface dressing is being carried out.
We are also taking many measures to reduce inconvenience
measures are to:
advance notice of works to residents and drivers,
Provide advisory and warning signs from the time of treatment
to the time when the road is ready for normal use, Regularly
sweep the road and footways to remove loose chippings,
Ensure that surface dressing is carried out to a high standard,
Minimize hazards and disruption to traffic through effective
Ensure complaints are investigated and appropriate corrective
action is taken.
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