Ross on Wye Home Page, Wyenot News - The weekly online news magazine for Ross-on-Wye., Herefordshire.
The place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley

Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 159 - Wednesday, 8th August 2007
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Page 1 [This week's news - Ross Town Carnival 2007]
Page 2 [Symonds Yat East Definitely Open - World's Worst Paparazzi - Folk at Broome Farm]
Page 3 [Red Lion Festival - Moving away from YouTube - Goodrich Art Club Exhibition]

Page 4

[Nature Watch - Advice to Farmers - Three year old child badly injured by car]
Page 5 [Ross Town Carnival - part two - Scouting Sunrise]
Page 6 [Ross Town Carnival - part three - Interview with local author, Ian Pauley]
Page 7 [Ross Town Carnival - part four - Letters ]
Page 8 [Ross Town Carnival - part five - What's Happening in Ross this week?]
Page 9 [[Ross Town Carnival - part six - Ross Lions at the Carnival]
Page 10 [Ross Town Carnival - part seven - Somerfield non-uniform day - Golf Club vandalized]
Page 11 [Ross Town Carnival - part eight - Theft from Jewellers]
Page 12 [Tina Dancing - Carnival Bingo - Assault - double vision - Bands in Park - Affordable warmth - Accident - Weather]
Page 13 [Herefordshire County News]

Body recovered from the River Wye in Hereford

Police have confirmed the identity of an elderly man whose body was recovered from the River Wye in Hereford on Tuesday morning (7th August).

Mr Anthony Virgo, aged 74 and from Brampton Road in Hereford, was found by a passer-by in the river close to the Great Western Way footbridge. Police and fire crews attended and the body was recovered using a fire service boat at around 11.10 am.

Police are treating Mr Virgo’s death as unexplained and are preparing a report for the Herefordshire Coroner. A post mortem is due to take place on Friday, followed by the opening and adjourning of the Coroner’s Inquest.

Detective Sergeant Mark Jinks from Hereford CID said, 'Mr Virgo was known to be at his home at 9 pm on Monday evening and we want to establish when he made his journey to the river so that we can provide a full report to the Coroner. As a result we are keen to hear from anyone who saw a man in his 70s walking from the Brampton Road area towards the river at Hunderton between 9pm on Monday and the following morning. His walking would have been slow and laboured, possibly even shuffling and with the aid of a walking stick. He may also have been wearing slippers at the time.'

Anyone with information can contact Detective Sergeant Mark Jinks at Hereford CID on 08457 444888.

Georgina the goose retires

Herefordshire Council's parks and countryside service has found a new home for 30-year-old Georgina, the goose, a resident of Hereford's Castle Pool pond. The parks and countryside service was alerted by a member of the public who noticed Georgina, an Ebdon X Brecon Buff goose who cannot fly because she has angel wings, was finding it difficult to get out of the pond. RSPCA officers were called to capture Georgina and she was then taken to a vets and found to be generally well but suffering from arthritis, which was affecting her mobility.

It had been planned to build a ramp at the pool so Georgina could get out of the water more easily but, after the vets also found Georgina was very underweight, it was instead decided to find her a new home at a sanctuary at Caerphilly in South Wales.

Mr Paul Tomkins, Herefordshire Council's head ranger, said, 'Georgina is a much loved character and many people in Hereford go to feed her at the pond so we wanted to make sure people knew she was okay and is, in fact, enjoying a far better quality of life now. Staff at the sanctuary will be getting her back up to her ideal weight.'

Georgina the goose being "rescued" from the Castle Pool pond.

Georgina before she was "rescued".

Georgina on the Castle Pool pond.

Urgent - Herefordshire bid to tap into flood recovery cash

Herefordshire Council is urging anyone who suffered damage to their home during the July floods to contact them as soon as possible. The authority is to make a bid for cash from the £10 million Flood Recovery Grant announced by government.

The money will only go to people whose houses have been flooded; the cash cannot be spent to repair or replace damaged gardens, shed or garages. However, the time scale is short. The council has to inform the government of the number of homes hit by the flood in Herefordshire by Thursday next week, 9th August, so people need to register their damaged home before lunchtime on Wednesday, 8th August. It is expected that interim payments will be made the following week.

'For some people this will have been the second time their homes have been flooded in two months,' said Cllr Roger Phillips, Leader of the Council. 'The disruption and distress this has caused hundreds of families in Herefordshire cannot be underestimated. Although this £10 million will have to be shared nationally, we intend to make sure we get our slice of the money.

To enable the council to give an accurate picture to Government of the effects of the floods on homes, they are urging anyone whose home was affected to contact the them in a number of ways: · By telephoning 01432 260500, by sending an e-mail to: or by visiting the council's website: All we need is the briefest of details: Name, address, contact details and the extent of flooding to their property.'

Meanwhile the council is seeking to secure cash from Advantage West Midlands to help bolster tourism in Herefordshire which has suffered as a result of the floods.

Appeal re-issued one year on

Police investigating a sexual assault on a woman in Hereford one year ago have reissued CTTV images of a man in the hope that the public will be able to identify him. The images, taken from cameras in the Maylord Shopping Centre, show a variety of angles of a man officers from Hereford CID are keen to trace as part of their enquiries.

The assault happened at around 1:15 am on Friday, 28th July 2006 in the alley way which links the Maylord Shopping Centre to Commercial Street.

The man was captured on CCTV near to the area at around the time of the incident. The images were originally issued to the media one year ago and resulted in a number of possible identities being put forward for the man.

'All of these calls were actively investigated and we were able to eliminate from our enquiries all those that were named,' said Detective Sergeant Mark Jinks from Hereford CID. 'We would like to thank the public for their assistance so far and assure them that we are continuing to investigate. One year on we are releasing the images again in the hope that someone who has not previously contacted us may recognize him and come forward with new information.'

Anyone who can identify the man pictured or who has information about the incident is asked to contact DC Sue Prosser or DS Mark Jinks at Hereford CID on 08457 44488. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Road Re-opens Ahead of Schedule

The C1267 Hoarwithy to Ballingham Road reopened at 6pm on Monday, 6th August, two weeks ahead of schedule.

The road was closed after a large vehicle loaded with potatoes went off the road and landed upside down on the river bank. The heavy equipment used in the recovery of the vehicle caused so much damage to the carriageway that it was necessary to close the road until repairs had been completed, which should have been by Friday, 17th August 2007.

Pele Bhamber, Herefordshire Council's head of highways and transportation, said: 'Due to the dedication of our staff and workers from our partners Hereford Jarvis Service, who worked on Saturdays and Sundays in addition to their normal hours, we have been able to reopen this road much earlier than first thought and hope this will be appreciated by motorists using the route.'

Blame it on the Romans

Engineers have drawn up a list of options to prevent the flooding which recently hit parts of the area designated for Hereford's major redevelopment project reoccurring. The team, from Capita Symonds, leading experts in flood alleviation schemes, have been working with ESG Herefordshire Ltd to come up with plans to protect the ESG area from flooding.

The Widemarsh brook, which runs along the northern end of Merton Meadow car park and through to Jewsons, regularly overflows. New homes are planned for this part of the city.

Charles Pickles, the ESG project engineer, said: 'Naturally, people have been expressing their concerns about flooding, especially during the recent major events. We can assure them that ESG will not build in these areas until flood prevention work has been carried out. After many months of studies we now have a set of options and we are satisfied that we have developed a solution to the problem which is based on working with nature rather than trying to defeat it.

It is believed that the Romans, when they set up Castris camp near Hereford, and built the road to it, created today's flooding problem by diverting the Yazor brook towards Hereford, either to establish defences or to power mills and support other industry along the streams there.'

ESG is now refining the best solution before working through the necessary approvals process. The company is also looking at ways to use water, including recycling roof runoff, to enhance the natural environment within the ESG area and beyond. All this is right at the top of the company's agenda.

Hereford's Retail Market Open for Business as Usual

Herefordshire Council is keen to stress that it's business as usual for Hereford's Retail Market. The market operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays and is situated adjacent to the Cattle Market on Edgar Street.

Whilst the Foot and Mouth outbreak in Surrey has resulted in a ban on the movement of ruminants and pigs and the temporary closure of Hereford's weekly Cattle Market, the Retail Market will continue to take place.

'When we had the previous Food and Mouth Disease outbreak in 2001 people thought the Retail Market had close,.' said Jeff Owen, the council's markets, fairs and street trading manager. 'We want to stress that the Retail Market is open for business as usual.'

The poultry market, located at the same site as the Retail Market, is currently not affected by the movement ban.

Herefordshire Coucil in project to safeguard Rotherwas Ribbon

Herefordshire Council is implementing its plans to preserve the Rotherwas Ribbon archaeological find and protect it for future generations. A full council meeting held on Friday, 27th July 2007 confirmed that work on the Rotherwas Relief Road had been stopped around the site since the discovery in April of the Bronze Age ribbon of fire cracked stones. The council also determined that no irreversible action be taken that could prejudice its preservation for future generations.

Contractors have pumped standing water from land surrounding the site, which had built up during the recent floods and are preparing to apply the first few layers of protection. The process is being monitored on site by the Worcestershire Historical Environmental and Archaeology Service.

The Rotherwas Ribbon was discovered in April this year during preparation for the Rotherwas Relief Road, which was being built to secure existing jobs and attract new ones to Hereford. Findings of a Bronze Age track way was promoted to councillors and residents of Herefordshire in the next available edition of council's publication Herefordshire Matters in May and the find was launched to the press in July.

Plans to protect the Ribbon were put on hold after popular demand to see the site. Around 1,000 people were given escorted tours of the site during July. Although recent floods and bad weather caused erosion to surrounding areas, the passage of water across the Ribbon itself was safely channelled through existing land drains over the cracked stone pathway. Temporary measures were not put in place during the bad weather as this risked damaging the site.

Current preparatory work involves the diversion of two land drains away from the site, which is being done without excavation or disturbance to the Ribbon. Archaeologists are conducting a fingertip clean of the surface of the site to carefully remove any deposited silt. Access onto the feature is allowed only on routes agreed with the on site archaeologist.

When the site is stabilized, a number of protective, weatherproof layers will be put over the Ribbon, including a chemically resistant geo-textile layer, a layer of clean sharp sand, a further geo-grid and then capping material.

Herefordshire Council is awaiting a report from English Heritage on whether the Ribbon meets the criteria for scheduling as a nationally important site. Councillor John Jarvis, cabinet member for the environment, said: 'From the start, the council has been open and transparent about the Rotherwas Ribbon find and has always been determined to save it in line with the best professional archaeological advice and practice. The work to protect the site has to be undertaken with care, in the right conditions and will take around two weeks to complete. It is reversible but will protect the Ribbon for future generations.'

For further information: Herefordshire Council: 01432 260006.

Operation ION Catches Nuisance Vehicles in South Herefordshire

Police in south Herefordshire have carried out a special operation targeting nuisance vehicles in the area, finding a whole host of worrying defects in the process.

After complaints from local people about ‘boy racers’ and other forms of antisocial driving, police set up Operation Ion with officers from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) in Ledbury and Ross-on-Wye town centres. Up to sixteen police officers and three operatives from VOSA were involved during the operation. Over the two evenings of Friday, 27th and Saturday, 28th July more than 100 vehicles, the vast majority of them cars, were stopped and the drivers spoken to by police.

VOSA operatives also carried out examinations on a number of vehicles. As a result of this operation, police officers: Issued 17 HORT1 notices requiring the driver to produce their documents at a police station.
Issued 7 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to drivers who were not wearing seat belts.
Issued 4 FPNs to drivers using mobile phones while driving.
Issued 2 FPNs for vehicles with excessively noisy exhausts.
Issued 3 FPNs for vehicles with number plates not confirming to regulations.
Reported one motorist for driving without due care and attention, plus another for failing to comply with tachograph regulations.

In addition officers arrested one driver who had been disqualified and had no insurance and issued a warning notice to another motorist for antisocial driving.

Three vehicles were also seized; two for having no insurance, the other for a variety of offences.

As a result of the VOSA checks, a total of 20 vehicles were served with prohibition notices for defects, requiring them to be put right and rechecked within 10 days. If this is not done and the vehicle continues to be driven, it is liable to be ordered immediately off the road until the problems are sorted.

Faults uncovered by the tests included defective parking brakes, no rear brakes on a motorcycle, a missing exhaust pipe and bald tyres. One vehicle was also stopped for carrying an excess load. A further eight vehicles were found to have excessively tinted windscreens and front side windows. In one case, a car had a windscreen which only allowed 30 percent of the light to pass through it - a huge safety risk, especially at night when the driver’s vision would be significantly obscured.

'We know that local people have been concerned at some of the vehicles using the roads in the area and the antisocial way in which they have been driven,' said PC Dave Hamilton from Ledbury Police Station. 'By combining with officers from VOSA to make best use of our available powers, we hope that the message will filter through to all motorists about the need to ensure their vehicles are safe to use on the roads and that they are driven in an appropriate manner at all times.'

Officers involved with Operation Ion plan to mount similar checks across the county in the future to further reinforce the message. Particular attention will also be paid by police officers to vehicles with non-standard registration plates that use incorrect fonts, italic letters or non-standard spacing. Drivers of these vehicles risk having to pay a £60 Fixed Penalty Notice. In addition West Mercia Constabulary’s ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ campaign will continue across the year, with the aim of reducing road casualties by highlighting seven specific areas for motorists:

Motorcycle safety
Drink and drug driving
Poor driving
Illegal vehicles
Seatbelt safety
Mobile phone safety.

Full details of the campaign, as well as advice and guidance on road safety, are available at .

Herefordshire Council Backs Energy Campaign

Having just launched its own affordable warmth strategy, Herefordshire Council is supporting a new campaign by Age Concern which aims to help older people use their energy more wisely.

It is estimated 8,450 homes in Herefordshire are in fuel poverty, meaning they cannot afford to keep their homes warm at a reasonable cost. The council's affordable warmth strategy aims to end this and Age Concern, which has offices in Bromyard, Hereford, Ledbury, Leominster and Ross, has now developed an EnergyRight initiative in conjunction with E.ON to help older people with their energy issues, both in summer and winter.

The scheme aims to offer help for people to access grants and schemes which can offer free insulation and improved central heating systems along with simple energy saving measures that householders can carry out for themselves. A trained Age Concern volunteer will carry out a free Home Energy Check and then they will be referred to CaringEnergy, a scheme run by E.ON, to assess whether the client is eligible for grant assistance Each person having a home check will also receive energy saving tips, two free energy efficient light bulbs and a free address book containing useful telephone numbers and seasonal energy tips.

Councillor Olwyn Barnett, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for social care adults and health said, 'It is vital we find out which households are in fuel poverty and need our help so I would ask any older person who struggles to pay their energy bills to take advantage of these free home energy checks. Our Affordable Warmth Strategy makes clear we need to work with partner agencies to achieve our aims of ending fuel poverty and this is a good example of how this can come about.'

The EnergyRight project is due to run until the end of December and anyone interested in having a free home check should call 01531 631280.

New Police Station Opens in Leominster

Leominster will be able to benefit from its state-of-the-art new police station earlier than expected as it opened its doors to the public ahead of schedule on Monday, 6th August.

Building work is now complete and officers and staff have now moved into their new ‘home’ on Leominster’s Enterprise Park on Monday morning. The night shift finished their duties at the old Ryelands Road Station at 7am while the day shift will began theirs from Enterprise Way at the same time, with the new front counter facility opening at 9 am..

The new purpose built station is a major improvement over the Ryelands Road site, providing more space for the increased number of staff and officers at Leominster and a more welcoming environment for the public.

The 2.4 acre-site boasts increased office space, comprehensive parking facilities for staff and visitors and even a heli-pad. The eight-cell custody block will become fully operational by September, when it will take over temporarily as the primary custody facility on the division while Hereford’s own custody block is rebuilt.

The new facilities at Leominster include four interview rooms, a secure van dock, holding cell and separate rooms for medical treatment, fingerprinting, photography and breathalyser testing. The extra space and modern facilities will mean that officers can process their detainees more quickly, reducing the time they spend away from front line operational duties.

'The new police station has been much anticipated by officers, staff and the public alike and it is great to be finally at the stage of being able to move in,' said Inspector Peter Wilson, geographic commander for north Herefordshire. 'It is especially pleasing to be doing so slightly ahead of schedule, so the public of Leominster will be able to benefit from the enhanced facilities a little earlier than originally anticipated.' he added.

Henriette Lyttle-Breukelaar, Director of Partnerships at from Advantage West Midlands, which invested £4m in the access road and is marketing the Enterprise Park said: 'It is great news for the people and businesses of Leominster that the police station is now opening. The Enterprise Park is already proving a success, and the police station is an important addition to this high-quality 21st century site.'

During the move process there was minor disruption at the old Ryelands Road police station, although this did not interfere with operational policing. On Saturday, 4th and Sunday, 5th August BT engineers moved the telephone and communications equipment to the new police station. This meant that for that weekend only, it was not be possible to use the out of hours telephone facilities outside the main entrance as phone lines were disconnected. Posters detailing the situation and providing these contact numbers were on display at the entrance during the works. Normal service was be resumed on Monday as the telephone and computer equipment was freshly installed at Enterprise Way.

Local people will be able to see for themselves all that the new station can offer at a special open day on Saturday, 8th September. A fun-packed day of events is planned to coincide with the 40th anniversary celebrations of West Mercia Constabulary. This will include a visit by the police helicopter, activities with police self defence instructors, special photofit and fingerprinting sessions for kids and displays by Scenes of Crimes Officers.

Dance groups and live music will add to the fun, while the station will also be helping to raise money for charity by hosting a coffee morning for Macmillan Cancer Support. Full details of the event will be circulated through the local media during the coming weeks.


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