place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
News - The Weekly News Magazine for
No. 159 - Wednesday, 8th August 2007
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).
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
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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.
- Herefordshire bid to tap into flood recovery cash
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.
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
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.
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: email@example.com or by visiting the council's
website: www.herefordshire.gov.uk. All we need is the briefest
of details: Name, address, contact details and the extent
of flooding to their property.'
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.
re-issued one year on
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.
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.
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.
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.'
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
C1267 Hoarwithy to Ballingham Road reopened at 6pm on Monday,
6th August, two weeks ahead of schedule.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
Retail Market Open for Business as Usual
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.
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.
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
poultry market, located at the same site as the Retail Market,
is currently not affected by the movement ban.
Coucil in project to safeguard Rotherwas Ribbon
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.
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.
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.
measures were not put in place during the bad weather as
this risked damaging the site.
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.
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.'
further information: Herefordshire Council: 01432 260006.
ION Catches Nuisance Vehicles in South Herefordshire
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.
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.
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.
7 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to drivers who were not wearing
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
Reported one motorist for driving without due care and attention,
plus another for failing to comply with tachograph regulations.
addition officers arrested one driver who had been disqualified
and had no insurance and issued a warning notice to another
motorist for antisocial driving.
vehicles were also seized; two for having no insurance,
the other for a variety of offences.
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
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
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.'
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:
Drink and drug driving
Mobile phone safety.
details of the campaign, as well as advice and guidance
on road safety, are available at www.westmercia.police.uk
Council Backs Energy Campaign
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.
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
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
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
EnergyRight project is due to run until the end of December
and anyone interested in having a free home check should
call 01531 631280.
Police Station Opens in 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.
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..
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.
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.
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
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.
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.'
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.
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.
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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